The Baldwin Library
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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
THE C'IN.GEiOATIONAL PUBLISHINIG SOCIETY,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress. at Washington.
ELM-ROW . . .
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE .
EARL WHITING ...
THE ARNOLDS. ...
THE OLD ENEMY .. ...
A FRIEND IN NEED ......
A NEw TROUBLE .. ...
PRAISEWORTHY EFFORTS ....
CRAZY PEG AGAN .
ELM-Row AoAN .
. . .
"Alas I I have nor hope nor health,
Nor peace within, nor calm around."
s E ought to be here by this time.
Poor Joe! Oh, what a troubled
voice uttered those words! Dear
''' reader, God grant that neither you
cy ~ nor yours may ever utter such
tones The voice was rich and sweet, yet it
would have penetrated your heart with thrills
of sympathy. The purple lips trembled with
new grief, as the piteous sounds left them.
The speaker, wan, hollow-eyed, poorly-clad,
white-haired before her time, stood in the door-
way of a dilapidated house, situated in the very
heart of what had once been the court-end "
of Seacliffe. Between that more prosperous
time and now, a period of at least forty years
must have elapsed. I think that few of the
former dwellers in Elm-Row would be willing
to acknowledge ever having lived in so un-
thrifty and unpopular a neighborhood as we
now find it. Shattered houses, dismal homes,
-with rare exceptions,-vice and sorrow,
abound, where once, elegance and prosperity
were as common. The elms, from which the
locality had acquired its pleasantly suggestive
title, once bordered each side of the street,
but were sadly few and scraggy now. The re-
morseless hand of Poverty had lopped branches
here and there, and, worse, had even laid whole
trees low. Perhaps it will never be known here
ELM-R 0 TV.
how often unwillingly this work was under-
taken by those whose grosser necessities com-
pelled a sacrifice administrative of pain to both
eye and heart; delicate tastes, and a love of
the beautiful, not being confined to the realms
of purple and fine linen. God pity all to
whose physical needs are added those of the
soul! "Help, Lord, or we perish!" has a
breadth of significancy not always compre-
Earlier, this woman had been beautiful.
Born of "old blood," with all the tastes and
habits of a lady; amiable and charming; pos-
sessing a competency, she was the acknowl-
edged belle in circles second to none in the
country. At twenty, she met James Arnold, a
rising young merchant, whose agreeable man-
ners, wit, powers of adaptation, and pleasing ex-
terior, won for him an enviable social position,
to which he was not born, but which he won-
derfully graced. This peerless girl of worthy
descent, and this attractive youth of no descent
to speak of, were mutually pleased, and, after a
short engagement, married. Efforts had been
made by thoughtful fiiends of Mrs. Arnold to
dissuade her from hastily marrying, as a fond-
ness (if incipient) for the wine-cup had been
noticed in the young man. But such advice
was set aside by the very truthful answer, -
"Wine-drinking is tolerated nay, more,
encouraged--by all classes and denominations.
I cannot avoid seeing how little temperance men
are admired in society, and how much they are
ridiculed in private."
" But all who drink because fashion, custom,
require them to do so, do not seem to love wine
as others do."
"I am unable to see that James is more
likely to fall into habits of dissipation than other
young men of my acquaintance. I have not a
fear on his account, so please dismiss yours."
Her dignified bearing, added to her all-con-
fiding love, made it so painful to approach her
upon the disagreeable subject, that it was not
attempted again. Had her parents been living,
they might have found it easier to persuade
her. Never had there been a more devoted
bride, seldom a more enthusiastic bridegroom.
The spirit of divination rarely invests the
newly-married. As far onward as they can
look, joy, love, and peace abound. A few gold-
en years slipped by, and the change dreaded
by anxious friends came on. And now, with
broken health, vanished beauty, blighted hopes,
and keen want, we find Mrs. Arnold occupying
a couple of rooms in the lowest district of Sea-
cliffe; to which city she had removed, hoping
to obtain more employment, and longing to es-
cape from the pitying or scornful eyes of her
old friends, as well as from her native place
(Carlyle), every foot and memory of which
were only so many additional pangs to an al-
ready over-anguished heart.
Nor had the elms alone contributed light and
warmth to many of the old houses irregularly
bordering the sides of a long street that had its
beginning near a much-neglected public square,
and its ending on a rocky beach now strewn
with the refuse of a seine which some fisher-
men were about to dry upon the sparely-grassed
field a tenth of a mile beyond, a spot redo-
lent of drying and decaying fish.
Hovering among the refuse, was a little girl
of nine or ten years, brown-haired, brown-eyed,
almost as brown-skinned,- a little child, small-
er than she should have been, with a grieved
look about the purple-lipped mouth, suggestive
of inherited sorrow.
Presently she found something of value.
With a low cry of delight, she thrust it into her
,basket, not trusting herself to a second look at
her treasure, not daring to, for she was very
"What was that you picked up? cried a
ELM-R 0 OW.
boy of noble face, and in patched though clean
garments, who, seated upon a rock, with fre-
quent scowls and frowns, had been watching
the girl's movements, while apparently busied
in tying together some drift wood; for, al-
though a denizen of Elm-Row, lie was not
among those who robbed fences and gates for
" Oh! something real good, Earl," she gasped,
rather than articulated, as she pulled her shawl
over her shoulders preparatory to leaving the
"Pooh that's no answer, Mary. What was
it?" persisted the boy, rising, and pretending
to make a dash at her treasure.
"I needn't have bothered you so, Earl. It's
a mackerel; and I'm going right home to have
mother cook it for Joe."
"How is Joe to-day?"
"Dreadful sick," with a sigh. "I guess the
doctor's been, by now. Mother sent father for
12 EARL IWIITING.
him an hour ago. Oh, I'm glad I've found the
mackerel!" And little Mary, with a face
where sunshine and shadow struggled together,
turned her bare feet homeward.
" One thing's sure, if the doctor's coming to
Joe depends upon Mr. Arnold's bringing him,
the boy will never get well. A half-hour ago,
he was drinking at Forrester's bar: I saw him
myself. I wish decent people wouldn't buy
groceries where rum is sold. I believe rum-
selling might be stopped, if good people were
only determined to have it! muttered Earl, as
he followed Mary, who was going at her ut-
most speed. She had gathered from his mut-
terings an idea. Turning with dignity, she
said in remonstrative tones,-
" Father feels badly about Joe, Earl, so bad-
ly that he cried. He has truly brought the
doctor by this time. Come with me, and see
if he hasn't."
"Don't mind me, Mary. Perhaps my tooth-
ache makes me sort of crabbed," replied Earl,
who, although blaming himself for having hurt
the tiny creature's feelings, yet regretted his
"I'm sorry for your toothache. I'll put
some camphor and cotton-wool on your face, if
you'll come in," said Mary, in the midst of her
troubles sympathizing with what she thought
her companion's to be.
They had reached the doorway, that, for the
fifth time framed in the sad-faced woman, -
mother of little Mary, as you may have already
"Is he coming ? excitedly cried the woman,
catching the child by the arm.
"The doctor, Mary!"
"Hasn't he been ?"
"No, child: isn't he coming soon ?"
" I don't know. mother. You sent father for
him, not me." And Mary turned aside her
head, remembering what she had just said to
"You went out with your father; and I I
hoped you kept with him all the way," mur-
mured the woman, wringing her hands drearily.
"I'll bring a doctor here in a moment,
ma'am," cried Earl, presenting his driftwood,
and bounding away. Happily the physician
whom he proposed to summon lived in the
neighborhood of the square previously men-
tioned. Not the poor's doctor did Earl propose
to call, but one of the mighty ones, whom
years, experience, and heart had made famous.
Fortunately this gentleman was in. A quiet
smile rippled about his mouth, as Earl said, -
"Joe Arnold is very sick, and I hope you
can go to him now. He is very poor; but we
want him to get well, and I'll pay you out of
my first earnings, sir."
"Humph! Who's we?"
"His mother and Mary and me."
" Who are you ? and how do you expect to
obtain your first earnings ? demanded the doc-
tor, as he put on his hat.
"I am Earl Whiting; and I am going to a
carpenter's trade next week, sir." And the
boy spoke proudly, perhaps more so than the
occasion seemed to require.
" All boys think themselves capable of per-
forming great things, but are rather apt to fall
short, I've noticed."
" That's because they don't stick to the thing
that they set out to do," observed Earl thought-
"Do you think you will be able to ?"
"I shall try hard for it, sir."
The doctor turned, and gave Earl an inquir-
ing glance. They were going down Elm-Row
at a good pace.
Pointing with his cane at a man walking un-
steadily just ahead of them, he asked, -
"What ails that man, Earl ? "
"He has been drinking, I should think, sir."
"By what means did the former owner of
that once stately block opposite lose his
"By gambling, I have been told," recalling
a story of fallen glory that he had often heard.
" Hence, you see, that gambling and drunk-
enness are vices into which you must not fall,
if you would pay my bill, and see the prosper-
ous future you are at present framing for your-
self," gravely rejoined the doctor.
"I know it, sir," soberly replied the boy.
"And there are many other vices. I needn't
go through the category; you have heard of
them all. Keep clear of them if you would live
at peace with God and man," continued the
gentleman, laying his hand upon the boy's
shoulder, and again looking earnestly into the
open young face.
Here-Earl could never think of it un-
moved--there crept into the boy's heart an
intense feeling of tender veneration for the
great man, a feeling that grew stronger and
more tender as years went on, giving to the
one a faltering, and to the other a firmer
Oh I if the great would often thus show to the
humble that God has made of one blood all
nations of the earth," how would gratitude,
sympathy, hope, effort, love, abound !
"There is Mrs. Arnold at the door," said
" Hum! She looks like most of the women
in such neighborhoods. The Lord bring them
all up higher in his own good time," muttered
the doctor, the next instant cordially extending
his hand to her.
Hovering timidly behind her mother, was
Mary, all eyes and ears, as the doctor
stood beside Joe's bed.
" How long has he been ill, ma'am ?"
"A month, sir."
"You should have sent for me before,"
thought the doctor.
"But he'll get well ? Joe must get well "
cried Mary, bursting from her retirement,
clasping her small hands, and standing in front
of the doctor, whose face she scanned with
" You won't do for his nurse, though, if that's
the way you go on. Yes, we trust he will re-
cover. Now run out of doors with Earl."
"I help mother sew. I don't like to play
when she has so much to do, and Joe's sick,"
she ventured to explain.
Earl, who was already leaving the room,
beckoned for her to follow him, and whispered
in the entry, when he had closed the door, -
"He hasn't much time to spare; and we
want him to give all that he can to Joe, you
"Yes, but do you think Joe will get well ?"
"You heard what the doctor said," was
evasively answered. But the boy turned his
face from the anxious gaze of little Mary, who
"I know it isn't sure, though. I knew it
when the doctor tried to be funny;" and she
burst into passionate weeping, that sorely
grieved the compassionate boy beside her.
Wishing to divert her attention from her
trouble, he pretended to be in great pain, clap-
ping his hand to his face, and holding it hard
pressed there, as if the action were necessary to
" Oh, your tooth-ache I forgot all about it.
I'll go in for the things to stop it now."
" Wait a moment, Mary. The doctor'll not
stay long. The pain isn't so bad as it was.
Don't look so worried about it, Mary."
Then quite cut up by her artless sympathy,
and remembering that a lie from whatever
cause is a sin, he confessed his deception.
After a prolonged stare of astonishment,
Mary naively observed,-
E ARL WHITING.
"Well, I guess your lie hasn't done either
of us any good; and you needn't tell any more
for my sake, for there'd never be an end of 'em,
as I'm always in a worry, and you're always
pitying me Then, returning to her earlier
trouble, she added,-
"What can we do, Earl, to help make Joe
" Simon Greene used to tell me to carry all
my troubles to the Lord," gravely and peni-
tently answered Earl, looking wistfully at the
child, -" all, Mary."
"Yes, Earl," she returned, perfectly under-
standing him. Let's go down on the beach,
where it is just as still," she suggested.
And there, alone, in a secluded spot, where
no sound was heard but the ocean's solemn
voice, the children knelt, and laid their troubles
trustingly at the feet of the Lord Jesus.
W'hat Poor Soys did for Joe.
"Thine was the seed-time: God alone
Beholds the end of what is sown.
Beyond our vision, weak and dim,
The harvest-time is hid with him."
ND, as the last word of each artless
petition died on the air, the chil
dren's bosoms glowed with a belief
I that the Father had indeed beei
near them, and to care for them it
They seated themselves side by side, feeling
subdued and hopeful.
Mary was the first to speak,-
"We will pray often, Earl. I feel as if
I hadn't any trouble now. How good in our
Saviour to let us call upon him! "
"My dear old Simon said, We were apt to
go to Jesus when we were in trouble only, and
that it was an insult to do so; as if he could
not sympathize with us in our joy as well.'
Mary, I mean to be a better boy in every
thing. There is great room for it,' Simon
said: and I know it is true; for I'm too proud
in trifles, and ugly-tempered and discontented
all the time -
"You're the best boy in the world, next to
my Joe," interposed Mary.
"No: I'm brim full of faults; and one of
the worst is my ingratitude. I keep forgetting
my mercies, and never forget my troubles."
"Dear, good Earl," said the little girl
quickly, nestling closer to him, and taking his
soiled hands in hers: don't worry about that
any more. Mother loves you just as well as if
you were her boy, you know."
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE. 23
"But I aren't," gloomily responded Earl.
"It can't matter much, though, if people
love you just as well as if you were their boy,"
shrewdly returned Mary, smiling lovingly up
Earl returned the smile, and mused a mo-
ment, while Mary wondered what other cheer-
ing thing she could say. Presently a happy
thought struck her.
"And then Mr. Lake, the great carpenter,
asked you to learn the trade of him, just be-
cause of your handy way in hammering up the
old fence. Only think, asked you to !"
' I ought to be ashamed of myself; and I am.
For I do seem to be carried along safely, some-
how," said Earl, relapsing into silence, while
Mary watched his expressive face. Some in-
stinct bade her keep still, for he seemed to be
At last he said,-
"Mary, you have heard how great men
have become, who had all sorts of troubles in
their youth ? "
"Yes," she answered, awe-struck by his
look and manner.
"I have been thinking it all over; and it
doesn't seem so hard for me to become some-
body, after all. I mean to please Mr. Lake by
making a good carpenter. After that, per-
haps "- He paused here in some confusion.
"Perhaps what?" asked Mary, deeply in-
"Don't think I'm bragging, will you ?"
"Well, Mary, perhaps I may take up some
other business when I have finished my trade.
All the spare time I can get, I mean to study
in; for I want to shine in the world."
"And I know you can," said Mary, confi-
dently, "if you try for it; only," she sagely
added, "you mustn't get worrying over your
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE.
"And you must study too," said Earl lov-
"I mean to, but can never go to school
again;" and the child sighed anew, doubtless
over her troubles.
"Simon used to say that the best educations
were not always got at school. So there's a
chance for us."
"Mother often tells me that."
"She talks like Simon. He is a very sensi-
ble man, and knows a great deal, without ever
having been to school at all."
"Don't you wish you could see him ?"
"Don't I! But I wouldn't have him in
Seacliffe, as poor as the old men about here.
He is in a rich place, as old folks ought
" I wish I could live in the country too,
where there is every thing nice to eat, especially
for rich people; and where the birds sing, and
the flowers grow for anybody to pluck 'em, and
nobody to find any fault. Joe told me yester-
day that he should grow strong enough, if only
he could live on a farm "-
"Did he? Perhaps he can have a chance
to do so. I'll write to Simon to look him up
one, if your mother'll let me."
"She'll be willing; and Simon will do any
thing to please you. Besides, you ought to
practise letter-writing; for mother says you
have a gift for it."
"Did she really, now ?"
"Certainly; and she knows," said Mary,
proudly adding, "for she went to the best of
"You must learn all that you can of her,"
answered Earl, and more gravely continued,
"Mary, the doctor's kind way of treating me
to-day gave me great courage, and made me
promise,--not in words, but in my mind, to
myself, I mean, to be a good man, more,
a great man. I always meant to be a good
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE.
man; but I never thought before so much
about becoming great."
Into Mary's small face, there crept a look of
perfect understanding of Earl's meaning.
"I hope I shall live to see it, and Joe too,"
she musingly answered.
"We'll go home now," said Earl: "you
may be needed."
"If I could find fish enough for dinner,"
"Perhaps we can if we look. Have you
any thing to eat with it ?"
"I mean vegetables and pork."
"Stoop down, so that I can whisper in your
ear. We haven't any bread, meat, tea, nor
any thing but salt. Joe hasn't had a mouthful
to-day, nor any of us."
There was no one within hearing; but Mary
was very proud.
"Your father ought to be ashamed" -
"Hush! and she put her tiny hand over
his mouth. "You make me ache when you
say a word against him."
"I won't speak so again; at least, I'll try
not to. But I'm a rough boy, with a lot of
work to do in getting rid of my faults before I
can be any thing at all," said Earl disheart-
Mary, of all beings in the world, was the
one whom he most desired to befriend, yet he
was constantly wounding her.
"Don't look so sad: you are a good boy,
Earl, and I love you dearly. Only try not to
speak so of,-you know who," said Mary,
flushing and nervous.
"I'd make a promise, only I might break it."
"I don't want you to promise. He is pro-
voking, I know."
"Don't say any more. I ought to be good,
and you always so gentle and kind! I'd take
an oath, but it would be awful to break it."
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE.
Mary was touched by Earl's grief, and en-
deavored to assuage it, by telling him how con-
stantly he was benefiting, and how very seldom
he hurt her; in conclusion, adding,-
" Never mind me, if I do complain at you
sometimes, Earl. But I'll try not to let you
know when I am hurt: and, if an oath is such
a fearful thing to take, don't take it on my ac-
count; for it would hurt me worse to have you
break it, through what my father might do.
" Don't cry, Mary; worse men than he have
reformed. Maybe he will." But Earl hardly
deemed it possible, so hardened and reckless a
man was Mr. Arnold, whose inhuman derelic-
tion from duty that morning might have
shaken the faith and hope of a maturer mind
than our hero's.
"We don't seem to try to find any fish,"
said Mary, making a great effort at cheerful-
ness for Earl's sake.
" But we'll set about it now."
And they did, and with such a will that
three mackerel were added to the one that
Mary had guarded so carefully. This she de-
clared to be a great store, and proposed return-
ing at once.
"If I could only cook 'em without Joe's
knowing it, he'd relish his dinner better."
"I've been thinking," said Earl reflectively
and fearfully, "that the doctor won't let Joe
eat such food."
" O Earl! then what can he have to eat ?"
cried Mary, in great distress.
" I'll get him something better, Mary."
" You will! Where can you get it, Earl ?"
"At the store, of course," came loftily.
"Why! But, Earl, don't you know that it
takes money for that ?"
"To be sure." And Earl put on an air that
indicated money to be no distant friend of his.
" Did I ever I Mary commenced, then fell
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE. 31
to pondering over her companion's manner and
" Ah! she broke forth, "you mean to sell
something; that's it. Maybe it's it's your
skates. Don't you do it, Earl: you are so fond
of 'em Joe would be sorry to have you
"You mean I am fond of skating."
"But you can't skate without your skates I "
"Yes, I can, with a borrowed pair," humor-
ously answered Earl.
"You are too proud to borrow skates," said
Mary triumphantly. You'd never borrow
any thing that you could do without."
"For Joe's sake I might, though. There,
run into the house, Mary. I'll be back pres-
Earl went on, wondering far more than his
little friend how he could perform his promise.
He had not a cent in the world, and as few
treasures as ever a boy had. But these were
kept most religiously. His reverie was broken
by a shout. Looking-up, he saw at a little dis-
tance a crowd of boys gathered about a
drunken man, who was ludicrously harang-
uing them, while trying to preserve his equilib-
rium by bracing himself against a lamp-post.
Earl's cheek reddened, while his fists uncon-
"Poor Joe! Poor little Mary! Now, if he
were only sick, instead of Joe, the family might
have some prospect of relief from that trouble,"
was his angry thought, quickly succeeded, how-
ever, by a much more gentle one. Ah that
is not being good; far from it! The Lord for-
give me for judging the miserable man!" And
quickly going into the very thickest of the
crowd, he persuasively said,-
"Come home with me, Mr. Arnold; come."
"Not until I have explained to these young
gentlemen the principles of political economy,"
was the reply; while the would-be-expounder,
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE. 33
in his efforts to stand erectly and steadily, fell
upon his face.
"Go away, boys, do. Don't make a greater
fool of him by pretending to listen to his non-
sense," pleaded Earl, helping the inebriate to
" But it's such fun !" cried a rollicking voice,
whose owner certainly originated from Erin's
"Joe is very sick, Pat," answered Earl
"Is he, indade If I've a copper, I'll buy
him an orange," cried the impulsive Pat.
"That is right, Pat: he'll be glad enough
of it," rejoined Earl gratefully.
"Here are two apples for him," said another
boy, bringing two beauties out of a chaos of
twine, marbles, pencils, and nails.
Earl's face was radiant with pleasure.
Might he not move others of ye crowd in
Joe's behalf? He would see. There was
nothing like trying.
"Joe is very poor and sick'; perhaps will
never get well; never play with us in the
square and on the beach, boys !"
"Poor Joe Poor old fellow!" was mur-
mured, while lips trembled, and tears quivered
in more than one pair of eyes.
" I suppose he suffers for a'most every thing,"
pityingly cried John Dore, the giver of the
apples. "He must with such a father." And
he pulled off his cap,.and 'tossed into it three
coppers, every cent he was worth; then passed
his contribution box among the boys. Mean-
while, with soiled, bleeding face, Mr. Arnold
sat upon the ground (having found himself
unable to stand), and stupidly regarded the
scene. At last, he stutteringly broke forth,
" Thank you, young gentlemen, for so quickly
acknowledging my claims to pecuniary remu-
neration. Please pass the cap to me, I must
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE.
be going home, no, to the store, -to buy
Mary something. She is a good girl, Mary is,
All the embryo gallantry in Earl's nature
fired up at the mention of that pure name
at such a time, by such impure lips. Again
the color rose to his cheek; again his fists
clenched; again his heart throbbed painfully.
But what could he do ? Was not the imbruted
being Mary's father ?"
The inebriate's hand was reaching forth for
the money, -much to the boys' amusement,
when Dr. Wentworth came along. How Earl
"What's the matter, boys?" the doctor
stopped to ask.
"Nothing, only old Arnold is on one of his
times," Pat Ryan took it upon himself to
"Arnold? What, Joe's father, Earl?"
"Yes, sir." Earl dropped his head, then
raised it back. "How did you find Joe,
"Hum! he needs care and nourishment.
He'll get the first, but I'm not so sure about
The boys looked at each other, then at the
doctor, then at each other again. A motion
was made by John for Pat to speak.
"What kind of nourishment? asked the
latter, with a twitch at his forelock.
" The best of fruits and meats."
Pat's face fell. He was a poor boy: they.
were all poor boys. But their poverty had not
yet reached their hearts; and Joe must be
"John, how much is there in the cap?"
gravely inquired Pat.
" Just sixty-three cents," answered the boy
addressed. "I wish there were ten times as
"But yer apples will do for fruit to-day,
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE. 37
John," encouragingly rejoined Pat, a kind
smile spreading over his broad, freckled face.
"What are you up to, boys?" asked the
gentleman, who had been an attentive observer.
"We-we want to make Joe a -a little
prisint; that's all, sirr," replied Pat, whose
face now rivalled the color of his hair.
"That's right, boys, that's right; be kind
to each other!" said the gentleman, moving
along, suddenly remembering many engage-
ments. What a very extraordinary scene !
The right elements for noble manhood there !
God bless those feeling young hearts!" he
soliloquized, while the muscles about the mouth
"Here, Earl, take the money! cried the
" Joe will be so pleased! said Earl: go
with me to the market Won't broth do for
"I guess so. I've heard mother say it was
good for the sick," thoughtfully answered
" Poh broth's only fit for babies! Get some
frish pork: that'll give him some stringth,"
broke in Pat.
"I've heard pork called bad for sickness,"
said John. Some people call it unwholesome
"They don't know much, thin! scorn-
fully rejoined Pat, looking quite angry.
"Let's choose by vote r Pork, or broth,
boys !" prudently interposed Earl.
"That's fair enough," said Pat amiably.
"Earl always hits the mark."
The day was carried by broth.
"It 'pears to me the whole crowd of you
boys are mighty interested in this 'ere mutton !
Are you going to have a cook by yourselves in
the woods, or on. the beach? If you are, it
looks like a queer choice: oysters or fish
would seem to be more nat'ral for sich young-
sters," observed the butcher.
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE.
"It's fur a sick b'y," replied Pat.
"Look here; dy'e mean to say you boys are
giving it to him ? interrogated the man.
"Yes, sirr," rejoined Pat; "and and I
wish you'd make it good weight."
"Now, if that isn't real Irish," thought
John, flushing up.
"Earl's cheek colored too; and he seemed
about to speak, when the butcher said, -
"That I will, and throw in a few turnips
"May the Holy Virgin bless ye! cried
Pat in delight.
" Who is this sick boy ? further questioned
" Joe Arnold," elucidated Pat, going through
with a series of unheard-of gymnastics as a
vent for his feelings.
"' Harangue Arnold's son ?"
"Yes, sirr," answered Pat, by a somerset
reaching his perpendicular.
"He's an honest boy, and I'll add a pound
of rice to the turnips."
This generosity threw Pat into a second
series of evolutions, quickly ended, however,
by his companions leaving the market.
You should have seen the sparkle in Mary's
eye as Earl brought in the offering.
"Here's meat enough to last Joe a week,"
said Mrs. Arnold gratefully: it was very kind
in all of you, Earl, to think of him."
" I didn't give him any of it," said Earl, it
was the others. Here are twenty cents that
Mrs. Arnold looked as if she thought that
Earl had somehow been instrumental in the
kindness. But he disclaimed all praise. He
had the satisfaction of seeing Joe eating a bit of
the orange which Pat had not forgotten to
"The mackerel will make us well ones a
nice dinner, mother! Shall I put them into
WHAT POOR BOYS DID FOR JOE. 41
the oven now? whispered Mary, when Earl
"Yes; and then you may go for a loaf.
Hurry back; for your father may come in soon,
and want to sell the mackerel if he finds them
A deep sigh followed Mrs. Arnold's words.
Her wifely love shrank from much that she
could not at all times avoid confessing. That
afternoon, Earl sold his much-prized skates,
and with the money bought Joe's medicine.
Ear Z tWiting.
"The path ofsorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.
No traveller ever reached that blessed abode
Who found not thorns and briars in his road."
ARL was one of those unfortunate
children who never know paren-
tal love; ah, worse he did not
know even what name he should
rightfilly be known by. He
could not bear to reflect upon his history,
which had seemed to begin with himself. It
hurt him to feel that none had loved him when
a helpless infant, that none had bent over
his cradled slumbers, whispering with tearful
tenderness, "My son, my son."
He had been found on a doorstep in Elm
Row, upwards of thirteen years before. He
was speedily transferred from that locality to
the almshouse, not a great distance below.
Here his perceptive faculties developed.
The keeper's wife was a very affectionate
mother. Often, with his heart in his throat,
Earl watched her as she lavished kisses,
caresses, and pet-words upon her well-cared-for
little group. After witnessing such scenes, in
which he could never take part, lie sometimes
crept away, to weep in secret over his loneli-
One day, while thus sorrowfully occupied,
he was accosted by a woman, known by the
soubriquet of Crazy Peg," also an inmate of
"What are you whimpering over?" she
He did not reply, being too frightened to
open his lips. And with good reason, as she
had often treated him unkindly. Although
very careful not to vex the strange woman, by
her manner towards him, it would seem as if
he were often unfortunate enough to do that
which he wished most to avoid.
" Why don't you answer me ?"
Earl tried to, but could not.
"I know: I've seen your trouble all along,"
she continued in a rough, unfeeling manner.
" But you needn't spend your time for
nought;" and she waved a stick about his ears
in a threatening manner. She looked so fierce
and wild, that Earl grew more frightened:
still he did not dare to stir from tile spot, to
which, by her strange will, she had rooted him.
"I had a boy once." She did not sigh as
she spoke. "But he wasn't a coward. He
didn't tremble when I noticed him."
" Because you were his mother," thought
"I s'pose he loved me. Boys are apt to love
Earl felt sure that the mother's example had
not been, could not have been, followed by the
boy so coldly spoken of, as one who had been.
Suddenly her mood changed. Bursting into
tears she cried, Why couldn't he have
lived? What had he done, that his days should
have been cut short ? "
Earl's heart warmed towards her now.
Perceiving the pity in his eyes, she grew
fierce again, and bade him answer the question
which she had so long before profounded.
Suddenly seizing him by his hair, she swung
him back and forth, assuring him, that, unless
he spoke, she'd skin him alive. He believed
her capable of doing it: still he could not
speak, and, in spite of his terror, was almost
glad that he could not.
"I 'II be your mother, and love you to your
heart's content. Perhaps then you'll not think
me too mean to notice, and tell your secrets
to." And she caught him in her arms, and
pressed him so hard against her bosom, that he
nearly lost his breath. The next moment,
he hung limp and lifeless in her arms. And
now she kissed him wildly, begging him not to
die. Dropping him, she hurried away, for she
heard an approaching step. Fortunately for
the boy, it was the step of one who felt an
interest in him, -the uneven step of a lame
old man, named Simon Greene.
"Sho! what's the matter?" asked the old
man, lifting Earl's head.
"He's fainted dead away: that's a fact. I
wonder what made him? soliloquized Simon
Greene, bearing the child to the water's edge,
and laving the cold little face.
Presently Earl opened his eyes, and, glan-
cing frightenedly around, whispered,-
"Has she gone ?"
"That dreadful crazy woman. See if she's
gone !" And Earl cowered with dread.
"So she's been troubling you? She must
have been purty rough; for children don't often
faint clean dead. What did she do ? "
"She might hurt you too," whispered Earl.
"I can't tell Xou. It's enough for her to fly
" I don't fear her, Earl. She wouldn't want
to attack me," laughingly rejoined Simon.
"No," returned Earl thoughtfully: "she
never troubles anybody but me."
"What makes her worry you, though ?"
"I don't know: I never bother her, as some
of the boys here do. But, Simon, she cried
because she had lost her boy."
" So you pity her a little mite, after all, I
see. That's right. Maybe you put her in
mind of her boy. But she sha'n't be left to
bother you any more; for it's dangerous busi-
ness. Now, what happened afore she fell upon
you like the wild beast that I half believe she
is ? he asked, holding Earl off, that he might
look fully into the little face.
"Must I tell? asked Earl, turning pale.
"It made her awful mad. You don't think
it will make you ?"
"As if such a harmless chick as you could
rile me up: ha, ha! No indeed Go on, Earl."
"I was lonesome, am lonesome all the
time. I don't belong to anybody, old Simon!
I wish, oh, I wish I did! And I couldn't help
crying when I saw Mrs. Bray kissing her
children, it made me feel so lonesome. Crazy
Peg was watching me, she said, and fell upon
me and hurt me, as I told you."
"She oughtn't to roam at large. I'll tell
the keeper of this tantrum," said old Simon,
whose heart wag touched by Earl's confession
of loneliness. Don't you feel lonesome any
more, Earl. You can be my boy if you want
to. I never had a boy; but I think I should
like one about your age and size. What do
you think of my offer ?"
Without a word, Earl slipped his thin hand
into that of the old man, while, for a moment, a
smile glimmered on his face.
"But there's one thing you must try to
please me in, my boy; for I'm drefful par-
" What is that ?"
"To keep as tidy as you can. I despise
dirt, and believe everybody can be a little
cleaner than they are. Look at your hands I "
Earl obeyed, then hung his head.
" I guess, by the way your clothes hang, that
you've lost lots of buttons. Did you ever try
to sew ? "
" No, sir, nobody ever showed me how.
But it's woman's work to sew, Simon."
"Some people thinks it's .woman's work to
sow land. But I don't, when it can be helped.
I guess, Earl, it won't hurt you to learn to use
the needle. I always do my own mending,
and I'll show you how to."
Earl thought the old man very funny, if very
kind, but did not think he would like to sew.
Being rather hard of hearing, Simon did not
catch a slight sound near; but Earl did. Turn-
ing a frightened glance towards a clump of
bushes that grew just behind, Earl saw Peg.
Shaking her fist threateningly, she went up
towards the house. For a second, he felt that
every thing was whirling around him.
"Not going to faint again! said the old
man, noticing a sudden change in his compan-
"N-o. Oh, dear! what shall I do ?"
"What's the matter now ?"
"She's such a dreadful woman! "
"So she's in your thoughts still. Don't be
alarmed, I say."
" She was there, in those bushes, a moment
"Don't mind any thing about her. You're
ny boy, now."
" But she won't let me be. She don't want
me to.be happy. I know she'll break it up,"
sighed the child,
" My boy mustn't be such a coward! said
Simon, distressed beyond what he was willing
to acknowledge to Earl, who colored at this
second implication of cowardice.
"The boys don't think I am."
"Well, well. Show your courage, then,
when you need to. When did Peg begin to
treat you so ?"
"Ever so long ago. I can't tell just when."
"But she lets the other boys alone ?"
"Yes, every one of 'em."
"It looks to me like malice, and nothing
short on't! And yet it can't be; for what could
such a chit as you do to work her up to such a
"I never trouble her," again protested Earl.
"Never on the sly? "
"I believe you: you needn't look so put out
with me. I want to make every thing sure,
before I have the crazy cretur locked up. I
don't want her treated unfair, Earl. But
you're all of a tremble yet, a real bunch of
"She was there just a moment ago, and
shook her fist at me again," said Earl, pointing
towards the back porch of the house. Oh,
dear! she is round all the time."
" There you are, starting again! What a
" Did'nt you see her come out again to shake
her fist at me, Simon ? "
" Yes, I guess I did. But you stop being so
scared of her, or any thing. I shall expose
her; and it won't be the wus for you, mind.
I'm your father now; so you can call me so."
Earl looked at the old man, who was lame,
ill-favored, and scarred. Though quite touched
and grateful, the boy's inmost heart held an
ideal of a far different father, such an one, in
short, as he had aspired to be loved and cared
Simon Greene had followed the seas when
younger; but sickness and misfortune had cut
off many a hope, and sent him to the alms-
house a few years subsequent to Earl's
entrance. He had gleaned considerable
knowledge from his wanderings, and the few
books that had fallen in his way. He was
amiable, and, above all, deeply religious.
Many a boy has had a far inferior father, and
been satisfied as well as grateful.
In a few moments, Earl felt ashamed of his
regret that his kind friend was not more like
the overseers, even; who, although, doubtless,
a very passable body of gentlemen, still fell
short of what he felt, rather than knew to be,
a higher type of man.
" Father, if we could only leave this place I "
Earl broke forth, as, a little later, he was walk-
ing towards the house, hand in hand with his
"I can't work, and you are too young to,
Earl. It takes a good deal of money to keep
two, even in a cheap home. Earl, if I was
only well, we'd see different things," sighed
Simon, more cheerily concluding, "but we'll
be as happy as we can be here. It's kind
of queer that you and I should ha' fell upon
one another; for I belong to nobody, or did till
you took me up. My kin's all dead and gone
this many a year, -mother, wife, sister: my
father died when I was a baby, so I never had
a chance to mourn him. Heigho! Well,
Earl, as you and I belong to each other, and to
nobody else in the world, s'pose you bring your
traps into my room ?"
"Will you have me? cried Earl delighted.
"Of course. I don't invite people if I don't
"Will she let me ?"
"Poh Earl, you are a coward, and no mis-
take. My boy must have pluck, and learn to
subdue his enemies in some good way."
"I wonder if she can be subdued ?"
"Yes, I dare say. But I don't want her
harmed; for she's an unfortin't cretur, and
nobody can tell what she's been through in her
"Can't she be shut up ?"
"All the time, do you mean?" was asked
"Yes." But Earl dropped his eyes, feeling
ashamed of himself.
" She might be; but she couldn't stand it
long. Build your courage above her."
"I don't think anybody could help being
just so afraid of her, if she had treated them
as she has me. She has often come into my
garret nights. I shall be glad to sleep in your
room. Will she dare to come to me there ?"
" She wouldn't want to come more'n once, I
guess, Earl! Take heart, take heart, boy: I'll
protect you. But what made you keep her ac-
tions to yourself? "
"Because -because," stammered Earl, col-
oring, and dropping his head.
"Because what? She used to threaten to
lick you wus, I s'pose, if you told ? "
" Worse than that," murmured Earl, with a
" You must tell your father all your troubles;
and then he'll know how to meet 'em with ye,
face to face. Take heart, Earl."
Earl carried a knotted old hand to his lips
for reply; and he and old Simon exchanged a
smile that had a world of meaning in it. Thus
encouraged, Earl went on.
"She used to tell me, if I let out on her,
she'd never tell me who my mother was. And
I do want to know that."
"Poor chick! poor little chick! And that's
where she had ye, hey ? Earl, depend upon't,
she don't know no more than I do who your
mother was. I wish I'd found out her actions
before. The Lord himself must ha' put me
on your track this morning."
"One night, when she was in the garret
worrying me, I began to say, Our Father
who art in heaven;' and she laughed at me,
and said I had no Father in heaven,- that
nobody had. That made me feel worse than
ever; for, since you've told me about such
things, I've been glad to think of a Father there
in that beautiful land. When I've been lone-
some, I've wondered if he knew it, and if he
pitied me for belonging to nobody. But Peg
says there isn't any heaven; and, if there was,
I couldn't be of any account there, because I'm
" There, stop! Don't tell me such dismal
stories again. That Peg's a- But let's for-
git her, my boy excitedly interposed the old
man, who, after a pause, very solemnly contin-
"There is a heaven, Earl, depend on't, for
the weary and heavy-laden, and the little
grieved child as well, and a Father there to
comfort and support 'em. I feel it in all my
being. I'm as sure on't as I am that the sun's
shining on us this blessed minit "
" And will He truly notice me ?" cried Earl,
grasping both of his companion's hands.
"And what else did he make you for ?"
"But I'm nobody."
" e don't think so. So you just stop run-
ning down his works. What did he make you
for, if 'twasn't to love and try and train and
comfort and pity and bless, and, finally gather
you in when he's ready for you ? You can't
be nobody, and he have any thing to 'do with
the making of you," fervently answered Simon,
who had through reverence uncovered his head
while speaking of One who was all in all to his
weary, aged heart.
" I love you dearly! cried Earl, in answer.
"Yer love's recipercated; but you keep a
forgetting to call me father. If you love me
so, I guess you'll try to mind me."
" I will try to in every thing: see if I don't."
It did not take long to transfer Earl's effects
from the attic to Simon's room.
" Now stay here, while I find Mr. Bray, and
tell him what I've done."
They exchanged smiles.
"And what ought to be done," thought
Simon, shutting the door upon his adopted son,
whose strange story had tried him very much.
"I'm afraid there'll be a bad time between
Peg and me," with a shudder thought Earl,
concluding more brightly, "I ought to build
my courage above her, and will try to. What
a pleasant room this is! "
Simon's footsteps had hardly died along the
passage, ere the door was opened by Peg, who,
stealing up to Earl, whispered, -
" To think of your treating your mother so."
She had no time for more, as Simon, at the
head of the first flight of stairs, was talking
with Mr. Bray, whom he had found sooner than
he expected; and there was but another flight
to the passage into which his room opened.
"I'll get out of Bray's way, for I've no no-
tion of being shut up yet; and I know that's
what's waiting for me, just as well as if it had
been told me," she soliloquized, slipping noise-
lessly out, and immediately hastening to the
roof, upon which, behind a huge chimney, she
hid herself, having first carefully closed the
Earl enjoyed a sweet night's rest, after hav-
ing in peace and trust, kneeling beside old
Simon, besought the care and love of the
The next morning, as he was going to the
cellar for vegetables, he heard his name called
in passing by an iron-barred door, at the back
of the basement passage. He involuntarily
stood still, while the olden terror sufficed to
blanch his cheek. It went on, -
" I'm in here; but you needn't think it's for-
ever, Earl Whiting. Depend upon't, I shall
be even with my enemies some day."
A feeling that he could not repress drew him
nearer the door, to say in the saddest of
" I never harmed you: what makes you hate
"Don't you wish you knew? It's some-
thing that makes me tell your footstep way off,
and your voice among a crowd. Go along:
Madam Bray will be the next one to call you."
And so it happened. When he was going
towards the kitchen with the vegetables, Mrs.
Bray, who stood at the dairy door, called him
to her. Holding out a doughnut, she told
him he could have it, and asked him how he
had passed the night. There was genuine
concern in the look she wore, as she thus ques-
tioned him. As such notice was entirely novel
in his experience, tears rushed to his eyes, and
his heart to his throat. But he replied as
properly as he could in the circumstances, try-
ing hard to express his gratitude, which he
could not to the full of his inclinations, being,
as we have said, a child of strong emotions.
Among other kind things, Mrs. Bray said,-
"I have been making inquiries about you,
and learn that you are a good, attentive boy at
day and Sabbath school; that you try to learn
and understand your lessons."
Poor little Earl dropped his head. His heart
thrilled with happiness. He had never been
much praised before. But a cruel thought
came up, just here,-Could she be in earnest?
Might it not be a new way of tormenting him?
Oh, if it should be, how could he bear it, hav-
ing found words of praise so sweet! He lifted
his head. There was a strange, bewildered
expression in his eyes; and his hands twisted
themselves together in a restless, nervous man-
She read his fear. Smiling kindly, she
" I mean it, Earl. I am glad to hear good
accounts of you. I want you to drive to town
with me and the children, this afternoon. Try
to do the best you can always. I must go, for
I hear my baby crying."
"It's all through you, father," cried Earl,
when he had communicated the interview and
invitation to the old man. "It's all through
you, father. She never noticed me before."
"She has a thousand cares, and can't be ex-
pected to know every thing about everybody
here. We don't suffer for any thing we really
need, and might be in a wus place than this,
" So we might, father. I like here now, first-
rate. If it will only keep on just like this."
"It's well to trust in Providence, after all."
"Yes, father," came reverently.
"Then, don't keep doubting. Yesterday you
had more reason to be gloomy. But your case
is taken up, depend on't. Everybody's case is
taken up some time; most likely, in just the
best time for 'em. I guess Justice measures
out about even. This book tells me so, and I
never knew it to make a mistake." Simon
'was sitting with an open Bible upon his knee.
He continued, after having given Earl time to
ponder upon his words, "I want you to learn
the Twenty-third Psalm between now and next
Sunday, when you must say it to me, word for
word. There's nothing like storing the mind
with Holy Writ! it's better than money and
"I'll learn it perfect, father," was Earl's
The boy was thinking more of heavenly
care and love than ever before, and with a
greater longing to be worthy good gifts. He
was intensely grateful for his change of for-
tune; and shall we add ? not very sorry
for Peg's incarceration. Simon told him that it
was a wrong feeling; and the boy tried to
struggle against it, at first, however, with
little success. At this time, he was nine years
old. Three years went on, in which Simon
and Mrs. Bray remained his steadfast friends;
while so good a watch was kept over Crazy
Peg, that she obtained few opportunities for
tormenting him. Meanwhile, a steady improve-
ment in valuable traits of character marked the
boy. But, at the close of these happy years,
old Simon Greene was claimed by a nephew
from California, who for four years had been
mourned as dead. This man, though unsuc-
cessful in his strivings after wealth, insisted
upon taking his aged kinsman to his humble
home in New Hampshire.
"He'll never be parted from Earl," said Mr.
Bray, in Earl's hearing. I suppose you are
not able to take the boy too ? "
"Not able to hardly; but I'll manage it
somehow, rather than grieve the old fellow,"
replied Mr. Strong, the nephew alluded to.
Earl was not known to be within hearing,
" I won't be a burden," he murmured, his
bosom torn with thoughts of separation from
his adopted father. And he managed to make
it seem very necessary that he should go out
into the world, and commence the great busi-
ness of taking care of himself.
" We can hear from each other, you know,
father; for we can both write," he concluded,
in as firm a voice as he could command.
"Yes, my boy. You can write to each
other: and if you are homeless, or in trouble,
John Strong's doors will open wide to receive
you," heartily observed the returned Califor-
EARL WHITING. 67
"I hate to part with you, myself," he con-
tinued, "and dare say my wife, who has a true
woman's heart, would give you a smile and
kind word, and a snug corner along with her
own brood. Come, you'd better go with us "
But Earl was not to be persuaded out of
the course he had chosen as the proper one.
You may be sure his bosom swelled, when he
saw old Simon helped into the wagon that was
to convey him away.
"It's a'most like tearing my heart out, to
leave you, my boy," said the old man; "but
it's clear to my mind that the Lord has so
willed it. Do the best you can, and go to him
for help. Depend upon 't, your case is taken
up, and Providence '11 attend to 't. Be good,
and wait, my boy! "
"I will, dear old father," sobbed Earl in
" We may never meet again on airth," sol-
emnly concluded the old man, "but I'm sartin
sure we shall on t'other side "
When the last sound of the wheels had died
away, Earl prostrated himself upon the ground,
and literally lifted up his voice and wept; for
he felt that he could never be happy again.
"Oh, how can I be any thing without my
dear old father to teach and control me I feel
surer than ever, that I don't belong anywhere,
-that I'm nobody's child !"
" Nobody's child ?"
Ah! Earl had momentarily forgotten who
had promised to be a father to the fatherless.
" I pity you interposed the voice of Crazy
"Go away Oh, do go away! cried Earl.
"But I do pity you. I know what it is to
lose the best friend you have: it isn't easy
getting over, I can tell you. And you won't
see yours again; for he's old, and likely to drop
away any time."
"Hush don't say that! "
"It's good to be prepared for things. I
wasn't; and that's why I'm Crazy Peg,' instead
of' Pretty Peg,' as I used to be."
"And you know what trouble is, and I
haven't pitied you, as I ought to!" thought
Earl, making a violent effort to subdue his
"Either I ought to have died when my boy
did, or your mother ought to have lived
because you had to; things ain't managed
right. Every thing's queer; don't you think
" Simon, father, I mean, says, God does
all things well! "
"Pooh The old man don't know much "
Here the keeper of the insane department
came up in great haste. For the past week, it
had seemed necessary to keep an unusually strict
watch over Peg, who had evinced dangerous
" Has she been hectoring you ? demanded
"No, not much. And I don't think she
meant to, at all," replied Earl, wishing to
shield the unfortunate woman, and truly regret-
ful that he had ever wished her harm.
" Yes, I have been, and meant to! I'm
against all the world; for it has treated me
cruelly shrieked Peg, trying to extricate
herself from the keeper's ungentle grasp.
"I'm blest if I can tell what makes you
pitch into that little fellow, though," observed
"Perhaps you can't. ,What then ? said
A week subsequent, and Mrs. Bray was laid
upon a bed of sickness. Hovering about her
door was Earl, eager to be of use, and filled
with an undefined dread. The nurse conceived
a liking for the lad. Encountering him in the
passage one day, she said, -
"If any thing happens to Mrs. Bray, I'll take
you to live with me: my house's in Elm-
Row, with my sister, who keeps a shop there.
You'll like Sally Burley, if I do say it,- who
oughtn't to, being her sister. We need a boy
to tend our fire, and do our chores: you can
earn your clothes outside, I reckon; if you
can't, why, you won't be left to go naked."
Earl looked at her searchingly. You
remember what his experience had been.
Trust is easy, until we are betrayed.
"I shall be glad to go with you," he said
gravely, in reply.
A week more, and the weeping boy, by the
pillow of Mrs. Bray, breathed a prayer for the
soul that stood looking forth into the solemn
reaches of eternity.
The A.J olds.
"Oh, purblind race of miserable men I
How many among us at this very hour
Do forge a life-long trouble for ourselves,
By taking true for false, or false for true."
OE'S recovery was slow, owing to a
combination of diseases long neg-
How he desired to be strong and
well for his mother's sake !
If wishing for every delicacy for the sick
were any thing towards obtaining it, Earl
proved himself a very giant.
Never did a heart try harder to be a bene-
factor than did his.
He had been a week at his trade, and had
already gained the good-will of his master and
the workmen: but he had found it no easy
matter to transfer his effects from the good
Miss Burley's to his master's; for he loved the
excellent woman truly.
"But, by and by, I mean to have a place
that I can truly call mine. I hate this chan-
ging about," he soliloquized one day, while in-
dustriously at work upon a box which he was
making with especial reference to Mary's needs
and tastes. It was the noon-hour, and his own
time, if he chose so to take it. The pieces of
wood had been given him by his master.
" I do wish I could get every thing for him,"
he said, unconsciously aloud.
" For whom? The old gentleman that you
call father?" asked a workman, who, seated
on a saw-horse, was eating his dinner.
" No, sir. I was thinking of Joe, but didn't
mean to speak aloud," answered Earl, blush-
ing at his stupidity in talking to himself.
" Who is he ?"
"A sick boy, Joe Arnold, who lives in
Elm-Row. He is poor; and I want to do lots
for him, but can't, because I'm only an appren-
tice," sighed Earl.
"How long has he been sick ?"
"As much as two months, real sick, and was
ailing before that."
"What sort of folks does he belong to ?"
"You helped pick up his father this morn-
" The boy's to be pitied, if that notorious sot
is his father! I hope his mother, if he has
one, is better," interpolated the man, in dis-
"That she is; everybody calls her one of
the best of women: and Mary -she's his
sister, sir- is a good little girl, and helps her
mother maintain the family."
"Has the boy a doctor ?"
"Yes, sir: he has Dr. Wentworth."
"Whew! He's the big-bugs' doctor. Why
didn't he have the dispensary ?"
" It was my fault he didn't. I wanted him
to have the best, he's such a good boy."
"And you hadn't much opinion of the dis-
pensary's skill, then?" continued the work-
man, much interested and amused.
"He's young, sir," further explained Earl,
beginning to feel restive under such severe
"And you had more confidence in gray
hairs ? They are said to be signs of wisdom;
but you can't always trust to the saying, as
they sometimes come on very young heads. I
think yours is a wise head, whether you have
gray hairs or not, Earl. Come here: I'd like
to examine it, boy."
Earl hoped the man had not been imbibing
any thing more exhilarating than cold coffee.
" You needn't look at me so critically, Earl.
Maybe you think I've been to the pump that
Joe's father drinks from so often; but I'd
scorn to. I go in for total abstinence, pure
and undefiled; won't even buy my groceries
where liquor of any kind, even beer, is
sold. People can do without it. Something
better can be used instead of it,-something
that never manufactures misery, idiocy, insan-
ity. It's my belief that government ought to
plant its heel on alcohol. Something harmless
could be found to take the place of it, in all
necessary things. It would be found; for need
always works out its own supplies."
By this time, Earl had drawn close to the
man. Such talk was life to the boy.
"Do you agree with me ?"
"Indeed I do."
"Then stand up for temperance, pure and
undefiled, wherever there is need of it."
"I will, sir."
" Some people laugh at the pledge. Now, I
think it is a good thing. A man usually feels
it to be a pretty hard thing to break his word.
The amount of it is, that we all need strength
to carry out any plan worth laying. Don't
you think so ?"
"What d'ye think of cider-drinking ?"
"There's more of it than there need be,
"Just so. I wish I was President of the
United States, and vested with absolute power:
some of our old institutions would come rat-
tling down, if I were."
"I wish you had the chance to do so much
"So do I! But, Earl, I've been talking to
you as if you were a man. And that reminds
me how apt adult persons are to talk them-
selves down to young folks: they had better
talk young folks up to them. Don't you think
"Yes, sir," said Earl intelligently.
The noon-hour had expired. As it was a
rainy day, the workshop was well occupied.
Mr. Benson, the man who had conversed with
Earl at noon, was working at the same bench,
and seemed disposed to instruct the lad, and
with a willingness that surprised himself, as he
was not generally given to notice apprentice-
"But," he soliloquized, "I like this little fel-
low. I'll examine his head some day, in spite
of him. He's blessed with a lot of benevo-
lence and activity. He isn't deficient in brain
"Where did you tell me these Arnolds
lived? he asked, while putting away his tools
for the night.
"In Elm-Row, No. 23, down stairs," an-
swered Earl, wondering at the question.
Mr. Benson spoke to a few of the men, on
his way out of the shop.
That evening, Earl asked permission to call
on the Arnolds. As he had done all the
chores, and had besides patiently held a large
skein of yarn while his mistress wound it, per-
mission was easily given.
"Only be sure to return before nine. I
never allow my boys to be out after that time,"
said Mr. Lake.
"Isn't he a better boy in the house than
common, wife?" he asked, when Earl had
" Yes, husband, that's a fact. He held that
skein of yarn as patient as a lamb, and never
frowned nor flustered a mite. I never had a
boy that did so before; and he's just as good
about other things," readily replied Mrs. Lake,
who had had a rather extensive experience in
Earl found Mrs. Arnold and Mary very joy-
ful over a hamper of nice things that had just
arrived from an unknown source.
" I have not the least idea where they came
from," said Mrs. ArAold.
"Just see, Earl I" cried Mary; "here are
sago, rice, eggs, loaf-sugar, tea, nutmegs, crack-
ers, corn-starch, dried-apples, honey, beef-steak,
- oh! and every thing. Who could be so
good to us? "
"I'm sure, I can't tell," said Earl bewil-
dered and delighted.
"Do you think it was Dr. Wentworth?"
asked Mary, crowding her slender arms with
packages which she wished to stow away in the
closet that was not often, now-a-days, well
" Perhaps it was," said Earl.
" He is good. He gave mother a two-dollar
bill yesterday," continued Mary; "and we had
a nice dinner out of it, Earl. Joe relished it
"How is Joe to-night ? asked Earl.
"Amending, if slowly, we think. This is a
timely gift for him," replied Mrs. Arnold,
Earl asked to see Joe, but noticed a hesi-
tancy in the granting of his wish.
"You should if"- commenced Mrs. Ar-
"Earl, he's in there too," whispered Mary,
all her gladness gone, and frank, because frank-
ness was due to Earl.
"Not your father?"
"Yes, Earl. He would get into the same
bed with Joe, all we could do."
"It's too bad! What did Joe say ?"
"'Let him come, if he will. Maybe
he won't worry me.' Isn't that just like
"Just! He always was accommodating,"
replied Earl, contrasting the small, rickety ten-
ement, with its scant furniture, and general
look of poverty, with his comfortable new
" I wish you all lived as well, and in as nice
a place, as I do," he said.
"We used to," responded Mrs. Arnold with
a sigh, as she commenced a coarse jacket by
the light of an oil-lamp. I had a good home
once, and a good husband: it was long ago,
though. Earl, never, never let a drop of
liquor touch your lips "
"Never," said Earl firmly. "I despise
"So do I," said Mary, who had put on her
small thimble, and was working industriously.
" Mrs. Arnold, isn't Mary going to school
any more?" Earl asked with concern, but
thoughtlessly, hating to see Mary working so
like a woman.
"I wish I could. I think I'm little to leave
school," as thoughtlessly answered Mary, who
was not often so careless in her speech.
Noticing the look of pain on Mrs. Arnold's
face, Earl hastened to say, -
" We can learn a good deal out of school, if
we only catch our chances as they run."
"So Joe told me yesterday."
"I have learned considerable since I have
been at my trade, in listening to the workmen's
Just here there was a rap upon the outer
door. Mary answered it, when the landlord
appeared, all smiles and suavity.
Presenting his bill to Mrs. Arnold, he said,
in urbane tones, -
"You can doubtless settle this little matter
"I cannot, indeed, sir, I regret; for I have
but a small part of it saved. My son has been
very sick for some weeks. When he was
well, he used to help me earn the rent," trem-
ulously replied Mrs. Arnold.
" And very properly, as he was old enough,"
came loftily, urbanity all flown.
" He is only thirteen: it grieved me to put
him at work so early; he has more than
earned his living for a year."
" Well, when can you pay me ? i asked the
landlord, waiving the matter under discussion
as beneath his further consideration.
"As soon as possible, sir. I wish I had it
for you to-night."
"So do I, as I dislike this sort of thing. I
cannot have a repetition of it. If you think
you will have the money in a week, I will call
then; that will be giving you considerable
"I dare not promise it, sir. I don't believe
I shall have it before the end of a month."
The landlord scowled.
"If it is not forthcoming then, I shall be
greatly displeased," he said, leaving with an
"If I were rich, do you think I'd distress
people so ? indihgantly burst forth Earl.
"I know you wouldn't!" cried Mary.
" Mother, if we can have the money ready for
him, we will, won't we ?"
"We shall be obliged to work very hard for
it. There will be two months instead of one to
pay then," drearily responded Mrs. Arnold.
"If Joe is only enough better to do without
so much tending, and we get a lot of work, I
think we can do it, though," hopefully re-
sponded Mary, looking up with a smile.
"One thing is sure: I ought not to despair,
when I have such a smart and willing daugh-
ter," Mrs. Arnold was merciful enough to
" Certainly not," said Earl, adding, "maybe
I can help you."
"You mustn't think of it; you will not be
likely to earn any more money than you need."
"I don't need any, Mrs. Arnold. I have
good clothes, and enough to eat," said Earl.
"If I earn any money, will you take it to help
make out the rent ? "
"Say yes, mother," whispered Mary.
"Isn't he almost like Joe to us,-- almost our
own boy, I mean ?"
" That's right, Mary. Coax the promise for
me with all your might: it will hurt me if she
won't give it," said Earl.
Mrs. Arnold could not avoid smiling at the
eagerness of the children, and finally assented
to Earl's proposition. His face was radiant
with pleasure then. He strove to lighten Mrs.
Arnold's gloom, by describing his work and
companions. Declaring himself perfectly sat-
isfied with all his new surroundings, he avowed
anew his intention of making the best use of
"That's right, Earl: I'm glad to see you
animated with a laudable ambition. Your
trade is a healthy and prosperous one, and I
doubt not you will succeed according to your
hopes," observed Mrs. Arnold.
" The time has come for me to be going. If
I should be late to-night, maybe I couldn't
come again," said Earl; bidding a cheerful
good-night, he hurried off. Despite his appar-
ent liveliness, he had wished many times
through the evening that he had a mother to
smile upon him, and speak to him, in just the
way that Mrs. Arnold did to Mary.
"One thing, Mary isn't so very poor, after
all. Nobody is with a mother to love 'em," he
almost sobbed, as he trudged along alone
towards his new home, where he found. Mrs.
Lake waiting for him.
" My husband was so tired that he went to
bed early. I'm glad you came home as you
were bidden: you'll never lose any thing by
obedience, Earl. Here are a couple of apples
for you, and a mug of cider. My boys always
like my cider."
" I thank you for the apples, but, -but "-
He paused, hating to wound her.
" But what she wonderingly asked.
"I'd rather not take the cider," he bungled
forth, very red and hot.
" Why not ? she asked, bending her head
a little. Perhaps she was looking for a dropped
stitch in her stocking.
" Because I might grow to like it, and to like
other kinds of drink, and finally become a
drunkard. I'd rather die now, while I'm
young, than live to be that dreadful, dreadful
thing," courageously and earnestly replied
The woman had listened like one amazed.
When he ceased speaking, she bent her head,
and seemed lost in thought. At length, in a
low, heart-full tone, she said, -
"Come here, Earl."
He went, wondering.
Laying her hand upon his head, she impres-
"Hear my promise, -lieaven grant it may
not be made too late for any poor soul!-
TI REA VOLDS.
never, never, to place the least temptation in
the way of any one again. You have taught
me a great lesson to-night."
When Earl lifted his face, a tear from hers
rolled upon it.
"You will be blessed for your promise, and
helped to keep it," he cried.
Throwing her arms around his neck, she
drew him to her bosom, and wept upon his
From far down the shadowy past, there
floated up a vision of a fair-haired boy, whom
she had laid away, years before, to rest never
again upon her breast, and lisp the holy name
of mother. A flood of tender memories, and
many good resolves, made the season memora-
ble; while the bereaved mother and nameless
boy mingled their tears in silence.
They were interrupted by the violent ring-
ing of the street door-bell.
" You may go to the door, Earl: it's a late
visitor, and a very impatient one," said Mrs.
Lake, hastily drying her eyes.
Earl was surprised to find Mary at the door:
she looked frightened and distressed. Catch-
ing hold of him, she excitedly cried, -
" Joe isn't so well. He wants you to sit
up with him to-night. Can you come ? Will
Mr. Lake let you? But he will, I know he
will; only tell him about it. Joe is very ill,
Earl! Here her voice changed from that of
commingled fear and excitement to one of
grief and regret. "Mother and I ought to
have hindered father from sharing Joe's bed.
He awoke raving and tossing awfully. He
hurt poor Joe's head, struck it, only
think! The dear boy is all worn out. It is so
miserable there! Mother and Joe are crying,
and father is raving still. What will become
of us all ? The poor child broke down with
this last, completely overcome.
Hearing sounds of distress, Mrs. Lake has-