Citation
Casper

Material Information

Title:
Casper
Series Title:
Ellen Montgomery's book shelf
Creator:
Warner, Susan, 1819-1885
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Woodfall and Kinder ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
George Routledge & Sons,
George Routledge & Sons
Manufacturer:
Woodfall and Kinder
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1875
Language:
English
Edition:
New ed.
Physical Description:
127 p., [2] leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 16 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Country life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Happiness -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children and death -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1875 ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre:
Prize books (Provenance) ( rbprov )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Summary:
Casper was a miserable boy because his mother and brother passed away. One day on a dusty country road, he met a lady who took him to visit Mrs. Cheerful who was blind but a happy Christian. Becoming acquainted with Mrs. Cheerful changed Casper's life.
General Note:
Added title page and frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note:
Date of publication from prize inscription.
Statement of Responsibility:
by the author of "The wide, wide world," "Queechey," etc. ect.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
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 (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
ALH9924 ( NOTIS )
60786746 ( OCLC )
027009615 ( AlephBibNum )

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CASPER.





BY THE AUTHOR OF

WIDE WORLD’ QUEECHY; ETS

if KS
ai
i



LONDON: GEORGE R -E AND SONS.
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL.



Ellen Montgomery's Pooksbelt.

CASPER.

BY THE AUTHORS OF

‘CmHE WIDE, WIDE WORLD,” ‘‘ QUEECHY,”
ETC. ETC.

4 WEW EDITION.

LONDON:
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.



CASPER.

CHAPTER I.

“ Y am very miserable!” said Casper.

Other people would have thought so too.

He sat alone in the dusty highway ; the dust making
no great change in the colour of his clothes, which were
ald as well, and ragged. Feet and face and hands were
of the same defiled colour; and only the tear channels
on his cheeks declared the fact that Casper was origin-
ally a white boy. At present he was a dark picture in
a very bright setting.

For it was as fair a summer’s day as often rises upon
this world of sin and sorrow,—with birds twittering out
their heart’s delight in the sunshine, and flowers that
bloomed and scented the soft breeze ;—Sunday morning,
too, of all days in the week ; and from the little village
that lay scattered like a flock of sheep on the hill-side,
went up a slender spire and rang forth the Sabbath
bells. O, but they were musical! Not the iron things
themselves particularly—they were old and work-worn,
like many of the villagers. But old as they looked, and
silent as they hung all the week, it was given to them
on Sunday morning to speak sweet things—sweet, com-
forting, and peaceful. And now whenever Casper heard
them, his tears overflowed their former channels, and
made strange devastation beyond. |

Az



& CASPER.

“ Yes, I am very miserable!” he said, after one of
these bursts. And as he said so he sat up and looked
around.

He was tired out now, and his eyes wandered about
from one thing to another till they had seen whatever
there was in sight. The handful of village houses—the
green slope—the trees in their full leaf, and the birds in
their full joy. The road, the little pond,—then the
blue sky. How blue it was! There was nothing to
break the blue but a speck or two of white cloud; and
they sailed so softly and looked so fair that Casper’s
eyes were fixed, and he gazed till his neck ached so that
he could bear it no longer: then his head came down
again.

There was something new to be seen on earth now—
a young lady; and she close at his side. Her dress was
so white and floating, that Casper straightway looked
up at the two white clouds overhead, to see if one of
them had not come down, bringing with it enough blue
sky fora good large pair of eyes: but they were there
still. Then Casper looked again at the lady.

“ Little boy,” she said, “ will you show me the way to
Mrs. Cheerful’s cottage ?”

Casper looked at her without speaking.

“ You know the way all about the village, don’t you?”

“ Yes,” said Casper.

“Then will you show me?”

cs a you going to church?” said Casper.

0.”

“ Where then 2?”

“To Mrs. Cheerful’s.”

“ Did you ever go there before?”

“ Yes, often.”

“ Then you know the way,” said Casper, relapsing.

“ No, Idon’t—not by this-road. And if I go back,
and go round by the other road, I shall be very late.
Won’t you show me ?”

“ No—TI can’t,” said Casper, his breast heaving anew



CASPER. 5

as he caught sight of his dusty little feet so near that
white dress. “ I can’t—I’m miserable!”

“ Miserable!” said the lady. “ But if you won’t
help other people you'll always be miserable as long as
rou live.” |

“ Shall I?” said Casper. “I guess I shall, too.”

“ Then begin to help now—jump up and show me the
way to Mrs. Cheerful’s.”

“ What for?” said Casper.

“ What for!” said the young lady. “ Why, because
I want you to. Do you never try to please other
people ?”

“T don’t know,” said Casper,—“ father don’t. Heal-
ways did what mother didn’t want him to. That’s why
I’m here—mother’s dead, and he drives me out. I’m
her little boy—and I’m so miserable!”

“ O, don’t cry!”’ said the young lady, stooping down
over him—“it won’t doa bit of good. See here—what’s
your name? Johnny, or Tommy, or Willy?”

“ My name’s Casper—brother’s was Johnny, but he’s
dead.”

“ Well, I wouldn’t cry about it. Ishould think you’d
be miserable down there in the dust. Why don’t you
get up and wash your face, and make yourself look like
a Christian ?”

“ What is a Christian ?” said Casper.

“ One would think the child had never lived in a
civilised country!” said the young lady. “ Casper,
don’t you think it would be very nice if somebody would
come and try to keep you from being miserable ?”’

“ Ves,” said Casper.

“ Then I think it would be nice if you would do as
much for somebody else. I’m not miserable, to be sure,
but this old Mrs. Cheerful that I’m going to see, she’s
blind, Casper, just think of that! and very poor, and she
lives all alone. Wouldn’t you like to do something for
her ?”

“ T can’t,” said Casper.



6 CASPER.

“ Yes, you can—you can show me the way there, and
I'm going to read to her.”

It was such a new and striking idea to Casper—that
of trying to comfort somebody else—that he got up at
once, without saying another word, and began to patter
along in the dust towards Mrs. Cheerful’s. So fast in-
deed did he go, that his companion more than once
called out—

“ Stop, Casper! if you walk so fast you will make me
miserable”? Which remark always brought him to a
stand.

“Ts she miserable?” he said, stopping short as they
approached the cottage.

“Who? Mrs. Cheerful? Don’t you think she ought
to be—when she is blind and so poor ?”.

“Is anybody else?” said Casper.

“ Why yes, child—a great many people,—almost every-
body in the village, 1 suppose, in one way or another.
Did you never see anybody miserable but yourself ?”

“ Only mother.” ;

“Well, plenty of other people are. And now good
bye, and there’s sixpence for you. You'll forget all
about crying to-morrow, I dare say.”

Casper stood and looked after her as she floated into
the cottage, and then, with a sudden desire to see how
so miserable a person as Mrs. Cheerful must look, he
went softly up to the hut, and searched until he found
a loophole. It was not hard to find,—the hut was built
of logs, and the chinking of moss was in many places
loosened or blown in by the wind; but when Casper
peeped through he did not see just what he expected.

‘The hut was as rough within as it was without, with
its log sides and old worn-out floor, and its little bit of
a window. There was a bed—so thin that you could
almost see through it (the wind could, quite), and the
covers were old and threadbare, though very clean. A -
little three-legged table, on which lay a large book, two
wooden stools, and one chair with a back and seat of old



CASPER. 7

bits of carpet ; a tea-kettle, a frying-pan, and a flat iron,
were on the hearth; and two cups and saucers, three
plates, a tin pan, a yellow earthen dish, and a brown
earthen pitcher, were neatly arranged upon the shelves
of a little corner cupboard. But the room was so clean,
and the dishes and pans so bright, and the sun came in
with such a broad stream through the open door, that
the room looked well in spite of its poverty. Upon the
threshold and door-stone two or three little sparrows
were hopping about, and one had even ventured in, and
stood chirping, and turning his pretty head, as if he ex-
pected crumbs and was in the habit of getting them.

There were two people in the room. Close in one
corner of the fireplace, though there was no fire, sata
girl, rough and coarse-looking like the hut itself.

The young lady in the white frock sat on one of the
stools, her bonnet hanging on her arm, and opposite to
her sat Mrs. Cheerful, in the carpet chair. Casper’s eyes
had been roaming all round the hut, but when they
reached her tney never stirred again.

She was dressed in a dark gray gown of some coarse
stuff, with a brown apron and very black shoes; her
hair was neatly put up, and round about her head,
across her eyes, went a broad brown ribbon, and was tied
ina knot behind. Her hands lay quietly in her lap,
and the smile upon her face was so peaceful and bright
that Casper wondered. He looked and looked, never
moving his eye from the chink in the wall, unless when
one eye got tired and he put the other one there. He
saw the young lady take the big book and read; saw
that the girl in the corner looked very sleepy, and that
Mrs. Cheerful interrupted the reader now and then, to
say something herself; but he could not hear a word.
At last the young lady shut the book, and began to tie
on her bonnet, and then Casper jumped up and ran
away.

There were woods at the back of the house, and through
the woods ran a brook, and by the side of the brook Cas-



8 CASPER.

per sat down. He had forgotten his misery while peep-
ing into the hut, but now it began to come back again.
He looked down into the little pools the brook made be-
hind the large stones in its way, and there were whole
shoals of tiny fish, whisking about in every direction ;
but when they saw Casper they darted off and hid under
the great stone. Then by-and-by, when he was quiet,
they came stealing out again.

Ife looked up into the great trees that waved over his
head, and there were birds, as playful as the fish and
more busy. Some of them were little green warblers,
that put their heads a one side and said “ Ba-bee!” so
pitifully that Casper felt sure they didn’t feel very
happy ; and then there were great blue jays, that took
no notice of anybody, unless to scold. Then Casper
saw little brown sparrows, just like the ones on Mrs.
Cheerful’s door-step.

One of these came down and perched onan old branch
of a tree that lay in the brook, and bobbed his head to
Casper two or three times, and then began to sing—

“Pretty! Pretty!
Little boy, look!
Why don’t you wash your face in the brook?”

And souse he went in himself to set the example.
Casper thought he would surely be drowned ; but no—
up he came again, all dripping and fresh—shook his
feathers, and went in for another plunge.

Casper wondered whether he had learned to wash at
that rate from going so often to Mrs. Cheerful’s clean
hut, or whether he washed because he was going there.
Then the bird took one more dip, and flying up into the
tree sang again—

“Pretty ! Pretty !
Little boy, look !
Why don’t you wash your face in the brook?”

He looked so fresh and comfortable after his bath,



CASPER. 9

that Casper felt half inclined to try what effect the
brook would have on himself; and by way of experi-
ment he had just dipped in one of his dusty little toes,
when he heard a voice behind him.

“ Little boy—” it said.

Casper looked round, expecting to see another sparrow
who was come to give him another lecture on bathing,
but it was only a little girl. Casper couldn’t imagine
why she looked so pretty, but she did: yet her dress
was of no better stuff than his own. She had a blue
check frock—just like his mother’s aprons, Casper re-
membered—with thick black shoes and white knitted
cotton stockings and no pantalettes, and her little flat
straw hat was the coarsest, Casper thought, that he had
ever seen. It was tied under her chin and. round the
crown with black ribbon, but there were no long ends.
Casper looked at her from head to foot, and she looked
at Casper.

“ Little boy,” she said, “ have you been to church ?”

“ No,” said Casper, “have you ?”

“ Yes,” said the child. “Why didn’t you go?”

“ T don’t ever go,” said Casper. :

The little girl looked surprised, and still more grieved.

“T always go,” she said simply, “and mother used to.
Why don’t you?”

“T can’t,” said Casper. “I haven’t got any clothes,
and nobody wants me to, and I’m all dusty—and—and
—because I’m miserable !”’

“Oh!——” said the little girl, opening her eyes
very wide and looking graver than before. “But why
don’t you wash the dust off?”

It was one thing he could do, certainly ; but Casper
didn’t want to be told, just then, what he could do—he
liked better to think of the things that he couldn’t. So
he only answered—

“T don’t care!”

“ What made you cry ?” said the little girl, when she
had stood silent tor a minute.



10 CASPER.

“ Because I’m miserable,” said Casper, the tears
rushing out again. “ Mother is dead, and there isn’t
any one else!”

“Oh !——_~” said the little girl again. And she stood
still as before. Then she said,

“Don’t you want to come and see my mother ?”

“ Where does she live?” said Casper looking up.

“ Just here, in the cottage.”

“Is Mrs. Cheerful your mother ?” said Casper.

“ Yes,” said the child.

“ She isn’t miserable a bit!” said Casper—“ and they
said she was!”

“QO no,” said the child earnestly —“ my mother isn’t
miserable! She couldn’t be, because God loves her so
much.”

“ How do you know He does!” said Casper, quite in-
terested in such a new set of ideas.

“ Because she loves Him more than everything else in
the world,” said the child; “and God says in the Bible,
‘I love them that love me.’”

“What made Him let her be blind, then?” said
Casper.

“T don’t know,” said the child, her lip quivering—
“ Tle knows, mother says.” But she covered her face
with her hands, and burst into tears.

“ T didn’t mean to make you cry,” said Casper. “I’m
sorry.”

“Tt was so pleasant,” said the little girl, looking up
and speaking as if her tears needed some excuse,—“ It
was so pleasant before mother was sick, when she could
go about with me, and look at the flowers and birds and
beautiful things; she loves them so much.”

“ Can’t she go about now ?” said Casper.

“No,” said the child, with a heavy sigh—“ she isn’t
yften strong enough to walk far. And she couldn’t see
em any way. I must go right home this minute—she’ll
be frightened. Don’t you want to see her?”

“ T have seen her,” said Casper,



CASPER. 1}

“Have you?” said the child. “Did she talk to
ou Nae
a No,” said Casper. “And I only saw her through
the logs.”

The little girl looked as if she thought that a very
funny way of seeing people.

“ Well, come now then,” she repeated.

“No, I won't,” said Casper,—“ I'll go to the door—
I won’t go in—I’m too dusty.”

And he got up and walked along by his new friend,
wondering if the dust ever got hold of her.

“ Where did you get your hat ?” he said suddenly.

“T made it.”

“ You didn’t brazed it?” said Casper.

“Yes, I did,” said the child. ‘“ Mother taught me
how to braid, and Farmer Sickles let me come and cut
off oat straws in his barn, till I had enough.”

“ Well, what do you wear a black ribbon on it for?”
said Casper.

“ Because it was the only one mother had,” said the
child simply. “It isn’t so pretty as blue, I suppose,
but it’s a nice broad ribbon to tie, and my hat never
blows off. What’s your name?”

“ Casper Knight.” |

“ Well, mine’s Ruth Cheerful ; and I know mother 71}
be glad to see you, any time you'll come. Good bye.”

Casper stood still till the little blue check dress had
all gone through the doorway, and then he started off
and ran as fast he could along the road—-perhaps, for
fear that Mrs, Cheerful would come out after him,



192 CASFER,

CHAPTER II.

For several days Casper kept away from Mrs. Cheerful’s
cottage most carefully. Not thatit was pleasanter than
usual at home—everything there was as dirty and noisy
and disagreeable as it could be; and Casper spent the
most of his time out of doors, and was miserable enough.

But he couldn’t make up his mind to go to the cottage
—he couldn’t make up any reason for going. If the
young lady would have asked him to show her the way
there now, how gladly would he have done it! and he
sat and stood and lay about in the road where he had first
‘seen her, hoping that she might come and send him on
some errand to Mrs. Cheerful. But nobody came by,
except wagons to raise a great cloud of dust, or some of
the village boys to get him to play with them, or their
fathers and mothers to call him idle and good for
nothing.

Casper began to long to see Ruth’s kind little face,
and her clean frock ; and he wondered if the sparrow
still kept up his bathing habits. Suddenly he remem-
bered that Ruth had said her mother loved flowers, and
that the young lady had told him he would always be
miserable if he didn’t try to please other people. Casper
jumped right up out of the dust, and ran off as fast
as he could to a meadow where he thought he had
seen some flowers. ‘There they were still—in great
yellow tufts.

Now the meadow was very wet, but that didn’t sig-
nify,—Casper rolled up his trowsers and plunged into
the mud; wading about, and jumping from bog to bog,
never thinking of the mud, until he had his hands full of
the yellow flowers. But when he came out Casper looked -
at himself in dismay. The dust had been bad enough—
the mud was worse; and both together made him a
sight to be seen. Could such a little figure carry yel-



CASPER. 13:

low flowers to Mrs. Cheerful, and walk about over her
clean floor ?

“YT am miserable!” he cried, throwing down the
flowers and putting his hands into his eyes—and the
eyes looked none the cleaner for such attention. Then
came up to him little Ruth’s gentle words—

“ Why don’t you wash it off ?”

Casper took down his hands and looked at them—
water would take it off, no doubt; and he scampered
away to the little stream that came out of the meadow
and ran across the road. There was plenty of pure
water rippling on over the pebbles, and the mud was:
very good-natured and came off with no trouble at all,
and the dust after it. Casper didn’t know his hands.
again, and wouldn’t have known his face, had he seen
it. He thought it was a great pity that he could not
wash his jacket, but that wouldn’t dry in a minute ; so
he took it off and gave it a good shaking and put it on
again. Then he smoothed down his hair with his little
wet hands, as he had seen the labourers do when they
came home to dinner, and, pulling up a tuft of grass,
he tried to rub off the spots of mud with which his.
trowsers were spattered. The last thing was to dip his
flowers in the brook, that they might look quite fresh,
and then Casper was ready.

It would have amused any one to see him on his way
to the cottage, as he bounded from tuft to tuft of the
grass that was springing by the wayside; or walked
along a piece of stick, or picked his way by the help of
little stones ; and all to keep his feet clean. But as he
came near the cottage he remembered Ruth’s little
black shoes; and his breast heaved, for he had nota
pair in the world. He stood still for a long time, not
wanting to go forward. went up from the hut, but everything else was still:
only Casper saw the birds flying off to the brook, and
supposed they had gone in bathing. Presently he heard



14 CASPER.

some one singing off in the woods, and as the little voice
came nearer it sang these words :—
“ Jesus, listen now to me—

I thy little child would be.

Hear my prayer, and grant it too,

Make my heart entirely new.”
And little Ruth Cheerful came tripping out of the wood,
with a great basket of chips on her head. Casper looked
down for the black shoes, but they were gone; and only
Ruth’s little bare feet stood on the moss.

“©, good morning,” she said. “ Why didn’t you come
before? O, what beautiful flowers !”

“You may have ’em,” said Casper, holding out his
great bunch of cowslips.

Ruth set down her basket and took the flowers.

“ How pretty they are!” she said, “I’m very much
obliged to you! Did you bring them for me ?”

“Yes,” said Casper. “No, I didn’t either—you said
your mother liked flowers.”

“QO well, that’s just as good,” said little Ruth, smell-
ing the cowslips,—“ better too, I think—You’ll come in
and see her to-day, won’t you ?”

“No, I guess not,” said Casper, whose boldness seemed
to have left his hand with the flowers.

“Q, yes, you will,” said Ruth,—* come !” and she took
up her basket again and marched on ; while Casper fol-
lowed with doubtful steps.

‘Ruth !” he said, “stop!”

And Ruth stopped and sat down her basket.

“ What’s the matter?”

“T’m not going in,” said Casper. “ Let’s go down to
the brook and play.”

“T can’t,” said Ruth. “ Mother wouldn’t like it. I
must go now.” | :

And she turned and walked on. ;

Casper walked after her, thinking to himself that he —
might offer to carry that heavy basket of chips—that



CASPER, 15

perhaps it wouldn’t feel so heavy on his head as it was
on hers—and at last that he didn’t want to plague him.
self with it. “Do you never try to please other peo-
ple ?”’ the young lady had said to him. “ Wouldn’t you
like to have somebody to try to please you ?”

“Ruth,” said Casper, “is your basket heavy ?”

“ Pretty heavy,” said Ruth, as her little bare feet went
somewhat unsteadily over the rocks.

“ Well, give it to me, and [’ll carry it.”

“0, thank you!’ said Ruth, stopping short with a

‘very bright face,—“that would rest me nicely. But I
don’t believe you can.”

“A boy can do as much as a girl,” said Casper.
“They’re a great deal stronger. What have you done
with your other straw hat ?”

“Q, that’s for Sundays,” said Ruth, whose week-day
hat was tied with strings of red flannel. “ Will you
carry the basket in your hand ?”

“On my head,” said Casper. “ You do.”

“JT thought maybe as you were so strong—” said
Ruth,—“ it’s harder to hold it in your hand, unless you
are strong. Stoop down then, Casper, and I’ll put it on
your head.” :

So Casper stooped down, and when the basket was on
his head he took hold with both hands to keep it there.
Then he remembered that Ruth never touched it with
her hands, and he took his down at once. And the
basket. followed. Down, down,—a perfect shower of
chips, all over Casper’s head and shoulders, the minute
he let go. The chips lodged on his shoulders, and stuck
in his hair, and fell into his pockets ; while the basket
bounded away and went rolling down the hill.

“ What a hateful basket !” said Casper angrily.

“O, no,” said Ruth—“don’t say so! Mother always
says that nothing is hateful that isn’t wicked.”

“ Well, why wouldn’t it stay on my head, then?” said
Casper. |

Ruth might have answered that it was because he



16 CASPER.

didn’t know how to carry it; but she was very good
natured and didn’t say anything of the kind, nor even
laugh.

‘Never mind,” she said, “ maybe it will next time.”
And away she ran down the hill after the ill-behaved
basket. Casper didn’t offer to help her again, but stood
still and looked as she came running with the basket in
her hand; and though he did pick up a few of the
chips, it was with no very good will, and he still hada
great inclination to kick the basket.

“ What do you pick up chips for ?” he said.

“To burn,” said Ruth.

“We don’t,” said Casper.

“T s’pose you’re not so poor as we are,” said Ruth
gently.

Casper stood up and watched her for a while, as she
crowded the chips into the basket.

“ Well,” he said at last, “if God loves your mother
as ss say He does, why don’t He give her big sticks to
burn ?”

“T don’t know,” said Ruth, going on with her work.

“No, I guess you don’t,” said Casper.

Ruth looked up with a very grieved little face.

“O, Casper! that isn’t right !”

“ Why not ?” said Casper.

“J don’t know exactly,’ said Ruth. “I’m sure it
isn’t. I don’t believe we deserve to have chips.”

“ Why not ?”’ said Casper again ; for he felt cross with
the overthrow of the basket. .

Ruth was laying the last few long chips on top of her
load, pressing them down and tucking small ones in
every little corner, and she made no reply.

“ Where’s my great piece of bark ?”’ she said, looking
round. “O, here it is! that goes on top of all—see,
Casper, it’s like a cover. These are oak chips—don’t
they smell sweet ?”

“No,” said Casper, “I don’t think they do. Where
did you get ’em ?” — |



CASPER. 17

“OQ, away off in the woods,” said Ruth,—* where Mr.
Proadaxe is cutting trees. He gives ’em to me.”

“Do you go every day ?” said Casper.

“Yes, when it don’t rain,’ said Ruth. ‘ Sometimes
twice a-day. We don’t burn all up now, though. Pll
show you where we put’em.” And, lifting the basket
to her head again, she went on; and Casper followed.

‘There was a little shed at the back of Mrs. Cheerful’s
cottage, made with some old boards which stood with
their heads leaning against the cottage and their feet
on the ground. Into this dark place Ruth crept, and
Casper after her; and then Ruth began to tales the
chips out of her basket, and to pile them up nicely at
one end. There were a good many chips there already,
aud the shed was full of the pleasant smell of the oak
bark.

“ What’s that shining over there ?” said Casper sud-
denly. “See!—it’s something bright, like fire! It’s
moving about, too, Ruth.”

“Why, it’s only our cat’s eyes,” said little Ruth,
laughing. “Pussy! kitty!”

“ Ma-ow !” said the cat in a very melancholy tone of
voice, which made both the children laugh.

“ What makes you come into this dark place, Ruth ?”
said Casper. “ Aren’t you afraid ?”

“Why no!” said Ruth,—* what should I be afraid
of 1”

“TJ don’t know,” said Casper. “ Aren’t you ?”

“Why no!” said Ruth again. “It’s just as safe here
as it is in the light, Casper. We're not safe anywhere if
God doesn’t take care of us.”

“ But it’s so dark !” said Casper.

“Mother taught me a verse out of the Bible once,”
said little Ruth, as she went on piling her chips; “and
it said about God, ‘ Yea, the darkness hideth not from
thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and
the light are both alike to thee” That’s pleasant, isn’t it,
Casper ?”

3





18 CASPER.

But Casper was silent a little.

“Why didn’t you talk to me a while ago?” he said.
“You wouldn’t answer.”

“Because you asked naughty questions,” said Ruth.
“Mother told me I might tell people what the Bible
said, but I mustn’t answer if they didn’t believe it.
Now I’ve done—come, we'll go in. See how nicely the
flowers have kept,—I haven’t lost one.”

“ Mother,” said Ruth as she entered the hut, “ here’s
Casper. You know he wouldn’t come in on Sunday be-
cause he was dusty, but he’s come to-day, and brought
you a great bunch of flowers. And he tried to carry
my basket because it was heavy; and it fell down otf
his head and spilt all the chips—wasn’t it good of him,
mother ?”’

And Ruth stroked her mother’s face, and softly kissec:
it, and then went behind her and arranged the bows of
the broad ribbon that covered her eyes. But her own
little face looked very grave then.

“ Ayen’t they beautiful, mother ?” she said, touching
the hand into which she had put the cowslips. “1
rean, aren’t they sweet !”

“ Both, dear child,” said her mother. “ But how long
you were gone, Ruth—and where is Casper ?” |

“©, [had to pick up the chips twice, you know, mother
—and then pile’em up. Here’s Casper—he brought the
flowers, because I told him you loved ’em.”

“Te is a very kind little boy,” said Mrs. Cheerful.
keeping hold of the hand Ruth put in hers, and drawing
Casper close to her—he was not very willing to come.

“Where did you find them, Casper ?”

“ Down in the meadow.”

“ Well, what made you bring them to me? do you
like to please other people ?”’ |

“T never did but twice,” said Casper. “The young
lady said I’d always be miserable if I didn’t.”

“ Always be miserable ?” said Mrs. Cheerful smiling.
“Why, are you miserable now ?”



CASPER. 19

“ Yes,” said Casper.

“*O, Casper! I’m very sorry !” said little Ruth.

“How happens that ?” said Mrs. Cheerful. “Is your
father poor !”

“T don’t know,” said Casper,—“ mother’s dead, and
nobody wants me.”

Little Ruth quite sobbed at that, as if it was a degree
of poverty she had never imagined; and though she
ran away to get some water to put the cowslips in, her
blue apron was wet with nothing but tears when she
came back.

As for Mrs. Cheerful, she said nothing for a while, but
sat there with her arm round Casper and her hand
stroking his head, until by-and-by the head came dowa
on her shoulder.

“Poor child!” she said,—“ poor little boy! And so
there is no one but God to take care of you. But He
would have to do it, Casper, even if your dear mother
was alive,—don’t you think He can do it without her ?”

“TI s’pose He can,” said Casper, with a long sigh,—
his heart was wonderfully softened by his present rest-
ing place.

“ T will ask Him every day to take care of you, and
make you happy,” said Mrs. Cheerful. “ Will you ask
Him too ?”

“Yes,” said Casper, with another deep breath. .

Mrs. Cheerful did not say any more to him then, but
sat silent for awhile; and Casper never moved. And
then little Ruth whispered to her mother, and went off
and began to set the table for dinner.

It was a little bit of a table, and the cloth that Ruth
put on it was very coarse, though as white as it could
be; and the dinner was only a brown loaf, and a little
bit of cold pork, and a pitcher of water. Yet Mrs.
Cheerful gave thanks for it before they began, and
Casper relished it better than any dinner he had eaten
in a great while. So much did he enjoy it, that he

B 2



20 CASPER.

never found out that little Ruth had given him her cup,
and that she drank with her mother.

After dinner Ruth washed all the dishes and put
them away, and then she and Casper wound a large
skein of yarn for Mrs. Cheerful’s knitting ; and by that
time Casper thought he ought to be going home.

“Ruth!” he called, when he had got outside the
door. Ruth ran out.

“JT guess God does love your mother,” he said— 4
do.”

And then he ran away as fast as he could.

CHAPTER IIT.

THERE grew a great oak in the forest. Its roots were
deep down in the earth, but nobody could tell where its
top was—the leaves were so thick. Moreover, its neigh-
bour trees—the elms, and maples, and ashes—were tall
like itself ; and their leaves mingled with those of the
oak. Unlike most neighbours, they were for ever kissing
each other. Marly in the spring the maples put forth
bright red flowers, when there was not a leaf to be seen;
and the elms showed their blossoms, which were, how-
ever, hardly worth the trouble. But the oak kept his
back; until softly there came out little tufts of young
leaves, and then the long brownish-green flowers came
and hung down between them. After that the maples
had bunches of flat green seeds, with wings to them, that
fluttered about in the summer wind, but the oak had
little acorns with brown cups.

Now it was true, though nobody knew it, that up in
the oak tree a bird had built her nest; and deep in a
hole in one side of the oak there lived a large family of



CASPER. 24

squirrels. Nobody knew it, and yet anybody might have
guessed it; for the birds were constantly fluttering and
singing among the branches, and the old squirrels ran
up and down the tree a great many times a day. To be
sure, 1f anybody looked at them they were just as like to
run up another tree as up their own; and then to jump

from branch to branch till they reached the oak, and so
- down to their nest. The young birds had many a rock-
ing when the wind arose while they slept, and swayed
and bent the branches from side to side; but the squir-
rels never minded the wind—they couldn’t fall unless
the tree did, and of course that could never happen. The
young birds cried out a little sometimes, when their
cradle rocked ¢oo hard; but nothing kept them awake
long—it was all so nice and dark under their mother’s
wings; with her warm-feathered breast keeping the wind
off, and her little heart beating a lullaby. Whether the
wind frightened her or not, nobody ever knew, and no-
body ever inquired. If it did, she never told her young
ones. But certain it is, that after a long rainy night, if
the sun chanced to come out in the morning, the mother
bird always jumped up on the edge of the nest, and
twittered and stirred her wings, as if she felt very glad
the storm was over. And well she might be. It was
wet work to fly about in the rain after food for her young
ones; and the little bird had no umbrella.

One morning, when the sun had got up very early and
the birds were all astir, the mother bird flew up to the
very top branch of the tree, and perched herself there
in the sunshine to get a billful of fresh air, and sing her
morning song. But before she was well through the
first verse, the tree trembled so, with a sudden shock,
that the little bird nearly fell off the twig; and instantly
she spread her wings and flew up into the air. There,
hovering over the oak tree, she saw it shake again, and a
third time, more severely than at first.

“Tt is, without doubt, an earthquake!” thought the
little bird; not noticing, in the agitation of her mind,



2? CASPER.

that the neighbouring trees were quite still. But if it
was an earthquake, clearly everybody would be safest in.
the air!

So with some fear and trembling she lit on the trem-
bling tree, and made her way down to her nest, feeling
very glad that her young ones were duly provided with
feather coats, and could fly almost as well as herself.
They were ina great state of fright when she reached
the nest; for though the other old bird was there, try-
ing his best to keep them quiet and not to be frightened
himself, still it mattered very little what anybody said
so long as their mother was away; and they gladly
obeyed her when she bade them jump out of the nest
and follow her up into the air. ‘Ihe little ones’ wings
soon grew tired, and they perched on a maple tree, and
sat feeling very cold and disconsolate in the morning
wind, without their breakfast; but the old birds con-
tinued to fly back and forth over the tree, and the tree
continued to shake.

Now the cause of all this commotion was Mr. Broad-
axe.

So one of the young squirrels said, when he had put
his whiskers cautiously out of the mouth of the hole, and
looked carefully about. And he went on to remark, that
as it was Mr. Broadaxe, who was such a good man and
never did harm to anybody, they might as well all go to
sleep again. And immediately all the squirrels curled
their tails over their noses and went to sleep.

Mr. Broadaxe, meanwhile, was intent upon cutting
down the tree: his blows fell sharp and quick upon its
great trunk, and the white chips flew hither and thither
till the grass was quite spotted with them. And the
sound of his axe went through the forest, chop, chop,
ull you might have known half a mile off what was
going on.

But about the time that the little birds got tired of
fiying over the tree, and went off in full pursuit of their
treakfast, Mr. Broadaxe bethought him of his; so he



CASPER. 83

stopped his work, set his axe down on one side of the
tree and himself on the other, and took up his little
basket.

“Chip!” said Mr. Broadaxe. “Chip!”

A little dog came dashing out of the underwood at
this, running along as if he was dreadfully afraid of
being late, and hadn’t the least bit of an excuse to give
for it.

“Chip!” said Mr. Broadaxe. “Poor fellow!”

Chip thrust his nose into his master’s face ina very
gratified manner, then laid himself down a few feet off ;
his paws stretched out before him; his head up, his ears
further yet, and his eyes shining like black beads.

“Chip!” said Mr. Broadaxe again. “There, sir.”

“There,” meant a piece of bread, which Mr. Broadaxe
cut off and threw to Chip,and which Chip caught at one
snap without moving anything but his head, swallowed
at down whole, and was ready for the next piece, which
his eyes had watched for all the time. Indeed if those
eyes told truth, the pieces of bread which his master ate >
were matters of great interest to him, and he licked his
chops as if they had had the catching. But as the
basket was but small, the breakfast could not be large,
and Mr. Broadaxe had soon drunk his last swallow of
coffee, and eaten his last bit of bread. No—that he
gave to Chip. For Chip sat there with his head on one
side and his mouth watering for more breakfast ; and
when his master tossed the last bit of bread to him,
Chip caught it with one snap as before, and then threw
his head back to assist him in mastication.

But as he ate, Chip pricked up his ears ; and as soon
as his mouth was empty Chip barked—and then imme-
diately wagged his tail. It was the best thing he could
do under the circumstances, for little Ruth Cheerful was
coming through the wood ; and clearly she was not a
thing to bark at.

“Good morning, Mr. Broadaxe,” she said. “ Good



24 CASPER.

morning, poor little doggie. Why, what a parcel of chips
you've got for me already!”

“Yes,” said Mr. Broadaxe. “I guess that one’ll fill
your basket of itself”

“ What, the little dog?” said Ruth. “O,yes; but I
don’t want to carry him off. Now, little dog, be good
and quiet.”

I suppose the little dog was good, but certainly he was
not quiet. He frisked about Ruth, caught hold of her
apron and shook it, pulled the chips out of her basket,
and put his feet on those she was going to pick up. He
even went so far once as to take the handle of the basket
in his teeth and run off with it; and when Ruth said,
“QO, Chip! Chip !—put that right down, sir!” he turned
round and looked at her, with one ear turned back and
the other hanging over his eye, as if it really was too
bad, but he couldn’t for the life of him help it. Mean-
while Mr. Broadaxe was chopping away at the great tree
till every leaf shook and trembled.

“What makes you cut down such a beautiful tree,
Mr. Broadaxe ?”’ said Ruth.

“*Cause it ain’t mine,” said Mr. Broadaxe, with another
chop.

“ Well, then, why do you?”’ said Ruth.

“Tt 7s somebody’s,” said the woodcutter, pausing in his
work, “and he wants it down,—so down it must come.
I make money cut of the cutting it, and he'll make
money out of the selling it.”

“ And we make wood out of the chips,” said little Ruth
with a laugh. “So everybody gets something.”

As Ruth turned round for another chip she saw Casper
standing there.

“You don’t make wood out of the chips,” said he.
“They’re wood already.”

“Well, but I mean firewood,” said Ruth. “How do
you do, Casper ?”

“I guess [’m well,” said Casper, who was watching



CASPER. o>

the sharp tool do its work upon the tree. “How fast he
strikes !”

“Det he!” said Ruth. “I wonder if anybody else
chops so fast.”

“T could, if I was a man,” said Casper.

“Yow re not a man, though,” said Ruth. “Don’t you
want to help me put all the chips in a pile?”

“Yes,” said Casper. “No—I’ll hold the dog and you
can do the chips. “He'd pull your pile to pieces.”

“ That?ll be some help,” said Ruth, a little doubtfully.
“ But I don’t believe you can hold him.”

Chip, however, submitted to be caught, and then sat
very still with Casper’s arms round him, and watched
Ruth with the utmost gravity. But when her pile was
about a foot high, and she had just laid a long piece of
wood and bark on top, Chip made one spring out of
Casper’s arms, overturning him, and then, rushing sud-
denly upon Ruth, he seized hold of the long slice of wood
and began to pull.

“ Naughty little dog!” said Ruth,—“let go, and be-
have yourself.”

But at that moment Mr. Broadaxe called out,

“ Now, then, children, get out of the way of the tree!”
and Casper, and Ruth, and the dog ran off as fast as they
could to a safe distance.

Mr. Broadaxe, however, kept on with his chopping,
gd the great tree shook and swayed about and bent its
tall head, and then went slowly down,—the limbs creak-
ing, and the leaves fluttering far and wide. There it lay
on the ground. ,

The minute it was down little Ruth came running
up, and jumped upon the trunk, and danced back and
forth from the root to the head. Presently she stopped
short.

“Q, Mr. Broadaxe! there are squirrels up here among
the leaves!” :

“So, so?’? said the woodcutter. “Aye,I dare say.
And here’s been their nest, in this hole.” :



26 CASPER,

“Then we can catch ’em and take ’em home,” said
Casper.

“QO, no, we can’t,” said Ruth. “That would be cruel.”

“ Why, no, it wouldn’t,”’ said Casper. “ We'd shut ’em
up and feed ’em.”

“Then they'd be miserable, as you said you were,”
said Ruth.

Casper stopped at this, and looked doubtful.

“No, we won’t take ’em home,” said the woodcutter,
“because they love their own home best. I’m sorry I
had to cut it down for them. But I won't cut the
branches off the tree just yet, and the young ones may
have a chance to grow a bit bigger before they go off to
seek their fortune.”

So Mr. Broadaxe walked away to another tree and
began to cut that down, and Casper and Ruth stood still
and looked at the squirrels.

CHAPTER IV.

“ Ruta,” said Casper, “I like those squirrels.” And as
he spoke he picked up a big chip and threw it at a
squirrel’s tail that appeared among the branches of the
fallen tree.

“ Well, what do you throw things at them for, then?”
said Ruth, as the little red bushy tail whisked off out of
sight. “We shan’t see a bit of ’em if you frighten
"em so.”

“T like to throw things,” said Casper.

“That isn’t much reason,” said Ruth.

“Ruth,” said Casper, “what do you suppose squirrels
have to eat?”

“QO, all sorts of nice things,” said Ruth. “ Corn, and
nuts, and apples, and seeds, and acorns.”



=

CASPER. ‘ 2%

“Yes, I know they eat corn,” said Casper. “What do
you suppose they have to eat away off in the woods,
where there’s nobody to plant corn for ’em?”’

“ Why, then, God feeds them—just as He does here,”
said Ruth. 7

“But here the farmers plant the corn,” said Casper.

“Yes, but who makes it grow?” said Ruth. “And —
besides, they eat a great many things that nobody
plants.”

“Tf I was a squirrel,” said Casper, “I should always
have plenty to eat.”

“ And nice clothes, too,” said Ruth. “ But everybody
can have plenty to eat—no, not plenty, but something.
Mother’s tried it.

“Well, how did she try ?” said Casper.

“In the first place,” said Ruth, “she always worked
as hard as she could: and in the second place, she
always prayed God to take care of her, and believed
that He would. Mother says it never fails.”

“TI can’t work,” said Casper,—‘“so that wouldn’t do
for me.”

“Well, then, you can be good,” said Ruth, “and
that'll do just as well, if you can’t work.”

“T can’t be good,” said Casper. “I don’t know how.
And I don’t believe I could either.”

“Don’t you!” said Ruth. “Well, you know how to
be naughty ?”

“Yes,”’ said Casper. “Is’pose I do.”

“Well, it’s just the other way,” said Ruth. “ When
you want to be cross you must be good-natured, and
when you want to be idle you must go to work, and
when you don’t want to pray you must kneel down and
pray all the more. So mother says. Because nobody
can be really good, Casper, unless God helps them. And
if they never ask Him it looks as if they didn’t want his
help.” |

Casper shook his head and looked at the squirrels,



298 CASPER.

Ruth looked too, and was silent afew minutes. Then
suddenly she broke forth.

“ Why, Casper, you must know how to be good, if you
read the Bible.”

“J don’t read it,” said Casper.

“Then you ought to,” said Ruth.

“Haven’t got one,” said Casper.

“OQ well, maybe you haven’t,” said Ruth, “but your
father has.”

“Guess not,” said Casper, taking aim at the squirrels
with another chip. “If he has I don’t know it, and I
guess he don’t.”

“Why, you poor little boy!” said Ruth, looking at
him with unfeigned compassion. :

“I’m bigger than you are,” said Casper,—‘ ever so
much.”

“Well, I’m a girl,” said Ruth, “so it don’t signify.”

“Yes, it does,” said Casper,—‘ I’d rather be a boy.”

“Well, but I mean,” said Ruth, “boys always are
bigger, aren’t they ?”

“T don’t know,” said Casper. “Is’pose so. They’re
bigger when they grow up. I want to bea man!”

“T don’t,” said little Ruth thoughtfully. “I want to
be an angel.”

“T guess you don’t,” said Casper.

“Yes, I do,” said Ruth. And joining her hands toge-
ther, she sang,—

“T want to be an angel,
And with the angels stand:
A crown of gold upon my head,
A harp within my hand.”

“ But you’d have to die to be an angel,” said Casper
who had listened very attentively.

“Q, well,” said little Ruth,—“everybody’s got to die
some time. I don’t mean that I want to die now, but
when I do die, I want to be an angel.”



CASPER. 29

“Do you think you will be,” said Casper, looking at
her with a very interested face.

“ Mother says,’’ answered little Ruth, “that when
veople really want to be angels in heaven they should
try to be angels on earth.”

“T don’t know how,” said Casper; “and I’m too
ragged.”

“O, Casper,” said Ruth, and then her voice was
choked, and she burst into tears. “It don’t make a bit
of difference to Jesus what clothes children wear if
they'll only love Him. Mother says a great many angels
in this world are very poor, but in heaven they shall
have enough of everything.”

‘“‘T don’t know how,” repeated Casper, his own lip be-
ginning to tremble. Ruth sat looking at him, and
stroked his face once or twice, as if she didn’t know
what to say.

“Casper, I learn a little verse in the Bible every
morning before I come out, and if you'll be here in the
wood Vl come and teach it to you. And so you could
learn a great deal: and, maybe, when youre a man
you can buy a whole Bible for yourself.”

“What did you learn this morning?” said Casper
without looking up.

“It was this,’ said Ruth. “ ‘ Ay little children, these
things write 1 unto you, that ye sin not.”

Casper made no reply, and Ruth sat silent as before.

“Shall I say it for you again, Casper?” she asked
softly.

“No,” said Casper, “I know it now.”

“Do you ?” said Ruth. “Why, how quick you are. It
took me longer than that.”

The sun had mounted high into the heavens, but the
trees were so thick that his rays scarcely found their
way down to the ground, and in the wood it was cool
and pleasant. Mr. Broacaxe had stopped chopping, and
was shouldering his axe to go home to dinner, and the
squirrels were playing hide and seek among the wither-



30 CASPER.

ing leaves of the fallen oak. A sweet breeze wandered
along through the forest, and said that there were a
great many flowers out in different places.

“T must go home, too,” said Ruth, jumping up and
taking her basket of chips. “Good-bye, Casper—will
you come to-morrow ?”

“Yes,” he said. And then as she trudged off with
her basket on her head, he looked up again and called
out—* Ruth !”

“ What, Casper 2?” said Ruth, stopping and turning
round.

“ What did you learn yesterday ?”

“Q such a pretty one!” said Ruth, her eyes brighten-
ing. “About the children that were brought to Jesus
when he was in the world— And he took them up in his
arms, and put his hands upon them and blessed them.’ ”

Casper turned away again, and so did Ruth on her
way home, and soon her little figure was quite out of
sight among the trees. The heavy steps of Mr. Broad-
axe had died away too, and Chip’s frolics could be seen
no longer. Casper looked about to be sure that they
were gone, and then he threw himself down on the soft
green moss and cried. I don’t know that he could have
told why, if anybody had asked him ; but there was no-
body to ask: and so he cried, and cried, till he was
tired. He wasn’t going home to dinner,—his father
had told him not to show his face in the house till
night ; and Casper thought of Ruth’s verse, and longed
for some one to lay hands on him and bless him,

CHAPTER V.

CasPER cried himself tired and then went to sleep, his
bare feet curled up and resting on the soft moss, hig



CASPER. ol

head resting -—or not resting —on a great tree root,
which in the course of time had twisted and thrust
itself out of the soil. The sun passed on from the mid
heaven, and soft flickering shadows fell over his face, as
the broad leaves

“ Clapped their little hands in glee,”

and waved to and fro above his head.

But Casper saw and heard none of it; nor even
dreamed that there were angels about him, and that the
little ragged boy had heavenly watchers. When at last
he did wake up, he saw only Mr. Broadaxe standing be-
fore him, his sharp tool resting on the ground; while by
his side sat Chip, his head particularly on one side, his
black eyes sparkling with eagerness, his paws ready to
pounce upon Casper at the slightest invitation. It was
Chip indeed who had found the little sleeper, and had
barked at him and pranced round him until Mr. Broad-
axe came to see, and Casper awoke.

“Child, you will catch your death,” said the old
woodman.

“Well—I don’t know—” said Casper, raising himself
on one elbow and rubbing his eyes.

“What made you come back after dinner ?”’ said the
woodman.

“JT didn’t,” said Casper. “I haven’t been.”

“ Why not ?” said Mr?-Broadaxe.

“There wasn’t any,” said Casper. “Father took his
along. There’s nobody else there.”

“You don’t care about dinner, I s’pose?” said the
woodman.

“T guessI can get along without it,” said Casper, pick-
ing up bits of the moss and throwing them at Chip, who
caught them as if they had been pieces of bread and
butter, and tried to keep them all in his mouth at once.

“That’s a great mistake, little boy,” said Mr. Broad-
axe gravely, “and you’ve got to go right home this
minute and get your dinner.” 2



32 CASPER,

“TJ say there isn’t any there,’”’ said Casper.

“Not in your home ?” said Mr. Broadaxe. “There is
in mine. Lots o’ bread and milk, and such trash. What
do you think of that ?”

Casper’s eyes sparkled a little, as if they had caught
a reflection of Chip’s, but he said not a word.

“ Look here,” said the woodman, lifting his axe and
setting it down again, till all the moss trembled ; “ how
do you s’pose you'll ever work such a tool as that
when you come to be a man, if you eat nothing, but
sleep when youw’re a boy? Why, you'll never be aman!”

“Ruth says she wants to be an angel,” said Casper,
thoughtfully.

“Well, they’re a better sort of creature, I’ll never
deny,” said the woodman; “but starvation ain’t exactly
the gate that leads to that road. Come, jump up—you
shan’t be one o’ the babes in the wood ¢his time. Now,
do you know where I live ?”’

“°Tother end of the brook, by the chesnut trees,”
said Casper.

“ That’s it,’ said the woodman, who was writing on a
leaf of his pocket-book, which he presently tore out
and gave to Casper. “ 'There’s a message, child, for my
wife. You take it, and wait for an answer, and when
you come back I’ll give you sixpence.”

Casper looked up doubtfully..

“ Didn’t you ever hear anybody speak truth?” said
the woodman. “Now go, or I shan’t have an answer
till sundown.” And Casper went.

He didn’t walk very steadily at first, between shame
at having no dinner of his own, and desire to have
dinner of some sort, even though it should come from
other people. So when he looked at the bit of paper in
his hand he went very slow; and then again when he
listened to his keen little appetite he went fast. but
even this irregular way of getting along in the world
brought him at last to the woodcutter’s door. ‘There
Uasper stopped. The door stood wide open.



CASPER. 30

All signs of dinner were long ago cleared away, the
floor was swept up, and Mrs. Broadaxe had brought out
her big wheel and began to spin. But her back was
towards the door, and Casper could watch her unob-
served. She was just as cleanly dressed as Mrs. Cheerful,
but her dress was a good deal more fresh and new, and
on her head instead of a ribbon there was a very white
cap. A little black silk apron—or rather a pretty large
one—fluttered about as she stepped to and fro before
the wheel, and her shoes creaked with smartness and
new leather. She was as big as two or three of Mrs.
Cheerful—stout and hearty, and just the sort of a
woman in whose lap little boys like to curl down and go
to sleep. She was whirling the wheel swiftly round
with one hand, while the other drew out a long blue
thread of yarn from the spindle’s point, in a manner
that seemed quite wonderful. Casper forgot both his mes-
sage and his appetite, and stood still to see ; and there is
no telling how long he might have stood, if a large white
cat had not suddenly come round the corner of the
house and cried out “Meow!” |

“Winkie! Winkie!” said Mrs. Broadaxe, turning
the wheel, but not her head.

“Meow!” replied Winkie, with the tone of a deeply-
injured cat.

“Well, it serves you right,” said Mrs. Broadaxe,
walking straight off to the pantry and talking all the
time ; “ you should have come home before, Winkie—of
course dinner is done, and if this was some houses you
~-wouldn’t have a mouthful. Some of these days I shall
not save you any either—I’ve no doubt, I shan’t.”

“Some of these days” had not come yet, however, for
Mrs. Broadaxe presently appeared with a large plate of
shicken bones, which Winkie waited for at the door.
But when Mrs. Broadaxe had set the plaje down, and
had straightened herself up again, then she beheld Casper.

“ Well, little dear,” she said, “how do you like my
cat? Shouldn’t you like to come and sit on the door-

C



34 CASPER.

step and see her eat her dinner? And if the chickens
come up, you can drive them away for me, will you?
Because they help themselves out of Winkie’s plate.”

“Why, mayn’t they?” said Casper.

“Why, they’ve had their dinner, long ago,”’ said Mrs.
Broadaxe.

“(! —’” said Casper. He did not say that he was
worse off than the chickens, but he came and sat down
on the doorstep and gave Mrs. Broadaxe the little paper
message the woodcutter had sent.

Mrs. Broadaxe stood still to read.

“ My! my!” she said, “who ever heard of such a
thing? What’s come over the world? And Winkie,
too! What’s your name, child?”

“ My name’s Casper.”

“ Are you going to take a basket to Mr. Broadaxe ?”
said the woodcutter’s wife, looking at him as if she felt
perfectly puzzled.

“YT don’t know,” said Casper. “He said I was to
come, and get an answer.”

“ Well, Pll put the answer in a basket,” said Mrs.
Broadaxe. “1 think that will be the easiest way.
But haven’t you—What could he mean by telling me
—Let me see—O yes! Little boy, don’t you feel thirsty
after your walk ?”

“Not much,” said Casper.

“But couldn’t you drink a little milk ?—just a cup-
ee 2” said the good woman, bending down to look at

im.

Casper looked up at her and said, “ Yes, ma’am,’
immediately.

“Ah, well, that'll do,” said Mrs. Broadaxe, bustling
away ina great hurry ; “I knew you must be thirsty,
if you only thought about it.”

She went off into the pantry again, and Casper sat
still on the doorstep and looked at Winkie; who, crack-
ing the chicken bones in her white teeth, seemed well
satisfied with the world in general.



CASPER. 35

Mrs. Broadaxe presently came back, and stooping
down by Casper, she held a cup of sweet milk to his
lips, and watched to see him drink it every drop. Then
she put into one of his hands a tiny basket, and into the
other a huge piece of gingerbread. She bade him take
the basket to Mr. Broadaxe, and added that he might
either eat the gingerbread at once, or wait till he got
into the wood again.

Casper, however, waited for nothing—not even to
make up his mind, for no sooner had he turned his
back upon Mrs. Broadaxe than his teeth met in the
gingerbread ; and met so often, and to such good pur-
pose, that the large piece presently became a very small
one. As for the few yellow crumbs that fell by the
wayside, Casper almost wished himself a bird that he
might pick them up. The real little sparrows did it.
for him, however, and looked out of their bright eyes
very joyfully the while; and then when they flew
away he ran on.

One bit of the gingerbread yet remained in Casper’s
hand; and as he went, another little boy, somewhat
smaller than himself, came trotting along the road in
front of him, from behind the trees.

It would be hard to tell why the sight of this little
boy made Casper uncomfortable—at least, it would.
have been very hard for him to tell; but certain it is,
that as the boy came on, Casper began to wish that he.
would run ’tother way—or that he himself had taken
some other road; and more than that, the bit of ginger-
bread went up to his mouth, and he began to eat it as.
fast as he could.

The boy was, undoubtedly, poor, but so was Casper 3.
and while the little stranger had on trowsers that were
worn through on both knees, Casper had a jacket that
was out at the elbows. There wasn’t a pin to choose
between the cleanness of their faces, and neither one of
them, to judge by their looks, had ever seen a hairbrush
in the course of his life. The only real difference seemed

G2



36 CASPER.

to be, that while the one had a piece of gingerbread, the
other had none.

The new little boy found this out at once, and began
to look so eagerly at Casper’s handful of good things,
that as he came on he stumbled over stones, ran out of
the road, and finally ran plump up against Casper.

“ What do you mean?” said Casper, in a high state
of indignation.

“T didn’t mean to,” said the boy.

“Well, get out of my way now, then,” said Casper.

“ Have you had any more than that?” said the little
boy.

“Yes,” said Casper, “it was so big—at first.”

“ Have you had enough?” said the little boy again.

“No,” said Casper.

“J didn’t mean to run against you,” said the little
boy quietly, and he turned away and went on; but
Casper thought he heard a little bit of a sigh, though
he didn’t stop to ask what it was for.

He went on, filling his mouth with gingerbread the
while, till only one mouthful was left—then he turned
and looked back. But the little boy was nowhere to be
seen ; and Casper having disposed of the last mouthful
of gingerbread, set off and ran as fast as his feet could
carry him towards the forest. ,

The sun was low and the shadows long when he
reached it. Yet not longer than the sunbeams: which
streamed in between the tall trees, and lay on the
patches of moss and tufted grass, with all the warmth
of a last embrace. But the little moss cups were all
unconscious that it was the last—they held up their
little dry heads as straight as ever, unwet with even a
dew drop; and the shadows crept on unseen.

The birds were fluttering homeward, picking up what
supper they could by the way ; the squirrels ran up to
the tree tops to take an observation; and the bats
began to stretch themselves and rub their eyes after
their long day’s sleep.



CASPER. oF

Casper’s bare feet went pattering on through the
wood until every gleam of sunshine faded, and there
was nothing but shadow. Then he began to feel a little
afraid—it was so dark in the woods, and so still; and
then he thought, what if Mr. Broadaxe should have
gone home without waiting for him !

“It’s a pity Ruth isn’t here,” he said to himself,
“ she knows all the paths ;” and as soon as he remem-
bered Ruth, he remembered the verse she had told him
one day in the dark woodhouse—‘‘the darkness hideth
not from thee, but the night shineth as the day: the
darkness and the night are both alike to thee.”

“Then God can see me now,” he thought, —and
straightway Casper wondered whether that all-seeing
eye had looked at hima little while ago, when he didn’t
give the other little boy a piece of his gingerbread.
Casper began to feel uncomfortable now, because it was
so light ; and he stood quite still, and swung his basket
backwards and forwards without once thinking what
there might be in it. And as he stood, he heard the
steady “chop,” “chop,” of the wood-cutter’s axe, from
away off in the forest where he was at work.

“It won’t take me long to get there, anyway,” said
Casper ; and he ran so fast that when he reached Mr.
Broadaxe he was quite out of breath.

“ Hallo!” said the woodman, good-humouredly, as
Casper came scampering up. “I guess you thought
you were late.”

“ Tt is,’ said Casper,—“it’s as dark as everything in
the woods.”

“In the woods!” said Mr. Broadaxe. “ Why, we’re
in the woods now, child, and it’s by no means as dark as
everything.”

“It’sa great deal lighter here than it was yonder,”
explained Casper.

“This is the first time I was ever set up for a tallow
candle, I guess,” said Mr. Broadaxe. “ However, child,
it’s light enough, so sit down and eat your supper.”

q??



29 CASPER.

Casper looked up at him wistfully.

“ Tt’s in that basket,” said the woodcutter, smiling,-~
“good too, I guess). My woman never gives the cat
anything else.”

“‘ She gave the cat chicken bones,” said Casper.

“ Tl warrant her,’ said Mr. Broadaxe,—“I daresay
she’s given you chicken. Come, child, make haste and
eat your supper—l’minahurry. Open the basket right
away.”

Casper obeyed, and took outa little white cloth; which,
being unfolded, there appeared sundry cold chicken legs
and wings, nicely laid upon a little table of bread and
butter. Casper handed it up to the woodman.

“ It’s for you, child,” said his friend, smiling,—* do
you think I’m going to eat supper before I get home ?
Hat it up, and much good may it do you.”

‘“¢ I’ve had supper,” said Casper, whose face was work-
ing strangely. “I had a big piece of gingerbread.”

“ That may stand for dinner, then,” said the woodman.

“ But I eat it all up,” said Casper, dropping his head
and two tears at the same time.

“So much the better,” said Mr. Broadaxe. “I eat
my dinner, too, and want my supper. What’s the mat-
ter with the child? Is that the way you give thanks
at meal time ?”’

“ O please, Mr. Broadaxe,” said Casper, “please give
it to the other little boy! Imsure he was hungry, and
he wanted some of my gingerbread, and I wouldn’t give
him a bit! And now I’m sure God saw me, and didn’t
like it!”

And Casper threw himself down on the moss in a great
fit of tears.

Mr. Broadaxe stood quite still for a minute or two,
and then he stooped down and lifted up Casper and set
him on a high stump; remarking that the moss was
damp, or would be, if he went on at that rate.

“ Now, Casper,” he said, “do you take this pile of
bread and butter, and make way with it as fast as you



CASPER. 39

can—Chip! get out of the way !—and if I meet ’tother
little boy going home I'll attend to him. There—’taint
bad, is it? And you come here bright and early in the
morning, and I’]] take a half holiday and talk to you.”

« What about ?”” said Casper, looking up, with a drum-
stick in one hand and bread and butter in the other.

“ Little boys,” said the woodman, “and gingerbread.
And if Ruth Cheerful comes along we’ll go off far into
the wood and have a time.”

“ {like Ruth!” said Casper. “ She’s so good.”

“ ‘Well, why shouldn’t Casper be so good too?” said
the woodman.

“J can’t,” said Casper, “I’m bad.”

Mr. Broadaxe made no reply to that, but as the
chicken and bread and butter had all disappeared, he
went through the wood with Casper, until he could see
the village ‘lights ; and then bade him good night, and
told him to find some better reason for not being good
than the one he had just given.

CHAPTER VI.

Never had Casper’s home looked so disagreeable to
him as it did that night. There wasn’t, generally, much
about it that could be called inviting. A dirty floor ;
chairs and tables also in much need of scouring, and
that needed mending as well; a window where an old
hat took the place of one pane of glass, and where other
panes were gone, leaving their place empty,—such was
the home where Casper had learned to be miserable.
Poor child—it was pretty much all he had learned.
Through the day the house had nobody in it—unless
when Casper chose to stay there alone: for, sometimes,
he got tired cf going out to play with the village boys,



40 CASPER.

who teased fim because they were strong. Every morn-
ing his father went off, taking his dinner with him, and
leaving Casper to make Azs dinner of the remains of the
breakfast, if there were any. After an hour or so,
during which Casper killed flies on the window, or made
ash heaps on the hearth, one of the old neighbours came
in to wash the dishes and put the house in order—as
she called it. As soon as her sunbonnet came in Casper
went out,—he couldn’t bear this woman, and often told
her so. ‘hen he played with the boys and made believe
feel happy—or he sat in the road and felt miserable,—
as when the lady found him that Sunday morning. At
dinner time, if there was anything to eat at home he
went and ate it, when others took dinner; and found
the house just as dirty and out of order as it had been
in the morning. Ifthe cupboard was quite empty, Cas-
per did as he best could till supper time. ‘I'here was
sure to be something to eat then, for his father always
came home, and always brought his appetite with him ;
and what he wanted he must have. But sometimes he
had been drinking, and sometimes he brought home two
or three other men, and they all drank and smoked
together.

Now, Casper did not know that all this was so wrong,
nobody had ever told him that it was asin in the eye
of God to drink as these men did, or to speak such words
as came from their mouths; but he used to get very
tired of being pushed about, and having tobacco smoke
blown in his eyes, and bad words spoken to him if he
even said a good one. And then he would creep away
to bed, and wish that his mother would come back
again, and cry softly to himself—and then the poor little
ragged boy was asleep. And in this way had Casper
spent his days, from the time of his mother’s death until
he fell in with little Ruth Cheerful ; since when he had
been almost every day to the forest.

On that particular evening, after his remarkable
chicken supper, everything at home looked worse than



CASPER. 41

usual, and Casper got to bed as fast as he could. But
he couldn’t get to sleep. The men’s loud talk fright-
ened him, and when he heard them speak in such a way
the name of that great Being, whom little Ruth and
her mother loved and worshipped as their best friend,
Casper put his fingers in his ears and tried to shut out
the words. And as he lay there with his ears stopped
up, and his elbows poking out the bed-clothes, he thought
to himself, “What wowld Ruth do if she lived here!”
And directly his conscience answered, “ Ruth would say
her prayers.”

Casper thought that he did not know how—he had
never said a prayer in his whole life; but he felt afraid
and lonely, and he remembered that Mrs. Cheerful had
said, God could take care of him. And getting softly on
his knees in the bed, he whispered out these words—

“ O God, please take care of me, and make me good,
like Ruth.”

And then he lay down and went to sleep.

The sleep lasted later than usual next morning, per-
haps, because the good food Casper had eaten put him
in nice sleeping condition ; and when he awoke he was
quite startled to see how high the sun was up. Nothing
else was up, that he could see; for the men had gone
to sleep last night on the floor about the hearth, and
not one of them had yet arisen.

So Casper jumped down very softly from his bed, and
scampered out of the house just as fast he could, for
fear he should be told to make the fire or fetch water ;
and once outside the door, away he ran.

The grass was all wet with the dew, but Casper had
on no shoes or stockings to be spoiled, and his trowsers’
legs had long ago hung in rags about his ankles, and
now some of the rags had dropped off ; so that even they
were beyond the reach of the short grass. The dew-
drops sparkled like so many clear diamonds on the blades
of grass and clover leaves, and Casper thought what a
pity it was that they could not be kept. But whenever



42 CASPER.

he gathered a clover leaf, and tried to carry it very
carefully, that minute the bright little dewdrop would
roll out, and leave only a little wet spot on Casper’s
fingers. Casper rubbed his fingers, and looked at the
wet spot, but he could not bring the diamond back
again; and then it suddenly came into his mind, that
before he should meet little Ruth’s clean hands and face
it might be as well to wash his own.

ile had to cross two or three brooks in his way to the
forest, and of these he chose the clearest for a wash-
basin ; but he found that his hands did not dry quite so
fast in the damp morning air as they had done at mid-
day, and he had to swing them backwards and forwards
for some time. Then he ran on faster than ever for fear
of being late, feeling very sure all the time that he had
had no breakfast.

By the wayside grew a great many bushes,—some
wild rose bushes, that bore sweet red flowers, and some
brambles, that seemed to bear nothing but thorns. But
as Casper ran on, he saw that one of these brambles was
spotted with bunches of berries—they were large, and
black, and very sweet. Casper ate several, pulling
them off as fast as he could, for he was hungry ; and
then he began to think how he should like to give Ruth
some.

He might pick off some of the bunches and take to
her,—but then he had had no breakfast, which was,
doubtless, not the case with Ruth; but then she couldn’t
have had blackberries. So, on the whole, Casper thought
that he would take just three bunches to Ruth—and
then he saw another fine bunch, and picked it, and then
another, till he had six bunches of the sweet berries held
fast in one hand. With the other hand he gathered every
stray berry that he could reach, and ate them, and went
on as before to the forest.

How it was, I need not say—everybody must guess for
himself—but when Casper came in sight of Mr. Broadaxe
his hand held but one bunch of blackberries.



CASPER. 43

The woodcutter sat on the trunk of a fallen tree, with
Chip at his feet and a basket by his side, which Casper
at once guessed might contain dinner. On the other
side of him sat Ruth, perched up on the old tree, her
little feet dangling quite far from the ground ; but as
soon as she saw Casper she jumped down and ran for-
ward.

“O, Casper, ’m glad you’ve come !—we’ve been wait-
ing only a little while. Have you had any breakfast ?”

Casper hesitated a moment and then said,

“'I'hey were all asleep when I came away.”

“Well, I thought maybe you wouldn’t have,” said
Ruth—“ so I brought mine out into the forest tc eat with
you. Mother said I might.”

And producing a tiny basket from the leaves and moss
where it had lain hid, Ruth opened it, and took out two
slices of bread and butter and a cup of milk, which she
arranged on the old tree with the utmost particularity.
The cup of milk stood in the middle, with a slice of bread
and butter at each end.

“T might have brought two cups,” said Ruth, who
was in a great state of excitement, “but I didn’t think
of it. Mr. Broadaxe was waiting, and I was in a hurry.
I know what will do almost as well !”—and she ran off,
and after looking about among the fallen leaves for a few
minutes came back with two large acorn cups. “ There,
Casper ! won’t that do finely ?”’

“You don’t want ’em,” said Casper, who had stood all
this time twirling his bunch of blackberries. “I’m not
going to drink your milk.”

“ Not all of it,” said little Ruth—“ I’m going to drink
part. But that’s your bread and butter, and you must
dip your little cup into the big cup.”

“No,” said Casper.

Ruth stood disappointed.

“'There’s a bunch of blackberries you may have if
you want ’em,” said Casper, “but I don’t want your
breakfast.”



44 CASPER.

“Only part,” urged Ruth. “ And if you don’t eat part
I shan’t want any.” And she looked at Casper with her
eyes full of tears.

Casper on his part stood still, but when Ruth came
and took his hand and led him close to the old tree, and
then putting herself on the other side began to eat her
share of the bread and butter, to set him a good example,
—somehow or other he began to eat his too, and even
dipped his little cup into the big one as Ruth had bade
him. But once in a while after these little drinks of
milk, Casper’s throat felt as if he had swallowed the
acorn cup too.

Mr. Broadaxe sat by without saying a word,—some-
times watching the children for a minute, and then
cenerally looking away to whistle; and Chip had gone
fast asleep, well knowing that there was no bread and
butter to spare for him.

“And did you really pick the blackberries for me ?”
said Ruth, when the breakfast had all disappeared,
mouthful by mouthful. “That was very good! How
sweet they are!”

“Yes, I picked ’em,” said Casper, “but it’s no thanks
to me that I didn’t eat ’em up.”

Ruth laughed and said she did thank him very much;
and now as there were no dishes to wash, they at once
began their walk into the forest. How pretty it was!

Over head the green treetops mingled their leaves
together and shut out the blue sky completely; and
under foot the brown earth was as little to be seen,
thanks to the moss and the fern, and to the leaves of
last year and a great many other years, which had fallen
and dried and made a thick brown carpet. Over this
carpet—or rather through it—Casper and Ruth went
bounding on all sides, and finding all sorts of treasures.
Sometimes it was an old empty snail-shell from the root
of a tree, or a tuft of red-headed moss from the top of a
rock, or an old bird’s-nest which the wind had blown
down. Ruth’s basket grew so heavy under the collec-



CASPER. 45

tion that at last Casper, with a great effort at being
good-natured, offered to carry it. And the pleasure of
taking trouble for other people was so new to him, that
he felt quite delighted, and really enjoyed the weight
of the basket.

Great was the excitement when Chip, who was running
all over just as they were, chanced to start a partridge ;
and when the pretty bird flew whirring up from the dry
leaves and bushes, both the children clapped their hands
and wished very much that Chip would find another.
And when Mr. Broadaxe showed them a bird’s-nest full
of eggs, in a little bramble bush, their pleasure knew no
bounds. They could not be satisfied with looking; so
Mr. Broadaxe proposed that they should sit down there
on the moss and rest awhile.

“ | wonder where the bird is?” said Ruth ; and as she
spoke, back came the little feathered thing and lit on
her nest, and then, after a look or two at the strangers,
ae nestled down upon her eggs, and covered them
all up.

“You said you would talk to us, Mr. Broadaxe,” said
Casper.

“Yes, please do, Mr. Broadaxe,” said Ruth.

Mr. Broadaxe said never a word. He sat looking at
the bird for some little time, and then told the children
that they might go and play till dinner—he was not
ready to talk,

CHAPTER VII.

THERE was no want of things to play with, nor of play-

houses—the thing was, to choose.

: “Nuth,” said Casper, “let’s get stones and build a
ouse.””



46 CASPER.

“A real house to live in?” asked Ruth.

“ No, a little one to make believe,” said Casper.

“ Who'll live there ?” said Ruth.

“ Squirrels,” said Casper.

“T don’t believe they will,” said Ruth,—“it won’t be
soft and warm like their nests.”

“Well, they needn’t live in it unless they’ve a mind
to,” said Casper, “but we can build it. And I'll tell
you what'll make ’em like to come, Ruth—when it’s
done, we'll put plenty of acorns inside.”

So the house was begun at once. Casper found a flat
stone and laid it down for the floor, and then round this
he laid smaller stones one upon another, for the sides.
A great rock made the back of the house, and the front
was left open. Casper said he could build it up and
leave a doorway, but then they couldn’t see in. As for
Ruth, she sought for a big piece of green soft moss, and
laid it down on the floor for a carpet; and it looked so
pretty that she went for more, and carpeted the whole
outside of the house: for the walls were so rough that
the moss held fast with no trouble at all, and the
roof was but another flat stone. Then they emptied the
basket of all its treasures, and went off after acorns.

“ Ruth,” said Casper, “I guess you didn’t learn your
verse to-day.”

“Yes, I did,” said Ruth. “It was this: ‘in my Fa-
ther’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I
would have told you. I go to prepare a place for

Ole

“T don’t know what that means,” said Casper; “it
isn’tas pretty as the other ones.”

““O yes, indeed, it is!” said Ruth earnestly. “ Mother
told me all about it.”

“Weil, you tell me, then,” said Casper.

“The Lord Jesus said those words to the people that
loved him, when he was here in this world,”’ said Ruth,
speaking slow as if she was trying to be very exact.
“They were troubled beeause he was going away to



CASPER. 47

leave them, and they thought they should be all alone
and have nobody to help and comfort them. So then
the Lord Jesus told them not to be troubled—that he
was going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s
house in heaven ; and that some time he would take
them all there, to live with him for ever.”

“ What sort of a place ?” said Casper.

“ Nobody knows yet,” said Ruth, “except that it is all
beautiful and glorious, and every person that lives there
will be perfectly good and happy. One part of the
Bible calls it a great city, built of gold and precious
stones, and where the glory of God makes it so bright
that they have no need of the sun. But Pll tell you
what mother loves best about it—she made me learn
the verses, so that I could say them to her any time.”

“ Don’t she like the beautiful city ?”’ said Casper.

“O yes!” said Ruth, “but then she loves these words
better : ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their
eyes ; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow,
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.’ ‘ And
there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God
and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall
serve him: and they shall see his face; and his name
shall be in their foreheads.’ Mother says that is the
best—then we shall see the Lord Jesus, and never sin
against him any more.”

Little Ruth sat quite silent at the end of her long
speech, and Casper was silent too, and very sober. Up
in the trees whole troops of little birds were singing out
their gladness—the best praise they knew how to give,
and the summer wind blew softly and sweetly through
the many leaves of the forest.

“ Ruth,” said Casper, “I wish I was there now.”

Ruth looked as if she felt quite puzzled by this
speech, and did not know what to say.

“Mother says we can live with Jesus in a way, even
here,” she answered at length, “if we love to think of
him and to do his will.”



48 | CASPER.

“T don’t know anything about that,” said Casper;
“but I mean, Iwish I was anywhere else.”

“ Why, Casper ?”’ said little Ruth.

“JT do,” said Casper, knitting his brows,—“ there’s no-
body at home—nor nothing, either; and it’s miserable,
and so am I.”

“ Not now, Casper ?” said Ruth gently.

“ Well, I can’t be here in the woods all the time,” said
Casper.

“Casper,” said Ruth, when she had been thinking
as hard as she could for a while, “do you ever do
all sorts of things for your father to try to make him
love you ?”’

“No,” said Casper shortly, “and he isn’t my real
father, besides.”

“But he might love you if he isn’t,” said Ruth.

“ Nobody does,” said Casper, as if that settled the
question.

“OQ, Casper!” said Ruth. “I do, and so does mother.”

“Do you think she does?” said Casper.

“Yes, indeed,” said Ruth, “and she prays for you
every day.”

Casper burst into tears.

“QO, Ruth,” he said, “why don’t God love me, and put
me somewhere where I needn’t be miserable ?”

Ruth got down by him and stroked his face, and said,
“ Poor Casper!” several times, but she didn’t say any-
thing else. |

“‘T guess you don’t know,” said Casper rather crossly,
as he sat up again and wiped the tears off his face.

“Maybe you haven’t asked him often enough,” said
Ruth timidly, for Casper’s manner was not encouraging.

‘‘T never did once,” said Casper.

“Well, why don’t you, then?” said Ruth, looking
very much astonished.

“T don’t know,” said Casper—“TI never thought of it.
People never do things when I ask ’em.” 7

“No, not people,” said Ruth reverently, “but God.



CASPER. 49

He likes to have us ask for what we want. And if you
want to go to heaven, Casper, you'll have to ask him to
take you.”

Casper made no answer, but he presently got up from
the stone where he had been sitting, and began again to
look for acorns, and they were soon as busy as ever.

In the heat of their search, as they went diving into
a heap of brush and leaves, up started a little brown and
white hare. It looked at them for a second, and then
jumped away so queerly as to make them both laugh,
for its hind legs were very long and its fore legs very
short. Then they found its bed in the brush heap, soft,
and warm, and round; and Ruth crouched down in it,
and made believe she was a hare; and then Casper made
believe he was another, and tried to run away as the
real hare had done, but he could not make his arms
short enough. In the midst of it all, Mr. Broadaxe
called them back to dinner, and then they both ran as
fast as they could, carrying the basket between them.

How many dinners were eaten in the forest at that
same time! Mr. Broadaxe and his little companions
had theirs spread on a flat stone that came up out of
the moss as if on purpose, and before they began to eat
they asked God’s blessing on what he had given them.
All about on the trees were little birds hopping up and
down, some of them getting a dinner of insects from
among the leaves, while others who liked bread crumbs
came to pick up those which the children scattered.
Bones, and such larger mouthfuls, were thrown to Chip,
who lay waiting ; and not far off among the trees, the
very little hare that Ruth and Casper had seen, was
gnawing the bark of a young tree and nibbling a very
small tuft of clover for its dinner. If the truth must.
be told, a little further off yet was a sparrow hawk,
making a good meal of the last little bird that he had
caught ; and a toad had just swallowed a fly, and a
snake had just swallowed the toad,

D



60 CASPER.

“Mr. Broadaxe,” said “asper,“ what makes the sun
shine?”

“Ask Ruth,” said the woodman.

“T don’t know,” said Ruth, “ only what if says in the
first chapter of Genesis—

““ And God made two great lights: the greater light
to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:
he made the stars also.’”

“That's all you can understand about it at present,”
said the woodman,—* God made the sun, and set it in
une sky to give light upon the earth.”

“Are you going to talk now, Mr. Broadaxe?” said
Ruth.

“ Are you going to tell the story you promised ?”’ said
Casper.

“Tam going to tell Casper a story which Ruth has
heard before,” said the woodcutter, “but it won’t hurt
her to hear it again.”

“Ts it about little boys ?” said Casper.

“It is about the Friend of little boys,” answered the
woodcutier, “What were you saying to Ruth this
morning about being miserable ?”

“ ¥ said I was,” replied Casper.

“Why ?” asked Mr. Broadaxe.

“TI guess you'd be!” said Casper, “if you had to live
home and nobody loved you!”

“Then I would try to please the people that / loved,”
said the woodcutter.

“But there isn’t anybody!” said Casper; “there’s
mever anybody there all day but old Mrs. Clamp—and I
hate her !”

“That is bad,” said Mr. Broadaxe gravely—* that is a
great deal worse than the other. If everybody loved
you, you wouldn’t be happy unless you loved some-

ody.” :

“ Hiverybody don’t,” said Casper. “ Nobody does.”

: “ Nobody?” said Mr. Broadaxe, more gravely than be-
ore.



CASPER. 51

“No,” said Casper.

My. Broadaxe was silent for a minute or two, and
then he spoke again.

“A great many years ago, in a country called Judea,
there were shepherds in the fields by night, taking care
of their sheep. And suddenly there came to them an
angel and said to them,-‘ Behold I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For
unto you is born this day in the city of David, a
Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ And then there
came about the angel a whole multitude of shining
ones from heaven, praising God and saying, ‘ Glory
to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will
toward men.’ ”

“T don’t know what a Saviour means,” said Casper.

“Tf you should fall into the pond at the end of the
village, and I should pull you out, then I should save
you from being drowned,” replied the woodcutter ; “and
if you had lost some of your father’s money, and I
should goto him and pay it, I should save you from
being punished.

“ As soon as the angels were gone, the shepherds said
to each other that they would go to the city, and see
the Saviour who was come into the world.”

“ And did they find him?” said Casper.

“They found him, a very little child, lying in a
manger; but the shepherds fell down and worshipped
him, and returned home, giving thanks to God, for they
believed what the angels had said. And the child was
called Jesus, because he should save his people from
their sins.”

“ How could he ?” said Casper.

“You shall hear,” said the woodman. “For thirty
years the Lord Jesus lived in this world, teaching the
people how to serve him, healing their sicknesses, and
forbidding them to sin. Anda few of the people fol-
lowed him. But many would not believe that he was
the Son of God, and would not love and obey him; be-

D2



52 CASPER.

cause he told them to do what was right, and they loved
to do what was evil. And at last they took him and put
him to death, nailing him to the cross. And three days
after, he rose from the dead, and went up into heaven,
where he ever liveth.”

“What did he let them kill him for ?”’ said Casper.

“Why, he came for that!” said Ruth. “Everybody
had sinned against God, and somebody must be pu-
nished ; and then Jesus came and died for us, that if we
will love him and follow him, we might live and not die.
And if we really trust to him with our hearts, God will
forgive us all our sins for his sake—because he took our
punishment.”

“What do you think, Casper?” said the woodman ;
“does no one love you? ‘God so loved the world, that
he sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
in him might not perish but have everlasting life ;’ and
the Lord Jesus came from all his heavenly glory, and
lived, and suffered, and died, that just such poor sinners
as you and I, Casper, might live for ever in heaven and
not in hell.”

“Then he isn’t here now,” said Casper. “I wish he
was!”

“He is near you all the time, little Casper,” said the
woodman ; “‘ he can hear every word you say, and knows
every thought you think. And if you will pray to him,
and try to be his little child, you will never be miserable
any more. ‘When my father and my mother forsake
me, then the Lord will take me up.’ ”

Casper made no answer. He had dropped his head
upon his hand, and so he sat for some time without
speaking or moving. And when at last the wood-
cutter said it was time to go, and they all got up
and began to walk through the forest, Casper walked
along just as silent as ever; only once when he saw
Ruth looking at him, there came a little gush of tears
from his eyes, and he put up his hand quick to wipe
them away.



CASPER. 53

Mr. Broadaxe took them both home with him to sup-
per, and when the two children were coming away toge-
ther, Casper looked up, and said—

“Mr. Broadaxe, when will you talk again ?”

“JT don’t know,” said the woodcutter, smiling kindly
“T must work to-morrow ; but we'll see.”

Ruth and Casper walked quietly on till they were
near Mrs. Cheerful’s cottage, when Ruth suddenly ex-
claimed—

“Casper! mother ll talk to you whenever you'll
come! Will you come to-morrow ?”

“T can’t,” said Casper; “father said I was to go to
the mill.”

“Well, Sunday, then—you can come after church.”

“ Well, maybe I will,” said Casper ; and bidding Ruth
good night, he ran home, for it was quite late, and
every little bird in the forest had its head under its
wing.

CHAPTER VIII.

Tux forest in which Mr. Broadaxe pursued his business
of woodcutting, and where little Ruth came to pick up
chips, and Casper to see them both, was very large.
The trees of it rose up like a great wall very near the
village where Casper lived, and from thence it stretched
away back into the mountains, and ran up their sides,
sometimes even to the very top. By the village, and
for some miles from there, the woods were a good deal
cleared up ; the underbrush was cut out, and the trees
were thinned, and you could find no wild animals but
squirrels and rabbits, and now and then a woodchuck or
aracoon. But coing towards the mountains the woods
grew thicker. ‘The trees stood close together, and wild



54 CASPER.

vines crept up their trunks, and twined about their
branches, and low bushes grew about their roots—
huckleberry, and sweetbriar, and dogwood. The moss
grew thick and rank in the shade, and whole beds of
fern sent up their beautiful leaves which the wind could
hardly get in to stir. Over the ground in some places
the little partridge berry spread itself—a mere mat of
leaves and white flowers ; and the wintergreens clus-
tered together in large patches, hanging full of their
pretty red fruit, which no one ever found but the wild
birds,

There were plenty of birds—and of squirrels too, for
that matter; and now and then a snake went softly
along, and frightened them both. The woodpecker
hammered all day upon the hollow trees, and picked out
the insects from under the bark with his sharp bill, and
the oriole swung her hammock of a nest from the branch
of some weeping elm, and then bade defiance to the
black snake and all his advances. }

But other sounds were heard besides the “ tap, tap,”
of the woodpecker, or the sharp little “chip!” of the
hackee, for so the Indians call the little striped squir-
rel. Sometimes a wolf would stroll through the forest,
with two or three after him for company; and when
they all cried out together, any little animal that had
stayed out too late trembled and shook all over. And
if the pretty deer that were lying down among the fern
leaves heard the soft bounds of a panther coming along,
they took to their heels as fast as fear could make them.

An old gray wolf had her den just at the foot of the
mountains ; indeed there was quite a scttlement in that
vee though one could hardly call it a neighbour-

ood.

The wolf had made her home in a cave-like sort of a
place, where great rocks lay piled together, leaving a
dry rock house within, that was wolfish and wild
enough ; and there the old wolf lived and amused her-
self with her eight cubs, for whose comfort she had



CASPER. 55

Jined the nest with moss and her own hair. They
were soft little things, with eyes as tight shut as if they
had been kittens; and their mother probably thought
they were about perfect, and looked forward with plea-
sure to the six or eight months during which she must
mount guard over them, and never let them go out
alone. And, as soon as they were old enough to eat
meat, the two old wolves went out and caught sheep
and deer and all sorts of dainties, and having first
chewed the meat and swallowed it to make it tender,
they brought it up again, and fed the young ones out
of their own mouths. And so well did the cubs thrive
with all this care and attention, that in a short time
they were able to chew for themselves, and could even
tear a lamb to pieces if it was young and tender ; while
for growling and fighting there was not a more pro-
mising set of young wolves in the whole country. They
could amuse themselves so by the hour together.

In the same line of life—although great enemies to
the wolves—were a family of foxes, that lived half-way
up the mountain, in the thickest of the wood. Any-
body who had gone in among the trees and looked care-
fully enough, would have seen a dark hole, going into
the very hill side. This was the foxes’ front-door, and
led to a long burrow or passage-way cut in the earth ;
and at the further end of the burrow the foxes lived.
There were but seven of them, altogether—the two old
ones and five cubs; but that was seven too many, con-
sidering what wicked little things they were. The old
fox would steal out at night and goto the barns and
chicken-houses that were a long way off, and if there
was one chicken straying out where he ought not to
be, or roosting on too low a branch, the old fox was
sure to have him, and would go back to her cubs with
the chicken in her mouth. Sometimes if the duck-
house had been left open she went in there, and killed
more than she could carry away; or, if there was.
nothing to be got in the barnyard, the fox would,



56 CASPER.

maybe, surprise a partridge on her way home, and then
the cubs had a dainty supper. To pay for this, how-
ever, there were times when the partridge managed to
hide all her brood, when the chickens were shut up,
and the rabbits invisible; and then the foxes took what
they could get—lizards and frogs, a snake, or a family
of field mice. Such were busy times for the old foxes ;
mice were smalj, and the cubs hungry. They growled
‘and grumbled a great deal sometimes, because they
could not reach the wild grapes that hung about the
trees at the mouth of their hole—these grapes would
have made such a nice dessert after a chicken dinner.

On one of the same trees, where the grape vines
clambered about, an oriole had built her nest—built it,
too, on a branch that stretched far out beyond the
others, quite over the foxes’ front-door. It was a queer
nest, hung upon several strong threads, and these made
fast to the very end of the branch. The nest itself was
made of wool and flax and threads of hemp, which the
bird had woven neatly together into a rough sort of
cloth, and sewed through and through with long horse-
hairs. The bottom was made of tufts of cow’s hair,
sewed like the rest ; and within, the lning was thick
and soft. Little tufts of wool and of moss were laid in
first, and then a thick layer of horse-hair, smoothly
woven and twisted round. The whole nest was seven
inches long and five across, and was narrowed up toa
small hole at the top, over which hung a great bunch of
elm leaves, and helped keep off the rain.

The birds were as pretty as their nest, for they were
dressed in bright orange and black feathers, and flew
about among the green leaves like gleams of fire. They
were very merry too, and whistled all the while the nest
was a-building ; but when it was done, and the little
mother bird had laid in it five little white eggs, all
streaked and spotted with purple, then she began to
ie on them all day, and let the other bird whistle for

er.



CASPER. 57

After a time, five little orioles broke the eggshells
and came out, having on little downy coats—very thin
ones too; and then the two old birds were busier than
ever. As soon as it grew light in the morning they
flew off, and then every little while one or the other
would come back to the nest with a worm or a bug or a
beetle for the young ones: there was a kind of little
green beetle that they all loved particularly. And there
were always five little mouths wide open at the bottom
of the nest, the moment the old bird was seen at the
top. They all opened their mouths every time, though
they were fed only in turn; but they never could re-
member that, or perhaps they hoped that their mother
would not.

When the little ones grew older, and had eaten a great
many green beetles, their feathers began to appear, and
they looked a great deal prettier, and the nest became
almost too small to hold them. But the top of it was
so far off that they could not get there, do what they
would, for their wings were not strong yet.

“Tf we could only climb up to the top we could look
out so finely,” said one of the brood

And forthwith he tried, but only succeeded in tumbling
down upon the heads of the others. And as they felt
themselves deeply injured thereby, there is no telling
what might have followed, had not the mother bird at
that moment come in with a green beetle. is

“Mother!” screamed all the young ones at once,
“why can’t we go up to the top of the nest?”

“Because you can’t get there,” said the old bird as
she flew off. The young ones were quiet till she came
back, and then they screamed out again—

“ Well, why don’t you take us up there ?”

“T’ve got something else to do,” said Mrs. Oriole,
putting a little brown worm into the mouth of the
noisiest, and going off again.

“Tl tell you what,” said that little fellow as soon as



58 CASPER.

he had swallowed the worm, “wait till to-night, and
then we'll ask her. I can keep awake now, sometimes,
if I try hard.”

So all the rest of the day they were perfectly quiet ;
but when the sun set, and the old bird came back and
covered them up with her wings, they poked their heads
out through the feathers and began to talk.

“Mother, what is there outside of the nest ?”’

“Great trees,” said the mother bird sleepily, for she
was tired after her day’s work.

“ And what else ?” said the youngsters.

‘“‘ Foxes—” replied Mrs. Oriole.

“Foxes!” cried all the young ones, opening their
eyes very wide. “O, what are foxes?”

“Great beasts, that love little birds and eat ’em up
whenever they can find ’em.”’

All the young heads went back under Mrs. Oriole’s
wings at that, and for a while there was so little said,
that the young ones fell asleep before they knew it. But
when the daylight came they felt very brave again, and
began as beiore.

“ Mother, why aren’t you afraid of the foxes ?”’

“Tcan fly.” And away she flew.

“Then the foxes can’t, I suppose,’ said one of the
young ones, “and if they can’t fly, they can’t get up
here. I should like to see ’em so much.”

Carefully he began to climb again, sticking his claws
into the sides of the nest and working his way up, till
he really arrived at the top and could stick his head
out of the hole. How splendid it was!

There were great trees, just as the old bird had
said, but where were the foxes? The little bird looked
and looked but could see none. His feet began to feel
very tired, but still he held on and looked about him,
till far down, down near the ground, he saw something
moving ; and a large black snake began to climb a little
tree that was there. Up it came, almost to the very



CASPER. 59

top, and then darting out upon one of the branches,
stuck its head into a nest of young sparrows, and ate
them all up, one by one!

The young oriole was so frightened that he forgot all
about holding on, and if he had been on the edge of the
nest he would most certainly have fallen over to the
black snake: as it was, ke only fell down to the bottom
of the nest, fully believing that he was dead; and no-
thing could convince him of the contrary, till his
mother came in and pvesented him with a green beetle.

But after that, the young orioles were content to stay
where their mother bade them, until their wings were
grown, and they also could fly.

CHAPTER IX.

Tur next morning after the day spent in the woods,
Casper was sent off very early to mill, as he had ex-
pected. Mrs. Clamp had declared that there was no
more flour in the house to make bread, and therefore
Casper and a little sack were sent for more. Trudging
along the dusty road, his sack flung over his shoulder,
Casper paid small heed to the dust, and only enough to
the sack to keep it in its place. If he had not been so
tired last night he would have thought a great deal of
all Mr. Broadaxe and Ruth had said: as it was, he went
to sleep and dreamed about it: and now this morning
his thoughts were very busy. Two new ideas had come
into his head ; first, that he could not be happy without
loving somebody, and then that God really loved him.
It puzzled Casper especially why, in that case, his
mother should have died—and why he himself should
have been such a miserable little boy ever since; only
as he could not forget that he had not been a very good



60 CASPER,

little boy, the wonder seemed less. And what should he
do to be good, and how should he learn the way. “Pray
to Jesus, and trv,” the woodcutter had said; Casper
thought he didn’t know how to do either, But he did
go and kneel down by the hedge, and say a poor little
prayer—a few words of begging that the Lord Jesus
would love him, and take care of him, and take him to
heaven—and then he went on his way. And everything
looked brighter and sweeter, as if the morning had
changed; but it was only Casper’s heart that felt
lighter.

The flour mill stood about two miles off, over a stream
that came rushing down from the hills, and then flowed
gently through a broad meadow. Outside, the water
and the wind kept things fresh enough, but within
everything was dusty with white dust; tall flour bags
stood about the floor, and between them lay the flour
which had been spilled, and the miller and all his
men looked pretty much like other flour bags moving
about.

There was a great whirring to be heard when Casper
got there, for the mill was hard at work. The water
went tumbling and foaming along, turning the great
wheels in its way; and as the wheels went round and
round outside the mill, they turned the huge grindstones
within. Casper saw how the grains of wheat were put
into a vessel above the stones, which was called the
hopper, and how from the hopper they fell slowly down
between the stones; and then, as the upper stone went
round upon the under one, the wheat was crushed, and
ground, and came out in soft flour beneath.

Then the miller put the flour through a sieve, which
he called bolting it; and some he bolted two or three
times ; but that for Casper was bolted only once. And
when the sack was filled and tied up, and Casper had
paid for it, the miller told him he had better sit down
and rest. So laying his own little sack on the floor,
Casper climbed up to the top of a high flour bag, and



CASPER. 61

looked about him. He was very glad not to go home
just then, there was no chance of anything pleasant
there, and it might be too late to find Ruth in the woods.
And besides, he was really tired, for his little feet made
a great many steps out of the two miles. Nobody took
any notice of him; the miller and his men went tramp-
ing about, busy and in haste; the mill kept on its whir-
ring, and the splash of the water on the great wheels
outside could be distinctly heard. Casper could hear
little else. Through the open mill-door he saw the birds
fly to and fro; he saw the mill stream, which, having
got away from the wheels, turned into a little brook,
and ran away as fast as it could; he saw the steeple of
the village church just peeping over the hill; and off
on one side began the forest, and stretched away into
the blue distance. Casper fixed his eyes on those tall
trees, and thought of Ruth, and of Mr. Broadaxe, and
Chip, and wondered what they were all doing. And then
he wondered if he ever should be good—like Ruth ; and
if so, what things he should do and what things he
shouldn’t ; whether he should have to walk so far with
a great bag of flour on his back, and whether his father
would make him fetch all the water, and whether it
would be any pleasanter to do it than it was now. And
as he thought these things, Casper laid his head down on
the flour bag next him, and went to sleep.

“What shall we do with this boy ?” said the miller,
when dinner-time came.

“ Lock him up and leave him,” said one of the men;
and they locked the mill door, and went off to dinner.

At that time the mice usually came out to get theirs;
for though they managed to pick up a few grains of
wheat or a little flour between the sacks, while the men
were about, yet they dared not venture out on the open
floor. Now, however, they came forth, ran back when
they saw Casper, and ran out again when they found he
He not stir, aud then went on just as if he had not been

ere.



62 CASPER.

Poor little Casper !

His feet hung dangling down the sides of one great
sack, and his head nestled down on the top of another,
and his coat and hair were already much whiter than
when he entered the mill; for the flour had dusted them
in all directions. Once or twice he twisted about as if
his bed were far from comfortable, and then for a long
time he lay perfectly still; only smiling now and then
in a way that would have made Ruth quite happy.

What do you suppose made him smile? He was

dreaming. When he first went to sleep he was tired
and hungry, and this made him turn about so; but
after a while he fell into a sweet dream, and then lay
quiet.
; He thought he was in the beautiful city, the city of
which Ruth had told him; that the streets were all
made of gold, and the light so bright as he had never
seen. And suddenly Casper thought to himself that he
had no business there, with his dusty little feet and
ragged clothes; what should he do in such a glorious
place? But when he looked at himself all was changed.
His clothes were whole and white, more beautiful than
any he had ever seen; he had clean hands, there was
not a particle of soil to be found upon him. He felt,
too, that he was rested; instead of being weary and
ready to cry, 1t seemed as if he had no more tears to
shed.

And while Casper was wondering at all this, he saw
little Ruth Cheerful ; who came running up to him in
clothes as beautiful as his own. But when she was
going to speak, Casper prevented her, and asked how he
got there. And Ruth said—

‘““Q, Casper, the Lord Jesus has loved you, and died
that you might come here, and now you have come; and
we will love and serve Him for ever!”

Casper thought he could have cried then for joy, he
was so happy; he even thought that the tears did come
into his eyes; but as he put up his hand to rub them



CASPER. 63

away, the bright city faded out of his sight, little Ruth
changed and changed till she looked like only a stick of
wood, and Casper was sitting up on the flour bag, rub-
bing his eyes very hard to know whether he were still
in a dream or no. There was the old mill, the heavy
stones, the sacks, the little mice; there was even the
miller unlocking the door on his return from dinner !

“Well, sleepy child,” said the miller, “ you’ve had a
fine sleep.”

“Yes,” said Casper. “I wish I hadnt ever waked
u ae

The men all laughed at that; and Casper, feeling much
more ready to cry, jumped down from the flour bag, took
up his own little sack, and marched out of the mill door
without another word.

With what disgust he looked at his clothes, thinking
of those so white and new which he had wern in his
dream! Casper felt tired and downhearted. Tor a while
he walked fast, as if to get away from his bad feelings ;
then his feet went slower and slower; then he stopped
and sat down under the hedge. He sat there after his
old fashion, sticking out his feet into the dust, and feel-
ing miserable ; and there is no telling when he would
have stirred, if he had not heard the wheels of a wagon
coming along. Then Casper got up, and having with
some trouble got the sack of flour on his back again, he
walked on. But he saw now that there was a little hole
in the sack—the mice might have gnawed it while he
was asleep—and through that hole the flour came drop-
ping out, and left a little white streak on the ground as
he went along. The wagon came on, and stopped just
by him. It was a great farm wagon, full of sheaves of
wheat: two fat brown horses drew it along, and a plea-
sant-looking man sat between them and the wheat.

“ Look here, my boy!” he called to Casper. Casper
looked, but said nothing.

“ Who lives in that red house next the orchard, yon-
der?” said the man.



64 CASPER.

“ Farmer Pippin,” said Casper.

“ Weil, now, my child, run over there, will you ?—I
can’t leave my horses—and ask him fora white sheep-
skin that belongs to Mr. Sickles—you fetch it to me,

will you?”

Casper opened his eyes very wide, and didn’t feel at
all disposed to go.

© Yow re spilling your flour,” said the man, smiling.
“T aint,” said Casper, “ it’s ‘the bag.”

“ Well, i guess it is the bag’s fault, ” said the man
with another smile, “ Come, run, will’ you?”

Casper was just going to say no. He was tired, it
was rather late; the bag was easily put down, indeed,
but it was hard to get it up to his shoulder again ; and,
moreover, Mr. Pippin’s red house was beyond a broad
meadow and two fences. But, as he looked up to speak,
the face of little Ruth Cheerful came to his mind—so
bright, so unselfish ; and instead of no, Casper said yes.

He put down the bag and climbed the fence, and had
begun to walk over the meadow, when Mr. Sickles
called him.

“ Look here, my boy!”

Casper looked once more, and then as he saw the man
beckon, he came back and climbed over the fence again.
Mr. Sickles opened his pocket-book and took out some
money.

“ There’s two shillings owing them,” he said ; “and if
you carry the cash there’ll be no fear of your getting
the skin. Now, go.”

““ What did you make me come back for ?”’ said Cas-
per, not very well pleased.

“To get this money for Mr. Pippin,” said the man
with another smile. “ Ah, you don’t like to be called
back, hey? Never mind, my boy—don’t ever refuse to
help ‘make road for other people, because some day you
may travel that way yourself. You needn’t hurry, but
the quicker you’re back the better I shall like it.”

And Casper once more set forth, nor was it long be-

99



CASPER. 65

fore he came back again with the pretty white sheep-
skin in his hand.

“ There’s a good boy,” said Mr. Sickles, “first rate.
Where are you going ?”

“ Home,” said Casper.

“Where's that ?”

“ In the village.”

“ Do you think you'll ever get there on those two lit-
tle feet ?”” said Mr. Sickles, with a very beaming face.

Casper couldn’t help smiling a little too, as he said,
“he guessed he should.”

“You like walking better than riding?” said Mr.
Sickles.

“ No,” said Casper.

“Then jump up here and sit in the wheat,” said the
wagoner, “and there'll be some chance of the flour’s
getting home too—you can hold the bag with one hand,
and the hole with the other. Jump up!”

Casper jumped up, in high spirits ; Mr. Sickles pushed
him down into a little nest among the wheatsheaves,
where he was as comfortable as could be, and the two
brown horses moved on. Casper was so glad they had a
heavy load and couldn’t go faster!

Jog, jog, went the horses, and the wagon rolled after
them, and jolted over the stones in the most slow and
comfortable manner. The sharp, bearded ears of wheat
hung down from the sheaves and scratched Casper’s legs,
and tickled his neck, and dressed off his hair after a
most curious fashion; but it was so delightful to ride,
and the soft straw on which he sat rested him so nicely,
that he minded not the scratching a whit.

“ What sort of place is the village ?”’ said Mr. Sickles.
“ Pleasant ?” |

“ No,” said Casper.

“Ah, that’s bad,” said his friend, “people ought to
live in a pleasant place. Why isn’t the village plea-
sant ?”

Zz



66 CASPER.

“ T don’t know,” said Casper, “maybe it is, but our
house isn’t.”

“ Why not?” said Mr. Sickles, looking round at him.

“ Mother’s dead,” said Casper, as if that told every-
thing.

Mr. Sickles looked away again, and said, “get up!”
to the horses in a very imperative way.

“ Do you know where I live?” he said, after a pause.

“No,” said Casper.

“See that hill yonder, with a white house and a red
barn just at the top ?”

Casper said yes.

“ That’s the place,” said Mr. Sickles, “nice place too,
and pleasant—I don’t care who says it aint. Now, do
you think you could walk so far?”

Casper wondered whether Mr. Sickles was going to
ask him to carry the sheepskin up there, because the
wagon had to go somewhere else, but he only said yes,
again.

“Well, come up some time and spend the day, will
you?” said Mr. Sickles. “Come to-morrow.”

“ Spend the whole day?” said Casper.

“Why, yes,” said hisfriend. “Got anything to do at
home ?”

“Ono!” said Casper. “I should like to come very
snuch.”

“ Well, there’s nothing to hinder, that I can see,” re-
plied Mr. Sickles. And he was silent again till they
reached the village. There he stopped for Casper to
get out. Casper couldn’t shake hands with him, for it
was all both hands could do to manage the flour bag,
but he said, ‘Thank you, sir.”

“ Look here!” said Mr. Sickles, as he turned away,
“what’s your name? If the wrong boy comes to-mor-
row I should like to. know it.”

“ My name’ 8 Casper.”

“Well, see,” continued Mr. Sickles, “do you always
carry that face round with you ?”



CASPER. 67

“J haven’t got any other face,”’ said Casper.

“ Well, do you always cry every day ? or do you laugh
some of ’em ?”

“Tdon’t cry when [m out in the woods with Ruth,”
replied Casper.

-“ Don’t bring any tears along to-morrow,” said Mr.
Sickles,—“‘ my wife’s always scared when she sees a
child cry—it frightens her a’most to death, and you'd
be sorry to do that, I’m sure.”

He nodded his head and told the brown Horses to go
on, and Casper turned into the village, thinking what a
very queer woman Mrs. Sickles must be !

CHAPTER X.

Tue house where Mr. Sickles lived was near the very
top of a high hill that rose up behind the village. Pretty
meadows and grain fields, and pieces of woodland, made
the side of the hill a mere piece of patch-work ; and
winding among the patches went the road. At the back
of the house was a dark green spot of forest trees, and
in front and at the sides were garden beds—in front full
of gay flowers, at the sides full of vegetables. There
was also, near by, a large red barn, and a cow house, and
a chicken roost, and a pigeon house, and further off a
_ pen for the pigs. And everything was in perfect order.
» It wasa morning late inthe summer. The sun had
' shone for some time on the hill top, with its white house
and red barn, and was now diving down into the valley
and searching about there. Little clouds of fog hung
about the hill, and floated softly away before the morn-
ing wind, and Mr. Sickles’ black cock was crowing very
heartily, as if he felt in good spirits. And why shouldn’t
he? for there came Mrs. Sickles with a whole dishful of
E 2



68 CASPER.

eatables, intended expressly for the chickens. With
one hand she held the dish, and with the other she
scattered the breakfast, while cock and hen and chick
fluttered round her and ate as fast as they could. Then
Mrs. Sickles shaded her eyes with one hand from the
bright sunbeams, and looked off across the fields. There
were some black specks in a distant meadow, which
might be Mr. Sickles and his men at work, but they
were too far off for her to see much of them.

A little red dog who sat by her, his tail curled up out
of the dew, now gave a sharp little bark, and Mrs.
Sickles turned and looked down the road.

The sunbeams lay very bright there, with only a tree
shadow now and then, and in the very midst of sun-
shine and shadow—toiling along through both, was a
little figure that caught Mrs. Sickles’ eye at once—she
looked more intently than before. The little red dog
jumped up, and said with a growl that he would go and
see who it was.

“Sit down, Gruff!” said Mrs. Sickles. And Gruff sat
down, and curled up his tail as before.

“Don’t you stir! Gruff,” said Mrs. Sickles ; and she
went back to the house, and put her dish away, and
came out again, while Gruff whined, and seemed to feel
very bad. But when his mistress came out, she walked
straight down to the garden gate that opened upon the
road, and there she stood, looking very hard at the little
figure, and the little figure looked just as hard at her.

She was a pretty young woman, with gentle eyes and
smooth shining hair, and a fair sweet face; her dark
dress as neat as wax, with an immense check apron,
that nearly covered her up. She never moved till the
little figure was very near the gate, then she opened it,
and stepped out.

“Ts that Casper ?”’ she said.

“ Yes, ma’am,” said Casper.

“I’m so glad you have come!” said Mrs. Sickles,
“T was afraid you wouldn’t.” And she stooped down



CASPER. 69

by Casper, and laying her hands on his shoulders, looked
at him for a minute, and then kissed him.

Casper was very much surprised, and the tears started
right up into his eyes—it wasn’t often that anybody
gave him a kiss now-a-days. But remembering what
Mr. Sickles had said, he turned his face away as quick
as he could, and rubbed his eyes very hard with his
hands. He hoped Mrs. Sickles didn’t see the tears, but
he was not quite sure, he thought he saw her rub her
own eyes with her apron. But she did not look
frightened, she only took his hand, and led him on to
the house.

“Mr. Sickles has gone to the field,” she said, “and
won't be back till dinner, and I am to take care of you
in the meantime. Did you walk all the way from the
village ?”’

“Yes, ma’am,” said Casper. “O, how sweet the
flowers are!”

Mrs. Sickles looked pleased at that, and she stooped
down, and picked a red rose for him, and stuck it into
the buttonhole of his jacket.

“Why, what time do you eat breakfast at home?”
she said. “How could you get here so early, and walk
all the way ?”

“We have breakfast when father gets up,” said
Casper ; for he didn’t want to say that neither thing
had happened before he left home, and that he had
caught up a piece of bread, and run off with it while
everybody else was asleep.

“What do you think you will do here, all the long
day ?” said Mrs. Sickles.

“‘T don’t know,” said Casper. “ What are you going
to do?” So he felt quite at home already,—the way
Mrs. Sickles had hold of his hand, made him forget that
he had never seen her before in his life. So he looked
up, and smiled in her face, and asked her what she was
going to do.

She said she must wash the breakfast dishes, and



70 CASPER.

that he should feed the chickens for her in the mean
while.

“T thought you were feeding ’em when I came,” said
Casper.

“Yes, I fed the cocks and hens,” said Mrs. Sickles,
“but there are some little chicks in a coop.”

She mixed a saucer of food for them, and showed him
where the coop was, and then went into the house again
to her dishes; and for half an hour Casper quite forgot
that he had ever been miserable. There he sat before
the coop, throwing down the wetted meal by spoonfuls,
and watching the soft little white and brown chickens
as they came out and picked it up. They enjoyed it
very much, but there was not a chick of them all so
pleased as Casper. There were large daisies and clover
heads growing about in the grass, and Casper picked
some of them, and laid them over the coop till it looked
quite flowery. He had seen daisies and clover often
enough before, but none that he ever thought half so
pretty.

Suddenly a voice called him.

“Casper !” it said.

And Casper started, for he feared that some one had
come for him; but when he looked round, there was
only Mrs. Sickles standing in the cottage door with a
basket in her hand. Casper ran to her.

“Tam going into the garden to pick some beans for
dinner,” she said, “and you can help me.”

Casper never had picked any beans in his life, but
he soon learned which were fit to pick, and which must
be left to grow yet a while longer. And when the
basket was full, Mrs. Sickles picked two or three
large yellow squashes, with green stripes, and carried
them into the house along with the beans. Then,
while she pared the squashes, Casper shelled the
beans ; and then Mrs. Sickles told him to amuse him-
self as he liked, in the house or out of the house, till
dinner,



CASPER. 71

Casper went to the door and looked out, then he came
back into the kitchen.

“Mrs. Sickles, may I go all over your house ?”

“Yes, to be sure,” she said, with a smile. “I am cer-
tain you won't touch anything that oughtn’t to be
touched.”

“T won’t touch anything at all,” said Casper. “TIL
only just look at everything.’ And off he went.

First into the parlour, which opened out of the
kitchen, but it was so dark there that he couldn’t see
much ; though after a while he counted six chairs, and
two rocking chairs, and a table full of books, and a
looking-glass, and two white muslin curtains. Casper
came out, and shut the door, and went softly upstairs.

There were a good many little rooms there, but most
of them looked as if nobody slept in them. Some had
beds, but the beds were not made up; and some had
pans of currants drying in the window, and strings of
dried apples, and of red peppers, hanging about the
wall. Bunches of dried herbs, too, were there; and in
one room was a quantity of white wool, and a spinning
wheel. Casper shut that door, and opened another.
Somebody slept in that room, for the bed was made up
with very white sheets and a checked woollen spread,
and the pitcher was full of clean water, and clean towels
hung by it. A looking-glass was there too, with a little
white-covered table beneath, and a pincushion on the
table; and there were four chairs, and three windows.
Between the windows hung a little picture. Casper got
up in a chair to see it better.

It was a picture of a pretty-faced, rosy-cheeked little
boy, with blue check apron that came up close round
his neck, and a little old straw hat in his hand. In the
front of the picture sat a little red dog, that looked very
much like Gruff—his tail was curled up after just the
same fashion.

Casper stood and looked at it fora long time. He
had never seen a pretty picture of any pretty thing in



72 CASPER.

his life before ; and this little boy was most pleasant te

7* look at. The little face made Casper think of Ruth,
and he didn’t like it the less for that. But he wondered
so much who the boy could be, and where he was.
Casper thought he would go and ask Mrs. Sickles, she
must know; and he jumped from his chair, and ran
down stairs to the kitchen to find her, but she was not
there. And then seeing a large door stand open into
the shed outside, he thought he might as well go out
and see what was to be seen in that direction. The
shed was very full of all sorts of things, and Casper had
his hands full of business at once. Over the beams
hung calf skins and one sheep skin—Casper remembered
that—and against the wall hung a saddle and a bridle,
and a string of red onions, and an old pan, and two
nurseshoes. There was a pail in one corner, and a
broom, a wire sieve, a hoe, and a sledge hammer stood
round the sides. ‘Two or three barrels and boxes filled
the end of the shed ; but when Casper began to explore
them, a white hen, with a very red comb and very
yellow legs, flew out of one of the barrels, and began to
cackle as if she was astonished clean out of her wits.
Casper felt quite frightened, and afraid he had done
mischief ; but he couldn’t take his eyes off the hen, and
as he walked backwards to the kitchen door he ran right
against Mrs. Sickles.

“YT didn’t mean to frighten the hen,” said Casper,
looking up at her. “I just went over there, and she
flew out.”

“She’s not much frightened,” said Mrs. Sickles, “she
cackles because she has laid anegg. Come, we will go
and get it.”

The barrel was so high that Casper couldn’t see over
it ; but Mrs. Sickles held him up, and he looked down
to the very bottom of the barrel, and there lay a large
white egg, and another one not so white.

Mrs. Sickles stooped over into the barrel and got the
white egg, and she let Casper carry it into the house



CASPER. | lo

and into the pantry, and lay it on adish that wasco- _-

vered with eggs—large eggs and small, some brown and
some white.

“ Mrs. Sickles,” said Casper suddenly, “ where’s that
little boy up-stairs ? Does he live here ?”

Mrs. Sickles had followed him out of the pantry, and
they both stood before the kitchen fire on the broad
hearthstone. She had been smiling a minute before,
but when Casper spoke to her she started and looked
quite pale.

“No,” she said, in a low voice.

“ Well, where does he live, then?” said Casper.

She didn’t answer at first, and then she said, with just
the same low voice,

“In heaven.”

And went away.

Casper looked after her, but she had gone so quick
that he couldn’t tell where she went; so he looked back
at the fire again. He felt very much astonished.

He had been dreaming of heaven, and Ruth and Mr.
Broadaxe had told him about it, and now here was the
picture of a little boy who really lived there; lived
there all the time. Casper wondered if the little boy
was very happy—and if he had ever been miserable ;
and whether he wore that same little blue apron now,
or the white clothes of his dream. And then he went
up-stairs to look at the child again—and thought he
must have been very good—he looked so like Ruth!

Mr. Sickles came home to dinner, and they had a very
merry time; and the dinner was very good too, and
much more substantial than Casper’s breakfast. And as
for Casper himself, you would hardly have known him.
He was very quiet, to be sure, and didn’tsay much, but
he laughed more than he had done in a great while be-
fore, and his little face looked quite unlike itself, it was
so bright.

After dinner Mr, Sickles went back to the field and



74 CASPER.

took Casper with him, and instead of walking they rode
in the ox-cart.

“Look here,” said Mr. Sickles as they rode along,
“how did you scare my wife this morning 2?”

“ Why, I haven’t !”’ said Casper.

“QO,” said Mr. Sickles, “1 thought maybe you had ;”
after which he said not a word till they reached the
field.

Three or four men were there making hay. Some
were heaping it up in large hay-cocks, and some were
raking it together, and when the cart arrived they be-
gan to throw the hay into that with their long pitch-
forks. Casper found a rake which had lost part of its
handle and so was short enough for him to manage, and
then he helped the men rake hay. When the cart was
loaded it went off to the barn, and the men threw the
hay into the barn and came back with the empty cart.
And Mr. Sickles put Casper down on the ground and
covered him up with the hay, and made him run races
with Gruff, and made Gruff chase him.

The hay was very sweet and the sun was very bright,
and the field crickets sang away at the top of their
voices,

When it grew late, and the cart went home for the
last time, Mr. Sickles and Casper climbed up to the very
top of the great load of hay and sat there. And when
they got to the barn Mrs. Sickles was standing in the
great doorway, ready to take Casper down. Tea was
oy too; and as soon as tea was over Casper went

ome.

But when he was just going, and Mrs. Sickles had
stooped down to kiss him as she did in the morning,
Casper put his face close to hers and said softly,

“ How did the little boy get to heaven ?”

And she answered,

“The Lord Jesus took him,”



CASPER. 75

CHAPTER XI.

“ Morumr,” said little Ruth, “isn’t it a great while
since Casper was here ?”

“When was the last time, Ruth ?”

“Why, he hasn’t been here—I mean I haven’t seen
him—since the day Mr. Broadaxe took us into the
forest.”

“That is only four days ago, little child,” said her
mother.

“To be sure it isn’t,” said Ruth; “and Casper said
he had to go to the mill next day. But why didn’t he
come Friday or Saturday ?”

“ Saturday it rained.”

“ But it didn’t rain Friday, nor Sunday,” said Ruth;
“it was beautiful all day. And I asked him to come
Sunday.”

Ruth went to the door and stood still, thinking over
the matter very gravely, when suddenly she heard quick
footsteps running round the house, and Casper himself
appeared. Ruth was full of questions and exclamations
of delight, but the little boy was so out of breath that
be didn’t answer for a minute, and then he only said,

“T’ve come—I’ve got here at last.”

“Well, why didn’t you come before?” said Ruth.

“T couldn’t,” said Casper, still panting.

“Not Sunday?” said Ruth. “ O, Casper! you didn’t
have to go to the mill Sunday ?”

“No,” said Casper: “but father staid home all
day and kept me. O, Ruth—I’m never coming any
more !’’ And Casper sat down on the doorstep and
cried.

“Why, what can you mean ?”’ said Ruth, who would
have cried too, only that she couldn’t believe such bad
news at once hearing. “What’s the reason, Casper ?
won’t you tell me?”



76 CASPER.

“ Father says I shan’t,” said Casper ; and then he felt
vexed and stopped crying. “He says I shan’t—but ]J
will, too! Iran away now, and I will again !”’

“O, don’t talk so! please don’t!” said little Ruth.
“Don’t talk about your father, but just tell me what’s
the matter—won’t you, Casper ”

“T can’t tell you what’s the matter without talking
about him,” said Casper.

“Well, don’ t be vexed with me,” said Ruth, gently,
“only tell me.’

“Ym cross, I know Iam, Ruth,” said Casper looking
up at her sorrowfully, “but it’s so hard! You see, I
went up the mountain Friday to see Mr. Sickles—and
O, Ruth, such a splendid place! Great loads of hay
bigger than your house; and ever so many chickens,
and hundreds of flowers. And Mrs. Sickles was just as
good asshe could be. And she let me feed the chickens,
and then I went out into the fields and helped ’em rake
hay, and I didn’t get home till it was quite dark.”

“How happy you must have been!” said Ruth, look-
ing as pleased as if it had all happened to herself.
“But what made you go?”

“He asked me to,” said Casper. “I met him t’other
day when I came from the mill. 0, it’s a splendid

ace!”

“ Well, you'll go there again, won’t you ? ?” said Ruth.

oe I’m never going anywhere again,” said Casper,
his tone changing, and the cloud coming over his face.
“You see, Ruth, I didn’t get home till after dark, as
I told you; and ‘the day I was in the woods with you
and Mr. Broadaxe I didn’t get home till dark either.
So father was angry because I wasn’t there to make the
fire, and because I went off in the morning when he
wasn’t up. And he said I shculdn’t go off again till he
said I might—not anywhere—not out of the village.
And yesterday he was home all day, so I couldn’t, but
to-day he’s gone to work.”

And Casper sat still on the door-step and looked up at



CASPER. rar

Ruth, and Ruth stood and looked down at Casper—too
much dismayed to speak. When she did move, she
came and laid her hand on his shoulder.

“Come in, Casper—come in, and tell mother—that’s
the best thing.”

Casper came in, and the story was told to Mrs.
Cheerful ; and then Ruth watched her mother’s face,
and waited anxiously for her to speak. But rather a
sad smile came with the words.

_ “Little Casper, do you know what the Bible says ?—
‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is
right, ”

“Don’t you like to have me come?” said Casper, his
eyes getting very full.

“‘O mother,” said little Ruth, “say yes—quick !”

“Yes, indeed, I do,” said Mrs. Cheerful ; “ but, Cas-
per, your father says you must not come.”

“T don’t care, then,” said Casper. “If you like to
have me come, I’1] come.”

“Then you wouldn’t obey your father.”

—“T don’t care,” said Casper.

“ Then you would not obey God.”

Casper was silent at that. He stood twisting one of
the buttons of his jacket round and round, as if he
meant to twist it off, but he said never a word. As for
Ruth, her fortitude quite gave way, now the case
seemed hopeless.

Mrs. Cheerful was silent, too, for a while ; then she
said,

“Sit down, Casper ;—come here and sit down by me.
I want to tell you a story.” And when she had one of
his hands fast in hers—as he sat by Ruth at her feet—
Mrs. Cheerful went on.

“In some countries where the people keep a great
many sheep, and the flocks stay out by night and by
day in the fields and on the hills, there are men who
have nothing to do but take care of them; and those
men are called shepherds. In stormy weather the shep-



78 CASPER.

herd brings his flock home at night, to a warm, dry
house called the sheep-fold ; but in fine summer nights
the sheep never go home at all, and the shepherd stays
with them. When the flock move about from one hill
to another, if the shepherd sees any weak little lamb
that cannot go so fast as the rest, he takes it up in his
arms and carries it to the pasture: and if any are sick
he nurses and takes care of them. If one of the sheep
wanders away and gets lost, the shepherd goes up and
down the hills till he finds it; and if a wolf or any
other wild beast comes out to kill the sheep, the shep-
herd will fight with him and drive him away. He leads
the flock to the best pastures, where the grass is fresh
and the water sweet; and when he goes on before, the
sheep all follow him, for they know his voice. Often
too, he knows them by name, and each sheep knows its
own name, and will run when it is called. Should you
think any of those sheep need ever be afraid, little
Casper ?”

“ Why, no,” said Casper,—“ what should they for ?”

“Not of the fierce wolves?” said Mrs. Cheerful,—
“nor of the cold and storms ?”

‘““Why the shepherd will take care of that,” said
Casper.

“And suppose the sheep were to trouble themselves
because the grass was all eaten up in one field ?”

“Then he’d take them to another,” said Casper,—
“they might know that.” The story had almost made
him forget his own troubles.

“ And what should you think,” continued Mrs. Cheer-
ful, “of any lamb who wouldn’t follow the shepherd
into another field, because it didn’t look pleasant ?”’

“T should say he was foolish,” replied Casper—“ and
bad too.”

Mrs. Cheerful smiled—a little sorrowfully as before,
and stroked her hand kindly over his head.

“ Now,” she said, “I am going to tell you a story out
of the Bible. Shall I tell it, or shall Ruth read it 2”



CASPER. 79

“ Ruth may,” said Casper.

Ruth jumped up and got the Bible, and then found
the chapter er mother told her—the tenth chapter of
John.

“ I say unto you, | am the door of the sheep. All that
ever came before me are thieves and robbers; but the
sheep did not hear them. Iam the door: by meif any
man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out,
and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to
steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they
might have life, and that they might have it more
abundantly. Jam the good shepherd: the good shep-
herd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an
hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are
not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep,
and fleeth : and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth
the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hire-
ling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shep-
herd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As
the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and
I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I
have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice ; and there shall be one
fold, and one shepherd.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and
they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and
they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck
them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them
me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck
them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are
one.’”

Little Ruth was quite silent when she had finished
these words, but she leaned her head down against her
mother’s knee, and seemed to be reading them over
again to herself. Casper was silent, too, and as Mrs.
Cheerful could not see his face she did not feel sure
whether he had understood the two stories.



80 CASPER.

“ Casper,” she said, “what does that last story mean ?”
“It means,” said Casper, “that the Good Shepherd
takes care of his flock just as the men do of theirs.
It sounds so.”

“ Yes, that is it. And who is the Good Shepherd ?”

Casper hesitated a little, and Ruth said,

“The Lord Jesus.”

“Yes,” said Casper,—“ Mr. Broadaxe told about him.
How he came and died.”

“ repeated Mrs. Cheerful.

; ia Ae what kind of sheep do you think he has in his
0 Q 29

“ People,” said Casper.

“ Hverybody ?” said Mrs. Cheerful.

Casper thought a little, but didn’t speak.

“See, Casper,” said his friend, “he tells us himself
who they are—‘ My sheep hear my voice, and I know
them, and they follow me.’ The people who follow Jesus
—who try to obey him, are in his fold. Little child,
will you follow the Good Shepherd and keep all his com-
mandments ?”

“T will try,” said Casper.

It was spoken very softly, and in rather a broken
voice, for Casper thought directly of one command he
must obey, and that was,

“ Honour thy father.”

Mrs. Cheerful stroked his head in the same kind way
that she had done before.

“Then you will be safe, little boy,” she said, “and
happy too. The Lord Jesus will gather the lambs in
his arms, and carry them on his bosom—there shall not
one of them be lost. Pray to him every day, dear
Casper, and tell him all that you want and everything
that troubles you. ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall
not want.’ Think of that.”

Casper did think, but his heart was very full. For,
besides all that Mrs. Cheerful had said, he knew tha+



CASPER. 8]

now he must go home—and he couldn’t bear to say
good-bye. So, after a little while, he suddenly jumped
up and ran out of the door, and then home as fast as he
could, without another word.

a rn ne

CHAPTER XII.

Tat night, being very tired and weary, Casper fell into
even a deeper sleep than usual, and did not awake until
the sun was well up in the sky, and pouring his full
light in at the dusty window. Casper sat up in bed and
looked round. There was nobody in the room.

There stood the breakfast table, with pieces of bread
and meat, and plates that had not long ago been used:
the sticks of wood in the fireplace had without doubt
been burning that morning, but were now burnt in two,
and fallen into the corners ; and the tea-kettle stood, all
black and desolate, upon the hearth. Flies buzzed about
the window-panes, and several spiders were busy catch-
ing them, in webs new spun for the occasion. Nothing
looked very bright except the sunbeams, and for once
they made everything else the darker. Casper rubbed
his eyes in great dissatisfaction. Then he lay down
again, then sat up and took another look round the
room, and finally jumped out of bed and put on his.
clothes. That was soon done, so was breakfast. There:
wasn’t much to eat, the whole variety being large pieces
of bread and small pieces ; for on examination the scraps:
of meat turned out to be bones. Casper ate what bread
he wanted, and then went to the window; he never
thought of clearing the table and making things look
comfortable ; and there he stood, watching the flies..
They buzzed about, and got caught in the webs, and the
Spiders sprung upon them and ate them up. It was

F



82 CASPER.

very curious, but not very interesting to Casper—he
had seen it so often before; and he yawned two or three
times, and rubbed his eyes, as if he was going to sleep
again. He thought he heard the door open and shut,
but as he didn’t want to see Mrs. Clamp, he didn’t look
round—nobody but Mrs. Clamp ever came there at that
time of the day. But while he listened, expecting to
hear the clatter of the dishes as she cleared them away,
he heard instead a firm, loud step upon the floor, and
then Casper turned his head and saw Mr. Broadaxe.

“Well,” said the woodcutter, kindly, “so you’ve got
the house all to yourself this morning? A fine chance
to do what you lke!”

““No, it isn’t,’ said Casper. “I can’t do anything

like.”

“That always means that you don’t like anything
you can do,” said the woodcutter. “But what’s the
matter? let’s look at you. Has the well given out this
morning ?” |

“No,” said Casper. But he coloured up very red
and looked down; he had not washed his face since
yesterday, and his hands were a match for the dusty
windows.

“Now there’s one thing that can be mended,” said
the woodcutter. “Your father ’1l let you go to the well,
won't he ?”’

Casper said yes, and looked more ashamed than ever.

“Then if you’ll get a bason full of cold water, and
make good use of it,” said Mr. Broadaxe, “I think you'll
feel better ; I’m certain I shall.”

Casper didn’t wait to be told twice. He ran off, only
too glad to get a clean face before he came back.

“Ah,” now you look like somebody,”’ said the wood-
cutter ; “a good deal like the little boy I used to see in
the woods. But how did it happen that you always had
a clean face there ?”

“ Ruth was there,” said Casper.

“O—Ruth was—to be sure,” said the woodcutter.



CASPER. 83

“Well, suppose Ruth had come with me this morning ?
And suppose when I go back she should ask me how you
looked ?”

‘You shan’t tell her, Mr. Broadaxe !” said Casper.

“tT don’t mean to,” said the woodman. “ But now,
Casper, I think there is something else you have forgot-
ten this morning. Can you guess what it is ?”

Casper didn’t try,—he stood silent.

_“ What do you suppose Ruth does every morning before
she eats her breakfast?” said Mr. Broadaxe.

Casper’s lips began to tremble a little, and he said
softly,

‘““) guess she says her prayers.”

““{ guess she does,” said the woodman. “Come, Cas-
per, let’s kneel down here together, and ask the Good
Shepherd to take care of this little child who has such a
mind to take care of himself”

Mr. Broadaxe prayed for just what he had said, and
Casper understood every word of the prayer; but it
made him feel glad and sorry too,—he couldn’t help cry-
ing a little. :

“Now I feel better yet,’ said the woodcutter when
the prayer was ended. “It’s not so much matter whe-
ther you’ve had any breakfast, but it’s a great deal of
matter that you should have a blessing.”

“But Mr. Broadaxe,” said Casper, “what made you
think that I wanted to take care of myself ?”

“Because you had not asked God to take care of you,”
said the woodman. 2

“Well, what made you think I hadn’t done that?”
said Casper.

‘““T never heard of a little boy in my life,” said Mr.
Broadaxe, “who, if he said his prayers as he ought to
say them, didn’t wash his face too.”

“Mr. Broadaxe,” said Casper, after a little pause, “do
you think I shall ever see Ruth again ?”

“See her ?—dozens of times,” said the woodcutter.
“Maybe not for a week or so,—but what then? Beas

F 2



84 CASPER.

good as you can in the meantime, and she'll be all the
more glad to see you.”

“T can’t be good,” said Casper, sorrowfully. “I’ve
got nothing to do.” 7

“Then you must be good doing nothing,” said Mr.
Broadaxe. “Good, and patient, and gentle. Besides, as
to having nothing to do, that’s all nonsense.”

“Why, what can I do?” said Casper.

“ Wind something,” said the woodcutter. “If I wasa
little boy living all by myself, I should keep my house
in better order ; I should carry the dishes out into the
kichen, and set up the chairs, and dust them.”

“Mrs. Clamp does that,” said Casper.

“She hasn’t done it this morning,” said Mr. Broadaxe.
“ And if you do it you'll save her the trouble.”

“TI don’t want to save her the trouble,” said Casper,
flushing up. “She’s bad; I don’t like her.”

“Then be very kind to her,” said Mr. Broadaxe, gravely.
“People that are bad need a great deal of pity. Iso
often do bad things myself, that 1 feel sorry for other
people that do.”

Casper looked a little ashamed.

“T know I’m not good,” he said.

“Well,” said Mr. Broadaxe, kindly, “I’ve told you to
find something to do; now I tell you to find something
to love.”

Casper looked up as if that was a harder task than
the other.

“ Why, do all the little kind things you can for other
people,” said the woodcutter; “help ’em in every way.”

“T don’t like to,” said Casper.

“Ah!” said Mr. Broadaxe, “then it will do you good.
I guess you haven’t had much practice. Now I must
be off. Here’s a whole package of seed-cakes my wife
sent you, and Ruth sent a couple of apples and an ear
of roasted corn. So you won’t starve till supper time.
Good-bye.”

And the woodcutter’s long steps soon took him far



CASPER. 85

tay the door, while Casper stood there and looked after
im.

“Mr. Broadaxe!” Casper called out.

“Well?” said his friend, coming back a step or two.

Casper went a few steps to meet him.

* Will you come again, Mr. Broadaxe ?”

“Maybe so,” said the woodcutter, smiling. “Will you
never forget again what you forgot this morning ?”

“T didn’t forget it,” said Casper, for he was a sturdy
little truth-teller. :

“ What, then ?” said Mr. Broadaxe.

“T felt cross,” said Casper.

“OQ!” said the woodcutter, “a worse reason couldn’t
be.” And he once more nodded and smiled, and went
on his way. Slowly Casper came back into the house,
and looked about him.

The sun shone strongly in at the windows, pointing
out with a bright finger the dust, the spiders, aud the
flies; and lay in long warm streaks across the dingy
wooden chairs. Casper thought of the cool forest, the
clear soft moss, and sparkling brooks, and almost cried
to be out there and at play. What was he to do here
all by himself ?—he didn’t want to touch the chairs, nor
the dishes. Moved by some remembrance of the wood-
cutter’s words, however, he began to shove the chairs
back to the wall, scraping them over the floor and
making a great noise. But this lazy fashion of finding
something to do didn’t work well. The first chair let
itself be pushed back to its place, and so did the second
—the third tumbled over, and Casper with it. The chair
received several scratches, and Casper scraped the skin
off his knee in a very uncomfortable manner. Ie didn’t
cry, however—it made him feel rather angry, and he
was very near saying that he wouldn’t do ancther thing
all day ; but just then his eye fell on the package of
seed cakes and Ruth’s two little apples and ear of corn,
which stood all untasted on the table. It was as good
as a scolding—yes, much better. Casper’s good-nature



86 CASPER.

came back at once, and a little shame with it. He put
the chairs carefully back against the wall, carried all
the dishes into the kitchen, and brought back some old
sloth with which he wiped off the chairs. ‘Then he got
a broom and swept out the crumbs, set the tea-kettle in
the fireplace, set himself down on the door-step, and felt
pleased.

“T’ve done a great deal!” he said to himself. “I
wonder if there’s anything more to do?”

Yes—there was wood and water; so Casper went to
the well once more and got a pailful, and brought in no

less than four sticks of wood, which made quite a pile
on the hearth; and by that time he had to go to the
well again to wash his hands. Clearly, after that he
must sit down and eat a seed-cake—they looked so
good: and besides it was really dinner time.

He took his pile of cakes, the two apples, and the ear
of corn to the door-step, and there sat down again with
his treasures beside him. How nice they looked! how
good they tasted! Casper looked anything but miser-
ble, as he sat there at his ease, munching a cake, with a
few grains of the roast corn for variety.

All of a sudden a little noise made him look round,
and there was the cat approaching her nose much too
near the pile of cakes. Up jumped Casper and away
ran the cat, but after a hot chase Casper drove her out
of the back door and shut it fast. Then he came back
to the front door just in time to see a large white
chicken, who had daringly walked in and ventured a
peck at the ear of corn. If the chicken was not imme-
diately frightened out of his wits it certainly was no
fault of Casper’s, for he ran and shouted till he was out
of breath ; but the chicken jumped up on the fence and
crowed defiance.

Casper came back in a fright lest something else
should have attacked the apples, but they were there
safe ; and the only living thing in sight was a little bit
of a girl standing just outside the door. Casper has-



CASPER. 87

tened to count the remaining cakes (he had been chasing
the chicken with one in his mouth all the while), for he
didn’t feel sure what the little child might have taken
hold of. Nota cake was missing, and Casper sat down
and began to eat the one he had held in his mouth so
long, with much relish.

The little girl came a step or two nearer.

Casper carefully put his hand over the cakes and
apples to guard them.

The child held out her hand and said, “ Please!”

Casper felt very much tired. If she had grabbed one
of the cakes he would have taken it from her without
the smallest scruple, but when she asked so meekly and
properly, he didn’t know what to say. He had such a
vision of bright little Ruth Cheerful giving him half
her breakfast.

“Please!” repeated the child. “One!”

Casper took a cake and held it out to the dirty little
fingers so eager to get it. They closed upon the cake,
and putting it at once to her mouth, the little girl
dropped a courtesy—as queer and as little as she was.

“Now, don’t you ask for any more!” said Casper.
“Go right away !”

The child looked at him, courtesied again, and trotted
off round the corner of the house out of sight.

But when another half-hour had passed, and Casper
had done his dinner, he almost wished that his little
visiter would come back again, he felt so lonely.

“ There’s nothing more to do,” he said to himself, as
he looked into the house and saw that not a chair had
stirred since he set their backs up against the wall.

“ And Mr. Broadaxe said I must try and find some-
thing to love,—but there’s nobody here—nor nothing.”

He got up and went out into the garden and thought
he would try to make friends with the cat. In general
Casper didn’t like this cat, and the cat didn’t like him
—she scratched him, and he pulled her tail, But now
he thought it would be‘petter than nothing, even to



88 CASPER.

stroke her head or run races with her. No—puss had
had one race lately, and that was enough. There she
sat up in the old pear tree, curling her tail and her
whiskers, and looking much too wise to come down,
Over her head the swallows flew twittering to their
nests in the chimney, and a full chorus of grasshoppers
sang out that they were at play, but Casper felt sad.
He was not at work, but neither was he at play. Why
couldn’t he have a playfellow—some one to love? He
sat down at the foot of the old tree and thought over
every day that he had spent in the forest with Ruth—
thought of the Bible verses she had told him, the
hymns he had heard her sing. Then he recollected the
woodcutter’s talk, and Mrs. Cheerful’s stories. He
thought how happy the sheep must be, feeding on the
green hills and so well taken care of, and how much
they must love the shepherd. And then—why didn’t
he love that Great Shepherd of the sheep, who, as the
Bible said, loved him ?

“T don’t know how,” Casper repeated to himself. “ I’m
not good, and I don’t know how.” But even as he said
the words, he seemed to hear Ruth’s little voice repeat-
ing one of her verses:

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

Some tears came into Casper’s eyes—partly at the
words— partly at the thought of Ruth. But he said as
he had before,

“TI will try! I'll mind father, and not go to the
forest ; and maybe next week, or the week after, he’ll
let me go, and then we'll all be so happy.”

And Casper curled himself down against the old tree
and went to sleep, and the old cat looked down at him
with a singularly grave countenance.



CASPER. 89

CHAPTER XIII.

But Casper did not see Ruth next week, nor the week
after. She could not come to the village alone, and he
could not go to see her,—his father would not let him.
Casper’s patience was almost tired out. He thought it
was—and yet he was really growing more patient, more
gentle and obedient, than ever he had been in his life
before. Even Mrs. Clamp found it out, and on her part
couldn’t help being a little more good-natured. Never-
theless, Casper grew more and more tired of living
alone; and he couldn’t amuse himself now as he used
to with the village boys: the good ones went to school
or to work, and the bad ones he couldn’t bear to be with
—their words fairly frightened him.

Meantime he had found nothing to love.

“T don’t believe I ever shall, Mr. Broadaxe,” he said
one day when his friend had paid him a long visit.
“Nothing but you, and Ruth, and Mrs. Cheerful, and
My. and Mrs. Sickles.”

“Well, there are five people,” said the woodcutter.
“That’s not a bad beginning. Five people to love and
that love you.”

Casper smiled.

“J didn’t know there were so many,” he said. “ But
then I can’t see ’em.”

“Can’t you see me?”’ said Mr. Broadaxe. “Open
your eyes.”’

“Why, yes,” said Casper, laughing, “but I mean
you’re not here all the time.’

“‘Nobody’s anywhere all the time,’’ said the wood-
cutter. “ And so you sit here all day and wish for some
one to come and make you happy ?”

“ Yes,” said Casper.

“Does your father let you go about the village ?”
said the woodcutter.



90 CASPER.

Casper said yes.

“ Well,” said Mr. Broadaxe, “ the next time you want
something done for you, just run out of the door and do
something for somebody. See how many people you
can make happy.”

“Why, how?” said Casper, opening his eyes very
wide.

“Find out,” said the woodman. “If people have
fallen down, pick ’em up,—if they hunger, feed them,—
if they thirst, give them drink. Don’t go near the peo-
ple that speak bad words—there are plenty of others
that would be glad enough to have a little piece of kind-
ness come walking up.”

“T wish I was a little piece of kindness,” said Casper.
“ike Ruth.”

“Where did Ruth get her goodness ?” said the wood-
cutter.

Casper looked up and smiled—a very bright smile—
but he did not speak.

“¢ Ask, and ye shall receive, little boy,” said Mr.
Broadaxe as he rose up to go away. And Casper an-
swered ’

“Mr. Broadaxe, I do try.” 7

He stood as usual in the doorway, watching his friend
as he went down the road; and when that pleasant
sight was no more to be seen, Casper looked round upon
the village. He could see a good deal of that. The
road wound away up the hill towards the church, soften-
ing off in the distance; and the little village houses
were grouped and scattered by the wayside, now thickly
and now far apart. Everything looked very quiet.
The men were out at work, the women at work within ;
the children at school or at play on the hill-side. Down
the road a flock of white geese came waddling along,
plucking the grass and talking to each other in very
harsh tones, and otherwise the road seemed deserted ;
unless when a stray cat came softly out from one house
and crossed over to another.



CASPER. , 91

“Ts’pose Mr. Broadaxe wouldn’t find anything to
love there,” Casper thought, ashe looked about. “ Ruth
would love the cat—I don’t—I don’t like cats. And
the geese are as ugly as they can be. Nobody wants
anything either, that I can see, but me,—they’ve got
grass enough.”

A few months ago these thoughts would have made
Casper fretful, and he would have called himself mi-
serable. He didn’t feel very bright now—it was rather
lonely to stand there looking over the quiet village. But
as his eye went from one thing to another, suddenly it
found a flock of sheep feeding on the distant hill side ;
and the sight of them brought back all the sweet
Bible words that Mrs. Cheerful had told him. Casper
stood looking down now, thinking strangely and yet
pleasantly, how wonderful it was that the Good Shep-
herd should care about him!

“TI wish I was a good child!” he thought, “and then
I would never do anything more to displease him.”

“Look! look!” cried a little voice near by.

Casper turned and there stood the little bit of a girl
who had asked him for a cake.

“ Look !” she repeated.

“ Well, Iam looking,” said Casper, and I don’t see
anything but you, and you're not very big.”

“Cat in i’ well,” said the child, taking her finger out
of her mouth to speak and then putting it back again.

“JT don’t care,” said Casper. “I think I’m glad. I
don’t like cats.”

“My cat,” said the child.

But to that Casper made no reply.

“My cat,” she repeated, trotting off to the corner of
the house. “Come—look.” And at the corner she
stopped and waited with her finger in her mouth.

“T tell you I don’t care,” said Casper.

The child’s face wrinkled and screwed up in most re-
markable style, and two or three tears ran slowly downe

“ What are you crying for?” said Casper.



92 CASPER.

“ My cat,” repeated the child. “Come.”

Casper stood still yet a minute longer ; but.the child
looked very miserable, he knew what that meant, and
two or three better thoughts, of doing as he would be
done by, came into his head. So he jumped down from
the door-step, and followed the queer little thing who
stood waiting for him. She trotted round Casper’s house,
and along the back of the next one to it, and into a —
large yard which belonged to the next one still. There,
to be sure, was a well, and down in the well was the cat:
Casper could see her plain enough. She was not in the
water, having got out of that upon the rough stone side
of the well; but the well was so deep, and the sides so
straight, that how to get further the cat was in doubt.
She clung to the wet stones, and looked up at Casper,
while he looked down at her, her eyes shining like two
coals of fire in the darkness of the well.

“J don’t see what I can do, little thing,” said Casper.
This was addressed to the owner of the cat, not to pussy
herself.

“My cat,” the child said again.

It was clear that she looked to him to get the cat
out; and it was so pleasant to have anybody look up
to him for any reason, that Casper at once smiled, and
said he would try. But how to try was the question.

Casper had heard, that when people fall into the
water, the people on shore sometimes throw them a
rope, which the drowning men catch hold of, and so are
drawn to land; and he thought if he could throw a
rope to pussy, and she would catch it in her teeth, it
would be the best possible way to get her up to the top
of the well. He had no rope however, only a long
piece of string in his pocket; but that must be strong
enough to hold a cat. Casper unrolled the string, and
looking carefully over the top of the well, he threw
down one end of the string, keeping the other in his
hand. He couldn’t lean over, for the well was high,
and built up.



OASPER. 93

Down went the string, but either it was too short, or
else the cat despised it—that she didn’t lay hold, Casper
could feel well enough.

‘What shall I do, little thing ?” he said.

“Little thing,” however ; made no answer ; having
given the matter into Casper’ s hands, she troubled her-
self no further, but stood there with her finger in her
mouth, as though her cat had becn up a tree ‘instead of
down a well.

Casper looked about. There were the old apple trees,
where puss ought to be; there were great sticks of
wood, which he could not lift ; there was the great well-
stick, which held the bucket, now high in air. Why
shouldn’t he turn the stick and let down the bucket ?

_ It was all he could do. Casper tried and tried before
he could move it at all, but at last up went the other
end of the great stick into the air, and down went the
bucket slowly into the well. It must not go into the
water. Butasit took all his strength to keep it from
going too far, he could not look over to watch the cat ;
he could only leave the bucket down for a while, and
then again draw it up. And as it came slowly to the
top of the well, two black furry ears appeared, and the
frightened cat made one jump from the bucket to the
curb stone, and then scampered away just as fast as she
could.

Casper let go the big stick, and clapping his hands
together, gave a great shout, which made puss run all
the faster.

As for the little girl, she didn’t say anything for some
time, only she trotted after Casper as he walked home,
even to the corner of his own house. There she stopped,
and Casper felt her little claw-fingers take hold of him.

“What do you want now, little thing ?” he said.

“You're good,” said the child. “TI like you.”

“I'm glad you like me, little thing,” said Casper,
“Tm not good.”

“ You're good,” said the child again, just as gravely



94 CASPER.

as before. And looking up at him, she dropped her
queer little courtesy, and went away.

Casper clapped his hands, and laughed again when
she was out of sight, and then he looked sober.

“T wish I was good,” he said to himself. “And
there’s nobody to teach me now, or tell me Bible verses.”

Yes, there was some one to teach him—he remembered
that, and went into the house and prayed that God.
would teach him,—there was no one else. And then he
sat down on the door-step again, and said over to him-
self all the verses that Ruth had ever taught him.

He was so busy with this work, and was trying so
hard to remember one verse which he had forgotten,
leaning his head down on his handsas if to help out the
matter, that he did not hear a little light foot come
running down the road, nor see the little face that bent
over him, while somebody took hold of his shoulder and
cried—

“Casper! Casper! O, I’m so glad to see you

But when he did look, it was Ruth.

Casper was in amaze at first, and neither moved nor
spoke; and then his head went down on his hands
again, and he fairly sobbed. But it was only for glad-
ness, not for sorrow. 7

They sat there side by side on the door-step—the two
children—and talked and rejoiced as though they had
not seen each other for three months instead of three
weeks.

“Tt’s very lonely in the forest now, Casper,” said
Ruth. “I never go there to play any more; I[ just get
my chips and come home. And, O Casper! Mr. Broad-
axe says he think those squirrels like the tree now it’s
down, just as wellas they did when it was up; and he
says he shall have to cut up the tree and drive ’em
away, for they’ll never go if he waits for them.”

“‘ And how’s Chip ?” said Casper.

“ Chip’s just as well as he can be,” said Ruth, “and
his tail is so curly! He runs and barks at me every

{??



CASPER. 95

‘ay, when I go to the forest, but only for fun, you know.
And mother wants to see you so much!”

Casper drew a long breath at that, and was silent.

“She prays for you every day,’ said little Ruth, more
sadly ; “and so do IJ, and, maybe, very soon you can
come again. Don’t you think so?”

_“O, I don’t know,” said Casper, “ don’t talk about it.”

“Well, what do you do here all day?” said Ruth.
“You can’t sew.”

“Sew !” said Casper, “no, I should think I couldn’t.
O, I don’t do much, Ruth, I haven’t much to do. To-
day I’ve been busy, though.’ And he gave Ruth an
account of his exertions in behalf of the cat.

Ruth looked pleased.

“T think it was good,” she said, “very. Let’s go take
a walk, shan’t we? round the village, you know; we
needn’t go out of it. Mr. Broadaxe was going to the
blacksmith’s, and he said he’d stop for me, but I can
stop for him just as well. Mr. Broadaxe came with me
to the end of the street, and then he went to do some
business. He said there wouldn’t be anybody here this
time of day.”

“Mr. Broadaxe came to see me this morning,” said
- Casper.

“Yes, I know he did,’ said Ruth, “and before he got
home his horse lost a shoe, so he had to come back
again.”

“Well, we shan’t lose any shoes,” said Casper, “so
let’s go on.” And the two children got up and began to
walk along the village street.

It was just the pretty time of the afternoon, when the
shadows of the houses were so long that they stretched
across the road, and between them the sun shone in
bright and cheerful. You could see that the chickens
were getting sleepy, for they came home from their
wanderings, and began to draw near the roost ; while
the cows wound slowly down the hill from the distant



96 CASPER.

pasture, ringing their bells all the way to call out the
dairymaids.

Ruth and Casper walked along hand in hand, through
the broad shadows and the warm sunlight, leaving the
track of little feet and toes in the dust at every step.
But they didn’t kick up a bit of dust—they walked too
softly. And they didn’t say much; it seemed enough
pleasure to walk on together just so.

“Casper,” said Ruth at last, when they had reached
the end of the street, “I don’t think I like your village
much.”

“T’m sure J don’t,” said Casper.

“Well, where do the nice people live?” said Ruth.

“T don’t know,” said Casper ; “I don’t believe there
are any. They don’t live round our house.”

“O, yes, there must be some,” said little Ruth.
“There’s the minister for one.”

“He don’t live in the village,” said Casper; “he lives
in the white house up by the church.”

“So he does,” said Ruth; “I forgot that.”

“The blacksmith’s rather a nice man,” said Casper.
“He gave me an old iron hoop once. Only one of the
boys broke it.”

aM exclaimed Ruth. “What did he do that
for?’

“Tt ran against him one day,” said Casper. “THe
was a big boy; if I’d been big, too, he wouldn’t have
done it.”

“ Would he have been afraid to do it?” asked
Ruth.

“ T guess he would!” said Casper with sparkling eyes.
“T’d have made him—and sorry too.”

“ Q, no, you wouldn’t,” said Ruth. “Vm glad you
weren’t a big boy, then.”

“Why not?” said Casper. “ He’d no business to
break my hoop—I’d knock him down now for it, if I
could.”



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The Baldwin Library













CASPER.


BY THE AUTHOR OF

WIDE WORLD’ QUEECHY; ETS

if KS
ai
i



LONDON: GEORGE R -E AND SONS.
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL.
Ellen Montgomery's Pooksbelt.

CASPER.

BY THE AUTHORS OF

‘CmHE WIDE, WIDE WORLD,” ‘‘ QUEECHY,”
ETC. ETC.

4 WEW EDITION.

LONDON:
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
CASPER.

CHAPTER I.

“ Y am very miserable!” said Casper.

Other people would have thought so too.

He sat alone in the dusty highway ; the dust making
no great change in the colour of his clothes, which were
ald as well, and ragged. Feet and face and hands were
of the same defiled colour; and only the tear channels
on his cheeks declared the fact that Casper was origin-
ally a white boy. At present he was a dark picture in
a very bright setting.

For it was as fair a summer’s day as often rises upon
this world of sin and sorrow,—with birds twittering out
their heart’s delight in the sunshine, and flowers that
bloomed and scented the soft breeze ;—Sunday morning,
too, of all days in the week ; and from the little village
that lay scattered like a flock of sheep on the hill-side,
went up a slender spire and rang forth the Sabbath
bells. O, but they were musical! Not the iron things
themselves particularly—they were old and work-worn,
like many of the villagers. But old as they looked, and
silent as they hung all the week, it was given to them
on Sunday morning to speak sweet things—sweet, com-
forting, and peaceful. And now whenever Casper heard
them, his tears overflowed their former channels, and
made strange devastation beyond. |

Az
& CASPER.

“ Yes, I am very miserable!” he said, after one of
these bursts. And as he said so he sat up and looked
around.

He was tired out now, and his eyes wandered about
from one thing to another till they had seen whatever
there was in sight. The handful of village houses—the
green slope—the trees in their full leaf, and the birds in
their full joy. The road, the little pond,—then the
blue sky. How blue it was! There was nothing to
break the blue but a speck or two of white cloud; and
they sailed so softly and looked so fair that Casper’s
eyes were fixed, and he gazed till his neck ached so that
he could bear it no longer: then his head came down
again.

There was something new to be seen on earth now—
a young lady; and she close at his side. Her dress was
so white and floating, that Casper straightway looked
up at the two white clouds overhead, to see if one of
them had not come down, bringing with it enough blue
sky fora good large pair of eyes: but they were there
still. Then Casper looked again at the lady.

“ Little boy,” she said, “ will you show me the way to
Mrs. Cheerful’s cottage ?”

Casper looked at her without speaking.

“ You know the way all about the village, don’t you?”

“ Yes,” said Casper.

“Then will you show me?”

cs a you going to church?” said Casper.

0.”

“ Where then 2?”

“To Mrs. Cheerful’s.”

“ Did you ever go there before?”

“ Yes, often.”

“ Then you know the way,” said Casper, relapsing.

“ No, Idon’t—not by this-road. And if I go back,
and go round by the other road, I shall be very late.
Won’t you show me ?”

“ No—TI can’t,” said Casper, his breast heaving anew
CASPER. 5

as he caught sight of his dusty little feet so near that
white dress. “ I can’t—I’m miserable!”

“ Miserable!” said the lady. “ But if you won’t
help other people you'll always be miserable as long as
rou live.” |

“ Shall I?” said Casper. “I guess I shall, too.”

“ Then begin to help now—jump up and show me the
way to Mrs. Cheerful’s.”

“ What for?” said Casper.

“ What for!” said the young lady. “ Why, because
I want you to. Do you never try to please other
people ?”

“T don’t know,” said Casper,—“ father don’t. Heal-
ways did what mother didn’t want him to. That’s why
I’m here—mother’s dead, and he drives me out. I’m
her little boy—and I’m so miserable!”

“ O, don’t cry!”’ said the young lady, stooping down
over him—“it won’t doa bit of good. See here—what’s
your name? Johnny, or Tommy, or Willy?”

“ My name’s Casper—brother’s was Johnny, but he’s
dead.”

“ Well, I wouldn’t cry about it. Ishould think you’d
be miserable down there in the dust. Why don’t you
get up and wash your face, and make yourself look like
a Christian ?”

“ What is a Christian ?” said Casper.

“ One would think the child had never lived in a
civilised country!” said the young lady. “ Casper,
don’t you think it would be very nice if somebody would
come and try to keep you from being miserable ?”’

“ Ves,” said Casper.

“ Then I think it would be nice if you would do as
much for somebody else. I’m not miserable, to be sure,
but this old Mrs. Cheerful that I’m going to see, she’s
blind, Casper, just think of that! and very poor, and she
lives all alone. Wouldn’t you like to do something for
her ?”

“ T can’t,” said Casper.
6 CASPER.

“ Yes, you can—you can show me the way there, and
I'm going to read to her.”

It was such a new and striking idea to Casper—that
of trying to comfort somebody else—that he got up at
once, without saying another word, and began to patter
along in the dust towards Mrs. Cheerful’s. So fast in-
deed did he go, that his companion more than once
called out—

“ Stop, Casper! if you walk so fast you will make me
miserable”? Which remark always brought him to a
stand.

“Ts she miserable?” he said, stopping short as they
approached the cottage.

“Who? Mrs. Cheerful? Don’t you think she ought
to be—when she is blind and so poor ?”.

“Is anybody else?” said Casper.

“ Why yes, child—a great many people,—almost every-
body in the village, 1 suppose, in one way or another.
Did you never see anybody miserable but yourself ?”

“ Only mother.” ;

“Well, plenty of other people are. And now good
bye, and there’s sixpence for you. You'll forget all
about crying to-morrow, I dare say.”

Casper stood and looked after her as she floated into
the cottage, and then, with a sudden desire to see how
so miserable a person as Mrs. Cheerful must look, he
went softly up to the hut, and searched until he found
a loophole. It was not hard to find,—the hut was built
of logs, and the chinking of moss was in many places
loosened or blown in by the wind; but when Casper
peeped through he did not see just what he expected.

‘The hut was as rough within as it was without, with
its log sides and old worn-out floor, and its little bit of
a window. There was a bed—so thin that you could
almost see through it (the wind could, quite), and the
covers were old and threadbare, though very clean. A -
little three-legged table, on which lay a large book, two
wooden stools, and one chair with a back and seat of old
CASPER. 7

bits of carpet ; a tea-kettle, a frying-pan, and a flat iron,
were on the hearth; and two cups and saucers, three
plates, a tin pan, a yellow earthen dish, and a brown
earthen pitcher, were neatly arranged upon the shelves
of a little corner cupboard. But the room was so clean,
and the dishes and pans so bright, and the sun came in
with such a broad stream through the open door, that
the room looked well in spite of its poverty. Upon the
threshold and door-stone two or three little sparrows
were hopping about, and one had even ventured in, and
stood chirping, and turning his pretty head, as if he ex-
pected crumbs and was in the habit of getting them.

There were two people in the room. Close in one
corner of the fireplace, though there was no fire, sata
girl, rough and coarse-looking like the hut itself.

The young lady in the white frock sat on one of the
stools, her bonnet hanging on her arm, and opposite to
her sat Mrs. Cheerful, in the carpet chair. Casper’s eyes
had been roaming all round the hut, but when they
reached her tney never stirred again.

She was dressed in a dark gray gown of some coarse
stuff, with a brown apron and very black shoes; her
hair was neatly put up, and round about her head,
across her eyes, went a broad brown ribbon, and was tied
ina knot behind. Her hands lay quietly in her lap,
and the smile upon her face was so peaceful and bright
that Casper wondered. He looked and looked, never
moving his eye from the chink in the wall, unless when
one eye got tired and he put the other one there. He
saw the young lady take the big book and read; saw
that the girl in the corner looked very sleepy, and that
Mrs. Cheerful interrupted the reader now and then, to
say something herself; but he could not hear a word.
At last the young lady shut the book, and began to tie
on her bonnet, and then Casper jumped up and ran
away.

There were woods at the back of the house, and through
the woods ran a brook, and by the side of the brook Cas-
8 CASPER.

per sat down. He had forgotten his misery while peep-
ing into the hut, but now it began to come back again.
He looked down into the little pools the brook made be-
hind the large stones in its way, and there were whole
shoals of tiny fish, whisking about in every direction ;
but when they saw Casper they darted off and hid under
the great stone. Then by-and-by, when he was quiet,
they came stealing out again.

Ife looked up into the great trees that waved over his
head, and there were birds, as playful as the fish and
more busy. Some of them were little green warblers,
that put their heads a one side and said “ Ba-bee!” so
pitifully that Casper felt sure they didn’t feel very
happy ; and then there were great blue jays, that took
no notice of anybody, unless to scold. Then Casper
saw little brown sparrows, just like the ones on Mrs.
Cheerful’s door-step.

One of these came down and perched onan old branch
of a tree that lay in the brook, and bobbed his head to
Casper two or three times, and then began to sing—

“Pretty! Pretty!
Little boy, look!
Why don’t you wash your face in the brook?”

And souse he went in himself to set the example.
Casper thought he would surely be drowned ; but no—
up he came again, all dripping and fresh—shook his
feathers, and went in for another plunge.

Casper wondered whether he had learned to wash at
that rate from going so often to Mrs. Cheerful’s clean
hut, or whether he washed because he was going there.
Then the bird took one more dip, and flying up into the
tree sang again—

“Pretty ! Pretty !
Little boy, look !
Why don’t you wash your face in the brook?”

He looked so fresh and comfortable after his bath,
CASPER. 9

that Casper felt half inclined to try what effect the
brook would have on himself; and by way of experi-
ment he had just dipped in one of his dusty little toes,
when he heard a voice behind him.

“ Little boy—” it said.

Casper looked round, expecting to see another sparrow
who was come to give him another lecture on bathing,
but it was only a little girl. Casper couldn’t imagine
why she looked so pretty, but she did: yet her dress
was of no better stuff than his own. She had a blue
check frock—just like his mother’s aprons, Casper re-
membered—with thick black shoes and white knitted
cotton stockings and no pantalettes, and her little flat
straw hat was the coarsest, Casper thought, that he had
ever seen. It was tied under her chin and. round the
crown with black ribbon, but there were no long ends.
Casper looked at her from head to foot, and she looked
at Casper.

“ Little boy,” she said, “ have you been to church ?”

“ No,” said Casper, “have you ?”

“ Yes,” said the child. “Why didn’t you go?”

“ T don’t ever go,” said Casper. :

The little girl looked surprised, and still more grieved.

“T always go,” she said simply, “and mother used to.
Why don’t you?”

“T can’t,” said Casper. “I haven’t got any clothes,
and nobody wants me to, and I’m all dusty—and—and
—because I’m miserable !”’

“Oh!——” said the little girl, opening her eyes
very wide and looking graver than before. “But why
don’t you wash the dust off?”

It was one thing he could do, certainly ; but Casper
didn’t want to be told, just then, what he could do—he
liked better to think of the things that he couldn’t. So
he only answered—

“T don’t care!”

“ What made you cry ?” said the little girl, when she
had stood silent tor a minute.
10 CASPER.

“ Because I’m miserable,” said Casper, the tears
rushing out again. “ Mother is dead, and there isn’t
any one else!”

“Oh !——_~” said the little girl again. And she stood
still as before. Then she said,

“Don’t you want to come and see my mother ?”

“ Where does she live?” said Casper looking up.

“ Just here, in the cottage.”

“Is Mrs. Cheerful your mother ?” said Casper.

“ Yes,” said the child.

“ She isn’t miserable a bit!” said Casper—“ and they
said she was!”

“QO no,” said the child earnestly —“ my mother isn’t
miserable! She couldn’t be, because God loves her so
much.”

“ How do you know He does!” said Casper, quite in-
terested in such a new set of ideas.

“ Because she loves Him more than everything else in
the world,” said the child; “and God says in the Bible,
‘I love them that love me.’”

“What made Him let her be blind, then?” said
Casper.

“T don’t know,” said the child, her lip quivering—
“ Tle knows, mother says.” But she covered her face
with her hands, and burst into tears.

“ T didn’t mean to make you cry,” said Casper. “I’m
sorry.”

“Tt was so pleasant,” said the little girl, looking up
and speaking as if her tears needed some excuse,—“ It
was so pleasant before mother was sick, when she could
go about with me, and look at the flowers and birds and
beautiful things; she loves them so much.”

“ Can’t she go about now ?” said Casper.

“No,” said the child, with a heavy sigh—“ she isn’t
yften strong enough to walk far. And she couldn’t see
em any way. I must go right home this minute—she’ll
be frightened. Don’t you want to see her?”

“ T have seen her,” said Casper,
CASPER. 1}

“Have you?” said the child. “Did she talk to
ou Nae
a No,” said Casper. “And I only saw her through
the logs.”

The little girl looked as if she thought that a very
funny way of seeing people.

“ Well, come now then,” she repeated.

“No, I won't,” said Casper,—“ I'll go to the door—
I won’t go in—I’m too dusty.”

And he got up and walked along by his new friend,
wondering if the dust ever got hold of her.

“ Where did you get your hat ?” he said suddenly.

“T made it.”

“ You didn’t brazed it?” said Casper.

“Yes, I did,” said the child. ‘“ Mother taught me
how to braid, and Farmer Sickles let me come and cut
off oat straws in his barn, till I had enough.”

“ Well, what do you wear a black ribbon on it for?”
said Casper.

“ Because it was the only one mother had,” said the
child simply. “It isn’t so pretty as blue, I suppose,
but it’s a nice broad ribbon to tie, and my hat never
blows off. What’s your name?”

“ Casper Knight.” |

“ Well, mine’s Ruth Cheerful ; and I know mother 71}
be glad to see you, any time you'll come. Good bye.”

Casper stood still till the little blue check dress had
all gone through the doorway, and then he started off
and ran as fast he could along the road—-perhaps, for
fear that Mrs, Cheerful would come out after him,
192 CASFER,

CHAPTER II.

For several days Casper kept away from Mrs. Cheerful’s
cottage most carefully. Not thatit was pleasanter than
usual at home—everything there was as dirty and noisy
and disagreeable as it could be; and Casper spent the
most of his time out of doors, and was miserable enough.

But he couldn’t make up his mind to go to the cottage
—he couldn’t make up any reason for going. If the
young lady would have asked him to show her the way
there now, how gladly would he have done it! and he
sat and stood and lay about in the road where he had first
‘seen her, hoping that she might come and send him on
some errand to Mrs. Cheerful. But nobody came by,
except wagons to raise a great cloud of dust, or some of
the village boys to get him to play with them, or their
fathers and mothers to call him idle and good for
nothing.

Casper began to long to see Ruth’s kind little face,
and her clean frock ; and he wondered if the sparrow
still kept up his bathing habits. Suddenly he remem-
bered that Ruth had said her mother loved flowers, and
that the young lady had told him he would always be
miserable if he didn’t try to please other people. Casper
jumped right up out of the dust, and ran off as fast
as he could to a meadow where he thought he had
seen some flowers. ‘There they were still—in great
yellow tufts.

Now the meadow was very wet, but that didn’t sig-
nify,—Casper rolled up his trowsers and plunged into
the mud; wading about, and jumping from bog to bog,
never thinking of the mud, until he had his hands full of
the yellow flowers. But when he came out Casper looked -
at himself in dismay. The dust had been bad enough—
the mud was worse; and both together made him a
sight to be seen. Could such a little figure carry yel-
CASPER. 13:

low flowers to Mrs. Cheerful, and walk about over her
clean floor ?

“YT am miserable!” he cried, throwing down the
flowers and putting his hands into his eyes—and the
eyes looked none the cleaner for such attention. Then
came up to him little Ruth’s gentle words—

“ Why don’t you wash it off ?”

Casper took down his hands and looked at them—
water would take it off, no doubt; and he scampered
away to the little stream that came out of the meadow
and ran across the road. There was plenty of pure
water rippling on over the pebbles, and the mud was:
very good-natured and came off with no trouble at all,
and the dust after it. Casper didn’t know his hands.
again, and wouldn’t have known his face, had he seen
it. He thought it was a great pity that he could not
wash his jacket, but that wouldn’t dry in a minute ; so
he took it off and gave it a good shaking and put it on
again. Then he smoothed down his hair with his little
wet hands, as he had seen the labourers do when they
came home to dinner, and, pulling up a tuft of grass,
he tried to rub off the spots of mud with which his.
trowsers were spattered. The last thing was to dip his
flowers in the brook, that they might look quite fresh,
and then Casper was ready.

It would have amused any one to see him on his way
to the cottage, as he bounded from tuft to tuft of the
grass that was springing by the wayside; or walked
along a piece of stick, or picked his way by the help of
little stones ; and all to keep his feet clean. But as he
came near the cottage he remembered Ruth’s little
black shoes; and his breast heaved, for he had nota
pair in the world. He stood still for a long time, not
wanting to go forward. went up from the hut, but everything else was still:
only Casper saw the birds flying off to the brook, and
supposed they had gone in bathing. Presently he heard
14 CASPER.

some one singing off in the woods, and as the little voice
came nearer it sang these words :—
“ Jesus, listen now to me—

I thy little child would be.

Hear my prayer, and grant it too,

Make my heart entirely new.”
And little Ruth Cheerful came tripping out of the wood,
with a great basket of chips on her head. Casper looked
down for the black shoes, but they were gone; and only
Ruth’s little bare feet stood on the moss.

“©, good morning,” she said. “ Why didn’t you come
before? O, what beautiful flowers !”

“You may have ’em,” said Casper, holding out his
great bunch of cowslips.

Ruth set down her basket and took the flowers.

“ How pretty they are!” she said, “I’m very much
obliged to you! Did you bring them for me ?”

“Yes,” said Casper. “No, I didn’t either—you said
your mother liked flowers.”

“QO well, that’s just as good,” said little Ruth, smell-
ing the cowslips,—“ better too, I think—You’ll come in
and see her to-day, won’t you ?”

“No, I guess not,” said Casper, whose boldness seemed
to have left his hand with the flowers.

“Q, yes, you will,” said Ruth,—* come !” and she took
up her basket again and marched on ; while Casper fol-
lowed with doubtful steps.

‘Ruth !” he said, “stop!”

And Ruth stopped and sat down her basket.

“ What’s the matter?”

“T’m not going in,” said Casper. “ Let’s go down to
the brook and play.”

“T can’t,” said Ruth. “ Mother wouldn’t like it. I
must go now.” | :

And she turned and walked on. ;

Casper walked after her, thinking to himself that he —
might offer to carry that heavy basket of chips—that
CASPER, 15

perhaps it wouldn’t feel so heavy on his head as it was
on hers—and at last that he didn’t want to plague him.
self with it. “Do you never try to please other peo-
ple ?”’ the young lady had said to him. “ Wouldn’t you
like to have somebody to try to please you ?”

“Ruth,” said Casper, “is your basket heavy ?”

“ Pretty heavy,” said Ruth, as her little bare feet went
somewhat unsteadily over the rocks.

“ Well, give it to me, and [’ll carry it.”

“0, thank you!’ said Ruth, stopping short with a

‘very bright face,—“that would rest me nicely. But I
don’t believe you can.”

“A boy can do as much as a girl,” said Casper.
“They’re a great deal stronger. What have you done
with your other straw hat ?”

“Q, that’s for Sundays,” said Ruth, whose week-day
hat was tied with strings of red flannel. “ Will you
carry the basket in your hand ?”

“On my head,” said Casper. “ You do.”

“JT thought maybe as you were so strong—” said
Ruth,—“ it’s harder to hold it in your hand, unless you
are strong. Stoop down then, Casper, and I’ll put it on
your head.” :

So Casper stooped down, and when the basket was on
his head he took hold with both hands to keep it there.
Then he remembered that Ruth never touched it with
her hands, and he took his down at once. And the
basket. followed. Down, down,—a perfect shower of
chips, all over Casper’s head and shoulders, the minute
he let go. The chips lodged on his shoulders, and stuck
in his hair, and fell into his pockets ; while the basket
bounded away and went rolling down the hill.

“ What a hateful basket !” said Casper angrily.

“O, no,” said Ruth—“don’t say so! Mother always
says that nothing is hateful that isn’t wicked.”

“ Well, why wouldn’t it stay on my head, then?” said
Casper. |

Ruth might have answered that it was because he
16 CASPER.

didn’t know how to carry it; but she was very good
natured and didn’t say anything of the kind, nor even
laugh.

‘Never mind,” she said, “ maybe it will next time.”
And away she ran down the hill after the ill-behaved
basket. Casper didn’t offer to help her again, but stood
still and looked as she came running with the basket in
her hand; and though he did pick up a few of the
chips, it was with no very good will, and he still hada
great inclination to kick the basket.

“ What do you pick up chips for ?” he said.

“To burn,” said Ruth.

“We don’t,” said Casper.

“T s’pose you’re not so poor as we are,” said Ruth
gently.

Casper stood up and watched her for a while, as she
crowded the chips into the basket.

“ Well,” he said at last, “if God loves your mother
as ss say He does, why don’t He give her big sticks to
burn ?”

“T don’t know,” said Ruth, going on with her work.

“No, I guess you don’t,” said Casper.

Ruth looked up with a very grieved little face.

“O, Casper! that isn’t right !”

“ Why not ?” said Casper.

“J don’t know exactly,’ said Ruth. “I’m sure it
isn’t. I don’t believe we deserve to have chips.”

“ Why not ?”’ said Casper again ; for he felt cross with
the overthrow of the basket. .

Ruth was laying the last few long chips on top of her
load, pressing them down and tucking small ones in
every little corner, and she made no reply.

“ Where’s my great piece of bark ?”’ she said, looking
round. “O, here it is! that goes on top of all—see,
Casper, it’s like a cover. These are oak chips—don’t
they smell sweet ?”

“No,” said Casper, “I don’t think they do. Where
did you get ’em ?” — |
CASPER. 17

“OQ, away off in the woods,” said Ruth,—* where Mr.
Proadaxe is cutting trees. He gives ’em to me.”

“Do you go every day ?” said Casper.

“Yes, when it don’t rain,’ said Ruth. ‘ Sometimes
twice a-day. We don’t burn all up now, though. Pll
show you where we put’em.” And, lifting the basket
to her head again, she went on; and Casper followed.

‘There was a little shed at the back of Mrs. Cheerful’s
cottage, made with some old boards which stood with
their heads leaning against the cottage and their feet
on the ground. Into this dark place Ruth crept, and
Casper after her; and then Ruth began to tales the
chips out of her basket, and to pile them up nicely at
one end. There were a good many chips there already,
aud the shed was full of the pleasant smell of the oak
bark.

“ What’s that shining over there ?” said Casper sud-
denly. “See!—it’s something bright, like fire! It’s
moving about, too, Ruth.”

“Why, it’s only our cat’s eyes,” said little Ruth,
laughing. “Pussy! kitty!”

“ Ma-ow !” said the cat in a very melancholy tone of
voice, which made both the children laugh.

“ What makes you come into this dark place, Ruth ?”
said Casper. “ Aren’t you afraid ?”

“Why no!” said Ruth,—* what should I be afraid
of 1”

“TJ don’t know,” said Casper. “ Aren’t you ?”

“Why no!” said Ruth again. “It’s just as safe here
as it is in the light, Casper. We're not safe anywhere if
God doesn’t take care of us.”

“ But it’s so dark !” said Casper.

“Mother taught me a verse out of the Bible once,”
said little Ruth, as she went on piling her chips; “and
it said about God, ‘ Yea, the darkness hideth not from
thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and
the light are both alike to thee” That’s pleasant, isn’t it,
Casper ?”

3


18 CASPER.

But Casper was silent a little.

“Why didn’t you talk to me a while ago?” he said.
“You wouldn’t answer.”

“Because you asked naughty questions,” said Ruth.
“Mother told me I might tell people what the Bible
said, but I mustn’t answer if they didn’t believe it.
Now I’ve done—come, we'll go in. See how nicely the
flowers have kept,—I haven’t lost one.”

“ Mother,” said Ruth as she entered the hut, “ here’s
Casper. You know he wouldn’t come in on Sunday be-
cause he was dusty, but he’s come to-day, and brought
you a great bunch of flowers. And he tried to carry
my basket because it was heavy; and it fell down otf
his head and spilt all the chips—wasn’t it good of him,
mother ?”’

And Ruth stroked her mother’s face, and softly kissec:
it, and then went behind her and arranged the bows of
the broad ribbon that covered her eyes. But her own
little face looked very grave then.

“ Ayen’t they beautiful, mother ?” she said, touching
the hand into which she had put the cowslips. “1
rean, aren’t they sweet !”

“ Both, dear child,” said her mother. “ But how long
you were gone, Ruth—and where is Casper ?” |

“©, [had to pick up the chips twice, you know, mother
—and then pile’em up. Here’s Casper—he brought the
flowers, because I told him you loved ’em.”

“Te is a very kind little boy,” said Mrs. Cheerful.
keeping hold of the hand Ruth put in hers, and drawing
Casper close to her—he was not very willing to come.

“Where did you find them, Casper ?”

“ Down in the meadow.”

“ Well, what made you bring them to me? do you
like to please other people ?”’ |

“T never did but twice,” said Casper. “The young
lady said I’d always be miserable if I didn’t.”

“ Always be miserable ?” said Mrs. Cheerful smiling.
“Why, are you miserable now ?”
CASPER. 19

“ Yes,” said Casper.

“*O, Casper! I’m very sorry !” said little Ruth.

“How happens that ?” said Mrs. Cheerful. “Is your
father poor !”

“T don’t know,” said Casper,—“ mother’s dead, and
nobody wants me.”

Little Ruth quite sobbed at that, as if it was a degree
of poverty she had never imagined; and though she
ran away to get some water to put the cowslips in, her
blue apron was wet with nothing but tears when she
came back.

As for Mrs. Cheerful, she said nothing for a while, but
sat there with her arm round Casper and her hand
stroking his head, until by-and-by the head came dowa
on her shoulder.

“Poor child!” she said,—“ poor little boy! And so
there is no one but God to take care of you. But He
would have to do it, Casper, even if your dear mother
was alive,—don’t you think He can do it without her ?”

“TI s’pose He can,” said Casper, with a long sigh,—
his heart was wonderfully softened by his present rest-
ing place.

“ T will ask Him every day to take care of you, and
make you happy,” said Mrs. Cheerful. “ Will you ask
Him too ?”

“Yes,” said Casper, with another deep breath. .

Mrs. Cheerful did not say any more to him then, but
sat silent for awhile; and Casper never moved. And
then little Ruth whispered to her mother, and went off
and began to set the table for dinner.

It was a little bit of a table, and the cloth that Ruth
put on it was very coarse, though as white as it could
be; and the dinner was only a brown loaf, and a little
bit of cold pork, and a pitcher of water. Yet Mrs.
Cheerful gave thanks for it before they began, and
Casper relished it better than any dinner he had eaten
in a great while. So much did he enjoy it, that he

B 2
20 CASPER.

never found out that little Ruth had given him her cup,
and that she drank with her mother.

After dinner Ruth washed all the dishes and put
them away, and then she and Casper wound a large
skein of yarn for Mrs. Cheerful’s knitting ; and by that
time Casper thought he ought to be going home.

“Ruth!” he called, when he had got outside the
door. Ruth ran out.

“JT guess God does love your mother,” he said— 4
do.”

And then he ran away as fast as he could.

CHAPTER IIT.

THERE grew a great oak in the forest. Its roots were
deep down in the earth, but nobody could tell where its
top was—the leaves were so thick. Moreover, its neigh-
bour trees—the elms, and maples, and ashes—were tall
like itself ; and their leaves mingled with those of the
oak. Unlike most neighbours, they were for ever kissing
each other. Marly in the spring the maples put forth
bright red flowers, when there was not a leaf to be seen;
and the elms showed their blossoms, which were, how-
ever, hardly worth the trouble. But the oak kept his
back; until softly there came out little tufts of young
leaves, and then the long brownish-green flowers came
and hung down between them. After that the maples
had bunches of flat green seeds, with wings to them, that
fluttered about in the summer wind, but the oak had
little acorns with brown cups.

Now it was true, though nobody knew it, that up in
the oak tree a bird had built her nest; and deep in a
hole in one side of the oak there lived a large family of
CASPER. 24

squirrels. Nobody knew it, and yet anybody might have
guessed it; for the birds were constantly fluttering and
singing among the branches, and the old squirrels ran
up and down the tree a great many times a day. To be
sure, 1f anybody looked at them they were just as like to
run up another tree as up their own; and then to jump

from branch to branch till they reached the oak, and so
- down to their nest. The young birds had many a rock-
ing when the wind arose while they slept, and swayed
and bent the branches from side to side; but the squir-
rels never minded the wind—they couldn’t fall unless
the tree did, and of course that could never happen. The
young birds cried out a little sometimes, when their
cradle rocked ¢oo hard; but nothing kept them awake
long—it was all so nice and dark under their mother’s
wings; with her warm-feathered breast keeping the wind
off, and her little heart beating a lullaby. Whether the
wind frightened her or not, nobody ever knew, and no-
body ever inquired. If it did, she never told her young
ones. But certain it is, that after a long rainy night, if
the sun chanced to come out in the morning, the mother
bird always jumped up on the edge of the nest, and
twittered and stirred her wings, as if she felt very glad
the storm was over. And well she might be. It was
wet work to fly about in the rain after food for her young
ones; and the little bird had no umbrella.

One morning, when the sun had got up very early and
the birds were all astir, the mother bird flew up to the
very top branch of the tree, and perched herself there
in the sunshine to get a billful of fresh air, and sing her
morning song. But before she was well through the
first verse, the tree trembled so, with a sudden shock,
that the little bird nearly fell off the twig; and instantly
she spread her wings and flew up into the air. There,
hovering over the oak tree, she saw it shake again, and a
third time, more severely than at first.

“Tt is, without doubt, an earthquake!” thought the
little bird; not noticing, in the agitation of her mind,
2? CASPER.

that the neighbouring trees were quite still. But if it
was an earthquake, clearly everybody would be safest in.
the air!

So with some fear and trembling she lit on the trem-
bling tree, and made her way down to her nest, feeling
very glad that her young ones were duly provided with
feather coats, and could fly almost as well as herself.
They were ina great state of fright when she reached
the nest; for though the other old bird was there, try-
ing his best to keep them quiet and not to be frightened
himself, still it mattered very little what anybody said
so long as their mother was away; and they gladly
obeyed her when she bade them jump out of the nest
and follow her up into the air. ‘Ihe little ones’ wings
soon grew tired, and they perched on a maple tree, and
sat feeling very cold and disconsolate in the morning
wind, without their breakfast; but the old birds con-
tinued to fly back and forth over the tree, and the tree
continued to shake.

Now the cause of all this commotion was Mr. Broad-
axe.

So one of the young squirrels said, when he had put
his whiskers cautiously out of the mouth of the hole, and
looked carefully about. And he went on to remark, that
as it was Mr. Broadaxe, who was such a good man and
never did harm to anybody, they might as well all go to
sleep again. And immediately all the squirrels curled
their tails over their noses and went to sleep.

Mr. Broadaxe, meanwhile, was intent upon cutting
down the tree: his blows fell sharp and quick upon its
great trunk, and the white chips flew hither and thither
till the grass was quite spotted with them. And the
sound of his axe went through the forest, chop, chop,
ull you might have known half a mile off what was
going on.

But about the time that the little birds got tired of
fiying over the tree, and went off in full pursuit of their
treakfast, Mr. Broadaxe bethought him of his; so he
CASPER. 83

stopped his work, set his axe down on one side of the
tree and himself on the other, and took up his little
basket.

“Chip!” said Mr. Broadaxe. “Chip!”

A little dog came dashing out of the underwood at
this, running along as if he was dreadfully afraid of
being late, and hadn’t the least bit of an excuse to give
for it.

“Chip!” said Mr. Broadaxe. “Poor fellow!”

Chip thrust his nose into his master’s face ina very
gratified manner, then laid himself down a few feet off ;
his paws stretched out before him; his head up, his ears
further yet, and his eyes shining like black beads.

“Chip!” said Mr. Broadaxe again. “There, sir.”

“There,” meant a piece of bread, which Mr. Broadaxe
cut off and threw to Chip,and which Chip caught at one
snap without moving anything but his head, swallowed
at down whole, and was ready for the next piece, which
his eyes had watched for all the time. Indeed if those
eyes told truth, the pieces of bread which his master ate >
were matters of great interest to him, and he licked his
chops as if they had had the catching. But as the
basket was but small, the breakfast could not be large,
and Mr. Broadaxe had soon drunk his last swallow of
coffee, and eaten his last bit of bread. No—that he
gave to Chip. For Chip sat there with his head on one
side and his mouth watering for more breakfast ; and
when his master tossed the last bit of bread to him,
Chip caught it with one snap as before, and then threw
his head back to assist him in mastication.

But as he ate, Chip pricked up his ears ; and as soon
as his mouth was empty Chip barked—and then imme-
diately wagged his tail. It was the best thing he could
do under the circumstances, for little Ruth Cheerful was
coming through the wood ; and clearly she was not a
thing to bark at.

“Good morning, Mr. Broadaxe,” she said. “ Good
24 CASPER.

morning, poor little doggie. Why, what a parcel of chips
you've got for me already!”

“Yes,” said Mr. Broadaxe. “I guess that one’ll fill
your basket of itself”

“ What, the little dog?” said Ruth. “O,yes; but I
don’t want to carry him off. Now, little dog, be good
and quiet.”

I suppose the little dog was good, but certainly he was
not quiet. He frisked about Ruth, caught hold of her
apron and shook it, pulled the chips out of her basket,
and put his feet on those she was going to pick up. He
even went so far once as to take the handle of the basket
in his teeth and run off with it; and when Ruth said,
“QO, Chip! Chip !—put that right down, sir!” he turned
round and looked at her, with one ear turned back and
the other hanging over his eye, as if it really was too
bad, but he couldn’t for the life of him help it. Mean-
while Mr. Broadaxe was chopping away at the great tree
till every leaf shook and trembled.

“What makes you cut down such a beautiful tree,
Mr. Broadaxe ?”’ said Ruth.

“*Cause it ain’t mine,” said Mr. Broadaxe, with another
chop.

“ Well, then, why do you?”’ said Ruth.

“Tt 7s somebody’s,” said the woodcutter, pausing in his
work, “and he wants it down,—so down it must come.
I make money cut of the cutting it, and he'll make
money out of the selling it.”

“ And we make wood out of the chips,” said little Ruth
with a laugh. “So everybody gets something.”

As Ruth turned round for another chip she saw Casper
standing there.

“You don’t make wood out of the chips,” said he.
“They’re wood already.”

“Well, but I mean firewood,” said Ruth. “How do
you do, Casper ?”

“I guess [’m well,” said Casper, who was watching
CASPER. o>

the sharp tool do its work upon the tree. “How fast he
strikes !”

“Det he!” said Ruth. “I wonder if anybody else
chops so fast.”

“T could, if I was a man,” said Casper.

“Yow re not a man, though,” said Ruth. “Don’t you
want to help me put all the chips in a pile?”

“Yes,” said Casper. “No—I’ll hold the dog and you
can do the chips. “He'd pull your pile to pieces.”

“ That?ll be some help,” said Ruth, a little doubtfully.
“ But I don’t believe you can hold him.”

Chip, however, submitted to be caught, and then sat
very still with Casper’s arms round him, and watched
Ruth with the utmost gravity. But when her pile was
about a foot high, and she had just laid a long piece of
wood and bark on top, Chip made one spring out of
Casper’s arms, overturning him, and then, rushing sud-
denly upon Ruth, he seized hold of the long slice of wood
and began to pull.

“ Naughty little dog!” said Ruth,—“let go, and be-
have yourself.”

But at that moment Mr. Broadaxe called out,

“ Now, then, children, get out of the way of the tree!”
and Casper, and Ruth, and the dog ran off as fast as they
could to a safe distance.

Mr. Broadaxe, however, kept on with his chopping,
gd the great tree shook and swayed about and bent its
tall head, and then went slowly down,—the limbs creak-
ing, and the leaves fluttering far and wide. There it lay
on the ground. ,

The minute it was down little Ruth came running
up, and jumped upon the trunk, and danced back and
forth from the root to the head. Presently she stopped
short.

“Q, Mr. Broadaxe! there are squirrels up here among
the leaves!” :

“So, so?’? said the woodcutter. “Aye,I dare say.
And here’s been their nest, in this hole.” :
26 CASPER,

“Then we can catch ’em and take ’em home,” said
Casper.

“QO, no, we can’t,” said Ruth. “That would be cruel.”

“ Why, no, it wouldn’t,”’ said Casper. “ We'd shut ’em
up and feed ’em.”

“Then they'd be miserable, as you said you were,”
said Ruth.

Casper stopped at this, and looked doubtful.

“No, we won’t take ’em home,” said the woodcutter,
“because they love their own home best. I’m sorry I
had to cut it down for them. But I won't cut the
branches off the tree just yet, and the young ones may
have a chance to grow a bit bigger before they go off to
seek their fortune.”

So Mr. Broadaxe walked away to another tree and
began to cut that down, and Casper and Ruth stood still
and looked at the squirrels.

CHAPTER IV.

“ Ruta,” said Casper, “I like those squirrels.” And as
he spoke he picked up a big chip and threw it at a
squirrel’s tail that appeared among the branches of the
fallen tree.

“ Well, what do you throw things at them for, then?”
said Ruth, as the little red bushy tail whisked off out of
sight. “We shan’t see a bit of ’em if you frighten
"em so.”

“T like to throw things,” said Casper.

“That isn’t much reason,” said Ruth.

“Ruth,” said Casper, “what do you suppose squirrels
have to eat?”

“QO, all sorts of nice things,” said Ruth. “ Corn, and
nuts, and apples, and seeds, and acorns.”
=

CASPER. ‘ 2%

“Yes, I know they eat corn,” said Casper. “What do
you suppose they have to eat away off in the woods,
where there’s nobody to plant corn for ’em?”’

“ Why, then, God feeds them—just as He does here,”
said Ruth. 7

“But here the farmers plant the corn,” said Casper.

“Yes, but who makes it grow?” said Ruth. “And —
besides, they eat a great many things that nobody
plants.”

“Tf I was a squirrel,” said Casper, “I should always
have plenty to eat.”

“ And nice clothes, too,” said Ruth. “ But everybody
can have plenty to eat—no, not plenty, but something.
Mother’s tried it.

“Well, how did she try ?” said Casper.

“In the first place,” said Ruth, “she always worked
as hard as she could: and in the second place, she
always prayed God to take care of her, and believed
that He would. Mother says it never fails.”

“TI can’t work,” said Casper,—‘“so that wouldn’t do
for me.”

“Well, then, you can be good,” said Ruth, “and
that'll do just as well, if you can’t work.”

“T can’t be good,” said Casper. “I don’t know how.
And I don’t believe I could either.”

“Don’t you!” said Ruth. “Well, you know how to
be naughty ?”

“Yes,”’ said Casper. “Is’pose I do.”

“Well, it’s just the other way,” said Ruth. “ When
you want to be cross you must be good-natured, and
when you want to be idle you must go to work, and
when you don’t want to pray you must kneel down and
pray all the more. So mother says. Because nobody
can be really good, Casper, unless God helps them. And
if they never ask Him it looks as if they didn’t want his
help.” |

Casper shook his head and looked at the squirrels,
298 CASPER.

Ruth looked too, and was silent afew minutes. Then
suddenly she broke forth.

“ Why, Casper, you must know how to be good, if you
read the Bible.”

“J don’t read it,” said Casper.

“Then you ought to,” said Ruth.

“Haven’t got one,” said Casper.

“OQ well, maybe you haven’t,” said Ruth, “but your
father has.”

“Guess not,” said Casper, taking aim at the squirrels
with another chip. “If he has I don’t know it, and I
guess he don’t.”

“Why, you poor little boy!” said Ruth, looking at
him with unfeigned compassion. :

“I’m bigger than you are,” said Casper,—‘ ever so
much.”

“Well, I’m a girl,” said Ruth, “so it don’t signify.”

“Yes, it does,” said Casper,—‘ I’d rather be a boy.”

“Well, but I mean,” said Ruth, “boys always are
bigger, aren’t they ?”

“T don’t know,” said Casper. “Is’pose so. They’re
bigger when they grow up. I want to bea man!”

“T don’t,” said little Ruth thoughtfully. “I want to
be an angel.”

“T guess you don’t,” said Casper.

“Yes, I do,” said Ruth. And joining her hands toge-
ther, she sang,—

“T want to be an angel,
And with the angels stand:
A crown of gold upon my head,
A harp within my hand.”

“ But you’d have to die to be an angel,” said Casper
who had listened very attentively.

“Q, well,” said little Ruth,—“everybody’s got to die
some time. I don’t mean that I want to die now, but
when I do die, I want to be an angel.”
CASPER. 29

“Do you think you will be,” said Casper, looking at
her with a very interested face.

“ Mother says,’’ answered little Ruth, “that when
veople really want to be angels in heaven they should
try to be angels on earth.”

“T don’t know how,” said Casper; “and I’m too
ragged.”

“O, Casper,” said Ruth, and then her voice was
choked, and she burst into tears. “It don’t make a bit
of difference to Jesus what clothes children wear if
they'll only love Him. Mother says a great many angels
in this world are very poor, but in heaven they shall
have enough of everything.”

‘“‘T don’t know how,” repeated Casper, his own lip be-
ginning to tremble. Ruth sat looking at him, and
stroked his face once or twice, as if she didn’t know
what to say.

“Casper, I learn a little verse in the Bible every
morning before I come out, and if you'll be here in the
wood Vl come and teach it to you. And so you could
learn a great deal: and, maybe, when youre a man
you can buy a whole Bible for yourself.”

“What did you learn this morning?” said Casper
without looking up.

“It was this,’ said Ruth. “ ‘ Ay little children, these
things write 1 unto you, that ye sin not.”

Casper made no reply, and Ruth sat silent as before.

“Shall I say it for you again, Casper?” she asked
softly.

“No,” said Casper, “I know it now.”

“Do you ?” said Ruth. “Why, how quick you are. It
took me longer than that.”

The sun had mounted high into the heavens, but the
trees were so thick that his rays scarcely found their
way down to the ground, and in the wood it was cool
and pleasant. Mr. Broacaxe had stopped chopping, and
was shouldering his axe to go home to dinner, and the
squirrels were playing hide and seek among the wither-
30 CASPER.

ing leaves of the fallen oak. A sweet breeze wandered
along through the forest, and said that there were a
great many flowers out in different places.

“T must go home, too,” said Ruth, jumping up and
taking her basket of chips. “Good-bye, Casper—will
you come to-morrow ?”

“Yes,” he said. And then as she trudged off with
her basket on her head, he looked up again and called
out—* Ruth !”

“ What, Casper 2?” said Ruth, stopping and turning
round.

“ What did you learn yesterday ?”

“Q such a pretty one!” said Ruth, her eyes brighten-
ing. “About the children that were brought to Jesus
when he was in the world— And he took them up in his
arms, and put his hands upon them and blessed them.’ ”

Casper turned away again, and so did Ruth on her
way home, and soon her little figure was quite out of
sight among the trees. The heavy steps of Mr. Broad-
axe had died away too, and Chip’s frolics could be seen
no longer. Casper looked about to be sure that they
were gone, and then he threw himself down on the soft
green moss and cried. I don’t know that he could have
told why, if anybody had asked him ; but there was no-
body to ask: and so he cried, and cried, till he was
tired. He wasn’t going home to dinner,—his father
had told him not to show his face in the house till
night ; and Casper thought of Ruth’s verse, and longed
for some one to lay hands on him and bless him,

CHAPTER V.

CasPER cried himself tired and then went to sleep, his
bare feet curled up and resting on the soft moss, hig
CASPER. ol

head resting -—or not resting —on a great tree root,
which in the course of time had twisted and thrust
itself out of the soil. The sun passed on from the mid
heaven, and soft flickering shadows fell over his face, as
the broad leaves

“ Clapped their little hands in glee,”

and waved to and fro above his head.

But Casper saw and heard none of it; nor even
dreamed that there were angels about him, and that the
little ragged boy had heavenly watchers. When at last
he did wake up, he saw only Mr. Broadaxe standing be-
fore him, his sharp tool resting on the ground; while by
his side sat Chip, his head particularly on one side, his
black eyes sparkling with eagerness, his paws ready to
pounce upon Casper at the slightest invitation. It was
Chip indeed who had found the little sleeper, and had
barked at him and pranced round him until Mr. Broad-
axe came to see, and Casper awoke.

“Child, you will catch your death,” said the old
woodman.

“Well—I don’t know—” said Casper, raising himself
on one elbow and rubbing his eyes.

“What made you come back after dinner ?”’ said the
woodman.

“JT didn’t,” said Casper. “I haven’t been.”

“ Why not ?” said Mr?-Broadaxe.

“There wasn’t any,” said Casper. “Father took his
along. There’s nobody else there.”

“You don’t care about dinner, I s’pose?” said the
woodman.

“T guessI can get along without it,” said Casper, pick-
ing up bits of the moss and throwing them at Chip, who
caught them as if they had been pieces of bread and
butter, and tried to keep them all in his mouth at once.

“That’s a great mistake, little boy,” said Mr. Broad-
axe gravely, “and you’ve got to go right home this
minute and get your dinner.” 2
32 CASPER,

“TJ say there isn’t any there,’”’ said Casper.

“Not in your home ?” said Mr. Broadaxe. “There is
in mine. Lots o’ bread and milk, and such trash. What
do you think of that ?”

Casper’s eyes sparkled a little, as if they had caught
a reflection of Chip’s, but he said not a word.

“ Look here,” said the woodman, lifting his axe and
setting it down again, till all the moss trembled ; “ how
do you s’pose you'll ever work such a tool as that
when you come to be a man, if you eat nothing, but
sleep when youw’re a boy? Why, you'll never be aman!”

“Ruth says she wants to be an angel,” said Casper,
thoughtfully.

“Well, they’re a better sort of creature, I’ll never
deny,” said the woodman; “but starvation ain’t exactly
the gate that leads to that road. Come, jump up—you
shan’t be one o’ the babes in the wood ¢his time. Now,
do you know where I live ?”’

“°Tother end of the brook, by the chesnut trees,”
said Casper.

“ That’s it,’ said the woodman, who was writing on a
leaf of his pocket-book, which he presently tore out
and gave to Casper. “ 'There’s a message, child, for my
wife. You take it, and wait for an answer, and when
you come back I’ll give you sixpence.”

Casper looked up doubtfully..

“ Didn’t you ever hear anybody speak truth?” said
the woodman. “Now go, or I shan’t have an answer
till sundown.” And Casper went.

He didn’t walk very steadily at first, between shame
at having no dinner of his own, and desire to have
dinner of some sort, even though it should come from
other people. So when he looked at the bit of paper in
his hand he went very slow; and then again when he
listened to his keen little appetite he went fast. but
even this irregular way of getting along in the world
brought him at last to the woodcutter’s door. ‘There
Uasper stopped. The door stood wide open.
CASPER. 30

All signs of dinner were long ago cleared away, the
floor was swept up, and Mrs. Broadaxe had brought out
her big wheel and began to spin. But her back was
towards the door, and Casper could watch her unob-
served. She was just as cleanly dressed as Mrs. Cheerful,
but her dress was a good deal more fresh and new, and
on her head instead of a ribbon there was a very white
cap. A little black silk apron—or rather a pretty large
one—fluttered about as she stepped to and fro before
the wheel, and her shoes creaked with smartness and
new leather. She was as big as two or three of Mrs.
Cheerful—stout and hearty, and just the sort of a
woman in whose lap little boys like to curl down and go
to sleep. She was whirling the wheel swiftly round
with one hand, while the other drew out a long blue
thread of yarn from the spindle’s point, in a manner
that seemed quite wonderful. Casper forgot both his mes-
sage and his appetite, and stood still to see ; and there is
no telling how long he might have stood, if a large white
cat had not suddenly come round the corner of the
house and cried out “Meow!” |

“Winkie! Winkie!” said Mrs. Broadaxe, turning
the wheel, but not her head.

“Meow!” replied Winkie, with the tone of a deeply-
injured cat.

“Well, it serves you right,” said Mrs. Broadaxe,
walking straight off to the pantry and talking all the
time ; “ you should have come home before, Winkie—of
course dinner is done, and if this was some houses you
~-wouldn’t have a mouthful. Some of these days I shall
not save you any either—I’ve no doubt, I shan’t.”

“Some of these days” had not come yet, however, for
Mrs. Broadaxe presently appeared with a large plate of
shicken bones, which Winkie waited for at the door.
But when Mrs. Broadaxe had set the plaje down, and
had straightened herself up again, then she beheld Casper.

“ Well, little dear,” she said, “how do you like my
cat? Shouldn’t you like to come and sit on the door-

C
34 CASPER.

step and see her eat her dinner? And if the chickens
come up, you can drive them away for me, will you?
Because they help themselves out of Winkie’s plate.”

“Why, mayn’t they?” said Casper.

“Why, they’ve had their dinner, long ago,”’ said Mrs.
Broadaxe.

“(! —’” said Casper. He did not say that he was
worse off than the chickens, but he came and sat down
on the doorstep and gave Mrs. Broadaxe the little paper
message the woodcutter had sent.

Mrs. Broadaxe stood still to read.

“ My! my!” she said, “who ever heard of such a
thing? What’s come over the world? And Winkie,
too! What’s your name, child?”

“ My name’s Casper.”

“ Are you going to take a basket to Mr. Broadaxe ?”
said the woodcutter’s wife, looking at him as if she felt
perfectly puzzled.

“YT don’t know,” said Casper. “He said I was to
come, and get an answer.”

“ Well, Pll put the answer in a basket,” said Mrs.
Broadaxe. “1 think that will be the easiest way.
But haven’t you—What could he mean by telling me
—Let me see—O yes! Little boy, don’t you feel thirsty
after your walk ?”

“Not much,” said Casper.

“But couldn’t you drink a little milk ?—just a cup-
ee 2” said the good woman, bending down to look at

im.

Casper looked up at her and said, “ Yes, ma’am,’
immediately.

“Ah, well, that'll do,” said Mrs. Broadaxe, bustling
away ina great hurry ; “I knew you must be thirsty,
if you only thought about it.”

She went off into the pantry again, and Casper sat
still on the doorstep and looked at Winkie; who, crack-
ing the chicken bones in her white teeth, seemed well
satisfied with the world in general.
CASPER. 35

Mrs. Broadaxe presently came back, and stooping
down by Casper, she held a cup of sweet milk to his
lips, and watched to see him drink it every drop. Then
she put into one of his hands a tiny basket, and into the
other a huge piece of gingerbread. She bade him take
the basket to Mr. Broadaxe, and added that he might
either eat the gingerbread at once, or wait till he got
into the wood again.

Casper, however, waited for nothing—not even to
make up his mind, for no sooner had he turned his
back upon Mrs. Broadaxe than his teeth met in the
gingerbread ; and met so often, and to such good pur-
pose, that the large piece presently became a very small
one. As for the few yellow crumbs that fell by the
wayside, Casper almost wished himself a bird that he
might pick them up. The real little sparrows did it.
for him, however, and looked out of their bright eyes
very joyfully the while; and then when they flew
away he ran on.

One bit of the gingerbread yet remained in Casper’s
hand; and as he went, another little boy, somewhat
smaller than himself, came trotting along the road in
front of him, from behind the trees.

It would be hard to tell why the sight of this little
boy made Casper uncomfortable—at least, it would.
have been very hard for him to tell; but certain it is,
that as the boy came on, Casper began to wish that he.
would run ’tother way—or that he himself had taken
some other road; and more than that, the bit of ginger-
bread went up to his mouth, and he began to eat it as.
fast as he could.

The boy was, undoubtedly, poor, but so was Casper 3.
and while the little stranger had on trowsers that were
worn through on both knees, Casper had a jacket that
was out at the elbows. There wasn’t a pin to choose
between the cleanness of their faces, and neither one of
them, to judge by their looks, had ever seen a hairbrush
in the course of his life. The only real difference seemed

G2
36 CASPER.

to be, that while the one had a piece of gingerbread, the
other had none.

The new little boy found this out at once, and began
to look so eagerly at Casper’s handful of good things,
that as he came on he stumbled over stones, ran out of
the road, and finally ran plump up against Casper.

“ What do you mean?” said Casper, in a high state
of indignation.

“T didn’t mean to,” said the boy.

“Well, get out of my way now, then,” said Casper.

“ Have you had any more than that?” said the little
boy.

“Yes,” said Casper, “it was so big—at first.”

“ Have you had enough?” said the little boy again.

“No,” said Casper.

“J didn’t mean to run against you,” said the little
boy quietly, and he turned away and went on; but
Casper thought he heard a little bit of a sigh, though
he didn’t stop to ask what it was for.

He went on, filling his mouth with gingerbread the
while, till only one mouthful was left—then he turned
and looked back. But the little boy was nowhere to be
seen ; and Casper having disposed of the last mouthful
of gingerbread, set off and ran as fast as his feet could
carry him towards the forest. ,

The sun was low and the shadows long when he
reached it. Yet not longer than the sunbeams: which
streamed in between the tall trees, and lay on the
patches of moss and tufted grass, with all the warmth
of a last embrace. But the little moss cups were all
unconscious that it was the last—they held up their
little dry heads as straight as ever, unwet with even a
dew drop; and the shadows crept on unseen.

The birds were fluttering homeward, picking up what
supper they could by the way ; the squirrels ran up to
the tree tops to take an observation; and the bats
began to stretch themselves and rub their eyes after
their long day’s sleep.
CASPER. oF

Casper’s bare feet went pattering on through the
wood until every gleam of sunshine faded, and there
was nothing but shadow. Then he began to feel a little
afraid—it was so dark in the woods, and so still; and
then he thought, what if Mr. Broadaxe should have
gone home without waiting for him !

“It’s a pity Ruth isn’t here,” he said to himself,
“ she knows all the paths ;” and as soon as he remem-
bered Ruth, he remembered the verse she had told him
one day in the dark woodhouse—‘‘the darkness hideth
not from thee, but the night shineth as the day: the
darkness and the night are both alike to thee.”

“Then God can see me now,” he thought, —and
straightway Casper wondered whether that all-seeing
eye had looked at hima little while ago, when he didn’t
give the other little boy a piece of his gingerbread.
Casper began to feel uncomfortable now, because it was
so light ; and he stood quite still, and swung his basket
backwards and forwards without once thinking what
there might be in it. And as he stood, he heard the
steady “chop,” “chop,” of the wood-cutter’s axe, from
away off in the forest where he was at work.

“It won’t take me long to get there, anyway,” said
Casper ; and he ran so fast that when he reached Mr.
Broadaxe he was quite out of breath.

“ Hallo!” said the woodman, good-humouredly, as
Casper came scampering up. “I guess you thought
you were late.”

“ Tt is,’ said Casper,—“it’s as dark as everything in
the woods.”

“In the woods!” said Mr. Broadaxe. “ Why, we’re
in the woods now, child, and it’s by no means as dark as
everything.”

“It’sa great deal lighter here than it was yonder,”
explained Casper.

“This is the first time I was ever set up for a tallow
candle, I guess,” said Mr. Broadaxe. “ However, child,
it’s light enough, so sit down and eat your supper.”

q??
29 CASPER.

Casper looked up at him wistfully.

“ Tt’s in that basket,” said the woodcutter, smiling,-~
“good too, I guess). My woman never gives the cat
anything else.”

“‘ She gave the cat chicken bones,” said Casper.

“ Tl warrant her,’ said Mr. Broadaxe,—“I daresay
she’s given you chicken. Come, child, make haste and
eat your supper—l’minahurry. Open the basket right
away.”

Casper obeyed, and took outa little white cloth; which,
being unfolded, there appeared sundry cold chicken legs
and wings, nicely laid upon a little table of bread and
butter. Casper handed it up to the woodman.

“ It’s for you, child,” said his friend, smiling,—* do
you think I’m going to eat supper before I get home ?
Hat it up, and much good may it do you.”

‘“¢ I’ve had supper,” said Casper, whose face was work-
ing strangely. “I had a big piece of gingerbread.”

“ That may stand for dinner, then,” said the woodman.

“ But I eat it all up,” said Casper, dropping his head
and two tears at the same time.

“So much the better,” said Mr. Broadaxe. “I eat
my dinner, too, and want my supper. What’s the mat-
ter with the child? Is that the way you give thanks
at meal time ?”’

“ O please, Mr. Broadaxe,” said Casper, “please give
it to the other little boy! Imsure he was hungry, and
he wanted some of my gingerbread, and I wouldn’t give
him a bit! And now I’m sure God saw me, and didn’t
like it!”

And Casper threw himself down on the moss in a great
fit of tears.

Mr. Broadaxe stood quite still for a minute or two,
and then he stooped down and lifted up Casper and set
him on a high stump; remarking that the moss was
damp, or would be, if he went on at that rate.

“ Now, Casper,” he said, “do you take this pile of
bread and butter, and make way with it as fast as you
CASPER. 39

can—Chip! get out of the way !—and if I meet ’tother
little boy going home I'll attend to him. There—’taint
bad, is it? And you come here bright and early in the
morning, and I’]] take a half holiday and talk to you.”

« What about ?”” said Casper, looking up, with a drum-
stick in one hand and bread and butter in the other.

“ Little boys,” said the woodman, “and gingerbread.
And if Ruth Cheerful comes along we’ll go off far into
the wood and have a time.”

“ {like Ruth!” said Casper. “ She’s so good.”

“ ‘Well, why shouldn’t Casper be so good too?” said
the woodman.

“J can’t,” said Casper, “I’m bad.”

Mr. Broadaxe made no reply to that, but as the
chicken and bread and butter had all disappeared, he
went through the wood with Casper, until he could see
the village ‘lights ; and then bade him good night, and
told him to find some better reason for not being good
than the one he had just given.

CHAPTER VI.

Never had Casper’s home looked so disagreeable to
him as it did that night. There wasn’t, generally, much
about it that could be called inviting. A dirty floor ;
chairs and tables also in much need of scouring, and
that needed mending as well; a window where an old
hat took the place of one pane of glass, and where other
panes were gone, leaving their place empty,—such was
the home where Casper had learned to be miserable.
Poor child—it was pretty much all he had learned.
Through the day the house had nobody in it—unless
when Casper chose to stay there alone: for, sometimes,
he got tired cf going out to play with the village boys,
40 CASPER.

who teased fim because they were strong. Every morn-
ing his father went off, taking his dinner with him, and
leaving Casper to make Azs dinner of the remains of the
breakfast, if there were any. After an hour or so,
during which Casper killed flies on the window, or made
ash heaps on the hearth, one of the old neighbours came
in to wash the dishes and put the house in order—as
she called it. As soon as her sunbonnet came in Casper
went out,—he couldn’t bear this woman, and often told
her so. ‘hen he played with the boys and made believe
feel happy—or he sat in the road and felt miserable,—
as when the lady found him that Sunday morning. At
dinner time, if there was anything to eat at home he
went and ate it, when others took dinner; and found
the house just as dirty and out of order as it had been
in the morning. Ifthe cupboard was quite empty, Cas-
per did as he best could till supper time. ‘I'here was
sure to be something to eat then, for his father always
came home, and always brought his appetite with him ;
and what he wanted he must have. But sometimes he
had been drinking, and sometimes he brought home two
or three other men, and they all drank and smoked
together.

Now, Casper did not know that all this was so wrong,
nobody had ever told him that it was asin in the eye
of God to drink as these men did, or to speak such words
as came from their mouths; but he used to get very
tired of being pushed about, and having tobacco smoke
blown in his eyes, and bad words spoken to him if he
even said a good one. And then he would creep away
to bed, and wish that his mother would come back
again, and cry softly to himself—and then the poor little
ragged boy was asleep. And in this way had Casper
spent his days, from the time of his mother’s death until
he fell in with little Ruth Cheerful ; since when he had
been almost every day to the forest.

On that particular evening, after his remarkable
chicken supper, everything at home looked worse than
CASPER. 41

usual, and Casper got to bed as fast as he could. But
he couldn’t get to sleep. The men’s loud talk fright-
ened him, and when he heard them speak in such a way
the name of that great Being, whom little Ruth and
her mother loved and worshipped as their best friend,
Casper put his fingers in his ears and tried to shut out
the words. And as he lay there with his ears stopped
up, and his elbows poking out the bed-clothes, he thought
to himself, “What wowld Ruth do if she lived here!”
And directly his conscience answered, “ Ruth would say
her prayers.”

Casper thought that he did not know how—he had
never said a prayer in his whole life; but he felt afraid
and lonely, and he remembered that Mrs. Cheerful had
said, God could take care of him. And getting softly on
his knees in the bed, he whispered out these words—

“ O God, please take care of me, and make me good,
like Ruth.”

And then he lay down and went to sleep.

The sleep lasted later than usual next morning, per-
haps, because the good food Casper had eaten put him
in nice sleeping condition ; and when he awoke he was
quite startled to see how high the sun was up. Nothing
else was up, that he could see; for the men had gone
to sleep last night on the floor about the hearth, and
not one of them had yet arisen.

So Casper jumped down very softly from his bed, and
scampered out of the house just as fast he could, for
fear he should be told to make the fire or fetch water ;
and once outside the door, away he ran.

The grass was all wet with the dew, but Casper had
on no shoes or stockings to be spoiled, and his trowsers’
legs had long ago hung in rags about his ankles, and
now some of the rags had dropped off ; so that even they
were beyond the reach of the short grass. The dew-
drops sparkled like so many clear diamonds on the blades
of grass and clover leaves, and Casper thought what a
pity it was that they could not be kept. But whenever
42 CASPER.

he gathered a clover leaf, and tried to carry it very
carefully, that minute the bright little dewdrop would
roll out, and leave only a little wet spot on Casper’s
fingers. Casper rubbed his fingers, and looked at the
wet spot, but he could not bring the diamond back
again; and then it suddenly came into his mind, that
before he should meet little Ruth’s clean hands and face
it might be as well to wash his own.

ile had to cross two or three brooks in his way to the
forest, and of these he chose the clearest for a wash-
basin ; but he found that his hands did not dry quite so
fast in the damp morning air as they had done at mid-
day, and he had to swing them backwards and forwards
for some time. Then he ran on faster than ever for fear
of being late, feeling very sure all the time that he had
had no breakfast.

By the wayside grew a great many bushes,—some
wild rose bushes, that bore sweet red flowers, and some
brambles, that seemed to bear nothing but thorns. But
as Casper ran on, he saw that one of these brambles was
spotted with bunches of berries—they were large, and
black, and very sweet. Casper ate several, pulling
them off as fast as he could, for he was hungry ; and
then he began to think how he should like to give Ruth
some.

He might pick off some of the bunches and take to
her,—but then he had had no breakfast, which was,
doubtless, not the case with Ruth; but then she couldn’t
have had blackberries. So, on the whole, Casper thought
that he would take just three bunches to Ruth—and
then he saw another fine bunch, and picked it, and then
another, till he had six bunches of the sweet berries held
fast in one hand. With the other hand he gathered every
stray berry that he could reach, and ate them, and went
on as before to the forest.

How it was, I need not say—everybody must guess for
himself—but when Casper came in sight of Mr. Broadaxe
his hand held but one bunch of blackberries.
CASPER. 43

The woodcutter sat on the trunk of a fallen tree, with
Chip at his feet and a basket by his side, which Casper
at once guessed might contain dinner. On the other
side of him sat Ruth, perched up on the old tree, her
little feet dangling quite far from the ground ; but as
soon as she saw Casper she jumped down and ran for-
ward.

“O, Casper, ’m glad you’ve come !—we’ve been wait-
ing only a little while. Have you had any breakfast ?”

Casper hesitated a moment and then said,

“'I'hey were all asleep when I came away.”

“Well, I thought maybe you wouldn’t have,” said
Ruth—“ so I brought mine out into the forest tc eat with
you. Mother said I might.”

And producing a tiny basket from the leaves and moss
where it had lain hid, Ruth opened it, and took out two
slices of bread and butter and a cup of milk, which she
arranged on the old tree with the utmost particularity.
The cup of milk stood in the middle, with a slice of bread
and butter at each end.

“T might have brought two cups,” said Ruth, who
was in a great state of excitement, “but I didn’t think
of it. Mr. Broadaxe was waiting, and I was in a hurry.
I know what will do almost as well !”—and she ran off,
and after looking about among the fallen leaves for a few
minutes came back with two large acorn cups. “ There,
Casper ! won’t that do finely ?”’

“You don’t want ’em,” said Casper, who had stood all
this time twirling his bunch of blackberries. “I’m not
going to drink your milk.”

“ Not all of it,” said little Ruth—“ I’m going to drink
part. But that’s your bread and butter, and you must
dip your little cup into the big cup.”

“No,” said Casper.

Ruth stood disappointed.

“'There’s a bunch of blackberries you may have if
you want ’em,” said Casper, “but I don’t want your
breakfast.”
44 CASPER.

“Only part,” urged Ruth. “ And if you don’t eat part
I shan’t want any.” And she looked at Casper with her
eyes full of tears.

Casper on his part stood still, but when Ruth came
and took his hand and led him close to the old tree, and
then putting herself on the other side began to eat her
share of the bread and butter, to set him a good example,
—somehow or other he began to eat his too, and even
dipped his little cup into the big one as Ruth had bade
him. But once in a while after these little drinks of
milk, Casper’s throat felt as if he had swallowed the
acorn cup too.

Mr. Broadaxe sat by without saying a word,—some-
times watching the children for a minute, and then
cenerally looking away to whistle; and Chip had gone
fast asleep, well knowing that there was no bread and
butter to spare for him.

“And did you really pick the blackberries for me ?”
said Ruth, when the breakfast had all disappeared,
mouthful by mouthful. “That was very good! How
sweet they are!”

“Yes, I picked ’em,” said Casper, “but it’s no thanks
to me that I didn’t eat ’em up.”

Ruth laughed and said she did thank him very much;
and now as there were no dishes to wash, they at once
began their walk into the forest. How pretty it was!

Over head the green treetops mingled their leaves
together and shut out the blue sky completely; and
under foot the brown earth was as little to be seen,
thanks to the moss and the fern, and to the leaves of
last year and a great many other years, which had fallen
and dried and made a thick brown carpet. Over this
carpet—or rather through it—Casper and Ruth went
bounding on all sides, and finding all sorts of treasures.
Sometimes it was an old empty snail-shell from the root
of a tree, or a tuft of red-headed moss from the top of a
rock, or an old bird’s-nest which the wind had blown
down. Ruth’s basket grew so heavy under the collec-
CASPER. 45

tion that at last Casper, with a great effort at being
good-natured, offered to carry it. And the pleasure of
taking trouble for other people was so new to him, that
he felt quite delighted, and really enjoyed the weight
of the basket.

Great was the excitement when Chip, who was running
all over just as they were, chanced to start a partridge ;
and when the pretty bird flew whirring up from the dry
leaves and bushes, both the children clapped their hands
and wished very much that Chip would find another.
And when Mr. Broadaxe showed them a bird’s-nest full
of eggs, in a little bramble bush, their pleasure knew no
bounds. They could not be satisfied with looking; so
Mr. Broadaxe proposed that they should sit down there
on the moss and rest awhile.

“ | wonder where the bird is?” said Ruth ; and as she
spoke, back came the little feathered thing and lit on
her nest, and then, after a look or two at the strangers,
ae nestled down upon her eggs, and covered them
all up.

“You said you would talk to us, Mr. Broadaxe,” said
Casper.

“Yes, please do, Mr. Broadaxe,” said Ruth.

Mr. Broadaxe said never a word. He sat looking at
the bird for some little time, and then told the children
that they might go and play till dinner—he was not
ready to talk,

CHAPTER VII.

THERE was no want of things to play with, nor of play-

houses—the thing was, to choose.

: “Nuth,” said Casper, “let’s get stones and build a
ouse.””
46 CASPER.

“A real house to live in?” asked Ruth.

“ No, a little one to make believe,” said Casper.

“ Who'll live there ?” said Ruth.

“ Squirrels,” said Casper.

“T don’t believe they will,” said Ruth,—“it won’t be
soft and warm like their nests.”

“Well, they needn’t live in it unless they’ve a mind
to,” said Casper, “but we can build it. And I'll tell
you what'll make ’em like to come, Ruth—when it’s
done, we'll put plenty of acorns inside.”

So the house was begun at once. Casper found a flat
stone and laid it down for the floor, and then round this
he laid smaller stones one upon another, for the sides.
A great rock made the back of the house, and the front
was left open. Casper said he could build it up and
leave a doorway, but then they couldn’t see in. As for
Ruth, she sought for a big piece of green soft moss, and
laid it down on the floor for a carpet; and it looked so
pretty that she went for more, and carpeted the whole
outside of the house: for the walls were so rough that
the moss held fast with no trouble at all, and the
roof was but another flat stone. Then they emptied the
basket of all its treasures, and went off after acorns.

“ Ruth,” said Casper, “I guess you didn’t learn your
verse to-day.”

“Yes, I did,” said Ruth. “It was this: ‘in my Fa-
ther’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I
would have told you. I go to prepare a place for

Ole

“T don’t know what that means,” said Casper; “it
isn’tas pretty as the other ones.”

““O yes, indeed, it is!” said Ruth earnestly. “ Mother
told me all about it.”

“Weil, you tell me, then,” said Casper.

“The Lord Jesus said those words to the people that
loved him, when he was here in this world,”’ said Ruth,
speaking slow as if she was trying to be very exact.
“They were troubled beeause he was going away to
CASPER. 47

leave them, and they thought they should be all alone
and have nobody to help and comfort them. So then
the Lord Jesus told them not to be troubled—that he
was going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s
house in heaven ; and that some time he would take
them all there, to live with him for ever.”

“ What sort of a place ?” said Casper.

“ Nobody knows yet,” said Ruth, “except that it is all
beautiful and glorious, and every person that lives there
will be perfectly good and happy. One part of the
Bible calls it a great city, built of gold and precious
stones, and where the glory of God makes it so bright
that they have no need of the sun. But Pll tell you
what mother loves best about it—she made me learn
the verses, so that I could say them to her any time.”

“ Don’t she like the beautiful city ?”’ said Casper.

“O yes!” said Ruth, “but then she loves these words
better : ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their
eyes ; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow,
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.’ ‘ And
there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God
and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall
serve him: and they shall see his face; and his name
shall be in their foreheads.’ Mother says that is the
best—then we shall see the Lord Jesus, and never sin
against him any more.”

Little Ruth sat quite silent at the end of her long
speech, and Casper was silent too, and very sober. Up
in the trees whole troops of little birds were singing out
their gladness—the best praise they knew how to give,
and the summer wind blew softly and sweetly through
the many leaves of the forest.

“ Ruth,” said Casper, “I wish I was there now.”

Ruth looked as if she felt quite puzzled by this
speech, and did not know what to say.

“Mother says we can live with Jesus in a way, even
here,” she answered at length, “if we love to think of
him and to do his will.”
48 | CASPER.

“T don’t know anything about that,” said Casper;
“but I mean, Iwish I was anywhere else.”

“ Why, Casper ?”’ said little Ruth.

“JT do,” said Casper, knitting his brows,—“ there’s no-
body at home—nor nothing, either; and it’s miserable,
and so am I.”

“ Not now, Casper ?” said Ruth gently.

“ Well, I can’t be here in the woods all the time,” said
Casper.

“Casper,” said Ruth, when she had been thinking
as hard as she could for a while, “do you ever do
all sorts of things for your father to try to make him
love you ?”’

“No,” said Casper shortly, “and he isn’t my real
father, besides.”

“But he might love you if he isn’t,” said Ruth.

“ Nobody does,” said Casper, as if that settled the
question.

“OQ, Casper!” said Ruth. “I do, and so does mother.”

“Do you think she does?” said Casper.

“Yes, indeed,” said Ruth, “and she prays for you
every day.”

Casper burst into tears.

“QO, Ruth,” he said, “why don’t God love me, and put
me somewhere where I needn’t be miserable ?”

Ruth got down by him and stroked his face, and said,
“ Poor Casper!” several times, but she didn’t say any-
thing else. |

“‘T guess you don’t know,” said Casper rather crossly,
as he sat up again and wiped the tears off his face.

“Maybe you haven’t asked him often enough,” said
Ruth timidly, for Casper’s manner was not encouraging.

‘‘T never did once,” said Casper.

“Well, why don’t you, then?” said Ruth, looking
very much astonished.

“T don’t know,” said Casper—“TI never thought of it.
People never do things when I ask ’em.” 7

“No, not people,” said Ruth reverently, “but God.
CASPER. 49

He likes to have us ask for what we want. And if you
want to go to heaven, Casper, you'll have to ask him to
take you.”

Casper made no answer, but he presently got up from
the stone where he had been sitting, and began again to
look for acorns, and they were soon as busy as ever.

In the heat of their search, as they went diving into
a heap of brush and leaves, up started a little brown and
white hare. It looked at them for a second, and then
jumped away so queerly as to make them both laugh,
for its hind legs were very long and its fore legs very
short. Then they found its bed in the brush heap, soft,
and warm, and round; and Ruth crouched down in it,
and made believe she was a hare; and then Casper made
believe he was another, and tried to run away as the
real hare had done, but he could not make his arms
short enough. In the midst of it all, Mr. Broadaxe
called them back to dinner, and then they both ran as
fast as they could, carrying the basket between them.

How many dinners were eaten in the forest at that
same time! Mr. Broadaxe and his little companions
had theirs spread on a flat stone that came up out of
the moss as if on purpose, and before they began to eat
they asked God’s blessing on what he had given them.
All about on the trees were little birds hopping up and
down, some of them getting a dinner of insects from
among the leaves, while others who liked bread crumbs
came to pick up those which the children scattered.
Bones, and such larger mouthfuls, were thrown to Chip,
who lay waiting ; and not far off among the trees, the
very little hare that Ruth and Casper had seen, was
gnawing the bark of a young tree and nibbling a very
small tuft of clover for its dinner. If the truth must.
be told, a little further off yet was a sparrow hawk,
making a good meal of the last little bird that he had
caught ; and a toad had just swallowed a fly, and a
snake had just swallowed the toad,

D
60 CASPER.

“Mr. Broadaxe,” said “asper,“ what makes the sun
shine?”

“Ask Ruth,” said the woodman.

“T don’t know,” said Ruth, “ only what if says in the
first chapter of Genesis—

““ And God made two great lights: the greater light
to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:
he made the stars also.’”

“That's all you can understand about it at present,”
said the woodman,—* God made the sun, and set it in
une sky to give light upon the earth.”

“Are you going to talk now, Mr. Broadaxe?” said
Ruth.

“ Are you going to tell the story you promised ?”’ said
Casper.

“Tam going to tell Casper a story which Ruth has
heard before,” said the woodcutter, “but it won’t hurt
her to hear it again.”

“Ts it about little boys ?” said Casper.

“It is about the Friend of little boys,” answered the
woodcutier, “What were you saying to Ruth this
morning about being miserable ?”

“ ¥ said I was,” replied Casper.

“Why ?” asked Mr. Broadaxe.

“TI guess you'd be!” said Casper, “if you had to live
home and nobody loved you!”

“Then I would try to please the people that / loved,”
said the woodcutter.

“But there isn’t anybody!” said Casper; “there’s
mever anybody there all day but old Mrs. Clamp—and I
hate her !”

“That is bad,” said Mr. Broadaxe gravely—* that is a
great deal worse than the other. If everybody loved
you, you wouldn’t be happy unless you loved some-

ody.” :

“ Hiverybody don’t,” said Casper. “ Nobody does.”

: “ Nobody?” said Mr. Broadaxe, more gravely than be-
ore.
CASPER. 51

“No,” said Casper.

My. Broadaxe was silent for a minute or two, and
then he spoke again.

“A great many years ago, in a country called Judea,
there were shepherds in the fields by night, taking care
of their sheep. And suddenly there came to them an
angel and said to them,-‘ Behold I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For
unto you is born this day in the city of David, a
Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ And then there
came about the angel a whole multitude of shining
ones from heaven, praising God and saying, ‘ Glory
to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will
toward men.’ ”

“T don’t know what a Saviour means,” said Casper.

“Tf you should fall into the pond at the end of the
village, and I should pull you out, then I should save
you from being drowned,” replied the woodcutter ; “and
if you had lost some of your father’s money, and I
should goto him and pay it, I should save you from
being punished.

“ As soon as the angels were gone, the shepherds said
to each other that they would go to the city, and see
the Saviour who was come into the world.”

“ And did they find him?” said Casper.

“They found him, a very little child, lying in a
manger; but the shepherds fell down and worshipped
him, and returned home, giving thanks to God, for they
believed what the angels had said. And the child was
called Jesus, because he should save his people from
their sins.”

“ How could he ?” said Casper.

“You shall hear,” said the woodman. “For thirty
years the Lord Jesus lived in this world, teaching the
people how to serve him, healing their sicknesses, and
forbidding them to sin. Anda few of the people fol-
lowed him. But many would not believe that he was
the Son of God, and would not love and obey him; be-

D2
52 CASPER.

cause he told them to do what was right, and they loved
to do what was evil. And at last they took him and put
him to death, nailing him to the cross. And three days
after, he rose from the dead, and went up into heaven,
where he ever liveth.”

“What did he let them kill him for ?”’ said Casper.

“Why, he came for that!” said Ruth. “Everybody
had sinned against God, and somebody must be pu-
nished ; and then Jesus came and died for us, that if we
will love him and follow him, we might live and not die.
And if we really trust to him with our hearts, God will
forgive us all our sins for his sake—because he took our
punishment.”

“What do you think, Casper?” said the woodman ;
“does no one love you? ‘God so loved the world, that
he sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
in him might not perish but have everlasting life ;’ and
the Lord Jesus came from all his heavenly glory, and
lived, and suffered, and died, that just such poor sinners
as you and I, Casper, might live for ever in heaven and
not in hell.”

“Then he isn’t here now,” said Casper. “I wish he
was!”

“He is near you all the time, little Casper,” said the
woodman ; “‘ he can hear every word you say, and knows
every thought you think. And if you will pray to him,
and try to be his little child, you will never be miserable
any more. ‘When my father and my mother forsake
me, then the Lord will take me up.’ ”

Casper made no answer. He had dropped his head
upon his hand, and so he sat for some time without
speaking or moving. And when at last the wood-
cutter said it was time to go, and they all got up
and began to walk through the forest, Casper walked
along just as silent as ever; only once when he saw
Ruth looking at him, there came a little gush of tears
from his eyes, and he put up his hand quick to wipe
them away.
CASPER. 53

Mr. Broadaxe took them both home with him to sup-
per, and when the two children were coming away toge-
ther, Casper looked up, and said—

“Mr. Broadaxe, when will you talk again ?”

“JT don’t know,” said the woodcutter, smiling kindly
“T must work to-morrow ; but we'll see.”

Ruth and Casper walked quietly on till they were
near Mrs. Cheerful’s cottage, when Ruth suddenly ex-
claimed—

“Casper! mother ll talk to you whenever you'll
come! Will you come to-morrow ?”

“T can’t,” said Casper; “father said I was to go to
the mill.”

“Well, Sunday, then—you can come after church.”

“ Well, maybe I will,” said Casper ; and bidding Ruth
good night, he ran home, for it was quite late, and
every little bird in the forest had its head under its
wing.

CHAPTER VIII.

Tux forest in which Mr. Broadaxe pursued his business
of woodcutting, and where little Ruth came to pick up
chips, and Casper to see them both, was very large.
The trees of it rose up like a great wall very near the
village where Casper lived, and from thence it stretched
away back into the mountains, and ran up their sides,
sometimes even to the very top. By the village, and
for some miles from there, the woods were a good deal
cleared up ; the underbrush was cut out, and the trees
were thinned, and you could find no wild animals but
squirrels and rabbits, and now and then a woodchuck or
aracoon. But coing towards the mountains the woods
grew thicker. ‘The trees stood close together, and wild
54 CASPER.

vines crept up their trunks, and twined about their
branches, and low bushes grew about their roots—
huckleberry, and sweetbriar, and dogwood. The moss
grew thick and rank in the shade, and whole beds of
fern sent up their beautiful leaves which the wind could
hardly get in to stir. Over the ground in some places
the little partridge berry spread itself—a mere mat of
leaves and white flowers ; and the wintergreens clus-
tered together in large patches, hanging full of their
pretty red fruit, which no one ever found but the wild
birds,

There were plenty of birds—and of squirrels too, for
that matter; and now and then a snake went softly
along, and frightened them both. The woodpecker
hammered all day upon the hollow trees, and picked out
the insects from under the bark with his sharp bill, and
the oriole swung her hammock of a nest from the branch
of some weeping elm, and then bade defiance to the
black snake and all his advances. }

But other sounds were heard besides the “ tap, tap,”
of the woodpecker, or the sharp little “chip!” of the
hackee, for so the Indians call the little striped squir-
rel. Sometimes a wolf would stroll through the forest,
with two or three after him for company; and when
they all cried out together, any little animal that had
stayed out too late trembled and shook all over. And
if the pretty deer that were lying down among the fern
leaves heard the soft bounds of a panther coming along,
they took to their heels as fast as fear could make them.

An old gray wolf had her den just at the foot of the
mountains ; indeed there was quite a scttlement in that
vee though one could hardly call it a neighbour-

ood.

The wolf had made her home in a cave-like sort of a
place, where great rocks lay piled together, leaving a
dry rock house within, that was wolfish and wild
enough ; and there the old wolf lived and amused her-
self with her eight cubs, for whose comfort she had
CASPER. 55

Jined the nest with moss and her own hair. They
were soft little things, with eyes as tight shut as if they
had been kittens; and their mother probably thought
they were about perfect, and looked forward with plea-
sure to the six or eight months during which she must
mount guard over them, and never let them go out
alone. And, as soon as they were old enough to eat
meat, the two old wolves went out and caught sheep
and deer and all sorts of dainties, and having first
chewed the meat and swallowed it to make it tender,
they brought it up again, and fed the young ones out
of their own mouths. And so well did the cubs thrive
with all this care and attention, that in a short time
they were able to chew for themselves, and could even
tear a lamb to pieces if it was young and tender ; while
for growling and fighting there was not a more pro-
mising set of young wolves in the whole country. They
could amuse themselves so by the hour together.

In the same line of life—although great enemies to
the wolves—were a family of foxes, that lived half-way
up the mountain, in the thickest of the wood. Any-
body who had gone in among the trees and looked care-
fully enough, would have seen a dark hole, going into
the very hill side. This was the foxes’ front-door, and
led to a long burrow or passage-way cut in the earth ;
and at the further end of the burrow the foxes lived.
There were but seven of them, altogether—the two old
ones and five cubs; but that was seven too many, con-
sidering what wicked little things they were. The old
fox would steal out at night and goto the barns and
chicken-houses that were a long way off, and if there
was one chicken straying out where he ought not to
be, or roosting on too low a branch, the old fox was
sure to have him, and would go back to her cubs with
the chicken in her mouth. Sometimes if the duck-
house had been left open she went in there, and killed
more than she could carry away; or, if there was.
nothing to be got in the barnyard, the fox would,
56 CASPER.

maybe, surprise a partridge on her way home, and then
the cubs had a dainty supper. To pay for this, how-
ever, there were times when the partridge managed to
hide all her brood, when the chickens were shut up,
and the rabbits invisible; and then the foxes took what
they could get—lizards and frogs, a snake, or a family
of field mice. Such were busy times for the old foxes ;
mice were smalj, and the cubs hungry. They growled
‘and grumbled a great deal sometimes, because they
could not reach the wild grapes that hung about the
trees at the mouth of their hole—these grapes would
have made such a nice dessert after a chicken dinner.

On one of the same trees, where the grape vines
clambered about, an oriole had built her nest—built it,
too, on a branch that stretched far out beyond the
others, quite over the foxes’ front-door. It was a queer
nest, hung upon several strong threads, and these made
fast to the very end of the branch. The nest itself was
made of wool and flax and threads of hemp, which the
bird had woven neatly together into a rough sort of
cloth, and sewed through and through with long horse-
hairs. The bottom was made of tufts of cow’s hair,
sewed like the rest ; and within, the lning was thick
and soft. Little tufts of wool and of moss were laid in
first, and then a thick layer of horse-hair, smoothly
woven and twisted round. The whole nest was seven
inches long and five across, and was narrowed up toa
small hole at the top, over which hung a great bunch of
elm leaves, and helped keep off the rain.

The birds were as pretty as their nest, for they were
dressed in bright orange and black feathers, and flew
about among the green leaves like gleams of fire. They
were very merry too, and whistled all the while the nest
was a-building ; but when it was done, and the little
mother bird had laid in it five little white eggs, all
streaked and spotted with purple, then she began to
ie on them all day, and let the other bird whistle for

er.
CASPER. 57

After a time, five little orioles broke the eggshells
and came out, having on little downy coats—very thin
ones too; and then the two old birds were busier than
ever. As soon as it grew light in the morning they
flew off, and then every little while one or the other
would come back to the nest with a worm or a bug or a
beetle for the young ones: there was a kind of little
green beetle that they all loved particularly. And there
were always five little mouths wide open at the bottom
of the nest, the moment the old bird was seen at the
top. They all opened their mouths every time, though
they were fed only in turn; but they never could re-
member that, or perhaps they hoped that their mother
would not.

When the little ones grew older, and had eaten a great
many green beetles, their feathers began to appear, and
they looked a great deal prettier, and the nest became
almost too small to hold them. But the top of it was
so far off that they could not get there, do what they
would, for their wings were not strong yet.

“Tf we could only climb up to the top we could look
out so finely,” said one of the brood

And forthwith he tried, but only succeeded in tumbling
down upon the heads of the others. And as they felt
themselves deeply injured thereby, there is no telling
what might have followed, had not the mother bird at
that moment come in with a green beetle. is

“Mother!” screamed all the young ones at once,
“why can’t we go up to the top of the nest?”

“Because you can’t get there,” said the old bird as
she flew off. The young ones were quiet till she came
back, and then they screamed out again—

“ Well, why don’t you take us up there ?”

“T’ve got something else to do,” said Mrs. Oriole,
putting a little brown worm into the mouth of the
noisiest, and going off again.

“Tl tell you what,” said that little fellow as soon as
58 CASPER.

he had swallowed the worm, “wait till to-night, and
then we'll ask her. I can keep awake now, sometimes,
if I try hard.”

So all the rest of the day they were perfectly quiet ;
but when the sun set, and the old bird came back and
covered them up with her wings, they poked their heads
out through the feathers and began to talk.

“Mother, what is there outside of the nest ?”’

“Great trees,” said the mother bird sleepily, for she
was tired after her day’s work.

“ And what else ?” said the youngsters.

‘“‘ Foxes—” replied Mrs. Oriole.

“Foxes!” cried all the young ones, opening their
eyes very wide. “O, what are foxes?”

“Great beasts, that love little birds and eat ’em up
whenever they can find ’em.”’

All the young heads went back under Mrs. Oriole’s
wings at that, and for a while there was so little said,
that the young ones fell asleep before they knew it. But
when the daylight came they felt very brave again, and
began as beiore.

“ Mother, why aren’t you afraid of the foxes ?”’

“Tcan fly.” And away she flew.

“Then the foxes can’t, I suppose,’ said one of the
young ones, “and if they can’t fly, they can’t get up
here. I should like to see ’em so much.”

Carefully he began to climb again, sticking his claws
into the sides of the nest and working his way up, till
he really arrived at the top and could stick his head
out of the hole. How splendid it was!

There were great trees, just as the old bird had
said, but where were the foxes? The little bird looked
and looked but could see none. His feet began to feel
very tired, but still he held on and looked about him,
till far down, down near the ground, he saw something
moving ; and a large black snake began to climb a little
tree that was there. Up it came, almost to the very
CASPER. 59

top, and then darting out upon one of the branches,
stuck its head into a nest of young sparrows, and ate
them all up, one by one!

The young oriole was so frightened that he forgot all
about holding on, and if he had been on the edge of the
nest he would most certainly have fallen over to the
black snake: as it was, ke only fell down to the bottom
of the nest, fully believing that he was dead; and no-
thing could convince him of the contrary, till his
mother came in and pvesented him with a green beetle.

But after that, the young orioles were content to stay
where their mother bade them, until their wings were
grown, and they also could fly.

CHAPTER IX.

Tur next morning after the day spent in the woods,
Casper was sent off very early to mill, as he had ex-
pected. Mrs. Clamp had declared that there was no
more flour in the house to make bread, and therefore
Casper and a little sack were sent for more. Trudging
along the dusty road, his sack flung over his shoulder,
Casper paid small heed to the dust, and only enough to
the sack to keep it in its place. If he had not been so
tired last night he would have thought a great deal of
all Mr. Broadaxe and Ruth had said: as it was, he went
to sleep and dreamed about it: and now this morning
his thoughts were very busy. Two new ideas had come
into his head ; first, that he could not be happy without
loving somebody, and then that God really loved him.
It puzzled Casper especially why, in that case, his
mother should have died—and why he himself should
have been such a miserable little boy ever since; only
as he could not forget that he had not been a very good
60 CASPER,

little boy, the wonder seemed less. And what should he
do to be good, and how should he learn the way. “Pray
to Jesus, and trv,” the woodcutter had said; Casper
thought he didn’t know how to do either, But he did
go and kneel down by the hedge, and say a poor little
prayer—a few words of begging that the Lord Jesus
would love him, and take care of him, and take him to
heaven—and then he went on his way. And everything
looked brighter and sweeter, as if the morning had
changed; but it was only Casper’s heart that felt
lighter.

The flour mill stood about two miles off, over a stream
that came rushing down from the hills, and then flowed
gently through a broad meadow. Outside, the water
and the wind kept things fresh enough, but within
everything was dusty with white dust; tall flour bags
stood about the floor, and between them lay the flour
which had been spilled, and the miller and all his
men looked pretty much like other flour bags moving
about.

There was a great whirring to be heard when Casper
got there, for the mill was hard at work. The water
went tumbling and foaming along, turning the great
wheels in its way; and as the wheels went round and
round outside the mill, they turned the huge grindstones
within. Casper saw how the grains of wheat were put
into a vessel above the stones, which was called the
hopper, and how from the hopper they fell slowly down
between the stones; and then, as the upper stone went
round upon the under one, the wheat was crushed, and
ground, and came out in soft flour beneath.

Then the miller put the flour through a sieve, which
he called bolting it; and some he bolted two or three
times ; but that for Casper was bolted only once. And
when the sack was filled and tied up, and Casper had
paid for it, the miller told him he had better sit down
and rest. So laying his own little sack on the floor,
Casper climbed up to the top of a high flour bag, and
CASPER. 61

looked about him. He was very glad not to go home
just then, there was no chance of anything pleasant
there, and it might be too late to find Ruth in the woods.
And besides, he was really tired, for his little feet made
a great many steps out of the two miles. Nobody took
any notice of him; the miller and his men went tramp-
ing about, busy and in haste; the mill kept on its whir-
ring, and the splash of the water on the great wheels
outside could be distinctly heard. Casper could hear
little else. Through the open mill-door he saw the birds
fly to and fro; he saw the mill stream, which, having
got away from the wheels, turned into a little brook,
and ran away as fast as it could; he saw the steeple of
the village church just peeping over the hill; and off
on one side began the forest, and stretched away into
the blue distance. Casper fixed his eyes on those tall
trees, and thought of Ruth, and of Mr. Broadaxe, and
Chip, and wondered what they were all doing. And then
he wondered if he ever should be good—like Ruth ; and
if so, what things he should do and what things he
shouldn’t ; whether he should have to walk so far with
a great bag of flour on his back, and whether his father
would make him fetch all the water, and whether it
would be any pleasanter to do it than it was now. And
as he thought these things, Casper laid his head down on
the flour bag next him, and went to sleep.

“What shall we do with this boy ?” said the miller,
when dinner-time came.

“ Lock him up and leave him,” said one of the men;
and they locked the mill door, and went off to dinner.

At that time the mice usually came out to get theirs;
for though they managed to pick up a few grains of
wheat or a little flour between the sacks, while the men
were about, yet they dared not venture out on the open
floor. Now, however, they came forth, ran back when
they saw Casper, and ran out again when they found he
He not stir, aud then went on just as if he had not been

ere.
62 CASPER.

Poor little Casper !

His feet hung dangling down the sides of one great
sack, and his head nestled down on the top of another,
and his coat and hair were already much whiter than
when he entered the mill; for the flour had dusted them
in all directions. Once or twice he twisted about as if
his bed were far from comfortable, and then for a long
time he lay perfectly still; only smiling now and then
in a way that would have made Ruth quite happy.

What do you suppose made him smile? He was

dreaming. When he first went to sleep he was tired
and hungry, and this made him turn about so; but
after a while he fell into a sweet dream, and then lay
quiet.
; He thought he was in the beautiful city, the city of
which Ruth had told him; that the streets were all
made of gold, and the light so bright as he had never
seen. And suddenly Casper thought to himself that he
had no business there, with his dusty little feet and
ragged clothes; what should he do in such a glorious
place? But when he looked at himself all was changed.
His clothes were whole and white, more beautiful than
any he had ever seen; he had clean hands, there was
not a particle of soil to be found upon him. He felt,
too, that he was rested; instead of being weary and
ready to cry, 1t seemed as if he had no more tears to
shed.

And while Casper was wondering at all this, he saw
little Ruth Cheerful ; who came running up to him in
clothes as beautiful as his own. But when she was
going to speak, Casper prevented her, and asked how he
got there. And Ruth said—

‘““Q, Casper, the Lord Jesus has loved you, and died
that you might come here, and now you have come; and
we will love and serve Him for ever!”

Casper thought he could have cried then for joy, he
was so happy; he even thought that the tears did come
into his eyes; but as he put up his hand to rub them
CASPER. 63

away, the bright city faded out of his sight, little Ruth
changed and changed till she looked like only a stick of
wood, and Casper was sitting up on the flour bag, rub-
bing his eyes very hard to know whether he were still
in a dream or no. There was the old mill, the heavy
stones, the sacks, the little mice; there was even the
miller unlocking the door on his return from dinner !

“Well, sleepy child,” said the miller, “ you’ve had a
fine sleep.”

“Yes,” said Casper. “I wish I hadnt ever waked
u ae

The men all laughed at that; and Casper, feeling much
more ready to cry, jumped down from the flour bag, took
up his own little sack, and marched out of the mill door
without another word.

With what disgust he looked at his clothes, thinking
of those so white and new which he had wern in his
dream! Casper felt tired and downhearted. Tor a while
he walked fast, as if to get away from his bad feelings ;
then his feet went slower and slower; then he stopped
and sat down under the hedge. He sat there after his
old fashion, sticking out his feet into the dust, and feel-
ing miserable ; and there is no telling when he would
have stirred, if he had not heard the wheels of a wagon
coming along. Then Casper got up, and having with
some trouble got the sack of flour on his back again, he
walked on. But he saw now that there was a little hole
in the sack—the mice might have gnawed it while he
was asleep—and through that hole the flour came drop-
ping out, and left a little white streak on the ground as
he went along. The wagon came on, and stopped just
by him. It was a great farm wagon, full of sheaves of
wheat: two fat brown horses drew it along, and a plea-
sant-looking man sat between them and the wheat.

“ Look here, my boy!” he called to Casper. Casper
looked, but said nothing.

“ Who lives in that red house next the orchard, yon-
der?” said the man.
64 CASPER.

“ Farmer Pippin,” said Casper.

“ Weil, now, my child, run over there, will you ?—I
can’t leave my horses—and ask him fora white sheep-
skin that belongs to Mr. Sickles—you fetch it to me,

will you?”

Casper opened his eyes very wide, and didn’t feel at
all disposed to go.

© Yow re spilling your flour,” said the man, smiling.
“T aint,” said Casper, “ it’s ‘the bag.”

“ Well, i guess it is the bag’s fault, ” said the man
with another smile, “ Come, run, will’ you?”

Casper was just going to say no. He was tired, it
was rather late; the bag was easily put down, indeed,
but it was hard to get it up to his shoulder again ; and,
moreover, Mr. Pippin’s red house was beyond a broad
meadow and two fences. But, as he looked up to speak,
the face of little Ruth Cheerful came to his mind—so
bright, so unselfish ; and instead of no, Casper said yes.

He put down the bag and climbed the fence, and had
begun to walk over the meadow, when Mr. Sickles
called him.

“ Look here, my boy!”

Casper looked once more, and then as he saw the man
beckon, he came back and climbed over the fence again.
Mr. Sickles opened his pocket-book and took out some
money.

“ There’s two shillings owing them,” he said ; “and if
you carry the cash there’ll be no fear of your getting
the skin. Now, go.”

““ What did you make me come back for ?”’ said Cas-
per, not very well pleased.

“To get this money for Mr. Pippin,” said the man
with another smile. “ Ah, you don’t like to be called
back, hey? Never mind, my boy—don’t ever refuse to
help ‘make road for other people, because some day you
may travel that way yourself. You needn’t hurry, but
the quicker you’re back the better I shall like it.”

And Casper once more set forth, nor was it long be-

99
CASPER. 65

fore he came back again with the pretty white sheep-
skin in his hand.

“ There’s a good boy,” said Mr. Sickles, “first rate.
Where are you going ?”

“ Home,” said Casper.

“Where's that ?”

“ In the village.”

“ Do you think you'll ever get there on those two lit-
tle feet ?”” said Mr. Sickles, with a very beaming face.

Casper couldn’t help smiling a little too, as he said,
“he guessed he should.”

“You like walking better than riding?” said Mr.
Sickles.

“ No,” said Casper.

“Then jump up here and sit in the wheat,” said the
wagoner, “and there'll be some chance of the flour’s
getting home too—you can hold the bag with one hand,
and the hole with the other. Jump up!”

Casper jumped up, in high spirits ; Mr. Sickles pushed
him down into a little nest among the wheatsheaves,
where he was as comfortable as could be, and the two
brown horses moved on. Casper was so glad they had a
heavy load and couldn’t go faster!

Jog, jog, went the horses, and the wagon rolled after
them, and jolted over the stones in the most slow and
comfortable manner. The sharp, bearded ears of wheat
hung down from the sheaves and scratched Casper’s legs,
and tickled his neck, and dressed off his hair after a
most curious fashion; but it was so delightful to ride,
and the soft straw on which he sat rested him so nicely,
that he minded not the scratching a whit.

“ What sort of place is the village ?”’ said Mr. Sickles.
“ Pleasant ?” |

“ No,” said Casper.

“Ah, that’s bad,” said his friend, “people ought to
live in a pleasant place. Why isn’t the village plea-
sant ?”

Zz
66 CASPER.

“ T don’t know,” said Casper, “maybe it is, but our
house isn’t.”

“ Why not?” said Mr. Sickles, looking round at him.

“ Mother’s dead,” said Casper, as if that told every-
thing.

Mr. Sickles looked away again, and said, “get up!”
to the horses in a very imperative way.

“ Do you know where I live?” he said, after a pause.

“No,” said Casper.

“See that hill yonder, with a white house and a red
barn just at the top ?”

Casper said yes.

“ That’s the place,” said Mr. Sickles, “nice place too,
and pleasant—I don’t care who says it aint. Now, do
you think you could walk so far?”

Casper wondered whether Mr. Sickles was going to
ask him to carry the sheepskin up there, because the
wagon had to go somewhere else, but he only said yes,
again.

“Well, come up some time and spend the day, will
you?” said Mr. Sickles. “Come to-morrow.”

“ Spend the whole day?” said Casper.

“Why, yes,” said hisfriend. “Got anything to do at
home ?”

“Ono!” said Casper. “I should like to come very
snuch.”

“ Well, there’s nothing to hinder, that I can see,” re-
plied Mr. Sickles. And he was silent again till they
reached the village. There he stopped for Casper to
get out. Casper couldn’t shake hands with him, for it
was all both hands could do to manage the flour bag,
but he said, ‘Thank you, sir.”

“ Look here!” said Mr. Sickles, as he turned away,
“what’s your name? If the wrong boy comes to-mor-
row I should like to. know it.”

“ My name’ 8 Casper.”

“Well, see,” continued Mr. Sickles, “do you always
carry that face round with you ?”
CASPER. 67

“J haven’t got any other face,”’ said Casper.

“ Well, do you always cry every day ? or do you laugh
some of ’em ?”

“Tdon’t cry when [m out in the woods with Ruth,”
replied Casper.

-“ Don’t bring any tears along to-morrow,” said Mr.
Sickles,—“‘ my wife’s always scared when she sees a
child cry—it frightens her a’most to death, and you'd
be sorry to do that, I’m sure.”

He nodded his head and told the brown Horses to go
on, and Casper turned into the village, thinking what a
very queer woman Mrs. Sickles must be !

CHAPTER X.

Tue house where Mr. Sickles lived was near the very
top of a high hill that rose up behind the village. Pretty
meadows and grain fields, and pieces of woodland, made
the side of the hill a mere piece of patch-work ; and
winding among the patches went the road. At the back
of the house was a dark green spot of forest trees, and
in front and at the sides were garden beds—in front full
of gay flowers, at the sides full of vegetables. There
was also, near by, a large red barn, and a cow house, and
a chicken roost, and a pigeon house, and further off a
_ pen for the pigs. And everything was in perfect order.
» It wasa morning late inthe summer. The sun had
' shone for some time on the hill top, with its white house
and red barn, and was now diving down into the valley
and searching about there. Little clouds of fog hung
about the hill, and floated softly away before the morn-
ing wind, and Mr. Sickles’ black cock was crowing very
heartily, as if he felt in good spirits. And why shouldn’t
he? for there came Mrs. Sickles with a whole dishful of
E 2
68 CASPER.

eatables, intended expressly for the chickens. With
one hand she held the dish, and with the other she
scattered the breakfast, while cock and hen and chick
fluttered round her and ate as fast as they could. Then
Mrs. Sickles shaded her eyes with one hand from the
bright sunbeams, and looked off across the fields. There
were some black specks in a distant meadow, which
might be Mr. Sickles and his men at work, but they
were too far off for her to see much of them.

A little red dog who sat by her, his tail curled up out
of the dew, now gave a sharp little bark, and Mrs.
Sickles turned and looked down the road.

The sunbeams lay very bright there, with only a tree
shadow now and then, and in the very midst of sun-
shine and shadow—toiling along through both, was a
little figure that caught Mrs. Sickles’ eye at once—she
looked more intently than before. The little red dog
jumped up, and said with a growl that he would go and
see who it was.

“Sit down, Gruff!” said Mrs. Sickles. And Gruff sat
down, and curled up his tail as before.

“Don’t you stir! Gruff,” said Mrs. Sickles ; and she
went back to the house, and put her dish away, and
came out again, while Gruff whined, and seemed to feel
very bad. But when his mistress came out, she walked
straight down to the garden gate that opened upon the
road, and there she stood, looking very hard at the little
figure, and the little figure looked just as hard at her.

She was a pretty young woman, with gentle eyes and
smooth shining hair, and a fair sweet face; her dark
dress as neat as wax, with an immense check apron,
that nearly covered her up. She never moved till the
little figure was very near the gate, then she opened it,
and stepped out.

“Ts that Casper ?”’ she said.

“ Yes, ma’am,” said Casper.

“I’m so glad you have come!” said Mrs. Sickles,
“T was afraid you wouldn’t.” And she stooped down
CASPER. 69

by Casper, and laying her hands on his shoulders, looked
at him for a minute, and then kissed him.

Casper was very much surprised, and the tears started
right up into his eyes—it wasn’t often that anybody
gave him a kiss now-a-days. But remembering what
Mr. Sickles had said, he turned his face away as quick
as he could, and rubbed his eyes very hard with his
hands. He hoped Mrs. Sickles didn’t see the tears, but
he was not quite sure, he thought he saw her rub her
own eyes with her apron. But she did not look
frightened, she only took his hand, and led him on to
the house.

“Mr. Sickles has gone to the field,” she said, “and
won't be back till dinner, and I am to take care of you
in the meantime. Did you walk all the way from the
village ?”’

“Yes, ma’am,” said Casper. “O, how sweet the
flowers are!”

Mrs. Sickles looked pleased at that, and she stooped
down, and picked a red rose for him, and stuck it into
the buttonhole of his jacket.

“Why, what time do you eat breakfast at home?”
she said. “How could you get here so early, and walk
all the way ?”

“We have breakfast when father gets up,” said
Casper ; for he didn’t want to say that neither thing
had happened before he left home, and that he had
caught up a piece of bread, and run off with it while
everybody else was asleep.

“What do you think you will do here, all the long
day ?” said Mrs. Sickles.

“‘T don’t know,” said Casper. “ What are you going
to do?” So he felt quite at home already,—the way
Mrs. Sickles had hold of his hand, made him forget that
he had never seen her before in his life. So he looked
up, and smiled in her face, and asked her what she was
going to do.

She said she must wash the breakfast dishes, and
70 CASPER.

that he should feed the chickens for her in the mean
while.

“T thought you were feeding ’em when I came,” said
Casper.

“Yes, I fed the cocks and hens,” said Mrs. Sickles,
“but there are some little chicks in a coop.”

She mixed a saucer of food for them, and showed him
where the coop was, and then went into the house again
to her dishes; and for half an hour Casper quite forgot
that he had ever been miserable. There he sat before
the coop, throwing down the wetted meal by spoonfuls,
and watching the soft little white and brown chickens
as they came out and picked it up. They enjoyed it
very much, but there was not a chick of them all so
pleased as Casper. There were large daisies and clover
heads growing about in the grass, and Casper picked
some of them, and laid them over the coop till it looked
quite flowery. He had seen daisies and clover often
enough before, but none that he ever thought half so
pretty.

Suddenly a voice called him.

“Casper !” it said.

And Casper started, for he feared that some one had
come for him; but when he looked round, there was
only Mrs. Sickles standing in the cottage door with a
basket in her hand. Casper ran to her.

“Tam going into the garden to pick some beans for
dinner,” she said, “and you can help me.”

Casper never had picked any beans in his life, but
he soon learned which were fit to pick, and which must
be left to grow yet a while longer. And when the
basket was full, Mrs. Sickles picked two or three
large yellow squashes, with green stripes, and carried
them into the house along with the beans. Then,
while she pared the squashes, Casper shelled the
beans ; and then Mrs. Sickles told him to amuse him-
self as he liked, in the house or out of the house, till
dinner,
CASPER. 71

Casper went to the door and looked out, then he came
back into the kitchen.

“Mrs. Sickles, may I go all over your house ?”

“Yes, to be sure,” she said, with a smile. “I am cer-
tain you won't touch anything that oughtn’t to be
touched.”

“T won’t touch anything at all,” said Casper. “TIL
only just look at everything.’ And off he went.

First into the parlour, which opened out of the
kitchen, but it was so dark there that he couldn’t see
much ; though after a while he counted six chairs, and
two rocking chairs, and a table full of books, and a
looking-glass, and two white muslin curtains. Casper
came out, and shut the door, and went softly upstairs.

There were a good many little rooms there, but most
of them looked as if nobody slept in them. Some had
beds, but the beds were not made up; and some had
pans of currants drying in the window, and strings of
dried apples, and of red peppers, hanging about the
wall. Bunches of dried herbs, too, were there; and in
one room was a quantity of white wool, and a spinning
wheel. Casper shut that door, and opened another.
Somebody slept in that room, for the bed was made up
with very white sheets and a checked woollen spread,
and the pitcher was full of clean water, and clean towels
hung by it. A looking-glass was there too, with a little
white-covered table beneath, and a pincushion on the
table; and there were four chairs, and three windows.
Between the windows hung a little picture. Casper got
up in a chair to see it better.

It was a picture of a pretty-faced, rosy-cheeked little
boy, with blue check apron that came up close round
his neck, and a little old straw hat in his hand. In the
front of the picture sat a little red dog, that looked very
much like Gruff—his tail was curled up after just the
same fashion.

Casper stood and looked at it fora long time. He
had never seen a pretty picture of any pretty thing in
72 CASPER.

his life before ; and this little boy was most pleasant te

7* look at. The little face made Casper think of Ruth,
and he didn’t like it the less for that. But he wondered
so much who the boy could be, and where he was.
Casper thought he would go and ask Mrs. Sickles, she
must know; and he jumped from his chair, and ran
down stairs to the kitchen to find her, but she was not
there. And then seeing a large door stand open into
the shed outside, he thought he might as well go out
and see what was to be seen in that direction. The
shed was very full of all sorts of things, and Casper had
his hands full of business at once. Over the beams
hung calf skins and one sheep skin—Casper remembered
that—and against the wall hung a saddle and a bridle,
and a string of red onions, and an old pan, and two
nurseshoes. There was a pail in one corner, and a
broom, a wire sieve, a hoe, and a sledge hammer stood
round the sides. ‘Two or three barrels and boxes filled
the end of the shed ; but when Casper began to explore
them, a white hen, with a very red comb and very
yellow legs, flew out of one of the barrels, and began to
cackle as if she was astonished clean out of her wits.
Casper felt quite frightened, and afraid he had done
mischief ; but he couldn’t take his eyes off the hen, and
as he walked backwards to the kitchen door he ran right
against Mrs. Sickles.

“YT didn’t mean to frighten the hen,” said Casper,
looking up at her. “I just went over there, and she
flew out.”

“She’s not much frightened,” said Mrs. Sickles, “she
cackles because she has laid anegg. Come, we will go
and get it.”

The barrel was so high that Casper couldn’t see over
it ; but Mrs. Sickles held him up, and he looked down
to the very bottom of the barrel, and there lay a large
white egg, and another one not so white.

Mrs. Sickles stooped over into the barrel and got the
white egg, and she let Casper carry it into the house
CASPER. | lo

and into the pantry, and lay it on adish that wasco- _-

vered with eggs—large eggs and small, some brown and
some white.

“ Mrs. Sickles,” said Casper suddenly, “ where’s that
little boy up-stairs ? Does he live here ?”

Mrs. Sickles had followed him out of the pantry, and
they both stood before the kitchen fire on the broad
hearthstone. She had been smiling a minute before,
but when Casper spoke to her she started and looked
quite pale.

“No,” she said, in a low voice.

“ Well, where does he live, then?” said Casper.

She didn’t answer at first, and then she said, with just
the same low voice,

“In heaven.”

And went away.

Casper looked after her, but she had gone so quick
that he couldn’t tell where she went; so he looked back
at the fire again. He felt very much astonished.

He had been dreaming of heaven, and Ruth and Mr.
Broadaxe had told him about it, and now here was the
picture of a little boy who really lived there; lived
there all the time. Casper wondered if the little boy
was very happy—and if he had ever been miserable ;
and whether he wore that same little blue apron now,
or the white clothes of his dream. And then he went
up-stairs to look at the child again—and thought he
must have been very good—he looked so like Ruth!

Mr. Sickles came home to dinner, and they had a very
merry time; and the dinner was very good too, and
much more substantial than Casper’s breakfast. And as
for Casper himself, you would hardly have known him.
He was very quiet, to be sure, and didn’tsay much, but
he laughed more than he had done in a great while be-
fore, and his little face looked quite unlike itself, it was
so bright.

After dinner Mr, Sickles went back to the field and
74 CASPER.

took Casper with him, and instead of walking they rode
in the ox-cart.

“Look here,” said Mr. Sickles as they rode along,
“how did you scare my wife this morning 2?”

“ Why, I haven’t !”’ said Casper.

“QO,” said Mr. Sickles, “1 thought maybe you had ;”
after which he said not a word till they reached the
field.

Three or four men were there making hay. Some
were heaping it up in large hay-cocks, and some were
raking it together, and when the cart arrived they be-
gan to throw the hay into that with their long pitch-
forks. Casper found a rake which had lost part of its
handle and so was short enough for him to manage, and
then he helped the men rake hay. When the cart was
loaded it went off to the barn, and the men threw the
hay into the barn and came back with the empty cart.
And Mr. Sickles put Casper down on the ground and
covered him up with the hay, and made him run races
with Gruff, and made Gruff chase him.

The hay was very sweet and the sun was very bright,
and the field crickets sang away at the top of their
voices,

When it grew late, and the cart went home for the
last time, Mr. Sickles and Casper climbed up to the very
top of the great load of hay and sat there. And when
they got to the barn Mrs. Sickles was standing in the
great doorway, ready to take Casper down. Tea was
oy too; and as soon as tea was over Casper went

ome.

But when he was just going, and Mrs. Sickles had
stooped down to kiss him as she did in the morning,
Casper put his face close to hers and said softly,

“ How did the little boy get to heaven ?”

And she answered,

“The Lord Jesus took him,”
CASPER. 75

CHAPTER XI.

“ Morumr,” said little Ruth, “isn’t it a great while
since Casper was here ?”

“When was the last time, Ruth ?”

“Why, he hasn’t been here—I mean I haven’t seen
him—since the day Mr. Broadaxe took us into the
forest.”

“That is only four days ago, little child,” said her
mother.

“To be sure it isn’t,” said Ruth; “and Casper said
he had to go to the mill next day. But why didn’t he
come Friday or Saturday ?”

“ Saturday it rained.”

“ But it didn’t rain Friday, nor Sunday,” said Ruth;
“it was beautiful all day. And I asked him to come
Sunday.”

Ruth went to the door and stood still, thinking over
the matter very gravely, when suddenly she heard quick
footsteps running round the house, and Casper himself
appeared. Ruth was full of questions and exclamations
of delight, but the little boy was so out of breath that
be didn’t answer for a minute, and then he only said,

“T’ve come—I’ve got here at last.”

“Well, why didn’t you come before?” said Ruth.

“T couldn’t,” said Casper, still panting.

“Not Sunday?” said Ruth. “ O, Casper! you didn’t
have to go to the mill Sunday ?”

“No,” said Casper: “but father staid home all
day and kept me. O, Ruth—I’m never coming any
more !’’ And Casper sat down on the doorstep and
cried.

“Why, what can you mean ?”’ said Ruth, who would
have cried too, only that she couldn’t believe such bad
news at once hearing. “What’s the reason, Casper ?
won’t you tell me?”
76 CASPER.

“ Father says I shan’t,” said Casper ; and then he felt
vexed and stopped crying. “He says I shan’t—but ]J
will, too! Iran away now, and I will again !”’

“O, don’t talk so! please don’t!” said little Ruth.
“Don’t talk about your father, but just tell me what’s
the matter—won’t you, Casper ”

“T can’t tell you what’s the matter without talking
about him,” said Casper.

“Well, don’ t be vexed with me,” said Ruth, gently,
“only tell me.’

“Ym cross, I know Iam, Ruth,” said Casper looking
up at her sorrowfully, “but it’s so hard! You see, I
went up the mountain Friday to see Mr. Sickles—and
O, Ruth, such a splendid place! Great loads of hay
bigger than your house; and ever so many chickens,
and hundreds of flowers. And Mrs. Sickles was just as
good asshe could be. And she let me feed the chickens,
and then I went out into the fields and helped ’em rake
hay, and I didn’t get home till it was quite dark.”

“How happy you must have been!” said Ruth, look-
ing as pleased as if it had all happened to herself.
“But what made you go?”

“He asked me to,” said Casper. “I met him t’other
day when I came from the mill. 0, it’s a splendid

ace!”

“ Well, you'll go there again, won’t you ? ?” said Ruth.

oe I’m never going anywhere again,” said Casper,
his tone changing, and the cloud coming over his face.
“You see, Ruth, I didn’t get home till after dark, as
I told you; and ‘the day I was in the woods with you
and Mr. Broadaxe I didn’t get home till dark either.
So father was angry because I wasn’t there to make the
fire, and because I went off in the morning when he
wasn’t up. And he said I shculdn’t go off again till he
said I might—not anywhere—not out of the village.
And yesterday he was home all day, so I couldn’t, but
to-day he’s gone to work.”

And Casper sat still on the door-step and looked up at
CASPER. rar

Ruth, and Ruth stood and looked down at Casper—too
much dismayed to speak. When she did move, she
came and laid her hand on his shoulder.

“Come in, Casper—come in, and tell mother—that’s
the best thing.”

Casper came in, and the story was told to Mrs.
Cheerful ; and then Ruth watched her mother’s face,
and waited anxiously for her to speak. But rather a
sad smile came with the words.

_ “Little Casper, do you know what the Bible says ?—
‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is
right, ”

“Don’t you like to have me come?” said Casper, his
eyes getting very full.

“‘O mother,” said little Ruth, “say yes—quick !”

“Yes, indeed, I do,” said Mrs. Cheerful ; “ but, Cas-
per, your father says you must not come.”

“T don’t care, then,” said Casper. “If you like to
have me come, I’1] come.”

“Then you wouldn’t obey your father.”

—“T don’t care,” said Casper.

“ Then you would not obey God.”

Casper was silent at that. He stood twisting one of
the buttons of his jacket round and round, as if he
meant to twist it off, but he said never a word. As for
Ruth, her fortitude quite gave way, now the case
seemed hopeless.

Mrs. Cheerful was silent, too, for a while ; then she
said,

“Sit down, Casper ;—come here and sit down by me.
I want to tell you a story.” And when she had one of
his hands fast in hers—as he sat by Ruth at her feet—
Mrs. Cheerful went on.

“In some countries where the people keep a great
many sheep, and the flocks stay out by night and by
day in the fields and on the hills, there are men who
have nothing to do but take care of them; and those
men are called shepherds. In stormy weather the shep-
78 CASPER.

herd brings his flock home at night, to a warm, dry
house called the sheep-fold ; but in fine summer nights
the sheep never go home at all, and the shepherd stays
with them. When the flock move about from one hill
to another, if the shepherd sees any weak little lamb
that cannot go so fast as the rest, he takes it up in his
arms and carries it to the pasture: and if any are sick
he nurses and takes care of them. If one of the sheep
wanders away and gets lost, the shepherd goes up and
down the hills till he finds it; and if a wolf or any
other wild beast comes out to kill the sheep, the shep-
herd will fight with him and drive him away. He leads
the flock to the best pastures, where the grass is fresh
and the water sweet; and when he goes on before, the
sheep all follow him, for they know his voice. Often
too, he knows them by name, and each sheep knows its
own name, and will run when it is called. Should you
think any of those sheep need ever be afraid, little
Casper ?”

“ Why, no,” said Casper,—“ what should they for ?”

“Not of the fierce wolves?” said Mrs. Cheerful,—
“nor of the cold and storms ?”

‘““Why the shepherd will take care of that,” said
Casper.

“And suppose the sheep were to trouble themselves
because the grass was all eaten up in one field ?”

“Then he’d take them to another,” said Casper,—
“they might know that.” The story had almost made
him forget his own troubles.

“ And what should you think,” continued Mrs. Cheer-
ful, “of any lamb who wouldn’t follow the shepherd
into another field, because it didn’t look pleasant ?”’

“T should say he was foolish,” replied Casper—“ and
bad too.”

Mrs. Cheerful smiled—a little sorrowfully as before,
and stroked her hand kindly over his head.

“ Now,” she said, “I am going to tell you a story out
of the Bible. Shall I tell it, or shall Ruth read it 2”
CASPER. 79

“ Ruth may,” said Casper.

Ruth jumped up and got the Bible, and then found
the chapter er mother told her—the tenth chapter of
John.

“ I say unto you, | am the door of the sheep. All that
ever came before me are thieves and robbers; but the
sheep did not hear them. Iam the door: by meif any
man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out,
and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to
steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they
might have life, and that they might have it more
abundantly. Jam the good shepherd: the good shep-
herd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an
hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are
not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep,
and fleeth : and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth
the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hire-
ling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shep-
herd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As
the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and
I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I
have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice ; and there shall be one
fold, and one shepherd.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and
they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and
they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck
them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them
me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck
them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are
one.’”

Little Ruth was quite silent when she had finished
these words, but she leaned her head down against her
mother’s knee, and seemed to be reading them over
again to herself. Casper was silent, too, and as Mrs.
Cheerful could not see his face she did not feel sure
whether he had understood the two stories.
80 CASPER.

“ Casper,” she said, “what does that last story mean ?”
“It means,” said Casper, “that the Good Shepherd
takes care of his flock just as the men do of theirs.
It sounds so.”

“ Yes, that is it. And who is the Good Shepherd ?”

Casper hesitated a little, and Ruth said,

“The Lord Jesus.”

“Yes,” said Casper,—“ Mr. Broadaxe told about him.
How he came and died.”

“ repeated Mrs. Cheerful.

; ia Ae what kind of sheep do you think he has in his
0 Q 29

“ People,” said Casper.

“ Hverybody ?” said Mrs. Cheerful.

Casper thought a little, but didn’t speak.

“See, Casper,” said his friend, “he tells us himself
who they are—‘ My sheep hear my voice, and I know
them, and they follow me.’ The people who follow Jesus
—who try to obey him, are in his fold. Little child,
will you follow the Good Shepherd and keep all his com-
mandments ?”

“T will try,” said Casper.

It was spoken very softly, and in rather a broken
voice, for Casper thought directly of one command he
must obey, and that was,

“ Honour thy father.”

Mrs. Cheerful stroked his head in the same kind way
that she had done before.

“Then you will be safe, little boy,” she said, “and
happy too. The Lord Jesus will gather the lambs in
his arms, and carry them on his bosom—there shall not
one of them be lost. Pray to him every day, dear
Casper, and tell him all that you want and everything
that troubles you. ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall
not want.’ Think of that.”

Casper did think, but his heart was very full. For,
besides all that Mrs. Cheerful had said, he knew tha+
CASPER. 8]

now he must go home—and he couldn’t bear to say
good-bye. So, after a little while, he suddenly jumped
up and ran out of the door, and then home as fast as he
could, without another word.

a rn ne

CHAPTER XII.

Tat night, being very tired and weary, Casper fell into
even a deeper sleep than usual, and did not awake until
the sun was well up in the sky, and pouring his full
light in at the dusty window. Casper sat up in bed and
looked round. There was nobody in the room.

There stood the breakfast table, with pieces of bread
and meat, and plates that had not long ago been used:
the sticks of wood in the fireplace had without doubt
been burning that morning, but were now burnt in two,
and fallen into the corners ; and the tea-kettle stood, all
black and desolate, upon the hearth. Flies buzzed about
the window-panes, and several spiders were busy catch-
ing them, in webs new spun for the occasion. Nothing
looked very bright except the sunbeams, and for once
they made everything else the darker. Casper rubbed
his eyes in great dissatisfaction. Then he lay down
again, then sat up and took another look round the
room, and finally jumped out of bed and put on his.
clothes. That was soon done, so was breakfast. There:
wasn’t much to eat, the whole variety being large pieces
of bread and small pieces ; for on examination the scraps:
of meat turned out to be bones. Casper ate what bread
he wanted, and then went to the window; he never
thought of clearing the table and making things look
comfortable ; and there he stood, watching the flies..
They buzzed about, and got caught in the webs, and the
Spiders sprung upon them and ate them up. It was

F
82 CASPER.

very curious, but not very interesting to Casper—he
had seen it so often before; and he yawned two or three
times, and rubbed his eyes, as if he was going to sleep
again. He thought he heard the door open and shut,
but as he didn’t want to see Mrs. Clamp, he didn’t look
round—nobody but Mrs. Clamp ever came there at that
time of the day. But while he listened, expecting to
hear the clatter of the dishes as she cleared them away,
he heard instead a firm, loud step upon the floor, and
then Casper turned his head and saw Mr. Broadaxe.

“Well,” said the woodcutter, kindly, “so you’ve got
the house all to yourself this morning? A fine chance
to do what you lke!”

““No, it isn’t,’ said Casper. “I can’t do anything

like.”

“That always means that you don’t like anything
you can do,” said the woodcutter. “But what’s the
matter? let’s look at you. Has the well given out this
morning ?” |

“No,” said Casper. But he coloured up very red
and looked down; he had not washed his face since
yesterday, and his hands were a match for the dusty
windows.

“Now there’s one thing that can be mended,” said
the woodcutter. “Your father ’1l let you go to the well,
won't he ?”’

Casper said yes, and looked more ashamed than ever.

“Then if you’ll get a bason full of cold water, and
make good use of it,” said Mr. Broadaxe, “I think you'll
feel better ; I’m certain I shall.”

Casper didn’t wait to be told twice. He ran off, only
too glad to get a clean face before he came back.

“Ah,” now you look like somebody,”’ said the wood-
cutter ; “a good deal like the little boy I used to see in
the woods. But how did it happen that you always had
a clean face there ?”

“ Ruth was there,” said Casper.

“O—Ruth was—to be sure,” said the woodcutter.
CASPER. 83

“Well, suppose Ruth had come with me this morning ?
And suppose when I go back she should ask me how you
looked ?”

‘You shan’t tell her, Mr. Broadaxe !” said Casper.

“tT don’t mean to,” said the woodman. “ But now,
Casper, I think there is something else you have forgot-
ten this morning. Can you guess what it is ?”

Casper didn’t try,—he stood silent.

_“ What do you suppose Ruth does every morning before
she eats her breakfast?” said Mr. Broadaxe.

Casper’s lips began to tremble a little, and he said
softly,

‘““) guess she says her prayers.”

““{ guess she does,” said the woodman. “Come, Cas-
per, let’s kneel down here together, and ask the Good
Shepherd to take care of this little child who has such a
mind to take care of himself”

Mr. Broadaxe prayed for just what he had said, and
Casper understood every word of the prayer; but it
made him feel glad and sorry too,—he couldn’t help cry-
ing a little. :

“Now I feel better yet,’ said the woodcutter when
the prayer was ended. “It’s not so much matter whe-
ther you’ve had any breakfast, but it’s a great deal of
matter that you should have a blessing.”

“But Mr. Broadaxe,” said Casper, “what made you
think that I wanted to take care of myself ?”

“Because you had not asked God to take care of you,”
said the woodman. 2

“Well, what made you think I hadn’t done that?”
said Casper.

‘““T never heard of a little boy in my life,” said Mr.
Broadaxe, “who, if he said his prayers as he ought to
say them, didn’t wash his face too.”

“Mr. Broadaxe,” said Casper, after a little pause, “do
you think I shall ever see Ruth again ?”

“See her ?—dozens of times,” said the woodcutter.
“Maybe not for a week or so,—but what then? Beas

F 2
84 CASPER.

good as you can in the meantime, and she'll be all the
more glad to see you.”

“T can’t be good,” said Casper, sorrowfully. “I’ve
got nothing to do.” 7

“Then you must be good doing nothing,” said Mr.
Broadaxe. “Good, and patient, and gentle. Besides, as
to having nothing to do, that’s all nonsense.”

“Why, what can I do?” said Casper.

“ Wind something,” said the woodcutter. “If I wasa
little boy living all by myself, I should keep my house
in better order ; I should carry the dishes out into the
kichen, and set up the chairs, and dust them.”

“Mrs. Clamp does that,” said Casper.

“She hasn’t done it this morning,” said Mr. Broadaxe.
“ And if you do it you'll save her the trouble.”

“TI don’t want to save her the trouble,” said Casper,
flushing up. “She’s bad; I don’t like her.”

“Then be very kind to her,” said Mr. Broadaxe, gravely.
“People that are bad need a great deal of pity. Iso
often do bad things myself, that 1 feel sorry for other
people that do.”

Casper looked a little ashamed.

“T know I’m not good,” he said.

“Well,” said Mr. Broadaxe, kindly, “I’ve told you to
find something to do; now I tell you to find something
to love.”

Casper looked up as if that was a harder task than
the other.

“ Why, do all the little kind things you can for other
people,” said the woodcutter; “help ’em in every way.”

“T don’t like to,” said Casper.

“Ah!” said Mr. Broadaxe, “then it will do you good.
I guess you haven’t had much practice. Now I must
be off. Here’s a whole package of seed-cakes my wife
sent you, and Ruth sent a couple of apples and an ear
of roasted corn. So you won’t starve till supper time.
Good-bye.”

And the woodcutter’s long steps soon took him far
CASPER. 85

tay the door, while Casper stood there and looked after
im.

“Mr. Broadaxe!” Casper called out.

“Well?” said his friend, coming back a step or two.

Casper went a few steps to meet him.

* Will you come again, Mr. Broadaxe ?”

“Maybe so,” said the woodcutter, smiling. “Will you
never forget again what you forgot this morning ?”

“T didn’t forget it,” said Casper, for he was a sturdy
little truth-teller. :

“ What, then ?” said Mr. Broadaxe.

“T felt cross,” said Casper.

“OQ!” said the woodcutter, “a worse reason couldn’t
be.” And he once more nodded and smiled, and went
on his way. Slowly Casper came back into the house,
and looked about him.

The sun shone strongly in at the windows, pointing
out with a bright finger the dust, the spiders, aud the
flies; and lay in long warm streaks across the dingy
wooden chairs. Casper thought of the cool forest, the
clear soft moss, and sparkling brooks, and almost cried
to be out there and at play. What was he to do here
all by himself ?—he didn’t want to touch the chairs, nor
the dishes. Moved by some remembrance of the wood-
cutter’s words, however, he began to shove the chairs
back to the wall, scraping them over the floor and
making a great noise. But this lazy fashion of finding
something to do didn’t work well. The first chair let
itself be pushed back to its place, and so did the second
—the third tumbled over, and Casper with it. The chair
received several scratches, and Casper scraped the skin
off his knee in a very uncomfortable manner. Ie didn’t
cry, however—it made him feel rather angry, and he
was very near saying that he wouldn’t do ancther thing
all day ; but just then his eye fell on the package of
seed cakes and Ruth’s two little apples and ear of corn,
which stood all untasted on the table. It was as good
as a scolding—yes, much better. Casper’s good-nature
86 CASPER.

came back at once, and a little shame with it. He put
the chairs carefully back against the wall, carried all
the dishes into the kitchen, and brought back some old
sloth with which he wiped off the chairs. ‘Then he got
a broom and swept out the crumbs, set the tea-kettle in
the fireplace, set himself down on the door-step, and felt
pleased.

“T’ve done a great deal!” he said to himself. “I
wonder if there’s anything more to do?”

Yes—there was wood and water; so Casper went to
the well once more and got a pailful, and brought in no

less than four sticks of wood, which made quite a pile
on the hearth; and by that time he had to go to the
well again to wash his hands. Clearly, after that he
must sit down and eat a seed-cake—they looked so
good: and besides it was really dinner time.

He took his pile of cakes, the two apples, and the ear
of corn to the door-step, and there sat down again with
his treasures beside him. How nice they looked! how
good they tasted! Casper looked anything but miser-
ble, as he sat there at his ease, munching a cake, with a
few grains of the roast corn for variety.

All of a sudden a little noise made him look round,
and there was the cat approaching her nose much too
near the pile of cakes. Up jumped Casper and away
ran the cat, but after a hot chase Casper drove her out
of the back door and shut it fast. Then he came back
to the front door just in time to see a large white
chicken, who had daringly walked in and ventured a
peck at the ear of corn. If the chicken was not imme-
diately frightened out of his wits it certainly was no
fault of Casper’s, for he ran and shouted till he was out
of breath ; but the chicken jumped up on the fence and
crowed defiance.

Casper came back in a fright lest something else
should have attacked the apples, but they were there
safe ; and the only living thing in sight was a little bit
of a girl standing just outside the door. Casper has-
CASPER. 87

tened to count the remaining cakes (he had been chasing
the chicken with one in his mouth all the while), for he
didn’t feel sure what the little child might have taken
hold of. Nota cake was missing, and Casper sat down
and began to eat the one he had held in his mouth so
long, with much relish.

The little girl came a step or two nearer.

Casper carefully put his hand over the cakes and
apples to guard them.

The child held out her hand and said, “ Please!”

Casper felt very much tired. If she had grabbed one
of the cakes he would have taken it from her without
the smallest scruple, but when she asked so meekly and
properly, he didn’t know what to say. He had such a
vision of bright little Ruth Cheerful giving him half
her breakfast.

“Please!” repeated the child. “One!”

Casper took a cake and held it out to the dirty little
fingers so eager to get it. They closed upon the cake,
and putting it at once to her mouth, the little girl
dropped a courtesy—as queer and as little as she was.

“Now, don’t you ask for any more!” said Casper.
“Go right away !”

The child looked at him, courtesied again, and trotted
off round the corner of the house out of sight.

But when another half-hour had passed, and Casper
had done his dinner, he almost wished that his little
visiter would come back again, he felt so lonely.

“ There’s nothing more to do,” he said to himself, as
he looked into the house and saw that not a chair had
stirred since he set their backs up against the wall.

“ And Mr. Broadaxe said I must try and find some-
thing to love,—but there’s nobody here—nor nothing.”

He got up and went out into the garden and thought
he would try to make friends with the cat. In general
Casper didn’t like this cat, and the cat didn’t like him
—she scratched him, and he pulled her tail, But now
he thought it would be‘petter than nothing, even to
88 CASPER.

stroke her head or run races with her. No—puss had
had one race lately, and that was enough. There she
sat up in the old pear tree, curling her tail and her
whiskers, and looking much too wise to come down,
Over her head the swallows flew twittering to their
nests in the chimney, and a full chorus of grasshoppers
sang out that they were at play, but Casper felt sad.
He was not at work, but neither was he at play. Why
couldn’t he have a playfellow—some one to love? He
sat down at the foot of the old tree and thought over
every day that he had spent in the forest with Ruth—
thought of the Bible verses she had told him, the
hymns he had heard her sing. Then he recollected the
woodcutter’s talk, and Mrs. Cheerful’s stories. He
thought how happy the sheep must be, feeding on the
green hills and so well taken care of, and how much
they must love the shepherd. And then—why didn’t
he love that Great Shepherd of the sheep, who, as the
Bible said, loved him ?

“T don’t know how,” Casper repeated to himself. “ I’m
not good, and I don’t know how.” But even as he said
the words, he seemed to hear Ruth’s little voice repeat-
ing one of her verses:

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

Some tears came into Casper’s eyes—partly at the
words— partly at the thought of Ruth. But he said as
he had before,

“TI will try! I'll mind father, and not go to the
forest ; and maybe next week, or the week after, he’ll
let me go, and then we'll all be so happy.”

And Casper curled himself down against the old tree
and went to sleep, and the old cat looked down at him
with a singularly grave countenance.
CASPER. 89

CHAPTER XIII.

But Casper did not see Ruth next week, nor the week
after. She could not come to the village alone, and he
could not go to see her,—his father would not let him.
Casper’s patience was almost tired out. He thought it
was—and yet he was really growing more patient, more
gentle and obedient, than ever he had been in his life
before. Even Mrs. Clamp found it out, and on her part
couldn’t help being a little more good-natured. Never-
theless, Casper grew more and more tired of living
alone; and he couldn’t amuse himself now as he used
to with the village boys: the good ones went to school
or to work, and the bad ones he couldn’t bear to be with
—their words fairly frightened him.

Meantime he had found nothing to love.

“T don’t believe I ever shall, Mr. Broadaxe,” he said
one day when his friend had paid him a long visit.
“Nothing but you, and Ruth, and Mrs. Cheerful, and
My. and Mrs. Sickles.”

“Well, there are five people,” said the woodcutter.
“That’s not a bad beginning. Five people to love and
that love you.”

Casper smiled.

“J didn’t know there were so many,” he said. “ But
then I can’t see ’em.”

“Can’t you see me?”’ said Mr. Broadaxe. “Open
your eyes.”’

“Why, yes,” said Casper, laughing, “but I mean
you’re not here all the time.’

“‘Nobody’s anywhere all the time,’’ said the wood-
cutter. “ And so you sit here all day and wish for some
one to come and make you happy ?”

“ Yes,” said Casper.

“Does your father let you go about the village ?”
said the woodcutter.
90 CASPER.

Casper said yes.

“ Well,” said Mr. Broadaxe, “ the next time you want
something done for you, just run out of the door and do
something for somebody. See how many people you
can make happy.”

“Why, how?” said Casper, opening his eyes very
wide.

“Find out,” said the woodman. “If people have
fallen down, pick ’em up,—if they hunger, feed them,—
if they thirst, give them drink. Don’t go near the peo-
ple that speak bad words—there are plenty of others
that would be glad enough to have a little piece of kind-
ness come walking up.”

“T wish I was a little piece of kindness,” said Casper.
“ike Ruth.”

“Where did Ruth get her goodness ?” said the wood-
cutter.

Casper looked up and smiled—a very bright smile—
but he did not speak.

“¢ Ask, and ye shall receive, little boy,” said Mr.
Broadaxe as he rose up to go away. And Casper an-
swered ’

“Mr. Broadaxe, I do try.” 7

He stood as usual in the doorway, watching his friend
as he went down the road; and when that pleasant
sight was no more to be seen, Casper looked round upon
the village. He could see a good deal of that. The
road wound away up the hill towards the church, soften-
ing off in the distance; and the little village houses
were grouped and scattered by the wayside, now thickly
and now far apart. Everything looked very quiet.
The men were out at work, the women at work within ;
the children at school or at play on the hill-side. Down
the road a flock of white geese came waddling along,
plucking the grass and talking to each other in very
harsh tones, and otherwise the road seemed deserted ;
unless when a stray cat came softly out from one house
and crossed over to another.
CASPER. , 91

“Ts’pose Mr. Broadaxe wouldn’t find anything to
love there,” Casper thought, ashe looked about. “ Ruth
would love the cat—I don’t—I don’t like cats. And
the geese are as ugly as they can be. Nobody wants
anything either, that I can see, but me,—they’ve got
grass enough.”

A few months ago these thoughts would have made
Casper fretful, and he would have called himself mi-
serable. He didn’t feel very bright now—it was rather
lonely to stand there looking over the quiet village. But
as his eye went from one thing to another, suddenly it
found a flock of sheep feeding on the distant hill side ;
and the sight of them brought back all the sweet
Bible words that Mrs. Cheerful had told him. Casper
stood looking down now, thinking strangely and yet
pleasantly, how wonderful it was that the Good Shep-
herd should care about him!

“TI wish I was a good child!” he thought, “and then
I would never do anything more to displease him.”

“Look! look!” cried a little voice near by.

Casper turned and there stood the little bit of a girl
who had asked him for a cake.

“ Look !” she repeated.

“ Well, Iam looking,” said Casper, and I don’t see
anything but you, and you're not very big.”

“Cat in i’ well,” said the child, taking her finger out
of her mouth to speak and then putting it back again.

“JT don’t care,” said Casper. “I think I’m glad. I
don’t like cats.”

“My cat,” said the child.

But to that Casper made no reply.

“My cat,” she repeated, trotting off to the corner of
the house. “Come—look.” And at the corner she
stopped and waited with her finger in her mouth.

“T tell you I don’t care,” said Casper.

The child’s face wrinkled and screwed up in most re-
markable style, and two or three tears ran slowly downe

“ What are you crying for?” said Casper.
92 CASPER.

“ My cat,” repeated the child. “Come.”

Casper stood still yet a minute longer ; but.the child
looked very miserable, he knew what that meant, and
two or three better thoughts, of doing as he would be
done by, came into his head. So he jumped down from
the door-step, and followed the queer little thing who
stood waiting for him. She trotted round Casper’s house,
and along the back of the next one to it, and into a —
large yard which belonged to the next one still. There,
to be sure, was a well, and down in the well was the cat:
Casper could see her plain enough. She was not in the
water, having got out of that upon the rough stone side
of the well; but the well was so deep, and the sides so
straight, that how to get further the cat was in doubt.
She clung to the wet stones, and looked up at Casper,
while he looked down at her, her eyes shining like two
coals of fire in the darkness of the well.

“J don’t see what I can do, little thing,” said Casper.
This was addressed to the owner of the cat, not to pussy
herself.

“My cat,” the child said again.

It was clear that she looked to him to get the cat
out; and it was so pleasant to have anybody look up
to him for any reason, that Casper at once smiled, and
said he would try. But how to try was the question.

Casper had heard, that when people fall into the
water, the people on shore sometimes throw them a
rope, which the drowning men catch hold of, and so are
drawn to land; and he thought if he could throw a
rope to pussy, and she would catch it in her teeth, it
would be the best possible way to get her up to the top
of the well. He had no rope however, only a long
piece of string in his pocket; but that must be strong
enough to hold a cat. Casper unrolled the string, and
looking carefully over the top of the well, he threw
down one end of the string, keeping the other in his
hand. He couldn’t lean over, for the well was high,
and built up.
OASPER. 93

Down went the string, but either it was too short, or
else the cat despised it—that she didn’t lay hold, Casper
could feel well enough.

‘What shall I do, little thing ?” he said.

“Little thing,” however ; made no answer ; having
given the matter into Casper’ s hands, she troubled her-
self no further, but stood there with her finger in her
mouth, as though her cat had becn up a tree ‘instead of
down a well.

Casper looked about. There were the old apple trees,
where puss ought to be; there were great sticks of
wood, which he could not lift ; there was the great well-
stick, which held the bucket, now high in air. Why
shouldn’t he turn the stick and let down the bucket ?

_ It was all he could do. Casper tried and tried before
he could move it at all, but at last up went the other
end of the great stick into the air, and down went the
bucket slowly into the well. It must not go into the
water. Butasit took all his strength to keep it from
going too far, he could not look over to watch the cat ;
he could only leave the bucket down for a while, and
then again draw it up. And as it came slowly to the
top of the well, two black furry ears appeared, and the
frightened cat made one jump from the bucket to the
curb stone, and then scampered away just as fast as she
could.

Casper let go the big stick, and clapping his hands
together, gave a great shout, which made puss run all
the faster.

As for the little girl, she didn’t say anything for some
time, only she trotted after Casper as he walked home,
even to the corner of his own house. There she stopped,
and Casper felt her little claw-fingers take hold of him.

“What do you want now, little thing ?” he said.

“You're good,” said the child. “TI like you.”

“I'm glad you like me, little thing,” said Casper,
“Tm not good.”

“ You're good,” said the child again, just as gravely
94 CASPER.

as before. And looking up at him, she dropped her
queer little courtesy, and went away.

Casper clapped his hands, and laughed again when
she was out of sight, and then he looked sober.

“T wish I was good,” he said to himself. “And
there’s nobody to teach me now, or tell me Bible verses.”

Yes, there was some one to teach him—he remembered
that, and went into the house and prayed that God.
would teach him,—there was no one else. And then he
sat down on the door-step again, and said over to him-
self all the verses that Ruth had ever taught him.

He was so busy with this work, and was trying so
hard to remember one verse which he had forgotten,
leaning his head down on his handsas if to help out the
matter, that he did not hear a little light foot come
running down the road, nor see the little face that bent
over him, while somebody took hold of his shoulder and
cried—

“Casper! Casper! O, I’m so glad to see you

But when he did look, it was Ruth.

Casper was in amaze at first, and neither moved nor
spoke; and then his head went down on his hands
again, and he fairly sobbed. But it was only for glad-
ness, not for sorrow. 7

They sat there side by side on the door-step—the two
children—and talked and rejoiced as though they had
not seen each other for three months instead of three
weeks.

“Tt’s very lonely in the forest now, Casper,” said
Ruth. “I never go there to play any more; I[ just get
my chips and come home. And, O Casper! Mr. Broad-
axe says he think those squirrels like the tree now it’s
down, just as wellas they did when it was up; and he
says he shall have to cut up the tree and drive ’em
away, for they’ll never go if he waits for them.”

“‘ And how’s Chip ?” said Casper.

“ Chip’s just as well as he can be,” said Ruth, “and
his tail is so curly! He runs and barks at me every

{??
CASPER. 95

‘ay, when I go to the forest, but only for fun, you know.
And mother wants to see you so much!”

Casper drew a long breath at that, and was silent.

“She prays for you every day,’ said little Ruth, more
sadly ; “and so do IJ, and, maybe, very soon you can
come again. Don’t you think so?”

_“O, I don’t know,” said Casper, “ don’t talk about it.”

“Well, what do you do here all day?” said Ruth.
“You can’t sew.”

“Sew !” said Casper, “no, I should think I couldn’t.
O, I don’t do much, Ruth, I haven’t much to do. To-
day I’ve been busy, though.’ And he gave Ruth an
account of his exertions in behalf of the cat.

Ruth looked pleased.

“T think it was good,” she said, “very. Let’s go take
a walk, shan’t we? round the village, you know; we
needn’t go out of it. Mr. Broadaxe was going to the
blacksmith’s, and he said he’d stop for me, but I can
stop for him just as well. Mr. Broadaxe came with me
to the end of the street, and then he went to do some
business. He said there wouldn’t be anybody here this
time of day.”

“Mr. Broadaxe came to see me this morning,” said
- Casper.

“Yes, I know he did,’ said Ruth, “and before he got
home his horse lost a shoe, so he had to come back
again.”

“Well, we shan’t lose any shoes,” said Casper, “so
let’s go on.” And the two children got up and began to
walk along the village street.

It was just the pretty time of the afternoon, when the
shadows of the houses were so long that they stretched
across the road, and between them the sun shone in
bright and cheerful. You could see that the chickens
were getting sleepy, for they came home from their
wanderings, and began to draw near the roost ; while
the cows wound slowly down the hill from the distant
96 CASPER.

pasture, ringing their bells all the way to call out the
dairymaids.

Ruth and Casper walked along hand in hand, through
the broad shadows and the warm sunlight, leaving the
track of little feet and toes in the dust at every step.
But they didn’t kick up a bit of dust—they walked too
softly. And they didn’t say much; it seemed enough
pleasure to walk on together just so.

“Casper,” said Ruth at last, when they had reached
the end of the street, “I don’t think I like your village
much.”

“T’m sure J don’t,” said Casper.

“Well, where do the nice people live?” said Ruth.

“T don’t know,” said Casper ; “I don’t believe there
are any. They don’t live round our house.”

“O, yes, there must be some,” said little Ruth.
“There’s the minister for one.”

“He don’t live in the village,” said Casper; “he lives
in the white house up by the church.”

“So he does,” said Ruth; “I forgot that.”

“The blacksmith’s rather a nice man,” said Casper.
“He gave me an old iron hoop once. Only one of the
boys broke it.”

aM exclaimed Ruth. “What did he do that
for?’

“Tt ran against him one day,” said Casper. “THe
was a big boy; if I’d been big, too, he wouldn’t have
done it.”

“ Would he have been afraid to do it?” asked
Ruth.

“ T guess he would!” said Casper with sparkling eyes.
“T’d have made him—and sorry too.”

“ Q, no, you wouldn’t,” said Ruth. “Vm glad you
weren’t a big boy, then.”

“Why not?” said Casper. “ He’d no business to
break my hoop—I’d knock him down now for it, if I
could.”
CASPER. 97

“O Casper!—no you wouldn’t!” said little Ruth
again.

“ Well, I say why not?” said Casper.

“Tt wouldn’t be right,” said Ruth. “ Only think,
Casper, the Lord Jesus prayed for the people that
mocked him and killed him. It can’t please him to have
-ittle children hurt and trouble each other.”

“ Well, I won’t do anything to that boy,” said Casper,
drawing a long breath. “I mean I won’t if I could.”

“ Where does the blacksmith live?” said Ruth.

“ Down the other road, by the brook. See, you can
tell which way the brook is, for all the geese go down
there to paddle about and wet their feet.”

The geese were stalking down the green slope to take
one dip more before night, and the children went run-
ning after them, for to walk down such a pretty slope
was impossible. They could soon see the blacksmith’s
shop, and hear the clang of his hammer; and then
Ruth cried out—

“ Mr. Broadaxe hasn’t gone! I see his horse!” And
Casper presently added,

“ There’s Mr. Sickles too! I’m sure that’s his wagon.”

And they went bounding into the shop.

The blacksmith, standing there in a shower of sparks
that flew out against his leather apron, stayed his ham-
mer fora minute and smiled at the children ; Mr. Broad-
axe said,

“ Where do these chips come from ?” and then went
on fastening the harness about his horse’s head ; while
Mr. Sickles, who stood at the other side of the anvil,
called out,

“ Look here, little boy ; and then when Casper looked,
he never said another word, only nodded to him.

But when the horses were shod, and they were all
going away, Mr. Sickles said,

“See here, little boy—why haven’t you been up my
way again ?”’ !

G
98 CASPER.

“ Father won’t let me,’’ said Casper. “ He won’t let
me go out of the village.”

“ What?” said Mr. Sickles.

Casper repeated.

“Hem,” said Mr. Sickles. “ Well, if you meet my
wife anywhere, just don’t tell her that—will you?”

CHAPTER XIV.

“Mrs. OCnamp,” said Casper, “if yowll mend my
jacket I'll give you sixpence.”’

It was a fine Saturday morning, in the early fall,—
cool and fresh and bright. Casper sat in his old place
on the door-step, and Mrs. Clamp stood by the table and
washed the breakfast dishes. She had come in early
that day.

“JT say, Mrs. Clamp!” repeated Casper. “ If you'll
mend my jacket, I'll give you sixpence.”

“ What’ll you give me to find the sixpence for you ?”
said Mrs. Clamp.

“ Nothing at all,” said Casper. “I'll findit myself—~
in my pocket.”

“ Well, find it first, and I'll see,” replied Mrs. Clamp,
going on with her dishes.

“There it is,” said Casper, drawing forth sixpence
and holding it up. “ Look—you never saw a prettier
one, and I don’t want to give it to youa bit; but I will,
if you'll mend my jacket.”

“ What’s the matter with your jacket?” said Mrs.
Clamp.

“There are four buttons off,” said Casper, “and the
elbows are all torn, and there’s a great rip in the back—
I don’t think it looks nice.”
more

CASPER. 99

“ You're mighty particular all of a sudden,” said Mrs.
Clamp. “I didn’t know your jacket ever had elbows to
it at all.”

“ Well, won’t you mend it for me?” said Casper.

“ What for?’’ said Mrs. Clamp,—“ your elbows look
just as well out as in.”

“ They don’t!” said Casper, reddening and speaking
very quick. Then he recollected himself and stopped,
and sat still for a minute.

“Mrs. Clamp,” he said gently, “if you'll please mend
it for me, I'll give you my sixpence that Mr. Broadaxe
gave me—I haven’t got any more.”

“ Well,” said Mrs. Clamp, as she wiped off the table.
“ But you needn’t think I'll stay here to do it—bring
it down to my house this afternoon and I'll see.”

And with that she went away.

The afternoon had hardly begun when Casper knocked
at Mrs. Clamp’s door, jacket in hand; for lest any time
should be lost, he thought the safest way was to pull it
off at home before he set out. And as Mrs. Clamp was
fortunately in a good humour, and her baby asleep, she
set Casper to rocking the cradle, and herself sat down

to sew.

“¢ T suppose you'll be off to the forest again when this
is done,” said Mrs. Clamp, as she stitched away.

“No, I shan’t,” said Casper. “ Father says I mustn’t.”

“QO dear!” said Mrs. Clamp. “ You’re a very obe-
dient little boy, to be sure! Always were.”

Casper felt angry for a minute, and he was so afraid
he should speak, that he took his tongue fast between
his teeth and held it. But when he looked up again he
did speak—cried out quite loud,

“QO, Mrs. Clamp! you’re putting blue elbows to my
jacket !”

“ Blue or green—what’s the odds?” said Mrs. Clamp.

“ But they shouldn’t be blue, nor green either!” said
Casper,—“ they ought to be black.”

a2
100 CASPER.

“T haven’t got any black cloth to spare,” said Mrs.
Clamp, stitching on.

“ Well, then, please don’t put any in,’
“T'd rather have it just as it was.”

“ You should have been contented then,” said Mrs.
Clamp. “I can’t take the patches off now. If you
don’t like ’em I can put some yellow patches on over
the blue. Maybe you’d like the looks o’ that.”

Casper didn’t say any more. He turned towards the
cradle again, and whenever there came a tear into his
eyes he rubbed it off, lest Mrs. Clamp should see it and
put on red patches. And when at last she told him the
jacket was done, and bade him take it and be off, still
he did not speak ; only took out his sixpence and gave
it to her, and then ran home. But when he got home
he sat down and cried away all his sorrow and vexation.
Not quite all his sorrow—and his disappointment seem-
ed to increase. He thought the jacket looked less re-
spectable than ever, and he had wanted it to look smart
for a particular purpose,—he wanted to go to church.
Often as Ruth had begged him to go, yet he had never
been; and now that the wish had really grown up in
his own heart, it was hard to be disappointed. But
when the tears were all spent, and Casper had thought
over the matter in his mind, and turned over the jacket
before his eyes, he concluded that if his shirt-sleeves
were clean, he might hang the jacket over his arm and
go to church dressed for hot weather. And he tried
putting the jacket in all sorts of positions, so as best to
hide the unfortunate blue patches. Then he felt com-
forted, and went to bed quite happy, meaning to get up
with the first ray of sunlight Sunday morning.

But the first ray of sunlight didn’t come. On its way
from the sun to the earth, it fell in with a thick curtain
of cloud and mist, and the most it could do was to send
a part of its light through the curtain, and tarry behind,
itself, And the cloud was not the worst; for there

?

said Casper.
CASPER. 10}

came big raindrops heavily down, and then a steady,
pouring shower. The chickens came from their roosting-
places in the trees, looking wet and miserable, and as
they sought about for breakfast, the rain came pattering
upon their backs and dripped off their tail feathers—the
cats put their noses out of doors, or just stepped out, to
see the weather, and as quickly stepped in again—
shaking their ears and fore feet with every symptom of
disgust. Only the ducks were quite at home in the
rain, and the muddier it grew, the more they paddled
about.

As for the people in the village, the rain and dark
weather made them lie in bed the longer: they opened
their eyes and looked out, then turned and went to
sleep again. Casper’s father among the rest had done
this.

Casper himself had no mind to believe that it did rain
—he covered his head up in the bed clothes, and tried
to think that he had only dreamed of bad weather; but
after a little while he found himself listening again, and
there could be no mistake—patter, patter—drip, drip—
if that was not rain, then Casper had never heard rain
in all his life. He got up very softly, and put on his
clothes, and went and stood at the window. Leaning
his elbows on the window sill, and looking very hard at
the clouds—as if that coulddo any good. And presently
—Jjust as if the weather was too dry out of doors—there
came a little shower of tears from Casper’s eyes. He
was so disappointed! Last Sunday it had been fine, and
the Sunday before—why must it rain to-day? Now,
too, that his jacket was mended. He could walk to
church in the rain, and not mind it a bit; but then his
clothes were none too nice when they were dry, and
Casper did not think, that to be dripping with rain
would improve their appearance. And besides, if it
rained very hard, Ruth would not be there, and then he
should not know where to go nor what to do. No, he
102 CASPER.

must stay at home; and Sunday would not come again
for a whole long week, and at this thought Casper’s
tears rained down the faster. He wanted to be good, and
he had tried to be good, and now, just when he wanted
to go to church, the rain came. He might as well not
try to be anything but the idle, disobedient little boy he
had been before.

But the minute this thought came into his head,
Casper felt sorry and ashamed. Ruth had read to him
once out of the Bible, that God sent the rain, as well as
the sunshine—then it was God who kept him from going
to church to-day—and he had nothing to do but be
patient, and try how good he could be at home. Casper
turned from the window and wiped off his tears; and
though the sight of his jacket hanging across a chair,
with its blue elbows full in view, made them run down
again, yet the impatience was gone, and that was half
the battle.

Casper had need of all his patience that morning.
His father—kept at home like himself by the rain—sat
down by the fire as soon as he got up from his bed, and
did not move therefrom except for breakfast. Whatever
was wanting, Casper must get—water from the well, and
wood from the yard—and the wood was wet, and the
yard muddy, and the rain poured steadily down.
Casper would go out for wood, and then when he came
in all sprinkled with raindrops, his father would sud-
denly want fresh water for his face, or fresh water for
the teakettle, or chips to make the wood burn. Or the
back gate had been left open, and Casper must go shut
it—or Mrs. Clamp hadn’t come, and Casper must go fetch
her. By the time breakfast was over, and the dishes
put away, Casper was so wet that the rain had little
effect on him.

It was pretty late in the morning now, and his father
had settled himself in the chimney corner and gone to
sleep, and Mrs. Clamp had gone home. There was wood
CASPER. 103

enough in to keep the fire alive till dinner time, and all
the pails were full of water, so Casper sat down on the
hearth opposite his father, and went to thinking instead
of to sleep. He stuck out his bare feet on the warm
hearth stones, and felt very comfortable, though a little
tired. He was wet, to be sure, but by that fire he could
soon get dry; his father was like to be asleep for the
rest of the day—he had just now moved from his chair
to the bed—and Casper was alone by himself in the
warm kitchen. Somehow or other the morning had been
a pleasant one, the disagreeable work had seemed easier
than usual, the rain and the heavy pails of water had
not made him cross; and to all the impatient words of
his father and Mrs. Clamp, Casper had not given one
impatient answer—he didn’t know why. God knew.
The Good Shepherd had not forgotten his little child.
Casper had prayed that morning that he might not
be cross any more, and the prayer was heard and
answered.

And now, as he sat there by the fire, getting warm
and dry, and saying over to himself the verses he had
learned in the forest, softly his eyelids closed, and he
went to sleep—nor even dreamed of the pleasure that
was preparing.

The wind had changed! that was the beginning of
pleasure. And now it came sweeping down from the
north-west, sweeping away the clouds asif it had been
Mrs. Clamp’s broom and they but a parcel of cobwebs.
The sky came out fair and blue, and every little pool of
water changed from a mudpuddle to a looking-glass—
wherein lay bits of the blue, and bits of the drifting
clouds, and the tree branches, and your own face. How
the sun shone ! and the sun and the wind between them
soon began to dry the grass, and the roads, and the tops
of the village houses. ‘The vane on the church steeple
was quite dazzling in the sunlight, and the birds flutter-
ed about it, and sang better than the people. But it
104 CASPER.

was not till the first bell rang for afternoon church that
Casper awoke and saw what had been going on in the
world. When he went to sleep, the whitewashed walls
of the kitchen looked gray with the cloudy light, and
now they were streaked with sunbeams. Casper started
up and went to the window—yes, it had cleared off—
there was no doubt of it. He looked round at the
clock—half-past twelve—he could get to church before
Ruth now, if he should run all the way. Then another
thought came over him, and he looked for his father.
But he had gone out, hat and coat, and all, so Casper
felt free to do what he liked ; and putting on his little
old hat, and hanging his coat on his arm, he set out.
He couldn’t take time to look about him, and see how
beautiful everything was after the rain—the very thought
of Ruth’s getting there first would not let him stop an
instant ; but when at last he ran up the green slope
to the church door, it was not even open—and Casper
knew he was in time. Then he took breath and looked
about him. For a minute nobody was in sight, and
then the people began to wind slowly up the different
paths, one and two and three at a time.

First came the old sexton, to open the doors; and
then came a woman and then a man, and then two little
girls. Neither of them was Ruth—Casper wouldn’t
have known her, and Ruth wouldn’t have known herself
in such white bonnets and pink strings; and their
green slippers were very unlike the neat little black
shoes which used to make Casper ashamed of his bare
feet. And Ruth would have been overjoyed to see him
there, but these little girls only pointed, and whispered
and laughed. Casper thought he could stand that, but
when another little girl did the same thing, and several
boys followed her example, he began to feel rather bad.
And when at last a whole string of children began to
come up the slope from the little school-house at the
foot, Casper ran away from the church door and stood
CASPER. 108

behind one of the tall grave-stones until all had passed.
It was the Sunday school. First went one of the teach-
ers, and then all the children, twoand two. Some were
laughing and talking, and some were singing softly
the hymn that had just been sung at the school,
and some were looking into their lesson books. Last of
all came little Ruth Cheerful, with her sweet, serious
little face. She was not talking, nor reading, nor sing-
ing, but seemed to be learning something by heart from
a paper which she held in her hand.

Casper had let all the others go by, lest they should
laugh at him, but when she came he said softly,

“Ruth !”

Ruth stopped and looked bewildered.

“ Here I am,” said Casper, “ behind this grave-stone.”

“Q, Casper!” said Ruth ; and she sprang right into
the wet grass and took hold of him. “ How glad Iam!
But what makes you stay here? Did you wait for me ?
Will you come and sit where I do ?”

“No,” said Casper.

“Why not?” said Ruth. “Aren't you going to
church ?”

“No,” said Casper ; “I was going, but they laughed at
me. I know I don’t look very nice.”

Ruth looked grieved.

“Who laughed, Casper ?—it’s no matter if they did.
We're poor children, but that’s no matter either. Come,
we shall be late. But why don’t you put your coat on ¢
Aren’t you cold ?”

“Not very,” said Casper; “and my coat don’t look
nice. It’s got blue elbows.”

“ Blue elbows !”’ repeated Ruth.

“Yes,” said Casper. “There weren’t any elbows to
it, and I got Mrs. Clamp to mend ’em, and she put in
blue ones. That wasn’t what they laughed at, but I
guess they would if they saw it.”

“Tl tell you what J’d do, Casper,” said little Ruth,
106 CASPER.

who had been turning over the coat and taking a

careful look at the blue elbows. “I should put the

coat right on, and go to church. Black -would have

been prettier, to be sure, but anything is better than

holes, mother says; and it’s nicely mended, at any
rate.”’

“You'll be ashamed of me when I get in,” said
Casper, hanging back.

““ No, indeed I won’t!” said Ruth. “ Why, I wore a
blue calico frock with a black patch once myself. I
think you were very wise to have it mended. Come!”

Casper let her take hold of his hand and lead him
into the church, even with his coat on. She whispered
to him at the door,

“Take off your hat, Casper, all the boys do—and
don’t look at any of them.”

And Casper did as she told him. Therefore, if any-
body laughed he didn’t see it—he only saw Ruth,
walking softly and quick to her place, keeping fast hold
of his hand, and looking as pleased as if she had
brought a little prince to church, instead of a little boy
with blue elbows. She put him on a bench next the
wall, and sat between him and the other children ; and
when the minister got up and read the hymn, Casper
forgot everything else—he was so interested and happy.
And when they began to sing, and Ruth sang too, he
turned round and listened to her, and thought she sang
better than the choir.

“ Casper,” said Ruth when they came out of church,
“ you'll come every Sunday, won’t you ?”

“ Yes,’’ said Casper, “ Ill try.”

“Well, don’t go home yet,” said Ruth,—“see how
pretty the sunshine is. Come over here under the trees,
and let’s sit down and talk.”

So they went to the back of the church, and sat
down in the shade on the grass. Oyerhead the trees
blew softly about, and all around them the white and
CASPER. 107

gray and brown stones rose up out of the green grass,
and the birds perched on them and sang.

“Tt’s pretty here,” said Ruth, when they had sat still
a minute.

“Yes,” said Casper. Then, after another minute, he
added,

“ My mother’s here.”

Ruth looked at him, but she didn’t speak.

“She’s here”’ Casper repeated—“ over there, behind
the trees. Why can’t she live down in the village with
me?” |

Ruth made no answer to that either, but she looked
away now, and the little kerchief that was round her
neck fluttered quick up and down. The children sat
without moving or speaking for some time. Ruth spoke

- first.

“My father isn’t here,” she said softly, “he’s very
far away ; and J don’t remember hima bit. But mother
says, if I’m a good child I shall see him in heaven.”

“ O, you are good,” said Casper, as if that did not
comfort him much.

Little Ruth shook her head.

“T guess you wouldn’t think so sometimes, Casper.”

“ But I tell you I do—always,” said Casper.

“© well, you don’t know much about it,” said Ruth,
decidedly. “Now, Casper, my teacher gave me a hymn
printed on a little piece of paper, and I want you to
take it, because you’ve got nothing to read. You carry
it home.’’

And she took out of her pocket a folded bit of paper
and put it into his hand.

* But you'll want it,” said Casper.

“No, I shan’t,” said Ruth. “I know most of it now,
and when I want the rest I’ll come and borrow it. It’s
so pretty—I’m sure you'll like it.”

Casper didn’t say much, except with his eyes, but
they looked very bright and a little glistening ; he put
108 CASPER.

the paper in his pocket, and taking Ruth’s hand, they
went slowly down the green slope together.

CHAPTER XV.

Yes, they went slowly down the slope; but as soon as
they came to the place where Ruth’s road branched off,
and Casper had let go of her hand and watched her till
she was out of sight behind the dark forest, then he
began to run: for he wanted to get home and read his
hymn. The little paper was safe in his pocket—he felt
it there ; but as he went jumping first on one foot and
then on the other, past Mrs. Clamp’s door, she came out
and spoke to him.

“Casper, where have you been ?”

“T haven’t been a step out of the village,” said Casper,
when he had thought for a minute.

“ Quite sure?” said Mrs. Clamp.

“Yes,” said Casper.

“Did you meet my cow anywhere ?”

“There wasn’t anybody’s cow on the road I went,”
said Casper.

“Did you see her before you went out then? you’re
always staring out of the windows.”

“Well, I haven’t been near the window since morning,
Mrs. Clamp,” said Casper.

“‘ Haven’t you seen my cow 2?”

“No, I haven’t,” said Casper.

“Well, you do tell truth; that’s one thing about you,”
said Mrs.Clamp. “I s’pose I'll have to believe you now.
But what I’m to do I don’t know. There’s the cow off,
and the baby screaming itself to death in the cradle.”
CASPER. | 109

She went back into the house again, and Casper ran
on; but by the time he was fairly seated in his old place
in the doorway, and had taken out his hymn, then a dis-
agreeable thought came into his head.

“Casper,” it said, “why don’t you go and find Mrs.
Clamp’s cow ?”

Casper had plenty of reasons ready. He didn’t want
to go, and Mrs. Clamp was never very good to him, and
she had put blue elbows to his coat; and besides, there
was the hymn, he must read that.

Casper unfolded the paper. But the first words were,
“ Little children,” and with that the verses which Ruth
had taught him came into his head.

“Little children, love one another.”

“Tf ye love me, keep my commandments.”

“Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping
for nothing again: and your reward shall be great, and
ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind
unto the unthankful and to the evil.”

Casper folded up his paper and put it in his pocket,
and then, drawing a sigh or two, he jumped off the step,
and scampered away over the common, in search of the
cow.

The cow was easy to find, in one respect—you couldn’t
mistake her for any other cow, nor any other cow for
her. - Her sides were black and her ears were white, and
her back and face were grizzled and spotted. One horn
crooked down quite over her eyes, and the other had
been broken short off in the middle, in a fight with some
other cow. Her tail was perfectly black, and swept the
ground with its black tassel. Moreover, the cow had
the credit of not being very good-natured ; Casperthought
she was much lke her mistress.

There were a good many paths over the common, and
many a clump of bushes where the cow might hide.
Casper thought there was no end to them—either the
cows or the bushes—as he went from one clump to
110 CASPER.

another, starting up red cows, and white cows, and
frosted cows, with little red calves; and looking in vain
for the black sides of the short and long-horned cow.
But at last, far off, beyond the furthest house of the
village, he saw something that looked like her gray
back ; and when a run had brought him there, there
she was. And there she meant to stay. At first she
wouldn’t get up. Her place in the grass was very com-
fortable, and she had no mind to leave it ; and when she
was really on her feet, she stood switching her long tail
about, as if that was the only thing in the world she had
to do, and nothing else could be expected of her.

Casper got a little stick, and pounded her gently with
it; the cow flung her tail about his ears, by way of
answer. Then he shouted to her; then he took hold of
the black tassel, and gave the cow a few more soft blows
with the stick. The cow flirted her tail away, and set
off at full gallop across the common, but in the wrong
direction. Casper’s patience was nearly worn out. But
as the cow had now found out the use of her feet, he
thought if he could but turn her head towards home
she would perhaps run thither. And so it proved.
Casper made a great exertion, and got ahead of the cow,
the cow turned round, and then never stopped till she
reached Mrs. Clamp’s door.

Casper followed more slowly, for he was tired. He
felt a little sorrowful, too; the shadow of the cow, as
she ran over the green, was very long, and the sunbeams
came straight across from the top of the forest. Maybe
his father would get home before him, and maybe it
would be too dark to read. Well, he knew what Ruth
would say,

“Never mind, Casper; it don’t matter, so long as we
only do right.”

Mrs. Clamp was just coming out with her milkpail as
he drew near the house.

Who fetched this cow?” she said.
CASPER. 111

“JT did,” said Casper.

“What did you do it for?” said Mrs. Clamp.

“T thought I would,” said Casper.

“ Why, I do wonder if you’re growing goodnatured ?”
said the mistress of the cow, looking at him.

“T guess not,” said Casper. “I wish I was.” And he
went on to his own home, feeling very glad that he had
found the cow, though he got no thanks for it.

His father sat near the open door. That was bad ;
Casper thought to himself that he should have water to
bring and wood to kindle. But he went quietly in and
up to the window, got on the table to see the better, and
once more took the little paper out of his pocket. He
could hardly read at first, for the meré dread of being
called off, and kept looking towards his father between
every two words, but his father never moved. And at
last Casper forgot him and read on, in peace, the hymn
demanding all his attention. And there was light
enough—the lines were in such coarse print. Casper
sone them over twice, and then began to learn them by

2art.

Little children, come and hear,
Jesus speaks—you need not fear.
Sweeter words there cannot be ;—
“‘ Let little children come to me.”

Jesus came to earth and died,
Full salvation to provide.

Jesus died that we might live,—
He alone can heaven give.

Ask of him to make your heart

Pure and clean in every part.

Pray that he your soul would keep,—
He’s the Shepherd of the sheep.

He’s the Shepherd, and he knows
All their wants and all their woes.
Not a lamb can suffer harm,
Guarded by the Saviour’s arm.
CASPER. 113

come back for the furniture and you. While I’m gone,
don’t stir out of the village unless Mr. Sickles comes
and asks you,—if he does, you can go. Mrs. Clamp’l]
get your meals, just as usual.”

And off he walked, out of the kitchen and out of the
house, shutting all the doors behind him. Casper sat
still in some astonishment.

It was pretty bad news, he thought ; but then, maybe,
his father couldn’t find work anywhere else, and then
they would have to stay where they were; so it would
be all right again.

Casper hunted about in the cupboard for some bits
of bread, and tried to eat them, but they didn’t taste
good—he was not hungry; and then feeling very tired
and chilly, he knelt down in the firelight and said his
prayer and went to bed.

Next morning Casper woke up late. He didn’t feel
well. Whether he had been out too much in the rain
the day before, or whatever the reason might be, his
head ached and he felt cold. Therefore when he first
turned over and saw the bright sun streaming into the
kitchen, he lay quite still and wondered what made him
feel so bad. ‘Then he remembered what his father had
said last night, and Casper rose up on his elbow to look
about the better.

His father had gone—that was plain; for the table
was covered with odds and ends of breakfast, and there
was a heap of red coals under the teakettle. Moreover,
his father’s best coat was gone from its peg on the wall,
and the kitchen door stood half open; while the cool
morning wind came sweeping in, fluttering the table-
cloth and giving a shake to the spread which covered
Casper. He thought perhaps it was the wind that made
him feel so cold, and he got up and shut the door; but
as he dressed himself the fire didn’t seem to warm him,
and he stood shivering over the hot coals. Mrs. Clamp
came bustling in as usual to put away the dishes, and

H
CASPER. 113

come back for the furniture and you. While I’m gone,
don’t stir out of the village unless Mr. Sickles comes
and asks you,—if he does, you can go. Mrs. Clamp’l]
get your meals, just as usual.”

And off he walked, out of the kitchen and out of the
house, shutting all the doors behind him. Casper sat
still in some astonishment.

It was pretty bad news, he thought ; but then, maybe,
his father couldn’t find work anywhere else, and then
they would have to stay where they were ; so it would
be all right again.

Casper hunted about in the cupboard for some bits
of bread, and tried to eat them, but they didn’t taste
good—he was not hungry; and then feeling very tired
and chilly, he knelt down in the firelight and said his
prayer and went to bed.

Next morning Casper woke up late. He didn’t feel
well. Whether he had been out too much in the rain
the day before, or whatever the reason might be, his
head ached and he felt cold. Therefore when he first
turned over and saw the bright sun streaming into the
kitchen, he lay quite still and wondered what made him
feel so bad. Then he remembered what his father had
said last night, and Casper rose up on his elbow to look
about the better.

His father had gone—that was plain; for the table
was covered with odds and ends of breakfast, and there
was a heap of red coals under the teakettle. Moreover,
his father’s best coat was gone from its peg on the wall,
and the kitchen door stood half open; while the cool
morning wind came sweeping in, fluttering the table-
cloth and giving a shake to the spread which covered
Casper. He thought perhaps it was the wind that made
him feel so cold, and he got up and shut the door; but
as he dressed himself the fire didn’t seem to warm him,
and he stood shivering over the hot coals. Mrs. Clamp
came bustling in as usual to put away the dishes, and

H
114 CASPER.

Casper had to eat his breakfast ina hurry; but as he
was not hungry, that mattered the less. Mrs. Clamp
was particularly cross, too, for the cow had strayed
away again, but Casper didn’t offer to go after her this
time—-he felt too sick. He sat quiet in the chimney
corner, till Mrs. Clamp had finished her scolding and
her dishes and gonehome. And he sat quict then too—
only a few tears came trickling down his cheeks now
and then ; for he felt very lonely.

Not because his father was away—Casper never saw
much of him ; but the little boy felt sick, and longed
to go to his friends in the forest and have them talk to
him.

Why shouldn’t he go?—his father was away, and
there was nothing but his father’s command to keep
Casper at home. How many times did that question
come into Casper’s mind as he sat there shivering over
the fire! how many times he said “ Why shouldn’t I ?—
I will!” But whenever he turned towards the door,
just ready to get up and go, he always thought of Mrs.
Cheerful’s words—

“ Then you would not obey God.”

And Casper turned his head away again and looked
into the fire. He tried to read his hymn, but reading
made his head ache, and he could only sit still and say
over the verse which he had learned.

Towards the middle of the day there came a gentle
knock at the door.

“Come in !” said Casper.

“Does a little boy named Casper, live here?” said a
pleasant voice. And Mrs. Broadaxe pushed open the
door and walked in. .

~©O yes! I live here, and I’m home, Mrs. Broadaxe,”’
said Casper jumping up. “I’m very glad you’ve come
to see me. There’s nobody here—fatner’s gone away
and I’m all alone. But it’s very cold here—I don’t
know what you'll do.”
CASPER. 115

“Cold?” said good Mrs, Broadaxe, as she met Casper
rnd took hold of his hands. “Why it’s warm here
child, very, but you are cold.”

“Ves, Lam,” said Casper. “I haven’t been warm to-
day.”

“Why I guess you’re sick,” said Mrs. Broadaxe.
oe she sat down by the fire and took Casper on her
ap.

“You're just the colour of Winkie’s nose in a cold
morning. What ails you, child ?”

“T did feel sick a while ago,’ said Casper. “I don’t
now.”

He was much too happy to know whether he was sick
or not. Curled up there in the lap of his kind friend,
while she rubbed his little cold hands in her big warm
ones, Casper shut up his eyes and looked as if he should
go right off to sleep. And Mrs. Broadaxe didn’t disturb
him—not by a word or a question. Only once, when
two or three little tears of comfort and pleasure made
their way out from Casper’s eyelids, then a big drop
from her eyes did come down with quite a splash upon
his forehead. But Mrs. Broadaxe quickly wiped it off,
and kept on rubbing his hands, and drew her blue apron
over him like a spread. And when he really slept, she
softly undressed him and put him to bed, and then sat
watching the little red spot that began to burn in each
cheek, Casper had a fever.
116 CASPER.

CHAPTER XVI.

Ir I were to give a history of the next two weeks, it
would be only about Mrs. Broadaxe: Casper was very
sick—too sick to know much of anything, and his kind
friend never left him. The very first thing she did
after undressing him that day, was to take off her own
bonnet and shawl and put them away in the closet, and
there they stayed until Casper got well. While he was
very sick she watched over him day and night—making
for him gruel with her own Indian meal, and apple-
water from large roast apples which Mr. Broadaxe
brought down from home for that very purpose. When
he grew better she told him long stories, that sometimes
made him laugh and sometimes put him to sleep; and
now on the first day when Casper could be up and
dressed, Mrs. Broadaxe sat by the fire and held him on
her lap, all wrapped up in her great shawl which was as
large as a blanket. Casper didn’t say much about it all,
but whenever he looked up at her, the good woman’s
apron went up to her eyes as quick as if there had been
a puff of smoke down the chimney.

The morning had been a busy one. First came Mr.
Broadaxe with a partridge for Casper’s dinner, and Chip
came and licked his hands. Then Ruth entered softly
on tiptoe, with a little bunch of wild flowers and a
pocketful of butternuts—which Casper “mustn’t eat
till he was quite well;” and Ruth was so glad to see him
in such a fair way to be well, that she just stood and
looked at him.

“Why, it hardly seems as if he’d been sick, Mrs,
Broadaxe,” she said, “he looks so much better. He’s
just a little paler than he used to be, that’s all.”

“ And a good deal thinner,” said Mrs. Broadaxe,
CASPER. 117

: “Yes, he zs thinner,” said Ruth. “Ilow strong is
e i

“Strong enough to hold the posy,” said Mrs. Broad-
axe, smiling. “I guess he couldn’t do much more.”

“QO yes, 1 could,” said Casper, “only Mrs. Broadaxe
won't let me try. But I did walk clear from the bed to
the fireplace this morning, Ruth.”

“Well, ’m sure, that was a great deal,” said Ruth.
“How many times would you have to go across the
room to make it as far as from here to the forest ?”

Casper said he didn’t know, and Mrs. Broadaxe sat
smiling, and didn’t tell him. Indeed, she didn’t know
herself ; only she knew that the way to the forest was
hardly begun when you had walked a dozen times the
breadth of that little room. Then Ruth got up to go
home, and Casper said she should stay and eat dinner
with him. So while Mrs. Broadaxe broiled the part-
ridge, Ruth set the table, and talked to Casper; and
then she ate a wing, and he ate a piece of the breast,
and enjoyed it very much.

It was afternoon now, aud Ruth had gone, and Casper
sat quietly in his nurse’s lap by the fire, wondering
what made everybody so good to him. If he had asked
Mrs. Cheerful, she would have told him—“ The Lord is
my Shepherd, I shall not want,” and something of that
sort did come into Casper’s heart, though not just in
those words.

Now, the sun went down very fast, and Casper began
to feel sleepy, when just as the last beam left the
window (it was not a dusty window now, Mrs. Broadaxe
had washed it), the door opened, and in walked Mr.
Sickles.

Casper started up, and was wide awake in an instant,
but he said not a word. ,

“Well, little boy,” said Mr. Sickles, “where did you
come from?”

Casper replied that he had not been anywhere.
118 CASPER.

“Oh!” said Mr. Sickles. “I thought you'd been
amusing yourself in bed for the last two weeks.
didn’t tell Mrs. Sickles, I was afraid she mightn’t ap-
prove it.”

Casper laughed a little, but he was too anxious to
hear what Mr. Sickles would say, to say much himself ;
his eyes sparkled with eagerness, and his little face
flushed up.

“Why, this is quite a pleasant house of yours,” said
Mr. Sickles, looking about. “I thought you said it
wasn’t.”

“J don’t think it is,” said Casper. “O yes, it is now,
because there’s nobody here but Mrs. Broadaxe, and
she’s washed the window.”

“ Ah!’ said Mr. Sickles. “ Well, I suppose that does
make a difference. I don’t like dusty windows, myself.
How do you like Mrs. Cheerful’s house ?”

“QO, very much !” said Casper.

“You don’t like Ruth at all, I suppose?” said Mr.
Sickles.

Casper shook his head and laughed, in a way which
said that was quite a mistake.

“Well, what do you think of my place?” said Mr.
Sickles.

“T think it’s beautiful,” said Casper, “and so is Mrs.
Sickles.”

Mr. Sickles smiled a little at that, as if he thought so
himself. .

“Why, you like her, do you?”’ he said.

“Yes, indeed,” said Casper. “I like her ever so
much. And the picture too.”

Mr. Sickles kicked the fire, and laid on another stick
of wood before he spoke.

“You had better like my wife,” he said. “I think
on the whole it’s best you should. You'll see her to-
morrow at Mrs. Cheerful’s. She’s going there to eat
dinner.” !
CASPER. 119

Casper wondered how he was to see her; whether she
meant to stop and see him by the way; but his father
nad bid him ask Mr. Sickles no questions, and none he
asked.

“Mr. Broadaxe is going,” said Mr. Sickles, “and so
am I; and as Mrs. Broadaxe must go, I don’t see but
we must take you along. I suppose it wouldn’t do to
put you in bed here, and lock up the house.”

Casper laughed again, but he didn’t say anything.

“Tl be down in the morning,” continued the farmer,
putting his hand under Casper’s chin, and looking him
in the face. “DT1l be down in the morning with my ox-
cart, and if you’re ready we'll take you in, and if you’re
not, why, I guess we’ll wait for you.” And away he
went, and shut the door after him.

Casper could hardly sleep that night for thinking of
the next day. He kept taiking and asking questions,
till Mrs. Broadaxe was afraid he would be tired out, but
it only did himgood. The next morning he was a great
deal stronger, and as bright as the sunshine. But he
couldn’t eat much breakfast ; and while Mrs. Broadaxe
was putting away the dishes, Casper sat bolstered up in
the rocking chair, and watched the door every moment,
listening, too, with all his might ; and when he heard
the slow rolling of wheels, and Mr. Sickles’ loud
“Whoa!” he could hardly sit still.

As soon as the cart stopped, Mrs. Sickles came run-
ning in, and she stooped down by Casper, and kissed
him, and took hold of his hands, and said how sorry she
was he had been sick, and how glad that he was better.
And then she and Mrs. Broadaxe wrapped him up ina
great shawl, and Mr. Sickles carried him out and put
him in the cart, and when they wereall in, the oxen set
off and jogged on to Mrs. Cheerful’s.

Casper could hardly contain himself for pleasure. He
hadn’t been out of the house for more than a fortnight,
and everything seemed perfectly delightful. The sky
120 CASPER.

could not have been bluer, nor the sunshine clearer ;
and if the birds could have sung harder, no doubt they
would. First a robin came down on the road with a
troop of his friends, all hopping about and bobbing their
heads and whistling ; and a half-dozen meadow larks
perched on the fence, and then sped away over the
green pastures. Quai!s ran in and out of the hedges,
and a string of black crows sailed slowly overhead, and
“cawed” out their approbation of the weather. On an-
other fence sat a striped squirrel, and large butterflies
flapped and fluttered about the road, and the chickens
tried to catch them.

Casper had been set down on the floor of the cart, in
such a heap of shawls and cloaks that he was half co-
vered up, for they sank beneath him and rose up on
all sides, like a feather-bed. Mrs. Broadaxe and Mrs.
Sickles sat behind him, and made him lean against them
when he was tired of sitting up; and Mr. Sickles went
on foot and guided the oxen.

Casper saw Mrs. Clamp in her door as they went by,
and he felt so happy that he even called out to her and
said,

“Good morning, Mrs. Clamp; and goodbye, too. I
shan’t be home to-day.”

But Mrs. Clamp answered never a word, only stared
at the cart and oxen.

Mr. Broadaxe met them at the edge of the forest, with
a great basket in his hand, almost as big as the one Mrs.
Sickles had brought in the cart; and then they were
soon at Mrs. Cheerful’s.

How glad everybody was! Ruth ran out and clapped
her hands, and danced from one foot to the other on the
door stone; and Casper could scarcely sit still, for im-
patience ; the sight of Mrs. Cheerful’s brown ribbon
almost made him cry. As for Chip, he seemed to have
lost his senses,and went scampering about in a way that
no reasonable dog would.
CASPER. 121

Casper was carried into the house again, and put in
the carpet chair in the very warmest corner, and Ruth
sat down by him. They didn’t know what the rest were
talking about; but for them, they told all manner of
things that had happened, and laid plans for all manner
of things that should happen. The play they would
have in the snow next winter, and the walks in the
forest next summer. Casper said if he only had a sled
he could draw Ruth down to the village in no time;
and then Mr. Sickles put in a word, and ‘said they could
have his old ox sled; and then both the children
laughed, and Ruth said she thought in that case she
should have to get off the sled and help to pull. But
suddenly Casper stopped laughing, and his face grew
very grave.

“‘What’s the matter?” said Ruth, anxiously. “ You
don’t feel sick, do you?”

“No,” said Casper. “But, oh, Ruth, father’s gone
away somewhere else to get work, and if he can he won’t
come back to live in the village ever again. So, maybe,
I shan’t be here next winter.”

“O, I guess you will,” said little Ruth; and first she
smiled, and then she looked grave. “TI hope so, Casper.
Wasn’t Mrs. Clamp very sorry to have you come away ?”’

“T don’t know,” said Casper; “she didn’t say she was.
She didn’t even say goodbye. Maybe she thought it
wasn’t worth while for only one day.”

‘Maybe not,” said Ruth, smiling again.

x Well, what makes you smile ?” said Casper, who had
felt rather sober himself at the thought of Mrs. Clamp
and his father.

“O, I feel happy,” said little Ruth. “TI s’pose that’s
one reason. Did Mrs. Clamp come often to see you when
you were sick ce

“T guess not,” said Casper. “Once she came, and I
shut up my eyes tight, for fear I should see her. 0, Ruth,
I had such a chase after her old cow one day! She didn’t
' 122 CASPER.

even thank me, then. I had suca work to find the cow;
and, O, she is so ugly!”

“Mrs. Clamp is?” said Ruth.

“TI didn’t mean her,” said Casper ; “I meant the cow.
The cow’s just as ugly as—”

“Well, as ugly as what ?’’ said Ruth.

“T used to say she was just as ugly as Mrs. Clamp,”
replied Casper, “but I don’t say so now. She’s just as
ugly as she can be, any way.”

“Ruth,” said Mrs. Cheerful, “it’s time to set the
table.”’

“Yes,” said Mr. Sickles; “if you don’t take those
chickens out of my wife’s basket, theyll let themselves
out, I shouldn’t wonder.” |

Ruth laughed—she felt very merry that day—and
then went stepping about the table, and covering it with
dishes. Casper looked on from his corner.

Now it was well that Mrs. Sickles and Mrs. Broadaxe
had brought plates and knives as well as chickens ; for
Mrs. Cheerful’s cupboard could furnish but three ; and
when Ruth had put those on the table, and had counted
the seven people twice over, to be sure she made no mis-
take, then she stopped short and looked puzzled. But
Mrs. Sickles said,

‘Look in my basket, Ruth, among the legs of the
chickens’’—and there was a bundle of knives and forks
wrapped up in white paper. And Mrs. Broadaxe said
there were plates in her basket, under the pies, and
wanted to get up and look for them. But Ruth said,
‘“Q, please let me!” and began to unpack both baskets
directly.

There were the chickens; but as they were roasted
they were in no danger of getting away ; and there was
bread and butter, and two large pies, and a loaf of cake.
Mrs. Sickles had also brought potatoes, and they were
boiling merrily over the fire while Ruth set the table;
s0 there was quite a dinner,
CASPER. 123

Casper thought it was pleasure enough to sit and look
at his friends and hear them talk; but they made him
eat too. One of the wishbones was unfortunately broken
in the carving, but the other was laid up to dry; and
when it was dry enough Casper and Ruth took hold
of it.

“ Now, Casper, what do you wish?” said Ruth.

“We'll wait and see who gets the wish,” said
Casper.

They pulled the bone—it broke, and the longest piece
was in Ruth’s hand.

“ Now tell, Ruth,” said Casper.

“O, I wished to be very good,” said little Ruth.
“Mother says that’s almost the only wish that never
makes a mistake.”

“TY wonder if my wish made a mistake,” said Casper.
“T wanted to live somewhere else, only not in another
village.”

By this time Mr. Brodaxe had brought to view a
eee bag of chestnuts, 2d they all gathered round the

re.

“Now Mr. Broadaxe,” said Mr. Sickles, “you will
please to tell us a story.”

“A story!” said Mr. Broadaxe. “Why I couldn’t
tell about anything but squirrels, if I tried.”

“QO, that would be fine!” said Ruth and Casper, both
at once.

“Well,” said Mr. Broadaxe, “when I was out in the
woods getting these nuts, Isawared squirrel. I had
been up in the tree, beating off the nuts, and when I
came down I threw the burrs into a heap and began
to get out the chestnuts. Then came up my red
squirrel.”

“To get your nuts, Mr. Broadaxe ?”’ said Casper.

“For nothing else,” said the woodcutter. “I sat on
one side of the heap and he stood on the other, but he
was a little afraid to come too close,—so I threw a
124 CASPER.

chestnut every now and then over to where he
stood.”

“ And did he eat them as fast as you threw them, Mr.
Broadaxe ?”” said Ruth.

“Didn’t eat one of ’em,” said the woodcutter. “He
picked them up fast enough, and then off he jumped,
over the dry leaves and stones, to an old tree about
twenty feet oft. Then up the tree as quick as a thought,
and down into his hole; and then back for another
chestnut almost before it was ready for him.

‘But why didn’t he eat them at first ?” said Casper
“What made him take them all up into the tree ?”

“Why he wanted to put ’em away for winter,” said
Mr. Broadaxe,—“‘just as Ruth here will store that other
bag of nuts in her garret.”

“O, Mr. Broadaxe ! you're too good!” put in Ruth,—
“is all that bag of nuts for me?”

“T cut down an old tree once,” said the woodman,
smiling, “and there was a squirrel’s nest in it; but I
didn’t know that till I came to split up the tree. The
tree was hollow, and far down towards the root two red
squirrels had made a storehouse. There was a bushel
of hickory nuts, half a bushel of chestnuts, and some
handfuls of corn and pine cones.”’

“Did you take ’em away, Mr. Broadaxe?” said
Casper.

“No indeed,” said Mr. Broadaxe, “I felt almost like
a thief for having cut the tree down. So I did what I
could, and let it lie there till the squirrels had carried
off their property. Next day there wasn’t a nut left.
Mr. Sickles, you may tell a better story than that, but
you can’t tell a truer.”

“JTt’s your turn, ma’am,” said Mr. Sickles to Mrs.
Broadaxe.

“Mine!” said Mrs. Broadaxe. “ Dear me, Mr. Sickles,
I’ve no story to tell_—only I caught five mice in my
trap the last day I was home, and Winkie got into
CASPER. 12é

the dairy. I found her out by the cream on her
whiskers.”

Casper and Ruth laughed very much at that, and Mr.
Sickles said the cat ought to shave before she went
thieving. And then the idea of Winkie’s shaving was
so very funny, that the children laughed again —till the
tears came into their eyes.

“ Now Mrs. Sickles,” said the farmer, “ tell us a merry
story.”

“ Why I haven't any story to tell, either, I’m sure,”
said Mrs. Sickles. “There’s a whole brood of little
chickens at home, that have got no mother—but that’s
not worth telling about.”

“Q yes, Mrs. Sickles! Please do!” said’ Casper and
Ruth, both together.

“Tt’s such a merry story—’ added Mr. Sickles.

“Why, my dears,”’ said Mrs. Sickles, leaving her chair
and taking one by Casper and Ruth, “this old hen stole
her nest—”

“But if it was hers how could she steal it?” said
Casper.

‘T mean,”’ said Mrs. Sickles, “she stole away into the
grass aud made her nest; and laid ten eggs, and set
upon them for three weeks. And one morning when I
was sweeping off the doorstep, there came up this old
hen, and nine little chickens after her.”

“What became of the other egg ?” said Casper.

“T don’t know,” said Mrs. Sickles,—“it didn’t hatch
out. But the nine chicks grew nicely ; and then yester-
day a little red weasel came out of the woods, and chased
the old hen, and caught her by the neck and killed her.
And now the little chickens have no mother. But I put
them in a large basket in the kitchen, and I feed them
there, and sometimes I take them out into the sunshine.”

“JY should think they hadn’t got any mother!” said
Mr. Sickles, with a shake of his head. “Now Mrs,
Cheerful.”
126 | CASPER.

Mrs. Cheerful smiled.

“T saw a little boy once,” she said, “ that was left like
those little chickens ; but there seemed to be nobody to
take care of him, and this made him feel very miserable.
Yet all the while God remembered him, and watched
over him, and never Jet anything happen but for his
good. And God gave him friends ; and still he watches
the little boy every day, to see when he does right, and
when he does wrong, and still the Good Shepherd leads
him and takes care of him, though the little boy does
not always know it.”

“OQ, Mrs. Cheerful! ” said Casper ; and he got up from
the little carpet chair, and came and knelt down by her
and stroked her hand.

“Well,” said Mr. Sickles, “ my story is, that it’s time
to go home.”

Casper started, and looked up for a minute—then he
looked down again to Mrs. Cheerful’s hand. He couldn’t
help feeling a little miserable—he had been so happy
that day, and before that so long alone—and now to go
back and be alone again !—for of course Mrs. Broadaxe
couldn’t stay with him much longer.

“ What do you say, Casper ?” said Mr. Sickles. “Are
you ready ?”

“Yes sir,” said Casper, standingup. “Atleast Ill go
if Mrs. Broadaxe is ready.”

“Mrs. Broadaxe has nothing to do with it,” said Mr.
Sickles. “She’s going back into the forest. Ill take
you home.”

Casper said nothing, but his eyes went down again
and his lips trembled.

“QO, Mr. Sickles !”’ said his wife.

“Please !” said little Ruth, entreatingly.

“Well, well!” said Mr. Sickles, “do be easy, all of
you. I told your father, Casper, that I wanted an idle,
good-for-nothing little boy, to live with me up yonder on
the mountain—to feed chickens, and run after the dog,
CASPER. 127

¢at pumpkin pies, and such light work. And he said I
couldn’t find a better boy in those respects than your-
self. Whatdo you say to it?”

“May I live with you?” said Casper, his face very
grave and trembling. “ Did father say I might ?”

“Didn’t I say I was going to take you home 2” said
Mr. Sickles. “I am, anyway. Only ifyou don’t want
to go, [’'d rather you wouldn’t tell Mrs. Sickles.”

And Casper fairly sat down and cried—he was so

happy.

THE END.

Woodfall and Kinder, Printers, Milford Lane, Strand, London, W.C.



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redup
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redup
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describe
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redup
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'2012-04-26T12:37:51-04:00'
describe
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redup
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describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile103' 'sip-files00054.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
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'2012-04-26T12:44:14-04:00'
describe
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redup
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describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile105' 'sip-files00055.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
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describe
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redup
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describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile107' 'sip-files00056.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:45:02-04:00'
describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile108' 'sip-files00057.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
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'2012-04-26T12:44:24-04:00'
describe
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redup
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'2012-04-26T12:43:38-04:00'
describe
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redup
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redup
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describe
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redup
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'2012-04-26T12:44:15-04:00'
describe
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redup
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d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
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describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile113' 'sip-files00059.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
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'2012-04-26T12:37:41-04:00'
describe
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redup
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redup
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describe
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redup
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describe
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redup
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describe
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redup
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describe
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redup
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describe
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redup
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da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
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describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile120' 'sip-files00063.pro
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describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile121' 'sip-files00063.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
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describe
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redup
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describe
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redup
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d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
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describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile124' 'sip-files00065.pro
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'2012-04-26T12:40:42-04:00'
describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile125' 'sip-files00065.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:40-04:00'
describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile126' 'sip-files00066.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:47-04:00'
describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile127' 'sip-files00066.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:32-04:00'
describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile128' 'sip-files00067.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:18-04:00'
describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile129' 'sip-files00067.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:05-04:00'
describe
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redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile13' 'sip-files00009.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:50-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:49-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile130' 'sip-files00068.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:45:03-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:06-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile131' 'sip-files00068.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:08-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile132' 'sip-files00069.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:12-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:10-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile133' 'sip-files00069.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:20-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:11-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile134' 'sip-files00070.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:07-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:13-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile135' 'sip-files00070.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:15-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile136' 'sip-files00071.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:45:09-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:17-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile137' 'sip-files00071.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:19-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:18-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile138' 'sip-files00072.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:59-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:20-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile139' 'sip-files00072.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:12-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:22-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile14' 'sip-files00010.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:17-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:51-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile140' 'sip-files00073.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:34-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:24-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile141' 'sip-files00073.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:26-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile142' 'sip-files00074.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:27-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile143' 'sip-files00074.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:29-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile144' 'sip-files00075.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:31-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile145' 'sip-files00075.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:28-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:33-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile146' 'sip-files00076.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:47-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:35-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile147' 'sip-files00076.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:37-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:36-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile148' 'sip-files00077.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:51-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:38-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile149' 'sip-files00077.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:32-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:40-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile15' 'sip-files00010.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:45:12-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:52-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile150' 'sip-files00078.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:30-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:42-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile151' 'sip-files00078.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:35-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:44-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile152' 'sip-files00079.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:17-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:45-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile153' 'sip-files00079.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:47-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile154' 'sip-files00080.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:47-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:48-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile155' 'sip-files00080.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:34-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:50-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile156' 'sip-files00081.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:50-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:52-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile157' 'sip-files00081.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:52-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:55-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile158' 'sip-files00082.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:34-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:56-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile159' 'sip-files00082.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:11-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:33:58-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile16' 'sip-files00011.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:15-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:54-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile160' 'sip-files00083.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:00-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile161' 'sip-files00083.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:14-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:02-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile162' 'sip-files00084.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:03-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:03-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile163' 'sip-files00084.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:03-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:05-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile164' 'sip-files00085.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:45-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:07-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile165' 'sip-files00085.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:57-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:09-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile166' 'sip-files00086.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:23-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:10-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile167' 'sip-files00086.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:43-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:12-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile168' 'sip-files00087.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:14-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile169' 'sip-files00087.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:01-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:16-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile17' 'sip-files00011.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:56-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile170' 'sip-files00088.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:52-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:18-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile171' 'sip-files00088.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:13-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:19-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile172' 'sip-files00089.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:21-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile173' 'sip-files00089.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:50-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:23-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile174' 'sip-files00090.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:40-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:25-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile175' 'sip-files00090.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:52-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:26-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile176' 'sip-files00091.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:54-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:28-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile177' 'sip-files00091.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:44-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:30-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile178' 'sip-files00092.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:33-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:32-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile179' 'sip-files00092.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:53-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:33-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile18' 'sip-files00012.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:57-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile180' 'sip-files00093.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:12-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:35-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile181' 'sip-files00093.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:37-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile182' 'sip-files00094.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:30-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:39-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile183' 'sip-files00094.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:31-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:41-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile184' 'sip-files00095.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:49-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:43-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile185' 'sip-files00095.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:06-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:44-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile186' 'sip-files00096.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:46-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile187' 'sip-files00096.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:12-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:48-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile188' 'sip-files00097.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:51-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile189' 'sip-files00097.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:32-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:53-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile19' 'sip-files00012.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:34-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:59-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile190' 'sip-files00098.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:44-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:55-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile191' 'sip-files00098.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:26-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:34:58-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile192' 'sip-files00099.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:08-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:00-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile193' 'sip-files00099.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:23-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:02-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile194' 'sip-files00100.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:04-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile195' 'sip-files00100.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:12-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:06-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile196' 'sip-files00101.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:59-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:08-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile197' 'sip-files00101.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:12-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:10-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile198' 'sip-files00102.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:38-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:12-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile199' 'sip-files00102.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:22-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:15-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile2' 'sip-files00003.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:33-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:32-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile20' 'sip-files00013.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:01-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:01-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile200' 'sip-files00103.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:16-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile201' 'sip-files00103.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:04-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:18-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile202' 'sip-files00104.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:30-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:20-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile203' 'sip-files00104.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:06-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:22-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile204' 'sip-files00105.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:24-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile205' 'sip-files00105.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:28-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:26-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile206' 'sip-files00106.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:28-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile207' 'sip-files00106.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:04-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:31-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile208' 'sip-files00107.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:33-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile209' 'sip-files00107.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:47-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:35-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile21' 'sip-files00013.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:03-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile210' 'sip-files00108.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:38-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile211' 'sip-files00108.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:40-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile212' 'sip-files00109.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:42-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:42-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile213' 'sip-files00109.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:26-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:44-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile214' 'sip-files00110.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:51-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:46-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile215' 'sip-files00110.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:44-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:48-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile216' 'sip-files00111.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:05-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:50-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile217' 'sip-files00111.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:10-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:52-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile218' 'sip-files00112.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:49-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:54-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile219' 'sip-files00112.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:00-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:57-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile22' 'sip-files00014.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:43-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:04-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile220' 'sip-files00113.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:59-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:35:59-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile221' 'sip-files00113.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:52-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:01-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile222' 'sip-files00114.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:59-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:03-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile223' 'sip-files00114.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:06-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile224' 'sip-files00115.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:33-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:08-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile225' 'sip-files00115.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:19-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:10-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile226' 'sip-files00116.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:50-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:11-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile227' 'sip-files00116.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:13-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile228' 'sip-files00117.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:22-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:15-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile229' 'sip-files00117.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:56-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:17-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile23' 'sip-files00014.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:23-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:06-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile230' 'sip-files00118.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:41-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:19-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile231' 'sip-files00118.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:38-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:21-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile232' 'sip-files00119.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:05-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:23-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile233' 'sip-files00119.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:19-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:25-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile234' 'sip-files00120.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:27-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile235' 'sip-files00120.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:20-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:29-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile236' 'sip-files00121.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:03-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:31-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile237' 'sip-files00121.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:20-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:33-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile238' 'sip-files00122.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:45:01-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:35-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile239' 'sip-files00122.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:37-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile24' 'sip-files00015.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:26-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:08-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile240' 'sip-files00123.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:06-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:39-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile241' 'sip-files00123.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:41-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile242' 'sip-files00124.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:43-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile243' 'sip-files00124.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:05-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:45-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile244' 'sip-files00125.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:16-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:47-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile245' 'sip-files00125.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:49-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:50-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile246' 'sip-files00126.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:52-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile247' 'sip-files00126.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:54-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile248' 'sip-files00127.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:17-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:56-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile249' 'sip-files00127.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:26-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:36:58-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile25' 'sip-files00015.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:55-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:10-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile250' 'sip-files00128.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:37:00-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile251' 'sip-files00128.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:41-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:37:02-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile252' 'sip-files00129.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:14-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:37:04-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile253' 'sip-files00129.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:37:06-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile254' 'sip-files00130.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:37:08-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile255' 'sip-files00130.txt'
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:38-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:37:10-04:00'
redup
WARNING CODE 'Daitss::Anomaly' Zero-length file
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile26' 'sip-files00016.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:12-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile27' 'sip-files00016.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:43-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:13-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile28' 'sip-files00017.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:15-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile29' 'sip-files00017.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:55-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:17-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile3' 'sip-files00003.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:15-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:33-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile30' 'sip-files00018.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:37-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:18-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile31' 'sip-files00018.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:51-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:20-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile32' 'sip-files00019.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:23-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile33' 'sip-files00019.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:04-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:25-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile34' 'sip-files00020.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:19-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:26-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile35' 'sip-files00020.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:13-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:28-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile36' 'sip-files00021.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:36-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:29-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile37' 'sip-files00021.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:57-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:31-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile38' 'sip-files00022.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:32-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile39' 'sip-files00022.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:55-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:34-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile4' 'sip-files00004.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:48-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:35-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile40' 'sip-files00023.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:34-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:36-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile41' 'sip-files00023.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:25-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:37-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile42' 'sip-files00024.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:23-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:39-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile43' 'sip-files00024.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:02-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:40-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile44' 'sip-files00025.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:08-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:42-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile45' 'sip-files00025.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:39-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:43-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile46' 'sip-files00026.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:33-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:45-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile47' 'sip-files00026.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:50-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:46-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile48' 'sip-files00027.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:40-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:48-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile49' 'sip-files00027.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:50-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile5' 'sip-files00005.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:59-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:37-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile50' 'sip-files00028.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:18-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:51-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile51' 'sip-files00028.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:04-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:53-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile52' 'sip-files00029.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:33-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:54-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile53' 'sip-files00029.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:56-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile54' 'sip-files00030.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:25-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:57-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile55' 'sip-files00030.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:41-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:30:59-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile56' 'sip-files00031.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:01-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile57' 'sip-files00031.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:02-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile58' 'sip-files00032.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:04-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile59' 'sip-files00032.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:06-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile6' 'sip-files00006.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:27-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:38-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile60' 'sip-files00033.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:07-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile61' 'sip-files00033.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:09-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile62' 'sip-files00034.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:36-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:10-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile63' 'sip-files00034.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:12-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile64' 'sip-files00035.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:21-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:14-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile65' 'sip-files00035.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:24-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:15-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile66' 'sip-files00036.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:14-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:17-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile67' 'sip-files00036.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:32-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:19-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile68' 'sip-files00037.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:21-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile69' 'sip-files00037.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:22-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile7' 'sip-files00006.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:40-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile70' 'sip-files00038.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:20-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:24-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile71' 'sip-files00038.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:39:57-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:25-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile72' 'sip-files00039.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:27-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile73' 'sip-files00039.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:21-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:28-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile74' 'sip-files00040.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:06-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:30-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile75' 'sip-files00040.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:17-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:32-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile76' 'sip-files00041.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:37:56-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:33-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile77' 'sip-files00041.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:01-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:35-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile78' 'sip-files00042.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:59-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:37-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile79' 'sip-files00042.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:38-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile8' 'sip-files00007.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:41-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile80' 'sip-files00043.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:48-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:40-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile81' 'sip-files00043.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:41-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile82' 'sip-files00044.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:43-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile83' 'sip-files00044.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:45-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile84' 'sip-files00045.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:29-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:46-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile85' 'sip-files00045.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:48-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile86' 'sip-files00046.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:10-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:49-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile87' 'sip-files00046.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:43:20-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:51-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile88' 'sip-files00047.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:53-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile89' 'sip-files00047.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:54-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile9' 'sip-files00007.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:42:52-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:29:42-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile90' 'sip-files00048.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:16-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:56-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile91' 'sip-files00048.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:41:30-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:58-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile92' 'sip-files00049.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:31:59-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile93' 'sip-files00049.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:45:10-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:32:01-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile94' 'sip-files00050.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:32:03-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile95' 'sip-files00050.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:34-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:32:05-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile96' 'sip-files00051.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:39-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:32:07-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile97' 'sip-files00051.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:44:29-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:32:09-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile98' 'sip-files00052.pro
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:38:44-04:00'
describe
'2012-04-26T12:32:11-04:00'
redup
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfile99' 'sip-files00052.txt
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
describe
'2012-04-26T12:32:13-04:00'
redup
'179365' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABUID' 'sip-files00012.QC.jpg'
ebf658fa417c4e7ace1c30fe233bce6a
575c2c89ac79f4feac55fc20c0e980e384a5f6d4
'2012-04-26T12:39:55-04:00'
describe
'900415' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABUIE' 'sip-files00012.jp2'
e60b15f2178eab863c67a6ad2df9c1ba
287c2ae32974a67e50ace7e1f6305c1e988c46c0
'2012-04-26T12:38:33-04:00'
describe
'576584' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABUIF' 'sip-files00013.jpg'
6a108ed6c775eed2c0e65266eaa12c6f
443ec30efb2d15cd4ab45d21e56626285f04b2e5
'2012-04-26T12:44:18-04:00'
describe
'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABUIG' 'sip-files00001.pro'
d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709
'2012-04-26T12:40:06-04:00'
describe
'25145744' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABUIH' 'sip-files00001.tif'
8778a954d2a381b69484a97a3e5255a7
837b90d842351764c588ce1866e1bdd428e68ce9
'2012-04-26T12:42:15-04:00'
describe
'59' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABUII' 'sip-files00001.txt'
e0fc33f0758266833fc0b47609756a1b
5042fc6f545463baac8287b1f8999e1b68ac7781
'2012-04-26T12:45:11-04:00'
describe
'56740' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABUIJ' 'sip-files00013thm.jpg'
3c732156edfcb937a9fe8bf07cad78ce
15f8aedc9d0ab81d55dce6c33546c42d454307ca
describe
'182470' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABUIK' 'sip-files00013.QC.jpg'
74a99ece8bc1cc6d3fa5583a933bc7ff
0b918b26e37b2457b93084bb73153ca7641c8a09
'2012-04-26T12:37:28-04:00'
describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
'7046424' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVBV' 'sip-files00121.tif'
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describe
'55505' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVBW' 'sip-files00109thm.jpg'
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describe
'178942' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVBX' 'sip-files00109.QC.jpg'
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describe
'882738' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVBY' 'sip-files00109.jp2'
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describe
'6882828' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVBZ' 'sip-files00122.tif'
c90ac622107fce0077f679601b243768
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'2012-04-26T12:43:25-04:00'
describe
'571384' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCA' 'sip-files00110.jpg'
2b38fdb0a35d9dde7117a4090efc7f1c
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describe
'58173' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCB' 'sip-files00110thm.jpg'
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describe
'180417' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCC' 'sip-files00110.QC.jpg'
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describe
'7127064' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCD' 'sip-files00123.tif'
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describe
'864145' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCE' 'sip-files00110.jp2'
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describe
'533787' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCF' 'sip-files00111.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:41:08-04:00'
describe
'52451' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCG' 'sip-files00111thm.jpg'
c4d85fa0f100c78fcff5c54feb6895e7
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describe
'955116' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCH' 'sip-files00111.jp2'
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describe
'7503856' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCI' 'sip-files00124.tif'
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'2012-04-26T12:38:06-04:00'
describe
'168740' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCJ' 'sip-files00111.QC.jpg'
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describe
'499242' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCK' 'sip-files00112.jpg'
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describe
'52884' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCL' 'sip-files00112thm.jpg'
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describe
'7654360' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCM' 'sip-files00125.tif'
1e90a0541029c11bdb6cbca2cff3d6eb
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'2012-04-26T12:41:29-04:00'
describe
'157324' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCN' 'sip-files00112.QC.jpg'
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describe
'850753' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCO' 'sip-files00112.jp2'
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describe
'588066' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCP' 'sip-files00113.jpg'
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describe
'6832652' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCQ' 'sip-files00126.tif'
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'2012-04-26T12:42:55-04:00'
describe
'57658' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCR' 'sip-files00113thm.jpg'
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describe
'188350' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCS' 'sip-files00113.QC.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:39:00-04:00'
describe
'871646' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCT' 'sip-files00113.jp2'
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'2012-04-26T12:39:27-04:00'
describe
'7061268' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCU' 'sip-files00127.tif'
f1882e1ff9773fd83ea5d6f6867468d5
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describe
'597185' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCV' 'sip-files00114.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:39:34-04:00'
describe
'56606' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCW' 'sip-files00114thm.jpg'
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describe
'186989' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCX' 'sip-files00114.QC.jpg'
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describe
'7503836' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCY' 'sip-files00128.tif'
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'2012-04-26T12:42:38-04:00'
describe
'884145' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVCZ' 'sip-files00114.jp2'
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describe
'511208' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDA' 'sip-files00115.jpg'
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describe
'48165' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDB' 'sip-files00115thm.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:38:53-04:00'
describe
'949775' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDC' 'sip-files00115.jp2'
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describe
'7057876' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDD' 'sip-files00129.tif'
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'2012-04-26T12:42:09-04:00'
describe
'156078' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDE' 'sip-files00115.QC.jpg'
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describe
'589628' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDF' 'sip-files00116.jpg'
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describe
'57179' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDG' 'sip-files00116thm.jpg'
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describe
'6868692' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDH' 'sip-files00130.tif'
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describe
'187528' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDI' 'sip-files00116.QC.jpg'
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describe
'879741' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDJ' 'sip-files00116.jp2'
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describe
'594548' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDK' 'sip-files00117.jpg'
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describe
'13533' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDL' 'sip-files00131.pro'
ff1a09e813afc801d5ef88646af510b5
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'2012-04-26T12:42:04-04:00'
describe
'6930344' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDM' 'sip-files00131.tif'
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'2012-04-26T12:38:08-04:00'
describe
'675' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDN' 'sip-files00131.txt'
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describe
'56862' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDO' 'sip-files00117thm.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:42:45-04:00'
describe
'189098' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDP' 'sip-files00117.QC.jpg'
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describe
'876506' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDQ' 'sip-files00117.jp2'
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describe
'366' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDR' 'sip-files00132.pro'
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describe
'7498824' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDS' 'sip-files00132.tif'
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describe
'174' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDT' 'sip-files00132.txt'
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describe
'556881' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDU' 'sip-files00118.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:38:23-04:00'
describe
'55771' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDV' 'sip-files00118thm.jpg'
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describe
'173965' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDW' 'sip-files00118.QC.jpg'
cf3fde20179ab0ed951b43ea9f89a08f
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'2012-04-26T12:40:13-04:00'
describe
'266' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDX' 'sip-files00133.pro'
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describe
'23954204' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDY' 'sip-files00133.tif'
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describe
'70' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVDZ' 'sip-files00133.txt'
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describe
'860874' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEA' 'sip-files00118.jp2'
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'2012-04-26T12:44:25-04:00'
describe
'493997' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEB' 'sip-files00119.jpg'
bcf82f934024bef6ec51228775897c0e
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describe
'47189' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEC' 'sip-files00119thm.jpg'
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describe
'879679' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVED' 'sip-files00119.jp2'
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'2012-04-26T12:39:40-04:00'
describe
'1955' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEE' 'sip-files00134.pro'
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describe
'24056324' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEF' 'sip-files00134.tif'
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describe
'339' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEG' 'sip-files00134.txt'
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describe
'153309' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEH' 'sip-files00119.QC.jpg'
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describe
'544613' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEI' 'sip-files00120.jpg'
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describe
'57688' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEJ' 'sip-files00120thm.jpg'
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describe
'748' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEK' 'sip-files00135.pro'
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describe
'5255360' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEL' 'sip-files00135.tif'
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'2012-04-26T12:41:40-04:00'
describe
'181' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEM' 'sip-files00135.txt'
f36dd9cf844bf5f2d27851f329fe732f
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describe
Invalid character
'173213' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEN' 'sip-files00120.QC.jpg'
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describe
'847738' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEO' 'sip-files00120.jp2'
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'2012-04-26T12:40:28-04:00'
describe
'555391' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEP' 'sip-files00121.jpg'
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describe
'54737' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEQ' 'sip-files00121thm.jpg'
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describe
'176233' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVER' 'sip-files00121.QC.jpg'
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describe
'879153' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVES' 'sip-files00121.jp2'
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describe
'527205' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVET' 'sip-files00122.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:37:42-04:00'
describe
'56210' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEU' 'sip-files00122thm.jpg'
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describe
'166737' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEV' 'sip-files00122.QC.jpg'
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describe
'858754' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEW' 'sip-files00122.jp2'
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describe
'595921' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEX' 'sip-files00123.jpg'
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describe
'917914' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEY' 'sip-files00001.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:41:01-04:00'
describe
'70702' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVEZ' 'sip-files00001thm.jpg'
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describe
'250316' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVFA' 'sip-files00001.QC.jpg'
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describe
'1046881' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVFB' 'sip-files00001.jp2'
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describe
'463164' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVFC' 'sip-files00002.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:38:31-04:00'
describe
'41984' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVFD' 'sip-files00002thm.jpg'
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'2012-04-26T12:38:58-04:00'
describe
'135445' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVFE' 'sip-files00002.QC.jpg'
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describe
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describe
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describe
'42121' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVFH' 'sip-files00003thm.jpg'
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describe
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describe
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'2012-04-26T12:41:46-04:00'
describe
'711141' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVFK' 'sip-files00004.jpg'
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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'2012-04-26T12:42:02-04:00'
describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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'2012-04-26T12:44:13-04:00'
describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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'2012-04-26T12:37:48-04:00'
describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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'2012-04-26T12:41:54-04:00'
describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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describe
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33a0c2fcdeebe25f1683c82eb6af5214d35e782a
describe
'158701' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVIR' 'sip-filesUF00028186_00001.mets'
218a3b47fc2ce13122662c4354d72113
78cb4046e9b202ecfb7d1225555cc86064d5e884
describe
TargetNamespace.1: Expecting namespace 'http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/', but the target namespace of the schema document is 'http://digital.uflib.ufl.edu/metadata/ufdc2/'.
'2013-12-11T05:29:26-05:00' 'mixed'
xml resolution
http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/ufdc2.xsdhttp://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema
BROKEN_LINK http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/ufdc2.xsd
http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema
The element type "div" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "
".
TargetNamespace.1: Expecting namespace 'http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/', but the target namespace of the schema document is 'http://digital.uflib.ufl.edu/metadata/ufdc2/'.
'203830' 'info:fdaE20091111_AAAAATfileF20091111_AABVIU' 'sip-filesUF00028186_00001.xml'
d416b1f240ac14141c9efc6ba0c69ecb
1fa67b7a6f2a5b16a6f8d372847e1b027fe51778
describe
TargetNamespace.1: Expecting namespace 'http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/', but the target namespace of the schema document is 'http://digital.uflib.ufl.edu/metadata/ufdc2/'.
'2013-12-11T05:29:27-05:00'
xml resolution
http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/ufdc2.xsd
http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/ufdc2.xsd
The element type "div" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "".
TargetNamespace.1: Expecting namespace 'http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/', but the target namespace of the schema document is 'http://digital.uflib.ufl.edu/metadata/ufdc2/'.