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 Uncle Sam's story world
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Group Title: Uncle Sam's story world : lively stories for boys and girls of all nations
Title: Uncle Sam's story world
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081096/00001
 Material Information
Title: Uncle Sam's story world lively stories for boys and girls of all nations
Physical Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: DeWolfe, Fiske & Co. (Boston, Mass.) ( Publisher )
Publisher: De Wolfe, Fiske and Co.
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: c1891
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Children's literature   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1891   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1891   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1891
Genre: Children's stories
Children's poetry
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
General Note: Contains prose and verse.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00081096
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002225065
notis - ALG5337
oclc - 42519063

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Uncle Sam's story world
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    Back Cover
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Full Text





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UNCLE SAM'S STORY. WORLD


LIVELY STORIES
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
OF ALL NATIONS


BOSTON
DE WOLFE, FISKE AND COMPANY
361 AND 365 WASHINGTON STREET




































COPTRIsHT, 1891, BY
DE WOLFE, FISKE & CO.







I! """' ?tih''j












lr IN
i1


"A MERRY UHRPSTMAB W ALLP1










SOUR GREETING-.
MERR Christmas to you all Just
4 .+' look at that bright-faced, bright-eyed,
smiling girl. Just look at her as she
pops her head into the elegantly fur-
nistied parlor, with the seasonable greet-
ing on her red lips of, "A Merry Christ-
mas to you all!"
It will be a merry Christmas for her, for Santa
Claus has tumbled down her chimney, and is in
such a hurry to get on his rounds that he dropped
qu'te a number of pretty things about the bed-
room-floor.
Then, brothers George and Willie are home
from school. They came yesterday, and rolled
into the house all covered with snow, and their
pockets full of sn,wballs. What fun it was when
Willie crept behind cook's Lack and quietly laid
one of them on her netns as she stooped o ver the
range. How she did expl-de with anger just like
a Fourth of July cracker but when she saw who
it was that fooled her, she chased him up and down
until he allowed himself to be caught and receive
-a whipliing ?-not much, a lump of candy-for
who would whip boys or girls at the glorious
Christmas time !
And how good-humored papais I-not in the least
grumpy or cross; and how proud he is that George
won so many premiums, and he must have had a
lot of trouble to get those eight brand-new dollars
for the boys. He must have gone to the bank him-
self and asked the president for them as a per-
sonal favor. How Willie jumped when he got
three out of the eight, and how Sissy-Look at
her peeping in at the door, and crying, "A Merry
6 Christmas to you all!"-how delighted she was
when papa opened a huge pasteboard box which
he carried home himself, and after taking At out of
ever so many wraps of paper, produced a magnifi-
cent sealskin sacque. Oh, she did clap her hands,
and in great delight leaped on papa and kissed
his face all over.
And mamma -dear, gentle, kind, good mamma-
wasn't she pleased when Sissy gave her the cushion
she had worked for her-all red roses-and forget-
me-nots; and when George had handed her an
exquisite morning-cap, and Willie-poor little
Willie-presen-ted her with a silver thimble I
And the house is so richly decked outwith holly
and ivy-the holly has such a lot of red berries it
was the best branch on the wagon, and the man said
he wouldn't give it to anybody but Sissy. What
a great sprig over papa's likeness when he was a
young gentleman, and over mamma's when she
was a young lady with an enormous crinoline.
And Sissy pasted' holly-leaves all over the words,
"God Bless our Home "; and cook smartened up
the kitchen, and Phoebe, the waitress, helped
her, and didn't go to bed till all hours on Christ-
mas morning.
Just look at Sissy as she cries, "A Merry Christ-
mas to you all!" And, if you keep looking, you'll
presently see the door open and George and
Willie march in; and then the whole three will
sing a beautiful little hymn composed by a poet,


a schoolmate of George's, and set to music by
mamma.
Then comes the breakfast-such a breakfast l-
and George and Willie and Sissy can have as
much of everything as they like; but they are
wisely keeping a good place for the plum pudding.
And won't it be a beauty !-for Sissy helped to
stone the raisins, and told all about it; and Willie,
because he is the youngest, is to set fire to the
brandy when Phcebe I rings the pudding in after
dinner. Then papa will cry, with one of his jol-
liest laughs, "A Merry Christmas to you all I"


After the Christmas-tree.
THE Christmas-tree which bloomed so sweetly
Shas had its blossoms all shorn off, and the
happy youngsters are going home laden with the
trophies which the wheel of Fortune has bounti-
fully bestowed upon tnem-swords, guns, dolls,
Punchinellos, boxes of bonbons, candies and toys
of every sort, shape, size and de-cription. They
have had a glorious Christmas Night of it Santa
Claus has been with them ia spirit, and as they
danced round the t e, singing a merry carol, they
have earnestly wished, in their innerm,.st hearts,
that the dance would last for ever and aye. But
Time, which stays not on Christmas Night-even
on Christmas Night-has sounded the hour of de-
parture, and, all smiles and laughter and joyous
cackle, the delighted little people descend to the
hall, where the beautiful snow comes in' with a
caressing greeting. Ah, those Christmas-trees I
What bright oases in the dreary desert of life !


iTH THE BURS.
EIT was a lovely May morning; the birds
chirped blithely to each other; the very
leaves of the tall wych-elm trees that cast
a checkered, shadow over the little cottage
seemed to rub gently together, as if un-
able to express the joy that filled their veins.
All nature was astir, and yet with a soft, tran-
quilizing movement-nothing to jar, to ruffle, or
disturb How different to the wakening hum of
a great city, or even a small household !
The inhabitants of the cottage, however, seemed
children of nature in this respect. A little girl
came quietly out to the wood-pile, and selected a
few sticks. Soon a thin streak ef curling smoke
rose from the chimney and twined about the leaves,
and lost itself among them before it reached the
summit of the trees.
Breakfast did not take long to accomplish, for
the little girl and another presently appeared with
pails, to fetch water from a neighboring brook.
The younger was evidently quite unwilling, and
hung back, with the fingers of her disengaged,
hand crammed into her mouth.
"Be a good girl, Lucy," said the elder, coax-
ingly, "and I'll show ye the rare, large leaves I
found yesterday."
She opened the garden-gate for her to pass into











a shady lane, sloping down from the cottage; but
a glimpse of yellow flowers among the dark-green
celandine leaves on the hedge-bank caught her
eye; she bounded from her sister, and was soon
down on her knees in the shallow ditch, gathering
a handful of golden blossoms.
That comes of low parentage," said the Dock-
leaves on the other side of the hedge-they could
see and hear all that passed through a gap, the
very gap through which the little girl had dis-
covered them the day before-" to think of pre-
ferring anything so low-minded as that little yel-
low foolishness If it would even hold up its
head it might be better."
The Burdock shivered from the tips of its leaves
to its roots, and then stood stiffer than ever ; for
it prided itself on its antiquity. This was the
second year that it had raised its head in the self-
same place ; whereas, its neighbors, a wild Chamo-.
mile and a straggling little Pimpernel, and several
rough-looking Thistles, were all new-comers; last
year their places had been occupied by tall Dyers'-
weed, which had now disappeared, all but a few
straggling shoots, peeping through a wilderness
of wild Chamomile.
Yes, it is very pleasant to feel ancient blood in
one's veins 1" said the Dock-leaves. "Our isolated
position here, too, gives one so much time for
thought, and thought enlarges the mind far more
than mere vulgar contact with one's fellows. It
gives one leisure to dwell on the faults of others,
too, and devise benevolent schemes for their im-
provement. Yes, we really might do something
for the poor little Celandine."
The Summer passed on: the Burdock was soon
covered with its insignificant blossoms, and their
round, pricldy seed-vessels. The leaves were
happier than ever: they had been lecturing and
advising for some time past; but, unfortunately,
no one seemed to heed them.
Now here was a chance; these round messen-
gers could be sent anywhere, and not easily si-
lenced. Day after day, they had been speaking
to the Thistles, on the folly of arming their leaves
with sharp spines. It was a pernicious habit,
they said, that made them unpleasant to
their neighbors and to every one else; but the
Thistles, merry-hearted fellows, who were content'
to be friendly and sociable with all, provided they
.were treated as equals, thought the Dock-leaves
"narrow-minded old fidgets," and paid no atten-
tion to them.
The Pimpernel had escaped notice-it grew so
close to the ground, and the Burdock never
stooped; but a rather loud peal of laughter now
drew attention.
"Well, I declare," said the Dock-leaves, "you
seem very merry this morning At whose expense,
I wonder ?" Tough as they imagined other peo-
ple to be, they were very touchy themselves.
And you are positively blossoming still, my small
friend ? Never was anything so silly. Don't you
think, now, in your humble position of life, a lit-
tle less show and expenditure in your dress would
be advisable ? You would lay by a far richer har-
vest of-seeds, if you spent less on outside show."


All the Pimpernel blossoms laughedlouder than
ever.
We want to enjoy life our own way," said the
first that recovered herself sufficiently to speak;
"and we have been told that our blossoms are not
merely ornamental-often we have been called the
poor man's weather-glass."
"Too, too, too !" said the Dock-leaves. They
shook so with annoyance and vexation, that down
rolled a great Bur into the midst of the Pimper-
nels; but, as they still laughed, he was shaken
down further, till he reached the pathway round
the field at the foot of the bank.
That's exactly the way people talk and think
who have no common sense or judgment of their
own. Everybody knows you are very unwise;
but of course you know better than any one else
--it's just the way of the world I" the Dock-leaves
sighed.
"But, please," said a very small Chamomile-
flower, who had been listening eagerly (it had
somehow imbibed an immense respect for the Bur-
dock; perhaps it was natural, for people who lay
down the law to others often succeed in impressing
an idea of their depth on shallow minds-the
bursting of an inflated paper-bag has been, before
now, mistaken for the report of a pistol)-" but,
please, who is everybody ?"
This was very trying. Two Burs immediately
detached themselves, and clung round the neck of
the Chamomile, remonstrating on its folly, and on
the bad taste and tact evinced in its question.
However, the Dock-leaves always had an answer
ready-
"Everybody ? Why, of course, everybody is
everybody. What a foolish remark, to be sure!"
The Chamomile was puzzled; but it could not
bear to be suspected of dullness, as well as bad
taste, so it nodded as if perfectly satisfied.
"But why should we not benefit mankind, as
well as our fellows ?" said the Dock-leaves, and
they looked about for a suitable object.
People, however, seldom went along the field-
path, unless it were the owner of the cottage in
the lane, and it was, perhaps, scarcely worth while
noticing him; he evidently work,-d hard for his
daily lread, poor wretch! The D ok-leaves had
seen gentlemen and ladies occasionally-people
worth speaking to-people who did nothing but
amuse themselves from morning till night.
"Persons we could speak to," said they, "and
who would, doubtless, benefit by our advice, if
they would only pass this way."
Just at this moment the cottager appeared in
sight.
It was a sultry August evening, and he had
taken off both hat and working-jacket, and was
sauntering along, as if anticipating that most de-
lightful of pleasures-a quiet evening with his
family after a hard day's labor.
Spite of his inferiority, the Dock-leaves felt it
their duty to remonstrate. As he brushed past, at
least a dozen Burs fastened on his legs, all speak-
ing at once.
"How can you be so foolish, at your age, and
with a wife and children to provide for, to run


__











such a risk of cold ? Don't say anything-we
know allabout it, in fact, we have great medical
knowledge. You should have more sense and
self-control, and bear such a trifle as being too
hot patiently."
'' Yes, very wrong, indeed I" echoed another of
the Burs, pressing into the calf of his leg.
The cottager walked on without seeming to
heed, except that he shook his legs, and knocked
one against the other impatiently, as if the Burs
annoyed him. But the sight of his two children
at the cottage-gate made him forget such insignifi-
cant troubles. He stooped down and lifted his
youngest child up to his shoulder, throwing his
ha- and coat to the little girls after giving each a
hearty kiss.
S"There !" said a Bur; "just like the folly and
improvidence of this class of people They know
that their children have a rough hard life before
them, and yet they tieat them as fondly and ten-
derly as if they were well provided for and had
not to work for their living -such utter want of
common sense To think of the life that is be-
fore those children, poor little things !-oh, oh I"
For the little girls were following their father,
and the younger, seeing the Bur on his stocking,
plucked it off. and threw it into a hawthorn-tree.
It was more frightened than hurt, however, for it
fell into a Spider's web.
Oh, indeed 1" said the Spider, who had made
a rush at the Bur. "I have the most right to
complain. Why, you'vebroken all my morning's
work to pieces, and are not fit to eat either."
"Never mind, don't fret about it," said the
Bur. "When I've settled myself-for these gum-
my threads of yours rather stifle one-possibly I
can advise you in rebuilding your web, if it is
absolutely necessary to rebuild it. Don't you
think, now- "
Advise your grandmother !" interrupted the
Spider, looking very bloated and angry. "Yes,
I believe you'll be advising the sun, next, to rise
in the west instead of the east I Why don't you
mind your own business ? No, you've got none
to mind, and that's what makes you such a busy-
body. Nothing like work, and hard work too, to
keep people straight, and make them mind their
own business instead of their neighbors'. And
why were you pitying those children, just now, I
should like to know? I heard you. Poor, in-
deed They are far richer than any I ever saw,
and I've been a traveler in my time, let me tell
you."
The Spider had been darting from one side of
the web to the other while she spoke, and the
Bur found himself inextricably meshed ; so he
answered, rather meekly :
"Why, they have a poor home, and poor
parents, and a poor, hard-working life before
them-can anything be worse ?"
"Yes, a great deal," said the Spider; "they
might have all these hardships-if they are hard-
ships, which I deny ; for among my travels I have
been in houses, and once I heard read, out of a
large book, that every one seemed to listen to, that
a special blessing rests on the poor-with sickness


and sorrow in their home; or they might have
every luxury, and an unloving, hard father, and
a dull, fretful mother. They enjoy to the full
what is really the best part of life."
"And what's that ?" said the Bur, in a hoarse
voice.
He was nearly choked, and decidedly uncom-
fortable altogether, but he was afraid to complain.
Why, sunshine inside aid outside. I don't
understand what it comes from, but look in peo-
ple's faces, and you'll see what I mean. So far as
I can make out, those who work the hardest have
the largest share of it-or else those who seem to
have the fewest enjoyments. That crippled lad,
who crawls up here sometimes in the Spring to see
the celadine in blossom, looks quite as happy as
any of them. You see, you don't know much
about it, my fine fellow. You look miserable
enough now, certainly; but you're generally too
self-satisfied to care about other people's happi-
ness. I suppose that is your particular style of
happiness, and you take pretty good care that no
one else shall enjoy it, you do, you old, worrying
find-fault !"
And the Spider, who certainly knew how to talk
herself, and who, I am sorry to say, was rather
spiteful, gave her web such a tug that the.Bur
called out for mercy.
There, get along with you !" said the Spider,
as she disentangled him. The ground's the best
place for you; you're enly spoiling my web."


The Doctor's Visit.
( ('\H, Millie, do go for the doctor, that's a
dear; Arabella has met with a frightful
accident, and I'm afraid she'll die."
Oh, go along with your fooling. I've no time
to bother with you," said Millie.
"But you don't know how bad Arabella is."
"Botheration take you, and Arabella, too," was
Willie's unfeeling reply.
Now, this conversation seems very heartless on
the part of Millie. She was the housemaid in the
service of Mr. Pendleton, of Laurelville, and the
childish entreaty for the doctor was made by little
Cora Pendleton, whose years as yet scarcely num-
bered ten.
Arabella was only a doll, and in taking her down
from the closet, Cora had let her fall, and one of
her legs had come off. It was not an expensive
doll, and Cora had other and finer ones, but with
that strange faculty so often noticed in older per-
sons, Cora liked poor common Arabella far more
than all her more magnificent companions.
Of course, the fact that Arabella was only wood,
muslin and sawdust did not render it any the less
necessary that she should have a doctor who could
set the broken leg for her, and so when Millie, the
housemaid, refused to bring a proper surgeon,
Cora in her perplexity turned to her brother
Ralph, two years her senior, for aid. After hear-
ing her explanations, Ralph said :
"Never mind, Cora, I'll be the doctor."
So Cora seated herself on a little stool, and


~












holding Arabella in her lap, awaited the doctor's
visit. Soon there came a rap at the door. Ralph
had got an old hat and long-tailed coat, and car-
ried a bottle filled with some colored liquid, and
having a paper label attached to the cork.
"Good-morning, madam," said he, politely.
"My office-boy states that you desired to see
me."
"Yes; my little girl Arabella has met with a
great accident."
"Allow me to see the child," said Ralph, in his
gravest tone.
He took up Arabella, carefully inspected the
broken leg, and then with profound seriousness
said:
Ah It is a compound fracture of the berre-
cellum."


Ralph had got things slightly mixed, but we
can excuse him.
"I have some-liniment here whikh will cure
her, however."
The liniment was simply soluble glue, and
Ralph very quickly fixed up the walking appara-
tus of poor Arabella.
"Now, madam, she'll do nicely. My fee will
be one hundred dollars."
We see that Ralph had already learned the true
spirit of a surgeon, and charged a good high fee
br a few minutes' work.
Cora drew out some pieces of paper from her
pocket, paid the doctor, who with a polite bow
soon departed, and when he reappeared it was
in his own proper capacity as simple Ralph Pen-
dleton.


BABY BYE
-Here's a fly;
Let us wateh him, you and L
How he crawls
Up the walls I
Yet he never falls.
I believe'with six such legs,
You and I could walk on eggst
There he goes
On his toes,
Tiocling baby's nosIel
Spots of red
Dot his head,
Rainbow on his back are spread I
That small speok
Is his neck:
See him nod and beck.
I can show you, if you choose,
Where to look to find his shoes--
Three small pairs,
Made of hairs;
These he always wears I
Black and brown
Is his gown;
Ne can wear it upside down.
It is laced
Round his waist:
I admire his taste.
et, though tight his clothes are
made


THE FLY.
He will lose them, I'm afraid,
If to-night
He gets a sight
Of the candle-light.
In the sun
Webs are spun:
What if he gets into one
When it rains,
He complains
On the window-panes.
Tongues to talk have you and !;
God has given the little fly
No such things;
So he sings
With his buzzing wings.
He can eat
Bread and meat:
There's a mouth between his feet I
On his back
Is a sack
Like a peddler's pack.
Does the baby understand ?
Then the' fly shall kiss her hand I
Put a crumb
On her thumb;
Maybe he will come,
Catch him? Nol
Let him go;
Never hurt an insect so.


But, no doubt,
He flies out
Just to gad about.
Now you you see his wings of silk,
Drabbled in the baby's milk.
Fie oh, fle
Foolish fly!
Howwill he get dry?
All wet flies
Twist their thighs;
Then they wipe their eads and eyes.
Oats, you know,
Wash just so;
Then their whiskers grow.
Files have hair too short to comb;
So they fly bareheaded home:
But the gnat
Wears a hat:
Do you believe that?
Flies can see
More than we;
So, how bright their eyes must bet
Little fly,
Ope your eye;
Spiders are near by
For a secret I can tell:
Spiders never treat flies wellI
Then awayl
Do not stay;
Little fly, good-day!


THE THREE TREES.


E was once upon a time a country-
man who lived in a little crooked cottage
with a red door-step. Behind the cot-
tage was a hill, and on the hill stood three
old apple-trees.
The countryman had a wife. She was
a terrible stirabout, and never knew what it was
to keep quiet: week in, week out, she fretted and
fumed, for nothing was to her liking, and no one,
not even herself, nor her husband. The neigh-
bors called him "John o' Dreams because his
head was full of they knew not what; which they
felt sure to be more than his business.


But for all that the hay prospered; the ealvee
were strong ; there were plenty of little pigs in
the sty, and more apples on the three old apple-
trees than most folks had in their orchards.
One Christmas morning when the world was
dressed in white like a bride, the countryman
woke, and called to his wife :
"Wife I have had a dream."
"A dream!" she cried. "A fiddlestick I I
never trouble my head about dreams."
The snow melted; the grass rose higher, til it
was knee-deep and brown with featured heads,
when the buttercups worked a yellow pattern


I.


i










ever it. No daisies grew in our countryman's
pastures; for daisies are but goose-flowers, as the
Germans say, and spoil the hay for good creatures
like cattle. Then the corn hardened on its golden
stalk, and bent heavily to the scythe; and earth-
colored coveys of birds came running through the
stubble. The flowers were gone, and in their
place taesels of red and black berries hung out of


tage-garden with its pale-faced Spring towers bor-
rowed roses from the sky in Summer and bloomed
with crimson and gold in Autumn : even the creeper
on the wall turned red with looking at the sun.
Christmas cam& a third time; and when the coun-
tryman woke on Christmas morning he called his
wife in a voice full of. wonder -
Wife I the dream has come for the thirA dam


a UBS.-"' THE LITTLE GIRL AND ANOTHER PRESENTLY APPEARED WITH PAILS, TO FETOW
WATER FROM A NEIGHBORING BR CJOK."
the hedges, or stiff white twists of dead clematis. I dreamt that I was standing on London Bridga
When the leaves fell, empty nests showed in the and-"
trees and bushes ; and then came Christmas-eve. "I wish thee was there with all my heart I"
On Christmas morning the countryman again she cried. And she ran with such fury to her
called his wife: broom that the poor countryman opened him
"Wife I have dreamed the dream again," house-door and escaped from her anger.
amid he. Once in the air with the wide world before him.
But she made light of it and would not listen to he turned for a moment to look at his cottage with
him So the second year went round. The cot- its red door-step and the three apple-trees stand


____ _) :






























































Tm8 PLT.
ng on the bill. As he went on his way t twnd he house-dog in his kenneL Not a lea eoul
seemed to have borrowed an edge from the ice. move under its burden of snow, and all the little
Everything else was quite still : the birds were too echoes were muffled so that not a step sounded.
Sald to stir, the cattle were all in their sheds, and A haze hung like a bloom upon the hills: it took
'I------------------------------r











the shape of snakes and dragons, which closed in
on him and swept before him on his way in multi-
tudes, as clouds sweep through the sky. En-
compassed by'these strange gliding figures, John
o' Dreams walked: he saw through them the
hedges armed with little spears of glittering ice;
the thin blue smoke beginning to steal out of cozy
oottage-chimneys, took fantastic forms and fol-
lowed him through a hundred villages and towns,
while his traveling-companions shielded men from
him and bore him along like the wind. At last
when he had reached a great hill it was night.
The skies sparkled with a thousand points of fire.
Another sky seemed to lie at his feet, for the earth
was bright with lights; the frosty air became
clear of shadows and blew once more upon his
face, and he knew that his journey was done.
That night he slept at an alehouse by the river,
and as soon as it was light he woke and went to
London Bridge. All day long he kept watch: the
river rolled by, brown and silent, except where
the waters met and parted at the bridge. An
eager swarm of people passed him by, with pale
faces and fixed eyes like people hunting night-
mares. Not one of them spoke to him, or so much
as gave him a look ; and he began to feel as if he
had been a fool for his pains.
When night fell he went back to the alehouse,
but..with the dawn he mounted-guard once more.
He heard the water come fuming out of the bridge
carrying boats and barges; and he saw the high
Abbey-walls with a mist wrapped about them like
a vail.
There was nothing in the thick yellow sky ex-
eept the sun, which the countryman hardly knew
amain. "'Tis around red face," thought he ; "no
bigger than a Dutch cheese. One need be no
eagle to look at thee."
And the second day wore slowly to an end; the
steeples and towers drew on their nightcaps, and
the groundlings put lights in their windows.
The third day passed. The countryman watched
the twilight slip out of the painteca skies, and the
thin moon on a sharp silver edge come climbing
out of the west, with a train of stars after, as if
Heaven were opening a thousand bright eyes upon
him. These shone into the river, which changed
them into a thousand bright lines of light, trem-
bling as the wind blew. At that moment some
one touched him on the shoulder.
"Did I see you here yesterday?" asked the
stranger. He was tall, but it was too dark to see
his face.
"Yes," said the countryman.
And the day before ?" said the stranger.
The countryman bent his head.
"Why are you on London Bridge ?" said the
stranger.
"I had- a dream," faltered John o' Dreams.
"A dream a fiddlestick !" said the stranger.
"Three years ago I had a dream. I dreamt of a
little crooked cottage with a red doorstep. Be-
hind the cottage was a hill, and on the hill three
apple-trees. I dug under the middle apple-tree
and I found a treasure. Pooh, pooh! I never
trouble my head about dreams. Good-night."


And before the countryman could answer, the
tall stranger was lost in the darkness.
It was Spring before John o' Dreams came to
the open country. The hedges had thickened and
were sprinkled with green ; a little fan of green had
thrust itself out of each pointed brown bud on the
trees. It was a late Spring, for the blackthorn was
in flower and leaf together; the wild cherry hung
out her barren blossoms; here and there a linger-
ing primrose turned to a delicate toast-color in the
sun; the'tall shirt-buttons nodded their white
heads at our countryman as he passed; the daisies
opened their yellow eyes to look at him, and
spread their white or pink feathers ; the blue-bells
were drawn up in rows among the lords and ladies
in the hedges to salute the him, and the cowslips
thrust their golden chandeliers to greet him over
the top of the speedwell, and all the tribe of
colored nettles. The cuckoo, when he asked it
how long he was to live, shouted a hundred and
sixteen times Cuckoo," so gladit was to feel the
warm wind on its wings and its cloven tail. A
robin, too young for a redbreast or a tail, crept
out of its nest in a hole in the bank to eye the
flies as they sat by twos and threes in the broad
buttercups; the butterflies were dressed in white,
and the noisy humble-bee came out for the first
time in his striped velvet jacket and golden collar.
The currant-bush trailed her ugly blossoms over.
fragrant wallflowers and bright blue forget-me-
nots in the cottage gardens ; and the geese on the
village green stood on one leg, their bills tucked
under their wings, and stared with one unwinking
eye. .
When John o' Dreams saw once more his little
crooked cottage, his red door-step, and the.three
old apple-trees on the hill, he could scarcely con-
tain himself. He called his wife, and as soon as
she put her head out of the window she saw a
change in him. He seemed to have gained in
height, his eyes were bright and large, he raised
his hand and she felt she must obey. She fol-
lowed him, wondering, to the lean-to for his
spade, and up the hill, where under the middle
apple-tree he began to dig. Soon the spade
rattled on a brazen pail, and it was full of bright
guineas.
The countryman's wife began to jump for joy.
I'll have a silk dress that will stand alone,"
she cried.
"Nay," said he, "Little Jack shall go to school
and learn Latin."
So the brazen pail was polished and hung on the
wall close by the lucky horseshoe and the cuckoo
clock, and little Jack was sent to school.


How People Stared when they Saw
the First Umbrella.
D IDN'T they stare, though They didn't know
what to make of it. What did it mean ?
A man coming along the sidewalk holding a great
round canopy over his head. How they laughed I
The squire, in his sugar-loaf hat, and cravat, with
ruffles up to his chin, stops and turns, and shaking













his head gravely,, mutters : "There goes a mad-
man." The boy who has crossed the street comes
running up through the puddle to have a peep.
The soldier in the distance, who has traveled in
foreign climes, suddenly halts, for in all his wander-
ings he has never beheld anything like this. The
lady upon whom the merciless rain is pelting cats
and dogs pauses to take a glance from beneath the
coal-scuttle bonnet at the strange apparition. But


undismayed, dry, while others are wet, and hold.
ing the handle with a vise-like grip, Jonas Hanway
goes upon the road, saving his new and lustrous bea-
ver, saving his shoulders from a rain which would
inevitably bring on an attack of rheumatism, saving
even his cotton ruffles. What cares .e for flout or
gibe or sneer ? With his whaleboned canopy over
his head, he can turn the laugh at the dripping
people who jest at him.


THE MILL STREAM.
By J. H. E.


ONE of a hundred little rills-
Born in the hills,
Nourished with dews by the earth, and with tears
by the sky,
Sang-" Who so mighty as I ?
The further 1 flow,
The bigger I grow.
I. who was born but a little rill,
Now turn the big wheel of the mill,
Though the eurly slave would rather stand still.
Old and weed-hung and grim,
I am not afraid of him.
P r when I come running and dance on his toes,
With a creal and a groan the monster goes.
And turns faster End faster
As he learns who is master,
Round and round,
Till the corn is ground.
And the miller smiles as he stands on the bank,
And knows he has me to thank.
Then, when he swings the fine sacks of flour,
I feel my power.
But when the children enjoy their food,
I know I'm not only great but good 1"

Furthermore sang the brook:
"Who loves the beautiful, let him look I
Garlanding me in shady spots
The Foreet-me-nots
Are blue as the Summer sky-
Who. so lovely as I?
My king-cups of gold
Shine from the shade of the alders old.
-Stars of the stream --
At the-water-rats' threshold they gleam;
From below,
The frog-bit spreads me its blossoms of snow;
And in masses,
The willow-herb, the flags, and the grasses,
Reeds, rushes, and sedges,
Flower and fringe and feather my edges.

"To be beautiful is not amiss,
But to be loved is more than this;
And who more sought than I
By all that run or swim or crawl or fly p-
sober shell-fish and frivolous gnats,
Tawny-eyed water-rats--
The poet with rippling rhymes so fluent,
Boys with boats playing truant;
Cattle wading knee-deep for water,
And the flower-plucking parson's daughter,
Down in my depths dwell creeping things,
Wno rise from my bosom on rainbow wings-
For-too swift for a schoolboy's prize-
Hither and thither above me dart the prismatio-
hued dragon-flies.
At my side the lover lingers;
And with lackadaisical fingers,
The Weeping Willow, woe begone,
Strives to stay me as I run on."


There came an hour
When all this beauty and love and power
Did seem
But a small thing to that Mill Stream.
And then his cry
Was, "Why, oh why
Am I thus surrounded
With checks and limits, and bounded
By bank and border,
To keep me in order
Against my will ?
I, who was born to be free and unfettered-a
mountain rill I
But for these jealous banks, the good
Of my gracious and fertilizing flood
Might spread to the barren highways,
And fill with Forget-me-nots countless neglected
by-ways.
Why should the rough-barked Willow for ever
lave
Her feet in my cooling wave-
When the tender and, beautiful Beech
Faints with midsummer heat in the meadow
just out of my reach?
Could I but rush with unchecked power,
The miller might grind a day's corn in an hour.
And what are the ends
Of life, but to serve one's friends ?

A day did dawn at last,
When the spirits of the storm and the blast,
Breaking the bands of the Winter's frost and snow
Swept from the mountain source of the stream,
and flooded the valley below.
Dams were broken, and weirs came down;
Cottage and mill, country and town,
shared in the general inundation,
And the following desolation.
Then the Mill Stream rose in its might,
And burst out of bounds to left and to right;
Rushed to the beautiful beech,
In the -meadow far out of reach-
But with such torrent the poor tree died,
Torn up by the roots, and laid on its side.
The cattle swam till they sank,
Trying to find a bank.
Never more shall the broken water-wheel
rindd the corn to make the meal-
To make the childuan's bread:
The miller was dead I

When the setting sun
Looked to see what the Mill Stream had done
In its hour
Of unlimited power,
And what was left when that had passed by,
Behold the channel was stony and dry.
In uttermost ruin,
The Mill Stream had been its own undoing;
Furthermore, it had drowned its friend.
This was the end.



















































































































TBE DOOT"U.'~ VISIT,-LITTLB MAMMA WITH A 8IC0 DOLL.


I-:.


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f

f~a~a~l------------~----------~--------


--
--`----~--7
~---


r~L~---- --~.~ -- I


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M MAN WHO FIRST OABRIED AN UMBRELLA IN ENGLANI











THE' SILLY SHEPHERDESS.
L T ET us have a game of the Silly Shep-
1_ herdess," said little Fanny, one bright
Summer morning, as the young family assembled
on the lawn.
"How do you- play it?" asked her cousin
Katie, who was staying with them,
"Oh, we will show you! Philip shall be a
Wolf, and I will be a Shepherdess. All of you
are to be my Sheep. Now take hands, all six of
you, and stand closely, side by side, shoulder to
shoulder, with your arms down by your sides.
Philip will hide behind the laurels. Now I take a
stick, which I must call a crook, and I measure
how long a string you make, instead of counting
you; that is why I am called the silly shepherdess.
I must see how many sticks or crooks you are
long. Now! One, two, thiee, four, five, six,"
she added, measuring them across the chest with
her stick. "I see, six sticks long. Now I must
go away, and Ada will show you what to do
next."
Fanny then ran off, sat down on the bench
under the oak tree, and pretended to go to sleep.
"Sister lambs," said Ada, in a whisper, "I
think I should like to have a little run outside the
fold. If the shepherdess should come while I am
gone, will you try to prevent her from finding
out that I am not here ?"
All the lambs answered, "Yes, we will try."
Then Ada ran away, and danced and jumped
about like a little frolicking lamb. But very soon
Philip (who made a capital wolf) sprang from be-
hind his tree, and carried her off with him to his
den.
And now Fanny woke up; and when the lambs
saw her coming, the two end ones stretched out
their arms as far as they could; "For," they
said, two arms' length will be wider even than
our sister lamb was."
The silly shepherdess measured her lambs
again. When she had finished doing so, she said :
This is wonderful I they have grown since I
went to sleep; they are a little longer."
Then she went away again.
Sist r lambs," said Anna, "I think I should
like to have a little run outside the fold. If
the shepherdess should come while I am gone,
will you try to prevent her from finding out that
I am not hero ?"
All the lambs answered, "Yes, we will try."
Fanny woke up again, and came to measure
them. And now the lambs stood apart, a little
way from each other, and stretched out their arms
to make the length of the six sticks.
This oort of play went on till so many lambs
were gone, or had been taken by the wolf, that
only two were left. Then they put only the tips
of their fingers together, and stretched out their
arms, to deceive the shepherdess; but as they
could not, even thus, make six sticks in length,
the silly shepherdess guessed what had happened,
and went in search of the wolf.
Wolf I wolf 1' she cried, "give me back my
lambs."


"Shepherdess, you shall have them if you coa
catch them," said the wolf.
And he let all the lambs out of his den. The
shepherdess ran after them. While she was gone,
the cunning wolf stole the two lambs left. When
at last the shepherdess caught a lamb, it became
"shepherdess" instead, and the game began
over again.
"Do you understand it now ?" gasped breath-
less Fanny, as she brought Katie, whom she had
caught, back to her place.
"Yes; only does 'wolf' go on always the
same, or do we choose a new wolf ?"
"The old 'shepherdess' becomes 'wolf,'" said
Fanny. "It is my turn now, and Philip will be
a lamb. I will let you have a good frolic before
I catch you."
Katie soon knew the game, and so I think will
you, if you try it.
If there are any very little ones amongst the
party of playfellows, the wolf must be careful not
to howl too loud, for fear of frightening them. A
good boy or girl will always take care not to
frighten or hurt the tender little creatures who
are allowed to join their sports.


THE PICNIC.
SOAPTP E .- THE INVITATION.
4.'..HAT'S that, mamma ? Do let me see?"
And Harriett stood on tiptoe to try
i anreach her mamma's hand, wherein
was a little note of rose-colored paper.
Her mamma laughed and held the

note still higher, telling Harriett to
guess. But Harriett could not guess, although
she tried several times; so mamma said :
"It concerns you also as well as me. It is.an
invitation-now be still; do not be impatient"-
for the little girl was again .jumping to try and
reach the note. "It is an invitation," said Mrs.
Leigh, "to a picnic at Sorrel Wood to-morrow. I
shall not be able to go, for I 'shall be engaged;
but I shall allow you to go, for Mrs. Archer
kindly promises to take care of you."
May I wear my new pink frock, mamma ?"
"No, my dear, I think not," said Mrs. Leigh.
"Your new frock will, very likely, get dirty in the.
wood; I would rather you should wear one that
will wash."
Harriett looked cross for a few minutes, but she
soon remembered the pleasure of the picnic, and
she began questioning her mamma.
"Who do you think will be there ?"
"I suppose you mean what children will be
there ?" said Mrs. Leigh, smiling. I know that
Henry and Emily Dunoan are asked, and Frank
Lawley, and, of course, all the little Archers will
go."
"I hope that troublesome Baby Archer will be
left at home," said Harriett.
"That is not kind of you, Harriett. I dare say
poor little Baby Archer would be very sorry were


-










she left at home, and will enjoy the picnic quite
as much as yourself."
"But you can have no idea, mamma, what a
little plague she is; she gets tired after she has
run about for ten minutes, and she will always
keep asking questions when other people are talk-
ing. I would not mind so much if all the Archers
did not make such a fuss about her, and think her
so pretty."
"The Archers showed themselves to be very
kind children-kinder than you, Harriett; I do not
like to hear you speak so," and Mrs. Leigh left
the room.
Harriett had been reading until her mamma
came in, but now she could read no longer. She
could think of nothing but the picnic at Sorrel
Wood. How delightful it would be to play about
the whole day and then to have dinner out of
doors, and not come home till quite late in the
evening. Who would be there besides those whom
her mamma had mentioned? She wondered if
Lucy and Maria Hall would be there, because if
so, it would be great fun. Lucy Hall always
made such jokes about the Archers. She wished
mamma would let her wear her new pink frock;
perhaps she would be able to coax her into doing
so; she would try.
Harriett Leigh does not seem a very amiable
little girl, does she ?
Next she wondered whether to-morrow would
be a fine day; it would be very vexing indeed
were it to rain.- She went to look at the weather-
glass in the hall, and tapped upon it; the hand
stood at "Fair." That was good. Then she
came back and sat down again, and once more
thought of the picnic, and once more hoped that
Baby Archer would be kept at home. What a
pity it was that Harriett could not think of the
picnic without thinking unkindly of others.
And meanwhile at the Archers' house poor little
Baby Archer was dancing all over the nursery
floor, and clapping her little fat hands with de-
light, because she was going to the picnic to-
morrow. .

CHAPTER IL.- OOIN THEE.
HARmmETr jumped out of bed the minute that
Mary called her, for she remembered the picnic
as soon as she awoke; and Mary said:
There ought to be a picnic every day, Miss
Harriett, to make you get up quickly."
Harriett had coaxed and teased her mamma
until she had said that she might put on her new
pink frock; and now she was very pleased with
herself as she stood ready to start, dressed for the
picnic. Mary was to take her to Mrs. Archer's
house, and they were all to go together to Sorrel
Wood.
When they reached the door there were already
several carriages there, and there was such a noise
coming from the house, that Harriett felt sure a
great many people had arrived.
In the dniing-room were Mr. and Mrs. Archer
and all the children, Lucy and Maria Hall, and
the two Duncans. Everybody came forward to


say "How do you do ?" to Harriett; and Mary,
saying she would come and fetch her in the even-
ing, went away.
Mrs. Archer, after asking Harriett about her
mamma, said to her:
"I am sorry, my dear, that you have dressed
yourself in such a pretty frock, for we shall have
a regular scramble in the Wood; a washing frock
would have been better."
Harriett looked cross, and turned away to speak
to her friend, Lucy Hall
"Is that Baby going, do you know?" she
asked.
Lucy said, Yes "; and Harriett then made an
unkind remark about the Archers' sun-bonnets,
and both the ill-natured little girls laughed to-
gether and made faces.
Next there came in two or three grown-up
people, for the picnic was not for children only;
and then Frank Lawley and his cousins Fanny and
Sophy. Harriett saw that all the little girls were
dressed in gingham frocks, and all the boys in
holland blouses, and she every moment felt more
pleased that she was smarter than anybody else.
When everybody was arrived, Mr. Archer pro-
posed starting. First in the Archers' carriage were
placed Mrs. Archer, Emily Duncan, Fanny and
Sophy, and Baby Archer; on the box were Henry
Duncan and Herbert Archer for they were
driven by a postilion-and in the rumble, Harriett
and Lucy Hall.
Mr. Archer drove a gig with Marna Hall; then
followed a phaeton in which were two more Ar-
chers and two others. Frank Lawley rode a
rough little pony by the side of the carriage, and
Tom Archer was on another.
Harriett was. with the worst companion she
could have been with, for Lucy Hall busied her-
self the whole time they were driving to Sorrel
Wood in making unkind remarks about the other
children.
It was a beautiful day, with a bright sun, and
every one was glad, when they arrived at the Wood,
to get into the shade. The hampers were taken
down from the carriages and placed amongst the
trees, and the carriages all drove away again. The
elders of the party walked away in different direc-
tions, and the children all gathered together in a
ring to decide upon what games they should play.

CHAIER Ii.--SORREL WOOD.
"I VOTE for hide-and-seek," said Frank Lawley,
speaking the first; "this would be such a glorious
place for hiding."
Yes ; that would be capital," said Henry Dun-
can. "What say you all ?"
Harriett thought of her new pink frock, and re-
membered that it might get injured in running or
hiding amongst the trees; and she said:
"No, not hide-and-seek; let us play at some-
thing else."
What then ?" asked Frank, good-humoredly.
"Let us play at paying visits," said Harriett.
"What an idea I Oh, no; that would be very
dull," said several of the children at onee.


1~














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"Soldiers I" suggested-Herbert.
"Most of your company would be in petticoats,
Captain Archer; that would not look well,"
answered Frank, laughing.
"I say hide-and-seek," called out Baby.
"Then it shall be hide-and-seek, as Baby likes
it best," said Frank.
Only you must not run too fast and catch me,
Fwank," said Baby.
Harriett was put out at not having her own
way; but she did not like to refuse to play, for she


Every one laughed very much, although there
was not much to laugh at; but the children were
in high spirits and easily amused-it is so pleasant
to play and enjoy yourself when every one is in
good temper.
When it came to the turn of Harriett to seek, she
ran away so slowly that she was caught every time;
so that, at length, Henry Duncan, entirely losing
patience with her, said:
"I wish you would run faster; there is no fun
in chasing you-cannot you step out ?"


THE MILL STREAM.


thought she would be dull alone; so hide-and-seek
began.
Frank made every one laugh ; he ran after Baby
on all-fours that he might not catch her too easily.
He caught Mary Archer by the sun-bonnet; but
she cleverly untied it and left it in his hand, and
ran away laughing. Then, when it was his turn to
be caught, he whisked round corners, and jumped
round trees, and slipped about like an eel, so that
it seemed quite impossible to catch him. And he
would call out I spy I" so many times, and run
about and change his hiding-place; sothathegave
a great deal of trouble.
S


"I cannot run faster ; for my dress, as you see,
is rather long, and I might tear it," said Harriett.
Herbert and Henry made faces at each other,
and Frank took off his cap with a bow.
But the next time Harriett had to run, she
tripped over the stump of a tree, and before she
could save herself, down she fell upon her face
amongst the bushes. Her foot went through the
front of her new pink frock, and she covered the
frock all over with damp, green stains. Herbert,
who was running after her nimbly, picked her up
again, and hoped she was not hurt; but all Har-w
riett's pleasure in playing was gone. She bum*










into tears at the sight of her torn and dirty frock,
and said she could not bear hide-and-seek,-that it
was a vulgar boy's game, and that she would not
play any more.
It would have been so much better if you had
put on a common frock," said Mary, gently.
"I did not choose to put on a common frock,"
said Harriett; "and I think you are all very cross
and disagreeable."
It was Harriett who was cross and disagreeable
herself ; not the others.
Well, shall we go on playing ?" asked Tom.
"Perhaps," said Emily, "we had best play some
ether game, as Harriett does not like hide-and-
seek."
"I shall not play with you at all; I don't care
what game you play," said Harriett, crying again.
"I think you are making yourself very un-
pleasant," said Tom.
"Don't be cross to her, Tom," said Emily,
"perhaps we can play some quieter game."
"Oh, yes," Frank answered, good-naturedly;
"we have had enough of 'I spy I'; let us play at
visiting, as Harriett likes that."
"I wish to sit still-I won't play with any of
you," said Harriett; so the children left her to
walk by herself.
Harriett called to Lucy Hall to come and sit
with her and talk; but Lucy wished rather to
play with the others, and said she could not. So
Harriett's chief friend would not deny herself in
order to oblige her; because Harriett was now
dull, and Lucy Hall did not like dull people.


CHAPTER IV. DUnlhR.
HAIbIETT sat alone for some time, crying and
feeling cross, until two of the grown people' of the
party passed that way-they were Captain Leslie
and Miss Arden. Of course they were surprised
at finding a little girl sitting alone; and Miss
Arden asked Harriett kindly what was the matter.
She began to sob again at being spoken to, and
then answered, that all her companions were un-
kind to her, and had gone off to play alone. So
Miss Arden allowed her to walk with her and
Captain Leslie, and so passed the morning-until
Captain Leslie looked at his watch, and said it
must be dinner-time. They made haste toward
the place where the hampers had been set down;
but before they arrived there, they were met by
Baby Archer, running very fast, and crying very
bitterly.
"Why, what is the matter, little one ?" asked
Captain Leslie, catching her up in his arms.
Baby, as well as she could for crying, said she
had lost all the others.
"Well, never mind; we will soon find them
again," said Miss Arden; then turning to Har-
riett, she added, "You two little ones walk on in
front."
Harriett did not like this; she had been walk-
ing by Miss Arden's side and hearing all that she
and Captain Leslie said, and she thought herself
much too old to walk with Baby Archer.


The little child incessantly asked questions,
which Harriett answered crossly, or not at all; so
that by the time all the other children came run-
ning forward in search of Baby, the poor little
thing was quite in low spirits; and going up to
her brother Herbert, she said, with a miserable
little voice :
Harriett is so cross to me; she won't speak."
Herbert looked very angry indeed, and said to
Harriett, "What do you mean by being cross to
Baby, you disagreeable little girl I wish you had
never come to-day to the picnic."
"Oh, Herbert dear," said Mary, "how very
rude of you to say so; I am sure mamma would
be sorry to hear you."
"She has no right to be ill-tempered to Baby,
though," said Tom Archer.
"No more she has; but you should not be
rude," said Frank.
"Well," said Herbert, "I am sorry I was rude;
I beg your pardon, Harriett."
But Harriett gave him no answer; she only
walked toward the spot where the servants were
laying the cloth for dinner.
The table-cloth was spread upon the grass, and
stones were placed at the corners to keep it from
being blown away by the wind. Then Mr. Archer
unpacked the hampers and allowed the children
to carry the things and lay them out upon the
table-cloth. First there was a veal-pie; then
some cold roast fowls and a ham; then some cold
lamb and salad, several fruit tarts, a quantity of
jam tartlets, a large plum-cake, several baskets
full of fruit, besides other things, such as al-
monds and raisins and biscuits.
Then it took a long time to lay all the knives
and forks, and spoons, and the plates, and the salt-
cellars, and glasses. Frank acted foolman capi-
tally ; he went about with a napkin under his arm
like a waiter, and changed the plates so quickly.
The first thing Baby did, when they had all sat
down to dinner, was to turn her plate over into
her lap, and then look up with such a surprised
face that every one laughed; but Frank soon set
her to rights, and got another plate with some mere
dinner for her.
"You will not get much dinner yourself, my
little man, if you do nothing but look after others,"
said Captain Leslie to Frank, who ran to change
his plate.
Frank answered :
Oh, never mind, sir. I like waiting on others
a great deal better than anything else."
Captain Leslie turned to Mrs. Archer, who sat
next to him, and said :
That's a very fine little fellow-so kind-hearted
and good-natured;" and Mrs. Archer nodded and
said "Yes."
Harriett's new pink frock suffered again at din-
nertime. Some one in passing her dropped some
strawberries upon it, and the next time Henry
Duncan passed, he trod upon the strawberries
and crushed them all. Harriett felt inclined to
cry again, but she was ashamed before so many
people to do so; so she looked cross, and eae
Henry "an awkward, rude boy." But Henry di










not see the strawberries, and had trodden upon
them quite by mistake.
Mr. and Mrs. Archer saw all Harriett's cross
looks and heard her cross words, and thought her
a very naughty child; and so did several of. the
other ladies and gentlemen who were at the table.
Her friend Lucy Hall would not come near her,
for she enjoyed playing with the rest of them
better than being alone with Harriett; anit when
dinner was over, and they all rose to p1, \vain
till tea-time, Lucy ran away wit'i the blYrs.
Frank came back after a few minutes, and V. to
Harriett :
Would not you like to come and play unw;
we shall not play hide and seek."
Harriett said No; she preferred not playing.
Then Mary came and asked her; and next
Henry and Emily, but she would only give cross
answers. Mrs. Archer had seen all this, and she
went up to Harriett and said :
What is the matter, my dear, that you will not
play with the rest ?"
Harriett gave no answer.
Do you not feel well ?"
Harriett burst into tears. "I would rather go
home," she said; every one is so disagreeable."
You cannot go home now," said Mrs. Archer,
"for the carriage will not come unt even
o'clock. Cannot you try to play and be happy ?"
No," said Harriett.
"Are you ill, my dear ?" asked Mrs. Archer,
kindly.
Yes," Harriett answered.
Now, this was not true; Harriett was quite
well But Mrs. Archer, not thinking she could
be so wicked as to tell a falsehood, believed her,
and said :
"Then you had better sit quiet, perhaps, until
tea-time ; if you feel inclined a little later to play,
go and join the others."
So Harriett was left alone with her own cross-
ness, and hearing the voices and the laughter of
the others in the distance.
Before tea-time came, Mr. Archer and Captain
Leslie, and several others, went and played all
sorts of games with the children, and then they
laughed louder than ever, and Harriett would have
given anything to go and join them; but it was
too late then. She went as near as she could to
them to watch their play, but as no'one took any
notice of her for some time, and as no one asked
her to join, she heard Captain Leslie at one time
say:
Will not that little girl like to play also ?"
But Mrs. Archer answered:
"No. Do not tease her; she is not well."

CHAPTER V. -HAm IETr' PUNISHMENT.
BY tea-time Harriett felt so miserable that she
could not eat anything, and was really unwell.
You know crying and ill-temper make us feel ill.
Poor little Baby Archer was so sorry to see her
look unhappy that she quite forgot Harriett's
crossness to her, and begged her to eat her cake';
sad Frank and all the others were very kind to.


her, so that Harriett felt quite ashamed. She was
very glad when the carriages arrived and it was
time to go home. There was a great deal of fun in
packing up the plates and dishes again in the
hampers, and a great deal of merry talking and
laughing all the way home; but Harriett could
take no part in any of it. She had quite spoiled
for herself the pleasant picnic which the others
had enjoyed so much-and all by her bad temper;
and.she knew that everybody there thought her a
,disagreeable little girl.
By the time they got home, Baby Archer was
asleep in Captain Leslie's lap.
Mrs. Archer would not let Harriett walk home,
although Mary, the maid, was waiting for her, but
sent her home in the gig.
SHarriett did not say anything to her mamma
about her own ill-temper during the day, but she
complained of all the children, and said she had
not enjoyed herself at all.
Of course her mamma was very much annoyed
at her new frock being so spoiled.
Some weeks afterward, when Harriett had for-
gotten the spoilt frock and her own crossness, and
remembered only how pleasant it is to'dine and
play in the woods, she was walking with Mary the
nurse-maid in a lane, when she heard a great noise
of laughing and talking. It came more and more
near, until Mr. Archer's carriage turned the corner,
followed by several other carriages. There were
Captain Leslie, and all the Archers; there were
Henry and Emily Duncan; then came Frank
Lawley, on his pony, racing with Tom Archer
upon his. It was the way to Sorrel Wood, and
Harriett knew well that they were going there, for
the carriage was piled with hampers.
She drew aside as they went by, and hid herself
behind a tree; for she could not bear that they
should see her; and after they were all gone, and
she could no longer hear the voices, and the merry
noise of laughter, and the horses' feet, Harriett
thought how, if she had been good-tempered and
kind at the last picnic, and had made herself
agreeable, she might have been going with them
to-day; and now they would have such pleasure
amongst the woods, and be so merry over their
dinner ; and Captain Leslie and the other gentle-
men would play with them again, and she was left
at home. Mrs. Archer had not chosen to ask her
because she had been a naughty girl.
And Harriett sat down by the side of the road,
and burst into tears. Let us hope they were tears
of repentance, and that she resolved to try to become
more kind and amiable in her conduct, and then we
are sure she would become a much happier girl.


A Little Hero.
SRANKIE STILLSEN was only a little boy ef
S ten years of age, but he did what many a
man might be proud of.
It was one of the coldest days of last Winter.
Frankie lived in a neighboring country village, and
was a bright, smart little fellow, the only child of
his parents and the joy of the household. Mis-







1 in tki~ bitter cr1, (ldav. Frankiee
8 .S tiS-it hy L1 nj:rutc-r t.-; tbe bouse

i nie i rai ud. h I L. th t- 1-d
t hroi Lha 11 i' 1 i it .lsA TfT.- z -6 -W
%Vl !Vi ug diip -n t hb glol Lii. Cvv~r-
iJ Ad! 1p0th 1-3 and 10S; -tt thik
wLade little ruattcr ti Frunkiie, a- he
kip-w everv fioot or the xIy. Laviung
hi-A Ell hi2 life in this plake. atrid le
~Lart-ld out on his journe. ith a
Juht heart.
It was in the eails- nftafk-rn--sri -rL'.
Fmri- i exp--- t-i- t--i it Dr i -, t I']:


chievius bnt pood-bearted, be mznii a NiV
Erven& evrvvhei.-. But his Ii. t
trait wa:s Lis obediauca; wljat-r f',
hi futb,-r or rmotber toli- him to do, .
Fraujkia was sura t--) obe at Lrjy
cost~~;~: -;~i~iL~~ ~LI~















IM
























--

































A LITTLE HERO.-"RUSHING CP TO IT, HE FOUND FRANKIE AND THE LITTLE GIRL. THEY WERE COLD AND STIFF."

neighbor's house, deliver his message, rest and he trudged along cheerfully until he reached his
warm himself, and return to his home. destination and delivered his message. The kind
He did not mind the cold: for he had a thick, neighbor took him in to the warm fire and gave
stout coat which kept his body nice and warm; so him something to eat and drink. While he was











thus engaged, it again began snowing, and Frankie,
by the advice of the lady, thought he would wait
a while until the snow stopped, which it soon did.
But this delayed him so that when he started
out on his homeward journey the afternoon was
far advanced, and Frankie had to hurry so that he
could get home before dark. He felt no fear, as he
knew the way so thoroughly, and entered the
woods with a brave heart.
It was very dark in the woods. The western
sun was low down in the sky, and its rays of light
could not penetrate through the heavy, snow-laden
trees, but Frankie trudged on with light heart and
quick steps.
But what is this he hears ? He stops to listen.
It is a child crying, and he runs toward the spot
from which the sounds come. He was not de-
ceived. A little girl, the daughter of one of his
friendly neighbors, is there in the woods. She is
about two years younger than he.
"Oh, Frankie, I'm so cold, and I've lost my
way !"
Frankie put his arm around her, saying:
"Never mind ; I'll take you home safe."
But, alas he, in going out of his way to find
her, has lost his own path, and the same white
snow lying all around, making everything seem
the same, prevented him from easily finding the
path through the woods.
On came the night, and it grew very dark. The
little girl, clinging protectingly to Frankie, was
very cold. The brave little fellow, seeing her
shiver, took off his thick coat and wrapped it
around her; and so they go on a little further.
But now the bitter cold has its effect on him
also, and he begins to feel sleepy. He does not
know what a dreadful warning this is, and, not
long after, the feeling becoming so powerful, the
two children stop and sit down to rest a while.
*
Frankie's father was very much worried when'
the little fellow did not come home at the time he
was expected, and as the night-shades fell, this
worry deepened into anxiety. Soon the moon
arose, and the anxious father resolved to go out in,
search of his boy. Calling a neighbor- to assist
him, he started out.
They went to the wood, but the freshly-fallen
snow had obliterated the path, and they had to
go on blindly. They shouted again and again as
they went through the wood, but no response
came to their cries. At last, when both became
heartsick atnd almost despondent, the father uttered
a quick cry as he saw, some distance before him,
on the very edge of the wood, a dark heap lying
on the snow. Rushing up to it, he found Frankie
and the little girl. Were they dead ? They were
cold and stiff. The father and his companion
each picked up one of the little ones in his arms,
and ran home as fast as they could.
Both little Frankie and his little fellow-traveler
recovered from their adventure, but not until after
a long spell of sickness.
How many grown men would have been so self-
sacrificing as to bare his own breast to the bitter
cold, to shield another ?


THE WORLD.
G REAT, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,
SWith the wonderful water around you curled,
And the wonderful grass on your breast-
World, you are beautifully dressed.
The wonderful air is over me,
And the wonderful wind is shaking the tree;
It walks on the water, and whirls the mills,
And talks to itself on the tops of the hills.
You friendly Earth, how far do you go
With the wheat-fields that nod a d the rivers that
flow,
With cities, and gardens, and cliffs, and isles,
And people upon you for thousands of miles ?
Ah! you are so great, and I am so small,
I tremble to think of you, World, at all;
And, yet, when I said my prayers to-day,
A whisper inside me seemed to say:
"You are more than the Earth, though you are such
a dot:
You can love and ihink, and the Earth cannot!"


Something about Glass and Its
Manufacture.
H AVE you ever wondered what glass is, and
how it is that so hard a substance can be
turned and twisted into almost any shape or size,
and still be clear as water in appearance so that we
can see through it ? Look at your window ; there
you see it as a large thin sheet; perfectly flat and
smooth all over. Look at a wine-glass, and see
how delicately it is shaped. The top part is the
largest, and is hollow to contain liquid, and then
suddenly it gets smaller lower down, till there is
nothing but a solid stem no thicker than a pencil;
then at the bottom it spreads out again to form
what is called the. fobt for the glass to rest upon.
And not only may we make the glass of almost any
shape, but it may be made still pretty r to look at
by patterns of fruit or flowers being worked on the
surface. Again, look at the glass in a microscope
or telescope, the ma gnifqying glass, as it is called,
which is so prepared that we can not only see
through it, but what we see looks much larger or
much nearer than it really is.
At present we will not mention any more of the
many ways in which glass is used, but will tell you
a little about its history and the way in which it is
made.
As far as we are able to tell from ancient books,
the Egyptians were the first people to use glass in
any way. We read of their drinking-cups of glass,
and mummies (that is to say, the bodies of dead
people that have been preserved so that they keep
for many years) have been found decorated with
beads of glass, and these mummies are known to
be 3,000 years old ; so that you see glass has been
known, and made into ornaments and articles of
domestic use as long as bricks have been made for
building houses. Windows of glass, however,
were not known until two thousand years later;
the first we hear of them being their use in
churches about the seventh century. For a leng


- --










time they were only to be found in sacred build-
ings, and were brought from foreign countries,
very many from Venice, until the fourteenth cen-
tury, when glass manufacture first began in Eng-
land.
But it was many years before we could equal
the German and Venetian glass workers in their
excellent designs, and even now we are scarcely
able to improve on the very perfect workmanship
which may be seen in beautiful jugs and goblets
made at Murano (a town in the Venetian States)
about three hundred years ago, specimens of
which are to be found now in many of our
museums. In quality and color, however, our
glass has the advantage, owing to the experience
of so many years, which has taught us the best
materials to use in making the glass itself.
The word "glass comes from the Latin glacies,
meaning ice. Glass is composed of several different
materials, the chief of which are potash and sand.
If.we were to tell you everything that is used in its
manufacture, we should only confuse you with long
chemical names. We will therefore only mention
the two materials already named. Potash is formed
from a peculiar preparation of the ashes of burnt
wood. The sand is mostly brought from Fontaine-
bleau, in France, as it is of a particular kind, and
better adapted to glass-making than that found in
ether places.
There are two distinct forms of glass: 1. Trans-
parent-that is to say, glass that we can more or
less see through ; and 2, Opaque, or that which is
not transparent. The last-named was, as far as
we know, the only kind of glass known to the
Egyptians, and at the present time it is used
chiefly in making tiles, such as we see in decorated
pavements, in churches, and entrance halls.
Transparent glass consists of several kinds, viz.:
crown window, sheet window, plate, bottle, colored and
flint glass. The first three may all be termed sheet
glass, as they are made only in flat sheets for
windows, mirrors, etc.; bottle glass, which is the
roughest kind, is used only for making the com-
monest beer or wine bottles; colored glass, such
as we see in church windows, is the ordinary sheet
glass colored by chemicals, about which we shall
tell you later on. Flint glass is used in the manu-
facture of nearly all such useful and ornamental
articles as we find in the house, as, for instance,
decanters, tumblers, wine-glasses, vases, chande-
liers, magnifying-glasses, etc. Flint glass is made
of potash, sand and red lead, and besides these
there are several chemicals added in very small
quantities in order to remove all color that might
prevent the glass from being perfectly clear.
Sheet glass is made almost from precisely the same
materials as flint and colored glas are, except that
it has no red lead. The colors are obtained by
mixing certain chemicals with the potash and
sand, such as copper, giving a red color; iron, a
green; manganese, a purple; cobalt, a blue, and
several others. Bottle glass is made of the coarsest
materials of which glass can be made, even includ-
ing brickdust. One very important point in
obtaining a perfect glass is the nature of the
ebemieals which, as we said, are added in small


quantities to the principal materials, and each
manufacturer uses those which he thinks best.
The perfection of a magnifying-glass depends
entirely upon the way in which these chemicals
are mixed, and upon every material and every
vessel or implement used in the manufacture being
perfectly pure and free from dirt.
We have now told you what glass is made of,
and will go on to describe how these materials are
mixed, and how, when mixed, they become trans-
parent, and are fLade to assume the different shapes
that we see in decanters, wine-glasses, glass pipes
or tubes, and many other things. First of all, the
materials have to be melted together by means of
very great heat, and in order to do this they are
placed in pots, which stand in a furnace, or large
fireplace made of brick and iron, such as is used in
all manufactures where intense heat is required.
The furnace stands in the middle of the house, as
the principal part of the factory is called, and
around the furnace nearly all the work is carried
on, passing through the hands of four or five dif-
ferent kinds of workmen, each of whom performs
a particular part of the work, until it is ready for
the finishing touches for ornamenting purposes.
The furnace is nearly round, and has several small
openings, through which the melting process is
looked after, and through which the glass is re-
moved when ready.
It is built entirely of substances which will not
be injured by heat, however great, the chief of
them being fireclay, which is a kind of clay that
has been thoroughly burnt until fire has no more
effect upon it. The pots are of two shapes, the
one being open at the top, something like a very
large flower-pot, but much thicker, and is used for
melting all kinds of bottle glass ; the other is about
the same size, but covered in at the top, like the
roof of a beehive, and has a little opening high up
at the side-a kind of window, in fact, sheltered
by a hood, to prevent anything falling into the
melting glass from above, or from the sides, and
so destroying its purity.
This kind of pot is used for melting flint glass,
because that requires more care. The greatest
care is taken that the clay of which these pots are
made may be free from any chemical property
which, when exposed to great heat, might mix
with the materials, and so spoil the glass.
Another accident to be guarded against is that of
the pots cracking or falling to pieces from the
action of the fire upon them. No amount of pains
or expense, therefore, is spared to render them
perfect in every way. They are made from clay
specially chosen and prepared; and for four or
five days before they are required for use they are
kept in a state of red-heat, so that when moved
into the furnace the heat may not be too great
for them, as in such case they would probably lose
their shape.
Now we will commence to follow the manufac-
ture of the glass step by step. Our furnace con-
tains a roaring fire, a number of the pots are
standing ready in a state of red-heat in another
furnace close by, and the materials, according to
the kind of glass to be made, are mixed in a large

























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U~iUHX2G A3U? L*BSA1~ ft' MAUF&CDRF










































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U'r- N( lOBEHE&!C




- -~w-*- -


metal vessel with rather less than an equal quantity the purpose required, and, having somewhat cooled
of old broken glass, which saves a great deal of ex- and hardened, it is more fit to be worked into shape.
pense, as it costs almost nothing, and, when melted, The pipe is then handed to another man, by whom
mixes up with the rest and helps to form new glass, the glass is mavered, that is to say, rolled rapidly
The whole is now called frit, and is ready to be backward and forward on a smooth sheet of iron,
melted. The pots are carried as quickly as possi- by means of which it -is made round all the way
ble (so as to prevent their having time to cool) down, and something the shape of the article to
and placed in the principal furnace-those with be produced. It is then again held in the furnace
the side openings having them turned toward the for a few minutes in order to revive the heat and
opening in the furnace. This process of placing so soften the metal, which is getting harder and
the pots is not repeated every time that a potful harder when exposed to the air, and the blowing
of frits has to be melted, as they will last for is proceeded with in the following manner :
many days before it is necessary to replace them The blower applies his mouth to that end of the
by new ones. A man at each pot fills it by pass- pipe which he has been holding, and blows down
ing a sort of shovel containing the frit through it, the air from his lungs passing down inside the
the opening in the pot, and, when it is full, stirs pipe, and. working its way into thd glass at the
the contents with an iron rod for two or three other end until it reaches the centre, forces the
hours. When these are melted, and room has whole mass outward, and, by degrees, forms
thus been made at the top for more, he puts in a hollow cavity in the. middle, so that the
another lot of frit, again stirring it, and so on more he blows the more the glass expands
until the pot is full of melted frit. The door is and the cavity becomes larger until it has nearly
then closed, and, the heat of the furnace having reached the size required. The glass is then put
been increased, the pots are left from twenty to into a mold. This consists of a block of wood
thirty hours. The last part of the process is or metal hollowed out inside the shape of a decan-
called founding, and, when founded, the contents ter and made in two pieces, which open out down
of the pots are in a state of metal. A man, called the middle to permit of the glass being placed
the skimmer, now comes and skims the surface, so between them. They are then tightly closed
as to remove any impurities that may have settled together, the pipe entering the mold through an
on the top, and the metal is then ready to be opening at the top. The man again blows down,
taken from the pot for working into shape. Now, forcing the glass into every crevice and corner 'f
before going further, I must tell you that the the shape, and in this way the precise shape of the
process of melting which I have described so far mold is obtained. We must here tell yorn that a
is the same with each of the different kinds of mold is not absolutely necessary in the manu-
glass named above, the nature of the frit only facture of a bottle or decanter, as it may be blown
varying according to the sort of glass that is to be into shape by the skill of the workman, the latter
made. .process being much more usual, as it produces a
From the point we have now reached the manu- better quality of glass than the molding does.
facture of the several glasses is proceeded with in When the mold is again opened we find the body
different ways, and, for want of space, I shall not of the decanter completely formed, but the neck is
touch upon the way in which the four kinds of in a very rough state as it has been that part
sheet-glass is made up from the metal, but go on attached to the end of the pipe. In order to work
where we left off, and describe the working up of upon this we require to set it free and to hold the
flint and bottle glass. There is no material dif- decanter from the other end. 'his is accomplished
ference between the two, the bottle-glass being in a very simple manner. A boy dips a small iron
coarser, and used for the common dark wine and rod called a pointil into the pot of hot metal and
beer bottles, and flint-glass for everything that so gathers a small drop of it, which he applies to
requires to be clearer and more polished in up- the bottom of-the decanter, and the soft metal
pearance; and, in consequence, the bottle-glass instantly sticking to the glass, the latter is firmly
does not need such careful finishing as the other, attached to the pointil. The man at the other end
but otherwise the mode of working in each is al- of the decanter wets the neck where it joins the
most precisely similar. We will now take for our pipe, by which means he suddenly cools the glass
subject a wine-decanter to illustrate the one pro-- at that spot, and with a gentle rap with the hand
cess which both kinds pass through. it breaks off smartly, and so is disengaged from the
When the metal is skimmed, the gatherer comes blow-tube altogether. He then receives the pointil
with a blow-pipe, which is a long tube. This he from the boy, and taking the decanter to a kind
dips into the pot, and, turning it round, gathers as of stool with arms, something like an easy-chair,
much metal on the end as is required. If a large he places the neck on one of the arms and twirls
quantity is necessary, he withdraws his blow-pipe the pointil, which is resting on the other, with one
and allows the metal on it to cool for a minute or hand, so making the decanter revolve very rapidly.
so, and again collects more hot metal over it, re- In the other hand he holds an instrument like a
eating the process until he has sufficient. He pair of wooden sugar-tongs, with which he can
then takes out the pipe, and holding it in an up- press together any part of the neck, and so smooth
right position, with the metal at the lower end, it all round or make it smaller in one place than
allows the lump of elastic glass, which has the another, and with the help of other instruments
nature of very thick treacle, to stretch itself down- he may bring it to any size or shape. When the
ward by its own weight until it is long enough for form of the decanter is perfect, the boy, holding the











neck by a two-pronged fork, disengages the pointil
from the glass in the same way as the man did the
blow-pipe, and carries the decanter to the annealing
oven. This is a.large brick oven at some distance
from the furnace, and in it articles which have
just been finished are placed on shelves in large
numbers and remain there for several hours, the
object of this being to keep the glass warm for
some time, as if it cooled too suddenly it would be
more likely to break.
A short time ago a process was discovered for
making glass so strong that a tumbler might be
thrown on to the floor without breaking. This is
called toughening, and is done by dipping the
article, while hot, into a vessel of boiling oil
and then placing it in the oven, but for some reason
which.is not generally known, glass manufacturers
have lately discontinued making toughened glass,
and so we may suppose that the process injured
the glass in other respects. Articles made of flint-
glass are colored in two different ways, termed
pot-metal and flashed glass. Pot-metal is produced
by the gatherer gathering from one pot containing
both the metal and the mixture of chemicals, by
which the color is to be produced. In some cases
it is required only to color the surface of the glass,
and then flashed glass is resorted to and produced
by dipping the article, when nearly finished and
hot, into the pot of melted chemicals, so that the
color only forms as a layer upon the plain glass.
Our decanter is now finished as far as the work
in the house is concerned, but has still to pass
through a very important stage of glass manufac-
ture, in order that it may be pleasing to the eye as
well as capable of holding wine. Glass decorating
is too complicated a subject to enter into fully in a
short article, but we will try and describe in a few
words how the patterns of flowers, fruit, etc., are
produced.
There a,, three distinct processes, called cutting,
engraving, and etching.
Cutting is employed to- produce the larger
patterns on the glass, by which the latter is cut into
more or less deeply. It is performed by means of
wheels of various sizes and shapes, according to
the cutting to be made. They are of three kinds,
made respectively of iron, stone, and wood. They
all are made to turn round very rapidly and act in
much the same way as a grindstone does on a knife,
the bottle being pressed against them so that the
wheel cuts into the glass. The first wheel is cov-
ered with sand and does all the rough work, the
second takes off the roughness left by the first, and
the third, which is covered with a poder called
putty-powder, polishes the surface and renders it
smooth.
Engraving is done much on the same principle,
except that it is used to form very delicate patterns
which scarcely make any impression on the surface
of the glass. The wheels are much smaller, and
the first is generally covered with diamond-dust,
and the last with emery-powder. It is by this
means that the beautiful designs are executed
around the wine-glasses and other articles on the
dimaae-table and in the drawing-room.
JBsin9 is a process of engraving by means of


burning-in the pattern on the surface with hydro-
fluoric acid, a chemical produced from a rook called
fluor spar. The glass is covered by a thick coat
of varnish, on which the design is afterward etched
or cut in with a pointed instrument, so that where
the lines are the glass is.laid bare but all the rest
covered by the varnish. The acid is then poured
over it and eats into the glass on those lines; the
varnish is afterward removed and we have the de-
sign neatly engraved underneath it.
The decoration of the glass is the last stage of
the manufacture, and that being.done, our decan-
ter is finished ; but although we must now conclude
my article, we have by no means exhausted all or
nearly all that we could tell you on the subject.
We trust, however, that short as our description has
been, you may feel to know something more about
glass than you did before, and knowing what you
do, may be anxious to learn more still upon some
future occasion.
It would make our lives far pleasanter and more
profitable were we to think more of all the won-
derful things that have been produced by the hand
and brain of men, and that nothing can be done
perfectly nor even well without care, patient in-
dustry, and, above all, a proper use of the mind
that God has given us.


Nanny Norton.
6'6TEVER mind, Neddy, you will soon be
IN there, and then you must come straight
back as fast as you can, and you will be home
again before dark."
It was Nanny Norton speaking to her young
brother as he stood fastening his plaid round him,
looking gloomily out at the snowy weather.
Now Nanny and her brother- lived a very long
time ago, when little children, ay, and big ones
too, were kept very strictly, and had not half the
playthings and pleasures that they expect nowa-
days. They lived in a lonely house at the end of
a narrow lane, and behind the house were several
fields and a few out-houses and barns; in fact, a
small farm. The owner of this farm was their
aunt, Mistress Norton, a prim, upright, severe old
lady, -who had a great idea that all children
needed to be kept well in their place. She never
called the children any name but "niece" and
"nephew," and they never thought of her but
with the greatest awe.
Besides these three, there lived in the house the
Iarm-man, old Nathan, who had grown gray in
the mistress's service, and his wife, who was still
strong and hearty, but as deaf as a post. You
would have-called it a dull home for a merry boy
of nine years old if you could, on one of the long
Winter nights, just have peeped through the lat-
tice window.
There at the table of plain deal, but clean as
much scrubbing could make it, sat the mistress,
straight as possible, with her high cap, white
neckerchief, and tight sleeves, her laoe-pillow be-
fore her, for she was never idle, and none in the
country could make such laoe as hers. At her














































































































S'Too SAN'T FRBIGHTEN PFUSSY, NAOUGHTT CARLO I"
I




I


GRANDMOTHER GRAY











side, busy with her knitting, from which she
scarcely dared look up, sat Nanny, several years
older than her brother. Behind them, hidden
away in the immense chimney-corner, which looked
as if it were made to hold the whole family, sat Na-
than in his large, rough beaver-hat, smoking his
pipe, and now and then kicking with his heel the
legs in the fire on the ground at his feet. If all the
work were done, his wife would probably be at
his side, nodding her head in a doze.
On this particular afternoon Neddy had been
told by his aunt to carry a basket of new-laid eggs
to a poor neighbor. Now, neighbor, in that part
of the world, meant any one living within a few
miles of one's house. So when Neddy set forth
on his errand, he knew that he had a long walk in
the wind and snow before him. He did not like
the job, and, like many a naughty boy both be-
fore and since, he loitered and played in the wood
till the twilight began to fall. A blinding snow-
storm come on, and young Ned, who had not often
been that way before, stood still and began to
wonder where he was. Then, getting frightened,
he began to run wildly among the trees, beating
off the snow and rubbing his eyes. Heated and
tired with his run, he stood still at length, put his
basket down, stretched himself, and, in the end,
lay down on the snow and fell fast asleep.
All this time a kind sister at home was thinking
of the little heedless boy. Nanny watched the
falling flakes anxiously, and counted the minutes
tdl Neddy's return. The time came and passed,
and the snow ceased to fall, and the sky grew
clear, and still he did not come. Old Nathan's
wife cams in bending under a load of brushwood,
and Nero came trotting before her. She had seen
nothing of Ned, and Nero had not found him,
that was clear. Nanny slipped out of the kitchen,
called Nero, his dog, to follow her, and set out.
Springing over the stile, she was soon in the dark
wood, calling gently his name. No answer came,
and Nanny stooped to the dog, patted him, and
whispered': Good dog, good dog, where's thy
master ?" Away went Nero, sniffing and peering
about; then, with a short bark, he set off at a fast
trot. Nanny followed as well as she could, till
she saw him spring through a mass of broken
branches close to a fallen tree, and knew by
his whine that he had found the boy. There
lay the child, sound asleep, the basket of eggs at
his side, his plaid lying loosely over him. Nanny
called him and shook him before she could rouse
him. It was too late now to finish his errand; be-
sides, Nanny feared he would catch cold in his
snowy clothes. So she made him run quickly
home at her side while she carried the basket.
Reaching the lane, the good sister went forward
to explain all to her aunt. Mistress Norton was
strict and precise indeed, but she was not unrea-
sonable, and she was never angry. So when the
boy came shyly up to her, she only took hold of
his two hands, looked gravely at him, and said
very slowly : Nephew, if thou hadst not loitered,
thy poor neighbor had had her eggs this night;
by thy fault she must now suffer." Then she
seat him to change his clothes, and, with her own


hands, got him some hot elder-wine to warm hima
after his sleep in the snow. And Neddy, sitting
in old Nathan's corner, swung his feet backward
and forward, sipping the nice hot stuff, and think-
ing that he wouldn't ever be such a silly boy again.
I wonder whether he kept his good resolution- or
not I

Uncle Charley's Christmas Party.
NCE upon a time there lived an old bachelor
who loved children! He had a fine house,
which he delighted to fill with little ones on every
possible occasion. He was the pleasantest, kindest,
dearest old "Uncle Charley" of a bachelor that
ever turned everything upside down and topsy.
turvy to please the small people; and I only wish
that all who read this story had known him, so that
they might have gone to his delightful parties.
And now I am going to tell you of his last
Christmas party, and let you into the secret that
there is to be another one just like it this coming
Christmas, if all goes right. Perhaps you and I
may receive an invitation, and that, you may well
believe, would-be charming I
I was visiting at the house of a friend, who has
five delightful children-Frank, Alice, Becksie,
Coaxie, and the baby, who, as yet, has no name
at all. One morning we were sitting at the break-
fast-table, eating, talking and laughing, when
Mary (the maid) brought in four little paper
boxes, which had just been left.
"Why, my name is on one of them I" said
Frank.
"And mine on another !" cried Alice; and this
is for Becksie, and that one for Coaxie."
Frank took his box and the others took theirs,
amid quite a twitter of curiosity. Off came the
covers, and a little flat cracker dropped out of each
box at the same moment.
How funny !" exclaimed Frank-" a cracker !
Something's printed on it 1 What is it ?" and he
read :
On Christmas Eve
Come and see
Uncle Charley's
Christmas-tree.'"
"Hurrah !" he joyfully shouted; "it's an invi-
tation to narty at Uncle Charley's I and he has
sent it on a cracker !" upon which everybody burst
out laughing-for it seemed so droll to bake invi-
tations to a party upon a lot of crackers.
Crisp, bright, Christmas Eve came at last.
It did seem as if Becksie and Coaxie would
jump out of their pretty white dresses, so much
joyful jumping did they do, and the eyes of Alice
and Frank shone with delightful anticipations.
Frank went down-stairs three steps at a time, and
Alice danced through the hall to the sleigh, as if
she had wings on her feet. All the children
crowded merrily in, pulling me after them, and
telling John, the coachman, to hurry to be at
Uncle Charley's at the very beginning of the fun.
Such a blaze of light as the hall door of the
house flew open I Such a laughing crowd of gayly
dressed children as rushed out of the parlor to se


~


-- -










i


who kad come next Such a lot of little mites of
children all clinging fast to Uncle Charley as he
urid to struggle up to welcome us.
The parlor-doors were shut and locked, for
several of the buys had tried to open them and
could not succeed. Then they peeped though
the keyhole, and announced to the rest that they
saw something shining splendidly. One of the
girls asked Frank what- he did with his cracker-
invitation, and he shouted out, "I ate it up 1"
and all the boys hearing him crying, "So did I I"
their hearty laughter came in like a jolly chorus.
Just then the front doorbell rang. All the
children rushed out, and stared in astonishment.
as two Chinese boys entered hand-in-hand,
waddling up to Uncle Charley, each making
three low bows in succession.
After Uncle Charley had shaken hands with
them, each said, in a grave tone: "How do ? You
belly muchee vell ? We velly vell, allee samee"
These boys were the sons of a rich Chinese
mandarin. Uncle Charley had lived many years
in Canton, where he was well known and re-
spected. The mandarin had begged Uncle Charley
to become guardian to his sons, whom he had
sent to our country to be educated.
The children, quite forgetting their politeness,
kept looking at them in silent astonishment.
And now the click of a key inma lock was heard,
and the sliding-doors were rolling slowly away out
of sight. The children hurried into the back-
room, where the brilliant light of a hundred wax-
candles amid the branches of a splendid fir-tree
caused each of them to utter a great, breathless
"Oh 1" of delight and admiration. Festoons of
Chinese lanterns were hung from side to side of
the room, at the sight of which Ah Sin and To-To
exclaimed, Melican feast like Chinee, allee
samee. Good !" upon which Frank whispered
to one of them, "Did you get your invitation on a
cracker ?" and he answered, "S'pose this clacker
Melican clacker-no allee same Chinee clacker;
he make fire-go pop 1"
"Oh, yes," returned Frank, "I know. We
have your fire-crackers, too ; we fire them off on
the Fourth of July;" upon which Ah Sin bowed
and said Tankee."
But the tree How heavily the branches hung,
laden with beautiful presents for everybody I
WIat lovely and good and useful things that kind
old bachelor uncle had provided for his dear little
friends I Dolls for the girls, with dolls' houses
resting on the table near-for they were much too
large for the tree; skates for the boys, with big
sleds under the table, boxes of tools, boxes of
building-blocks, paint-boxes, wagons, fire-engines,
puzzles, and quantities of books, which, I think
were the best presents of all. For each one there
was a tiny lace bag of candy.
When all the presents had been distributed, and
everybody had danced around them, the good old
bachelor made a little speech.
"Dear children, many a poor child will have no
Christmas present, and very little to eat. There
will be no Merry Christmas' for them. To-mor-
vow some of these poor little ones are coming to


C


I --


dine with me. Ah Sin and To-To will stay with
me to-morrow ; they will see the poor children's
Christmas-tree. Would you like to look now at the
things which are to be put upon it ?"
Oh, yes, yes !" cried all the children.
Then Uncle Charley opened a closet-door, and
there upon the shelves were piles of warm jackets
for boys, and sacques for girls ; nice woolen com.
forters for their necks, and stockings for their feet.
But this was not all-oh, no There were dolls,
and skates, and tops, and balls in plenty; for, let
me tell you, poor children like toys quite as well
as rich children do-indeed, a great deal better,
for they get so few that they prize them.
The children gazed with the deepest interest
upon the presents, and dear little Coaxie went up
to Uncle Charley, and after taking two gum-drops
out of her candy-bag, she cooed out :
"Here, Uncle Charley, take my candy-bag and
dive it to a poor littlee dirL"
Upon which he caught her up, and, kissing her
rosy cheek, he said :
"' God bless my little darling I-so I will."
The little child's generous act fired the rest, and
every one gave something for the poor children.
Ah Sin presented his own private chop-sticks, with
which he ate his rice; and To-To took the shiny
button from the top of his hat, as his most precious
possession, and put it on a shelf in the closet.


Grandmother Gray.
FADED and fair, in her old arm-chair,
Sunset gilding her thin white hair,
Silently knitting sits Grandmother Gray;
While I on my elbows beside her lean,
And tell what wonderful things I mean
To have, and to do, if I can, some day:
You can talk so to Grandmother Gray-
She doesn't laugh nor send you away.
I see, as I look from the window-seat,
A house there yonder, across the street,
With a fine French roof and a frescoed hall
The deep bay windows are full of flowers,
They've a clock of bronze that chimes the hoes,
And a fountain-I hear it tinkle and fall
When the doors are open: "I mean," I say,
"To live in a house like that some day."
Money will do it," says Grandmother Gray.
T There's a low barouche, all green and gold,
And a pair of horses as black as jet,
I've seen driven by; and before I am old,
A turnout like that I hope to get.
How they prance and shine in their harness gay!
What fun wouldd be if they ran away I
Money will buy them," says Grandmother Gray.
To-morrow, I know, a great ship sails
Out of port and across the sea;
Oh I to feel in my face the ocean gales,
And the salt waves dancing under me
In the old, far lands of legend and lay
I long to roam-and I shall some day."
Money will do it," says Grandmother Gray.
"And when, like me, you are old," says she,
And getting and going are done with, dear,
What then, do you think, will the one thing be
ou will wish and need to content you here?"
"Oh, when in my chair I have to stay,
Love, you see, will content me," I say.
"That money ton't buy," says Grandmother Oay.












LITTLE HINGES.
By the Author of "Brave Little Heart," "Little Empress Joan," atc, ete.


SHE WEhT ON STRIUMMIrN."

CHAPTER I.-- HARLIE.
OW, chicks, I want you all to be par-
ticularly good this morning."
Good why, we always are good,
aren't we ?" replied a very sharp
little girl of eight years, known in .
the nursery as Charlie-her real ,i.
name being Charlotte because of cer-
tain propensities that were considered
to belong more properly to a boy than
a girl; as, for instance, a particular passion
for spinning tops, climbing over banisters
and up flights of steps or long ladders, if
such ever happened to be in her wy ; also ''i[ .
a sharp, and not always pleasant, manner
of speaking, which, rightly or wrongly, was ';
considered to be much less suited to a i
little girl than it would have been to a boy.
"You often say we are the nicest children I'
you ever had charge of," she added saucily; '
"I heard you telling Mary so the other day
when she said she couldn't bear children; ;
and so we must be very good indeed, for *S:
you are always preaching to us about how
your other little children used to behave,
and how they used to mind you. So if they '
were so good, and we are better, just think
how good we must be !"
"Oh, Miss Charlotte, what a child you -'
are I Idon't believe I ever said anything
of the kind." Nurse was afraid of being
too dsfnite in her statements, for she had


already had terrible experience of Chartie'
precision.
"Oh yes, you did, nurse," she added,
decidedly. "It was just outside the
nursery- door yesterday morning when
Mary brought up a basket of clean clothes
Sfor you to put away. She said, 'You
must be tired of those noisy children,' and
you said, 'I'm sure I'm not; they're such
nice little things-they're the nicest chil-
dren I ever was with.' "
"Ah, that was because I'm so fond of
you all, you see," replied nurse, lamely-
Sshe was fairly driven nto a corner-" that
I wouldn't let Mary think I didn't love you
all; but I didn't mean that you were never
naughty."
Now you're a dear old thing, nurse,"
exclaimed Charlie, impetuously, giving her
nurse a good hug, "and I will forgive you
all your nasty ways-you are nasty some-
times, you know--for saying that nice
thing. But, nurse, what is going on now ?
for I've noticed that whenever you say
'I want you to be very good this morn.
ing,' you are always up to something.
Now, you are going to leave us by our-
selves, to begin with, aren't you ?"
"Yes, all the morning I and you must be good,
and not quarrel, nor get into mischief- "
Never mind all that-I know it by heart; but
just tell us now what you are going to be up to."
"I can guess," said Edith, a little girl of ten,


" E-3, LIT ME DO IT FBR TOW


__ =


IlliiP II











looking up from the book she was reading. To-
morrow is Christmas Eve, Charlie; don't you
know nurse is going to help Mary make the
goodies ? Is that.it, nurse ?"
"That's just it, dears," nurse replied; "And
there are such treats in store-puddings, pies,
snapdragon, cakes. Oh, my goodness, were ever
any little children more lucky I" and nurse sighed.
Oh, dear," said Charlie, "I wonder what I'm to.
do with myself all this morning; it's horrid up
here."
Get your books and learn some lessons, if you
are so dull," suggested Edith.
"Oh, Edith, how can you I it's holidays; fancy
learning lessons in holidays! why, it's as bad as
not learning them at other times. You know
mamma says there's a time for everything; and
holidays isn't the time for learning lessons, so it
would be very wicked of me to sit down and learn
them this morning. Don't you see, Edith, how
'unoonsiderating' you are?"
"Well, do some needlework, Charlie," sug-
gested Edith, who was longing to get to her book,
but was anxious to see her restless sister settled to
something first.
"Now, Edith, is it the time for needlework ? I
am really surprised at you. It's the same with
needlework as lessons."
"Bead, then."
"No, I can't do that," with great decision.
"Why not ?"
"Well, Edith, you see, if I read all the books
ia the house while I'm so young, just think what
it'll be when I'm big and have done with lessons,
and have nothing to do but to read books, because
I don't intend to do needlework then; there won't
be any books left for me to read; then how dull I
shall be I No, that won't do."
"Oh, Charlie, what an excuse i" said Edith,
laughing. "Well, I'm afraid I can't help you,"
she added, turning to her book again.
Presently there was a squealing from a certain
corner of the nursery, where a small, golden-
haired boy of three was engrossed in the study of
architecture with the aid of a box of wooden
bricks.
"Bertie, dear, what is the matter ?" asked
Edith.
"Charlie's teasing me I Oh, she's a nasty, un-
kind sissa I" with great sobs.
You naughty boy !" exclaimed Charlie, indig-
nantly; "I'm amusing you I I am, indeed,
Edith. He'd made a frightful bouse ; I only took
it down to show him how to make a better one."
'"Don't want to be 'moosed; like my nice
house," sobbed Bertie.
He's an ingrateful, stuck-up little fellow,"
said Charlie, contemptuously. "He's no taste,
and won't be shown; you will be an 'indivisable'
when you grow up, Bertie."
Shrieks from Bertie. "I isn't a 'little fellow,'
Charlie ; and I isn't a in-in-di-wibble, and I won't
be, nasty sissa."
"Now look at that little fellow, Edith. What a
rao. he's in, and all about nothing. Can you
thmk what it's about 2"


Why, yes, Charlie, you've been teasing him-
you know you have-you always are."
"Well, now, call that teasing I I wouldn't tease
him."
You know, Charlie, he can't bear you to put
on such grand airs, and call him 'little fellow,'
and all those long words that you're so fond o."
But he is a 'little fellow ';and such a baby I
You can't talk to a baby like that as if he were a
old and knew as much as yourself, of course. He
can't expect it. And that isn't teasing. I ean
tease a deal better than that, if I wanted to. BMt
I s'pose I must make it up with him. Stop that
Extracting' noise, Bertie. Come here and I'
make it up with you."
Don't want to make it up," sobbed Bertie.
"Nonsense, Bertie-that's wicked. Now, then,"
and Charlie proceeded to make it up by throwing
two arms, very violently, round poor Bertie's sof
neck, squeezing him very tightly, and bestowing
some smacking kisses on either cheek.
"Don't like it, sissa," screamed Bertie, making
frantic endeavors to free himself. "It's a ham
make it up. Hurts Bertie."
Oh, you're a Turk of a boy. You can go
now. Run away and play with your bricks, and
build another squatty, tumble-down house."
Bertie scampered away without a word of retort
evidently worsted, and quite conscious of the
fact.
Charlie retreated to a corner of the nursery,
and screwing herself up, began to think, for lack
of more active employment. Presently, she be-
gan talking in a low tone to herself, a peculiarity
of hers when she was really trying to follow ou
any idea that might have struck hir volatile
young mind.
"It isn't hard enough," she said, to herself;
"things won't be hard. Now, think of dremsing
and undressing dolls how stupid I When
you've done it once it's as easy as anything; that'a
no more fun then. Then there's balls. Well,
you soon learn that-I never miss now; that's
easy too, and stupid; and doll's tea-things; and
building houses, and all those things, they've
easy. And then for lessons, reading's easy; it
wasn't at first, but it's soon come so, and the long
words are easiest of all; it's a great shame. I
thought they were going to be difficult, but they're
not; and copies, they're ever so easy; and hena
ming. dusters, it's easy enough if you try; but I
don't, because I don't like it. Then games,
they're all easy, and there's no good in playing
them. Now, what's hard, I wonder-real sebt
hard, so that you have to try, and try, and try
Edith says sums are hard, but that's stuff-the9y'
not. If I could find something, oh, so har&
wouldn't it be amusing I it wouldn't let me ge
tired; how nice !" Then Charlie left off talking
to herself, but remained crouched down in her
corner, only saying, now and then, "No, it baeS
hard at all," or, "No, it wouldn't do, it would be
quite easy; I'm sure it would," which seemed B
intimate that she was pondering great sohear m
her mind.
"Look here, dears what I've brought yW,"


~ ~ __ I 1____










nurse said, making her appearance in the room in
the middle of the morning with a plate of freshly
baked mince-pies.
"Oh, how nice !" the children exclaimed; and
Charlie added, "Now, nurse, how did you make
those ? They're just beautiful. Do you think I
could'make them like that ?"
"That I'm sure you couldn't, dear. They're
diioult things to make. First there's the mince-
meat to chop and mix, and such a lot of things
in it."
How do you know what to put in ?"
Oh, I find that out of the cookery-book."
"That's easy enough, then. Go on-what
next ?"
"Then there's the crust to make and cut out,
mad put in the pans and bake. Mince-pies are
ever so hard to make nicely."
"Hard, now, are they ?" exclaimed Charlie ex-
itedly; "that's just nice, then. I'll come down
and see you make some, and then make some my-
elf. I do want to do something hard."
A fine idea," said nurse, laughing, not think-
aig Charlie was serious.
I mean it, nurse; come along," said Charlie,
with a world of determination in her face.
"Now, dear, be good. You mustn't come down-
stairs this morning. Your mamma said you were
to amuse yourselves in the nursery; so just stay
here quietly, like a good little girl," said nurse,
irmly.
*' But I want to come down-stairs; and I sha'n't
be tiresome at all; so it doesn't matter;" and
Charlie marched resolutely to the door and opened
it at once.
Go back at once, Miss Charlotte I"
Now, at these words some dire spirit of opposi.
tion seemed to enter the child's heart, and make
her resolve that, cost her what it might, she would
not go back; so without listening to the authori-
tative tones of her nurse, she crossed the landing,
and began deliberately to go down-stairs.
Nurse was after her in a minute.
"Will you come back, Miss Charlotte, once
more ?"
"No," quietly, but with great deliberation.
SThen I must make you;" and nurse took
Charlie in her arms, and carried her back into the
nursery.
"You may carry me back, but you can't make
me stay," said Charlie, persistently, and started
off again.
Now, Miss Charlotte, if that's how you're go-
ing to behave, I must punish you," and without
more ado, nurse took refractory Charlie in her
arms, and carrying her into the adjoining room,
turned the key in the door, and left her.
"Now, that was hard," muttered Charlie be-
tween the low passionate sobs that she would not,
for the world, have anyone hear. "I couldn't
have turned back. It seemed ever so hard, harder
than anything, too hard, and it wasn't nice, either;
and now I've got to stay here; but that's easy,
because I can't get out if I try; but I couldn't go
back, because that was, oh, so very real stiff
baseL."


o(AITEB I.-STBCRANG BEHAVIOR.
IT was a welcome sight in the nursery whea
nurse reappeared, bearing with her the children's
dinner-tray. Visitors were staying in the house
for Christmas, so Edith had been quartered on the
nursery for meals, although for more thah a year
she had been privileged to dine at her parents'
luncheon-table. This was an honor to which
Charlie greatly aspired, and it was ever a sore,
point with her that she was kept in the nursery
longer than she otherwise would have been, in
order that little Bertie might have a companion.
When Mrs. Branning told Edith she would have
to forego dining down-stairs for the present, her
face fell, and she began. "Oh, mamma--" but
when her mother said, firmly but gently, "My
dear, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it cannot
be helped; now show me how bravely you can
bear this little vexation," Edith's fair face cleared,
and she replied, readily, "I will, mamma. Of
course I'd rather come down-stairs, but dear old
nurse is so kind that it isn't at all nasty in the
nursery." And after this little incident no other
word was uttered by Edith about the matter.
Now, Charlie had stood by and listened with
surprise, for she could not understand Edith giv-
ing up so quietly such an important point as
dining down-stairs. For a few moments she
thought it over, and then arrived at the conclusion
that Edith did not feel matters of this kind so
keenly as she did, or, to use her own expression,
didn't -have such strong feels "; and with this
solution of the enigma, and a half feeling of con-
tempt for her sister's weakness, she dismissed the
subject from her mind.
With the advent of dinner Charlie was rescued
from herimprisonment. She marched out with head
erect, and a proud, bold face. It was not Charlie's
way to let people think she was sorry; strangely
enough, she would rather bear the imputation of
being still naughty than that any one should see
the signs of softness in her. Fortunately, she
was surrounded by wise -and loving friends, who
made it their care to read the secrets of her way-
ward little heart Had it not been so she would
have been taken for a hopelessly bad child, and
driven by mismanagement to be really what her
manner led strangers to think she was. She took
her place quietly at the dinner-table with a stolid
face, from which it was impossible to read any-
thing.
Nurse Elsie, who took as lively an interest is
the children as if they belonged to her, carefully
scanned the child's face, and turned away with
disappointment. Charlie saw the look, and it
vexed her.
"What made you sigh this morning, nurse,
when you were telling us about the nice things we
were going to have for Christmas ?" Edith asked,
presently.
"Fancy your noticing that, dear I" said nuse,
affectionately. "Well, to tell the trdth, I was
thinking of the difference between you little chil-
dren with all your nice things, and comfortable
clothes, and warm cosy nursery, and some other


-- --











little children.that I know, who have no father,
and have to go hungry very often, poor dears,
with not even bread enough to eat, and scarcely a
bit of fire for the little ones to sit by. The bigger
ones, about your size, go out to work, and very
hard it is for them, poor darlings. Now, I won-
der what sort of dinner they'll be having to-day ?
I know they'll have something good on Christmas
Day," and Elsie's eyes sparkled with delight.
"It's your little sisters and brothers, nurse
dear; and that's just whom I thought you were
thinking of when you heaved that big sigh," said
Edith.
"Fancy your thinking of all- that just because
nurse sighed I" exclaimed Charlie, patronizingly.
"I didn't think you ever thought of anything,


hand me the pieces, Edith, and I'll put them up.
Get the steps, nurse; let's begin."
"Scop, Miss Charlie; you're arranging it too
fast. What do you suppose your mamma would
say if she saw you mounted on the top of the
steps ?"
"That's nothing, nurse; I shouldn't fall Why,
I climbed up the ladder that the men left behind
when they were mending the skylight last Sum-
mer, and got out on the roof, too. Oh, wasn't it
fun I"

things, you know."
Won't you let me go up the steps and nail
the holly up, nurse ?"


"i THE CHILDIIREN HAD TEA OUT OF EDITH'E OWN Li71TLE SM.T"'


Edith; it's something new for you to go coggy-
taking."
"Oh, Charlie!" laughed Edith, not noticing
the rudeness of her sister's remark, ".what a word I
it's cogitating."
"It's a nasty word, Bertie don't like it," whined
Bertie, who had a sort of notion that Charlie's
learned expressions were in some mysterious way
hurled at him, and who resented them accordingly.
Charlie was greatly offended, and put on an in-
jured air.
"Who would like to help me decorate the nur-
sery this afternoon ?" asked nurse, presently.
"I should," all the children answered, delight-
edly.
"That'll just be nice," exclaimed Charlie.
SYou shall cut the holly, nurse; and you can


"No, dear."
"Then I sha'n't help you decorate. Ishall ask
mamma to let me play the piano, when she comes
up-stairs."
Mrs. Branning came up after awhile. She was
going out, and ran in for a few minutes to see
them before she went. Being holiday-time, kind
Nurse Elsie forbore to say anything about Charlie's
naughtiness.
"May I go down and play while you are out,
mamma ?" Charlie asked, in a gentler tone.
Now, Charlie had a great passion for music, and
nothing pleased her better than to get to the piano
and find out tunes by ear, or "make up music,"
as she called it. But her mother had forbidden
her to do this, as she knew that it was a bad habit,
and made her neglect the real practice which was


__ _


I






1- /


useful to her; for Charlie was really clever at the
piano, and began to play very well for so young a
child.
"I cannot let you play, Charlie," her mother
replied; "you know I don't like you to do so."
"Bat may 1 go and practice, mamma, just my
scales and exercises ?" Charlie persisted.
Well, dear, you may do that; but remember
you are not to strum."
Charlie said nothing, but turned her head away,
and Mrs. Branning went down to her bedroom .
When Charlie's hands and face were washed, and
her hair brushed, she went to the drawing-room.


it is wrong. Now, I'm going to tell you some-
thing, dear. You are a little girl with avery self-
willed, obstinate heart. You are so fond of your
own way that it is very difficult, indeed, for you
to give it up; but you know, Charlie, you must
conquer that, or you will have no pleasure or hap-
piness when you grow up. You will be a misery to
yourself, and disliked by everybody. If you don't
conquer it, it will conquer you. Now, I want you
to try and fight that naughty feeling. You un-
derstand, dear, don't you ? When you feel that
you can't give up your own will, and do what you
are told, say to yourself, I do want to do what I


" THE BIG PARCEL WAS HANDED OVER TO THE LITTLE FELLOW."


"No, I'm not going to practice; I'm going to
make some music," she said, as she went, think-
ing aloud after her own peculiar fashion.
But at this moment her mother opened the room-
door and came in. She looked terribly grieved.
"Charlie, Charlie I" she exclaimed, sorrowfully,
"can it be possible that you are deliberately
making up your mind to do the very thing I have
forbidden ?"
Charlie looked up with conscious shame.
I can't help it, mamma; I know it's naughty,
but I do want to play, oh, ever so, and I feel as if
I must."
"It's a very bad feel,' Charlie, when you know


like, but it's wrong, and I'll fight it; I will do
what I am told,' and then go and do something
quite different directly, so that you sha'n't be
tempted to think even of doing what you have
been told not. Will you try, Charlie ?"
"Yes, mamma, I'll try; but I don't believe I
could fight those feels' of mine, because they are
such very hard 'feels,' Charlie replied.
"Begin now, Charlie," her mother continued;
"go back into the nursery and help with the
holly."
Charlie turned round slowly and went up to the
nursery-very slowly, indeed.
"I've come to help you, nurse," she said, turn-












ing over a little heap of evergreen sprigs from
which Edith was making a garland to festoon
round the picture over the mantelpiece.
"Pray, what are you up to?" she said to
Bertie, who was very busy with some holly and
string.
"I's making a reaf, sissa; such a big 'reaf, to
go all round the nursery."
",Fine wreath, indeed I you'll never make any-
thing of it. Here, let me do it for you," said
Charlie, contemptuously.
"No, sissa; Bertie's reaf splendid. You's teas-
ing me."
"Oh, you silly little spoilt fellow I who'd be
stuck up-stairs with a baby like you, I wonder?
you ought to have a rattle to play with I Now,
look at it. Bertie ; do you suppose for one minute
that those ridiculous bunches will ever be any an-
imentation" (meant, probably, for ornamentation)
"to this room ?" Charlie asked, loftily.
Bertie looked wistfully at his scraggy little
bunch. His happiness had vanished, poor little
fellow. He had been so busy and important, and
quite blind to the fact that tying one piece of
holly on and pulling two off the string was not
likely to result in anything very wonderful
Charlie's sharp words had opened his eyes to his
own inability, and all pleasure in his employment
had departed, and the little fellow began to fret
and worry.
"Now, Miss Charlie, how naughty you are,"
said nurse, with displeasure. Why do you tease
your brother so ?"
"Teasing, indeed !" said Charlie, angrily. "You
are unkind I Oh, I can't fight it !" she muttered
to herself. I'm going now to' practice," she said
aloud. Then, with a very stolid expression on
her face, she went out of the room and down-
stairs.
She sat down to the piano and began amusing
herself; but any one who knew Charlie could see
she was not happy. In the place of the animation
which her face usually displayed, there was a
dogged determination, which scarcely expressed
pleasure. Still she went on strumming, during
the whole of the short Winter afternoon, utterly
oblivious of the cold, for there was no fire in the
room. Every now and then she stopped, and,
leaning her head on her hand, became lost in
thought.
She was sitting so when the door opened, and
her father entered with his arms full of packages.
"Why, Charlie, you here!" he said, pleasantly.
"Well, now I'm caught ; run and fetch Edith,
Charlie, and then we'll look over some of these
things. Here are presents for mamma and Elsie
and Mary. Run and ask nurse to find me heaps
of tissue-paper to pack them up in. Won't that
be fun, Charlie, eh ?"
Charlie got down quickly from the music-stool,
and with a hurried glance at her father's face, said
deliberately, "I'll send Edith,'papa, but I can't
come."
"Can't come? What do you mean, Charlie?
I' never heard of such a thing. Why can't you
come ?" her father asked, in astonishment.


I'd rather not tell, papa," said Charlie,
marching resolutely up-stairs. "Papa wants you,
Edith," she said, making her appearance in the
nursery ; "and, nurse, I have to go into the night
nursery by myself, so don't wonder where I am."
"Very well, Miss Charlotte," said Elsie, se-
verely, thinking that Charlie was obeying her
papa's commands. "You can come and warm
yourself first," she added, kindly, noticing that
the child's fingers were nearly blue with cold.
"No, thank you, nurse-I can't come," Charlie
replied, abruptly.
Nurse saw no more of Charle. When tea-time
came, and Charlie had been by herself nearly an
hour, she vent and called her.
"I'm not to have any tea," Charlie replied,
without a shade of discontent in her voice.
It was nearly the children's bedtime when Mrs.
Branning and her guests returned. Her first in-
quiry was for Charlie, and learning that she was
shut up in the bedroom, she went to her there.
"What's all this, Charlie ?" she asked, in sur-
prise. "Who put you here ?"
"No one, mamma-I put myself," answered
Charlie, calmly. "I couldn't fight it at all,
mamma. I did try, but it wasn't any good; and
after you were gone, I went down and played,
because I wanted to so badly that I couldn't help
it. I knew you'd be angry, mamma, and I was
very sorry I had done it, so I punished myself."
You didn't mind staying here by yourself all
this time, then, Charlie, so much as giving up the
playing ?"
"No, mamma."
"That won't do at all, Charlie. You have only
pleased yourself, you see, after all. In future, I
shall lock the piano, and you may not touch it,
even for practice, for a whole month."
. "Oh, mamma, I can't bear that I" burst out
Charlie, passionately.
My dear, you will have to bear it," her other
replied, gently. "I am very sorry, Charlie."
Charlie was sorry, too. She had turned her
head away, and was half choking with the big
sobs that rose in her throat.

CHAPTER IL.-AN UNEXPECTED VISIT.
THE next day was Christmas Eve. The children
woke to find the world shrouded in a vail of soft
white snow. The air was cold and bright, but in
their enjoyment of the beauty they saw on every
side, they heeded not the nipping cold. Why
should they ? A glowing fire, a bright, cheery
room, a warm, comfortable meal awaiting them,
what room was there for discontent ? And yet I
have known children who grumbled when sur-
rounded by every comfort, as these little ones were.
Well, I wonder what God must think of them,
looking down, as He must, at the. same moment,
on the poor, hungry, uncared-for little ones, of
whom there are hundreds in every great city.
When breakfast was over, the children were al-
lowed to go down-stairs and see the pretty Christ-
mas-tree that loving hands had been busily deck-
ing for them after they were in bed and asleep


--- ----; --~-,










last night. Little Bertie shrieked with laughter
at the glorious sight, and even Edith felt that she
cold scarcely wait patiently till the evening to
see it lighted up.
Then back again to the nursery, where an in-
tense excitement prevailed. Presents had been in
preparation for weeks past, but the finishing
touches had been delayed till the last moment;
and now there was much whispering and mystery
between the two elder children, and a hurried
pushing away of certain articles whenever nurse
made her appearance. But nurse was busy this
morning, and did not trouble them much. And the
completion of the various presents went on rapidly.
Edith had accomplished the working of a pair of
slippers for her father, and a very pretty crochet
pincushion-cover for her mother. Charlie had not
the same aptitude for needlework that her sister
possessed, and her achievements were of a smaller
order-a beaded penwiper for her father, and a
kettle-holder for her mother. Nurse was in the
secret of these manufactures, but there was some-
thing more going on that she knew nothing about
-the construction of a needle-hook by Charlie,
and a very pretty book-marker by Edith, for nurse
herself. Mrs. Branning had, at the children's re-
quest, bought nurse a work-box, but as that could
not honestly be considered their own present, they
had worked these little things to put inside as
something for dear nurse that was really and truly
from themselves. Mary was not much of a favorite
with the little ones, but they had hemmed her a
set of handkerchiefs, of which they had heard her
say she was in want. Bertie had notbeen forgotten,
for his sisters had, with great pains and care, manu-
factured a most charming scrap-book for his es-
pecial behoof, with some pretty pictures they had
been collecting for many months.
Soon after dinner, the work of dress-,g the
children commenced. Their cousins from Hather-
leigh, and their little friends the Clarkes, from over
the way, and the Ritters, from next door, had
been invited to share the fun of dismantling the
Christmas-tree. It was to be an early party, for
there was much to be done after the children had
gone. By three, the little guests began to arrive,
and then the dining-room was cleared out for a
good romp. "Blind-man's buff," "My lady's
toilet," and other delightful games sped the time
swiftly away till tea was announced.. Then, what
a delight that tea was! Edith presided, for the
children had tea out of Edith's own little set,
which her papa and mamma had given her last
Christmas. It was a perfectly beautiful one, with
bread-and-butter plates, soup-bowl, and everything
complete, and large enough to satisfy the children.
After tea there were more romps, and then came
the event of the evening. Mrs. Branning and the
aunt and uncle that had come up from the country
to spend Christmas were all there to see the fun.
How excited Charlie felt when the last jet of gas
was turned out, and the room shrouded in dark-
ness, save for the flickering light of an occasional
dancing flame from the low-burning fire; and how
little Bertie clung to his mother's hand, more than
half overawed by the mysterious gloom.


"Isn't this fun I" exclaimed Chrissy Owen, one
of the Hatherleigh cousins. "It feels so awfully
solemn in the dark here, you might just expect to
see Father Christmas come walking in at that
door."
"Oh, how I wish he would !" laughed Charlie.
"Now, Charlie, you little goose, you talk as if
there really was such a person as Father Christ-
mas," exclaimed Frank Owen, a lad of twelve, who
considered himself rather beyond Christmas-trees
and such babyish amusements, but who had con-
descended to come on this occasion, because he was
very fond of his cousins, and, moreover, took a
special interest in teasing Charlie. "I thought
such a precocious youngster as you must know
that the old fellow is only a myth."
"Father Christmas isn't a mist," returned Char-
lie, hotly ; "and I'm not a precocious youngster,
Frank," she added, indignantly.
"Dear me! I can't get these candles to light,"
said Mrs. Branning, who had been holding a match
to first one and then another of the candles on the
tree, which, however, obstinately refused to burn.
"Get papa to light them," Edith suggested.
"Where's papa !"
"Papa's gone out. I saw him putting on his
great-coat in the hall when we came up from tea,"
Charlie exclaimed.
"Never mind; they'll light presently," Mrs.
Branning returned, and just at this moment one
candle at the back of the tree did catch, and shed
a feeble light over the darkened room.
"Hark I what's that?" said Edith, putting up
her finger.
The children all listened. Heavy, laboring foot-
steps coming down the stairs outside.
"Who can it be ?" said Cicely Ritter, in an awe-
struck whisper.
'"How slow and how heavy the steps sound !"
said Chrissy, wonderingly. "Uncle doesn't walk
like that; and it can't be nurse or Mary, for its
certainly a man."
Oh, don't I" whispered Cicely. "I'm fright-
ened."
"Oh, just listen I" There were three distinct
raps at the door.
"Frightened !" said Charlie, boldly-" what's
there to be frightened at ? There's mamma and
Uncle and Aunt Baldwin. I believe it's old Father
Christmas," she added, laughingly.
There's many a true word spoken in jest. As
Charlie spoke, she darted across the room, and
fearlessly threw the door wide open.
Even she was startled at what she saw there-
an old man, with a long white beard, and a kind-
looking face, wrinkled with age. His bushy eye-
brows were perfectly white, as indeed -were the
straggling locks that escaped from beneath his
scarlet turban andwreath of holly-leaves and ber-
ries. He was clad in a loose white garment,
reaching to the floor, with a scarlet tunic falling
just below his waist, on which could be detected
flakes of still unmelted snow. Over his shoulder
he held, gathered up, the mouth of a small sack,
which rested on his back, and seemed to bend his
aged limbs with its weight. The sack was evi-










dently full of something, for it stuck out in knobs
all over.
It really is old Father Christmas himself I"
exclaimed Charlie, delightedly. "Come in,
Father Christmas. How do you do? We're
very pleased to see you," she said, looking up
fearlessly in the old man's face.
"I'm quite well, my dear, thank you," the old
man replied, in a quavering but cheery voice,
shaking a little cloud of snow-flakes on the carpet
as he advanced into the room.
All the children stood still in amazment. Little
Bertie clung to his mother's side, and, from that
safe shelter, looked on in bewildered awe. Cicely
had shrunk behind the group of children. No
one spoke a word.
This seemed to Charlie very wanting in good
manners; and as it
was a matter of
course that the old
man's visit was to the
children themselves,
she thought it was
really necessary that
some one should
speak.
"You are cold,
Father Christmas,"
she said, as no one
else ventured to ad-
dress the visitor.
"Will you come near
the, fire."
"I might melt,"
the old man replied.
You are very old,
aren't you ?" said
Charlie, who- felt
somewhat at a loss-
for a topic of conver-
sation.
More than eight-
een hundred years
old," replied the old
man, in his aged "DAnBIImeYG
voice.
"Dear me, that's a very great age !" replied
Charlie, gravely. "Why, it's older than Methu--
selah !"
"It is a very great age," Father Christmas
replied.
What a weight that sack seems !" said Edith,
who had begun to recover from the first shock
which the strangeness of the whole affair had
made her feel. Won't he like to put it down ?"
Edith had less self-possession than her sister, and
scarcely liked to address the stranger herself.
Thank you, my dear," the old man said, ap-
provingly. "You're a kind-hearted little girl;
will yeu come and help me with it ?"
Edith stepped forward, her fair face blushing at
the outspoken praise.
"Draw the string, my dear-dip your hand in,
and take out the first thing you feel."
Edith did as she was told. She had to stand
on tiptoe to reach the mouth of the bag. Charlie


.1


had retreated to the other side of the table. She
was secretly much disgusted at Edith's being so
favored, after the trouble she considered she had
taken to be polite. A parcel carefully tied up in
brown paper came to light.
"There's writing on it I" Edith exclaimed, and
taking it close to the one little Christmas candle
which was still burning away at the back of the
Christmas-tree, she read out, For the person in
this room that three children love the best, with
Father Christmas's love."
"I can read that riddle," said Charlie, with de-
light. "It's mamma; we're three children, and
we love mamma the best of anybody in the room,
don't we ? so that's plain."
"Quite right, my dear," Father Christmas ex-
claimed. "Dip your hand in again," he said to
Edith.
She did so, and
brought out a packet,
large, square and
heavy. On it was
written, "For a dear
little boy of three
years old."
"That's Bertie !"
cried several of the
children at once, and
the big parcel was,
handed over to the
little fellow.
Go on, my dear.
See what else there
is," the old man said
to Edith. Keep.
on till the sack is
empty." ,
Edith put her
hand in again. Out
came a large, cum-
bersome, but not
heavy parcel. "For
a little man who is
going to be a great
eIG 7 HOIMS." warrior," was writ-
ten on it.
"Freddy Clarke !" several voices exclaimed; and
no contradiction coming from Father Christmas,
the parcel was handed to Freddy. A littlemaid
who mustn't be afraid of the dark any more," was
decided upon as Cicely. Tomboy," was, by
unanimous consent, allowed to be Charlie; and
"Bookworm," Edith. For every child in the
room there was a packet of some sort before the
bottom of the sack was reached.
Now, who will come and give Father Christ-
mas a kiss ?" the old man asked, when the last
packet had been taken out; and immediately all
the children came forward with the exception of
Frank Owen, who, no doubt, thought himself too
much of a man. Even Bertie summoned courage
to go up to the kindly old man and give him a
timid kiss.
God bless you, children be good and happy.
A merry Christmas to you all. Good-by i"
With these words, the old man threw his empty


--










ack over his shoulder, and, opening the door, dis-
appeared.
There was a hubbub of voices the next moment.
Only fancy I What fun It's just like a story-
book 1" All the children began eagerly to undo
his or her package.
I wonder where the old man's gone to," ex-
elaimed Frank, presently. "Let's go and see,
Charlie. He can't have gone far in these few
minutes."
"Oh, yes, Frank-come along," cried Charlie,
who was ready for any adventure. Out they darted
into the hall, and, opening the door, rushed down


stuffed full ? Why, old Father Christmas himself,
all covered with snow, and with such a long beard.
Isnt it delightful! and he's only just this moment
gone. You must have met him, papa ?"
"No, my dear, that I didn't," her father re-
plied, closing the hall-door, and removing his great.
coat.
Charlie dragged him into the dining-room, where
the work of dismantling the Christmas-tree had
commenced. It was all lighted up now, and looked
splendid. What a day of delight this was !
There were a few more games, and then the lit-
tle visitors began to depart. Before long the last


"CHABLIE ENTERTAINING TmB VIBITOL"


te gravel path to the gate. They glanced up and
down the road, and all around them, but there
was no sign of the scarlet-and-white clad man with
his long, white flowing beard.
"Well, he's disappeared quickly enough, in
spite of his being so old and bendy-backed I" said
Charlie, in bewilderment.
"My dear, what do you do out here ? Run in
directly-you'll catch cold," said some one,
emerging from the darkness. It was her father.
"Oh, papa !" she said, catching hold of his
hand and dancing around him, "you're just too
late. Who do you think has been to see us,
and brought us heaps of beautiful presents-a sack


one had gone, and the children, tired out with
excitement and pleasure, were not altogether
unwilling to go to bed.
"Papa's down-stairs in the breakfast-room,"
said Edith. "Come along, Charlie, and say
'Good-night.' "
They burst into the room down-stairs, but
stopped suddenly, for their father was sitting in
his arm-chair buried in thought, his kind face
gathered into a most unusual frown.
"Good-night, my darlings," he said, absently.
Edith looked inquringly into his face as she
kissed him, but he did not notice her. He was
evidently thinking deeply.


I











"Hasn't it been a beautiful day ?" said Charlie,
with a sigh of happiness, as she laid her head on
her pillow. "And think of to-morrow again,
Edith. Oh, don't I wish every day was Christ-
mas Eve, and all the rest Christmas Day, or birth-
days."
"I say, Charlie, I wonder what papa was think-
ing about," said Edith, ponderingly. "I never
saw him look like that before ; and he never asked
us how we'd enjoyed our fun, or anything, and he
always does. I wonder why he looked like that--
on Christmas Eve, too."
Now, Edith, don't lie there and luminate in
that ridiculous way," said Charlie, patronizingly.
"What a glorious day we've had," she murmured,
sleepily.

OHAPTE' IV.-AN UTNWELCOME SnRUSION.
"WHAT lucky children, to be sure 1" exclaimed
nurse, coming to the side of the bed which Edith
and Charlie shared, early the next morning. There
was no need for her to wake them, for their eyes
had been wide open since the faintest glimmering
of light had displayed to their eager gaze two un-
shapely, bulgy stockings hanging against the wall,
and now that it was tolerably light, they were
busily engaged in examining the various treasures
Santa Claus had left behind him.
"Aren't we lucky, nurse ?" exclaimed Charlie,
excitedly ; and luckiest of all tohave had a visit
from Father Christmas himself. Wasn't it strange ?
We'd just been talking about him, and saying
what fun it would be if he came to see us, never
thinking he would. It really was Father Christ-
mas, wasn't it, Edith ?"
"Yes, I suppose it was," replied Edith, who
was altogether puzzled by that strange visit. She
had long ago learnt to regard Father Christmas as
an allegorical personage, but his visit of yesterday
had very much unsettled her mind, for she could
not in any way account for his appearance, except
by regarding him as a real being.
"Suppose l" said Charlie, hotly. "Who else
could it have been ? It wasn't anybody dressed
up, because there wasn't anybody to dress up.
fncle was in the room with us, and papawas out.-
He came in just after, don't you know ? What a
pity he missed seeing Father Christmas I Then,
besides all that, don't you know his hair was quite
white, and he had a long white beard and mus-
tache, and his face was all wrinkly, and he was
a fat old man-ever so much fatter than papa.
That's through eating so many good things, I
should think. I expect he lives on roast beef and
turkey, and Christmas pudding and mince-pies,
don't you, Edith ?"
"It was certainly very strange," said Edith,
musingly, and only half convinced.
"Oh, papa, I feel so happy this morning," said
Charlie, as she danced along at her father's side,
on her way to church. "I can't think why I feel
so nice, unless it's all the beautiful things we've
"been having, and being quite good; because I
have been good lately, you know, papa. I think
it' the best to be good, because it makes you feel


Sso comfortable; everything happens right then.
I shall always be good now."
"A very good resolution, Charlie," said her
father; but not a right way of setting about it.
I can assure you everything doesn't happen right
to people who are good, either with children or
grown-up people. If it did, there would be no-
thing praiseworthy in doing right. We must
have a higher motive, and do right because it is
right, and pleasing to God, and we must be con-
tent to do it, even if it makes us feel very uncom-
fortable, and everything seems to go wrong with
us, in spite of our doing it."
They had just arrived at the church door, and
the conversation ended.
In after years both Charlie and Edith recalled
it many times with sorrowful tears, and when their
hearts were heavy with the burden of a great ca-
lamity, the conversation of this long-to-be-remem.
bered Christmas morning came back to them, and
brought with it the sweetest assurance that the
good, kind father who had spoken these words
was never for a moment unworthy of their warm.
est love and esteem, and that it was for some wise
and loving purpose that he was visited with trial
and affliction.
I suppose the crowning delight of Christmas
Day with little children, if not with some of their
elders, is dinner. Well, our little people were no
different from others in this respect, and they
took the keenest interest in the arrival of the tur-
key and the flaming pudding. At the moment
when the pudding was being placed on the table,
a loud and unpleasant-sounding knock at the hall-
door reverberated through the house. Every one
looked up in wonder and curiosity. Who could
be coming to pay them a visit at such an hour ?
"A gentleman to see you. sir, please," said
Mary, after having replied to the impatient sum-
mons. "He wouldn't give his name, but says he
must see you on very important business."
Mr. Branning rose from his chair without a word
of remark on the rudeness or inconvenience of the
stranger's demand, but the eyes that were turned
toward him for explanation perceived that his
face wore a troubled expression, and that a visible
shiver ran through his frame:
"You will not be long, dear ?" Mrs. Branning
requested.
"I do not know. Don't wait for me," he re-
plied, in a low, husky voice.
A damper had fallen on the little party, and
though no one said anything, every one felt ap-
prehensive and ill at ease. The lighted brandy,
which had caused so much excitement, was suffered
to die out without a remark, and even the children
felt that the pudding, which they had been think-
ing of for weeks beforehand, was nothing in itself to
yield them enjoyment. It stood on the table till it
began to grow cold, and then, as Mr. Branning did
not come, it was at last removed, and the dessert
placed upon the table.
After weary waiting, and a dismal attempt to
keep up some appearance of conversation, the
slamming-to of the hall-door announced that the
unwelcome intruder had taken his departure


X L~::;.I :-- -.;1-----C-r-~ ; .I









"What a long time your very inconsiderate visi- a great friendship for Mr. Branning. It was he
tor kept you," Mrs. Branning remarked. "I had who had intruded so inopportunely on the family
the pudding removed at last, but I had some kept at dinner-time on Christmas Day, and he brought
warm for you," she added, ringing the bell. with him evil tidings. He had learnt that the
"Pudding ? oh, yes, I didn't have any," Mr. heads of the bank had at last determined on ar-
Branning remarked, absently. The plate was resting Mr. Branning, on the suspicion of having
placed before him. He ate one or two mouthfuls, robbed them of large sums of money, and he had
and then pushed it from him. come all this way to beg him, before it was too
Alas alas the pleasure and gayety of heart late, to fly from the threatened exposure. There
with which the day had begun was gone. Dessert was plenty of time, he urged, for Mr. Branning
was a slow and wearisome proceeding, but it was secretly to get fairly on his way to some foreign
better than the time that came after; for though country. He could stay there until the affair had
every one was evidently trying to appear cheerful blown over, and then return with safety to his
and happy, it was so miserable a failure, that the native land.
children at length got up quietly and went away When Mr. Branning utterly refused to enter-
to the servants of their own free will, feeling that tain the idea of such a proceeding, his friend was
*heir presence was a burden to their parents. first incredulous, and afterward indignant. Surely
It was a sad ending to Christmas Day. Up in Mr. Branning would never risk the disgrace of
the nursery, Edith was puzzling her head and tor- publicly appearing in a court of law on the charge
during her loving young heart with all sorts of ter- of theft But Mr. Branning replied that it would
rible imagninigs as to what could have happened. be a greater disgrace for him to run away; and
Charlie felt restlessly unhappy over her spoilt his friend, finding at last that all persuasions
day, and really troubled about her father, although were useless, quitted the house in sorrowful anger
as was natural, she did not think so seriously of at his obstinate folly, as he called it.
the matter as Edith. Kind Elsie was greatly "Is. there nothing to be done ?" Mrs. Branning
troubled, for she was sincerely attached to the asked, tearfully.
family whose bread she ate, and who had shown Nothing," her husband replied, with a long-
her many a kindness, drawn sigh. "We can but wait patiently for
So the day dragged itself away, and the long, matters to take their course, and leave the issue
tedious evening came to an end. At last, Mrs. in God's hands."
Branning was free to relieve her mind of all the At their usual hour the children had gone to
anxiety she was feeling, bed without any request for the indulgence that
"Is anything wrong at the bank ?" was her they were usually so clamorous aiter; but Edith
rirst question, was too troubled to sleep. What could be the
Mr. Branning was loath to say, but he could disaster -that was terrible enough to take all the
not deny that something had gone wrong. By smiles from her father's fice on the happiest day
degrees his wife drew from him the whole story. of the whole year ? It seemed to her as if she
For some weeks past large sums of money had had been lying there for hours, whea she was
been unaccountably missed trom the bank of roused from the half-drowsy state into which at
which Mr. Brauning was manager, and the atten- last she had fallen by the sound of whispering
tionof tlie directors having been drawn to it, they voices outside her door. They were those of the
had requested Mlr. Branning to endeavor to find two servants, who were standing talking on the
out who was the culprit. This he had been anx- landing.
iously endeavoring to do, when he became sud- "I'll never believe it of the master," Elsie was
denly aware that, for some reason or another, he saying, in an indignant voice. No one will ever
was himself regarded with suspicion. At first he make me believe that he would do such a thing."
had thought little or nothing of the matter, as he Well, I don't know," replied Mary, carelessly.
imagined that in a little while the real delinquent That's what I heard when I was waiting in the
would certainly be discovered, and he be freed hall to let the gentleman out. He said as plain as
from all imputation. But, strange to say, no plain could be, 'If you don't get out of the way
trace of the real culprit was to be found, and a to-night it will be too late, and you know what
variety of awkward circumstances pointed the that means-imprisonment for years, and perhaps
finger of suspicion to the manager. He only had a journey across the seas in a convict ship'; and
the keys of the great iron safes where the money master, he said, quite bold, 'I don't care, let them
was kept; he only had access at all hours to the do what they please'; and then they had words;
building itself. Many other trifling circumstances and I shall give notice to-morrow, for I don't in-
like these told against him, and gradually he saw tend to stay in a house where such things are
that he was openly suspected of a terrible crime, going on."
and that sooner or later the black cloud hanging "Hush !" said Elsie, reprovingly, "You might
ever him must burst and envelop him in ruin. wake the children." Little did she dream that
All this he had carefully kept from his w.fe's Edith had heard every word.
knowledge so far, but the dreaded calamity had
come at last.
In the same bank was a man slightly older than CHAPTER V.-PROMPT PUNISHMNT.
himself, who, nevertheless, held a considerably WHAT could it mean? The dreadful words that
lower position. This man had always displayed poor Edith had unwillingly overheard mus be











some wickedly false story; yet, though Edith told was nothing to be gained by telling any one what
herself this a hundred times, she could not cast off she had heard, so Edith resolved to keep it locked
the impression they had made upon her. Of what up in her own heart, and wait patiently till some
could her fatter be suspected ? Mary had over- one thought fit to tell her the real state of the
heard the stranger say that he was in peril of im- matter; for it somehow crime naturally to Edith
prisonment. How was it possible that such terri- to think of others first and herself afterward.
ble things should even be thought of in connection When she knelt by her bedside to say her morn-
with her dear father, whom every one loved and ing prayers she added a very earnestlittle petition
respected? That he had been guilty of any wrong- that God would "take care of her dear father,
doing never so much as entered into his loving and not let anything bad happen to him," after
little daughter's heart, but that people should which she felt considerably comforted.
think he could do wrong was more than she could It happened, rather unfortunately, that Charlie
bear. It must be a mistake, it must come right; was in unusually high spirits this morning. Her
God, who was so loving, would never send trouble volatile nature had been but lightly impressed with
and misery to her father, whom He must love. the events of the day before, and a night's sleep had
Yet though she endeavored with many such quite chased away even the remembrance of them.
thoughts to persuade herself that there was no "Edith," she said, gayly, "I've made a good
reason for anxiety, solution-I'm going
it was impossible to ,' j- to fight all day to-
prevent their creep- day.
ing into. her heart ht, Charlie!"d
and weighing her Edith asked in be-
down with misery. wilderment. "Who-
Poor, gentle Edith I ever are you going
She had yet to learn to fight with ? "
many of the incom- "Now, Edith,
prehensible my s how ridiculous you
teries of life; to her i are," Charlie repli-
it seemed well-nigh ed, patronizingly.
impossible that "You don't supply
trouble and misery v -. your mind to things,
should come to the 6i or you'd understand
good, while the them better, I'm
wicked escaped. sure; you know,
After much weary Edith; you're not
wakefulness, Edith deficient in under-
fell into a troubled standing," ,he add-
sleep. It is well for -F ed solemnly, treat-
the young that with ing her sister to a
them nature is all- L' reproof that was
powerful, and that very often given to
she will not have fI Charlie herself by
her rules disregard- her mother at lesson-
ed, for their feebler g g time. I mean I'm
frames could not "A PUNISHMENT LESSON." going to fight the
otherwise bear the naughtiness, and be
strain of grief and trouble. Restless and unre- good all day long. I've quite mlde up my mind,
freshing as were her slumbers, her father would Edith, and nobody will get me to change it."
have given much to have been able to have for- "Oh, I see !" Edith replied, with less interest
gotten for even that short space of time the black than she usually displayed in her sister's conver-
cloud that was hovering over him. station, for, in truth, her mind was filled with
In the early morning she awoke to a feeling of much more weighty matters.
overwhelming misery. It was some minutes be- "I thought you'd be glad to hear it," continued
fore she could remember what was the matter, but Charlie, in an injured tone. You see, it's more
when she did, the feeling that she must go there for Bertie's sake than my own-for him to have a
and then to her father, and ask him to tell her good example, you know. You see, I must think
there was no truth in it, was almost too strong to of the little fellow."
resist; but a few moments' thought showed her "Dear little soul!" said Edith, who was ex-
that this would never do. If there were no truth tremely fond of her little brother, with his win-
in Mary's statement, it would make her father too ning baby ways and lisping speech.
terribly grieved to think that such a thing had They went into the nursery to breakfast when
been spoken of him, and Edith herself felt that both children had finished dressing. Charlie said
she would not have him know it on any account, her grace and sat down to the table very de-
If, on the other hand, it were true, how grieved murely. She took her bread-and-milk without the
he ,.-niil be to think she knew it, and how un- least remark-a rare occurrence, for, like some
pleasant for him.to have to admit it to her I There little children, she was much given to finding fault











"Bertie don't want any more brekthus," said
little Bertie presently : "Bertie want to get down
and play."
"Not yet, dear," said nurse; "Bertie must eat
up all his breakfast first."
"That's naughty, Bertie," said Charlie, who
was burning to attract nurse's attention to her own
extra good behavior. "Little boys shouldn't
want to get down before the other people have
finished-and leave their breakfast, too! Look
how nicely sister Charlie's eating her breakfast."
"Don't want to look at sissa," said Bertie, ob-
durately.
Oh, but you must I" replied Charlie, author.
itatively, because sissa's going to be very good,
aud set Bertie a good example for him to imitate."


down to the breakfast-room with a message. Mb.
Branning, however, was not there, but only Mary,
removing the breakfast things. She seemed in a
particularly unamiable frame of mind, and was
whisking the things off the table and clanking
the cups and saucers in a way that attracted
Charlie's attention immediately. "Why, Mary,"
she said, laughing at the servant's cross face,
"you can't think how comical you look when
you're in a temper. Your mouth goes all down,
and your chin up in, the air, like this." And
Charlie proceeded to demonstrate to Mary the
appearance she presented, which was indeed, as
Charlie described it, quite comical. Charlie was
utterly fearless, and said anything that came into
her mind without a moment's hesitation-an un-


"aaRTIM aME O onDL15G TN'D TffI Uoo0.3


"Don't like 'sample," cried Bertie piteously;
"it's nasty-it hurts Bertie."
"Silly little fellow said Charlie, laughing.
"It's nice and kind example," she added, coax-
ingly, f6r she was determined to be good this
morning, and no one knew how better. As she
spoke she put her arm round his neck and softly
stroked his long fair curls. "Dear little Bertie,"
she said, kissing him. "He's such a nice little soft
thing, isn't he, nurse ? just like a little kitten. He
really is a dear little baby boy."
"I's not a baby boy, sissaI" cried Bertie, in-
dignantly. "I's a man, and I soon be quite big
man to touch the ceiling."
Are you, dear ? so you shall be," said Charlie,
patronizingly. Then she added, in an aside,
" We'll let him think so, won't we, nurse ?"
As soon as breakfast was over, Elsie sent Charlie


fortunate habit, which often got her into trouble
and made people dislike her.
"Take care whom you are speaking to," cried
Mary, angrily. I'm not going to be insulted by
a chit like you."
It was Charlie's turn to be insulted. "How
dare you, Mary you unbecoming girl! your be-
havior is un-com-com "-there floated through
Charlie's brain a long list of very strong and long ad-
jectives, among which were uncompromisingly, in-
contestably, uncommonly and incorrigibly; but
as it was undignified to let Mary see she was
waiting and considering which she should use, she
made a rush and brought out a word made up of
all-" is uncomporriginly insulting I You're a very,
very nasty thing, and not one bit like my own
dear nurse Elsie, who loves us all, and we her, but
not you us, nor we you."


-"-~*


i:::-- .* .;- .. <'










The whole of this speech was delivered in the
most stately and impressive way, Charlie's lan-
guage having been purposely chosen with a view
to confuse as much as possible. Its affect upon
Mary was the reverse of soothing.
"You impudent child !" she exclaimed, indig-
nantly. "I never came near such a young mon-
key in all my life I You take after your precious
father !"
"What do you mean ?" asked Charlie, indig-
nantly. "You dare to speak disrespectably of my
father I Now then, you just say that again."
"So I will I" said Mary, goaded into a perfect
rage by Charlie's sharp, aggravating tongue.
"Fine goings-on, indeed, for a respectable girl to
see It's well to buy presents, and keep eom-
pany, and make a grand show with other people's
money But it'll come to a smash. Thieves
never prosper."
"You dare 1" cried Charlie, having a partial
comprehension of the insinuations. "You're in-
venting wicked stories. Say it's a story directly !"
SBut Mary would not speak. In her anger she
'had said a great deal more than she intended, and
she was already sorry for it, and determined to be
more careful for the future.
Say it's a store" !" said Charlie again in a com-
manding tone.
Mary was at this moment kneeling down before
the fireplace, sweeping up the hearth. She made
no reply. Charlie waited a moment, then with
one of her lightning-like movements she flew
across the room, and leaping on to Mary's back,
nipped her round the waist with a pair of bony
knees that pressed into poor Mary's sides like
pincers. Then planting two bony elbows into
Mary's neck, so that she could not lift up her head,
she exclaimed, Say it's a story 1"
Mary made violent efforts to shake her tormentor
off, but Charlie had got her in such an awkward
position that she was powerless. "Say it's a
story I" cried Charlie, again digging her sharp
elbows most relentlessly into poor Mary's neck.
Still Mary was obdurate, and only screamed at
her to get off; and at this moment Edith appeared
upon the scene. She had come to see what kept
Charlie so long, and to bring her mother a message.
"What are you doing ?" she exclaimed, in as-
tonishment.
Pull her off a horrid little monkey !" screamed
Mary, wriggling and shaking herself, but without
effect.
"Get off, Charlie," said Edith, coaxingly; "I
wonder you like to."
"I sha'n't till she says it's a story !" cried
Charlie, triumphantly, nipping Mary tighter than
ever. She's a horrid, wicked thing, and called
papa my precious father,' and said he took other
people's money, and was a thief; and she's to
say it's a story."'
"But it's true !" exclaimed Mary, obstinately,
her anger getting the better of her again. "The
gentleman said it was so, and I don't care who
knows it !"
Oh, Charlie !" exclaimed Edith in an agony,
*' here's mamma coming down-stairs. Lether go;


never mind what she said. Think of mamma
hearing all that I"
"What then, Edith; it isn't true !" said
Charlie.
"Of course it isn't I but don't you see, Charlie,
if people think it is it's nearly as dreadful. And
oh, Charlie, do be quick, and don't let mamma
bear anything about it."
"Well, it's an awful shame," said Charlie,
getting down reluctantly. "I'd have made her
give in, I know I would."
Mary got up, and without any further dallying
made her escape from the room. A sorrowful,
reproachful glance from Edith's troubled eyes
made her cast her own down, and feel more
ashamed than all Charlie's endeavors to bring her
to repentance.

CHAmPTB rV-AN EXTRAORDINARY VISTPOR.
THAT day passed away without anything hap.
opening. The unknown evil of which Edith was in
such terror had not come to her father yet; and
she, poor child, little knowing the working of the
matter, and that the storm was even now gathering,
began to breathe more freely. Perhaps, after all,
Mary had invented the whole story of having over-
heard the unceremonious visitor of Christmas Day
say those strange, and, to her, incomprehensible
words; and yet, Edith thought, no one would be
so wicked as to invent such a thing as that, and
to repeat it so openly as Mary had done that very
morning. Mary had said her father was a thief-
Edith recalled it with a burning face-that he had
taken other people's money. It was too absurd
to think of her father stealing, like a poor, hungry
beggar child, or some poor man or woman who
had never beentaught the difference between right
and wrong.
With such anxious thoughts as these poor
Edith's mind was troubled-at one moment the
whole thing seemtng to her so wild and improbable
that she felt inclined to laugh at herself for giving
it a second thought; and the next a number of
small events crowding into her mind, which, try as
she would, she could not forget her father's
troubled face;, the unwelcome visit which had
broken in upon their Christmas Day, and taken
away all its joy and happiness; her aunt's and
uncle's abrupt departure that morning ; the evi-
dent traces of tears on her mother's face-all these
things pointed to some trouble, which Edith began
to hope was a smaller one than in her first fright
she had thought of, and would soon pass away.
Several days passed without any unusual event.
Charlie was the same as ever-good one day, and
naughty the next, trying in her own peculiar
manner to "fight the naughtiness" at one time,
and at another giving up altogether, and declar-
ing that "she didn't care, she couldn't be good."
One of her latest ideas was that, with a view to
making herself generally useful, she would learn
to mend stockings, and so she requested nurse to
give her an old stocking. As it contained only
small holes, however, she set to work very deliber-
ately to cut them larger, for she declared any baby


-


_ --1 --- ;I










could mend a little "toddy" hole like that, but
she wanted a real big one, that would make a good
show when it was done.
One morning, before the Christmas week had
passed away, a cab drove up to the door of the
house in which our little friends lived; a gentle-
man got out of it, and entered the house. Pres-
ently he and Mr. Branning came back together,
got into the cab, and drove away. This the child-
ren saw from their nursery window. Both Edith
and Charlie remarked that their father's head was
bent and his step slow and lagging as he went
down the gravel path, and Edith immediately
connected this incident with the unknown trouble,
and her old fears, which had been almost lulled to
rest, returned with full force.
The children saw nothing of their mother that
day. She went out very soon after their father
had gone away in the cab, without even coming to
speak to the little ones; a thing so unusual, that
even little Bertie thought himself very ill-treated,
and went and sat in a corner and cried about it,
refusing to be comforted, until a wonderful story
from Charlie coaxed him into forgetting his
trouble
It was an unhappy day, altogether. Nurse Elsie
was in trouble. She had that morning received a
letter from her eldest brother, a lad of fourteen, in
which he told her that he had run away from
home, for things were so bad that he couldn't get
any work, and he wouldn't stay if he couldn't earn
something; so he was coming to London to try
for work, and if all was well with him he should
arrive some time that evening. Poor Elsie cried
when she read the ill-spelt letter, and wondered
what would become of the country lad, arriving
late at night, very likely without a shilling in his
pocket, in the great bewildering city of which he
knew nothing. He would certainly be lost or run
over, if, indeed, he escaped worse misfortunes.
She was nervously awaiting the arrival of her mis-
tress in the nursery, that she might ask her advice
on the matter, when the children informed her
that they could see mamma going out of the gate.
Anxiously Elsie awaited her return, but she did
not come; and then she learned from Mary that
Mrs. Branning had left word that she should not
be back till five or six. Poor Elsie sat down and
cried, and the children sympathized with her, and
tried to comfort her, but she would not be com-
forted.
About six in the evening Mr. and Mrs. Bran-
ning returned, and Elsie, forgetting everything
but her own keen anxiety, and feeling sure of
her kind mistress's interest, ran down-stairs at
once to tell her of her trouble and ask what she
had better do.
She was shocked and startled on first entering
the room. Mr. Branning looted haggard and
worn, and Mrs. Branning's face was stained with
the traces of many tears. Elsia c .ld see they
were in sore trouble, and she drew back, scarcely
likiag to obtrude her own concerns upon them.
Well, nurse, what is it ?" Mr. Branning asked,
looking up kindly at the girl's anxious face.
Thus encouraged, Elsie poured out the whole


of her grief, and begged her master to tell her
whether her brother would be in danger.
You are quite right, Elsie," Mr. Branning re-
turned, thoughtfully ;." the poor lad ought not to
be left to himself. Evil is more likely to befall
him than good; perhaps he may drift into bad
company, and be led away beyond recall. No, it
must not be."
Poor Elsie began to cry bitterly. She was a
good, simple-minded girl, and warmly attached to
her family. Mr. Branning soothed her.
"Cheer up, Elsie," he said, kindly; "we will
think it over, and see what can be done. Fetch
me a railway-guide."
Elsie flew to obey, little dreaming what was
passing in her master's mind. After a careful
investigation of the matter, he found that the
only train the boy could come by would reach the
city about half-past nine. The only other train
during the day was one which arrived early in the
afternoon. They agreed that it was most prob.
able that he intended to come by train, or he
would scarcely have said so decidedly what time
he expected to reach the city, though where he
got the money from Elsie could not guess.
"He was always a clever boy,'" she added with
pride, and no doubt he'd manage it somehow."
"Well, Elsie," Mr. Branning said, "from what
you tell me I should think he would come by that
train; and at any rate I'll run up to town and
look for him. If he is there we'll take care that
he is safe for to-night at all events. I only hope
I may catch him. Now bring the children to me.
I must start in half an hour."
Elsie was so overcome she could only stammer
out her gratitude; but in the nursery she could
not refrain from telling Edith and Charlie how
happy she was, because their father was so kind
as to go and look after her poor Bob.
She would, indeed, have thought it kind, if she
could have known the events of that day, and
how much Mr. Branning was in reed of rest and
quiet after all he had gone throng ,.
Edith noticed what Charlie did iot-the marks
of tears on her mother's face, and her unwilling-
ness that he should go out again.
"I will come back, if possible," he said, as he
bade them good-by, but if I am prevented, do
not be alarmed ; I may not be able to catch a
train back here. If any one comes and inquires
for me, you had better not say where I have gone,
but simply that I am out, and will soon return."
Mr. Branning did not get back that night, and
there weR e two anxious hearts waiting impatiently
for his return.
Charlie found herself somewhat neglected the
next morning. Every- one seemed too much oc-
cupied to do anything for her amusement. It
suddenly occurr-,d to her that she should like to
go down-stairs, and look at some of the pretty
books on the drawing-room table, and her loved
piano, which was, alas I still looked. But Charlie
remembered that her mother had said they were
never to go into the drawing-room unless they
were sent, and-she hesitated, trying to stifle the
voice of conscience.















































































































PLASANT DAYS IN TH FPIXELDS


r-`L


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- I-- --------
































































K


CL --


-- -- -~YL.J











"My name is Charlotte," she replied, demurely,
"but they call me Charlie because I am a tom-
boy."
"Oh, indeed !" the old gentleman said, laughing.
"And you have some brothers and sisters, I sup-
pose i?"
"One sister, older than me, who isn't a tom-boy
Sand doesn't get naughty and have to fight like I
do; and a little brother, who's a very nice, sweet
little fellow, but very babyish, and no good to
play with at all."
"Oh, indeed !" said the old gentleman again.
And I suppose you are very fond of your sister
and brother, and that you children are all very
happy together ?"
"Yes, I am," replied Charlie, thoughtfully.
"Edith's very nice, only she isn't fond of nice
games; she likes dolls and tea-things, and I can't
bear them. I think Bertie'll improve when he
gets bigger; I'm always trying to teach him. He'll
be nice when he can ,climb over a gate or up a
tree. I do so want to get right up a tree, and sit
on the top branch," she added, with sparkling eyes;
"but they won't let me."
"I should think not," the old gentleman re-
plied; "you'd be breaking your neck. I don't
wonder they call you Charlie. I suppose you
always do what your parents tell you, don't you,
young lady ?"
Charlie blushed and hung down her head.
- "I'd rather not answer that question," she re-
plied, presently.
"Well, you're a sharp young woman I" the old
gentleman said, Ir aghing. "Come, tell me now,
do you love your father and mother ?"
Oh, yes, verj much indeed I" Charlie replied.
"Papa's very ki? 1 and good. Bo you know how
kind he was to Psie, our nurse ? Her brother ran
away from his &.ome, and was coming up to town
from ever so far down in the country; and Elsie
thought he'd be lost or killed-because, you see,
he's never b%4a away from the country before-
and she criod about it nearly all day, and when
papa came horae last night ever so tired, he started
off again diritly to find Elsie's brother. He went
to a big station where there are whole heaps of.
trains, and he hasn't come back yet."
The old gentleman started to his feet. "Went
out last night to a big station where there are heaps
of trains, and hasn't come back yet," he repeated
to himself. "It looks strangely suspicious. Did
he take anything with him ?"
"Only a little black bag," Charlie replied, re-
membering to have seen one in her father's hand,
which indeed contained some clothes and some
food, at case of either being required.
"It's suspicious, very," said the old gentleman
to himself, frowning angrily. I've been mistaken,
6fter all, I suppose ; and yet I really thought he
must be innocent I'll have nothing to do with it.
I'll wash my hands of the whole matter."
Charlie was not a little puzzled at the old gentle-
nan's strange mutterings and angry countenance.
I don't think I ought to have told you about
t," she said, apologetically. "Papa said we were
not to tell anybody where he had gone."


"No, I dare say not," said the old gentleman,
with a sharp, unpleasant laugh. "I don't suppose
he would care for any one to know. Ah, well I I've
been deceiving myself, after all, and I've found it
out in time."
So saying, the old gentleman took up his hat,
walked unceremoniously out of the room, and
quitted the house, banging the hall-door behind
him.

CHPtER VH.-HOPE DEEBRED.
ArTra the abrupt and unexpected departure of
the old gentleman, Charlie stood still for a few
moments, in utter bewilderment. She had evi-
dently said something that very much displeased
him, but how or why it should have done so was
more than she could make out. It seemed, too, that
what she had said had made him feel angry with her
father ; and yet, what business could he have to be
angry with her father, she wondered. .However,
she did not feel very comfortable about the matter,
and she began heartily to wish that she had never
been disobedient enough to come down-stairs into
the drawing-room. She little dreamed what that
one piece of naughtiness was to lead to, what great
events were to turn upon that one little hinge.
Just as she was making her escape from the
drawing-room she met her mother, who had come
down-stairs to see what was the meaning of the
banging-to of the hall-door.
"Who went out just now, Charlie, and banged
the door so violently ?" she asked. "Was it your
father ?"
"No, mamma; a gentleman," Charlie replied,
sheepishly.
"A gentleman I what do you mean, Charlie ?"
"Yes, mamma," Charlie replied, thinking she
had better confess her disobedience; '"a ;!-tleman
to see papa. I was in the drawing-room when he
came in, and when I told him papa was out, he
seemed as if he couldn't wait a minute, but went
off in a great hurry and banged the door ever
so."
"Dear me, how strange I" Mrs. Branning ex-
claimed. "I wonder who it could have been ?
Had you never seen him before ?"
"No, mamma, never."
This is extremely annoying. I ought to have
been sent for immediately. How was it you were
in the drawing-room, Charlie ?"
I came down because I was dull. I know Id
no business to. Will you give me a punishment-
lesson, mamma-a long one, please, because I
don't feel idle now."
Truth to tell, Charlie was dreadfully afraid she
had in some way caused mischief, and the punish-
ment-lesson was to ease her conscience on the
subject. She was not, however, really sorry, o0
she would have confessed the whole of her fault,
What a deal of trouble and sorrow she might have
saved herself and others if she had had the court.
age to do so I
It was very naughty of you, indeed, Charlie,"
her mother said, sorrowfully. "It may have been
very important for your papa to have seen this










gentleman, and now, through you, he has gone
without even knowing when he could see him."
Charlie had an intuitive notion that if her
mother knew all that had passed between the old
gentleman and herself she would have been more
vexed still at his abrupt departure; but she said
nothing, and her mother continued:
"I am sorry indeed to see that you have not yet
made up your mind to be good and obedient. If you
want to do a thing, and you know that you have
been forbidden to do it, you do not even try to
resist the temptation. The hardest lesson you have
to learn, my dear little girl, is that you must give
nlu your own will to those who are older and wiser
than yourself. It is better to be obedient, Charlie,
than to be clever; and if you cannot learn to ren-
der obedience to your earthly friends, how will
you ever be able to obey the will of God ? What
vexes me so is that you do not try. Your own
will is so sweet to you that you won't even try to
give it up. Now, isn't it so, Charlie 9"
"I'd rather not say," Charlie replied, as she al-
ways did when she could not deny an accusation.
"Now, dear, I must give you a very long pun-
ishment-lesson, to make you remember that you
cannot be disobedient without its bringing a dis-
agreeable result. You must go into the spare
bedroom by yourself for the rest of the morning
and learn it. Bring your spelling-book to me."
"Very well, mamma, I'll learn it quite
nicely," replied Charlie, very cheerfully; at which
her mother sighed, for she felt that her words had
failed to impress the child's heart, and she feared
that unless she were taught to yield her will to
others while she was young, the lesson that every
one must learn some time would only be accom-
plished by bitter experience.
"I'll learn just double what mamma sets me,"
said Charlie, to herself, as she went up-stairs;
"then that'll be half for going down-stairs into
the drawing-room when I oughtn't, and the other
half for not telling mamma the funny way the old
gentleman went on when I told him about papa.
I'll be just the same then as if I had told her; be-
cause if I had told her, she'd say I was very
naughty to have chattered, and give me a punish-
ment-lesson, so if I learn the punishment-lesson,
it'll be just the same thing, without any scolding,
and that'll be just the best way."
And having thus comfortably settled the matter
in her own mind, Charlie, with a cheerful expres-
sion on her face, tripped up-stairs to fetch her
book, which seemed to intimate that learning pun-
ishment-lessons was the most delightful occupa-
tion in the world.
When she came down again with the book in her
hand, her father was standing in the hall taking
off his overcoat. Her mother was talking to him,
and Charlie stood waiting on the stairs with her
book in her hand till they had finished their con-
versation.
"It must have been Mr. Mills," her father was
saying; "but what could have made him leave so
abruptly? It is strange that after having come
all this way to have some conversation with me,
he could not wait even to know when I should be


home. I cannot make it out. He spoke so kindly
yesterday, and seemed to intimate that he was de-
sirous of staying the proceedings. Perhaps, how-
ever, he will call in again presently ; he is very
whimsical, and may have preferred taking a walk
to waiting in the house. It is not half-past ten,"
he continued, pulling out his watch; "he knows
I must leave here at twelve ; he will be back again
very soon, I dare say."
Charlie had a very strong notion that her father
was likely to be disappointed about that, but she
said nothing.
"I wonder what 'staying the proceedings"
means ?" she thought to herself, with a twinge of
conscience, and a sort of intuition that the matter
was perhaps more important than she knew, after
all.
Here's my book, mamma I" she exclaimed,
coming forward.
"Oh, there you are, Charlie I" said her father,
who had not noticed her before. "Your mamma
tells me you were in the drawing-room when Mr.
Mills called, and that he went ofl in a great hurry
directly he knew I was out, without even giving
your mamma time to come down and speak to him.
Didn't he ask you when I should be in, or give you
any message for your mamma or me ?"
No, papa, none at all !" Charlie replied, thank-
ful that her father's questioning had taken a form
which rendered answering so easy.
"Very strange I" her father said, musingly.
Mrs. Branning took Charlie's book, and marked
off the lesson she was to learn.
"Tell Elsie her brother's quite safe, and waiting
in the kitchen to see her," Mr. Branning called
after her as she went up-stairs.
Charlie would dearly have lied to have run
down-stairs and had a peep at Elie's much-falked-
of brother, but she had made up her mind to be
very good, as a sort of reparation for the naughti-
ness she had already been guilty of; so she went
resolutely up to the nursery.
When she saw Elsie's joy and excitement at the
news she brought her, she had some difficulty in
settling down to her lesson ; but she had made up
her mind about it, and there was no doubt that
Charlie could do most things she tried when this
was the case.
It was a column of difficult spelling, with mean-
ings, and really a task of some difficulty for so
young a child, but Charlie set resolutely to work,
and soon mastered it and the other column of her
own setting as well
Her goodness was nearly upset when she found
that her mother could not hear her, for she was
burning to show how quickly and how well she had
learnt her lesson.
Charlie," said Edith, thoughtfully, I do wish
you wouldn't tease Mary so; it seems to make her
so spiteful."
"Tease her I" said Charlie; "do you s'pose a
little girl like me could tease a big girl like that ?"
"Oh, yes, I'm sure you do," Edith replied.
"Well, I think I could, too," said Charlie, with
an air of feigned modesty. "I believe I'm just a
good hand at teasing."


- ---











"rm sure you are, Charlie," said Edith, em-
phatically.
Thank you, Edith ; it's very kind of you to say
so," Charlie replied, accepting her sister's testimony
to her capabilities as a very great compliment.
But I wish you wouldn't tease Mary so, Charlie.
She is always saying such dreadful things about
papa. It's very mean of her, because she knows I
wouldn't go and repeat them to mamma; and now
she's going away soon, she seems as if, she didn't
mind what she said. I wish mamma would send
her away now, directly."
"It's my opinion, she's a downright nasty, dis-
agreeable, girl."
"I don't think she's a nice good girl," said
Edith. "It's a great pity ; I wish we could make
her good and kind like Elsie."
'"Yes, but we can't; you know, Edith, it's only
God can do that,"
said Charlie, with an -
air of superiority
that she often assum-
ed toward her elder
sister. .
Presently Charlie,
tired of waiting for
the promised sum-
mons to go down-
stairs and say her
lessons, went into
her bedroom to wash
her grubby little
hands-Charlie's a
hands always were
grubby. As she
stood at the basin _
she pondered over
Mary's many un-
pleasantnesses.
"It's very sad for
her to be such a hor-
rid thing," she saict
to herself. "Now,
if I were nasty like
that I should cry all
day at it, and wish I "BENDING HORROR-STRU
was nice, and feel
so jealous when I saw people being nice, and could
feel that I was nasty all the time. I wish God would
make her better. I think I'll ask Him."
.So Charlie went and knelt down by the side of
her bed. As with most other things, she had
formed her own notions about God and prayer;
and though her young mind had failed as yet to
realize God's greatness and majesty, she had most
perfect trust in His unbounded power and in His
willingness to help her in any trouble.
"Oh, God, do make Mary a better girl," she
said, in all earnestness; "for she is very nasty,
and we can't like her, so do take the naughtiness
out of her heart and put the good there instead,
Icr Jesus Christ's sake. Amen."
Just at this moment little Bertie came toddling
into the room, and seeing how his sister was en-
gagede he was immediately seized with a desire to
do thesame thing; so he came and knelt down by


her side, and began repeating, as well as he could
remember, the words he had heard his sister say.
"Hush, Bertie be quiet!" said Charlie, re-
provingly. But Bertie persisted in "saying
prayers" too.
"Now, Bertie, how naughty you are I" said
Charlie, sharply. "That's my prayer, and Iwon't
have you say it. If you want to say prayers, say
your own prayers, and don't come interfering with
mine." At which rebuke Bertie ran away to Edith,
crying, and complaining of Charlie's unkindness.
Charlie was very glad when t: e time came for
her to say hei lesson. Her father was in the din-
ing-room, And she was pleased for him to hear how
nicely she had learnt it. She went down to the
bottom of the first column without missing a word.
"Now the next column, mamma," she said, tri.
umphantly ; "I've learnt it all perfectly."
"That will do,
Charlie," said her
mother, decisively.
"I gave you one
Column to learn, and
S' that is all Iwish you
I to say. In learning
S an extra lesson you
S were pleasing your-
S self, not obeying
Sme."
/ "Oh,butmamma
I had a reason for
learning it: and I
wish you'd hear it,"
Charlie persisted.
"No, my dear, I
/A will not! Strict
-- 'obedience is what I
want-doing neither
S/ more nor less than
you are told."
This was a rebuff
that Charlie had
never anticipated,
and she was not a
little put out about
CK OVER POOR BERTIB." it. However, she
consoled herself
with the reflection that at any rate she had
learnt it.
It is twelve o'clock," her father said, glancing
anxiously at the timepiece on the mantelpiece,
"and Mr. Mills has not been yet."
Wait another five minutes, dear," Mrs. Bran-
hing said, with evident uneasiness. "That can.
not make any difference."
"It must be only five minutes, then," Mr. Bran-
ning replied. "Charlie, go and fetch me a clean
handkerchief out of my drawer."
Charlie ran to do so, and succeeded, after turn-
ing the drawer nearly topsy-turvy, in finding what
she wanted.
"Well, I must positively go now," her father
was saying when she re-entered the room. It is
very strange that Mills has never come back ; but
perhaps he was pressed for time and has gone on
to the court, and will be there to meet me when I


__ ___ _1__


I~--~ --


7C










arrive. Hope for the best," he added, cheerfully,
as he bade Mrs. Branning good-by. "Mills has
always been so well disposed toward me, that I am
sure he will stand by me now."
Charlie called to mind the old gentleman's angry
tones and frowning face when he spoke so bitterly
of her father, and wondered very much what it
could all mean. One thing, however, seemed
very clear to her mind, and that was that old Mr.
Mills was not quite so well-disposed toward her
father as he imagined.

CHAPTER VIII.-EVIL NEWS.
THE children were
in bed before their

night, but the next
day had not far ad-
vanced before every
one in the house was
aware that something
had gone wrong.
MPr. Branning's
face appeared to have
suddenly aged, as if
he had skipped over
ten years in the
course of a single night. He took no notice
of his children, and seemed too occupied with
unpleasant thoughts to eat or drink, or take any
interest in what was going on around him. Mrs.
Branning, too, watched him anxiously, never leav-
ing him for a moment, but laying aside all usual pur-
suits, sat with him, either talking in low, anxious
tones, which were bushed immediately if any one
came near, or buried in deep and painful th mught.
Edith longed to know what was the great t double
that had befallen her parents, but it was
evident they did not consider her old
enough to.take into their confidence, and
she was of too timid and retiring a dis-
position to thrust herself forward and beg
them to do so. The next two days were
the most wretched that Edith ever re-
membered to have spent; and even after-
ward, when the full brunt of the trouble
had fallen upon them, almost overwhelm-
ing them with its force, she found, strange-
ly enough, as it seemed to her, that it did
not render her so unhappy as those two
days of suspense, when her fears were the
more terrible because they assumed no
definite shape.
It was on the third day that Mary came
running up to the nursery, where the
children were sitting quietly with their
nurse, engaged in their usual morning's
sewing. "Look here !" she exclaimed,
excitedly, flourishing a newspaper in her
hand. "I told you so," she added, in a
half-audible whisper; here it all is,
though you wouldn't believe me; now you
ean see for yourself. I thought there was
something strange in it when mistress
trmed so white, and told me to take it


away just as master came down the stairs, so I just
looked to see what it was. Be quick and read it,
Elsie, for I expect mistress will be coming after
it the first chance she gets, for fear any one should
see it."
Edith got up from her seat in the window and
came across the room. She had heard every
word, for she had listened attentively, an unusual
thing for her to do, for she was not at all of a pry-
ing disposition.
Give me that paper, Mary," she said, with an
air of quiet authority that staggered Mary. "If
you don't give it to me directly I shall go and
fetch mamma."
"It's nothing," said Mary, coloring violently,
"only an advertisement. I can't stay now ; I'll
show you another time," she said to Elsie, and
crumpling the paper in her hand, she left the
room.
But Edith's curiosity and interest were aroused,
and she was determined to see the paper. For-
tune favored her in this, for Mary hid it away in
her own bedroom to show Elsie at some future
time, leading her mistress to believe she had de-
stroyed it. Edith remarked that shI went first to
her bedroom before going down-stairs, and guessed
for what reason. As soon, therefore, as she could
slip away unobserved, she went and made search
for the paper, which she found thrust hastily un-
der the bed.
It was not long before her eye caught sight of
the words "Herbert Branning," her father's name.
She glanced at the head of the column, and read,
Charge of Embezzlement against the Cashier of
a Bank," but as this conveyed no very distinct
idea to her mind, she read hastily on, too inter-
ested to put it down, yet so filled with dread of
what was to be revealed to her that her brain and


"oHARLIE WAS IN A LAZY MOOD."


___


__1
~ I~











heart were too fluttered to take in the meaning of
the words. There was a great deal that she could
not understand at all, but the concluding para-
graph stated that, taking into consideration the
previous good character of the prisoner, and the
absence of any proof that he had had the bank-
notes in his possession, the jury were of opinion
that there was no positive proof of his guilt. He
was therefore discharged."
There was no room for doubt as to whom was
n eant by "the prisoner." At the beginning of
the account occurred the words, "the prisoner,
Herbert Branning."
Although she could not clearly understand the
matter, she could see plainly that her father had
been accused of taking money, and that he had
appeared in a court as a prisoner. For a moment
she felt stunned at the disgrace, 'and so over-
whelmed with grief and dismay at the thought of
having found it out, that she felt she could not
look her parents in the face any more; but pre-
sently the thought arose in her mind that of course
every one who knew her father must know that he
was innocent of any wrong-doing, and that it could
only be some wicked people who did not know him
that had thought him guilty. So that, after all,
it was a less dreadful trouble than many that had
come into her mind, and she began to feel really
thankful that she knew what it was, and that it
was nothing worse.
She felt sure that her mother would not care for
Mary to have the paper in her possession, so, after
some minutes' deliberation as to what she had best
do, she determined to take it to her mamma, and
give it to her without making any remark.
"Here's the paper, mamma," she said, simply,
seizing au opportunity when her mother was
alone. "It says Wednesday, the 23d, and that's
to-day. I found it in Mary's room, and I thought
you might want it."
Have you been reading it, Edith ?" she asked,
anxiously.
"Yes, mamma," Edith faltered, ready to
burst into tears at this unexpected question;
"but I know that it's all wrong," she added,
hastily, feeling that she could not let her mother
imagine for a moment that she had any doubt of
her father's truth and honor.
"Yes; of course," Mrs. Branning, replied,
Well, Edith, I am not sorry that you have found
it out," she continued; "you must have known
some time or other, and I am sure you are sensible
enough to understand something of the matter, so
I think you may as well know now. It is better
that you should hear it from us than from stran-
gers." Then Mrs. Branning continued: "Some
wicked person must have stolen a great quantity
of money from the bank, but they managed it so
cleverly that the real thief has escaped, and they
all think it was your father. The thief had con-
trived so that it should appear as if your father
were the guilty person, though of course we know
he was not Well, dear, your father had to go be-
fore a judge, and a number of people said things
that seemed to show he had taken the money, but
-in the end th6 judge said there was no proof."


Well, then, mamma, it is all right now !" Edith
exclaimed, joyfully.
"No, my dear, it is not, because a great many
people still think your papa is the thief, and he
will never be able to go back to the bank again or
anywhere else to gain money, and, of course, we
cannot live without money, so that your father is
troubled to know what to do. Besides that, people
say unkind things about him, and it is very hard
to bear. He thinks he will have to go right away
to another country."
"Oh, mamma, how wicked and cruel it is 1"
said Edith, earnestly. "How can people believe
such things of papa ? every I ne knows how good
he is. It is a great shame."
"It is, Edith; and yet, dear, we can scarcely
wonder at strangers believing it when we know
that even your uncle believes.it, too."
"Oh, mamma how can he ?" asked Edith, in-
dignantly. "If everybody is so cruel and wicked,
I think we had better go right away, where no one
knows anything about it."
"But if your father goes, he cannot take us
with him," Mrs. Branning returned, sadly. "He
must go first, and work hard to get a home for us
all, before we can go too. This is what troubles
us so."
Oh, mamma! that would be dreadful I" said
Edith, quickly. "I hope papa will be able to
think of something better than that. Couldn't
papa get just a little money, mamma ? we shouldn't
want much. I am sure none of us would ever
grumble any more if we had cold meat and no
pudding every day, and we would never want, any
cake or nice things if papa would only stay with
us always."
Mrs. Branning smiled.
"You don't understand, dear. Oold meat and
bread cost money, and there are hundreds of
other things-fire, clothing, a house to live in, for
instance ; and, indeed, I am afraid that we should
not even have bread if your papa staid here. How-
ever, don't trouble your head about these things;
they are not matters for a child of your age. Now
run away, dear ; I think I hear your father com-
ing."
May I tell Charlie anything about it, mamma ?"
Edith asked, judging, from the anxiety she had
felt herself, that Charlie would be relieved to know
exactly what was the matter.
"Well, yes, dear; you may as well," her mother
replied.
It was not long before Edith found the oppor-
tunity. Charlie was filled with the keenest indig-
nation at the story, and would have liked to have
had everybody put in prison who dared to say a
word against her father. She declared that if papa
went away she should ask him to take her with
him, for she wouldn't be left behind. Edith
could stay with mamma, but she must go with
poor papa. Then she cried and said, "Papa
mustn't go away, she wouldn't let him," and was
in great distress. And all the while she little
dreamed that this misfortune would have been
spared them all but for her own disobedience. I
wonder what she would have said or thought if


~_











any one had told her that she had been in a great
measure the cause of much of her father's trouble.
Yet it was nevertheless true.
Charlie could not refrain from expressing her
sympathy with her father when she next saw him.
It was some days before the children dared to
speak to him, but by degrees he began to rouse
himself from his own painful thoughts, and seemed
to find pleasure in their society, though the sad
troubled expression did not leave his face, and a
smile was very rarely seen there.
"'Oh, papa, it is such a shame for people to be
so wicked to you !" she exclaimed, indignantly,
putting her arms round his neck and squeezing
him very tight. "I wish I was a queen; I'd put
them all in prison, and keep them shut up without
anything to eat till they said it was a story they'd
made up their own wicked selves !"
Edith's face colored painfully at her sister's
words. She wondered how Charlie could even
mention the subject to her father, for she knew
that she could not have done so herself, although
she felt the trouble and disgrace of the matter far
more keenly than Charlie did.
It was not long before the change of circum-
stances became felt in the household. Mary,
before long, heard remarks out-of-doois that made
her treat her master and mistress with the greatest
want of respect. Mrs. Branning dismissed her
without waiting till it was time for her to leave,
and did not take another servant in her place.
The children had to do without their nurse, and
Elsie took Mary's place.
"I wish we could do something to help papa and
mamma," Edith said, one morning, as she sat by
the fire thoughtfully plying her needle.
"SodoI," echoed Charlie. "It's very dull now,
isn't it, with papa and mamma so miserable, never
having any fun with us ?"
Yes, it is dull; but Iwas thinking about papa
having no money, and having to go away to get
it," Edith replied.
"Yes, that's bad," said Charlie; "I suppose
that's the reason papa hasn't had the garden dug.
Old Dobbs hasn't been near since Christmas."
Old Dobbs was a man who did odd jobs in the
house and attended always to the garden. As
Charlie guessed, Mr. Branning had sent him
away in order to save expense.
I've got such a good idea," exclaimed Charlie,
presently; "something to help dear papa and
mamma."
What is it Charlie ?" asked Edith, eagerly.
No, I sha'n't tell," Charlie replied with an air
of mysterious importance.
The next morning, when breakfast-time came,
Charlie was nowhere to be found. Search was
made all about the house, but without result, till
Mrs. Branning, going to draw up the drawing-
room blinds, discovered Charlie, with blue fingers
and boots covered with damp, sticky mold, busily
engaged with a large spade and broom digging up
the front garden and sweeping the paths. She
had no hat on, and it being a windy morning, her
hair had blown all over her head; her frock and
skmoings had received liberal sprinklings of dirt,


and altogether she was as untidy a little object as
could be for neighbors and passers-by to see.
She was called in immediately and reproved for
what she had done.
"Oh, mamma, how unkind you are 1" she
exclaimed ruefully. "I was going to give you
such a nice surprisement. I didn't want you to
know till it was done;" and Charlie turned away
in indignation too great for words, and in the
nursery had a good cry at her mamma's "un-
gratefulness."

cHAPTER IX.- cHARmIE LEADS BEuTIE nTO DANGER M
PERHAPS there were never two sisters whose dis-
positions were more opposite than those of Edith
and Charlotte Branning. Edith was quiet, patient,
gentle and reserved; too diffident, and perhaps also
too wanting in energy, to act impulsively or of her
own free will. It came to her more easily to be
obedient than it did to Charlie, because she was;
by the force of her disposition, inclined to lean
upon others, and to be led rather than to lead. At
the same time, she had a wonderful power of re-
serve, and though she was inclined to lean upon
others in action, she was quite capable of thinking
out questions and forming her own conclusions
about them unaided. Moreover, it did not come
easily to her to put her thoughts into speech, and,
indeed, the more deeply a matter was impressed
upon her mind the less likely was she to talk about
it. By many she was considered cold-hearted and
stupid as compared with her bright younger sister.
In the present trouble she was as calm as ever;
and as a rule displayed no sign that she was con-
scious of and distressed by her father's misfor-
tunes.
She sat quietly in the nursery reading her book
or sewing, and only an observant eye would notice
how long it was before she turned a page, or how
her face was puckered up with anxious thought.
At night, when they went to bed together, impa-
tient Charlie would playfully pinch her sister, and
ask her if she had gone to sleep over her prayers;
without dreaming that Edith, who was so little
older than herself, had already learned the comfort
of silently unburdening her heart of the trouble
which would otherwise have been too heavy for her
to bear in secret.
With Charlie it was entirely different. She was
sincerely sorry for her father's troubles, and bit-
terly angry with the wicked people who had caused
them. In her secret heart she thought that it was
very strange that things should be made so nasty
for.them all, though she did not dare to say so
openly. She was very warm and affectionate, and
continually expressing her affection for her father,
and alluding to the suspicion that had fallen on
him and the trial he had gone through in an open
way that would have made him feel hurt and indig-
nant with an older person. No one else cared to
approach the subject before him, for all knew how
keenly he felt the disgrace which was supposed to
attach to him. But Charlie talked away, vowing
bitter vengeance against the wicked people for all
they had done to her father, quite unconscious










that her thoughtless sympathy was more irritating
than soothing.
It was not in her active, self-willed nature to be
quietly interested in anything. She was actively
good, or actively naughty. To be quietly and
patiently good, doing only what she was told,
neither more nor less, was a form of goodness she
did not at all care about. She wanted to be al-
ways doing something, and was a great hand-at
preparing surprisements for people, which I am
bound to say they did not always enjoy as much
as she expected they would. The fact was, she
could be good enough if by doing so she pleased
herself; but when it came to giving up her own
will for the sake of another, Charlie's goodness
was nowhere.
She did feel sorry to see her father's face so


And I'll have a duster and dust all about; and if
mamma would only let us have dinner by our-
selves, I could help you and Bertie just like nurse
used. Oh, that's a splendid idea I I'll be the
nurse I That's just grand !"
Charlie was enraptured. She put on an import-
ant air, and entered into her new office at once.
"Come, Bertie darling," she said to her brother;
" come and let me put you on a clean pinafore and
wash your hands, there's a dear. Sissa Charlie's
your nurse now, you know, dear."
"Bertie's hands not grubby," replied Bertie,
holding up two chubby little fits.
Oh, yes, dear, they are !" said Charlie grandly.
"We can't have little gentlemen with dirty hands;
that would never do, so come along, dear."
Bertie allowed Charlie to lead him into the night


"BEBTIE WAS FRIGHTENED CLINGING FAST TO CHARLIE'S HAND."


altered, and her mother's so worn and anxious.
And she was very desirous to do something to help
them. But what could she do ? Her attempt to
turn gardener had been ignominiously stopped
short. She confided to Edith her perplexity, and
asked her sister what she could do.
"Well, Charlie, I should think it would be a
good thing if you would amuse Bertie and keep
him from getting into mischief. I think it's be-
cause he misses Elsie that he has been so cross and
fretful lately."
Charlie looked .doubtful. Amusing Bertie was
not an important enough task to please her.
However, she brightened presently.
"Yes, Edith, I think that would do. I'll be
nurse, and then I'll amuse Bertie; I'll sit in
nurse's chair, and do some work with nurse's
work-basket ad scissors and cotton on the table.


nursery, and came back presently with his little
fists very blue and damp. Edith rubbed them
softly with her handkerchief.
"I don't think you had better do that again,
Charlie," she remarked, gently, but Charlie looked
so offended that Edith made no further remark.
Charlie dragged Bertie up into a high chair,
and gave him some toys. Then she sat down
with nurse's work-basket, and proceeded to rum-
mage its contents in search of some nice work.
But Bertie had no idea of being thus quietly dis-
posed of, and he soon threw his toys away discon-
solately, and declared he didn't want that play.
Now, truth to tell, it was only the dignity of the
employment that made Charlie wish to do needle-
work, and she was not sorry to find an excuse for
leaving it.
Well, dear me, it's very provoking II 'plue


_ __










I must leave my work to amuse you," she said,
with the air of a martyr. "Now, dear, if you'll
be a very, good little fellow, I'll have a game with
you."
"I's not a little fellow, I's big boy," Bertie
meekly protested. He was quite overawed by his
sister's manner.
Charlie took him out on to the big landing out-
side, a favorite place for a romp. To judge by the
zest with which Charlie scampered about and


the landing outside the banisters, and by holding
on, and placing her feet in the little spaces be-
tween, walk along to the further wall. At the end
of the landing a piece of woodwork about a foot
wide, fastened to the wall, jutted out over the
stairs. Now, Charlie's grand feat was to creep
along the banisters till she reached this ledge, and
having clambered on to it, seat herself there, with
her legs dangling over the staircase.
Bertie was' lost in admiration of his sister's olev-


S'THE CHILD SEEMS VERY HOT,' BE SAID."


danced and jumped, and continually insisted upon
teaching Bertie a new game she'd "'just invented,"
she had not lost anything by devoting herself to
Bertie's amusement. After awhile she began
swinging on a little gate at the top of the stairs,
which was so arranged that it would open either
over the stairs or on to the landing.
This was a new pastime, and pleased both chil-
dren very much for a time ; but by-and-by daring
Charlie discovered something that pleased her far
better. By swinging the gate quite back to the
banisters she could get on to the extreme edge of


erness, and struck with a desire to sit on the "nice
little seat" too.
"Come along, Bertie!" Charlie exclaimed,
laughing, and swinging her legs to show her per-
fect ease.
"You come and fetch me, sissa," cried Bertie,
eagerly.
Charlie drew her feet up on to the ledge, got
back to the banisters, and crept along them as
nimbly and surely as a monkey.
"Come along, darling; I'll help you," she said,
putting one arm around the little fellow as she


I,


U


i










awung the gate, with herself and Bertie on it, back
to the edge of the landing.
Bertie succeeded, with his sister's help, in get.
ting off the gate. She kept one arm round him,
only holding on herself with the other disengaged
hand.
"I's frightened, sissa 1" Bertie cried, presently.
"Oh, you little silly I you are a coward, Bertie ;
you can't fall, I've got you," Charlie exclaimed,
contemptuously.
Thus urged, Bertie made another attempt, but
he was very fearful. To be called a coward was a
taunt he could not bear, for his greatest ambition
was to be big and brave, poor mite When he
had gone two or three steps further his courage
failed altogether, and he screamed out, in an agony
of terror :
I's falling, sissa; -I's falling !"
"No, darling, you're not, Charlie said, reassur-
ingly; but she felt that the little fellow was trem-
bling so that he could not hold the banisters
firmly, so she tried to coax him to go back; but all
the child's courage had gone, and he was power-
less to move a step. It flashed upon her now how
naughty and thoughtless she had been to lead her
timid little brother into such danger, and con-
scious that she would be severely scolded or pun-
ished if discovered, she endeavored to rescue Ber-
tie without calling any one to assist her.
She caught hold of the child tightly round his
waist, and succeeded in making him cling to her.
Then she exerted all her strength to get him over
the short but dangerous distance between them
and the top of the stairs. But Bertie, in his fright,
made a sudden movement which caused Charlie to
leqe her balance, and, with one shrill cry from
Bertre, thy' went down together, rolling over and
over to the both V. thie staircase.
The cry brought Edith from the nursery and
Elsie and Mrs. Branning from the lower part of
the house. Charlie had picked herself up, and was
Spending horror-struck over poor Bertie. Her face
was nearly as ghastly as his.
They took the insensible child and laid him on
a bed, while Elsie ran to fetch a doctor. Charlie
followed closely, quite heedless of her own bruises,
and watched with a scared face while her mother
bathed the child's temples, and endeavored to re-
store him to consciousness. Presently the doctor
came in and she was sent out of the room. She
waited out there on the landing, standing like one
in a dream, listening intently to every sound.
After a long time she heard the murmur of voices,
and then the doctor came out. She looked up
imploringly into his face, but he said nothing.
Then she ventured to creep tremblingly into the
room. One hurried, fearful glance at the bed
showed her Bertie's fair face and golden curls half-
hidden in swathings of wet rag. But his eyes were
unclosed, and with a great throb of relief Charlie
saw that he was still alive.
"Oh, mamma, it was all my fault !" she cried,
overwhelmed with the thought of what she had
done. Dear little Bertie would never have got
eatside the banisters if I hadn't asked him to."
Ah, Charlie," her mother (aid, sadly, "1I don't


know what is to be done with you. You are not
to be trusted in the least."
"Is there any punishment big enough for hav-
ing let Bertie fall down-stairs ?" Charlie asked,
humbly; "because I would like to do it, however
hard it was."
"I think, Charlie, you will have punishment
enough in seeing poor Bertie lie there like that,
and knowing that even now he may die. If that
does not punish you nothing will, so I shall say no
more to you. Go into your own room and think
over all the mischief you have done by your
thoughtless and disobedient way of clambering
into dangerous places after you have been warned
so many times."
Poor Charlie was indeed bitterly punished. Her
own reproachful thoughts and the fear that Bertie
might die were harder to bear than any other
punishment could have been. She waited till
Bertie was left alone for a few moments, and then,
going to him, she climbed up on the bed, and put
her arms gently round him, and softly kissed him
over and over again. He opened his eyes and
looked at her in a gentle, mournful way that made
Charlie burst into tears.
"Don't cry, sissa; I's not frightened now," the
little fellow said, dreamily. "Bertie won't be
another coward, sissa."
"Oh, Bertie, dear, I'I never say you're a cow-
ard again, darling I" sobbed Charlie, understanding
all the reproach of Bertie's innocent remark.
"Poor little Bertie She's a nasty, wicked sissa,
isn't she ?"
"No, sissa, dear, you's good now, and me's
good, too," murmured Bertie. "Don't cry, sissa,
dear."
Charlie couldn't bear it. Little Bertie's love for
her, after the terrible accident of which she had
been the cause, was more distressing than any
reproaches would have been. She ran away and
had a good cry all by herself. She was in a very
softened and repentant frame of mind, and declared
to herself that after this she could never be naughty
again. That night, when she and Edith were
going to bed, Edith remarked that Charlie was
pulling off her stocking in a very gingerly
manner.
"What is the matter?" Edith asked. Are
you afraid your stocking will burn you, Charlie ?"
Oh, no I only my leg hurts ever so, and it
seems as if my stocking wouldn't come off."
Edith came and knelt down by her side. Oh,
Charlie I" she exclaimed, "I don't wonder. Why,
it's been bleeding, and your stocking has all
stuck. It must be bathed. I'll run and fetch
mamma."
It was true. Mrs. Branning found that Charlie's
leg had received an ugly graze from the ankle
nearly up to the knee, and had bled pretty freely,
a fact which was scarcely to be discerned from
her dark stockings. The process of removing it
was evidently painful, but Charlie scarcely uttered
a sound. Mrs. Branning was surprised and
grieved when she saw the extent of the damage.
"Didn't it hurt you, Charlie ?" she asked.
"I felt it very badly when I first got up, but


~I~ I ~










when I saw Bertie I was so frightened that I for-
got all about it till I came to take my stocking
og" Charlie replied.

CHAPTER X.-MORE MISCHIEF.
THE anxiety of the household was soon relieved.
Bertie quickly became better; and though the
severe shock his delicate frame had received made
him very poorly for a long time, the more serious
injury that the doctor had feared did not declare
itself. It was well that this'was the case, for his
parents' minds were already occupied with many
serious and distressing matters. It had been de-
cided that Mr. Branning was to go out to Australia
to accept a small appointment there that had been
obtained for him through the kindness of one of
the few friends who still believed him innocent of
the charge which had been brought against him.
The salary promised was far too small.to allow him
to take his wife and children, but he hoped, in
the course of afew years, to so improve his position
that he might either return to them or they come
out to him. But the parting must take place, and
it must of necessity be one of several years' dura-
tion ; and this sad thought sobered their faces and
filled their hearts with a sorrow that was none the
less keen that they tried to hide it from each other
with cheerful-sounding words For the present
the children and thetr mother were to find a home
with a brother of Mrs. Branning's, a gentleman
who possessed a large farm in the country, but
who, having no wife, was obliged toleave the care
of his house in the hands of a housekeeper. 'Jnder
these circumstances he was not at all unwilling
that his sister should fill the place which the afore-
said housekeeper, who tyrannized over him and
kept him in a continual state of ill-humor, had
occupied for so many years. It afforded him a
splendid opportunity of getting rid of her, and
was, on the whole, a very satisfactory arrangement,
for Mrs. Branning was to bring with her the
greater portion of her furniture, which, until she
should want it again for a house of her own, was
to furnish the several empty rooms which the large
old-fashioned farmhouse boasted. The children
were the bad side of the bargain. Edward Lee
knew nothing about children, except that they
were troublesome and mischievous, and conse-
quently to be kept at a safe distance. He had
never even seen his sister's little ones, and had,
therefore, no special interest in them, except that
they were his sister's children, and must, of course,
go where she went. Mrs. Branning had been his
favorite sister in the days when tney had all lived
at home together, and when he heard of the mis-
fortune that had overtaken her, he did not hesitate
to offer her a home. Whether the reports he had
heard about his sister's husband were true or not,
he did not definitely know. She said they were
not, so perhaps they were not; although she would
think so whether or no. At any rat. it made no
difference to him one way or the other. She was
his sister, and could not be without a home ; so,
while there was room for her and her three
children in the old house she was welcome to come,


and the services she could render him would be
something of an equivalent for the kindness he
was extending toward her. The matter was there.
fore settled, and a great weight was lifted from
Mr. Branning's mind, for he felt comparatively
happy in leaving them now that he knew his dear
ones would have a home and a protector while he
was forced to be absent from them.
Everything being arranged, Mr. Branning felt
that it was useless to delay his departure, so he
decided to sail by the very next vessel that left
for Australia. This he found would be in ten
days' time, but if he did not seize this opportunity
he would have to wait another month, an event
which, for many reasons, was not desirable.
Matters were just at this juncture, and Mrs.
Branning and Elsie were busily occupied in pre-
parations for the voyage, when Bertie's accident
occurred. At a time when they were so full of
other cares it was doubly distressing, for the little
fellow had always been so naturally fragile and
delicate that his parents feared the worst for him,
and his father felt that it would be doubly hard
to part from him while he was in any danger.
Fortunately, he soon showed signs of recovery,
and the preparations were resumed. Charlie,
however, was sensible and intelligent enough to
see how much extra trouble she had been the
cause of, and how her thoughtlessness and dis-
obedience might unfortunately have led to far
worse results.
"Now, I do mean to be good," she said to her-
self the morning after the fall, "and I'll do some-
thing for mamma that will be really a nice help."
You see, Charlie's notion of being good and help-
ful was still doing something. But her doing was
really useful that day, for she sat by Bertie's bed-
side and showed him pictures, and told him some
of her wonderful tales, and, indeed, for once in
her life, quite forgot to please herself in her en-
deavors to please her little brother. But, alas
Charlie's goodness had no real root in her heart,
and therefore it was not likely to be lasting. Her
desire to be good arose from a desire to gain the
praise of others rather than from a higher motive,
and it was all to be done by herself-a something
to be put on at her own will.
So it was not wonderful that, after a day or two,
during which her love for Bertie overcame all
thought of self, she began gradually to drift back
into her old ways. The little girls had not gone
back to school since Christmas, as they were so soon
to leave the place, and this absence of definite
occupation became really tedious as time went on.
It was impossible that either Mrs. Branning or
Elsie could devote more time than was absolutely
necessary to them, so they were unavoidably left
much to themselves. Charlie had given the most
solemn promises that she would not interfere with
Bertie, and in order to enable her to keep her
word her mother had set her some lessons to learn
that would keep her employed for the greater part
of the morning.
But the lessons did not go off at all well
Charlie was in a lazy mood, and yawned and
stretched her arms.all over the table, hanging her


__










head on one side, and looking anywhere rather
than at her book.
"I hate lessons," she said, wearily; "I do hate
them the strongest of anything. What's the good
of them, I wonder ?"
"We shouldn't know anything when we grew
up, if we didn't learn them," Edith remarked.
"See what dunces every one would be if nobody
learnt anything."
Well, I'd like to be a dunce," Charlie replied,
doggedly. "Now, look at this geography ; it's
the most aggravating lesson that can be. All
about the chief towns in England and what
they're famous for. I can't and never shall re-
member where the straw bonnets and the watches
and carpets and coals and salt are made; and


"Oh, Charlie, what things you say You know
that's wrong from beginning to end," Edith pro-
tested.
"I know it is," Charlie agreed. "It was a little
argufication of mine. I'll make up another, shall I?"
"Yes."
"Well, it's this : mamma says lazy people take
most pains, and that they find things three times
as difficult as industrious ones do. Now, I'm lazy
this morning, very lazy, and so my lessons are
very difficult-indeed, I can't do them at all.
You're industrious, and so you've done all yours
in no time; but it's only because you feel so nice
to them, so it's no credit to you. But mine are
so nasty to me, that if you came and helped me
with mine, yours and mine together wouldn't be


"A LITTLE BUSTIC STATION.-


what good would it be if I did ? And then all
these populations will get mixed up in my head."
"Well, that is nasty, I know," Edith agreed;
"but the history is nice."
"Is it? I don't like it. What good does it do
me to learn about a set of uncilivized barbari-
cans ?"
Oh, I think it's nice," replied Edith; "and
you'll soon get away from the barbaricans, you
know, Charlie."
"I hope I shall," Charlie replied, with a wry
face. "I wish mamma would let me leave all these
things till I'm old, and able to understand them.
I'm afraid she wants me to be clever, and it's a
great pity, because it's much better to be good ;
and you can't be both, because it takes so much
time to learn to be clever that you've none left for
being good. I expect that's the reason I'm
naughty when I am."


so nasty to you as mine are to me by themselves.
Only think of that, Edith. Don't you think you
ought to come and read them over to me ?"
"I think perhaps I ought; but at any rate I
will," replied Edith, who was more than half con-
vinced by Charlie's argufication."
With Edith's patient help, the lessons were it
length learnt; and there was still some time left
before dinner-time. "Now I'll do something
really useful," Charlie thought to herself, and
running into the next room, she took from a
drawer her best frock, in which she had torn a
rent the last time she had worn it, which rent was
still unmended. Finding herself a needle and
cotton, she sat down on the floor and proceeded to
cobble it up in a fashion peculiarly her own.
When she had finished she took it into the nursery,
and waited, with an air of very great satisfaction,
to show it to her mother. But instead of the


/:


L_ I


_


_










praise she had anticipated, she got a very severe
reproof for having spoilt her dress by having sewn
it up so tightly that it could not be unpicked
without fraying the loosely-woven material, and a
punishment-lesson into the bargain, for interfering
with a thing that she knew she had no business to
touch. In order to show her indifference to pun-
ishment, Charlie learnt this lesson, which happened
to be geography, as quickly as possible; and
Edith, seeing how little difficulty she really ex-
perienced when she set her mind to it, felt her
faith in Charlie's specious "argufication" some-
what shaken.
During the next few days Charlie was really very
good. The time was drawing very near for Mr.
Banning's departure, and there was a great deal
of business going forward, so that the children
were all a little neglected. Bertie had not been
out for more than a
week; so one morn- ----.
ing, when the sun
shone out brightly,
Charlie begged to be
allowed to take him
in the garden. To
this Mrs. Branning
consented, and hav-
img wrapped him up
warmly, and given
Charlie strict injunc-
tions not to stand '
about with him nor *
to tire him with run.
ning too much, they
marched off together
in high glee.
For a time they
walked along the
paths or played at
"catch," but soon
Charlie got swinging
on the gate, and
looking longingly
down the road. "I
should like to take
you for a nice wali, "A BEAUTI
darling," she said
to Bertie; "I don't believe dear mamma would
mind."
Sissa take me for a nice big walk I" said Ber-
tie, in excited delight. Take Bertie in a long
squeaking puff-puff over the sea."
"Not quite so far as that, darling. Stay there,
dear, while I run and ask mamma."
Charlie ran in-doors, but she could not find her
mother. Bertie began to cry. "I do want go
a nigq tat-ta with sissa."
"Well, I'll take you just a little way," said
Charlie. "I'm sure mamma wouldn't mind I"
She opened the gate and led Bertie out. They
sauntered hand-in-hand along the enticing road
with its grassy edges. "Just a little further,"
Oharlie said, when they were half-way to the end ;
and Bertie, who was enjoying the novelty of being
out in the "freets," as he called it, without nurse
or anybody, was nothing loath. He ran and jumped


and danced in high glee, till at length the end of
the long road was reached.
Oh, sissa, dear sissa, Bertie do like to go along
that pretty free May Bertie go ?"
It was a pretty road that branched off from the
one in which their house stood, with a vista of
trees and fields at the end. Charlie knew they
were already much further from home than she
had ever intended to come, and her conscience
gave her sundry pricks on the subject. To go
round the corner was a very decided step, for it
seemed as if all the world lay beyond the road in
which they lived, but that that well-known spot
was all part of home itself. Charlie hesitated for
a moment. "After all," she thought, "it is really
no worse to go just a little way round here ; it only
seems so. I'1 only go just a very little way."
So the decisive step was taken and the corner
turned. They ran
along hand-in-hand
till they were quite
close to the field, and
then Charlie was a
little dismayed, for
-she knew that they
S must have come a
good distance. But
-- Bertie cried to go in
S J the pretty field and
Si'.. : .. seethe "'moo-cows,"
S f .. so once more Char.
lie stifled her con.
science, and went
on. They clambered
Through the open
Fence and scampered
very fast across the
field, for the cows,
as .ill luck would
have it, were at the
further side, down
o. by the pond. The
pretty are nature
of were s fadingg on the
brink, with their
mU DOLL." heads bent lazily
down to the water.
Charlie knew them perfectly well, for they belonged
to Farmer Wilson, a near neighbor, and she had
often seen them before. She wanted to go up and
pat them ; but Bertie was frightened, and preferred
to admire them from a respectful distance, clinging
fast to Charlie's hand. Charlie's desire to stroke
their smooth sleek sides presently got the better
of all other ideas, and unclasping Bertie's fingers,
she told him to stand there just a minute, while
she went up to them by herself.
"You know, darling, you'll never be a man if
you're so timid," she said, patronizingly. Sissa's
not afraid of the pretty moo-cows. You see sissa
go and stroke them !"
Bertie stood looking on apprehensively, while
Charlie ran fearlessly up to her four-footed friends.
He did want to be like a big man, but his little
heart was nevertheless thumping wildly with fear,
such fear as Charlie had never experienced and


ilLICQllunir~- lr~-- Llle~-*-----, -~~- U










eould not understand. Flossy, the brown-and-
white cow, raised her head from nibbling the young
grass on the edge of the pond, and turned it slowly
round toward Charlie. It was too much for Bertie.
In a sudden terror that Flossy was going to eat
Charlie up, he screamed and attempted to run,
but losing his footing, slipped down the treach-
erous bank into the deep cold water of the pond.
"Oh, Bertie, darling what have you done?"
Charlie cried out in terror and dismay, running to
Bertie at the sound of his scream, but too late to
save him. She scrambled down the bank, endeav-
oring to plant her feet firmly in the soft ground
and stretch out her hands to Bertie. But he had
already risen, after the first splash, beyond the
reach of her short arms. She looked round ; there
was not a soul in sight. What could she do ?
Leave Bertie there by himself while she ran for
some one ? Oh, no, she could never do that, for,
go as fast as she might, it would take her ever so
long to get to the nearest house. If she and Bertie
were only safe in the garden at home she thought,
bitterly, half beside herself with terror and sorrow.
But something must be done; Bertie must be
saved. If she didn't get him out he would die
there in the water, and through her. The thought
drove her half frantic, and her terror and helpless-
ness resolved itself into a short but terribly earnest
cry to God, who alone could help them in this dire
extremity. "Oh, save Bertie, save Bertie!" she
kept on repeating to herself ; and presently, as it
in answer to her prayer, she saw lying at a little
distance a good-sized stick, evidently a branch torn
by schoolboy hands from a neighboring tree. It
was not much, but it was something. She picked
it up and found that it was green and strong.
I Catch hold, Bertie, darling !" she exclaimed,
going as close to the water as she dared and stretch-
ing it out to him, for the little fellow was still
floating and struggling in the water just beyond
her reach. She had some difficulty in getting the
terrified child to do what she wanted, but by dint
of coaxing and persuading she at last succeeded.
Then he pulled so hard, and the bank was so slip-
pery, that it was the greatest wonder she was not
dragged in, too. But at last she managed to get
him close to the bank, and then, with a heart
ready to burst with relief, thankfulness and joy,
she got hold of his frock and pulled him right up
on to the bank. How she threw her arms round
his neck and kissed his wet face over and over
again She took off his dripping jacket and put
on him her own, and then, as she could do no
more, she took him up in her arms and turned to
go home.

APTER XI.-PARTINOG.
CHAariE staggered across the field with her
heavy burden, but finding that, thus encumbered,
her progress was very slow, she let him down when
they reached the road, and taking his hand, tried
to get him to run. The poor little fellow did his
best, but the fright and the cold had so thoroughly
unnerved him that it was a difficult matter to get
him along at al. When they turned into the road


in which they lived, they encountered Elsie, who
had come to call the children in to their dinner,
and not seeing them in the garden, had started off
to find them, with a scolding ready on the tip of
her tongue for disobedient Charlie.
But when she saw the sad sight, she grew very
grave, and even the scolding was forgotten. Charlie
glanced uneasily at her face, and saw something
there which struck her with silence and prevented
her from offering the explanation and excuses that
at first rose to her lips. Elsie took hold of Bertie's
other hand, and telling Charlie to run, they man-
aged between them to get the little fellow along
with tolerable quickness.
Elsie carried the child up-stairs, and, without
saying a wdrd to her mistress, undressed him,
placed him in a warm bath, rolled him in a blanket
and popped him into bed. This done, Elsie began
to ask questions, and soon discovered Charlie's
share of the matter. There was no doubt that she
was thoroughly sorry for the consequence of her
disobedience, and seeing that she was indeed
frightened and unhappy, kind-hearted Elsie for-
bore to say more than a few gentle words of re-
proof.
When the little fellow was asleep, Elsie fetched
his mother, and told her as gently as possible what
had happened. Mrs. Branning was very much
distressed, and bent anxiously over the little
sleeper. She was much relieved to find that he
was sleeping comfortably, and having given Elsie
some directions, she left him in her care, and went
back to certain matters of preparation for Mr.
Branning's departure, which occupied all her at-
tention just now. So Charlie escaped with little
more than the chidings of her own heart, for her
mother, too, noting that she was softened and re-
pentant, only staid to point out to her how far
worse the results of her disobedience might have
been, and to hope that she would let this sad dis.
aster be a constant.reminder to her of the import.
ance of strictly obeying those who were older and
wiser than herself.
Mr. Branning's departure was now close at hand.
He was to start in a couple of days, and in the
general bustle of packing and making purchases,
visiting for the last time the old familiar places
that had grown dear with long association, Bertie
got rather less notice than he otherwise would have
done. Not that he seemed ill ; he was only listless
and languid, not caring to eat or play, but rather
to lie on the bed quietly, doing nothing, and fall-
ing into a doze every now and then.
It had been arranged for a long time past that
the last leave-taking between Mr. Branning and
his family was to take place on board the vessel
which was to carry him away from the old country
and those who were so dear to him. Every one
was to go down to the docks, including even Ber-
tie and Elsie.
But when the day arrived, Bertie did not seem'
quite so well. He had a nasty, troublesome cough,
and was feverish besides. So he was kept in bed,
and all idea of his going with them to the docks
was abandoned.
They were to start immediately after an early


/j


ql_ __










dinner, for the ship sailed in the evening, and all
passengers were to be on board early in the after-
noon. Some one must stay with Bertie besides
the old woman who was to take charge of the
house. Elsie was required to carry certain pack-
ages. Who, then, should it be ?
Bertie solved the difficulty himself. Charlie had
been telling him tales in the morning, to which
Bertie listened with never-failing interest. "Sissa
Charlie stay, and tell Bertie more tales 1" he said,
when she left him to go to dTnner.
"Sister's going to have some dinner, darling,"
she replied.
Sissa come back again in some little minutes,"
urged Bertie, "and stay with Bertie all the long
while. Bertie loves sissa, and won't be 'nasty,
horrid little fellow' if sissa tells him some nice
stories."
Charlie felt uncomfortable as she kissed the loving
little brother who was so fond of her, after all. She
was going with the rest of them to bid her father
good-by, and therefore couldn't possibly stay with
Bertie. Bertie began to whimper, and to console
him Charlie asked to have her dinner up-stairsg
with him.
Still the little fellow was not happy, and when
Edith came in, a few minutes afterward, she asked
him, in a sympathizing manner, what he was fret-
ting about.
Never mind, Bertie dear ; I'll stay with you,
and show you some pretty new pictures," Edith
replied, when she had heard all about it.
Why, Edith !" exclaimed Charlie, in surprise.
"You are going with papa, are you not ?"
""No, I can't go !" Edith replied, little sorrow-
fully. "Some one must stay and amuse Bertie.
I think mamma has forgotten that, being so busy.
They want Elsie, and you would like to go with
them, so I shall stop with him."
Charlie was fairly astonished. Such a step as
this had never so much as entered her mind. "It's
like Edith," she thought to herself ; she doesn't
care about things. Fancy her staying at home
when poor papa's going away for ever so many
years, and never minding it at all I She is an ill-
feeling thing !"
But Charlie was quite out in her reckoning.
Edith was indeed sorry not to see the very last-of
her father, and it was not without considerable
hesitation that she gave it up and resolved to stay
with Bertie, but the struggle was a silent one in
her case; whereas with Charlie, all the thoughts
that came into her mind would have been hotly
expressed by her tongue.
Mr. and Mrs. Branning came up presently to
spend a little time with Bertie. They were all
together round the little fellow's bed; the last
time that they were to be so in this world. It was
a silent party, for the hearts of the parents were
too sad for words, and the two elder children felt,
in a smaller degree, the sorrow of the fast approach-
ing separation. Little Bertie had no comprehen-
sion of the matter, and only knew that his dear
father was going away, and had come to say good-
by, as he had often gone away and said good-by
before. Mr. Branning took the little fellow out


of bed, and wrapping a shawl round him, held
him on his knee, with his fair head leaning against
his shoulder.
"The child seems very hot," he said, presently,
to Mrs. Branning; "and he has a very disagreea-
ble cough."
"Yes, he has," Mrs. Branning returned, anxo
iously, noting silently that the child looked less
well than yesterday.
"He is a fragile chicken," Mr. Branning re-
marked, fondly. "I wish I .could have left him
well and strong, poor mite I shall be feeling
anxious about him till I receive your first letter.
You must take good care of our Bertie, mamma,
and let me find a great brown-cheeked boy when I
come back."
"Bertie wants to go into a nice bed, Bertie's
tired," the child said, wearily, after a little time.
His father laid him tenderly down, and kissed
him fondly. Would this little, fair, delicate face,
not so very much less white than the pillows over
which his golden curls were scattered, ever develop
the brown-red hues of.sturdy boyhood ?
Some one ought to stay at home with Bertie,"
Mr. Branning remarked, presently. He ought
not to be left with only old Mrs. Smith, who
would not know how to amuse him if he were tired
and restless."
"I thought of that, papa," Edith remarked,
quietly, "and promised Bertie that I would stay
with him."
"Don't you wish to come with us, then ?" her
father asked, in some surprise.
Oh, yes, papa, indeed I do but Bertie would
be so miserable alone, and mamma says she wants
Elsie."
Yes, I know ; but what about Charlie ? Come,
Charlie, Edith is the eldest. It is for her to go
if she wishes it, and you to stay with your bro.
other "
"Oh, papa, I want to go with you! Don't
make me stay at home," cried Charlie, in dismay.
"Ah, Charlie, the old tale. Your own wants
and wishes first. Do you think Edith does not
prefer to have her own wishes ? but I am glad to
see she has learnt to give them up. I think, too,
my dear," he added, turning to Edith, -" that you
are the better person to stay at home, for it is
Charlie's disobedience and thoughtlessness that
Bertie is suffering for now. If you cannot be
with us, my dear child, we shall think of you the
more."
The tears rose into Edith's eyes at the sound of
her father's loving words. And now they must
part. "Good-by, my darling." "Good-by, papa
dear." That was all, as Edith stood at the gate to
watch them out of sight, trying dimly to realize
the fact that she would not be able to hear the
sounds of that dear voice again. Impossible I
Every room of the house, every nook of the gar-
den, seemed filled with the familiar sounds. The
air seemed ringing with them Ah, but they died
away sadly; and there was something so cruelly
unsatisfactory in their unreality that the child felt
she must hear the real living sound once more.
But no, that could not be. They were gone out








II g
of her life, as it seemed, forever. This indeed weariness. At last Edith thought of singing to
was parting. him, and had just succeeded in lulling him into a
She went back to Bertie. It was well for her, doze when her mother returned.
perhaps, that he required so much amusing this Mrs. Branning's face, already so sorrowful, bew


A NAUGHTY BOY.
afternoon. Nothing pleased him for many min- came even more troubled as she leaned over tf
ties together. He wanted some of Charlie's won- child, and listened with a heavy heart to his la'
derful tales, but that was a want Edith could not borec breathing, and noted the deep flush on hid
apply. He was restless and feverish, tossing usually pale face. She had had her fears befow ,
trom side! tO6 ide, and tben crying with utter but kept them t6 herself, afid hoped they might,
S_-_ J fi


Al










be groundless, in order to spare her husband ad-
ditional anxiety. Now she saw plainly that she
had already delayed 'too long. The doctor was
sent for and arrived shortly. "The child is very
il," he said. Inflammation of the lungs had set
in, and he was, moreover, suffering acutely from
the shock his delicate system had received. He
must be kept very quiet, and have nothing to dis-
tress or worry him. Has he been crying re-
eently ?"
"Yes," Edith was obliged to confess, "he had
'cried"for Charlie to tell him tales, and for a long
time refused to be pacified because she was not
there."
Ah, Charlie I fresh food for repentance. What
stores laid up against a future day I The gratifi-
cation of one's own wishes just for an hour, or
even a moment or two, to bring with it the sor-
rowful repentance of
years. Can it be
so? Charlie, Char-
lie, you will see only
too soon I
The remembrance
of the so long
dreaded parting that
had just taken place
was merged in a
new trouble. Ber.
tie grew rapidly
worse. The fever
hourly increased,
and he lay all night
tossing Yestlessly to
end fro, and crying
out every now and
then with pain. It
was distressing to
see hew the poor
little mind wan-
dered off to old
childish troubles, .
all too real and too
great for it to forget.
"Bertie won't be r
a coward, sissal AONG THE WI
Poor Bertie'll fall I
I's not a cry-baby 1" he would call out, piteously,
fancying himself in some dangerous position, and
experiencing all the terror of it.
Then he would imagine himself struggling in
the water, and his mother could with difficulty re-
strain his movements or soothe his groundless
fears. At last, worn out and exhausted, he would
fall into a troubled sleep, which was so disturbed
and restless that it was scarcely less painful to see
than his wakefulness.
So the week wore away, and Sunday came
round, bringing with it fresh sadness, and renew-
ing in full force the bitter wrench of parting.
What a different Sunday from the last one, so
recently passed, and yet so far removed from this
one and all those that were to come I The absent
face and form were everywhere wanting. At the
table, in the church, on the staircase, in the gar-
den, that want made itself more painfully visible


than the most unwelcome presence could have
done.
Poor Bertie was still very ill, and his mother
had not left him since the day when she had bid
her husband good-by. Elsie had taken the two
children to church in the morning, and had staid
with Bertie while the others ate their lonely din-
ner. Afterward they all went up to his room to
sit with him, and help to while away the long, te-
dious hours.
The child had ceased his delirious wanderings
and restless tossing to and fro, and now lay back
on his pillows perfectly calm and quiet. The poor
little baby face, always too fair and delicate-look-
ing, was perfectly colorless now, and the little
hands that lay on the coverlet were transparently
thin. In his fever he had been rebellious and ob-
stinate, refusing to take the milk and beef-tea
which it was neces-
sary he should have
continually. N o w
all resistance had
vanished, and he
took quietly what.
ever was given him.
"Shall sissa tell
Bertie darling a pret
ty story ?" Charlie
asked, bending over
the bed to catch the
answer of the poor
5 little feeble voice.
"No story now,
sissa," the child re-
plied; "Bertie's
too tired. Sing
Bertie a little
hymn."
S"What hymn,
darling T'
I"Jesu's sake. All
sing," the little fel-
low answered.
S Charlie started the
little h y m n, and
LD PLOWERS." they all three joined
in softly. It ha
always been a favorite with Bertie, and he listened,
with a look of pleased contentment on his sweet
face, while they sang:
UWe are but little children weak,
Not born in any high estate;
What can we do for Jesu's shke,
Who is so kind and good and great P

They had only got as far as:
SWe know the holy Innocents
Laid down for Him their infant lives,*
when Bertie stopped them by exclaiming, Papa's
not singing I Ask papa to come and sing to Be-
tie.,"
"Papa can't come, darling," his mother saik
sadly. "Poor papa's gone away, such a lon&
long way across the sea."


rr~------~-~


L










"In a long squeaking puff-puff?" the child
asked.
"No, darling, in a big ship."
The child lay quietly thinking for a few minutes,
as if trying to take in the strange idea. Presently
he said, half crying :
"Bertie wants papa to come and sing to him.
Tell papa to come out of the big ship to Bertie."
My darling, we can't reach papa. He's gone
quite away, where we can't see him at all," his
mother replied.
"Bertie wants papa," the child repeated, be-
ginning to cry. It was a long time before they
could soothe him. "Papa must come back
morrow-day," he persisted. And it was only by
telling him that papa would come back on the
"morrow-day," a period which comprised all the
future to his infant mind, that they could pacify
him. Alas for the many to-morrows before that
one should be at hand !
They must sing to him again; but he would
have no hymn but his one favorite. When they
had ended it they must begin again, and at
the last line of every verse his feeble voice
joined in, always with the words "What can we
do for Jesu's sake?" Gradually he fell asleep,
and slept till the day began to darken, only open-
ing his great blue eyes now and then, to gaze
silently for a minute or two at the faces near him,
then sinking again into a heavy slumber. At last
he roused, and half raising himself, cried out,
piteously, Flossy's going to eat you, sissa I's
not a coward Bertie will be good boy I"
"Yes, darling, you are a good boy. Sissa'll
never call you a coward again, darling," Charlie
said, as well as she could for the tears that streamed
down her face and choked her voice.
"Sissa, dear sissa, I's not a 'horrid little fel-
low,'" he cried, not heeding her.
Charlie laid her face down against his, and tried
with almost womanly skill to soothe him. Even
her voice seemed to have a charm for him. It was
touching to note the wonderful love and admira-
tion the little fellow entertained for the sister who
had so often been unkind to him. Her brightness
and bold daring spirit were especially attractive to
him, poor child, because they were so contrasted
to his own gentleness and tixindity. He loved his
mother and father, and Edith and Elsie, very
much, but not with the admiration and reverence
that he loved Charlie. He did so want to be big
and brave, and, in his baby eyes, Charlie seemed
so grandly brave.
He fell asleep again in a little time, and they
sat by him watching the shadows gather in the
room and cast an unearthly whiteness over the
pale thin face. It grew dark and still; they sat
there, afraid to move for fear of disturbing him,
for the doctor had said that sleep was his best
medicine. There was no sound or movement
from the bed.
All day long his breathing, hitherto heavy and
labored, had been perfectly easy and natural, and
he was sleeping without even the sound of breath-
iag that one sometimes hears when the sleeper is
in perfect health. At last the silence became op-


pressive, and Mrs. Branning began to feel anxious
that the little invalid should have some nourish.
ment. She got up softly, and lighted a candle to
look at her watch. Shading the light with her
hand, she brought it to the bed, and looked anx-
iously at the little peaceful face lying there. A
sudden terror seized her. She took up the little
hand; it was perfectly cold. She pressed her lips
to the baby forehead; there was the same icy
chill. Then the truth flashed upon her. Poor
mother I That was a long, sad parting the other
day; this is longer and sadder.

CHAPTER XIL"-"IN LOVING EMEKBANCE."
"IN loving remembrance of dear little Bertie."
In a lonely corner of the quiet little cemetery near
Rosebank, the home where our little friends had
been born and lived all their lives, sweet little
Bertie was laid to rest. A plain white stone, bear.
ing the simple words above, alone marked the
spot-simple as the little spirit whose gentle
tenderness never could have borne the rude blast of
trouble and sorrow; emblem in form of what life
must have been to one so timid and sensitive.
Dear little Bertie I in only living your three short
years, you have softened many hearts and shed a
tender beauty over troubled lives; in dying, you
have left them their sweetest remembrance, and
your loving influence. Who can say that the
smallest life was ever lived in vain ?
A little black figure kneeling by the small new
.grave, trying with trembling fingers and straining
eyes to fasten up a wreath of pure white blossoms.
Asad fade, pale and grief-stricken. Can you guess
who it is? Charlie I Yes, Charlie, with all the
mischief and fun gone out of her face, and in its
place an unmistakable sorrow, a troubled expres-
sion, sad to see, and rarely to be seen in one so
young. Having at length fastened up her flowers,
she stoops down and passionately kisses the new
young grass on the little mound, then turns re.
luctantly to go-not running and skipping as of
old, but slowly, sorrowfully, with eyes almost
blinded by her tears ; for Charlie has come to bid
good-by to dear little Bertie's grave. They have
all been here on the same errand, mother, Edith
and Elsie, and each one has left some sweet Spring
flowers for the last time. Charlie's little wreath is
all white, save for the fringing of green leaves.
Poor Bertie always loved white flowers the best-
he would always pick the daisies and leave the
buttercups. Charlie had begged her mamma to
let her take all the white flowers she could find,
and her mother and Edith, knowing it would com-
fort her, had agreed to leave them for her. Even
in this matter, you see, she thought first of herself
never considering whether any one else would have
liked to have done the same thing. The habit of
years is not to be broken suddenly, even with such
a lesson as Charlie had received; and, indeed,
Charlie had much teaching to receive yet before
she should have learnt that most difficult lesson-
to yield her own will to others, and think of other
before herself.
It was little wonder that the poor child was un*


----~ I










happy, and sorrowed for her little brother with a
sorrow that at present knew no comfort She
could not forget his pitiful cry, "I's not a coward;
Bertie will be a good boy," the very last words he
had spoken ; how she had always teased him, and
often made him unhappy. What would she give
now, never to have spoken those unkind, thought-
less words which had grieved him so greatly as to
keep other thoughts out of his mind even when
he was dying! Ah! dear children, do think of
por Charlie, and remember that her sad case may
be yours. Your brother or sister is strong and
well now, but if he or she were to be taken ill and
die, then what would you not give to recall the
unkind words and actions that you knew to be so
grievous I Stay them before it is too late.
Since Bertie's death, no one had ever mentioned
the unfortunate fall into the pond, the result, in
every way, of Charlie's disobedience and selfish
thoughtlessness; but she knew too well that it
had been the cause of the little fellow's illness. I
do not know how she would have been able to
bear this dreadful thought-for she had a loving
hearf-if she had not heard the doctor saying to
her mother that if it had not happened the child
would never have lived to grow up. With the
irst shock she had thought she could never laugh
er be happy any more, and even now she could
not be persuaded to go into the nursery, which
reminded her too strongly of the games they had
played together and the many unkind speeches
and actions of which she had been guilty. I think
they all felt that they should be glad to be away
from the house where every room and chair and
table, even, reminded them of how happy they
had once been there, and how different all was
now.
So the dear old home was forsaken, until strang-
ers should come to wake its sacred echoes, and
the laughter of new and happy voices should fill
the rooms, and drive away from them the memory
of those dear lost sounds-for the voices of Bertie
and his father seemed to haunt them. It would be
hard to say whether the relief or the pain of such
a leave-taking was the greatest. It was terrible to
go, but, if anything, more terrible to stay.
So they bade good-by to the old house and
garden, good-by to the little cemetery with Bertie's
grave, good-by to the lanes and fields. The noisy
tain bore our friends swiftly away to a new home,
new adventures, a new life, which we shall by-
and-by see was no less eventful than the old one
they have just left behind.

CHAPTER TL.-STRANG3 FAC(M.
COnriEu was curled up in a corner of the car-
iae, fast asleep, when they arrived at their des-
tiation. The child was thoroughly worn out
with grief and sleeplessness; and ier pale face
looked so troubled, even while she slept, that her
mother was loath to rouse her again to a full sense
ef the sorrow that had fallen on all of them, but
was es pcially hard to be borne by one so young
and bright and pleasure-loving.
"Wake up, dearie," said Blsie, cheerily. "Here


we are, at last. What a sleep you've had, to be
sure !"
They got out of the train, and found themselves
in a little rustic station, ornamented by large beds
of Spring flowers. There was no one to be seen
except the solitary porter, and, at some little dis-
tance, a gentleman with a very large-brimmed
straw hat bending over one of the flower-beds,
intently examining some plant. He turned round
presently, and, beckoning the porter to him,
entered into a somewhat lengthy conversation;
then presently catching sight of the four black-
clad figures, an idea seemed to seize him, and
coming hastily forward, he exclaimed : "Really-
Mrs. Branning, I suppose ? A most strange thing I
Now, just oblige me by stepping here a minute.
A blue crocus, perfectly blue, like a forget-me-
not. I never saw such a thing in my life. Ex-
tremely rare, I should say. I must have that
bulb."
"The color's gone with the heavy rains, I
should say, sir," remarked the porter, who was
standing behind, with a broad grin on his face.
"The old tale !" exclaimed the gentleman, im-
patiently. "You can never get the vulgar mind
to realize anything more than that black's black,
and white is white."
A very safe belief, at any rate," Mrs. Bran-
ning replied, with a smile.
"Safe I yes; that is all the herd think of," he
returned, wrathfully. "I suppose you are the
gardener here ?" he added, turning to the porter.
"By your leave, sir, I am," the man replied,
touching his forelock.
"Very well; then I dare say you don't mind
parting with this crocus-bulb ?"
As he spoke Mr. Lee placed half-a-crown in the
man's hand, and proceeded, with the aid of a large
knife, to remove the bulb from the ground. Hav-
ing tied it up carefully in his pocket-handkerchief,
he turned to his sister, and remarked that perhaps
they had better go and see about her luggage.
It was standing on the little platform, having
been collected under Elsie's supervision, and the
porter, being now released from his attendance on
Mr. Lee, proceeded to carry it out of the station,
and down a heavily-rutted lane to the road beyond,
where an old-fashioned chaise and a cart were in
waiting.
"Rum old customer," said the porter to Elsie,
who was helping with the smaller packages. "A
little gone, you know," he added, tapping his
forehead. "Always after something fresh. It's
flowers now; but lor, he's gulled as easy as a
baby, though he do think himself so knowing,
with his discoveries. Just take a white rose and
paint some red stripes or specks on it; bless you,
he'd buy the root for any money you liked to
name, pretty well I"
In the meantime Mr. Lee had, at last, turned
his attention to his nieces.
This one's Edith. H'm, very like her mother;
and this is Charlotte-like her father. Where are
the rest ?"
"These two are all I have left," Mrs. Branning
replied, with quivering lips and moist eyes.


_ __ __


CI__ -arlL-am-










"Only two I Ah, yes, it's brother Frank has
dax. You lost one a little while ago, didn't you ?
A boy, and the only one-a pity, a pity."
Mr. Lee turned round with surprise to see the
tears streaming down his sister's face. He did not
venture another remark, but walked on silently
till they reached the chaise.
The boxes were safely stowed in the cart, and
Elsie seated beside Jem, the driver. Mrs. Bran-
sing, her brother, Edith and Charlie filled the
chaiS. Just as they were about to start, the por-


"you cannot claim a farthing; you have no busi-
ness with that sixpence. If you don't be off
directly I'll report you."
The man turned away sullenly, muttering as he
went :
Half-a-crown for a washed-out crocus, and six-
pence for all them heavy boxes. He's touched,
that's clear."
The heavy, antiquated vehicle, called by courtesy
a chaise, bore them through some pretty lanes,
along a high-road and more winding lanes until


"IN THE FARM-YARD,"


er, who had been standing some minutes by the
sOadside, came to the side of the chaise and
touched his cap.
. Mr. Lee fumbled in his pocket, and brought
oat a sixpence, which he tossed to the man, who
eyed it a moment, and then said, complainingly:
"They was very heavy, sir, and a good way to
bring them."
Mrs. Branning felt for her purse. In her agita-
tion she had quite forgotten about the porter.
But her brother peremptorily checked her.
6"on discontented rascal," he said, angrily,


they stopped at some large wooden gates. A rap
with the whip caused these to open and display an
old farm-servant. They passed in, and found
themselves in the midst of far-stretching, undulat-
ing fields, interspersed with trees, on which the
leaves were just beginning to appear.
A lovely spot, though the branches of most of
the trees were as yet nearly bare; but as they passed
along the carriage-drive, which wound through
the meadows to the house, they came presently to
fruit-trees already laden with a wealth of white
blossoms.


:.i i ;.i -- i; --,.. A*


__









.W.y-Were ,all struck with the beauty of the
SPgfe, ,qscp4 in a few weeks promised, indeed,
j to be as fair a picture as one could well im-
W agj, li~ grew excited as they passed banks
and nooks yellow with primroses and blue with
I taQ aBypg% gb lf.ls. Delicate fern-fronds were
Sbeg~p~Ip, fep'pp.aDprth in sheltered corners, and
|biimd's-eye, cuckoo-flower, ragged-robin and
j LtiP ii-rnA .wre in the banks, while wild
hgii qey sj ini jvy, and a variety of other
=O W~slAWOIdibhea)1swthorn in the hedge.
rows.
They came upon the house quite suddenly, for
it W~:as lI mlw-.t il-I.y st.lt7 uld trow s th it L.ai
stool tLere i.:,r ages, iultoic'b-d by any ri'thle~-
hand. A IqlItiint old house it wai., loi:tg and loww,










;rn


dear, you look sadly. This is but a sorry meeting.
It seems to me but yesterday that you were my
own little miss, running about everywhere, tearing
your frocks and rumpling your hair, and me
always preaching to you, without doing a bit of
good, till the young gentleman came to take you
away from us. Then you minded what I said,
and left off all your old romping ways."
"Ah, Rebekah !" Mrs. Branning returned, with
a smile, those days were long enough ago ; look
at my big girls."
"Ah, dear hearts I this little miss is much like
what you were at her age, but the other missy
selBn to r-eiiud me of the young g.n-tlean, as
wlil a, I caIu. remi-mllber."
Yeis, R..beli.,b, I think you are right. Charlie


TA N THE GARDEN.
with dianionll-ps ned windows sunk deep in the is s.Ad to be like her father in fice, though I am
wall. afraid she inherit hebr woth-r's love for romping,
The- srfopp'id at sowie green moIus-growu step~, torn dres-- and rirmpleI h:iir. Eh, Cha'rli.- ?"
leading up to a porch grown over with creeping Up-stairs to a neat little bedroom-none of the
plants, whose green young shoots gave promwir -i rooms were large-smelling sweetly of lavender
Sfuturh b..ityt Here th.y ulight-.l. aud founl andomary, Then down-stairs again to the cozy
thduisel iir--..-utly ina aL i,1 ~ tune ball. wiL h littl'pditngi0oom, where a wood fire was burning
r,4itlred ro, C.ud -.idel-mo ,utli-i grL-It. An elderly; cheerfully in the quaint, old-fashioned grate, and
dai ,Piti eomel'ly.J.i:c and p.uain ldtYordo4&rgqr a tempt.ing repaul already laid. It only wanted
I 'm ,,1 i, j;.ie-;t lping v,-idh ou sew as^ the ad litiou tf htot toast, new-laid eggs, and fra-
wavi'.ug- t: i.cei;- t.ia. ,.,, grant te, t, make it all that weary travelers
W I A-l.;b i3 anm r ,ieei 1 glid. tn see vnu mig.hidps're.; These Rebekah presently brought
a~i "i .r:. "r,CLianinri ex!climel. "How w ll in, and having seated her young lady, as she per*
Syou you,J'uk ior;e bloornijU than evear 1' o istt.:ot ll1pd Mrs, Branning, between the fire
.h',"A,'. nt rciLyuog Lady, J wish I could iy. And lhe table, -asd seen her and the "little
thl a.a of .'" the w, d j .trtp ,l re,,pn- missies" we1 supplied with the good things she
daIy pJa, by tlie c1 oomjluim u; ", b..yjg l haqrBegared4,gshaj left, them to themselves, beg.
S


__










going them one and all to try and make a good
tea.
Oh, mamma, what a dear old soul I" Charlie
exclaimed, in a loud whisper, before Rebekah was
well out of the room. Isn't it funny to hear her
talk of papa as the 'young gentleman,' when he's
quite old ?"
She remembers your papa when he was quite
young," Mrs. Branning replied, "and forgets how
Many years ago that was ; and, again, what seems
old to you would seem young to her."
"I suppose she was young when she was your
nurse, mamma ?" Edith absed.
S"Yes, dear, about the same age as Elsie, and
just such another both in appearance and manner.
She came to us when I was abo-ut three years old,
and has never left us since, even when she was
married, for she married your grandpapa's gar.
dener, and when grandpapa died they both came
here to live with Uncle Edward."
How nice 1" Edith said, thoughtfully. "She
will be able to tell me all about what you were
like when you were a little girl, and what papa
was like when he was a young gentleman.'"
The conversation was here interrupted by the
entrance of Mr. Lee. No such small matter as the
advent of visitors would induce him to alter the
old-fashioned hours at which he regularly took
his meals. He had taken his tea alone some two
hours before, and was half-way on toward supper,
so he seated himself by the fireside, ignoring
altogether the temptation of Mrs.Rebekah's honey-
cake and other delicacies.
It was not long before Elsie came to announce
that she had got the young ladies' things unpacked,
and their bedroom was quite ready, so they had
reluctantly to postpone the delight of exploring
the house, garden, meadows and farmyard, and
making acquaintance for themselves with Mrs.
Rebekah, till to-morrow.
What a dear little room !" Charlie remarked,
looking round the bedroom in which they were to
sleep, and burying herself in the deep recesses of
the diamond-paned window. "How sweet these
dimity curtains smell 1"
"It is pretty; and everything looks so white,
doesn't it ?" Edith replied. "But, Charlie, wouldn't
you like to be back in our old house again ?"
For some things; but I like this, it's so
pretty ; and that dear old Mrs. Rebekah, isn't she
a nice old thing, Edith ?"
"Yes, she is," Edith replied, warmly; "but
only think, Charlie, how far away this seems from
poor papa, and--"
"But, Edith, it isn't really further away than
the other was ; it's only that you think so; what
difference can it make? That's just like you,
Edith; you don't seem to think things properly
at all"
"If it seems further, that's as bad as if it really
was," Edith replied, indignantly. "And besides,
Charlie, at my rate, it is much further away from
dear little Bertie. Who'll put flowers on his grave
now, I wonder ? Poor little Bertie, left all alone
there I"
"Oh, Edith, how can you 1" Charlie exclaimed,


reproach fully, the teins rushing to her eyesfat j
remembrance od lthe iittlei deadly brother.that he
had forgotten foris shot time inthe mids8a2f br
new surroundings 4io 9d; o-i.r ; ,-! ,, ; i
"I didn't meanvtdamake you cry, Charlie deWa
Edith said, trying to soothe her; but Cbarlie*
troubles had retuned to her in full force%;andhPhe
would not be comforted;, ;! ,,

aHAPTA'XIV.--SM9 THOM
EVEN before Elies came to call the children for
the early breakfast n.st morning Charlie Vwp
awake. She was all;imnpatience,tqoseethe farmyard,
to hunt for wild-flowerg, ta;ie the peacock a-oo
which Elsie had tollher, and toqpay;a visit to. thy
old oak-tree from whqase boughs had hung lThp
swing in which her mother had swung when ash
was a girl andWintertoq Granee andtsh adjomlijg
farm belonged :o her Uncle Hey ward. ,,
Charliewould har.- liked to have.gone to seethe
cows milked, but for:,t is .pleas.use bhe, lrea~h
must wait till her nuele s permission had been,pb-
tained; so she lay quietly ng as lo i s e coold,,bat
at last her impatience tgo6 ~te.be6ter of h~es .aand
she jumped out of bed and.began to, dress hersaewf
Now, it was Elsie's province of plait Charlie's
abundant hair into the, rpirtail she always wore,
though Charlie was secretly convinced that she
could do it very well herself This morning she
did not wait for Elsie, but arranged it with her own
hands, as she thought, very successfully.
When these operations were completed she
opened the door and went softly down-stairs,
leaving Edith in the preliminary stage of putting
on shoes and stockings.
It was scarcely past seven o'clock, but a rosy-
cheeked buxom maid was laying the table for
breakfast in the sitting-room. Charlie watched her
for a few minutes, secretly enjoying the pleasant
smell of baking and frying that was wafted from
the kitchen every time the door opened. But it
was rather dull work, and Charlie, who was never
over-shy, resolved to make the acquaintance of the
bright-eyed damsel who was busy about the room.
H'm," she began, to attract the girl's notice;
"I wish I knew your name, because then, dount
you see, I could talk to you, and ask you some
questions that I've got in my head."
"My name is Phillis, if you please, miss," the
girl replied.
"How funny I I never heard that name before,
but I like it very much," returned Charlie, patrol
izingly.
"Thank you, miss," the girl replied, at which
Charlie could scarcely help laughing.
How long will it be before uncle comes down to
breakfast ? What is it that smells so nice cooking?
Are we to have breakfast in here with mamma and
uncle ? and can you think of something very niee
to amuse me till breakfast's ready? Those are the
questions Iwant to ask you," Charlie said, gravely.
Poor Phillis looked bewildered. "Would yon
mind asking me one at a time ?" she asked, after
a few minutes' hopeless consideration.
Charlie did so, the result being that breafeat


r


00000-..--










was at half-past eight, and Phillis supposed the
young ladies were to have it with the grown peo-
{ pe ; that hot new rolls, fried ham and eggs, and
chipped potatoes were the order of the morning;
and would miss like to come down to the gate with
her to get the letters ?
Charlie would, the more that the morning was
bright, the sun shining, the birds singing; so,
having fetched her hat and scarf, she and Phillis
started off together along the way they had come
yesterday.
It was three or four minutes' sharp walking be-
fore the gates were reached. No wonder the
postman objected to bringing the letters right up
to the house, especially as the next house was a
good mile further on. They had to wait some
little time before they espied his scarlet coat in
the distance. Then they had a good run along
the lane to meet him, and sure enough there was
a letter for Uncle Edward, one for Phillis, and
two others for persons belonging to the farm.
The postman bore, too, a parcel for Mrs. Rebekah,
which contained the materials for a new cap, at
which Charlie was very much amused, for it
seemed so funny to get the postman to buy such
things as that; but she understood it when Phillis
told her that the nearest linen-draper's shop was
six miles off, and very often the postman was the
erily person they saw for weeks who was going so
far.
When they returned co the house Charlie was
not a little surprised to see a young lady with a
hat and jacket on seated in the deep old-fashioned
window-seat. She was partly hidden by the our-
tain, and as she was looking out of the window,
her back was turned. She was evidently a
stranger. Charlie had never seen that velvet hat
turned up at one side, with its long drooping
feather. Presently she turned her head, and
Charlie beheld, not the young lady she had
thought to see, but the face of a lady considerably
elder and not half so pretty-so Charlie thought
--as her own mamma.
The lady started at seeing Charlie; Charlie,
too, was confused. "I beg your pardon," she
stammered, thinking she ought to make some
apology. "I thought you were quite a young

1he lady tossed her head slightly, and Charlie
noticed that she grew very red.
"Indeed 1" she said, coldly; "what made you
think so ?"
"I think it must have been your hat," Charlie
Returned, after a few seconds' consideration of
what could really have made her think so.
*'lnleed !" the lady said again, in a colder tone
than before.
Charlie was sharp enough to see that it was not
the answer she had expected.
"And now you see me, you think I don't look
quite a young lady ?"
"Oh, no, not at all," Charlie replied, simply.
The lady bit her lips. "Well," she said, after
a short _pause, you are a tolerably precocious
hild. ray tell me who you are ?"
"I'm Charlie Braning," Charlie replied, draw-


ing herself up, and speaking in as dignified a way
as she could, for she did not like the tone in which
the question was asked.
"That's a boy's name," the lady replied, with
a contemptuous smile.
"No, it isn't," said Charlie, hotly. "It's the
short for Charlotte. Anybody might know that,"
she added, defiantly. "I'm Charlotte Branning,
and Uncle Edward is my uncle."
"I suppose your Uncle Edward is your uncle,"
the lady replied. "Pray tell me what you are
doing here."
"I'm living here. This is going to be my
home, and Edith's, and mamma's and Elsie's,
too."
"Never I" exclaimed the lady, holding up her
hands in amazement. "Deliver me from such a
child as you I You don't mean it ?"
"Yes, I do 1" said Charlie, maliciously, enjoy.
ing the lady's evident discomfiture. Our papa'I
gone abroad for a great many years, and we have
come to live with Uncle Edward."
The lady received this announcement in si.
lence. She sat there evidently pondering it in hex
mind, and Charlie could see she was not at all
pleased. Mr. Lee was the first person to enter
the room. She got up and went forward to greet
him. "You never told me that you had a parcel
of people coming to live hae~," she said, sharply,
without any preamble.
"I didn't mention it," Ml Lee said, looking
very uncomfortable. "I've been intending to do
so many times, but somehow thought you wouldn't
like it."
"Of course I shouldn't like it Never told,
nor consulted, nor anything. I think it mean and
shameful !" Here the lady pulled out her hand.
kerchief and wiped her eyes.
Mr. Lee looked more and more uneasy. "My
dear Miss Thorne-I mean Emma-pray don't.
It is only my sister and her two children. She's
nobody at all-that is to say, she will make no
difference, and I'm sure you will find her pleasant
and friendly, and, indeed, she won't be here long
-that is to say, her husband has gone abroad for
a few years; and, really, I couldn't do anything
else but offer her a home. But I meant to have
explained it all to you. Who told you ?"
"That child I" Miss Thorns replied, pointing
to Charlie. "Charlotte Branning, vulgarly niek-
named Charlie."
"I'm not 'iulgarly nicknamed,'" protested
Charlie, indignantly: "nicknames are given for
love, and I'm called Charlie by the people that
love me."
"All nicknames are vulgar," said the lady,
loftily ; "I never was called by a nickname when
I was a child."
No, I shouldn't think you were," said Charlie,
spitefully.
Her uncle looked at her in unfeigned astonish-
ment, and then, thinking wisely that the best plan
was to part the ,combatants, he said, severely,
"Charlotte, you may go, and tell your mother
that breakfast is ready."
Charlie moved slowly to the door, very loath to


i ----
-- ~










bey her uncle. She thought she had never in her
life seen any one so disagreeable as Miss Thorne,
and she felt a stubborn desire to stay and annoy
her, for, unfortunately, that lady had roused all
the ill-feeling and passionate dislike of Charlie's
ungoverned nature, and we know already how
naughty whe could be when anything put her out.
When she had got outside the room, she stood ir-
resolutely, half determined to go back. She had
pulled the door nearly to, as she went out, so that
they did not see her, and no doubt imagined that
ahe had gone to deliver her message.
"I came so early to bring you this lovely parsley


"Indeed I" said Miss Thorne; I don't take any
interest in crops of clover."
"No, of course, of course," Mr. Lee replied,
apologetically; I meant to say that this was the
reason I did not take my usual before-breakfast
walk."
"Well, I was surprised that I did not meet you
We so often meet along that road, don't we ?"
"We do, we do I" Mr. Lee returned, absently.
He was doubtless thinking of his fern.
"What about these people that are stayiu
here ?" Miss Thorne asked, abruptly.
Charlie pricked up her ears and resolved to hear


"I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BY THIS?"
fie," Charlie heard Miss Thorne say; "you said the rest of the conversation, although she knew I
you hadn't one anywhere, and that you should like was wrong to listen.
to see whether they wouldn't grow here as well as "My sister and her two girls ? Yon will like
the haru's-tongue and osmunda; so, when my Mrm. Branning, I am sure. She will be a friend to
brother brought this one home with him last night you. You have often said that you wanted a
as a gift for me, I felt so impatient for you to have friend."
it that I would not wait, but started off to bring it "I hate strangers !" the lady replied, "and if
to you at this early hour." that child is a specimen of what one may expect
"I'm sure it was extremely kind of you," Mr. from her mother, I am sure I have no desire to
Le replied. "I have been down to inspect the make her acquaintance-an ill-bred, ill-behaved,
lover meadow, and see what prospect we have. impertinent child, with such a dreadfully untidy
James has been wanting me to come for days past. head of hair. How can her mother allow her to
The weather is so unually fine that everything is go about so ?"
wery forward." Poor Charlie grew crimson as she listened.


- 1


iIow












I


LTiLWI S IN I SBEI ,l

- -- --lowy











"I wish I had waited for Elsie to do it," she
thought, remorsefully.
"IlI look at the child the next time I see her,"
Mr. Lee replied; I'm sure I've nevernoticed her."
How indignant Charlie felt I
"Are they positively lodged here for the whole
of the time that your sister's husband is abroad ?"
Miss Thorne asked, presently.
"I'm afraid so," Mr. Lee answered, anxiously.
"I promised my brother-in-law that they should
have a home here, and I can't very well turn them
South now; not that I would, if I could," he added,
suddenly, with great energy, to Charlie's delight.
"No, no; of course not I" the lady replied,
apologetically ; and Charlie was very much amused
to hear how they had suddenly seemed to change
places.
"What a silly Uncle Edward was not to give it
to her before," she thought; "she's only a coward,
after all."
The conversation was not continued, so Charlie
went softly up-stairs to her mother.
"Oh, mamma I" she exclaimed, breathlessly,
'breakfast's ready; and there's the very nastiest
woman you can think of down-stairs, giving it to
Uncle Edward like anything,!"
"My dear, what do you mean ?" Mrs. Branning
asked, quietly. "You really mustn't speak like
that. Giving it to Uncle Edward like anything '
isn't at all a pretty expression for a little girl to
use; and, dear me, Charlie, what a way your hair
is done."
"Oh, I know, mamma; she said about it. I'm
so sorry. I did it myself."
"Go and have it done properly at once," Mrs.
Branning replied, "and don't attempt to do it
yourself again. Will you never learn to be obedi-
ent, Charlie ?"
SCharlie ran to Elsie, too crestfallen to make any
answer. When her hair was properly brushed and
neatly plaited, she went down to breakfast. They
were all seated round the table, and Charlie's eye
fell with discomfiture on the figure of Miss Thorne,
seated between her mother and Uncle Edward.
She was talking away graciously enough now, and
her face was pleasant and smiling, to Charlie's
intense astonishment; Mrs. Branning, too,was talk-
ing quietly and pleasantly, and every one seemed
on the most amicable terms. Charlie could not
make it out, after the conversation she had over-
heard.
She was more puzzled than ever to hear Miss
Thorne say, when breakfast was concluded :
"I hope, Mrs. Branning, you will allow me to
drive you and your two little girls over to Horn-
church this afternoon; I can assure you it would
give me the greatest pleasure. And then you
must come for some early tea with me, and see my
brother's house and grounds. They are so prettily
situated-though I do not know that anything
could well be prettier than this. Our grounds
adjoin Mr. Lee's, you know."
"Yes, Ellen, do as Miss Thorne says," Mr. Lee
urged; "and if Miss Thorne will stay with you
this morning, and dine here, I will send James to
order the pony-chaise to be sent hera"


"Thank you; that will be very nice," Mise
Thorne replied. You know I can't offer you a
seat, Mr. Lee," she added, "for my little pony-
chaise only holds four."
It was agreed that this should be the order of
the day, to Cnarlie's great disappointment, for she
did not at all relish the idea of taking a drive with
their new acquaintance.
It was a long time before Charlie succeeded in
getting hold of her mamma quite alone that morn-
ing. At last, however, she did so.
"Oh, mamma l" she burst out, impatiently,
"you don't like her, do you ? I'm sure she must
be a deceitful thing, for she said all sorts of nasty
things about you before you saw her, and then she
seemed so nice and kind when you came down.
You don't like her, do you ?"
"That is a question I should never think of an-
swering, Charlie," her mother replied, "and one
that a little girl has no business to ask."
"Now, mamma, that's an invasion," said Char-
lie, delightedly. "I can see in your face that you
don't like her, and I'm so glad 1"
And Charlie skipped away.

CHAPTER X.--CHARiaE' APO iOl'r.
"You really must excuse me, mamma, but I
don't want to go out for a drive with her."
The little party were assembled in the sitting.
room, ready dressed, when it was discovered that
Charlie was absent. Elsie had been dispatched
to find the truant, and had brought her unwill-
ingly from the nearest meadow, where she was as
happy as could be, gathering primroses and vio-
lets. She was told to go up-stairs quickly, and
get ready for the drive, upon which she delivered
the rude speech with which this chapter opens. I
must state, however, that she endeavored to ex-
press her feelings on the matter as politely as pos-
sible, and thought she had succeeded beautifully.
Miss Thorne glanced at her with a look which
was certainly not affectionate. Mrs. Branning
looked pained and astonished.
"Charlie, Charlie I" she exclaimed, severely, "I
will not allow you to speak so rudely. .Go at
once 1"
"Really, Mrs. Branning," Miss Thorne broke
in, "if she does not wish to come, pray let her
stay at home."
"I think she must," Mrs. Branning replied, for
she foresaw that these two were not likely to get
on well together, and she knew that Charlie would
not hesitate to say anything that came into her
mind. "If she behaves so badly, she ought not
to have the pleasure of a drive. But I must have
her apologize to you. Come here, Charlie."
Charlie came reluctantly forward.
"You must beg Miss Thorne's pardon for
speaking so rudely," Mrs. Branning said, firmly.
Charlie saw that her mother was really dis*
pleased, and she wa 'yo fond of her to wish witH
fully to vex her, so site inclined to do what was
requested of her.
I beg your pardon for being rude," she said,
looking rather defiantly than otherwise at Miss










Thorne. I really wouldn't have said it if I could
have helped it."
"Charlie, that is not a proper apology 1" Mrs.
Branning exclaimed, reproachfully.
"But, mamma, I can't help it. It's no good for
me to say 1 like her if I don't; and I really
couldn't if I were to try ever so ; so if I said I did
it would only be pretension and conceifulness-
now, wouldn't it ?"
"Do you know, I think you had better let that
young lady go," Miss Thorne said, dryly.
Mrs. Branning thought so, too.
I will speak to you about this another time,"
she said, with so much sorrow in her voice that
Charlie looked up in surprise, and wondered what
there was to be sorry about.
To her astonishment she saw that her mother's
eyes were full of tears. She went up to her, and,
putting her arms round her neck, whispered,
affectionately :
SI didn't know it would vex you so, mamma,
dear; I'll try very hard to like her."
Her mother kissed her in return, and smiled
approvingly.
"Ah, well, I suppose I must !" Charlie thought
to herself. "It'll be very hard indeed, but if it
makes mamma cry, why, I must. But, dear me,
what a lot of hard things there are I I used to
think nothing was hard, but there are lots of
things harder than I don't know what-real stiff
hard."
She made her escape from the room, and -,ent
up-stairs to Elsie.
"Oh, nursie, dear," she said, hopelessly, after
she had given Elsie an account of all that had
taken place, I've got to like Miss Thorne, and I
don't know a bit how to begin. It's only for
mamma I'm going to do it. I'd like best to hate
her."
Charlie said this with an emphasis that showed
very plainly the liking had not begun yet.
"Why would you like best to hate her ?" Elsie
asked, without expressing horror or surprise, but
thinking wisely that it would be best to go to the
root of tue matter.
Oh, she's mean and horrid I You should have
heard how she went on at Uncle. Edward about
our being here, as if it could be anything to do
with her; and she called me a 'precocious child,'
and said Charlie was a boy's name and that nick-
naimes were vulgar. What business has she to say
such things ? And then she smiled when mamma
came down-stairs, as if she had never said all those
rude things. It's she that's rude, not me; and I
think she ought to beg my pardon, only grown
people say anything they like to children. It's a
shame!"
Well, my dear, I'm sure she wasn't far wrong
in saying you were a precocious child, and that
Charlie is a boy's name. It is, you know. And
she hadn't seen your mamma when she spoke
about her. Now, I fhink she's sure to be very fond
of your mamma, unless you make her dislike her by
being rude and disagreeable, for, of course, she will
think your mamma encourages you, if you go on ;
so you see it will make her think badly of your


good kind mamma as well as you, and you wouldn't
like that, would you ?"
"No," Charlie admitted.
"You see, dear, if you're so rude to her, she
can't like you; but if you're well-behaved to hem,
most likely she will."
"Oh, no, she won't 1" Charlie replied, deci-
sively; "she'll never like me-I saw that in her
eyes when she looked at me."
Oh, you mustn't say that," Elsie replied, en.
couragingly; "you can't tell until you've tried
being polite and kind. And I'll tell you something
else, my dear. You know you are not in your
own home, and if you go on making unpleasant-
ness, by being naughty to any one, you will make
your mamma very unhappy. Remember that;
you wouldn't like to bring her any more trouble
than she has got already, would you ?"
Charlie could not answer, for she was touched,
and great sobs rose in her throat. Poor papa,
poor Bertie, the dear old home, all gone 1 No,
indeed, she didn't want to give her mamma more
trouble than that.
"I will hke that nasty, hoirid Miss Thorne,"she
said, resolutely to herself.
Having arrived at this conclusion, she consid-
ered that she was fully entitled to spend the rest
of the afternoon as best pleased her.
Elsie was very kind, and took her out to explore
the charming little estate in which her uncle's
house-Winterton Grange, as people called it-
was inclosed. They walked through the bright,
gay meadows, over grassy slopes, and hunted in
banks of wild-flowers. It was a novel experience
to Charlie to be able to take quite a delightful
walk without going beyond one's own gateway.
She very much wanted to go and see the farmyard,
but did not like to ask her uncle to take her, aftet
what had happened that morning.
They went back to the house and made it k]ight
with the flowers they had gathered; then they
had tea with Mrs. Rebekah in her own little room,
which was very neat and cozy. The good old
soul delighted Charlie by telling her many a tale
of her "young lady when she was a child ; and
when Charlie heard that, although her mamma
had been a great romp, she was always kind and
thoughtful for others, so that every one loved
her, and was quite sorry to lose her, she began to
think that she would like to have some one tell
such a pleasant tale of her when she was grown
up.
After tea Mrs. Rebekah took her all round the
farm and showed her the pigs, and fowls, and
rabbits, and many other pretty things. The young
ones pleased her vastly, they were so pretty and
so small. She was soon on most friendly terms
with the cows, and dogs, and horses, for she was
not the least bit frightened of animals. There
was one cow that reminded her so strongly of
Farmer Wilson's Flossy, that the sight of it
brought rushing back to her mind that unfortu:rate
afternoon when Bertie had fallen in the pond.
How very frightened the poor little darling had
been I
"I'd never tease him for it now," thought &~a.


1I


-











lie, with a great longing to see the sweet little face
again.
As they went back they came upon Mr. Lee sit-
ting on a garden bench, gazing absently at the
ground.
Here was a grand opportunity for Charlie to
put into practice her resolve to be good, and save
her mother from further pain and annoyance.
"I will tell Uncle Edward that I am sorry,"
she said, very resolutely, to herself. She went up
to him, and touched him on the arm. Uncle
Edward," she said, "I am sorry I was rude to
Miss Thorne this morning. I'm not going to be
dhy more ; I'm going to like her, oh, ever so !"
"Eh-what-Miss Thorne-oh, yes I"
Charlie doubted whether her uncle had at all
taken in the meaning of what she said, which she
considered a great shame, after she had gone
through so unplea-
sant a task. She
scarcely liked to
venture any further
remarks, f or her r
nncle looked so
melancholy and pre-
occupied that Char-
lie wondered
whether he was in
trouble. However,
she had no notion
of letting her
apology go for no-
thing, after all. So
3he presently began
again, putting her
mouth rather close
to her uncle's ear,
and speaking as if
he were deaf. "I
wanted to tell you
that I was sorry for
being rude to Miss-
Thorne this morn.
ing."
He looked at herl
for a moment, then
exclaimed, sadly : A SAD
"They're dead,
after all the trouble I've taken-so beautiful,,
too."
"Who are dead, uncle ?" Charlie asked, appre-
hensively.
But as her uncle made no reply, Charlie thought
he was overcome with sorrow. So she made no
further romaark. He got up and began to walk,
Charlie following him silently. Presently he
turned suddenly round, and said, "Is that you,
Ellen ? wh t do you want ?"
It's me," Charlie replied-" Charlie, I mean."
Oh. Charlie, is it ? Ah I was thinking your
aame was .Ellen ; never mind, it's all the same."
Charlie did not see how it could be all the same,
but she said nothing; seeing that her uncle was
roused, ahe ventured to ask him again who were
dead.
"Dead ?" he repeated, as if trying to recall the


matter to his mind ; "why, two of the finest myr-
tles you ever saw," he added, pathetically.
"Oh, that's all !" Charlie exclaimed, much re-
lieved; I thought it was some dear friend."
"Please, uncle. may 1 pick a few flowers to give
to Miss Thorije, because I'm sorry I was rude to
her ?" she asned after a few minutes' silence.
"Oh, you're sorry, are you ?" he said, with a lit-
tle laugh, and you want to make a peace-offering,
do you ? Very well, Ellen-that is to say, Char-
lie-go to the greenhouse and ask James to give
you a bunch, and tell your mamma and Miss
Thorne when they return that I have gone to Ra-
vensthorpe, and sha'n't be back till to-morrow
evening."
The little party arrived about seven o'clock.
Charlie immediately ran out to the porch to meet
them, her peace-offering in her hand.
"Oh, Miss
Thorne, I've got
some flowers will
you have them,
please?" she ex-
claimed, hurriedly.
Miss Thorne
Looked at her in
astonishmt nt. She
was not accustomed
to chil :ren, and was
at a loss to under-
stand the meaning
of this unexpected
gift. "Do let me
get into the house
first," she said, cold-
ly, not bestowing a
single glance on the
flowers.
Charlie retreated
silently. She waited
till they were all
seated in the sitting-
room, and then prof-
fered them again.
She would have said
some words of apol-
LETTER. ogy, but she could
not bring herself to
pronounce them. Miss Thorne took the flowers
and laid them on a little table by her side. Char-
lie was wofully disappointed. She was quite sure
she would not apologize to her now.
After a little conversation, Charlie seized an op-
portunity to deliver her uncle's message. Miss
Thorne looked annoyed and angry.
"I had better go, then, before it gets quite
dark," she said, sharply, to Mr'. Branning.
"P rhans you will allow James to see me home."
Mrs. Bra~ning gave the necessary instructions
Presently Miss Thorne rose to go. the shook
hands with Mrs. Branning and kissed Edith. To
Cnorlie she merely said a cold good-by, as she
passed through the doorway. Whea they came
back to the room, Charlia's flowers were still lying
on the little table. From first to last Miss Thorne
had never bestowed one glance upon them-


___


_


_1___1










"I hate her; I do, and I will! I won't like
her V" Charlie burst out, passionately.
"Hush, hush I my dear child !" her mother
said, soothingly. "It was unkind of her, but if
you go on being gentle and well-behaved, she will
get to like you. You see, dear, she can't forget
how rude you were at first; it is so much easier
to make people think badly of us than to make
them alter their opinion afterward.".
"I wish she wouldn't be unkind to Charlie,"
Edith said, with ready sympathy. I'd rather
she wouldn't be kind to me, if she's so disagreeable
to Charlie."
Now, dears, here is your supper," Mrs. Bran-
ning remarked, glad to break off the conversation.
The children took their cake-and-milk in silence,
and then bade their mother good-night. When
they got up-stairs, Edith had a heap of pretty
things to show
Charlie a beauti-
ful doll, with a box
of clothes, all made
to put on and take
off, a dear little
leather bag, and a
charming new
story-book. The
box in which the
doll's clothes were
packed was made
just like a minia-
ture trunk, and
contained hat s,
bonnets, boots,
shoes and every
article of attire
that might be sup-
posed to fill a lady's
box. It had even
alock and key.
The children were
enraptured with it,
and turned the
things over, and
examined them all
twenty times before
they were at all SUCCEEDED IN TALKING KATIE I
satisfied.
Now, Charlie, wouldn't you like to have it for
your own ?" Edith asked, when they had finished
looking at it.
Well, Edith," Charlie replied, with great de-
liberation, I think it's the best doll I ever saw,
and the box of clothes is perfectly beautiful, but I
don't want to have it, because it's yours, and I
don't want to be enviable."
"But, Charlie, I want you to have it; it's for
you, if you'll take it."
"For me!" Charlie exclaimed, in surprise;
"wherever did you get it, Edie ?"
"Never mind about that, Charlie."
"But I must know, Edith," Charlie persisted;
"I won't take it unless you tell me." ,
"Well, then, dear, Miss Thorne bought it for
me, and all these other things, but I made up my
mind directly that you were to have the doll."


"I wouldn't have it for anything I" Charlie ex-
claimed resolutely ; "I'm sorry I ever touched it."
"Oh, Charlie dear, I do wish you would,"
Edith persisted.
I won't, I tell you, Edith, so it's no good ask-
ing me."
Edith saw it was not, so she said no more, and
the two children got into bed, and were soon sound
asleep. While they were sleeping peacefully, all
their troubles and disappointments forgotten,
their mother in the little sitting-room below was
writing to their father the sad tidings of all that
had happened since he left them.

CHAPTER XVI.-A DISASTER, AND WHAT CAME OF IT.
THE early Spring days passed rapidly, and
merged into warm, glorious Summer weather.
Winterton Grange,
with its lovely
-grounds, developed
into a perfect won-
der of beauty to the
children. They had
never dreamt of
such a wealth of
wild-flowers. They
almost shed tears
as they saw the
primroses disap-
pear, for some of
the fields and banks
were clothed with
them, as if a yellow
-.arpet had been
spread. But their
mourning soon
turned into joy, for
other beauties came
to take the place of
the departed prim-
roses. There were
fields white with
marguerites, and
beautiful with tall,
waving, many-
NTO A BETTER FRAs OF MIND tinted grass fields
crimson with
blood-red sainfoin, banks lull of all descriptions of
flowers and the commoner sorts of ferns ; and later
on thee were wild roses and honeysuckle in sweet
profusion; wild strawberries to be had for the
seeking; blackberry-blossoms, such as city-bred
children have no idea of-large, spotless and per-
fect, in masses that gave delicious promise of the
fruit to come; bilberries, whortleberries, sloes, too,
were in store for the days when most of the flowers
should be gone-a constant succession of pleasure
in field and hedgerow.
Charlie had come to be on very good terms with
her uncle. Edith was afraid to go near him, for
he seemed always so preoccupied that she feared
to disturb him. So that after two whole months'
acquaintance she scarcely ever ventured to say
more than "good-morning," or "good-night."
Charlie was more reckless; she ran after *4


I _


[










and begged him to show her things about the
farm or grounds, followed him into the green-
houses, and made remarks on the flowers, took
upon herself to fetch the letters, and even to hide
his for awhile, so that he might have a surprise-
ment." Her acle. did not seem displeased, and
now and then he would have a little joke with her,
and laugh heartily at it; so that on the whole, she
and every one else considered that she must be
rather a favorite, for he took very little notice of
anybody. His craze for flowers had cooled down;
and it was generally considered that something else
was gradually taking its place, though no one knew
exactly what that something else was. James
thought it was dogs, because master came down to
the stables three times every day to look at Nip's
puppies, a kindly attention he had never been
known to display before. Mrs. Rebekah thought
it might be pigs, for the master was so often go-
ing to Ravensthorpe now to see his friend Squire
Watkins, who, it was well known, owned the finest
pigs anywhere about, and had spent a heap of
money on a model piggery. Most of the men and
boys about the place inclined to James's opinion,
while the maids sided with Mrs. Rebekah, and
many a hot discussion was waged about the mat-
ter when the farm hands were assembled at meals
in the long, low, raftered kitchen which was de-
voted to their use.
The old grange had greatly improved under
Mrs. Branning's care. The furniture that had
filled their former home had been sent down here,
and now graced many rooms that had been empty
and unused. From a dingy, desolate, echoing
old place it had been converted into a comfortable,
pleasant, many-roomed house, old-fashioned, but
all the better for that.
Miss Thorne was a constant visitor, but I can-
not say that the feeling between her and Charlie
was much improved. Her manner to Mrs.
Branning and Edith was agreeable, and even
kind; but to Charlie she was always cold and
harsh. I am bound to say that Charlie's behavior
to her was so evidently the result of obedience to
her mamma's wishes, and not of any goodwill
toward Miss Thorne herself, that it was scarcely
to be expected that the lady should have .any
great liking for her. I cannot deny that Charlie
was at times very rude and saucy, though I am
sure she did try to behave well, but somehow
Miss Thorne seemed to set her all wrong, and she
used to do the same to Miss Thorne.
She took them frequently for drives in her little
pony-chaise, and occasionally Charlie was included
among the number, but more often she was left be-
hind, and her Uncle Edward went in her place.
It was a lovely Summer evening when they
started, after a very early tea, to pay a visit
to an interesting old ruin. The day had been
unbearably hot, and even now at five o'clock they
would scarcely have been able to go out-of-doors,
had not their way been by shady lanes. The
ruin was on the top of a steep and thickly-wooded
hill; so, leaving the chaise in the road to be
guarded by a small boy, they alighted, and pro-
eeded to walk up the narrow pathway.


The place was overgrown with trees that had
taken root and flourished for many centuries.
Except that various pathways had been preserved,
it was like going through a forest. After some
ten minutes' walk they came out upon a clear
space, and found themselves in full view of the
gray ruins of what had once been a lordly dwell-
ing.
Ruined and crumbling away now, strongly as
it had been built, thick as were the walls-a
turreted tower and a few broken walls were all
that were left of its one-time grandeur and mighty
strength.
Low down to the ground could be discovered
the signs of arched doorways in the massive
masonry. These were reported 'to lead to gloomy
dungeons and vaults, hidden from the light of
day, where many a wretched creature had lan-
guished and died in days gone by ; but they were
blocked up now, and none had sufficient curiosity
to unseal them and explore their dingy, loath-
some depths. The children were quite excited to
hear that even in the present day the poor people
round about believed that the ruins were haunted,
and that scarcely a soul would venture to come up
here after dark.
They turned at length to retrace their steps.
When they emerged from the wood and found
themselves once more in the roadway, a strange
thing had happened. The chaise, pony and boy
had vanished.
Miss Thorne looked up and down the road in
perplexed surprise. There was no sign of them,
not a soul in sight, not a house or cottage near.
What was to be done ?
"Well, this is the strangest thing !" said Mist
Thorne, uneasily. "I would have answered to
anybody for that boy's honesty, for I know him
well; besides, what good would it be for him to
drive away with out shawls and belongings ? he
would be found out and stopped before he had
gone any way. Everybody for miles around
knows my chaise. Something must have hap-
pened."
After a short consultation, they agreed that if
was no use standing there, for it was already half-
past seven, and they were nearly twelve miles
from home. Their best plan was to walk on
toward the neighboring village, hoping there td
hear something of the missing carriage.
After they had walked some way along the dusty
road, Miss Thorne declared that she could dis-
cern something in the distance, which she believed
to be either a boy or a man. Edith and Charlie
strained their eyes, and gave it as their opinion
that it was a boy. A boy it proved to be, gradu,
ally coming into view, growing larger and more
distinguishable, till at last they all declared that
they believed it really was Timothy, the boy that
had been left in charge of the pony and chaise.
Right again; it certainly was Timothy, and h6
was running as hard as he could, till he presently
came up with them, hot, dusty and breathless.
"If yer please, m'm, it warn't my fault," he
began, half whimpering, half defiantly. "It's all
along of that ingin sort o' machine as they 'as to


r










do the threshing nowaday, as starts all the skittish
young ponies off and frightens them out of their
wits, as there's no 'oilin' of 'em nohow."
What's all this about ? why can't you speak
plainly ?" asked Miss Thorne, darting an angry
glance at the boy. "What has happened to my
pony and chaise ? Did Totum-, run away ?"
"Ye-es, m'm; that's jist what 'im did," Timo-
thy replied, hesitatingly, shifting uneasily, and
staring hard at the ground.
"He was frightened by the sight of a threshing-
machine, you say ?"
"Yes, m'm, that's jist it."
And pray, what were you doing ?"
"I runned arter him as 'ard as I could go, but
he went 'arder, a jolly lot."
"But when the threshing-machine came
along ?" Miss Thorne asked, fixing her ~aercing
dark eyes on the boy's face.
"Weel, I war up a tree," the boy replied, not
able to resist that influence. I'd only jist that
minute gone up carter a nest, when rush comes the
ingin and frightens the little 'un, and off he goes,
and there's no stopping 'im nohow. 1 runs arter
him all the way till I gets nigh to Ra'ensthup,
and some chaps stops him, an' as soon as I sees
'im safe at the Blue Boar, back I comes to tell
yer about it."
And if we walk on to the Blue Boar, is Tommy,
in a fit state to take us home ?"
Wel, m'm, I reckon no's the answer."
"Is the chaise damaged ?"
SWeel, m'm, I reckon it is."
"Much ?"
"Pretty considerable, takin' :t all together."
"Is Tommy hurt ?"
"Not as I knows on, more'n bein' a'most wore
out and not able to stand. No more'n that, I
reckon."
You are a nice boy to take care of a.horse I"
Miss Thorne exclaimed indignantly, making the
boy cower under her angry glances. "I shall
have something more to say to you about this
another time. We'll see if your schoolmaster can't
teach you to hold a horse without your leaving it
to climb up trees."
Timollhy began to rub his eyes with his jacket-
sleeve. Grim visions of the cane loomed before
him, and with it a notion of running away. They
left him sitting by the roadside waiting till they
should be out of sight before he turned to go
home.
"The only thing to be done," said Miss Thorne,
"is to go into Ravensthorpe and call at Mr. Wil-
liams's; I know him pretty well, and I am sure
he would let us have his phaeton to drive home;
it would be close quarters, but Edith could sit on
my knees and Charlie on yours. Ten chances to
one we shall not be able to get anything in the
village without a great deal of trouble and loss of
time."
This plan was agreed upon, and the little party
walked steadily forward till they reached a small
house on the outskirts of the village. They went
along the smooth gravel path to a porch covered
with climbing roses and borevsuckles.


Mr. Williams was not at home, the maid said;
Miss Kate was. Would they come in ?
They waited in the hall while the maid tapped
at a door. A voice from within answered crossly :
"You can't come in; you know I don't want to
be disturbed."
The servant went in, however, and held a con-
versation with Miss Kate in low tones, the result
of which was that they were presently shown into
the drawing-room.
At the further end a little girl of about twelve
or thirteen years of age was seated in a large arm-
chair. Close to her was a tat,, covered with
book, flowers and needlework materials, while
against the table, within easy reach of her hand,
were propped up a pair of crutoties. Her face
looked sallow and unhealthy, and it was rendered
displeasing by the expression of discontent and
fil-temper which was only too plainly visible.
"Oh, it's you, Miss Thorne 1" s!ie said, ungra-
ciously, eying the stranger as she spoke. "I never
thought any one would come this evening."
"We sha'n't disturb you long, Kate," Miss
Thorne said, coldly, and then proceeded to explain
the accident
Kate Williams evinced very little interest in the
matter. "I dare say papa would lend you the
phaeton, but then he isn't at home, so what do

you think you'll do ?"
Well, I think I shall take the liberty of borrow-
ing-it. I know Mr. Williams would be very pleased
to help us," she added, turning to Mrs. Branning.
"I will go and speak to Morrison myself."
She went out of the room, and Mrs. Branning,
Edith and Charlie were left with th6 little cripple.
"I am afraid you are rather lonely, my dear,"
Mrs. Branning said, kindly; "have you no broe
others, nor sisters, nor young friends ?"
"I am very lonely," she replied, shortly; "I
have no friends at all, and I am always alone."
That must be a sad life. Can you get out ?"
Mrs. Branning asked.
"I have a wheel-chair that I use in the garden,"
she replied, "but I don't go any further, because
I don't care to be stared at."
"Iwish you did," Mrs. Branning said, affection.
ately, because I should like you to come over
and see my little girls. They would make you
welcome, I know and we could show you some
very pretty views from our old house."
"I never go anywhere," the child answered,
abruptly. "If you knew me, you wouldn't any
of you like me; nobody does, and I don't like any-
body, either."
"I feel sure I should like youe, my dear," Mrs.
SBranning replied. "Will you le us come over
and see you another day ?" she asked, in a low
tone, as Miss Thorne entered the room.
"I don't care," was the ungracious answer.
"You never intend to pursue the acquaintance
with that peevish, ill-tempered, ill-behaved girl ?"
Miss Thorue remarked, when they were all squeezed
into the phaeton and on their road home-for Mr.
Williams's man Morrison had readily acceded to
Miss Thorne's request, knowing that his .aaster
would be best pleased that he should do a(.


I_ _I































































a Imm"Am vau&"ma M flom 4









SPoor child, she needs friends sadly 1" Mrs.
Banning replied.
Miss Thorne lifted her eyebrows, but said
nothing.
They reached home without further vicissitudes,
and the children slept soundly after their adven-
ture.
The next morning Charlie and Edith went out
directly after breakfast to enjoy themselves. They
had been told by Mrs. Rebekah that a certain old
oak-tree not far from the house had once on a
time had a swing hung from its thick branches,
in which their mother used to swing when a child.
So Charlie had got round James to put her up
-some ropes.
This great event had only happened yesterday,
and both the children had been having such glorious
swings that they were quite anxious to get at it
again. Their uncle
had laughed to see
their enjoyment,
and had given them
each such a high
swing that their feet
littered the leaves
to the ground.
Off they started,
running along in
high glee. 'I can't
see the ropes," said
Charlie; "has
James tucked them
up ?" They came
closer, and looking
up, found that the
awing had disap.
feared. There was
not a sign of it left.
In dismay and
vexation they ran
along as fast as they
could to the stables.
"1James, what have
you done to our
swing ?" Charlie
called out, breath- u .n9a SHE SUFFERED
lessly. "Uncle
Edward didn't mind our having it."
"No, miss, it wasn't your uncle; it was Miss
Thorne give me orders to cut it down."
"But, James, it's nothing to do with her; why
did you mind what she said ?"
Ain't it nothing to do with her ? I rather
fancy it is," said James, with an incomprehensible
smile. "Anyhow, the master stood by and said
naught till I says, Well, sir, is it to be ?' then he
says, 'Do what she tells you, James,' so then I
did it."
"Nasty, horrid, mean, disagreeable thing I"
uirst out Charlie. "I'll let her know what we
think of her. I'll serve her out for this, see if I
don't I"
CHAPTER XVIL-AS IMPORTANT DISCOVERY.
"OH, mamma, whatever do you think 1" ex-
claimedEdithand Charlie, rshingbreathlessly into


F


the room which Mrs. Branning had furnished for
her own special use; "our beautiful swing is out
down, and James says Miss Thorne ordered him to
do it because she said it looked so ugly, and Uncle
Edward said he was to do what she told him. And
don't you think it's a horrid, wicked shame,
mamma ?" added Charlie, passionately.
"I think it is rather unkind," Mrs. Branning
admitted ; "but my dear children, you must be
content to do without a swing if your uncle does
not wish you to have one."
"But it's not uncle -it's Miss Thorne; he
wouldn't mind, I know !" exclaimed Charlie, wrath.
fully. "And what's she to do with us?"
"Your uncle told James to do it, you know,
dear, and so he was bound to obey," Mrs. Bran.
ning replied.
"It's a shame 1" was Charlie's comment. "1
have tried to like
her, mamma, but I
can't-it's the hard-
est thing I ever had
to do. It won'
come."
"I11 tell you
what, dears," said
Elsie, who was busy
removing the break.
fast things. "I
think we might have
a swing up in the
doorway of the
empty stable, if
James would only
put up two hooks.
We might take it
down w hen we'd
done with it, and
then it couldn't an-
noy anybody, Don't
you think, ma'am,
that would be a good
plan ?"
"I think it
might," Mrs. Bran.
ROM FI r OF DEPRESSIo No n in g replied. "I
will ask their uncle
if he has any objection, when he returns from
Ravensthorpe."
The children were obliged to be content with
this, though they did not think it would be half
so nice as swinging under the great oak where
their mother had swung.
"Now, dears, as your uncle is out to-day, I
think we will go and see poor little Katie Williams.
We will drive over and try to persuade her to come
back with us."
"Oh, mamma! that disagreeable, boun~ffu
thing! I thought she was ever so nasty. Edie
and I can play and have a much better time by
ourselves."
S"I dare say you can, but we want to amuse her
and make her happier. Think how dull she must
be !-no mother, no brothers and sisters, no little
companions, never able to run about and amma
herself. We can't be surprised if she is crow and


I I -










disagreeable. Perhaps if we can manage to make
her happy she will be quite different."
Oh, yes, Charlie We can show her my doll
and the little tea-things ; she would like them, I'm
sure. Do let's have her to tea, mamma."
"You're very unkind, Edith," said Charlie,
sulkily. "You say you want her just because you
know I don't."
That's a very naughty speech, Charlie," her
mother said, gravely. "I'm sure, dear, you feel
sorry for poor, crippled Katie, and will try to
amuse her. If you are unkind or rude to her I
shall be very much displeased."
They started off directly after dinner to Thorpe
Lodge, where Mr. Williams and Katie lived.
When they arrived they were told that the little
girl was lying down and didn't want to see any-
body.
"But we wanted her to come home with us,"
Mrs. Branning said, in a disappointed voice.
"I don't suppose she would, ma'am," the ser-
vant replied. "She has had a bad morning. She
has a dreadful temper, and sometimes if anything
happens to cross her she goes into regular fits of
crying and screaming till she's quite worn out."
"Poor child." said Mrs. Branning, with ready
sympathy. "I'm afraid she makes herself very
unhappy."
"That she does," replied the maid. Master's
very fond of her, and would take notice of her
when he's at home-which I must say isn't often-
but he's afraid of her temper, and so he leaves her
to herself."
"I should like to see her very much," Mrs.
Branning replied. I think I will venture to go
up to her room, if you will take me. Charlie, you
stay here; and Edith, you come with me and see
if you can persuade Katie to come home with us."
They went up-stairs and into a tastefully-
arranged little room. Katie had thrown herself
on the floor, and was lying there with her hands
clinched and her eyes red with crying.
Mrs. Branning stooped over and kissed her.
"Here is my little daughter Edith," she said,
gently. "She wants you to come home and have
tea with her, and she will be so disappointed if
you don't. We want to drive you back with us."
"I don't believe it," said Katie, ungraciously.
" She doesn't want me to come."
"Oh, yes, I do !" said Edith, earnestly. "I
thought you would like to see my beautiful doll
with all its clothes-such lovely ones they are !-
and my set of tea-things. Mamma says we may
have tea out of them if you come; and I've got
more things than that to show you. Do come
with us."
My face is too red," Katie answered, "and I
must have my frock changed if I do, and I hate
having my frock changed. I'd do it myself if I
could; but I can't, and Ellen is a nasty thing.
She pulls my hair and tears it when she combs it,
and ties it too tight or too loose, and she jerks my
frock when she hooks it. I hate her !"
"Oh, my dear, I'm sure she doesn't mean to do
that," Mrs. Branniag replied; "but never mind
about your frook to-day. This one is quite nice


for playing in. You can sponge your eyes and
smooth the front of your hair yourself, and if it
wants any more doing we will get my maid to do
it. Shall I ring for Ellen to get your hat and
jacket ?"
"I can put them on myself," Katie replied,
springing to her feet with surprising skill and
nimbleness.
She caught hold of her crutches and went to a
cupboard, from whence she took her out-door gar-
ments. She would not allow any one to help her
down-stairs, but got down herself with the aid
of one crutch and the banisters. She even rejected
Ellen's offer to lift her into the chaise, and would
have fallen had not Mrs. Branning supported her.
So you've come, too ?" she said, most ungra.
ciously, to Charlie.
Charlie made no reply. She did not like being
spoken to so rudely.
Why don't you speak ?" asked Katie. "You're
sulky."
"No, I'm not," Charlie replied, sharply. "You're
very rude."
"So are you," replied Katie. "I don't like you
at all."
*- And I don't like you," said Charlie, stung by
Katie's aggressiveness.
"'Now, my dears, I can't allow you to speak
like that to each other. You know, Katie dear, if
you speak unkindly to your little friends you can-
not expect them to love you; and, Charlie dear,
when Katie says a rude thing to you, you must
answer her gently. You must remember that she
has a great deal to make her unhappy."
Charlie thought it was very unjust, but she said
nothing.
During the rest of the drive Katie talked only
to Edith, treating Charlie with as much indiffer-
ence as if she had not been there. This behavior
did not improve Charlie's feeling toward the little
lame girl, whom she began to look upon as a most
disagreeable addition to their party.
Katie despised dolls, as a rule, but she could not
help admiring Edith's. The box of clothes she
declared to be beautiful, and she spent all that
was left of the afternoon in putting them on and
taking them off, not allowing Charlie or Edith to
do anything .but hand them to her or fold them
up when she had done with them.
"Fancy Miss Thorne giving you such a present I"
she said, on hearing Edith say who had given her
the doll. "I never thought she'd give anybody
anything but scoldings and boxes on the ears. f
ever I knew anybody I hated and detested, it's
that ugly, ill-tempered Miss Thorns. She'd better
not come near me."
"I wish she wouldn't come near me," sighed
Charlie, all her dislike revived by Katie's cross-
grained speech.
"Don't you like her, then ?" asked Katie.
"Like her I No, not a bit-a disagreeable old
thing !"
Oh, what fun I" laughed Katie. A disagree.
able old thing Won't I *ell her I It'll make her
so cross I Sha'n't I enjoy it I"
"If you tell her, you 'e a mean tell-tale," said











Charlie, indignantly, sorry for her thoughtless
words, for she knew how vexed her mother would
be if Katie carried out her unkind threat.
"You dare to call me names I" cried Katie, turn-
ing violently Ted, and flinging down the doll with
a force that gave its waxen forehead a crack right
across.
"Oh, Katie !" cried Edith, indignantly, picking
up her doll and laying it tenderly in the box. "I
wouldn't have lent you my doll if I had thought
you would serve it so."
"She shouldn't put me in a passion," muttered
Katie, sulkily.
"Well, it would be a shame if you told Miss
Thorne what she sai, ," Edith replied. "I shouldn't
like you at all if you did that."
flow do you know I shall tell. Perhaps I
shall, and perhaps I sha'n't," Katie said, defiantly.
Edith took this as meaning that she was sorry
but wouldn't say so. She did not want to make
Katie cross again, so she said no more about it,
but proposed that they should go into theagarden.
Here was a beautiful surprise. Tea had been
laid under the big oak. Katie was all good-humor
again when Edith told her she might pour out tea,
and for a time all went pleasantly.
"I wish we could all have a swing," Charlie re-
marked, disconsolately, after tea. "Do you like
swinging, Katie ? We used to have such a beauty
in this tree. You can see the great iron hooks
James put up to make it safe."
"Why can't you have it up now?" asked
Katie. "I should just like a swing."
We can't. Miss Thorne got uncle to have it
taken down."
"Just like her I'd have it put up again if I
were vou, just to spite her."
Mamma wouldn't like it; besides, it wouldn't
be right," said Edith.
"Do you do what your mamma likes always ?"
Katie asked.
We don't always, but we're sorry if we don't,"
Edith replied.
"I haven't got any mamma," Katie said, thought-
fully. She died when I was a baby, and then my
nurse let me fall, and it made me lame, and then
nobody cared for me, so I got to dislike them. If
mamma had been with me I shouldn't have been
lame, and people would have liked me."
"We like you, if you won't tell tales of Char-
lie," said Edith, consolingly. "You shallplay with
my doll whenever you like, if you won't throw it
down and break it."
I like you," said Katie; "but I wish we could
have a swing," she added, changing the subject.
"That horrid Miss Thorne I I wouldn't be in your
oboes for anything."
"Why not ?" both children asked.
"Promise you won't tell anybody ?"
Both children promised. Katie then came and
whispered something to them with an air of great
importance.
I don't believe it I" said Charlie; "and I never
will. You've made it up, Katie."
"Very well, then, you'll see. But, I say, I'm
tied of doing nothing--let's make up some


rhymes. It's such fun I often amuse myself
with doing it. I've got a pencil and some paper.
Come along."
They sat down at the table together.
"Now, who shall we have first ? Oh, I know
- Miss Thorne. Now, what rhymes with
Thorne ?"
"Morn," said Charlie.
"Morn-morn-oh, yes, that'll do-I see."
Katie wrote away on her slip of paper. "I want
a rhyme for fright," she said, presently.
"Might, sight, white," suggested Edith and
Charlie.
"White-yes, that'll do." Katie wrote again,
and then read out triumphantly :
"I got up one morn
And found that a Thorne
Had stuck itself into my side.,
She looked such a fright
That she made me turn white,
And I laughed, and I laughed till I cried.
"That's you when you first saw her, you know,
Charlie," Katie said, laughing heartily. Theother
children laughed too. "Come along, let's do some
more.
"Her hat was turned up,
And her nose was turned down,
And she walked about just like a poker."

S"Don't you think that's too rude ?" said Edith.
"I don't care if it is; it's only fun," Katie re-
plied. "What'll rhyme with poker, now ? That's
difficult."
"Provoke her," said Charlie, entering thor-
oughly into the spirit of the fun.
"Capital !".laughed Katie-
"She tore down our swing,
The horrid old thing!
And I'll do all I can to provoke her!"
"Oh, Katie! tear it up. Look there 1" cried
Edith.
The children turned round, and, to their aston-
ishment, saw Mr. Lee and Miss Thorne walking
along together arm-in-arm. Their uncle had not
been expected home that night at all.
"I told you sol" said Katie, triumphantly.
"Now look at them. Shouldn't I like to go after
them and give them a surprise! I believe they
have heard us. Look, they're coming toward
us."
"Tear up the paper, lKatie," said Edith, ear-
nestly. "Suppose she should see it! we ought
never to have written it."
What do you say that I won't show it her my.
self ?" cried Katie, tantalizingly.
"I wouldn't say anything, because I know you
wouldn't do it," Edith replied.
Katie crumpled the paper up in her hand with a
laugh.
Mr. Lee and Miss Thorne came straight up to
the children. You here, Katie Williams 1" Miss
Tborne said, by way of greeting.
"Yes, I am here; aren't you pleased to see
me ?" said Katie, maliciously.
Miss Thorne took no notice of Katie's question,


F~"-------------------~---~----------


- --










"What have you been doing here ?" she said,
iemarking, with a frown, the table still littered
with tea-things.
"Having tea and making rhymes. Here's one
for you to read," said Katie, thrusting the
wumpled paper into Miss Thorne's hamn and
hobbling away with her crutches as fast a she
could, laughing all the time.
Charlie and Edith followed, dreading to witness
Miss Thorne's anger when she read Katie's lines.
Near the house they met Elsie. "Come along,
dears," she said ; "I've got the swing up. Your
uncle came home just before you had tea, so your
mamma asked him, and while you were at tea
James put it up. Who's ready for a swing ?"
Edith and Katie'ran along with Elsie. Charlie


away, looking very angry indeed; so the children
went on amusing themselves.
It was soon time for Katie to be on her way
home, and James was commissioned to drive her
back. She declared that she had enjoyed her
visit and should like to come again. When they had
bidden their little guest "good-by," and seen her
start, the children went back into the house.
They found tteir mother and uncle and Miss
Thorne in warm discussion.
"Come here, my dears," Mrs. Branning said
"your uncle wants to speak to you."
I want to know what you mean by this ?" Mr.
Lee asked, sternly, holding the paper on which
Katie had scribbled her rhymes toward Charlie.
" Who wrote this abominable trash f-


"FAREWELL TO THE QUAINT OLD GARDEN."


called out that she would come directly, but she
wanted to speak to mamma first.
Oh, mamma, whatever do you think ?" she
exclaimed, bursting into the dining-room, with a
face full of alarm and displeasure.
"What is it, dear?"
"I do believe that Uncle Edward is going to-
to marry Miss Thorne."
Yes, dear, I think he i," Mrs. Branning re-
plied.
CHAPTER XVIII.--OHARLI GETS INTO TROUBLE.
WHAT is the meaning of this ? Who put this
swing up ?"
"James, ma'am, by Mr. Lee's permission,"
Elsie replied, in answer to Miss Thorne's indig-
nant question.
Miss Thorne only said, "Indeed r' and walked


Now, much as Charlie disliked Katie, she did
not like to tell of her what she knew would get
her into trouble ; besides, they had all had a hand
in the matter, and if .she said anything she must
tell that as welL So she only hung her head is
confusion, and said nothing.
"I thought so!" Miss Thorne said, triumph-
antly. "You may believe me that that child is
at the bottom of it."
It was Katie who thought of it, and made it -
nearly all up. Charlie only told her some
rhymes," Edith protested, determined that Charlie
should not have more than her fair share of
blame.
"Made thJ rhymes, indeed Isn't that
enough ?" Miss Thorne asked, indignantly. And
you, Edith, I did not expect this of you."
"I told Katie it was rude," Edith said in sel&


_



.~I:. F~. r:.-r.?.-.-; .r'-:L~ts-.; I ; ; ~ ~r










defense, only too well aware that she had enjoyed
the fun if she had no actual share in it.
"You can see who suggested it," continued
Miss Thorne, darting an angry glance at Charlie.
"'I came down one morn and found that a
Thorne had stuck itself into my side.' That, of
course, is meant for the morning when Charlotte
Branniog came in and found me here, very much
to her surprise. I dare say she remembers the
occasion; I have not forgotten it nor her be-
havior."
"See here, too," Miss Thorne continued, an-
grily, glancing at the paper Mr. Lee held in his
hand. Charlie Branning hates Miss Thorne,
and says she's a disagreeable old thing.' Did you
say that, Charlotte Branning, or is that Katie's
making up ?"
"Yes, I did say it," Charlie replied, defiantly.
"It's a shame for
Katie to have writ-
ten that," broke in
Edith. "She asked
Charlie, or else she
would never have
said it."
"You hear, Mrs.
Branning, they
can't deny it. I
did not believe you
would have let your
children behave so.
I like Edith, but as
for thit child, I
think I never came
near such an ill-
mannered, disagree-
able, wicked little
thing in all my
life! So long as
ehe remains in this
house I will never
enter it."
"What a good
thing!" Charlie
thought to herself;
but, to her surprise,
her mother began 'LOOKING INQUI
apologizing to Miss
Thorue, making excuses for the lines that had
caused all the mischief, and assuring her that
neither Edith nor Charlie would have been guilty
of such rudeness unless Katie had drawn them
into it.
Miss Thorne, however, would not be pacified,
but turned the conversation to another subject-
that of the swing. She was very much offended
that another had been put up after it was well
known that she objected and had caused the other
one to be taken down.
When told that Mr. Lee had given permission
hae seemed even more angry and annoyed than
before. She had heard from James that Elsie had
suggested putting it up in the stable doorway,
an she declared that Elsie was aiding the children
to set themselves up against her and her authority.
Mr. Lee promised her that the swing should be


taken down, and somewhat mollified by this con-
cession, she rose to go, bidding Mrs. Branning a
tolerably affectionate "good-night," but not be.
stowing a word or a look upon either of the chil-
dren.
"Hip, hip, hoorah 1" shouted Charlie, clapping
her hands; "that's the last of her. Oh, Edith,
what a good thing I I've quite extrirnimated
her !"
",My dear, hush !" said Mrs. Branning. "I
am afraid you have made a great deal of mischief
and done a great deal of harm by your rude be.
havior to Miss Thorne. She will soon be your
aunt and come to live here. If you had been
kind and polite to her, and tried to make her love
you, instead of being always so rude, she would,
most likely, have been pleased to let us all live
together; but you heard what she said-that so
long as you were
here she would
never enter the
house again. I am
afraid that we shall
have to leave here
when she comes,
and seek for a home
elsewhere."
"Well, mamma,
I think it would be
a'very good thing,
if she is coming to
live in this house."
My dear child,
you know nothing
about it I can
only explain to you
that I have not
money enough to
have a house of my
own, and that I
shall have to work
very hard if we
leave here. Indeed,
I do not know what
we should do."
Charlie looked
INGLY AT HER." very grave. She
had never thought
of all this before. "I wish papa had never gone
away," she exclaimed, "and then all these nasty
things couldn't happen. Do you think papa will
come back soon, mamma ??
No, my dear, I am afraid he wil not,' Mrs.
Branning replied, with a sigh. "I have got a
letter to read you from him; it came just now,
when you were out swinging."
"Oh, mamma, do let us hear it 1" the children
cried, eagerly.
Their mother took up the letter and read it to
them. It was a sad one in every way. Their
father had written it in answer to the one an.
nouncing little Bertie's death, and it was full of
sorrow for the loss of the bright, loving little fel.
low, who had been everybody's pet and plaything
Charlie could not hear, without tears, her father's
grief at the thought that he should never again


ii_ ___ _


R










see that sweet little face for she knew too well that
she had been the means of bringing this trouble
on him. It brought back to her the whole of the
self-reproach which had made her so very miser-
able when first poor Bertie died: the little she
had done to please him, the much to annoy and
worry him. This was a memory to last forever.
The letter went on to say that Mr. Branning had
met with little else than disappointment. If he
remained where he was now there was no chance
of his being able to come home or sand for his
wife and children for many years, so he had de-
cided to try his fortune elsewhere, and, although
he hoped to be able to give them better news
when next he wrote, he was at present worse off,
if anything, than when he started. It concluded
by saying that his greatest comfort was to know
that his dear ones were comfortably settled in the
pretty old grange that he remembered so well,
and that, at any rate, they-were saved from bat-
ting with the world.
Here was another source of discomfort for Char-
lie. Supposing that Miss Thorne really did make
them go away, so that they had no home ? What
a trouble this would be to her father I Oh,
dear mamma," she said, despondingly, "I never
thought that Miss Thorne could have anything to
do with us, or else I'd have been different to her;
but she really was nasty to me."
"I know that she never was very fond of you,"
her mother replied, "but it is principally your
own fault. You set her against you in the first
instance, and never tried to make her like you till
it was too late for her to change her opinion. It
is' very wrong to take a dislike to any one, and
then be rude and provoking to them. It is a great
misfortune in this case."
"Oh, mamma, I hope it won't be so bad 1"
Charlie said, humbly. "I wish I hadn't been so
rude to her. It seems as if little things made
suchgreat things come; I can't understand it."
'You are quite right, Charlie. Little things
do often lead to greater things than we ever dream
of. Little actions and words are like the little
hinges that a great door turns upon. We never
know how much evil one little piece of disobedi-
ence or willful naughtiness may do, nor how much
good one kind word."
"How I wish we could be all at home together
again, like we used to be They are such disa-
greeable people here. Uncle Edward does not
seem to care form-s much; and Miss Thorne is-
well, I won't say it; and then there's Katie Wil.
liams-really, mamma, she is the most unkind and
disagreeable little girl that ever was born, I should
think."
"Poor Katie I feel sorry for her," Mrs. Bran-
ning replied. "She has had such a trying life for
a little girl of her age. I think you may be of
great use to her if you are kind and friendly. It
will make her, happier and more agreeable in time
to have some companions who will amuse her, and
keep her from thinking of her misfortune."
Bu, mamma, you don't expect us to play with
her any more, after her getting Charlie into trou.
Wbe like that ?" Edith said in surprise.
L_


I don't believe she thought of the mischief she
was doing; and as she ha*! written on the paper,
she could not know that Miss Thorne would think
it was principally Charlie's doing. I am very
vexed with her, but I want you to be kind little
friends to her all the same, poor child 1"
"Oh, mamma 1 I really can't play with her
again," Charlie protested. "She's the horridest
girl that can be; I couldn't play with her for any*
thing. I don't like her one bit !"
Well, Edith, and what do you say ?"
"I don't like Katie much, mamma, because she
was so unkind to Charlie, but I am sure she is very
dull and miserable, and she liked coming here, so
I think it would be nice to have her again."
"I am very glad to hear you say so, dear," Mrs
Branning replied. "And, Charlie, you must try
and forget as well as forgive what Katie has done.
I am sure she will be sorry; and you know, dear,
we all do many things for which we want people
to forgive us."
Charlie made no reply. She understood her
mother's remark, but she did not feel that she ever
could forgive Katie.
I'll tell you what it is, Edith," she said, when
they were alone: "I've quite made up my mind
that I'm going to do something very great as soon
as I'm a little older. I'm going to find out who
took that money, and then I shall tell everybody
who it was, so that they may know it wasn't papa ;
then papa can come home again, and we can all go
and live together."
"It would be very beautiful" Edith replied,
enthusiastically; "but how are(,ou going to find
out who really did take the money ?"
I don't know yet; I haven't thought of it. Of
course it will be very, very difficult, but I'll manage
it somehow," Charlie said, confidently. She was
really in earnest. The idea had suddenly flashed
upon her, and it seemed to her such a grand one
that she did not let it go, but dwelt on it, thinking
it over and over, till it did in truth become a part
and parcel of her small life.
There was ill news to be learnt the next morn-
ing. Elsie had received notice from Mr. Lee that
she was to leave them. Dear, kind, faithful Elsie,
whom the children looked upon as their best friend,
next to their parents I They guessed pretty well
that Miss Thorne had persuaded Mr. Lee to do
this, but they heard nothing more about it; and
Miss Thorne kept her word and never caie near
the house or its inmates.
The Summer passed rapidly away, giving place
to Autumn, and Autumn to Winter. Elsie had
gone back to her mother to make a fresh start in
the world. They parted from her as from an old
friend, and she herself declared that she should
never settle anywhere again. Katie Williams came
frequently to the grange to spend along afternoon.
She had expressed her sorrow to Mrs. Branning
for having got Charlie and Edith into trouble, and
declared that she had never meant to do so. Edith
quickly forgot the grievance and became really
fond of Katie, who in time got to like Edith so
well that she would have been glad to have her
always with her. And, on the whole, Katie wam


n
~jIl;ic~jj~C;~G~ijibj~s~;~i~~;' ~~Sr'~a~a~hlc~a










certainly more lovable than before. She was very
fond of Mrs. Branning, who had a great influence
over her, and Mrs. Branning did not hesitate to
point out her faults and endeavor to train the little
motherless girl as she would have done her own
child. But Charlie and she never got on well to-
gether. Katie was aggressive and Charlie was de-
6ant. She did not pretend to have any affection
for Katie, and always took care to keep out of her
way when she came to see Edith.
Matters were still in this state when one day a
servant from Thorpe Lodge brought Mrs. Bran-
sing a hurried note from Mr. Williams. His
daughter Katie was very ill, in great danger, he
feared, and had set her mind upon having her
little friend Edith to be with her. Would Mrs.
Browning-as Mr. Williams had erroneously spelt
it-be so very good as to let the little girl come
back with the servant and stay a few days t

BnAPTEn Xt.-oHAbrl E DREAMS, AND EDITH TUINS
NURSE.
"WErL, Edith, my dear, what do you say ?"
Mrs. Branning asked, when she had read the note.
"Oh, Edith, you can't go !" exclaimed Charlie.
"Fancy being shut up for several days with that
disagreeable girl! And now she's ill, I expect she'll
be just cross and ill-tempered."
It isn't that so much," said Edith, who seemed
to hesitate. I was thinking how dull you'll be,
Charlie; you can't bear me to go anywhere with-
eut you, can you ?"
"Oh, I know I shall be dull, but never mind
about me," Charlie replied, with an amount of self-
sacrifice which, however small, would have been
entirely unthought of by her a year ago.
"I think I had better go, mamma, if you will
let me," Edith said. "If Katie so wants me to
come it may make her worse if I don't."
A few things were soon packed together for
Edith, and started off, under James's care, with a
message that Mrs. Branning would come and see
her little friend later on in fhe day, when she
should be at liberty.
Charlie was very much disgusted with all the
fuss made over Katie. It was a shame," she
protested, "that a disagreeable, rude girl like that
should have her own way, and be allowed to make
people do jast what she pleased I Why should
Edith have to go and amuse her, and be ordered
about and scolded, instead of being thanked?
She wouldn't go, if Katie wanted her -ever so.
She never wanted to see Katie any more. It was
through her that poor Elsie had been sent away,"
so Charlie indignantly declared, though it would
be hard to say who had been the principal cause
of that. And if they did have to leave the grange,
she would always say that it was all Katie's fault
for having made Miss Thorne so angry by showing
her those rhymes ;" for Charlie, like many others,
was apt to ignore her own share in any unpleasant
business, and very quick to believe that it was
entirely the fault of some other person who had
had some sort of hand in the matter. When Edith
bad gone, Charlie amused herself in planning out


a little scheme on which it was her constant delight
to dwell. She pictured herself back again at dear
old Rosebank with her father and mother and
Edith; the house was prettier than ever, and
resplendent with all sorts of new and beautiful
things; the garden gay with flowers; everything
in the most charming order. Her father and
mother were there, looking so happy, and with
nothing in the world to do but amuse themselves
-so Charlie pictured them. There was Edith,
tall, fair and sedate, with a beautiful dress in
exchange for her shabby black one; Elsie, too,
looking proud and happy. And there was herself,
taller and bigger than Edith, very much admired
and loved by everybody. There was only one
face missing, and when Charlie thought of that a.
dark shadow seemed to fall cross the sunny
brightness of her vision. Poor little Bertie was
not there, She could not bring him back from
his little grass-grown grave in the churchyard ; his
sweet face must always be missing. But Charlie's
thoughts soon turned to the bright side again, and
she saw the house thronged with the many visitors
who used tc come to it, and a great many more
besides. Everyone had a smile and a compliment
for her, for you must know that in her vivid
imagination she was the good f:iry who had ac-
complished this glorious change. By her efforts
her father was freed from all suspicion, and had
returned home to be still mere respected than he
had been before. Wealth had come from nobody
knows where, and all was happy and prosperous.
And, strange to say, Charlie bad perfect faith in
her power to some day accomplish all that she
dreamed about. How it was to be done she was
not at all clear about, but she felt quite sure that
the way would come some time.
In the meantime, Edith had gone on her way to
see poor sick Katie. In the little drawing-room
at Thorpe Lodge she found a middle-aged gentle-
man, who, with an air of impatient expectation,
was walking up and down the room. Edith saw
at a glance that he was Katie's father ; there were
the same dark hair and restless-looking eyes, the
same discontented, almost unhappy, look about
the face-a certain irritability of expression, which
gave Edith an idea that she must be careful not to
offend or vex this gentleman.
"So you are Edith? I began to think you
were not coming," he said, turning sharply round
and fixing his dark eyes on Edith's face.
"Yes," Edith said, timidly, in reply to the
question. "How is Katie now ?"
"Very bad," Mr. Williams replied. "Her only
chance is perfect quiet and freedom from all worry
or excitement, and that is the one thing that my
money will not purchase for her. She has been
crying out for you all day, and if you had not
come, I believe she would certainly have died."
I didn't think she was so bad as that," replied
Edith, reproaching herself for the delay, short
though it had been. Mamma told me to say she
would come and see Katie as soon uis she could
get away. I think Katie is very fond of mamma."
"It is very kind of Mrs. Browning," Mr. Wi!l
liams replied.


1_1










"Our name is Branning, not Browning," Edith
remarked.
"Branning, is it?" VMr. Williams exclaimed,
starting violently. "How was it I never heard
this before ?" he asked, angrily, then added to
himself, "No, no-it cannot be I There are other
Brannings in the world."
He looked very earnestly at Edith for a moment,
then said, with a half-laugh :
"Well, I think we have been keeping poor
Katie waiting long enough. Are you ready to
coine and see her ?"
.Edith was quite ready and anxious to go. Mr.


discontented, peevish expression was more plainly
visible than ever as she turned with a frown and
an angry word to Ellen, who was sitting by her
bedside, taking care of her.
"Now, do take a tiny drop of this milk," Ellen
was saying when Edith entered the room. "Come,
dear, you must try."
"I can't and I won't!" she muttered, angrily,
with clinched teeth. "It makes me sick; so
leave off teasing me."
"But you'll never get well if you don't take
what the doctor orders you," Ellen urged.
"I don't care 1 You'd all be glad enough if I


"HE STOOPED DOWN AND CLASPED CHARLIE IN HIS ARMS."


Williams led the way to Hatie's bedroom-the little
room which Edith and Charlie had often envied,
with its tasteful chintz and snowy muslin-a room,
indeed, that a little princess might have been
contented with.
'Edith could scarcely refrain from an exclama-
tion of surprise and dismay when she first saw her
little friend. She was, indeed, very much altered,
and her eyes looked unnaturally large and bright
as she turned restlessly from side to side. In the
short time which had elapsed since last Edith had
seen her, her face had become painfully wasted;
her cheeks were hollow, and her face almost as
colorless as the sheets which covered her. The


did die, and I hope I shall I" Katie cried, passion-
ately, bursting into a flood of tears and sobbing
violently.
"Hush, Katie, my dear I" her father said, sooth-
ingly. "Be a good girl and drink the milk, and
see how quickly you can get well. You know we
want to see you better."
Katie took no heed of her father's words, but
continued to sob more violently than before. Her
father looked miserably distressed, for he knew
that this was the kind of thing to make her worse ;
but he was afraid to say anything to her for fear
of increasing her passion, for soothing or reprov-
ing words seemed to have the same effect upon


I -






























































S"OHILDREN, RMMBIIR KATIR IS BSIOK.

the wayward child. He signed to Edith to go "Katie, dear, I have come to stay with you," she
forward and try what she could do. said, affectionately. "I am very sorry you are ill."
Edith crossed over to the bed from the place Katie looked up with evident pleasure, her face
where she had been hidden by the door. clearing in a moment.










T thought you weren't coming," she said, fret-
fully, "and I considered it very unkind of you.
Peel my hands, how hot they are. I am so tired
of lying here, and so wretched, I want something
to amuse me."
"What would you like me to do to amuse you,
Katie, dear ?" Edith asked. Shall I read you a
story, or sit and talk to you, or what ?"
I should like your doll to play with, and your
pretty tea-things to have our tea out of."
"I haven't got them here, dear, or else you
should have them," Edith replied.
Katie seemed inclined to begin crying again,
but Edith soon warded off the threatened storm.
I know 1" she exclaimed, joyfully. "If any
one could go over before mamma starts, she
would send them, I know. Can any one go ?'"
Oh, yeA, I'll go," said Ellen, only too glad
that her exacting little patient should have some-
thing to keep her pleased and happy.
"Well, Katie, dear, I'll lend you all my toys if
you'll drink this milk, and you shall have them as
bong as yon like if you'll only take it every time
you ought"
"You're going to be disagreeable like everybody
else," said Katie, peevishly. -"I didn't think
you'd want to tease me."
"No, I'm not going to tease you at all, dear;
Fm going to amuse you all day long, if you'll only
trink your milk."
And what will you do if I won't drink it ?"
"I think I shall have to go home," Edith said,
quietly, but with much determination.
Katie gave her an angry glance, then taking the
uep of milk from Ellen's hand, drank it down with
various grimaces, chokings and splutterings. Mr.
Williams looked on with a pleased face, and when
Katie set down the empty cup he patted Edith on
the back and said, delightedly, "Bravo, my dear!.
I see you will make a capital little nurse, and I am
very much obliged to you for coming to see my
little girL"
The rest of the day passed away very peaceably,
for Mrs. Branning came in a little later on in the
afternoon, and she succeeded in talking Katie into a
better frame of mind, so that the willful, passion-
Sate child promised to be obedient and quiet, and
do what she was told, and she even submitted to
have all the light excluded from the room and
to compose herself to sleep.
As night drew on she fell into a peaceful slum-
ber, which lasted several hours, the news of which
greatly rejoiced Mr. Williams's heart, for.he de-
clared that it was many days since she had slept
half an hour at one time.
Mrs. Branning staid until the early morning,
and then, knowing she was wanted at home, she
reluctantly left the little invalid, and Edith, who
had slept at Mr. Williams's house, returned to her
post. During the morning she succeeded in
amusing her little friend and in keeping her suffi-
ciently amiable to get her to take her milk and
beef-tea and medicine without much difficulty;
but in the afternoon Katie became peevish and
Restless, and no one, not even Edith, could coax
her ito happiness. Her passionate discontent


and restlessness so increased the fever which was
prostrating her that her father, in alarm, sent a re-
quest to Mrs. Branning to come.
Several days passed, and Katie did not improve.
The doctor declared that absolute quiet was im-
peratively necessary; but Katie would not keep
herself quiet, and every outburst of passion did
more to retard her recovery than all the quiet that
Edith managed to obtain did her good. In this
war a day came when the doctor told them that
another fit of passion might cause her death, and
unless she were kept absolutely free from all ex-
citement she could not possibly live many hours.
Edith was greatly distressed, and in such con.
tinual anxiety on Katie's behalf, that before the
day had half passed she began to look quite worn-
out and ill; but she tried bravely and self-deny.
ingly to do everything in her power to ward of
the fit of passion that would be so disastrous,
Mrs. Branning came often, and one or the other
was continually by Katie's side. After two days
and nights of ceaseless watching, they had the
satisfaction of knowing that the little patient had
passed over the most dangerous crisis, and was
likely to recover. Then came more days of
scarcely less anxious watching, though Katie, be.
ing really better, began to take more interest in
their efforts to amuse her, and at last she was
strong enough to be lifted out of bed on to a sofa.
Then it was that those who had been able to think
only of Katie began to perceive that Edith had
drooped and was miserably thin and weak. Mrs.
Branning drew Mr. Williams's attention to the
child's sickly looks, and said she must take her
home; but he, dreading the effect on Katie of the
loss of her friend and companion, begged Mrs.
Branning to let her stay. To this she reluctantly
consented; but the next morning the child was so
much worse that Mrs. Branning would not con-
sent to let her stay another hour. She explained
to Katie how necessary it was that Edith should
go home and be nursed for awhile; and Katie,
who was really grateful for all the kindness shown
her by her little friend and her mother, consented
regretfully, but without any ebullition of temper.
When Mr. Williams saw that Edith was really
ill, he was extremely sorry, and expressed great
anxiety on her account. He requested that Mrs.
Branning would allow his own doctor to visit the
child, and send to him for any help that he could
afford them. He thanked Mrs. Branning most
cordially for her own and Edith's kindness, which
had, he declared, been the means of saving the
life of his motherless child; and- he added that if
at any time, now or in the future, she should need
the help of a true friend, it would be always his
greatest happiness to know that she would think
of him in that light.

OHAPTEA XX.-MX. WILIAMS BEHAVES STRANGELY.
WHmE Mrs. Branning and Edith returned to the
grange they found Charlie wearied to death with
her own society, in spite of all the efforts of Mrs.
Rebekah to amuse her. The kind old servant had
let her invade her most private domains-see the










whole process of butter-making, look on while the
cows were milked, feed the poultry, help knead
the bread, and even make a baby loaf with her
own hands. But even these delightful employ-
ments could not last forever, and Charlie found
many weary hours. She was secretly much ag-
grieved that Katie, whom she looked upon as her
natural enemy, should absorb the services of both
her mother and sister, and leave her dismally in
the lurch.
The only thing that had happened while they
had Ibeen gona was the arrival of a note, brought
and delivered iby Miss Thorne's maid, the contents
of which Charlie was very curious to learn.
WVhen Mrs. Branning had seen Edith comforta-
bly settled on the sofa with a book, she opened
the letter. Charlie was not kept long in suspense,
for as the note chiefly related to her she was soon
acquainted with its contents.
It announced that the long-talked-of marriage
of Miss Thorne and Mr. Lee was to come off in a
fortnight's time, and that in another fortnight or
so she would be coming home to the grange as its
mistress. If Mrs. Branning cared still to make it
her home. Miss Thorne would be very glad to
have her remain as her guest until she miAhft find
it convenient to settle elsewhere. She would also
be glad for Edith to stay with her mother, but she
really must insist that Charlie should be sent to
school, or any other place away from the grange
that Mrs. B auning might think advisable. It
would be useless to think that Miss Thorne could
be induced to change her mind on this subject, so
the letter went on, for she had firmly resolved
that she never cold nor would live in the same
house with that precocious, ill-behaved child.
"And will you send me away to school just be-
cause she says I'm to go ?" Charlie inquired, indig-
nantly. It's just like her interfering ways "'
Sending you to school is out of the question,"
Mrs. Branning replied : "I cannot afford auch an
expense. It is simply this-that we must all seek
another home."
"But where, mamma ?"
Anywhere we can, Charlie. I muss talk to
your uncle, and see what can be done. Run away,
now, dear; I want to think."
Her mother spoke so despondingly that Charlie
was partly awakened to the full meaning of her
mother's words.
She turned slowly to go, but stood hesitatingly
at the dojr, then turned back again and said,
humbly;
"1 suppose this is all my fault, mama ?"
"I am afraid, my dear, that it is, in a very great
measure."
"I am very sorry, mamma," Charlie said, with
real contrition. "I will try never to offend any
one again."
I am glad to hear you say that, my dear," her
mother reph ed, encouragingly. Try to be gentle
and affectionate to everybody, even to poor
Katie."
"Oh, mamma, I don't want to have anything
to do with Katie I I could put up with anybody
sooner."


"'Ah, but that won't do at all, Charlie I Directly
you meet a person you don't take a fancy to, you
give way to your feeling of dislike, and think that
this is the most disagreeable person in the world.
You will meet a great many of the most disagree-
able' people before you are as old as I am; but
in most instances it chiefly depends upon yourself
how disagreeable they are."
Mrs. Branning found herself now in an awkward
predicament. She did not know of any one who
would be willing to take Charle, nor indeed did
she care to send the child away from her just at a
time when she was really showing a tendency to
try and overcome some of the worst faults of her
disposition.
In this extremity Mrs. Banning thought of Mr.
Williams's parting words, and she determined to
go to him and ask him for his advice fnd influence
in obtaining some employment that would enable
her to support herself and her children. Leaving
the two children at home together, she set out,
after tea, to walk to Tnorpe Lodge, for she felt
that a matter oi so much moment had better he
settled as spe-dily as possible. Mr. Viiliaius was
a little surprised to see her so soon again ; but
wnen she told him that she had come to consult
him on a hatter that troubled and perplexed her,
he expressed himself pleased tnnt he should so
soon have an opportunity of making some return
for all the kindness she had bestowed upon his
child.
Mrs. Branning explained to him how Charlie
bad offended LMss Thorne to such an extent that
she would not consent to have the child live in the
same house with her; that Miss Thorne was shortly
to be married to her brother, and that, therefore,
they would be without a home, unless she could
succeed in making one; and she wanted Mr.
Williams's advice as to what would be the best
way of setting about this difficult task.
And yon have no friends who would be likely
to help you ?" Mr. Williams inquired.
"None whatever," Mrs. Branuing replied, emo
phatically.
"It is, indeed, a hard position for you," Mr.
Williams remarked, with a glance at her deep
mourning; "yet, on the whole, I think your
children are better off thin my poor Katie. The
loss of a father is not so disastrous for children as
the loss of their mother "
"You are mistaken," Mrs. Banning remarked,
hastily ; "my children are not fatherless."
"Indeed!" Mr. Williams said, with surprise.
"I have always thought that was the case, and I
believe every one else about here thinks so too."
"I have never led any to believe so," Mrs.
Branning returned, with heightened color. '*As
the subject hlas been discussed, I may as well tell
you that my husband is abroad, suffering for the
guilt of some other person, who, in addition to the
crime of robbing his employers, was mean and
cowardly enough to arrange for the suspicion to
fall on an innocent head. My husband was,
suspected, though, God knows, he was as innocent
as your child or my own little ones, Although
the jury decided that there was not sufficient












































































~~ -










evidence to prove that he was guilty, yet they and
every one else, even our own relations, believed
that he was really the culprit. Of course my
husband was ruined, and as he could not hope
to do anything in England, he went abroad to
begin life over again in a country where no one
would know of the suspicion attaching to him."
Mr. Williams had listened to Mrs. Branning's
story with great interest, getting up and walking
about the
room as if he
were much --
excited by it.
"This is a
very sad d
affair," he
maid, hastily.
"I neoer
thought I
should hear
uoh 'a his-
tory as this."
He walked
up the room
and down
again; thea
stopping be-
fore Mrs,
Branning het
said, with
suddenfierce.
ness: "What
on earth
made you

tale 9?
"I sioulv
never have
mentioned
it," Mrs,
BM aning re
turned, calm-
ly, but wi tl
evident aison-
ishm ent,
"but for
your ret
marks."
How am
I to know it
is true ?" he
asked, an
Fy. "Am
to believe
that another r" ]or IVe, LeMI
man did this
thing and deliberately fixed it on your husband ?
It isn't true. I know he did nothing of the
kind."
Mrs. Branning looked at him with increasing
surprise. His eyes fell before hers, and he ex-
elaimed, hastily: "Really, I am very sorry for
you I"
Mrs. Branning rose to go. "I am sorry you
should doubt my word," she said, coldly.


"I do not doubt it," Mr. Williams returned-
most unreasonably, Mrs. Branning thought, forhad
he nor a moment ago declared that he did ? This
is a strange thing, strange and difficult. I cannot
see what is to be done. I-really, I am perplexed
beyond measure."
The object of my visit was to ask your advice
as to the best way in which I can obtain a home
foi my children, since I must quit my bother's
house," Mrs.
Branning re-
plied. "I
would do
anything,"
she added,
earnestly,
"so that I
could have
my children
with me."
"Why not
send the
child to
school ?"
"I cannot
afford it; and
inde e, I
think It i a
ver y sn-es
sary that she
should have
home train-
ing."
"Ah, yest
it is the one
o f whom
Katie speaks
with such
bitterness,
1 it were
Edith, I
would be
only too glad
to have her
here with
Katie, but the
other little
one and
Katie would
quarrel from
morning till
night'"
"Yes, I
fear they
would," Mrs.
av. o* MAcs. Branning
said, sighing.
"Well," Mr, Williams said, suddenly, with a
return of his former cordiality, "I beg you not to
trouble yourself too much about this matter. I
think I can help you to something; and about
your husband-I believe what you have told me.
I have heard of this affair before. You have saved
my Katie's life. I will do what I can for on.
Hope for the best. Leave me now to thin
over, and you shall hear from me soon."


I I


s










Mrs, Branning thanked him warmly, and bid-
ding Katie an affectionate good-by, started on her
way home. As she walked along, she could not
help pondering on Mr. Williams's strange manner,
one moment disbelieving her and angry with her
for coming, the next declaring that he had lull
confidence in her, and that she might rely upon
him for help.
She found Edith in a state of prostration and
fever that filled her with alarm. She was so much
occupied in nursing the child that she thought
very little about Mr. Williams's promise till a day
or two afterward, when she received a long letter,
which filled her with the most intense astonish-
ment. If the statements in this letter were cor-
rect, it altered the whole state of affairs; but.she
could not believe that they were true. As soon as
Edith was well enough to be left, Mrs. Branning
went over to Thorpe Lodge, to learn, if possible,
whether Mr. Williams's assertion was indeed true;
but a disappointment awaited her. Thorpe Lodge
was shut up, and a strange woman informed her
that Mr. and Miss Williams had gone away-she
did not know where-and would not be back for
a long while.

CHAPTER XXL--A GREAT DISCOVERY.
THE letter which so much surprised Mrs. Bran-
ning, and which filled her mind with joy one
moment, and the next with doubts that anything
so strange and unlocked for could be true, was
brief and startling. It ran as follows :
DEAR Mas. BRANNING :-You were wrong in supposing
that the thief who took the money willfully and deliber-
ately planned for the suspicion to fall on your husband.
Circumstances did that, and the real culprit had not
asffieient courage to acknowledge his own guilt in order
to save an innocent man. What a judge and jury failed
to discover, you and your little Edith have, by your
kindnaes to my motherless child, drawn from me. How
can I hope for mercy and pity for my own little one,
If I show none to others! She may soon enough have
need o friends; God grant that she may find them.
I have left documents in the hands of my solicitors,
Messrs. Beard and Johnson, of Chancery Lane, which
will establish your husband's perfect innocence. I wish I
eold inolose you some of the money to which you have
B perfect right, but I am in truth a poor man, and have
only enough for my immediate needs. I hope you may
be successful In maintaining yourself comfortably until
your husband's return. As my name is of some weight,
I venture to inclose a testimonial and some addresses
which may be of use to you.
Ever gratefully,
JEFFERu WLIM.&As."
Mrs. Branning's first action, as we have seen,
was to go in search of Mr. Williams, with what
result we know. She felt that she must have
some confirmation of this unexpected intelligence
before she gave herself up to the full enjoyment
of it. She dreaded, even now, to find that there
was soma mistake, although the letter seemed to
.speak so plainly. Se she resolved to go to the
solicitors in Chancery Lane, and at the same time
endeavor to obtain a situation by which to keep
herself for the present.
Early the next morning she started for town,
and arriving there in the afternoon, went straight
to Measra Beard and Johnson's office.


These gentlemen had documents in their pos-
session, sealed, and addressed to Herbert Bran-
-ing, to be delivered to him when he should apply
,to them. These were theirinstructions, and they
could not allow them to go into the hands of any
one except the person named.
In reply to Mrs. Branning's inquiry, they in-
formed her that Mr. Williams had sailed yesterday
for Australia, and they had instructions to cause
the whole of his effects to be sold, and the key of
the house he had occupied to be delivered up to
the owner. Where any letters would find him
they politely declined to say.
It was evident, therefore, that Mr. Williams had
gone away to save himself from the probable re-
sults of his confession, and that he intended none
to find him out or have any further communica-
tion with him. The more she became convinced
that he had really told her the truth, the greater
Sorrow she felt for him ; forhad she not known the
misery of such a trouble ? and in her case there
was the comfort of knowing that they were unde-
serving of the disgrace attaching to them. She
wished with all the intensity of a loving heart
that she could have saved poor Katie from this
misfortune, and she dreaded the effect upon the
child, who had begun to show signs of a better
disposition.
Several hours were spent in searching out the
addresses Mr. Williams had noted down, and,
before she went back toWinterton, Mrs. Branning
had the satisfaction of having obtained a situation,
which, humble as it was, would afford them a
home until her husband's return. It was to take
care of a large house in the city, which was let out
in offices to various men of business. She was to
have three rooms for her own use, and two servants
under her, but was to be responsible for the clean.
liners and safe-keeping of the various rooms, and
perform other small duties. This she gladly ac-
cepted.
Now she felt at liberty to tell the children the
joyful news, and to write an account to her hus-
and of all that had happened. I need not say
how delighted both children were to know that
their dear father could come home again and be
free from that dreadful suspicion which had
brought them all so much suffering. Edith was
too overcome to be able to say much, but the good
news did more to restore her health than all the
medicine and care she had had. Charlie was
boisterously happy, and declared it was enough to
make up for Miss Thorne and everything. But at
times she suffered from fits of depression, and
would go into a corner by herself and think aloud
in her own peculiar fashion.
"What is it that troubles you, Charlie, my
dear ?" her mother asked one morning, seeing the
child more than usually despondent.
Charlie hung her head and replied, I'd rather
not tell you, mamma."
"But, my dear, I very much wish to know.
You ought to feel so very glad that we have snau
.good news to tell your papa."
Oh, mamma, don't; it makes me feel so are
and arritablel"


_ _


"41- m., 1 1 :1 I













































































































































A VEBY BIOE DOG.

r










"My dear," her mother said, reproachfully.
"Oh, well, mamma, it is such a disappointment,
I don't know how to bear it I"
A disappointment, Charlie 1" her mother said,
questioningly. "What is a disappointment ?"
"Well, mamma, if you must know, it's this:
I'd made up my mind a long time ago that I
would find out who took that money, and that I
would write and tell papa all about it-when I'd
found it out, I mean-and then he'd come home,
and we'd go back to Rosebank and be happy
again. And I was going to take no end of trouble
about it, and earn a lot of money to pay people,
and then I thought everybody would be so pleased.
I have been arranging all about it for ever so long,
only I couldn't quite make up my mind how Iwas
to begin; but that didn't matter, because I was
obliged to wait till I was older; and now it's all
found out without any trouble, and I've had noth-
ing to do with it at all, and it makes me feel dis-
appointed !"
But, my dear, are you not glad that poor papa
hasn't to wait any longer for the good news ?"
"Yes, mamma, of course I am; and I know it's
naughty of me to feel disappointed at all, but it is
such a horrid disappointment; it really is!"
"'You see, Charlie, you have been selfish and
eonoeited in this matter," her mother said. "You
love papa, but other people love him, too; but
you wanted to have all the pleasure and glory of
doing this for him yourself. It was really more
your own gratification than papa's happiness you
were thinking of. Don't you see that, my dear
child ? I am really very glad that this has come
about without your having had any hand in the
matter. You are too proud of your abilities, my
dear child, whereas without Heaven's blessing and
assistance you cannot accomplish any undertak-
ing, however clever and determined you may be."
"It seems so funny," said Charlie, ponderingly,
"that just going to see that disagreeable Katie
should have been the cause of it. Such a little
thing to do, it didn't seem worth while. Who
could think thatit would turn out like that ?"
"Another little hinge, my dear," her mother re-
plied. "If Edith had refused to have anything
to do with Katie from the first, Katie would never
have wanted Edith when she was ill, and we should,
most likely, never have learned all about papa.
Edith did not care for Katie at first, when she was
so rude and unpleasant, but she played with her
and was kiid and patient, because I had asked her
to be so; -and that one little act of obedience has
led to such wonderful results. I think that is a
lesson for every little disobedient child."
S' Yes," said Charlie, reluctantly ; but her mother
was satisfied that she was convinced.
"And now, my dear, let me see no more melan-
sholy faces. You will have plenty of opportuni-
ties of showing your affection for dear papa before
long, and he will never think more highly of Edith
because she has been the means of bringing things
right. It was quite an accidental circumstance.
What we value is her obedience and gentleness,
and you can please as in that way quite as much
as she, if you try. I have seen lately that you


have been trying at times. Go on trying, dear
and you will soon succeed."
Mrs. ,Branning had already written to her hue
band, telling him the good news that he was free
and might hold up his head in his own country
once more. She was busy now with preparation
for their departure to their new home. Such
furniture as she required for her three rooms had
to be packed and sent up to London; the rdst Mrs.
Branning had begged her brother to keep for hea
until she should require it.
Seeing that Charlie was really repentant for the
mischief that her willfulness and disobedience had
brought her family on so many occasions, Mrs.
Branning urged her to write a little note of
apology to Miss Thorne for the rudeness she had
displayed. Charlie grumbled a great deal, and
declared that she hated apologies-they were hard,
and wouldn't come; but after a while she, of her
own free will,wrote a few lines in a very large hand,
expressive of sorrow for her ill-behavior, but cer.
tainly displaying no affection. It began-
"'Miss THOrw :-I know I was rude to you, and I
am very sorry. I never intend to be rude to any
one again, however much they try to make me, because
it vexes my mamma. I hope you will forgive me"-
and was simply signed, Charlie Branning"; for
Charlie declared she would never write "dear" or
"yours affectionately to a person she didn'tlike.
It was not to be expected that this letter would
make much impression on a person so little likely
to be moved as Miss Thorne. Mrs. Branning
and Edith received an invitation to the wedding,
which was soon t8 take place, but Charlie was not
mentioned. Mrs. Branning, however, declined
the invitation on the ground that she was required
to enter into the duties of her situation before the
wedding took place. Miss Thorne came over to
see Mrs. Branning, and declared herself much
scandalized at the notion of her sister-in-law go-
ing out like a common housekeeper, assuring her
that she had no intention of driving her away,
and begging her even now to alter her mind and
stay. She had no friend she liked better, and as
she always hated the trouble of housekeeping, she
was quite willing that Mrs. Branning should take
all such cares off her shoulders. Mrs. Brauning
replied that she was sensible of Miss Thorne
kindness, but as she considered it absolutely
necessary that Charlie should have home training,
she could not accept the invitation. At this,
Miss Thorne chose to be very much offended,
saying that Mrs. Branning had evidently no good
will toward her. It was in vain that Mrs. Brana
ning explained that she must act for the welfare
of her children before all other considerations:
Miss Thorne would have it that Mrs. Branning was
slighting her, so that altogether it is scarcely to
be wondered at that they looked forward with
more pleasure than pain to the time of their de-
parture from Winterton.
It was only a few days before they were to start
that James came to the dining-room door, bow-
ing and scraping, and with a broad grin on his
good-tempered face. "If you please, ma'ana,


__










here's a young woman has come after a sitiwation;
a very good-looking, highly respectable young
woman," he said, with the grin growing broader
ihan ever.
But I do not require any servant," Mrs. Bran-
ning said, in surprise.
"The young woman seemed to think you did.
May I show her in ?" James said, mysteriously.
"You may do so," Mrs. Branning replied,
thinking that it might be worth while to engage
a servant and take her with her to London, if this
one proved very desirable.
James retired, and appeared again presently,
followed by a neatly clad young woman, with
modestly bent head.
Both the children jumped' up, and, running to
her, threw their arms round her neck. It was
Elsie.
"I hope you'll forgive the liberty, ma'am,"
Elsie began, "but I heard that you were going
away from here--"
"She heard that you were gorng away from
here," broke in James, with a self-satisfied smile.
Elsie cast a reproachful glance at him, and then
continued : "So I made bold to come and see if
you could take me back to live with you wherever
you were going to be, as I was never happy after
left you."
"'She was never happy after she left 1" echoed
James, with every token of delight.
"I think I could be very useful to you, ma'am,"
continued Elsie-" being so handy with my needle
that I could always make Yor the young ladies ;
and, indeed, ma'am, I am willing to turn my hand
to anything you may have for me to do."
"I know how useful you always were, Elsie,"
Mrs. Branning replied, and it would please me
very much to have you back again, but I am going
up to town to live, and I fear you will find plenty
of hard work if you come with me."
Elsie's countenance fell.
"It's not the work, ma'am," she hastened to ex-
plain, it's the distance I was thinking of ; but
of course I'll come, and thank you kindly. Only
if it had been anywhere about these parts- "
S"It's just this, ma'am," broke in James, with a
respectful bow-" This young woman and me has
agreed to take each other for man and wife ; and
when she left she says to me, Write to me often
about the family, and all that happenss to 'em.' So
I writ, and that's how she came to know you was
going away herefrom, and 4,hat's the reason she's
grieved at the distance; lo I'd rather know she
was where she'd be comfortable and happy, so, if
you like, ma'am, she's welcome to go with you for
a time. And perhaps, ma'am, if I get the chance
at any time, you wouldn't object to my paying her
a vist ?"
"Not at all, James," Mrs. Branning replied. "I
am very interested to hear what you have told me,
and give you my best wishes for your happiness
and prosperity."
"hank you, ma'am, I'm sure," James replied,
with another bow. It was the swing was at the
bottom of it all," he continued, being apparently
In a frame f mind in which he must talk. "She


was so cross with me for taking the swing down,
and wondered how I'd the heart to serve the little
missies so ; and she was so onreasonable that I had
to explain to her over and over again that I was
Only obeying orders. That there swing was at the
bottom of it all."
Charlie and Edith, who took a lively interest in
James's remarks, were very much amused at this
last speech.
"Fancy our swing doing that, mamma !" Char-
lie whispered, excitedly. "That's just another
little hinge, isn't it ?"
"That it is, Charlie I" her mamma replied,
laughingly.

CHAPTER XXII.--HARLIE SEES A OLD FACE, AND
HEABS SOME S8TANGE THINGS.
"A LETTER, mamma, from Australia !" cried
Charlie, rushing into her mother's bedroom atl
aglow with excitement.
Mrs. Branning took the letter and tore it open,
without waiting to finish dressing.
Charlie bounded away after Edith.
"Come along, Edie! A letter from papa 1"she
cried, excitedly.
"Such news I" Mrs. Branning said, turning to
the children, who were waiting impatiently.
"Papa is on his way home !"
"Oh, how beautiful How ioon will he be
home ? When did he write ?" the children asked.
"He must have written-yes, and sailed,-too-
before I even wrote my letter, telling him the
wonderful news," replied Mrs. Branning. "I will
read you what he says :
"'I have decided to leave here and return home
by an early ship. My health has been very bad,
and the sad news of our dear Bertie's death has so
upset me that I have never regained spirits and
energy. I feel that I shall never do any good so
far away from those I love so dearly. I am con-
tinually tormented by fears that something may
be happening to you, and that you need me near
you. The year that I have been here has been
worse than lost. I have therefore decided, after
much anxious consideration, to return to my
family, trusting in God to find some means of sub-
sistence. But whatever privations we may have to
endure, I have come to be of your opinion that
they are better shared than borne apart.'
"I am thankful for that," Mrs. Branning said,
earnestly. "Anything is better than this dread-
ful separation."
Oh, yes, mamma I" both children exclaimed, "it
is so horrid for papa to be away I Sha'n't we all
be happy, now he is coming back !"
Mrs. Branning continued, turning again to the
letter :
"'I have taken a passage in the Santa Cruz,
and I shall sail on the 21st. We expect to make
the voyage in about seven or eight weeks, so that
in all probability I shall arrive in England about
the third week in June.'"
"And this is the end of May, so papa will be
home in three or four weeks. Oh I how glorious "
Edith exclaimed, joyously.


3C -


I
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