M GEORGE,, CUPPLE S.
'Me Baldwin Library
RmB M'i". I
HUGH WELLWOOD'S SUCCESS.
CHEERING THE CHAMPION
WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY.
,A Walt for the 3)natlg.
MRS. GEORGE CUPPLES,
AUTHOR OF "THE STORY OF OUR DOLL," "BLUFF CRAG,"
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
HUGH WELLWOOD'S SUCCESS.
HE Rev. Mr. Weliwood, curate of the retired village of Elmsley, had but two children, both sons. The eldest, called, Hugh, was a clever, sensible boy of twelve years of age. Maurice was ten, and though clever also, was the very opposite of Hugh in every way. Both boys were aware that their father had a very small income, and that, being in delicate health, he was very anxious they should pay as much attention to their studies as possible; a good education being all he had to give them.
Hugh was by nature as merry-hearted a boy as his brother, and he was as fond of play and joining in any kind of sport with his young com-
WORK FIRST, PLAY AFTER.
panions, but he never allowed his amusement to interfere with his lessons or any duty he had to perform. Maurice, on the contrary, was so fond of play, that he neglected his lessons, and the consequence was he had great difficulty in keep-, ing pace with his class-mates. What made it seem worse, he was a remarkably clever boy, and might with ease have always stood first in his class, had not the love of play been constantly uppermost in his mind. Their uncle, their father's eldest brother, had offered to send them both to college, upon the condition that they carried away the first prize in their respective classes for two successive years. This he considered they could easily do, having greater advantages than the other boys, whose fathers were not so competent to assist them as theirs was; but though Maurice knew quite well that this would ease his father's mind, he went on in his own idle, careless way.
"I say, Maurice, are you ready?" cried Hugh, coming into the room where his brother had been sent to learn his lessons quietly by himself. "Why, you don't mean to say you are not finished?" Hugh continued, as he saw Maurice beginning to open his atlas to learn his geography; " you
began long before me. What have you been about ? "
"Dear me, Hugh, what a hurry you are in, said Maurice. "It's only half-past six. I've just got my geography to do, and write out my exercise, and then I'm ready. See how well my kite looks now! I've just been adding a little piece to its tail. I'm sure it'll fly famously now."
"But, Maurice," said Hugh, "you don't mean to say you have been mending your kite instead
8 A WRONG WILL AND A WRONG WAY.
of learning your lessons? No wonder you are not ready. Well, I can't wait for you, that's all."
"Ob, do, Hugh; I really won't be a minute. J have been bard at work all the time; it was only when I was learning off my French lesson that I touched my kite, so that it did not hinder me at all."
" Ab, Maurice," said Hugh, smiling, " papa was just saying a few minutes ago that'where there's a will there's a way.' It really is a true saying in your case, for when you take a notion into your bead, you do manage to carry it out; but the strange thing is, your will is always for your play, never for your lessons-you neither have the will nor the way there."
" It is nothing but lessons with you, Hugh," said Maurice. "I do believe you are never happy but when your Latin grammar or your French dictionary is in your hands. 'You get worse and worse every day. I wouldn't be such a slave to my lessons as you are, for anything; I'm sure I get on just as well as you do. I was only at my lessons an hour and a half last night, and you were more than two, yet I got the best mark."
" Yes; but then you forgot to write your exer-
GETTING INTO TROUBLE.
cise, or rather, you allowed Charley Hay to coax you out to hunt for the rat, so that you have lost your best mark after all. And, as mammaL says, we ought to do our utmost to gain the prize to repay uncle for his kindness."
"Well, well, Hugh," said Maurice, getting cross, " I can't help it; you know you got into a scrape yourself once, by listening to Charley Hay. Don't you remember last winter, when we made the snow-man, you were so anxious about it that
CONCERNING THE SNOW-MAN.
you never learned your lessons at all, and the master made the long speech about it being the first time he had been forced to punish you
"The master hasn't bad to cane me again, though," said Hugh. " I won't forget the snowman in a hurry, I assure you; I often dream about his huge nose, and that pipe Charley Hay stuck in his mouth, and that we all tried to knock out."
" Oh, it was such jolly fun," said Maurice. " 1 wish winter was back again. But no-we can't fly kites then, and I do like to see my kite mounting up and up, and tug, tug, tugging at the string."
" Well, Maurice, I had better go now," said Hugh ; "I'm only hindering you from finishing your geography. I shall be doing something out of doors till you come. If you make haste, we may yet have time to try the kite. I would help you, but you know papa has forbidden me, if you leave your lessons for play."
" Yes, I know," said Maurice. " I wish I had left my kite alone. I shan't get through with this geography for the next half-hour, and then there's my exercise to write after. Oh, it's horribly provoking-the light will be all gone!"
MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME.
" Better begin at once. You found a way to mend your kite, having the will, and perhaps you may be as fortunate with your lessons," said Hugh, laughing.
Hugh then went off; but he was a kind-hearted boy, and felt timly sorry for Maurice. Had his papa not forbidden him to give any assistance when the fault was entirely owing to his brother's idle habits, he would willingly havelelped him. As it was, all he c ould do was to go round by the barn and see that their pigeons and rabbits had enough of food, so that Maurice would be ready to start for the meadow at once. By the time he
WAITING AT THE GATE.
had seen to this, and stopped to pat the two cows that were waiting at the gate to be let in to their comfortable house, Maurice said he was quite ready, and they set out together. It was a glori-
FLYING THE KITE.
ous evening for, flying a kite; and Maurice had every reason to be proud of his, for it rose and rose steadily and grandly till every inch of string was rolled off the wooden handle, and had he only had some yards more, it would have been quite out of sight.
" Oh, how j olly I-there's mamma," cried Hugh. I'll run and ask her to come over to see the kite."
11I don't think she'll come," replied Maurice; 'because I heard her say to papa she was going this afternoon to see some of the sick people at the alms-houses."
" At anyrate I can ask her," said Hugh. And away he went, clambering over the fences, and taking the nearest road to reach his mamma before she turned into the alms-house lane.
"Do come, mamma," pleaded Hugh; "we never managed to get it to fly so high before, and from the meadow it looks a mere speck."
" Well, what is the use of me coming if that is the case ? " said Mrs. Wellwood, laughing. "I haven't got my spectacles with me, and my eyes are not so good as they once were for looking at specks in the sky."
"Oh, it isn't so very small," said Hugh. "And
the grand sight is yet to come, when we pull it down."
At this moment there was a frantic shout from Maurice, and a cry for help ; and Hugh had to hasten - away, leaving his mamma to follow as quickly as she could. The reason of Maurice's di stress, Hugh discovered, was, it took all his strength to hold the kite in, it tugged so strongly in its endeavours to mount higher; and he was just going to let go, when Hugh came to his assistance. By their united efforts the kite was held in its place till their mamma came up; and after she had duly praised it, they consented to pull it down, at her request. I" Now that I have come so far out of my way," said Mrs. Wellwood, " to see this wonderf ul kite, I think you must be gallant enough to escort me to the alms-houses."
11 Oh yes, certainly, mamma," said Maurice, giving the kite a great tug to help it to come down, which it was by no means willing to do apparently. "It was so good of you to come! Besides, I want to see old Martin; he promised to have the rabbitsnare ready for me this week. Give him another good tug, Hugh; we'll show'him who is master."
So determined was the wind to hold the kite
THE KITE GIVES IN.
when it bad thus secured it, that Mrs. Weliwood proposed to walk on, thinking the process would
MAURICE FLYING HIS KITE.
be rather a long one; but Hugh declared it would be mastered in a few minutes.
A WALK WITH MAMMA. 15
A long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull both together brought the kite whirling and staggering downwards. Sometimes it gave a great plunge head foremost, making the string so slack that, b4ore Maurice could wind it up, the wind claimed its own again, and sent it soaring up, its tail wriggling and twisting like a snake, or the great sea-serpent. At last it was fairly overpowered, and Maurice ran along after his mamma to lay it at her feet, with Dash barking furiously to signal their triumph over the enemy.
The boys were always delighted to walk out with their mamma, and on this occasion she was, as Maurice said, "particularly funny," and told them so many funny stories that they actually frightened some sheep feeding in a meadow by their hearty laughter.
On their return home, as it was not quite time for dinner, the boys volunteered to wind a skein of wool for their mamma, and while doing so they began to talk about the kite and how well it had flown. The only fault Hugh had to find with it was its size. He said he wished it had been twice as large, and also that they had had some more string.
"Well," said Maurice, "it's the best kite I have ever had; that piece I added to its tail was just
THE FORGOTTEN TASK.
the thing; I'm glad I put it on when I did. And as for my Latin exercise, I can easily do it before breakfast,-I'll get Mary to wake me very early."
" 0 Maurice," said Hugh, "I thought you had written it already; you will never do it in the morning, you are so sleepy-headed. You will lose your mark again."
Poor Maurice little knew what that kite would cost him. The next morning the good-natured Mary rose earlier than usual, for the purpose of
waking Master Maurice; but instead of rising, as he said he wanted to do, he curled himself round and went to sleep again, saying it was far too soon. He slept so soundly that Hugh could hardly get him to waken at the usual hour, and then he found it was useless to attempt writing the exercise. As it bad not to be given in till the afternoon, he made up his mind he would, at the playhour, ask old Joe Porrett the sexton for the loan of pen and ink, and permission to write it in his cottage. Old Joe was a special favourite with both the boys, and Maurice knew he would be quite ready to oblige him. He therefore went downstairs to breakfast feeling quite happy with himself and everybody, and laughed at Hugh's grim face showing that he disapproved of his conduct.
Maurice had to be in school half an hour before Hugh, and, bag in hand, be was running away, with their dog Dash flying and barking on before him.
" I say, Maurice, you had better not take Dash with you; you are late at anyrate, and he may get you into some mischief."
"No fear of him; I shall have plenty of time to leave him with old Joe-we'll run all the road
OFF TO SCHOOL
to make up for lost time. 'Where there's a will there's a way,' you know;" and Maurice ran A laughing at having been able to give his brother back their father's favourite proverb.
OFF TO SCHOOL.
At first Dash behaved very well; he ran steadily by Maurice's side, as if he were trying a race, and meant to be the winner; but getting tired of that, he picked up a stone and dropped it down at his young master's feet, for him to throw along the road, which Maurice did, laughing at the dog's eagerness to catch it. Maurice never thought
HUNTING A RABBIT. 19
that every time he stopped to pick up the stone it put off time; but when he got to the lane, down which he had to turn to reach Joe's cottage, he heard the school-bell ringing, and he had still some distance to go before he reached the schoolhouse.
Mr. Eddred's farm was also down this lane, not fax from Joe's house; and just when Maurice came within sight of the ' wicket-gate, and was expecting to have Dash in the old man's charge in a minute, a rabbit ran across the road, and away went the dog after it. Though Dash had been trained not to touch sheep, Maurice was dreadfully afraid to see the rabbit preparing to run across a field at the back of the farm-house where a great many sheep and lambs were feeding; but the rabbit suddenly turned and ran in the direction of some stacks of com, near a small thicket of trees and bushes, and though Dash did everything in his power to find out the hole it was hidden in, he could not succeed.
Maurice now wished he had taken Hugh's advice, for Dash would not come at his call, and the bell had sto ped ringing. The sound of the
boys' merry games before entering school no longer reached him, and he knew that the master
SCHOOL AT LAST.
must have taken his place, and no doubt the prayer would be over. After a great deal of
coaxing, Dash at last gave up his hunt, and followed Maurice to the cottage, where he was at last safely secured, and his young master set out once more for school.
The master was not only particular about all the boys being punctual, but Mr. Weliwood had given him strict injunctions never to pass his boys over unless they brought a note of apology with them, as they seldom had an excuse for being late, having no work to do before school-hours, like many of their school-mates.
When Maurice opened the door, he was surprised to find his class had been called up, and Hugh in his place, who turned a reproachful look towards him as he entered. Maurice was by no
LATE FOR SCHOOL.
means a coward, and fortunately had been brought up to speak the truth. Many a boy would have been tempted to tell a lie to screen himself, especially from so severe a master as Mr. Crowe. But Maurice, knowing he had only himself to blame, made up his mind to bear the punishment as bravely as be could.
"Have you a note from your father, Sir? " said Mr. Crowe, with an ominous frown gathering on his face.
Maurice hung his head as he answered, " No, Sir; I took Dash our dog with me, and he ran away, and I had to wait for him, I'm very sorry indeed; but-2'
That will do," said Mr. Crowe, bringing his hand down with a blow on his desk. " This is the second time you have made yourself late
with that dog. I shall certainly inform your father of your conduct. To your place, Sir; this is not a time to interrupt the duties of the day;
-I shall speak to you further during the interval."
Maurice turned to his seat-which was now, by the rules of the school, at the foot of the class, and however well his lessons had been prepared, would remain there all the day; for no
22 ONE BAD DEED BRINGS ON ANOTHER.
boy coming in, late was permitted to take a higher place. This was not only vexing, but his marks would be so high that it would take an extra amount of labour to recover his old standing ground; for he knew that two of ' the boys were close upon him, and meant to keep him down if they could. Maurice thought of the anxiety of his father and mother that be Should gain the prizes his un le required as a mark of his diligence, and he remembered his mother's words the evening before, which he had not paid much attention to at the time, about their father having many troubles at present, and hoping he would be industrious, that the greatest of all his anxieties might be lightened, which was the future prospects of his two boys.
Maurice was not only kept in school during the play-hour, but his hand was so sore with the caning he had received that he could not hold his pen, so that his Latin exercise was not w-ritten, and he was obliged to stay again in the school-house after the boys had left for the day. Hugh in passing out whispered that he.would be found down by the river, where he would try to get as many minnows as would serve them both to fish with the next day, it being a half-holiday;
and though Maurice felt Hugh's kindness, it made his confinement all the more disagreeable, for catching minnows was a favourite amusement with both boys.
Hugh was glad to find his father was out, as he was thus saved from being questioned about Maurice's absence. He got his rod at once, and
A FAVOURITE AMUSEMENT.
with a basket containing a bottle and jar to hold the minnows in when caught, he set out for the river.
But though the minnows rose and took the
THE IMPRISONED SCHOOL-MATE.
bait quite readily, Hugh could scarcely attend to them. His thoughts wandered away to his poor brother sitting in the lonely school-room, and he sighed to think that, though amongst the cleverest boys in-the school, his place was far toooften beside thy really stupid ones. Hugh sat and turned the matter quietly over in his mind: so much depended upon him gaining the prize; and he came to the conclusion, that perhaps if he were to learn his own lessons sooner, he might assist Maurice in the evening, and keep him at work. "I have the will to do it," said Hugh It and the way will be to. rise two hours earlier., and perhaps give up my play-hour; but that's nothing, if I can get Maurice to be more careful."
Meanwhile, what was Maurice about? Some of the boys bad returned to the playground to play a game at marbles, when all at once they remembered their imprisoned school-mate. Maurice was a favourite with most of the boys, and when they saw him sitting with his books before him so forsaken like, they expressed their synipatby for him.
" I say," said Charley Hay, the leader in all sort-, of mischief, "I saw the master go down the village in the direction of the vicarage. He
can't be back for an hour; couldn't you get out somehow and have a game? It's a shame to punish you so much in one day. If you could stand on something high, you might perhaps manage to get out at the top of the window."
A, GKIME AT MARBLES-
" Yes; but if the master should return," said Maurice, hesitating. " No; I had better not do it; be is angry enough with me already."
'Stuff and nonsense," said Charley; " we'll set little Tom Morton to watch by the stile, and
ALL BUT OUT.
as he can't come up any other way, we can have you hoisted in long before he is at the top of the lane."
Maurice looked round the dull school-room, and out at the bright sunshine, and thought after all he had really been rather hardly treated; so, no sooner had he got this notion into his head, than he thought how he was to get out. The window was a very long one, and only opened at the top; besides, it had no ledge, and was straight with the wall. But "where there's a will there's a way" to do evil as well as good. Maurice looked round the room again, and his eye rested on the master's high stool before his desk. This he at once lifted on to the boys' writing-desk under the window, steadying it with books and a large atlas. This was sufficient for the purpose; but just as he had got up to a sitting position on the top of the window, and was preparing to get his legs outside, down fell the stool with a crash, and not having a very secure seat, he let go his hold, and fell down on the top of it, breaking two panes of the window with his heels. At that very moment little Tom came forward to say the master was in sight, and the boys hurried off to their game, leaving Maurice
A SAD ACCIDENT. 27
lying almost insensible on the floor. When Mr. Crowe came in, he guessed at once what had been his pupil's intention; but, with all his severity, he was a wise man, and kind-hearted too, and he justly thought it might make a greater impression were he to be a little lenient. Maurice's face was sadly scratched and cut, but fortunately no bones were broken; only the stool having suffered in that way, which he knew he would have to get mended along with the window.
Instead of whipping or even scolding him, Mr Crowe led him away to his cottage close by the school-house, and bathed his wounds, and afterwards talked so kindly to him that Maurice saw his behaviour in quite a new light, and was determined to be more careful in future. It was high praise to be told that he had a better head for learning than Hugh, who was the recognized head of the school; and that if he would only apply himself, he might with ease rise to this position when a little older. To Maurice's great vexation, the master showed him the book where the marks were registered, and proved to him that up to the week before he had the best chance to gain the prize, but with his carelessness during the past week, and his con-
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAP.
duct that day, he was lower than many of the boys with half his ability. From that time Maurice determined to be more careful; and having said so to Nx. Crowe, he was allowed to go home.
There was an archery meeting to come off in a fortnight-the two boys being members of itand Maurice was doubtful if he would be allowed to attend, as Mr. Wellwood generally made this the mode of punishment. He had, of course, received the report from Mr. Crowe, and though he had taken no notice of it as yet, Maurice knew by his grave manner he was very much displeased. By Bugh's advice, however, Maurice was so diligent, that when the archery meeting did take place, Mr. Crowe came in person, and asked as a favour that be should be allowed to go.
Maurice now found that though play was certainly pleasant, when indulged in at wrong times it did not always bring happiness. He felt that real pleasure came more from doing his duty; for not only did it please his father and mother, but Mr. Crowe, who generally had a very grave face, actually smiled in quite a friendly way as he said one day, in answer to something Mr. Wellwood had been saying," Never fear, sir-Maurice has promised to turn
AN HONEST BOY.
over a new leaf; he is too honest a boy to break his word. Trust us, sir-he'll turn out better
THE ARCHERY MEETING.
than a harum-scarum, a good-for-nothing lazy
I r~" ir~
REALLY HAPPY DAYS.
Never before had Maurice enjoyed himself as at the archery meeting; and though he did not gain the prize, his score was amongst the highest. His lessons, thanks to Hugh's brotherly kindness, were now well learned, and he found that he had far more time on his hands than before. It was so delightful to go out with their two friends, Dr. Spence's sons, in their little boat, after the school-books were laid away for the day, and feel he was now free to enjoy himself to his heart's content, while the three girls stood to see them safely off, and wish them a pleasant sail. These were really happy days.
And now the examination arrived, and the boys were to receive the prizes allotted to them. Hugh Wellwood was found to be the most proficient in every branch, and carried away not only many handsome books presented by the Squire, but a good character from his master, who said, before all the people, he was now quite able to be placed in any college his friends might choose. Their uncle bad run down to see his brother and nephews, and was present, which made Maurice feel all the more nervous, as he felt certain no prize would fall to him ; but, to his surprise, his name was called out, and he
A NARROW ESCAPE.
found that he bad' gained by two marks. He knew well be had only Hugh to thank for this,
OUT FOR A SAM.
and he pressed his brother's hand in passing to let him feel he owed it to him alone.
After the prizes were distributed, the boys engaged in a game at cricket; and in the end it somehow got abroad that Hugh, who was the
32 THREE CHEERS FOR THE CHAMPION.
champion cricket er as well as head of the school, was to be sent to college that year, and that this would most likely be his last game. He was at once mounted on a form, while his school-mates cheered and waved their caps, to show that he well deserved this reward; and though Maurice could not rejoice, the thought of losing him being uppermost, he stood close by, feeling proud of the honour being shown to his good brothel Hugb.
A few days after the examination of the school the annual fair was held in the neighbouring town, and both the boys were permitted to attend.
" Now, Maurice," said his mamma, " I shall expect to hear a good report of your behaviour on your return. If you will be guided by Hughwho has a better memory than you, and an older head upon his shoulders-I feel sure you will have a pleasant day, and everybody will be glad."
" I will try, dear mamma," replied Maurice humbly, the tears coming to his eyes; " I do mean to be a better boy."
" I am sure of that, dear," said Mrs. Wellwood, kissing Maurice fondly. " It has been a great source of comfort to both your papa and me to
see that you are really trying to be a good boy. Now, be off with you at once, and take care and spend your fair-money wisely and well."
The fair was just splendid, from the beginning to the end. At first there was some little doubt in Hugh's mind as to whether it was proper for them to go into the circus, as they bad not asked their
mamma's permission to do so; but just as Maurice was saying, " Well, then, if you think mamma would object, we bad better move on," Mr. Etheridge came up-a gentleman their mamma bad a great respect for-and, seeing his two young friends, called out,Hollo ! going into the circus, eh ?
A FRIEND INDEED.
Cc We were not quite sure if mamma would like us to go, sir," said Hugh.
" But I suppose you have not the least doubt on the subject yourselves," said Mr. Etheridge, smiling. " I see by your eyes the answer is, Oh, very much indeed!'" Both the boys laughed; and Maurice said," Indeed, we should very much like to go in,
Then that is fixed," replied Mr. Etheridge. In with you, and leave settling the question with your mamma to me."
From the circus Mx. Etheridge took them into all the shows of any consequence, and even permitted them to have a seat in the swing-boat; and, after buying them all sorts of articles, sent them home, with the promise to be there very shortly, to give an account of the day's proceedings, and to receive any scoldings Mrs. Wellwood wished to inflict.
CC You must come up to me to-morrow," he said at parting ; " I want to see those fine prizes of yours. Come up and spend the day; and tell your mamma and papa I shall expect them to dinner."
A-s Maurice said, this invitation was the best of the whole; for Mr. Etheridge had such a lovely
house, and was so hospitable and kind, that it was the greatest pleasure imaginable to go there.
Next day, when they were going up the avenue, they saw a man and a woman before them sell-
ing flowers. The woman was leading a very dilapidated donkey that was drawing a small cart with flowers in pots, while the man carried a large basket on his head.
THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE.
" Will you speak to the master of the house for us, my young gentlemen ? " said the woman. 11 He's a good, kind man himself, that he is; but that 'ere new footman won't believe that we supply the house, and the gardener be's from home, and we don't know what to do if you don't help us."
The boys gladly promised to speak to Mr. Etheridge, because, as Hugh said, they seemed honest, clean-looking people, if they were poor. And it turned out that ' Mr. Etheridge knew them quite well, and was glad to hear they had not been turned away from his door.
" And how is your son ? " said Mr. Etheridge kindly to the woman.
" He's a great deal better, Sir, thank you; and the doctor allows him to go out a little every day, and Samuel is so glad. He's been very patient, Sir; buthe was sore distressed to think he could not get on with his lessons."
" Is that the little boy who met with the, accident, Sir ? " inquired Hugh.
" Yes, my boy. You remember he was trying to stop a runaway horse, and got badly hurt for his trouble." Then turning to the man, he asked, " Has the gentleman ever been to see him ? "
No, sir, he han't," said the man. " He sent the doctor, and some money, that Oay Samuel was carried home; but his little girl she was down seeing him last week."
"Yes; an' the pretty dear she brought him a pet chicken," said the woman gratefully. " An' Samuel he has been so pleased ever since! Just before we left home this morning, he got me to help him out to feed it; and though it's a inite of a thing, he is as proud of it as if it was the finest cbick that ever lived."
" That's all very well," said Mr. Etheridge; 'but I would like to hear of something more substantial being done for the boy. He was the means of saving, the gentleman's life; and even if Samuel bad not been hurt, something was due to him."
"It was his duty, sir," said the man; "and the doctor says he has no doubt but in the end something will be done for him. But Mr. Foster he's a forgetful man, and lazy, and unless there's something to bring it to his remembrance, be forgets or puts it off."
" He might send the tutor to give him a lesson daily," said Mr. Etheridge.
" Ali, if he would do that!" said the man
LOSING PRIZED LESSONS.
hastily. "It's the losing of them lessons that seems hardest for Samuel to bear. But what am
SAMUEL AND HIS PET CHICKEN.
I saying? The tutor he's gone home for his holidays at the present time."
A KIND PROPOSAL
After the man and woman had gone away, Maurice said to Mr. Etheridge,"I wonder if we could give him lessons, sir. It would give us something to do during our holidays."
"It's rather fax, I am afraid," said Mr. Etheridge, laying his hand on Maurice's shoulder; "a good five miles from your house, I should say."
"But there's a near cut by the end of your clover-field, Sir, that takes off about a mile," said Maurice; "and if the vicar would allow us to go by the end of his paddock, that would be another half-inile off."
" I fear you haven't counted the cost, my boy," said Mr. Etheridge kindly. It would certainly be a great boon to poor Samuel, who, I am afraid, will never be fit for hard work ; and could he but read and write, we might take him into the office. But it would be rather hard to deprive you of your holidays."
" If you think it would help the boy, Sir," said Maurice, " I should like to try; that is to say, if mamma and papa are agreeable."
" Ah, that's it!" said Mr. Etheridge, who did not like to damp the boy's ardour to do good. "We will postpone the verdict for the present,
AN EXCELLENT PLAN.
and carry the matter to a higher court, when your mamma and papa come to dinner to-day."
When Mr. and Mrs. Weliwood arrived, they were duly made acquainted with the project; but it turned out that Hugh, for one, would not have time, as his papa intended to put him through a course of study himself, to help him when he entered college the next session.
"Couldn't I do it myself, then, papa?" said Maurice eagerly. -" I shall not know what to do with myself during the hours Hugh is with you."
Mr. Wellwood was on the point of saying that Maurice could not be trusted to go on with such an undertaking; but Mrs. Wellwood, knowing well how hard Maurice was trying to overcome his lazy habits, said hastily,"I think it would be an excellent plan; and I shall go over with you to-morrow to make the proposal to Samuel and his parents."
Maurice was indeed grateful to his mamma, for he felt she at anyrate trusted him; and he was determined he would not weary or repent Lhat he had chosen to help Samuel during his holidays.
The next day, accordingly, Mrs. Weliwood and Maurice set out together for the cottage where
A HEARTY WELCOME.
Samuel lived, and after some little difficulty, found it. Such a funny little cottage it was, but so prettily situated! And what a hearty welcome they received !-for, as Mrs. Finch, Samuel's mother, said, t was not often they had visitors.
When, however, she heard why they had come, she fairly cried, poor woman! and thanked Maurice so often that he almost cried too. Samuel said very little; less than his mother th ought
TEACHER AND PUPIL
proper after such a proposal. But Maurice had seen the quick flush that came to his pale cheek, and the look of pleasure that beamed in his eyes, and understood quite well that though he could not say more at the time than " Thank you kindly, sir," he was very glad indeed.
While Mxs. Wellwood went out to see Mrs. Finch's flowers, and to speak a few words to the younger children, Maurice was left to inquire about the books Samuel had. The former was surprised to find that his pupil was further advanced than he expected, but glad that be was a little behind him.
"I'll tell you what I had better do," said Maurice. " I will bring my books the next time, and we can go over the lessons *I have had the last half. I shan't require them till I go back to school."
" If you could do that, sir," said Samuel gratefully, "it would be kind. I've been such an expense to father already; and I wouldII1 like to ask him to lay out more money just now, for he's behind with his rent, and the flower season will soon be over."
" Oh, I can easily manage about the books!" said Maurice; " and I daresay, now that my
AN APT SCHOLAR 43
brother is going to college, he won't require his. I wish he had been able to come with me; he'd have helped you on twice as fast. But he can't spare the time,"
" It's very good of you, sir, to come so far to help a poor boy like me," said Samuel. " I'll do my best to learn, sir, and give you as little trouble as I can."
" I'm sure you will," said Maurice hastily, for he saw Samuel was almost crying. " Mr. Etheridge declares yo0l beat me soon, if I don't take care; he says you learn so fast. And he was saying, too, that when you could read well, and write, he would see about taking you into his office."
" Oh, did he say that, now ? exclaimed Samuel, his eyes fairly glistening. That's just what I would like, of all things in the world."
On their return home, his mamma asked Maurice how he liked his new pupil; and laughed at his enthusiastic reply that he thought him a wonderfully clever boy.
"Why, mamma, he knows such lots of thingsall about Captain Cook, and ever so many more explorers ; and as for history, he has it at his finger-ends. The strange thing is, too, he reads so badly."
44 WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY.
Ah, you see, where there's a will there's a way!" said Mrs. Wellwood. laughing. "Samuel was determined to learn, and he picked up as much as he could himself till Mr. Etheridge sent him to school."
CC Yes; and it was hard to have to leave it ust when he had been there a month," said Maurice. "I think Mr. Foster ought to be publicly hooted for his behaviour towards him. But never mind; Samuel will get on without his help, I hope."
" And I hope my dear boy. will not weary in well-doing," said Mrs. Wellwood gently.
it Ah, mamma," said Maurice reproachfully, " 1 thought you were going to trust me ?"
"So I am, my darling," was the reply. " 1 feel certain my boy will be brave this time, and show his mother her confidence was not misplaced."
The next morning, when Maurice set out on his labour of love, in passing through the wood that led to the Finches' cottage, he paused before a tree, and taking out his knife, cut out the day of the month very carefully. "Now, I'll put a notch under this every day," he said to himself; it and if I am absent, then I'll leave it blank. If
A WISE RESOLUTION.
I - Nh
it is my own fault, I had better put a cross, and for every cross I'll fine myself a sixpence. That
will surely keep me right; for there is not the
THE NOTCHED TREK
slightest doubt I'm greedy. I'm awfully fond of money-a perfect miser, in fact. That, with the thought how it would vex mamma were I to draw back without a proper cause, will surely keep my laziness within bounds. I mean to try hard, at anyrate, this time."
During all the holidays, if any one had understood the meaning of the notches in the tree, they would have seen but few blanks, and not one cross. Day after day might Maurice be seen wending his way through the wood, in showery weather as well as in sunny, his face always wearing a pleasant look, and his cheery whistle making even the birds a little envious. His appearance was eagerly watched for by Samuel's little brothers and sisters; who, the moment Dash sprang out of the wood, would run back to the cottage to tell Samuel the welcome tidings that the young master was in sight.
Samuel made great progress certainly with his lessons; but his health was by no means satisfactory, and Maurice often saw he was in low spirits.
" I am afraid, Samuel," he said one day, 11 the lessons are rather hard upon you; you study too much. Mamma is often telling Hugh that 'all
MAURICE'S THINKING-CAP. 47
work and no play makes Jack a dull boy;' but be gets worse and worse. I never saw a fellow so fond of his books as be is-except you, perbaps. ,
" Ob, it isn't that, sir," said Samuel; "I don't know what I should have done if you hadn't helped me. But I'm sometimes vexed to think .1 can be of no use to father. I can't even chop wood or carry water from the spring formotber; and she has so much to do, now that she has the new baby to look after."
Why, don't you nurse it for her ? " said Maurice, laughing. " Didn't she say only yesterday she couldn't get on without you, you took such care of it, and the other children besides ?"
" Yes, she says that; but it's just to cheer me," said Samuel, sighing heavily. " If I only could think of some way to make money to help father!"
On the way home that day Maurice sat down under the tree, after adding the notch, and " put on his thinking-cap," as he said. "I have it!" he exclaimed, suddenly springing up, causing some birds that were picking up the crumbs be bad flung down to them to fly away with a cry of alarm. " I don1 think mamma will object.
A NEW PROJECT.
They are all mine; and capital ones, into the bargain.,,
He ran so fast home that he was quite out of breath, and was a little vexed to bear his mamma had not returned from her walk. "Well, then, I must have patience," he said. "And now that I think of it, I had better go round and see how many hens I have. I'll give them all to Samuel; he'll make a good lot of money out of them, for they lay lots of eggs, though they are such young hens-and Mrs. Finch can sell them."
While he was looking at them, and considering whether he would give up his favourite old hen also, the servant called to him that his mamma bad come in. When she heard about the new project she was quite pleased, and even agreed to send half-a-dozen of her own from the poultryyard.
. " Of course, you will have to go over and put up the place for them," said Mrs. Wellwood. 11 But I think Hugh will help you; it will do him good to take a week's holiday before leaving us. l
How delighted Samuel was with the neat house they put up, with a railing round to keep the hens from wandering.
A REAL HOLIDAY.
And what a happy week the two boys spent enga ged in the work 1 As Maurice said, it was a real holiday; and though short, it had the full effect of a very long time.
The day for Hugh to leave came far too soon, and when the carriage drove away Maurice could hardly see, his eyes were so dim with tears; but hearing a sob, he turned round, and saw his mother seated on the steps, quite overcome by the loss of her boy-her " right hand," as she always called Hugh. Maurice ran up to her at once, and taking her round the neck, entreated her not to cry, for that now he would do his utmost to fill his brother's place.
TRYING TO CHEER HIS MOTHER.
THE YOUNG COMFORTER.
"I can't make up to you for Hugh, dear mamma, but I'll do my best. I shall learn my lessons ever so hard-though," he added with a sigh, "it will be hard without dear Hugh to help
THE FAVOURITE PROVERB.
me. Do say you will trust me. I really mean to be very careful." And seeing that his mother's tears were.giving place'to a smile, he continued, "I won't forget Hugh's last words; I do mean to keep by it, and he believes I will. Yes; I shall get papa to print on a card his favourite proverb, and have it hung up in my room, so that when I open my eyes in the morning I shall see. it the first thing."
"That is not a bad idea, Maurice," said his mamma, trying to smile through her tears at her boy's earnest face. " But I hope you are not placing all your dependence upon a printed card. There is One who can help you to keep your good resolutions, if you. will but ask Him."
"Yes; I know who you mean, mamma," said Maurice, the tears starting to his eyes. "I do mean to ask God to help me." Then brushing his jacket sleeve across his eyes hastily, he continued, " I am determined to take the prize next time, and it will be with far more than one mark. And then I shall go to college, and be with Hugh once more."
"And what shall I do when you are both gone?" said Mrs. Wellwood.
" Oh, you must write letters to us, and see
after all our pets till we come back in the holidays," said Maurice. " Well, it will be jolly fun to come home agaiA and visit all the old places. And then, mamma, when we are men, you and papa will live with us always, and have a pony-chair to drive about in like the Squire's lady. Don't laugh, now. Hugh and I haVE arranged it between us, and so I mean to work hard, I can tell you, else, Hugh says, he will have to do it all himself."
A Pr- - i !
GOING ALONE TO SCHOOL.
It was a little solitary to go back to school without Hugh, but he liked it too; and then, when tbe lessons were over, he hastened to Samuel to give him his lessons before returning home.
AN EARLY WINTER. 53
Why, my boy," said Mr. Etheridge one day, coming upon Maurice running as quickly as pos-' sible through the meadow, " what brings you in this direction at this time of day ? "
" I'm going to Samuel's, sir," said Maurice. You know it is not quite so far from the school to his house as it is from home, and mamma says I may go on for a little till the winter sets in. I couldn't go there in snowy weather."
The winter set in sooner than Maurice expected, for that very week, when he was returning through the wood, it began to snow heavily, and by the time he reached home the ground was quite covered, and the cattle had been brought
A NEW ARRIVAL.
under shelter. "Well," said Maurice to his mamma, "I used to rejoice in the idea of winter, but I can't say I'm glad of this, for poor Samuel's sake. I'm afraid he'll miss me dreadfully."
" You will have more time for sliding, though," said his mamma, laughing; " and as for Samuel, he can go quietly over all he has learned during the summer.
The next morning Mrs. Wellwood was startled by hearing Maurice crying, " 0 mamma, mamma, do come! " and on going downstairs, there she found Maurice standing outside the front door in " terrible sta e of excitement. " A pony, mamma. " real live pony for me!" he exclaimed. " Oh, do come and look at it-he's such a beauty!"
"Why, who could have sent that here!" said Mrs. Wellwood; but there was something in her tone of voice which let Maurice see she knew all about it. " Oh, isn't it kind of Mr. Etheridge, mamma? And do you know, Tom tells me be has sent a whole load of bay and ever so much oats! I can go to Samuel's now, mamma."
That very afternoon Maurice rode the pony over to Samuel's house, and very much surprised was the boy when Maurice walked in. " I had just been doing the best I could, thinking I should t
A FAITHFUL FRIEND.
see you again till the weather had changed," he said.
A FAUITHUl FRIN.
" Ah, but you see I've got a faithful friend to help me along," said Maurice. " Come out and see him."
The pony was duly admired, and graciously allowed himself to be patted and caressed, and waited in the tool-house very patiently till his master was ready for his return.
" I'll tell you what it is, sir," said Mrs. Finch, "9you must give up coming for a little, for even though you have the pony, the roads are heavy
THE WELL-EARNED PLAY-HOUR.
with the snow, I'm sure Samuel could get on famously by himself for a little."
The roads had been rather hard that day, and Maurice had been once or twice a little anxious about the pony losing his footing; but he said manfully, " Oh, you know, I bad the pony given to me just that I might help Samuel, and it would never do to give up coming."
" But mother is right, sir," said Samuel you must wait a little."
" Well, then, I'll come every other day," said Maurice--- 'Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays-, and as I have a half-holiday on two of these days, we can have a good long lesson, and Brownie will be all the better for the gallop."
Eventually it was arranged that Maurice should only come on the Wednesdays and Saturdays; and after marking out the lessons for the days that would intervene till he came again, Brownie was brought out, and his master mounted him, assisted by the whole family.
How Maurice enjoyed the play-hours now! He had done his duty, and proved that he could be trusted, and no boy bailed the play-hour more enthusiastically than he did. Such glorious slides they had then! and how thoroughly Maurice
enjoyed them! There was no need that he should sit in the school-house now and learn his
lessons, a,, he bad ungrudgingly done the whole season before. He had bad to suffer a good deal from the boys on account of this, who, not knowing anything about Samuel, had sneered and declared he meant to steal a march on them, and carry off all the prizes next examination-day; but as he did not manage to get above the cleverer boys, and had always managed at any time to keep a good position in the class, they left him to his self-imposed solitude. But now that he had broken through the rule, they
FRIENDS IN NEED.
naturally referred, to the change, and some of them had gone so far as to try to induce the majority of his schoolmates, to prevent him from joining in their sports. When he had run eagerly to push at the great snowball some of them had begun to
make, a cry was raised, Out of that, Weliwood. If you can't join our games when we want you, we won't have you now 1 "
But that was only for a little. The majority of the boys, with whom the Wellwoods had generally been favourites, interfered, and Maurice was allowed to slide and join in any of their sports as much as the others. It was true that, instead of Staying as the others did during the half-holidays,
" HE'S UP TO NO GOOD." 59
he always went home, and his statement that " he'd greatly prefer to stay and slide," only added to the mystery. Somehow it came out he had a pony, and then another brought the tidings that he was always seen riding in the same direction. Boy-like, they determined to find out why it was he avoided telling what he did with his halfholidays, and why he sneaked off home in that strange manner-he who used to be last on the ice in any previous winter.
11 Depend upon it, he's up to no good," said one of the boys, " if we only could find out what he does with his time. It would be such a fine thing to find out one of these Wellwoods in a fault; they are generally considered so perfect! "
The very next Saturday this same boy happened to be in the wood close to Mrs. Finch's cottage, and just at the entrance of it he saw a man carrying a basket, and a woman gathering sticks, and right in front of him there was Maurice on his pony. He drew up to speak to them, and the woman seemed so glad to see him, that for a moment the boy declared he expected she was going to take him in her arms. He further
stated that he had distinctly heard her say, " 0 nir, but he'll be glad to see you!
A DREARY PROSPECT.
We'll force it out of him," said Charley Hay, who had been his greatest companion. " I can't imagine Maurice Wellwood, of all boys, turning into a sneak. He used to be so open and above board."
" But I say, Hay," said another boy, who had a decided spite against Charley, " isn't this a free country, and mayn't a fellow do just what he likes with his time ? If he chooses to visit somebody at that house, or carry a message for his mother, what is that to you? I don't see what you have got to do with it."
"Don't you, though; why then I have, that's all," said Charley doggedly; "and what's more, I mean to find out."
11 Oh, you may do as you please as to that," said the boy, " only you mind what I say. Just you let Maurice alone. I've seen you and others trying to bully him of late, and I'm not going to allow it."
"You're not going to allow it, forsooth ! " said Charley Hay contemptuously; " what next, I wonder! What right have you to stand up for him ? "
" Well, his brother Hugh was my greatest friend," said the other, " and I promised to look after him, that's all. I simply wanted to let you all know that any one who bullied him would have to fight with me some day for it; " and saying this, he walked away. As he was celebrated for his fighting powers, Charley Hay seemed to consider it the best policy to let Maurice alone for the present.
It was evident to all that Maurice really had turned over a new leaf at last; and though Charley Hay tried to make him neglect his lessons, he resisted the temptation manfully. Over and over again, while they sat on the same form, Charley would whisper into Maurice's ear some gTand project then afoot amongst the boys. It was not easy at first to refuse to join, but Maurice knew that if 'he consented he would be certain to
get into mischief and his lessons would in that case be neglected. With a pleasant smile, therefore, he would decline to have anything to do
with their plan, and engage himself with his arithmetic or his books, till Charley, seeing how determined he was not to yield, would become
JOE PORRETT'S ADVICE.
sulky, and go off with other and more congenial companions.
We have said before Maurice was a favourite with most of his school-mates, especially with the mischievous ones, as he had always been ready to join in any trick to be played off on the villagers or boys. But now his altered behaviour did not meet with approval, especially with Charley Hay, and poor Maurice found it was not so easy to get free from bad habits and bad companions as he at first supposed. The boys that were Hugh's friends kept apart from Maurice, thinking that he would be sure to fall into his old idle ways; and the others, with Charley at their head, were constantly annoying him, and trying to provoke him in every way in their power. To escape from them, and to avoid quarrelling with Charley oi*right, Maurice used to go during the play-hour and spend the interval in Joe Porrett's cottage. The old man was always glad to see him, and generally had something pleasant to relate, to turn Maurice's thoughts from brooding over his trials.
" Never mind them, Master Maurice," old Joe would say; " just you let them see you mean to be a careless boy no longer, but steady and well-behaved and they will soon give up their teasing ways."
FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT.
"But, Joe," replied Maurice, "the thing that puzzles me is whythey won't let me play quietly with them, as Hugh used to do. I've often
heard Hugh say, 'I can't join you now, Charley
-I've got my lessons to attend to ; but I'll come after;' and Charley would walk away quite pleased. But when I say the same, he turns and sneers, and makes a fool of me to the others; and he says if I can't play to suit them, they won't play to suit me."
" You see, Sir," said Joe, " they always looked up to Master Hugh-he was so steady like, and a boy that neither got himself nor his friends into trouble."
"But more than that, Joe, Charley seems to think that because I want to be steady like Hugh, I have become a sneak, and will carry tales; and this very morning he accused me of telling the master who broke the school-house window, and he threatens to give me a thrashing the first opportunity."
"Well, well, Master Maurice," said Joe, shaking his head, " you see what it is to have to do with a wild boy like Charley Hay. You were warned well by Master Hugh to give up his company: there's a saying that familiarity breeds
AN ENCOUNTER. 65,
contempt-and it's not far wrong, you see; you've been too familiar with them, sir."
That very afternoon, when Maurice was returning from school, he met Charley Hay, who at once ran forward and seized hold of him by the collar of his jacket, calling out that he'd teach
him to carry tales again. Fortunately, Mrs. Mavisbank, the Squire's lady, turned round the corner and put a stop to the fight; and not only so, but managed to convince Charley that Maurice did not tell Mr. Crowe upon him, and that his altered behaviour did not necessarily do away with his friendship for his school-mates, but
A CHANGE INDEED.
made him all thebetter able to join in any game during the proper hours, when his tasks had been honestly attended U.
From that time Maurice might be seen heading a band of his school-mates at their favourite game of hounds and hare, or his merry laugh might be heard in the play-ground, as he tried. to keep peace and harmony amongst the boys. When any unpleasant feeling arose, or any question required to be decided, Maurice was now considered the best person to set the matter right. What was even pleasanter, his parents trusted him as much as they had Hugh, and all the little duties he had performed to help his mother were so well attended to by Maurice, that she often declared she had never wanted her right hand, though she missed her Hugh. The hour for learning his lessons was now the happiest in the day, for his papa was always ready to lay aside his book to help him; and when exercise and tasks had been carefully gone over, Mr. Wellwood would read aloud some interesting and amusing book, or relate a story of his own boyhood, which was better than any story ever printed in a book.
And now let us take a peep at Hugh. His
UNCLE WELLWOOD'S OFFICE. 67
Uncle Weliwood having asked the advice of one of the professors of the London University, it was arranged that Hugh should attend juvenile classes for a year or two, to prepare him for entering college. Mr. Weliwood had no children of his own, and was naturally an austere, gloomy man and since his wife's death he had become much more so. He had a notion that all boys were inclined to be idle, and required to be strictly' looked after ; so Hugh was obliged to go to his uncle's office in the city, that he might be under his eye during the intervals.
He had a stool and desk set apart for him in a small room, where the youngest clerk sat, a boy the very opposite of Hugh, and one who would never get on, being idle and discontented, and never happy but when he was engaged in some forbidden pleasure. His great delight was to talk of running away, and he was constantly urging Hugh to join him.
One Saturday Vincent had tried his utmost to induce Hugh to accompany him and a few friends down the river to Erith, where they meant to dine; but Hugh, knowing his uncle disapproved of these excursions, refused, and took a solitary walk into the country instead. As he lay under
THE YOUNG ORATOR.
the spreading branches of a tree close to the river, .and enjoyed the song of the birds, and the lazy
UNCLE WELLWOOD'S OFFICE.
hurn of the insects, he thought of his home and Maurice, and said to himself how glad he was
THE UNLUCKY FLY.
that his brother was safely at home, and not subjected to the temptations Vincent would have held out to him. For, as yet, Hugh did not know how much improved poor Maurice was.
RURAL SIGHTS AND SOUNDS.
As he thus sat thinking, a spider began to weave his web in a corner of a broken trellis, and Hugh was much amused watching it. A minute or two after it was finished, a fly came buzzing past and lighted on the web-so fragile-looking and yet so strong. Down came the spider from his lurking-place, and the poor silly fly was caught. " That fly is so like Vincent and poor Maurice," said Hugh; " they rush straight ahead after pleasure, without a moment's thought, attracted, like
HAPPY AND CONTENTED.
that fly, by the bright colours of the web, till they are entangled in the meshes with which the world
is ready to bind th em and bold them fast."
THE SPIDER'S WEB.
Hugh went home feeling happy and contented, though a little sad when he thought of Maurice, and there he found his uncle waiting for him with a kind.,i frank smile of welcome, which was certainly unusual. After dinner, Mr. Wellwood explained that the day before he had overheard the conversation between Vincent and Hugh, and it had pleased him to think that his nephew had given up this party of pleasure, preferring a long solitary walk in the country, to please his uncle.
TRUSTED IN EVERYTHING. 71
From that day, Mr. Wellwood trusted Hugh in everything. He was no longer required to stay in the dingy office, but was allowed to go where he pleased during the hours he was disengaged; and not only so, but he would join Hugh for a long walk, or a stroll through the Crystal Palace or British Museum, which, as Mrs. Trio, the old housekeeper used to say, was an honour indeed, as her master seldom or never indulged in a holiday. " But it's all along of you, Master Hugh," said Mrs. Trig; "we ought all to bless the day that brought your cheery face amongst us, for master's grumpy voice is gone entirely, and he seems to enjoy his life as other gentlemen do."
" Oh, but you mustn't set down the improvement in uncle to me entirely, Mrs. Trig," said Hugh, laughing.
" And who am I to thank, then, for it?" she replied. " Oughtn't I to know him best, Sir, seeing I have been his housekeeper for more than eight and twenty years!"
" And that is a long time indeed," said Hugh, smiling, knowing that Mrs. Trig prided herself greatly on her long period'of service. " But you see, Mrs. Trig, my uncle has been so fortunate in
his speculations lately, that he is more cheerful, because, you know, it must have been very trying to have to lose iso much money as he did during the war."
Thus Hugh grew up to manhood, spreading sunshine wherever he went, and beloved by all who knew him. In course of time his uncle admitted him into the firm; and Maurice, who had proved to the satisfaction of all his friends that, instead of being a lazy tom-noodle, "ho would in time be as shrewd and clever a man as his uncle," was taken in also, showing the justness of his father's favourite proverb,WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY.