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STRAWBERRIES FOR BREAKFAST.
How TILLY FOUND A FRIEND;
TITUE TO THE LJA$T.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:
56, PATERNOSTER Row;
65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD; AND 164, PICCADILLY.
CON T N'T$.
I. TILLY'S FIRST DAY IN THE COUNTRY 5
II, IN THE HAYFIELDS. 14
II. A NEW ACQUAINTANCE 22
IV. TILLY AND NELLIE. 31
V. TILLY FINDS A PLACE 37
VI. THE PINK AND WHITE DRESS 43
VII. AN ACCIDENT 49
VIII. TILLY LOSES HER PLACE 56
IX. TROUBLE AT HOME .64
x. AFTER MANY DAYS 70
HOW TILLY FOUND A FRIEND.
iilly's firet la in the Cuontrg
7ILLY WITHERS had never
been in the country. She
lived in the very heart of
London, and in the dirtiest
part of it, and was as
ignorant about fields and
trees and flowers as a
blind girl. As to the green grass most
boys and girls are so fond of, she had only
seen it once, when her brother brought
home a root from the country, where he
6 How Tilly found a Friend.
had been with his father and mother on
their annual haymaking expedition; and
this, much as it was prized, soon withered
and died in the dark corner of the yard
where they planted it, as if it pined for the
fresh breezes and golden sunshine; and
Tilly was left to grieve over it, and to go
on wondering what the beautiful place
where it grew could be like, and wishing
for the time when she would be old enough
to make one of the haymaking party.
Up to the present time, as soon as the
warm June weather set in, Tilly had been
given into the care of a neighbour whose
age and ill-health prevented her from join-
ing the haymakers; and then for three
whole weeks she was parted from her
parents and brother.
Oh! how long the days seemed, spent
in trying to conjure up a picture of the
hayfield, as John had often described it to
her, or in wondering what they were doing.
She always counted the days till their
return; and if the crop was so good that
Tilly's First Day in the Country. 7
they stayed a little longer than they
expected, how disappointed she was, even
though she knew that they would bring
home a larger store against a rainy day;
and young as Tilly was she had learnt
more wisdom in money matters than many
a girl of twice her age, who has not felt
what it is to go without a dinner, or run
about with smarting feet because there
was no money to pay for mending the
holes in her shoes.
But Tilly's great desire had come at
last-to be ten years old; for she had
been promised that, once arrived at that
wonderful age, she should never be left
behind again, unless she were a naughty
girl. So she had striven hard against all
her faults; and though, like most children,
she had sometimes failed, by the time
the winter frosts gave place to the mild
weather of April, bringing round the day
on which the little baby Tilly first opened
her eyes on the world, she had gained her
end, and her father had promised her that
8 How Tilly found a Friend.
in June she should have a new pair of
boots-for which he had already begun to
save up money-and go with him to the
Oh, what delight! To see fields instead
of paved courts; green hedges and trees
instead of brick walls and chimney pots;
and real roses on the hedges like those
the Sunday-school teacher once had in her
bonnet! To hear the birds sing, and see
them hopping and flying all around Tilly
could hardly sleep at night for thinking of
it, and questioned her brother until his
patience was nearly exhausted, and he
exclaimed, Can't you wait till you see
But at last the day really came, and
Tilly, too much excited to eat her break-
fast, started off trudging along with John
behind their father and mother, who carried
a bundle of clothes, and some bread and
cheese tied up in a handkerchief for re-
freshment by the way.
Tilly had never been in a railway train
Tilly's First Day zn the Country. 9
before, and the noise and bustle of the
station rather frightened her; but she kept
close to her father until they got safely
into a carriage, and then amused herself
by looking out of the window. They could
see plainly, as they flew along above the
chimney pots and roofs, what a smoky,
dirty place they were leaving behind; but
at last the houses began to get more
cleanly looking, and the banks on either
side of the line were grassy, and Tilly
clapped her hands in delight to see some
yellow flowers growing amongst the green
-dandelions, John told her they were.
Every time the train stopped she thought
they were to get out; and she was begin-
ning to wonder how far they were going
when her mother commenced gathering up
her bundles, and in a few minutes the
train ran alongside the platform, and her
father opened the door and stood waiting
to jump out as soon as it stopped.
How beautiful everything looked in the
bright sunlight as they turned out of the
0o How Tilly found a Friend.
station into the lane! How sweet the air
smelt, laden with the scent of the hay;
and how beautifully the birds sang, now
that Tilly really heard them! It far
exceeded all that she had imagined or
dreamed of, and she ran hither and thither
looking at the beautiful leaves, touching
the soft grass with her hands, and smelling
the flowers-not daring to pick them ; for
Tilly could not understand yet how all
these lovely flowers could belong to every
one; to her, in her shabby clothes, as
much as to the smartly-dressed little girls
they met; and when John picked her some
dog-roses from the wayside she seemed
almost afraid to take them, lest they should
belong to somebody else.
Country boys and girls will wonder at
this; but there was a good reason for it.
Tilly knew no difference between wild and
garden flowers; and as she had been
taught strict honesty in the smallest matter
she did not like to take them.
The fields were already full of hay-
Tilly's First Day in the Country. II
makers, and Tilly could not help thinking,
as she saw them tossing the brown dry
grass into the air, what a pity it was that
it should ever have been cut. She did
not know that when autumn came it would
have died, and that next year it would
have grown rank and thin instead of sweet
and strong; and she certainly forgot that
the horses would have had no food for the
cold winter weather when they could not
go out to grate, and more than all that she
would not have been there in the beautiful
fields but for the haymaking.
Still Tilly was partly right. It always
does seem a pity to destroy anything
beautiful; only we should always remem-
ber that it is not really destroying a thing
to spoil its beauty in order to make it more
The farmer to whose fields Tilly's father
and mother generally went lived some
miles from the station; and as the sun
was very hot she soon got tired of running
backwards and forwards, and was very
12 How Tilly found a Friend.
glad when they sat down under a spreading
oak to eat some luncheon. Tilly declared
that she should never like to get dinner
indoors again. It was so pleasant to rest
on the cool soft grass; and bread and
cheese had never tasted so nice before.
When they had eaten enough, her father
and mother took a little nap; whilst the
two children amused themselves with
watching the birds twittering and fluttering
about their nests in the branches over-
At last their father awoke, and said it was
time for them to be moving on; so they
had to leave their nice shady place,
and begin their trudge along the dusty
When they got to Farmer Stanley's it
was too late to think of beginning work;
so, after eating a little more bread and
cheese, by way of supper, Tilly's father
went to speak to Mr. Stanley, and her
mother to look out for a place to sleep in;
whilst John took her for a ramble down
Tilly's First Day in the Country. 13
the lanes, from which they did not return
Of course they were heartily tired; and
Tilly was very glad when her mother called
her to come and lie down on the straw in
the barn where they were to pass the
In the javfftelb.
.1..', LTHOUGH Tilly had never
S slept before with the twink-
S ling stars peeping in at her as
they did all along the open
side of the barn, it was not
many moments before she
S was sound asleep; and as she
had hardly been able to close her eyes the
night before for thinking, it was late before
When she first sat up and rubbed her
eyes open, she wondered where she was.
She had forgotten all about the ride in the
railway train, and was very much surprised
not to find herself in the dark little garret
at home. But a few minutes sufficed to
In the Hayfields. 15
bring it all back into her head, and then
she saw that her father and mother and
John were gone. She was a little fright-
ened at first to be all alone in that great
barn, amongst the ploughs and harrows, of
the use of which she had not the slightest
idea. But she was too much accustomed
to shift for herself to stop and think about
her fear, so she jumped up and pushed her
hair back with her hands, and went out into
The hens wandering about there seemed
to look up at her with a sort of suspicious
curiosity, as if they knew she was a stranger;
and as she crossed towards the gate through
which she had come up from the hayfields
the evening before, the farm-yard dog rose
from the place under the palings where he
was warming himself in the sun, and shook
his chain with a savage growl which made
Tilly's heart beat. However, he did not
seem to think her worth the trouble of a
regular bark, and she got safely past.
She was not long finding the haymakers
16 How Tilly found a Friend.
and amongst them her mother, who, with
her old bonnet tipped forward to shade
her eyes from the sun, was working away
as hard as any one. Tilly had no fork to
toss with; so she set to work throwing the
hay up in the air with her hands. But she
soon got tired of this, and stole away to
take a walk round the field, and gather
flowers. The dew was still on the grass
where the hedges shaded it; and as the sun
got higher, it sparkled and glittered beau-
Tilly had never seen it before, and she
stood for a long while watching a lovely
diamond drop as it changed colours, green,
red, yellow, blue, and then dazzling white.
She was so taken up with it, that she did
not notice some one coming along the field
towards her, until he got so close that the
sound of his footstep made her turn. He
was a tall stout gentleman, with a bushy
black beard, and a broad-brimmed straw
hat, and Tilly felt sure he must be the
master of the farm, because he carried a
In the Hayfields.
silver-headed stick in his hand and his
clothes were so good. At first she felt
rather confused, and did not know what to
do; but he looked down so kindly at her,
that, though his voice was rather gruff, she
did not feel at all frightened when he
"Whose little girl are you ?" he asked.
"My name is Tilly Withers," replied
Tilly; "and I've come with my father and
mother and John haymaking."
"Withers, eh ? I didn't know they had
a little girl."
Please, sir, I was too little to come
before; but I like it very much."
Ah, I suppose so; and can you make
I don't know, sir; I haven't begun yet;
but I can sweep and scrub."
"That's something How old are you ?"
Mr. Stanley-for it was really he-walked
on; and after watching him out of sight,
Tilly continued her way, stopping every
18 How Tilly found a Friend.
now and then to look at the dewdrops, or
follow the larks until they became a mere
speck and she lost them in the sky. By-
and-by she came to a gate; and, forgetting
that the one she had come in by led out of
the rick-yard instead of another field, she
slipped through and went on.
The grass in this second field was already
cut and gathered up into haycocks, and Tilly
sat down upon one of these and rested,
until she began to feel very hungry. When
she got up, she quite forgot which way she
had come. Now, a field often has two gates,
and Tilly happened to choose the wrong
one; and as she did not know it until she
got right across thenext field, and discovered
that the haymakers were nowhere to be
seen, she kept getting farther and farther
away. She could have found her way
across any number of streets and turnings
at home; but these beautiful green fields,
that looked so much alike, perplexed her
sadly, and she began to fear she was lost.
She was afraid either to go on or to go
In the Hayfields. 19
back, for either might be wrong. She stood
still and listened; and then called with all
her might. But her voice sounded very small
in the middle of that big field, and the birds
seemed to laugh at her, especially one little
robin, who came and sang merrily on a tree
close by. Tilly listened again, and then
walked slowly on. It was clearly no use
The next gate she came to was shut.
She had never climbed a five-barred gate
in her life, and had no idea how to do it;
but she managed to squeeze herself through
on her hands and knees, and then getting
up she looked round the field. There was
a haystack at the farther side, with a railing
round it; and thinking that the rick-yard
must be just beyond, she plucked up cour-
age and ran across. There was a little
pond, too, just like the one in which she
had seen the ducks swimming about and
standing on their heads the evening before,
and Tilly thought that surely it must be
the same, only perhaps the ducks were not
20 How Tilly found a Friend.
awake yet; and, delighted beyond measure
to think that she was so near home, she
slipped through a gap in the hedge. But
this certainly was not the rick-yard. It
was a narrow lane between two hedges,
with grass growing all over it, instead of
dust and stones. Tilly did not know that
it was called a green lane, though she could
have told you how very cool and green it
was,-for she was getting very hot by this
But where did it lead to?
Tilly thought she would just go on and
see. If it was wrong she could easily turn
back and find the gap in the hedge by the
haystack; and, after all, it might be right.
After going on a little way, she came to a
low swinging gate, and as she could get
no farther without passing through, and it
stood open, she thought there could be no
great harm in doing so. It led into a
garden with a very straight path down the
middle. On. either side of the path were
beds with very neat rows of plants with
In the Hayfields.
purple and yellow blossoms; very pretty,
Tilly thought they were, and she wished
she knew whether she might pick some.
A little farther on, she came to great
rows, higher than her own head, of what
looked like dead bushes stuck into the
ground. Tilly was not used to faggots
in her London home, or she would have
thought of them; but her mother always
had to buy wood in bundles to light her
fire with, except when she could get chips
or shavings given her from the timber yard
close by. There were pretty white flowers
growing amongst them, with pale green
leaves and tiny little stalks like threads,
which twined round and round the dead
sticks, as if they wanted to hold them tight,
and long green pods like those Tilly had
seen at the old woman's stall near her
street. Surely they were peas-she had
found out how they grew. She stood still
and clapped her hands in delight. What
was her surprise on hearing some one call
her name: "Tilly Tilly !"
r '1 T was not her mother's voice;
..- I but perhaps she had sent
some one to call her to
Breakfast, and she was
1 She looked round, but
could see no one, even
though she tip-toed, and
peeped among the rows of peas. She was
beginning to think she must have made a
mistake, when the voice called again,
There was no mistake this time, and she
could hear plainly that the person who
called was farther down the path; so she
walked on until she came to an archway
A New Acquaintance.
covered with roses, much more lovely than
any she had seen in the hedges. There
was another gate here, but it was shut, and
Tilly did not like to open it, for fear she
had no business there. There were numbers
of flowers on the other side: red, blue,
yellow, and white, which smelt most sweetly;
and she was just going to clap her hands
again, when she heard the same voice-
quite close to her this time-" Is that you,
Tilly? I've been calling you such a long
Tilly put her head over the gate, and
peeped round; and there, on a garden
seat, she saw a little girl a little older than
"Did you call me ?" she said.
The little girl looked surprised. "Who
are you ?" she asked.
"Tilly Withers, miss." Tilly called her
"miss," for she saw that she was very
nicely dressed in a clean blue and white
frock, with lace in the neck and sleeves,
and a large white muslin hat to shade.her
24 How Tilly found a Friend.
face from the sun. "How did you know
"I wasn't calling you," replied the little
girl. "You're not the only Tilly in the
world. I've read about lots of "Tillys"
in my story-books. But where do you
come from ?"
"London, miss; and I've lost my way."
"London That's a long way. Let me
see! Twenty miles. Papa goes sometimes.
Did you walk?"
"I came in the train with father and
mother to make hay. I've got into the
wrong field, and I can't find my way back,
and I'm so hungry."
Haven't you had any breakfast ?"
I haven't eaten all mine. Come and
sit down here, and have some."
It was Tilly's turn to look surprised now.
That such a smart little girl should invite
her to come and sit down close beside her,
and have some of her breakfast, seemed so
very strange. She did not answer.
A New Acquaintance. 25
"Do come and have some," the little girl
saidagain. "I don't wantit. Look here!"
and she lifted a dainty little basket from
the ground by her feet, and showed it.
"They always bring me more than I can
But Tilly did not answer, for she was
thinking. Her mother had always taught
her not to take food or sweets from strangers,
because it was like a beggar to do so; and
they were not beggars, although they were
very poor, because they did work whenever
they could get it. Still she was dreadfully
hungry, and she wondered whether it would
be very wrong to accept some.
"Why won't you come ?" the little girl
asked, looking very coaxingly into Tilly's
eyes with her great blue ones.
Tilly hardly knew how to tell her.
"I want to go home to mother's break-
fast," she said.
"Are you going to have anything very
nice then ?" she could not possibly imagine
any other reason why Tilly should decline
26 How Tilly found a Friend.
her offer-" I've got bread-and-butter and
"I've only got bread and cheese."
"Then come and have some, do!" and
she held up a beautiful strawberry.
That was more than Tilly could resist.
She lifted the latch, and stepped through.
Here's plenty of room," her new friend
said, placing the basket between them;
and she put a handful of strawberries in
Tilly's lap, and watched her eat them.
"Do you always have strawberries for
breakfast ?" Tilly asked, when she had
The little girl nodded. "That is, when
they're in season," she answered; "and
papa gets them for me before any one else
has them-grown in hot countries, you
know, where they get ripe much sooner
than they do here."
How nice!" Tilly exclaimed, as she
took a piece of the sweet bread-and-butter.
"Do you always have it out here ?"
"When it's fine enough. Papa lets me
A New Acquaintance.
have it out here because I can eat so much
more in the air than indoors."
"Mother never wants us to eat more
than we can help," Tilly said, thoughtfully.
"But then I can't eat enough. Papa
says I'm so thin; and I shall never get
strong if I don't eat plenty. See!" and
she pulled up her sleeve, and showed such
a thin white little wrist.
They held their arms side by side. There
was such a difference !
"I can't run about like other children,"
she went on. "I expect that's why I don't
"Are you ill ?" Tilly asked, looking very
Not now; but I was when I was little,
and it took all the strength out of my legs."
Can't you walk at all ?"
"Not without my crutches; and that's
such hard work. Tilly always wheels me
here. That's my chaise."
"I should like to wheel you sometimes,"
28 How Tilly found a Friend.
"Should you? Why ?"
"Because you gave me strawberries; and
I like to do something for people when
they're kind to me. There was a little
-lame girl came to our school once, and she
taught me to hem; so I used to wheel her
home. But she died soon after. Would
not you like to go down in the hayfield ?"
The little girl did not answer. She sat
quite silent for some minutes, with her
elbow resting on her knee, and her chin in
her palm ; then she said slowly: "Papa
thinks I shall die. That's why he lets me
do as I like."
"Our teacher always said Polly Tufton
would, because she was so patient; and
God always takes such good children to
I'm not good," said the little girl, de-
cidedly ; "I'm very cross sometimes, so
perhaps I shan't die."
"Don't you want to?"
"No. Do you?"
"No. But then I'm quite strong. When
A New Acquaintance.
Polly Tufton died, teacher said it was very
good of God to take her, because she suf-
fered so, and little girls that were ill always
wanted to die."
"I'd rather stay here and get strong,
and take care of papa. Poor papa he
would miss me so much!"
Hasn't he got any one else to take care
"Only me. My mamma died when I
was a baby."
"Can you remember her?" asked Tilly,
looking very sorry.
No; but I've often seen the place where
they put her in the churchyard, and her
name is on the stone. I shouldn't like to be
put there in the ground-should you ?-
with that heavy stone over me."
"No. It must be so dark and cold."
"So I mean to get strong as soon as I
Let me wheel you about. Perhaps that
would help to make you better."
Perhaps it would. I should like it if
30 How Tilly found a Friend.
your mother doesn't mind. It's so dull to
sit here always, and Tilly hasn't time to
keep on pushing me about; and when you
are tired we can stop in the shade and look
at my books and pictures."
Tilly was very pleased; and as soon as
she had eaten enough breakfast, her new
friend, whose name was Nellie Somers,
took up her crutches, and swung herself
across to her chaise, and they started off,
first of all to tell the other Tilly-who was
Mr. Somers's servant, and Nellie's nurse-
maid-and then to Farmer Stanley's fields,
the way to which Nellie knew perfectly
ZilUp anb &lllie.
tT first Nellie's nursemaid
"objected to her going
"about the fields with
a strange little girl.
She was afraid lest
Tilly should lead her
into some mischief, or
steal her books, and
then run away and leave her; and she said
that she must wait until her papa came in.
But upon learning her mother's name she
consented at once; for she had always
heard of Mrs. Withers from Mr. Stanley's
servants as a very respectable woman. So
they went off together; Tilly sometimes
32 How Tilly found a Friend.
drawing the chaise, sometimes pushing,
whilst Nellie held the handle to guide it.
Tilly found it rather harder work than
she had expected, for the grass was much
rougher than the pavements she was
used to; but she would not stop once until
they came in sight of the haymakers, when
she wheeled the chaise up under the shade
of the hedge, and ran on to find her mother.
She did not have much difficulty about
this, nor in gaining permission to wheel
Nellie Somers about; for Mrs. Withers,
who knew very well that a little girl of ten
could not be of much use in haymaking,
saw that Mr. Somers could not let her
wait upon his daughter without giving her
something in return. She therefore only
inquired whether the little girl was sure
her papa would like it, and having heard
Tilly's account of the strawberry breakfast,
went on with her haymaking, very well
satisfied that some employment had turned
up for her daughter.
Nellie was full of glee when Tilly re-
Tilly and Nellie. 33
turned, and they set off at once together.
Nellie was a very amusing companion, for
she knew so much about the flowers, or
which Tilly gathered numbers for her as
they went along; and she could tell the
names of the birds by their song, even when
the branches hid them from view. Then
she had read much about other countries
of which Tilly scarcely knew the names,
and could tell a lot of pretty and funny
stories. So the hours passed very pleasantly
until it was time for Nellie to go back
to dinner, and Tilly wheeled her up the
garden path, and went back to the hayfield,
promising to come again next morning.
Mr. Somers looked rather grave when
Nellie told him all about it at dinner-time.
"I must see her," he said, "before you
go out with her again, and judge for my-
self whether she is a fit companion for my
"She is very poor, papa, and badly
dressed," said Nellie, who was afraid that
Tilly's shabby clothes and rough hair might
34 How Tilly found a Friend.
shock her father. "But she may be very
good for all that. Don't you remember
the story-book you gave me last birthday,
about the prince disguised as a peasant ?"
Mr. Somers smiled. "We shall see,"
was all he said. "If she is a diamond in
the rough, I shall soon know it."
For a minute Nellie wondered what her
father meant; but she soon remembered
how precious stones are found in the middle
of a great rough coating, which makes them
look just like the stones with which the
roads are mended. And she understood
at once how well a noble upright soul, in
a mean body or poor clothes, may be com-
pared to the gems which are thus found.
Despised and little thought of till the shell
which holds them is broken open, but prized
and valued by One who can see their true
worth; for "in the day that I make up
My jewels, they shall be Mine, saith the
When Tilly came next morning, she was
surprised and not a little frightened at the
Tilly and Nellie.
news Nellie had for her. She was to come
that evening to see Mr. Somers, and until
then she was not even to talk to Nellie in
the garden; for her papa was very much
afraid-as all fathers are right in being-
lest she should prove an unfit companion
for her. I do not mean on account of
her clothes, because, provided they were
clean and wholesome, contact with them
could do Nellie no harm; but because he
did not know whether she had been taught
to think right or wrong. However, he had
given leave for Tilly to have some break-
fast when she came, and whilst she ate it
they talked it all over.
Nellie advised her to brush her hair and
clean her nails, as these were two things
about which Mr. Somers was very particular.
But Tilly had only an old broken comb to
do her hair with, so it was no wonder if it
did not look very glossy; and as to her
nails, when she compared them with Nellie's
they looked so ugly, all bitten off straight
across, and black with dirty work and
36 How Tilly found a Friend.
neglect, that she felt quite in despair about
them. But she promised to do her best;
and when she had had enough breakfast
she went away to tell her mother, and
wander about the hayfield for the rest of
the morning, wondering very much what
Mr. Somers would say to her.
ill hiitnb a algare.
K J, L T seven o'clock that evening
Tilly knocked timidly at the
front door of Mr. Somers's
house. There was a decided
improvement in her appear-
ance since the morning. She
had washed her head and face
under the pump, and her
hair was combed back very smooth and
tight. She had on one of her mother's
clean Sunday aprons too, which hid a
great part of her dress; and considering
that she had no soap to wash her hands
with, she had done her best to make
them look clean. But, oh how her heart
38 How Tilly found a Friend.
Nellie's nursemaid let her in, and took
her to a large room with a very handsome
carpet and white muslin curtains and pic-
tures in gold frames on the walls, where
Sshe left her, merely throwing open the door
and saying to her master, "The little girl,
Tilly was a good deal frightened, and
made a deep curtsey, as her mother had
told her to; for she saw at once that the
gentleman in the arm-clhair reading the
newspaper was Mr. Somers; but just as
he looked up at her she caught sight of
Nellie lying on a couch by his side, and
somehow she could not help smiling to
her. The next minute she was terribly
afraid she had done wrong ; and that made
her heart beat all the more.
However, Mr. Somers beckoned her to
come nearer. She was almost afraid to
tread on the carpet, it looked so handsome;
and her clumsy boots seemed to make such
a dreadful noise. When she got quite
close, Mr. Somers turned to Nellie and said,
Tilly Finds a Place.
"So then this is the little girl whose
acquaintance you have picked up! "
And Nellie answered meekly, "Yes,
papa;" looking at Tilly all the while to
Then Mr. Somers looked at her so long,
that she did not know where to fix her
eyes, and kept glancing from him to Nellie,
and from Nellie to her own toes and back
again, wondering when he would speak.
At last he asked, How old are you ?"
and Tilly replied, "Ten, sir."
"And your name is-"
"Tilly Withers, sir."
"Tilly! That's your nurse's name, my
"Can you read and write ? "*
"Not much, sir. I can clean and scrub;
but I don't get much schooling."
"Ah! people will soon be compelled to
send their children to school," said Mr.
Somers, half to himself.
Please, sir, 'tisn't mother's fault," said
40 How Tilly found a Friend.
Tilly. "We're very poor, and I have to
mind things while she goes out to work."
"I dare say not, I dare say not, poor
thing!" said Mr. Somers, in the same
musing tone; "and it will come very hard
on them in some ways ; but it will be better
in the end. The poor want educating
terribly. You go to Sunday-school ?"
"Oh yes, sir !" Tilly's face brightened
at the mention of Sunday-school: and she
took courage to tell him what beautiful
stories teacher told them about the good
Saviour who went about helping people
and teaching them, and curing those who
were sick or lame or blind or deaf or dumb,
and never stopping to think how tired He
was; until at last Mr. Somers interrupted
her to ask if she could remember any of
the texts she had learnt; and she said;
" If ye love Me, keep My commandments ;"
and "Be ye doers of the word: not hearers
only;" and Suffer little children to come
unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such
is the kingdom of heaven." And then he
Tilly Finds a Place. 41
stopped her, and went to arrange Nellie's
pillow more comfortably and kiss her; and
Tilly fancied she saw tears in his eyes, and
remembered what Nellie had told her out
in the garden.
Presently he sat down again, and looked
at Tilly very kindly, but rather sternly,
she thought, and said, Now, my child, you
have pleased me by the way in which you
have answered my questions, and I can see
that you have a good heart, so for the
sake of my daughter Nellie, and because
she has set her heart upon it, I shall allow
you to be her maid for the present; but
mind, if ever you lead her into any mischief
or harm, you will never see her again."
Tilly dropped him another curtsey, and
promised that she would never do that;
and Nellie reached out her hand to fondle
his, and said, "Thank you, dear papa;
only-" she added in a coaxing whisper-
"I would much rather call her my com-
panion than my maid, because we are both
little girls. May I, please ?"
42 How Tilly found a Friend.
Then Mr. Somers told Tilly to go home;
and Nellie rang a hand-bell which stood
on a little work-table close by, for the nurse
to show her the way out, and she went
back to the barn.
'I -', *-* ,.-'
-he j3ink alnb White pxtoz.
FTER that Tilly used to go
Every morning to Mr.
/ Somers's garden, almost as
soon as she was up, and
wait for Nellie. Then they
would have their breakfast together, and
start off for the fields and lanes. Some-
times Mr. Somers came out to them on
the lawn, and he was always very kind and
pleasant. Once, Tilly heard him say how
much better Nellie began to look, and she
knew that was a sure sign that he was
pleased. She was making progress with
her reading too; for in the heat of the
morning they would sit for hours under
the shade of a tree, whilst she puzzled over
44 How Tilly found a Friend.
one of Nellie's books; and Nellie was so
patient and gentle, and would take the
book when she got tired, and read a piece
so beautifully, that she would have been
ungrateful indeed not to try very hard.
A fortnight passed in this way, and they
did not have one wet day. Their only
sorrow was that the haymaking would so
soon be over, and Tilly would have to go
back to her smoky London home.
One Saturday morning she was very
much surprised, on going for Nellie, to see
the nurse standing at the door waiting for
her; so she ran as fast as she could, won-
dering all the while why Nellie wasn't
there as usual.
"You're to come to Miss Nellie's room,"
the servant said, turning back into the
house as soon as Tilly reached the door;
"and see what she wants you for."
Tilly wondered still more at this; but she
followed without saying anything, and
carefully mounted the stairs. They were
covered with carpet all the way, she noticed,
The Pink and White Dress.
like the rooms. She had never seen such
a thing before. In a few minutes they
arrived at Nellie's room, where the servant
stopped, knocking with her knuckles on the
door. Nellie said, Come in," and in Tilly
went; and the servant closed the door
after her, and went away again.
What a pretty room it was! White
curtains to the bed, white curtains to the
windows, which were surrounded with
roses and jessamine; and such a lovely
carpet on the floor, with green fern leaves
all over it. By one of the windows sat
Nellie, ready dressed, with her crutches by
her side, and her garden hat in her hand.
She threw it down as Tilly came in, and
swung herself across to the bed.
"I've been watching for you ever so
long," she said; "and see here what I've
got for you." And supporting herself on
one crutch, sheheld up a pink and white
Tilly threw up her hands in delight.
" For me! she cried. It is beautiful "
46 How Tilly found a Friend.
"Papa said I might," Nellie went on,
delighted to see Tilly so pleased. It is
one of my last year's dresses ; but it's too
short for me, so I've had it washed and
ironed for you, that you may take me to
church to-morrow. You must put it on
now, and see if it is becoming to you."
Tilly soon had her frock off, though she
had little doubt as to whether she should
be pleased with her appearance in the pink
and white, for she had not learnt to be
over-particular in matters of dress. She
had never had anything so pretty in her
life before, and seemed almost afraid to
touch it, for fear of spoiling it. However,
Nellie assured her that it would wash any
amount;" and after they had duly admired
it, and Nellie had satisfied herself that it
needed no alterations, Tilly slipped it off
again, so that it might be quite fresh for
Sunday, and they went down into the
garden. It was still very early, and they
had to wait some time before their break-
fast was ready; but as soon as they had
The Pink and White Dress.
finished, Nellie got into her chaise, and
Tilly pushed her off.
This morning they chose a way they had
not been before, across some meadows past
the church, where Nellie got out to show
Tilly the grave in which her mother lay.
Then they went on, down a shady lane
where the trees met overhead like the
arches of some grand old cathedral, and far
above the larks were warbling their morn-
ing hymns of praise to their Maker. Here
the banks were blue with bright-eyed
speedwell, and bachelor's buttons and
ragged robin and Jack-by-the-hedge held
up their saucy heads; whilst the bluebells
nodded in the breeze, and the modest
daisies peeped out from amongst the grass.
It was so pleasant and cool that they
stayed there some time to rest; and Tilly
had another reading lesson, and Nellie
finished a story she had begun the day
before. By-and-by, however, they got tired
of the books; and as Tilly declared she
was quite rested, they went on.
48 How Tilly found a Friend.
A little way farther was a green lane,
down which Nellie had once been with her
nurse to get blackberries. It was a very
pretty lane, and led to a brook at the
bottom of the valley, where there was a
little waterfall and a plank bridge with a
hand-rail on one side. Nellie remembered
it perfectly well, and how much she wanted
to go on to the bridge, only it was not
wide enough for her crutches, and the nurse
would not carry her, though she often did
at home. It was not much farther, and
they agreed that there would be just time
to go down and see it before dinner.
.. WELLIE was disappointed when
they got there to find the
water much shallower than
she had expected; but the
', weather had been so dry for
some time past, that the spring up on the
hills where it came from was nearly ex-
hausted; and it would not be so deep
again until there had been a storm or some
heavy rain to wet the ground. But the
waterfall was still there, although they could
see the stones quite plainly through it,
and it did not make so much bubbling.
The bridge looked so high above the water
now that Nellie thought she would be
almost afraid to go over, even if she could
50 How Tilly found a Friend.
walk. But Tilly crossed it, holding by the
hand-rail, and picked some honeysuckle
growing on the other side, whilst Nellie sat
in the chaise and watched her. Then she
came back, and went down the bank where
it sloped down to a broad ledge of gravel
close by the water's edge. In winter this
was all covered by the water, but now it
was quite dry so that she could walk along
it. A little farther on the brook wound
round, and the bank rose high above her
head, so that it hid Nellie from her.
There were some curious plants growing
there, some like grass, and some with
strong thick stalks and long leaves like
sword-blades, which bent over and dipped
into the water, as if they were thirsty.
Nellie said the grass must be sedges and
the tall plants bulrushes, and she very
much wanted to go and see. So Tilly said
she would pull one and bring it to her;
but Nellie proposed that she should wheel
her chaise down the bank, and take her
along as far as the ledge was wide enough.
An Accident. 51
Tilly was delighted with the idea, and soon
had her down the bank, for it was not steep,
though she had to hold the chaise back
with all her might to keep it from running
into the water. She rather wondered how
she should get it up again; however, there
was no need to trouble about that yet,
and she went on. It was difficult work
pushing it along the stones, for the wheels
sank in amongst them and the water oozed
up a little; but that did not matter to
Tilly, because her boots were so very thick.
So they went on right past the bulrushes,
and found some more honeysuckle, and
saw some water-wagtails skimming about
in and out the bushes in their pretty black
and white coats.
In parts the blackberry brambles were
so tangled that it was difficult to get along,
and Tilly got a good deal scratched; but
Nellie enjoyed it so much that she did not
mind a bit for the smart. By-and-by they
came to a place where the bank was lower,
and there was a hurdle put across the brook
52 How Tilly found a Friend.
to keep the cows from getting out of one
field into another when they came down
there to drink. There were steps cut in
the bank too, so that any one could come
down there to dip water. They were not
far from some houses, for there was a path-
way up the field, and they could see the
smoke from a chimney; but Nellie did not
know who lived there.
But it must be getting time to go home
now, they thought; so, as it would be quite
impossible to get the chaise up the bank
there, they must turn round and go all the
way back. But it was no such easy matter
to turn; for the gravel was only just wide
enough for both wheels, and farther out
the bed of the brook sloped down pretty
steeply. Tilly was sorely puzzled. She
tried and tried and tried; but the chaise
was so much longer than it was wide that
when she attempted to pull it round, the
fore-wheels went right down into the water,
and she knew she must not let Nellie's feet
get wet. Suddenly Nellie hit upon an
idea. This was, not to turn her round at
all, but just to pull her along backwards.
Tilly clapped her hands. She had never
thought of that; but then she could not
see where she was going to herself, so
Nellie proposed that she should turn round
and go face foremost, pulling the chaise
with her hands behind her, and she begged
of her to be quick, lest she should be late
for dinner. Tilly had forgotten dinner,
and made haste to turn round; but in her
hurry she entangled her foot in a bramble,
and fell forward into the brook, pulling the
chaise and Nellie and the books and every-
thing with her.
She was not hurt, for there was not far
to fall; but Nellie was thrown right out
into the middle of the stream, and she was
wet through. Tilly was so frightened at
what she had done that instead of pulling
Nellie out she began to cry; but just at
that moment she heard a splash in the
water just by the steps, and some one
54 How Tilly found a Friend.
"Holloa! what are you up to?" and
almost before Tilly could speak or look up,
her brother John had got his arms round
Nellie, and carried her clean up the bank
on to the grass.
He had been making hay in a field close
by, and had fortunately come down to the
brook for water just in time to see the
chaise turn over.
As soon as he had disposed of Nellie, he
jumped down again.
"You'll catch it," he said, going back
to where Tilly stood crying and sobbing
bitterly. "You'd better leave off that row
and pick up your books; and taking the
chaise by the handle he pulled it back to
the steps, and dragged it up the bank after
him; for he was a very strong lad.
Of course Tilly left off crying, for she
soon saw that that would do no good at all;
but she could not get both the books, for
one of them was right out in the middle of
the water, so John cut a stick and fished it
out, whilst she climbed up to Nellie.
An Accident. 55
Nellie was not at all hurt; but she was
wet to the skin, and not much less frightened
than Tilly, though she did not dry. "Papa
will be very angry when he hears of it,"
she said. He will never let us go out
John brought her crutches, and she got
into the chaise, and they wheeled her up
the field as fast as they could to the house,
which proved to be none other than Mr.
Stanley's; and there they took off her wet
clothes, and put her into a blanket, whilst
they sent for her nursemaid.
Sil ln gozeei her jIlart.
R. SOMERS had just re-
turned home to dinner
when Mrs. Stanley's ser-
vant went over to tell them
what had happened to
S Nellie, and he at once accom-
panied the nursemaid back.
Nellie looked very uncomfortable when
he came into the kitchen where she was
sitting wrapped up by the fire; but he did
not scold her. He only said, "You must
not go out like that any more, my child."
And Nellie, with tears in her eyes, pro-
mised that she would never go there again,
if only he would let Tilly continue to wheel
Tilly Loses her Place. 57
her about. But her father did not say any
more; and after a few words with Mrs.
Stanley as to what was best to be done, he
took her up in his arms and carried her
home to bed.
Meanwhile, Tilly had to get dry as best
she might. But she was not very wet, and
it was such a hot day that she did not take
any harm. However, she was very uneasy
about Nellie, besides which she knew how
angry her mother would be ; for she made
certain that Mr. Somers would not let her
go out with Nellie any more, and of course
John would tell all about it.
As to Nellie, she was not harmed beyond
a cut upon her knee, but she lay all the
- afternoon not much more easy than Tilly,
wondering what her father would say. At
last the servant brought her tea, and soon
after she heard her father's step upon the
stair. He came in and kissed her as usual,
and felt her hand and looked at her very
anxiously; then he sat down by her bed-
side, and asked her all about it. Nellie
58 How Tilly found a Friend.
never hesitated about telling her father the
truth, and she now told him exactly how
it had happened, adding, "It was all my
fault, papa. Tilly was going to pull the
bulrushes for me, but I wanted to go and
see them for myself; and do, please, let
her take me out again."
But Mr. Somers would not yield. He
said that Tilly was old enough to know
better, and ought not to have taken her
into such a dangerous place.
I told her," he said, that if ever she
took you into any mischief she would
never see you again; and I must keep my
In vain Nellie protested that it was her
fault, and not Tilly's; in vain she begged
and prayed, and even cried. It was of no
use; she saw, only too plainly, that all her
rides with Tilly were over.
"And who was the boy who pulled you
out of the water ?" Mr. Somers asked.
"It was Tilly's brother John," Nellie
told him. So he took a half-crown out of
Tilly Loses her Place. $9
his pocket, and told her that when Tilly
came she might give her that for John, and
tell her never to come again. So Nellie
took the half-crown, and hid it under her
pillow; and as soon as her father had gone
downstairs, she cried herself to sleep.
The next morning was Sunday, when
Tilly was to have worn the pink and white
frock, and taken Nellie to church; but
that could not be now, she saw. It was
early when she awoke. She got up sadly,
and went out into the farm-yard. Her
mother and father and John were still
asleep; and Tilly was rather glad, for
though her mother had not scolded her for
getting little Miss Somers into mischief,
Tilly knew that she blamed her very much,
and she felt that she was in disgrace.
So she wandered about by herself until
it was time to get some breakfast, feeling
about as miserable as it was possible to
feel, and wondering whether Mr. Somers
was very angry. She determined to wait
until he had started for church before going
60 How Tilly found a Friend.
to see Nellie; so she listened until the bells
had done ringing for service, and then
stole up the path, and timidly rang the bell.
The servant showed rather a black face
when she opened the door; but she took
her at once to the room where she had
seen Mr. Somers the first time, and left her.
Nellie was there lying on her couch. She
half got up when Tilly came in, and the
tears were in her eyes.
"Oh, Tilly," she said, "I am never to
see you any more, and it is all my fault."
"What did your papa say?" inquired
Tilly, eagerly. "Was he very angry with
us ? "
"No; papa never scolds me, you know.
He only said that he warned us of getting
into mischief, and that you ought to have
known better; and we are never to go out
together, or see each other again."
Tilly's countenance fell; for though she
quite expected Mr. Somers would say this
it seemed very hard now she really heard
Tilly Loses her Place. 61
"And you will have no one to push you
about," she said. "You will never get
strong. Your papa is cruel."
"No, Tilly, papa is not cruel," Nellie
answered, softly. "He loves me too much
to be cruel; but he will not believe it was
my fault; and he says that he would rather
pay a man half-a-crown a day to drive me
about, than trust me with any one who
would take me into such danger. Poor
papa he is so afraid of losing me."
"But I can come into the garden and
talk to you."
No, not even talk to me-papa says so."
"But he need not know. If you came
down to the end of the garden where I saw
you the first time, I could talk to you over
Nellie shook her head.
"That wouldn't be right," she said.
"The Bible tells us to obey our parents;
and we mustn't choose to do it only when
what they tell us to do seems pleasant."
"It's all very well" Tilly grumbled.
62 How Tilly found a Friend.
"You don't care; you've got all you want,
and you won't miss me; but I shall have
nothing I care about if I mayn't come and
see you;" and she broke down and burst
But I do care," Nellie cried; "and I've
begged papa-oh, so hard-to let you
come. But it's of no use, only he said I
might give you this," and she took a pretty
little Bible off her work-table. See, I've
written your name in it, and a verse; and
you must remember me when you read it.
And I may give you the frock just the
same, because, you see, papa doesn't want
to punish you, but only to keep me from
harm; and here is half-a-crown which papa
gave me for your brother, because he pulled
me out of the water."
They talked together a little, and Tilly
dried her eyes; and Nellie put both her
arms round her neck, and told her she should
never forget her; and Tilly took her Bible
and the parcel with the frock in it, and
John's half-crown and went away.
Tilly Loses her Place. 63
Nellie was at the window when she shut
the gate; but she had to dash the tears
from her eyes to see her, for what was a
pretty dress or John's half-crown if she
was never to see Nellie again ? Her Bible,
with Nellie's writing in it, was the only
thing she cared about.
Zronbie at jomimt.
T- HE next year Tilly did not
Sgo haymaking at Farmer
Stanley's. She was bitterly
disappointed, for at any rate
Sshe would have seen the
places where she had been
with Nellie-perhaps, even
Nellie herself; and she had even dared to
hope that now she was a year older and
wore rather longer dresses, Mr. Somers
might have thought he could trust her to
wheel Nellie out again. But her mother
had fallen sick; so her father and John
went alone, and she had to stay at home
and nurse her.
Trouble at Home.
It seemed hard to be there in that hot
close room, with nothing but the narrow
court to look out into, when she could
remember so well the free green fields and
the sweet fresh air of the country; but
then it was harder still to lie there and
suffer pain, and her mother looked so
white and ill that she could not think
much of herself.
Her father and brother came home again,
and still her mother was no better. Some-
times a kind lady would bring flowers, and
read to her, and now and then Tilly's
Sunday-school teacher brought her jelly or
beef-tea; but at last she could not even
take that, and she only got thinner and
thinner, and more and more weak, until
at last, one cold November evening, when
the streets were full of fog, and Tilly sat
reading to her from Nellie's precious Bible
by the firelight, she fell back unconscious on
her pillow. They rubbed her hands and
feet, and put warm tea to her lips, and John
ran for a doctor; but she never opened her
66 How Tilly found a Friend.
eyes again, and before the morning she
had drawn her last breath.
Tilly had never seen any one die before,
and she was very much frightened; and
when they came and put her mother in
the coffin, and laid her in the dark cold
ground, she cried as if her heart would
break. And then she thought of Nellie's
mother under the turf in the old church-
yard, with the daisies blooming all around,
and the green trees waving overhead; and
she wished that her mother was lying there
side by side with her. She forgot that in
that day when "the dead in Christ shall
arise," it will not matter where we lie, for
Ne shall all go to the "home" of many
mansions," where there will he "no more
death, neither sorrow nor crying," for God
shall wipe away all tears."
Tilly had to be her father's housekeeper
now. She had to mend his clothes, and
get his meals, and spend his money; and
it was very difficult for such a little girl to
do it all, and do it right. But she tried
Trouble at Home.
very hard, and succeeded pretty well; for
she endeavoured to remember how her
mother used to act, and then she knew she
was sure of not being wrong; and on
Saturday nights her father would go out
with her, carrying a large bag, to do the
marketing. So, although she was only
eleven years old, she managed to keep his
house for him. But work was very scarce,
and the winter very hard, and they were
glad when the milder weather came.
At last when John came in one evening,
as the spring drew on, he told them that
he had made up his- mind to be a sailor.
All his efforts to get a place had failed, and
now a lad was wanted on a ship lying in
the docks ready to start on a voyage; so,
although his father did not like to part with
him, and Tilly cried at the idea of his being
out on the great wild ocean in the storm
and wind, they both felt that, after all, it
was the best thing he could do. So Tilly
made up his bundle of clothes as well as
she could, and his father gave him a few
68 How Tilly found a Friend.
shillings, which he could ill spare, and he
went; and Nellie and her father were left
Tilly missed her brother sadly; and often
she would go to the garret window when
the moon was bright, and think of him far
away on the waves; or at night, when the
wind rattled the tiles, and shook her bed,
she would tremble to think of him rocking
to and fro in his ship.
But the spring passed, and June came,
and the narrow court grew hot with the
summer sun, and at last she and her father
once more tied up their little bundle, and
started for Farmer Stanley's. She was old
enough to toss the hay now; but as soon
as the first day's work was over, she went,
all tired as she was, to the house where
Mr. Somers lived.
A strange girl opened the door, and in
answer to her inquiries told her that Mr.
Somers had left the neighbourhood nearly
a year ago. She could not tell her anything
about Nellie, nor where they had gone to
Trouble at Home.
reside; and Tilly went away feeling that
she would indeed never see her again. The
next evening she went to the churchyard
to look at the grave, half dreading all the
while lest Nellie's name should be there
underneath her mother's. But it was just
the same except that some one-she guessed
it must be Nellie-had planted some ever-
lasting flowers there. One by one she
visited all the old places where she had
been two years before with Nellie; and on
Sunday, when her father was not asleep,
she sat with him in the shade and read to
him from her Bible.
At last all the fields were cleared, and
the last load of hay was safely stacked;
and Tilly and her father went back to their
^Vtezr 4flan l.
"Pi flOOR Tilly! It was early to
(know trouble. So young,
and yet motherless, and
soon to be fatherless!
Some time after, her father
Caught a cold. At first he
S thought little of it, and went
to work as usual; but it got worse, and a
hacking cough and bad pain in his chest
came on. Tilly used to look anxiously at
him ; but he made light of it, and said that
a great strong fellow like him could stand
anything. But one damp bleak day he
came home wet through and shivering from
head to foot. He dried himself at the fire,
and drank the hot tea which Tilly gave him.
After Many Days.
and said he should be better for that; but he
could not get warm, and soon went to bed.
Tilly was very anxious, for she could
hear him tossing about, as she lay in her
little garret overhead, and twice in the
night she got up and went to him. He
was still very cold, so she got some old
clothes of her mother's and covered him
with them, thinking perhaps that would
help to warm him, and then crept back to
bed, but not to sleep ; for she was thinking
of what she should do all alone, if her
Towards morning she went to him again.
He was asleep; but his face was very
flushed, and when she touched it with her
lips it was burning hot. She got the fire
alight and boiled some water ready to
make his tea, and presently he awoke; but
the pain in his chest was much worse, and
he could not eat.
Tilly was very much frightened by this
time, and she coaxed him to let her fetch
72 How Tilly found a Friend.
The doctor looked very serious when he
saw Tilly's father. He felt his pulse, and
inquired how the pain had come on, and
ordered mustard poultices on his chest and
back, promising to send some medicine
But although Tilly was careful to carry
out his orders as well as their poor means-
would allow, the patient rapidly got worse;
and when the doctor came next morning
he looked very grave indeed. He was very
kind to Tilly, and got her all the help he
could; but to preserve her father's life was
beyond his power. On the fifth day after
the beginning of his illness, he took her
aside and told her very gently that he had
done all he could, and that nothing but
God's mercy could restore her father now.
Tilly knew by his solemn looks what he
meant; but she did not cry. Trouble was
making her brave; and although her heart
was ready to break, she asked questions
about what she was to do, and listened
quite calmly to his directions.
After Many Days. 73
But when he was gone, and she had given
her father his medicine and watched him
to sleep, she crept up into her garret, and
throwing herself on her knees she burst
She did not stay there long. When the
first outbreak of her grief was over, she
remembered that she had work to do, and
determined that as long as her father lived
she would do her utmost to comfort him.
She rose and went back to his bedside.
She had not long been seated there when
the woman who occupied the lower part
of the house came to say that she was
wanted. With another look, to make sure
that her father was asleep, Tilly crept out
of the room and down the stairs, taking
the candle with her.
She wondered who it could be. Some-
body, perhaps, whom the doctor had sent
with something good for her father; or
perhaps some one about the unpaid coal
bill. She put the candle down on a ledge
and went to see.
74 How Tilly found a Friend.
A tall young lady in a beaver hat and
fur-lined cloak was standing in the passage,
and stepped forward as Tilly approached,
so that the light fell full upon her face.
For a minute Tilly stood waiting for her
to speak; but the young lady caught her
by both hands, and cried, looking right
into her eyes:
Tilly, don't you know me? Nellie!
It was really Nellie, grown tall and
straight and strong, able to do without
Tilly could not speak at first, for glad-
ness; but then she remembered her trouble,
and she clung to Nellie's hand, and told
her all about it. And Nellie explained
how the good doctor had happened to
speak of her father's illness, and she had at
"once asked and obtained permission of her
father to come and see her; and she tried
to comfort her, promising to return next
day with some dainty for the sick man,
and finally left, saying that her father was
After Many Days.
waiting for her, and she must not keep him
Nellie did not forget her promise. When
the doctor came next day, she was with
him, and brought a basket full of jelly
and other delicacies; but it was too late.
Tilly's father was much worse, and scarcely
knew any one.
They sat by the bedside hand in hand,
and watched him while the morning changed
to afternoon, and afternoon to dusk; and
as the dark crept on, the morning of eternal
day dawned on his soul, and he went to be
At first Tilly cried as if her heart would
break; but Nellie led her gently from the
room; and sat down with her upon her own
poor little bed in the garret. She did not
try to talk to her, but only spoke of the
home her father had gone to, where there
was no more death, and held her hands, to
let her feel that she was not alone; and by
degrees she comforted her.
Nellie went to see her every day whilst
76 How Tilly found a Friend.
her father lay dead; and when they came to
put him in the ground she went with her,
and laid a beautiful wreath of snowdrops
on the coffin. Then they returned to the
empty room, and Nellie told her that she
was to come and live with her, and learn to
help her keep house, and make her dresses,
and never know want any more. So they
gathered up the few little things which
Tilly prized: a few books, her mother's
wedding ring, and a lock of hair which her
father had always kept, and her Bible;
and Nellie paid the rent and took her
Tilly soon learned to be very useful, and
was able to help Nellie with her needle-
work, and keep her room tidy; and Nellie
was glad to see how much better and
happier she looked. But Tilly did not
forget her father and mother; and the two
girls often talked together over their work
about the old days in Farmer Stanley's
Do you remember the first time we saw
After Many Days. 77
each other ?" Nellie asked her, one day;
"when I told you about my mother, and
how afraid papa was lest I should die
too ? "
Tilly remembered quite well.
"I don't believe I should ever have
grown strong, if you hadn't come and
pushed me about the fields," Nellie went
on; "and papa thinks so, too; for I began
to get better from that time. But I was
dreadfully afraid of dying then."
"Aren't you afraid now ?" Tilly asked.
"Oh no! for I have found out the
meaning of that verse I wrote in your Bible,
'I am the Resurrection, and the Life. He
that believeth in Me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and
believeth in Me shall never die;' and I
know that when we are laid in the ground
it will only be like falling asleep for a little
while, to awake in heaven."
"But how do you know that ?" asked
Tilly, putting her work down in her lap
and looking very eager. "It seems so
78 How Tilly found a Friend.
dreadful to lie there in the dark, under the
cold hard earth, like my father and mother.
I often lie at night and wonder where they
are. If they are in heaven, why don't they
come and tell me all about it ? I should
be certain then."
No one ever comes back from heaven."
"Then how can we be sure we shall go
there when we die?"
Nellie thought for a few minutes, and
then she said earnestly: "You have never
been to India; but people tell us there is
such a country, and when your brother
John comes back you will believe all he
says about it, won't you ? That is just
like what our Saviour did. He came and
lived in a body just like ours; and when
they crucified Him, He died and was buried
just like we shall be; but He came again
to tell us not to be afraid, for He said that
He was going to His God and our God,
and His Father and our Father, to wait
Tilly grew up to be a very good and
After Many Days. 79
useful woman; and when Nellie was married
she went to live with her in her new home.
She is married too, now; but she is still
near Nellie, for her husband is the gardener
and she lives in the lodge at the entrance
of the drive, where she is very happy,
though she will never forget her troubles,
nor how Nellie helped her.
LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER, MIDDLE STREET, E.C.