• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Fina's first-fruits
 Pansy's drawer
 Uncle Maurice
 Nan
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Fina's first fruits and other stories
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086079/00001
 Material Information
Title: Fina's first fruits and other stories
Physical Description: 144 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Tyack, Lena
Kelly, Charles H ( Publisher )
Hayman, Christy and Lilly ( Printer )
Publisher: Charles H. Kelly
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Hayman, Christy & Lilly
Publication Date: [1897?]
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1897   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1897
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Lena Tyack.
General Note: Date of publication from inscription.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086079
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002239039
notis - ALH9563
oclc - 243841821

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Fina's first-fruits
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Pansy's drawer
        Page 25
        Page 26
        The unanswered letter
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
        Christmas cards
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
        How the letter was answered
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
    Uncle Maurice
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Kathleen's choice
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
        The jubilee treat
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
    Nan
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Nan's promise
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
        Meg's profession
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
        Nan finds friends
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
        Sunshine after rain
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
            Page 138
            Page 139
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
            Page 144
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text











































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h ER PRIMROSES BEGAN TO S 0O SIGNS 0 FLOWERING WELL,--2. IX










FINA'S FIRST FRUITS



Rnb tber Stories.




BY LENA TYACK













CHARLES H. KELLY, 2, CASTLE ST., CITY RD., E.C.;
AND PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.



















































HAYMAN, CHRISTY & LILLY, LTD.,
PRINTERS,
HATTON WORKS, 118-115, FARRINGDON ROAD,
AND 20-27, ST. BRIDE STREET, E.C.





















CONTENTS.



PAGE
I. FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS 7


2. PANSY'S DRAWER 25


3. UNCLE MAURICE; OR, THE JUBILEE TREATS 55

4. NAN 91




























[These Stories, which appeared in Chrzstmas Numbers of The
Sunday Magazine," are republished by Aind permission of Messrs.
Isbister, to whom thanks are hereby rendered.]

















FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.



VELYN, what's 'first-fruits'?"
"What are first-fruits," corrected Evelyn
severely. Why don't you speak properly, Fina ?"
Well, what are they ?"
Why, first-fruits, of course; it is plain enough.
Why do you want to know? "
It is in my reading," said little Fina quietly;
"see here," and she read, "' The first of the first-
fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of
the Lord thy God.' "
Evelyn glanced over her little sister's shoulder.
Why do you read such queer chapters, Fina ?
You should read in the Gospels, or about David
and Goliath, or Joseph, or Daniel. See, I will find
you a nice, easy chapter," and she laid hasty fingers
on the little Bible.
But Fina held it fast.
I'm reading straight on, Eva. I want to read
it right through. I only asked you to tell me
about the first-fruits."







FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


"It means the first of anything," said Evelyn
rather more patiently ; the first sheaf of corn,ror the
first bunch of grapes; and the Israelites used to
bring them to the Temple as an offering."
Do we have any, Evelyn ?"
"Any first-fruits? Why, no!"
"But we do have the first of things," persisted
Fina. Father always tries to get the first straw-
berries for my birthday."
How odd you are, Fina. Of course, it is all
quite different. We are not Jews.
"But, Evelyn--"
O Fina; don't bother any more: get the con-
cordance and read all there is in the Bible about
'first-fruits,' and then go and be a Jew if you
like."
Fina had no intention of becoming a Jew, but
she went to the book-shelves and took down the
concordance. At nine years old, however, a
concordance is of little use without help.
Evelyn had returned to her writing, and Fina
did not venture to disturb her again, so she sat
disconsolately turning over the pages until her
other sister entered the room.
"Cissy, do please find me a word in this
book."
Good-natured, awkward Cecil stumbled over a
footstool, and nearly upset Fina and the concord-
ance; then with a merry laugh she seated herself in
Fina's chair, with the little sister and the big book
in her lap.








FINAL'S FIRST-FRUITS.


What book is it? Cruden's Concordance!
Josephine Mary! what next? Are you going to
make a sermon, Fifine? What word do you
want ?"
"First-fruits," said Fina seriously, and Cecil


SHE SEATED HERSELF WITH THE BIG BOOK IN HER LAP.


not only found the word, but looked out all the
references in the little Bible, putting a piece of red
Berlin wool in at each place in order that Fina
might study the subject at her leisure.
Fina did study it very carefully, one verse








FINA'S FIRST. FRUITS.


especially, The first-fruits of thy labours which
thou hast sown in the field." She had no field, but
she had a little garden in which she worked very
diligently, and in which she had lately sown several
kinds of seed, and she fancied that was the same
thing.
I have no fruit in my garden," she said to her-
self one day, as she stood thoughtfully looking at
her little piece of ground. I wonder if flowers will
do as well, and I wonder what will come up first,
and how I ought to offer them. Cissy never
knows anything, and Evelyn hates me to ask
questions. I am sure if I knew as much as she
does I should not mind telling other people. I do
like to give my very first always to mother; but I
think she would not mind if I gave them to God."
Poor little Fina! Giving them to mother"
meant laying her flowers on a green grave. Fina's
mother had gone to be with God when her little
daughter was a baby, so she had never given her
flowers into a mother's loving hands, nor received
her thanks and kiss; but year by year, ever since
she had been old enough to do so, she had gone
with her sisters to lay spring blossoms on the
grave.
Fina had never been as busy in her garden as
she was that spring-time. It seemed to her like a
little bit of her Bible; she weeded and watched it
with growing interest, ever wondering what flower
would firstappear and beherfirst-fruits. To her great
sorrow some of the bulbs which should have come








FINAL'S FIRST-FRUITS.


up earliest were failures; but at last to her unspeak-
able joy her primroses began to show signs of
flowering well. These primroses were Fina's
favourite plants, she even loved them better than
the centre ornament of her garden, the blush-rose
bush which had been her father's present on her
last birthday. The primrose roots had been
brought from a lovely country place where they
had once spent a happy summer holiday, and when
they came home her father had planted them for
Fina. They made a thick border all round
the little garden, and the soil and situation
evidently suited them, for they flourished and
flowered freely, and many a bunch of the dainty
blossoms did the little fingers gather every year
for father's table or mother's grave.
Now it seemed likely that these primroses
would be the "first-fruits," and day by day the
childish eyes watched them lovingly, and the child's
mind wondered how she could give them to God.
Had hermother lived, Fina would probably have told
her difficulties; but she was a timid, reserved child,
and though her sisters loved her dearly, yet Evelyn,
who was very young to bear the burden of the
household, was often in consequence worried and
impatient, while Cecil was apt to laugh at the child's
quaint fancies. As for her father, who was kindness
itself, he was always busy, and often away from
home.
Just before Easter came a week of soft, steady
rain, and the garden had to go unwatched for








FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


several days, much to Fina's distress. On Wednes-
day evening it began to clear, and Thursday was
brilliantly fine; but Fina had a cold, the garden
walks were wet, and Evelyn would not let her go
out.
"I can't think why you are in such a state
about your garden; it won't run away before
to-morrow," she said crossly, when Fina begged
for "just one run down the garden in my thick
boots."
So Fina stood at the window and really fancied
she could see a pale yellow border, as she choked
down a sob of disappointment, and tried not to be
angry when Evelyn glanced in her direction, and
said :
What a baby you are, Fina, to cry about
staying indoors."
It was very hard when she had tried to be
patient, and Fina was tempted to let the angry
temper have its way; but in her Bible reading she
had found that offerings to God must be "without
spot or blemish," and after much thinking she had
decided that for her that meant that there must be
no wrong feeling in her heart, or her first-fruits would
be spoiled, so she bit her lip and winked back
her tears. Presently Cecil's bright voice called
her:
Come here, Fifine, and help me with my Easter
cards; you can put them in the envelopes and
stamp them if you like," and as the two heads bent
over the table she whispered:








FINAL'S FIRST-FRUITS.


You are not a baby; you have been ever so
good. You have been indoors nearly a week.
Don't mind her, Fina." So Fina was comforted.
As for Evelyn, I think she was sorry also when
she had time to think, and though she did not say
so in words, she made it up with Fina in her own
way. She provided a favourite cake for tea, and
when Fina came to say good-night, instead of a
hasty kiss, she put her arms round the little girl
and held her closely for a minute.
"Your cold is better to-night," she said. "I
think it will be fine for you to go out to-morrow.
Good-night, Fifine."
"Fifine" was really Evelyn's name for Fina,
though she used it very seldom ; but when she did
it meant a great deal, as Fina quite understood.
Good Friday was perfectly fine, and directly
after breakfast Fina ran down to her garden.
There she stood silent with joy, for her primroses
were fresh and fair, and there were more of them
than she had dared to hope for.
"Oh," she said in a glad little whisper, "how
good they look I am sure they will do for first-
fruits," and drawing a long breath of delight she
bent and kissed the fair, pure i.'iers almost-
reverently.
She was still uncertain how they should be
offered. The commandment was to give them to
the priest; she supposed that meant the minister;
but how to give them, or when, or where, and what
he would do with them she did not know. One







FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


thing she was sure of, they must be offered at
once before they lost their freshness, and she
thought she would take them first to her mother's
grave; it would be like showing them to her.
"Fina, Fina," called her father's voice, is any-
body going to walk with me?" and running in she
found to her great delight that Evelyn and Cecil
were not ready, and that she might walk to church
alone with her father. On the way she asked the
favour she was almost sure Evelyn would refuse-
might she go to the cemetery in the afternoon by
herself?
"By yourself, little Fina? "
Yes, please, father," begged Fina seizing his
hand in both hers, and looking up at him with eyes
so like her mother's that it would have been hard
to refuse her anything. "It is not very far and
the road is so quiet, I will not be very long. Please
let me, father dear, I want to so very much," she
said pleadingly.
And her father said, Yes," and did not even
ask her why, as Evelyn always did. Fina had
always had queer fancies which she did not like to
explain, and he supposed this was one. He also
promised that he would tell Evelyn, of whose
remarks Fina stood in some awe. So it was all
satisfactorily arranged and no one was surprised
when after dinner they saw Fina busily gathering
her primroses.
What a number of primroses Fina has," said
Cecil.







FINAL'S FIRST-FRUITS.


What a queer child she is," added Evelyn.
"Cis, do run and tell her not to sit down in the
cemetery, it is sure to be damp."
Fina conscientiously gathered every flower, and
when they were tied up they made a beautiful
bunch, which she put into her little basket and set
out with a very serious, puzzled face.
It was not far to the cemetery, and Fina soon
found the spot she sought. She looked admiringly
at the soft green grass and the pretty marble cross
with the inscription she had read so many times :

IN LOVING MEMORY
OF
JOSEPHINE MARY,
The beloved wife of Ralp/h Edward Langley,
Who fell asleep November 2nd, 1870.
AGED 37 YEARS.

"He giveth His 6eloved-sleep."

Fina thought it looked very sweet and peaceful,
and she wondered how it would feel to be called
"Josephine" instead of Fina, as she supposed she
would be when she grew up. She laid her flowers
for a moment on the damp, mossy turf, and
whispered a little prayer, Dear Lord Christ, these
are my first-fruits, please show me how I can give
them to Thee."
At some little distance a group of people in








FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


black showed Fina that a funeral was being con-
ducted, and in a short time it was over, the mourners
went slowly away, and the minister came towards
the little girl. She watched the tall figure coming
nearer until she saw with mingled fear and joy that
it was their own minister. Here was her oppor-
tunity if she could only summon up courage to use
it. I think Mr. Raymond would have passed by
without seeing her, for the gentle Mr. Raymond"
was too softly spoken for him to hear, but he
chanced to glance at the solitary child by the
grave, and first the primroses and then the bright,
shy smile of recognition attracted his attention, and
holding out his hand he said kindly:
"Why, it is Fina. Are you all alone, little
maid ?"
Fina sprang gladly to the outstretched hand.
"O Mr. Raymond," she began eagerly, and then
she stopped.
"Yes, what is it? What a bonnie bunch of
primroses. Are they to lay on mother's
grave?"
"Yes-no," stammered Fina. "I mean-they
-" Then going on desperately, They are my
first-fruits-out of my own garden. I wanted to
give them to God, but I don't know how."
Grown-up people sometimes said Mr. Raymond
was cold and stern, but to those who were in
trouble, and to little children, he was always gentle
and patient, and for them he always had a smile
and a kind word. Very loving were the eyes bent








FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


on Fina's flushed, troubled face, and very gentle
the voice that spoke to her:
"Your first-fruits, girlie? I want to know all
about it. Come here, Fina, and tell me what you
mean."
There was a seat near them, and sitting down
Mr. Raymond drew the little girl within his arm,
and by the help of a few questions got the whole
story from her. Fina waited breathlessly for his
decision when she had finished.
Fina," he said quietly after a moment's pause,
"in the large town where I lived before I came here
there is now a little girl not quite as old as you
are. She lives always in one small, dark, damp
room with very little furniture and often neither
food nor fire. She has no mother or father, sister
or brother, and her aunt is generally out from early
morning until dark. All day she lies alone on her
poor bed, alwaysunable to rise and very often in cruel
pain. She has no books, no pictures,nothing pretty to
look at; she has never been far away from the poor
court where she was born, and I doubt whether she
has ever seen a primrose. Would you like to send
yours to her, Fina?"
Fina's gray eyes filled with tears, her lips
quivered.
Yes," she said, very much. I should like to
send some to her. But these-my first-fruits I
wanted to offer to God."
And you shall. See, Fina," and taking a small
New Testament from his pocket he turned to the
2








FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


twenty-fifth chapter of St. Matthew, and read to her
from the thirty-first verse, especially drawing her
attention to the reply of the Great King : Inas-
much as ye have done it unto one of the least of
these My brethren ye have done it unto Me." "And
Fina," he added, "I think poor little Emily is 'one
of the least.'"
Fina was quite satisfied then, and in order that
no time might be lost, Mr. Raymond took her
home with him, and she laid her cherished flowers
in a little box, that they might be sent to Mr.
Raymond's sister, who would take them to the
poor sick child.
"We must put in a text with them, Fina," said
Mrs. Raymond, who from the sofa on which she
almost always had to lie had been watching with
interest the child's serious, intent face. See,
dearie, you shall choose one," and from the drawer
of her little table she took a number of pretty cards
with verses of scripture on them.
Fina looked at them thoughtfully, and laid one
lightly on her primroses, hardly knowing why she
selected it, except that the words were new to her
and had a pleasant sound, "Thine eyes shall see the
King in His beauty: they shall behold the land
that is very far off. And the inhabitant
shall not say, I am sick."
Mr. Raymond wrote on the back of the card,
"Fina's first-fruits," and then the box was closed,
wrapped up and addressed.
I will write a card to go with it to explain








FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


about it to Nelly," said Mr. Raymond, and then,
Fina, we will take it to the post. It goes at five
to-day, the same as on Sundays, so we shall be just
in time."
And after they had knelt to ask God to accept
and bless the child and her offering, they set out
on their errand. Fina parted from her friend at
her own door, and went in very quiet and very
happy.
Evelyn asked her why she had been so long,
but when she said she had met Mr. Raymond and
had gone home with him no one wondered, for the
minister and his wife loved all children, and gentle,
quaint little Fina was an especial favourite.

*

It was a dark, low, comfortless attic in a
London court, yet not so comfortless as it had been,
for Nelly Raymond had brought all the help and
comfort she could into the poor chamber of the
dying child. A bright fire burned in the small
grate, clean linen and a soft pillow had been got
for the bed, an old curtain hung over the draughty,
ill-fitting door, and on a little table were an orange
peeled and quartered and a little jelly on a china
plate. By the fire crouched the child's aunt, who
had stayed at home to see the only one she had
left to love pass away. Her head was bent on her
hard hands, and she rocked herself to and fro in
mute sorrow, but she could do nothing to soothe








FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


the terrors of that dying bed. The child sat
propped high on her pillows, she was worn to a
shadow and shaken by her terrible cough, and she
moved wearily from side to side with the restless-
ness of approaching death. She had not had much
joy in her short life, yet the shadow of death filled
her with a strange terror, and her wide open eyes
were dark with fear. After some hours of uncon-
sciousness, she had become acutely sensible; she
had grasped the fact that she was dying, and at the
same time this nervous fear had come upon her.
Nelly Raymond sat beside the bed, her kind eyes
looking with pity on the little face that under
happier circumstances would have been so pretty,
and on which death had so plainly set its seal.
Her heart was full of love and sorrow; she knew
the child's life was ebbing quickly, and she was
thankful little suffering Emmy would soon be free
from pain and safe from all harm; but she longed
to lessen the trouble that was making the last
agony so sharp. She moistened the parched lips,
rearranged the pillow, and gently smoothed the
fair hair from the child's brow.
Is that better, Emmy? "
Yes," panted the child, "but-O Miss Nell-
I'm so-so feared."
But you know the dear Lord Jesus loves you,
Emmy," said her friend. "He is going to take
you to be with Him. You are not afraid to go to
Him."
No," but the restless little head tossed uneasily








. FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


from side to side, "but-I can't-go-all by myself.
And I-don't-know-where it is-nor what-it's
like. Keep me-oh, keep me-Miss Nell." Her
voice rose almost to a scream, and then she lay
panting for breath.
Nelly took the little trembling hands in a firm
clasp. I cannot keep you, my poor little Emmy,"
she said with tears in her eyes; "but, my child,
you will be so safe, so happy. You have no
need to fear. Jesus loves you far better than I
can do."
Then taking her Bible, she read part of the
description of the glories of Heaven, explaining
and making it as simple as possible as she went on.
The soft voice soothed Emmy's excitement, but
the words with their gorgeous imagery soared
above her; she had seen so little that was beautiful
that they conveyed but little meaning to her
troubled mind. She lay quietly, her large, wistful
eyes fixed on Miss Raymond's face until she had
finished, and then, just as Nelly was turning to the
fourteenth chapter of St. John, there was a tap at
the door, and a young girl handed in a small box
and a postcard.
These have just come for you, Nelly," she
said, "and mother thought I had better bring them
to you."
Thank you, dear. You had better not stay,
Olive, Emmy is very ill," and as her sister left the
room she opened the box. Her eyes brightened as
she saw what it contained, and she went back to








FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


the bedside. "Emmy, here is something for
you, dear. A new card with a text. Can you
see it?"
The dim eyes opened with a look of interest.
The text cards Miss Raymond had given her
when she had come week by week to give Bible
lessons to the little cripple who could not creep
to the Sunday school were Emmy's choicest
treasures, and were all in a little box under her
pillow. She looked at the card with a half smile
of pleasure.
"Read it, please," she said faintly.
"'Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty :
they shall behold the land that is very far off. .
And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick,'" read
Nelly slowly. 0 Emmy, think of it. Is it not
beautiful ? Never sick, and to see the King
Himself! "
"Yes," said the weak little voice; "but-it's
very far off. And what will it be like? "
Nelly turned again to the box and took out
something more.
See, Emmy,- She was going on, but was
interrupted by a little, glad cry.
"0 Miss Nell, Miss Nell, will it be like that?"
Her troubled eyes were filled with light and glad-
ness, her little trembling hands were stretched out
eagerly for the flowers, and laying them on the
sheet, Nelly answered softly:
"Yes, I think it will be like that. The dear
Jesus has sent them to show you just a little bit of








FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.


the beauty because He loves you so. But it will
be far more beautiful than this."
Emmy did not seem to heed her; her eyes were
fixed on the flowers with a look of rapture. It had
never occurred to anybody to send her anything
so pure and fair; to her starved fancy they were,
indeed, like a bit of heaven. She touched the
blossoms reverently, then, just as Fina had bent
her fresh, rosy lips to touch them, so the dying
child's feeble fingers drew them near, and she, too,
kissed them.
Like this," she repeated in a happy, satisfied
whisper. The eyelids drooped over the weary
eyes, the weak hands fell amidst the primroses, she
drew one soft breath, and the child was where
"the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick."
When she lay in her humble coffin, they put
the flowers around her. Two or three were in her
fingers when she died, and those were left there.
They had lost their first freshness, but they had
done their work, and to their message was largely
due the look of peace on the worn little face and
the smile on the pale lips. The flowers were
fading, but the little human flower had been trans-
planted to that land where
everlasting spring abides,
And never-withering flowers.

Mr, Raymond told Fina what her flowers had
done, and she was satisfied.
She was afraid, and they made her glad," she








24 FINA'S FIRST-FRUITS.

said simply; I gave them to God, and I think He
took them. Don't you, Mr. Raymond?"
And the minister's smile was very bright as he
looked down on the earnest little face and answered,
"Yes, my little Fina, I am sure He did."


















PANSY'S


DRAWER.












































"THERE, TAKE YOUR DRAWER, CLARICE."-fi. 33,


















PANSY'S DRAWER.


CHAPTER I.

THE UNANSWERED LETTER.

" S that all, Mrs. Lyon?"
I think so," answered a weak voice; "would
you just read it over to me, Mrs. Robins ? "
The speaker was a woman of superior appear-
ance, who had hardly reached middle age, but
whose days were evidently fast drawing to a close.
Her bed, and, indeed, her whole room, was spot-
lessly clean; but the furniture was poor and scanty,
for poverty and trouble had combined to shorten
her life. On the bed beside her lay a little girl of
six or seven years old fast asleep, with her fair
little head resting on her mother's arm. She was
a pretty child, but small and delicate looking, and
singularly unfit to battle her way alone in the
world. By the bed sat Mrs. Robins, the good-
natured mistress of the house in which the widow
and her child had lodged for some months. With
27








PANSY'S DRAWER.


the kindliness so frequently found among the poor,
she was willing to do her utmost to help them ;
but she was very poor herself, and they had no
other friends near them. With much labour, for,
as she said, she was no scholar," she had written
at Mrs. Lyon's dictation a letter to her former
mistress, which she now read slowly aloud-

MY DEAR MISTRESS,
Remembering your great kindness to me, and
how often you have told me to come to you if I wanted help,
I now venture to write to you. I have had great trouble
since I saw you last, my dear mistress. My dear husband
was taken from me a year and a half ago, after a long illness,
and since then I have had a hard struggle to make a living
for myself and my little girl. I have been ill myself now for nine
weeks, and the doctor tells me I have but a'short time to live.
It would not trouble me to die if my child was provided for;
except for her sake I have no wish to live. She is nearly
seven years old, and is a gentle, good child, but she is not
strong, because she has not had good living such as she
needed. My dear mistress, when I am gone will you be the
kind friend to my child that you have been to me? I am
ashamed to ask so much, but I have nowhere to turn for
help on earth. My husband's brother is living, but I am
afraid he will not help me, and I have no friend but you.
Give my love to all the dear family, and
I remain, my dear mistress,
Your affectionate, respectful servant,
HESTER LYON.

"That is all, and thank you kindly, Mrs. Robins.
Oh, if my mistress would but see to her, how well
off Dotty would be "








PANSY'S DRAWER.


"Poor little thing said the other, looking at
the sleeping child, anybody might love her. I
am sure I would gladly keep her myself if I was
not a widow with so many of my own."
"Thank you for all your kindness," repeated
the dying woman; and supposing that no answer
should come, you have the direction of Tom's
brother. I wrote to him last week and told him
you would let him know when-when all was over,"
she added in a broken voice, as she gently smoothed
her little girl's fair curls.
Come, don't be downhearted, my dear. I
daresay this lady will write if she is as good as
you say, and no one could help loving Dotty, such
a pretty child as she is, and quite a little lady in
her ways. Now I will go and send my Annie to
the post, and make you a cup of tea. You are sure
I have the direction right ? "
Mrs. Lyon looked at the envelope and said it
was, and the kindly woman bustled away on her
twofold errand.
My little lass, my little lass," murmured the
poor mother, as her eyes filled with tears, I wish
I could take you with me. Joe is a hard man, and
his wife had a sharp tongue. Oh, I hope mistress
will write. God take care of my little lamb when
she is left alone."
The letter is posted, and here is the tea," said
Mrs. Robins briskly. "Why, Dotty, are you
awake ? Run downstairs, lovey, and have some
tea with Annie and the little ones. Now, my dear,








PANSY'S DRAWER.


you mustn't fret. Dot will be taken care of, never
fear."
"Our Father which art in heaven will take
care of me," said little Dot, as she slipped off the
bed, and raised her sweet, dark eyes to her mother's
face.
He will, my darling. Always remember that,
Dot," exclaimed Hester Lyon eagerly; "and if
ever you are alone and in trouble, ask Him to help
you."
Day after day the mother, always growing
weaker, prayed for her little child. Day after day
she looked for the letter which did not come.
I am sure the direction was right," said Mrs.
Robins, but neither of the women remembered that
they had quite forgotten to put their own address
anywhere on the letter they had sent, and the day
came at last when, with the prayer on her lips, 0
God, take care of my little lass," Dot's mother
passed away. Unlikely as it seemed, however, her
prayers were heard and answered, and in a way she
did not know of God took care of little Dot.









7gg~


CHAPTER II.

CHRISTMAS CARDS.

" Y OU must have some place for your papers,
IJ Clarice," said Mrs. Blair to her eldest
daughter, a bright-faced girl who had just left
school. Let me see if I can spare you part of my
davenport. What is in that top drawer ?"
That is Pansy's drawer, mother."
"Pansy's I am sure she cannot need it; she
has plenty of room in the nursery. How came she
to have it ?"
Oh, don't you remember, mother," said Helen,
the second daughter, "you gave her that drawer
last winter, when she was ill and was down here so
much, and her things were always left scattered
about ?"
Did I ? I had forgotten. Well, she does not
need it now. What does she keep in it ? "
"Christmas cards," said Helen, peeping in;
"dozens and dozens. Pansy will be cross about
it, mother."
Pansy must learn to give up," said her mother
with a sigh.
This youngest little daughter had been a








PANSY'S DRAWER.


delicate child; and the consequent indulgence was
bearing fruit that was not pleasant. At ten years
old, and with stronger health, it had become a
serious question whether Pansy was to rule or to
be ruled. She came into'the room as her mother
spoke, a slender, pretty child, with soft brown hair
and bright eyes which matched it in colour.
"Here is a letter for you, mother," she said,
"and it is from Liverpool. Do you think it is
about Hester? "
Oh, I hope so!" cried Clarice, starting up;
"do read it quickly, mother." But when Mrs. Blair
had done so she laid it down with a look of dis-
appointment.
You may read it, Clare; it is from the clergy-
man to whom we wrote; but, though he works
entirely among the poor, and has made many
enquiries, he can hear nothing of poor Hester; so
I suppose we must give it up. It is such a pity
she sent me no address. I would have done any-
thing for a child of hers."
So would I," said Clarice; she was so good
and kind. I am very sorry; but I don't see what
more we can do."
Pansy !"
The child was leaving the room, but waited as
her mother spoke.
Yes, mother."
"Clarice needs a drawer here now she is at
home; and I find you still have the one I lent you
in the winter. I want you to clear it for her, dear,"








PANSY'S DRAWER.


Pansy's brow darkened; her smiling red lips
pouted ominously.
But, mother," she said in what Helen called
her 'growly voice,' you gave me that drawer."
I lent it to you, dear, when you were ill, and
sat here; but now you have gone back to the
nursery you do not need it."
Oh, yes I do, mother !" went on Pansy; I
cannot possibly do without it."
I am afraid you will have to try, dear; for I
quite intend Clarice to have it."
When her mother spoke in that tone, Pansy
knew it was of no use contending. Angry tears
started into her eyes; angry colour flushed her
cheeks; she rushed to the davenport, violently
tossed the contents of the drawer on to the
carpet, and exclaiming, There, take your drawer,
Clarice," ran from the room, banging the door
after her.
"Shall I call her back, mother?" asked Helen.
"No, let her alone; she will be sorry by-and-
by. No, Clarice, do not pick up her cards; I
will go and talk to her presently. Poor little
Pansy! "
Half an hour later Pansy, looking very grave
and rather shamefaced, opened the door of the
morning-room and came softly in. She thought
the room was empty, for Clarice and Helen had
gone out, and she did not see Aunt Mildred, who
was working in the window. She sat down on the
floor and began slowly to pick up her cards, but







PANSY'S DRAWER.


she had only taken up a few when she threw them
down again, and lying down beside them she burst
into a passionate fit of crying. She was allowed to
cry undisturbed for some minutes, and then Aunt
Mildred's gentle hands lifted her up, and her
pleasant voice asked kindly :
My little Pansy, what is the matter ?"
I don't know exactly," sobbed Pansy, who
with all her faults was truthful; I am very, very
sorry I got into a temper and vexed mother, and I
hate giving up my drawer to Clarice.
But, Pansy, you told me you would try and
give up your own way pleasantly."
"So I did mean to, but it is of no use trying,"
said Pansy disconsolately.
"Keep on trying, and remember to ask God to
help you. And, Pansy, always look for the bright
side of your troubles. They always come for a
good purpose."
Pansy opened her eyes widely.
Yes, proper, big, grown-up troubles," she said,
"but stupid little vexations like this cannot mean
anything."
I am not sure of that, Pansy child. I think
even little worries have their use, and even your
drawer being taken from you may work good to
someone, if not to Pansy Blair."
Pansy smiled, though at the same time she
shook her head doubtfully.
It may work good to Clarice," she said, for
she will have the drawer."








PANSY'S DRAWER.


"And to Pansy," added her aunt, if she learns
to give up cheerfully. And now what is to become
of all these pretty cards ?"
"I don't know, I am sure," said Pansy dolefully;
" all my drawers upstairs are full."
"What a number you have! What do you
mean to do with them ?"
I was going to make a scrap-book ; but I got
tired of it. If mother would buy me a little table
I would cover it ; but she won't; she says I should
tire of that too. I don't know what else to do-
I cannot throw them away."
I wish you would give them to me."'
To you ? Why, aunty, do you want to make
a table ? Cousin Mona made such a pretty one."
No ; I want to give ,them to some children I
know."
Would they care for old Christmas cards?"
Indeed they would. When I am at home I
visit a small hospital for children-the poorest little
creatures from the most wretched homes-more
wretched than you can imagine, Pansy. There is
barely enough money to keep up the hospital; so,
unless toys and pretty things are given to us, we
have nothing with which to amuse the little ones,
Your cards would delight them."
"Should you make them into scrap-books,
aunty ? "
Some I might use in that way, but I find the
children very much value cards. You see, as a
rule scrap-books belong to the hospital, but cards








PANSY'S DRAWER.


are their very own, and they may take them home
when they go."
Pansy looked at her cards and hesitated. She
was just going to say she would give a few when
she remembered a speech of Helen's that she had
overheard a day or two before. Aunt Mildred
had been talking about her hospital, and had
said:
I must ask Pansy if she has any old toys and
books that she can spare for my poor children."
Pansy won't give you any," said Helen with a
laugh; "it is not in her line. I don't believe she
ever gave away anything in her life."
For shame, Helen," exclaimed the gentler
Clarice she is not as bad as that."
Pansy was just outside the door looking for a
sixpence that she had dropped, and so she over-
heard Helen's remark, which hurt her more than
her sister would have believed. In her childish
way Pansy was honestly striving to correct her
faults; she often failed, and as a kind of proud
shyness prevented her from speaking either of her
efforts or her failures, no one really knew how
honest was the struggle, nor how truly she sorrowed
over her falls. She would not on any account have
volunteered to give anything to her aunt, but here
was an opportunity of proving that Helen's opinion
of her was not correct.
"You may have them all, aunty," she said,
gathering them together. And perhaps I have
some other things upstairs that you would like to








PANSY'S DRAWER. 37

have," she added, and Aunt Mildred's kiss seemed
very sweet as she said heartily-
"Thank you so much, Pansy; your trouble has
turned to good for my poor children already."
But neither she nor Pansy knew the good that
it was really to work.

















CHAPTER III.

HOW THE LETTER WAS ANSWERED.

" HE ought to go to the House, and that's the
long and short of it. There's children
enough and to spare here without bringing in
them as have no right," and the speaker, a sharp-
faced, sharp-voiced woman, flung down the dish she
was wiping, and darted a wrathful glance
at poor little Dot, who sat quietly by the
fire. The kitchen was of fair size, and might have
been made very comfortable had it been clean and
tidy. A good fire burned in the grate ; but yester-
day's cinders were heaped under it almost up to
the lower bar; many things appeared to have
been spilt on the floor; and the remains of a
scrambling breakfast were still on the dingy table.
Two little children, fat -and healthy, but unwashed
and unbrushed, were playing noisily; and a neigh-
bour, with a ragged apron, and sleeves turned up
from red arms covered with soap-suds, stood gos-
siping in the doorway.
She is but a piney little thing," she said,
surveying Dot, who, if she had been delicate in








PANSY'S DRAWER.


her mother's lifetime, now looked really ill. They
had been very poor in those days; but Dot had
not known it, as a mother's love had sheltered her
from want and trouble; and no child could have
been more carefully and tenderly brought up.
Poor Hester often went hungry, that there might
be bread and milk for Dot; and their poor room
was always clean and quiet. To the timid, sensi-
tive child, the rough ways and loud voices, and
especially the lovelessness of her new home, were
peculiarly dreadful. She was afraid of the strange,
silent man to whom kind Mrs. Robins had tearfully
given her up; and she quite understood that she
was not welcomed by her aunt. Her noisy cousins
teased her ; she could hardly sleep in the close,
dirty bedroom; she could not eat the coarse, ill-
cooked food; above all, she fretted sadly for her
mother; so that, altogether, there seemed every
probability that she also would pine away and die.
Yes, she is a piney little thing," said her aunt
angrily, and likely to be when she picks at her
food like a sparrow, and lies awake crying half the
night. I would not mind if she was a strong girl,
and willing to help; but she'll never be any use in
this world. Seven years old-going on eight-and
can't wash a dish without breaking it; and as for
holding the baby--why, the baby could as well
hold her; and if you look at her she cries. No,
to the House she shall go, and so I told Lyon this
very day."
The neighbour, who was a kindly woman in








PANSY'S DRAWER.


spite of her roughness, looked pityingly at the pale
little child. They will soon finish her there," she
said; I should try and get her into the Children's
Hospital. My Minnie went there when she had
the bronchitis so bad; and they were good to her,
I tell you. She was sorry when they sent her
home."
"Oh, very likely !" retorted Mrs. Lyon, tossing
her head; "and have her sent back to me in a
month, more useless than ever. 'Tisn't petting she
wants, nor being taught to despise a good home.
She shall go where they will keep her, and that
place is the House. She ails naught but fretting
like the spoilt baby she is ; and they will brisk her
up there. I hate ingratitude, that I do. Must you
go? Well, good-day "
Martha Green bustled off to get her husband's
dinner, and Mrs. Lyon's elder children came in
from school, filling the house with noise.
They went out again as soon as they had
finished eating; the little ones went to play out-
side; and Dot was left alone with her aunt. Mrs.
Lyon sat down by the window to read a torn paper
Mrs. Green had lent to her. Dot, on her little
stool, gazed into the fire with tearful eyes. She
did not quite know what her aunt meant by the
House; but, from her way of speaking, she guessed
that a still harder fate was in store for her.
"There's that child again," exclaimed her aunt's
sharp voice as a cry came from upstairs, where the
baby had been laid on the bed; "there is no peace








PANSY'S DRAWER.


for her to-day. Here, Dot, you run up and see if
you can make her be quiet while I do up the
place."
Dot rose obediently, and went up the steep,
narrow stairs to the close bed-room and the crying
baby, while her aunt settled herself again to her
paper. She was not a very skilful nurse, but
the sight of a fresh face quieted the baby for a
few minutes, and sitting on the side of the bed she
shook an old rattle for its amusement, thinking
sadly all the time.
"I wonder when they will send me to the
House," she said to herself. 0 mother, mother !"
and with that name there came to her the memory
of her mother's words-
God will take care of you, Dotty, always
remember that, and if ever you are alone and in
trouble ask Him to help you." Surely she was
alone and in trouble now, and the poor child knelt
down by the bed.
Our Father which art in heaven," she said
softly, I haven't any father and mother, and aunt
says she will send me to the House. I don't know
what that is, but I am afraid, and mother said You
would help me always. Please help me now and
keep me from going to the House. Mrs. Green
says they are kind in the hospital. 0 Lord, please
send me where people are kind, and let me be your
little girl, for Christ's sake. Amen."
A peaceful feeling came over Dotty when she
had prayed, and she remained kneeling, though she








PANSY'S DRAWER.


little knew how soon or in what way her prayer
was to be answered. The baby was very quiet,
for she had crept to the side of the bed, and was
twisting her fingers among Dot's fair curls; an
unusually vigorous pull, however, made Dot move
her head away, and the result was a fresh burst of
crying, which brought a sharp call from below:
Here, you little good-for-naught, bring that
child downstairs."
The baby was a large, fat child of nearly a year
old, and though either of her cousins at her age
would have thought nothing of carrying it about,
Dot was not only less strong, but she was not
accustomed to so heavy a weight. She lifted the baby
bravely however, got it well up on her shoulder,
and began slowly and cautiously to descend.
She was getting on very well, and would no doubt
have safely reached the bottom, but little Joe
had left a stray marble on the stairs, and she
stepped upon it. Of course, it rolled under her
foot, and there was a loud, startled scream as Dot
and the baby -fell together. Mrs. Lyon darted
forward, and in some marvellous way contrived to
catch the baby, who, being frightened, though not
hurt, screamed lustily; but Dot lay on the kitchen
floor white and still.
Neighbours flocked in at once, and, when the
child was lifted up, it was evident that her arm was
broken, besides the possibility of other injuries.
Everyone had a suggestion to make, and Mrs.
Green was loud in praise of the kindness and skill









PANSY'S DRAWER.


to be found in the Children's Hospital. In the
midst of the confusion, Joseph Lyon came home
to his tea, and, after a few words of explanation, he
picked up little senseless Dot, and carried her away
to seek admission for her there. He was a rough,
but not really an unkind man; and he bore her so
gently in his strong arms, that Dot knew nothing
more until she found herself, with her arm set and
bandaged, in a clean little bed, in a long room,
with other little beds ; while a kind face bent over
her, and someone gave her something cool and
nice to drink. For it so happened that a child had
been sent home quite well about an hour before
Dot's accident, so that there was a bed waiting for
her.
Please, is this the House?" she asked in a
faint voice.
'Oh dear no!" answered the nurse, as she
carefully covered her up; "this is the Children's
Hospital; and if you are a good girl we will mend
your little arm and make you quite well. Oh, be
still! you must not move," for Dot was trying
to raise herself.
Our Father sent me here; I asked Him to,"
she whispered, with a glad light in her brown eyes,
"and I do want to thank Him. Do you think He
will mind if I don't kneel down?"
I am sure He won't," replied the nurse; He
knows all about your arm and your back, lovey."
So Dot closed her eyes, and whispered her little
thanksgiving before she went to sleep:








PANSY'S DRAWER.


Our Father which art in heaven, I thank You
very much for bringing me here. I cannot kneel
down; but You know all about it; and, oh, I thank
You very much for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen."
Life in the hospital was very happy to Dot.
She had to lie in bed because she had injured her
back when she fell, and she had a good deal of
pain in it, as well as in her arm; but that was
nothing compared with the comfort of having a
clean bed in an airy, quiet room, with kind faces
and gentle voices all about her. She wondered
how some of the children could grumble and fret
in the midst of such comfort; and, though she was
very ill for the first three weeks, she was always so
patient and grateful, and her little face was so
sweet, that she became a universal favourite. The
other children often had visitors, but no one ever
came to see Dot-her uncle was at work in visiting
time, and her aunt and cousins seemed to have for-
gotten all about her.
"Do you think I'll soon be well, nurse ?" she
asked anxiously one day when she was having her
hair brushed.
Not just yet," answered the nurse; "your poor
little arm is not quite joined together yet, and
doctor says you must rest your back for some time.
Do you want to go away from me, Dotty? You
haven't been here a month yet."
Oh, no, no, no!" cried Dot eagerly, putting up
her face to be kissed; "I don't want ever to get
well. I should like to stay here with you always."


















































DOT WAS DELIGHTED WITH HER FLOWER.--. 47,







PANSY'S DRAWER.


Don't you want to go home to your aunt? "
"No; she doesn't want me," said Dot sadly;
"she says she will send me to the House; but I
think our Father will take care of me. My mother
asked Him, and so do I, every day."
"I am sure He will, dear," said nurse, fondly;
"don't you trouble; you are going to stay here a
long time. And see, Dotty, here is a flower for
you ; my sister gave it to me last night."
Dot was delighted with her flower, a white
chrysanthemum, which nurse fastened on to the
front of her scarlet jacket; and her mind being set
at rest as to the prospect of a speedy recovery, she
was perfectly happy. She was able to be raised a
very little, propped with pillows; and, with her
scarlet jacket and white flower, her dark eyes and
fair hair, she made a bonnie little picture. So
thought a young lady who came to visit the
ward that morning, and who was received with
great delight by those of the children who knew
her.
That is Miss Mildred," said Dot's right hand
neighbour; "she will read and sing to us, and she
always brings us something nice. She generally
comes every Friday, but she has been away for a
month. There are lots of new children since she
came last, and ever so many of the old ones have
gone."
Dot enjoyed the visit very much. She liked to
look at Miss Mildred's pretty face and dress, and
to listen to the simple story she read to them; and







PANSY'S DRAWER.


when she sang, first a hymn and then two little
songs, Dot thought it more beautiful than anything
she had ever heard.
"Now she will come round to all our beds,"
whispered Katy, and give us a flower, or a picture,
or something," and Miss Mildred did go to each
little bed with a few bright, loving words, and gave
to each child a card from Pansy's drawer, "for
Christmas," she said; "only a few days too early,
which is better than being late."
Most of the children were delighted, but when
Dot looked smilingly at her left hand neighbour
she saw a clouded, pouting face and blue eyes full
of tears.
She gave me such an ugly one," grumbled
Bessie; "and writing on the back too. I hate it,
a shabby old thing."
Oh, I like it," cried Dot. "Will you change
with me ? Will the lady mind ?"
No, she won't care," said Bessie delightedly,
for Dot's card had a gay picture of a little girl and
a kitten ; so the change was made, and Dot found
herself the owner of a delicate gray card with a
silver border and a dainty spray of ivy leaves and
purple berries. Miss Mildred had intended to use
the cards which were written on for a scrap-book,
and had given this to Bessie by mistake; but to
Dot the writing very much increased the value of
the card. She thought it interesting.
"Will you read this for me, please, nurse," she
asked, when her dinner came. "Is it not pretty ?"







PANSY'S DRAWER.


Very pretty. Let me see. 'For dear Pansy,
with much love.'"
"Who is 'Pansy' ?" asked Dot; is she a little
girl ?"
"I should think so. One of Miss Blair's little
nieces, I expect. It is a queer name."
"I like it," said Dot. "When mother was in
service there was a Miss Pansy, but she was a baby.
Was it not kind to give her card for us? And
look what nice verses there are on it, nurse, 'My
God shall supply all your need,' and 'Your Father
knoweth.'"
Very nice," said nurse, and just right for you,
Dotty. They mean that God knows all about you,
and what you want, and that He will take care of
you."
From that time Dot often thought about Pansy.
She had always been a dreamy child because she
had had few playmates, and now the unknown
child with the pretty name became the heroine of
her dreams. She felt sure she was pretty, kind,
and happy, for that lovely card had been given to
her by someone who loved her much, and she had
sent it to the hospital, and then she knew dear
Miss Mildred. Sometimes Dot thought how nice
it would be if Miss Mildred would bring her to the
hospital, and she went through many a fancied
interview between herself and this little dream-
friend. These pleasant thoughts diverted Dot's
mind from her former dread of leaving the hospital
and the danger of going to the House ; but her kind
4







50 PANSY'S DRAWER.

friends often looked with pity at the pretty, gentle
child, who was now gaining strength rapidly, and
wished some happy home could be found for her.
Christmas came before she saw Miss Mildred again
-such a wonderful Christmas, with the gaily-
decorated ward, the good dinner, the fairy-like tree
with a present for everybody, and, best of all, the
magic lantern.
Early in the New Year Katy and Bessie both
went home.
You will be well soon, Dot," said Katy, when
she bade her good-bye, "I heard doctor say so.
Where will you go ? "
A little shadow flitted across Dot's happy face,
but it was gone in an instant.
"My Father knows," she said sweetly, "and
He will take care of me."
I thought Dot's father was dead," whispered
Katy to Bessie as they went away. I expect she
will have to go to the workhouse. I heard nurse
talking to doctor about her yesterday when she
was asleep."
Dot was indeed looking better than she had
ever done before. Plenty of good food and kind-
ness had rounded the little face and put a faint
colour in her cheeks, her lips were always smiling,
her eyes were bright. Only the injury to her back
had kept her in bed so long, and now she was to
get up in a day or two.
"There is Miss Mildred," she cried joyfully,
that afternoon as she saw the door open ; "look !







PANSY'S DRAWER.


Hetty, and she has a little girl with her. Isn't she
lovely?"
As they walked up the ward, talking to Nurse,
Dot's bright eyes were fixed with admiration on
the little girl. Such a bonnie, rosy face, with brown
curly hair and large, soft eyes! Such a warm
brown coat with fur trimmings, and a brown cap
to match, set on the bright hair Dot had never
seen anyone so pretty and graceful, but, at the first
words she heard Miss Mildred speak, she started
and flushed crimson. They had just reached Dot's
bed when she turned to the little girl, saying:
Now give me the bag, Pansy dear."
Pansy gave her the bag she held, and they
were all startled by a little voice which said
eagerly,
"Oh, please, is it Miss Pansy on my card ?"
And turning round they saw shy Dot overcome
with confusion at her own boldness.
"What is it, dear?" asked Miss Mildred,
kindly; and at last Dot ventured to show her
treasured card and explain herself.
"The very same Pansy," said Miss Mildied.
" Here, Pansy, come and speak to a brave little
woman who broke her arm. Did you ever know a
little girl named for a pansy blossom before, Dot ?"
"I never did," replied Dot, softly, "but my
mother used to tell me about when she was in ser-
vice, and the baby was Miss Pansy."
Your mother ?" cried Pansy, excitedly; "0
Aunt Mildred, what is her name ?"








PANSY'S DRAWER.


They call her Dotty," said Aunt Mildred. I
suppose she has another name, Nurse?"
"Yes, surely, miss. What did her uncle tell
me ? It will be on the doctor's list."
My right name is Hester Lyon," said little
Dot; it is the same as mother's."
And so they found out that Dot was the child
of Pansy's former nurse. Pansy's delight at the
discovery was extreme, and when they knew it
also, her mother, Clarice, and Helen were equally
pleased.
There was no more danger of Dot's going
to the House. Her uncle and aunt were quite-
willing to give her up, and a happy home was
found for her with Mrs. Blair's gardener and his
wife, kindly people who loved children, but had
none of their own, and who were therefore very
glad to receive the child as a boarder. Dot goes
to school every day now, and is growing up to be
a strong, clever girl, while it would be hard to find
a happier one. She has become very dear to the
gardener and his wife, whom she calls uncle and
aunt, and she loves them very much, but it is her
greatest treat to spend a half-holiday with Miss
Pansy"; if Miss Mildred is there also, her happi-
ness is complete.
And only think," said Pansy one day, as she
watched Dot running merrily down the garden,
" we might never have found Dotty if mother had
not made me turn out that drawer, and she might
have gone to the workhouse."







PANSY'S DRAWER. 53

"So your trouble did turn out for the best,
though it was but a little one, Pansy."
"Indeed it did, Aunt Mildred; but was it not
strange that you chanced to give Dot just that card
with my name on it?"
I think there was no chance about it, Pansy;
and, as it happened, I did not give it to Dot, but to
another child who did not like it, and so they
changed. It all happened wonderfully, but Dot's
Father in heaven knew all about her, and He has
taken care of her."
Dot, who is growing so tall she will soon have
to be called Hester, still keeps her sweet, trustful
spirit, and Pansy is improving very much. She
has learnt where to go for the help she needs, and
I think little Dot's loving admiration helps her
also. For when we know someone looks up to us,
we like to merit their good opinion.


























UNCLE MAURICE.

















55














4

J ..-.I j*I i

V L


'
''~
:
L
)rd


"IS YOU MY GRANDFATHER? "-. 84


















UNCLE MAURICE
OR
THE JUBILEE TREATS.



CHAPTER I.

KATHLEEN'S CHOICE.
" ORY, did you hear what mother and grand-
1k father were talking about last night?"
asked Kathleen.
Roderic did not answer. The two little ones,
Hugh and Eva, were in bed, and the three elder
children were eating their supper of rolls and milk
in the nursery, and enjoying it after their own
fashion. They always went to the nursery for their
supper when they came up from the drawing-room
because in the evenings Mademoiselle was allowed
to have the schoolroom to herself that she might
read or write letters in peace, and as nurse did not
consider herself responsible for the manners of the
"schoolroom children" they did pretty much as
57








UNCLE MAURICE.


they liked, unless they became so noisy as to
attract her attention. On the present occasion
Roderic had provided himself with a tiny pickaxe
and spade, and was excavating his roll with the
former and conveying it to his mouth with the
latter; Hilda was feeding a knowing little Skye
terrier, which sat perfectly upright beside her on
Eva's high chair; and Kathleen, who sat where
most of the light from nurse's lamp fell, had a book
open beside her plate.
"Hilda," said Rory, "pass me another roll,
please."
"Mother said we might have one each," an-
swered Hilda, with her hand on the plate; "she
does not like us to have much supper."
"Oh, oh, Miss Hilda! you have had two; I
saw you."
Well, but I gave quite half of mine to Jock."
"And mother does not like you to feed Jock, so
pass the plate. I am awfully hungry."
Hilda passed it, and Rory, who found the pick-
axe a great help to his appetite, fell on his second
roll with vigour.
I didn't have hardly any dessert to night," he
said, digging away at a piece of crust.
Hilda laughed. I saw you eat an enormous
orange," she said.
That wasn't anything," retorted Rory; "I didn't
have any almonds and raisins, nor preserved ginger,
nor biscuits, nor anything satisfying."
I wouldn't be as greedy as you," began Hilda,








UNCLE MAURICE.


but just then Kathleen, who had hardly light
enough to read comfortably, closed her book and
repeated her unanswered question.
"Rory, did you hear ?"
Hear what?" asked Rory, very busy with the
pickaxe.
"What mother and grandfather said ?"
"No. When?"
After dinner last night. Did you, Hilda ?"
"No," replied Hilda, rather indistinctly, for, I
am sorry to say, her mouth was very full. Rory
and Hilda seldom heard anything unless it was
specially addressed to them, while nothing escaped
Kathleen, and everything was pondered by a most
busy little mind.
"They were talking about the Jubilee."
"The what ?" asked Hilda. Now, Jock, that
is the very last piece I will give you."
"The Jubilee," repeated Kathleen, "the Queen's
Jubilee. Do you know what it is ?"
Yes," said Rory carelessly; "the Queen has
reigned fifty years-five times as long as Hilda has
lived, and ten times as long as Eva."
I know," answered Kathleen, "and I am so
very glad."
"What for? asked the other two in wonder.
Kathleen leaned forward and spoke in a low
tone, her face very grave, her large gray eyes
shining with eagerness:
"It is.rather queer, but to-day I found a chapter
in the Bible all about the Jubilee. I was looking








UNCLE MAURICE.


for my verses, and my Bible opened to it, so after
lessons I read it."
Well ?"
"A great deal of it I could not understand, but
there was one part that was so nice: 'Ye shall
return every man to his possession, and ye .shall
return every man to his family.'"
What is there nice in that? asked Hilda.
0 Hilda! "-Kathleen looked reproachfully
at her sister-" don't you see ? Grandfather will
let Uncle Maurice come home."
Hilda and Rory laughed.
"Kathy, how can you be so silly ? Of course
it does not mean that at all."
"Then what does it mean?" asked Kathleen,
in a disappointed tone.
"Why, nothing for us," answered Hilda. "It
is all for the Jews, ages and ages ago."
But the Bible is for us," persisted Kathleen.
"The Bible Oh, yes," assented Hilda, but not
those old laws. The New Testament is for us; a
great deal of the rest is done away with."
"Then why do we read it? "
Because-" Hilda hardly knew what to say,
but as she never owned that she did not know any-
thing, I have no doubt she would have invented
some ingenious reason had not nurse saved her
the trouble by sending them all to bed.
Hilda went to sleep at once, but Kathleen lay
busily thinking. She had been rather disappointed
by the overthrow of her Jubilee scheme, but she








UNCLE MAURICE.


had found Hilda's arguments wrong too often to
put much faith in them, so she went over and over
again the probability of her uncle's return to his
home. She was very fond of the young, merry
uncle who was so kind to the little children when
they first came to live at Ashleigh Court after their
father's death. They had had an English governess
then, a pretty, gentle girl whom they loved very
much; and Kathleen remembered one night when
Miss Marvell came and kissed her in bed, and she
wondered why tears fell on her face as she did so.
Everything was uncomfortable for a long time after
that; Uncle Maurice and Miss Marvell had both
gone away, their grandfather was very cross, and
their mother looked unhappy. It was never ex-
plained to the children, but little by little, as
children will, they got to know that Uncle Maurice
had married Miss Marvell, who was therefore their
Aunt Helen, and that their grandfather was very
angry about it. From that time they were for-
bidden to mention their uncle's name, and now as
Kathleen thought about him she pitied him very
much. It was more than four years since that
night, and it seemed dreadful to be away from
home with one's father angry all that time.
Mrs. Montgomery came in as usual to see her
children the last thing before shewent to bed, and she
was surprised to meet the gaze of a pair of bright,
wide-open eyes when she came to Kathleen's bed.
"Why, Kathy darling, awake! Cannot you go
to sleep ?"








UNCLE MA RICE.


0 mother," cried Kathleen, flinging up her
arms, and drawing the pretty fair head down to her
loving kisses, "I wish I could always be awake
when you come."
Mrs. Montgomery sat on the side of the bed,
and smoothed the child's soft hair.
That would never do, my little girl. I should
have to give up coming if that were the case. I
like to find you all fast asleep. Look at Hilda."
Kathleen glanced at the other little bed and
laughed softly. Nothing could be seen of Hilda
but a small portion of a brown head.
Hilda will lie like that. Nurse says it is not
healthy, and if she comes in she pulls her up. It
makes Hilda so cross."
"But why are you awake, Kathy? Are you
not well ?"
I have only been thinking. O mother !" Kath-
leen turned to face her mother, "do you think
grandfather will let Uncle Maurice come home? "
Why, Kathleen, what made you think of that?"
asked Mrs. Montgomery, surprised at the question.
"Do you remember your uncle? You were not
seven when he went away."
"But I do remember," said Kathleen. "He
was so nice and kind I could not forget him, and I
should so like him to come home. Hilda and I often
talk about him, but Hilda says it does not mean any-
thing for us, and that grandfather will not do it."
"What is it that does not mean anything for
us? I do not understand you, Kathleen."







UNCLE MAURICE.


It is the Jubilee," explained Kathleen. "I
found a chapter about it in the Bible, and one verse
was, 'Ye shall return every man to his possession,
and ye shall return every man to his family.' That
was for the Jubilee, you know, and I was so glad,
because I thought Uncle Maurice and Aunt Helen
would come home; but when I told Hilda and Rory
they laughed and said it was only for the Jews."
Mrs. Montgomery bent and kissed the wistful
little face.
It was a nice thought of yours, Kathy," she
said, "and I am sorry you should be disappointed,
but--"
0 mother," interrupted Kathleen, in distress,
"don't say Hilda was right, because I did so hope
she was mistaken."
I do not want to grieve you, darling, but I am
afraid those words did only apply to the Jewish
Jubilee, and that they are not binding on us. Of
course it would be very good if dear grandfather
would celebrate the Jubilee in that way, but he is
not obliged to do so, and we must remember,
Kathy, that Uncle Maurice grieved grandfather
very much. He would have his own way, and he
would not be patient and wait; and he has never
yet said that he was sorry."
Kathleen lay quietly playing with her mother's
rings, and vainly trying to fight back the tears
which would fill her eyes.
"Can't we do anything, mother?" she asked
dolefully.








UNCLE MAURICE.


There is one thing we can do in every trouble
and difficulty, Kathleen. We can always pray.
Let us ask God that Uncle Maurice may be sorry,
and that grandfather may be willing to forgive
him. And now, dear, we have talked far too long,
and you must go to sleep, or I shall see such a pale
face and heavy eyes to-morrow morning."
When Kathleen once got hold of an idea she
clung to it with quiet persistence, and she did not
forget this fancy about the Jubilee, though she did
not talk any more about it, and could not see any
chance of obtaining her wish. She loved her
grandfather, but he had a stern manner which
made her somewhat afraid of him; and as she had
been expressly forbidden to mention her uncle's
name, she did not dare to do so without her
mother's leave.
Grandfather, it is only a month to the Jubilee,"
said Hilda, one evening when they came down to
dessert.
Hilda was not afraid of her grandfather, nor
indeed of anyone, and she looked up at him over
the rim of her silver cup with merry brown eyes.
"The what ? asked the old gentleman testily.
" Do not speak while you are drinking, Hilda."
Hilda set the cup down.
"The Jubilee, grandfather," she explained
cheerfully. It is the twentieth of May to-day, so
it is only a month. What are we going to do ? "
"Be good children. Learn your lessons, and
do not bother your mother."








UNCLE MAURICE.


You always say that," laughed Hilda, "and
we never bother mother, do we, dear? And,
grandfather, we shall have a whole holiday, so
there will be no lessons. What shall we do?"
Mr. Elliott went on peeling his walnuts, and
did not answer.
Tell us, tell us, grandfather," repeated Hilda,
softly drumming on the table with the handle of
her knife, and unheeding her mother's gentle, Do
not tease, Hilda," until at last, as usual, she gained
her point.
What do you want? asked her grandfather.
"Now, don't drink water again, but answer me. I
can't think why those great mugs are put on the
table now. You ought only to have them at lunch."
It is only mine," said Hilda, laying down the
offending cup without drinking; "and it wasn't
put, I took it off the sideboard as I came in; I was
so thirsty, and those little glasses are no good."
Then don't do it again. If you want to drink
such a vulgar quantity have it upstairs. Now,
about this Jubilee business, what do you want ?"
"What may we have?" prudently returned
Hilda. "You see Jubilees don't come often, so we
ought to have rather a nice treat; don't you think
so, grandfather? Mrs. Lovell is going to take May
and Norah to London for a week."
"Are the school children coming here?" asked
Rory.
Yes," answered Hilda, they are to have tea
in the big field, and the old folks are to have








UNCLE MAURICE.


dinner in the coach-house. May Lovell told me all
about it. It will be grand fun, but we ought to
have a treat for us as well." And she gave a little
spring of delight on her chair.
I shall have to see whether you deserve a
treat," said Mr. Elliott severely, glancing at her
over his spectacles in a way that would have
terrified Kathleen, but not Hilda, who gazed back
with utter unconcern, and said lightly:
"We shall deserve a lovely treat, I know."
How she did it was a mystery to her sister.
She often wondered whether it was because Hilda
was so pretty; and I think that had a good deal
to do with it. Hilda was a very pretty child, and
had besides a fascinating little manner which
usually gained for her a great deal of notice, and
this naturally gave her plenty of confidence in her-
self. She seldom took the trouble to get cross, and
if she could not persuade people to give her her
own way she quietly took it. Kathleen was quite
accustomed to the fact that- Hilda was more
attractive than herself, and when one day she heard
a visitor say that Though Hilda is so pretty, there
is more in Kathleen's face," the remark puzzled
her a good deal. She was not given to looking
at herself in the glass, but that day she studied her
face carefully, and finally decided that her pale
cheeks and dreamy eyes could not compare with
Hilda's lovely colouring, and that the lady must
have made a mistake. But Kathleen did not know
how those quiet gray eyes could light up some-








UNCLE MAURICE.


times, nor'howvery sweet was the smile that gave the
wistful little face a beauty Hilda's never showed.
When they rose to leave the table that evening,
the children, as usual, kissed their grandfather, and
said good-night to him. Hilda always gave him a
hasty little peck of a kiss unless she wanted any-
thing, and then she hugged him violently and
called him "grandfather dear." Rory, who con-
sidered himself too big for such things, also made
as small a business of it as possible, and then the
two had a race to the drawing-room, where they
spent half-an-hour with their mother before going
to bed, and a scramble for the favourite seat.
Kathleen was generally last because she always
folded her mother's serviette, which had to be done
very neatly. To-night when she had given her
timid kiss she was held fast, and the keen old eyes
scanned her shrinking face.
"Well, little mouse, last again," her grandfather
said kindly; "don't let Miss Hilda always outrun
you. She is younger than you are."
Yes, but not much-not quite a year," answered
Kathleen, feeling as though it must be her fault
that Hilda was as tall as she was, and a great deal
sharper; but Mr. Elliott's eyes had a kindly
twinkle as he said:
Well, hold your own. And what do you think
about this precious Jubilee business? Don't you
want a treat too? You did not say anything."
"Yes, if you please, grandfather !"
And what is it to be ?"








UNCLE MAURICE.


Kathleen gave a little gasp, a pink colour rose
in her cheeks, her eyes grew very bright.
"Oh," she said, I should like to do something
very nice. I should like it to be a real Jubilee."
"You would ?" said the old gentleman,-amused
at her earnestness. "And what would that be, I
wonder. A new frock? A day to go a-gipsying?"
No," answered Kathleen, I would like some-
thing far better than that."
"Well, think over it and make up your minds.
Tell the others I shall speak to you all about it in
a few days. Good-night."
Kathleen ran to the drawing-room in great
excitement.
"Where have you been ?" asked Hilda. "What
did grandfather want with you ? "
He talked about the Jubilee," said Kathleen;
"he says we are to think what we would like and
he will talk to us in a day or two."
"Well, he might have said that to us all,"
grumbled Hilda. He has kept you more than
five minutes, and he will come and want mother to
play chess with him before we have had any
reading. Now, mother dear, please begin."
There was a great deal of discussion about the
promised treat, and many delightful plans were
made and unmade, for of course it was difficult to
please everyone. Hugh and Eva had no desires
beyond the toyshop; Kathleen was very silent on
the'subject, but Hilda and Roderic had a new idea
four or five times a day.








UNCLE MAURICE.


On Saturday afternoon they were all in the
morning-room with their mother, when Mr. Elliott
joined them, and turning suddenly to Kathleen,
said :
"Well, now about this Jubilee. Have you
agreed about anything? "
"O grandfather, please let me tell you!"
begged Hilda; "we have such a lovely plan, and
Kathy was not listening when I told her, so I am
sure she cannot tell you properly."
Go on then, Magpie," agreed her grandfather,
and Hilda was too eager to speak to resent the
name she hated.
I should like a very nice garden party," she
said, "a large one, you know, grandfather, just like
a grown up party, and to send the invitations our-
selves, and tea in the dining-room, and--"
But that is not what we both wanted, Hilda,"
broke in Rory. Grandfather, I--"
Be quiet, sir," said Mr. Elliott; "who asked
for your views ? Let your sisters speak. Kathleen,
what do you say to this plan of Hilda's? "
Kathleen hesitated.
It would be very pleasant, grandfather," she
said ; "but-- "
But it is not what you would choose. Tell me
what you wish for yourself."
Kathleen's colour came and went; she clasped
her hands nervously.
May I say what I really, truly want?" she
asked, glancing at her mother, whose nod was








UNCLE MA URICE.


more of an answer to her question than her
grandfather's-
Yes, speak out, child; what are you afraid
of?"
Hilda frowned, and bit her lip. She dared not
speak, but she felt sure Kathleen was going to wish
for something stupid."
Kathleen laid one hand on Mr. Elliott's knee
and looked up in his face with bright, timid eyes.
I should like," she said in a low, clear tone-" I
should like better than anything else for Uncle
Maurice to come home."
What?" Mr. Elliott's face was severe, his
voice very stern. "What do you know of your
Uncle Maurice, as you call him? Who put that
notion into your head, I should like to know?"
And he glanced angrily at Mrs. Montgomery.
No one," answered Kathleen bravely; "I
remember him quite well myself. He was so kind
to us, and it must be so dreadful to be away all
these years. So when I found about the Jubilee in
the Bible I was very glad."
In the Bible What does the child mean?"
It is in Leviticus," said Kathleen; "there is a
chapter all about the Jubilee, and it says : 'Ye
shall return every man to his possession, and ye
shall return every man to his family.' It made me
so glad, but mother told me it only meant the
Jews; only you said I might ask for what I really
wanted. I am sorry if I have vexed you, grand-
father."








UNCLE MAURICE.


There was a pitiful quiver in Kathleen's voice
as she finished ; but Mr. Elliott put the little hand
off his knee.
You have grieved me very much, Kathleen. I
had no idea when I offered you a treat that you
would take the opportunity to disobey my express
orders and make such a request. I am disappointed
in you. You had better all go upstairs."
Kathleen took little Eva's hand, and the children
left the room quietly ; but no sooner was the door
closed than Rory turned on her.
"Well, you are a great silly "
"She is a great deal worse than silly," cried
Hilda; "she has spoiled all our plans, for I expect
we shall have no treat now she has made grand-
father so angry."
Mother and grandfather said I might ask for
what I really wanted," said poor Kathleen.
"Well, I should think they never imagined you
would say such a stupid thing," snapped Hilda.
" Poor mother! I expect grandfather is ever so
cross with her; he looked perfectly dreadful when
we came out of the room. I told you that verse
was not for us, and now I hope you believe it; and
anyway it says the people are to come, not that they
are to be fetched, so if Uncle Maurice cared, he
would just come home himself. I don't believe he
minds a bit, and we shall get no treat all through
him and you."
"Eva wanted a big dolly," said the little one
dolefully.








UNCLE .MAURICE.


Then you won't get it," answered Hilda, and
it is all Kathleen's fault."
"Naughty, bad Kathy!" and Hugh began to
strike Kathleen's shoulders with his strong little
fists. "Won't I get my tricycle, Hilda ?"
No, you will get nothing. Hugh, let Kathleen
alone; if she is stupid you need not make her cry."
But it was something more than Hugh's blows
that made Kathleen cry. Snatching her hand from
Eva she went to her own room, and throwing her-
self on her bed sobbed as though her heart would
break with grief and disappointment at her failure.
The other children went into the nursery, and were
so cross that nurse asked what was the matter.
Kathy has made grandfather so angry,"
replied Hilda, "and I don't believe we shall have
any Jubilee treats."
"You have too many treats," said nurse.
Miss Eva, if you tease that kitten you shall stand
in the corner. And as for Jubilee, I am tired of
the word. I saw Jubilee nail-brushes in the village
yesterday."
"Then I wish you had bought one for Rory,"
said Hilda; "it is just what he needs."
"What Hilda needs is a Jubilee good temper,"
retorted Rory; and it is impossible to say how
long the exchange of compliments would have
continued, but just as nurse had remarked that if
she could not see some "Jubilee good children,"
they would be sent to their bedrooms, Annie, the
nursery maid, appeared with the nursery tea.








UNCLE MAURICE.


And your tea is ready in the schoolroom, Miss
Hilda and Master Roderic," she said; "and Made-
moiselle asked me to tell you she was waiting.
Where is Miss Kathleen? And oh, Master
Roderic, look at your hands !"
Kathleen was awake when her mother came to
see her that night.
"Was it wrong to say what I said, mother? "
she asked anxiously. Is grandfather very angry?
I did not mean to vex him, but he said I might ask
for what I wanted."
"And I am glad you did, my darling," replied
Mrs. Montgomery, kissing the sad little face. "I
do not think grandfather will be angry long."
"And will he ever let Uncle Maurice come
home?"
"That I do not know, dear; but if we pray
about it and trust God, we know it will all come
right in His good time."
Do you pray about it, mother ?"
Every day, dear."
"So do I," said Kathleen joyfully. That is
very nice, because there are 'two of us agreed what
we shall ask.' Now I am quite sure we shall have
an answer some day."
Hilda, in her angry speech, had given Kathleen
a new idea about her Jubilee verse; she had not
before observed that the words were "Ye shall
return," and that there was no command to send
for the wanderers. This thought occupied her busy
brain for a day or two, and then she began to work







UNCLE MAURICE.


out a plan which at first seemed impossible until
unexpected help came to her.
Kathleen," said her mother one Wednesday
afternoon, go to my davenport and bring me Aunt
Lucy's last letter. I know it is there, so do not
come back without it; search until you find it."
The letter was not on the top, and Kathleen had
to turn over a great many papers. As she did so
a slip of paper came into her hand, on which were
three lines so clearly written that she could not help
reading them in an instant. As she did so her face
brightened, for this was just what she wanted, but
had not known how to find.
The following evening when the boy was taking
the letters for the post out of the box on the hall
table, a little figure came flying down the stairs.
"Wait a minute, Bennett," she cried, "here is
another letter And dropping it into the bag,
Kathleen ran back to the nursery.
Lord Jesus," she prayed before she went to
bed that night, "please make Uncle Maurice sorry
for what he has done that is not right, and make
him willing to come and ask grandfather to forgive
him. And, O Lord, when he comes help grand-
father to forgive him, for Thy name's sake.
Amen !"
Kathleen never gave up hoping, but the answer
to her prayer seemed long in coming.
















CHAPTER II.

THE JUBILEE TREAT.

NUMBER 27, Myrtle Grove, Brixton, was a
very different place from Ashleigh Court;
it was one of a row of small slightly-built houses
chiefly inhabited by clerks with small incomes.
Many of them let the front sitting-room, which
boasted a draughty bow window, and the bedroom
above it, the unfortunate lodger being alternately
roasted all the summer, and frozen all the winter,
while, if the spring and autumn happened to be
wet, water came through the roof for a change.
Mrs. Benson, at No. 27, was of this class, and
she boasted that her lodgers were quite gentle-
folks. Mr. Elliott had evidently come of a high
family," as who should know better than Mrs. Ben-
son, who bad been cook in a doctor's family before
her marriage. He was seeking an appointment "-
Mrs. Benson thought that sounded more dignified
than situation-and he found it difficult to meet
with one that suited him. In the meantime he did
law-copying at home, and his wife, who was a sweet,
cheerful young lady, had Mr. Jenkins, the grocer's
75








UNCLE MAURICE.


little girls, and taught them with her own child, who
was a pretty little creature about three years old.
Mrs. Benson gave this account of her lodgers to all
her acquaintance, and was never tired of enlarging
on their superiority ; two great points being that
they gave very little trouble, and that, however
plainly they had to live, her rent was always ready
for her on Saturday morning.
It was a lovely evening in June, pleasant even
in Myrtle Grove. Mr. an,d Mrs. Elliott sat by the
open window of their tiny sitting-room talking
very earnestly, while little Dorothy stood at the
gate watching for the postman, one of her favourite
amusements, though the letters she gleefully took
to her father never removed the anxious look from
his face, for none of them promised him the wished
for appointment."
She was a pretty, fair child, with a little round
sunshiny face, dark gray eyes, like her cousin
Kathleen's, and curling brown hair ; she was simply
dressed in a pink cotton frock, with a white pinafore
and sun-bonnet; but though she was not nearly as
smart as the grocer's children, no one would have
mistaken Dorothy for anything but a gentleman's
child.
She turned now and again to nod and smile at
her mother and to call some information as to the
postman's movements, for she could already see
him. No shadow of trouble had touched her little
life yet, though since her birth things had been
getting worse with Maurice Elliott and his wife








UNCLE MAURICE.


The first year of their marriage they had done
fairly well; he had a small income of his own, and
Helen was a good manager, besides which a friend
found a clerkship for him. One by one however
troubles came: a rash investment made away with
his little fortune, a severe illness deprived him of
his situation, and the last two years had been one
long struggle against poverty. But for his wife's
brave cheerfulness, Maurice would have sunk into
utter despair. She once persuaded him to write to
his father, but when the letter was returned un-
opened, he declared he would never do so again;
and though his wife and Mrs. Montgomery wrote
to each other occasionally he would not allow his
sister to be told how really poor they were.
On this June evening when Dorothy stood
watching for the postman Mrs. Elliott was trying
to shake his determination.
"For Dorothy's sake, Maurice," she pleaded, I
cannot bear that she should not know any of her
relations. Don't ask for help; we shall get on some
way; but beg your father to forgive us, and say we
are really sorry we grieved him. I often feel how
wrong we were, and how much better it would have
been to have been patient. And it seems to me
that if we did all we could to get reconciled there
might be more blessing on all the efforts we make.
Do write, Maurice."
And have my letter returned again ?"
I do not think it would be. I feel as though
it would not, Maurice. In this Jubilee year, with








UNCLE MAURICE.


all its charities and rejoicings, it seems as though
you ought to be reconciled to your father ; he is an
old man, and you are his only son. I do want you
to be friends."
"A letter for -father !" cried Dorothy's clear
voice as she came running in.
Is it from Forbes and Alleyne?" asked her
mother eagerly.
"No," in a disappointed tone, I don't think it
is anything much."
The letter was tossed impatiently on to the
table, and Dorothy picked it up.
Such a pretty letter ; look, mother she said,
showing the back of the envelope, where a fanciful
K joined a scroll which bore the remainder of the
name Kathleen in crimson letters. Mrs. Elliott took
it from the child and looked at it with interest.
"A child's writing, Maurice, and the Ashleigh
post mark. It must be from one of the children at
the Court. I thought they had all forgotten us.
Do let me open it." And in Kathleen's most
careful writing they read:
MY DEAR UNCLE MAURICE,-I do not know whether
I ought to write to you, but I want to tell you that I hope
you will come home for the Jubilee, because it says in the
Bible that Ye shall return every man to his family." Hilda
says it does not mean anything for us, but I hope you will
come. Grandfather does not talk about you, but I am sure
he will be glad to see you, because mother and I pray about
it every day. With my best love to you all,
Your affectionate niece,
KATHLEEN MONTGOMERY.








UNCLE MAURICE.


"What a queer child said her uncle.
Dear little Kathy added her aunt; and that
was all they said at the time; but during the next
week Dorothy heard a great deal about her grand-
father and her cousins, and became clamorously
eager to go and see them.
"When shall we go and see grandfather and
Kathy?" she asked one day at the tea-table, and
her mother seized the opportunity the child had
made.
Do you know, Maurice," she said, "I think
Dorothy's is a good idea. Let us go; it is much
better than writing. Her grandfather could not
resist Dorothy."
Maurice smiled at his little daughter's bonnie
face, but all the answer he would make was, "We
will see."
** *
Preparations for the Jubilee went on merrily at
Ashleigh. Every child in the village wore a face
of happy expectation, and not the least excited
were the children at the Court. Hilda and Rory
had recovered from their fit of ill-temper, and gave
themselves up to decorations. Nurse chanced to
be very amiable. Annie was as eager as they
were, so every minute that Mademoiselle would
spare them was spent in the nursery, which was
more disorderly than ever before. Hugh and Eva
caught the spirit of their elders, and only Kathleen
worked at wreaths and banners in silence, and
with a thoughtful face, which grew day by day








UNCLE MAURICE.


more anxious. Her grandfather treated her just
as usual, but she had received no word of pardon
for her offending request: she did not dare to re-
open the subject, and she feared that he was still
displeased. The time also was passing quickly,
and there was no sign of a coming answer to her
daily prayer. The often-read promise of success
where two agreed seemed wonderfully plain, but
the time was long, and the childish faith almost
wavered.
I do hope it will be fine to-morrow," said Rory,
the evening before the eventful day.
It is sure to be," returned Hilda confidently.
"How do you know? "
"The Queen always has fine weather. Did
you never hear of Queen's Weather' ?"
No; besides, the Queen is not coming here."
"I am sure it will be fine," persisted Hilda;
and as it happened she was right, for a lovelier
morning never dawned than that twenty-first of
June, which will be remembered for so many
years.
The children rose in wild spirits, quite ready
for the busy, happy day that lay before them. The
sight of Hugh and Eva rejoicing over the toys
they had longed for made the elder children hurry
to their own places at the breakfast-table, where
they found-for Roderic a knife that was a car-
penter's shop in a small way, an article he had
long wanted, but scarcely hoped to possess; and
for Hilda fifty cards for a garden-party a week








UNCLE MAURICE.


hence, with spaces for her to fill in the names.
Kathleen's parcel was a flat one, addressed by her
mother, and proved to contain a velvet frame with
an illuminated text, Be careful for nothing, but in
everything by prayer and supplication, with thanks-
giving let your requests be made known unto
God."
"Thank you awfully, grandfather," said Hilda,
putting her cards carefully aside; "it is ever so
good of you."
"Thank you awfully, grandfather," said Rory
shutting his knife with a snap that made Made-
moiselle shudder and -Mrs. Montgomery say
anxiously:
Be careful, Rory."
Grandfather has given Kathy nothing," whis-
pered Hilda, taking advantage of the moment when
Mr. Elliott was turning his newspaper to do what
always irritated him.
He means the party for her as well as for you,"
returned Rory; and Hilda frowned, for she had
wanted the party to be all her own.
"Perhaps so," she assented rather ungraciously,
"but he gave the cards to me. We must make a
list of the names by-and-by."
Though for once he did not scold them for
whispering, and therefore they supposed he did not
notice it, Mr. Elliott had heard Hilda and Rory's
conversation, and from behind the crackling paper
keen eyes watched Kathleen's face. They saw on
it however no cloud of vexation or disappointment,








UNCLE MAURICE.


it was a sweet happy little face that turned to
admire Eva's doll, and the smile with which she
thanked her mother for the text was as contented
as Hilda's.
It would take too long to describe all that
happened on that wonderful day, with the dinner
to the old people at noon, the procession of children
later, the games and tea in the large field, and the
fireworks and illuminations at night. For though
Ashleigh was only a village it felt it must have a
share in the. great rejoicing, and if the villagers
could do no more they could at least stick up
candles in their windows, and they did so.
"And real fine it looked," old Mrs. Burrows
said afterwards, "real fine. They says that up in
London the illuminations was finer still. I should
have liked to see them. But after all candles is
candles whether you be in London or the country,
and I don't see what more they could have done
with them than what we did here."
And I think Mrs. Burrows expressed the
opinion of most of the cottagers.
Hilda, Rory, and Hugh were very popular
where games were going on, and Eva's bonnie face
and Kathleen's gentle manners were greatly
admired by the old people. They helped their
mother to entertain them, and after dinner took
them to see the gardens. About six o'clock
Kathleen was beginning to feel tired; her old
friends had had tea in the coach-house, and had
gone to the children's field to have a look at the








UNCLE MAURICE.


"little dears" before going home. Annie had
taken Eva there also, and Kathleen was left alone
on the terrace, wondering whether she should
follow them, when a servant came to tell her she
was wanted in the house.
Where is mother, Andrews ?" she asked.
In the morning-room, Miss Kathleen; and
will you please go at once."
Kathleen went into the house feeling weary and
disappointed.
I suppose Uncle Maurice won't come now,"
she said to herself; but I do think he might just
have answered my letter."
She took off her hat in the hall and gently
opened the morning-room door.
"Do you want me, mother ? she began, and
then stopped, for her mother was not alone. A tall
gentleman stood on the rug, a lady sat by the
window, and on Mrs. Montgomery's lap sat a pretty
little girl rather smaller than Eva. They all smiled
at the puzzled face and wondering eyes in the door-
way, and then someone said:
Kathy which brought her across the room
with a cry of joyful surprise to be clasped in her
uncle's arms.
Uncle Maurice," she said, as soon as she could
speak, "when did you come ?"
"Half an hour ago, you little humbug," he
answered, laughing. "The idea of choosing me
for a treat and writing to tell me to come, and
not being in the way to receive me And








UNCLE MAURICE.


here is Dorothy, who has been talking of you all
day."
Kathleen kissed her aunt and her little cousin,
but looked very grave at her mother's next words.
Kathy, grandfather is on the lawn under the
cedar, will you take Dorothy to him? She knows
what to say."
Kathleen hesitated.
"Will he be angry with me again, mother?"
I think not, dear, and I should like you to go."
Kathleen took Dorothy's hand, and they went
out through the open window; at the end of the
terrace she stopped.
Wait a minute, Dorothy," she said ; and
putting her arms on the balustrade, she dropped
her face into her hands.
It was a brighter face when it was lifted again,
and she led Dorothy on towards the cedar with no
misgivings as to the reception they would meet
with. God had answered her prayer, and she felt
confident He would not fail her now.
Mr. Elliott was reading, and the children were
close beside him before he looked up; then, at first,
he took the little figure in the large white sun-
bonnet for Eva.
"Are you tired, Kathy?" he asked kindly.
" Have you brought Eva to say good-night ? "
It is not Eva, grandfather," answered Kathleen,
trying to speak steadily; "it is---" But at that
point Dorothy's shrill voice broke in.
Is you my grandfather ? "







UNCLE MAURICE.


Suppose I am. What then ? answered the old
gentleman. Who is this little sprite, Kathleen ?"
I am Dorothy Fergus Elliott," said the child
very distinctly, standing full in front of her grand-
father, and looking up at him with unabashed gray
eyes. "Father says he is very sorry because-I
don't remember why because, but father's sorry;
and we have come to see the Jubiloe. Please
where is the Jubiloe ?"
There was a moment's silence. Dorothy did
not know that she had spoken not only her own
name, but also the name of her grandmother, the
beautiful, dearly loved wife who had been taken to
heaven thirty years before, but whom her husband
had never ceased to mourn.
I do want to see the Jubiloe," she repeated in
a sad little voice at last, and Mr. Elliott seemed to
be roused from a dream when she spoke. Looking
up he saw Kathleen's timid face full of suspense,
and knew that both children had their grand-
mother's sweet gray eyes.
Do you still want your Jubilee treat, Xathy?"
he said, and taking Dorothy in his arms he kissed
her fondly.
There is father," she exclaimed, struggling to
escape. Father, nobody won't give me a Jubiloe."
Kathleen slipped away and left her grandfather
to greet his son and daughter-in-law while she told
the grand news to Hilda and R.ory, who were
greatly surprised, and were inclined to think Kath-
leen's was the best treat after all.







UNCLE MA URICE.


"It will make our party next week much
better," declared Hilda. "Uncle Maurice used to
be so jolly at a party, and we shall have Aunt
Helen and Dorothy, too."
But Kathleen was not to go without a Jubilee
gift from her grandfather. When the children
said good-night to him he kept her back, and
put into her hand a little gold cross set with tiny
pearls.
I wish you to have this, Kathy," he said, in
remembrance of to-day. It was your grand-
mother's."
Kathleen knew that in his eyes the gold and
pearls were the least valuable part of the gift:
and though she only said, "Thank you, grand-
father," her eyes told him much more, and her
kiss was very loving.
"I always knew Kathleen was grandfather's
favourite," said Hilda as they sat at supper; "he
never gave me anything that was grandmother's."
"Kathleen is older than you are," remarked
Rory.
And old Mrs. Watson said to-day that Miss
Kathleen is her grandmother's living image in her
looks and her ways," said nurse; "perhaps when
you are more like her, you will get a present too,
Miss Hilda."
I am like father," retorted Hilda, with a toss
of her head; "and if I wasn't made like Kathy, I
can't help it. I daresay Grandmother Montgomery
will give me something. I would rather have a







UNCLE MAURICE.


gold bangle than a cross. Now let us decide about
the party."
Mr. Elliott never told how he had longed for
his son, nor how glad he was when Kathleen made
it easy for him to receive and forgive him; but
everyone said he looked ten years younger from
that day.
Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Elliott took a pretty
house close to the Court, so that Dorothy became
her cousins' constant companion.
And Kathleen felt that she could never again
doubt that anything was impossible to earnest and
believing prayer.
"Only I don't think I deserved it, mother," she
said; for just at last I was beginning to leave off
believing, and to think Uncle Maurice would not
come."
My dear Kathy, do we ever any of us deserve
any of God's good gifts? They all come to us
only because of His great goodness to us through
Jesus Christ. And even supposing Uncle Maurice
had not come, then God would still have heard and
accepted your prayer; only in His great wisdom
and infinite love He might have seen that the
right time had not come to give that which we
desired. Pray always about all things, Kathleen ;
but pray, most of all, that your will may be the
same as God's will, and that, in order that you may
'obtain your petitions,' you may 'ask such things
as shall please Him.' "
























NAN.
















89




















q


SHOW FAST YOU SEW, MOTHER !' --. 92.







-~~----~ ~-;-








NAN.


CHAPTER I.

NAN'S PROMISE.

IT was a poor room, scantily furnished, but it was
perfectly clean, and had that indescribable air
of comfort and homeliness which is only seen where
a capable, industrious woman lives and rules. By
the window a woman sat busily sewing, so busily,
indeed, that when the door behind her was opened
she did not even stay to turn her head, but asked:
" Is that you, Nan ? "
Yes, mother," answered a gentle voice, and a
child of nine or ten years old came to her mother's
side and stood looking down on the flying fingers
with loving eyes. They were sweet eyes, of a soft,
dark gray, set in a pale, delicate little face, about
which waved short, flaxen hair, which curled prettily
round her ears and into her neck. As you looked
at her in her thin, carefully-mended dress and clean
pinafore you could not help wishing for good, warm







92 NAN.

clothes, plenty. of food, and pure, fresh air, that the
small face might be less pinched, and the white
cheeks gain a rosier hue. The wish came into the
mother's mind as she glanced up at her, and then,
with a sigh, she tried to sew more quickly.
How fast you sew, mother," said the child with
admiration. In little Nan's eyes that thin, worn
woman in her patched and faded gown was as
lovely, dear, and clever as any mother ever was to
her small daughter. "I wish I could work like
that."
I hope you will never be obliged to," answered
her mother. "Did Mrs. Robinson give you the
money, Nancy?"
"She gave me one and fourpence halfpenny,"
said Nan gravely, counting it out on the table,
" and she said that was all she could afford to pay
this time; and she wants the rest as soon as you
can."
Mrs. Winter sighed again. It became daily a
harder struggle to provide for herself and her little
girls; and when she could no longer do it, what
would become of them? At that moment light
feet danced up the stairs, the door was burst open,
and a child a year younger than Nan came into the
room like a small whirlwind.
Oh, you have come back, Nan she cried;
"what a time you have been. Mother, can't we
have tea? I am so hungry."
"Yes, if you will go and fetch a loaf and the
milk for baby," answered her mother, counting out







NAN.


some of the pence Nan had brought. Don't lose
the money, Meg, nor break the jug. And remem-
ber, a loaf baked yesterday."
"Yes," laughed Meg, clinking the coins merrily
as she went out again. She was a slender graceful
child, with a remarkably lovely face and winsome
manner. The privations of poverty passed lightly
over her curly head, and seemed only to refine her
beauty; her features were regular and delicate, her
complexion like a blush rose, and her dark blue
eyes shone like stars. Her ever ready smile re-
vealed white even teeth between her coral lips, as
well as two most engaging dimples. She was a
great deal too pretty and heedless for the life of
unprotected toil that seemed likely to be her lot.
She ran quickly on her messages while Nan moved
about in her old-fashioned way, putting the cups
and plates tidily on the little round table, poking
up the fire to make the kettle boil, until presently
the little family sat down to their frugal meal of
bread and weak tea for the mother, Nan, and Meg,
and a cup of milk for baby Clover, a bonnie brown-
eyed child of three.
Don't work any more to-night, mother" pleaded
Meg when tea was over and Clover had been
put to bed; "just you rest yourself, and let us
talk."
Mrs. Winter smiled at the coaxing face.
I must work a little longer, Meg," she said;
"but we can talk as well if you like. You and
Nan may sit here and thread my needles."







NAN.


I want to help you more than that," said
Nan. "Can't I sew, mother; I will do it very
carefully."
So the two children brought their low wooden
stools to their mother's side; Nan had a bit
of hemming to do, and Meg threaded all the
needles.
"Now, tell us about the country, mother,"
demanded Meg, and though it was an old story,
Mrs. Winter began at once:
I lived in the country when I was a little girl,
and it was so pretty and pleasant. We had a white
cottage in a garden where all sorts of flowers
grew--"
And bees," put in Nan.
"Bees don't grow in gardens," objected Meg.
Yes, there were bees," went on the mother,
her needle flying all the time; I was coming to
them. Our garden was a famous place for bees,
because behind the cottage there was a beautiful
meadow full of--"
Clover," cried Meg, clapping her hands; and
that is where our baby's name came from. 0
mother, I do wish Nan and I had nice country
names, too "
But you have," answered her mother. Your
names came out of the country as much as
Clover's, for you were named after my two young
ladies that I lived with before I was married-Miss
Anstice and Miss Margaret Lovell."
"Oh, tell us about them !" exclaimed Meg, as







NAN.


eagerly as though she had never heard the names
before. "Were they very nice, and good and
pretty ?"
I was very fond of them," said Mrs. Winter.
"Yes, they were dear, good little girls."
"And pretty? "
"Yes, I think they were pretty, too; Miss
Anstice especially."
"Tell us about how you went to pick cowslips
and got lost," begged Nan.
No ; tell us about Miss Daisy's birthday
party, and the presents and the pretty dresses,"
persisted Meg; and when, with much assistance
from the children, who knew every detail and
would have nothing altered or omitted, both stories
had been told, Meg said she was tired, slipped out
of her clothes, and in a very few minutes was fast
asleep in the little bed in the corner, which she
shared with Nan.
Nan went on sewing steadily.
Do Miss Anstice and Miss Daisy know how
father went away, and how poor we are now,
mother ? she asked presently.
I have not heard of them for many a year,"
sighed the mother. They would be sorry if they
did know, for they were kind young ladies. I wish
now that I had remembered all the good things I
learned in their house."
What things?" asked Nan. "Do you mean
going-to-church things, mother? "
The work was suddenly dropped, the busy







NAN.


fingers lay idle, and Mrs. Winter looked sadly
into Nan's face.
"Yes, I do mean 'going-to-church things,'
Nan," she answered. I've not been a good woman,
spite of all the teaching I had when I was a girl,
and I haven't done my duty by you children. I see
it now when it is too late. O Nan, I've been a
wicked woman, and it is too late! And to the
child's distress and surprise she covered her face
with her hands and burst into tears. Nan sat for
a minute, not knowing what to do or say, while
tears -came into her own eyes; her mother's words
frightened her, she could not understand them.
Mrs. Jones on the floor above, who drank and swore
and beat her children, was a wicked woman, not
her own quiet, sober, kind, good mother. And
why did she say it was "too late "?
Mother," she said at last in a trembling voice,
laying her hand on her mother's arm, dear mother,
what is the matter ? O mother, don't! "
"Poor little Nan!"-Mrs. Winter took the
child into her arms-" poor little Nan did mother
frighten you ? I am tired, I think, to-night, and
perhaps not quite well. We will go to bed early
and get up all right in the morning."
But, mother," said Nan wistfully, you are not
wicked ; you have always been good to us and done
your duty by us-always." And she kissed the
worn cheek nearest to her.
Mrs. Winter smiled sadly. "There are some
things you do not understand, Nancy. But, Nan,"







NAN.


she took the child's hands in hers and spoke very
earnestly, "I want you to try and learn about
those good things, and then to teach Meg and
baby. Promise me, Nan."
"Yes, mother," said little Nan; "but won't you
tell me a little more about them. You knew them
once, mother, and who will teach me if you don't ?"
I cannot tell you. I don't know," answered
her mother bitterly. "I knew them once, but I
may not tell you. I promised. And I have for-
gotten so much. But you will find someone ; and
remember, Nan, you have promised me to do it."
Mrs. Winter sent Nan to bed then, but though
she did not resume her work neither did she do as
she had said, and go to rest early herself. Long
after the little girl was sleeping soundly, the mother
sat by the dying fire thinking as she had not done
for many a day. All her life passed before her.
She saw herself once more a pretty country girl,
well trained by godly parents. She remembered
how Alfred Winter came to the village, how quickly
he won her heart by his handsome face and win-
ning manners, and how, after a short acquaintance,
she married him and left her country home. Then
came the shock of discovering that her husband
had no belief in God; he had gone to church a few
times to please her during their brief courtship, but
on the first Sunday after their marriage she knew
the truth. At first it was a terrible blow, but
Winter had a way of putting things that soon satis-
fied his young wife ; such things were not for men,







NAN.


he said, at least not for men who had lived in towns
and seen the world ; in the country it was different.
As she had been brought up to it he would not
interfere with her; she might go to church when
she liked, but she must let him go his own way.
So she tried to be content, and in time she was.
At first she went to church, and continued to pray
and to read her Bible, but she found it hard to
walk alone, and by degrees, so gradually that she
hardly realized it at the time, she let all good things
slip out of her life. Then Nan was born, and with
her love for her baby there came into the young
mother's heart a feeling of regret for what she had
lost. Her parents were dead, but she had not
altogether forgotten the lessons they had taught
her, and she longed with a great longing to train
her little child in the same way. She made one
effort in the right direction, and it led to a scene
which she could never recall without pain.
It was a lovely spring evening when Meg was a
baby and Nan -was more than a year and a hahl
old. She was putting them to bed, and yielding
to a long resisted impulse she made Nan kneel
on her lap, folded the tiny hands in hers, and
taught the little one to say after her, "Gentle
Jesus."
It was a pretty picture, and baby Nan, who
spoke well for her age, was lisping the sweet old
words after her mother when her father unex-
pectedly entered. With two strides he crossed
the room, snatched up the child so roughly that




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