The Baldwin Ubray
Pm I Uf
DAPH ON BOARD THE MARY JANE
A iL -I
DAPH AND HER CHARGE
LUPI'OY ~ k\.HUI Ni
- ~ /'tsz" .A'4 i
BABES IN THE BASKET;
DAPH AND HER CHARGE.
BI' TIE A UTGIOR OF
'TIMID LUCY," "H HEART AND HANDD" ETC
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH; ANTD NEW YORK.
"L ..w '-s'~-r
I. THE MOONLIGHT VISITOR, ..
II. THE MARTHA JANE," ... ..
[II. THE WATER-LILY, ... ... ... ... ...
IV. THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS, ...
V. DAPH'S SHOPPING, ...
VI. CLOUDS, ... ... ... ... ... ...
VII. A NEW PATH, ... ... ...
VIII. NEWS, ...... ...
IX. A MINISTERING SPIRIT, ... ... ...
X. STRANGE PROCEEDINGS, ... ... ...
XI. ANOTHER FRIEND,...
XII. HOME SCENES, ... ... .. ...
XIII. MARY RAY ... ... ... ... ... ...
XIV. THE BASKET OVERTURNED, ... ...
XV. THE END, ... ... ... ... ... ...
... ... 10
... ... 21
... ... 32
... ... 53
... ... 62
... ... 73
... ... 82
... ... 106
... ... 113
. ... 118
THE BABES IN THE BASKET.
THE MOONLIGHT VISITOR.
S9l E evening air stole gently into a quiet
oom in a West Indian island more than
'- :ixty years ago.
,"N\i'-. There were no casements in the wide
j windows; the heavy shutters were thrown
back, and the moonlight poured, in long, unbroken
streams, across the polished, uncarpeted floor.
Within the large pleasant room two children
were sleeping in their curtained beds, like birds
in pretty cages.
Suddenly there was a cautious tread in the
hall, and then a strange figure stood silently in
the moonlight. Without candle or taper might
have been plainly seen the short strongly-built
woman, whose black face and gay turban formed
THE MOONLIGHT VISITOR.
a striking contrast to the fair children in their
loose white night-dresses.
Who was that dark intruder, and what was
her secret errand in that quiet room?
It was Daph, black Daph; and when you have
heard more about her, you can better judge
whether she came as a friend or an enemy to the
sleeping children of her master.
The large mirror, bright in the moonlight,
seemed to have an irresistible attraction for the
negress, and the sight of her black face fully re-
flected there made her show her white teeth in a
grin of decided approval. The pleased expression,
however, disappeared, almost instantly, as she said
impatiently, "Foolish darkie, spending' dese pre-
cious time looking at your own ugly face !"
At this whispered exclamation the children
stirred uneasily. "If I mus, I mus !" said Daph
resolutely, as she drew from her pocket a box
containing two small pills. With the pills in her
hand she approached the bedside of the little girl,
who was now half sitting up, and looking 'at Daph
with the bewildered expression of one suddenly
aroused from sleep.
Daph put aside the mosquito bar, and said coax-
ingly, Take dis, Miss Lou, quick as you can,
and don't go for waking Mass Charlie, asleep da
in dat beauty bed of h's."
Daph had slipped the pill into a juicy bit of
THE MOONLIGHT VISITOR.
pine-apple, which she seemed to have had ready
for the purpose, and the child instantly swallowed
it. With one trustful, pleasant glance from her
large, blue eyes, the fair-haired little girl sank back
on her pillow, and was soon in the sweet sleep of
As soon as Daph saw the small, slender hands
lie open and relaxed, she closed the gauze-like
curtains, and stole to the cradle-bed of the little
boy. She raised his head gently on her arm, and
placed in his mouth a bit of the same juicy fruit
she had given his sister, containing another of
those hidden pills which she seemed so anxious to
administer. The child did not wake, but the
sweet morsel was pleasant to his taste, and no
doubt mingled in his baby-dreams of the joys of
the pleasant world in which he had passed but
little more than a twelvemonth.
Daph now set to work busily to fill a huge
basket, which she brought from some place of
deposit near at hand. The drawers of the bureau
and the contents of the elegant dressing-case she
thoroughly overhauled, making such selections as
seemed to please her fancy, and being withal
somewhat dainty in her choice. Children's cloth-
ing, of the.finest and best, formed the lowest layer
in the basket; then followed a sprinkling of rings
and necklaces, interspersed with the choice furni-
ture of the rich dressing-case. Over all was placed
THE MOONLIGHT VISITUR.
IN TIHE BED-ROOM.
a large light shawl, with its many soft folds; and
then Daph viewed the success of her packing with
Quietly and stealthily she approached the bed,
where the little girl was sleeping so soundly, that
she did not wake even when Daph lifted her in
her strong arms, and laid her gently in the great
basket-the choicest treasure of all. In another
moment the plump, rosy boy was lying with his
THE MOONLIGHT VISITOR.
fairy-like sister, in that strange resting-place.
Daph looked at them, as they lay side by side,
and a tear rolled over her dark cheeks, and, as it
fell, sparkled in the moonlight.
The negress had taken up a white cloth, and was
- in the act of throwing it over the basket, when a
small book with golden clasps suddenly caught
her eye. Rolling it quickly in a soft, rich veil,
she placed it between the children, and her task
It was but the work of a moment to fasten on
the cloth covering with a stout string; then, with
one strong effort, Daph stooped, took the basket
on her head, and went forth from the door with
as stately a step as if she wore a crown.
^ ,? ',- ~ -*!-
I- ____ -
THE "MARTHA JANE."
HERE was the bustle of departure on
4); I1...:iid a Yankee schooner, which some
"I''1 "-"- of gain had brought to the southern
J' b i-l:,-,d named in our last chapter. The
Irc, and favourable breeze hurried the
preparations of the sailors, as they moved about
full of glad thoughts of return to their distant home.
The boat, which had been sent ashore for some
needful supplies, was fast approaching the vessel,
and in it, among the rough tars, was Daph, her
precious basket at her side, and her bright eyes
passing from face to face, with an eager, wistful
glance, that seemed trying to read the secrets of
Here go ahead, woman I'll hand up your
chickens," said one of the sailors, as they reached
the anchored schooner.
"I keeps my chickens to myself," said Daph,
.as she placed the basket on her head, and went
THE MARTHA JANE."
up the side of the vessel as steadily and securely
as the oldest tar of all.
As soon as she set her foot on deck, the sailors
thronged around her, offering to take her chickens
from her at her own price, and passing their rough
jokes on her stout figure and shining black face.
One young sailor, bolder than the rest, laid his
hand on the basket, and had well-nigh torn away
its cover. The joke might have proved a danger-
ous one for him. A blow from Daph's strong arm
sent him staggering backwards; and in another
moment the negress had seized an oar, and was
brandishing it round her head, threatening with
destruction any one who should dare to touch her
property, and declaring that with the captain, and
with him alone, would she treat for the chickens,
about which so much had been said.
Cap'in," said she, as a tall, firmly-knit man
drew near the scene of the disturbance-" Cap'in,
it's you, sah, I wants to speak wid, and just you
by yourself, away from these fellows, who don't
know how to treat a 'spectable darkie, who be-
longs to the greatest gentleman in the island.
Let me see you in your little cubby there, and if
you have an heart in you we'll make a bargain."
There was something so earnest in the woman's
manner, that Captain Jones at once consented to
her odd request, smiling at himself as he did so.
A kind of temporary cabin had been put up on
THE MARTHA JANE."
deck, for the protection of the captain from the
hot rays of the Southern sun. It was but a rude
framework, covered with sail-cloth; and yet, when
the canvas door was closed, it formed a pleasant
and cool place of retirement for an afternoon nap,
or for the transaction of private business.
To that spot Daph followed the captain, her
basket on her head, and her firm step and conse-
quential air seeming to say to the sailors,-" You
see, your captain knows better than you do how
to treat such a person as I am."
When they were once within the little inclosure,
Daph's manner changed. She put down her pre-
cious basket, and looking the captain directly in
the eye, she said solemnly, Cap'in, would you
see a man t _l .1- for his life in de deep water,
outside da, and nebber lift your hand to save him ?
Would you see a house on fire, and sweet baby-
children burning in it, and just look on to see de
awsome blaze, and nebber stir to save de dear
babies ? Cap'in, I'se brought you a good work to
do. Dey say de great Lord blesses dem dat cares
for little children, and gives dem a good seat in
heaven. Swear by de great Lord you won't tell
de dreadsome secret I'se going to tell you! Swear!
-time is short !"
The kind-hearted captain was impressed by the
earnest manner of the woman, and not a little
curious to hear the secret that seemed to fill her
THE MARTHA JANE."
with such strong feeling. "I swear !" said he
simply; go on."
De darkies in dis island," said Daph, slowly-
" de darkies are crazy for de blood of deir masters.
Poor, wicked fools Dey means to have enough of
R it to-night! By to-morrow morning de white faces
on dis coast will ebery one be white wid de death-
whiteness Old folks and little children--dey
mean to kill dem all! Dey told Daph deir secret,
as if dey thought she was all black, inside and out.
De Lord forgib Daph dat she did not strike dem
down where dey stood showing deir teeth, at the
thought of living in master's house, and he cold
in de grave! Dear massa and missus are up in
de country, and Daph couldn't get word to dem,
but something in here said, 'You can save the
sweet babies, Daph ;' so I made as if I was ready
to kill dose I loves de best, and set to work a-con-
triving how a poor, foolish darkie could save dose
sweet lambs. Your men was always glad to take
Daph's chickens, and so de way seemed open.
I'se put my darlings in de basket, and here dey
are for you to take care ob for de Lord, and he'll
reckon wid you for it. It ain't likely dey'll have
any friends to stand by dem, and thank ye for it,
'cept one poor darkie named Daph !"
In a twinkling Daph had torn off the cover of
the basket, and there lay the sleeping children,
calm and still as if on their mother's bosom.
THE "MARTHA JANE."
"Dey do breave, de sweet dears!" said Daph,
as she bent tenderly over them.
Great tears fell from the eyes of honest Captain
Jones. He was an old sailor, but to salt water in
this form he had long been a stranger. He tried
to speak, but the voice that had been heard above
IN THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN.
the tumult of many a storm was now choked and
husky. In an instant he regained his self-com-
mand, and said, "You have found the right man,
Daph! No harm shall come to them so long as
my name is Jeremiah Jones! The Martha Jane
can skim the water like a wild duck, and will be
THE MARTHA JANE."
off towards a better country before ten minutes
The words were hardly out of Captain Jones's
mouth, before he left his tent-like cabin, and in a
moment he was heard giving orders for instant
The energy that had borne Daph through her
hour of trial seemed to desert her, now that her
object was attained, and she sank down beside the
little ones, sobbing like a child. She felt herself
a poor, helpless, ignorant creature, going she knew
not whither, and having assumed a charge she
knew not how to fulfil.
"De great Lord, dat missus loves, can take care
of us thought the humble negro; "he can give
poor Daph sense to mind de babies !"
In her ignorance she knew not how to pray,
but she leaned in simple faith upon the only Source
of strength, and found consolation.
In a half-hour after the arrival of Daph on
board the Martha Jane, the trim little vessel was
speeding on her homeward course.
Captain Jones walked the deck in deep medita-
tion, while from their various positions his crew
watched him with curious glances. The sailors
well knew that Daph was still on board, but no
one had dared to question the captain's orders for
putting instantly out to sea.
Jeremiah Jones was a thorough republican
THE MARTHA JANE."
when at home in good old Massachusetts; but
once on board the Martha Jane, he ruled with
the despotic power of the Emperor of all the
Russias. His crew were accustomed to submis-
sion, and murmuring was never heard among
them. They had indeed no cause for discontent,
for Captain Jones was just, kind-hearted, and
high-principled, and he ruled wisely his little
The good captain had acted upon a sudden im-
pulse, for promptness was required; but now came
a time for sober reflection.
"If the darkie has not told the truth," so rea-
soned he, "what has Jeremiah Jones been doing?
He has kidnapped a valuable servant and carried
off two children, belonging to a man who has the
power and wealth to make said Jeremiah suffer
for his madness. The thing has been done pub-
licly, and these fellows of mine may think it for
their interest to deliver me up, as soon as I set
foot in old Boston !"
These meditations did not seem to increase the
peace of mind of the worthy New Englander. He
walked the deck impatiently for a few minutes,
and then drew near the objects of his anxious
He put aside the canvas curtain, and stood for
a moment in the clear moonlight watching the
sleepers. Daph had thrown her arm protectingly
THE MARTHA JANE.
around the basket, and curled about it, as if con-
scious of her charge even in the deep slumber
into which she had fallen. That long, earnest
look set the perturbed mind of the captain at rest,
and again the unwonted tears filled his large gray
A state of indecision could not last long in
such a mind as that of Captain Jones, and his
usually prompt, authoritative manner suddenly
returned to him. He seized a trumpet, and gave
a shout of "All hands on deck," which soon brought
his eager crew about him.
In a few words he'told Daph's fearful story,
and then throwing aside the awning, he exposed
to view the sleeping forms of the negro and the
little ones, as he said:-
"I have pledged myself to be a friend to those
whom God has sent me to take care of, my men;
but if there is one among you who doubts that
faithful creature's story, or who is afraid to lend
a hand to save those sweet throats from the mur-
dering knives of those black rascals on shore, let
him stand out here and speak for himself. Let
him take a boat and put out for the island while
it is yet in sight. We don't want him here. He
shall have his wages and bounty too, for the
master he serves is likely to give him little com-
fort in the long-run. Speak out, men, will you
stand by me, or will you go ashore ?"
THE "MARTHA JANE."
Every voice joined in the hearty cheer with
which the captain's words were received. Rough
hands were stretched out towards him, and he re-
sponded to their warm grasp with a hearty shake,
as one by one the men came up to give him this
token of their determination to help him in the
good deed he had begun.
The cheer that was so welcome to the ear of
Captain Jones had quite a different effect upon
poor Daph. She sprang to her feet in wild alarm,
and placing herself in front of her darlings, stood
ready to do battle in their behalf.
The men drew back, and Captain Jones has-
tened to explain to Daph the hearty expression of
good-will towards her, which had risen spontane-
ously from the crew of the Martha Jane.
Daph's apprehensions were soon quieted, and,
at the suggestion of the captain, she prepared to
remove her darlings from their strange resting-
place to one of the small state-rooms below.
The children did not wake while she laid them
gently in the berth, and stretched herself beside
them on the floor. Daph began to be troubled
at the soundness of their long-continued sleep.
She raised herself, and crouching near them, she
watched them with ever-increasing uneasiness.
Captain Jones was on deck, giving a last look
to see that all was right before retiring for the
night, when Daph came hastily up to him, and
THE MARTHA JANE."
laying her hand beseechingly on his arm, she
0 Cap'in! I'se a-feard I'se just killed my
pretty ones! dey do sleep so. Dem was such
little pills, dey didn't seem as if dey could be so
"Pills!" said the captain, with a start; "what
have you given them ?"
"I jus don't know myself," said Daph despe-
rately. "Daph had de ear-ache mighty bad last
week, and missus, dear creeter-she was always
so kind-she gibs me two little pills, and she says,
'Here, Daph, you take dese when you goes to bed,
and you will sleep so sound de pain will all go
'way!' I says, 'Tank'ee, missus,' of course, and she
goes up to de house quite satisfied. Daph nebber
did take no doctor's stuff, so I puts de little pills
in my pocket, and just roasts an orange soft, and
ties it warm outside my ear, and goes to bed and
sleeps like a lizard. Now, when I thinks of put-
ting de children in de basket, something says to
me, 'You gib dem dose little pills, Daph, dey'll
make 'em sleep sound enough. So I'se just did
like a poor, foolish darkie." Here Daph began to
Captain Jones went immediately to the cabin.
The natural colour and healthy breathing of the
little sleepers soon assured him that all was right.
"Courage, old girl !" said the captain cheerily.
THE MARTHA JANE."
"Turn in yourself, and I'll warrant you the
youngsters will be none the worse for your doc-
Thus consoled, Daph lay down again beside
her charge; and the silence of deep sleep soon pre-
vailed, not only in the little state-room, but
throughout the Martha Jane, save when the
measured steps of the watch sounded out through
the stillness of the night.
-A *T sunrise, the morning after she set sail,
the Martha Jane was dancing over the
1 waves, far out of sight of mainland or
) :>'' island.
'. Daph was an early riser, and in the
gray dawn she bestirred herself with
her usual waking thought-" This is a busy world,
and Daph must be up and at work." Her first
glance around showed her that she was not in the
Southern kitchen which had so long been her
domain, and a merry sound near her reminded
her of the new duties she had undertaken.
Charlie was sitting up in the berth, his bright
black eyes sparkling with delight at the new scene
in which he found himself.
Pretty, pretty little bed!" were the first words
that met Daph's ear. The hearty hug with which
she responded to this pleasant greeting, and the
consequent laugh of the child, roused his fair sister.
Louise started up, and looked wildly around her.
"Where are we, Daffy? she asked anxiously.
"We's just on board a beauty ship, a-going to
see pretty countries over the water," said Daph,
"But why do we go ?" urged the child, by no
"'Cause, 'cause," said Daph, "'cause de great
Lord tinks it best."
The face of little Louise instantly took a
sobered and submissive expression, and she said
quietly, Well, Daffy, Lou will try to be a good
girl; where's Dinah ?"
I'se to be nurse now, Miss Lou," answered
Oh how nice No cross Dinah any more!"
exclaimed the little girl, clapping her hands with
very great delight.
Charlie thought proper to clap his hands too,
and to cry out boisterously, "Caky caky "-a
cry which Daph well understood, and for which
she was amply prepared.
She drew from one of her huge pockets some
cakes for the children, and then they all three be-
gan to chat as pleasantly as if they were at their
favourite resort, under the old tree that grew in
front of Daph's Southern kitchen.
Daph found it a difficult business to dress her
young master and mistress; but Louise was a help-
ful little creature, and was of great assistance in
enabling the new nurse to select the suitable
garments from the store that had been hastily
thrust into the great basket.
It was an easy matter to comb Louise's soft,
straight, golden hair off her fair forehead, but it
was another thing to deal with Master Charlie's
mop of short, chestnut curls. The new bond
between Daph and the sturdy boy had well-nigh
been broken, by the smart pulls she gave in the
course of her unskilful efforts.
When Captain Jones came into the cabin after
his usual round on deck in the morning, he was
greeted by the sound of merry young voices,
which struck strangely on his ear.
Daph gave one peep from the state-room, to be
sure who was near at hand, and then leading out
the children, she bade them go right to the very
kindest gentleman that anybody ever had for a
Charlie put out his arms towards the honest
captain, who took the little fellow warmly to his
Louise held on to Daph's apron with one hand,
and the other she put out timidly towards her
That small, soft, gentle hand was placed in the
hard, dark palm of the captain quietly, as a flower
might fall on a wayside path. Captain Jones
bent tenderly down to the fair, slender child, and
kissed her smooth forehead. She loosened her
hold of Daph and nestled at his side. Again
those stranger-tears filled the captain's eyes; but he
did not look the worse for them, or for the kindly
smile that beamed from his frank sunburnt face.
An odd-looking party sat round the breakfast
table in the cabin that morning. Captain Jones
was at the head, with Charlie on his knee;
opposite him was perched the little Louise; while
the weather-browned faces of the mates appeared
at the sides.
Daph had claimed the privilege of milking Pas-
senger, the cow, which Captain Jones had taken
with him on many voyages, and on which he had
lavished much of the surplus affection of his
Passenger would have found out that she had
powerful rivals, if she could have seen Charlie
enjoying his cup of fresh milk on the captain's
knee, and Louise looking at him with mild, trust-
ful glances, that went right to his heart.
Daph saw all this, if Passenger did not, and,
with her white teeth in full sight, she moved
round the table, in the position of waiter, which
she had assumed to keep her darlings in view,
and to have a care that their new friends, in
their abundant kindness, did not feed them too
freely with sailors' fare.
That was a happy day to the children, that
first day on board the Martha Jane; and the
captain prophesied that Charlie would "stand the
sea like an old salt," and Louise would be as
much at home on it as the Martha Jane herself.
There had been a fresh breeze all day, but to-
wards evening the wind grew stronger, and Daph
would have found it hard to carry even a trifle on
that head of hers, which had so steadily borne
many a heavy burden. She began, also, to ex-
perience certain strange internal sensations for
which she could not account; but the faithful
creature bore up without a complaint, though she
staggered to and fro in a way which made the
rough sailors laugh merrily at her expense.
Poor Daph! Such sufferings as hers could
not long be kept secret. Through the livelong
night she lay in the anguish of sea-sickness, which
can only be appreciated by those who have ex-
perienced its miseries. In her ignorance she sup-
posed herself to have been seized by some fearful
malady, which must soon take her life.
Daph would be glad to die, she so awsome
sick," she said to herself; but den who will mind
de babies? No, no Daph won't die yet. De
great Lord won't let her; Daph knows he won't!"
For two days the poor negress wrestled mightily
against the horrors of sea-sickness, bearing up
with the motive, "Daph must live for de babies!"
Meanwhile, Captain Jones had all the charge of
his new pets. Passenger was quite forgotten, as
the stout sailor walked the deck, with Charlie
peeping out from under his rough overcoat, and
Louise walking at his side, wrapped in the long
soft shawl that Daph had stowed away in that
They had strange talks together-that strong
man and those prattling children-and they
learned much from each other. He told of the
wonders of the sea-the great whales and the
floating icebergs-and the petrel, that the sailor
never kills. Many long years Captain Jones had
made the sea his home, and much he knew which
books had never taught him; yet in little more
than three short years Louise had learned a price-
less secret, which he had never found in any land.
He was familiar with the wonders of nature; but
to her the great Creator, to whom he was a
stranger, was as a familiar, trusted friend. The
marvels which Captain Jones could tell of the
ocean but increased her wonder at his power who
" made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all
that in them is," and in her simple way she would
" praise the Lord for all his wonderful works."
Charlie little knew of the strong feelings which
agitated the breast to which he was clasped, while
his little sister lisped of the lessons ]earned at her
Those days of Daph's sickness were precious
days to Captain Jones, and he was almost sorry
when the stout negress triumphed over her enemy,
and came on deck to resume her charge.
The air grew chill as the Martha Jane sped on
her northward course, and the white dresses of
the children fluttered, most unseasonably, in the
cool breeze. The ship's stores were ransacked for
some material of which to make them more suit-
able, though extempore clothing. A roll of red
flannel was all that promised to answer the pur-
pose. The captain took the place of master-work-
man, and cut out what he called "a handsome
suit for a pair of sea-birds;" and Daph, with her
clumsy fingers, made the odd garments. She felt
ready to cry as she put them on, to see her pets
so disfigured; but Captain Jones laughed at her
dolorous face, and said the red frock only made
his "lily" look the fairer, and turned Charlie into
the sailor he should be.
The Martha Jane was nearing the familiar
waters of her own northern home, when the
captain called Daph into the cabin one evening
to consult with her on matters of importance.
With the happy disposition of the negress, Daph
seemed to have forgotten that she was not always
to live on board the Martha Jane, and under the
kind protection of her sailor-friend. She was,
therefore, not a little startled when he addressed
to her the blunt question,-
"Where are you going, Daph ?"
Now, Daph had a most indistinct idea of the
world at large; but thus brought suddenly to a
decision, she promptly named the only northern
city of which she had heard. "I'se going to
New York," she said; "Miss Elize, my dear
missus, was born dere, and it seems de right sort
of a place to be takin' de sweet babies to."
"Daph," said the honest captain, "we shall put
in to New York to-morrow, for I have freight to
land there; but you had better go on with me to
old Boston. There I can look after you a little,
and put you under charge of my good mother;
and a better woman never trod shoe-leather, for
all her son is none of the best. Shall it be so,
Daph ? "
Couldn't do it, Massa Cap'in. Boston! dat
mus be mighty far off. I nebber hear tell of such
a place. New York's de home for my babies,
just where missus was born. Maybe some ob
her grand cousins may be turning' up da, to be
friends to de pretty dears. Nobody would eber
find us 'way off in Boston "
It was in vain that the captain tried to change
Daph's resolution; to New York she would go,
and he now attacked her at another point, ask-
ing, What are you going to do when you get
there, Daph ? Have you got any money ?"
Not so berry much to begin wid," said Daph,
producing a bit of rag from her pocket, in which
some small change, the result of her traffic in
chickens, was stored. "Not much money, Massa
Cap'in, as you see for herself: but what do you
tink ob dese ?" Daph loosened her dress, and
showed on her black neck several gold chains, hung
with rings of great richness and value, and an
old-fashioned necklace, set with precious stones.
"What do you tink ob dese, Massa Cap'in ?" she
repeated, as she displayed her treasures to his
Daph had put her valuables on for safe keeping,
doubtless, yet not without a certain satisfaction in
wearing articles which so gratified the love of
finery common to the black race.
The captain looked at the jewellery with a
sober, pitying expression, as he said compassion-
ately, "Poor Daph If you should offer one of
those rich chains for sale in New York, you might
be hurried off to jail as a thief in a twinkling;
then what would become of my pets ?"
Daph betook herself to tears for a few moments,
and then rallied, and said stoutly, "Daph can
work for de babies. She's a strong darkie. Heard
massa say many a time Daph would bring a big
price. Daph will make heaps of money, and keep
young massa and missus libbing like great folks,
as dey should."
At this idea Daph's face regained all its usual
cheerfulness, and she could not be shaken by the
further doubts and fears brought forward by
"Keep what you have round your neck safely
then, Daph," said the honest sailor, "and never
try to sell them unless you are ready to starve.
Here's a little purse of solid gold that I meant as
a present for my mother; she, good soul, would
rather you had it, I know. This will keep you
till you can get a start, and then, maybe, you can
work for the dear children, as you say. I have
an acquaintance in New York, who may let you
a room or two; and if she can take you in, you
may get along."
"I knew de great Lord would look out for us.
His name be praised!" said the poor negress grate-
fully, as she kissed the hand of Captain Jones.
"Ye won't lose your reward, Massa Cap'in; He'll
reckon wid ye !" and she pointed reverently up-
May he reckon with me in mercy, and not
count up my sins!" the captain said solemnly,
and then bade Daph "Good-night."
THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS.
APTAIN JONES was a prompt and up-
S right business man, faithful to his en-
gagements at any sacrifice.
He was pledged to remain in New
S York the shortest possible space of time;
he therefore had not, after attending to necessary
business, even an hour to devote to Daph and the
little ones. It was a sad moment to him when
he strained Charlie to his breast for the last time,
and kissed his Water-lily," as he loved to call
He had given Daph a letter to a sailor's widow,
with whom he thought she would be able to
secure a home, where she would escape the idle
and vicious poor who congregated in less respect-
able parts of the city. After having made Daph
count on her fingers half-a-dozen times the number
of streets she must cross before she came to "the
small red house with blue shutters," where she
THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS. 33
was to stop, he piloted the little party into Broad-
way, and setting their faces in the right direction,
he bade them an affectionate farewell.
As he shook Daph's black hand for the last
time, she placed in his a small parcel clumsily
tied up in brown paper, saying, You puts dat
in your pocket, Massa Cap'in, and when you gets
to sea you open it, and you will understand what
Captain Jones did, almost unconsciously, as
Daph suggested, as, with a full heart, he turned
34 THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS.
away from the little ones who had become so dear
Once more the only protector of her master's
children, Daph's energy seemed to return to her.
She wound the shawl more closely about Louise,
drew Charlie to her honest bosom, looked after the
various bundles, and then set off at a regular
The strange appearance of the little party soon
attracted the attention of the knots of idle boys
who even then infested the more populous parts
of New York.
Hallo, darkie where's your hand-organ ?
What'll ye take for your monkeys ? shouted one
of these young rascals, as he eyed the children in
their odd-looking red flannel garments.
Louise clung closely to Daph, who strode steadily
on, apparently unconscious of the little troop
gathering in her rear. By degrees the young
scamps drew nearer to her, and one of them,
taking hold of the skirt of her dress, cried out,
" Come, fellows, form a line Follow the captain,
and do as you see me do "
A long string of boys arranged themselves
behind Daph, each holding on to the other's
tattered garments, and walking with mock solem-
nity, while the foremost shouted in Daph's ear the
most provoking and impudent things his imagina-
tion and rascality could suggest.
THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS. 55
Daph maintained her apparent unconsciousness
until she came in front of a large door with a deep
recess, which opened directly on the street, and
but a step above the pavement.
With a sudden and unexpected jerk she freed
herself from her tormentor, then placing Charlie
and Louise for a moment in the recess, she charged
upon her assailants. Right and left she dealt
hearty slaps with her open hand, which sent the
little crew howling away, their cheeks smarting
with pain and burning with rage. The whole
thing was the work of a moment. Daph took
Charlie in her arms, clasped the trembling hand
of Louise, and resumed her steady walk as calmly
as if nothing had occurred.
There was much to attract the attention of the
strangers in the new scenes about them, but Daph
kept her head straight forward, and devoted all her
attention to numbering the corners she passed, that
she might know when to begin to look out for the
house so carefully described by good Captain Jones.
Louise soon grew weary of keeping pace with
Daph's long strides; and the faithful negress lifted
the little girl in her arms, and went patiently on
with her double burden.
A weary, weary walk it seemed even to the
strong-limbed negress, before they passed the last
corner, according to her reckoning, and stood in
front of the very red house with blue shutters
36 THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS.
which she had been so anxious to see. Much as
she had longed to reach it, its appearance did not
fill Daph's heart with joy. A sort of dread of the
new people whom she was to meet stole over her;
but she resolved to put a bold face on the matter,
and in this mood she gave a heavy knock at the
blue door. Her imperative summons was promptly
The door was opened by a little girl of about
ten years of age, who was covered, from her slender
neck to her bare feet, with a long, checked pina-
fore, above which appeared a closely-cropped,
brown head, and a small, demure-looking face.
The child stood perfectly still, gazing in quiet
wonder at the strangers, and waiting to hear their
Daph had to set the children down on the steps,
and fumble in her bosom for the captain's precious
note. She drew it at last from its hiding-place,
and handed it triumphantly to the young porteress,
saying, "Dis is what'll teh you who we are, and
what we wants." The little girl looked at the
note with a puzzled expression, and then calmly
walked away down the narrow hall without saying
a word. Daph sat down on the door-step, and
took the children on her lap, with a kind of faith
that all would go well, which made her feel quite
easy. She was making the children laugh at a
playful pig that was running up and down the
THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS. 37
street, when angry tones from within met her ear
and she caught the following words :-
"Take a negress for a lodger! I shall do no
such thing! Who does Captain Jones think I
Mother," said a calm young voice, you know
we shall be behind with the rent; and then the
children are white-one of them is the whitest
child I ever saw."
The rent-yes, that is a bad business. Well, I
suppose I must come to it. What one does have
to put up with in this world! Show the woman
Daph, who had heard the whole conversation
quite plainly, rose at the last words, and was
ready to accept the invitation to walk into the
back-room, which she immediately received.
Daph made a polite courtesy to the sour-looking
little woman, who seemed hardly strong enough
to have spoken in the loud, harsh tones which had
just been heard.
So Captain J ones sent you here! said the
woman, somewhat tartly, as she eyed the odd-
Daph had taken off the shawl from Louise, and
set Charlie on his feet, that the children might
appear to the best advantage. She stood proudly
between them, as she said, "I wants to hire a
room for my missus's children. We's been 'bliged
.38 THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS.
to come north this summer, and will have to look
.out a bit for ourselves, as massa couldn't come
Daphne," said the woman, sweetening a little,
-"Captain Jones says that is your name, and that
you are an honest, industrious woman-do you
think you will be able to pay the rent regularly ?"
I has a right to my name," said Daph,
straightening up her stout figure. "Missus had
it gib to me, like any white folks, when she had
me baptized. I isn't particler about having all of
it; though most folks calls me Daph. Is I honest?
Look me in de eye, and answer dat yeself. Is I
-industrious? Look at dat arm, and dese ere
-fingers; do dey look like if I was lazy ?"
The clear eye, muscular arm, and hard, work-
worn hand, were indeed the best assurances the
doubtful questioner could have received.
"As to de rent," added Daph, "my missus's
children isn't widout money." As she spoke she
:gave her pocket a hearty shake, which produced
a significant chinking that seemed quite satis-
You are a queer one!" said the woman;
"but you may as well look at the room. It's
right there in front; you passed it as you came
Daph stepped to the door of the front-room,
pushed it open, and looked around her, with her
THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS. 39
head thrown a little on one side, as if that position
were favourable to forming a correct judgment as
to its merits.
"Well, it do be radder small," she said, after a
few moments' dignified consideration; but den it
be proper clean, and two winder to de street for
de children. Haven't ye got anything to put in it;
no chair, nor table, nor such like ? "
"You will have to furnish for yourself," said
the woman; "but you shall have the room on
The bargain was soon made, but whether on
reasonable terms or not Daph had but little idea,
though she prudently concealed her ignorance.
Once in her own domain, Daph sat down on
the floor, and giving each of the children a huge
sea-biscuit, she took them in her arms and began
to wave to and fro, singing one of the wild negro
melodies which spring up wherever the African
race take root.
The weary children were soon in a sound sleep,
and then Daph laid them carefully down on the
clean floor, covered them with the shawls she had
found so useful, and then sat stock-still beside
them, for a few moments, lost in deep thought.
After a while she took from her pocket the purse
the captain had given her, and her own store of
small change wrapped in its bit of rag. The
latter she laid aside, saying, That mus do for eat.
40 THE RED HOUSE WITH THE BLUE SHUTTERS.
Dat's Daph's own. Now dis Daph jus borry from
de cap'in. Massa's children don't have to come
to livin' on other people when Daph's on her feet.
Cap'in Jones got he money's worth in that beauty
gold chain I puts in his hand, and he not know it."
- -_ =
WAYS AND MEANS.
Here Daph gave a real negro chuckle at the
thought of the artifice, which had made her feel
at liberty to use the money so kindly given her.
Now Daph must be gittin' dis place in order
quick, or de children will be wakin' up," said Daph,
as she rose hastily with the air of one prepared
for action. She carefully closed the shutters,
locked the door behind her, and putting the key
in her pocket, set off to make her purchases.
.' '.PH had observed a small cabinet-maker's
shop not far from her new home, and
to it she easily made her way. The
'"' sight of two little wooden chairs, painted
S' with the usual variety of wonderfully
bright colours, attracted her attention,
and suggested her plan of operations.
"It's for de children I'se buying," she said,
"and what's de use ob paying a big price for
grown-up tings I just wants two chairs and a
few tings to match for de dears." While Daph
was thus soliloquizing, the shopman came forward,
and she promptly addressed him as follows:-" I'se
jus come, sar, to buy de fixin' ob a leetle room for
my massa's children, General Louis La Tourette."
Daph mentioned her master's name with a pom-
pous air, and with great distinctness, which had
their effect on the humble cabinet-maker. He
moved about briskly, and Daph soon had displayed
DAPH S SHOPPING.
before her all the small articles of furniture he had
The bright yellow chairs, adorned with the
wonderful roses and tulips, were first set aside;
then followed a little table, painted in the same
fanciful manner; and lastly, a good-sized trundle-
bed, of a somewhat less gaudy appearance.
"I'se in a most particler hurry jus now,"
said Daph; would you jus hab de kindness to
get for de bed jus what will make it look neat
and comfable-not too nice for children to play on
-while I steps out for a few notions as I'se 'bliged
to git ?"
The shopkeeper kindly complied; while Daph
went on her way, delighted at being thus able to
have what the children would need for comfort
-a matter about which she felt herself quite
ignorant in this new climate.
Daph's next stop was at a tinman's. Two
wash-basins, such as she had seen on board ship,
three shining tin cups, three pewter plates and
spoons, one strong knife, and a capacious saucepan,
completed the purchases which she promptly
made. Drawing a gold piece from the captain's
purse, she laid it calmly down on the counter,
then gathered up the various articles selected.
The tinker eyed her a little suspiciously; but there
was no look of shame or guilt in her frank and
honest face. He concluded she was a servant,
sent out by her mistress, and carefully gave her
the right change, which seemed, in Daph's eyes,
to double her possessions. When she returned to
the cabinet-maker's, she found the trundle-bed
neatly fitted out, while a lad with a wheelbarrow
was ready to take home the furniture. She added
to her purchases a plain wooden bench, and then
said composedly, "I don't know de valer ob such
like tings, but General Louis La Tourette, my
massa, does, and you must deal right and honest."
As she spoke, she laid down two of her precious
gold pieces, then gathered up the small change
returned to her, not without some misgivings as
to the accuracy of the shopman.
When Daph reached home, she found the
children still sleeping soundly, and she was able
to get the little room in order to her satisfaction
before they were fairly awake.
She turned up the trundle-bed on end, and
threw over it as a curtain the pure white cover
the shopman had provided. The deep recess on
one side of the chimney thus shut in Daph in-
tended to consider as her private resort, and in
the small cupboard in the wall she laid out the
children's clothes with scrupulous care. This done,
she set out the little table with the new cups
and plates, and drew the chairs near it, while
the remaining tin treasures were ranged along
the wash-bench in the most attractive manner.
It was well for Louise and Charlie that they
had been much accustomed to being away from
their mother, or they might have been poorly
prepared for their present lot.
General La Tourette had married a young
American girl, who was then living on an island
near that on which his plantation was situated.
Shortly after this marriage, the husband received
a dangerous wound in his side, which unfitted
him for active duty, and he resolved to settle
down on his own plantation, which had for a
long time been under the care of a most injudi-
Daph accompanied her mistress to her new
home, and tried her utmost skill in cookery to
tempt her master's now delicate appetite. Even
her powers were at last at fault, and General La
Tourette could not taste the tempting morsels
which the faithful creature loved always to prepare
Frequent change of air was now prescribed for
the invalid, and the fond mother was almost con-
stantly separated from the children she so tenderly
loved; yet her sweet, devoted, Christian character
had already made its impression on the little
Thus situated, the children had learned to be
happy for the present hour with any one who
happened to have the charge of them. General
La Tourette, though a native of France, spoke
English in his family, and to that language his
little ones were accustomed. They took no fancy
to the cross French nurse who had latterly had
the charge of them, and much preferred Daph,
whose broken English was pleasant to their ears.
They loved to linger at the door of her Southern
kitchen, or play under the wide-spreading tree that
waved over its roof
Daph returned their affection with all the
strength of her warm heart, and Mrs. La Tourette
felt sure that in her absence Daph would watch
over both children and nurse with an eagle-eye.
With more of the dove than the eagle in her
expression, Daph now sat beside the little ones in
their new home, so far from the land of their birth.
Not long after her preparations were completed,
Daph had the satisfaction of seeing the children
awake, refreshed by their long sleep, and full of
eager delight at the wonders achieved by their
new nurse. She listened with hearty satisfaction
to their exclamations of surprise and pleasure at
the shining tin and gaily painted chairs.
Daph was just wondering what was to fill
plates and cups that looked so attractive, when a
bell was rung imperatively in the street before
the house. From all sides women and girls
gathered round the bell-ringer's cart, and from his
great cans he filled their vessels with milk, which
was at this moment most refreshing to the eyes of
Daph. She seized her new saucepan, and sallying
out, presented it to the milkman, and received
her supply. She watched carefully the bits of
money given by other applicants, and was for-
tunate enough to select, from the change she had
that day received, the right payment for the milk.
In a few moments the children were seated at
the little table, and enjoying their nice supper of
bread and milk in a way that made Daph's eyes
sparkle with delight.
"Daffy eat too! said Charlie, motioning to
her to put the spoon in her mouth instead of his
own. "Yes, Daffy," said Louise, "do take some
DAPH'S SHOPPING. 47
Daph had hardly thought once of herself during
the whole of this busy afternoon; but when the
children had finished their meal, she filled her cup
with the fare they had enjoyed, and ate it with
no less satisfaction.
"Daph knew de great Lord would take care of
us she murmured, as she looked round on the
room that seemed to her so comfortable; and true,
fervent gratitude, undisturbed by one fear for the
future, filled the heart of the faithful negress.
'\ tLAS for Daph: She was soon to find
-L '. life was not all sunshine in her northern
",%. home. The lovely May weather, which
had been like a pleasant welcome to the
S' strangers, suddenly vanished, and was
succeeded by dark clouds, pouring rain,
and keen easterly winds. Daph was glad to keep
the children wrapped in the bed-clothes, while she
racked her ingenuity to find means of amusing
them. Charlie took a wash-basin for a drum, and
the pewter spoon with which he beat it was a
constant and patient sufferer. Louise was not so
easily pleased; she began to miss her mother
sorely, and tried poor Daph by pleading piteously
to see her "own dear mamma."
Daph had tried to banish from her mind all
thoughts of her master and mistress, for the bare
imagination of what they might have suffered
made her wild with distress. She said to herself,
" What for Daph go to tink about tings, jus as
likely nebber was at all? Daph makes out de
great Lord couldn't save massa and Miss Elize all
hisself, widout Daph to help him! Foolish darkie!
She better cheer up, and take care ob de children,
'stead o'jus whimper, whimper, like a sick monkey."
Daph had to go through a course of consolation,
similar to the above, very frequently, to enable
her to maintain her cheerfulness; but the piteous
questioning of the little Louise well-nigh over-
came all the poor negress's philosophy.
I'se tell you what it is, Miss Lou," poor
Daph said desperately at last, I'se jus tell you
what it is: de great Lord is a-takin' care ob your
mamma, and if you's a good girl you'll jus see her
some day; and if you is not, de great Lord will
nebber, nebber bring you together! "
Daph's manner, as well as her words, had some
effect upon Louise, and she tried to content her-
self with watching the rain streaming down the
window-panes, and was soon in a sufficiently
cheerful mood to march up and down the room to
the sound of Charlie's music, greatly to his satis-
The dreary weather without was not all that
Daph had to contend with; she found she had
an enemy within the house, whose attacks it was
far more difficult to meet.
The little woman, whose angry voice had at-
tracted Daph's attention at first, kept her humble
lodger familiar with its harsh tones. Daph's ap-
pearance was the signal for a volley of complaints
as to the noise made by the children, the marks
left on the floor by Daph's feet as she returned
from the well, the unpleasantness of seeing other
folks so much at home in one's own house," &c.
Daph never had a chance to get any further
than, "'Deed, Miss Ray!" in her attempts at self-
justification; for the opening of her mouth was sure
-to produce another tirade on the "impudence of
certain people that nobody knew anything about."
The demure-looking little girl was generally a
silent spectator of these attacks, but now and
then she was forced to cry out, Oh, mother,
don't! "-which protest was generally met by a
sharp box of the ear, and a Take that, Mary,
and learn to be quiet!" If Mary Ray had learned
any lesson, it certainly was to be quiet. She
rarely spoke, and her footsteps were almost as
noiseless as the fall of the winter snow.
Daph soon found out that Mrs. Ray considered
Mary especially guilty in having presumed to live,
when her brother, a fine healthy boy, had been
snatched away by sudden disease.
The loss of her husband, and consequent
poverty, had somewhat soured Mrs. Ray's temper,
but her last bereavement seemed to have made
her all acidity. She constantly reproached Mary
for being a useless girl, always in her mother's
sight, when the dear boy, on whom she had hoped
to lean, had been taken from her.
Daph's keen sympathies were soon warmly
enlisted for little Mary, who had really begun to
believe she was quite in fault for continuing to
cumber the earth, when nobody wanted her here.
Daph never passed Mary without a cheerful word,
and she contrived to show the child many trifling
acts of kindness, which went directly to her heart.
At one time, Daph, with her strong arm, lifted
Mary's heavy pail of water; at another, she took
her pitcher to the milkman in a pouring rain;
and one day, when she could think of no other
way of showing her interest, she secretly bestowed
on the little girl one of the few oranges which
still remained of the store brought from the ship.
Mary's sorrowful face-Mrs. Ray's harsh voice
-the penetrating chill in the air-and the mono-
tonous life she led in the single room, made it
hard for Daph to bear up cheerfully, and but for
the children, she would have withdrawn to a
corner and moped all the time. She managed to
keep up her spirits during the day; but when the
little ones were asleep, she had her own sad,
wakeful hours. More than a week had passed
in this dreary way. Daph saw her treasured
store of money fast diminishing under the neces-
sary expenditure for supplying the simple wants
of her little establishment; and she already saw
too plainly that the whole party must soon have
a new outfit of clothing, or they would be dis-
graced by their rags and uncleanliness.
The children were quietly slumbering near
her; she had extinguished the candle, that it
might not waste its feeble light; and with her
head on her hand, she began to consider seriously
the situation in which she found herself. The
present was dark enough, but what was she to
think of the gloomy future?
Where should she look for the work she would
so willingly do? How could she leave her little
charge, even if that work were found ?
A sense of utter helplessness came over the poor
negress, and hot tears poured down her cheeks.
A sudden thought struck her; there was One
all-powerful, and to him she would go. She fell on
her knees, and uttered her simple prayer: Will
de great Lord gib poor Daph something for do ? "
Overpowered by the effort she had made, and
fearful there was something presuming in a poor
creature like herself daring to speak to the Being
she so reverenced, Daph sank down on the floor
in a position of silent humility. A conviction
that she had been heard and forgiven for the
boldness of her prayer stole over her, and she
stretched herself as usual on the bare floor, and
was soon in a sound sleep.
A NEW PATH.
usual early hour, and went to perform
her customary ablutions beside the
well, keeping, however, a sharp look-
S out for Mrs. Ray, to be ready to beat
a retreat as soon as that formidable person should
make herself heard. No Mrs. Ray appeared, and
Daph's curiosity tempted her to take a peep into
the room which served as kitchen, parlour, and
general abiding-place for Mrs. Ray and Mary,
though they slept in the loft above.
Mary was diligently ironing at this early hour,
giving from time to time dolorous glances at a
great basketful of damp clothes, which seemed
to diminish but slowly under her efforts.
"Where's your mother? said Daph, as she
thrust her head fairly in at the door, regardless
Mother's very sick this morning," said Mary
A NEW PATH.
sorrowfully.; she can't even turn herself in bed,
and all these clothes must go home to-night; we
have had to keep them too long now, it has been
Nebber fret 'bout de close," said Daph
cheerily; "I'se held a flat 'fore dis! Do Daph
good to work a little; she mighty tired, sitting' up
all day like a lady. Spose I jus steps up to look
at your mother. Maybe I might do somewhat
for her, to make her feel some better."
Oh, don't! exclaimed Mary hastily; "she
might not like it."
Nebber you mind dat! said Daph; "you
jus show me de way."
Mary pointed to the door that led to the narrow
staircase, and Daph needed no further guidance.
Ye's mighty sick, isn't ye, Miss Ray? said
Daph compassionately, as she stepped to the bed-
side of the sufferer.
Mrs. Ray turned her head to the wall and
groaned, but Daph was not to be easily discon-
Spose I jus makes you a little warm drink,
and kinder helps you to frow off dis ere sick-
ness ? said Daph insinuatingly.
Oh my back my bones they ache so!" said
the poor woman.
"It's jus bein' out in dis wet wedder, jus
a-comin' from dat awful hot fire into de swash
A NEW PATH.
down rain," said Daph. White folks isn't used
to such hard work. You jus can't bear it, dat's it."
Daph had struck the right chord, and Mrs. Ray
answered, "No; I ain't used to it-that's true
enough; but who have I got to help me, but just
that slip of a girl! Oh, if my boy had only
Daph did not wait to hear more of the com-
plaints which were the burden of Mrs. Ray's daily
talk. She hastened to the kitchen, and, with
Mary's help, she soon prepared a steaming bowl
of herb-tea, which Mrs. Ray took from her hand
without a word. She would have resisted when
Daph proceeded to bathe her feet in warm water,
but the kind-hearted negress went steadily on,
regardless of opposition, saying, You's so very
sick, we's mus jus take care of you, same as if
you were a bit of a baby. There now, let me
jus put de cubber over you," she said, as she re-
leased the restive feet. Now, if you could jus
git a little sleep, while I go dress de babies, I'se
do believe you would feel mighty better."
Mrs. Ray did fall into a quiet sleep, the more
sound from the night of wakefulness and pain she
had just passed. When she awoke, she heard
unusual sounds in the kitchen below, and if she
could have peeped down the stairway, a pleasant
scene would have met her eyes. A cheerful fire
roared up the wide chimney. Daph, revived by
A NEW PATH.
the welcome heat, was ironing away at the great
table with real heartiness; while little Mary, at
her side, tried to move her slender arms in the
same energetic manner. Charlie was seated on
the table, a happy spectator of these proceedings;
while Louise stood by him, sprinkling and fold-
ing a bit of rag again and again, not doubting
that she was amazingly useful.
Mary Mary!" said a voice from above,
feebler and a little less sharp than usual, "who's
down there with you ? "
It's jus me and de children, Miss Ray," said
A NEW PATH.
Daph, putting her head fearlessly up the stair-
way. "Dat big basket o' close wants 'tention,
and I'se jus thought I'se better be ironin' a bit,
to git de tings out de way."
Mrs. Ray made no answer, and Daph, after
satisfying herself that the patient was a little
better, stepped quietly back into the kitchen.
Daph really enjoyed her busy day, and it was
followed by sound natural sleep, instead of hours
of wakefulness and anxious thought.
It was more than a week before Mrs. Ray re-
covered from the violent cold which had so sud-
denly removed her from the scene of operations.
Meanwhile Daph and Mary had become excellent
friends. The little girl exchanged her hard work
for the pleasant care of the children, and Daph's
strong arms had the exercise they needed. Daph's
busy brain had not meanwhile been idle; the
sight of the great oven in the wide chimney-
corner had suggested to her a plan which she was
impatient to carry out.
When Mrs. Ray first appeared in the kitchen,
she gave an anxious look about her, as if she
expected to see nothing but disorder and dirt;
but the well-scoured floor and shining plates on
the dresser had another tale to tell. Of Daph's
skill in cookery she had tasted several striking
specimens, since her appetite had in a measure
returned, and she looked on somewhat curiously
A NEW PATH.
as Daph busied herself about the fire, preparing
what she called "just a bit relish, to strengthen
up Miss Ray, now she's on her two feet again."
Mary was with the children, and Mrs. Ray took
the opportunity to say, You have been very
good to me, Daph, and I am sure you had no
reason;" and tears of shame actually came into
the poor woman's eyes.
"Now don't, Miss Ray!" said Daph; "I'se
isn't been and done anything at all. Come, take
a little breakfast, and ye'll feel better, I'm sure."
"What can I do for you, Daph?" continued
Mrs. Ray, who had been really touched by the
persevering kindness of the' honest negress.
Well now, Miss Ray," said Daph, I wants
to make a little money. I jus tinks I might
do de ironin' ebery week, for you can't stand
such hard work; and then, maybe, you'd jus let
me hab de use ob dat beauty oven for somewhat
I wants to do. I'se jus used to cooking ; and,
maybe, if I makes some ob de cakes missus used
to like so much, I might sell dem at some ob
de grand houses, and so make a pretty sum by-
This arrangement was easily made; for Mrs.
Ray felt within her but little strength for work,
and she was also anxious to show her sense of
Daph's late kindness.
One bright June morning Daph put herself in
A NEW PATH.
what she called splinker order," and the children
shouted with delight when her toilet was made.
With the help of Mrs. Ray and Mary, she had cut
out and completed a good calico dress and a full
white apron, and these, with her snowy turban,
,made a most respectable appearance. A new
basket, covered with a clean cloth, was on her
head, and within it was stored a variety of nice
cakes, which she was proud to show as a specimen
of her cookery.
Mary stood at the window with the children
as Daph went off, and the little ones kissed their
hands to her until she was fairly out of sight.
Daph had learned her way about the city with
ease, for she had quick observation and a ready
memory, and she now found no difficulty in
reaching what she called the grand houses,"
which were ranged in imposing rows in what is
now one of the business streets..
At door after door she tried to gain admittance,
but the consequential servants turned her off with
a contemptuous word, and her heart began to
sink within her. At last, as an imperative foot-
man was ordering her away from a great family
mansion, two ladies passed out to enter a carriage.
Daph was desperate. She dropped a courtesy and
said, Ladies, like some nice cakes ?" and at the
same moment she lowered her basket, uncovered
it, and displayed its tempting array.
A NEW PATH.
THE FIRST CUSTOMER.
The frank, good face of the negress, and the
attractive appearance of her wares, secured the
A NEW PATH.
attention of the ladies, and they purchased largely.
Encouraged by their kindness, Daph said, If de
ladies would jus speak for Daph to some ob de
great folks, to buy from her Tuesdays and Fridays,
Daph would try to please dem."
I like the woman, mother," said Rose Stuyve-
sant; shall we engage her to come here always,
and see what we can do for her ?"
The mother assented, and Daph, turning to
express her gratitude, looked into the face of the
It was a sweet face. Nature had made it fair,
and parted the golden hair above the soft blue
eyes; but there was a sweetness round the ex-
pressive mouth, and a purity in every line of the
oval face, that told of a soul at peace with God,
and ruled by his holy law.
Daph long remembered that face; and as she
visited the Stuyvesant mansion week after week,
she deemed that a bright day when she caught
even a glimpse of her whom she called the sweet
Time passed on and Daph throve in her little
traffic, until her cakes were well known, and her
form eagerly looked for in many a splendid home;
but the best triumphs of her skill she ever re-
served for the Stuyvesant mansion, where she had
first found a welcome.
S the honest efforts of poor Daph were
crowned with success, she found herself
abundantly able to provide for the phy-
sical wants of her master's children.
Three years of toil had rolled quickly
away. Charlie had passed his fourth
birth-day, and become a strong-willed, sturdy boy;
while the slender figure of the fair Louise had
grown and rounded, and the rose had learned to
bloom on the cheek of Captain Jones's "water-lily."
Daph looked at her little ones with affectionate
pride, and watched over them with the most
tender care. She encouraged them to play in
the small garden in the rear of their humble
home, but in the street they were never seen.
The garments she fashioned for them were neat
and tidy, and the snowy aprons they always wore
were monuments of her skill as a laundress; but
she was conscious of a something in their external
appearance which was not as it should be. About
the manners of her charge Daph was still more
troubled. Why you eat so, Miss Lou ?" she
would sometimes say. How shall I eat, Daffy?"
the child would reply. Well, I jus don't know,"
poor Daph would answer; but dere's somewhat
bout de way you children do be at de table, dat
Daph don't jus know how to 'spress it."
More serious troubles than these by degrees
came upon Daph, in her management. Charlie,
though an affectionate, generous child, was hot-
tempered and wilful; and when he resisted Daph's
authority, or raised his little hand to give an
angry blow, the poor creature knew not what to do.
In these scenes she generally triumphed by the look
of real distress which clouded her usually pleasant
face, and brought Charlie repentant to her arms.
With Louise, Daph had another difficulty. The
child was usually gentle and submissive, but she
seemed to pine for other companions, and a home
different from that which Daph was able to pro-
vide for her.
The early lessons of piety which Louise had
learned at her mother's knee had faded from her
mind. Daph could remind the little girl to say
her simple prayer at morning and evening; but
she could not talk to her of the loving Saviour,
or recount the wonders of the gospel, as her
mother had been accustomed to do.
The little book with the golden clasps Daph
had cherished with the utmost care. She knew
it contained the secret which could bring peace
and order to her little home, but its treasures she,
in her ignorance, could not unlock.
Once she had ventured to ask Mrs. Ray to
read a little to her from it, but she met with a
short negative and a cold, averted look.
Mary was almost as ignorant of letters as Daph
herself. So the poor negress kept the precious book
unopened, and awaited God's time for leading her
from darkness unto light.
That the children of her dear mistress would be
allowed to grow up ignorant of the knowledge that
belonged to their station, and strangers to the Bible
their mother had loved, Daph would not allow her-
self to believe. "It will come, I'se sure !" Daph
would say to herself; "de great Lord can make it
right!" and thus she stifled her anxious fore-
bodings, and strove to do the duty of the present
Mrs. Ray's temper was not quite as trying as
when Daph first made her acquaintance. The
kindness of the honest negress, and her cheerful
acceptance of the trials of her lot, had their in-
fluence under that humble roof, and won respect
and affection even from Mrs. Ray. The sunshine
of Charlie's happy, roguish face had cheered the
lonely widow, and Louise had exerted on her a
softening, refining influence. Mrs. Ray was im-
proved, but not thoroughly changed.
Little Mary had many harsh words yet to hear;
but time had abated the poignancy of the mother's
grief for her lost darling, and made her somewhat
more alive to the virtues of her hard-working,
quiet little girl.
During the three years that had passed since
they had dwelt under the same roof, sickness at
various times had made the little household seem
like one family, and the habit of helping each
other had daily drawn them nearer.
Mary's demure face was lighted up with won-
der, as she said to Daph one day, There's a
gentleman at the door, asking if mother still
lives here, and if you are at home."
Is it a tall, tall gentleman, that looks grand-
like and magnificent?" said Daph earnestly, as the
thought of her master at once rose to her mind.
"Not exactly," said Mary; and as she spoke
Mrs. Ray opened the door, and ushered in Captain
Although her first feeling was disappointment,
Daph shed tears of joy as she clasped the hand of
the honest captain. Her tears, however, brightened
into smiles as she saw the approving look the
captain bestowed on her pets, as he caught them
in his arms.
Charlie struggled and fought to be free, shout-
ing, "I like .you, sir; but you need not squeeze
me so, and rub me with your rough whiskers."
Charlie got another hug for an answer, while
Louise said, Who is it, Daph ? It cannot be my
No, no, darling !" said the captain quickly;
and he dashed the tears from his eyes, and was
sobered in an instant.
Mrs. Ray looked on with astonishment and
curiosity at the cordial meeting between her old
acquaintance and her lodgers.
Captain Jones had known Mrs. Ray slightly in
her better days, and he now turned to her, and
inquired kindly after her welfare. As usual, she
had a series of grievances to relate; but she for-
bore speaking slightingly of Mary, who had mo-
destly retired into the background. The little girl
was somewhat astonished when the captain came
towards her, and gave her a hearty greeting as the
child of his old messmate, and seemed to think
her well worth speaking to, though "only a girl."
The whole party sat down together, and time
passed rapidly on; while the captain sat with the
children in his arms, and heard Daph's account of
her various trials and adventures since they parted.
Mrs. Ray listened with eager curiosity, but she
could gather little from Daph's words that she did
not already know.
At length Captain Jones said, with a great
effort, Daph, I have something to say to you
which is not fit for the children's ears;" and he
gave at the same time an expressive glance towards
The widow seized Mary by the hand, and
flounced indignantly out of the room, saying, "I
am sure we have too much to do to stay here
where we are not wanted. No good comes of
secrets that ever I heard of!"
"Come, children, come with Mary," said the
girl, apparently unconscious of her mother's indig-
The children followed somewhat reluctantly,
and Daph and the captain were left alone together.
Since the moment of her landing, Daph had had
no one to whom she might speak of the dark fears
for her master and mistress that at times preyed
upon her; to her own strange departure she had
never alluded. She had met questioning with
dignified silence, and had patiently endured in-
sinuations which, but for her clear conscience,
would have driven her to frenzy. Now she felt
that she was to hear some important news, and
her trembling knees refused to support her.
Anxious and agitated, she sank on her low bench,
and fixed her eyes eagerly on the captain.
"Daph," he began, "there was horrible truth
in your words that night, when you pleaded so
earnestly on board the Martha Jane I thank
God that I did not turn a deaf ear to you then!
Daph, you have saved your master's children from
a bloody death, and you will be rewarded, as there
is a Father in heaven !"
The captain paused, and Daph bent anxiously
forward, exclaiming, My dear missus ? master ?"
Captain Jones could not speak. He drew his
hand significantly across his throat, and then
pointed solemnly upwards.
Daph understood his meaning but too well.
She had hoped on, determinately; but now the
hour of awful certainty had come, and she could
not bear it. She gave one loud scream, and fell
senseless on the floor. The wild yell that burst
from the anguished heart of the negress rang
through the house, and Mrs. Ray and Mary were
at the door in a moment, followed by the terri-
fled children. Little Louise dropped down beside
Daph, and began to cry piteously; while Charlie
flew at Captain Jones like a young lion, and
loudly exclaiming, "The naughty man has killed
dear Daffy, and I'll punish him."
While Mrs. Ray and her daughter were making
every effort to recall poor Daph to consciousness,
Charlie continued his attack upon the captain,
with sturdy foot, clenched hand, and sharp teeth,
until the honest sailor was actually obliged to pro-
tect himself, by putting the child forcibly from
the room and firmly locking the door.
Perfectly infuriated, Charlie flew into the street,
screaming, They've killed my Daffy the wicked,
Several persons gathered round the enraged
child, and a young physician, who was passing,
stopped to find out the cause of the disturbance.
Charlie's words, She lies dead there the wicked
man has killed her !" caught the attention of Dr.
Bates, and he eagerly asked, Where, where,
Charlie pointed towards the house, and the
doctor entered without ceremony, Charlie closely
following him. His loud knock was answered by
Captain Jones, whose cautious manner of unlocking
the door seemed to the young physician a most sus-
Charlie no sooner caught sight of his enemy
than he leaped furiously upon him. The strong
sailor received him in his muscular arms, and there
held him, a most unwilling prisoner, while he
watched the proceedings going on about poor
Daph, and rendered assistance where he could.
Dr. Bates ordered her clothes to be instantly
loosened, and then commanded Mrs. Ray to lay
her flat on the floor, while he proceeded to apply
his lancet to her arm.
While this process was going on, the clock on
a neighboring steeple struck twelve. Captain
Jones looked hastily at his great silver watch, and
saw that it was indeed mid-day, and that he had
not a moment to spare, as the Martha Jane was
by this time quite ready to set sail, and only wait-
ing for her captain.
He hurriedly placed a little parcel on the man-
telpiece, and with one long, sorrowful look at poor
!- i l--.-
Daph, and a hasty farewell to Mrs. Ray and the
children, he left the house.
It was long before Daph returned to conscious-
ness; and when her eyes once more opened, they
were wild with fever and anguish. She declared,
however, that she was quite well, and would have
no one about her; she longed to be alone, to
struggle with her great sorrow. The children
would not leave her; but it was in vain they tried
their expressions of tenderness, and begged her to
look once more like their own dear Daffy."
The sight of the unconscious orphans redoubled
the grief of the poor negress, and .she burst into a
flood of tears. The poor children, overcome at
this unwonted sight, sank down beside her, and
mingled their tears with hers.
Mrs. Ray and the young doctor were sorely
puzzled by the strange scenes they had witnessed.
They had both seen the rich chains about Daph's
neck, which had been disclosed while she was un-
conscious, and not a little wonder was excited by
the sight of that expensive jewellery in such a
place. Dr. Bates had not failed to observe the
refined appearance of the fair Louise, and the
noble bearing of little Charlie, contrasting as they
did so strangely with the plainness of their humble
home, and the unmistakable African face of the
woman of whom they seemed so fond.
The wild agitation of Daph, the disappearance
of the sun-browned stranger, the necklaces, the
children, all tended to fill the mind of Dr. Bates
with dark suspicion. He -lingered about Daph as
long as he could make any excuse for doing so;
and when he reluctantly turned from the room,
he did not leave the house without thoroughly
questioning Mrs. Ray as to what she knew of her
lodgers. Mrs. Ray had but little to tell, except-
ing that they had been commended to her, three
years before, by the same tall sailor whose appear-
ance that day had created such a commotion. Of
C ptain Jones she could only say, that he had been
a messmate of her husband years before, and had
always been reckoned an honest, kind-hearted man.
The questions put by Dr. Bates roused all the
curiosity of Mrs. Ray, and revived the suspicions
with regard to Daph which had been much in her
mind during the early days of their acquaintance.
She recalled the richly embroidered dresses in
which the children sometimes appeared, the first
summer after their arrival, and she dwelt on the
reluctance which Daph always exhibited to an-
swering any questions as to her past life.
These remembrances and suspicions she de-
tailed to the willing ear of Dr. Bates, who was
satisfied that he was on the eve of unravelling
some tangled web of iniquity; and with slow
and thoughtful steps he walked away from the
humble home so wrapped in mystery.
Once more left to herself, Mrs. Ray felt ashamed
of having doubted poor Daph, and was half in-
clined to go to her and frankly own the misgivings
the late occurrences had excited; but the thought
of those strange circumstances again set her curi-
osity at work, and all right feeling was soon lost
in an eager anxiety to find out the dark secrets
which hung like a cloud over the poor negress.
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
APH had been smitten by a blow too
sudden and violent to rally immedi-
ately from its effects. Her strength
and energy seemed for ever gone. The
hope which had upheld her had been
stricken from her; and she knew not where to
go for comfort.
De great Lord has gib poor Daph up! she
said disconsolately; and, prostrate in mind and
body, she lay on her low bed, her eyes shut, and
her soul all dark within.
It was now that Mary Ray had an opportunity
of showing her deep gratitude for the unwearied
kindness of her humble friend. She assumed the
care of the children, and tried to keep them
happy out of Daph's sight, and thoughtfully
volunteered to go round herself to Daph's cus-
tomers, to tell them that sickness had prevented
her from preparing her usual supply.
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
All that Mary offered, Daph quietly accepted,
almost without opening her eyes.
Daph seemed to have no wants; and it was in
vain that Mrs. Ray came in and out, and bustled
about putting the room in order, opening and
closing the shutters, and making herself very
busy, to no possible advantage. Daph did not
notice her; her thoughts were far, far away.
In one of these visits, Mrs. Ray chanced to
find the gold chain the captain had laid on the
mantelpiece. This added fuel to her suspicions,
and she felt justified in secreting it, and showing
it to Dr. Bates, as a further proof of the mystery
clinging to Daph.
Mrs. Ray's mind was in a most agitated state.
Sometimes she was haunted with vague notions
of some most awful crime committed by Daph;
and then, again, the kind, truthful face of the
negress would rise up before her, and change her
suspicions into shame and self-reproach.
At such times she could not help feeling that
only virtue and honesty could be at home in a
heart capable of such generous forgiveness and
patient return of good for evil as she had received
from the now sorrow-stricken negress. These
moments of relenting, too soon, alas were gone.
Daph was lying sad and alone in the silent
room, a few days after the visit of Captain Jones,
when she heard a low tap at the door, followed
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
by Mrs. Ray's loud voice, saying, Walk right
in, miss. She ain't much sick, to my notion;
but she don't take no notice of anybody."
Daph did notice the stranger who entered, and
she even smiled sorrowfully as she looked up
into the face of Rose Stuyvesant.
We missed your nice cakes on the table, Daph,"
said a soft voice; "and when I heard you were
sick, I determined to come and see you myself."
These words of kindness from a refined and
gentle woman melted the heart of the suffering
negress. She burst into tears as she exclaimed,
" 0 my sweet young lady! You speaks to poor
Daph like her own dear missus used to!"
Rose Stuyvesant sat down beside the low bed
that Mary had spread for Daph on the floor.
"Are you very sick, Daph ? she asked tenderly.
"Daph is all dead here, and all dizzy here,"
said the poor creature, laying her hand first on
her heart and then on her head. "De great
Lord has sent Daph a big trouble, and den gib her
right up; and the tears again flowed fast.
Rose bent over the unhappy negress, and said
gently, "The great Lord loves you too well,
Daph, to give you up in your trouble. Perhaps
he has sent me to comfort you "
Daph looked up with a gleam of hope in her
eye, and murmured, No reason why Daph
shouldn't jus tell all de truth now. Perhaps, if
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
le sweet young lady knows all, she may comfort
"The Lord Jesus can comfort us in any
trouble," said Rose softly. "What makes you
so unhappy ? Cannot you tell me ? "
Daph looked long into the sweet face turned
lovingly towards her, and then said, "De great
Lord has sent almost an angel to poor Daph, and
she shall hear it all."
The secret that had so long burdened the
lonely negress was now poured out with all the
unconscious eloquence of a true, warm, single
heart. The tears flowed fast down the cheeks of
Rose Stuyvesant, as she heard the simple story
of devoted, heroic affection, and long, patient
She understood the hope that had cheered
Daph through years of labour and anxiety-the
hope of placing the children of her mistress again
on the bosom that had nursed them, and of see-
ing the happy father again embrace his long-lost
ones. That hope was now for ever gone; and
Rose Stuyvesant mingled her tears with those of
poor Daph as she concluded her story.
Those real tears made Daph feel that she had
found a true friend, who sympathized with her in
her distress; and this in itself was a whisper of
As soon as Rose could command herself, she
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
said, as she took the black hand in her own,
"Daph, the mother who loved to teach her little
ones of Jesus has gone to be with him. Your
master, too, is now with the heavenly King.
You will still be able to give them back their
children in that better land, where there is no
parting, where no sorrow ever comes."
The negress looked earnestly in the face of the
speaker as she went on: "You must teach the
little ones to love the Lord Jesus, and lead them
to his home in heaven. Daph, you have that
now to do, and that is worth living and striving
"How shall poor Daph show the way to
heaven; she don't know jus zackly herself," said
the poor creature, and the momentary gleam of
hope faded from her face as she spoke.
"Jesus Christ has opened the door of heaven
wide for all that love him and trust him," said
Rose eagerly; "his blood shed on the cross can
wash away the sins of the whole world. The
great Lord will forgive you all that is past, and
receive you into heaven, for Jesus' sake, if you
really wish it."
"What else Daph want now in dis world, but
jus know de way to heaven herself, and lead de
children dere ? was the earnest reply.
Poor Daph had been intrusted with but little
religious knowledge, but to that she had clung in
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
simple faith through all her trials. She had im-
proved the few talents that had been given her,
and now came her reward in the fulness of the
light of the gospel.
Again and again her young teacher explained
the way of forgiveness and eternal peace through
the blood of Christ.
At last the beauty, freedom, and matchless
love of the plan of redemption burst upon her;
and there was joy in heaven when the poor
negress, in the midst of her tears, welcomed
Christ as her Saviour, and knew "the great
Lord" as her reconciled Father in heaven.
While the long conversation, so full of moment
to Daph, was taking place, Mary Ray had kept
the children happy in the little garden. Their
patience at last gave way, and they pleaded so
hard "just to look at dear Daffy," that their
young nurse could resist them no longer.
Charlie burst impetuously into the room, un-
mindful of the stranger, while Louise more
timidly followed. Warm tears filled the eyes
of Rose Stuyvesant as she looked, for the first
time, on the orphans. Charlie saw immediately
the happy change that had passed over Daph's
face, and walking straight up to her, he said,
exultingly, "Daffy's better! Daffy's better!
Good Daffy !" and he laid his curly head on her
dark arm, which told how dearly she was beloved.
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
A peculiar attraction seemed to draw Louise
to the side of the stranger; and when she was
tenderly kissed, and that sweet, soft face bent
down to hers with loving interest, the child put
her head on the bosom of Rose Stuyvesant, clung
to her neck, and sobbed as if her heart would break.
A FRIEND IN NEED.
"It is not mamma!" murmured the child;
and then more and more fondly embraced one
who had brought back from the dim recesses of
memory the image of her long-lost mother.
Rose was but little less moved than the child;
and in her heart she prayed that she might give
to the little one such lessons in holiness as would
win an approving smile were they heard by that
mother in heaven.
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
By degrees the agitation of little Louise sub-
sided; but she quietly kept her seat on the lap
of her new friend, and seemed to find a new
pleasure in looking into her kind face, and
smoothing her fair, soft hand.
Meanwhile, Daph drew from her pocket a par-
cel which she had ever carried about her, perhaps
with the vague idea that it had some talismanic
charm to keep her from evil. Wrapper after
wrapper was taken off, until at last the little
book with golden clasps appeared.
"That was all about Him, I know," said
Daph, "about that good Saviour; but Daph
can't read the blessed book."
Rose took the Bible that was handed to her,
and read on the fly-leaf, "Elize La Tourette,
from her devoted husband. One Lord, one faith,
The sight of that book in the hands of Rose
again awoke the dim memories of the child on
her knee, and Louise, through fresh tears, was
doubly drawn towards her new friend.
"' Suffer little children to come unto me, and
forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of
heaven,'" read the sweet voice of Rose. "All
are the children of Jesus who put their trust in
him, and truly love him."
A thrill passed over the frame of little Louise
at the sound of these words, and she kissed the
A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
lips of the speaker with strange joy in her
"I cannot stay any longer now," said Rose,
attempting to rise.
"Don't go! don't go!" said Louise almost
wildly ; "I cannot let you go !"
"But I must, my sweet Louise," said Rose,
as she gently disengaged the child; "I must go
now; but I will come every day and read to you
and your 'Daffy' out of this dear book."
"When-when? What time will you come?"
asked the child anxiously, while Daph listened
eagerly for the answer.
To-morrow, at eleven o'clock, you must stand
at the window and watch for me; I will not
keep you waiting long."
With this promise again repeated, Rose kissed
the children, and with a murmured word of com-
fort to Daph, passed from the room.
Not so soon passed away the influence of that
visit, prompted by Christian kindness, rich in
blessings to the humble negress; most precious
to that young disciple of Christ, who had learned
to love to be "about her Master's business."
AY after day Rose Stuyvesant continued
her ministry of love to Daph and the
Little ones. The hour of her morning
visit was watched for, and hailed with
joy; and well it might be, for she
brought with her the sweet influence
of a loving heart and an earnest, devoted spirit.
The children were, as usual, eagerly looking
out for her one morning, about a week after her
first appearance in their humble home. Daph,
who was once more on her feet, was moving
about with a step a little more languid than usual,
trying, as she said, "to make the place look a
bit more fitsome for the sweet young lady to sit
down in." Charlie, who was perched on a chair
beside his sister, and had had his nose pressed
from time to time flat against the window, and
had drawn all sorts of strange characters with his
fat fingers in the dampness left by his breath on
the pane, at length had his attention suddenly
arrested. 0 Lou 1" he shouted, "look this way,
on the steps there's that ugly, old, bad doctor, that
cut dear Daffy's arm, and two big men with him."
Good doctor, Charlie !" said Daph; "he
wanted to make Daffy well, but he didn't jus
know how. It took Miss Rose wid her sweet,
holy words to do Daph good."
"He's an old, bad doctor, I say, and shan't
come in !" said Charlie, springing towards the
door, as the voice of the doctor sounded in the
hall, and his hand touched the latch. The sturdy
little figure of the boy, resolutely backed up
against the door, was but a small obstacle in the
fay of the strong hands that forced it instantly
"For shame, Mass Charlie! Let the young
gemman in!" said Daph as she came forward,
dropping a courtesy. I'se quite well, sir, to-
day," she continued, and I'se mighty tankful
for you being so uncommon willing to do some-
what for to cure Daph, forby her arm do be a
little stiff for the cutting' you gave it the oder day."
"He's an old, bad man, to hurt Daffy, and I
ain't glad to see him a bit," said Charlie with an
"Do your work This is the woman !" said
the slender young doctor, turning to the stout
men he had brought with him.
A strong arm was laid on each shoulder of
the astonished Daph, and a rough voice said,
"Come with us, old woman!"
"I isn't goin' to do no such thing," said she,
with an indignant glance. "What for is I goin'
to waste my time goin' with them as I has no
business wid ? Perhaps you doesn't know what
manners is, to be layin' hands on a poor nigger
dis way. Take your big hands off! I'se my
missus' children to look after, and we's would be
glad to hab dis bit of a room to ourselves !"
Daph had not spoken very rapidly; but
even as the indignant words forced themselves
out of her mouth, she was hurried towards the
"You'd better do your talking now," said one
of the men coarsely, for before half an hour's
over you'll be locked up where nobody'll hear
you if you holler till you are hoarse."
Daph began to struggle violently, and the
sinewy men who held her were well-nigh com-
pelled to relinquish their grasp.
"Is you a gemman, doctor ?" she said, des-
perately, at last; "is you a gemman, and stand
still to see a poor woman treated dis way ?"
"You are only getting your deserts," said
little Dr. Bates, drawing himself up, and trying
to look dignified. "You are to be tried for
stealing, and for the other awful crimes which
your own conscience can best count over to you;
and be sure the severest punishment of the law
awaits you !"
"Is that all ?" said Daph, her spirit rising.
"Carry me to any real gemman, and it would
take more liars than ever grew to prove any
such like things against poor Daph. I'se not a
bit afeard to go wid you, for sartin I'se be back
soon enough. "
The children, who had been at first struck with
silent astonishment, now began to realize that
Daph was actually going from them. Louise
burst into a violent fit of weeping, and clung to
the unfortunate negress; while Charlie, with an
uplifted wash-basin, made a sudden attack upon
the slender legs of Dr. Bates, which broke up his
dignified composure, and made him give a skip
that would have done honour to a bear dancing
on a hot iron plate.
"Now, Mass Charlie, I'se do be shamed," said
Daph, subduing the grin that had suddenly over-
spread her face. "De young gemman don't
know no better! 'Taint likely he ever had body
to teach him You jus let him be, Mass Charlie,
and 'tend to your own sister, Miss Lou, here.
Don't cry, pretty dear, Daph will be back soon!
De Lord won't let dem hurt Daph You be jus
good children, and dat sweet Miss Rose will com-
fort you till Daph comes home."
The last words were hardly uttered, when the
negress was forced into a long, covered waggon,
and rapidly borne away from the door.
At this moment Mary Ray ran breathlessly up
the steps, exclaiming, "Where have they taken
Daph, mother? Mother, what is the matter ?"
"Matter enough !" said Mrs. Ray vehemently;
"who could have told it would have ended that
way I am sure I never meant any such thing.
Daph's gone to prison; and just as likely I shall
never hear the end of it, and have the children
upon my hands into the bargain. Well, well;
I wish I'd never set eyes on that little Dr.
The bitter reproaches that rose to Mary's lips
were hushed at the mention of the children, and
she hastened to comfort them as well as she could;
while Mrs. Ray went back to her kitchen, in no
very enviable frame of mind.
I" S don't be de cleanest place in de
world !" said Daph to herself, as she
looked round the small, bare room
into which she had been thrust.
"Well," she continued, "de Lord
Jesus do be everywhere; and Daph
no reason to be above stayin' where such as he do
set foot. But den de children what's to become
of de children ?"
Here Daph's resolution gave way, and she
took a hearty cry. "Daph, you do be a wicked
cretur," she said to herself at length. "Jus as
if de Lord Jesus didn't love little children eber
so much better dan you can! He's jus able
hisself to take care ob de dears; and Daph
needn't go for to fret herself 'bout dem."
Thus consoled, Daph was prepared calmly to
wait whatever should befall her. The stream of
sunlight that poured through the small window
slowly crept along the floor, and the weary hours
The new and beautiful truths that had of late
been brought home to the soul of Daph were
much in her thoughts, and full of comfort.
"I do be afeard," she said to herself, "I'se did
not act so berry Christianable, when dose big
men did catch Daph by de shoulder. Dere's
somewhat in Daph mighty strong, dat don't like
folks putting' hands on widout tellin' what's de
matter. Well, well, I spose Daph will get like
a lamb some time, if de Lord helps her. I'se do
wonder what the dears is a doin' jus now. May-
be that sweet Miss Rose is just speaking' to dem
beautiful words out ob de blessed book. How
Daph would like to hear dose same words her
own self !"
Daph's meditations were interrupted by the
sudden turning of the key in the lock, and then
the door of the small room was thrown open to
admit the entrance of a stranger.
The new-comer was a short, stout, elderly
man, with a dignified bearing, and a calm, kindly
expression in his round, unfurrowed face.
Daph looked at him, from his powdered head
to his white-topped boots, with entire satisfaction.
"He do be a real gemman, and' dat's a comfort,"
she said to herself, as she dropped a courtesy, and
waited to be addressed by the stranger.
Daph's favourable impressions were increased
by the mild manner and clear voice in which she
was addressed. She soon felt sufficiently at ease
to comply with the request made by the gentle-
man, that she would tell him frankly all that
she could remember of her life for the last few
years, and explain how she, a poor negress, came
into possession of jewellery fit for a duchess to
Daph began in her own simple way, and de-
scribed those pleasant home scenes on that far
Southern island. Her heart grew light at the
thought of the happy family circle in those good
old times. It was with difficulty she brought
herself to speak of the sudden destruction with
which that home was threatened. She touched
but lightly on her own efforts to save the little
ones, when there was no earthly friend but 'her-
self between them and a bloody death.
From time to time her listener questioned her
suddenly ; but she answered him with such
apparent frankness and simplicity, that he felt
ashamed of the momentary suspicions that had
crossed his mind.
When Daph came, in the progress of her story,
to the captain's late visit, and to the day of dark,
hopeless despair that followed it, the eyes that
were fixed upon her slowly filled with tears.
Those tears suddenly gushed forth, as with the
eloquence of a grateful heart Daph described the
face, like that of an angel, that bent over her in
her distress, and told of the Saviour, who is the
Friend of the sinner, and the comfort of all that
God bless my sweet Rose !" murmured the
stranger. "This was an errand of mercy indeed!"
After a moment's pause; he added aloud, "You
need say no more, Daph ; and, as he spoke, he put
out his hand to take that of the humble negress.
She did not notice the movement, for she had
lowered her eyes as she dropped her modest
courtesy, and relapsed into silence.
Diedrich Stuyvesant loved his daughter Rose
as the apple of his eye; but he thought her a
little too enthusiastic in her desire to do good,
and he trembled lest her warm feelings should
lead her judgment astray.
When she had burst into his library that morn-
ing, her face flushed with excitement and unwonted
exercise, he had met her with more than his usual
calmness and phlegmatic consideration. The hasty
outline she gave him of the story of her new
protegee seemed to him strange and improbable;
but he could not resist the earnestness with which
she besought him to hasten to the release of an
innocent and injured woman. Rose felt a little
relieved when she saw her father take his gold-
headed cane and walk forth, with the deliberate
air of one who has important business on hand.
She would gladly have hurried his steps; but she
knew that, though slow and cautious, whatever
he undertook would be kindly and wisely done;
and in this belief she forced herself to wait pa-
tiently for his long-delayed return.
Good Diedrich Stuyvesant did not go directly
to the prison, as his daughter had advised. He
first called on Dr. Bates, heard his pompous state-
ment of the grounds of his suspicions, and received
from him the troublesome gold chain that was
deemed of such importance.
Having agreed to meet the little doctor at a
certain hour, at the place of Daph's imprison-
ment, he proceeded to the red house with the blue
shutters, and inquired for Mrs. Ray. That per-
sonage was thrown into a. fit of mortification to
be found by so grand a gentleman in a dishabille
plainly intimating its recent proximity to the
wash-tub; and her curiosity alone prevented her
absolutely refusing to be seen in such a plight.
It did not take Diedrich Stuyvesant many
minutes to fathom Mrs. Ray, and to give to her
mean and idle curiosity the contempt that even
she herself felt that it deserved. All accoutred
as she was," she found herself obliged to accom-
pany her new acquaintance to the prison, where
she and Dr. Bates occupied a room near that in
which Daph had been placed, while Diedrich Stuy-
vesant proceeded to converse with the prisoner.
The time seemed long to the little doctor; for he
had the full benefit of all the vituperative epithets
in Mrs. Ray's vocabulary, which was by no means
a limited one in that department. On him she
vented all the dissatisfaction she felt at having
been led "into," as she exclaimed, "the worst,
the very worst piece of business I ever put my
finger in !"
Daph had completed her story, and was standing
silent and humble, when Diedrich Stuyvesant sum-
moned Dr. Bates and Mrs. Ray.
The doctor, small in every respect, entered with
an air of triumph, while Mrs. Ray followed-
pity, self-reproach, and curiosity strangely blending
in the expression with which she looked upon her
Daph met their glance with quiet composure.
In her heart she had been giving thanks to the
merciful God, who had raised up for her a new
and powerful friend; and fresh from the presence
of her divine Master, she could look on those
who had injured her without one taint of bitter-
Diedrich Stuyvesant had spoken often in the
councils of his country, and to his clear, calm voice
none had failed to listen, for he ever spoke with
the power of reason and truth. Now he stood
with the dignity of one accustomed to 'be heard,
as he looked for a moment in silence on the ac-
cusers. Then, in a short, clear statement, he told
the story of the humble negress, who listened with
wonder as he named with admiration and respect
the acts which she had performed, guided by her
own loving heart, and upheld by simple faith in
"the great Lord" of all.
Sternness and contempt struggled for mas-
tery in the voice of Diedrich Stuyvesant, as, in
concluding, he turned towards Dr. Bates, and
"As for you, young man, look at that dark-
skinned, ignorant woman, from whom you would
have lightly taken her only wealth,-her good
.name, which is above all price! Think of your
own fair skin you deem so superior,-of the edu-
cation you rightly value,-the Christian teaching
that has been sounded in your ears since child-
hood, and then say what good work you have
done in this world! What have you to bring
forward in comparison with the heroism and self-
sacrifice of this poor woman, whom you despised ?
Young man, think twice, if you are capable of
thought, before you again peril the good name of
the industrious poor, who are under the especial
care of the great Father in heaven Explore the
secrets of your profession, but honour the sanctity
of every humble home, and pry not into those
things which a lawful pride and an honourable
delicacy would hide from the eye of a stranger.
Know, young man, that you have this day broken
the laws of this free country, where no honest
citizen can be deprived of liberty on bare suspicion ;
and you yourself merit the punishment you would
have brought on the guiltless. But go I would
do you no harm. Go, and be a wiser and better
man for what you have heard to-day !"
Dr. Bates, with a crestfallen air, turned in
haste to leave the room, but his better feelings
prevailed, and stepping back, he said, "I am young,
foolish, and conceited, I know, sir, and I hope I