The Baldwin Library
7 uD .
John F. Shaw & Co.'s Juvenile Publications.
SHAWIS SHEREENE SERLLSE
Well Printed, well Bound, well Illustrated,
HEROES OF THE LINE . .
AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE .
_ THE STRAY LAMB . o
FIRM FRIENDS . . .
. Dy Exton Kang,
RIGHT-ABOUT-FACE; or, BEN THE Gaenon Boy.
LITTLE TROUBLE THE HOUSE .
THOSE BOYS : . .
NEVERâ€”FOREVER; or, Tae CATHARINE
Wueex Boy . . :
TO THE END 6 0 a
ALL FOR THE BEST
LOST MAGGIE; or, A Basket or Roszs .
LEFT BEHIND; or, A Summer 1n Exitz
OUGHTS AND CROSSES . :
ONE DAY; or, Viovaâ€™s WANDERINGS
JERRY'S LITTLE NELL . D
OUR ROUGH DIAMOND .
liOW HETTIE CAUGHT THE SUNBEAMS â€˜
LITTLE POLLIE; or, A Buncn oF Viotets
JITANA'S STORY . : .
BENNIE, THE KING'S LITTLE SERVANT
BLIND NETTIE; or, Seexinc Her Fortune .
OUT OF THE SHADOW .
LEO AND DICK;; or, Szeps or KInpDNgss.
TWICE FOUND. : :
ROB AND RALPH; or, A Trust FuLrituep
LONELY LILY; or, Tue SHepHernâ€™s CALL
THE NEW SCHOOL . .
LUCYâ€™S LIFE STORY . .
RUTH'S RESCUE . .
OUT IN THE STORM; or, LittLe Mzssencers
FRIENDLESS JOHNNY . mils
CHICK; or, Yer Ture 1s Room
M. S. MacRitcuiz,
L. T. Meapg.
L. T. Meape.
C. L. Gorpon.
E. S. Horr.
M. E. WINCHESTER,
J. CHAPPELL. ;
Mrs, Fabian BRACKENBURY,
GERTRUDE P. Dygr.
Grrtrrupe P. Dyer.
Neue He tis,
M. L. C.
M. S. MacRitcuig.
LONDON: JOHN F, SHAW & CO., 48 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.c.
John F. Shaw & Co.â€™s Juvenile Publications.
SHaH'S RIGA PEENPENNY SERS,
Well Printed, well Bound, well Illustrated,
CHRISTOPHERâ€™S NEW HOME. .
A BROTHER'S RANSOM ' 5 .
LITTLE BOOTS, ann THE STEPS THEY Trop IN .
IN SHADOWLAND; or, WHat Linpis ACCOMPLISHED
FOR ELSIEâ€™S SAKE; or, A SEASIDE FRIENDSHIP
MERCHANT AND MOUNTEBANK .
CURLEYâ€™S CRYSTAL; or, A Licut HeartLives Lone
HAND IN HAND; or, RapIance AT BEECHDALE
THE TOWN STRIKE; or, Too Dearty Boucut
ROBERTâ€™S RACE; or, More Haste Less Speep
LITTLE RADIANCE. A Yearin A CuiLpâ€™s Lire
FROGGYâ€™S LITTLE BROTHER. New Edition
SYBILâ€™S MESSAGE 0 0
UP TO THE MARK. A Srory ror Bovs .
ACTING ON THE SQUARE 7
TIMâ€™S TREASURE AND HOW HE FOUND IT
HIS SERVANTS WHO SERVE .
CHARLIEâ€™S SUCCESS . 6 . . 0
THAT BOY TOM ' i f
BRITAINâ€™S QUEEN. With Fifty Illustrations c 5
OUR WINNIE; or, WHEen THE SwALLows Go . *
THE GOLDEN PAVEMENT . a : :
THE SECRET OF THE FOREST ci g
THE SLAVE GIRL OF POMPEII 39 : .
THE WAY OF THE CROSS s .
EAST AND WEST; or, Tue STROLLING IARriCn
THE SEA-GULLâ€™S NEST 7 a
ON THE DOORSTEPS; or, Crispinâ€™s SToRn :
LOST HER SHOE; ano a Few Littte Tureavs .
A LITTLE WILD FLOWER; or, Rosyâ€™s Story
ROB & MAG. A Lirtre Licut in a Dark Corner .
SAM. Tue Strorvora LirrLâ€”e WHILE. .
JAMIE'S TRUST; or, Tue Moruercess BAIRN. 7 .
WILITE LILIES. . . . oles
I/O 90 0 >
WOR WEG sLESPIPLS
PINAFORE DAYS 7 0 . .
MY SUNDAY STORY BOOK . i . .
ONLY FIVE 7 . " . .
ROUGH THE TERRIER â€™ : .
MY SUNDAY PICTURE BOOK . . . b
A SIX YEARSâ€™ DARLING < . .
SUNDAY BIBLE PICTURES P . â€˜
. By Emma MarsHatt.
Emiry S. Horr.
Emizy S. Horr.
Mrs, Stanvey Leaturs,
L. J. Tomiinson.
Edited by Miss Garry.
L. T. Meape.
Fully IMlusivated ; Cloth Gill.
. Dy Ismay Tuorn,
LONDON: JOHN F. SHAW & CO., 48, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.c,
AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE;
IRepaidD a Thousandfold.
A. J, PAUL,
** Whatev er, Lord, -we lend to Thee,
Repaid a thousandfold shall be;
â€˜Then gladly will we give to Thee,
Giver of all!â€
JOHN F. SHAW & CO.,,
48, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
CHAPTER 5 : PAGE
To Cunrems Cuina oes 6 9
II. A Misstonary. Meeting . : ; : sek
Ill, â€œSommtuine Berrrerâ€ , 5 : 5 . 83
IV. â€œIr WisHes were Horsesâ€ . ; j Â» Af
VY. In Trousip a a . 5 ; : (ene OG)
VI. Brrttnâ€™s QUESTION â€˜ ; : 5 eal
VII. Tim QuusTIoON ANSWERED . ; ; : <5 8D
VIII. Lire-worr . ; Bees Sees ; . 100
IX. â€œLitrue Deeps or Loynâ€ A : : 107
X. A BrrTtupay AND A ROMANCE . ; ; aS ee
XI. Anotuer Missronary Muertine . ; â€˜ OD
AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
is HE Carringtons were an old
Westbridge family, and much
# respected in their native town.
The male representatives were
solicitors: for generations past
the business had descended from
eldest son to eldest sonâ€”an honoured
inheritance, Only in the present
lawyer, Robert Carrington, this rule
of primogeniture had its exception. He was the
younger son. He and his brother Johnâ€”still un-
married men when their father diedâ€”had been left
the business between them, with the understanding
that eventually Johnâ€™s son, and not Robertâ€™s, should
succeed themâ€”that is, supposing the brothers
married ; as they did.
10 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE,
John Carrington married first: a son was born to
him, but his wife died at his birth, and he did not
long survive her. His last illness was attributed to. be
mental worry. There had been cause for worry.
John had entered upon unwise speculations, and loss
of money, debts, and mortgages were the conse-
quences. When his affairs were wound up, and all
habilities discharged, it was found that to young
John there remained absolutely nothing of his fatherâ€™s
private fortune. Of course, at a fitting age, Robert
Carrington would admit him into the office, and ~
treat him as his future successor; but meanwhile,
who would undertake the childâ€™s bringing up?
It was at this juncture that his aunt, Miss Car-
rington, came forward. She was willing to do for
this orphan nephew as for an adopted son; his
father had been her favourite brother, and she pos-
sessed sufficient means for the boyâ€™s support and
education. So to Miss Carrington he was consigned.
She was faithful to her self-imposed charge. In
due time her nephew John entered the office, a
well-educated, promising youth, with indications of
no ordinary ability.
The Carringtons had always been clever lawyers.
Even the late John Carrington, notwithstanding his
sad mis-management of his private affairs, had done
CHELSEA CHINA. lh
well by those of his clients. Certain traits of
_ character, like the profession, appeared to be here-
ditary ; and these traits were not limited to the
stronger sex. |
Robert, the present head of the family, had his
share of them; and his sister had hers, Unfor-
tunately the very qualities which showed to ad-
vantage in the lawyer's office became warped and
mis-shapen, as it were, in the retired life of the
For instance, the Oarringtons were noted for
decision and self-reliance. These qualities added
weight to the lawyer's advice, but they rather less-
ened Miss Carringtonâ€™s influence; for with her
they bordered upon obstinacy, and she was ungenial
in her hard, stand-off independence.
The Carringtons were also, as a family, reserved.
The lawyerâ€™s reserve meant an honourable reticence,
which attracted rather than repelled his clients;
whereas Miss Carringtonâ€™s reserve had the effect of
keeping acquaintances at a distance.
But though by word and manner Miss Carrington
did not show herself friendly, she did in more prac-
tical ways. That she could be a friend in need to
her own flesh and blood John Carrington had good
cause to know ; and likewise the parish doctor knew
12 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
he might appeal to her charity when â€œkitchen
physic â€ was needed for a weakly little one, or when
the illness of a bread-winner brought the wolf to
the door; whilst the vicar had her support and
interest in every effort for the spread of his Masterâ€™s
The solicitorâ€™s office and the family residence
were in one tall, substantial house. Riverview the
house was named; and the windows at the back
had once upon a time looked upon green fields,
reaching to the riverâ€™s brink, Now all things green
had fled before the invading armies of brick and
mortar, and the view of the river was quite shut
out. Miss Carringtonâ€™s girlhood had been passed at
Riverview; but after her fatherâ€™s death she had:
settled down â€œfor goodâ€ in a home of her own.
John was ten years old, and going to schoal, when
Robert Carrington married. After that marriage
there arose somehow in Miss Carringtonâ€™s mind a
sense of distance between her little home and the
home of her kinsfolk quite disproportionate to the
half-mile of pavement which lay between them.
It was an afternoon in late autumn. Miss Car-
rington was alone in her sitting-roomâ€”she lived
alone now; for since John entered the office he had,
for convenience sake, taken up his abode at River-
CHELSEA CHINA. . 13
view. Miss Carrington was looking troubled. A
few days previously the vicar, Mr. Williams, had
called to tell her of a missionary meeting soon to
be held at Westbridge. A well-known missionary,
eloquent of speech, and rich in experience, was to
give the address; and Mr. Williams hoped that with
Godâ€™s blessing the meeting would have good results.
Might not Westbridge subscribe of its silver and
gold enough to send another labourer to the mission-
field ?â€”better still, might not one of its sons stand
forth with the brave words, â€˜â€˜ Here am I; send meâ€™â€™?
Miss Carrington had listened eagerly as the vicar
talked; for it had always seemed to her a noble
thingâ€”this bearing of the Gospel light to. dark
places of the earth. Only after his visit a question
suggested itselfâ€”' How can I help?â€ She would
have liked to put some bank-notes on the collecting-
plate at the missionary meeting. Alas! on ex-
amining the state of her finances she deemed it
quite impossible that bank-notes would be forth-
coming. She had no longer the cost of her
nephewâ€™s education, and she spent little on herself;
but she made it a rule to lay out her income con-
scientiously and methodically, only leaving that
small margin between receipt and expenditure
â€˜which common prudence dictated, and of late the
14 AUNT. MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
margin had been rendered smaller by sundry un-
expected demands upon her purse,
Thus it came about that she was troubled and
perplexed on this November afternoon. .
The street was already darkening, but within
there was a cheerful fire, and Miss Carringtonâ€™s -
eyes followed absently the warm lights which it
sent flickering round the room. Here and there
the gilt-framed pictures on the walls caught the
glow. One of these pictures was a water-colour
sketch of her father; some resemblance between
father and daughter might be traced in the com-
pressed lips and resolute chin, Three were photo-
graphs. â€˜They represented a child in tunic and belt,
a lad wearing cricketing flannels and holding his
bat, and a young man with a clever, pleasant face.
Often had Miss Carrington gazed long and lovingly
on these photographs; now, however, she was en-
grossed with the matter-of-fact subject of pounds,
shillings and pence, and out of touch with sentiment.
So her glance strayed away from the pictures to
the old-fashioned china cabinet which stood be-
neath them. And all at once it seemed as though
the firelight glittering on the diamond panes of the
cabinet door had brought to her puzzled brain an
CHELSEA CHINA. 15
She crossed the room, and opening the cabinet
made a rapid survey of its contents. These con-
sisted of various pieces of china, all good of their
kind, and for many â€˜years heirlooms in the family.
They had been bequeathed to Miss Carrington by
She selected two of the piecesâ€”a market-woman
carrying a basket of eggs upon her arm, and a lady
playing on a dulcimer; quaint figures, with short
flowered skirts, waists unduly slim, and hair drawn
tightly from somewhat wizened little faces; quaint,
but not beautiful to the uninitiated. And yet a
connoisseur would have pronounced them very
perfect specimens of Chelsea china.
Miss Carrington was well versed in their points of
merit. Her mother had often drawn her attention
to the delicate blue-grey and warm claret-colour
tints of their old-world costumes, and to those three
unglazed spots left by the rude tripod on which
they had been bakedâ€”sure proofs of age. And
then, like most ancient things, they had a historyâ€”
a history interwoven with many curious family
legends and romances.
Miss Carrington set the figures on a table before
her, and contemplated them with grave interest.
She was not taking into account aught of family
16 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
legend, rather was she gauging their value by a
very simple rule :â€”
â€œThe real worth of anything
Is just as much as it will bring.â€
â€˜Let me see; the musician will bring Â£7 at least,
and the market-girlâ€”â€”â€â€™
Here her calculations were broken in upon. The
door opened; there was a rustling of silk, followed
by a shrill-toned exclamationâ€”
â€œAunt Mildred worshipping images, I do de-
The well-dressed, well-looking visitor was Miss
Miss Carrington greeted her with studied polite-
â€˜â€˜T have not been here for ages,â€ Mrs. Carrington
went on; â€œand now I have come upon you un-
awares to find youâ€”thus.â€
â€œTY will ring for the lamp, Julia,â€ said Miss Car-
rington rather stiffly. â€œSometimes I prefer â€˜ blind-
manâ€™s holidayâ€™ when. I am alone.â€
â€œAh, but you were not exactly keeping â€˜blind-
manâ€™s holiday,â€™ you know, Aunt Mildred. With
that blazing fire you were able to feast your eyes
on your two little images. Though you have
CHELSEA CHINA, 17
' turned idolater, you donâ€™t yet come up to our vicarâ€™s
description of the heathen who sit in darkness.â€
â€œHas Mr. Williams told you of the missionary
meeting?â€ Miss Carrington inquired, purposely
ignoring the point of her visitorâ€™s witticisms.
â€œTold me!â€”I should think so, The good man
can talk of nothing else. Such a visitation he has
paid us. He interested the children, but I felt
dreadfully bored. Besides, I wanted to get over to
ask you about the Smith girl We must have
some one in to help when Bertie and Mabel are
home at Christmas. My brother expects his
daughter to have her comforts, and she ought to
have them. Well, I understand this girl is a nice
attendant, and she ought to come for very small
wages, as the Smiths are so poor.â€
Now Miss Carrington was ready to admit the first
â€˜â€œâ€˜oughtâ€â€™â€”that Mabel Rivers ought to: have her
comforts. Mabel had been entrusted to the care of
her aunt, Mrs, Carrington, until of an age to join
her parents at the Indian station where Colonel
Rivers was quartered; and the colonel had insisted
on paying a handsome allowance for her expenses,
To stint her in home comforts would have been
as unjust as to stint her educational advantages at
the expensive school where she was being finished,
18 AUNT MILDREDâ€™Â§ TREASURE.
But the second â€œought,â€ to Miss Carringtonâ€™s
mind, was not admissible. She failed to see in the
poverty of the parents an argument for underpaying
a good servant. However, she made no comment,
but told what she knew of the girlâ€™s character,
The Smith family was one of those to whom
she had shown herself a friend in need, after her
practical fashion, Being concise of speech she had
given her information before the lamp was intro-
duced, and she quictly moved the china figures
aside to make a place for it.
â€œAnd now may I ask what this china worship
means?â€ spoke Mrs. Carrington, when the two
ladies were left to themselves again.
â€œTf you must know, Julia, it means that I wish
to sell these pieces of Chelsea, and I was considering
the price they are likely to bring.â€
Mrs. Carrington was taken aback by this reply to
her question. A deep flush mounted to her forehead.
â€œYou wish to sell them?â€ she repeated; â€œbut
that is impossibleâ€”â€”~â€
â€œAnd why impossible?â€ Aunt Mildred de-
manded. â€œThe china is my own property.â€
â€œOh, I grant your father willed it to you, but
that was because he was ignorant of the value of
such things, and you have no moral right to take
CHELSEA CHINA. : 19
advantage of his ignorance. The china is an heir-
loom, and it should not go out of the family.â€
â€œSurely, Julia,â€ said Miss Carrington, â€œ you
must know me better than to imagine I would sell
what I am not honestly entitled to; but we have
each a right to do what we please with our own.
And now let us drop the subject.â€
But Mrs. Carrington was not to be silenced. This
subject of the china had brought to her recollection
other long-standing grievances.
â€œ Always the same story,â€ she retorted; â€œthe
Carringtons do what is just by their clients, but
when it comes to their own affairs oy do what
â€˜And then followed complaints relating to the dis-
posal of certain loaves and fishes which she judged
should have been her childrenâ€™s portion. She
wound up with the grievance ever rankling at her
heartâ€”that John, her husbandâ€™s nephew, should
have a snug berth at the office, while her poor
Bertie must make his own way through life; and as
she reviewed her sonâ€™s wrongs her feelings shaped
themselves into very real and bitterâ€”though covert
_â€”-taunts and reproaches,
Miss Carrington had taken up her workâ€”a warm
woollen sockâ€”and she continued knitting diligently
20 AUNT MILDRED S TREASURE,
during this tirade. And yet she was not actuated
by a Christian spirit of forbearanceâ€”far from it.
Despite the calm exterior angry feelings were at
work in her heart, and her countenance hardened
more and more as Mrs. Carrington continued speak
ing. That very evening she wrote a letter which
decided the fate of the old Chelsea.
Among her brotherâ€™s clients was Sir Francis
Calvert, a country gentleman, and master of a pack
of fox-hounds. He was lavish in his outlay on
hounds and horses; lavish also in the matter of
pin-money for what he termed his wifeâ€™s fads, His
wife and Mrs. Carrington were in the habit of inter-
changing visits. Sometimes, too, Lady Calvert
called on Miss Carrington. Of late she was wont on
these occasions to peer wistfully into the china cabi-
net, her present â€œfadâ€ being a craze for old china,
â€œTf ever you have an auction be sure and let me
know, that I may bid for these dears,â€ she would say
laughingly, yet meaning what she said.
So it was to Lady Calvert that Miss Carrington
wrote. She sallied forth herself with the letter, and
as she dropped it into the pillar-box at the end of
the street the postman and his bag came round the
corner. Thus she knew it was in time for the last
A MISSIONARY MEETING,
Y return of post there came the
â€œâ€ answer to Miss Carringtonâ€™s let-
nay, charmed to give in order to
become the owner of such coveted
treasures. It was a price far exceed-
ing the present ownerâ€™s valuation.
Lady Calvert was in the habit of
acting precipitately, being of a volatile and impul-
sive nature. But Miss Carrington was neither
volatile nor impulsive. Once her mind was made
up she was slow to change it. Not the less was she
averse to hasty decisions.
Had she been left to herself in this matter she
22 AUNT MILDRED'S. TREASURE.
would surely have â€œslept upon itâ€ before writing
her letter. It is quite possible, moreover, that
having â€œslept upon itâ€ she would have discovered
cons where at first she had seen only pros, and
finally might have restored her quaint little fieures
to their place on the cabinet shelf. ;
But, as it was, she had met with undue inter-
ference, and her sister-in-lawâ€™s upbraidings proved
a death-knell to all deliberation.
So the bargain was struck and the price paid.
Afterwards Miss Carrington began to feel dis-
satisfied. She did not take herself to task exactly.
Julia had been very tiresome, and it was proper
that she should learn to distinguish between mine
and thineâ€”and yet it was a pity that those crisp
bank-notes locked away in a private drawer, and
labelled â€œfor the C. M.S.â€ should in anywise be
associated with a quarrel.
On the day fixed for the missionary meeting she
resolved to walk to Riverview, and to hold out the .
olive branch ; for since that one indignant protest
against the sale of the china Mrs, Carrington had
kept aloof, evidently deeply offended.
â€˜It had been arranged to have a meeting for
children in. the forenoon, but the public meeting
would be at a late hour; accordingly there was
A MISSIONARY MEETING. 23
ample time for Miss Carringtonâ€™s visit of reconcilia-
tion. She: set forth soon after breakfast; for she
was anxious to get the disagreeable duty over. She
felt sure it was a dutyâ€”did not her Bible tell her
as much? â€œFirst be reconciled to thy brother, and
then come and offer thy gift.â€ Yes, once that visit
was accomplished, she could offer her gift with a
very easy conscience.
The office apartments at Riverview were ab one
side of the large entrance-hall, and at the opposite
side those occupied by the family. As she stood
waiting for admission at the private door, ominous
sounds reached her ears: clearly a scuffle was going
on within, accompanied by broken remonstrances,
and finally a boisterous young voice was raised high
â€œNo, you shall not stop me: I must welcome my
dearly beloved aunt. Go back to your kitchen,
At the voice and words Miss Carringtonâ€™s face
clouded. Although aware that her nephew Bertie
was home for the holidays, she had not expected
the personal encounter which now threatened her.
Bertie favoured out-door pursuits, and spent little
of his time in the gloomy town house.
â€œThat tiresome boy â€” Well, I must just make
a4 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
up my mind to endure him,â€ Miss Carrington ejacu-
In another moment the door was flung wide, and
a tall, handsome boy, with blue eyes brimful of
mischief, thrust himself into the doorway. The
mischief in his eyes intensified as they rested on his
aunt, her slight form held erect, her face contracted
into that rigid expression it was wont to assume
under certain influences.
â€œT say, Aunt Mildred,â€ he exclaimed, â€œbut you
look jolly well pleased to see me, I spied you from
the window, and flew downstairs; then Sarah would
stop me in the passage. Sarah canâ€™t understand
a nephewâ€™s feelings. Never mind, we understand
each other. Why, weâ€™re both fit to dance for joy
this present minute. Happy thoughtâ€”suppose we
And forthwith the audacious boy laid violent
hands on his auntâ€™s person, and compelled her to
perform a rapid evolution on the door-mat.
As he thus gave vent to his mischievous humour,
a young man came quickly into the hall from the .
â€œMy cousin John I declare! Ah, well; when
company turns up itâ€™s about time for trumpery to
make itself scarce.â€™ And, suiting action to word,
A MISSIONARY MEETING. 25
Bertie released his aunt from his uncomfortable
embraces, and darted into the house, John Car-
rington came forward with an air of concern.
â€œToo bad you should have fallen into Bertieâ€™s
clutches,â€ he said; â€œhe is simply irrepressible,
â€œThere, John, donâ€™t hunt up excuses,â€ interrupted
Miss Carrington. â€œThat boy has the manners of
a bear; and you know it.â€
â€œT know he had the manners of a dancing bear
just now, Aunt Mildred. Remember, he has only
been two days at home. When the newness of the
holidays wears off, he will quiet down into a rational
being. You are going in to see Aunt Julia ?â€”good.
And now I must hurry away; but be sure I shall
call for you this evening, sharp to time.â€
Sarah, who had remained in the background,
struck motionless by Master Bertieâ€™s audacity, now
hastened to conduct Miss Carrington to the drawing-
room. Two little girls were its sole occupants:
they were standing at the window, equipped in
â€œAre you not ready yet, Sarah?â€ one of them
cried, while the other chimed in disconsolately, â€œWe
have waited such a long, long time.â€ Then, break-
ing off at sight of the visitor withâ€”â€œOh, Aunt
26 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
Mildred, how do you do?â€ they came hand in hand,
and a little shyly, to meet her.
Sarah went in quest of her mistress, first reassur-
ing the children by the promise that she would be
back in five minutes, with her bonnet on.
â€œYou see, Aunt Mildred,â€ explained Edith, the
younger and the more talkative, â€œSarah is to take
us to the schoolroom, because Nurse is helping
Mabel to unpack; and we are to see a real mis-
sionary, and pictures of black children, and idols,
and funny round houses made of mud. And a
gentleman will hand a plate like what we puts our
poe on when we go to church.â€
â€œOnly we have more than pennies to-day,â€ said
Rose with dignity; and then the sisters nodded
gleefully to each other, and chinked the money in
â€œYou are glad to have money to give?â€ ques-
tioned Aunt Mildred.
â€œGlad? Oh, yes,â€ assented Edith; â€œbut Rose
and me did find it difficult, because of Christmas.
We must give everybody presents, or they would
be so disappointed, and we were dreadfully afraid
there would be nothing left for those dear little
black children after all. But Rose made a plan.â€
Aunt Mildred began to be interested,
A MISSIONARY MEETING. 27
â€˜What was the plan, Rose?â€ she asked.
Rose blushed at this direct question, being at a
more self-conscious age than her sister.
â€œOnly, Aunt Mildred, we were to agree not to
buy Christmas presents for each other; but Edith
was to give me two shillings, and I was to give
Edith two shillings. And so we have two two-
shillings for the missionaries, and no one will be
â€œBut I donâ€™t know what we should have done
but for Roseâ€™s plan,â€ quoth little Edith, with a
sigh, and a crinkling of her forehead at thought of
past perplexities. â€œIt is very difficult to manage,
when we love so many people.â€
Just then Sarahâ€™s head peeped in. Faithful to
promise, she had her bonnet on.
â€œ Mrs, Carrington would be down directly, and
the children might go with her as soon asâ€™ they
pleased,â€ she said.
They went at once, repressing their excitement
until beyond the drawing-room precincts: they had
been drilled to better manners than their school-boy
Mrs. Carrington made her appearance a few
minutes later, accompanied by Mabel Rivers. She
apologised for her delay, but the apology sounded
28 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
like acomplaint. That Smith girl would not comeâ€”
no doubt Mildred had found her a better placeâ€”and
things were at sixes and sevens, and she had really
no time for receiving visitors.
Miss Carrington tried to be amiable, but in the
effort her words lost all naturalness, and Mabel did
not help out the conversation. Her eyesâ€”handsome
blue eyes like Bertieâ€™s, only less mischievous, and
more thoughtfulâ€”went from one to the other of the .
speakers, as though to read between the lines of
those querulous complaints and stilted replies.
Of course no allusion to the past disagreement
could be made in Mabelâ€™s presence, nor was there
any approach to cordiality; so the olive branch was
hidden away, and Miss Carrington walked home
reflecting that she might as well have stayed there.
Notwithstanding the morningâ€™s failure she was
a happy woman when the hour for the evening
meeting drew nigh. Mr. Williams judged it advis-
able to have meetings worthy of general interest at
an hour when business people could attend them,
and as the schoolroom where they were held was a
ten minutesâ€™ walk from Miss Carringtonâ€™s house, it
was customary for John to be her escort. He had to
go out of his way, but he was ever ready to do that
for others, and he knew Aunt Mildred liked the
A MISSIONARY MEETING. 29
attention, He little guessed, however, what an
important item in her enjoyment of those evening
meetings was the brief walk to and fro, Aunt
Mildred was not one to show her feelings. She had
not petted him when he was a child, nor yet made
a great deal of him since be became a man. Yet
there were signs and tokens of her love: those
photographs on the wall were Johnâ€™s likenesses at
different stages of his life; the knitted socks in her
work-basket were all intended for Johnâ€™s wearing;
and there were a thousand and one such signs, had
he read them aright. But he wasâ€˜a young fellow
who did not think much of himself, and conse-
quently was slow to perceive that another thought
much of him.
This evening his aunt stood on the hearth-rug,
listening and waiting; and when she heard his
quick step mounting the stairs, her lips relaxed into
a smile, and a pink colour flew to her cheeks; but
John came into the room to find her quietly busied
drawing on her gloves, and he attributed her bright,
happy looks to anticipation of the missionary meet-
â€œWe need not hurry,â€ he said, glancing at the |
clock as they went out together; â€œwe havea quarter
of an hour to spare still,â€
30 AUNT ALNLDRED'S TREASURE,
As if Aunt Mildred wanted to hurry!
The walk was over sooner than she cared. Never-
theless she thoroughly appreciated the treat which
followed. The missionary knew how to interest
his hearers. He gave them telling anecdotes and
crisp word-pictures of the scenes and customs of
distant lands, described with earnest feeling the
work which was being done in Christâ€™s Name, and
pointed out how each one present mightâ€”himself
or herseliâ€”become a missionary too.
The collection was made, the final hymn sung,
and then people began to stream out. As the doors
swung back there came a whiff of stinging, frosty
â€˜We can drive you home, Aunt Mildred,â€™ whis-
pered Mrs. Carringtonâ€”the ladies were busying
themselves with their wrapsâ€”â€˜â€˜it will be a charity
to John to let him walk at his own pace instead of
yours, this bitter night.â€
Poor Aunt Mildred! She looked up at John
anxiously; but he answered for her. â€œDonâ€™t fear
for us,â€ he said; â€œwe mean to talk all the way to
keep ourselves warm.â€
Going down the steps from the school-house some
lads and young men passed them, and John smiled
and nodded: they were members of his Bible-class.
A MISSIONARY MEETING. 31
After that, aunt and nephew were left to themselves;
and as John commented on what they had heard,
and drew. out his reserved companion by quick
sympathy of response, it seemed to her that the
talk did actually possess heat-giving properties, more
comforting than those of the warm fur cloak he had
fastened around her before they started.
The remarks at the latter part of the address
had especially taken hold of John Carringtonâ€™s
â€œYou remember,â€ he began, â€œ what he said on
that last division, â€˜How can I help?â€™â€
â€œOh, yes,â€ responded Aunt Mildred, â€œhe showed
so clearly that it is every oneâ€™s duty to give.â€ And
she thought with some complacency that she had
done her duty in this respect.
â€œ Our duty not only to give silver and gold ;â€”it
may be to give ourselves,â€ John repeated softly.
â€œT hope,â€ said Aunt Mildred, â€œthat one at least
who heard these words may take them to heart;
that one missionary may see his way to go from
â€œT hope so,â€ John answered. â€œTI hope so, and I
The earnest voice made Aunt Mildred say, â€œ You
have a special person in your mind,â€
82 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
She did not say it interrogatively. She thought
of the lads that had passed them by: it seemed so
likely that a member of Johnâ€™s class â€˜had confided
to him the wish for mission work; and to tell out
- such confidence, even to her, would be a breach of
Miss Carrington had enjoyed her eveningâ€”so
thoroughly enjoyed it, that the memory might well
have haunted her thoughts and dreams that night.
It did not haunt them, however.
Her last waking thoughts flitted, curiously enough,
to a brief episode in her morning visit to Riverview
â€”those few minutes spent with her little nieces;
and when thoughts merged into dreams, she fancied
she saw the children by her side, and heard again
the quaint child-speechâ€”â€˜It is very difficult to
manage when we love so many people,â€
* SOMETHING BETTER.â€
OON Christmas was passed; but
= Bertieâ€™s holidays were not at an
rend yet. He was having what
fhe called â€œprime fun.â€ Sir
Francis Calvertâ€™s eldest son was
his chum at school, and the two boys
were also a good deal together in holi-
Frank Calvert was Bertieâ€™s model
of what â€œa fellowâ€ should be and do. Especially
did he admire and emulate Frankâ€™s feats in the
Unfortunately, in trying to live up to this model,
the â€œ prime funâ€ was sometimes dashed by a con-
sciousness of failure. It pleased Sir Francis that his
son should excel in sports; and already he took a
84 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
pride in having him well mounted on hunting days.
But whatever sporting tastes Bertie might possess,
they did not meet with home fostering.
For a mount he had to be content with â€œ Jill,â€
a thick-set, thick-winded pony, which had long
filled the place of equine maid-of-all-work in the
_ Bertie acquitted himself as well as could be ex-
pected under the circumstances, and was compli-
mented by Sir Francis on one occasion when, by
Javish use of voice, whip and spur, he had succeeded
in seeing the end of a run.
â€˜â€œâ€˜Bravo, Bertie!â€ Sir Francis had said; â€œtell
your father he should give you a better mount.
You rode like a man!â€
A remark which set Bertie brooding.
A few days later he returned from the chase
crest-fallen. Jill, taxed beyond the wide limit of
her patience, had at last made a stand. She had
made it in a literal sense; her ears thrown back,
her legs thrust forward, and sturdily planted in the
clay of a heavy ploughed field, which. Bertie had
inconsiderately expected her to canter across.
â€˜So it was still early in the afternoon, and Mr.
Carrington, in the private room of his office, was
engaged in examining certain title-deeds and settle-
â€œ SOMETHING BETTER.â€ 35
ments, when he was surprised by a noisy and un-
ceremonious intruder. He looked up, to see Bertie
standing before him.
â€œWhy, how comes it you are back so soon?
Had you a good day?â€ But the lawyer questioned
without show of interest. Even in his young days
riding had no charms for him; about hunting he
understood little, and cared less,
â€œA good dayâ€”rather not!â€ Bertie answered.
â€œJill sulked first thing. I had to lead the brute
â€œStrange! I never heard of Jill sulking before.
Even little Edith can manage her perfectly.â€
â€œLittle Hdithâ€”I daresay,â€.was Bertieâ€™s con-
temptuous rejoinder, â€˜ Jillâ€™s the right sort for girls
and duffers; but for â€™cross country work, I tell you,
father, I might as well ride a donkey, All the
fellows were laughing at me to-day.â€
The boy reddened, and his words came quicker,
at thought of the â€œchaffâ€ so freely dealt him in
that ploughed field.
â€œTtâ€™s just too bad expecting me to do with Jill.
Sir Francis says you ought to mount me better.
Why, Frank has,â€”â€
Here Mr. Carrington interrupted,â€”
â€œWhat Frank has need not determine what you
86 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
should have. Sir Francisâ€™ son has, and will have, a
great many things which my son had best make
up his mind to go without.â€
Bertie was dismissed. He manifested his dis-
pleasure by slamming the office doors loudly behind
Mr. Carringtonâ€™s attention reverted to the title-
deeds. But when next he and John chanced to be
alone together, he observed abruptly, â€œI donâ€™t feel
guite easy about Bertie of late.â€ :
â€œWhy so?â€ John asked. â€œBertie may be some-
vhing of a pickle; he is thoughtless and full of
spirits. A boyâ€™s faults these, and faults that
â€˜At present Bertieâ€™s faults are growing, not
mending. He is sadly disimproved.â€
John was silent. It would have been contrary to
his kindly instincts to have assented to this state-
ment; contrary, too, to all wise policy. Mr. Car-
rington might censure his son ; yet was he quick
to resent censure from other lips than his own;
â€œBertie is hand and glove now-with Frank Cal-
vert,â€ the father went on; â€œhe thinks it fine to
have friends who are above him in â€˜position and
means; and he apes them in everything. It is this
that frightens me, With his disposition, consider
â€œ Bertie is hand and glove, now, with Frank Calvert.â€
â€œSOMETHING BETTER.â€ 39
what dire grief he may come to should he enter a
smart cavalry regiment, such as the mother talks
John smiled. â€œYou look forward some way,â€ he
said. â€˜â€˜ When the time comes, Bertie may do right
well in his profession, though I grant you he would
be a scatter-brained officer just yet! Of one thing
we may be sure; he will never show the white
Mr. Carrington was pleased, despite of himself, at
Johnâ€™s championship; but outwardly he demurred.
â€œTt is not mere pluck a soldier wants. When
he is not in active service, moral courage is a
more essential quality. Now, had you been the one
for the army, we could all have trusted you fully.
You have strength of character: but poor Bertieâ€”
he would be safer in the office; and he is a long-
headed fellowâ€”sharp as a needle. In my opinion
he would make a better lawyer than soldier,â€
â€œUncle Robert, would you wish Bertie to take
my place here?â€ John asked the question
â€œNo, no,â€ disclaimed Mr. Carrington; â€œ how could
you imagine such a thing? Your place here means
your birth-right. No, indeed! What I do wish is
that Bertie might be in some business house. But
40. AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
his mother fancies no business, save that of Car-
rington, Solicitor, can be respectable !â€
There was an interval of silence. _
Then John said, â€œI want to make-a supposition.
If it were for my advantage to go from this; if I
saw my way to something betterâ€”what would you
Mr. Carrington was thoroughly surprised and
annoyed. What could John mean? He wondered
if it was possible he could have inherited his fatherâ€™s
unlucky taste for speculation. ie
â€œT fail to conceive,â€ he said, with some sharpness,
â€œwhat can give you a better opening than you have
here. If you are so mad as to sacrifice your sure
prospects for some chimera, I warn you, John, you
will go further to fare worse.â€
â€œYet please, Uncle Robert, answer my question.â€
â€˜Your question? Oh, of course I should advise
you to go for your good, just as I should advise
Bertie to stay for his. But why argue on impossible
premises? Letâ€™s have no more words.â€
John wanted â€˜no more words. The few spoken had
betrayed the bent of his uncleâ€™s wishes as effectually
as the proverbial straw shows the way of the wind.
It was clear that Mr. Carrington wished Bertie
might be his partner and successor, for the boyâ€™s
Â«SOMETHING BETTER.â€ At
safe keeping; but loyalty to his nephewâ€”or rather
to his dead brotherâ€”stood between wish and fulfil-
ment, an insuperable barrier, unless Johnâ€™s supposi-
tion were to prove true.
The apparent impossibility that it could prove
true had made Mr. Carrington break petulantly
from discussion of it.
But to John the â€œ something betterâ€ did not mean
a mere chimera.
In childhood John had shown a boyâ€™s love for
travel and adventure. Sometimes in those early
days his Aunt Mildred had tried to amuse him by
story telling; but she did not possess an inventive
brain, and when she attempted to weave romances,
her characters would get mixed; and it troubled
Johnnyâ€™s sense of justice that the naughty children
should be dealt the sugar-plums, and the good
children the whippings, because she had forgotten
which were which. As a general rule, therefore,
Aunt Mildred wisely adhered to facts. Her favourite
theme, also Johnnyâ€™s, was missionary travel. She
would read to him of how a little band of Moravians
endured the privations of a life amidst the ice and
snow of Greenland; of how John Williams launched
his bark, the Camden, and sailed to southern seas,
to labour and die â€œMartyr of Erromangaâ€; of
42 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
how Livingstone faced the perils of Africaâ€™s fevers,
and wild beasts, and savage menâ€”to preach Christ
to the heathen that had not known Him. And the
child would listen with rapt attention. At first he
was attracted solely by the charm of danger and
adventure; but gradually his mind opened to per-
ceive the nobleness of the object which these men
had in view. Heâ€˜adopted them as his heroes. Then
the love of Christ, that had constrained them, began
to stir his heart, so that he longed to follow in their .
steps. All this was during childhood.
Afterwards the idea of being a missionary was
laid aside: his elders had other intentions for him.
At first he found it hard to be reconciled to the
solicitorâ€™s office; and there were many small trials
in his home life.
Mrs. Carrington was jealous for her own son,
consequently irritable and unreasonable in-her de-
meanour towards John; and Bertie followed his
motherâ€™s lead. But John was patient with both;
and by degrees the path of duty became smoother.
Mrs, Carrington could not quarrel with his pleasant
temper; she even found herself appealing to him
for sympathy, as spoilt Bertie grew headstrong and
impatient of petticoat government; and Bertie fell
into a habit of going to John for assistance when-
â€œ SOMETHING BETTER.â€ 43
ever he was in a scrape, or out of pocket money.
Nor was Mr. Carrington, with all his legal wisdom
and experience, above consulting his nephew in a
difficulty. Thus John gained the position of friend
and adviser to the family.
And yet it was at this period that he began to
suspect that the family was quite capable of doing
Mrs. Carrington had never concealed her longing
to have her boy in the office; but only since Mr.
Carrington and Bertie made him their confidatt, |
had John discovered that his uncle had misgivings
about his son, and that it might be the better for
all if Bertie could be the home bird. So there came
for John a stirring of the nest, and his idea of going
as a missionary to heathen lands began to revive.
For a year the idea had been gaining force. It
was uppermost in his mind when he made his
supposition, â€œ What if I saw my way to something
His uncle had taken the supposition in a manner
which put an end to any lingering doubt as to
whether he could be spared, and already he was
well satisfied in what direction his work lay.
His gifts and acquirements made him peculiarly
fitted for mission work: he had an aptitude for
44 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
languages, and had received a liberal education ;
such as stands a teacher in good stead, of whatever
condition of men his pupils may be.
But one hindrance remained, which until now
John had not taken into account. This hindrance
was self. In the quiet of the night he paced his
room, his mind wakeful and thought-stirred. He
had seen the open door, heard the call to go, almost
answered, â€œ Here am 1; for Thou didst call me.â€
Then suddenly the words died on his lips; for
the flesh was warring against the spirit. In quick
succession there passed before him all the pleasant
things that he must give up. The home-tiesâ€”
oh, how strong they were! Even his Aunt Julia
loved him now; and there was his own Aunt
Mildred, his uncle, the young cousins; and Mabel
- Rivers, whose presence had made. the sombre, dull
house brighterâ€”what a parting it would be from
Then the ties of friendship;â€”John had many
friends ; one or two whose hearts were drawn to his
by the magnetism of kindred tastes and feelings.
He and his friends must be wide apart in future;
no intercourse between them save a hurried letter
now and again, And ambition, what of it? Truly,
as his uncle had told him, he would fare worse, so
â€œSOMETHING BETTER.â€ 45 -
far as his worldly prospects were concerned, by
leaving Westbridge. Already he held an assured
position; was honoured and respected as one of
a race of clever, upright business men; and with
his abilities there was the likelihood of further
advancement. Westbridge had returned a Car-
rington to parliament before now, and might do so
Marked indeed was the contrast between such pros-
pects and those of a missionary; a life spent in
obscurity, perchance in some remote corner of the
world, outside the pale of civilization.
So the struggle went on.
At length John ceased to pace the room, and,
â€˜aking his Bible, he turned to the last chapters of
St. Matthewâ€™s Gospelâ€”to him a familiar record,
known almost by heart. And yet never before had
it brought to him so vividly, with such quickening
power, those closing scenes of our Lordâ€™s life on
earthâ€”the foretaste of death in the garden of Geth-
semane, the betrayal and denial, the mocking and
the scourging ; the hours of darkness while the Son
of God endured the bodily anguish of a cruel death,
and the keener anguish of soul caused by the hiding
of His Fatherâ€™s face. -
John read slowly, musingly; passing on from
~ 46 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
the Sacrifice offered up to the Sacrifice accepted ;
when Jesus, ready to ascend on high, said to His
eleven disciples, â€˜ All power is given unto Me in
heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
-and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I have said
unto you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto
the end of the world. Amen,â€
These verses John read twice; and then he
bowed his head over the open book,
â€œO Lord Jesus,â€ he said, â€œI thank Thee for thus
dying for me. Now I would give myself wholly
to Thy service. Help me to do Thy will. May
I go where Thou wouldst have me go, and teach
others of Thy salvation. And, Lord, fulfil Thy
promise unto me. Be with me alway, even unto
the end of the world.â€
â€˜Tle WISHES WERE HORSES.)
v N the following morning Bertieâ€”
Â£, a late riser in holiday timeâ€”ran
; out on the corridor, still strug-
gling into his Eton jacket, as
â€œ Stop, I sayâ€”stop!â€ Bertie cried.
â€œWhy, whatâ€™s up now?â€ asked
John. â€˜One would suppose I had just picked your
â€œYou would not find much in them,â€ laughed
Bertie; â€œonly my last shillingâ€”money goes in no
time on tuck.â€ Then more gravely, â€œBut, John,
I have something to say to you. The holidays will
be over next week, and I have one more hunting
dayâ€”and then my fun will be over,â€ Bertie
48 AUNT MILVERUDâ€™S UVWREASURE.
paused, that these melancholy facts might have
their due weight. â€˜Of course,â€ he continued, â€œI
wish to have some real good sport this once. Will
you try to get round father to hire one of Whiteâ€™s
horses for me? White at the Livery Stables, you
know. He has some tip-top hunters, and he jobs
them out to fellows. Do, John, try.â€
There was something comical in the notion of
this fourteen- year-old schoolboy, whose love of
sweets had reduced his exchequer to the last shilling,
fixing his affections on a â€œtip-top hunter.â€
Johnâ€™s mouth twitched; he moved to shut down
che staircase window, near which they stood: some
heavy carts were passing with a noise that im-
peded conversation. When he turned to Bartie
again his face was quite serious,
â€œTake my advice, Bert,â€ he said, â€œand. be
satisfied with poor old Jill for this time. We will
see what can be done for you before the next holi-
â€œWhere will be the use of a hunter then ?â€ cried
Bertie. â€œWe donâ€™t hunt in summer: I thought
you knew that much. No, but if you ask father
to let me have a horse now, I am sure he will mind
â€œAnd I am not so sure,â€ said John; â€œ besides,
â€œIF WISHES WERE HORSES.â€ 49
why should I ask him to give my cousin the chance
of breaking his neck?â€
â€œNonsense! You and father think that because
you care for nothing outside the office, I must have
the same tastes; and you forget that I am as much
a Rivers as a Carrington. â€˜There was never a
Rivers yet who could not ride. Uncle Rivers wins
races in India, and he rides every bit as well as
Sir Francis, Sir Francis and Uncle Rivers are just
splendid, I mean to be a gentleman like them,
and to enjoy my life.â€
â€œTI hope you will be a gentleman, Bertâ€”a
Christian gentleman; but for that you should aim
higher than to enjoy lifeâ€”donâ€™t you think so?â€
â€˜Oh, now you're preaching; and you have not
told me if you will do what I want. You go twist-
ing about instead of answering straight.â€
It was not Johnâ€™s way to twist about. Only the
desire to spare Berticâ€™s feelings had made him resort
to persuasion, rather than give a blank refusal.
Now he answered decidedly,â€”
â€œBert, I cannot do this. I am very sorry, but
The boyâ€™s quick temper was up at once,
â€œYou can if you choose,â€ he cried; â€œbut you
donâ€™t choose. You have everything you want, and
50 AUNT MILDRED S PREASURE.
you grudge me the smallest expense. Yes, that
is why you wonâ€™t get me the horse. The only â€”
reason.â€™ What do you care whether I break my
neck or not?â€
â€˜Come, Bertie, not so fast. I should not be the
poorer, remember, if Uncle Robert did this. And
even if 1 wereâ€”a guinea is what the horse-hire
would be, and you canâ€™t think me such a screw as
to grudge that much for your pleasure. I am too
fond of you, old fellow, to grudge itâ€”you do not
No, Bertie did not doubt. He knew John was
always sincere, to be trusted in what he said; and
wholly above meanness.
But it took time for the hot young blood to cool.
Bertie leant over the bannisters, drumming
against the rails with his feet. Mrs. Carrington, on
her way to the dining-room, glanced up. â€œ My dear
boy, you will kick off all the paint,â€ she called ;
â€œand make haste down to breakfast; it is quite
ready.â€ Buta minute or two passed before Bertie
heeded his motherâ€™s summons. Then he suddenly
â€œYes, we had better go to breakfast,â€ he said ;
â€œand, John, I never meant that you are a screw.â€
For answer John laid his hand affectionately on
â€œTF WISHES WERE HORSES.â€ 51
Bertieâ€™s shoulder; so the cousins went downstairs .
Except at meal-time they did not meet again that
day. John was for the most part of the day in the
office; and in the evening he went to see Aunt Mil-
dred. After breakfast Bertie sauntered out in an
objectless way ; his hands in his pockets, and a very
moody expression on his face. By force of habit his
steps turned in the direction of the livery stables.
He often went there to inspect the horses, and listen
to the ostlersâ€™ comments, The ostlers were not
gentlemen like Sir Francis Calvert; they dropped
their hâ€™s, and pronounced their words very curiously,
Bertie thought. But, after all, what did it matter
that they called horses â€œ â€™osses,â€ so long as they knew
all about the animals, and could give Bertie much
useful information ?
A man with his shirt-sleeves tucked up was en-
gaged in grooming one of his charges, when Bertie
_entered the stable-yard. Bertie greeted him as an
old acquaintance, and took his seat on a reversed
stable bucket, to watch the grooming process. The
horse was restive, and stamped and slipped about
upon the cobble-stones. Presently the man paused
to rest, pushing his cap further back from his heated
52 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
â€˜â€œKeâ€™s a fretful critter to clean down, Master
Robert,â€ he said ; â€œ but, bless you, eeâ€™s as quiet as a
lamb once some unâ€™s on â€™is back; anâ€™ that popular
with sporting gents, itâ€™s just who'll bespeak him first
for a dayâ€™s â€™unting.â€
â€œOh, then I suppose he is bespoken already for
Thursday, Tom? â€â€™ ;
â€œWell, not as I knows of it. You see, this is only
Toosday. Butas I was sayinâ€™, the little â€™oss is a good
â€™un to goâ€”not wot we call a weight-carrier, but eeâ€™s
won steeple chases before now, and eeâ€™d carry you
like a bird. Youâ€™d pound all the field on â€™im, so you
would, Master Robert.â€
â€œDo you really think so, Tom?â€ cried Bertie
Before Tom had time to repeat his assertion there
was a clatter of hoofs, and Sir Francis Calvert rode
briskly into the yard.
Now Bertie imagined that to be seated on a stable
bucket, conversing with Tom, the ostler, and in close
proximity tothe â€œlittle â€™ossâ€ that had been a steeple-
chase winner, was a situation certain to meet with
the approval of the master of the hounds. He would
have been undeceived had he known what was Sir
Francisâ€™ mental comment; for it was thisâ€”â€œâ€˜I
wonder very much that Carrington allows his boy
â€œTF WISHES WERE HORSES.â€ * 53
to hang about here. Nothing so bad for a young-
ster. However, itâ€™s no affair of mine.â€
Sir Francisâ€™ easy temper was often the result of
laziness, It saved him trouble to take thingsâ€”and
people tooâ€”as he foundthem. He liked Bertie; the
boy amused him with his conceits and aspirations,
and it did not occur to him that he was doing any
mischief by humouring them. So, having dis-
mounted, heâ€™ shook hands in his usual hearty
â€œT suppose,â€ he said, â€˜â€˜ we are to see you and Jill
out hunting on Thursday ?â€â€™
â€œNo,â€ said Bertie, his chin in the air; â€œI do not
intend riding Jill any more.â€
â€œOho! have you and Jill fallen out? Well, thatâ€™s
better than falling off, eh?â€
Then Sir Francis slipped two fingers into his
waistcoat pocket, and extracted a coin; he was mov-
ing away, having left his horse to be stabled and fed
while he transacted his business in the town; but
he drew Bertie with him.
â€œTf we are not to meet on Thursday,â€ he said,
â€œT must give you your tip now. Frank always
expects one going back to school, and I daresay it
wonâ€™t come amiss to you either.â€
Sir Francis strode off, having deposited a sovereign
54 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE,
in Bertieâ€™s hand. Quick as lightning the thought
flashed on the boyâ€™s mind that he could hire a .
hunter for himself now. Sir Francisâ€™ tip and his
own sole surviving shilling made up the exact sum
that would be needed
He went home for luncheon, and to consider the
project. It would require careful working out; for
if White knew that he was acting without his
fatherâ€™s knowledge, he would probably decline the
~esponsibility of mounting him.
But in less than an hourâ€™s time Bertie sallied forth
again. He felt extremely important as he asked to
see Mr, White; and also a little nervous. However,
the interview proved quite satisfactory. Bertie
would have scorned to tell a lie, and yet he con-
trived to convey the impression that his father was
treating him to this mount; and when the livery
stable keeper, having regard to the safety of his
property, hesitated a little, and hinted politely
that Master Carrington might not be quite equal to
the management of a spirited horse, the boy spoke
up with such bold assurance, that Mr. White was
convinced he was at least as competent as many of
his older customers.
When Bertie left the stables a second time, every-
thing had been arranged in a most delightful
â€œTF WISHES WERE HORSES.â€ 55
manner. He was to ride the steeple-chaserâ€”not
only so, but Tom, who had the education of a young
hunter on his hands, would take Bertieâ€™s horse
with his to the meet. So the boy could start from
Riverview on the despised Jill, and thus avoid the
risk of discovery. He was greatly elated; laughed
and chatted during dinner in an excited manner ;
and afterwards, when he retired for the night,
dawdled about his room, polishing a pair of spurs,
and trying to decide which pin and tie he should
wear on the occasion of this â€œreal good sport.â€
While he was thus occupied, John passed his room
on his way to his own; he had just returned from
his visit to Aunt Mildred. Bertie heard his step,
and it brought to him a qualm of conscience.
â€œBut why mind, John?â€ he said to himself; â€œ he
is too strait-laced ; besides, he should not expect me
to cave in, while he can do everything he pleases,â€
OHN often paid Aunt Mildred a
late visit, knowing that her even-
ings were lonely; on this occa-
sion, however, he had a special
Me ee object in view. He found her
reading, but she promptly laid down her
: book, preferring his company.
as â€œSomething told me you would bo
here â€ she said.
â€œ Indeed, I did not come sooner only because I had
first to determine a certain matterâ€”a matter I want
you to know ee any one else. I think it fulfils a
wish of yours.â€
Aunt Mildred felt fee stifled â€œ A wish of mine?â€
â€œYou said, that night of the meeting, that you
IN TROUBLE. 57
wished some one in Westbridge might see fit to
offer himself as a missionaryâ€”did you not?â€
â€œAh, yes. And now some one has offered himself
â€”John, Iam so glad!â€
â€œCan you guess who?â€
Aunt Mildred paused, considering, before she said,
â€œThat nice young man, Henry Graham, perhaps.
You have often mentioned the intelligent interest
he takes in the Bible class.â€
But John shook his head. â€œ You must guess
again; I fancy Henry Graham has his work cut out
for him at home.â€
So Aunt Mildred hazarded two or three other
names, and finally gave up the riddle,
â€œTell me, John.â€
â€œJT think, Aunt Mildred, I see my way to giving
myself to this work.â€
John was seated near his aunt, and he watched
her as he made his announcement. He knew she
would be surprised, but he had not anticipated the
change which passed over her countenance. She
did not find speech readily,
â€œYou, John?â€ she faltered at last. â€˜â€œ But I donâ€™t
understand. You must stay hereâ€”you have your
business ;â€”John, you cannot go!â€
â€œThat is what I used to tell myself,â€ John said,
58 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
â€œbut I was mistaken ;â€â€™ and he proceeded to explain
how home. considerations were on the side of his
going, not staying.
â€œUncle Robert is not safianed about Bertie;
there is nothing seriously wrong with himâ€”donâ€™t
suppose thatâ€”but he wants ballast; is self-willed,
yet at the same time easily led by people it is un-
wise for him to follow. The army would not be
advisable under the circumstances, Uncle Robert
thinks; whereas he would be safe enough in the
office, and sure to get on. Then, think of Aunt
Juliaâ€™s delight. It has always been a cloud in her
sky that Bertie is not heir to the business and to
Aunt Mildred failed to take in Johnâ€™s meaning at
once. When she did, it came upon her with crush-
ing force. The nephew she had brought up and
loved as a son was going from her; yielding his
birthright to that other nephew, whom she did. not
â€œ John,â€ she said, â€œthis is monstrous, utterly
out of the question. I wonder your common sense
does not tell you so. Just think a littleâ€”think
what you are giving up.â€
â€œDear Aunt Mildred, I have thought of it. I
would rather dwell now on the gain there may be
IN TROUBLE. 59
to others; above all, on the service that God may
permit me to do for Him.â€
At length the full meaning of Johnâ€™s words dawned
on Aunt Mildred slowly and gradually. He had no
petty jealousies; it did not cost him a pang that his
cousin should be destined to step into his place of
trust and honour. He was willing to be last of all,
servant of all, for Christâ€™s sake. And as she
realized the sweetness and the strength of Johnâ€™s
character, she also realized what her loss would be.
Hitherto her love had seemed a calm, well-ordered,
almost prosaic affection; but now its quiet depths
were stirred, and a wave of strong, passionate feel-
ing raised itself against the barriers of her re-
She made one desperate effort at self-control.
There was a contraction of lip and brow; a close
pressing together of the trembling hands; then all
effort was abandoned, and Aunt Mildred burst into
John had imparted his news confident that it
would give pleasure, not pain. He had even looked
forward to a long talk with his aunt over future
plans and hopes. Instead, he had to devote himself
to the task of soothing and comforting her. More
than an hour went by, before she had sufficiently
60 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
recovered from her agitation for him to bid her
â€œYou may rest assured,â€ he said, at parting,
â€˜that your wishes will have great weight with me.
I cannotâ€™ decide yet; I feel utterly. puzzled. Only
one thing is clearâ€”while I am deliberating you
must not fret. Just put this trouble from you for
the present. Try not to think of it.â€
Then John went out into the silent streets. He
had been full of eager, glad enthusiasm as he
walked to his auntâ€™s house. Now he was harassed
with doubts and perplexities, unable to see where
the path of duty lay.
No words of Aunt Mildredâ€™s could have made so
deep an impression on him as her tears. Not that
John was unused to the sight of tears. He had
known his little cousin Edithâ€”impetuous in her
sorrows as in her joysâ€”nearly cry her eyes out over
a broken plaything; and he could recall instances
of Aunt Julia also being moved to tears by a rude
speech of Bertieâ€™s, or by small domestic worries that
broke down her patience.
But he had never seen Aunt Mildred shed tears
before. No, not even on that day he still dimly
remembered, when she had lifted him, a bewildered
child, into her lap, and tried to make him under-
IN TROUBLE. 61
stand that his father was no longer in the darkened
room where he had lain for so many days, sick unto
â€œPapa is happy now,â€ had Aunt Mildred said ;
â€œ God has taken him to heaven, and he has no more
pain. So you must be a brave boy, and not cry.â€
And the little fellow had gulped down his sobs,
influenced rather by Aunt Mildredâ€™s grave, set face
than by what she said.
Ever since she had been the same undemonstra-
tive, self-contained woman. Ever sinceâ€”until now.
â€œTt must be a keen sorrow that has made her
give way thus,â€ John thought; and then he put it
to himself, Was he justified in inflicting such a
sorrow? Ought he togo? The more he considered
it, the harder grew this question that he had to
But if John was troubled, so was Aunt Mildred.
He had told her to put the trouble from herâ€”not to
think of it; but this to her was an impossibility.
Her thoughts kept constantly recurring to the same
She had never wished, when undertaking Johnâ€™s
support, to forge a chain of obligations that would
bind him to her side. It was foreign to Aunt
Mildredâ€™s nature to remind people of past benefits.
62 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
For all that, when John assured her that:her wishes
must have great weight with him, she knew it was
the sense of past benefits that gave them their
_ And on which side of the balance were her wishes
brought to bear? Were they on the wrong side?
It seemed so; for she had always regarded the
mission cause as Godâ€™s cause. Thus regarding it,
she had willingly given of her money, had parted
with prized possessionsâ€”the old Chelsea figuresâ€”
to help it forward. As Aunt Mildredâ€™s thoughts
went back to this transaction, her misgivings in-
creased. Could it be that the offering she had
made was unpleasing in Godâ€™s sight? that there
was in it no mortification of the flesh? that it was
like the so-called fasts of the Jews, â€˜â€œ Behold, ye fast
for strife and debateâ€? What wonderâ€”if motives
of ill-will were hers alsoâ€”what wonder. if, when
God called her to make a real sacrifice, to give up
the treasure on which her heart was fixed, she was
found wanting ?
Such were Aunt Mildredâ€™s thoughts, and they
made her feel thoroughly uncomfortable.
The next dayâ€”Wednesdayâ€”John came early to
see her. It was a wild, wet morning, :
â€œYou should not hgve come in stich a conan
IN TROUBLE. bd
Aunt Mildred said, putting her hand on his wet
â€˜â€˜-You are over careful, Aunt Mildred. Rain does
not hurt; and I wanted to satisfy myself that you
Then he made some casual remarks, remaining
standing ; for he was in a hurry to get back to the
office. He seemed purposely to avoid allusion to the
previous evening, and Aunt Mildred avoided it too.
Afterwards she busied herself with household con-
cerns, letter-writing, and the various odds and ends
of in-door work which she reserved for a wet day.
But all the time her thoughts were as busy as her
fingers, and less under control.
On Thursday the weather was fine and bright.
It was Aunt Mildredâ€™s district visiting day, so she
was pleased to see the sunshine. She made her
rounds as usual, but returned weary and dejected.
The rain had not cleansed those back streets which
she had had to traverse; on the contrary, it had
formed puddles here and there, and turned the dust
of the pavement into slippery mud, which rendered
walking very disagreeable. And Aunt Mildred had
been absent-minded, so that the wives and mothers,
who had a string of troubles to relate and to enlarge
64 - AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
upon, felt themselves aggrieved by her want of
It was a positive relief to find herself on her own
doorstep once more. The door was partly open, and
as she stood drawing her muddy boots across the
scraper, she heard eager voices from within, raised
in question and answer. .
Her maid-servant was the questioner; the other
voice she recognised as belonging to the errand lad
at her brotherâ€™s office; he sometimes left a note or a
message for her on his way home. She caught a
few words of the dialogue.
From the maid, in an awed tone, yet doubt-
â€œOh, youâ€™re making the most of it. Come, tell
me ;â€”it is not so bad as that? Now, is it?â€
â€˜â€œâ€œNot so bad! Why, Master Bertie could not be
worse and alive. His arm and his side, where the
horse rolled on him, areâ€”well, just smashed. But I
must be off. Donâ€™t forget the letter.â€ .
The lad opened the door wider,â€”to come face to
face with Miss Carrington. He drew to one side,
abashed, and pulled off his cap, but Miss Carrington
was looking past him to where the maid stood, that
letter in her hand.
â€œGive it to me,â€ she said. She read it there by
IN TROUBLE. 65
the hall lamp. It was very short, telling little more
than those sentences she had overheard had told.
â€œT must go to them,â€ she said, when she had
â€œDo wait to have your tea first,â€ urged her maid-
servant, really concerned. â€œYou must want it
But Miss Carrington would not wait.
Probably she had never accomplished that half-
mile between her home and Riverview so quickly
as now. Crossings were disregarded; if she must
cross to the other side she went obliquely from point
to point; and when she reached the narrower bye-
ways, that abounded near Riverviewâ€”now in a
poor, though once fashionable localityâ€”she pushed
and glided in and out among the foot-passengers,
who were loitering after their dayâ€™s work, and care-
less to observe the rule of the road.
Aunt Mildred was breathless when she arrived at
her destination. Waiting in the entrance hall, she
recalled that former visit, when Bertie had rushed
out upon her and vexed her with his rudeness.
How gladly would she have welcomed his boisterous
greeting now! But the house was very silent;
there were no sounds save those from the street.
Mabel opened the door.
66 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
â€œHe is in less pain just now,â€ she said; â€˜the
doctor has given him a soothing draught, and thinks
it possible that he may sleep soon. Come to the
drawing-room, and I will tell you more.â€
The drawing-room had a dreary aspectâ€”curtains
still undrawn, the fire low, a solitary candle burning
on the centre table.
Bending over the table were two ruffled heads.
Rose and Edith had been sent to the drawing-room
until their tea was ready. As a rule the hour
before tea was a merry one; it was the childrenâ€™s
special hour, and the grown-up people put forth
their energies to amuse them. But this evening
they were cautioned to be as quiet as mice, and
Edith had been set to draw on her outline-slate,
while Rose directed the small, awkward fingers.
A tear fell now and then, making sad smudges of
the pencil marks, and when Aunt Mildred came in,
and the children shook back their hair, and turned
towards her, very woe-begone little faces were
_ Aunt Mildred kissed her nieces with more tender-
ness than was her wont; then Mabel told them she
had promised nurse to send them upstairs, as tea was
ready. She watched them leave the room.
â€œPoor little things,â€ she said, when the door had
IN TROUBLE. 67
been closed softly. â€œThey are so fond of Bertie,
and they donâ€™t know what to make of it all. No
wonder, Oh, Aunt Mildred, itis so sad.â€ But Mabel
quickly checked her grief to relate the particulars of
â€œHe went hunting this morning, starting from
here on the pony, so we did not dream of danger.
He had been put out before, thinking Jill too slow
and old, and Uncle Robert was pleased that he had
got over his ill-humour. We went to the door to
watch him ride off; the children gave Jill some
breadâ€”it was all just as usualâ€”Aunt Julia so proud
of him, and he looking so bright and handsome.â€
Mabelâ€™s voice broke as she pictured the contrast
between the out-going and the home-coming,
â€œBut Bertie hired a horse quite secretly, a hot-
tempered horse, not fit for him to ride.
â€˜The man who took it to the meet warned him to
be careful, and not use his spurs: he wanted him to
take them off, but Bertie refusedâ€”poor Bertie, he
is such a child in some things. That is how the
accident happenedâ€”he used them forgetfully in his
excitement, and the horse made a rush at a fence,
and fell, Bertie under it. One of the gentlemen
who saw the accident gave up his hunting and rode
here for helpâ€”the meet had been near Westbridge
68 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
â€”and Uncle Robert took Doctor Russel with him
in the carriage to fetch Bertie home. He is terribly
hurt, his left arm is quite helpless and swollen, and
some ribs are broken; that caused hemorrhage at
firstâ€”from injury to the lung, Doctor Russel says.
And I almost think, Aunt Mildred, the doctor fears
for Bertieâ€™s life.â€
Mabel brought out the last sentence reluctantly,
falteringly ; and her face blanched.
â€œWe must not dwell on the gloomy side, my
dear,â€ Aunt Mildred said; â€œ Bertie is young, and
very strong and healthy. Let us trust that in Godâ€™s
mercy his life may be spared. And now, can I help
you in anything? There must be a great deal to
â€œNo, not a great deal. Doctor Russel has found
us a trained nurseâ€”fortunately she could come at
once; and we have each our own share of what has
to be done. Somehow things seem to have settled
â€˜â€˜ Already !â€ said Aunt Mildred, surprised that the
settling down should be thus quickly accomplished.
â€˜Oh, but it is four hours since Bertie was brought
home,â€ Mabel explained. â€˜One can get through so
much in four hours.â€
Involuntarily Aunt Mildred sighed, She under-
IN TROUBLE. 69
stood what the â€œso muchâ€ meant; the various de-
tails of preparation, the hurrying to and fro, the
suffering and dread that make the sequence of
such an accident. And all had been done with-
out her; it was clear that she had not been wished
But this was not a case of wounded pride. Aunt
Mildredâ€™s pride had been brought low during the
last two days. She only took blame to herself that
she should be as a stranger to her own people.
â€œMay I see Aunt Julia, or your uncle?â€ she asked
Mabel hesitated. â€œI think they are both in
Bertieâ€™s room,â€ she said ; â€˜I hardly like to call them
â€œWell, if I cannot help, at least I must not hinder.
I will come early to-morrow. Send for me mean-
while if I can be of the slightest use.â€
And Aunt Mildred rose to go. But on the way
out she met her brother; he was looking haggard
and pale, but he confirmed what Mabel had saidâ€”
he had left Bertie easier, likely to sleep. As Aunt
Mildred trudged slowly homewards, she became
conscious of how very tired she was. It had been a
trying dayâ€”trying alike for mind and body.
ESPITE the apparent useless-
ness of her visit, Aunt Mildred
returned to Riverview early next
day, as she had said. Again
Mabel was the one to receive
her, and to give her the report of
~ Bertieâ€™s condition. Not a favourable
report; the effect of the sleeping draught
had passed off; he was in much suffer-
ing, and the feverishness which it produced made
him chafe against the restraint of plasters and
bandages, and the necessity of lying still,
â€œTÃ© is so dreadful for Uncle Robert and Aunt
Julia to see him suffer, without being able to do
anything,â€ Mabel said pityingly.
â€œMight I go to Aunt Julia? Would she see me
BERTIEâ€™ QUESTION. 71
to-day ? Indeed, I would like to be with her at such
Aunt Mildred spoke with suppressed eagerness.
She was not by nature disposed to sympathise with
the joys, nor yet with the infirmities of others; but
she was disposed to sympathise with their sorrows.
She held it a sacred duty to minister to the sick and
afflicted ; and it seemed strange that Mabelâ€”with
whom she could claim no relationship, who called
her â€œauntâ€ merely from falling into her cousinsâ€™
ways of speechâ€”should be the only member of the
family to whom she had free access in this season
But Mabel shook her head. â€œ Aunt Julia will not
see any one,â€ she said; â€œshe has shut herself into
her own room. Bertie cares most to have John near ~
him when the pain is bad; he says he can bear it
better if John holds his hand. John is so helpful.â€
Mabel had herself experienced Johnâ€™s helpfulness.
She was at an age when girls are quick to perceive
inconsistencies between the profession and practice
of their elders ; and often Mabel perceived such in-
consistencies, and was perplexed thereby. But with
Johnâ€™s example before her she could not doubt the
reality and power of religion ; and thus she derived
moral support from his strength.
AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
â€œYes, John is helpful always,â€ she repeatedâ€”
then, as she continued speaking, her tendency to
detect and judge the failings of others became
â€œBut Aunt Julia is vexed that Bertie should look
to John instead of to her. Poor Aunt Juliaâ€”I do
pity her ; and yet I could pity her more if she were
not so jealous of John, ssâ€”â€”â€
Was it Aunt Mildredâ€™s voice that saan
She hardly knew it herself, raised in excuse of the
very fault in her sister-in-law which most jarred
upon her. â€œDear Mabel, perhaps we cannot quite
enter into a motherâ€™s feelings, and we should beware
of judging harshly. Remember, Bertieâ€™s mother
needs all the kindness and consideration we can give
Mabel fixed her thoughtful, searching eyes in-
tently on Aunt Mildredâ€™s face. She was finding the
study of human nature more abstruse and compli-
cated than she had supposed it to be. â€œI hardly
thought you â€”-â€ she began, and then stopped short,
â€œNo; I wonâ€™t discuss other peopleâ€™s characters. I
am much too fond of picking them to pieces, and
you are quite right. Now I am going to confess
my own foolishness. But first, Aunt Mildred, you
must sit down, â€˜You are tired this morning, are you
â€œYee, John is helpful always.â€
BERTIEâ€™S QUESTION. 15
not?â€ Aunt Mildred was gently pushed into an
easy chair; then Mabel proceededâ€”â€˜ You must know,
that as Aunt Julia canâ€™t take her thoughts from
Bertie, I have to be housekeeper for the present ;
and I donâ€™t understand anything about it. Tam
just as silly as the girl who fancied there must be
four legs of mutton to every sheep. And our cook
is very tiresome. When I tried to order dinner she
would not help me out; and I feel sure she was in-
wardly laughing at me, though her face was so grim
and solemn. As for me, I did not know whether to
laugh or to cryâ€”at last I fairly turned and fled, and
left the cook and the dinner to take care of them-
At another time this confession of ignorance would
have given rise to severe comments in Aunt Mil-
dredâ€™s mind, even if they were not expressed in
words. She was an upholder of a practical educa-
tion, and considered it far more essential that a
young lady should be able to order dinnerâ€”and to
dress it on an emergencyâ€”than that she should be
a good musician, or speak French and German.
Mabel expected censure. â€œ Are you very angry
with me for being such an ignoramus?â€ she asked.
â€œWhat have you to say ?â€
But all Aunt Mildred said was, â€˜Perhaps I can
76 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
help you in your difficulty. Housekeeping is not to
me a new experience.â€
â€œOh, Aunt Mildred, of course you can help,â€
Mabel cried; â€œit is what I was hoping, only I did
not like to ask you. Iam pleased. It seems almost
wrong to worry about these things now; yet they
have to be done.â€
Aunt Mildred was pleased too; quite grateful for
the opportunity of making herself useful. She
only stipulated that Mrs. Carrington should first
be consulted; for she had a horror of appearing
meddlesome. But Mrs. Carrington was satisfied
with any arrangement. â€œSettle it as you choose
â€”you and Aunt Mildred between you,â€ she said
to Mabel; â€œall I beg is that you will not refer
kitchen affairs to me, I have enough to think of
just now without.â€
And so Aunt Mildred was installed head of the
commissariat department; and Mabel, acting as. her
lieutenant, gained much useful knowledge which
schoolmasters and mistresses had omitted to teach.
For some days Bertieâ€™s condition continued to be
most critical. Besides the broken ribs, it became
evident, as the swelling of the arm subsided, that it
had sustained a bad fracture near the elbow-joint.
Doztor Russel was skilful in surgical cases, and by
BERTIEâ€™S QUESTION. 77
his desire a clever young surgeon, from an adjoining
county, was also called in.
So complicated a case appealed to the professional
instincts of Surgeon S., and he was quick to fall in
with Doctor Russelâ€™s suggestion that he should
occasionally visit the patient, although each visit
involved a railway journey. â€˜It is a bad case,â€ he
said, after his first visit; â€˜â€œâ€œbut we shall pull him
through. Oh yes, we shall pull him through right
enough.â€ He spoke with the confidence of youth.
Doctor Russel was less sanguine; partly because he
was older, and partly because with him the feelings
were engaged: he had been family physician to the
Carringtons since he began to practise at West-
bridge, thirty years ago; and Mr. Robert Carrington
was his personal friend. The weary, anxious days
dragged on; but there was improvement, though so
gradual as to be scarcely noticed; and at length a
day came when Bertie was pronounced out of
danger. Doctor Russel told the good news to Mr.
Carrington in his office. The lawyer had been
trying to fix his attention on some necessary busi-
ness, and had found it hard work.
â€œAll grave symptoms are at an end,â€ Doctor
Russel said. â€˜The fractured ribs have caused no
permanent mischief, and the armâ€”well, it may be
78 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
a fairly useful arm yet; not supple as before;
Here Mr. Carrington interrupted, â€œWhat does a
stiff arm matter if my boy is safe!â€ and then he
grasped the doctorâ€™s hand. â€œTI do believe that under
God he owes his life to your care and skill,â€ he said
So the dark cloud that hung over Riverview was
But scarcely a week afterwards Aunt Mildred was
surprised to receive a hasty summons from her sister-
in-law. Arrived at Riverview, Mrs. Carrington met
her on the stairs. â€œIam glad you have come,â€ she
said. â€˜Such an unlucky thing has happened.
Bertie was not to be told yet that his arm must
remain stiff, but Hdith, poor child, has let out the
secret. She overheard us talking of it, and repeated
what we said to Bertie, not meaning any harm.
But you know how Edith chatters. Nothing is safe
that comes to her ears. And now the dear boy is
dreadfully upset; he is fretting himself ill again,
wonâ€™t touch his breakfast, and last night did not
sleep a wink. John is awayâ€”he had to go to town
unexpectedly on businessâ€”and Dr. Russel has en-
gagements all the morning out in the country, so he
is not available, and Bertie won't mind either his
BERTIE'S QUESTION. %9
father or me. I thought, Mildred, you might help
us. You see, you are more of a stranger to Bertie;
perhaps you might persuade him to take his nourish-
ment. The doctors say that is still so essential.â€
Aunt Mildred paused before she answered, in
order to gain more complete control over her voice.
She had not seen Bertie since his accident. With
the waywardness of an invalid, he had obstinately
refused to have her admitted to his room. . â€œShe is
sure to jaw me,â€ he would say, when John pressed
for her admittance, â€œand I hate being lectured.
No, John, I wonâ€™t see her.â€ So the matter had to
drop. His mother had never taken it up. In her
heart she was rather pleased than otherwise at
Bertieâ€™s undisguised antipathy, and she had so far
shared it as to avoid Aunt Mildred as much as
possible during those anxious days.
And now here she was appealing for her help, on
the very grounds that she was a stranger.
â€œ Certainly I will go to him, if you wish it,â€ said
Aunt Mildred, a little coldly; â€œbut you had better
prepare him first, for Bertie and I have not seen
each other for a long time.â€
But Mrs. Carringtonâ€™s love for her boy was largely
mixed with selfishness. She did not want to be the
one to vex him, even for his good. It was well that
80 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
Aunt Mildred should see him, but the odium of the
visit must rest solely with her.
â€œTf I were to consult him,â€ she said, â€œhe would
not consent. The only way is to take â€˜French
leaveâ€™ ;â€”and do go now, for he is alone. The nurse
had a disturbed night, and has gone to bed. I was
sitting with him when I saw you come up the
Aunt Mildred went without more ado, only wait-
ing a moment at Bertieâ€™s door for an answer to her
knock. No answer came, so she had to enter his
room unbidden. The adornments of the room
accorded with the boyâ€™s tastes. There were two or
three gay coloured prints from the Illustrated News,
depicting racing and hunting scenes, upon the walls,
and then there was a rack of sticks and whips, and
over it a prized trophyâ€”the foxâ€™s brush which had
been presented to him on that red-letter day when
he and Jill had been â€œin at the death.â€
But the appearance of the invalid contrasted sadly
with these mementoes of past pleasures. He was
much altered: his large blue eyes seemed to have
grown larger, and he had lost his fresh, healthy
colour. Instead, there was a hectic flush on his
thin cheeks, for he had been doing his utmost to
work himself into a state of fever during the night.
BERTIEâ€™S QUESTION. 81
â€œWhy, Aunt Mildred, what brings you here?â€ he
exclaimed ; â€œand just when I want to be left alone.â€
Aunt Mildred took Bertieâ€™s hand; the uninjured
arm was flung restlessly outside the bed-clothes.
â€œI should have liked to see you before,â€ she said,
â€˜â€˜had I been allowed. I have often thought of you.
You have gone through a great deal of suffering,
and John told me how bravely you bore it.â€
Bertie had made a gesture to withdraw his hand;
but now it lay passive in Aunt Mildredâ€™s, while he
asked, â€œâ€˜ Did John really tell you that?â€
The idea evidently pleased him.
â€œYes; he said you were a good soldier.â€
Bertieâ€™s face quivered. â€œI can never be a soldier
now,â€ he murmured; â€œ never.â€
â€œYou cannot enter the army, and I know you feel
this disappointment; but you can be a soldier,
Bertie, in the sense John meant. You remember
that verse, â€˜Endure hardness like a good soldier of
Jesus Christâ€™ ?â€â€™
There was much kindness in Aunt Mildredâ€™s tone
and manner, mingled with firmness; and her few
wordsâ€”at all times she was a woman of few words
â€”had a more salutary effect than the blandishments
his mother had used to coax him out of his present
Â§2 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
By degrees he began to talk of his trouble.
â€œTÃ© is all so sudden,â€ he said. â€œSurgeon S
was for ever telling me I would soon be quite well,
and grinning-and joking as if he thought it very
good fun my breaking my bones for him to mend
them. Even Dr. Russel would not tell me the truth
â€”that I shall never be well.â€
â€œBertie, you are making out this trouble to be
worse than it is. There is every hope that you will
be quite well soon. Your arm must be stiff, but
that is all.â€
â€œAsif that is not enough! I know more about it
than you do, Aunt Mildred. -A fellow at school has
a stiff arm. He fell off a wall when he was a little
chap, and broke it badly. Well, he is a regular
dufferâ€”canâ€™t row, or play cricket, or do anything
like other fellows. I declare I used to pity him. |
Now I am as bad myself.â€
â€œMy dear boy, because you have a stiff arm it
does not follow that you are to be a duffer, as you
call it. Some of the best and greatest men have
had disadvantages to overcome; but they have not
moped; they have done their duty. And perhaps,
Bertie, your submitting to this pain and disappoint-
ment, and giving up your own way, may be a
beginning of doing great things by-and-by.â€.
BERTIEâ€™S QUESTION. 83
â€œThat sounds very fine.â€ Bertie spoke petulantly
again. â€œTt is so easy to preach. But supposing,
Aunt Mildred, there was something you wanted
more than anything else in the whole worldâ€”some-
thing youâ€™d cared a lot-about for yearsâ€”could you
give it up all of a sudden quite pleasantly, just be-
cause you ought? Come, now; could you, Aunt
There was an interval of silence after the boyâ€™s
question ; it had awakened a train of thought.
At last Aunt Mildred said, in a constrained voice,
â€œ Bertie, I cannot answer you.â€
Bertie gave a low, prolonged whistle; but that
was his only comment, and afterwards he seemed
anxious to promote conversation, and save Aunt
Mildred from any feeling of awkwardness.
Before she left him he became so gracious that he
actually alloved her to smooth his disordered bed,
and consented to take his breakfast.
Mrs. Carrington was hovering near the door. She
had hoped that Aunt Mildred would succeed in her
object; yet now she chose to make her success a
â€œIt is hard on a mother,â€ she said plaintively,
â€œthat every one else has greater influence with her
child; but it is the way of invalids, They turn
84 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
from those they love, and will listen toâ€”well, to
those they donâ€™t love. And then it always tells,
being strong-minded. You and Bertie have the
Carrington will, both of you, soI am no match for
either. And you have the strongest will of all; so
even Bertie is no match for you. I must go now to
see about the dear boyâ€™s breakfast.â€
THE QUESTION ANSWERED.
= fs HE morning after Johnâ€™s return
to Riverview from his weekâ€™s
visit to London was to be a busy
one; there were various matters
relative to this London visit to
be gone into with his uncle,
He was crossing the hall to the office,
when Aunt Mildredâ€™s servant-maid came
in at the street entrance, and handed him a letter,
It required no answer, she said; she had been in-
structed not to wait. Having read the letter, John
set his mind to business. The head clerk, a shrewd,
elderly man, not wont to overrate youthful talent,
could not help noting how cleverly and methodically
he got through his work, and thought it augured
well for his future career. He little suspected that
the letter John had thrust into his pocket as he
86 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
entered the room, snapped the last link which had
kept him in his uncleâ€™s office.
The letter ran thus :â€”
â€œMy pear Nepaew,â€”
â€œWhen you told me of your purpose to bea
missionary, I discouraged it. I did wrong ; and now
I want you to understand that I wholly approve of
your giving yourself to mission work. That God
will bless you in it is the earnest prayer of your
â€œ Aunt Minprep.â€
There were no symptoms of weakness in this
letter, The sentences were short and to the point ;
the handwriting bold and clear. Aunt Mildred
wrote much as she spoke; and yet she was far
from feeling self-confident at this time. She des-
patched her letter instead of having a personal inter-
view, because she feared that to see the face she
so loved, and hear the familiar voice, might even
now turn her from her decision. The decision had
been arrived at by slow degrees. Those doubts and
misgivings which had haunted her since Johnâ€™s
avowal of his purpose were not long in shaping
themselves to a stern certaintyâ€”it behoved her as a
Christian woman to cast no hindrance in his way.
In general, to recognise a duty, and to perform it,
THE QUESTION ANSWERED. 87
with Aunt Mildred meant one and the same thing.
But now it was otherwise. She hesitated; and all
the time that she hesitated, self-dissatisfaction grew
and strengthened. Bertieâ€™s accident, and her exclu-
sion from the sick room, did much to foster its
growth; and then came her tardy visit to him, and
the boyâ€™s questionâ€”that was a home-thrust! After-
wards, her mind was so ill at ease that she ceased
from her usual occupations. The walks to River-
view, even the district-visiting days were no longer
observed, and she arranged for another teacher to
take her girlsâ€™ class in the Sunday School when the
next Sunday came round. She felt unequal to
teaching; she was herself a pupil, learning her
lesson from the all-wise Master. â€˜â€œ How hardly shall
they that have riches enter into the Kingdomâ€ was
the beginning of the lesson. John represented Aunt
Mildredâ€™s riches; he was to her as great possessions,
and her engrossing love had blinded her eyes to
many near duties, and shut her ears to the call,
â€œTake up thy cross, and follow Me.â€
â€œWith man itis impossible, but not with God; for
with God all things are possible,â€™â€”this was the les-
son in its completeness, And at last Aunt Mildred
learned: it, the human â€œimpossible,â€ the Divine
â€˜possible ;â€â€ and then the independent, self-reliant
88 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
woman humbled herself as a little child, and prayed
that God,in His fulness of power, might make her
will strong for self-sacrifice.
Thus the days of heart-striving ended; and Aunt
Mildred was able to write her letter to John.
When office hours were over, John and Mr. Car-
rington sat on together in the lawyer's private
room, but they were not engaged now on business
matters. An hour elapsed before they emerged, Mr.
Carrington looking agitated, yet in part pleased;
John wholly pleased.
â€œNow that I have your consent to my plan,â€
John said, â€œI should like to tell Bertie about it.
Shall I tell him now or wait until morning ?â€
â€œTf you are quite determined, I suppose you may
as well tell him now. The boy is fretting, and this
may take his thoughts out of the one groove.â€
- So John ran upstairs to his cousinâ€™s room.
It had been a dull day for Bertie.
â€œWebruary fill dike
Either black or white,â€
the old saying has it; and early on this February
day a leaden sky and raw atmosphere had seemed
to predict the â€œwhiteâ€ filling. But the fickle
â€œclerk of the weatherâ€ had changed his intentions,
THE QUESTION ANSWERED. 89
and since noon the rain had steadily descended, very
â€œblackâ€ rainâ€”to Bertieâ€™s vision everything was
black to-day. From his window he saw the leaden
sky, and wet roofs and chimney pots, and in the
street below umbrellas and mackintoshes. Nota
gleam of colour anywhere. And to his mental vision
the out-look was as dreary. All the bright tints of
his future had given place to sombre shadow.
The boy was in his easy chair by the fire when
John came in. He had candles on a table by him,
and a pile of picture-papers and magazines contri-
buted by good-natured friends for his amusement;
but they failed to amuse him now. His eyes were
suspiciously redâ€”Jghn noticed this as he drew a
chair near, and though he made no remark Bertie
knew that he noticed it, and his confusion, combined
with physical weakness, sent the colour surging over
his face and brow, shaming the poor boy still more
â€”hblushing and crying were, according to his ideas,
feminine infirmities, to be scorned by the sterner sex,
â€œYou must think me an awful muff, but indeed
I canâ€™t help it, John,â€ he pleaded self-excusingly.
â€œOf course you canâ€™t, old fellow,â€ said John; â€œ we
are not quite Spartans, any of usâ€”why should we
be? When we are given pain we are intended to
feel it, and we must sometimes show that we feel it,â€
90 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
â€œBut it is not the pain now,â€ said Bertie, â€œit is
_ this; he glanced in explanation at his injured arm.
The arm was now in what surgeons term an
â€œangular splint,â€ bent at a useful angle, and Bertie
â€˜knew that it must always remain at this angle.
Without Edithâ€™s betrayal of the secret he must soon
have found out that much for himself. No supple-
ness was returning to the broken joint.
â€œYes, I understand,â€ John said; and the tender,
winning sympathy of his voice showed how fully he
â€œOh, John!â€ Bertie cried, â€œI am glad you are
home again.â€ The boy put out his right hand, and
John took it in his firm, strong hold.
â€œIT wish I could have come sooner,â€ he said; â€˜â€˜but
you were not too lonely, were you? They tell me
you have had visitorsâ€”Sir Francis Calvert for one.â€
â€œSir Francis is not you. But I did like seeing â€”
him. He was very kind, and he says I am to stay
at the Hall for a change when I am a little better.â€
Under Johnâ€™s influence Bertie was growing more
cheerful, â€˜And I forgot to tell you, John,â€ he
continued, â€œthat Aunt Mildred came hereâ€”that
was the day after you left, and she was not half
bad. Iexpected she would have pitched into meâ€”
told me I brought all this on myself. It was my
THE QUESTION ANSWERED. 91.
own fault, I know; but she did not say anything
about that. I like Aunt Mildred better than I did.
And then, she would not tell a lie.â€
â€œT hope not,â€ said John drily.
â€œOh, well, I donâ€™t mean a downright crammer ;
but I asked her a question, and she owned she could
not answer it, though that put her rather into a
corner, you know.â€
â€œBut I donâ€™t know,â€ said John. â€œ You should re-
member, young man, you have an unfair advantage
over Aunt Mildred there, If you could not answer
a question you would deserve to be put into a corner,
for you are the last from school.â€
â€œThat was not the sort of questionâ€”we were not
having an exam. in history and geography! But
Aunt Mildred had told me just before that I ought
to be patient, and resigned, and all that. So I asked
her if she could give up something she thought a
~ lot about. You should have seen her face, John.
She was pretty well. floored by that question; she
owned as much. Still, I do think she was a brick
to own it; thereâ€™s no humbug in Aunt Mildred.â€
A little pauseâ€”then John spoke.
â€˜â€˜ Bert, I have something to tell you that seems to
fit in with what you have told me; and it is some-
thing that may help you through your trouble. But
92 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
to begin at the beginning, I must first talk about
Bertie was quite ready to listen.
So John began at the beginning, his child-wish to
be a missionary, how it had arisen, lain dormant,
and again sprung into life.
Bertieâ€™s ideas regarding missionaries differed from
-Johnâ€™s. Naturally impressionable, he was over
quick to imbibe the sentiments of those with whom
he came in contact, and he had often heard careless,
sneering allusions to missionaries, from school-fellows
and from grown-up people too. Recently an officer
who was connected with Colonel Rivers, and had
just returned from the same Indian station, had been
visiting at Riverview. An empty-headed young
fellow, in Mr. Carringtonâ€™s opinion, and the business
man had been bored by his guestâ€™s very small talk
relative to society at the station, and the â€œawfully
jollyâ€ balls that were given. For a minute or so
some stray allusion turned the talk to the subject
of missionaries. â€˜â€œ For my part, I have no faith in
them,â€ the officer had avowed; â€œwhile I was in
India I assure you I never came across a missionary,
nor any good of a missionaryâ€™s doing.â€
Bertie remembered this speech. He had not been
bored; in his enthusiasm for the military he had
THE QUESTION ANSWERED. â€” 93
drunk in every word the officer said; and he had
missed the irony of Johnâ€™s rejoinderâ€”â€˜ Ah, then I
conclude they are not dancing men.â€ _
â€œYou always wished to be a missionary?â€ Bertie
repeated now, in disdainful wonder; â€œ what a rum
idea for you to have! If you had wished to be a
soldier, as I didâ€”but a missionaryâ€”why, thereâ€™s no.
glory in that, no fun at all!â€
â€œTf I were a soldier, Bertie,â€ John said, â€˜and if I
were ordered abroad, somewhere that troops were
badly wanted, what would you think of my objecting
to go because the quarters would be dull, or because I
might not have a chance of making myself famous ?â€â€™
â€œT canâ€™t see what you're driving at, John.â€
â€œ Just thisâ€”Christâ€™s soldiers must not seek great
things for themselves either.â€
â€œWell, you never do. But to be a missionaryâ€â€”
again the tone of disdainâ€”" you canâ€™t mean this. It
may sound nice to you, but if it was really a ques-
tion of going
â€œTt ts a question of going,â€ said John quietly ;
â€˜fan answered question. I hesitated for a time be-
cause Aunt Mildred took it so much to heart; but
she wrote to me to-day; she wrote to give me up.
And it strikes me, Bert, that Aunt Mildred has
answered you? question now.â€
94 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE,
â€œBut, John,â€ after a short silence, â€œhow does all
this help me? . It would be ca slow here
â€˜You wonâ€™t have time to find it slow,â€ J ohn said ;
â€œyou are to enter the officeâ€”to take my place es
you arÃ© old enough. Uncle Robert likes to have
you with him; we both look forward to your being
the future head of the family, if God spares you; to
your carrying on the business uprightly and wisely,
as your father is doing, and as our grandfather and
great-grandfather have done before him. You see,
you are to be a person of consequenceâ€”a great deal
is expected of you, and I feel sure you wonâ€™t disap-
But Bertie did not respond. The routine of office
work had no attractions for him. In his young
ambition he had felt a sort of commiseration for the
busy uneventful: life his father and John led. As
he heard that such a life was to be his, those trouble-
some, irrepressible tears started to his eyes again..
â€˜John, I donâ€™t want this,â€ he said; â€œI donâ€™t want
to be for ever in that pokey office, fagging at law-
books, and old deeds and things, like father does.
It would be horrid!â€â€™ He twined his thin fingers
nervously in and out of Johnâ€™s as he spoke..
â€œDear old fellow! I know it seems hard,â€™ John
THE QUESTION ANSWERED. 95
answered. â€œAnd I do not underrate the difficul-
ties in your way. There must be drudgery and
stiff work to fit you for the business, but it will not
be so horrid afterwards as you thinkâ€”not horrid at
all. I should not be surprised if you turn out a far
better lawyer than I could ever be. Indeed, Bert, I
think, with Godâ€™s blessing, your life will be very
full and happy.â€
Bertie gave a quick little sigh, that might mean
anything. He hardly knew himself whether he felt
pleased, or only sorry.
Then John pursued the subject. He treated it
seriously for a time, showing Bertie his responsi-
bilities and duties, and the source whence he might
expect help to fulfil them. But when the boy,
weighted with these new, grave thoughts, began to
demur, no longer because the office was unattractive,
but because he realized his own incompetence, John
took care to encourage and reassure him, and even
gave a fillip to his flagging spirits by introducing
some good-natured banter.
â€œYou'd make a muddle of it all?â€ he said, echo-
ing one of Bertieâ€™s objections. â€˜No doubt you
would. Rome was not built in a day, and I should
scarcely value your legal opinion just yet. Letâ€™s
sec, Bert, what it.-would be like. Say Mrs, Giles
96: AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
applies to you about that boy of hersâ€”-she and her
boy have come to be a joke in the office, Well, the
schoolmaster has administered corporal punishment
again, and she wants to have redress. â€˜Now donâ€™t
get into a wax,â€™ you tell her. â€˜I know, my dear
madam, fromâ€”erâ€”direct personal experience, that
it does a chap a jolly lot of good to be swished.â€™
Or Farmers Brown and Larkinsâ€”those two are
always at loggerheadsâ€”want your advice about a
disputed land-mark, â€˜Easily settled,â€™ you answer.
â€˜Just you fellows toss up. Now, Brown, heads or
Johnâ€™s voice and attitudes as he mimicked Bertie
tickled the boyâ€™s sense of humour.
Mrs, Carrington, just then on her way to his
room, was surprised to hear a merry peal of laughter.
She found John leaning against the mantelpiece.
He had changed his sitting posture in order to enact
his part of the embryo lawyer with more freedom.
Bertie had flurig his head back on the pillows of his
easy chair, and the laughter was still in hig eyes.
â€œRobert has told me your piece of news, John.
Does Bertie know?â€ Mrs, Carrington asked ex-
â€œOh, yes. Bertie knows he is to be Solicitor:
* You'd make a muddle of it all?â€ he said, echoing one of Bertieâ€™s
objections, â€˜No doubt you would.â€
THE QUESTION ANSWERED. 99
General, and set the Thames on fireâ€”all in due
â€œTt seems too delightful,â€ continued Mrs. Car-
rington, â€œthat you should choose toâ€”â€”â€; but she
caught up her words; absorption in Bertieâ€™s pros-
pects had led her to express herself in the tactless
manner that selfish people are apt to fall into. â€œI
am not glad that you should go,â€ she declared; â€œ of
course not. Only that Bertie can stay here.â€
But Bertieâ€™s mirth was promptly extinguished, -
and he saw again the dark side of his fature.
â€œJohn, however shall I get on without you?
Butâ€â€”with a quick, brave effortâ€”I am not going
to grumble any more. I will do my best, and at
least I need not be a helpless old log, as I thought.
John, you are very good to me.â€
â€œRather,â€ John saidâ€”and he was wholly in ear-
nest nowâ€”â€˜rather, God is very good to us both.
He has chosen the way for us, and that is better
than choosing our own way, and pleasing ourselves.â€
Mrs. Carrington failed to conceive the beauty of
self-sacrifice, She looked wonderingly from her son
â€˜to her nephew. Perhaps as her eyes rested last on
Johnâ€™s resolute, happy face, she was nearer to that
conception than she had ever been before,
CHAPTER VIII. â€”
Â¢, NCE that letter from Aunt Mildred
B ic f > had cleared up his perplexity,
Johnâ€™s plans grew quickly into
shape. It is true his uncle did
not further them. Mr. Carrington
was a strictly just, honourable man,
: and however much he might wish to
still went against his grain that his brotherâ€™s son
should forego his rightful inheritance, and that his
son should be the gainer. But when heâ€™ found
that John was quite determined, he put no -hin-
drances in the way. Only he pressed for two con-
cessions: first, that John should abstain from any
formal renunciation of his inheritance for another
year; and secondly, that if at the end of the
have Bertie in the office with him, it 1
year he remained of the same mind, he should
consent to one-half of the small, but well-invested
private fortune which the lawyer had settled on his
son, being transferred to him. John had to yield
on these points. He did so reluctantly, absolutely
rejecting the proposition with which his uncle had
startedâ€”that the full amount of Bertieâ€™s fortune
should be his. Yet Mr. Carrington knew even the
full amount by no means represented the value of
the solicitorâ€™s long-established practice.
â€œThis is a very unbusiness-like proceeding of
yours, my dear fellow,â€ he often remarked to John
in these days. â€˜â€œ You may live to rue it.â€
But John was confident that there would be no
after regrets, .
A few months later an announcement appeared in
the Church Missionary Intelligencer that Mr. John
Carrington, of Westbridge, â€”â€”shire, had offered
himself for the vacant missionary station of Kâ€”â€”,
in the Punjab, and had been accepted.
It was more than a nine daysâ€™ wonder to dwellers
in Westbridge, this proceeding of their young fellow
townsman. Most of Mr. Carringtonâ€™s acquaintances
concurred in his opinion that it was very unbusi-
nesslike, Even persons who interested themselves
in the cause of foreign missions, who had collecting-
102 AUNT MILDRED'â€™S TREASURE.
cards, and read the missionary reports, were dis-
posed to think that John aoe well have been
content with home duties. â€œSo much to be done
hereâ€”no one to fill his place,â€ Wey would say
But it is wonderful how quickly such gaps in the
ranks are filled. True-hearted workers should be
glad that this is soâ€”glad that when the call comes
for them to shift their tent, or failure of strength
makes it needful that the tired hands should rest
awhile, or when the night closes in, putting an end
to labour, God is able to raise up other workers in
John Carrington had been feeling somewhat
downcast about his Bible-class when a member of
itâ€”Henry Grahamâ€”came to him, â€œI have come,â€
he said, â€œto ask you if you think I might under-,
take the class when you are gone. Mr. Williams
approves, and I would do my utmost to carry on
your work. Yet I know I can never be what you
are to the lads.â€
John looked intently at the speaker. Graham
was four years his juniorâ€”until now his pupil;
but John read high purpose in the still boyish face.
â€œPerhaps,â€ Graham added, â€œyou may know of
some one better fitted for this post.â€
â€˜On the contrary, I do not know of any one so
well fitted for it,â€ was Johnâ€™s hearty answer.
â€œWhy, you have already helped me more than I
can say. Now let us talk this over.â€
So together they discussed the subject that was
of deep interest to both. They spoke of each mem-
ber of the class individually. Much of Johnâ€™s
power lay in his quick sympathy, and he recognised
the necessity of understanding the peculiar circum-
stances, dispositions, temptations, of those whom he
would influence. One of his lads was something of
a scholarâ€”clever and thoughtful, and fond of read-
ing at all spare moments. Unfortunately he had
taken to read books whose wisdom was foolishness,
and he was groping in the dark when John became
his guide. Another was by nature reckless and
impatient of authorityâ€”faults aggravated by the
undue though well-meant sternness of his parents.
They were respectable tradespeople, he their only
son. One day, after angry words, he left the shop
abruptly. In the street John met him, and noticed
the blaze of passion on his face; he turned to walk
with him, and in five minutes was possessed of the
particulars of this latest falling-out with his father,
and what it was leading to. A recruiting sergeant
had visited Westbridge, and the hot-headed youth
104 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
was on his way to take the Queenâ€™s shilling. Then
John reasoned gently and firmly,.and when they
were at the end of the street, he put his hand on
the ladâ€™s shoulder, and walked him home again.
Parents and son were grateful afterwards for the
part he took, and there was more of family concord,
more forbearance on both sides, through his influ-
ence, Then another of Johnâ€™s lads was under a
cloud. He had been a shop accountant, had got
among fast friends, ecpied them in betting and card-
playing, and finally defrauded his employer, in order
to pay up his losses. Discovery and disgrace fol-
lowed.. When he came out of gaol, his friendsâ€”not
fast friends in any right sÃ©nseâ€”gave him the cold
shoulder. But John Carrington stood by him;
found him work to do of a rough sort, prevailed on
him to return to the class, and gradually won him
by his love to shelter in that yet more perfect love
of the Friend of sinners. So John was hopeful for
this black sheep. He was less hopeful in another
ease, for in that case there was hereditary taint.
The boyâ€”he was little moreâ€”had a drunken father,
and at seventeen had himself taken to drink. John
tried to break him from it. There were promises and
resolutions made, and followed, alas! by miserable
failures. So had it gone on for two years, but
LIFE-WORK. . 105
latterly there seemed to be more steady improve-
â€˜We must not despair,â€ John said, in allusion to
him. â€˜He is making a hard fight, and, God help-
ing him, may gain the victory yet. But he will
need your sympathy and encouragement to counter-
act the evil influences of his home.â€
John enumerated all these cases with the anxious,
tender concern that a kind physician might feel, in
leaving the patients, who had likewise been his
friends, in other hands.
And before the young men separated, they knelt
in prayer that God would pour His blessing on their
several laboursâ€”at home and abroad.
With regard to office work, John had no cause for
uneasiness.. His influence would surely be felt in
the office long after he left it, for he had demon-
strated by example how even â€œ the daily round, the
common task,â€ may be â€œ a road to lead us daily
nearer God.â€ Moreover Mr. Carrington was still in
the prime of his strength and intellect, and he and
his confidential clerk were quite equal to carrying
on the business, without the co-operation of a junior
Johnâ€™s way was therefore made very plain. And
in the early Autumn season, when through the
106 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
length and breadth of England there were busy
workers in its harvest fields, he went bravely to his
work in the far-off land, where the fields were
â€œwhite already to harvestâ€ and â€œthe labourers
x eee: DEEDS oF LOVE.â€
lonely in the days that followed;
aurt and she did not derive any com-
fort from the fact, that at West-
bridge things went on so much
the same, outwardly at least, as they
coun bounties. upon a few of the aged poor in the
town, and he deputed Aunt Mildred to be his almoner.
The first time that she visited â€˜Johnâ€™s pensioners,â€
as she called them, they questioned her garrulously
about â€œ Master John,â€ and lamented his having gone
to â€œforeign parts;â€ but when Aunt Mildred explained
that they were still to have the monthly dole of tea
and sugar, their grey, wrinkled countenances bright-
ened to a degree which aggravated her soreness of
108 AUNT MILDRED'S TREAS ORE.
heart. And a few weeks later Mr. Williams told
her how admirably young Graham was conducting
Johnâ€™s class of lads. â€œHe will be my right-hand
man in the parish soon,â€ the vicar observed warmly.
Now he had often in the past spoken of John as his
right-hand man. Aunt Mildred remembered this
with a pang.
Even at Riverview, it seemed to her John was not
missed as he ought to be. Mr. Carrington was im-
mersed in business, and more then usually silent ;
whilst Mrs. Carrington wearied her sister-in-law by
her perpetual allusions to Bertieâ€™s good fortune. _
Aunt Mildred reproached herself that, having given
up her treasure, she fell short of experiencing tho
blessedness of giving. But her present mood was in
a great measure due to overstrained nerves. She
had borne up resolutely until John went, and had
assumed a cheerfulness she had been far from feel-
ing. This was an extreme effort, taxing her powers
to the utmost, and she was now suffering from the
reaction. Only according as the tired mind and
body recovered: their wonted tone, was she able to
shake off her depression and irritability.
Johnâ€™s letters were as a tonic in the later stages
of this recovery. They were bright, happy letters ;
even the preliminary work which some might have
â€œTITTLE DEEDS OF LOVE.â€ 109
accounted drudgeryâ€”learning the languages, and
making himself thoroughly conversant with the
manners and customs of the people with whom he
would have to doâ€”he entered into with delightful
enthusiasm. But what brought Aunt Mildred the
- most heart-cheer was his associating her with his
work. â€˜You gave me the first impetus by your
teaching when I was a child; you were willing to
spare me when the time came; and it has been easier
for me to leave Westbridge, knowing that you are
there to take up so much that I have laid down.â€
Thus John would write.
And these words had the effect which he had in-
tended them to have; they braced Aunt Mildred
for her share of service, and enabled her to lose
sight of her own trouble. She had always taken
an active part in parish work; she taught in
the Sunday School, and had her allotted district
to look after; and she gave Mrs. Williams much
practical help in cutting out and preparing the
materials for the sewing-meeting, and reading aloud
whilst the women sewed. Hitherto she had per-
formed such duties with the unsympathetic regu-
larity of a machine; but in the struggle against self,
she had been drawn nearer God, and her character
was softened by the discipline of self-sacrifice; so
110 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
that she now brought more of the spirit of love
into her daily life. In this way, it came about
that she often. went outside of those hard and
fast lines she had ruled for her observance, to do
some little kindness not in the order of her day;
and she learned that â€œ little is much when God is
Henry Graham was the eldest of a large family,
and the principal bread-winner; for his fatherâ€™s
health was delicate. He spent nine hours of the day
at an office desk, and returned in the evening to a
home over-crowded with noisy, romping children.
Aunt Mildred had been acquainted with these par-
ticulars before, but only now she drew from them
the inference that poor young Graham must be
sadly in want of a quiet room where he could read
and meditate in preparation for his class. It so
happened that Aunt Mildred had just such a room.
It had been Johnâ€™s when he lived with her, and still
some of his books were stowed away in itâ€”books
which were likely to help Graham in his studies too.
So she asked him to turn into this little sanctum,
whenever it suited him, and consider.it as his own.
She smiled to herself sometimes to think that she
should be the one to puta stranger thus literally
into Johnâ€™s place; but the doing so contributed to
â€œLITTLE DEEDS OF LOVE.â€ 111
her own happiness, besides being an inestimable
boon to the harassed young teacher. It led to
occasional talks with him, and in these talks he re-
lated many incidents concerning John and his class,
and told her how he was loved and honoured, and
how his memory was still a power for good among
Aunt Mildred also discovered, as she ministered to
others, that John was more truly loved at Riverview
than she had in the least suspected. When an
Indian letter came for her, she did not keep it to
herself, as she might have done once, on the pretext
that it would not be appreciated by his other rela-
tions. Excepting what was intended for her private
reading only, she shared the contents with the River-
view family. And hence the discovery. For the
keenest interest was excited by the mere announce-
ment of â€˜a letter from John,â€ and many and eager
were the comments it gave rise to. The vicar, to
whom she also imparted her tidings from the far
country, was as enthusiastic in his reception of
them. Clearly John had still his place in a great
many heartsâ€”and what more need Aunt Mildred
But though her sore feeling on Johnâ€™s account was
at an end, the coolness which had existed between
112 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
Aunt Mildred and the Riverview family did not at
once change to complete unanimity, She tried to
be friendly; was more genial towards â€˜her little
nieces, even tolerated the rampant spirits which
followed close on the heels of Bertieâ€™s convalescence,
and not having the safety valve of a boyâ€™s outdoor
games and exercise, often rendered him a torment
to his elders, By degrees Aunt Mildred did gain
ground with the young people, but not with Mrs.
Carrington. The sisters-in-law were of curiously |
opposite dispositions ; and unfortunately their respec-
tive angles did not dove-tail, but rather chafed and
grated against each other.
From the first, Mrs. Carrington had provoked a
spirit of antagonism in Aunt Mildred; and Aunt
Mildred, aware of this, had decided that the best
thing for them both was to keep apart. She had
therefore built up a high wall of reserve, .and
sheltered behind it. Such a wall, unlike the mate-
rial wall of brick and mortar, is much easier to build
up than it is to break down. For nearly a year
after Johnâ€™s departure the two ladies were scarcely
on more amicable terms then before he left.
Then, by one happy stroke, Aunt Mildredâ€™s wall
A BiRTHDAY AND A ROMANCE,
ringtonâ€™s door on a very bright
June day. The sleek coats of
the horses, and their silver-plated
harness, gleamed resplendent in the
sunshine; and the occupant of the
â€˜ " carriage was arrayed in summer finery.
ae Calvert had recently come from town. She
could never persuade Sir Francis to accompany her
thitherâ€”he detested London in the season; but she
had paid a nice long visit to friends, and returned
to the country with her head full of delightful recol-
lections of past gaieties, and her trunks as full of
pretty London gowns and bonnets.
Miss Carrington had to listen to her account of the
gaieties and the fashions. She listened patiently,
lid AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
indeed somewhat amusedly. It is a curious fact
that Lady Calvert and Aunt Mildred always got on
well together. Theirs was a case of contrast with-
out antagonism. The angles in Aunt Mildredâ€™s
character seemed to attract Lady Calvert, and she
was herself singularly free from angles, having an
inexhaustible fund of good-humour to make up for a
lack of common sense,
â€œTalking of fashions,â€ she saidâ€”and she had
talked of them for a considerable timeâ€”â€œ you must
know that old china is all the rage still. Such a
ridiculous price I saw a bit of Capa di Monte fetch
at one of the sales. That decided me to strike while
the ironâ€™s hot, and sell my china immediately.â€
â€œSell your china? Why, Lady Calvert, I thought
you were always buying more!â€
â€œSo I was; and I know that naughty husband of
mine will have a crow over me. He never would
admire my erection of the willow-pattern plates and
dishes, and he said I would tire of my â€˜kitchen
dresserâ€™ before Red Rover was backed. Red Rover
was a dear wee foal when I put up the plates, and
he is being broken in now; so Sir Francis has proved
right. To confess the truth, I am tired to death of
my china, and it strikes me there is too much to be
vuite in good taste. I have been trying to weed
A BIRTHDAY AND A ROMANCE. 115
some of it out, but that is as hard as deciding which
gowns to take, and which to leave behind, when one
is packing. So I shall just make a clean sweep of
all I have bought these last two years, without pick-
ing or choosing. And this brings me to what I want
to say to you. I may be mistaken, but sometimes I
have thought you regretted parting with your old
Chelsea. Like myselfâ€”as a rule, I have no sooner
done a thing than I begin to wish I had not done it.
Well, my dear Miss Carrington, it will make a plea-
sant exception to the ruleâ€”for I shall certainly never
regret itâ€”if I now restore to you your charming
figures. What do you say?â€
Lady Calvert had to wait a little for the answer,
and when it came, it seemed to her that Aunt
Mildredâ€™s voice was somewhat unsteady.
â€œT should indeed be glad to have the Chelsea
back,â€ she said; â€œand I am very grateful to you for
your thought. But you must let me pay the same
sum that you paid me. Just now I can quite con-
veniently do so.â€
â€œDear, dear! I knew you were a proud woman,
but I did not. know you were so proud as to refuse
me this small pleasure.â€
â€œTt is not from pride that I refuse,â€ said Aunt
Mildred. No, it is from a meaner motive. I am
116 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
selfish enough to covet this pleasure for myselfâ€”to
wish to give away the china; and I could not give
away your gift.â€
_ â€œAnd may I ask who is to be the recipient of
â€œ My sister-in-lawâ€”Mrs, Carrington.â€
â€œOh, indeed!â€ a little drily.
â€œSo pray tell me that I may buy the china, and
may have it as soon as possible,â€
â€œTt appears to me this is a case of â€˜must,â€™ not
â€˜mayâ€™; and â€˜if I must, I must,â€™ should be the Car-
rington motto. Of all obstinate peopleâ€”â€” There!
I do believe at this present moment you are looking
for your cheque-book, but if ours is to be a business
transaction, it should be gone through with in a
business-like way â€”pay on delivery, not sooner.
Let me seeâ€”this is Tuesday. I shall be in West-
bridge again on Friday, and can bring you the china
then. Now it is time for me to be running off, and
Ihave not heard a word of news from you. Tell
me, how is your dear Don Quixote? â€
â€œJohn? As well as possible. He is very busy
ind very happy.â€
â€œTam glad he is happy. Yet it is a thousand
pities that such a clÃ©ver, gentlemanlike young fellow
should go and throw himself away. Yes, you may
A BIRTHDAY AND A ROMANCE. 117
frown and shake your head, but I mean it. It is
shocking waste of good material. What do the
heathen care for brains and manners?â€
â€œAnd I wonder very much,â€ Lady Calvert solilo-
quized, as a few minutes later she re-seated herself
in the victoria, and opened her dainty sunshade,
â€œT wonder very much what has come to Miss Car-
rington. First she allows the nephew she dotes
upon to sacrifice himself to this quixotic craze, and
next she takes to spending her money on her sister-
in-law, whom I always imagined she disliked ex-
But the Chelsea was duly delivered, and Lady
Calvert, under protest, accepted the cheque.
Saturday was Mrs. Carringtonâ€™s birthday, and
Aunt Mildred took tea at Riverview. Time had
been when she would not have countenanced birth-
day-keeping. It had not been a Riverview custom
in her young days, and on the few occasions that she
had come unawares upon one of the childrenâ€™s birth-
_ day feasts, forgetful even of anniversary dates, she
had, metaphorically speaking, snuffed out the pretty
coloured tapers surrounding the birthday cake by
her lamentable want of appreciation. But on this
birthday she showed no want of appreciation, but
actually assisted in the ceremony of present-giving.
118 AUNT MILDRED'S TREASURE.
â€œT have something to give too,â€ she said, coming
forward with a large parcel. Mrs. Carrington un-
fastened the string and the paper wrappings.
â€œWhat can these be?â€ she said, as two oblong
bundles of cotton-wool were taken out of their box.
_ The cotton-wool was carefully removed, and then
Mrs. Carrington ejaculated, â€œ Why, these are your
old Chelsea figures; surely there is some mistake Â§*Â°
â€œYes and no, Julia,â€ said Aunt Mildred, smiling.
â€œThey are the figures, but there is no mistake at
all. Lady Calvert has tired of her collection of
china; so I have bought these back to give them to
you. You used to admire them, I remember.â€
Mrs. Carrington did not say much; she seemed to
find it difficult to express her thanks in words; but
suddenly she turned and kissed her sister-in-law,
her eyes glistening.
And then it was that Aunt Mildredâ€™s wall fell.
_ Afterwards, looking back upon Mrs. Carringtonâ€™s
â€˜birthday, Aunt Mildred recognised it as an important
landmark in her own life-journey. From hence-
forth all the old antagonism, the bitterness and
unlovingness were left behind, so completely left
behind that she often marvelled how they had
Another landmark was the parting from Mabel
A BIRTHDAY AND A ROMANCE. 119
Rivers. Her parents spent some months in England,
and then took her back with them to India. She
had done with school, was a grown-up young lady,
tall and slight and fair. Westbridge society de-
plored the loss of â€œ pretty Miss Rivers,â€ and indeed
Mabel was regretted by all who knew her, but most
of all by Aunt Mildred.
After Johnâ€™s going Mabel had soothed and com-
forted Aunt Mildred as no one else could. There
had seemed to be some subtle bond of union between
these two, so that they could talk together of John
unrestrainedly, even when Aunt Mildred was too
sad to speak his name to other less sympathising
listeners, And every day since the bond of union
had strengthened. But Aunt Mildred had a curious
resource in her new trouble. The matter-of-fact
woman, who in her younger days had failed to
accomplish story-telling for a childâ€™s pleasing, now
began to weave a romance for her own. The people
whom she loved the best were the hero and heroine
â€”-they were to meet in India, their mutual affection
was to grow and ripen in that sunny landâ€”finally
Mabel Rivers was to become Mrs. John Carrington.
A pleasing romance, to Aunt Mildredâ€™s thinking.
She had reason to know that in all. respects Mabel
was fitted to be Johnâ€™s helpmeet; and though John
120 AUNT MILDRED'Â§ TREASURE.
at his mission station was a long way apart from the
Riverses, Aunt Mildred got quite to believe in her
Tomance, notwithstanding its improbabilities. So
she was not greatly surprised when it came true.
Another year had passed from the date of Mabelâ€™s
flitting, Then, all in a day, there arrived three
Indian letters for the Carringtons.
One was from Colonel Rivers to his sister,
â€œT hardly know whether to be pleased or dis-
pleased at what I have to tell you,â€ the colonel
wrote. â€œ We have had John Carrington here, It
was a scorching summer, Kâ€”â€” like an oven, and
he would overwork himself till he got a sharp bout
of fever. I chanced to hear of his illness, and in-
sisted on his coming up to us to recruit. The next
thing is, he and Mabel are engaged to each other.
But donâ€™t fora moment think John did anything
dishonourableâ€”he would not be your husbandâ€™s
nephew if he had. No, he acted on the square all
throughâ€”was going back to Kâ€”â€” and his work
without so much as a word breathed to Mabel or to
â€˜us. But my wife found out how matters stood, that
John had lost his heart, and that our girl had lost
hers, and then she came to me, â€˜Well, dear,â€™ she
said, when I fumed over it, â€˜did I not marry you
when you had little beyond your captainâ€™s pay?
A BIRTHDAY AND A ROMANCE. 121
and I have been a happy wife since, quite as happy
while we were poor as Tam now. And why should
not Mabel be allowed to be happy too? I verily
believe she and John Carrington have been attached
for years.â€™ (The folly of that observation when Mab
is not yet twenty!) Well, I had to give way. The
date for the wedding is not fixed, but it probably
will be before my letter reaches you. And between
ourselves, Julia, though I did think at first that
Mabel might have done better, I am fast coming
round to my little womanâ€™s opinion, that both these
young people have drawn a prize.â€
The other letters were to Aunt Mildred, from her
hero and heroine, and they told: her the same piece
of news, When she had read the letters, she folded
them into their envelopes, the thin foreign paper
rustling in her trembling hands. For if Aunt
Mildred was not surprised, at least she felt the plea-
surable emotions of joy and thankfulness.
ANOTHER MISSIONARY MEETING.
QO many chairs? Oh dear no;
there canâ€™t be too many. I hopÃ©
we shall have the whole town
The speaker is Mr. Williams,
and he is standing at one end of the
long schoolroom, from which point he
has a monotonous view of row after
row of chairs, ranged as closely as they well can be
all the way down to the other end, Mrs. Williams
is with him, and also regards the chairs: from her
the objection came that there are too many.
â€œT fear,â€ she says nowâ€”Mrs. Williams is a little
too fond of saying â€œI fearâ€ to her husbandâ€™s â€œI
hope â€™â€â€™-â€”â€œT fear if the whole town puts in an ap-
pearance it will not be from missionary zeal, but
_ ANOTHER MISSIONARY MEETING. 123
merely out of respect to a popular Westbridge
family. And, after all, what a pity that would be!
We donâ€™t want people to come who are not really
interested in the cause.â€
â€œ But that is just what we do want,â€ asserts the
vicar; â€œthese uninterested people have to be got
hold of, and if any one can stir them up, it is John
For John Carrington is to give the address at this
missionary meeting. Seven years have gone by
since he left Westbridgeâ€”seven years last Septem-
ber. It is November now, and he is home again.
He and his wife need to take holiday, and besides
they have an all-powerful reason for their home-
coming in their one little child, already white and
fragile after the two hot seasons in India, which are
all the summers he has seen.
Mr. Williams is right about the chairs; there are
no more than are wanted. Row after row fillsâ€”
was the Westbridge schoolroom ever so crowded
before ? :
Henry Graham shows himself worthy of the title
of â€œthe vicarâ€™s right hand manâ€ by the unflagging
energy with which he finds seats for fresh arrivals,
even for those â€œ uninterested â€ individuals who fail
in punctuality. But for the most part people are
124 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
punctual. Some of the old folk who are hard of
hearing have been sitting on those side benches far
up in the room for half an hour before the time.
â€œWe'll come early,â€ one old body had said to
Mrs. Williams, dropping her curtsey. â€˜ We must
have places where we can hear, and â€˜first come,
first served,â€™ you know, maâ€™am. To think I should
live to hear Master John, as Iâ€™ve held in my arms
before now, discoursing like the vicar. Oh, yes,
we'll come early for sure.â€
Tt is a feature of this meeting that there are so
many young men present. Some were â€œJohnâ€™s
ladsâ€ once, and of these, perhaps the most eagerly
attentive is a fine, broad-shouldered fellow of about
five-and-twenty, who wears the blue ribbon on his
coat. He was Johnâ€™s least hopeful â€˜â€˜case,â€ but his
manly bearing and his clear bright eyes, fixed with
reverent love on Johnâ€™s face throughout the address,
testify that the victory over the dread foe of in-
temperance has been won.
Of course the Carringtons are all present; the
elders little changed in appearanceâ€”seven years
bring more change to the young than to the middle-
aged. Rose and Edith have outgrown their child-
hood, and Bertie has reached to manâ€™s estate. He
is handsome, as he was in his boyish days; the stiff
ANOTHER MISSIONARY MEETING. 125
arm scarcely noticeable and no hindrance to him in
his office duties; for Bertie has entered the office,
and is doing well.
The Calverts have also mustered in force. In
general Sir Francis thinks it quite sufficient for his
wife and â€œthe girlsâ€ to show on these occasions, but
to-night he comes himself. He fidgets a little before
the meeting begins, and Frank, sitting next him,
twirls his moustache and looks curiously about him.
Frank is in the army now, but contrives to get a
large share of leave.
â€œShouldnâ€™t wonder if Carrington feels in a bit of
a funk,â€ thinks this young officer, as he observes
how very full the room is getting. The thought is
perhaps natural; he sees so many of Johnâ€™s friends
and acquaintances, and friends and acquaintances
are always more disposed to criticise than strangers
The meeting opens with prayer, followed by a
missionary hymn and a few introductory remarks
from the vicar. When the vicar sits down a slight
stir and rustle denote that people are settling them-
selyes comfortably to listen to what is the business
of the evening. :
And then John Carrington comes forward. His
form is sparer than it used to be, his face browner
126 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
and thinner. He looks as though he had borne the
burden and heat of the day. But he is quite free
from nervousnessâ€”this not from self-assurance,
rather from utter self- forgetfulness. And as he for-
gets himself so do his hearers forget him. He seems
to force their attention from himself, and to rivet it
on his subject. He is very quiet in his earnestness ;
there is an absence of all artificial excitement, for
he speaks with the conviction that the cause he
advocates is Godâ€™s cause, therefore needs no gloss
and dressing up of fine oratory. And yet John
Carrington is eloquent. As he passes from his
narrative of missionary work to its practical applica-
tion, he remembers that meeting of long ago, and the
question which had struck him thenâ€” How can I
help?â€ And many who have come to the school-
room out of mere curiosity are touched by the wist-
ful eagerness of his appeal to his fellow-townsmen
and countrymen, that they would be workers to-
gether for God, serving Him in love.
Lady Calvert, in the next row to the Carringtons,
bends forward to speak to Aunt Mildred at the con-
clusion of the address.
â€œYou do look happy,â€ she whispers; â€œand I
congratulate you. He is a nephew to be proud
ANOTHER MISSIONARY MEETING. 197
Others besides Lady Calvert mark how Aunt
Mildredâ€™s face is ilumined with an intensity of joy
â€˜We are going to leave you and John to walk
home together, dear,â€ Mabel tells her, as she stands
up to go, â€œAunt Julia will take me in the car-
riage, and Bertie will escort the girls.â€
Tt is like the walk home after that other mission-
ary meeting, so far like, that there is the lamplight
and the keen night air, and Aunt Mildred has the
same dear companion. But-she does not feel the
same, There is no comparison between her present
fulness of satisfaction and her past imperfect happi-
As she walks by Johnâ€™s side, the hymn sung
during the collection still sounds in her earsâ€”
â€œWe lose what on ourselves we spend,
We have as treasure without end
Whatever, Lord, to Thee we lend,
Who givest all.
Whatever, Lord, we lend to Thee
Repaid a thousand-fold will be ;
Then gladly will we give to Thee,
Giver of all.â€
Yes, Aunt Mildred has been repaid. That parting
with her treasure which had seemed her keenest
128 AUNT MILDREDâ€™S TREASURE.
trial has proved her richest blessing. Now she has
the treasure back, and she does not anticipate the
parting that must soon come again. When it does
come, the strength for it will be supplied, and she
will have a sweet little comforter, another â€œ Johnnyâ€
â€”for John and Mabel will leave their child to Aunt
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in her heart, â€œ treasure without end,â€ â€œa thousand-
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Nothing to Nobody
Our Little Lady
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WHITE LILIES . Q J S 2 Q
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Emiry S. Hott.
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Edited by Miss GATTY.
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FOR THE LITTLE ONES.
PINAFORE DAYS ; B
MY SUNDAY STORY BOOK . a :
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FIRM FRIENDS . 6 7
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Â© ON ANPwW NH
. FROGGYâ€™S LITTLE BROTHER
SCAMP AND I Ã© . . i 2
. MISTRESS MARGERY o
. SISTER ROSE. Tue Eve or St. BakTHoLOMEW
. THE BOYâ€™S WATCHWORD
ONLY A TRAMP . a : . .
. WATER GIPSIES
JOHN DE WYCLIFFE | : Cea
IN THE DESERT . : es
. NOTHING 10 NOBODY .
. WINIFRED; or, AN ENGLISH Maen
. THE THREE CHUMS i S
- MARCELLA OF ROME , z
. OUTCAST ROBIN : .
. LOST JEWEL
. CRIPPLE JESS, rue Hope PICKERâ€™S DaucurEr
JACK AND JILL e
THE WELL IN THE DESERT .
ALICKâ€™S HERO : . . .
. HIS MOTHER'S BOOK | :
. JEAN LINDSAY, tHE Vicarâ€™s DavGHTER |
THE WITCH OF THE ROCKS . .
. MADGE HARDWICKE : . 4
. THE SLAVE GIRL OF POMPEII G
; ROB AND MAG _.
. SILVERDALE RECTORY
MINNIE GREY; or, For Conscizncrâ€™ SAKE
. DOT AND HER TREASURES
. THE EMPERORâ€™S BOYS . .
IN THE CITY. A Tate or oe Paris
. BRITAINâ€™S QUEEN at
. AUNT HESTER & WHY WE LOVED HER
. NOBODY'S LAD.
Â» FRANK USHER; or, SOLDIERS OF THE Cxoss
. MARJORIE AND MURIEL
Â» DAVIDâ€™S LITTLE LAD
. FAIRY PHBE;
. JONAS HAGGERLEY
oR, FACING THE Foor IGHTS
. WILL FOSTER OF THE FERRY
YOUNG ISHMAEL CONWAY
. WALTER ALISON: His Frienps anp Fors
AT THE GRENE GRIFFIN 0
JOYCE TREGARTHEN â€™ , ;
THE CAGED LINNET : 6 F
GIPSY MIKE; or, Firm as a Rock
TOO DEARLY BOUGHT . .
DICKIEâ€™S ATTIC. : 5 % Ã©
THE PILOT'S HOUSE , fs : i
SENT TO COVENTRY Ã© e ; a
DICKIEâ€™S SECRET 5 A c
THE KINGâ€™S DAUGHTERS y
LITTLE MISS MOLLIE .
FAIR AND SQUARE; or, BERNEâ€™s BarcaIn
. By Brenpa.
L. T. Meave.
Emuty S. Hott.
Emiry S. Hott.
L. T. Meape.
Emity S. Hott.
Author of â€˜The Spanish
L. E. Guernsey.
M. L. Ripiey.
L. T. Meape.
A. L. O. E.
Mrs. STANLEY LEATHES.
Emity S. Hott.
M. E. WINCHESTER.
Emity S. Hott.
L. T, Meapeg.
L. â€˜Il. Meape.
J. Jackson Wray.
Author of â€˜'Us Three.
M. L. Ripiey.
Emity 8. Hott.
Mrs. STANLEY LEATHES.
M. L. RipLey.
Emity S. Hort.
LONDON: JOHN F. SHAW & CO., 48, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
John F. Shaw & Go.â€™s Juvenile Publications.
SHAWâ€™S PENNY SERIES,
In Wrapper, with Illustrations. A Capital Series.
FOLLOWING THE CLUE 3 " . â€˜ :
THE MAN WITH A HISTORY i . .
AT ALL COSTS. A Srory or an ENGLISH HEROINE
ABANDONED. A Srory or a River WalF Q .
SAVED BY SACRIFICE; or, A Womanâ€™s Love
LILY SEADRIFT; or, A Mystery Sotvep
A WAIF OF THE WAVES . . : peaoer
THE SIGNALMANâ€™S BOY . s . f :
RIGHT-ABOUT FACE; or, Ben the Gordon Boy . F
THE EXILE OF WARSAW . . .
A CLUSTER OF BITTER FRUIT
MORE DROWNED IN BEER THAN WATER
THROUGH THE FLAMES; or, Master anp Man .
JERRYâ€™S LITTLE NELL :
WATCHING FOR WHITE WINGS . i "
HOW THE TIDE TURNED . - Ã© .
CORA CORELLEE; or, From Rinc To Re-Union
FRED THE FOGGER . Gi f 0 q
WASTE NOT WANT NOT, anv orHEeR Stories
HE WHO SERVES GOD SERVES A GOOD MASTER .
OUT IN THE STORM . ' , : .
THE EXPECTED GUEST; or, Truz To uIs CoLours
THE BOY-MARTYR. A Story or THE INQUISITION .
ALL FOR THE BEST.
HE LOVES MEâ€”Hump and All
OUT WITH THE COLOURS .
LONELY LILY "
ALEPPO THE GIPSY . . fs .
. By Sydney Watson.
Emily S. Holt.
E. L. Gordon,
M. L. GC.
LONDON: JOHN F. SHAW & CO., 48, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
Tue Curtprens Girt Boox.
KDITED BY DR. BARNARD.
WITH BEAUTIFUL COLOURED FRONTISPIECE,
TWELVE COLOURED AND TINTED PLATES,
More than Two Hundred Large Illustrations, and Attractive
Stories for the Darlings of various ages.
In brilliantly-executed Coloured Boards, price 3/-.
Presentation Edition on thicker paper, Cloth extra, bevelled
boards, gilt edges, price 5/-,
â€œA singularly acceptable gift book for the little ones, for whom it caters so
â€œ Quite a treasury of tales and pictures,â€
â€œA veritable treasure of pictures and stories of the most delightful kind.â€
WESTERN MORNING NEWS.
â€œA charming book for the young of both sexes,â€
ABERDEEN JOURNAL. .
â€œA sure source of delight to young people.â€
â€œ4 volume that will afford immense delight to those who become its happy
â€œ Emphatically the volume to give toâ€˜ Our Darlingsâ€™ as a Christmas
LONDON: JOHN F. SHAW & CO., 48, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.