Olive Crowhurst


Material Information

Olive Crowhurst a tale for girls
Added title page title:
Olive Crowhurst : a story for girls
Physical Description:
64 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Knight ( Printer )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Trust in God -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Selfishness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Accidents -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Charity -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Domestics -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1880   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1880
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London


General Note:
Date of publication from prize inscription.
General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
General Note:
"Elizabeth Jones a reward for good attendance on Sunday, April 1880."

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002235114
notis - ALH5556
oclc - 61852288
System ID:

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Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything,
To do it as to Thee.

All may of Thee partake,
Nothing can be so mean,
Which with this tincture "for Thy sake,"
Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause,
Makes drudgery Divine,
Who sweeps a room as to Thy laws,
Makes that and the action fine.

This is the famous stone,
That turneth all to gold,
For that which God doth touch and own,
Cannot for less be told.




T was a cold snowy day in
December. A biting north-
east wind blew down the
village street of Haslehurst.
Windows and doors were
tightly closed to prevent its
unwelcome entrance; but it contrived to force
its way into the poorer cottages through many
a broken pane and ill-fitting casement. Poor
Dick Crowhurst felt it as he lay in his com-
fortless bedroom. Cottages were scarce in
Haslehurst; and, even if Dick had wished it,
he could not have got a better dwelling than
Barn-house, for he was a railway-porter, and
must live near his work.

6 Olive Crowhurst.

About a month before our story begins,
he had met with a bad accident on the line.;
one of his legs had to be taken off; and the
doctor shook his head, and gave small hopes
of his ever being better. Dick had always
been a steady man. He had brought home
his wages without wasting any in smoking
and drinking at the Royal Oak," and was
a member of the Odd Fellows' Club. His
garden was the neatest in Haslehurst; and
at the yearly Flower Show he carried off so
many prizes that it was a common saying
among the other competitors, "'Taint no use
for we to try-Dick Crowhurst's sure to carry
all before him;" and Mr. Brookfield, the
Squire, would say, with a good-humoured
smile, as he handed him yet another prize,
"Why, Crowhurst, we shall have to get the
policeman to see you home, with such a
pocket-full of money "
Mrs. Crowhurst was a bustling, active, but
not very good-tempered woman, who brought
up her large family very creditably, though
attending more, it is to be feared, to their
perishable bodies than to their immortal
The children had always been regular at

Olive's flome. 7

Sunday and day school, where their clean,
shining faces and quick way of learning made
them favourites with their teachers and high
in their classes. But their mother was seldom
seen at any place of worship; and, when re-
monstrated with by Mr. Knight, the clergy-
man, thought it quite sufficient excuse to say,
" My master likes his hot dinner of a Sunday;
and no wonder neither, working so hard as
he do, poor dear man, all the week !"
Dick, too, though insisting that his children
should be regular at church, generally lay in
bed on Sunday mornings, when off duty, and
took a walk in the afternoon.
Barn-house was well described by its
name. It was pretty enough to look at in
the summer, with roses and honey-suckle
twining round the porch, and its low tiled
roof, over which a vine was trained on rough
wooden trellis-work, but quite another thing
on the day our story commences. Poor Dick
shivered, as a fresh gust burst into the loft
where he lay.
He had no pleasant thoughts to cheer him;
nearly all his savings had gone, as he had
become surety for a carpenter, who had lately
failed, and now there was three months' rent

8 Olive Crowkurst.

to pay, and a heavy doctor's bill besides, and
nothing to meet it with but his club, and a
small sum from the railway, out of which his
family had to be supported, as the parish
officer, a hard man, and no friend to Dick,
did not consider him a suitable object for
outdoor relief. His leg also was very painful,
and the doctor feared mortification might set
in unless his mind was kept perfectly free
from worry; and how could this be with such
a load of care? for Dick had never known
the meaning of the text, Casting all your
care upon Him, for He careth for you," and
did not know where to turn for true comfort.
Downstairs, Mrs. Crowhurst was preparing
dinner, assisted by her daughter Olive, a tall,
strong girl of twelve. When dinner's over,
you must step down to Mr. Gardner, the
chemist's, my girl," said she; "he said father's
medicine was to be changed to-day, and he's
just had the last dose out of the blue bottle.
I can't think why ever he ha'nt sent it down
afore now," continued she, as she distributed
a large dish of cold suet pudding among the
hungry children, with a small spoonful of
treacle to each, to help it down.
Olive turned up her nose at her share ; and,

Olive's Home. 9

instead of noticing her mother's words, ex-
claimed, I wish I was back at aunt's, I do;
we always had a bit of bacon for dinner there,
and toasted cheese, sometimes, and I had no
errands to run!"
Olive had spent the greater part of her
life with a sister of her father, who had mar-
ried a pork-butcher in a small country town,
four miles off.
Mrs. Chatfield had no children of her own,
and spoilt and indulged Olive so much that
her brothers and sisters always dreaded her
visits home, as she did nothing but compare
her uncle's shop with Barn-house.
Mr. and Mrs. Chatfield had lately removed
to London, and, as their house and shop were
now larger, were obliged to keep a regular
servant, and Olive had returned home for
good; not, it is to be feared, a very pleasant
addition to the family party.
When dinner was over, however, she put
on an old water-proof cloak, given her by
her aunt, fastened on her black straw hat,
and sallied forth, with a basket for the medi-
cine, grumbling all the time at the cold.
The Haslehurst shops were already dressed
for Christmas; and Olive lingered at Mr.

10 Olive Crowhurst.

Gumbrell's, first gazing at the "Grocery De-
partment," where the passers-by were wished
"A Happy New Year!" arranged in cur-
rants on brown sugar; while rows of shining
oranges, Brazil nuts, candied-peel, and pre-
served fruits, made her long to be able to
buy some of them.
Then how tempting the "Drapery De-
partment" was, with warm scarlet braided
petticoats, worsted gloves, plaid neckties,
and, what tempted Olive more than all, gay
artificial flowers arranged in sprays on white
paper back-grounds.
"How I should like that pink may for my
Sunday hat!" said Olive to herself; "but I
haven't a sixpence to bless myself with!"
Mrs. Crump, the baker, too, had her window
piled with cakes, pies, puffs, buns, mince-
meat, and other dainties, which made Olive's
mouth water as she gazed longingly in. But
the church clock just then struck two; and,
ashamed at the time she had already wasted,
although told particularly by her mother to
"look sharp," she ran the rest of the way
to Mr. Gardner's, and was soon on her way
home again, little thinking what had been
going on there during her absence.




LIVE had not long left Barn-
house when the mid-day post
Same in, and a large blue en-
velope was delivered for Dick.
S ^ Mrs. Crowhurst, full of curio-
"sity as to the contents, at once
-15 M Y carried it up to him.
Why, father, here's a letter for you!
whatever can it be ?"
Dick hastily opened it, and read-
"Unless you pay the sum of 4, due to
me for rent, by Saturday next, you will be
turned out of Barn-house, and your furniture
Dick uttered a cry, and, dropping the letter,
fell back senseless on his pillow, while a dark
stream of blood oozed from his parted lips.

12 Olive Crowhurst.

His wife, half distracted with grief and
fright, shouted to the children to send for
their neighbour, Mrs. Snatchfold. That kind-
hearted woman, hastily throwing a shawl over
her head, ran in at once, and gave such help
as she could.
Mrs. Snatchfold was a pious and God-
fearing woman, who, frightened at the great
danger and approaching death of poor Dick,
begged Mrs. Crowhurst to send directly for
the minister.
"There's Olive just come back with the
medicine. Now do-he be such a kind-spoken
gentleman When I was laid up last winter,
he came and talked quite affable-like, and
did me a power of good. He's the best and
nicest gentleman with sick folk as ever I see !"
"Well," said Mrs. Crowhurst, "I'm half
in a mind to, neighbour; but my master will
think for certain that he's taken for death if
the parson's sent for. Why, he never will see
him when he calls; and I'd be ashamed to
send now, he's been such a heap of times!"
"Ah!" returned Mrs. Snatchfold, "I thought
so too, at one time; but it was the biggest
mistake as ever I made; and now I'd send
for him sooner than the doctor."

Bad News. 13

The good woman at last prevailed, and
Olive was dispatched to the Rectory; and in
a very short time Mr. Knight arrived at Barn-
Mrs. Crowhurst opened the door for him,
and said, I take it real kind of you, sir, to
come again; but my Dick's just dropped off
to sleep, and I'm loth to waken him, for he
wants sleep more than enough; but if you'll
step in, sir, I'll tell you all about the taking
we're in."
She then related what had just happened,
ending with, "The workhouse is what we
shall come to; and we, that's always kept
ourselves to ourselves, and been that re-
spectable that we've made no neighbours 'cept,
indeed, Mrs. Snatchfold, and she's a decent
sort of body. It's hard, sir, very hard !"
It is indeed a sad state of things," re-
plied Mr. Knight. I am glad you have sent
for me, as you know I wish to be your friend;
but you have a much better One than I am,
and I hope you have sought for His help ?"
"Do you mean Squire Brookfield, sir ? We
have got no claim upon him."
A sad look passed over Mr. Knight's kind
face, as he said, No, Mrs. Crowhurst; I was

14 Olive Crowluirst.

not thinking of the Squire, but of One who
is both able and willing to help you; who is
much better able to sympathize with you
than I am,-I mean the Lord Jesus Christ,
for 'in all our afflictions He was afflicted.' "
"If that's true, sir, why don't He make
Dick better? And why should He send this
peck of troubles upon us ? We, who never
did no harm that we knows of, and who would
scorn to hurt any one by word or deed. No,
sir; it's down-right hard, that's what it is,
sir !"
"Mrs. Crowhurst, you must remember that
it says in the Bible,' Whom the Lord loveth He
chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom
He receiveth:' you know, too, what David
says, 'Before I was afflicted, I went astray.'
God has some purposes of love and mercy
for you, even in this great trouble; be sure
of that."
Mrs. Crowhurst was silenced and awe-struck
by these words; and the Rector went on to
say, "God has now sent me to see what I can
do to help you. Tell me what your husband
is ordered to take."
"The doctor did say, sir, he was to have
all the nourishments he could take; but how-

Bad News. 1 5

ever beef-tea, port-wine, and arrowroot is to
come out of fourteen shillings a week, which
is what the club allows him, and six chil-
dren to keep out of it, and rent and doctor's
bill to pay, caps me!"
"I thought the Odd Fellows would allow
Dick a doctor?" remarked Mr. Knight.
"So they do, sir, if we're within three miles
of him; but we're just double that distance
from Dr. Chadwick at Michelbourne."
"Well, Mrs. Crowhurst, send up to the
Rectory at six o'clock this evening, and you
shall have some broth, a packet of arrowroot,
and a bottle of port-wine for your husband;
and I will see what I can do towards raising
the rent."
Here was substantial help indeed; and
Mrs. Crowhurst's face brightened considerably
as she dropped a grateful curtsey.
"I hope Olive is a comfort to you ?" con-
tinued Mr. Knight; "she's old enough now
to take a good deal off your hands."
Can't say much about that, sir; she's such
a queer girl, you see. Last summer her poor
father gave her a bit of his mind, after she'd
let the baby burn its poor little arm against
the grate; and if you'd believe it, sir, she left

16 Olive CrowJihrst.

the house then and there, without so much
as a bit of supper, and spent the night in
Master Lulham's wood-house. After that
Dick says to me, 'missus,' says he, 'that's the
last scolding the girl will get from me;' for
he'd been precious put out about her all night,
not knowing what was gone of her."
"I'm sorry to hear it," replied the Rector;
"but I must say good afternoon, as I have
a funeral at four; I will call again some time
to-morrow, when I shall hope to find your
husband awake."
Good afternoon to you, sir; and thank
you kindly," answered Mrs. Crowhurst, with
another curtsey. "I'll not forget to send up
about six."
The children were all at play in the garden
as Mr. Knight passed through, amusing them-
selves with the old Sussex game, the chorus
of which runs-
Open the gates as wide as high,
And let King William and I come by;
It is so dark I cannot see
To threadle the tailor's needle !'
Mr. Knight patted their heads, and told
Olive to be a good girl, and help her mother
as much as she could,

Bad News. 17

Punctually at the appointed hour, Reuben,
the eldest boy, was sent to the Rectory for
the promised "nourishments," and returned
laden with a basket of good things, at the
bottom of which lay a book with the marker
placed at the well-known hymn, of which
these verses were marked,-

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace:
Behind a frowning Providence
He hides a smiling face.

His promises shall ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower."


C 3



1 -
*' EXT morning Mr. Knight
"--' ," started early for the Great
House, when he would be
" i- sure to find Mr. Brookfield at
S home. The Squire was still
. at breakfast, but begged Mr.
Knight to come into the
dining-room, and join himself and his mother
at the table.
"Well, Mr. Knight, you're sure of a wel-
come here; but something unusual must have
happened to bring you out so early!"
"You are quite right," replied Mr. Knight;
"I came to consult you and Mrs. Brookfield
about a very sad case I met with yesterday.
You know Crowhurst, the porter, who met
with an accident about a month ago ?"
"I had heard of it," interposed Mrs. Brook-
field; "but George and I have been staying

A friend in need is a friend indeed." 19

with my married daughter, Lady Milner, and
so we are out of Haslehurst news. We only
returned home the day before yesterday."
"Well," continued the Rector; that mean
fellow Grainger has given them notice to quit
their cottage, unless Crowhurst can produce
the four pounds he owes for rent before
Saturday. Of course, he might as well try
to pay the National Debt as his own; so
I am raising a subscription to help him out
of his difficulty, and have headed it with
a pound."
Mr. Brookfield and his mother each added
another; and before the morning was over,
Mr. Knight raised the remainder amongst
other kind-hearted people, and even had a
good deal of money over, which he kept for
any future emergency.
In the afternoon he again visited Barn-
house. Dick was awake this time, and at
once asked to see him.
"Well, Crowhurst! I've got some good
news for you!"
"I'm glad to hear it, sir. 'Taint often as I
gets any good news,-not so often as I should
do," added he, with a sigh.
"No doubt," Mr. Knight went on, "the

20 Olive Crowzhurst.

rent has weighed heavily on your mind; and
I have come to-day to tell you that it has all
been paid by Mr. and Mrs. Brookfield, my-
self, and other kind friends;" at the same
time handing him a receipt signed by Mr.
Grainger: "and here is thirty shillings to
pay Dr. Chadwick's bill besides."
This was almost too much for Dick, in
his weak state, and even Mrs. Crowhurst
wiped her eyes with the corner of her apron.
"God Almighty bless and reward you,
sir!" gasped poor Dick, as soon as he could
speak; "for it's more than I can! You've
taken a load off my heart, that you have, sir !"
"But, Crowhurst, you've forgotten another
debt you owed," said Mr. Knight, solemnly,
after a short pause.
"Well, sir, I do owe a few little matters
down at Mr. Gumbrell's."
"My friend, this that I am speaking of is
a greater debt than you or I can ever hope to
meet ourselves. It is all the sins that you
have not repented of ever since you knew
right from wrong. There is but one way of
paying it, Crowhurst!"
"I'd give something to know that," inter-
rupted Dick, eagerly; "for I've had a deal of

A friend in need is a friend indeed." 21

time to think of these things while I've been
lying here; and I wish now I'd kept more
regular to church, for that would be a deal
of comfort to think of now!"
"That, in itself, would not take you to
heaven; though we are told 'not to forsake
the assembling of ourselves together;' and
I hope you would have learnt the way to reach
heaven there. But it is the blood of Jesus
Christ alone which can 'cleanse us from all
sin.' Ah, Crowhurst, 'believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' Don't
trust to having led an outwardly respectable
life; for all our righteousness is but as filthy
rags in His sight."
"I think it do seem clearer now, sir; but
it don't seem as if it left me enough to do,"
added he, anxiously.
"My dear friend, it's all done; there is
nothing left for you to do, but to believe.
Supposing you had fallen down a well, and
I let down a rope to draw you up; would it
not be your own fault if you refused to grasp
it? If you had not taken the receipt just
now for the rent, would it have been your
own fault, or mine, if you had been turned
out of house and home?"

22 Olive Crow/urst.

"Mine, sir, to be sure; and I see the drift
of what you're saying. Maybe you'll read
and pray with me a bit before you go?"
This the Rector gladly agreed to, and chose
from his own pocket-Bible the fifty-third
chapter of the Book of Isaiah ; after which
he repeated to him the beautiful hymn, "Just
as I am, without one plea;" and, after offering
up a short prayer, took his leave, promising,
at Dick's earnest request, to come again soon.
Mrs. Crowhurst followed him down-stairs,
and, before she opened the door, anxiously
inquired what Mr. Knight thought of her
husband's case.
"I'm most afraid we shall lose him," she
said, huskily; "he don't seem to get his
strength up, no how; perhaps, sir, if you
had some of the sacrament wine over next
Sunday it might set him up a bit."
"My friend!" exclaimed the clergyman,
shocked at this ignorant superstition, "there's
no charm in the consecrated wine, more than
any other, to cure people of. their illnesses;
but I much fear you must make up your mind
never to see Dick really better in this world,"
added he, gently, as her tears began to flow.
"I think it doubtful if he will live to see the

"A friend in need is a friend indeed." 23

new year in. Don't keep his state from him,"
he continued, seriously; "it is a mistaken
kindness to keep a sick person in ignorance
of his danger."
"Oh, sir, I think he does know it; but he
don't talk about it, for fear of troubling me.
He's always been a good partner to me, has
Dick !" and again her tears flowed fast.
"Well, Mrs. Crowhurst, there is One who
will never leave you nor forsake you, if you
put your trust in Him-the God of the
fatherless and the widow. Even if your
poor husband were to get better, he could
never be anything but a helpless cripple, with
a life of pain and suffering before him. We
must pray that he may be prepared for a
blessed change in that home where God shall
wipe away all tears, and where there shall be
'no more crying, neither shall there be any
more pain, for the former things are passed
away.' You will always find friends in Mrs.
Knight and me. Do you manage to read to
your husband a little, now and then ?"
"No, sir, I can't say as I do; I've got my
hands full, you see; and I never was much
of a scholar. Book-learning wasn't so much
the fashion when I was a girl. Olive can

24 Olive Crozuhurst.

read first-rate, though she don't seem to have
thought of reading to her father since he's
been laid by."
"Give me a Bible," said Mr. Knight; "and
I will mark a chapter for her to begin with.
I suppose you have got one?"
Oh yes, sir; a real fine one, that Dick
got at the flower-show one year for the best
six sorts of vegetables. We had a tidyish
lot that year. Let me see-there was onions,
carrots, potatoes, red cabbage, broad beans,
and cauliflowers," continued she, forgetting
her present trials in past successes, as she
mounted a chair to reach down the Bible
from the top shelf of the dresser, and care-
fully dusted it with her apron. We're very
choice of it, sir, as it's the only one we have,
and never has it down week days," she
added, with great satisfaction.
"I wish you prized the inside as much
as you do the binding," said the Rector,
putting on his spectacles. "See, Mrs. Crow-
hurst, I've put the marker in the fifteenth
chapter of St. Luke, which contains the beau-
tiful parable of the Prodigal Son, and Olive
can read it to her father. Now good-bye,
and God bless and support you !"

"A friend in. need is a friend indeed." 25

"Well, neighbour Snatchfold was quite
right about our Rector. He's a beautiful
man for comfort in a sick room, surely, and
speaks so kind and friendly, as if we were
his equals," said Mrs. Crowhurst, as she
returned to her husband's sick chamber.
"Ah, wife, thank the Lord for sending
him !" exclaimed he; and mind and waken
me up if I should happen to be asleep, when
next he steps this way. I should be main
sorry to miss his words, they seemed so com-
fortable like, and I needs a deal of comfort,
and teaching too," pursued Dick, sighing.
"Well, husband, Mr. Knight did say as
how Olive should read to you a bit, and
marked a chapter in our prize Bible. We
did ought to get another, I feel choice of
letting the children use it. Shall Olive come
up a bit, and read, after tea ?"
"Yes, wife," said Dick; "send her up ; it'll
pass the time away nicely. It's weary work
lying here to a man that's been used to get
about. I wish we'd thought about the reading
sooner !"




LIVE now began to read to her
S father regularly every even-
', He seems to take real
/"' ,'l delight in it," said her mother
"to Mrs. Snatchfold; "and she
s -- reads till his head can't abear
it no longer. She's a first-rate scholar, is our
Olive, and reads all the hard words without
so much as stopping before them."
It was quite true that Olive did read very
fluently for her age, for she was a quick, sharp
girl, and had been well taught; but too often,
it is to be feared, it was done with a bad
grace, or hurried over; so that her father had
often to say, Read slower, my girl; I can't
follow you so quick."
Mr. Knight continued to visit Dick regu-
larly, and his conversation and prayers were
like sunshine to his dreary life. Each morn-

Olive Loses her Father. 27

ing now found him weaker: his leg had
"ceased to pain him, and Doctor Chadwick's
worst fears were realized. He said that no-
thing more could be done, but continued
to leave him soothing and composing medi-
Christmas Eve dawned-a dull, raw, foggy
day, with a sharp east wind. Dick seemed
to have no pain at all when Mrs. Crowhurst
brought him up his dinner of some soup,
sent to him from the Rectory the day be-
"Set it down there, wife," said he, pointing
to a small table at the foot of his bed ; "I
want to talk a bit, for I feel as if my time's
getting short."
"Oh, my dear man!" cried Mrs. Crow-
hurst, hiding her face in her hands; "don't
tell me that when you've had such a quiet,
easy night! Oh, Dick, you're not worse, you
can't be "
Hush, Sally, don't cry! but listen to what
I've got to say. I'm going, and, I hope, to a
better country; for I do trust in the merits of.
my blessed Saviour, which is all I've got to
look to," said he, reverently. But, wife, it
will make me happier when I get there to

28 Olive Crowl urst.

think you and the young ones are coming
after. We've made a great many mistakes
in the way we've reared them. Olive never
should have gone to my sister. She, poor
soul, thinks of nought but dress and com-
pany; and she's done the girl no good at
all. Then we've not set them a good ex-
ample at home. How should they think
much of church-going, seeing you and me
biding at home all Sunday? No, wife;
we've made a mistake, depend upon it;
but, thank God, it's not yet too late to
mend You'd best ask Mrs. Knight to find
Olive a place; she'll know what's what, and
the girl's getting too masterful for you now.
And, Sally, you must make a push to get to
church at least once a Sunday. Mary Jane
can bide with the baby when you go. Now
promise me that, wife; and that you'll read a
bit of the Bible with the children, afore they
go to bed, every evening, and then I shall
die easy."
Mrs. Crowhurst promised, through her
tears; and he then asked for Olive and the
other children.
Good-bye, my girl!" said he; "be a good
girl to your mother, and keep a good cha-

Olive Loses her Father. 29

racter, and trust in the Lord Jesus as your
Saviour, and then all will be well with you.
Now bring me the baby, to kiss its daddy for
the last time."
The little infant, unconscious of what lay
before it, crowed, and seized its father's wasted
finger. Pretty dear!" said he; it doesn't
know "-- but he never finished the sentence,
and fell back lifeless on his pillow, with a
smile lingering on his face.
Richard Crowhurst was buried near the
old yew-tree in Haslehurst church-yard. The
ground was thick with snow, which hid the
beautiful mossy turf-the admiration of the
neighbourhood in summer. The funeral was
largely attended, as many wished to show their
sympathy for Mrs. Crowhurst in her affliction.
Mr. Gumbrell lent his van, in which the
coffin was conveyed to the lych-gate, where
it was met by Mr. Knight. The bearers were
a railway porter, who had been a chum of
Dick; Mr. Knight's gardener; Mr. Brook-
field's carter; Mr. Gumbrell's foreman, and
two of Crowhurst's own relations. There was
a large gathering of women, all neatly dressed
in black ; and the whole party walked
solemnly to and from Barn-house.

30 Olive Crowzurst.

Mr. Knight read slowly and impressively
the beautiful words of the Burial Service: 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."1 And when
the earth was cast upon the coffin, the
mourners felt comforted by hearing, Blessed
are the dead that die in the Lord; even so,
saith the Spirit, for they rest from their
At the conclusion of the service, Mr.
Knight, as his custom was, said a few words
before leaving the grave. He begged all
those present not to put off their salvation
till a more convenient season, which might
never come; and reminded them how Crow-
hurst had been suddenly cut down, "For"
truly "our life is but a vapour." He told
them, too, not to trust to a death-bed repent-
ance ; for though the dying thief was forgiven
at the eleventh hour, that none may despair,
still his is the only case on record, that none
may presume.
The next day Mrs. Knight called upon the
widow, to advise her about Olive and the
1 John xi. 25, 26.

Olive Loses her Father. 31

other children. She found her tolerably
recovered, and full of plans for the future;
for those who have large families to provide
for have little time to waste in useless grief.
Well, Mrs. Crowhurst," said the Rector's
wife; "what do you think of doing to support
your poor children ? "
"You see, ma'am, I was a laundress before
I married ; and so I think of taking in wash-
ing now. Kind friends are collecting a penny
here and a sixpence there to buy me a
second-hand mangle; and then I hope I shall
get along nicely, please God. Mrs. Balls, the
housekeeper at the Great House, has promised
me all the visitors' washing ; and there's
many in the place as isn't satisfied with Mrs.
Gent's washing-she do make her things so
"And we must be seeing about a place
for Olive," remarked Mrs. Knight; "she's
old enough to earn her own living."
Yes, ma'am," replied Mrs. Crowhurst,
promptly; "and I've got one already for
her, where she's going next week. It's at
Mrs. Greenfield's at Upfold, the farm near
Michelbourne-they do say that she's a good
strict mistress."

32 Olive Croiwiurst.

Oh, I'm sorry to hear it !" exclaimed the
clergyman's wife; "it is a very rough place
for any girl, and Mrs. Greenfield is a godless
woman, and a hard mistress. I know of two
girls who have come to no good there. How
I wish you had asked me about it first! So
much depends upon a girl starting well at
"Well, it's all settled now, ma'am; and we
must hope it will all turn out for the best,"
said the widow; and soon afterwards Mrs.
Knight took her leave, hoping that Mrs.
Crowhurst would get on well, but surprised
that she should have settled anything with-
out consulting her best friends.




HE Wednesday after her father's
funeral Olive started, with her
box, in Mr. Mitchell the carrier's
van for Upfold. She cried a little
at parting from her mother, but
S was, on the whole, pleased and
excited at going to a new place.
The van reached Upfold about
four o'clock, just as it was getting
The house was square, and white-washed
outside, with a neat garden in front, bordered
on one side by a yew-hedge, on the other side
of which was the farm-yard.
Mrs. Greenfield opened the door, and called
Peter, a farm-boy, to take Olive's box in.
Olive followed her bustling mistress into the
kitchen, which had a brick floor, and a large
wooden dresser, on which were arranged the
willow-pattern plates and brightly-polished
D 39

34 Olive Crowhurst.

pewter dish-covers. A large black cat was
sitting before the fire, and a tame jackdaw
hung in a wicker-cage in the window. The
whole room was scrupulously neat and clean,
and you could have eaten your dinner off
the floor," as Mrs. Greenfield used to say,
with pride.
"It's just upon tea-time, girl," said she,
roughly, to Olive, as she led the way to a
small white-washed attic, where she desired
her to take off her things. Look sharp, and
come down to lay tea," added she, as she shut
the door.
Olive now took a look round her little
room. It had a sloping roof, and you could
only just stand up in the lowest part, and
touch the ceiling with your hand in the high-
est. A little flock bed, with a blue-and-white
checked coverlet, stood in one corner; a deal
table opposite, with a jug and basin on it; a
rush-bottomed chair; a cracked looking-glass
on the wall, and a few pegs on the door, com-
pleted the furniture of the apartment.
Olive had begun to uncord her box, when
she heard Mrs. Greenfield's sharp voice calling
from below, and hurried down, two stairs at
a time.

Life at Upfold Farm. 35

"What a time you have been taking off
your things, to be sure! You must look alive
here, and not let the grass grow under your
feet," was her greeting. Now I'll show you
where the things are this once, but don't ex-
pect me to show you again."
Olive scuffled as fast as she could after her
active mistress, and was shown a wooden cup-
board, which contained all the crockery ne-
cessary for the evening meal-the knives and
spoons being found in one of the drawers of
the dresser.
By the time Mr. Greenfield came in from
foddering the cattle, tea was ready. It con-
sisted of a large stale home-made loaf, butter,
cheese, lardy-cakes, and a rasher of bacon for
Mr. Greenfield.
He was a stout, red-faced, short-necked
man, dressed in gaiters and a fustian coat,
with brass buttons.
He nodded kindly to Olive as he sat down,
and remarked, "So you're the new girl from
Haslehurst, eh ? Look alive, and you'll do
Every one says' look alive' here," thought
poor Olive, as she stood by the table, un-
certain whether to sit down or not.

36 Olive Crowkurst.

"Sit down, child, and don't stand gaping
there!" said Mrs. Greenfield. "Whatever's
come of Peter ? We can't wait all night,
so fall to, master, or the bacon will be cold."
After tea Mr. Greenfield had a pipe in the
chimney-corner; and when that was finished,
he covered his face with a spotted blue-and-
white cotton handkerchief, and was seen no
more that evening.
Olive helped her mistress to clear away tea,
showing herself very handy in washing up
the things.
When everything was tidy in its place, and
the hearth swept up, Mrs. Greenfield sat down
with a large basket of clothes which required
mending, desiring Olive to fetch her thimble
and sit down to help her.
"Please, ma'am, my box ain't undone yet.
May I have a candle?"
Candle ? Bless me, child, do you think I
want the house burnt down about my ears ?
No you'll have to feel your way to bed,-
the best place for you, seeing as how you've
got to be up at half-past five to-morrow
morning to light my kitchen fire."
Olive groped her way upstairs as best she
could, trembling with the cold of her draughty

Life at Upfold Farm. 37

little attic; and hastily undressing herself,
she tumbled into bed, too sleepy to offer any
prayer to her heavenly Father for protection
through the coming night, or for grace to
fulfil the duties which lay before her. She
was soon fast asleep; and it seemed but a
few minutes after that she heard her mistress
calling at her bed-side, "Olive Olive! it's
just upon six, and you not dressed yet! Such
ways will never do for this house. I'm sorry
to find you are such a heavy sleeper! I've
been rapping at your door this long while!"
Olive dressed as quickly as she could, and
again left her room without offering even the
formal prayer she had been taught at school.
She hurried down stairs, feeling very sleepy
and strange, and found the kitchen fire already
in a blaze, while Mrs. Greenfield uncere-
moniously put a long broom into her hands,
and bade her sweep the floor. This was a
duty Olive had never been accustomed to.
She raised clouds of dust, and neglected to
open the window,-so more harm than good
was done. Mrs. Greenfield, who had been
engaged in the wash-house, now rushed in,
shook Olive, and asked her if that was the
way they did things at Haslehurst ?" upon

38 Olive Crow0urst.

which Olive's feelings completely gave way,
and she broke into tears, which did not mend
When the sweeping was over, she was set
to dust; and after that it was time to prepare
breakfast, to which they all sat down at seven
The whole morning Olive was occupied by
washing-up, making beds, helping Mrs. Green-
field bake, etc., till it was dinner-time.
Every moment of the afternoon and even-
ing was employed ; and at eight o'clock
Olive went thankfully to bed, completely
worn out and depressed with work that was
strange to her; while at the same time she
got no kind looks or words from her mistress
to encourage her.
This day was a specimen of the rest of the
week; and even Sunday was no day of rest
to her. Mr. and Mrs. Greenfield never went
to church themselves, nor did they see the
least occasion for their servants to go; and
a good deal of extra cooking went on at the
In the afternoon it rained; and Olive, who
had hoped for a walk at any rate in the
garden, was set by her mistress to darn

Life at Upfold Farm. 39

stockings for an hour, as she said "she
couldn't abide to see anybody loitering
about." At four o'clock she was desired to
light the best parlour fire, as company was
expected to tea from Michelbourne. Olive
had to grind coffee, butter tea-cakes, make
toast, fry ham, and finally to wait at table.
After tea there was a washing-up of the best
china, with which she was entrusted alone, as
Mrs. Greenfield was occupied with her visitors.
She used the water boiling hot, and a cream-
jug, which was cracked before, came in two
in her hands.
In mortal terror, she hid the pieces behind
the dresser, and hastily replaced the rest in
the cupboard. She then slipped away to
bed, and next morning did not oversleep
herself, but had a roaring fire in the kitchen
by the time her mistress came down stairs.
After breakfast the latter did not fail to
examine the best china, which had belonged
to her grandmother, and was the pride of her
heart. It was of a yellow colour, with figures
and flowers in dull red,-" It couldn't be got
now for love nor money!" and when Dr.
Chadwick had offered two pounds for the set,
she refused him most indignantly.

40 Olive Crowhurst.
Of course, the cream-jug was at once
missed, and Olive questioned as to its fate.
She blushed, stammered, and finally said,
"Please, ma'ar, it came to pieces in my
hand. Indeed I didn't let it drop !"
Where are the pieces ?" sternly demanded
Mrs. Greenfield. Olive hesitated, and her
mistress, seizing her by the arm, said, "I'll
teach you to destroy my best china, you
good-for-nothing hussey! Take that! and
that! and that!" giving her several violent
boxes on the ear.
Half stunned, Olive reeled against the
wooden dresser, and cut her forehead. This
only served to increase Mrs. Greenfield's
anger, and a violent scene followed, which we
will not describe. It is enough to say that
Olive lost all control over her naturally hasty
temper, and finally rushed up to her room,
and bolted the door.





,4--'.,l'-I[EN Olive got upstairs, she
: threw herself sobbing on the
bed. "I won't put up with it
I n- y longer, that I won't!" she
l" almost screamed. "I'll run back
"t.. Haslehurst, away from that
nasty crosspatch! It's nothing but work,
work, work, and drive, drive, drive, all day;
and I won't be druv! It's what I never was
used to at aunt's, and I am not going to stand
it. I know what I will do," said she, as
she sat up and pushed back her disordered
hair, stopping her tears with this new idea.
"" I'll go down as if nothing had happened,
as meek as a mouse, till dark, and then I'll
cut away home. Four pounds a year, indeed!
why, I could get double that any day, I'm
sure. I'll go."
So saying, she bathed her hot face,
smoothed her hair, packed up her few things,

42 Olive Crowkurst.

and corded her box. When Mrs. Greenfield
came in from washing, she found the table
neatly set for dinner, the hearth swept, and
the jackdaw's cage cleaned and sanded.
This last circumstance surprised Mrs. Green-
field, as only the day before Olive had
steadily refused to perform this office for poor
"Joey," telling her mistress if she wanted it
done she might do it herself;" for which she
had received a good set down.
Mrs. Greenfield did not say anything, but
supposed the girl felt sorry; and, a little
ashamed of her own violence, hoped the affair
had blown over. About half-past four, Mrs.
Greenfield went to fetch some apples from the
apple-room, and on her return could not find
Olive. She questioned Peter, who had, how-
ever, seen nothing of her. Mrs. Greenfield
began to feel uneasy, and went up to the
attic, where she found the corded box, which
told its own tale.
When Mr. Greenfield came in, he found
his wife's usually sour temper almost unbear-
able, and on hearing the'news he remarked,
" Well, wife, and it's what you may expect
with your aggravating ways! No girl will ever
stay here more than a month, till you mend

Olive at Home Again. 43

your manners. It's not a bit of good our
looking for her to-night. I shall be going to
the Haslehurst Cattle Market to-morrow,
when I'll make inquiries for the girl. I make
no doubt she's gone home."
Meanwhile Olive, on finding the coast clear,
had slipped on her old waterproof and hat,
and, quietly opening the back door, crept
through the orchard into the main road, and
reached home with little difficulty soon after
seven o'clock.
She burst into her mother's kitchen ex-
claiming, "I've left; I can't abide her; and
I'll never go back no more! Such a life as
I've led I don't know what aunt would say."
Mrs. Crowhurst was so overwhelmed with
surprise that she could only sit down and
repeat several times, "Heart alive !"
Soon, however, she was able to ask ques-
tions, and on hearing the story, slightly ex-
aggerated, was weak enough to take her
daughter's part, say she had done quite right,
arid remark that next time they would see
what Mrs. Knight could do for her.
Next morning Mr. Greenfield came with
the box. Olive kept in the background, and
left the interview to her mother. He did not

44 Olive Crowkurst.

say much, but told Mrs. Crowhurst he was
sorry things had turned out as they had, gave
her a shilling out of his own pocket, and re-
marked finally, he didn't wonder at anything,
his missis had such a temper; only he must
say her bark was worse than her bite, and if
Olive had held her own, and not minded, she
might have been there yet. After that he
drove off in his gig, very glad the business
was over, and that Mrs. Crowhurst had taken
it so coolly.
The news of Olive's arrival soon reached
the Rectory through Reuben, who was in-
stalled there as garden-boy. Mrs. Knight told
her husband what had happened, and said she
was afraid the girl would come to no good.
As there was still some money over from
the subscription raised to help Mrs. Crowhurst,
they decided that it could not be better
spent than in sending Olive for two years to
an industrial home, founded by Mrs. Brook-
field's married daughter, Lady Milner, for
training orphan girls as servants.
Accordingly, early in the afternoon, Mrs.
Knight set off for Barn-house, and, sending
Olive out of the room, she sat down and
explained it to Mrs. Crowhurst.

Olive at Home Again. 45

"You know," she said, they are all girls of
respectable character; it is to save them front
the bad company they might meet at the
workhouse. The matron is a truly Christian
woman, and does all she can to influence the
girls for good. Lady Milner takes a great
interest in it herself, and has all the girls up
to Broom Park every Saturday, where they
drink tea and pass a pleasant afternoon.
The girls do all the cooking, baking, wash-
ing, and housework of the Home themselves;
and when they are old enough, Lady Milner
takes pains to find them suitable places, where
I know many have succeeded very well.
Olive is as yet too young to take a good
situation, and these small maid-of-all-work
places often ruin girls for gentlemen's service."
"Well, ma'am," said Mrs. Crowhurst; "it do
seem just the thing for Olive, if you can get
her to stop ; but how's the money to be paid ?,"
"Your kind friends who subscribed so
liberally at the time of your husband's death
placed a further sum in my hands, to be spent
as Mr. Knight thought best; and as you
are set up with your mangle and wringing-
machine, I do not see how the money can
be better employed than in paying three

46 Olive Crowhurst.
shillings a week towards Olive's maintenance
at the Home.; Lady Milner will kindly supply
the rest."
Mrs. Crowhurst felt as grateful as her nature
would allow, and repeatedly thanked Mrs.
Knight for her kindness.
"I do hope, ma'am, that it will be the
making of her; and may be if I call her in,
you'll say a few words about it to her
Olive was accordingly summoned, and Mrs.
Knight began, "I was very sorry, my dear
girl, to hear of the way you came home. You
can never hope to succeed if you shirk duties,
however disagreeable to you. It is very sad
that you think so lightly of returning to be
a burden on your poor mother. You are
going to have a good opportunity of showing
that you really wish to do right, for you are
going to Lady Milner's Home at Oakdean,
where you will be well cared for, and trained
to take a good situation in a few years' time.
On Sunday you shall come to the Rectory,
and have tea with our servants, and I will
talk to you; and on Monday I will see you
into the train for Oakdean, where Mrs. Tidy,
the matron, will meet you."

Olive at Home Again. 47
Olive dropped a curtsey.
You will only want the clothes you go in,"
continued Mrs. Knight, "as everything else
is provided at the Home."
At this piece of news Mrs. Crowhurst's face
brightened considerably; she had made up
her mind to cut up a linsey of her own, which
she could ill spare, in order to make Olive a
new Sunday frock.
When afternoon church was over, Olive
made her way to the Rectory, and joined the
tea in the servants' hall. They all told her
she was a lucky girl to be going to Lady
Milner's Home; and Olive's spirits rose with
the good tea and cake, and kind interest
shown in her by the Rectory servants.
After tea, Miss Knight, a very pleasant-
looking young lady, about nineteen, who had
lately returned home from school at Brussels,
came to fetch her to see Mrs. Knight. Here
Olive received a great deal of good advice;
a nice book of Prayers and Hymns, a new
Bible, and a little writing-box, containing
paper, envelopes, six stamps, pens, pencils,
and even a little bottle of ink, with which she
was to be sure and write to her mother when
she had been there a week.

48 Olive Crowhurst.

After she had wished good night, and left
the room, Miss Knight called Olive aside,
and said, I hope, Olive, you will be a good
girl, and do credit to Haslehurst parish. I am
going next month to pay a visit to Lady
Milner at Broom Park, when I shall be sure
to come and see the Home, and shall hope to
hear a good account of you from Mrs. Tidy.
Here is a little work-box to help you keep
your clothes tidy and in order."
So saying she unwrapped a smart shell-box
with a picture of the Brighton chain-pier on
the lid. Inside was a looking-glass, a stuffed
red velvet pincushion, thimble, scissors, several
reels of cotton, a yard-measure, a packet of
pins and an emery cushion.
Olive was too delighted to speak, but her
beaming countenance showed her gratitude
and pleasure. After wishing the servants
good-bye, she ran home, eager to display her
treasures to her mother.




* ,HE next morning Olive and her
S.,.- mother were at the Railway
ii Station by eight o'clock, where
'' Marsh, the Rectory gardener,
indly took her ticket, and put
-i'. Iler under the guard's charge for
She arrived there safely soon
after twelve, and saw a pleasant- looking
middle-aged woman, with a brown straw bon-
net and grey cloak, who kindly asked, "Is
your name Olive Crowhurst, my dear?"
"Yes, ma'am," replied she.
"I am Mrs. Tidy," continued her new
friend. Is that your box? It's so light,
I think we can easily carry it between us.
Come this way."
So saying, she walked through the station,
and led the way to a spring-cart, from Broom
PFrk, which was waiting for them.
E 3

50 Olive Crowzhurst.

It was a bright, frosty day; and they had a
beautiful drive, first through the village of
Oakdean, then through some fields and over
a common, and finally to the Home, on the
outskirts of the Park.
Mrs. Tidy talked pleasantly the whole way,
and Olive began to think, "I shall like her
very much indeed."
The Home was prettily built of stone, with
gabled roof and lattice windows; standing
in the midst of a nice large garden. On
one side was the play-ground, with a swing,
see-saw, and giant-strides. On the other side
was a hen-yard, where Lady Milner's poultry
was kept, which the girls attended to. A
row of bee-hives stood in the garden, and a
rustic arbour; where, on summer holidays,
the girls sometimes had their tea.
"You must be hungry, dear," said Mrs.
Tidy, as they walked up the gravel path
leading to the porch. "It's just upon dinner-
time, when you'll see all your new companions;
there are eleven of them. Now come and
see where you are to sleep."
They then went upstairs, and Mrs. Tidy
opened the door of a dormitory, containing
six little white beds, and one larger one,

Lady Mzlner's Home at Oakdean. 51

where the school-mistress slept. At one end
of the room was a lavatory, and each girl had
a chest of drawers for her clothes. The walls
were adorned with coloured pictures and illu-
minated texts. Olive's bed was the end one,
near the fire-place. She took off her hat and
jacket, washed her hands, smoothed her hair,
and then as a bell rung, went down stairs
to the hall, where dinner was set out.
A cheerful hum of voices greeted her on
entering the room.
"This is Olive," said Mrs. Tidy to the
other girls; "Mary Day, make room for
her by you."
Mary, a bright, dark-eyed girl of about
fourteen, welcomed Olive with a kind smile.
At this moment Miss Sharp, the, school-
mistress, came bustling in. "Is that the new
girl, Mrs. Tidy?" said she; "she looks a
great deal more than twelve."
"So they're not all pleasant here," thought
Olive; "it would be too good to be true if
they were. I like Mrs. Tidy much the best."
After dinner, which consisted of potato-pies
and sago-pudding, the girls dispersed for half-
an-hour's play. Olive was following them,
when Mrs. Tidy called her back.

52 Olive Crowhurst.

"Your duty, Olive," said she, "will be to
help Mary Day in the kitchen; she is cook
this month. You had best help her now to
clear away the dinner."
The following is a letter which Olive wrote
to her mother at the end of the week.
This comes hoping you are quite well,
as it leaves me at this present. I got here
all safe, and like it very well-a deal better
than Upfold. Mrs. Tidy speaks very kind.
I like her the best of them all. I've got a
good friend, too, in Mary Day; she is cook,
and I help her, and we get along first rate.
We have breakfast at half-past seven, which
is tea and bread and syrup. After that comes
prayers, which Miss Sharp reads. I don't
think much about her, she speaks so cross;
but she's a capital one to teach, and says
I'm forward for my age.
"Dinner is at twelve. We have soup twice a
week, stew twice a week, and roast twice a
week; sometimes we have pudding, and some-
times cheese; and beef and plum-pudding
always on Sunday. On Saturday, six of us
went up to tea at Broom Park; the others
will go next week. Her ladyship is a very
grand lady. We walked about in the park
a bit, and at four o'clock she gave us a lesson

Lady Milner's Home at Oakdean. 53

in knitting; I knew nothing about it before.
Mary Day is at stockings, and can make a
cross-over. While we knitted, Lady Milner
read aloud a beautiful story called 'Mattie,
the Match-seller.' We then had tea, and came
home at six. If a girl behaves ill, she doesn't
go to Broom Park when her turn comes.
Good-bye, dear mother. Give my love to
all, and tell Mrs. Knight I don't forget to use
the prayers she gave me.
"Your affectionate daughter,
"Write soon. I forgot to say we wear
lilac prints in the morning; brown stuff in
the afternoon; and on Sundays, dark blue,
and jackets and hats to match. I helped
make mine."
This letter was taken up to the Rectory by
Reuben next day. Mrs. and Miss Knight
were pleased to read it; and when the latter
paid her visit at Broom Park, she took Olive a
nice book, which Mrs. Tidy said she deserved.
Miss Knight brought back a good character
of her to her mother, and said that Mr.
Humphreys, the clergyman of Oakdean, was
pleased with her answers and attentive be-
haviour at the weekly Bible-class he held at
the Home.




ORE than three years have
passed away, and one bright
summer's morning the bells
of Haslehurst are ringing out
-a merry peal. To-day Mr.
"" Brookfield, the good squire,
is to be married to Miss
Knight, the clergyman's only
-' child, and there are great
rejoicings throughout the vil-
lage. Arches of evergreens were erected from
the Rectory to the Church, which was de-
corated for the occasion. Miss Knight looked
very happy as she walked up the aisle en her
father's arm ; and he, though grieved at part-
ing from her, felt happy in trusting her to
one whom he had known and valued so long.
Lady Milner gave an entertainment to the
servants and tenantry at Broom Park, to which
the girls at the Home were also invited

Upfold Farm Again. 55

After tea a conjurer performed for their
amusement, and excited their wonder by
producing bowls of gold- fish from under a
table-cloth; apparently breaking Mrs. Tidy's
gold watch, to her great alarm, and then pro-
ducing it, ticking as loud as usual and unhurt,
from the middle of a loaf! Miss Sharp's
pocket-handkerchief he pretended to cut into
a thousand shreds, and then handed it back
to her, scented and ironed. Altogether, they
passed a delightful evening.
Olive was now the oldest scholar at the
Home, and Lady Milner thought it time
to look out for a place for her. She was
very strong, tall, and active, and thoroughly
understood a kitchen-maid's work.
Mrs. Tidy had often had trouble with her,
on account of her wilfulness and high temper;
but the last year had shown a marked im-
provement in her conduct, and a real desire
to do what was right, from the best motives.
When the squire and his bride returned to
Haslehurst House, Mrs. Brookfield senior in-
tended to establish herself in a pretty little
house at Oakdean, though pressed by both
her children to live with them. Rose, the
kitchenmaid at Haslehurst, now a very good

56 Olive Crowhurst.
plain cook, was to live with her dear old mis-
tress; so there was a vacancy at the Great
House, which Olive was chosen to supply,
as Mrs. Tidy thought her now quite equal
to the post.
When the time came, she felt truly sorry to
leave her happy home and kind friends, know-
ing how much she owed to Mrs. Tidy for her
forbearance and patient training.
"Well, dear," said the good woman; "I
shall miss you very much; but we shan't be
very far off, and when you get a holiday, you
must come and spend a few days at the Home
-her ladyship is always glad for the girls to
come back and visit their friends here."
Olive first went for a holiday to her
mother's, to make up the nice clothes kindly
provided for her by Lady Milner. She had
three print dresses for work; two lighter ones
for afternoons; a grey alpaca, with a cape to
match, for Sundays; a straw bonnet, trimmed
with blue ribbons; a new waterproof cloak,
and an umbrella.
Olive, child," said Mrs. Crowhurst to her,
one morning at breakfast; "they say that
Mrs. Greenfield, who used you so ill, has
broken her leg, and can't get any one to nurse

Upfold Farm Again. 57

her. Mr. Greenfield has been driving all over
the place, and can hear of nobody. Poor
soul! with her cross ways, she has not got
many friends. They do say as her niece is
coming next week, and the girl she's got out
of the workhouse is no good; so meanwhile
they are middling uncomfortable, I reckon."
"Olive," whispered a small voice within
her, here's an opportunity for you to return
good for evil. You might nurse Mrs. Green-
field for a few days till her niece comes."
No," said another voice, "you needn't-
you've no call to. She used you ill, and you
can let her alone now. She's no blood relation
of yours, that you should put yourself out of
your way for her."
Again the small voice made itself heard,
and finally gained the day. Olive thought
for a few moments, and then said, "Mother,
I shall have time to finish my clothes next
week. I'll go to Upfold, and see after things
a bit till her niece comes."
Mrs. Crowhurst stared, and thought her
daughter had gone mad. She knew nothing
of our blessed Saviour's injunction to love
our enemies, do good to them that curse us,
and pray for those who despitefully use us,

58 Olive Crowkurst.

and persecute us." Olive happily knew this,
and was now trying to act upon it.
"Well, child, do as you will; but it's a
queer way of taking a holiday. I don't know
whatever the neighbours will say."
"Never mind them, mother," said Olive,
kissing her; "you'll have me back in less
than a week, and Mrs. Greenfield will be so
grateful; besides," she added, "I can show
them that I'm sorry for my share in that
business,-I had no right to run away."
That afternoon Olive again started in the
carrier's cart, with the same box, for the farm.
On arriving there, she saw Mr. Greenfield in
the farmyard, and went up to speak to him.
Ten minutes' explanation made him under-
stand who she was, and what she had come
for, though he could hardly believe his ears.
"Come along, my girl," said he; "and God
bless you for coming! We're in a pretty
pickle. Kitty has no more notion of doing
things than poor Joey there, pointing to the
jackdaw's well-known cage. However, it's no
wonder, and she only fourteen years old, and
fresh from the workhouse. We've had a sight
of girls since you left."
Olive now glanced round the kitchen, which

Upfold Farm Again. 59

was in a very disorderly state, and would have
driven poor Mrs. Greenfield wild, could she
but have come down from her room and
seen it. Kitty was nowhere to be seen,
having left all the dinner-things lying about,
and gone off to the hay-field to amuse herself.
"Come with me, and I'll take you to the
missus' room," said Mr. Greenfield; "she's in
a sad worrit about it all, poor soul! and
Dr. Chadwick says she'll not get on till her
mind's easy."
By this time they were up-stairs, and opening
a door, Mr. Greenfield called out," Wife, here's
Olive Crowhurst come back. She's home for
a holiday, and come to see what she can do,
hearing of the taking we're in."
The room was hot and close, the windows
not having been opened that day. The bed
was disordered and uncomfortable, and the
rest of the furniture in great confusion. The
remains of Mrs. Greenfield's breakfast and
dinner, together with bottles of medicine,
lotion, etc., were all huddled together on a
table near the bed; which was strewn with
the green tops of eaten strawberries, which
Mrs. Greenfield had upset off a plate, and
could not move to pick up. No wonder that

60 Olive Crowhurst.

in such a room, and such an atmosphere, the
poor woman looked flushed, worried, and rest-
less. Olive pitied her, and felt glad she had
come; here was indeed an opportunity of
"heaping coals of fire on her head." Mr.
Greenfield, saying he must see to the hay-
field, now left the room; and Olive was alone
with her late mistress.
Mrs. Greenfield remained silent for a
moment, and then said, "And pray what
brings you here? Did you want to see how
things looked when I couldn't get about ? "
"Oh no, Mrs. Greenfield!" cried Olive,
quickly; "I came to see if I couldn't help
you a bit. I'm used to work, and I'll stop
and do my best, if you like, till your niece
comes. Shall I tidy up your room a little ?"
She got no response, but began her task
all the same. She first set open the case-
ment, and admitted a sweet smell of new-
mown hay from the meadow below. She
next brought Mrs. Greenfield some water to
wash her face and hands; smoothed her hair,
shook up her pillows, and arranged the bed-
clothes, picking up the remains of the straw-
berries. She then carried down-stairs all the
cups, plates, glasses, etc., from the room, to

Upfold Farm Again. 01

be washed; and, as Mrs. Greenfield seemed
inclined to sleep, left her quiet, to go and put
things straight in the kitchen.
While she was thus occupied, the truant
Kitty returned from her hay-making. She
stared to see Olive in possession, and at the
neatness and order which she had effected.
Olive told her she was now in charge, said
she should be much displeased to find Kitty
again neglecting her duties, and begged her
to prepare tea.
Olive soon carried up a refreshing cup to
the invalid; who, after a nice sleep, awoke
in a much pleasanter frame of mind.
She even condescended to thank Olive,
saying she felt "a deal more easy." After
having seen to Mr. Greenfield's tea, and taken
some herself, Olive took a basket, went into
the garden, and gathered a sweet posy of
pinks, monthly roses, and honey-suckles; she
then searched for the finest strawberries,
which she arranged in the basket, on a bed
of their own leaves. These she carried up-
stairs, where they made even Mrs. Greenfield
smile, as she thanked her for her kindness.
Before leaving the sick woman for the night,
Olive asked if she might read her a few verses,

62 Olive Crowhurst.

"As you like," replied she, indifferently;
"its all one to me!"
Not discouraged at this answer, Olive
fetched her own well-worn Bible,-the one
Mrs. Knight had given her before going to
the Home. She read the gist Psalm slowly
and distinctly, and repeated in conclusion
the beautiful collect, "Lighten our darkness,
we beseech Thee, O Lord; and by Thy great
mercy defend us from all perils and dangers
of this night, for the love of Thy only Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ." Amen.

The week at Upfold soon passed away,
and the day arrived when Olive was to return
to Haslehurst, and Mrs. Greenfield's niece to
come and nurse her aunt, who was now much
In the morning, when Olive brought up Mrs.
Greenfield's breakfast, she saw her hastily
wipe her eyes. Surprised at this, in one who
boasted of never showing her feelings, Olive
kindly hoped she was not feeling worse.
Mrs. Greenfield only replied by bursting
into tears.
Olive, now quite frightened, begged to
know what was the matter; and after much

Conclusion. 03

difficulty, she succeeded in making Mrs.
Greenfield say,-
"Well, child! I feel so weak like, tears
come all of themselves, and I'm sorry to part
with you, child! you've been worth your
weight in gold, as my master and me was
saying. He tells me you've kept the place
so neat downstairs that nobody would guess
I wasn't about myself; and I can answer for
what you've done up here. My niece Amelia
is a regular fine lady; and I shan't dare to
ask her to sweep up, and look to the cream
or the butter."
Olive was greatly pleased at this unlooked-
for acknowledgment of her services, and was
really sorry to leave the poor woman who
had been so dependent on her.
Mr. Greenfield, too, said "they would lose
the sunshine out of the house," and pressed
a sovereign into her hand, which, however,
Olive steadily refused, saying she had come
as a friend, not as a hired nurse.
Mr. Greenfield insisted on driving her home
himself, and poured forth loud praises of her
to her mother.
Olive now went on with her preparations
for the Great House, feeling the luxury of

64 Olive Crowhurst.

doing a kind action, and rewarding evil with
She soon felt quite at home in her new
sphere. Mrs. Balls frequently praised her
to her mistress, saying, She is such a good
girl to work, ma'am; and ever since she came
Betsy, the scullery-maid, who wasn't doing
so well before, seems quite to have turned
over a new leaf!"
Young Mrs. Brookfield took a sincere in-
terest in her, and read with her, and the other
young maids, every Sunday evening, for an
We must now leave Olive at Haslehurst
House, striving to do her duty in that station
of life to which God had called her; and,
"while serving an earthly master faithfully,
not forgetting that in so doing she was also
pleasing a Heavenly One.


23hV"lik J 3 i n

Full Text