• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Thoughtless
 Thinking
 Starting
 Telling
 Growing
 Working
 Praying
 Reaping
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: A thoughtless seven
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086679/00001
 Material Information
Title: A thoughtless seven
Physical Description: 92, 2 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Le Feuvre, Amy
Groome, William H. C ( Illustrator )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
William Clowes and Sons ( Printer )
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: William Clowes and Sons, Limited
Publication Date: [1898?]
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian converts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Scarlatina -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Nannies -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Amusements -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Prize books   ( rbprov )
Children's literature   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Prize books.   ( rbprov )
Children's literature.   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Amy Le Feuvre ; with twenty-seven illustrations.
General Note: Illustrated by W.H.C. Groome.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements: 2 p. at end of text.
General Note: Original green pictorial cloth.--C.f. C.R. Johnson (Dealer)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086679
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002232917
notis - ALH3315
oclc - 122913218

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Half Title
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Frontispiece
        Page 5
    Title Page
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Table of Contents
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Thoughtless
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Thinking
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Starting
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Telling
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Growing
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Working
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    Praying
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    Reaping
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    Advertising
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Back Cover
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Spine
        Page 99
Full Text








































The Baldwin Library
University
B of
Ro~a


r -IIDsC~"~ss"llllr~--




Al /
^M^a 7;/^-


4%4


A THOUGHTLESS SEVEN


/Rr-


























































































[See ,age 78.


UI



r
I
L
''















~~



''








I
C
'.




;i


.Ic.









ir; ~dll~ ~rrRF1~!



.rr








A THOUGHTLESS


SEVEN







By
AMY LE FEUVRE
Author of 'Probable Sons,' 'Teddy's Button,' 'Odd,'
'Eric's Good News,' 'A Puzzling Pair,' etc.






WITH TWENTY-SEVEN ILLUSTRATIONS







LONDON
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY
56 Paternoster Row, and 65 St. Paul's Churchyard


















































LONDON:

PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CARING CROSS.























CONTENTS


CHAPTER
I. THOUGHTLESS

II. THINKING

III. STARTING

IV. TELLING .

V. GROWING

VI. WORKING

VII. PRAYING

VIII. REAPING .


S 21

32

. 45

S 53

64

S 76















CHAPTER I


Thoughtless

'SHE'S a good old soul in her way; but we are not
infants in the nursery, and will manage a jolly sight
better without her.'
'And we'll have a good fling while we are about
it, .I say. For she said she would be back in a
week.'
'I shall do my best to keep order at meal-times, of
course; but I shan't be hard on you the rest of the day.
Now, Doodle-doo, leave that cushion alone. Remember
what the last one did.'
It was Sunday afternoon, and we were all enjoying
ourselves in the schoolroom upstairs. Dinner was over;
there was a deluge of rain coming down ; and the blazing
fire and a bag of chestnuts were keeping us busy. It is
needless to say that we were not sitting up in chairs
in the orthodox fashion. Pat, the eldest of .us, in his
II






A Thoughtless Seven

eighteenth year, was reposing full length on our
shabby old couch; Taters was astride on one end of
it; Honey was seated on the coal-scuttle, her feet inside
the fender; and Thunder and I were lying flat on the
hearthrug; whilst Doodle-doo was changing his position
every minute, and trying to make every one else do the
same.
Lest our names should be thought queer ones, I should
explain that they were of our own coining; our baptismal
ones were too respectable to find favour in our eyes. I
went by the brief synonym of 'Li,' or 'Lightning,' as
Thunder and I invariably did things together; and I
certainly outdid them. all in swiftness of thought and
action.
We had just recovered from scarlet fever; our parents
were abroad, and our good old German governess had
suddenly been summoned home to a dying mother.
Nurse was with us, of course; but Pixie, a delicate
little fellow of six, who had fared the worst of us all
in the fever, took up much of her time and attention,
and we elder ones had long ago escaped and defied
her rule.
Throw us another nut,' Pat demanded.
12






Thoughtless


I threw, aiming with such exact precision at his nose,
that with a yell he sprang up and gave chase to me round
the table. Round and round we spun, until I brought
down the tablecloth to the ground, and with it a china
flower-pot of mignonette.
That sobered us, and we took up our former position
again, Honey remarking, 'I'm sure we ought to be
better employed on Sunday afternoon than making
such a row. Why don't some of you get a book to
read ?'
'I've read all the Sunday books again and again,' I said
with a sigh, for books were my delight.
'No one can keep pace with Li,' observed Taters,
thoughtfully, as she left her seat to put another chestnut
on the bars; 'why don't you start reading the Bible?
That would take you a few Sundays to get through.'
I stared at her. 'The Bible Why, no one reads that
for the sake of reading.'
'What's the good of it, then ? demanded Taters, who
was nothing if she was not argumentative.
'To preach from, of course,' put in Doodle-doo; 'and
if I had 'the chance, I wouldn't give such rotten sermons
out of it as we heard this morning.'






A Thoughtless Seven
'Well, come on; give us a sermon, if you are so good
at it. We'll give you a chance, and a text too. Find
him one, Li; there's a Bible on the bookshelf.'
I found the Bible that Pat indicated, opened it in a
hurry, and called out the first words that met my eye-
'One thing thou lackest.'
Honey looked up gravely and sweetly. 'You're not to
make fun, Doodle-doo,' she said.
Doodle-doo' held himself erect, and ruffled his
cock's-comb, as we called it, in the importance of his
position.
'Ahem!' he began. 'My sermon will be brief, but to
the point. Pat, one thing thou lackest-'tis control of
thy beastly temper. Honey, one thing thou lackest-'tis
female tidiness. Taters, one thing thou lackest-'tis the
knowledge that thou art an ignoramus. Thunder, one
thing thou lackest-'tis a light and contented spirit.
Lightning, one thing thou lackest-'tis patient per-
severance.'
'And, Doodle-doo, one thing thou lackest,' I put in
hastily-"tis the art of keeping thy cackling voice
still.'
'Well, young people, what,is the discussion ?'

14






Thoughtless

We turned round, and found that Miss Moffat from
.next door had quietly opened the door and come in
amongst us. She was a little old maid whom we all loved.
All through our
illness she had
been in and out,
changing her
dress most care-
fully each time,
to avoid spread-
ing the infection.
Books and fruit
had been plenti-
fully supplied,
and we were not
surprised to see
her hands full of
books and papers
now.
'A little Sun-
day reading, my dears. I thought you might be in want
of some. Are you telling each other of Iyour faults,
may I ask?'






A Thoughtless Seven


'Doodle-doo is trying to preach,' Taters said, her
snub nose well in the air ; 'but his crows, like those
of his namesake, are about nothing at all.'
'And what is the subject ?'
'" One thing thou lackest," was the text I gave him,'
I said glibly. 'Don't look so shocked, Miss Moffat; we
weren't making fun of it.'
'It is a solemn verse to take up so lightly,' said our
friend, gravely. 'Do you know the occasion of our Lord's
saying those words ?'
'Yes. Don't preach to us, there's a good soul;' and
Pat threw up his long arms and stretched himself with
a terrific yawn.
'I am on my way to read to a blind woman,' said Miss
Moffat, briskly; 'there are your books.'
Then, looking over her spectacles at us in her quaint,
sweet way, she said-
'There is "one thing lacking" with each one of you
boys and girls. Try and find it out for yourselves, and
let me know when you succeed in getting it. I should
not like to see any of you one day "weighed in the
balances and found wanting."'
And then she left us.
18






Thoughtless

There was silence for a few minutes; we were busy
distributing the literature which had been brought us.
Then Thunder observed, knitting his black brows into
a heavier frown than usual-
'I shouldn't have thought little Moffat was a religious
person; but you can never see through a woman-they're
always up to artful dodges.'
'She isn't religious,' Doodle-doo said; 'she only
wanted to add force to my little preach.'
'Shut up,' said Pat, giving a kick at him as he passed
the sofa; 'my "beastly temper" won't stand a word
more from you.'
She's not a goody person, nor a prig,' argued Taters,
'so she can't be religious; and her face is as round and
ruddy as an apple.'
What is a religious person?' I asked. 'I don't mean
a hypocrite, but a real true one. What do they believe
that we don't believe ? Why should it be such an awfully
.canty thing to be good ?'
'Are you going to try it, Li ?'
'I sometimes think,' said Honey, meditatively, as she
deliberately poked her slippered foot into the red-hot
embers and stirred them into a blaze,' that after all we
19






A Thoughtless Seven


may be the hypocrites. What did we kneel down and
pray for in church this morning ?-" Grant that we may
hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life." We
haven't the smallest intention of doing it.'
'Don't talk rot!' was Pat's response to this; and,
turning to our books, we dropped the subject.















CHAPTER II


Thinking


HAT'S the row with old
Li ?'
'Give her a pinch,
Thunder; she's half
asleep.'
'She's planning some
fiendish trick, I bet.'
We were at breakfast,
S and Honey, who was pouring
out the coffee, looked
across at me curiously
after these remarks.
'She was talking in her sleep
last night, and jumping about like
a dancing doll ; I expect the chest-
nuts gave her indigestion.'







A Thoughtless Seven


'Rubbish!' I said quickly; 'if you had had the
horrible dreams I had, you wouldn't feel very spry
in the morning. It was awful; I didn't sleep a
wink,'
'Li is a wonder,' said Pat, admiringly; 'she dreams
wide awake, and eats her breakfast fast asleep.'
I was about to retort angrily, when the door opened,
and nurse appeared with Pixie. The seven years between
him and Taters made him appear a perfect baby to us,
and we all petted him accordingly. He was a pale, fragile
little fellow, with a quaintness and courage all his own,
but in spite of his old-fashioned talk, he was a thorough
child.
'I want one of you young ladies to take Master
Lionel out this morning; it's my, busy day,' announced
nurse.
'All right; I'll take him,' said T.
'Don't walk him off his legs, and bring him in before
twelve o'clock.'
Saying which, nurse departed; and we began to make
our plans for the day. Pat and Doodle-doo were going
out on their bicycles, Taters and Honey out shopping,
and, after a little persuasion, Thunder said he would, come
22







Thinking


to the common with Pixie and me. Our house was in
a London suburb; but the common stretched away to
green fields and lanes, and was a favourite resort of
ours.
Pixie, as usual, was full of talk, and beguiled the way
by his extraordinary questions and ideas.
It was a bright sunny morning, and wonderfully mild
for the time of year; so, when we arrived at the common,
Thunder and I rested on one of the seats, whilst Pixie
played about.
'I wonder when Pater will write and suggest a
change of air for us!' grumbled Thunder; 'we ought
to go off to the sea or somewhere! I don't think I
shall, ever be the same. again as I was before that
rotten fever! I'm quite fagged out now with this bit
of a walk '
'Fancy if one of us had died!' I said lugubriously;
for Thunder's remarks were never cheering, and I did not
feel in a mood to comfort him. 'You or I might have.
If we had, I wonder what we should have been doing
now.'
Thunder's black brows scowled. 'You needn't have
such dismal fancies !'







A Thoughtless Seven

'Well, but,' I persisted, 'I half think I may be going
to die; for I had such awful dreams last night! I can't
help feeling they were warnings.'
'What were they like ?'
'I kept feeling myself in a pair of scales, and I
couldn't make myself heavy enough to keep down-
I would swing up in the air! I clutched hold of the
sides of the scale, and pressed down with my whole
weight, but it was no good, and all the time a voice
kept repeating, like the tick of a clock, "Weighed
in the balances and found wanting! One thing thou
lackest!" I woke up in an awful fright, and couldn't
get to sleep for ages, and when I did, I dreamt
again, that I was running for my life away from
Miss Moffat, who, brandishing a red-hot poker close
to my eyes, was shrieking out, "One thing thou
lackest!"'
Thunder laughed.
I added seriously, 'We're a wicked lot, and I'm really
and truly going to find out the one thing lacking with me.
I won't stand another night like last night. What is it,
Pixie?'
He was standing before us with troubled eyes.
24







Thinking


'Is God looking out of the sky this morning ?'
'I suppose so,' I said; 'why ?'
'Did He see me just now, when I was playing at
killing a snake ?'
'What have you been doing?' I asked severely.
'I've cut one of God's dear little worms into two
pieces! Will He be angry ?'
'Go and stick them together again !' laughed Thunder.
But tears were very near the surface with Pixie, and,
clasping his hands, he went on-
'I was going to be such a good boy to-day, and I
didn't really mean to kill the little worm with my
stick-it was too soft! Will God forgive me, do you
think?'
Of course He will,' I said impatiently; 'you didn't
mean to do it.' Then, with a change of tone, I said,
'Will you go to heaven if you die, Pixie ?'
He looked at me, then nodded. 'Jesus loves Pixie,
and Pixie wants to go to Him in heaven very much
sometimes !'
He ran away to play, and I said with a sigh, 'He has
got what we haven't. I shouldn't go to heaven if I died;
neither would you, old Thun! Fancy the difference
27






A Thoughtless Seven

between Pixie's conscience and ours, if he thinks cutting
a worm in two an awful sin!'
Thunder remained silent for a little; then he said-
'Being religious won't suit you, Li; don't you try
it! You could never keep up being a prig, if you
started !'
'Look here!' I said warmly,' I don't intend being a.
prig; but if I like to turn religious I shall, and no one
shall stop me!'
I jumped up from the seat, and started running races
with Pixie, whilst Thunder whipped out a thrilling tale
from his pocket, and sat on reading till it was time
to go home. I laughed and talked my loudest for -the
rest of the day; but I was miserable. 'One thing
thou lackest,' rang in my ears. And at last, after
our evening meal was over, I slipped away from all
the noise and laughter in the schoolroom, and went
down to the dining-room, where a bright fire was
blazing. Then, taking hold of a Bible I found there,
I drew up a chair to the fire, and commenced studying
the story of the young man who lacked the one
thing.
'I suppose,' I said to myself, 'that his fault was not
28






Thinking

following Christ; but it must be awfully difficult to lead a
good life! I suppose if I was to start I should have to
say prayers half an hour long, and be always reading the
Bible, which is so dry. I should have to give up all fun,
and story-books, and fighting with the boys; and then
they'd all hate me, and vote me a prig! Oh, I couldn't
do it! It would be as dull as ditch water! Yet I do
want, oh, I do want to be sure of heaven! I know
I'm not right; I know I'm awfully wicked. If only
God would turn me suddenly into a saint without
any trouble on my part! I'm sure some people get
converted like that. Yet I don't want to be a regular
goody-goody; I despise them so-they're always so full
of cant. I don't know what I want. I should like
to be right with God, and not be so afraid of Him!
This young man went away grieved, it says; he
couldn't do it. I suppose I shouldn't have to give up
riches to follow .Christ, because I haven't any to give
up; but I should have to give up other things quite
as bad.'
And so I meditated, and at last such an overwhelming
sense of my own wickedness and shortcomings came
over me that I dropped on my knees, and put up the
29






A Thoughtless Seven


first real prayer in life, though perhaps it may sound
a queer one.
'O God, I'll follow Christ, if You'll make it easy for
me.. I don't want to be turned into a goody person,
but I do want to be right at the Judgment Day. I do
want my sins forgiven, but don't let 'me have to give
up all fun. And will You put me straight at once-to-
night? I can't stop till to-morrow.'
Then I waited for something to happen some
wonderful feeling to come over me; but it didn't
come.
And then, with a whoop and a rush, in tumbled
Doodle-doo and Taters!
In an instant I was on my feet; stuffing the Bible
under the cushion of my chair.
'Aha! we've caught the truant! She looks quite
guilty. Take hold of her legs, Taters, and I'll take her
arms, and we'll find out what she's been doing !'
But I was not so easily caught, and for the next ten
minutes we had a breathless chase through the house,
until nurse held me fast.
'Miss Mary, I'm ashamed of you! Nearly fifteen,
and romping like a boy! Go to the schoolroom and
30






Thinking

be quiet. You've woke Master Lionel out of his first
sleep, and now he'll be restless for an hour or so. How
I wish Friulein were here!'
A wish poor nurse very often expressed !















CHAPTER III

Starting

SLAY awake that night
thinking. Honey and I
shared the same room.
''/ She generally made me
'.'f // impatient by her leisurely
:' movements, and I was often
,,-,'"' ,' fast asleep long before she came
; : 4T1 'to bed; but now I lay awake
''; ; and listened to her heavy breath-

i i ing-sleep would not come to
.a,' ...,, 1m e.
Why had not God answered
my prayer ? I had been quite honest about it. How
was it I felt just the same, and nothing had happened ?
And then again the refrain began in my ears, 'One thing
32






Starting

thou lackest. Weighed in the balances, and found
wanting.'
'I do wish I had never found out that troublesome
text! I suppose it is a judgment on me for treating it
so lightly. I wonder what became of that young man;
where is he now ? I suppose he is either in heaven or
hell this very minute; and if he is in hell, what
would he give to have another chance--to have my
chance?'
And then I could bear my thoughts no longer. Out
of bed I crept; and, shivering, knelt in the darkness
and cold.
'0 God, I'm afraid I wasn't in earnest. I'm in dead
earnest now. I'll give up everything, and won't care what
the others say, if only You will forgive and convert me.
I'll give up all story-books if they're wicked, and will
read nothing but the Bible. I'll follow Christ at all costs,
however difficult and gloomy it will be. I must be
forgiven. I ask Thee now to save me, for Jesus Christ's
sake. Amen.'
Again I laid my head down on my pillow, and this
time was soon fast asleep, never waking till our maid
came to call us the next morning.






A Thoughtless Seven


'You're rather silent, Li,' said Honey, as she brushed
out her golden hair. 'Are you half asleep still ?'
'No; I'm very much awake,' was my response. 'I
am having very serious thoughts.

SHoney, do you believe God answers


S' I suppose so.'
SHo(w do we know He does ?'
By getting the answer,
.. I should think. And, of
-~-- course, the Bible says
so.
so 'Where?' and I rushed
S to a small table and took
hold of my Bible at once.
S'I don't know,' said

Honey, eyeing me per-
plexedly.' 'Isn't there a
verse somewhere, "Ask, and it shall be given you "?'
'Yes, of course there is. The fact is, last night I
asked God to-well, you know, convert me-make me
a proper Christian, and I want to know if He has
done it. I don't feel any different this morning.

34






Starting


Do I look any different? Do you think He has
done it?'
'Li, you aren't making fun, are you ?'
'Fun! I'm in downright sober earnest! I'm going
to follow Christ. I promised last night, so no more larks
for me. I shall be reading my Bible most of the. day-
at least, do you think an hour a day would be enough
to begin with?' My tone was rather pitiful, for the
prospect seemed dreary. But Honey did not answer;
she looked quite dazed.
'If I only knew for certain God had answered me,
I wouldn't mind,' I went on; 'but of course I have
promised to live as a Christian, and I must try. You
may have my skates, Honey; if we do get a frost this
winter, I shall never skate again. I wonder if I ought
to go to church every day ?'
'You sound as if you're going to die,' observed Honey.
'If I was sure it was all right with me, I should like
to. I think directly people are ready for heaven they
ought to go 'there. It is too tantalizing to be obliged
to stay down here seeing other people having good
times, and being out of them oneself. I don't know
how I shall do it, but I'm going to have a try.'






A Thoughtless Seven


13efore we left our room in the morning, we always
went through the form of kneeling by our bed for a
minute. To-day I felt it was no longer a form; again
I implored for pardon,. and asked to be kept straight
in the narrow path that led to life; and then we went
down to breakfast.
'If I were you, Li,' said Honey on the staircase,
'I wouldn't say anything to the boys about your feelings-
not until you are more sure of yourself. I won't breathe
a word.'
'I never can keep anything secret long,' I said
dubiously; 'but I'll have a try.'
The boys did not trouble me; they were full of an
expedition they had planned, and this was for all of
us to go and see a bachelor uncle of ours who lived
about twelve miles away.
'We'll take him by surprise,' said Pat; 'I'll hire
a trap from the livery stables round the corner, and
drive you girls; and Doodle-doo and Thunder can
come on their bikes. We shall have to start in about
an hour. He is sure to stand us a jolly lunch, and it
will be no end of a spree.'
'And who'll pay for the trap ? asked Taters.
36






Starting

'Oh, I'll stand that! I've been saving lately, and
you girls must pay me some of it back when you get
your next pocket-money.'
It sounded delightful, but I wondered if I ought to
go. ,However, as nurse seemed to agree to it, only telling
Pat to be sure to choose a quiet horse, I thought I could
safely venture.
'And I will have a good read of my Bible when
I come home, and say a few hymns to myself on the
way. That will keep me in a religious frame of mind.'
With these resolves, I set off with the others, as
light-hearted as any. Pat was a good driver. When
father was at home, he was constantly driving round
the country with him; and now spinning along the
high-road with the fresh keen air blowing full in our
faces, our spirits rose, and I talked more nonsense than
any of them.
As we drew near the house, Honey said, 'Uncle Bob
has never been near us since we were first taken ill.
Suppose he should be afraid of the infection ?'
'That's just the fun of it,' laughed Taters; 'he won't
be able to help himself, and I'll give him such a hug
when I get near him !'






A Thoughtless Seven


'We're out of quarantine,' said Pat, rather grandly,
'and if the old chap shows the white feather, I'll soon
bring him to reason.'
Alas! when we reached the house, the closed shutters
told us that he was away.
'Never mind,' said Honey; 'Mrs. Sykes will give
us lunch.'
But this the old housekeeper did not seem disposed
to do. She came to the door in her rustling black silk,
and eyed us in stern disapproval. -
'Your uncle is away in London for a month. We
heard you were all ill of the scarlet fever. It seems
a very unseasonable day for you to be out; I should
think you had better get home as quickly as possible,
for I believe there is a storm coming.'
'That we're not going to do before having something
to eat,' said Pat, determinedly. 'Get out, girls; and
Sykes will get us some bread and cheese, if she has
nothing else in the house.'
In we all trooped, to Mrs. Sykes's great disgust; but
she had a meal prepared for us which we thoroughly
enjoyed, and then we spent the rest of our time rambling
over the house and grounds, until Pat said we must return.
40







Starting


'Give our love to the old chap!' shouted out Doodle-
doo, as we were starting off in style from the front door;


'he'll be awfully
missed us.'


put out when he knows he has






A Thoughtless Seven
Mrs. Sykes muttered something like 'A merciful
escape!' and closed the door sharply in our faces; but
we knew her ways, and only laughed.
We had hardly got a mile away from the house,
when down came a torrent of rain, and a severe storm
burst full upon us.









I "
.j ;~i _")
k' L {.
















CHAPTER IV

Telling

N ONE of us had umbrellas, and though we girls
buttoned up our jackets and pulled the rugs well
over our knees, we got soaked through. And then, as a
vivid flash of lightning flashed upon us, followed by
a deafening clap- of: thunder, our horse reared, then
bolted.
The trap swayed from side to side. Pat muttered
between clenched teeth, 'Sit still, and hold your
tongues!'
And still as death we sat, gripping hold of the
back of the seat, and expecting every moment' to be
upset.
'Am I ready to die ?' flashed through my mind; and
again I sent up an agonizing cry, 0 God, forgive, and
save me I'






A Thoughtless Seven


We dashed on; the hedges seemed to fly past us; but
the road was a straight and even one. Gradually the
horse's pace slackened, and at last, with a tremendous
effort, Pat was able to pull up. Then we looked at each
other. Honey was as white as a sheet; Pat was wiping
the perspiration from his brow; and Taters was the
only one who laughed, but her laugh was an hysterical
one.
'A near shave for us!' was Pat's comment; and not
another word did he say till we reached home, for we were
all considerably sobered by our adventure. I crept away
to my room as soon as I could, and thanked God on my
knees for having preserved us. I felt, if He had heard and
answered one prayer, He would another; and I went to
bed that night a little comforted.
The next morning I ran in next door to ask Miss
Moffat for a book she had promised to lend Honey. I
found her writing letters in her snug little sitting-room;
but she turned round at once and made me sit down by
the fire and have a chat with her. Somehow or other I
soon found myself telling her all that was in my heart.
She had a way of getting everything out of us, and I could
never be reticent with her.
46






Telling

'And do you think you have now got the "one thing
lacking," my dear ?'
'I don't know. What do you say was the one thing
acking with that young man, Miss Moffat ?'
'He lacked union with Christ,' Miss Moffat, said softly.
'He could not make up his mind to link his life on to our
Lord's; and, believe me, Mary, you will never be able to
live a happy Christian life unless you get in touch with
your Saviour.'
'I don't think a Christian life can be a happy one,
I said gloomily; 'it is life with all the enjoyment taken
out of it. But I've promised to live it, and I can't go
back from it.'
Miss Moffat looked at me with something like tears
in her eyes.
'Oh, child, child, what a wrong start you are making !
You say you have asked God to forgive you and save you.
How can He do it, when He has said no sinner shall come
into His presence ?'
'I suppose,' said I, thoughtfully, 'He will do it because
Christ died for sinners-Christ died for me.'
As I said the words a strange sense of peace crept into
my heart.






A Thoughtless Seven


'Yes,' Miss Moffat went on; 'you have the right
foundation. But if you have just been received into the
fold, and have obtained forgiveness of sins, and the gift of
eternal life-if you have been made an heir of glory-
whom must you thank for it ?'
'The Lord Jesus Christ,' I said slowly.
'And doesn't your heart glow with the thought of
all His love for you? Have you no word of thanks
to Him? You talk as if you are to live a Christ-like
life without Christ! The thing is impossible. Open
your empty little heart to Him, and He will come in
and flood your life with joy and gladness. A Christian
life a gloomy one! Oh, how little, how very little,
you know! Get linked on to Christ, my dear; get
to know Him as your personal Friend, and you will
find you love Him better every day you live-ah! and
you'll get to understand a little of His mighty love
for you !'
Miss Moffat spoke enthusiastically. I could only stare
at her, for her words then were above and beyond my
comprehension.
Then I sighed, though a spark of hope sprang up in
my breast.
48






Telling

'Do you think God has answered my prayer?' I asked.
Miss Moffat turned over the leaves of her well-worn
Bible.
'" If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins." Faithful-for He never breaks His
word; just-because' Christ has suffered instead of us.
What do you think, Mary?'
I did not answer for a minute; then I said, 'But I
don't feel any different.'
Let your feelings alone; rest on this verse. Run your
finger along it every day, and say, "God says this. I'll
believe it, though I don't feel it." If you keep on at that,
the feeling will come. But your salvation does not depend
on your feelings.'
I got up to go, and kissed our little friend
enthusiastically.
'You're a dear, Miss Moffat! You've comforted me a
lot. And you don't think God wants to take away my
pleasures if I'm a Christian ?'
Miss Moffat smiled.
'He loves you, my child. He loves to see you happy
He will fill your life with blessing, if you are willing to let
Him.'






A Thoughtless Seven


I walked back to our house thinking. And then a few
minutes after I burst into the schoolroom. The boys were
cooking toffee; Taters was dressing our black cat in a
paper frock and cap; and Honey was trying vainly to
write a letter to mother. I flung Honey's book on the
table.
'I've something to tell you all!' I said.
'Hulloo! Anything grand? Why, Li is quite
excited! Out with it; your eyes are nearly starting out
of your head !'
I stood erect, and faced them all.
'It's something very good for me. I'm a Christian.'
A shout of laughter from the boys.
Just found that out ? What are we ? Heathen ?'
I was not disconcerted.
'I tell you I'm quite different to what I was a few days
ago. I found out the answer to Miss Moffat's question,
and I'm going to be really and truly religious.'
Pat tapped his forehead significantly.
'Poor Li! She has been rather queer the last day
or two, but I didn't think it would come to this!'
'Li pious If you lived to be a hundred, you couldn't
be : so don't you come here trying to green us !'
50






Telling


Exasperated by these jeers, I took up the sofa
cushions-our favourite implements of warfare-and flung


them with all my force at the boys' heads, exclaiming
hotly-







A Thoughtless Seven


'I am. I don't care what you say, and how you laugh!
I know myself better than you do, and if I choose to be
"pious," as you call it, I shall!'

And then, dashing out of the room, I rushed to our
bedroom, and, flinging myself on my bed, burst into
tears.
















CHAPTER V

'Growing

i D INNER, my good woman It's very
,. easy to tell you what we should like
for dinner. A good seaside one, of
'9 course We'll begin with scalloped
oysters, some broiled mackerel, and
S boiled cod, with shrimp sauce, lob-
ster salad-
Si 'Some starfish jelly, and limpet
tart, and crab cream to follow- '
-- !
'And seaweed sandwiches and
salt-water ices to finish up with !'
Our landlady's face was a picture, as these volleys
were fired at her; and Fraulein turned upon us with a
sharp rebuke.
'Go down to the beach, and let me not see you till
53






A Thoughtless Seven


dinner! You are an overwhelming tokrent when it is
business that I wish to talk !'
It was a fortnight later; Fraulein had returned to us
at the end of a week, and, acting upon a letter she had
received from our parents, had brought us all down to
a seaside village on the sunny south coast.
It was the beginning of March, early in the year for
lodgers; but we liked the emptiness of the place, and
were enjoying ourselves immensely. I did not find that
my spiritual experiences were making my life less happy.
Of course the boys teased me unmercifully. Every morn-
ing they would ask, 'Still pious, Li ? Isn't the fit over?'
But as they always would tease about something, I did
not mind; and found that I could laugh and joke with
them the same as usual. Miss Moffat helped me a great
deal; and I was beginning to like reading my Bible.
Not that I could yet spend a long time over it without
becoming weary; but Miss Moffat told me I must not
expect to walk before I. could crawl, and she advised me
to read a short portion at a time, thinking over it, and
praying to be taught.
It was a cheering thought to me that God liked to
see me happy. I never could keep grave for long, and

54






Growing

my heart being at rest about the future, and at peace
about my sins, made a wonderful difference to me.
This morning, when we had scattered on the beach,
and Thunder and I had taken refuge under a breakwater


for a few minutes' rest, he turned to me and said, 'I
don't believe you're the genuine article, Li! It's a sham
and delusion!'
'What is ?'






A Thoughtless Seven


Your Christianity-or conversion-as you call it.'
'Why do you think so?'
'Oh, because it hasn't changed you !'
'I hope it has,' I said soberly.
'Well, you're just as cheeky as you always were; it
hasn't lengthened your face, or choked the fun out of
you.'
'I hope it never will; but it has made a lot of difference
to me inside. I'm not afraid of God any more. I feel I
belong to Him, and am getting to love Him. I think it's
a very jolly thing to be a Christian, and I wish you would
be one too.'
Thunder gave a short laugh. 'It's well enough for girls;
but if you were at a public school, as we are, you'd know a
fellow couldn't be religious. There are a few who try it
on, but they're in their own set, and are too slow for
words!'
'Well,' said I quickly, 'it's their own stupidity if it
makes them slow; it isn't religion!'
We were interrupted here by the breathless arrival of
Doodle-doo and Taters.
'Hi! you two, come on! We're going out for a
sail!'






Growing


I was on my feet instantly, and down at the water's
edge the next minute, where Pat was holding a parley with
the boatman, whose smart little craft lay by.
'Now, look here, my good fellow,' Pat was saying, 'I
wasn't born yesterday, and there won't be room for you.
We either have the boat to ourselves, or we chuck up the
sail altogether! Take your choice!'
I say !' I said aside to Honey, 'the boys aren't going
to take us out after what Fraulein said?'
'Oh, bother Fraulein,' said Honey; 'she's such an
old fuss! Pat has managed a sailing-boat before
this.'
I was silent. It was a bright, sunny morning, and I
longed to go. Yet only yesterday Fraulein had positively
forbidden us girls to go in a sailing-boat without a proper
boatman; and though I had not a particle of fear myself,
my conscience was becoming more tender, and I felt we
ought not to disobey her. Pat, meanwhile, had overruled
the boatman's objections, and was marshalling us carefully
into the boat.
'I'm not coming,' I said; drawing back. 'You know
we've been forbidden ; and we could go for a row just as
easy; Fraulein doesn't mind that.'






A Thoughtless Seven


'Don't be a little fool!' was his quick rejoinder; 'old
Frau will have forgotten she gave such an order when she
sees us back safe and sound! What has made you so
unusually squeamish ?'
'It's her pious fit !' cried Doodle-doo. Let the little
dear alone! She's going to be a naughty girl no
more!'
'Come on; don't make an ass of yourself!' said
Thunder, tugging hold of my arm as he spoke. 'Weren't
you saying just now that your religion wouldn't turn you
into a molly-coddle?'
'Are you afraid ?' laughed Taters, already taking a seat
in the boat.
It was my first battle. Strangely enough, up to now
nothing had happened to put my religion to the test.
'I'm not afraid,' I said slowly, looking wistfully at the
boat; 'but you're right-my religion won't let me go. I
must be left behind.'
It seemed rather hard lines to me; but they were all so
excited about getting off that they did not waste time in
persuasion. Pat called out, 'Go back to old Frau, and
tell her of the wickedness of her pupils In Sunday-
school books we should all be drowned as a punishment I







Growing

You and she had better watch on the beach for our bodies

to be washed ashore!'


-1
----- -- !':
-=- V!----;*~


I',, ,d


I watched them go with tears in my eyes. Oh, it was

hard sometimes to be good Why were forbidden things

so nice ?






A Thoughtless Seven


And then Pixie came running up to me, and in playing
with him I forgot my trouble. We built sand-castles, and
destroyed them; and then, tired out, I sat down on the
shingle, and Pixie threw himself upon me.
'Tell me a story, Li, 'bout one of those little ships that
go away right into the sky. Pixie would like to go out in
a ship with a big knife, and cut away all those dull old
clouds that hide the blue sky.'
It was nearly dinner-time when the sailing-boat returned.
All were in high spirits, laughing at me for having missed
such fun.
But when we got back to our lodgings, Fraulein was
very angry, and kept Honey and Taters indoors for the
rest of the afternoon.
'Oh, we're a bad lot!' said Pat, listening to Fraulein's
scolding with the greatest equanimity; 'but you're going
to have one saint amongst your pupils now, who will
comfort and cheer your heart Old. Li's wicked days are
over Don't you see the difference in her face ? A kind
of what-a-good-girl-am-I smirk in the corner of her mouth;
a what-a-wicked-set-I-live-amongst twist one side of her
nose; and a oh-how-frivolous-is-earth roll in the whites of
her eyes!'
62






Growing

I got up and inspected myself in the mirror over the
fireplace.
'I wish I could see a change,' I said; 'it's the one thing
doesn't look religious about me; but Miss Moffat's face
isn't a religious one-that's my comfort!'















CHAPTER VI


Working

S HAD some ups and downs
after this, but I was quickly
corrected if I made a slip;
the others seemed to keep
Sa lynx-eyed watch on every
S* word and movement, and if
/ it had not been for Miss Moffat's
S letter I really think I should have
o t thoroughly disheartened. She
said in it, 'Don't think you won't
Stumble, my dear; young feet are
S very uncertain. But when you've
S- fallen, let the Lord pick
S you up again; He won't
lose patience with you.'






Working


Some days were records of failure on failure; but I
was beginning to find prayer a great comfort, and, to
my great delight, I was feeling a warm love filling my
heart for the One who had done, and was doing, so much
for me.
'It's a great comfort, Honey,' I said one morning, as
we were dressing in our bedroom, 'that fresh days keep
coming. How dreadful if we had one long eternal day
with no break !'
'Why?' she asked.
'Because it gives one a fresh start. Now, yesterday,
you know how I went on; I lost my temper with Taters,
was rude to Friulein, and ended by being sent off
to bed an hour earlier for having that row with Pat,
and smashing our landlady's hideous lamp in the hall!
Well, to-day I'm starting again, quite fresh and
jolly!'
'You're an awfully queer Christian,' said Honey. 'I
don't believe you're a proper one.'
'So you always say; but I can't be perfect all at once
-Miss Moffat says I can't. Do you think I am getting
on a little bit ?'
I added this rather pleadingly, and Honey responded
E 65






A Thoughtless Seven


warmly, 'You're a brick The boys say so, though they
do tease you so. Pat said yesterday he would never have
given you credit for so much pluck and perseverance.
I'm sure you're as happy as any of us, and not a bit
priggish, so far.'
'Then,' said I, a little shyly, 'I wish you'd try it too,
Honey. I've been reading in my Bible to-day about
the disciples following Jesus,. and the one who went to
the other and said, Come and see." I wish you would
"come and see," Honey !'
Honey didn't answer. She was fastening her collar,
which didn't seem to meet without a great deal'of tugging,
and her face grew red.
'I'll wait and see how you go on first,' she said.
'I've thought a lot lately, and if you can be religious,
I don't see why I couldn't; but I shan't do anything
yet.'
I felt very pleased at this, and from, that time asked
God in my prayers to make Honey decide to serve Him.
She was always much more gentle and thoughtful than
I was; and I often told her she would find it much easier
than I did.
The time at the seaside went much quicker than it
66






Working

did at home. We were out nearly all day long, and
we explored the country for miles round. Fraulein was


A _7


the only one who felt dull; she loved the town with
all the shops and people; and then, too, she was always

67






A Thoughtless Seven


having the disagreeable duty of having to act as peace-
maker between us and our landlady, who vowed she
had never before had such a noisy set of lodgers. The
boys and she were at daggers drawn, and I really think
she would have liked to turn us out, if it had not been
the empty time of year.
On Sunday morning we heard a sermon that made
a great impression on me. We went to a little country
church, and I liked the simple old-fashioned service
there. The text we had was: 'As every man hath
received the gift, even so minister the same one to
another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of
God.'
The vicar said a lot about Christians being so lazy
and careless as they were, and not working for God;
and he showed us that God would have no idle stewards"
on His property. It made me feel very ashamed of
myself, when I remembered that for nearly four weeks
I had known about and received this gift from God,
and yet I had never tried to pass the good news on
to any one. And when I came home I determined that
I would try harder than ever to get Honey to join me;
and after I had got her, I would try for Thunder.
68






Working


But, beyond promising to read a few verses from
the Bible with me every morning, Honey still resisted
my persuasion.
'There's plenty of time, Li. I don't feel my sins a
burden, as you did, and I'm getting rather tired of your
preaches. Leave me alone. I mean to be religious some
day, but not yet.'
One morning Thunder and I had been for a long
ramble along, the shore, when, coming back, we saw a
great commotion on the beach. We found Fraulein
jabbering away in excited German to several fishermen,
and nurse rushing backwards and forwards looking quite
demented, whilst Pat and the others were talking at
the top of their voices, and all were looking anxious
and scared.
We were soon told what had happened; Pixie was
lost, and the general fear was that he had drifted out
to sea in a boat.
Honey was the last one with him; she was lying
in a boat tied up on the beach reading a book, when
he came and joined her. Now, when Honey read a
story-book she always got so engrossed .in it that she
never noticed anything going on about her. Pixie.
71






A Thoughtless Seven


played about, talking to himself, and she remembers
seeing him twisting and untwisting the rope, and saying
something about wanting to sail away to the sky, but
she did not take much notice of it at the time. She
left him soon after, for a few minutes, whilst she went
to exchange her book with one that Taters had, and
when she came back no Pixie was to be seen. She
was not alarmed, for she concluded nurse had come
to fetch him indoors, and it was only just before
we came up that they discovered that Pixie was
missing.
'And not only is he gone,' said Honey, tearfully,
turning to me, 'but the boat is missing! He must
have undone the rope, and the tide has come in, and
he must have drifted out to sea!'
I looked anxiously out on the ocean. It was
a calm day, and a few fishing-smacks were going
out to sea, but there was no sign of a boat any-
where.
'We must do something,' said Pat, with energy,
'and the sooner we set to work the better. We shall
not be likely to find him after dark. If he has drifted
out to sea, we must follow.'

72







Working

And in an incredibly short time, he and Doodle-

doo, Thunder and a stalwart boatman, were rowing

out in the direction they thought the boat might have

gone.


I ~~ i __



















S ... "- ,. CHAPTER

VII


Praying


S DON'T think I ever remember
a more miserable day than it was after
Pixie was missing. Honey was incon-
solable; the boys returned late at night,
tired out, and thoroughly disheartened at their unsuc-
cessful search ; Fraulein and nurse were dissolved in
tears, and both seemed perfectly, helpless to make any
suggestions.
'He may have been picked up by some steamer or
fishing-smack,' I said, trying to speak hopefully.
76






Praying


'I know he is drowned !' wailed Honey.
'And it will be your doing!' said Pat, severely.
'You left a baby in an open boat, with the tide coming
in around him; and when you found he had disappeared
you never troubled yourself, or told any one for a full
hour after!'
Honey was too miserable to defend herself. Pixie
was the darling of us all, and the boys were too alarmed
to show any mercy. I tried to cheer her up, and then
was assailed with-
'Oh, do shut up with your "hopes" and "perhaps,"
Li! Your grins are as bad as Honey's snivels. I
suppose you think a saint ought to show a stony front
at a time like this !'
'I'm not going to imagine the worst, to please you,'
I said stoutly; 'for I've been praying for Pixie ever
since he was missing, and I believe God will send him
back to us again.'
'Cant!' muttered Doodle-doo; but Honey whis-
pered-
'If God answers your prayer, Li, I'll become a
Christian, like you.'
And then, about half-past ten, when Friulein was

77






A Thoughtless Seven


r'::in. us to go to bed, and Pat had just returned from
visiting the coastguard station on the cliff, we heard
a knock at the door, and a rush of small feet along the


'Here I is, and a big fish for my supper! And Pixie
saw a lot of fish caught in a net!'
He marched in amongst us, his hat on the back of
his head, hugging a slippery fish in his arms, which he
icl'.p.oitcd in triumph on Friulein's lap. A fisherman
followed him in, and explained that he had found him
in the boat ilriftinl out to sea, as we had feared, and
had taken him on board his smack.
The coolest little chap I h'ever set eyes on! Said
he was going to touch the sky, and warn't half pleased
at having' to come back without a-doin' it.'
Pixie could not understand the reason for such hugs
and embraces as he received, and no one had the heart
to scold him until nurse said-
'And don't you think it was very naughty to go
off in a boat like that, and give us all such a fright ?'
Pixie looked round on us serenely.
'The boat ran away hisself. Pixie only sat quite still
and bumped up and down.'






Praying

'Weren't you frightened when you got out to sea?
asked Taters.
He shook his curly head. '0' course I wasn't.
When the boat jumped up and down very high, I asked
Jesus to come in and sit by me; and I fink He did.
And I asked Jesus to take me frough the sky into
heaven; but this man broughted me back before I got
there. And Pixie is very tired, and he'll go to bed, and
have the fish for his breakfus !'
Nurse carried him off, and we all followed his example;
but before we got into bed I said to Honey-
Don't you feel very thankful Pixie is safe ?'
'I should think I did! It's like a mountain's weight
off me!'
'Well, then, aren't you going to do what you said ?'
Honey looked doubtfully at me. 'Yes, I really will,
but not to-night; I'm too tired.'
I lost patience with her. 'You put off and off, and
you'll never do it! I hate such shilly-shallying! Why
can't you make up your mind one way or the other?
Say downright you don't mean to change, instead
of pretending you want to, and -never doing it! I'm
sick of your saying that "by-and-by" you'll do it!
79






A .Thoughtless Seven

If you don't take care, you'll put it off till too late,
and then where will you be? You're as weak as
water!'
'Thank you!' said Honey, placidly, though I could
tell by her face she was angry; 'and -you're a hypocrite
if your temper can flare up over nothing so!'
I dashed into bed, and worked off my indignation
under the bedclothes.
A quarter of an hour later, thoroughly ashamed
of myself, I sprang up and went over to Honey's
bed.
'I'm awfully sorry,' I said penitently; 'do forgive
me! but, you don't know how. I long for you to be as
happy as I am; and I'm so afraid you will never do
it unless you make a start now. God has been so good
in preserving Pixie's life.'
Honey was not demonstrative-none of us were-but
she gave my arm a squeeze.
'All right, Li! I don't really think you a hypocrite,
but don't give me up yet. I really will start soon, but
not to-night; and I have thanked God for sending Pixie
back-I really have.'
I crept back into bed a little comforted, and then
80






Praying


determined that I would pray three or four times every
day that Honey and Thunder might become true
Christians. 'If God can answer one prayer, He will
another,' I argued; 'and I expect He would much
rather have them Christians than save Pixie from
drowning; for I should think He would be glad to
have such a darling in heaven!'
And so I prayed, and waited, and wondered why
God did not answer my prayers sooner; for both
Honey and Thunder seemed, in my eyes, to be as far
off as ever.
'A letter from your mother!' said Fraulein one
morning, 'and we home shall go at once. The workmen
have papered and washed the house, and your father
and mother are also returning quickly.'
I seized hold of Doodle-doo and spun him round
and round the table in delight-
'Hurray! We've been here long enough. When
shall we go ? To-day ?'
"I'll tell old Skim-milk, and see her face when she
hears the news !'
And Doodle-doo rushed from the room to break
the tidings to our landlady, whom we had nicknamed

83






A Thoughtless Seven

'Skim-milk' from the poverty of that article when
brought to our table.
He returned chuckling.
'What did she say ?' we demanded.
'She tossed up the tip of her nose. "A blessed
thing for me, afore my carpets get wored to rags, and
my paint scratched off, and my house gets the name
in the Terrace of containing' the vulgarist, noisest,
impertinentest set of children, big enough to know
better!'
'And what did you say?'
'I was very solemn. "Do you know what name
your house has got ? The house of the fattest old fury
that ever lived on the best tit-bits of her lodgers, and
pryed into their pockets and drawers for odd half-
pence! Then she looked round for a broomstick, and
I walked off!'















CHAPTER VIII


Reaping

W E were glad to get home. I think we were getting
tired of our long holidays, and were not sorry
when the day was fixed for the boys to go back to school
after the Easter holidays.
And we all enjoyed having father and mother back
again. Mother was a great invalid, but she was always
ready to help and listen to any of us, if we went to her
with our troubles; and father spoilt us all-so Fraulein
and nurse said. He was always ready to take us
sight-seeing about London, and we were never tired of
accompanying him.
The evening before the boys went back to school we
were having a small farewell gathering. We always had
them" every quarter, and cook used to make us a huge iced
cake with 'farewell' in pink letters all round it, which we
much appreciated'






A Thoughtless Seven


Miss Moffat was with us, and so was Uncle Bob, and
we spent the evening in games and merriment. It was
during some dumb charades, with which we were winding
up, that Thunder and I were alone for a few minutes.
I had been longing to say something to him before he
went back to school, and now this seemed the opportunity.
'You'll write to me, won't you, Thun ?'
'Don't I always ?'
'And, Thun, will you try what I have tried?'
Thunder looked at me for a moment without speaking,
then he said gruffly-
I have.'
'Oh, when ? How splendid!'
A week or two ago.'
'And have you really started? Oh, Thunder, you
might have told me!'
'I meant to; but you know how hard it is to talk.
I've been watching you, and I felt I was all wrong. I
think I'm on the right track now, only it's the life at school
I dread. You might, you know, pray for me, Li, when
I'm gone.'
No more would he say, and I was so overcome that
tears crowded to my eyes. It seemed too good to .be true,
86






Reaping

and yet it was only the answer to my prayers. I knew


1*1


/ -~-=;--


Thunder was too thoughtful and thorough to be anything
but real. He always had held on doggedly-to anything

87






A Thoughtless Seven


that he had taken up, and, as Miss Moffat would say, he
would have unseen power to help him along; so I had not
much fear for his future.
'Why, Mary, you're sunshine itself!' said Miss Moffat
to me later that evening. 'What makes you so radiant?'
I gave her a good squeeze. 'Thunder,' I said.
She understood, for she raised her eyebrows, and then
nodded and smiled.
Just before she left us, when I was putting on her
cloak in the hall, I whispered-
'Isn't it'lovely? But I wish it was Honey.'
Miss Moffat smiled. 'Pray and work for her, dear
child.'
The boys went. We girls settled down to a very
quiet routine of lessons with Fraulein, and felt dull after
our long time of idleness and dissipation. And so the
spring wore on and summer came, and still Honey
wavered and said 'By-and-by' when I talked to her.
One lovely summer's afternoon we were gathering
round the schoolroom table with black looks. It had
been a trying day; Fraulein had a headache, and was
unusually fidgety and cross, and the heat and confine-
ment had made us careless and idle. After dinner
88






Reaping


Fraulein went to rest in her room, leaving us each so
many French exercises to write out as impositions, and
forbidding us to leave the schoolroom till we had finished
them.
'It's a beastly shame!' cried Taters, stamping her
foot in anger when Fraulein had departed; 'and I'm not
going to do mine. Look!'
And taking up her exercise-book, naughty Taters
deliberately tore it to pieces and scattered the fragments
out of the open window.
We were rather aghast at this proceeding, for Friulein
was not a person to be trifled with.
'You're a little silly,' Honey said; 'it will only be
worse for you in the end.'
'It's too bad of Friulein,' I grumbled. 'If I was a
governess with a headache, I would give fewer lessons to
my pupils, not more.'
'Even a saint can grumble!' said Taters, mockingly,
and then she ran out of the room.
We heard her whistling on the staircase, and then
suddenly there was an awful crash, a piercing shriek, and
dead silence.
Honey and I rushed to the door, and I shall never
89






A Thoughtless Seven


forget the moment when,
saw Taters-a con-
fused heap in the
hall below., She had
been sliding on the
rails, a forbidden
pastime, and in some
way or other had
overbalanced herself.
Mother rushed
from her room, and
was the first to lift
her up; the servants
and Fraulein crowded
round, and then nurse
came up and drew us
into the nursery.


looking over the balusters, we






Reaping

Honey was as white as death and shaking like a leaf.
'She isn't dead, nurse ? Oh, she can't be dead !'
'Pray God she mayn't be!' responded nurse; and she
left us with Pixie, while she went to give her help.
Our doctor came almost immediately, and there were
hushed voices and footsteps all the evening. We were
told when we went to bed that Taters was alive, but she
had broken an arm, and concussion of the brain was
feared.
For weeks she lay between life and death. Honey
and I were too miserable for words. And I kept
praying in my heart, 'O God, heal her; let her livc-
save her!'
But at last she began to recover, and the first day that
we heard the good news from nurse, 'The doctor says
she'll do nicely now,' Honey turned to me with earnest
resolve in her face-
'Li, I've been fighting against God and holding back
all this time. Now I will give myself up to Him. I want
to be a Christian like you. I have been miserable about
myself ever since you altered so. Tell me what to do.'
I tried to tell her, but somehow it was not very easy
until I got hold of my Bible, and then that made it clear.

91






A Thoughtless Seven.


I made her look at 'Him that cometh to Me I will in
no wise cast out.' And then she said, That will do, Li,'
and left the room. I did rot go near her, but put up a
tiny prayer to God that He would take her as I felt He
had taken me, and again, I thanked Him for answered
prayer.
It was some days before Honey felt sure of herself,
but at last she seemed to get the peace of mind she was
wanting.
'It is so good .of God to have been so patient with
me,' she said. 'I believe if Taters had not been nearly
killed I should never have made up my mind; but I never
felt before how quickly we could die. Oh, Li, suppose
Taters had been killed on the spot!'
I shuddered. 'God has saved her,' I said, 'and now
we must pray for her. I should like her to start too.
Wouldn't it be splendid if we three were all of the same
mind before the boys came back from their holidays ?'
Taters was much impressed during her illness, but
she disappointed us when she was well again, for she
seemed more thoughtless than ever.
Miss Moffat comforted me when I talked it over with
her, by saying, 'God has been good in letting you reap
92 -







Reaping

two of your family, my child. Go on praying and work-

ing, and remember, with you young people, that the life

tells more than the words.'

'And I suppose it teaches us to be patient and perse-

vering in prayer?'

Miss Moffat nodded and smiled. '"Let us not be
weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if

we faint not."'











THE END.


LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWNS AND SONS. LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CH RING CROSS.







STORIES BY AMY LE FEUYRE

Author of 'A Thoughtless Seven,' etc.


A Puzzling Pair. By AMY LE FEUVRE. With
144 Illustrations. Large i6mo. 3s. 6d. decorated cloth.
Illustrated. Crown 8vo Edition. 2s. cloth boards.

On the Edge of a Moor. By AMY LE FEUVRE.
Illustrated by W. S. STACEY. Crown 8vo. 3s. cloth boards,
elegant gilt back.

Odd. By AMY LE FEUVRE. Illustrated 2s. cloth
boards.
The Odd One. By AMY LE FEUVRE. Illustrated
by M. A. LATHBURY. Small 4to. 3s. 6d. decorated cloth
boards.

Dwell Deep; or, Hilda Thorne's Life Story.
By AMY LE FEUVRE. Illustrated. 2s.

'Probable Sons.' By AMY LE FEUVRE. With
Illustrations. is. cloth boards.

Eric's Good News. By AMY LE FEUVRE. IS.
cloth.

Teddy's Button. By AMY LE FEUVRE. is. cloth.

Bulbs and Blossoms. By AMY LE FEUVRE.
Small quarto. Is. 6d. Elegantly bound in white and gold.








1Recent Ztory sooks iPublisbeb bl the

1Religious u ract societyy


Doctor Adrian. A Story of Old Holland. By D. ALCOCK,
author of 'Spanish Brothers,' 'Crushed yet Conquering,' etc. With
many Illustrations. Large crown 8vo. 6s. cloth boards.
In the Land of the Lion and the Ostrich. A Tale of
Struggle and Adventure. By GORDON STABLES, M.D;, R.N., author of
'Our Home in the Silver West.' Illustrated. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d.
cloth boards.
Charlie is my Darling. By ANNE BEALE, author of 'The
Queen o' the May,' and other Stories. Illustrated. Large crown 8vo.
3s. 6d. cloth boards.
From Storm to Calm. A Tale of the last Century. By
EMMA LESLIE, author of 'For France and Freedom,' etc. Illustrated.
Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. cloth boards.
Steadfast and True. By L. C. SILKE, author of 'Margaret
Somerset,' 'A Hero in the Strife.' Illustrated. Crown 8vo. as. 6d.
cloth boards.
My Grandmother's Album; or, England during the
Nineteenth Century. By H. E. COLVILE. Illustrated. 2s. cloth
boards.
In the Hollow of His Hand. By HESBA STRETTON, author
of 'Jessica's First Prayer,' Half Brothers,' etc. Illustrated. Crown
8vo. 2s. cloth boards.
'Twixt Dawn and Day. By Mrs. A. D. PHILPS. Illustrated.
Crown 8vo. 2s. cloth boards.
School Life at Bartram's. By L. C. SILKE, author of 'A
Hero in the Strife,' 'Turning Points,' etc. Illustrated. Crown 8vo.
Is. 6d. cloth boards.
Shut in to Serve. By LYDIA PHILLIPS, author of 'Jim and
Napoleon,' 'Roy,' etc. Illustrated. Crown 8vo. is. 6d. cloth boards.
Ronald Cameron's Discipline. By ELLEN A. FYFE. Illus-
trated. Crown 8vo. Is. 6d. cloth boards.
Eve Chaloner's Temptation. By JESSIE ARMSTRONG,
author of 'Westminster Chimes,' 'Dan's Little Girl,' etc. Illustrated.
Crown 8vo. Is. cloth boards.
Audrey; or, Children of Light. By Mrs. O. F. WALTON,
author of 'Christie's Old Organ,' 'A Peep behind the Scenes,' etc.-
Illustrated. Crown 8vo. Is. cloth boards.
A Sham Princess. BY EGLANTON THORNE, author of 'An
Old Worcester Jug,' 'Worthy of his Name,' etc. Illustrated. Is.
cloth boards.




NO Mll




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs