The Baldwin Library
kA ict '
Those little feet ached after their journey through the
AND WHAT THEY WROUGHT.
"ACTING ON THE SQUARE," "UP TO THE MARK?" BTC.
John F. Shaw & Co., Ltd.,
3, Pilgrim Street, London, E.C.
GOING OUT INTO THE WORLD ... 7
SEEING A LITTLE OF THE WORLD ... 19
A HAPPY CHRISTMAS ... ... 30
THE ROSE'S NEW HOME .. ... 41
ROY ... .. ... .. 48
BRIGHTER DAYS ... ... ... 55
TWO LITTLE HELPERS,
AND WHAT THEY WROUGHT.
GOING OUT INTO THE WORLD.
HE bush upon which I grew was large
and well-shaped, and stood in a splen-
did park, belonging to a gentleman's
estate in the country. Near me were
magnificent trees and flowering shrubs, so I
was never lonely; especially as I was on
friendly terms with the numerous birds around,
for they often perched near me, and sang their
sweet songs, or we held lively conversations
Robin Red-breast was my favourite among
my feathered friends, and many a happy talk
we enjoyed. When the summer waned, and
8 Two Little Helpers.
some of these companions took flight to warmer
climates, Robin never went with them; for he
said he liked to stay at home-roving so far
never would suit him, he was quite sure.
"Well," said I, when one morning we were
watching some swallows preparing to begin their
journey, "for my part, I should like to see the
world, and not be kept in the same spot all
"Ah !" said Robin, nodding his bright little
head, "who knows but that you may soon have
your wish, Miss Holly, and see stranger things
than you ever dream about now ? "
Do you think so ?" I exclaimed, delightedly;
"then I wish the time would come."
"Don't be in a hurry. Don't be in a hurry.
Your life won't be a long one after you leave
your parent, you know, however much care you
take of your appearance."
"I am quite aware of that," I returned,
pertly; "but so long as I could be admired- ,
as I ought to be-I should trouble but little
about anything else."
"Better try to be of use, Miss Holly, than
only wish for admiration," said my little red
"All very well, Mr. Wise; but you are aware
I am beautiful, and so there is no need to look
as though you did not know it."
Going out into the World. 9
"Of course you are, dear Holly, and what is
more, you grow lovelier every day."
I rustled my leaves in pleasure at the com-
pliment, for Robin had never before said so
much in praise of me; and I believe my berries
blushed into a deeper crimson from that
The days grew colder and colder, but only
added to my beauty, especially when Mrs. Snow
came and clothed us with her white fleecy
mantle. But I did not wish to be covered
quite up, so I begged General Wind to blow
upon my face just a little; and when he had
done so, I peeped out and rustled with delight at
my own appearance. My leaves were so fine
and shining; my berries so prettily grouped,
and in such abundance, that I felt sure no holly-
branch was ever my equal. I had numerous
brothers and sisters, but none so lovely as
myself; and in spite of that saucy Robin and
his counsel, I grew vainer and vainer. At length
Christmas was approaching, and the well-known
Jack Frost came and hung about us, almost
hiding me completely; for, try as I would, I
could not shake him off, neither could General
"Well, how do you like this weather?" said
Robin, hopping near me one morning just after
Two Little Helpers.
"Very well, if I am not quite hidden," I
replied, "for I like to see and be seen, you
"I am aware of it quite well, and I think your
stay here is getting short, since, being 'seen,
you are a marked branch. The squire passed
yesterday-of course you saw him-and he said
to a gentleman afterwards, 'There is a splendid
holly bush yonder. I must let the children
come and take the best branches for Christmas
"How delightful!" I exclaimed. "Are you
quite sure he meant me ?" and my leaves shook
"Oh yes," replied Robin; "for he remarked
about the 'beauty' at the top: so I came to tell
you, as I thought you would like to know of
"Thank you, Mr. Robin. How soon will
they be here?"
"Oh, soon enough, Miss Holly! I shall miss
you," he said, with a sad little chirp. "Can you
not hide when they are here? The bush is so
large, you might do it. I want you so much to
stay a little longer with me."
"A good idea, indeed! Hide Me! with
all my beauty ? I may never again have such
an elegant shape, or be so prettily dressed with
my berries-and such berries !" I added, proudly.
Going out into the World. 11
"I know, dear Holly; but oh, I shall miss
"Well, miss me then; I don't care!" I re-
turned, rudely; "for you don't suppose I'm
going to be so foolish as to act as you wish, do
"I'm afraid not," said Robin, meekly; and
his head drooped as he spoke, and he forgot to
sing for an hour after this little talk.
True enough, one afternoon, the snow having
disappeared, there came a merry party of boys
and girls from the Hall; and taking their scissors,
they surrounded the bush and clipped and clipped
our branches most vigorously. But I grew out
of the reach of all save one tall, manly boy, who
did not notice me at first, though I rustled and
bustled and grew nearly frantic in my efforts to
attract his attention. At last I succeeded, for
"Oh 4-ck at that branch near the top Did
you ever see a better shape or more lovely
berries I must have that!"
So he stretched his arm up, and, after two or
three vain attempts-for my spiteful little sisters
stuck their pointed leaves into his hands most
shamefully, to prevent him plucking me-he
seized me, and, in a state of delight I cannot
describe, I was shown to the admiring group.
None but the brave deserve the fair," said one
Two Little Helfers.
laughing girl to her cousin, who had taken me;
"so, Gerald, you shall have that special branch
for the hamper you are sending home to your
dear sister Amy.'
Thanks," he replied. Yes, I should like her
to have that, for she is such an admirer of every-
thing beautiful, especially in the way of flowers
So I was treated with great care, and carried
tenderly, for fear some of my berries should drop
off. The very last glimpse I caught of Robin
was to see him making himself a regular fright;
for his feathers were all ruffled up in a disgrace-
ful fashion; but whether he did this to show his
sorrow at my departure I do not know, for I was
glad to be hurried away, feeling quite ashamed
of his ridiculous behaviour.
That very night I was placed in a hamper
containing similar branches to myself-though
without my beauty-and sent to a railway station.
I lay as still as I could, but I shall never forget
that horrible journey. The pain I endured being
tossed about is beyond description, and I
Suppose some of my leaves were to fall, or
my berries get bruised and unsightly; what
should I do ? for how could I bear to have my
beauty spoiled-I, who had been so much ad-
mired by the gaily-dressed children ? "
Going out into the World. 13
The idea was dreadful; and I hoped the
journey would soon end. It did at length, and I
was taken out and laid upon a table in a hand-
some room of a large house; while some of my
companions were sent to the workhouse, which
was a poor place- Robin had told me-where
old men and women lived when they wouldn't
or couldn't work for themselves. He had also
seen children there; but why they went to such
a dreary, dreary place Robin could not under-
stand, he said, for he had never seen leaves or
flowers there. Sometimes he sat on a window-
sill and sang them a song to cheer them a little;
but he could not stay long at a time, they made
him feel so sad.
I thought, as he told me this, that it was all
very well for him to talk about there being no
flowers or leaves; but which of them would like
to waste their beauty in such a place? I
shouldn't; and so I was thankful to find that I
was not intended to go to a workhouse.
There were a great many branches with me
waiting inspection; and soon two ladies entered
the room to look at us.
One was young and fair, and her pale face bore
traces of recent illness. The other lady-her
mother-was tall and stern-looking, and did not
please me so much.
"What beautiful holly dear Gerald has sent
14 Two Little Helpers.
me 1 How very kind of him I" said the young
Then you are that boy's sister," I thought.
"Yes," said Mrs. Knowles, "it certainly is
very fine; and I never saw before so many
"We will begin to-night, mamma, to decorate,
as Christmas is so near, and I have so many
things to do."
"Very well, my dear, only don't tire yourself
No, mamma; Mary can help me, and then I
shall not be so long."
So Mary, the housemaid, was called to wait
upon her young mistress, and they set to work at
once. The pictures in the dining-room were
adorned with my companions, who displayed
their beauty to the best advantage against the
massive gilt frames. That finished, a few choice
ones were placed ih the drawing-room; but as
yet no place had been chosen for me and several
others, who also were handsome.
I had begun to feel anxious as to my fate,
when Mary came, and, carefully laying us on a
large tray, took us into the hall. Here I was
quite content to be displayed, where all the
visitors entered; for how could they help seeing
my beauty and praising it ? While I was wait-
ing my turn to be placed, a bell rang for Mary,
Going out into the World. I5
and putting the tray on a side-table, near her
mistress, she went to answer the summons.
Miss Amy-as she called the young lady-was
busy fixing a companion of mine over an old-
fashioned clock; and while she was thus engaged
I felt something fall upon me, causing quite a
commotion among my leaves by the force with
which it fell. When I had recovered from my
fright-fearing I had lost some berries-I found
that a little bright, round hoop, called a ring, had
slipped over one of my smallest leaves and there
remained. I had seen it on Miss Amy's finger,
so she must have dropped it; although she did
not seem to be aware of her loss, and still went
on with her work.
When Mary returned, a few minutes after, she
picked me .up, and giving me a shake-which
sent the ring quite close to my stem, where it was
hidden by the leaves-she handed me to her
mistress, who placed me over a pair of stag's
antlers, directly in front of the door; the position,
as you may guess, pleased me very much, for now
I could see all that was going on.
But, though my leaves were shining in all their
lustre, and my coral berries looked superb, the
little ornament I had so unexpectedly received
clung obstinately to that insignificant stem,
though I tried my best to shake it to where it
could be seen ; but my efforts were quite fruitless,
16 Two Little Helpers.
and so I gave it up, and began to watch for
When the decorations were finished, and the
litter about to be swept away, Miss Amy sud-
denly called out-
"Oh, I have lost my ring It must have
slipped off my finger since I have been here, for I
distinctly remember pushing it back in its place
only a short time ago."
A search at once began, the litter closely
examined, and every corner looked into; but, of
course, all was in vain.
Miss Amy felt very sad about the matter, and
said, Let us keep on looking, Mary, for it must
be here somewhere, and I would not lose it for
anything, as it was the dying gift of a very dear
In a few minutes after, Mrs. Knowles entered.
"Have you not finished, Amy?" she asked.
"Yes, mamma, but I am afraid I have lost my
ring. Since my illness it has been too large for
my finger, and easily slips off."
The lady looked vexed to hear of her
daughter's loss, and more so when, after another
thorough search, they had failed to find the
ring. Then, turning to the housemaid, she
Mary, you must know something about
Going out into the World.
The girl blushed scarlet, and then turned pale;
but answered firmly-
Indeed, indeed, ma'am, I have never seen the
ring since it was on Miss Amy's finger."
"No one but you has been with Miss Amy,"
said the lady. "Did you go out of the hall ?"
Only for a few minutes, ma'am, to answer my
"Ah! then you had plenty of opportunity
to conceal it."
"I am sure I did no such thing," she said,
bursting into a flood of tears at the sudden accusa-
tion. Oh, do believe me, ma'am, and you, Miss
Amy "-and here she sank in great distress at
their feet-" when I say that I have never touched
the ring !"
"I believe you, Mary," said Amy, kindly.
"Don't trouble so much about it."
"Don't trouble, indeed I" exclaimed her
mother, in a voice of great anger. I beg you
will not interfere, Amy. A theft has been com-
mitted, and that girl has done it. I shall have
her boxes searched, and then she leaves my
All Miss Amy's entreaties and the protest-
ations of poor Mary failed to alter the decision of
that proud, unjust woman; and, in a few hours,
the sorrow-stricken girl was sent away in disgrace.
And now I began to be a little ashamed of my
18 Two Little Helpers.
possession, as its loss had caused such distress to
two people. Indeed, the occurrence had cast
quite a gloom over the whole house.
I began to think that, after all, Robin was right,
and to be useful was better than living only to be
admired. How could I be useful in giving up my
treasure, and thus save that poor girl from sorrow
and disgrace, as well as bring back the smiles to
Miss Amy's pale, sweet face?
I pondered over these questions, and felt as
though I would sacrifice even my berries, if only
I could do it.
SEEING A LITTLE OF THE WORLD.
HE next day all was bustle in the
house, for guests began to arrive,
and songs and laughter resounded
through the hitherto quiet home. As
to myself, I had enough praise even to satisfy
me; for, being in such a conspicuous place, I at-
tracted attention as soon as a visitor entered, and
my beauty was acknowledged by all.
Still I was not happy; for, as I have said, I
could not forget the possession of the ring, and
even when I tried to do so, Miss Amy's pale face
brought it instantly to remembrance again. I
had despised Robin when he talked of missing
me; but now how glad I should have been to see
him hopping near, and how grateful for his advice
in my perplexity I would have listened
patiently to his wise little sayings now; for in
spite of my lofty position and such grandeur, I
often felt very lonely shut up there.
20 Two Little Helpers.
That afternoon a little girl, about twelve years
of age, was shown into the hall by one of the
servants, who, as she did so, said kindly-
"There, my dear sit down and wait till I
send your mother's note in to Mrs. Knowles,
and I dare say she will come and speak to you
The child thanked her; and then, after timidly
glancing around the spacious hall, seated herself
on the edge of a chair.
She was clean and tidy, but looked thin and
poor, for her little shawl hardly kept her warm;
and her boots, I noticed, looked soaked, as
though she had been walking hours and hours
in the snow. In a short time a door on one side
was opened, and Mrs. Knowles appeared, hold-
ing a small piece of white paper in her hand.
She wore a velvet dress, almost the colour of my
berries; and though it was beautiful, she looked
very cross and frowning as she approached the
"Your mother sent this note, I believe," she
"Yes, ma'am," answered the child.
"Tell her, then, that I always pay my bills at
a certain time-that is, once a quarter-and from
that rule I never depart; so she must wait until
"If you please, ma'am," said the girl respect-
Seeing a Little of the World. 21
fully, mother would not have asked you for the
money, only she saw no other way of keeping
our home. The landlord came in this morning
and scolded her about the rent, saying he'd sell
the things in two days if we could not find the
money to pay up."
"Ah, a very fine story!" said the lady; "I
have heard others like it, and I dare say it is
your own faults from beginning to end, for the
poor are always wasteful and extravagant. Now,
you may go," she said in conclusion, "and let
yourself out by that door," pointing to the one
facing me. Then trailing her velvet robe over
the floor, she walked away, leaving the poor
little girl in tears.
As she opened the door, the child came face
to face with Miss Amy.
"What is the matter, Nellie?" she asked;
and after the cold, stern tones I had just heard,
her voice sounded like sweetest music.
The child told her sad story; and while doing
so, as they were standing upon the steps,
General Wind passed by with his trumpet, and
blew such a blast inside that the gust caught
me, and I was whirled from my lofty position,
and fell on the floor. The little girl picked me
up, and Miss Amy directly said-
"You may have that branch, Nellie, to remind
you that to-morrow is Christmas Day. See
Two Little Helpers.
here is something to add to its joy, my child;"
and she placed a sovereign in her hand.
The flash of delight in that poor little face I
shall never forget, as she said-
"Mother will thank you, miss; I can't."
The lady smiled.
"I think you said you owed fifteen shillings.
Then you can pay the landlord at once; the
rest is for yourselves, and tell mother I shall
come soon and talk to her about doing some
more needlework for me. I hope you will have
a happy Christmas now. Good-bye!" and she
passed into the house, leaving a very glad little
heart behind her.
And now I had learned another lesson, and
that was that the world is made much better
and happier by kindly acts and generous deeds.
Don't you think it was a good one for such a
foolish, vain little holly-branch, dear reader?
Nellie put me very carefully into a basket she
carried, and as she did not shut the lid quite
down I could see and hear all that was going on
A few days before, I should have been terribly
disappointed at being in the possession of such a
shabby child; but my feelings had undergone a
change, as you know, and so I did not mind at
We journeyed on for a long way past flaring
Seeing a Little of the World. 23
shops, where the butchers shouted out, "Buyl
Buy! Buy!" and I saw that even the fat pigs
were adorned with holly. Why it should be
placed on them I could not imagine, unless it
was it so added to their beauty that they sold
quicker and better. We passed a poulterer's
too, and hares, rabbits, turkeys, geese, and ducks
were all decked out in the same way; but I did
not envy any of the branches, however, although
perhaps they were useful.
After some time we turned down a long
narrow street, from out of which led a great
many smaller ones that were close and dirty.
The people about them, too, were different to
those in the well-lighted quarters, where the
butchers and poulterers did such a brisk trade.
They were ill-dressed and miserable-looking for
the most part, and the houses shabby and dirty
inside and out
Nellie hurried on through the snow, which
now began to fall in fine flakes; and General
Wind flew about, much to the discomfort of
every one but himself-to chase the snowflakes
was his usual amusement whenever they ap-
peared, for I had watched him at the game
many and many a time when I was in the park.
And now the little girl stopped before a mean-
:ooking baker's shop, and opening the door,
went in. The only person there was the man
Two Little Helpers.
who kept it, and he was by no means agreeable
to look at. On his head was a black skull-cap,
and here and there, where his white hair escaped,
it stuck out just like bristles. He had shaggy
eyebrows, from underneath which his cunning
little green eyes peered, and his voice was rough,
so that I did not wonder at the child shrinking
from him. She said, timidly-
"If you please, Mr. Sharp, I've brought the
"Ah I 'ave yer? Well, that's the best thing
yer could do; and I thought you'd find it up
somehow, though yer mother told me such a
yarn this morning."
We shouldn't have had it, only a kind young
lady gave it me," said Nellie.
The old man was preparing to get a pen and
ink to write a receipt; but he suddenly stopped
"What's that yer sayin' ? A young lady give
"Well, I never before heer'd o' sich a thing as
partin' wi' money like that, and I call it down-
"Oh, no, sir, it isn't," said Nellie, shocked that
Miss Amy should be so thought of," for I learned
only last Sunday, 'He that hath pity on the
poor lendeth to the Lord.'"
Seeing a Little of the World. 25
"Who taught you that?"
"My teacher; and she said how nice it was
to be able and willing to lend to the Lord.
Mother says He always cares for us, even when
"Well," said the old han, rubbing his hand
across his forehead, I somehow remember them
there very words were what my poor old mother
used to say, when she give to folks and went
By this time he had procured paper as well as
pen and ink, and was writing the receipt for the
rent. When he had finished it, he gave it to
Nellie, took from her the sovereign, bit it, rang
it, and then said:
I spose this was 'lent' to the Lord, eh, little
"Yes, sir, I think so, for it was given to help
us out of our trouble. Mother said, God would
find a way," she answered, brightly.
"Werry strange! Werry strange I" remarked
the old man, but he said no more; and Nellie
counted the five shillings he had given her in
change, and saying "good-bye" she took her
"Just fancy said the child to herself, as
soon as she got outside, "I have five whole
shillings to spend, only I must not part with all
of it. Let me thihk what I shall buy."
26 Two Little Helpers.
So the little housekeeper-quite used to
marketing-went into various shops along the
street, and purchased tea, sugar, flour, plums
(for the pudding), and a small piece of bacon,
"by way of a treat," she said. She put them
carefully into a blue handkerchief she carried, as
I occupied most of the space in the basket, and
she was afraid of spoiling my beauty by crush-
ing me. Then she turned homeward. I think
those little feet must have ached after their
toilsome journey through the snow; but she
was too happy to feel fatigued, and trudged
along bravely, till we came to a very small
house in one of the narrow streets, when she
drew from her pocket a big key and unlocked
It was a very poor little home, I thought, but
looked clean and tidy. Nellie placed the basket
safely in a corner, and then putting her pur-
chases into a cupboard, she counted the money
that was left, and tucked it safely away. The
tiny fire was nearly out, but she coaxed it into a
blaze, and by putting on more coal, there was
soon a cheery bit of brightness and warmth.
She busied herself next, in setting the tea-
things; placed the butter on a plate; made the
tea as soon as the little kettle boiled; and sung
so merrily all the time, that I wished Miss Amy
could have heard her. The day was drawing to
Seeing a Little of the Worta. 27
a close, and darkness had set in; so she lit a
candle, and began toasting the bacon by placing
it on a fork and holding it in front of the fire,
with a plate under it, to catch the grease. Soon
it began to sputter quite pleasantly, giving forth
a most savoury smell. It was just done when
the latch of the door was lifted and a weary-
looking woman entered. She stared in utter sur-
prise as Nellie bounded forward. Oh, mother,
such good news! I have paid the rent, and
bought a lot of things, and- "
"Stop, child," said her mother, laying her
hand on the girl's shoulder, "you take my
breath away. How did you pay the rent ? Mrs.
Knowles's bill was not enough for that."
"No, mother, she didn't pay it; but I met
Miss Amy as I was coming away, and she asked
me what was the matter, and I told her how ill
you had been, and how badly off we were just
now. So she gave me a sovereign, and told me
to run and pay the landlord-the change I was
to keep and make a happy Christmas with it
for- But here the girl stopped, bewildered
in her turn, to see her mother sink into a chair,
and burst into tears.
mother, mother I what's happened now ?"
"Nothing, darling, only the good news of
being able to keep our little home is too much
28 Two Little Helpers.
for me. Thank the Lord, His promise never
fails, though I almost doubted it this morning,
things looked so very dark, and I couldn't see a
way to pay the rent."
How good it all is," she said, a few minutes
after, when warmed and cheered by her tea, she
sat toasting herself by the bright little fire. "I
think I shall never murmur again, though I've
tramped all over the town, Nellie, and got
neither work nor money."
mother, Miss Amy has promised some
more work; but she will come and see you
about it first. The bill will be paid just the
same; for I was to tell you, the sovereign is
a present from her."
God bless her I" exclaimed'the poor woman,
fervently, for what she has done to-day."
An hour they sat and talked over their tea,
for it was many a day since the widow's heart
had felt so light, and she listened as Nellie told
her about myself, and how General Wind had
suddenly blown me down.
"Well, child, we'll put that holly over the
mantelpiece to remind us of Miss Amy, though
we ain't likely to forget her anyhow," she
I'll get it out of the basket, mother. It's
such a lovely branch!"
So she drew me gently forth.
Seeing a Little of the World. 29
"Beautiful!" exclaimed Mrs. Moss, holding
the candle closely to me; but as she did so the
light shone on my glittering treasure, and they
both saw it.
A HAPPY CHRISTMAS.
i" HERE'S a ring -on it, mother I" ex-
claimed Nellie, speaking first.
"Yes, Nellie, and a real beauty,"
said Mrs. Moss. "Let me have it."
And, taking the ring from off my leaf, she
examined it closely. "Diamonds, I declared"
she said, after a brief survey.
"It must belong to Miss Amy," said the girl;
"for cook told me they had been in trouble
about losing a ring, and said that her missus
had accused Mary of stealing it, and sent her
"Indeed," said Mrs. Moss; "then, my child,
we must return it at once, and let them know
that Mary had nothing to do with it. It must
have dropped among the holly, you see, and
slipped over that leaf. I will put it back as we
found it, and then, perhaps, they will know how
it came there." And, carefully replacing the
A Happy Christmas. 31
ring, she put me into the basket, saying, as she
Will you come with me, Nellie ?"
"What, to-night, mother?" said the child;
for she began to feel sadly tired.
Yes, my dear, we must go at once ; and if you
can walk I should like you to go with me, though
I'm sorry to take you out, my child; but Miss
Amy must know about the ring, and that poor
girl also. She shall not be kept in ignorance about
it being found an hour longer than I can help."
"I'll come, mother."
But the tone was weary, for the poor child
was nearly worn out with fatigue.
It was past eight o'clock when they locked
their door and began their walk to Mrs. Knowles's
house. The snow, however, had ceased falling,
and the moon shone out bright and clear, mak-
ing everything appear beautiful that had been
covered by its soft white robe. General Wind
had retired after his day's frolic, so our two
friends found their walk much more pleasant
than they had anticipated.
Arrived there, Mrs. Moss'rang the bell, and
the housemaid opened the door.
"Can I see Miss Amy, if you please?" she
"Not to-night," replied the girl; "for she
32 Two Little Helpers.
"I think she would see me, if you say Mrs.
Moss has something very important to tell her."
"I'll deliver your message. Sit down a few
minutes." And she disappeared.
In a short time Miss Amy came into the hall.
"Good evening," she said, in her gentle, win-
ning tones. I hope you have no fresh trouble."
"No, indeed, miss," answered the woman; I
never was lighter of heart than to-night, for you
have lifted such a burden off me that I can't be
grateful enough. But why I so wished to see
you now, is because I wished to return to you
something you have lost."
"What! Have you indeed found my ring-
my precious ring ?" said the young lady, delight-
edly. "Where could you have seen it?"
"Here, miss," replied Mrs. Moss, drawing me
out, and pointing to the ring. "That's where
we saw it hanging, about an hour ago, and so
I came at once to give it to you."
How very kind I" said Amy, taking her hand.
"I can hardly thank you; but I shall never
forget this great service you have done for me."
"Don't mention it, miss; though when Nellie
told me that Mary had left here through its
being lost, I felt doubly glad to have found it."
"So am I," returned the young lady; "for
I have never forgotten that poor girl's sorrow
and disgrace. Now both of you come with me
A Happy Christmas. 33
into the drawing-room." So they followed her
into the apartment-Miss Amy holding me in
"See, mamma !" she exclaimed, at the same
time holding me up for general inspection, here
is my truant ring, which had taken refuge in this
holly-branch, and good Mrs. Moss has brought
it back to me."
Her mother and the guests at once gathered
around them, and all expressed their surprise and
delight at its being restored in such a strange way.
As for myself, I was glad indeed, for I had
been the means of restoring happiness to that
dear, unselfish lady, and also of bringing back
the smiles to the sweet face I so loved. What
was the pleasure of being admired to this feeling
of-as dear little Robin had told me-being
useful, especially when that usefulness brought
joy to others.
Mrs. Moss and Nellie were very kindly
received by the ladies and gentlemen; and Mrs.
Knowles expressed her pleasure to them at the
recovery of her daughter's ring; but it was
not so heartily spoken as one would have
thought. Perhaps the lady was a little ashamed
of her hard, cold words to poor Nellie, though
Miss Amy's kindness had atoned for this.
In a short time Amy conducted our two
friends to the servants' hall, and gave them into
34 Two Little Helpers.
the care of the cook, a kindly motherly woman,
who promised to see after their comfort for the
night, as it was too late to return to their own
"Besides," added the young lady, "you must
now stay and spend Christmas with us."
When she returned to the drawing-room, she
"Mamma, I must have the carriage and let
poor Mary know of my treasure being restored,"
and she looked at me, still holding me, though
the ring was now on her finger.
"Very well, my dear," said the elder lady,
who, doubtless, had been suffering from many
stings of conscience for the last half-hour, "per-
haps you had better; but mind you wrap up
very warmly, and take care of yourself."
I'll be sure and do that, mamma," and tripping
lightly up the stairs she prepared to get ready.
The carriage rolled up to the door, and taking
us both, Amy set out for Mary's home.
The girl I saw had sadly changed in those
few days, and her eyes-as she opened the door
-looked red, as though she had, even then,
In a few minutes all was explained, and the
girl was full of delight at the welcome news,
while the old father and mother thanked Amy
again and again.
She came to the table, and stood looking at me.-p. 4o.
A Hapfy Christmas. 37
"Don't thank me," she said, her eyes full of
tears; "but forgive my mother for her too
hasty judgment, and I shall be happy. I will
try to atone for this great sorrow of Mary's,
whom, of course, we shall be pleased to see back
whenever she can come."
Thank you, miss," said they ; "but we should
like her to spend Christmas with us after this
"Of course you would. Well, we will have
another talk soon, Mary. Good-bye and a
happy Christmas to you-brought by a little
holly-branch, that got into honest hands," she
"The same to you, miss," they replied.
And then we re-entered the carriage and were
driven back again.
On the morrow-Christmas Day-I was put
in my former position in the hall, and so was
able to look upon all the grand doings that took
place. It was, indeed, a happy time, especially
to Mrs. Moss and Nellie, for the servants also
had a party, and such games, and feasting, and
fun, as I had never witnessed before.
Mary, with her father and mother, came to it,
and her bright face added not a little to the real
enjoyment, because after all-though I was
only a holly-branch-I had found out, being a
sharp little thing, you know, that feasting, and
38 Two Little Helpers.
merriment, and fine clothes cannot bring true
happiness, though they make a show of it. Yes,
there was genuine gladness there, for hearts had
been lightened of sorrow, and could enter into
the meaning of that "good will toward men."
When the lamps were lit, and the ladies passed
down to dinner in their gay dresses of silk or
satin, I thought the sight prettier than any I
had seen, especially when the children came
with their bright smiling faces.
But I must not forget to tell you of one other
thing that pleased me very much. Just before
putting me into the hall, Miss Amy took a pair
of scissors, and cut off a small sprig-just where
the ring had hung-and to my great delight
fastened it in her hair. It looked lovely, with
its tiny group of coral berries between the bright
green leaves, and she wore it even when dressed
for dinner, when she was arrayed in a dove-
coloured dress with pearl ornaments.
But soon-all too soon-Christmas came to
an end, and the guests took their departure.
Mrs. Moss and Nellie went back to their home
also, and I heard Mary say that both Mrs. and
Miss Knowles had been very kind to them, and
had promised always to be their friends.
As for old Mr. Sharp, Miss Amy went to visit
him, and helped him, I am sure, to know more
about "lending to the Lord"; but I did not see
A Happy Christmas. 39
him again, as I only made one more journey,
and that a very short one. Let me tell you
As the days passed on, I grew very shabby,
for some of my leaves fell off; others were curled
up and discoloured; and as for my berries they
had grown quite wrinkled-like the faces of
some men and women I had seen-and I really
began to be ashamed of my appearance. I was
no longer an ornament; and so one morning
Mary took me down, and just as she had done
so, Miss Amy came into the hall.
"Give that branch to me please, Mary," she
said. So I was taken to her room up-stairs, and
laid upon a table, wondering greatly what my
fate would be.
I had seen most of my companions thrown
into a heap, and carried away to the dust-bin-
poor shrivelled, faded things! Was that to be
my lot? I wondered. The prospect was cer-
tainly not pleasant to dwell upon; but I was
very happy in thinking as I lay there that I had
been useful as well as ornamental. If I had
only thought of my beauty all the time how
dreadfully distressed I should have felt; but
having been made a help to others, I did not so
much mind. I was sorry now for my former
silly pride, for since being in the world I had
learned much, and true learning makes us wise.
40 Two Little Helpers.
But while I was thus thinking, Miss Amy
came into the room. For some time she busied
herself with her needlework, and then, catching
sight of my poor withered form, she came to
the table, and stood looking at me as though
thinking very deeply. After some minutes
she went to a drawer, and, taking some-
thing out that was wrapped in paper, she
brought it to the table. As she uncovered it,
I saw it was a beautiful little box, made of
cedar wood and lined inside with purple velvet.
She then drew out a withered flower that looked
like a rose, and I saw more than one tear fall
upon it-though why she should cry over a
withered brown thing like that, was another of
the things that puzzled me. After carefully
replacing it, she took me up, and, looking at me,
"Oh, little holly-branch, I shall always keep
you, for you were the means of returning dear
Edward's ring; and because, through you, a
poor girl was saved from sorrow and disgrace."
And with these words she put me into that
lovely little box, and then locked it. I thought
to myself, Am I worthy of such an honour ? "
I wonder how the rose came to be there, and
what she did I will ask her to tell her story.
Yes! she is willing to do this, and so my readers
shall hear it.
THE ROSE'S NEW HOME.
WAS one of a numerous family-like
Miss Holly-for the bush I grew
upon was large, and adorned a well-
kept, old-fashioned garden belonging
to a lady and gentleman who had but one son,
a young doctor. Near us was a beautiful lake;
and when the winter set in and it was frozen, a
merry party of young people usually came to
On one of these occasions, I noticed among
them the young gentleman I have mentioned,
whose name was Dr. Edward Conway. I knew
him at once, for though only a bud, I was very
fond of looking about-rather too much so-my
twin-sister said, as I wanted to unclose my
petals before the proper time; not that I was
vain-as Miss Holly told me she felt-but be-
cause I longed to know what was going on
Two Little Helpers.
around me; and especially as I wished to greet
Mrs. Snow, who looked so beautiful in her soft,
white, feathery robe. I knew, too, that when
she came I could unfold my petals more quickly
-for unlike my summer cousins, I bloom only
in the winter.
Well, as I have said, I watched the happy
young folks who had assembled on the lake,
and heard the silvery laughter of the ladies, as
they glided over the smooth surface. Two
people especially engaged my attention-one
was Dr. Edward Conway, and the other a young
lady called "Miss Amy." He was so handsome
and merry, and she looked so beautiful in her
pretty furs, that I continued to watch them, till
Mrs. Snow came floating down, and they went
indoors., I did not catch a glimpse of Miss
Amy for several weeks, as I got fully acquainted
with Mrs. Snow, who sheltered us so nicely
under her warm mantle, from the sharp pinches
of the notorious "Jack Frost," that I could not
even peep out.
One morning, however, King Sun paid us a
visit, when in his golden light Mrs. Snow
vanished, and I opened my petals and rejoiced
at my own beauty, although I can truly say I
was not proud, for I could honestly admire my
brothers and sisters as much as I did myself,
While thus engaged, I heard voices near, and
The Rose's New Home. 43
soon perceived Mr. Edward and Miss Amy
standing close to our bush.
"Now, dear Amy," he said, "tell me which
roses I shall cut. You may have as many as
"I only want a few for my poor people,"
she answered, smiling up at him. "Besides,
you have promised them for decorating the
"Yes, after you have taken all you require
Now then, here is one-a beauty-and this, an&
this, and this."
As he spoke, clip, clip, clip, went the scissors.
Stop, dear," she exclaimed, as he went on
cutting; you are giving me too many."
"Just one more, Amy."
And this time I was severed, and laid in the
dainty white basket she carried.
What will my fate be ?" I thought, as I gave
a last fond look at my home.
I was soon borne along the streets; and as
the walk proved a long one, I had time to gaze
about. The places we passed through were
poor and dirty, and looked more miserable as
we proceeded. At length, Miss Amy entered a
large, tumble-down house, with such a rickety
staircase, that I wondered she was not afraid to
go up, especially as there were some terrible
holes here and there. But she stepped lightly
44 Two Little Hel.ers.
over these, and went on till she came to a door
at the top of the third flight.
Come in," said a feeble voice in response to
her knock. And we entered.
It was a very small room; but clean, com-
pared with the rest of the house. There was
an old chair, and a table in the middle, a low
bench in one corner, strewed with pieces of light
wood, and scraps of coloured paper and velvet,
and a worm-eaten bedstead in another. I also
noticed what a tiny fire burned in the grate,
though the old man sitting near looked blue
with the cold.
He was evidently not English by the way he
spoke; but he had such a happy-looking, brown
face, that I wondered what could make him so
contented in his miserable room.
"Well, Mr. Nicoli, how do you feel to-day ?"
asked Miss Amy.
"Thank you, madam, the pain of the back is
better-much. I have been working some little,
to-day," he answered, in broken English.
"I am glad to hear this. Let me see what
you have been making, please."
So the old man went to a cupboard, and took
from it a box containing a complete set of dolls'
furniture, so neatly and nicely made, that it
would have delighted any little girl in the king-
dom. There were tiny velvet couches, with
The Rose's New Home. 45
chairs to match; pretty little tables, so highly
polished one could see one's face in them; bed-
steads, chests of drawers, with white knobs;
looking-glasses, foot-stools, chiffoniers, fenders,
coal-scuttles, and everything necessary for the
residence of an aristocratic doll.
Of course I should not have known the
names of the different articles, only Miss
Amy mentioned them as she examined each,
and seemed as delighted as though she was
a doll herself, and had a house ready to be
As my Mfe, little readers, had hitherto been
spent entirely out-of-doors, you must forgive
my ignorance of such things, for birds, and
flowers, and sunshine-though I saw little of
the latter-was much more in my line than
"They reflect great credit upon you, Nicoli,"
said Miss Amy, replacing them in the box. I
will purchase them for a dear little niece of
And she took out her purse and put some
silver into the old man's hand. You should
have seen the bright smile that lit up his brown
face. If happy before, it was quite beaming
"Thank you, madam, thank you," he said,
making the politest bow I ever saw. How
46 Two Little Hepers.
good you are to old Nicoli, who would have
starved but for your kindness."
"And here is a little present," she added, as
she took one of us out of the basket.
He received the rose with a grateful look, and
another polite bow.
"Beautiful!" he exclaimed. "I shall keep it
in remembrance of you, my dear young lady;
and when it fades, Nicoli will not even then part
with it. You have brought summer into my
heart, as much by your goodness as your gift."
And he wiped a tear away with his worn
coat-sleeve. Miss Amy chatted to him a little
while longer, and then saying good-bye," took
her way down the rickety stairs, and we were
soon in the street again.
Several more visits were paid to old or sick
people, and every one greeted my companions
with a smile, for-as Miss Amy said-they were
so "fair and sweet" amid the dirt and squalor
around, that tired, worn faces brightened at the
sight of them, and horny hands touched them
At length, all were distributed save myself;
and I was wondering what my lot would be,
when we entered a little house somewhat apart
from the rest, and certainly unlike them, for the
windows were adorned with white curtains, and
inside, everything was beautifully clean. Very
The Roses New Home.
poor, though, were the surroundings, for the
room contained but little furniture. A gentle-
mannered woman came forward to greet Miss
Amy; and then I saw a sickly-looking boy,
with fair hair and blue eyes, sitting by the little
bit of fire.
Good morning, Mrs. Carter," said the young
lady. "How is Roy to-day ?"
"Not very well, ma'am, thank you," was the
And as his mother spoke, the child looked up
and smiled at their visitor.
Don't move, my dear," she said, kindly. I
came to have a little talk, and to bring you this
Oh, how lovely I" they both exclaimed, when
I was presented, while the boy's eyes filled as
"Thank you, Miss Amy; I am so glad."
"I know you love flowers, Roy," she said,
smiling at him in her sweet way, on seeing the
joy she had given.
Then Mrs. Carter brought forward a tiny
china vase, which accommodated me nicely, and
after filling it with water I was placed on a
small table beside Roy, who lay back in his
chair, and feasted his eyes with my beauty; for
this child of seven I found was a passionate
lover of Nature.
EANWHILE Miss Amy talked to the
mother in a low tone. I could not
catch all she said, though I heard her
"How is your husband going on now, Mrs.
"Oh, badly, ma'am, I'm sorry to say," was
the reply. "We should have nothing to eat if
it was not for the little tailoring I get, and even
then it is a hard struggle; oh, if he would reform
how happy we might be !"
By way of sympathy Miss Amy drew from
her pocket a little book and read for several
minutes, though I can only recall these words-
" Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in
Him, and He shall bring it to pass." And then
after a chat with Roy she went away.
I was sorry to lose sight of her bonny face,
for I had learned-like Miss Holly-to love the
young lady for her kindly deeds to others. She
was so unselfish, that she lived to make people
happy, it seemed to me; and I did not wonder
at Mr. Edward liking her so much, for being
the doctor in the neighbourhood, he often heard
of her ministrations to his poor patients.
"Mother," said Roy, when Miss Amy had
departed, "do you think father will be worse
to-night than he was yesterday?"
"I don't know, darling, but I hope not. Hark I
here he comes."
A heavy footstep sounded in the little passage,
and the next moment the door was flung open,
and a tall, burly man entered, swaying from side
to side. His wife'went towards him to guide
his uncertain footsteps, but he pushed her roughly
away, and fell into a chair.
What have you got to eat ?" he asked.
"Only part of a loaf, but I will give you a
cup of tea in a few minutes," said Mrs. Carter.
He made no reply, but began singing in a
boisterous way. Suddenly he stopped and gazed
stupidly at Roy-
"Why don't you sing ?" he demanded.
"I can't, father," was the tearful reply, "for
I'm full of pain to-day," and his white, shrunken
face showed indeed how greatly he was suffering.
If Carter had been sober he would have taken
the child on his knee and soothed him, for he
0o Two Little Helpers.
was exceedingly fond of the boy-as I found
out afterwards-but now he seemed in such a
muddled state, as to be incapable of under-
standing anything, and began dancing about
the room, to the terror of his wife and son, who
expected to see him fall helplessly down. Hoping
the tea would make him quieter, Mrs. Carter
busied herself in preparing some, although, as
her husband continued to twist about, this was
done under difficulties.
When it was ready, however, and the table
put in one corner of the room, to be out of the
way, she asked him to have a cup.
"Tea I" he exclaimed, looking at it. Who
wants tea, woman ? fetch me something stronger
and I will drink that. Do you hear?" he
shouted, stepping in front of her threateningly.
"I have no money, John," she answered,
"Well, then, don't bring me that stuff if you
won't get the other," and taking up the cup
and saucer he flung them into the fender; then,
while the poor woman stood shaking with
fright, he began kicking a chair near. Roy'
had placed the little vase containing me on
it, so as to be close to him, and when he saw
his father's action he leaned forward to rescue
me, exclaiming, "Oh, father, my rose I my
I was saved, but the heavy boot, in the act
of kicking over the chair, had caught Roy's
forehead, and the next moment he lay on the
floor stunned and bleeding from a terrible wound.
Carter, uttering a hoarse cry of anguish, picked
up the frail little figure and held it in his arms
while the frightened mother proceeded to stanch
the blood that flowed.
"Sallie, run quickly and get some cold water,
and then fetch the doctor," said her husband,
completely sobered by the sad occurrence.
Mrs. Carter ran off, while the man with great
tenderness-of which one seeing him a few
minutes previous would have thought him in-
capable-bathed the wound and did all in his
power to restore the boy to consciousness.
In a short time the doctor arrived, whom I
recognized as my former young master, Mr.
Edward. On hearing how the accident occurred,
he at once gave the child something which
rendered him sensible, and then binding up the
wound, ordered the boy to be kept perfectly
quiet. This stern command of the young doctor,
especially addressed to the unhappy father, was
strictly obeyed. Poor little Roy soon fell into
a deep slumber, and Carter taking his seat by
the side of the bed, watched in silence the white
little face; occasionally his wife whispered a'few
words, but he only answered "yes" or "no,"
Two Little Helpers.
and continued his vigil. So the hours went on,
until six o'clock in the morning, when after
taking a cup of tea and a slice of bread, Carter
kissed the lips of the sleeping boy, and turning
to his wife, said-
"I'm going to work, Sallie, for he will want
things to bring him round-my Roy."
And softly closing the door he quitted the
I had heard the poor wife say that he was
a good husband and father when sober, and I
quite believed this now.
Roy awoke soon after his father had gone,
and his first words were-
"Mother, what have you done with my rose ?"
"I put it here, my darling," she answered,
bringing me from the window-sill.
"I'm so glad the flower is safe, for it is so
beautiful," he said, looking at me lovingly. Then
he added, "Please don't let father touch it."
His mother assured him she would take great
care of me, and then giving him some medicine,
she proceeded to sponge his hands and face, and
otherwise to make him comfortable.
In the middle of the morning the doctor came,
and after seeing to the wound, bound it up ten-
derly, and then sat talking to his little patient,
of whom he had grown quite fond, for I found
this was by no means the first time he had
attended Roy. The acquaintance began in the
hospital, where the child had been taken some
months previously, to see if anything could be
done to restore his health, and while there, Dr.
Conway, who was at that time walking the hos-
pital," got to know him, and took the greatest
interest in his little patient. The gentleman
heard now all the details of the accident, and
seemed quite impressed by the way in which
the boy said-
"Doctor, father did not mean to hurt me, he
only tried to kick the chair. If I had not moved
I should have been all right, only I was so afraid
my rose would get spoiled. Do you know who
brought the dear little lovely thing ?"
I think I can guess," said the doctor, smiling,
as he took me up and admired my beauty, even
to Roy's satisfaction. "Nobody thinks of other
people as Miss Amy."
"Excepting you, sir," put in Mrs. Carter, with
a wan smile, as she recalled the many acts of
kindness he had done for her and her boy.
The doctor, however, took no notice of this
remark, but went on talking, till suddenly he
stopped and jumped up. "No more chattering,
Roy, till I see you again. Give him the medicine
regularly, Mrs. Carter, and then I think he will
get on nicely."
For the next two or three days the boy
54 Two Little Helpers.
continued to improve and seemed almost his
usual self. Carter always went to work, and
having asked for some of his wages in advance
-as I heard him say-Roy had all the nourish-
ment that was ordered.
But on the fourth day he grew restless, and at
times his mind wandered. The young doctor
looked very grave when he paid his usual visit
and sat down to watch his little patient, whose
talk was all about myself, and who begged in-
cessantly that they would take care of me.
"All right, Roy dear," said the doctor, as he
kept on asking this, "the rose is quite safe; see
it is here as beautiful as ever." And he held
The boy opened his heavy eyes, gazed at me
tenderly, and then closing them turned away
his head and sank into a fitful slumber.
UST at this moment Miss Amy came
in, bringing a basket of delicacies for
the child. She greeted the doctor,
and then stood silently looking at
Roy, who was again restless and wandering.
"Oh, father, you will spoil the flower my
dear little rose," he cried. "Miss Amy, Miss
Amy don't let him, don't let him I" And with
a shrill scream, the boy sat up and gazed wildly
"Roy dear," she said tenderly, "the rose is
all right, do not trouble about it, and I will
bring you another. Try to sleep now." And
she laid him gently on the pillow; but he still
went on rambling.
After some time Dr. Conway and the young
lady went away, and Carter came in. Oh, how
sad he looked as he watched the restless little
head, and more than one tear fell as he stood
5o Two Little Helpers.
thus. Though everything was done that could
be, the boy grew gradually worse. The doctor
came and went frequently; and by this, and his
grave looks, I could tell there was little hope for
The poor mother moved about the room in
her quiet way, and only by her face could one
tell the pain she endured; for doubtless she
remembered that if the boy died, it would be
through the act of his drunken father; and
this thought, of course, made her sorrow more
As for Carter, he was nearly as white as Roy,
with compressed lips, and a stern look on his
face, that told plainly the remorse he was suffer-
ing. Oh, how vain must have seemed his regret,
as he bent over the fragile boy, his only son,
and thought that the little life was nearing its
close, hastened by his foolish act.
The neighbours were most kind in offering to
watch by the child, and Miss Amy asked to be
allowed to sit up with him also; but the father
refused all help in this way, and tenderly nursed
Roy through the long weary nights, while the
poor mother lay down to get a little rest. How
Carter could work as he did all day, when he
never closed his eyes during the night, puzzled
many people; but to all remonstrance he turned
a deaf ear.
Let me stay with my darling while I can,"
he said, almost fiercely, to the doctor, who at
length spoke of the subject. And knowing
what was likely to occur, the gentleman ceased
That night he stayed several hours with the
child, for the Angel of Death seemed very near.
All at once Roy gained consciousness, and
turning to the doctor, said feebly, -
"Willyou take care of my rose ? I'm afraid of
"Yes, dear," he answered, picking me up.
"See, I will pin it here in my coat, and when I
get home it shall be placed in water again."
"Thank you, sir," said the child, looking re-
lieved, as he fancied I was in greater safety.
Then he closed his eyes and took no further
notice of anything.
A few minutes after, Carter drew the doctor
aside, and after whispering a few words, they
both quitted the room, and went into the passage
leading to the street-door.
"Will the child die ? asked the man, hoarsely.
"I cannot say; but am afraid so," was the
"Then I shall have killed him," wailed the
unhappy father. "Oh, my boy, my darling I to
think this should be your end."
Do not give way to despair, my poor friend,"
58 Two Little Helpers.
said the gentleman, kindly, "for while there is
life, there is hope, you know."
"But I haven't any. I watched the child last
night, and what he said unconsciously, made me
feel his murderer. He won't trust me even with
that rose," he added, bitterly.
Then, turning away, he snatched his hat from
a peg, and rushed into the street, with such a
look of utter misery upon his haggard face, that
the doctor prepared to follow him; and just
telling Mrs. Carter he would return shortly,
took his way down the road, keeping Carter in
sight. On we went; up one street and down
another, until a sudden turn brought us to a
canal, whose, black waters were creeping slug-
gishly along. No one was in sight save Carter,
who, glancing around-without, however, per-
ceiving Dr. Conway-suddenly darted forward,
and threw himself into the water. Quick as
thought, the gentleman pulled off his coat, and
flinging it on the bank, plunged in to rescue the
drowning man, and succeeded in catching hold
of him. Then dragging his burden to the shore,
he laid it down just as two labourers came and
offered their assistance.
"Carry him to my house," said the doctor,
who was evidently known to the men. And he
put on his coat and proceeded to follow them.
After a powerful restorative, Carter revived,
Brighter Days. 59
and was then put to bed, while the doctor, after
changing his wet clothes, again set out to see
"Your husband will not be home to-night,"
he said to Mrs. Carter, for I am going to see
that he gets proper rest." Not a word about
the attempted suicide did the gentleman say.
To his surprise, he found Roy a little better,
and with the glad hope that this life might be
spared, he went home to communicate the good
news to the father. Carter was not asleep as
the young doctor softly opened the door, for he
"Why did you save my wretched life? I
ought to thank you, but I cannot."
"I am sorry you do not value it, Carter;
for you may make it worth living," was the
"What I ?-a murderer," he said, with a
"Your boy is better, and may live. So you
see God has been very gracious to you."
With a glad cry the poor man sprang from
the bed, and kneeling at the doctor's feet, sobbed
"Your news is too good, too good; but say it
again, and I will ever bless you."
"Roy is better, and will live, I firmly believe."
Carter continued to sob like a child; but at
6o Two Little Helpers.
length was persuaded to lie down, and soon fell
asleep from utter exhaustion.
With regard to myself, I must say I had
great care bestowed upon me; but after that
adventure by the canal, I never recovered my
beauty, having got sadly crushed. I was, how-
ever, placed in the doctor's drawing-room, and
the next day had the pleasure of hearing Carter
-who looked much better-express his heart-
felt thanks to the gentleman for so nobly saving
his life, and announced his intention of being a
sober man henceforth. To which the doctor
"Well, if that is your resolve I am heartily
glad, and will help you to keep it. Let us both
go at once and sign the pledge; and when I
break it, you shall know, and can do the same."
"Very well, sir," said Carter, looking greatly
astonished and gratified. And they quitted the
house for that purpose.
I heard Miss Amy say afterwards, from that
day Carter became a changed man. He not only
kept the pledge, but learned to trust that Saviour
who had done so much for him. His little son
was restored to him, and he was once more the
kind, loving father he had been before he took
to drinking. So the small household was soon
in a flourishing condition, and after a time
removed to a more healthy neighbourhood, where
they spent many happy years, Roy having fully
recovered his health.
When I became faded and shrivelled, the
doctor put me into this velvet-lined box, and
after placing his photograph beside me, gave it
to Miss Amy, to whom he said,-
"The rose belonged at first to you, dear Amy,
and I now return it, as its mission is accom-
plished, since it has been the means of helping
a life towards purity and peace. It also speaks
to me of the unwearied care and love you bestow
on the poor and suffering around."
She gave him a bright smile, though her eyes
were full of tears as she took the box.
"Thanks. I shall keep this always, dear
Edward, for your sake, reminding me as it does
of the life you risked that another's might be
saved. Little Roy, too, will never be forgotten."
And now I have come to the end of my story,
which I hope-like Miss Holly's-contains a
good lesson for the dear little children whom
Robin Redbreast loves.