The fisherman's children, or, The sunbeam of Hardrick Cove

Material Information

The fisherman's children, or, The sunbeam of Hardrick Cove a tale for the young
Portion of title:
Sunbeam of Hardrick Cove
F. M. S
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Place of Publication:
London ;
Edinburgh ;
New York
T. Nelson and Sons
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
164, [4] p., [2] leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Fishers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Courage -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Faith -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Wreckers (Plunderers of ships) -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1871 ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1871 ( local )
Bldn -- 1871
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations ( local )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Added title page printed in colors.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note:
Baldwin Library copy illustrations are hand-colored: probably by young owner.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by the author of "Hope on," "King Jack of Haylands," etc.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026941641 ( ALEPH )
ALH7366 ( NOTIS )
57568835 ( OCLC )

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" And children too may do God's will,Each in his lowly earthly place.Like Him, the lowly child, who dweltWhere gleams the Galilean sea,"Whose meat it was to do Thy will-Our Guide, our Trust. our Pattern, He."

@ntntents.-0-L THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN, .. ... ... 7I. TEA WITH UNCLE PETER, ... ... ... ... 22III. GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE, .. ... ... ... 86IV. A SEA-SIDE TALK, ... ... ... ... 51V. ADRIFT! ... ... ... ... ... ... 66VI. THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT, ... ... ... 75VII. HASTE TO THE RESCUE ... ... ... 89VIII. THE WRECKER'S PRIZE, ... ... .. .. 105IX. FRANK'S WISH, ... .. ... ... ... 120X. WHERE IS HE? ... ... ... ... ... 131XI. FALLEN OVER, ... ... ... ... ... 142XII. FAREWELL TO MOTHER ENGLAND, ... ... ... 157XIII. CONCLUSION, ... .. .. .. ... 161

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THE SUNBEAM OF HARDRICK COVE.CHAPTER I.THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN." Briskly blows the evening gale,Fresh and free it blows;Blessings on the fishing-boat,How merrily it goes." Christ, he loved the fishermenWalking by the sea;How he blessed the fishing-boatsDown in Galilee !"' HE baby would not go to sleep, thoughthe little girl who held it sung to it- gently, and rocked it in her arms asshe sat on the step of the cottagedoor.It was a fisherman's dwelling, built in aSlittle cove on the sea-shore, and close to the

8 THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN.small fishing village of Hardrick, on the coastof Cornwall.Jacob Williams, its owner, had been asailor during the early part of his life, butwhen he was married he gave up his sea-faring life and settled down at Hardrick asa fisherman; and on account of his steady,persevering habits and his former experience,he was looked up to as quite an authority inthose parts.He had three children now, and there wasone who was never mentioned, but who wasalways in his thoughts, who slept in thelittle churchyard within sound of the breakerson the shore where he had met his death.Jacob had never been the same man sincehis sailor-boy had been drowned. But stillthere were some left for him to love. Therewas his little lame daughter Gracie, whosesweet face and gentle ways were a perpetualdelight to him, and whose infirmity madehe only more dear to his loving, fatherlyhe t; there was music to his ear in the

THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN. 9sound of her crutch, in her ringing laugh,and low, clear voice; and often and oftenwhen at his employment, during long daysand stormy nights, his mind was cheered withthe thought of the smile that would light upher face, and the cry of joy that would breakfrom her, when she heard "father's step"upon the shingle. And then there was"mother's pet," as he was always called,-the merry, laughing, mischievous Frank, whowould get his way in everything, and whowas the most active, playful, and handsomeboy that lived in Hardrick.Frank Williams was a general favourite,and was welcome everywhere; the fishermenunloading their boats smiled at the tricks ofthe boy as he pretended to help them, toldhim a hundred times to keep out of the way,and yet missed him if he was not in the har-bour when they came in. The mothers whowere busy in their cottages nodded to Frankas he passed, and gladly trusted their weetoddling things to his charge to be taken on

10 THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN.the shore, knowing that, wild as he was, hewould be faithful to his trust; and the chil-dren looked up in his face with perfect faith,feeling quite secure of his kindness andgentleness, and believing that he wouldalways defend them from the roughness andteasing of the village torment, Ralph Lennox.Gracie was not, to the eye of the casualobserver, so calculated to win affection as hermerry brother; and she seemed to know thisherself, for there was a timid shrinking inher manner, and she was accustomed alwaysto give place to Frank, thinking that it wouldbe quite wrong if people did not admire andlove him as much as she did herself. Butyet there were some who loved Gracie morethan Frank. There was an old fisherman atthe other side of the harbour, whom Graciealways called Uncle Peter, and who alwayscalled her "Sunshine," and watched for herdaily visit as the chief brightness of his lonelylife.There was old Dame Kenrick, who could

THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN. 11not see to read the blessed Book, but whoknew that Gracie would never pass her doorwithout going in to brighten her up by read-ing some of those words of comfort which shecould think of for the rest of the day; andher little grandson Abel, who had been illfor such a long time, while his face got palerand thinner, and his childish strength dwinedLABEL.away, had watched for the sound of Gracie'scrutch, and welcomed her approach to the

12 THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN.cottage door, where his father placed his smallwooden chair every morning when the sunshone. But Abel had gone to heaven now,and David, his father, had grown reckless,people said, since his little white-faced boyhad died, and changed his honest occupationof fishing for some work of dishonesty, andhad given up the little cottage by the sea;and now nobody knew where he lived, thoughhe was sometimes seen, in the gloom of theevening, stealing along the shore. Somesaid he was a wrecker, and watched withgreedy eyes for the spoils washed up by thewaves; and some called him Kenrick the"sheep-stealer; but he was the village mystery,and when mothers wanted to frighten theirchildren into good behaviour, they threatenedthem with the name of "wicked Kenrick."But we have wandered a long way fromthe cottage door, where we left Gracie sing-ing the baby to sleep. It took a long time.for the baby was not inclined to do as itssister wished; and Gracie with wistful eyes

THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN. 13watched the red sun going down over thesea, and knew that Uncle Peter was watch-ing for her, and that Frank was down inthe fishing harbour seeing the nets draggedin, and father's boat* would be coming insoon, and she would not be down on theshore to meet him; and it required all herpatience not to shake the baby by way ofhastening its slumbers."Gracie, Gracie," cried a merry voice ather side, " Uncle Peter says you must comedown to the harbour. Father's boat is comingin, and they've got a haul of mackerel-noneof your common pilchard this time, butbeautiful coloured mackerel-and they'releaping up in the net. Come quick, Gracie."" I can't, Frank, I can't. Look, baby's wideawake, and she'll cry if I put her down."" Mother will mind her till you come back;I'll ask her,"-and there was a touch ofsuperiority in the boy's tone, as if he knewthat he could be refused nothing, thoughGracie might. A little sigh burst from"1

14 THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN.Gracie as she heard tht emphasis he laidupon the words "I'll ask her;" but. it wasquickly stopped, for she had learned to"esteem others better than herself;" andquietly checking Frank's impetuosity bylaying her disengaged hand on his arm, shesaid, "Don't, Frank; mother's busy; shedon't want baby now. I'd rather stop, please.""Well, you're a fool to lose such a chance,that's all; but good-bye, I'm off! "And still Gracie sat on with the restlessbaby. For a moment or two a cloud over-shadowed the sweet calm of her face, but itpassed away as she gazed out towards thesunset, and watched the sun slowly dippingdown behind the water, and casting a brightred glow over the harbour, the fishing-boats,and the sturdy fishermen who were drawingin their nets. She was not near enough todistinguish faces, but she knew that herfather's voice was amongst those which sheheard mingling with the noise of the waves;and when she looked down into her little

16 THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN."Frank's a boy," said her mother, takingan iron from the fire, energetically rubbingit on the blanket, and then holding it to hercheek, while Gracie stood twirling her bonneton one finger and looking out of the window.There was a long silence, and at last thelittle girl said, "Mayn't I go, then ?"" Oh, go off if you like," said her motherangrily. So.Gracie went.But she was not happy; she did not lookat the scene in the harbour with the samepleasure she had done a few minutes before;she did not feel as if she had done right;and there darted into her mind the wordswhich were her daily motto, " If any manwill come after me, let him deny himselfand take up his cross and follow me." Shewas trying to come after her Master, andsurely for his sake she should take up thislittle cross; and so she turned round andentered the cottage, saying brightly, "Please,mother, I would rather help you."Her mother smiled; she did not know thes31w)

THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN. 15sister's face she saw that she was asleep, so,quietly rising up, she went into the cottage,where her mother was ironing some blueshirts of her father's, and laying her fingeron her lips, said in a hushed voice, " Mother,she's fast asleep;" then gently laying littlePeggy in the cradle, she added, "May I godown to the beach now, mother ?"Her mother was hot and irritated by herwork, which she had not got through asquickly as she wished, and she looked roundthe disorderly room, and replied curtly,"-" You're always running off to that beach;you should have a thought now and thenthat there'swork to be done at home. What'sthe use of you setting up to be better thanyour neighbours, if you don't practise it? "Gracie coloured. "I haven't been downin the harbour all day, mother.""Well, and what business has a big girllike you always to be running after the"fishermen?"- "Frank goes," replied Gracie.

THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN. 17motive which influenced her little daughter,but she guessed that it was some of " Gracie'squeer notions," which she was quite contentthat she should keep so long as they madeher the useful and sweet-tempered childthat she was at home, though she couldnever be like her pet Frank. And Graciefolded up the clothes that were scatteredover the table, and put some coal on thefire, filled the kettle and set it on, brushedup the hearth, put the net which Frank wasmaking into the corner, and then turnedround with a smile to ask her mother if therewas anything else which she could do. Theironing was finished, and Dame Williamswas folding up the blanket, and putting thepile of clothes into her husband's sea-chest,which was the receptacle for all the familywearing apparel. Now that the work wasover, the good woman was relieved, andboth herself and her temper began graduallyto cool down, and she looked kindly at herdaughter and said,-(s19) 2

18 THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN."No, thank ye, my dear-you're growinga nice handy little maid. I wonder fatherisn't come in.""They had a haul of mackerel, mother,"said Gracie, her heart beating fast withpleasure at the unusual praise bestowedupon her, and feeling at that moment as ifno mackerel haul she had ever seen was aswell worth looking at as that kind smile onmother's face."Mackerel was it, child ? Are you sureit was mackerel ?""Yes, mother; Frank came up and toldme.""Why didn't you go to see them ? it's apretty sight, a mackerel haul.""Baby wasn't asleep then," said Gracielooking down, so that she did not see hermother's approving glance; but Dame Wil-liams was quick of comprehension, she knewdirectly the sacrifice which the child hadmade, and as she walked over to the cup-board to get out the tea-things she stroked

THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN. 19Gracie's hair back from her forehead, andstooping down, left a hearty kiss there. Thiswas no common thing, and Gracie put itaway in her mind to be thought of in quietcorners and at happy times, and always tobring a thrill of joy to the heart of the lovingchild.And now there was a shout at the cottagedoor, and Frank burst in with a fine mackereldangling by its tail."There, mother,-there, Gracie,-that'smine. I dodged down under Uncle Peter'sarms, and I dragged this one out of the net;and they called me thief--and I laughed,and told them it would be so good for mysupper; and father's got beauties-a fine haul-here he comes." And just as Graciereached the door her father met her."Well, Mother Carey, why didn't youcome when I sent for you ?" (" MotherCarey's Chicken " was the pet name whichhe had given to his little daughter, in re-membrance of his early days, and the birds-v

20 THE.FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN.which he had so often protected in a storm,when they had sought refuge in the ship towhich he belonged.)"I was busy, father; I couldn't come then."THE FATHE'S RETURN."Silly lass, it's not every day we havesuch a haul-no pilchard this time. UnclePeter was lost without you; so I promised

THE FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN. 21you should go over to-morrow night andmake his cup o' tea, and show him you knowhow to broil a fish."A great hug was Gracie's only answer;and then she turned to admire Frank'smackerel, and to help her mother in gettingthe evening meal ready for the hungryfisherman.

CHAPTER II.TEA WITH UNCLE PETER." The roseate hues of early dawn,The brightness of the day,The crimson of the sunset sky,-How fast they fade away !" Oh for the pearly gates of heaven,Oh! for the golden floor,Oh! for the Sun of RighteousnessThat setteth nevermore! "" ERE I am, Uncle Peter-here Iam," said Gracie merrily, as shestood in the doorway of his hutthe next evening, a little beforesundown.There was no mistaking it for anythingbut a fisherman's abode, for outside thedoor there was the half of a boat standingon end, with a seat inside it, where Uncle

TEA WITH UNCLE PETER. 23Peter used to smoke his pipe, and whichGracie called his summer-house; on therocks near the cottage some nets werespread, and two oars were lying about; butthe interior of the dwelling was as tidy aspossible, though its furniture was scant andpoor. However, Uncle Peter always said itwas enough for him, and he would not haveexchanged it for the finest in the world."Why, Sunbeam, I began to think youwasn't coming any more, that you'd gottired of the old man and his yarns.""Then you are a very bad old uncle, andI'll go away again if you say that.""No, you won't," said the old fisherman,putting his arm round her, and kissing her."Now, what have you been doing with your-self ?"" Mother wanted me.""Why, I thought you told me that noone ever wanted you except me.""Well, but, Uncle Peter, don't you knowyou told me something then about trying to

24 TEA WITH UNCLE useful, and I have been trying, and sonow people do want me.""That's right, my lass; and so you'relearning that though you mayn't be able tobe a little craft yourself, you can still be anoar to help other crafts on.""Yes, Uncle Peter," replied the child,smiling at his simile."No, no, lass, our great Captain, he won'thave none of his hands idle; from the chiefmate down to the lad that mops the deck,every one's got their own work, and theymust see to do it, that it's done," continuedthe old man thoughtfully.It was to Uncle Peter that Gracie owedher "queer notions;" partly, at least. He hadstrengthened the early impressions whichher brother George had made ; for long agothe young sailor had told her "that sweetstory of old," of the holy life and death ofthe Saviour of mankind, and prayed thathis little sister might be brought into thefold of the Good Shepherd and made one of

TEA WITH UNCLE PETER. 25his lambs; and now his prayer was beinganswered, and Gracie was being led into the"green pastures" and "beside the stillwaters" which he had found so peaceful;and in her life the fruits of the Holy Spirit-were becoming daily more and more visible.- "Uncle Peter, do you know, there's onebad thing about coming to you, and onlyone," said the little girl as she hung herbonnet up."What's that, dearie ?""Why, I hate passing Simon Lennox'scottage, for if Ralph's outside he's sure tocall out, 'Humpty Dumpty,' or 'Run it,cripple,' or something cruel; and sometimeshe comes out and stops me-to-night he did.""And what did you do ?"" I looked him straight in the face andsaid, 'I'm not afraid of you, Ralph Lennox.'""He's a shocking bad lad," said Peter."Indeed he is; father doesn't like Frankgoing with him, but he does sometimes.""He's got a dreadful home, poor chap;

26 TEA WITH UNCLE PETER.his. father drinks-his mother's dead-andhis aunt scolds him terribly. I've seen thelad turned out of doors late on a winter'snight, and allowed to stop out all night;and then I've had him in here, and let himwarm himself, and given him a bit of mymind; but he has generally made a face atme, and gone off with an oath. Oh, he'llcome to some bad end !""I hope not," said little Gracie, puttingher hands over her eyes; and in her heartthere rose up a deep and strong yearning forthe wretched, loveless boy-poor, poor Ralph."Now, Gracie, we'll have our tea; andthen we'll go down to the Point, and I'lltake you out in the Sea Gull for a bit."Gracie's eyes brightened with delight, shedid so enjoy an evening with Uncle Peter;and then she moved about quietly arrangingtheir little meal, and broiled some fish inher best style; while the old man sat at hisdoor and smoked.When tea was over, Uncle Peter took

TEA WITH UNCLE PETER. 27down an old pea-jacket, and made Gracieput it on, to keep her "tight and warm," ashe said. She looked a funny little figurewith her cottage bonnet, her golden curlspeeping out underneath it, her pale face litup by a sunshiny smile of pleasure, hersimple little dress of dark blue, and the bigjacket over all coming down to her heels.Uncle Peter laughed heartily when helooked at her, and then took her hand, andthey set off in the direction of the Point,where his little white rowing-boat laymoored. Very gently the old man helpedthe little girl over the wet and slipperyrocks, into a comfortable seat in the stern,where she sat to steer, and then taking uphis oars, he began to push off from theshore; and Gracie in silent delight satlistening to the splash of the oars, andwatching them dip into the clear water, sosmoothly and steadily that it seemed notrbuble or exertion for the boat to go so fast."Look, Uncle Peter! Oh, do you see

28 TEA WITH UNCLE PETER.the sun's glory path ?" she cried at length,as she pointed to the glowing track of lightwhich was thrown across the sea from thesetting sun.The old man smiled, and turned the boatin that direction, fixing his eyes on theglorious scene as though it possessed somefascination for him."What is it like, Uncle Peter ? " said thelittle girl thoughtfully."Like many things, my child; the sunsetis a sermon to me every day."Gracie still looked inquiringly, for sheloved the simple fancies of the old fisher-man, and he went on,--" It's like the Christian's path to heaven.Christ the beginning of the way, Christ thewhole of the way, and Christ himself-theSun of Righteousness-in fuller glory at theend of the way,"Gracie looked up full of pleasure. " 0Uncle Peter, I think it's like the hymn wehad last Sunday,-

TEA WITH UNCLE PETER. 29" A light to shine upon the roadThat leads me to the Lamb.'""Yes, you're right, Sunbeam; and do yousee how the path gets brighter as it getsnearer the sun ?-' the path of the just is asthe shining light, which shineth more andmore unto the perfect day '-the perfect day;0 Gracie, child, what a day that'll be, withno squalls, no clouds, nothing but clear sun-shine.""Don't you think King Solomon musthave been looking at the sunset when hewrote that ?""Yes, child," said the old fisherman; buthis eyes were fixed on the sinking sun, andthe "glory path," as if his thoughts wereaway at the end of the pathway where allhis hopes and affections were fixed, and hecontinued, as if speaking to himself, "Yes,the waters of this stormy sea of life may berough and raging all round, but what needthe Christian mind so long as that lightshines across them and leads him to his

80 TEA WITH UNCLE PETER.home ? 'Walk as children of light,' " headded aloud.And Gracie repeated the words to herself,as her eyes wandered in the direction of thecottage home upon the shore where her life-work was carried on." Sing to me, Gracie," said Peter at length,after he had rowed on for some time in silence.Gracie thought for a moment, and thenbegan in a sweet, clear voice, which soundedpeculiarly so as the little boat glided throughthe water, the hymn commencing-" Why those fears? Behold, 'tis JesusHolds the helm and guides the ship."It was a long one, and the little girl did notsing all the verses, but chose out those whichshe knew Uncle Peter loved best; and theold man's voice chimed in with the child's,as she sang,-"Though the shore we hope to land onOnly by report is known,Yet we freely all abandon,Led by that report alone,And with JesusThrough the trackless deep move on.

STEA WITH UNCLE PETER. 81"Rendered safe by his protection,We shall pass the watery waste;Trusting to his wise direction,We shall gain the port at last,And with wonderThink on toils and dangers past.""Ay, ay," said Uncle Peter. "Thankyou, lass; I often think of that when I'mout in my fishing-smack. There's the lastof the sun, child, and it will be getting coldon the water.""And mother said I mustn't be late goinghtme," said Gracie.So Uncle Peter turned the boat round,and began rowing in towards the shore."Button that jacket up round your throat,Gracie."She did so, nestling her head down intothe warmth of the collar."Are you warm, dearie ?""Yes, Uncle Peter. Oh, I'm so happy-"I do love you so much !""Thank you, little Sunshine; it b'aintmany that's left to love old Peter now;"and there was a mournful tenderness in his

82 TEA WITH UNCLE PETER.voice as he said the last words, and yet headded in an undertone, as if to comfort him-self, "I have loved thee with an everlastinglove."No more words were exchanged untilthey reached the Point, where Uncle Petermoored the boat in safety, and gently liftedGracie out of it, carrying her over the rocksuntil they reached the smooth sand, wherehe put her down and took her hand as theywalked up to his cottage."Now, Uncle Peter, I must be going,"said Gracie."I'll take you back along the shore,"said Uncle Peter, when he had put his oarsaway in safety behind the house."No, no, Uncle Peter; please, I wouldrather not," said Gracie earnestly, for adesire had sprung up in her heart, whichshe hoped to put into execution; besideswhich she knew that Uncle Peter wasgetting old and infirm, and had had a hardday's labour.

TEA WITH UNCLE PETER. 83" "But aren't you afraid of passing SimonLennox's cottage ? ""No, not now-indeed, I'm not. I wouldrather, Uncle Peter. There, now, let melight your pipe and be off."The old man. consented, and sittingdown under the shadow of the boat, waiteduntil Gracie came out with his lit pipe, and7-7THE GOOD-NIGHT.divested of his pea-jacket, for which shehad exchanged her own little brown cape.(319) 3

34 TEA WITH UNCLE PETER."Good-night, Uncle Peter; I've had afine time to-night.""So have I, dearie; may the Almightybless thee, and bring thee safe to port atlast," he added tenderly, as he kissed herforehead; and 'then he watched her fondly,as, leaning on her crutch, she made slowprogress along the shore, until a turn in therocks hid her from his sight, and he relapsedinto deep thought.His was a simple, trusting mind. He hadnot escaped the buffeting of "the waves ofthis troublesome world," but the heavenlyPilot was his friend, and he was-" Calm amidst tumultuous motion,Knowing that his Lord was nigh."His wife had died when he was compara-tively young, leaving him two children.His boy Jack, who had been his greatestpride, had been drowned at sea before hiseyes; and his daughter Mary, weary of thequiet life on the shore, and hearing grandstories of the pleasures and delights of town,

TEA WITH UNCLE PETER. 35had run away from her home, and never beenheard of since, though every night UnclePeter took a long look up and down theshore in the hope of seeing the wandererreturning; but night after night, and yearafter year passed away, and still she camenot; and her name was nearly forgotten atHardrick, except in that loving father'sheart, who prayed daily that God wouldbring back his stray lamb, as he fondlycalled her. And in calm and steadfasttrust, the old man looked out over the sea,and thought lovingly and rejoicingly of thosewho had gone before him, and whose barkswere safely moored "in the haven wherethey would be."-A

CHAPTER III.GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE."So deeds of love will cheer and blessA low laborious life;So words of peace and gentlenessGlide in and soften strife."ITTLE Gracie, meanwhile, was walk-ing home very thoughtfully andslowly, though her heart began tobeat faster as she came in sight ofSimon Lennox's cottage, and shefeared that either the drunken sailor himselfor his scolding sister might appear; so shequickened her steps a little, and, as sheneared the wretched abode, she saw thedoor opened, and Ralph forcibly pushedoutside it. He turned round crying withrage and passion, and Gracie heard some

F'GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE. 3<wicked words fall from his lips; and then,sitting down upon a rock near the cottagedoor, the boy cried bitterly; in fact, it washardly a cry that he uttered, but rather ahowl of rage and fury mixed with pain, forhe was smarting from his aunt's blows.Gracie's courage melted away, and shetried to pass him as quickly as she could,hoping that he would not see her; but asshe did so her thoughts wandered back toUncle Peter's teaching, and she rememberedreading the parable of the Good Samaritanto him one day; and now she felt that shewas behaving just like the Levite and thepriest, whose conduct she had then con-demned so severely, for she too was"passing by on the other side" when afellow-creature was in trouble and distress.Surely she could return good for evil now;and so she went up to Ralph, and said, in alow, gentle voice, "Poor Ralph! "The boy started. Who could have spoken?Surely no one could be saying that to him-

88 GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE."1 Poor Ralph !"-and the voice which said thewords so gentle and so soft. He raised hishead, and his eyes fell upon Gracie.His was a strange face; there was sucha wonderful mixture in it. There werethe dark eyes, black hair, and olive com-plexion that belong to most of the childrenin that part of England; but the eyes hada wild, cunning, and yet frightened expres-sion in them, the mouth had a sullen com-pression, and the cheeks were haggard andpale. He looked like a half-starved crea-ture, and the blood which streamed fromhis nose in consequence of one of the blowshe had received increased his wretched ap-pearance. And yet, miserable and revolt-ing as he looked, Gracie softly repeated thewords, "Poor Ralph !"He held his hand up to stop the flow ofblood, but only muttered,-"Go along; I don't want none of yourtalk;" and yet there was a strange feelingin his heart, produced by those simple

GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE. 39words of the child whom he had delightedto tease by his cruel remarks, a feeling as ifhe longed to hear her say them again." I'm so sorry for you," said Gracie simply;"your nose is bleeding-are you hurt much ""Yes," and an oath followed; but Graciesaw that he was becoming whiter and whiter,and feared that he was going to faint."Put your head back upon that rock-there, that way-and I'll get some waterfor you," said the little girl quickly; and,looking about, she spied one of those oldtin cans which continually are seen lyingin the vicinity of a cottage, bent, dinged,and battered, and generally with a holein the bottom, which prevents them anylonger from filling the post of conveying"father's dinner" to him. Gracie pickedup one of this kind, dropped a quantity ofsea-weed into the bottom of it, and thendipped it into one of the clear pools of sea-water amongst the rocks, after which shetook out of her pocket her own little check

40 GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE.handkerchief, and, soaking it in the water,held it to poor Ralph's nose. The feelingTHE GOOD SAMARITANof the cold water against his face soon re-vived him, and when he no longer saw theblood streaming over his hand, the sight ofwhich had turned him sick and faint before,he grew better and raised himself up a little.But then the thought of his injuries cameback to him, and he howled louder than ever."Don't, don't, Ralph, please don't," criedGracie; " I can't bear to hear you cry.What's the matter ?"

GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE. 41"Why they've turned-they've turnedme out!"" Who ?" asked Gracie, wondering if shecould help or comfort him in any way."Aunt Poll; she knocked me over thehead 'cos I hadn't done nothing.""Well, go in now," suggested his littlecomforter." She'd thrash me again, or make dad doit.""What had you done?""I hadn't done nothing, only upset thepot that was boiling."" That was something, Ralph.""She's always a-beating and thrashingme, and I'd like to give it her, I should-ooh !-ooh !-ooh! " and a prolonged howlfollowed the words." Hush, Ralph; please don't," said Gracie;but Ralph found it a relief to vent his angryfeelings in words, and went on,-" I wish I was a man, growed up, I'd getthe toughest broomstick I could find, and

42 GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE.I'd thrash Aunt Poll all day; and everytime she cried out, I'd lay it on harder."" 0 Ralph, don't say such wicked, dread-ful words.""I would, I tell you, I would--I'd thrashher till she couldn't stand.""Then you would be a coward," saidGracie bravely; "for my father says nonebut a coward would raise his hand, to awoman." I wouldn't raise my hand, I'd raise thebroomstick, because it would lay on harder,"said Ralph, whose sobs were subsiding asthe pain gradually went off." The rain is coming on; won't you go andask her to let you come in ? It's cloudingover, and Uncle Peter said he thought itwould be a wet night."" She wouldn't let me in, I tell you.""But you'll get wet."" It wouldn't be the first time," he repliedsullenly, as he rose up to look at the blackclouds which were gathering overhead; but

GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE. 43he staggered back again, dizzy and weak."I can't stand.""What is the matter ?"" She beat me with the back of a brush;and I've had nothing to eat to-day.""Poor Ralph," said the pitying littleGracie softly; and then added, with a greateffort, "I'll go and ask her to let you in,and you can go to bed.""Do!" said Ralph earnestly; and soGracie summoned up all her courage andwent to the cottage door. Her first knockwas so feeble that it was not heard, but hersecond was louder, and Ralph's aunt liftedthe latch.Poll Lennox was a tall, powerful woman;she had a rough, hard, weather-beaten face,with a most repulsive scowl upon it, andshe spoke like a man, walked like a man,and, had it not been for her striped woollenpetticoat, looked like a man; for, in addi-tion to this, she wore a glazed hat con-stantly, a blue pea-jacket with brass but-

44 GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE.tons, and men's boots. The sleeves of thejacket were now rolled up, and revealed a pairof red and brawny arms. Gracie trembledas this fierce-looking woman addressed herin an angry voice,-"What do you want ?""I want Ralph's Aunt Poll.""Well ?""I want for Ralph to come in;" but hervoice trembled at the end of the sentence,and her eyes filled with tears." What business is it of yours, girl ? Gooff with yourself.""Please let him in; it's going to rain.""A wetting may take some of the sauceout of him.""But please let him in, he's sick anddizzy.""Will you go along, or must I makeyou ? " said Poll with a meaning gesture." I'm going, but I'm afraid Ralph will getsick if he's out in the wet, and he's so white,and his nose has been bleeding badly."

GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE. 45" Will you be off? " said Poll, slammingthe door in her face; and Gracie, baffled anddisappointed, returned to where Ralph wassitting awaiting her arrival."She won't let you in. I'm so sorry,poor Ralph; and I must go on, or motherwill be vexed.""Go on," said Ralph sulkily. " I knewshe wouldn't."Gracie looked at him for a moment, think-ing if there was anything else she could say.There was much she longed to say, but whichshyness kept back. And so, after a long,kind, pitying gaze into his miserable face,she said again, "Poor Ralph " and he sawthat tears were running down her cheeks.SShe quickly raised her hand to wipe themaway, and then walked on, very sorrowfully,comparing in her mind Ralph's lot and herown, which she had sometimes thought sohard. Before she turned the corner whichshut out Simon Lennox's cottage from herview, she turned round, and had the satisfac-

46 GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE.tion of seeing the cottage door opened, andPoll's head put out, and of hearing her cry,"Come in, you young dog, and behaveyourself;" and then she saw poor Ralph riseup and totter forwards, holding on by thecottage wall, until the door was shut uponhim, and, with a thankful heart, she con-tinued her walk. The evening shadowswere gathering quickly, and twilight wasfast giving place to darkness; but Graciewas now within sight of her father's cottage,and had not much further to go. Neverthe-less she was destined to meet with anotheradventure before reaching home, for she hadnot gone very far along the lonely shore,before she saw a dark figure coming uptowards her, whom, from his ragged appear-ance and fierce look, she knew to be Kenrickthe sheep-stealer. He never ventured outexcept at night, and Gracie had the samefear of him as all the other village childrenpossessed, and she walked out nearer to thesea to avoid him; but Kenrick did not intend

GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE. 47"that she should do this, and advanced tomeet her. "Good evening, Grace," he said;and Gracie replied, in a very low voice,"Good evening."" Look here, I've been watching this manyevenings for you."Gracie got more frightened. What couldhe mean ? what was he going to do ?" Please, I'm in a hurry," she said quickly."I'm out too late. Mother'll be vexed.""Wait a bit."" I mustn't wait," said Gracie again, andwishing in her heart that Uncle Peter hadbeen with her."Are you afraid of me, like the rest of'em?" said Kenrick, and there was a sorrow-ful tone in his voice.Gracie look up into his face wistfully, butthere seemed to be something there thatsatisfied her, for she answered quietly,-"No, I don't think I'm afraid of you.""Look here, I've been wanting to giveyou this;". and he put into her hand an old-

48 GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE.fashioned ornament, with a precious stonein the middle of it, which flashed andglittered even in the dim evening light." Oh, is it for me ?" asked Gracie, hereyes beaming with pleasure. " Where didyou get this pretty thing ?""From the sea," replied Kenrick, a strangesmile passing over his face as he spoke."You keep it, little one, for Abel's sake.""Dear little Abel," murmured Gracie."Ay, you loved him, and so did I; but itdoesn't matter now, only don't you think so.hard of Abel's father as the neighbours do-d'ye hear ?""No, I won't," said Gracie; "but-but-"and she hesitated and coloured very much." But what, lass ? speak up.""You aren't what they say you are, areyou?""Never mind what they say I am; youjust remember that I'd do anything for you.And now good-night, and don't be feared ofme when next I meet you."

GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE. 49In an instant he was gone. And thenGracie looked at the pretty jewel in herhand, and wondered where it came from.That had been an adventurous evening, butshe was not sorry that she had nearlyreached home; and then she saw her fathercoming to meet her, for he had been smok-ing his pipe outside the cottage door, andwatching for his little daughter's approach."Who were you speaking to ? " he asked,as soon as he had got up to her."David Kenrick, father; and look whathe gave me "" "Phew how came he to speak to you,child ?"" He wanted to give me this; look, father,this glittering, pretty thing; he says he gotit out of the sea !""Ay, I'll warrant he did," said Jacob."Off the body of some poor drowned ordrowning creature," he added in a lower tone." "0 father," said little Gracie with ashudder, "is it bad to keep it ? "(319) 4

50 GRACIE'S MINISTRY OF LOVE." No, no, my child; keep it if you fancy it.That's a queer chap."Gracie did fancy it, and so it was laid upwith her other little treasures, after havingbeen displayed to all the members of thefamily, and being commented on ratherseverely by Dame Williams.Ralph, meanwhile, had crept away to hislittle garret-room, and stretched himself, stiffand weary, on his wretched bed. But stillthere rang in his ears the words spoken bythat childish, pitying voice, " Poor Ralph "and the angry demon within his heart seemedto be silenced by the remembrance.

CHAPTER IV.A SEA-SIDE TALK." There is freedom in the ocean,There is spirit in the breeze,There is life in every motionOf the ever-restless seas." With the binding crest of foamIn the sunny radiance glancing,And the rippling sounds that come,Still dying, still advancing."-T was a fine clear day, about a weekafter Gracie's evening with UnclePeter, and she and Frank wereperched on the end of a ledge ofrocks which jutted out into the sea at low-water."Look, Gracie, there it comes I'vecounted eight; this is the ninth wave-yes,it is a big one-bang! what a roar it makes I "

52 A SEA-SIDE TALK." Father says it's the death-wave," repliedGracie, looking wistfully at the long line offoam breaking along the sandy shore."Why ?" asked her brother, as he dippedhis hand into the pool of sea-water by hisside, and played with the bright sea-weedsat the bottom of it." Because, sometimes when there's awreck, the poor sailors have got quite closeto shore, and then this big wave comes anddashes them back again.""Father's boat is out ever so far; look,Gracie, all over there " and Frank pointedeagerly to a dark speck out on the dancingwater. "Oh, I wish I might go in it withhim! I shall, when I am bigger."Gracie looked up fondly into his brightface, and said, "0 Frank! George .wentout, and he never, never came back again.I don't want you to go too ""Nonsense, Gracie; that's because you'reonly a silly girl; you don't suppose everyfisherman must be drowned, do you ?"

A SEA-SIDE TALK. 63"No, no," replied Gracie gently; "ofcourse I don't, Frank; but it's only that-that-""Well, what?" asked her brother im-patiently, flinging a stone from the rock onwhich they were sitting down into the water,which was tumbling and breaking in foambeneath them.-- ---FRANK AND GRACIE,Gracie laid her little -hand quietly on her,brother's dark, curly hair, and answered,-

54 A SEA-SIDE TALK."It's only, Frank, that I don't think Icould bear it if anything were to happen toyou. George loved me so, and he used tocarry me in his arms, and bring me shells,and sea-weeds, and all manner of wonderfulthings, and lift me up on the high rocks andkeep me safe there with his arms round me,while the great waves rolled up against therock and broke; "and then how we used tolaugh when the foam dashed up into ourfaces: and then, one night George went outfishing (not in father's boat, in another), andhe never came back. There was a storm,and the boat was upset; he struggled to-wards the shore-he could swim !-and hehad nearly reached it, when, oh!" andGracie covered her face with her hands asif to shut out the sight-" you know it all,Frank-don't you ?""I never heard it rightly; father neverspeaks about it, nor mother, and I onlyremember a noise when I was "in bed, andit woke me in my sleep. And then I saw

A SEA-SIDE TALK. 55George next day lying on his bed, and theytold me he was dead; but I thought hewas asleep, only he looked so white, andhis hair all wet with sea-water; but youwere down on the beach, Gracie, weren'tyou?""Yes, yes," said Gracie, shuddering;"mother and I. It was moonlight, andwe saw him so near the shore; and then abig wave came and washed him away backagain. We did not see him for some minutes,and then suddenly another great wavedashed him on shore;-but he was dead.The fishermen and sailors carried him up tothe cottage; but oh, Frank, nothing couldbring him back-nothing!" and the littlegirl's voice died away mournfully as sherepeated the word. There was silencebetween the brother and sister for someminutes; Gracie was gazing far away tothe horizon where the clouds and waterseemed to meet, and Frank looked at herthoughtful face, with its deep, earnest eyes,

56" A SEA-SIDE TALK.its pale cheeks, and its sweet, calm mouth,and then his eyes wandered down to thecrutch which lay beside her. At last hespoke,-"Gracie, was George like me, anything?""You should rather say, are you likehim ?" she replied, turning round with asmile. "I think you will be, Frank; butyou know our George was sixteen, and youare only nine.""I shall be ten, mother says, in sevenmonths more."Yes; but you are only nine now.""Then you are only thirteen."" I know that; I shall not be fourteen tillnext month," said Gracie, smiling; "butyour hair is dark, and George's was brightand sunny; and your eyes are brown, andhis were blue. I think you are like him inother things-you have the same sunburntface, and rosy cheeks, and smile like him.""That's why father sighs so sometimeswhen he looks at me."

A SEA-SIDE TALK. 57"Yes," replied Gracie; "it's five years,Frank, since that dreadful evening.""But look, look, Gracie the tide isrising; we must get back towards home,"and Frank sprang to his feet, and thenhelped his sister to get up, kindly and gently."Let us go into my cove," said Gracie,as she moved with difficulty along the ledgeof rock.Gracie's cove was a little sheltered corneramong the rocks where the waves nevercame; they were stopped by two largeboulders at the entrance of this little nook,and expending all their fury in dashingagainst them with'a great roar, they camein gently in small ripples, and broke onthe shining sand before they had reachedGracie's seat. This was a kind of naturalarm-chair of rock which George had foundfor her, and another large rock served for atable, while two or three ledges were usedfor shelves. Here the little girl spent agood part of her life; for, as she was not able

58 A SEA-SIDE join in the active sports of the otherchildren who lived in the small fishing-villageat Hardrick Cove, it was a great pleasureto her to sit in her little rock-chamberwatching the waves, which seemed likefamiliar friends and playmates to her, anddoing some work, or reading in her littlebooks.Frank's great delight was to ornamentthis little cove for his sister : the wild rock-creepers and all the flowering plants whichgrew near the sea hung in festoons from thetop of it, and were planted around the spot;a little mat of plaited sea-weed was underGracie's seat; large shells and stones wereits ornaments, and were arranged with greattaste; while near the entrance there was asmall natural basin amongst the rocks whichthe tide filled each day, and which was fullof beautiful sea-weeds of various colours,amongst which Frank sometimes discoveredlittle crabs crawling about to investigate thepremises.

A SEA-SIDE TALK. 59This was Gracie's cove, and she loved it.She and Frank had not long establishedthemselves in it that evening before theyspied a face peeping at them from roundthe corner of the rock."There's Ralph!" said Frank, jumpingup; and Gracie said merrily,-" Come in, Ralph; this is my rock-room."Ralph advanced shyly, and holding outsomething in his hand, he mumbled,-"I've come; I've brought it-there'ssome things for you in it.':"What is it,'Ralph ? ""Your rag, you lent me;" and in thediscoloured thing he held out, Gracie recog-nized her little handkerchief. She took itwith a smile, and began to untie the varioushard knots in which Ralph had fastened upits contents."What can it be? " said Gracie; butwhen the last knot was undone she dis-covered several sea-gulls' eggs, and one ortwo light-coloured shells. Frank instantly

60 A SEA-SIDE TALK.seized upon the eggs, and Gracie looked up intoRalph's face with a pleased laugh, and said,"I like them very much, Ralph; thank you.""Where did you get these, Ralph ?"cried Frank eagerly; "they're beauties "" Ah, I knows where they come from!"said Ralph, grinning with satisfaction at thereception his gift was meeting with."Tell us where," said Frank."That's a secret," replied Ralph." I want to get some.""It's out there," said Ralph, nodding inthe direction of a point of rock in the dis-tance, which was of a peculiarly dark colour,and was generally known by the name ofSea-Gull Point.Frank's face fell. " I'm not let go there,"he said sorrowfully.Ralph looked at him in surprise."Not let! why not? who won't let it? ""My father.""And do you really mean that you mindwhat your dad says ? "

A SEA-SIDE TALK. 61" Fathers are made to be obeyed," saidGracie, quoting one of her mother's favour-ite axioms."Ithink dads are meant to be cheated,"saidRalph, laughing bitterly. "Anyways, mine is.""Oh, don't, don't, Ralph,-you mustn'tspeak like that to us; we love ours, and liketo do what he tells us," said Gracie ear-nestly; but Frank did not speak, for hiseyes were fixed longingly on the Point.His father said it was dangerous there be-cause of the way the tide came up, and theshelving of the rocks; but Frank's spirit ofadventure was only the more roused by thethought of the danger."I'll put your eggs here, amongst mypretty things," said Gracie, arranging themon one of the ledges. " 0 Ralph, I'll showyou something that was given me;" andtaking from the bosom of her frock a baby'sstocking, she pulled out of it the ornamentwith the jewel in its centre, and a sixpencewith a hole in it.

62 A SEA-SIDE TALK.Ralph eyed the ornament with great curi-osity. "Where did you get that thing ? "" It was given me."" I wish it had been gived to me, and thesixpence along with it.""Uncle Peter gave me that.""Is that Peter Hamblywho lives near us ?""Yes."" I don't like him-because-""' Why don't you ? ""Because he talks Bible to me."A pained look flitted over Gracie's face." 0 Ralph !" she whispered, " if you onlyread that, perhaps you'd be happier.""Does you read it ? ""Yes.""And does it make you happy ? ""Yes; I love it."" But isn't it all about burning fire, wherethe bad folks go ? ""No ; there's a lot more.""I'm thinking-" said Ralph, very slowly."Well, what is it ? "

A SEA-SIDE TALK. 63"I'm thinking it'll be a good thing to seeAunt Poll burnt up."" 0 Ralph! if you only wouldn't saysuch words; I can't like you when you do."" I'll not call you Humpty Dumpty,never again."" You'd better not," said Frank fiercely." Look here," said Gracie, "shall I readyou a story; it's Sunday evening, and soyou can't do better than sit down here.""Very well, do !" said Ralph, throwinghimself down on the sandy floor of Gracie'srock-chamber; and then she opened her littleBible and read the history of Noah's ark,explaining it simply as she went on." That's a fine story," said Ralph; " I'd liketo have seen those beasts going into the ark."" That's the first ship that ever was made,isn't it, Gracie ? " asked Frank." I think so," said Gracie; "but what Ilike to think is, that God kept Noah so safewhile everybody else was drowned; I like toremember that when father's out on the water."

64 A SEA-SIDE TALK.4 ------ -- -THE STORY IN THE COVE."What book is that tale in ? " askedRalph, after a long pause.

A SEA-SIDE TALK. GB" In the Bible," replied Gracie simply."Well, now, that's odd.""Ralph, 1 wish you'd come to the Sun-day school with us," said Gracie."Me go, to Sunday school! " said Ralph,with a laugh."Yes-you," answered Gracie earnestly;"and then you'd learn about plenty of thesestories."" No, no; I'll come here at odd times, andyou may read us a bit if it's all as good as thatlast. And I must be off now, I'm thinking.""We must all be going home," saidGracie, rising and taking her crutch."I say, Ralph," said Frank, "are thosesea-gulls' eggs hard to get ? "" No, not a bit of it," said Ralph; "easyenough when you know the place. But Ican tell you where there's some withoutgoing to the Point-out at Gull Rock,"pointing to a dark rock out in the sea atsome little distance. And the cloud wentoff Frank's sunny face.(319) 5

CHAPTER V.ADRIFT !" Oh, well for the fisherman's boyThat he shouts with his sister at play;Oh, well for the sailor ladThat he sings in his boat on the bay.""cc OME, mother; let this child out a, bit," said Jacob Williams, one brightday soon after the scenes recountedf w in our last chapter. "She's beenworking hard. It's only fair sheshould play.""It's time she should work," said DameWilliams, looking up. "She'll grow up agood-for-norght, helpless lass if she doesn't."" Well, let her out to-day," said her father,smiling at the pleasure which was lightingup Gracie's face at the thought of a holiday.

ADRIFT! 67" You may go, Gracie; but be back be-fore sundown to take the baby," said hermother.And Gracie rose with a joyous face, putaway her knitting, tied on her bonnet, andthen set off in search of Frank. He was atno great distance, for she soon saw himplaying with Ralph on the rocks; butdirectly he caught sight of her he boundedover to her with a shout."Well done, Gracie! Is that plague of asock put away ? I'd rather go barefoot allmy days than that you should always be atthem."" I've got a holiday, Frank. Where shallwe go ?""Down to the rocks, near Uncle Peter's.""But he's out fishing.""Never mind; we'll go to the rocks."Gracie complied as usual, and Ralph wentwith them.SWhen they had reached the little land-ing-place where Uncle Peter's small white

68 ADRIFT .boat was moored, Frank came close up toGracie, and throwing one arm round herneck, said coaxingly, "Gracie, Ralph canrow beautifully. Will you just get in herefor a little while, and let us have one littlepull.""0 Frank, what would Uncle Petersay?""We'll be back before he comes in, andthen he won't mind.""But do you think father would let us ?""Yes; we aren't babies now; and Ralphis a big boy, and he can pull, and we'll beall safe."" I don't think it's right, Frank."" Oh do, Gracie; just for me-just be-cause I ask you."How could she refuse when those beauti-ful eyes were looking so beseechingly upinto her face ?"Well, just for a very little way," saidGracie. "But I'm afraid it's not right,Frank."

ADRIFT! 69" It can't be any harm," said Frank,springing into the boat; and then Graciewas helped into .her seat in the stern, andRalph took the oars.On, on they went dancing over the water,and Gracie soon forgot, in the delight of theboating, that she had said they would onlygo a very little way."Shall we go to the Gull Rock ?" saidRalph, when they had got some distancefrom the shore." Oh yes, yes," said Frank, longing to getthe much-coveted eggs.Half-an-hour's pulling brought them upto the rock; and running the boat into alittle creek, the two boys sprang out of it."What will you do, Gracie ?" askedFrank." I'll stay here," said Gracie. " I'll sitin the boat while you go and get the eggs.But make haste, please; because I must beback before sundown."" Oh yes; we'll be very quick."

70 ADRIFT!"The gulls' eggs are round the otherside," said Ralph." Is the boat safe here?" asked Gracie,looking rather anxiously at her position." Oh yes; and the tide is still comingin," said Ralph. " We'll be back before it'sturned.""All right;" and the little girl leanedback in the seat, and made herself quitecomfortable, to wait for them.It was very pleasant lying there, andwatching the birds curling and flying aboveher, and the waves coming up over therocks, and the little fishing-boats far out atsea, while the evening sun poured a flood ofglorious light over everything. But Graciebegan to fear, after some time, that theywould be too late in getting home, and towatch anxiously for the arrival of the boys.Her anxiety was greatly increased by feel-ing the boat moving a little. She thoughtit had been drawn up to high-water mark;but on looking down she saw the water all

ADRIFT 71around her, and perceived that she mostcertainly was further from the rock thanshe had been at first. And now every waveseemed to be sending her further and further.She tried to seize a rock that was juttingout into the water; but it was useless, forthe waves washed over it just as she stretchedher arms out towards it, and the boat wasfurther from it than ever. In another minuteshe would be past all the rocks, and out onthe wide sea!"Frank!" she cried, as loudly as shecould. " 0 Frank, come !"But it was only a dismal echo from therocks which repeated her words,-" Frank,come !" and another wave sent her furtherout to sea.She burst into tears, and covered her facewith her hands. But crying could do nogood; and she began at last to try anddiscover in which direction the tide wascarrying her. Alas it was away from theshore; and when they were outside their

72 ADRIFT!own little cove the sea was rough andstormy." Oh, why, why did I do it ? " sobbed thefrightened child. "I knew it was wrong,and I ought to have been firm; and now Ishall be drowned most likely, and then, oh,what will become of me when my last actwas disobedient! And Frank, poor Frank,is on that rock, and he will starve, and noone will know where he is; and mother andfather will watch for us to come back, andwe shall never come. Oh, what shall I do ?"And then Gracie clasped her hands andprayed. She prayed for forgiveness forevery sin in the name of her Saviour; sheprayed that she might be saved from thisfearful peril; and that if not, she might betaken to heaven for her Saviour's sake.But oh, above all things, she prayed thatFrank might be saved. What would motherdo if he was dead! And as long as shecould she prayed for him. Then she leanedback in the boat, which she felt was being

ADRIFT 73-42--WAADRIFT!carried further and further out to sea. Thesun had set, and darkness had come on.The moon, however, was beginning to rise,and the stars to come out one by one; butthe waves were stormy enough, and everynow and then a shower of spray drenchedthe poor little girl. She began to get verystiff and cold; and she found that she couldnot stretch herself out, she was so cramped.And on went the boat dancing over thewater, as if glad to be free from all control.

7-4 ADRIFT!By degrees a pleasanter feeling began tocreep over little Gracie. She felt drowsy,the pain of cramp and stiffness had goneaway, and she thought, as she laid her headdown on the edge of the boat, that sheheard murmurs in her ears like angels'voices calling her. The moon was shiningout above her, and the stars seemed to lookdown upon her with friendly eyes. She nolonger thought of the grief in her home, orof Frank's danger, but only how pleasant itwas to lie there, and how sorry she shouldbe to be roused by any one. And then-she thought no more. The moonlight shonedown upon the little white boat, and thestill whiter face resting on one of its seats,and the waves carried the boat up anddown, and sometimes washed over it sidesa little; but Gracie moved not-spoke not-and did not even feel, as she was drifted,on and on, into the great, restless, heavingocean.

CHAPTER VI.THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT." Oh, is it weed, or fish, or floating hair?A tress of golden hair,O' drowned maiden's hair,Above the nets at sea."" T'S a wild night, Michael-it's a wildnight, though it's fine," said an oldfisherman, who stood on the deckof his little fishing-smack lookingover the stormy sea."Yes, we can't do much," replied theother."Nothing, lad, nothing," said the oldman. " I'm glad we've no nets out.""Yes; look at that old chap asleep," saidthe younger speaker, pointing to an oldgray-haired and weather-beaten man who

76 THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT."was lying on the deck, with his head restingon a coil of rope."Yes, lad, he's getting on in years likemyself," said Joseph Pendrid; as he strucka light. and began to fill his pipe with to-bacco." It's a fine moon," remarked Michael,looking up."It is," replied Joseph; and then bothSmen stood in silence for some momentslooking out over the " watery waste."At last Joseph said hurriedly, "Michael,lad, you've younger eyes-than mine. Lookthere-look out yonder. D'ye see any-thing ?" and he pointed towards a smallobject on the water, which the moonlightrevealed distinctly." It's a boat, and it's drifting towardsus," said Michael. "I suppose some poorneighbour's boat has got loosed from theshore, and is being driven away to sea; andas it is coming right up against us, we'llstop it."

.THE RETURN .OF THE FISHING-BOAT. 77The boat came nearer and nearer, untilat last it got alongside of the fishing-smack.The moon shone directly upon it, and thefisherman perceived that it was half full ofwater."It's uncommon like Peter Hambly'slittle Sea Gull," said Joseph, as Michael"was endeavouring to fasten it to their ves-sel. But while he was doing so, a cry ofsurprise broke from him."Joseph-Joseph Pendrid! Look here,old man What's this ? " and he pointed tosomething which floated in the water; andthen, on looking more closely, he cried," It's a dead child! O Joseph, look here.Her head resting on the seat, her bonnet'swashed away, and this is her hair," and helifted up the mass of Gracie's golden hair,which had fallen about her; and then .theyoung man gently lifted the child out of theboat, and handed her up to Joseph."Well, here's a sorry sight," said the oldman tenderly, as he sat down with the poor

78 THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT.little girl in his arms. "You poor lamb,perhaps there's a father's heart a-breakingfor you," and he looked mournfully downupon the white face, and wrung the waterout of the fair hair, while Michael securedthe boat.At last Joseph cried out, "Peter! wakeup, will ye, Peter-Peter Hambly!" andthe old man who was sleeping on the deckroused himself, and looked up in sleepywonder." Come here, Peter. Here's a poor littledrowned maiden washed up against us in ahalf-swamped boat."Old Peter rose as quickly as he could,and came over to Joseph's side. Then bend-ing down, he looked long and earnestly intothe face of the lifeless child. It was astrange sight : the moonlight streamingdown upon the stormy water, the little fish-ing-smack, the rugged faces of the fisher-men, and that strangely still and marblewhite face, with the long damp hair hanging

THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT. 79about it. At last Peter Hambly spoke ina low, broken voice, "It's Gracie-it's mylittle Sunbeam!""IT'S GRACIE-IT'S MY LITTLE SUNBEAM.""Do you mean Jacob's Gracie?" saidJoseph."Yes," replied Peter, taking the childfrom his arms, and holding her closely in hisown. Then, looking up suddenly, he said,"Hush, will ye. Stop-she lives Joseph,

80 THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT.old friend, she lives! The Almighty bethanked!"Uncle Peter wrapped a warm coat of hisown round her, and then called to Michaelto bring him a small bottle of spirits whichhe knew was in the locker, and hastilyputting some into a little horn mug, hepoured it down the throat of the child;after which he chafed her cold hands, andeagerly watched for her to open her eyes.At last she did so, slowly and heavily;and looking wonderingly into Uncle Peter'sface, she said, "Where am I ?"" Safe, dearie; quite safe, with UnclePeter," said the old man joyfully, andpressing her closer and more tightly in hisarms."The night is cold and dark. I amwet.""Yes, child; but lie still. You'll soonbe warmer and drier.""Shall I be drowned ?""No, no, my dear; not if I knows it."

THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT. 81"How was it ? I forget," and the littlegirl's voice was dreamy and bewildered."Never mind, dearie. You were in theboat, and we picked you out, that's all."A look of recollection passed over herpale face." Oh, I know, I remember it all now;and Frank-O Uncle Peter! Frank's onthe rock, and he'll die Won't you go andtake him off?""Yes, my dear, in the morning we will;but it's dark now. If Frank's on the GullRock, he'll be safe for to-night. Lie downhere, little one, and go asleep. Old UnclePeter will take good care of his Sunbeam."And Gracie look earnestly at him for amoment, and said, "You are quite sure we'llgo to Frank in the morning ?""Yes, dearie."Then the child looked satisfied, and clasp-ing her arms round his neck, laid her headon his shoulder, and was fast asleep beforemany minutes had passed.(319) 6

82 THE 2ETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT.Uncle Peter sat quietly holding her forsome time, and thinking how marvellouswere the ways of that God who had guidedthe little boat over the stormy sea, andbrought the child through the perils of thedeep into safe keeping, And then the goodold man began wondering how Gracie hadcome to be in the boat at all; and afterturning it over several times in his ownmind, he settled that it was sure to be sometrick of that young cub Ralph Lennox's,and that that boy was certainly not born tobe drowned, for the good reason that hewould in all probability be hanged instead."When he found that Gracie was soundasleep, he carried her gently over to a quietcorner of the deck, laid her on a sail whichhe spread out, and then wrapped a largepiece of tarpaulin over her, lashing it down,to keep her warm.It was thus the morning sun found her,* when it shone out warm and bright overthe sea. The storm had abated, and the

THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT. 83.waves were stilled, and the fishing-smackwas "homeward bound." Gracie lay quietfor some time, thinking over all the strangeevents of the night before. Presently UnclePeter came to her, and stooped down tounfasten the rope which lashed the coveringover her."Well, Gracie, you didn't think to findyourself a prisoner in your old uncle's boat,did ye ? "" No, uncle," said Gracie, and her voice waslow and ashamed, her eyes filled with tears."What is it, dearie ? You know you'resafe.""Yes; but-""Well, what ?" said the old man, helpingher up, and giving her the crutch whichhe had just found in the bottom of the boat."0 Uncle Peter, I've been such anaughty, bad girl!" and the poor childbegan to cry most bitterly." Come, come, Sunbeam, this won't do.Don't, my dear, I don't like it;" and Uncle

84 THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT.Peter tried to remove the hands in whichGraciehad hidden her tearful face. " Whatis it you've done? "" We got into your boat when you wereaway, and-and went to Gull Rock-andthen I was waiting, and I was drifted away.O Uncle Peter, do forgive me," she sobbed." Who's we?" said Uncle Peter." Ralph, and Frank, and I; but I wasworst, because I could have stopped it anddidn't."" I knew that chap was at the bottom ofit," said the old fisherman." 0 Uncle Peter, it wasn't more himthan us. But oh, please forgive me; don'tbe angry with me, please don't."There was a merry twinkle in the oldman's eye as he replied,-" Why, Gracie, child, did you fancy thatI thought ye perfect ?""No, no, Uncle Peter; but have you for-given me ?""Yes, yes, child, now that you're safe,

THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT. 85I'll forgive ye; if you'd been drowned Inever would," and Uncle Peter shook his-head and tried to look very fierce; thenstooping down he kissed the little girl, andadded, seriously, " It shows us, lass, howcareful we must be; how easily we all ofus may fall into sin. Let it make youmore watchful, more prayerful, more humble.There, that's all the scolding the old manmeans to give you; only next time you wantto go out boating in the Sea Gull, givenotice to Peter Hambly, and he'll be proudto make you welcome to it, with or withouthis company, as you may think best."Then Gracie saw that it was all right,and she was content."Uncle Peter," she said at length, "arewe near the Gull Rock ?""No, dearie; we were there before youwoke this morning."" 0 uncle, and Frank-is he safe ?"" I hope so, for there were no tracks ofhim there."

86 THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT.Gracie's face fell."Look where we are, lass;" and on turn-ing round the little girl saw that they werejust coming into the harbour at HardrickCove."Look, who's waiting for you on thebeach ? " said Uncle Peter.And Gracie cried out joyfully, " Oh, it'sfather, and-and-yes it is Frank; UnclePeter, look, it's Frank."At the same moment there was a joyfulsound from the shore."Father, here's our Gracie! Gracie !-Gracie!" and Frank could hardly be keptfrom running through the surf to reach hissister.A few minutes more, and Jacob Williamsclasped his little daughter in his arms."Father, please forgive me," whisperedGracie, pressing her cheek close to his."Yes, my child; yes, I will-you've hadenough to bear, poor lamb; only, don'tfrighten us so again! "

THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT. 87"Frank, how did you get back ?" askedGracie, looking down' from her exalted posi-tion upon her little brother, who was trottingalong by his father's side, holding on to theend of his coat."We came to look for you, and you weregone; and we couldn't see you, and wethought we should die there; and SimonLennox came late in the night and took ushome in his boat. He said he knew prettywell where to look for Ralph."" Will mother be angry? " whisperedGracie to her father."No, no, child." And then DameWilliams appeared at the door, looking outto see if there were any signs of their re-turn. When she saw Gracie in her father'sarms, a hearty "Thank God !" burst fromher; and though she had prepared a frownby the time they reached her, yet the joyoussatisfaction written on her broad face wasunmistakable."Please, mother, I'm so sorry," said Gracie.

88 THE RETURN OF THE FISHING-BOAT."Indeed, I hope you are, you naughtygirl, for giving us all this worry," said theworthy dame."Now, mother, don't worret the child.'She was lost, and is found;' let that beenough for us, and make us thankful for therest of our days," said her husband.Dame Williams's countenance relaxed, andthe tears gathered in her eyes, as she heldout her arms to Gracie, who sprung intothem; and the kiss which passed betweenthe mother and daughter told of completereconciliation.They were soon seated at breakfast,during the course of which Gracie lookedup quietly and asked Frank how manygulls' eggs he had found at the rock; andFrank looked very sheepish, hung downhis head, and answered, "None !"

CHAPTER VII.HASTE TO THE RESCUE !"Man the life-boat! man the life-boat 1Help, or yon ship is lost!Man the life-boat! man the life-boat!See how she's tempest-tossed."Life-saving ark-yon doomed barqueImmortal souls doth bear;Nor gems, nor gold, nor wealth untold,But men, brave men, are there."HE next few weeks passed away veryquietly in Gracie's home. The chil-dren had had a fright, and its effectswere visible for some time. Graciewas quiet and subdued, and Frank was lesswild and mischievous, and clung to hissister with warmer love than ever. Ralph,too, was not the same boy that he had for-merly been, for his intercourse with Gracie

90 HASTE TO THE RESCUEhad softened his rough ways, and given himfresh interests and pleasures. His greatdelight was to find curious things for Gracie,and bring them to her to ornament her cove;and his knowledge of all the places aroundhelped him in this. Frank used often toaccompany him in his wild searches aftersea-birds' eggs, rare sea-weeds and shells,or pebbles to lay down as a flooring inthe rock-chamber; and though Jacob Wil-liams sometimes watched in fearfulness andanxiety the growing friendship between thetwo boys, he trusted very much to Gracie'sinfluence to counteract the bad effects ofcompanionship with Ralph, while he feltthat the wild neglected boy might perhapsbe kept from much that was evil by asso-ciating with his children.Gracie's life went on very quietly; herdaily round of household duties was per-formed patiently and steadily, and hergentle influence for good was very percep-tible. She seemed to live with the one

HASTE TO THE RESCUE 91thought always uppermost, how she mightshow her love to Him who had shown suchwondrous love to her; and this ruling motiveseemed to brighten everything she did. Noaction was too small to come under itspower, and it lightened every cross, andmade every trial less painful to her.It was about six weeks after that night ofadventure which we told of in the lastchapter, and the day had been one of rainand wind.The leaden colour of the sky was re-flected in the sea, except where the whitefoam of the crested waves broke the mono-tonous gray, and the noise of the breakerson the shore was like that of great gunsbooming. The fisher's boats were all safelymoored in the harbour, for "nothing couldlive in such a sea," they said; and the fisher-men themselves were mending their nets, orplaying with their children in their varioushomes.It was drawing towards evening, and

92 HASTE TO THE RESCUE !Gracie's work was finished; the baby wasasleep in its cradle, the dame was preparingthe evening meal, Frank was making a netby the fire, and Jacob sat near the cottagewindow with one arm round his littledaughter, whose head was resting on hisshoulder as she stood by his side.The wind howled in fury as it swept pastthe cottage door, an occasional peal ofthunder rent the air, and a vivid flash oflightning lit up the seething, restless water." 0 father, it's a terrible night," saidGracie fearfully, as they looked out at thewild scene before them in the dim twilight." It is, my lass; you must pray for thoseat sea."Gracie's arm tightened round his neck, asif she would, by that means, express herthankfulness for his safety." Should you be 'feared, lass, if you wereout to-night ?" said Jacob." I don't know, daddy; I should think ofsomething."

HASTE TO THE RESCUE! 93A STORMY NIGHT." What should you think of?"Gracie hesitated, but at length she re-