Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Susan's first place
 A dangerous adventure
 Weakness is next door to wicke...
 A visit to the ruins
 A bad companion
 A disagreeable surprise
 An adventure with a tiger
 The gipsy
 Who is the thief?
 On the downward path
 The crime and its punishment
 Susan's courage is rewarded
 Back Cover

Title: A daughter to be proud of
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082681/00001
 Material Information
Title: A daughter to be proud of
Physical Description: 80 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: M. C
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Pardon and Sons ( Printer )
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Pardon & Sons
Publication Date: [1894?]
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Daughters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Parent and child -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courage -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Responsibility -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Domestics -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Nannies -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Theft -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Menageries -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1894   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1894
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by M.C.
General Note: Date of publication from inscription.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements on endpapers.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082681
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223265
notis - ALG3514
oclc - 225125890

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Susan's first place
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    A dangerous adventure
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Weakness is next door to wickedness
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    A visit to the ruins
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    A bad companion
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    A disagreeable surprise
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    An adventure with a tiger
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    The gipsy
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Who is the thief?
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    On the downward path
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    The crime and its punishment
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    Susan's courage is rewarded
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text

- ''''H



26orfitmen's (Sfubs. nurseries, etc.



It. Id. each on thick paper; 2s. pasted on linen; 2s. 6d. on linen,
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4 Jesus Blessingthe Little *14 The Brazen Serpent.
Children. 15 ThePearl ofGreatPrice
5 Jesus in the Stormn. 6 Finding the Lost Sheep.
6 Jesus Amongst the *17 The Conversion of Saul.
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SonI. Virgins.
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~ {11Y r

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By M. C.









THE GIPSY ... ... ... ...

-WHO IS THE TRIEr? ... ...






.. ... 8

EDNESS ... 15

... ... 22

...... 29

... ... 37

... ... 46

... ... 52

... ... 56

... ... 62

... ... 70

.... 714















" MAKE haste and unpack your box, and put yourself
W a bit straight, and come down to tea. Stay a
bit !-you won't know your way. I'll come
back and fetch you in a quarter of an hour." And, so
saying, Jane shut the door and went downstairs.
Susan began to undo her box, and soon had most of her
things out on the bed. She looked at the neat little chest
of drawers, and thought of putting them away at once ;
but time soon slipped by, and, hearing Jane's returning
steps, she speedily pinned on a cap and made herself as
tidy as she could.
Are you ready I" said Jane at the door.
Susan went out to her and followed her down to the
nursery. The children had just come in from a walk
with the head nurse, and were all quite ready for a good
Nurse had been a long time with the family, and was
as fond of the children as if they were her own. She was
very particular about the under-nurse, and she watched

4 A Daughter to be Proud of.
Susan carefully as she laid out the tea things. Susan
came from a good home, and had been well brought up
and trained to be useful, so she did not make so many
mistakes as some girls would have done.
At tea she made friends with the children : there were
four. First came Miss Ellen, who was eight; then Master
John, six and a half; then Miss Eva, who was four;
aid lastly, the baby, who was still in arms. They were
very much like other children, and Master Johnnie was
just as much of a pickle as most boys. Susan thought
she should like them all very much; and though nurse
was very particular, she was so kind and just that Susan
did not feel afraid of her.
But it was Susan's first place, and when she awoke
the morning after her arrival she felt dreadfully home-
sick and had a good hearty cry. This would not have
mattered much if she would only have cried and been
done with it, but every time she dried her eyes she
remembered some other reason for an extra tear or two;
and, as the week went on, nurse was at her wits' end to
know what to do with a girl who seemed able to do
nothing without sniffling and snuffling. As she said to
her mistress, Mrs. Beaufort-
"If this goes on, ma'am, there will be nothing for it
but for her to go; the children will be all catching colds
and coughs, even if we are not drowned."
So Mrs. Beaufort sent for Susan, to ask her what it
was all about.
Susan came in making a respectful curtsey to her
mistress, then out came her handkerchief rolled into a
little wet ball, and sniff, sniff, sob, sob, began.
"Now, Susan," said Mrs. Beaufort, "will you tell me
what you are crying about I"

Susan's First Place.

Don't know, ma'am," said Susan, crying bitterly.
"Well, you know, Susan, if you go on crying like this,
I cannot let you stay. Nurse is quite afraid of being
drowned. Now, will you be a good girl, and try to be
cheerful, for if you don't I must send you home.
Susan stopped short in the middle of a sob, and
Oh, ma'am, if you don't like it, I'm sure I won't do it
any more; and with that she dried her eyes, began to
smile, and no more was heard of any crying.
Nurse was very much surprised to see such a change
when Susan returned to the nursery, but she said nothing,
and from that day no brighter girl than Susan could be
found. Of course she had a great deal to learn, but she
set to work to do her best, and, with nurse's good teaching,
soon made great progress;
One afternoon Miss Ellen and Master Johnnie were at
their lessons, and nurse had taken the younger children
into the garden, leaving Susan to air some clothes and do
a little mending.
The nursery fender had been specially made for the
nursery; it was very high, in order to keep the children
away from the fire, and had a double bar outside, running
round the top, where clothes could be aired without any
fear of their scorching, if proper care were taken. Nurse
had often shown Susan how to hang the clothes over the
bar, and it was not a difficult matter.
Susan arranged the clothes as carefully as if nurse had
been looking on, and then sat down to her darning.
Presently the clock warned her that nurse would be
returning, so she put aside her socks and went downstairs
to get the tea things. Though there was a good breeze
blowing, it was a warm day, and the window was open,

6 A Daughter to be Proud of

so Susan carefully closed the door as she went out. She
was not away more than ten minutes, and was greatly
surprised on her return to find the door swinging back-
wards and forwards, and a great draught blowing through
the room.
"Can the door have burst open, or could I have left it
open ?" thought Susan; and then she became aware of a
strong smell of singeing.
She rushed to the fender, and to her horror saw one
of Miss Ellen's pinafores blowing almost into the fire.
Susan caught it away, but found it was quite scorched
and spoiled; and not half an hour ago she had thought
how pretty and nice it looked, fresh from the wash.
Susan felt quite sick with vexation. She had tried to
be so careful, and then to think that this should have hap-
pened! The pinafore was one Miss Ellen did not often
wear,; would it be possible to say nothing about it,-merely
throw the thing away, and hope that nurse would forget
it and never ask for it ? It was just possible it might be
forgotten,-should she do it? But just then the Holy
Spirit brought to her mind the words of the old hymn,
Will ye flee in danger's hour ?
Know ye not your Captain's power ?"
and she pulled herself together and remembered how she
had promised to be Christ's faithful soldier and servant to
her life's end. It was hard to have to tell nurse she had
been so stupid; but it was the only thing to be done if
she meant to be true to her promise, so, gulping down her
tears, she smoothed out the pinafore and laid it on the
table to show nurse directly she came in.
Susan never could remember how she told nurse about
it, but she got through somehow, and, to her great relief,
nurse did not seem half as much vexed as she expected.

Susan's First Place.

Well, Susan," she said, it is annoying; but there-
accidents will happen to the most careful of us, and I am
very pleased you came and told me instead of trying to
hide it up. Curiously enough, not ten minutes ago I was
thinking that I must let Miss Ellen wear that very pina-
fore more often; so you see if you had tried to deceive me
I should have found you out. But you must be more
careful in airing things for the future, Susan; it might
have been a serious matter if you had been away any
longer and the pinafore had burst into a flame. Why,
the house might have been set on fire."
What's that about fire ?" said Eliza, the upper house
and parlour maid, coming in at that moment. What a
smell of singeing Dear me that good pinafore spoilt.
That is a pity, to be sure "
So then Susan had to tell the story to Eliza. And I
felt so certain," added she, "that I had shut the door
quite tight; but of course I must have been mistaken."
"I don't know so much about that," said Eliza; "it
seems to me that I remember hearing Jane come in here
when I was in the linen cupboard counting the new
pillow-cases. She said something about seeing if Susan
were in the nursery, and I do believe she must have run
in and left the door open; she's so thoughtless, it would
be just like her to do it and think no more about it.
Jane," she said, stepping into the passage and calling,
" Jane, come here a minute. Now, Jane, did you come
into the nursery about a quarter of an hour ago "
Oh yes, ma'am," answered Jane, very glibly. "I
came in to see if Susan had got an iron she could spare
me, but she wasn't here."
Well, now you shall just see what mischief you have
done. You never think of consequences. Your eyes

8 A Daughter to be Proud of.

ought to have told you that the window was open, and
therefore you should have known that to leave the door
open too would make a great draught, and blow all these
things about that Susan had put to air. Now, see, you
have spoilt one of Miss Ellen's nice pinafores, and you
might have set the house on fire."
Jane said she was sorry, but she afterwards told Susan
she really could not see the use of making such a fuss
about a little pinafore when Miss Ellen had plenty with-
out it.
Oh, Jane," said Susan, "it is a great pity that the
pinafore is spoiled, and, as nurse says, the clothes might
have caught fire, and then it would have been a very
serious matter. She told me that she remembers quite
well, although she was only a little girl, that the squire's
house in her village caught fire in that way. Some one
put some clothes to air, and did not see after them, and
the house caught fire, and one of the children was badly
burnt. Oh, Jane what should we have done if one of
the children had been burnt ? Just think how terrible
it would have been! I don't think I could ever have
looked mother in the face again."
Jane appeared rather ashamed, and for once could think
of nothing to say, so she disappeared very quickly.

T was now getting well into July, and the days were
very hot and trying, so Mrs. Beaufort decided to
send the children to the sea-side.
They were all greatly delighted, and begged nurse to

A Dangerous Adventure. 9

pack up quickly, that they might get there as soon as
possible. There was great excitement, choosing the things
that were to be taken and rejecting those that were to be
left behind. Miss Ellen asked Susan to make a new
bonnet for her dolly, because Master Johnnie had one
day played at being a real Red Indian out on the war
trail, and, meeting with dolly, had scalped her at once.
Ellen had shed many tears over dolly's poor head, but
the sight of the new bonnet was a great comfort, and she
thought even dolly must feel there were advantages in
being scalped if it led to her having such a beautiful
Master Johnnie took the very biggest soldier he could
find, because, as he said to nurse, it was always nice in a
strange place to have some one to take care of you, and
he thought nursie would like to feel that his soldier was
standing sentry outside their house.
And so gradually everything was packed, the boxes all
corded up, and only the bags remained to be finished in
the morning.
Master Johnnie was awake at least an hour before his
usual time that day, and felt quite sure in his heart that
nurse must have overslept herself, as she did not come in
to call him, and he wished that they had started over-
night, as then there could have been no fear of their
missing the train.
However, all things come to him who knows how to
wait; and soon the nursery was in a great bustle, as the
last of the luggage was carried downstairs.
Mrs. Beaufort lived about a mile from the station, and
Molton-on-Sea was two hours' journey down the line.
Like most children, Johnnie and Ellen thought the train
a great treat, and only wished the time would not go so

Io A Daughter to be Proud of.

quickly; they seemed hardly to have got into the train
before a tiresome porter shouted out Molton !" and there
was an end of the journey.
The first days at the sea were spent in bathing and
digging castles in the sand; but soon Ellen and Johnnie
began to beg nurse to let them have some rides on the
dear donkeys that were brought down to the shore.
Ellen liked a donkey called Jemima," but Johnnie
fancied one named the Black Prince ;" and at last nurse
raid they might have a turn. They both thought it great
fun, and Johnnie shouted with delight when the donkey
one day broke into a trot; and day after day they had
some rides on their favourites.
Just as they started one afternoon, an ostler came down
to the sands, leading a horse into the sea, so as to bathe
its legs in the salt water. The sea, it so happened, was
rather rough, and the horse, being of a nervous dis-
position, did not like the sound of the water. It became
restive, jerked the halter from the man's hand, and,
finding itself loose, cantered along the shore. It soon
overtook the donkeys which Johnnie and Ellen were
riding, and they set off at a, gallop. The donkey-boy
could not catch them up, and only added to the confusion
by shouting out angry threats and waving his stick
violently. Nurse, who had been walking beside the
donkeys, was nearly knocked down by the galloping
horse, and soon left behind.
Right in front of the children, only a few hundred
yards distant, lay a bank of rocks, so sharp and jagged,
nurse dared not consider what might happen if the
children should be thrown upon them, and yet she could
not think of any way of stopping the donkeys in their
headlong course. Fortunately, the longer stride of the

A Dangerous Adventure. II

horse soon outstripped theirs, and they were left behind.
At this moment a gentleman, who had been sitting read-
ing on the sands, seeing what was going on, hastened up,
and suddenly placed himself in front of the donkeys.
Seizing Ellen's by the bridle, he forced the animal to a
standstill, but was not able to stop Johnnie's, though he
managed to check it a little; however, the "Black Prince,"
finding that his companion was not following, stopped
short, and commenced kicking and rearing, and doing all
it could to unseat its little rider. Johnnie held on fur
dear life, as the saying is, and it was only when the Black
Prince began to roll that he felt the sooner he got out of
the saddle the better.
Nurse was just in time to help him, and the gentle-
man, leading "Jemima," came up and said, to Johnnie's
great delight, that he was a very plucky little boy, and
would some day make a splendid rider.
Nurse thanked the gentleman very gratefully for his
kind help, and then felt all Master Johnnie's bones to see
if any were broken, and was greatly pleased to find not
one out of its right place.
Then followed the catching of the loose horse, which
caused much excitement and took up a great deal' of
time, but nurse would not let the children stay to see it,
for, she said, she could not feel safe on the sands with
that great animal tearing about loose. So she carried
them off to play in the woods behind the town, and so
the eventful afternoon came to a close.
Susan used to think the Sundays at Molton-on-Sea
were some of the very happiest Sundays of her life. She
dearly loved that walk up the little path that wound
round the hillside to the old grey-towered church that
crowned the summit. The view was grand, over a wide

12 A Daughter to be Proud of.

expanse of sea, all fringed by the steep red cliffs, and on
a calm day the lapping sound of the water on the white
sands was delicious to the ear.
Many of the rough fisher population attended church
regularly. The dangers of their occupation, the sudden
solemn calls which had left so many empty places in
their fishing-boats, had brought to them a strong faith
in the unseen world, a deep yearning for a knowledge
of the great Almighty Father; and they came to their
old church with humble hearts, to pray for guidance to
that eternal haven where they trusted to be gathered safe
from all the storms and tempests that beat upon their
earthly shore.
Susan felt she never could forget the Sunday when they
sang "Eternal Father, strong to save," that great hymn
"for those in peril on the sea ; the deep strong voices of
the fishermen going up as from one heart. Ah to those
people it was no form of words, but a solemn litany ; and
from many hearts among them had such prayers been
wrung in agony for some dear one out upon the wild
tossing sea. Susan thought of her brother Tom on
the China Seas, and prayed with all the power of her
young heart that he might be kept safe through all perils
and dangers. She was learning more and more every day
the peace that passes understanding, in bringing all the
wishes and desires of the heart and laying them at His
feet, who knoweth our necessities before we ask, and our
ignorance in asking.
Nurse and Susan had taught their little charges to say
a prayer for those at sea before leaving the church, and
the children would constantly talk about the sailors out in
the big ships that passed in the distance from time to

A Dangerous Adventure. 13

There had really been no bad weather since the
Beauforts had arrived at Molton, but as the days went on
and became more and more sultry the older fishermen
looked at the sky and shook their heads. "There be
summat a-brewing," said they; and they were not mistaken.
A heavy leaden appearance gradually spread over the
sky and a strange stillness made itself felt. The heat was
quite stifling, and each said to his neighbour that he longed
for a breath of air. The sun set, bathed in a flood of
rich colours, and darkness stole gradually over land and sea.
Suddenly a sound as of a whisper was heard, there was
a ripple on the water, and in a moment the storm had
sprung up. Shutters were banging to and fro, windows
rattled, tiles and chimney-pots lay strewn in all directions,
whilst a deluge of rain came drenching down. And if this
was the case on shore, it was twofold rougher at sea.
Woe to the unwary and inexperienced who had failed to
read the weather signals Many a ship foundered that
night, and of many a life was the last earthly chapter
written and the book closed on this side of the grave.
The barque Betsy was out of her reckoning that night,
and, as the gale increased, became so damaged that
the captain was forced to let her drift helplessly before
the wind. He knew only too well the danger of that
wild rocky coast, and that any vessel striking there in
such a frightful gale must go to pieces in a few hours.
So it was with a sad heart that he realized she was being
blown rapidly nearer and ever nearer to the danger.
A sudden sharp shock told him the moment he feared
had come. The vessel had struck, and it was merely a
question of time how long she could hold together. All
hands were engaged in ascertaining the extent of the
injury sustained. There was found to be a considerable

14 A Daughter to be Proud of.

leakage, but that by the help of the pumps the water
might be kept under for a time. There was no possibility
of saving the ship, for she was aground, the captain
believed, and rightly, on a very dangerous reef that lay
out to sea to the eastward of Molton. It was useless to
attempt to launch the boats in such a sea, except as a last
There was nothing for it but to wait for the day,. and
trust that as the darkness lessened some ray of hope might
come. The captain continued to make signals of distress,
but he did not think it was possible for any lifeboat
to reach them whilst the wind continued in the same
quarter and with unabated force.
Slowly the moments passed, and it seemed to many of
the crew that they lived a lifetime in the long hours of
that dark night. Cries went up for help to heaven in this
their dire need. God is merciful, and as the faint light
of dawn began to steal over the sky the wind shifted a
little and its violence sensibly diminished. This caused
the ship to change her position, and it became clear that
the pumps could not keep pace with the incoming water,
nor could the vessel much longer resist the force of the
The captain anxiously scanned the waste of waters,
hoping succour might be coming. He raised a joyful
shout, for he had seen a lifeboat making for them : the
change of wind had enabled the Molton men to launch
their boat in answer to the signals of distress, and soon
they had taken on board, the crew of the Betsy.
An hour later she was a total wreck.

Weakness is Next Door to Wickedness. 15



EITHER nurse nor Susan had slept that night,-the
J noise of the storm had been too great; even the
children were wakened by it, and trembled as the
terrific gusts swept over the house.
Then came the booming sound of the guns telling of a
ship in distress, and the children would not be comforted
till they had knelt and said their little prayers for those
in danger out at sea.
As soon as it was light the landlady knocked at Susan's
door and told her that, if nurse consented, she would take
her down to the shore to see the lifeboat come in, for, she
said, With the change of wind our men are sure to have
taken out the Good Hope to the assistance of that vessel
that has been firing."
The landlady was the daughter of a fisherman, and
could give Susan much information about winds and
tides, and they were both greatly interested in the wreck.
It was a hard matter for them to make way against the
wind when they got outside, and when they had crossed
the road and stood on the esplanade they could hardly
hear each other speak. Still it was nothing to the gale
during the night.
Presently they came to some groups of people, all, like
themselves, waiting for the return of the lifeboat, and
from them they learned that she had been launched
directly the wind shifted, and was expected back shortly.
Some of the fishermen, they were told, were watching the
boat from the cliffs, and would fire a gun as a signal to
those below directly she left the wreck.

16 A Daughter to be Proud of.

In about twenty minutes the gun was heard, and the
excitement became intense.
To reach the wreck the Good Hope had had to round
a high headland of rock, so she could not be seen from
Molton till she was comparatively near home.
Here she is cried an old salt; and a pretty stiff
job our boys must find it, to pull in with such a sea."
There was no doubt it was a pull, but the picked
young fellows who manned the Good Hope knew how to
pull, and flushed with the successful issue of their expe-
dition, and cheered by the manifest sympathy of the
crowd awaiting them on the shore, they sped over the
waves, and before long the shipwrecked crew stood once
.more on firm land-land which a few hours ago the most
sanguine had hardly hoped to tread again.
A rough unkempt-looking set they were for the most
part. No doubt some of the wildness of their appearance
was due to the exposure of the night, but there was an un-
mistakable stamp on some of the faces which told only too
plainly their manner of life and habits. The danger from
which they had just been rescued, the fear of coming
death which they had had to face during the past hours,
had done much to awe and sober even the wildest, but
the daily inscription of a lifetime cannot be erased
immediately, and the hard coarse expression on these
men's faces spoke of years of self-indulgence. Day by
day with many of them had been step by step in that
broad path that degrades both soul and body.
With uncertain stumbling gait they made their way
over sand and shingle, hardly hearing the hearty welcome
of the Molton people; and these, comprehending some-
thing of the dread suspense through which they must
have passed, ceased to press congratulations upon them,

Weakness is Next Door to Wickedness. 17

and silently led the way to the Home, where all such
shipwrecked strangers were cared for.
Susan now felt it was time to return to nurse, but her
companion seemed strangely disinclined to leave the shore.
As the rescued crew disappeared into the town she pressed'
eagerly towards the captain of the lifeboat.
Bill," she asked, do you know the names of those
poor fellows ? It seems to me I know one of them, the
little dark one with the quick bright eyes."
No, Mrs. Perks, I can't say as I do know their names
as yet, but directly they gets to the Home we shall find
out all about them, and if you care to know I'll send a
youngster up to your house."
Mrs. Perks thanked the man, and turning back with
Susan, thoughtfully made her way home. Neither felt
inclined to talk. Susan was still under the influence of
the excitement of the night, and Mrs. Perks in thought
had travelled far away.
She was once more a young girl in her native village,
a little place some miles along the coast to the west. She
could see her father and mother, not old and grey headed
then, but hearty and active, full of life and work. She
took her part in all that was doing, earning by hard toil
her share in the daily bread.
And there was one other in the household, her brother,
older than herself by two years or more. How she had
cared for that lad in spite of all his faults. Faults! ah,
and more than that, for what had seemed but weakness
in the boy turned to something worse as the lad grew
older; and the parents came to bow their heads in shame
at the thought of their only son, who should have been
their pride and mainstay.
Mrs. Perks, or Nellie Armstrong as she was then,

18 A Daughter to be Proud of.

remembered well that fatal morning when the old parson
came so early to see her father, and stayed so long in
earnest talk with him. How broken Job Armstrong
looked when he came out from that mysterious interview.
Not a word had he said to either wife or daughter, but
strode away up the hillside to battle with his grief alone.
Towards night he returned, and when the barely tasted
supper had been cleared away, a well-known step was
heard coming up the path. Job signed to his wife and
Nellie to go upstairs, and said that he would let the
young man in. It was his only son coming to bid good-
bye before leaving his birthplace, where he had so dis-
graced himself that he felt he could stay there no longer.
The night before, led on by a wild, worthless companion,
he had broken into the old parson's house, for the sake
of a few pounds which they knew had been left in the
clergyman's care. Surprised at their lawless work, young
Armstrong's mate made off unseen, but he himself was
caught by the parson. Though an old man, Mr. Egerton
was hale and strong, and more than a match for a man of
the slender, weak build of Halliday Armstrong.
Mr. Egerton was horrified when he saw in his prisoner
the son of his good old parishioner, and he could not make
up his mind to deliver him over to the arm of the law.
He thought of the bitter shame and grief of the parents,
and determined to give the young fellow another chance.
Long and earnestly did he speak that night, entreating
the young man to struggle against the weakness of his
character, which, if it was not conquered, would ruin his
whole life. He urged him to break with the wild, bad
set he had joined, and begin life on a new tack altogether.
He offered to find him work away from the place at once.
Halliday was easily swayed by the emotion of the moment,

Weakness is Next Door to Wickedness. 19

and though he would not accept the offer of work, fearing
the restraint it would impose upon him after the freedom
of a fisherman's life, he promised to quit the place and
turn over a new leaf. He said he knew that as long as
he remained at home he never should have courage to
break with his present companions, and should only go
from bad to worse. But," said he, I will go down to
Molton and take service on board some outward bound
vessel, and become a sailor in good earnest."
It was vain for the old parson to urge upon him the
temptations that would beset him in such a life. Halliday
promised, in the fervour of his new resolutions, that he
would be prepared for them all, and felt persuaded that
with the lessons of this night ever present with him
he could not be led astray. He begged Mr. Egerton
to break the matter to his father, not telling him the
worst, but giving him sufficient information to let him
know how necessary it was for his son to leave the place
and his bad companions. And with many bitter self-
reproaches for the past, ,he thanked the good old parson
for giving him another chance, and promised that he
would repay his kindness by leading a better life for the
future. He said he would set to work to win a good
character, and would return an altered man. Alas for
such promises, they are a very unsafe foundation on
which to build! A man so weak in character as Halliday
will have many a fall.
Mr. Egerton had his sad interview with Job the next
morning, and though he did not reveal the full extent of
the young man's evil doing, the father read, as it were,
between the lines, and, putting two and two together,
guessed the whole story. It was a bitter moment, and
when the interview was over, he felt that it was only

20 A Daughter to be Proud of.

on the lonely hillside that he could battle with such
shame and sorrow.
When Halliday came to the cottage that night, sad
was the face of his father ; it was a terrible grief to such
an upright man to find how low his son had sunk. He
had been so proud of his boy when he carried him in his
arms a curly-headed little child, and as the lad grew older,
and displayed the weakness of his character, he had done
all he could to cure his faults. Latterly he had grown
very uneasy about him, seeing what companions he had
chosen, but he had hoped he would marry a good girl and
settle down to steady ways. But these bright dreams
must be put aside. His son, his own son, had gone to
rob the old parson.
Job did not say much to Halliday, but the young man
must have been dull indeed had he failed to understand,
from the few short, pathetic sentences that fell from
his lips, how bitterly the disgrace was eating into his
father's heart. The young man vowed to himself that he
would yet make his name an honourable one. It was a
vow made in his own strength, and at the next temptation
it would be broken.
"Father," said Halliday, "I must see mother beforeI go."
Job went to the foot of the steep stair and called his
wife. In a few short sentences he told her., all, and
Halliday felt keenly the silent, speechless grief of his
That was a sad night, and the inmates of the cottage
made no pretence of seeking rest. Halliday was to leave
at the earliest light of dawn, and there were some pre-
parations that must be made. Nellie had but a few
words with her brother at the last, and had not seen him
since that morning.

Weakness is Next Door to Wickedness. 21

From time to time the Armstrongs received a letter
from him to say how and where he was, and to give them
an address to which they could send letters to him, but he
had never returned to the little village.
Nellie had long since, to the great joy of her parents,
married a very steady young man, who had for years been
attached to her. They set up a lodging-house in Molton,
and prospered; but, after a few happy years of married
life, the husband died.
Nellie wished her old parents to come and make a
home with her, but they could not bear to leave their
little cottage, and Nellie did not like to give up her
house, as by its means she was able to supply them with
many comforts.
And now all the past had risen before Nellie at the
sight of that small, dark face, with its quick, bright eyes.
Surely she could not be mistaken ; it must be the face of
Halliday. It was not long before her doubts turned to
certainty, as she scanned the list sent her by Bill, and
she hurried down to the town to welcome him home.
She would never cast the past in his teeth, and perhaps,
after all, he might have grown into a steady man.
It is quite unnecessary to go into the meeting between
brother and sister; the surprise and almost envy of the
brother to find his sister so comfortably off, and the keen
disappointment of the sister to find her brother not the
altered man she had hoped. But she was able to per-
suade him to go and see the old people, and she offered
to set him up in the fishing business if he would settle at
home again.
Halliday turned it over in his own mind for a few
days, and sick of the wanderings which had brought no
profit to him, he determined to settle down to the fishing

22 A Daughter to be Proud of.

life once more; and, to do him justice, he meant to try
in some measure to make up to the old people for the
neglect of past years, and it was not a bad sign that
he made no promises aloud. The memory of that night
of peril was not to be forgotten, and in those dark hours
he had realized that death would come to him just as
much as to anyone else, and that it might be too late
for him to live a better life.



4MHE Beaufort children every morning watched eagerly
Sfor the postman, for he always brought them a
letter from their mother, and one day she wrote
that their aunt, Mrs. Dormer, was going to Molton with
their cousins. In her letter to nurse,. Mrs. Beaufort said,
"I wish the children to spend a good deal of time with
their cousins, so you must try and arrange for this."
The Dormers were fortunate in obtaining lodgings next
door to the Beauforts, so the children spent their days
together, playing on the sands.
Mrs. Dormer's nurse, who was called Phelps, had not
been with her very long, and though she made a great
pretence of carrying out her mistress's wishes, it was only
when Mrs. Dormer was there to see. At other times she
was not nearly so particular.
Phelps had made up her mind to pay a visit to the
ruins of an old castle about four miles from Molton. It
was a favourite place for picnics, and Phelps had heard

A Visit to the Ruins.

a great deal of its beauties from a maid, a friend of hers,
who had been staying in Molton the year before.
So she described the ruins to the children, and very
soon they were just as anxious as she was to see them, and
they begged Mrs. Dormer to take them all, and have a
real picnic with dinner out of doors.
Mrs. Dormer did not feel much inclined to go ; both
she and nurse considered it rather too long a drive for
the younger children, and thought they were better on the
sands, breathing in the fresh sea air. But as the children
were so eager about it, it was at last settled that they
should go, and Mrs. Dormer hired two large roomy
waggonettes to take them to the castle.
The weather was lovely ; just the very day for a picnic,
and nurse and Phelps had made all sorts of preparations,
in the way of good things for the feast.
Frank, the eldest of the little Dormers, was a mis-
chievous boy, and Phelps, being a silly woman, would
often give way to him, and let him do exactly as he
pleased, to save herself trouble ; so the boy was becoming
headstrong and wilful, for he soon found out what Phelps
was like.
Frank, on the day of the picnic, went in the. same
waggonette as Johnnie, and it was a good thing nurse
was with them, or there is no saying what dangerous
pranks Frank would have played. Nurse was so firm
that he found it was best to be a good boy, and all went
well till the castle was reached.
It was a large castle, extending over a good bit of
ground, and much of it was still standing, though in a
half-ruined state.
Mrs. Dormer soon saw that it was not a suitable place
for children, and regretted much that she had come, for

24 A Daughter to be Proud of

it was very difficult to keep them all in sight with so
many tempting archways and staircases leading in all
As for Frank, he was wild with delight; racing here,
there, and everywhere; and Phelps, who had congratu-
lated herself on her cleverness in getting to the ruins,
found much of the pleasure spoilt by the exuberant
spirits of the boy, on whom she had to keep an incessant
However, nurse chose out before long a shady spot
for dinner, and occupied the children very happily in
laying the cloth and unpacking the provisions. Their
appetites were keen, and full justice was done to the feast;
indeed, Frank made such a good dinner that he fell fast
asleep, and Phelps thought to herself that now, at all
events, she had some chance of peace.
Mrs. Dormer had some idea of sketching a bit of the
ruins from a distant archway, and her two eldest little
girls begged her to get her paint-box and take them with
her, so she went off with them, leaving the nurses in
charge of the younger children and Frank. I daresay,"
she said, the little ones will like some games. Perhaps,
as Frankie is asleep, you might divide, and you must find
some place outside the castle where the children can
play without fear of coming to any harm."
When Mrs. Dormer was gone, Phelps declared she was
tired out with that tiresome boy, and would be glad to sit
still and rest herself a bit, if nurse and Susan would under-
take to look after the other children. So they did, and
carried them off to a lawn outside the walls, where they
soon began some merry games, not sorry to leave Frank
in Phelps' charge, for, as nurse said, he was a regular

A Visit to the Ruins.

Phelps sat for a little time where they had left her;
but she said to herself, it was dull work looking after a
boy who was sound asleep, when she might be enjoying
th.i beautiful ruins. So she strolled in one direction and
another, at first keeping within sight of Frank, but as he
still slept on, she felt tempted by the distant views, and
forgot all about him. She was soon far away, exploring
first this tower and then that winding path, and the
afternoon wore away.
Suddenly the quiet ruins echoed with the sound of a
piercing scream of terror. The merry play of the children
ceased at once, and nurse and Susan looked at each other
with blanched faces. Mrs. Dormer hastily closed her
sketch-book and rushed towards them.
What was that, nurse 1" she called ; "and where is
Phelps ? Is not Frank with you ? "
Phelps came with hurrying steps from the Great
Keep, and, with trembling lips, asked if anyone knew
what had become of Frank.
"I left him," she said, safely sleeping where we had
lunch, but he is not there now, and did you hear that
dreadful scream 7 "
Mrs. Dormer turned away from her.
Nurse," she said, "will you look after the children,
whilst Susan and I look for the child; you go that
way, Susan, I will go this;" and in a moment she was
Up and down Susan searched, but no sign could she
see of the child. At last she climbed a staircase, and as
she paused .for a moment to take breath, she fancied she
heard a faint groan.
Master Frank," she called ; but there was no answce-,
and she thought she must have been mistaken.

26 A Daughter to be Proud of

So she followed the staircase up, and yet up again, and
at last found herself standing on the castle wall.
.Close to her was a hollow tower; once a series of
rooms, one above another, had filled its empty space, but
long ago the floors and ceiling had fallen in, and now only
a crumbling ledge, here and there, told the tale of its
former state.
Susan peered down into the deep gloomy hollow. But
little light found its way through the narrow slits of
windows, and a spreading tree, that had somehow taken
root on the castle wall, overhung the tower, and obscured
the light from above.
But there was light enough to show Susan what filled
her with silent dread. About half way down the tower,
partly lying on a narrow ledge, partly hanging to the
forked branch of a bushy shrub that had obtained a hold
among the stones, lay little Frank. His face was white
and set, and his eyes closed; it was evident that the
child had been clambering about and had either fallen
from the wall, or through one of the arches that here and
there opened to the staircase. He was far below her, and
Susan felt her only chance of saving him was to obtain
further assistance. She flow down the narrow stair and
fortunately soon found Mrs. Dormer.
We must get some men with ropes or a ladder,"
said the mother, hastening off to the custodian of the
Ropes were to be had, but no ladder, and it seemed a
very perilous undertaking to lower anyone by a rope over
that crumbling wall. But the custodian's son was willing
to attempt the rescue : he was a good strong lad of sixteen
with a steady head and sure foot, and he knew every inch
of the ruins.

A Visit to the Ruins.

"I think," he said, that I can do it, though it is a
ticklish job."
Some men who were standing about undertook the
management of the rope, and this, from the position of
the turret, was no easy matter. Still they thought that
it was possible, and indeed, it was a matter of life and
death, for there was no other way of reaching the child.
The rope was carefully fastened round the lad, and all
held their breath as he was slowly lowered from the castle
wall over the edge.
Numbers of bats, disturbed by the unusual noise, left
their hiding places between the bricks, and whirled round
and round with shrill discordant cries.
It was but a few minutes before the lad reached the
ledge where lay the unconscious child, but to the
anxious spectators it seemed hours. Very cautiously he
lifted the senseless burden and, clasping him tightly,
signalled to those above to pull up the rope.
Now came the perilous moment, it was a great strain
on the men, as there was but little room on the wall-not
sufficient for them to get a good purchase on the rope,
and at first it seemed as if the lad would never reach the
top. It was giddy work to watch him hanging in mid
air with that unconscious boy in his arms, both depend-
ing for life on the strength of that rope, and the grip of
the men above. One moment's relaxation on their pai t
might mean death to the brave lad Poor Mrs. Dormer
watched it all in an agony of silent dread, but who can
tell the comfort that filled her heart as she breathed a
prayer to the Father of all mercies.
Finding the weight greater than they expected the men
made a tremendous effort, and slowly but surely they
drew the lad upwards. Kindly hands were ready to seize

28 A Daughter to be Proud of.

him as he reached the top of the wall, and eagerly was
his burden taken from him by the grateful mother. The
child was still insensible, and was carried gently down
the stair, whilst the nearest doctor was sent for.
Mrs. Dormer and nurse tried to restore the child to
consciousness, and after a time their efforts were rewarded,
for Frank slowly opened his eyes, and a little later was
able to speak. But when he tried to explain how he had
met with the accident, Mrs. Dormer told him he must
be quite quiet till the doctor came. When the latter
arrived he made a careful examination, and pronounced
that there was nothing wrong beyond some bruises and
scratches and a severe shaking; and he thought that if
the child were kept quiet till the cool of the evening he
might be taken back to Molton. So leaving the boy in
nurse's charge Mrs. Dormer went to express her gratitude
to the custodian's son, and all those who had assisted in
the rescue; and so practical a form did her gratitude take
that the men looked back upon that occasion as a red-
letter day.
Towards evening the pleasure party drove home, not
quite so merrily as when they had started, and feeling
that they had had enough of ruined castles for many a
Phelps had been thoroughly frightened at the result of
her carelessness and wrong doing, and promised Mrs.
Dormer to do better for the future; but the latter was
justly displeased, and had lost all faith in her, so she
decided to send her away.
After this the days went by very quietly. Frank
seemed none the worse for his adventure, save for
scratches and bruises, which soon healed up and dis-
appeared. Indeed, Mrs. Beaufort, who arrived a week

A Bad Companion. 29

after the picnic, could hardly believe, when she saw the
rosy cheeked, laughing boy, how nearly killed he had
been a few days before.
Mrs. Dormer was very anxious that nurse, with baby
and Johnnie, should go home with her, so Mrs. Beaufort
consented, saying she was not sorry to lessen the party at
home, as she had given Eliza a holiday, and Jane would
have as much as she could do.



UT, in spite of all Jane had to do, she would have
liked to make time for talking, and wanted to
hear from Susan a full and particular account of
all her adventures. But Susan had other things to think
of with the two young ladies under her care, and Miss
Soames, the governess, still away.
Mrs. Beaufort had not been at home many days when
cook brought her in a letter, saying her father was very
ill, indeed he was not expected to live, and she asked if
she could be spared to go to him.
"I am so sorry, ma'am, to ask it at such a time, with
nurse and Eliza both away, but I've not seen father now
for nigh upon two years, and mother says he keeps asking
for me."
Mrs. Beaufort said she would certainly spare her.
"Martha will, I am sure, do her best whilst you are
away, and it will be a good opportunity for all my young
servants to show what they are worth."
So, with many injunctions to Martha, cook hurried off

30 A Daughter to be Proud of.
by the next train, fearing lest, by any delay, she should
reach home too late.
She had not been gone above an hour when a telegram
arrived for Mrs. Beaufort, saying baby was very ill from
teething, and the doctor thought she ought to come at
So Mrs. Beaufort in great trouble started for her sister's
house, which fortunately was not more than half an hour's
journey by rail.
She spoke a few serious words to the three young
servants before she left, telling them that she trusted
them to take care of the children and the house during
her absence. It is a great responsibility, and now is the
time to show how far you are worthy of trust. Be sure,"
she said to Susan, "that you never leave the children, and,"
she added, turning to the other two, "remember you must
all be in before eight o'clock every evening, and Jane
must go round the house then and see that all is safe, and
every window and door locked."
Jane thought it was quite delightful to be left to her
own devices, and felt certain she should do everything
as it ought to be done, although Eliza was not there
to bother her as she expressed it. Martha felt rather
nervous, and looked timidly at the vegetables and meat
as if she thought they must know that only she was there
to cook them, and would therefore rise in rebellion, and
refuse to be cooked at all.
As for Susan, she felt it was a great responsibility
to have the sole charge of the two children, and she
determined to do her very best to be worthy of such
a trust.
The first few days all went well, and Jane felt so
pleased with herself, she said she should certainly

A Bad Companion. 31

advertise for a single house and parlourmaid's place, for
she felt quite thrown away as second when she could
manage so well by herself. Susan thought it was early
days for boasting, but said nothing.
Martha, upon whom fell the house-keeping, provided
the usual plain but substantial meals for the servant's
hall, but Jane laughed at her for this, and said she should
have thought it a good opportunity for practising her
cooking. But Martha replied that cook had told her
exactly what she might use for the hall, and would be
very angry with her if she used any expensive materials
whilst Mrs. Beaufort was away. Well, and however is
she to know a word about it, you silly goose, unless you
go to tell her yourself? She must have left you out
some things for the dining-room sweets, and she'll never
recollect exactly what there was; going off in such a
hurry, too, as she did. Don't be such a stingy, and grudge
one a bit of nice pudding once in a way, and for your own
sake you ought to try what you can do."
Martha was very anxious to improve her cooking, and
like all young kitchenmaids who love their work, looked
forward with the greatest delight to the time when she
would be allowed to try her hand on rich sweets and such
like, but cook said she must stick to plainer things at
present, and always made the puddings and savouries
herself. Martha hesitated, as Jane talked to her, and
the old proverb says He who hesitates is lost," Jane
saw that Martha longed to make the pudding, and she
followed up her advantage. Taking down cook's much-
prized cookery book from the shelf, and laying it upon the
table, she turned over the leaves rapidly until she lighted
upon what she thought looked good in the way of sweets.
Now, Martha," she said, "just listen; would you like

32 A Daughter to be Proud of.

to make these ? Take five eggs, etc., etc.,' "and she went
on steadily through two or three recipes until Martha's
fingers positively itched to break the eggs, and beat them
up, and mix in all the good things.
Then Jane went peeping into the cupboards until she
found some of the things she wanted; and all the time
Martha stood twiddling her fingers, wishing black was
white, and that she could make the sweet with a clear
"Now then, look alive, Martha," cried Jane, and
slowly Martha chose out the necessary things ; finding all
were not there, she stifled the unwelcome voice within
her, and taking some of the keys cook had trusted her
with unlocked another cupboard and took out what she
As she went on with the work her love of cooking
made her really interested, and she almost forgot that
she was doing wrong. By-and-bye she took a bottle of
raspberry essence, and not feeling quite sure of the exact
moment for mixing it in, ran to the table and leant over
the cookery book to find out. Her hand slipped, and the
uncorked bottle fell .right upon the open leaves. In a
moment a deep red stream trickled all across the pages.
Martha had her handkerchief out in a trice; and wiped
the leaf most carefully, but it only seemed to make the
stain much worse. Martha was fairly frightened, she
knew full well how cook valued her book, for it had been
a present from a former mistress, and she would be vexed
when she saw the mess the page was in. Besides, now
the whole matter of the sweet must come out, for cook
would certainly ask her what business she had with the
book at all ? What should she do ?
Martha was very miserable, and wondered whether she

A Bad Companion. 33

should lose her place. Just as she was thinking it all
over, in came Jane to ask how the pudding was getting
on. "I'm sure I don't know and I don't care," cried
Martha; "just look at what I've been and done-the book
is quite spoilt, and cook will be so angry; and Martha
sobbed aloud. Jane took up the book, and carefully
examined the leaf. There was silence for a moment, and
then she said-
Give me your scissors, Martha."
Whatever are you going to do ? "
"Why, cut it out of course, stupid "
Oh, Jane, don't do it. 1 must first tell cook all
about it. 1 wish I'd never touched them things, I do;
it just serves me right !"
Jane made an exclamation of disgust, and ran out of
the room, returning in a minute with a neat little pair of
Now Martha, see here, I 'm a going to cut out the
leaf, and this other one must come too; but cook will
never find it out, for by a great piece of luck them receipts
finishes up at the end of the page in both places. Now,
ain't that luck just! "
Martha begged and prayed Jane not to touch the book,
but Jane insisted; and so cleverly and carefully did she
snip out the pages that it really seemed as if they never
could be missed. "Even cook," said Jane with a
chuckle, "will not think of looking at the numbers of
the pages ;" and she laughed again as she thought how
cleverly she had saved Martha and herself from cook's
The pudding was not a great success. -Whether Martha
neglected it, or whether her cooking was not up to the
mark, it is impossible to say, but even Jane felt that it

34 A Daughter to be Proud of
was not worth the trouble and bother it had caused
The next morning there came unexpectedly to the
village a band of bellringers, and announced a concert for
that evening.
It was Martha who first heard of it through the
baker's boy, and by-and-by she told Susan and Jane.
"Well, of all provoking things," said Jane "just to come
at this time, of all others, when none of us can go."
She felt it was most -tiresome, but instead of putting
the concert out of her head at once, she kept thinking
how much she would have enjoyed the music had it been
possible for her to go. If her mistress and the upper
servants had been at home, she felt sure some of the
household would have had leave to attend the concert,
and now, just because, by a chapter of accidents, they
were all away, there was to be no pleasure at all! And
as Jane sat and thought it over, she was soon able to
persuade herself that she was very hardly used; and she
determined that by hook or by crook to the concert she
would go.
But it would not be any fun to go alone, so she
made her way to the nursery, hoping to persuade Susan
to accompany her. She did not betray her errand at
once, but sat down as if wishing to have a little chat-a
thing to which she was always partial. Then presently
she began to talk about the concert, and with all her
powers she worked upon Susan, trying to persuade her
to go.
Susan was extremely fond of music, and had felt a
great wish to hear the ringers, but, like a sensible girl,
knowing it was impossible, put the thought of it out of
her mind. But Jane would not let the matter rest. She

A Bad C.' *'. 35

talked a great deal about the last concert the bellringers
had given, how pleased Mrs. Beaufort had been that the
servants should go to it, and what an enjoyable evening
they had had; and then she went on -to say that she
felt sure if only Mrs. Beaufort knew the ringers were
here again, she would wish them to hear them, and
she asked Susan what possible harm there could be in
.going to such an innocent amusement.
"But," said Susan, "Mrs. Beaufort told us on no
account to be out after eight, and she particularly told me
I was never to leave the children."
Oh," returned Jane, the children will be all right,
they are always sound asleep by eight, and as Martha will
be here to look after them, you needn't trouble about
But Susan was not to be persuaded. She said she did
not see how they could disobey such a direct order as
their mistress had given, that they should be in by eight
o'clock, and she thought it was quite impossible for any
of them to go.
Jane coaxed and flattered all to no purpose; and at last,
seeing it was no use, angrily gave it up, and said if
Susan chose to lose her own pleasure, she would take
precious good care to get her amusement all the same,
and with that she slammed the door and ran down to the
Martha," she said, I'11 take you to the concert
to-night, and we '11 have a bit of pleasure, for I 'm getting
quite moped that I am shut up here with never a soul to
speak to."
Martha, whose conscience never left her alone about the
sweet and cook's book, and who plainly saw what a bad
friend Jane had been to her, replied:

36 A Daughter to be Proud of.

"I don't see how we can go, Jane, when missus said
we was all to be in by eight."
"And what's made you so particular all at once, I
should like to know. How about the pudding yesterday I
I'll tell you what it is, if you don't make yourself agree-
able, I shall be obliged to tell cook all about that little
Why, Jane," exclaimed the miserable Martha, it
was you who persuaded me to do it. I am sure I
heartily wish I 'd never listened to a word you said; I 've
never a moment's peace of mind." '
Oh indeed," said Jane, with a sneer ; "we 're so good,
we are. Well, we shall see what cook will think about
that. I 'm afraid it will be uncommon awkward for you
when she come to hear all about it. I should be very
sorry to have to tell of you, Martha, but duty is duty, and
if cook ask me how them leaves come to be missing, why
I shall tell her what I shall tell her, you mark my
words 1 "
Why, Jane, you know as 'twas you who cut them out
Oh, was it ?" answered Jane, that's a fine story, and
one as 'tisn't very likely as cook '11 believe, I can tell
you. "
Jane saw that the only way to make Martha do as she
wished was to frighten her, and as for a lie-well, it
would not be the first Jane had told to suit her con-
The end of it was that Martha gave way; she had
almost made up her mind that morning to tell cook the
whole story of how she had taken the stores to make the
sweet, and upset the essence over her book, but it was one
thing to tell cook herself, and another for Jane to give

A Disagreeable Surprise. 37

her version of it, and Martha was not brave enough
to defy Jane.
So, though she would have given anything to stay at
home, she dared not refuse to go, and about seven o'clock
she and Jane put on their hats and prepared to start.
Susan had not believed that Jane would really go, and
had heard nothing more about the matter since Jane left
her, so she was greatly surprised and vexed, on opening
the nursery door, to see the two girls in their outdoor
things going downstairs.
"Why, Jane," she said, you can't really be thinking
of going, and you Martha, too ? "
"Most certainly I am," answered Jane, tossing her
head; and as Susan went on to beg Martha to stay, she
told her to mind her own business and not meddle where
she was not wanted. Susan felt certain that Martha did
not wish to go, for she looked quite wretched, and glanced
at Jane from time to time as if hoping she would give up
the expedition at the last moment. Susan almost fancied
Martha seemed afraid of Jane, but, as she knew nothing
about the pudding, could not imagine how this could be.
Seeing that all she said was no good, she closed the door,
and was soon busy putting the children to bed.

HE children had been asleep a little while when
SSusan fancied she heard the sound of wheels, and
then a peal at the front door bell. She could
hardly believe it at first, and waited a moment before she

38 A Daughter to be Prcud of.
went to'see who it was. But a second ring made her
hurry downstairs, and when she unbolted the door to
her astonishment there was Mrs. Beaufort waiting to be
let in.
"All asleep, Susan ?" she asked; "where is Jane : and
why are you not with the children ? Baby is very much
better, and so I was able to leave him."
Susan was .unwilling to tell of Jane's and Martha's
disobedience, sk she busied herself with the luggage.
But Jane's absence could not long remain unnoticed, and
soon Susan had to acknowledge that she and Martha were
at the concert. She tried to make excuses for them, but
Mrs. Beaufort was very much displeased; "I thought I
might have trusted them for these few days," she said. And
then she went upstairs to see the children, and presently
Susan took some supper into the dining-room, and so the
time slipped by till the girls' return. Mrs. Beaufort told
Susan she would let them in herself, and even Jane's
assurance failed when she saw her mistress standing in
the doorway.
Mrs. Beaufort said very little to the girls that night,
but told them she would see them the next day.
Jane spent the greater part of the night thinking what
she could say to get out of the scrape, but with all her
ingenuity she could not think of any excuse that would
do. She was quite ready to sacrifice Martha, if by so
doing she could save herself, but it did not seem likely
that even if she put the blame upon Martha she could
whitewash her own conduct.
Martha was far too miserable to think of any excuses.
She felt sure she would be sent home in disgrace; and I
quite deserve it," she said to herself, whilst the bitter
tears rolled slowly down her cheeks. What would her

A Disagreeable Suprise. 39

hard-worked mother say, who had fitted her out with such
pride for her first place only nine months ago 7 Maitha
knew it had cost her mother many a pinch and save to
get the money together, to buy her those clothes, and
she had always meant to pay her back out of her wages
directly she could spare the money. Up till now there
had been boots and other things, that had swallowed up
her earnings, but she had hoped at Christmas to be able to
surprise her mother with a little gift that would make the
winter easier. And now, thanks to her own wickedness
and cowardice, she would have to go home, and be a
burden instead of a help and comfort. And how could
she possibly hope to get another place without a
character ?
And so the morning came, and a very dark day it
looked to Jane and Martha, and they waited anxiously
for Mrs. Beaufort's summons. Mrs. Beaufort, however,
sent for Susan first, and questioned her as to all she
knew about the matter ; and though Susan said as little as
she could with truth, Mrs. Beaufort soon discovered that
Jane had tried to persuade her to go to the concert, and
warm were the words of praise she bestowed on the girl
for having been faithful to her duty. She said that it gave
her the greatest pleasure to feel that she was thoroughly
to be trusted, and Susan would have considered herself
the happiest girl in the world had she not had the
thought of Jane and Martha to weigh her down. What
would Mrs. Beaufort say to them? She would have
liked to beg forgiveness for them, particularly for Martha,
who she felt sure had gone against her will, but there
was something in her mistress's face when she began that
silenced her.
Say no more to me, Susan," said Mrs. Beaufort very

4o A Daughter to be Proud of.

gravely, I know what you wish to ask, but they have
both deliberately disobeyed me, and I cannot yet decide
whether it is possible to give them another trial. Cook
and Eliza return to-morrow, I find ; for Eliza has had a
fortnight, and cook's father is wonderfully better, and I
,hall consult with them before I settle what course to
pursue. For yourself, Susan, remember that you have
proved yourself a faithful servant, and a faithful servant
is her mistress's faithful friend."
A few moments later Jane and Martha were standing
before Mrs. Beaufort; she spoke to them very seriously,
and before her grave looks Jane's glance sank, and the
flimsy excuses she did attempt fell to pieces.
As for Martha she said nothing, but stood, white and
heavy-eyed, waiting her sentence.
Now," said Mrs. Beaufort, I had intended to give
you both warning, but as cook and Eliza return to-
morrow, I shall wait and talk the matter over with them,
and if they think you will do better if you have another
trial, you shall have the opportunity. But I do not feel
as if I could have any confidence in you again. I cannot
help thinking, Jane, that you persuaded Martha to go, and
therefore were the most to blame, but that does not
excuse your conduct, Martha."
When Eliza and cook returned they were both very
angry to find how badly Jane and Martha had behaved,
and gave each a good talking to.
They did not, of course, know anything more than that
the two girls had gone out to the concert, contrary to
their mistress's distinct orders; and although they
questioned them about the matter they did not do so
very closely, not knowing how much there was concealed.
Both girls said but little-Jane, because the less that was

A Disagreeable Surprise. 41

known of the matter, the better for herself; and Martha,
because she did not wish to tell of Jane, and also for fear
Jane might carry out her threats about the book if she
thought Martha was getting her into a scrape.
So the two elder servants concluded that a serious
act of disobedience had been done by both the girls, and
felt that they both deserved dismissal, and they were
much inclined to say so to Mrs. Beaufort. But Susan,
although she could not say more to her mistress, deter-
mined to ask Eliza and cook to try to procure the girls
another chance. She did not-herself believe there was
much excuse for Jane, but she could not help thinking
Martha had gone against her will, and had been led into
disobedience by her fellow-servant. True, Martha had
had no business to listen to Jane, but Susan thought the
lesson she had had would teach her to be wiser for the
So Susan did her best to beg both girls off, for she did
not see how she could ask for one and not the other,
having no proof of her suspicions that Jane had been the
tempter. It was decided that both the girls should have
another chance, but it was distinctly understood that they
only remained on trial.
Now outside the kitchen window was a small garden,
where flowers and plants grew much as they pleased, with
but little restraint or attention from the gardeners. Still,
from time to time one of the men was sent to do a bit of
tidying among the beds, and it happened that old
Walker, a labourer who had been a long time in Mrs.
Beaufort's employment, had been sent to look after the
garden on that memorable day of the concert. And as he
went about raking over the beds and tying up the
flowers, through the open window came snatches of the

A Daughter to be Proud of

girls' conversation. Jane, when she was angry, had a very
shrill voice, and it could be plainly heard some way off.
At the time the old man did not trouble much about
their quarrelling, as he called it; but when he heard what
disgrace the girls were in about going to the concert, all
Jane had said came back to him, and he began to think
there was more in the matter than was supposed, and
that Eliza ought to know about it.
He knew Eliza pretty well, because the winter before
last, when his wife had been ill, Mrs. Beaufort had often
sent her with some tempting little pudding to the sick
woman. Eliza heard what Walker had to say, but did
not think it threw much light upon the subject, though
it certainly seemed as if Jane had forced Martha to go
against her will, and there was evidently a page or pages
missing from some book of cook's-a book that had to
do with a pudding-and, therefore, was probably that
great cookery book Eliza saw always carefully put away
on the shelf. Eliza determined to take cook into counsel,
and repeated what Walker had told her.
Cook instantly fetched the book from the kitchen, and
she and Eliza shut themselves into the housekeeper's room,
and turned over the pages, to see if they could discover
what was missing. At first they could see nothing wrong;
but directly they looked at the numbers of the pages they
saw that two leaves were gone.
Well," said cook, there is evidently some mystery,
and we must get to the bottom of it."
So she called in Martha, and, showing her the book,
asked her if she knew anything of the matter.
Martha had been in the scullery when cook carried off
the book, so she had no idea anything unusual was going
on ; she was, therefore, greatly surprised when she heard

4 4

A Disagreeable Surprise. 43

cook's question, but, at the same time, almost glad; for the
thought of the stores she had taken for the pudding and
the injury to the cookery book lay like lead upon her
conscience, and made her so completely wretched that she
was really thankful that cook had found her out. How-
ever angry she might be, it could not be as bad to bear as
that terrible burden of deceit.
So, with very little questioning from cook and many
bitter self-reproachings, Martha poured out her confession.
But she said very little about Jane's share of the matter,
partly from a wish to screen her, and partly because she
felt she had brought the whole business upon herself by
her miserable weakness from first to last. If she had only
refused to make the pudding at the beginning, or, having
made it, had even then had courage to keep to her inten-
tion of confessing her wrong-doing to cook !
Cook did not inquire particularly how the leaves had
been taken out of her book, for she concluded in her own
mind that Martha had taken them out after upsetting the
bottle of essence.
She gave the girl a great scolding for using the stores,
and told her plainly that it was nothing short of stealing.
"You can call it what you please, but it's those sort of
pickings that grow into downright robbery before long.
I 'm thoroughly ashamed of you, that I am. To think that
I only left you for a week, and yet you couldn't be trusted
those few days. Whatever would your mother say-she
who wouldn't so much as take a pin that didn't belong to
her ?"
It was not till after Martha had left the room that
Eliza remembered Walker had said he felt sure the miss-
ing leaves had something to do with the concert, and that
Jane had used it as a threat.

44 A Daughter to be Proud of.
Martha said very little about Jane, by the way," said
cook, with a puzzled lock. Oh dear me, we 've not
got to the bottom of it yet; really, these young girls are
more bother than they are worth. I 'd better call Martha
back, and ask her if she has told us everything."
"Stop cried Eliza. "It seems to me that it would
be better to have Jane in, and question her a bit. My
belief is, that she 's more to do with this business than
we think for. Martha don't seem to me the sort of girl
to do this kind of thing without some one put her up to
it, and unless I'm very much deceived, the girl's had a
good lesson, and is thoroughly ashamed of herself. Of
course we must tell Mrs. Beaufort, but I do believe the
girl will try her best to do better." So saying, Eliza went
off and called Jane.
Now Jane," said cook, holding in her hand the cook-
ery book, Martha has been telling me about this sad
business. What have you to say about it 1"
Jane was completely taken by surprise, and jumped to
the conclusion that Martha had told upon her," so she
said, with an air of injured innocence :
"I hope, ma'am, as you don't believe as I would cut
out them pages, whatever Martha might say against
"You cut out the pages said cook, astonished;
"Martha never suggested anything of the kind."
Jane felt she had made a great mistake, and wished
she could have bitten out her tongue.
Come, come," exclaimed cook, I must insist on
knowing all about the matter. I shall get Martha, and,
mind you, I will have the truth."
And when cook said a thing she meant it.
Martha came in trembling; but as Jane sullenly refused

A Disagreeable Surprise. 45

to answer any questions that were put to her, she had to
tell her whole story again, and cook made her give Jane's
share in the transaction, as well as her own.
Well," cried cook at the end, Mrs. Beaufort must
hear of this at once, and whatever she will say to it all I
don't know. Come, both of you, with me to the drawing-
room; and the girls had to follow her as she led the way
to their mistress.
At first Mrs. Beaufort had some difficulty in understand-
ing the matter; for, what between Jane's sullenness and
Martha's sobs, very little could be heard; but soon cook
told the story herself, and very sad Mrs. Beaufort looked
as she listened to it all.
"It is impossible for me to keep you after this, Jane,"
she said, sternly. I shall writo and tell your mother
why I am sending you away, and you must go home to-
morrow. You can leave the room."
Then Mrs. Beaufort turned to Martha, and spoke very
gravely and seriously to her, pointing out the terrible sins
into which she would be led if she couldn't say "No" when
tempted to do wrong. It is all very well for some people
to call it weakness, Martha, but there is a very short step
between weakness and wickedness. As you seem to me
to be really sorry, and anxious to do better, I shall still
let you remain on trial, but, as I told you before, you
have quite forfeited my good opinion. It will be a very
long time before I shall ever be able to trust you again."
Martha went out to the kitchen crying bitterly. She
felt she had only just escaped dismissal, and she wondered
whether she would ever be able to regain her mistress's
Mrs. Beaufort had a long talk with Jane before she
left the next morning, but she Jelt she made little or no

46 A Dallghter to be Proud of.

impression upon the girl. She was sorry for having been
found out, but not for having done wrong. So she left
her situation with a hard impenitent heart.
What a contrast to Susan, who, by steadily doing the
plain duty that lay before her, was winning a good name,
and becoming honoured and trusted by all about-her.
But then Susan was not living in her own strength.
With a humble, faithful heart, she obeyed the great com-
mand given to those who wish to be Christ's disciples,
Do this in remembrance of Me;" and it is only when
our souls are fed and cleansed by Him that we can hope
for strength to walk aright.

C BOUT a fortnight after Mrs. Beaufort returned home,
Sit was arranged that nurse should bring back the
baby, who was now quite well, but Mrs. Dormer
begged that Johnnie should stay a little longer.
Phelps had been replaced by a very nice. nurse called
Burke, who took great care of the children. Frank had
gone back to school, so it was a very quiet nursery party
at No. 30, Stanhope Crescent, where Mrs. Dormer lived.
For Mrs. Dormer's home was not in the country, but in
a town-a town which, from very small beginnings, was
fast becoming large, and considered itself a very important
place indeed. A great deal of money had been spent by
the town authorities in improvements and additions, in
order to increase the attractions for strangers. A free
library had been established; a town hall built; there

An Adventure zvith a Tiger. 47

were also arcades and fine shops ; and last, but not least,
several acres of ground had, with great taste and skill,
been laid out as Zoological Gardens.
Neither trouble nor expense had been spared, and the
collection of wild beasts and curious animals of all kinds
would have done credit to a town of much greater size.
There were lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, panthers,
hymnas, jackals, giraffes, hippopotami, antelopes, ,elks,
deer, brown bears, white bears, orang-outangs, chimpanzees,
ordinary or common monkeys, rattlesnakes, crocodiles,
chameleons, emus, ostriches, eagles, vultures-in short,
almost every animal and creature that can be persuaded
to reside in Zoological Gardens, so that every one's taste
was suited. Those who preferred the majestic monarchs
among beasts could hear with fierce joy the roar of
the lions and tigers; those who fancied snakes could
watch them twine and hiss at their leisure; whilst
others again, whose tastes were of a different kind,
could please themselves with the antics of the monkeys,
the screams of the cockatoos, or the cries of the wild
The Dormer children were delighted with the animals,
and, as Mrs. Dormer was a yearly subscriber to the
Gardens, they constantly went to them.
One afternoon, when they had been there a little
while, Burke thought the younger children looked tired,
and asked Mrs. Dormer if she should take them home.
,Mrs. Dormer consented, and said she would come with
them; but Johnnie begged her to stay on a little bit
longer, as he wanted to feed the monkeys with some nuts
he had.
Mrs. Dormer therefore sent on the children with
Burke, and. went back with Johnnie to the monkey-

48 A Daughter to be Proud of.

house, where quite half-an-hour slipped away whilst the
child distributed the nuts amongst his favourites.
At last his aunt said they really must be getting home
to tea, so the last nuts were given, and they started down
the long, straight path which led across the Gardens to
the entrance. Mrs. Dormer thought the place seemed
strangely empty, and in the distance she could see a few
people hurrying through the gates, urged, she thought, to
haste by the attendants. She could not understand it at
all, for it was not late enough to close the Gardens.
She looked all round to see if she could discover what
was the matter, but everything appeared much as usual,-
when suddenly, to her horror, she saw, about a couple of
hundred yards away, the great tiger, the latest addition to
the collection, slowly stalking along.
His striped coat looked very beautiful in the light of
the afternoon sun, and he was evidently greatly enjoying
his newly-acquired liberty. Now and then he would
pause for awhile to lie down upon the cool grass, and
stretch his long, lithe form in playful antics, much as
Mrs. Dormer had often seen her cat play upon the
hearthrug. But though he seemed so good-tempered
for the moment, a wide yawn showed a great cavern
of a mouth, full of immense, cruel-looking teeth. Mrs.
Dormer trembled to think how soon those teeth might
tear her and Johnnie in pieces. Fortunately, Johnnie
was so much taken up with the thought of the monkeys
he had left that he was quite unconscious of their danger.
Signing to him to be quite quiet, Mrs. Dormer turned
to take refuge in what was called the small curiosity
house, which was a few paces off.
She made her way there as silently as possible, fearing
lest the smallest sound should attract the notice of the

An Adventure with a Tiger. 49

tiger. He evidently had not seen them yet; and Mrs.
Dormer, whose mind went back to all the works of
sport and travel she had read, thankfully remembered
that what little breeze there was, was blowing from
the tiger to her, and not from her to the tiger, so it
was not likely he would scent them yet.
When she and Johnnie had safely reached the "curiosity
house," and securely fastened the door, Mrs. Dormer felt
oble to take breath, and, after waiting a few minutes to
collect her thoughts, she determined to look out of window
to see what the tiger was doing.
The house was constructed specially for the rare and
curious animals which inhabited it, and the light was
admitted through a number of small windows at a con-
siderable height from the ground. It was only by
standing on a chair that Mrs. Dormer could raise herself
sufficiently to see out of them.
First she noticed one or two attendants armed with
heavy sticks cautiously going about the gardens, evidently
with the intention of ascertaining that all the people had
made their escape; but they were some distance off, and
Mrs. Dormer would not risk calling to them for fear of
attracting the attention of the tiger, which was compara-
tively close.
Presently the huge beast moved off amongst the bushes
that formed a thick clump at the end of the lawn, and
Mrs. Dormer hoped that he would take himself off to
another part of the gardens.
Meanwhile, Johnnie could not make out what had come
to his aunt, and every time he tried to ask what it was
all about she held up her finger and motioned to him to
be silent. Johnnie could see she was very much in
earnest, and therefore he did not dare to say any more,

5u A D..P.-. to be Proud of.
but thought it a very stupid game, and hoped auntie
would soon get as tired of it as he was, and go home
to tea.
Before very long Mrs. Dormer took another look out
of the window, and was terrified to see that the tiger had
left the bushes, and was coming with long stealthy strides
towards the very house where she and Johnnie were
taking shelter.
She made up her mind that all was lost, for if he had
any powers of scent at all lie must detect their presence ;
and it soon became evident that, whether he did so or not,
he wished to get into the house.
First he sniffed about the steps, then Mrs. Dormer
heard the scratch of his great nails upon the wood, and,
lastly, he leant his great body against the door, and it
seemed as if it could not resist the weight.
She expected every moment to be at the mercy of the
creature, and even Johnnie began to guess that there was
something more than play going on. But he was a
plucky little fellow, and, though he felt dreadfully fright-
ened, determined not to shed a tear or make a sound.
Mercifully, the door held out, and the tiger did not exert
his full strength, but slowly withdrew, and began pacing
with its long silent stride round and round the building,
giving now and again a low angry snarl that was very
unpleasant to hear, particularly under the circumstances.
Those were terrible moments for the trembling silent
pair; it seemed to them that the beast was playing with
them as a cat plays with a mouse, and that at any
moment he might break down the door and spring in
upon them.
Mrs. Dormer cast about in her mind whether it was
possible to save Johnnie, but it seemed to her that if

An Adventure with a T7ger. 51

the tiger once got inside he would have it all his own
Hark what was that? Could it be that help was
being sent in answer to her prayers ? Yes, surely, help
was coming !
Mrs. Dormer once more climbed up to the window, and
saw that a ring of attendants had been formed to drive
the tiger back to his house. A few of the men had guns,
but most were armed with whips or thick sticks, and all
had some sort of tin kettle or instrument of that kind
with which they were making as much noise as possible
to frighten the beast. And indeed the tiger did not
seem to know what to make of such strange sounds, and
slowly slunk away. Fascinated, Mrs. Dormer watched
him driven in this way across the lawn till he was out
of her sight. Then she realized, as she made her way to
the door, what a frightful strain of mind she had under-
gone, and, clasping Johnnie in her arms, she kissed him
again and again, whilst she sobbed out a thanksgiving to
God for their deliverance.
Before long the greater part of the men returned, con-
gratulating themselves on the clever way in which they
had recaptured the tiger. They were considerably aston-
ished when they found that a. lady and a little boy had
been all the time concealed in the house.
Mrs. Dormer did not stay to exchange many words
with them; having ascertained that the tiger was quite
safely shut up in his house, she made her way as fast as
possible out of the gardens, and it was many a long day
'before she allowed any of the children to enter the
enclosure again.
The story of their adventure soon spread through the
town, and Johnnie was made such a little hero that Mrs.

52 A Daughter to be Proud of.

Dormer thought his head would be turned, and sent him
off home again. Now that the tiger was nowhere near,
Johnnie enjoyed the thought of all he had gone through
immensely, and said it was quite as good as going on
a wild tiger hunt in India.


, HE summer had been long and unusually hot, hut
Sday by day the weather grew cooler, and it was
felt that unquestionably summer was over and
autumn set in.
Cook was very skilful in making blackberry jelly, and
the children were extremely fond of it, so she used to
make a great store of it for winter use ; and every year the
elder children, with nurse, would have a long day amongst
the blackberry bushes when the fruit was ripe, and come
back laden with the black juicy berries.
This year the blackberries were exceptionally fine, and
hung in thick clusters from the thorny branches ; they
were so big and black and ripe, that it was quite a pleasure
merely to look at them.
So one fine afternoon-one of those lovely bright after-
noons that come sometimes in autumn-nurse and Susan
prepared to set forth with Johnnie, Ellen, and Eva to see
how many they could gather. Mrs. Beaufort said she
would take care of the baby at home, as she did not think
he would be of much use picking blackberries, and she
sent the little party with all their baskets in the pony
carriage, for the common was some little distance from

The Gipsy. 53

the house, and she thought the children would have
enough walking when they got there.
The common was looking its very prettiest that day,
with lots of tall golden ferns, and all the bushes and
hedges bright with crimson and brown and gold leaves.
The air was deliciously fresh and crisp, and the children
were in high spirits. They lost a little time at first in
running from bush to bush picking out the finest berries;
but they settled steadily to work when Susan reminded
them that they had to lay in the whole winter's store, and
before long many of the baskets were full to the brim.
It did not seem as if all Johnnie's blackberries went into
his basket, for there was a large purple rim all round his
little mouth.
Presently nurse called all the children together and
said they would have an early tea at Farmer White's
house close by ; and the children did enjoy the home-made
bread and the delicious butter stamped with a large cow.
The farmer's wife pressed them to make a good meal,
but they felt the afternoon was closing in, and there were
many baskets not yet full. So, in spite of all the good
things spread out on the table, away they went over the
meadow back to the common, determined that not one
basket should remain empty by the time the pony carriage
returned to fetch them home.
They were so busy picking that they did not notice
a rough, dark-looking man, evidently a gipsy, who was
approaching them.
He had a hard, cruel face, but as he came near nurse
he put on a cunning smile, and, holding out his hand,
began to beg in a whining voice.
But nurse cut him short, and said it was no use for
him to ask her for anything, as she had nothing to give;

54 A Daughter to be Proud of.
and with that she went back to her picking and took no
further notice of him. Then he tried Susan, but she had
as little to say to him as nurse.
Then he changed his manner, and, holding up a thick
stick he was carrying, lifted it threateningly towards them,
and said that he would have some money.
But nurse was not easily frightened and ordered him
to be off. The man was rather taken aback by her cool
undaunted manner, and it seemed for a minute as if he
would go.
But suddenly he seized hold of Johnnie, and, before
nurse could interfere, had caught him up and run away
with him. Down a narrow lane he went, and in a minute
was out of sight.
Take the children, Susan," shouted nurse, and run
for help to the farmhouse;" and away went nurse in quick
At first she could detect which way the man had gone
by 'Johnnie's screams; but soon these stopped, and it
became clear that the man had either frightened the child
into silence, or found some other means of stopping his
It was not long before the farmer and his men overtook
nurse, and then they scattered in' various directions to try
and find the boy, but, owing to the nature of the ground
and the number of shrubs and bushes, it was far easier
to hide than it was to find, and the search seemed almost
hopeless, when a keeper came up who had been passing
over the hillside, and from the high ground had observed
all that was going on below.
He had seen the gipsy enter a small copse not far off,
and, knowing the ground well, was able to station the
farmer and his men in the most advantageous positions

The Gipsy. 55

round the wood, in order, if possible, to prevent the
villain's escape.
Meanwhile he strode about among the trees, searching
right and left for the man. A shout soon made him aware
that the gipsy had been seen, and, hastening towards the
place whence the sound came, he was just in time to see
the man disappear over a hedge on to the common, and a
minute later he reappeared at a little distance on the high
road, mounted on a rough-looking pony, which, at a fast
trot, carried him out of reach of his pursuers.
The farmer went off at once to get his cob, in order
that he might ride after the man to the nearest town to
give information to the police.
Meanwhile the keeper and the farm labourors instituted
a careful search for the child, for, as the keeper said, the
gipsy certainly had not taken the child with him.
We must look thoroughly," said he, for he must
have left him somewhere hereabouts."
SNurse was almost distracted with fear lest the rascal
should have murdered the boy or done him some injury,
and she flew through the tangled underwood searching
wildly. She almost despaired of finding him, when at the
foot of a tree she caught sight of the little figure.
It was lying quite still, and nurse thought the child
must be dead, but when she got near she found he had
been gagged, and also had his hands and feet tied so that
he could hardly move at all.
The keeper quickly undid the knots and set the child
free ; he was a good deal bruised and dazed, but much
comforted at.finding himself back once more with nurse.
She was quite thankful to see the pony carriage and to
get all the children home again, for she was much afraid
that Johnnie might have sustained more injuries than

56 A Daughter to be Proud of.
appeared at first sight. However, the bruises turned out
to be all ; but the children never ate blackberry jelly that
winter without talking of the wicked gipsy who had so
nearly carried off Johnnie.
Although the police made great efforts, nothing more
was ever heard of the man ; he could not be traced, and
it was thought he must have been on his way to join
some distant encampment, and, knowing the country well,
was able to avoid discovery.
Nurse always had doubts as to whether he had ever
intended to take Johnnie away with him ; she believed
that he wished to steal the child's clothes for the sake of
selling them, but would not have encumbered himself
with the child.
However this may have been, he was evidently a great
scamp, and nurse and every one else was very sorry he
managed to escape punishment.
Frank, when he heard of it, said he quite changed his
opinion of gipsies; he had always thought it would be
very jolly to be a gipsy and live out of doors, but if they
were so cruel and bad he would never have anything to
do with them, and would certainly never join one of their
At which Burke laughed and said she thought it was
a very wise conclusion.

7 HRISTMAS gradually drew near, and Susan began to
consider what little presents she could send home
to her people. Nurse allowed her some time every
evening to herself for her own mending and work, and

Who is the Thief? 57

she determined to knit her father a couple of pairs of
socks, and to her mother she settled to send some money,
knowing how useful it would be. It was not much that
she could afford to send, but she was very proud of being
able to give anything. This money, which amounted to
twelve shillings, she carefully placed in her purse inside
her box, and often she would take it out and count it
over, thinking with delight of the pleasure it would give
at home.
Susan slept in a little attic at the top of the house.
There were a number of small rooms under the roof, and
each of the servants had one to herself. Susan's was the
first door at the top of the stairs; next to her came
Martha's, and opposite was the room which Jane had
occupied. It was now tenanted by Lizzie, the new girl,
a bright, strong, healthy young woman, with a willing
good-natured manner that made her very popular with her
fellow-servants. She did her work more thoroughly than
Jane, and took great pains to please Eliza, who hoped in
time to turn her out a first-rate house and parlour maid.
And so all seemed to be going well in the household,
and even Martha brightened up and looked more like her
old self.
But towards the end of November a change came over
this happy state of things, for a very uncomfortable
feeling was growing amongst tie servants-a feeling that
one of their number was a thief.
First one and then another would miss some little
thing, not, perhaps, of much value, but still the thing
was gone. Once it was a collar, the next .time a handker-
chief or a bit of ribbon, and so on, till they all took to
locking their boxes and keeping'as little outside them as

58 A Daughter to be Proud of

But, outside or in, the things still disappeared, yet no
one liked to cast suspicion on her neighbour, and, indeed,
all were fairly puzzled as to who it could be.
One evening, when Susan went to her box to look at
her money, to her dismay she found that two shillings
were missing. She counted it over and over again, back-
wards and forwards, but she could not in any way make
it more than ten shillings. What had become of the
other two Perhaps, she thought, they had slipped out
of her fingers into the box. Very carefully Susan took
everything out, and looked it well over, but not a trace
of the missing money was to be found--it had absolutely
and entirely vanished.
Susan could not make up her mind what to do, but
determined to say nothing about it to any one at first.
When, however, a week later she missed another shilling,
she went to nurse and asked her advice.
It was the first mention that nurse had heard of any-
thing being missing, for she slept in the night nursery,
and her things had not been molested. She listened to
Susan with astonishment, and asked her if she was quite
sure she had Lot mislaid the money. But Susan felt posi-
tive she had put it away most carefully in the purse, and,
besides, it was not the first thing that had disappeared.
Nurse went up to her room with Susan, and made her
look carefully through everything to satisfy herself the
money really was not there; then she said she must think
it over, and by-and-by she went to Eliza and cook, and
asked them what they thought about it.
They were just as much puzzled as nurse, but felt con-
vinced the money had been stolen, and not mislaid,
because they each had lost things lately in a way they
could not account for.

Who is the Thief ?

Susan is as honest as the day, I am sure," said nurse;
and the others agreed with her. Therefore it must rest
between Martha and Lizzie," added nurse, slowly.
I can hardly believe that Martha would do such
a thing," rejoined cook, and yet she did take
those stores and deceive me about that pudding. Of
course we don't know much about Lizzie, and it is only
since she came that we have ever missed a thing, but she
is such a nice straightforward girl, to all appearance,-I
do not think she can be such a thief."
And so they could not come to any conclusion, and
decided to wait and watch ; and oddly enough, whether
their talk had been overheard, or whether the thief had
decided to steal no more at present, nothing further was
missed, and as the busy season of Christmas began the
servants forgot their suspicions and thought of pleasanter
One morning nurse had a letter from Mrs. Perks, their
landlady at Molton, saying her father had got a chill early
in the autumn, and had died after a very few weeks'
illness, and the old mother, who had seemed quite broken
down by his death, had passed away in her sleep not many
weeks after. Halliday, she said, had been very good to
them all, and had quite comforted his parents in their
old age, but since the mother's death lie seemed to have
lost all interest in the fishing, and had sold his boat and
gone off to work in some quarries, which she believed
were not far from Mrs. Beaufort's. An old mate had
work there, and had asked Halliday to join him, but
Mrs. Perks seemed very sorry that he had done so, and
wrote as if she did not like the friendship.
"Well," said nurse, after reading the letter to Susan,
I am glad that man was so good to his people at the

60 A Daughter to be Proud of.

last. He did not look a very steady fellow, but he must
have been better than we thought for."
Mrs. Perks had told but very little of her brother's
history to nurse and Susan; they did not know why he
had left his home as a young man, and only judged his
character from his appearance. "Ah," returned Susan,
" that was an awful night, and I daresay it steadied him;
it was a night a man might remember all his life."
Christmas came and went with all its happiness and
pleasures--Christmas, that wonderful feast kept through
all these eighteen hundred years in memory of the
eternal love shown to man in that lowly manger at
Bethlehem !
How deep, how marvellous must be the power of
that love which has kept the glad light of this great
festival ever glowing brighter and yet brighter through
all the long centuries! Young or old, rich or poor,
rejoicing or sorrowful, let all hearts be kindled at
that burning glow, for it is only by that pure light
and heat that the soul can keep the truest Christmas-
the Christmas of unselfish love and care for others.
Susan sent the remaining shillings to her mother; she
did regret the missing coins, and, knowing how many
little comforts her mother would have purchased with
the money, she grudged it to whoever had taken it. But
it was gone, and she could not tell where, so she put all
bitter thoughts out of her mind, and kept the feast with
joy, singing her carols with a glad heart. Martha too had
sent a little gift home, and pictured her mother's pride
when she received it; she had saved the money up,
wishing to pay for the stores she had taken, and also to
replace cook's spoilt book; but cook said she did not
wish this, that she for her part-and she felt sure Mrs.

Who is the Thief? 61

Ieaufort also-would prefer that the money should go to
Martha's mother. At the same time cook was greatly
pleased at Martha's having tried to make some amends
for the mischief she had done. And when Mrs. Beaufort
heard of it, she began to feel some confidence in the girl's
promises that she would try to amend. So to Martha as
well as to Susan Christmas brought gladness.
Then came New Year's Day, and Martha hoped the
coming year might be better than that which the bells
rang out.
Just about this time a distant cousin of Mrs. Beau-
fort's came to pay her a visit-a young and very pretty
girl. Two or three evening parties were to be given
at neighboring houses, and Mrs. Beaufort thought
it a' good opportunity for asking her cousin, whose
acquaintance she wished to make.
Miss Forbes turned out to be a bright, unaffected
girl, and Mrs. Beaufort found her a very pleasant
companion ; she was also a favourite with the household,
having that open readiness of speech which is so often a
passport to goodwill.
Once or twice Lizzie had in the course of her
duties been called into Miss Forbes' room when she
was dressing for a party, and the young lady, seeing
her look with admiring eyes at an open case of jewels
that lay on the table, showed them to her, and told
her they were some beautiful diamonds which a rich old
uncle had given her. Lizzie had a wide acquaintance
with jewellery of the coloured glass order, but it was
the first time she had seen reel dimonds," as she called
them, and You should have seen they sparkle and
glisten, Martha," she afterwards remarked. Oh what
wouldn't I give to be a lady and wear them lovely

62 A Dazgt/er to be Proud of

jools The thought of the diamonds took up the whole
of Lizzie's mind; it was not a very large one, it is true, and
every corner and cranny was just crammed full with the
glitter and sparkle of those stones.

'fjow Lizzie had a stepbrother, older a good bit than she
was, a very unsteady fellow, who had tried a great
many ways of life before he settled down to work
at the quarries near Mrs. Beaufort's house. He was the
very mate to join whom Halliday had sold his fishing-boat
after his old parents' death. He and Halliday had made
acquaintance in a foreign port, and Porter had been
Armstrong's evil genius many and many a time. Had it
not been for his withholding hand, Halliday had long
before returned to look up his old parents, and many
a bad habit of his was the result of his friendship with
this man.
Often Halliday had determined to have no more to do
with Fred Porter, but his wild reckless daring exercised
a strange fascination over the weak vacillating nature of
the younger man. Halliday had been on his way to join
Porter when he was nearly wrecked, and in the first
fervour of good resolutions made after that terrible night
he kept away from his evil companionship. But now
that the old people were dead the bad influence re-asserted
itself, and Halliday sold his boat, repaid his sister the
money she had given, and went off to the quarries to join

On the Downw-uard Path.

Mrs. Beaufort, when she engaged Lizzie, had no idea
the girl was related to any of the "quarry people," as they
were called, for she came from a distant county; but
when she asked for leave to walk with a brother from the
quarries sometimes of a Sunday afternoon, Mrs. Beaufort
did not like to refuse. And, indeed, Porter took such
pains to brush himself up and look respectable before
appearing at Mrs. Beaufort's door, that without a very
close scrutiny the real character of the man must have
escaped observation.
Lizzie had never seen this elder brother before, and
was greatly flattered by his notice. He would tell her
amusing anecdotes of his adventures in foreign parts, and
sometimes would delight her heart with a tinsel brooch
or a gay ribbon. And in return for all this he seemed to
expect nothing from Lizzie-nothing but that she should
tell him all about her simple life, and the ways and habits
of the house in which she lived.
Lizzie, who, to say the truth, had never had very high
principles, became, under her brother's influence, even
more careless of the line that separates right from
wrong. From many a remark in his fluent talk it was
evident to her that he did not hold in great respect
the law of mine and thine ;" and Lizzie, whose hands
had often been guilty of picking, now took to stealing,
and it was she who was answerable for all the thefts
that had occurred amongst her fellow-servants' things.
The things for the present were not much good to her,
as she could not wear them without detection ; but when
once she fancied a ribbon or ornament she would not
rest until she took it, and in her box were many missing
articles hidden away till a convenient season should come
when they might be used without fear of recognition.

64 A Daughter to be Proud of

Porter had not been kind to Lizzie without a motive.
Finding she was in a large house, he hoped she might
have opportunities of bringing a few extra shillings into
his pockets. He thought of perquisites-that -mine of
temptation to servants, and asked Lizzie what she made
by candle-ends, soap, and such like.
But Lizzie replied that, with Eliza's eye upon her,
it was impossible to take so much as a pin. She knows
just exactly what ought to be used, and ain't there a
shindy if anything should go a bit too quick! No,"
she said, "it was no use thinking of making anything
in that way."
Porter had expected that Lizzie would be startled
at the idea of taking anything that did not belong to
her-she seemed so young and frank he had hardly liked
to suggest such ways to her for fear she should take
offence. But he found that she lent a ready ear to his
suggestions, and was perfectly willing to feather her own
nest at the expense of other people, her only care being
that other people should not discover the thief; and,
at Porter's instigation, she now and again pretended
to lose some little thing from her own possessions, so
that suspicion should not fall upon herself.
From Poiter she learnt to tamper with locks and keys,
and thus it was that Susan lost her money. But Lizzie
was a shrewd girl, and she fancied from some slight
change in Susan's manner that she suspected her, also she
overheard a few careless words dropped by cook after the
interview with nurse, and she determined for a time
to steal no more, lest she should be found out.
Then with the New Year came Miss Forbes, and
Porter's eyes glistened as he heard of the lovely dia-
monds; he wished that Lizzie could procure him a sight

On the Downward Path.

of them, but even Lizzie's quick fingers dared not attempt
Lizzie had no idea of their real value, she had never
been good at arithmetic, and could not go much beyond
100 in her calculations; she had a vague idea of
thousands and millions, but it was very vague. How-
ever, she assured Porter there was no doubt of the
genuineness of the jewels, and," added she, they must
be worth thousands upon thousands "
Porter had more knowledge than his sister of the
probable worth of the stones, but still he hankered after
them, and longed to turn them into current coin. The
man's heart was full of greed, and from the time that he
first heard of the diamonds he set to work to think how
he could get hold of them.
He would not take Lizzie into his confidence; it was
one thing to steal handkerchiefs or ribbons, or small sums
of money, but he doubted whether she would agree to
such a daring robbery as that of the diamonds. So it
was best not to say anything to her on the subject, but
find out where the ornaments were kept, and the way to
get at them.
And this was easy, for Lizzie, once started on the
subject, would talk away without ceasing; and a word
thrown in here and there would extract all the informa-
tion required. And all the time she remained in igno-
rance of the wicked scheme her brother was plotting.
Miss Forbes' visit had already extended beyond the
original time of invitation, and might any day come to
an end, so Porter felt he had no time to lose, and he
determined to carry out his plan immediately.
Although he had been averse to letting Lizzie know of
his intentions, he felt there would be advantages in

66 A Daughter to be Proud of

having a confederate, if he could depend upon his silence.
Porter reckoned over all his mates, but there was not one
to whom he felt inclined to trust this job; it was a
ticklish business, and a long tongue would ruin all.
After an hour's thought he came to the conclusion that
Halliday was the only man likely to suit his purpose.
Halliday was reticent, and would never, cost him what it
might, betray his mate. Porter's only doubt was whether
Halliday could be persuaded to take part in the affair.
He had noticed a great change in Halliday from what he
was in the old days ; scruples that never would have
troubled him then, kept him now from joining in many a
wild spree, and Porter felt that it was quite possible he
would refuse him any assistance when he learnt his
secret. However, he determined to see what he could do
with him, and broached the subject by asking him if he
was game for a bit of fun.
Halliday gave an evasive answer, and evidently wished
to know what sort of fun it was before he promised to
But this was just what Porter did not mean to tell
him. He thought if he could only get Armstrong to start
on the expedition he would not afterwards turn back,
and so determined to keep him in ignorance of his real
object, until it was impossible to hide it any longer.
And with much dexterity he managed this, and prevailed
upon Halliday to go with him, saying he would soon see
where they were going.
Halliday, though stronger of purpose than of old, had
not sufficient resolution to press his inquiries, and not
wishing to offend his mate, set off with him late one
night, little guessing the errand on which they were

On the Downward Path.

By the road it was a good distance from Mrs.
Beaufort's house to the quarries, but Porter took a
short cut across country which lessened the distance
considerably. Halliday for some time went on un-
suspectingly, but when Porter proceeded to enter private
grounds, he scented mischief, and resolved to go no
farther till he had more definite information.
Porter, thinking Armstrong had gone too far to attempt
to draw back, told him candidly what he was after. To
his great surprise Halliday refused to have anything to do
with the business, and entreated Porter most earnestly tc
give up the project altogether, and not persist in an adt
which, for all his after life, he would most bitterly repent.
If he were unsuccessful he would probably meet with
disgrace and imprisonment, and if he were successful his
ill-gotten gains would only prove to be a chain dragging
him lower and lower.
Halliday's courage rose as he spoke, and, influenced by
the Holy Spirit, in a few burning words he told Porter
the story of his life-how that housebreaking act of his
had hung like a millstone about his neck, of the grief and
shame he had brought to his father and mother, and how
by his miserable weakness he had always failed to rise to
better things. Then came that awful night upon the
wreck when, face to face with death, he had seen his life
in its true colours, and had resolved for the future to be
a better man, should the opportunity be granted him.
Then he went on with a broken voice to describe the joy
of his old parents when he returned home, their pleasure
and gratitude for the little he could do for them after all
the neglect of years; then when they died how all the old
evil impulses rose up within him, and he determined to
seek out his former mate.

68 A Daughter to be Proud of

But I found it could not be with me as it had been
before; between me and all my former ways, Fred, there
seemed to rise a barrier. I thought I saw my mother's
face, her eyes so sad and wistful like, I could not go back
to the old wild life. Fred, believe me, there is a God; we
cannot hide from Him. Let us try and begin afresh, old
mate, and leave the old bad ways behind us. My mother
always said there was mercy for all. Fred, mate, for the
sake of our friendship give up this job, and come home
with me."
Porter was filled with rage; what had come over
Halliday ? He was quite a different man to the chum he
had known abroad.
"You cowardly idiot," he answered in a hoarse whisper,
do you think to turn me from my purpose, you hypocrite ?
If you 're afraid, go home, but don't expect me to go with
Fred," said Halliday, you shall not do this thing. I
tell you, man, if you will not be persuaded I will make
such a noise as shall rouse the house, and we shall have to
run for it."
Porter felt wild with anger at finding himself thus foiled.
There was something in Halliday's face that told him the
threat was a real one. For a brief moment he thought of
striking down this man who stood between him and his
coveted prey, but even in his fury he remembered that a
scuffle must ensue and the noise be heard ; so with a great
effort he controlled the wild passion of rage surging in his
heart, and, changing his tactics, told Halliday that he was
right, and though he had been a bit vexed at first he was
thankful to his old mate for saving him from such a crime,
and said he had determined to give it up entirely and go
straight home.

On the Downward Pat/h.

Halliday was too much rejoiced at his friend's change of
purpose to question its sincerity, and the men retraced
their steps together. Halliday reached his lodgings first,
and as he parted from Porter gave him a hearty hand-
grip, which was more expressive than words, and would
have roused the better nature of many a man in like
circumstances ; but Porter thought of nothing but how to
get back to the dark deed, in the doing of which he had
experienced so unwelcome an interruption.
Having seen Halliday safely housed, he quickly altered
his course, and with muttered imprecations started once
more across the fields.
He soon stood beneath the windows of the house, and
there he carefully followed out his preconcerted plan, and,
judging by the dexterity with which he used his tools, it
was not the first time the man had been engaged in such
work. Now and again he would stop to listen, but no
sound broke the stillness of the night, and it seemed to
him that he was the only human being awake within miles.
He cautiously dropped inside the window and, provided
with a small dark lantern, made his way stealthily up the
stairs. So cleverly had he extracted information from
Lizzie that he had no hesitation in choosing his way. He
paused for a moment at the head of the stairs to make
sure all was still, then went with quick silent tread till he
stood before the door of the room which contained the
When Mrs. Beaufort had discovered the value of the
diamonds her young cousin had with her, she insisted
upon her keeping her dressing-case in a very strong oaken
cupboard in another room, for she did not think it wise
to have such costly ornaments kept on a young lady's

70 A Daughter to be Proud of
With the greatest care Porter turned the handle of the
door, but it was old-fashioned and somewhat stiff, and to
his great annoyance he found it impossible to prevent a
certain amount of noise. However, it did not seem to
rouse any one, and he set to work without delay upon the
cupboard lock. It was a tedious, tiresome job, and it was
a long time before he could make any impression, but at
last the door was opened and the object of his search
within his grasp. As he laid hold of it, he thought he
heard a slight sound, and turning he threw his light upon
the doorway. It was no false alarm, for there stood three
men who had silently surprised him at his work.

Iss ELLEN had been very fretty all day with a slight
cold and inclination to sore-throat, and nurse was
rather uneasy, about her, for, as she said, such
symptoms often meant mischief.
Towards the evening the child seemed brighter, but
nurse thought it best to be on the safe side, and told
Susan she had better make herself up the little chair-
bed, and remain with the child for the night.
Ellen's room adjoined the nursery-a cosy, snug little
nest. The child slept quietly, and Susan's anxiety on
her account was at rest; but still she did not feel inclined
to sleep. The night seemed to pass very slowly as Susan
lay awake thinking. It must have been towards the
small hours of the morning that she was startled by a
muffled sound. Could it be only a nervous fancy

The Crime and its Punishment. 71

brought about by th, darkness of the night? Again it
came-surely it was no imagination. Could it be any one
breaking into the house ? It was such a strange sound.
There seemed no other explanation. Susan thought twice
before she could make up her mind to get up and see
whether anything was wrong, but she was no coward, and
in a few minutes she had opened the door very cautiously
and was listening intently.
She could hear nothing but the loud beating of her
heart, and was almost convinced that the noise had existed
only in imagination. But then came the unmistakable
sound of a stealthy step up the stairs, a step made as
.silently as possible, so that it might not be heard.
The door of Ellen's room was sunk in a recess, so that
as Susan stood she could not be seen from the staircase.
She heard the strange step stop at the head of the stairs,
and a faint glimmer of light flashed for a moment along
the passage-only for a moment-then it was withdrawn,
and she heard the quiet footsteps turn in the other direc-
tion, and go towards the front part of the house.
Susan cautiously leant forward, and against a dim light
thrown beyond she could make out the outline of a man's
In a moment she decided what she would do. Hastily
putting on her things, she, with steps as quick as the
burglar's, made her way downstairs.
Feeling her way along, she reached the servants' hall,
undid the window, and slipped out. It was a terribly
anxious moment, for she could not tell how many con-
federates the man might have watching, but she hoped
this side of the house would be clear, as she felt certain
the thief must have effected his entrance elsewhere.
Across the grass, between the shrubs, she ran, thankful

72 A Daughter to be Proud of.

that the. night was so dark, till she reached the stables,
where she roused the old coachman, and, in a few clear
words, made him understand her errand.
Crabb was very cool-headed, and soon mustered a little
band of grooms and gardeners. Placing himself at the
head, he led the way to the house, and they soon dis-
covered the window through which the burglar had
entered. 1No confederate seemed near, but Crabb left
a man to watch the spot, and, after stationing one or two
others at different points to prevent the thief's escape,
made his way with two young grooms up the stairs.
Susan meanwhile returned to Ellen's room, keenly excited
as to what might happen.
At first Crabb heard nothing of the man for whom he
was searching, and thought he must have taken alarm
and made off; but a faint scraping noise soon attracted
his attention, and drew him towards a door at the far end
of the passage. Softly pushing open the door Crabb and
the grooms looked in, and before them stood a strong-
looking man grasping in his hand a box, which he had
evidently just taken from the shelf of an oaken cupboard
that stood against the opposite wall.
With a start the man turned and threw upon the door
the light of his lantern. Deadly was the look of hatred
that came into his eyes as he saw himself thus thwarted
in what he had hoped was the moment of victory. With
one bound he gained the window, threw it open, and
stood upon the parapet outside.
"Take that," said he, turning towards his pursuers;
and, as he spoke, he took from his pocket a revolver, and
aimed it deliberately at the first. Then he let himself
down by the help of a thick ivy stem, and made a rush
across the garden towards the park. As he ran he came

The Crime and its Punishment:.

suddenly against a man who was hurrying up, attracted
by the sound of the shot. With a heavy blow lie felled
him to the ground, and rushed on. The park was bounded
by a high wall, and, hampered as Porter was by the
jewel-box, he found it a serious obstacle. By dint of
great efforts he reached the top, and with a leap hoped to
gain the high road, between which and the wall there was
a deep ditch. As he jumped his jacket caught in an
over-hanging bough, and he came with a heavy crash to
the ground. There was a loud report, and then a groan.
In a few minutes the pursuers arrived at the spot and
stood beside the wounded man, as he lay on his side
moaning in agony. They sent for a doctor, and did what
they could to stop the flow of blood, but it was clear from
the first that the wound was mortal, and that the man
had but a few moments to live.
There was something very terrible in the fate that had
overtaken him, in thus dying by his own weapon, for it
was evident how the accident had happened.
Not one of all that little group ever forgot that silent
waiting. Solemn at any time is the presence of the Angel
of Death, even when he comes to call the good and true;
but how terrible is it when he comes to the unprepared,
to those who have shut out from their minds all thought
of that unseen world to which all steps are tending.
Presently the dying man made a movement. Half
raising himself upon his hand, he said, in a faint voice,
gasping for breath, "After all, mate, you were right."
Then he fell backwards and died.
A few yards from him lay the dressing-case with the
diamonds, and in that awful hour what a horrible mockery
it seemed to the bystanders that any man should risk life,
both mortal and eternal, for such baubles.

74 A Daughter to be Prond of.


EANWHILE the whole house had been roused by the
noise, and Mrs. Beaufort, on making her way into
the passage, found the greatest confusion reigning.
Frightened servants were running hither and thither, and
from the nurseries came the sound of children crying.
Then she saw the old coachman coming towards her.
"Crabb," she said, what is all this about ?"
"A burglar, if you please, ma'am, broke into the house,
and Susan she come and told me, and we all come in to
see if we could catch him, and we found him in this here
room. And when he see'd us he jumped straight out of
window, and shot at Thomas as he went. I don't think
he is very badly hurt, ma'am, but I 've sent for the
Mrs. Beaufort instantly went to see what injuries
Thomas had received, and found his wound required
bandaging, but was not likely to be serious. He was a
plucky young fellow, and made very light of it, declaring
it was not worth troubling the mistress about.
Then in came some one with an account of all that
had happened outside, and it seemed as if the night with
its horrors would never come to a close. Miss Forbes
went to the nursery to see if she could be of any use to
nursein quieting the children, who were terrified at the
firing and the unusual hurrying to and fro.
At last the dawn came, and very thankful every one was
to see it.
The burglar was recognized as Lizzie's brother, and at
first it was supposed that she must have had a hand in

Susan's Courage is Rewarded. 75

the robbery, but by close questioning it became clear that
she was entirely ignorant of Porter's scheme, although
she confessed to having told him all about the diamonds,
and where they were kept.
She was of course greatly blamed for this; but the girl's
evident distress, and her grief for the terrible fate of her
brother, caused every one to treat her more leniently than
might otherwise have been the case.
It is unnecessary to speak of the inquest-as to the cause
of death there was no question. The news of the robbery
spread very quickly, and Halliday was just starting out to
work when he heard it. It was not supposed that he was
more intimate with Porter than many others among the
quarrymen, and he was not expected to know anything of
the matter. Nor did he volunteer information, and never
revealed to any one what had happened the early part of
that night. When he heard of Porter's last words he
hoped most earnestly that repentance had come into
his heart at the last, but it was only a dim hope. For
who can tell what passes in any human soul in such last
moments, when the body is weakened and faint from
a mortal wound, and the previous life has been a
deliberate choice of evil and rejection of good.
It was with an aching heart that Halliday worked that
day. He mourned for Porter most truly, and oh how he
longed to undo the past. He thought of many a wild
spree they had had together in the old days, when he had
never stood up for the right. Had he not encouraged
Fred in his evil ways ? Oh if he could only have the
time over again, how differently be would use it.
As Halliday thought and thought through that long
day, he made up his mind to leave the quarry work, and
go back to his sister. He knew how strongly she wished

76 A Daughter to be Proud of.

him to do so, and he firmly resolved to spend the
remainder of his life in trying to be of some use to
Mrs. Beaufort and Miss Forbes could not praise Susan
enough for her courage and presence of mind. Miss
Forbes presented her with a beautiful watch with the
date engraved upon it, and asked her to accept it in
token of her gratitude.
Susan felt quite shy, and begged Miss Forbes not to
think of giving her anything, and it was a long time
before she could be induced to accept it, for only doing
her duty, as she said.
By degrees the household settled into its ordinary
ways, with the exception of Lizzie, who seemed an
altered person, and Mrs. Beaufort came to the conclusion
that her brother's death and discovering him to be such a
thief had been too great a shock to the girl's system.
So she sent for her and asked her whether she would like
to leave the place, offering to find her another situation.
Lizzie made no reply, but burst into violent sobs.
Mrs. Beaufort was very sorry for the girl, and did her
best to comfort her by kind and encouraging words.
"Lizzie," she said, it has all been terribly sad, but
you must not -et your thoughts dwell upon the past.
You were to blame very much in talking of what went
on in the house; you must always remember that
a faithful servant's lips should be sealed about all that
she hears or sees in her mistress's house, but after such a
terrible lesson, you will not, I feel sure, be guilty of such
thoughtlessness again.
Oh, ma'am," said Lizzie, sobbing bitterly, I don't
deserve your kindness, indeed I don't; if only you knew,

Susan's Courage is Rewarded. 77

"If only I knew what, Lizzie ?"
"Oh, ma'am, I 'll tell you the truth. I've been a thief
all this time- "
A thief !" said her mistress in astonishment. Impos-
sible, Lizzie why it was clearly proved that you had
nothing to do with the robbery except your thoughtless
talk. It was wrong, very wrong, to talk as you did,
Lizzie, but it is not the same as stealing."
"Oh, ma'am, it's not the diamonds as I 'm a thinking
of, though, if I 'd never a spoke of them, Fred would
never have known of them, and never had a thought of
taking them." Here Lizzie broke down altogether, and
Mrs. Beaufort felt it was not surprising that the girl
should reproach herself bitterly for having, as it were, led
her brother into temptation. But, at the same time, she
was much puzzled as to what the girl could allude to if
it were not the diamonds. She waited patiently until
Lizzie was somewhat calmer, and then asked her to
explain herself.
Then, bit by bit, out came the whole story of the many
thefts of which she had been guilty; first, how as a child
she had taken lumps of sugar and little bits of any nice
things that came in her way. Then, since she had gone
out to service, how she had stolen first a ribbon, then
a handkerchief, and so on; her only care being that
no one should find her out. Then she-confessed how she
had tampered with the locks of her fellow-servants' boxes,
and finally taken Susan's money; and here, though she
would willingly have spared her brother's memory, she
was obliged to tell who had taught her how to do it.
Mrs. Beaufort felt quite sick at heart as she listened
to the sad confession. Could it be possible that this
young girl was nothing but a thief? She wondered

78 A Daug/ohte to be Proud of

whether the girl had had her head turned by her
brother's death, but gradually she became convinced of
the truth of all she had said. There was but one
grain of comfort in it all-that the girl had confessed
her wickedness, and seemed truly sorry and ashamed.
"Lizzie," she said at last, "all this that you have told
me is very dreadful, and I must think it over. You can
go now."
Then she summoned nurse, and told her all Lizzie had
said. She was able to confirm her story as regarded the
thefts, though, as she said, it had been impossible to
discover the thief, and indeed, ma'am, we were terribly
afraid it might be Martha, for after she took them stores
and things for that pudding, as she 'd no business to touch,
we always felt it might be her. But I am thankful it
ain't, for it would have well-nigh broke her mother's
Lizzie's penitence was sincere, and the awful lesson she
had had in the fate of her brother was bearing good fruit.
She had really loved her brother, and the sight of him,
lying still and cold that morning, with the knowledge of
how and why his life had come to so sudden a close, had
been a terrible grief and shock. She could not disguise
from herself that it was through her he had come to
know all about the diamonds and how to find them; and,
though she had never intended him to steal them, how
often had she willingly followed out his suggestions in
stealing little things!
In looking back Lizzie could not remember one single
instance when she had tried to make her brother do right.
No, she had always been on the side of evil.
Lizzie saw herself very clearly for the first time, and
pickings and trifles all took their real shape. She knew

Susan's Courage is Rewarded. 79

that she was a thief, and she felt ashamed to look at
any one. She carefully collected the things she had stolen
and gave them back.
Mrs. Beaufort felt it was impossible for her to keep
Lizzie, so she wrote to a friend telling her all the circum-
stances, and asking her if she would give the girl a trial.
This friend lived in a small house, with very few servants,
all of whom had been with her many years. From time to
time, out of kindness, the lady would take a young girl to
train. She wrote to Mrs. Beaufort to say that she would
give Lizzie a trial, so the girl was sent to her at once.
As years went by, Mrs. Beaufort was thankful to hear
that Lizzie was leading a new life, and striving hard to
regain a good character.
Soon after Lizzie's dismissal Susan went for a little
holiday, and her parents' pride and delight in their
daughter were great. That Susan should have a beautiful
watch with her name and the date, given to her because
she had been such a brave good girl, was indeed something
to be proud of, and it was no wonder that Smith and his
wife were pleased with their daughter.
Mrs. Beaufort had written to Mrs. Smith saying how
pleased she was with Susan, "for," she said, "she is
perfectly truthful and trustworthy."
Wife," said Smith, I shall keep that letter in our big
Bible; it is worth its weight in gold."
To Susan there was always great sadness in thinking
of the night of the burglary. Porter's death and Lizzie's
confession had been very shocking to the whole house-
hold, and Susan felt she could not be thankful enough
for her good father and mother, who had taught her from
her earliest childhood to speak the truth, and live honestly
in the sight of God and man.

8o A Daughter to be Proud of.

She and Martha had long talks that spring, and Mrs.
Beaufort was glad to see what friends they had become,
for she hoped, under Susan's influence, that Martha would
grow into a steady woman.
Easter came, with all its teaching of hope and promise,
telling of a glad resurrection from death, and a better life
beyond. The year had been an eventful one for Martha;
she had learnt that there was, without doubt, a battle
going on in the world, and that every one, men and
women, boys and girls, were all fighting on one side or
the other.
And Martha asked herself over and over again, as she
went about her work, Which side am I ?"
And she did not like the answer her heart gave her.
It was no use to deceive herself; she had been a very poor
sort of soldier-indeed she felt that many days she had
been fighting against her own side. She made up her
mind that she would try to do better for the future, and
not run away directly the enemy came in sight.
Martha knew that to be a really good soldier she must
have the whole armour of God, and the assistance of the
Holy Spirit. It was useless to try to fight unarmed and
unaided, and that was why she knelt in humble faith
and penitence that Easter morning; and those who
"hunger and thirst after righteousness," it is written,
"shall be filled."

Pardon & Sons. Printers, Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, R.O.

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