Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 In search of fortune
 The long day before Christmas
 One Saturday afternoon
 Back Cover

Group Title: Story hour series
Title: In search of a fortune
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082766/00001
 Material Information
Title: In search of a fortune
Series Title: Story hour series
Alternate Title: Two Pollys
Physical Description: 73 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hamilton, E. M
Hamilton, Kate W ( Kate Waterman ), 1841-1934 ( Author )
Pilgrim Press ( Publisher )
Publisher: Pilgrim Press
Place of Publication: Boston ;
Publication Date: c1894
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1894   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1894
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
Statement of Responsibility: by E. M. and Kate W. Hamilton.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082766
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002231105
notis - ALH1473
oclc - 226307842

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    In search of fortune
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    The long day before Christmas
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    One Saturday afternoon
        Page 46
        Page 46a
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

. ... .... ...... .
m DO Abs!
k too.).


The Baldwin Library
RF adad

No. I. Dot's Christmas.
No. 2. Dolly's Quest.
No. 3. Like a Story.
No. 4. How Billy Helped the Church.
No. 5. Billy's Motto.
No. 6. In Search of a Fortune.

i' '





Ube pilgrim press






BILLY . . . . 62


T HE little upper room was in as good
order as Retta's small hands could
place it. The faded rag carpet had been
faithfully swept, the little round stand,
the pine table, and the four chairs were
certainly neatly dusted; and as for the
bed well, it did exhibit various little
hills and hollows, and the foot mani-
fested a strong inclination to rise higher
than the head; but then Retta's arms
were short, and it had taken such a
wondrous amount of poking and patting
to bring it into even its present respect-
able state that the little girl viewed it
quite complacently. The small house-


keeping labors had devolved upon her
because sister Anna had been obliged
to go out much earlier than usual that
morning to carry home some sewing
that had been promised. It was time
for her to return, however, and the little
housekeeper stood by an open window,
her plump arms resting upon the sill,
watching for her to come. Presently
there was a sound of footsteps on the
stairs altogether too rapid and noisy
for Anna's and in a moment the door
was thrown open and Nat came in.
Ho, little Ret! You need n't sit by
the window any longer, 'cause Anna
ain't coming."
"Why ? asked Retta, turning around
in surprise. What 's the matter ? "
"Nothing the matter, only she can't
come. You see, I was walking'way up
Fourth Street when who should I see


on the other side but Anna. She beck-
oned for me to go over, and then she
said that when she carried home that
sewing Mrs. Winslow wanted her to
stay for a day or two and do some
work that she could n't send out of the
house. She was in a great hurry for it,
and would pay pretty well, so Anna
thought maybe she 'd better stay, only
she did n't like to be away from us. I
told her she need n't worry, 'cause we
would n't be a bit afraid with Mrs. Dooly
just downstairs. So then she said, Tell
Mrs. Dooly how it was, and ask her to
look after us a bit'- and that 's all. I
came home to tell you; and we 'll just
have to keep house by ourselves for a
Nat sat down on the floor and slipped
off his shoes; then he picked them up
and examined them. Take the best


view he could of them, they were very
poor -burst out at the sides, patched at
the toes, and worn through on the soles
- and though he- had been very careful
of them, and only worn them on rare
occasions since the warm weather came,
yet they had grown worse with that
slight use.
Not worth calling shoes at all, if it
was n't just for politeness," he said.
" You see, Retta, these ain't fit to go to
Sunday-school, nor other school, nor
anywhere else with, and Anna looks
sorry every time she sees 'em. She
said she did n't know how I 'd get any,
unless I could earn 'em some way this
vacation. And that's just what I mean
to do," added Nat with an air of deter-
mination. "You know we went after
berries a day or two last summer, and
I sold part of mine ? I mean to go


every day this season, pick as many as
I can, and sell 'em all. They 're ripe
now, 'cause I saw some to-day."
I 'll go too," said Retta. There
is n't anything to do now, and I should
n't wonder if we earned lots before
Anna comes home."
Retta hunted up Nat's pail and her
own little basket. Mrs. Dooly, who
kept the sma11 store in the room below
them, was informed of where they were
going, and they started off in high
spirits. They lived near the suburbs of
the small town, and it did not require
a long walk to bring them into the
open country, and that reached, they
wandered on to the woods they had
grown familiar with the year before.
Older and more experienced berry-
pickers had been there in the early
morning before them, so they found no


great abundance of fruit, and what they
did gather was at the expense of much
searching and clambering about. Still
it was pleasant out in the dim old wood
with only the singing birds and shy
frisking squirrels for company, and
when the afternoon shadows began to
lengthen, and they found that the bas-
ket and pail together contained a little
over four quarts, they turned their steps
homeward well satisfied. There was
no difficulty in disposing of the fresh
berries by the way, and the lady who
bought the last of them as she dropped
the change into Nat's hand placed in
Retta's a little paper of ginger snaps,
saying laughingly, -
If you little folks have been out in
the woods all day, you are hungry, I
Oh !" exclaimed Retta with bright-


ening eyes when they had reached the
road again, is n't it fun ? I wish sum-
mer would last all the time, and we
could pick berries every day! How
much money have you got, Nat?"
Let's stop under this tree and count
it," answered Nat, coming to a sudden
halt. So they sat down on the green
grass, and he drew forth his treasure.
Forty-two cents," he said, after every
piece had been carefully examined.
"That's just right. We had a little
over four quarts, you know, and we sold
em for ten cents a quart."
"Forty-two cents! I think that's a
pretty good deal! said Retta compla-
cently. "I did n't ever know it was so
easy to earn money. Nat, let's sit still
and eat our cakes, will you ? I'm
The cakes were speedily disposed of


to the last crumb, but still the children
lingered, turning over the paper that
had contained them. It was a piece
of newspaper, and presently something
caught Nat's eye that interested him.
"Wait a minute, Retta; I want to
read this about a Buried Treasure,' he
said; and in a moment both little heads
were bent eagerly over it. This was
the paragraph: -
"A party of wood choppers, at work
near the Black Swamp in Williams
County, recently discovered a pot of
gold buried in a little mound near an
old elm tree. The coin was in five, ten,
and twenty dollar pieces, and amounted
in all to about two thousand dollars.
There were no means of telling to whom
it had belonged, or when it had been
placed there; but it was speedily divided
among the finders, who were jubilant


over their good fortune, and say it is
the best day's work they ever did."
Oh! ob,! exclaimed Retta, lifting
eyes wide 'open with astonishment.
"Two thousand dollars, all for their
own! 0 Nat!"
"Just think of it! said Nat; "they'd
be rich enough not to chop any wood
for a good many days, I tell you! I ex-
pect lots of folks have been over that
mound and never thought of there being
any money there. Don't you wish it
had been just us that had found it ?"
And were carrying it home right
now," added Retta, entering into the
spirit of the dream. "Would n't it be
splendid, and would n't we buy many
things ? New shoes and a grand piano,
oranges, and a pretty bonnet for Anna.
'How surprised she'd be when she got
home! "


We would n't stay in that little place
long," said Nat magnificently. "We'd
have a big house with a great grassy
yard in front, and keep a horse and car-
riage, and have great, broad stairs with
velvet carpets on 'em, and pictures and
books, and everything."
It took but a few minutes to furnish
their imaginary castle throughout, and
they had just planned a wonderful ride
into the country, during which they were
to throw out gold dollars to any poor
little boys and girls who might be pick-
ing berries by the roadside, when the
sun, sinking low behind the western
hills, brought Nat back to reality.
Well, we did n't find any gold, and
we have n't got any horse and carriage,"
he said, looking down at his dusty
feet that were somewhat scratched and
bruised from the long day's ramble.


" It's time for us to go home. Come,
Retta got up with a little sigh and
Nat gathered up his money, which some-
way did not seem nearly as much as it
had done when they first sat down to
rest. Only forty-two cents Why, the
men who found the jar of gold would
hardly have thought that worth picking
up, and he had worked all day for it!
I'm more tired than I was," said
Retta a little impatiently as they walked
on; and when we get home I 'spect
I '11 have to get supper, and I don't
believe there's anything very good to
get either. Oh, dear! I wish we did
live in a good house, with nice things
to eat!"
Mrs. Dooly had grown a little anxious,
and was watching for them from the
door of her little shop. But her


welcome and congratulations on their
success did not give the pleasure they
would have done a little while before,
and they slipped away presently to their
own room.
"Retta," said Nat, suddenly breaking
a long silence that had fallen after sup-
per was over and the candle lighted, I
expect there 's lots of inoney buried all
around, if folks only knew where it
Yes," said Retta slowly; I s'pose
there is."
"And like as not if anybody'd hunt
for it, they might find some."
"Yes," answered Retta again- this
time with a question in her tone.
"Well, let's do it. Why, we passed
ever so many little mounds to-day that
might have had something hid in 'em,
and to-morrow" -


To-morrow," interrupted Retta ear-
nestly, we '11 hunt every one. It's
'most sure there '11 be something in some
of 'em."
They were ready to start early the
next morning, though the question of
what they were to dig with had caused
them considerable trouble. A spade
they did not own, nor any shovel except
a little fire shovel; but this last they
concluded might be made to answer
with the aid of a small hatchet to loosen
up the ground. So with those two
articles, and the pail and basket which
they carried for the sake of appearances,
they started out.
Such a day as that was! Up and down
through the woods and along old roads
the children wandered, stopping now
here and now there, wherever any little
rise or hillock attracted their attention,


and plying hatchet and shovel with all
their strength, only to meet with disap-
pointment. Sometimes they struck upon
the roots of some large tree that forbade
farther progress; sometimes the ground
was so strong that all their efforts to pry
into it were useless; and once where a
great hollow tree suggested numerous
tempting possibilities, their knocking
and pounding only started out a large
snake that caused them to beat a hurried
retreat. The sun was bright and hot,
and they grew very warm and tired.
The berry-picking of the day before had
not been nearly as hard work as this.
Retta's hands were almost blistered from
her exertions with hatchet and shovel
alternately, and even Nat's felt stiff and
sore. They were often obliged to stop
and rest, but weary and constantly dis-
appointed though they were, they did


not like to give up the search. They
had gathered no berries indeed they
had scarcely thought of looking for any
- and so the long, bright hours were
slipping away without bringing them
any gain or reward for all their labor.
Quite late in the afternoon they reached
the edge of the wood, and beyond lay
a plowed field.
Oh, dear! said Retta disconsolately,
viewing the sunny, uneven stretch of
ground, I 'm so tired, and I don't know
where we 'd better go next! "
Nat's eyes wandered up and down,
and presently fell upon a little mound,
a few yards from where they stood.
See there, Retta ? "
I don't believe there is anything in
it," said Retta wearily; but Nat walked
to it, and began punching it with his


Retta, the ground has been dug up
here, and not very long ago either," he
"That's nothing," answered Retta,
growing a little interested, however.
What would anybody dig it up for if
it was n't to put something in it ?" asked
Nat. That was a question Retta could
not answer, and her faith reviving a little
she went to her brother's side and was
soon assisting in the work. The soil
was so soft and loose that they made
rapid progress, and after a few minutes
Nat said excitedly: -
Retta, there is something here. I
can feel' it with my shovel! "
Where ? asked Retta, eagerly.
Strike just here. Don't you feel it ?"
There certainly was something, and a
few moments more revealed the corner
of a wooden box.


"We've found it! We've found it!
0 Nat! do hurry! exclaimed Retta,
trembling with haste and excitement.
They both kneeled down on the
ground and bent over the opening,
brushing away the dirt with shovel and
Halloo! what are you doing there?"
called a voice behind them; and they
started suddenly and looked up, to see
a man coming toward them across the
plowed field. "What in the world are
you trying to dig up my dog for? He
was n't worth much while he was living,
and I know he 's good for nothing now,"
he added as he came up to them.
A dead dog! Nat started back in
dismay and disgust, but the heavy dis-
appointment was quite too much for
poor tired little Retta, and she burst
into tears.


The farmer looked in surprise from
one to the other, not at all comprehend-
ing the scene. -" What is the matter,
sissy? What were you after anyway?"
he asked wonderingly. And the little
girl, too sore-hearted to care about
keeping their secret any longer, told
what Nat, perhaps, would not the
story of their day's- fruitless search.
The farmer laughed a little, despite his
efforts to be grave and sympathizing.
Well," he said slowly, I suspect buried
money is very scarce in fact all for-
tunes that can be got for nothing are
a great deal scarcer, than many folks
think for. But I'll tell you children one
thing you did n't take the right time
to look."
"The right time?" replied Nat, be-
Yes; you see, the only right time to


go looking for such things is when there
is nothing else for you to do. Now
there was something else for you ; there
were the berries to be picked."
But," said Nat meditatively, there's
always something to do; I don't believe
the right time would ever come."
"Like as not! like as not!" answered
the farmer with a twinkle in his eye.
But if it don't, why, then you can feel
pretty certain that there's no buried
money anywhere that's intended for
you; for when anybody has to go
around a streak of duty to get at a
streak of luck it's almost sure they 'll
find nothing when they get there. Risk
and Chance will do well enough for fancy
horses, but Sure and Steady will carry
you farthest in the long run-that's
what I tell my boys. Have you got a
Bible at home, little one ?"


Yes, indeed Retta answered
quickly, almost indignantly.
Well, when you go home, you find
the tenth chapter of Proverbs, and the
twenty-second verse, and that '11 tell you
something about finding the best hidden
treasures I know anything about. And
now, if you take my advice, you '11 pick
berries what time you 've got to-day -
dig into work instead of into the ground;
it pays better."
The children walked away silently. It
was too late to go far back into the wood,
but they began picking berries along by
the roadside, wherever they could find
"Retta," said Nat at last, those
woodcutters were going about their
regular work when they found the
money ; more than likely if they had n't
been, they would n't have found it,


'cause, you know, after all, it is n't -
there is n't any luck, it's God."
Yes," answered Retta, gazing deject-
edly into her almost empty basket. Oh,
dear I wish we had just picked berries
to-day; we should have had forty cents
more to-night, and now we sha'n't have
Nat made no reply, only picked the
They carried home but twelve cents
that night, and slipped it quietly in with
the other, without caring to count it over
as they had done the evening before.
Before they went to bed Retta took her
little Bible and hunted up the verse she
had promised to find, and she and Nat
read it together: -
"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh
rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."
The hatchet and shovel did not go to


the wood the next morning, but the chil-
dren did, and notwithstanding one day's
lost time Nat earned enough that sea-
son to buy his shoes and some other
things besides. He is a man now -a
Christian, steady, persevering, energetic
business man -- and he often says that
one thing that has helped him steadily
forward toward success is a bit of ex-
perience that he dug up in the woods
one day, when a boy.


M AGGIE, run upstairs and bring
some more of that red cord.
Hurry, please."
Maggie, run down to the cellar and
bring up a few more apples. Quick,
child; I can't wait for them."
So the voices had sounded every few
minutes all day, and in the brief intervals
Maggie had stood at the table with her
little red hands in the dishwater, rinsing
cups, plates, spoons, and basins that were
used again almost as soon as washed,
and came back to her in seemingly end-
less succession. She could not complain


of that, for she had Come to the house
"to help," and that meant all the run-
ning and waiting and doing that every-
body asked of her. She had been glad
of the few weeks of work, too, for at
home they needed the money she could
earn; but she was growing very tired
this busy day before Christmas.
Outside, the snow lay white on trees
and fences. Real Christmasy weather,"
Tommy Marshal announced triumph-
antly. Inside, there were sweet spicy
odors, and delicious pies and cakes were
emerging from chaos and taking their
places in rows on the pantry shelves.
In the rooms beyond the kitchen were
merry voices and a pretty litter of ever-
greens, gilt paper, and bright pictures.
Bits of talk about this "festival" and
that concert," the things that must be
done for this and finished for that, floated


to Maggie's ears as she stood at her
work; and altogether the atmosphere
indoors was Christmasy" also. She
liked it; she had enjoyed seeing and
hearing all the bustle of preparation,
but still there was a little sore lonely
feeling in her heart as the hours wore
on. She was only on the outside of it
all. It was all somebody else's good
time, not hers; she was only the girl to
wash dishes and run of errands, and oh,
how they did keep her running!
Nobody thought of that. One sent
her here and another there, everybody
was busy, and they did not think what
countless times the tired feet had been
called upon to run up and down stairs,
nor how the little red hands had washed
dishes until they ached. No one meant
to be unkind why, Maggie was to spend
that night and the whole next day at


home, and besides there was hidden
away a brown worsted dress that had
been bought as a present for her. Of
course they meant to be good to the
child. Thoughts of that Christmas at
home had haunted Maggie all day.
It won't be much like this, all
trimmed up, and plenty of nice things
and beautiful presents. I expect mamma
'11 have to sew some, whatever day it is,
and there won't be very much extra for
dinners; but anyway they're just my
own dear folks," she whispered to her
loyal little heart. I need n't feel out-
side of everything there, and if they had
money enough they would give me as
good times as she has," nodding her
head toward a merry little girl who was
flitting about as free as air. There was
no reason why she should feel that Lily
Marshal had wronged her, and yet she


had a feeling very nearly like that as she
grew more tired as if Mrs. Marshal
had no right to have such white soft
hands when her mother's were so worn
and toil-hardened.
Dear hands! Anyway, I love them
better than anybody else's in this world,"
she thought, with a little catch in her
breath that might have become a sob if
she had been alone.
She had so hoped to get away toler-
ably early in the afternoon, but there
seemed no end to the things to be done.
She had wanted time to run up to the
stores and buy a few little things before
she went home. Not with her regular
earnings they were too precious and
too carefully counted as a part of the
family's slender income but with some
little extras she had gained by sewing
carpet rags many a weary evening, and


by sweeping Dr. John's office. To be
sure, she had been sent to do the last,
but Dr. John himself seemed to consider
it extra, and always slipped a dime into
her hands for the service. Of all Lily
Marshal's possessions Maggie thought
the most valuable was that big brother,
Dr. John. So, by hard work, she had
gathered a tiny hoard, and she had
planned just what to do with it if she
could only make it reach far enough.
Once that day when, for a wonder,
somebody sent her on an errand without
being in a particular hurry, she stopped
and sat down on the stairs to rest a
minute and count up once more the
items that had grown so familiar from
long planning, and the scant funds with
which to purchase them.
Calico apron for grandma-that's
bought and made "- with some long


and crooked stitches in it, to be sure,
but then grandma would understand
how hard it had been for the heavy eyes
to keep open and work in the evening,
and how stiff the awkward, patient little
fingers had grown. Mittens for Josey
I do hope I can get them for fifty
cents! Thick veil for mamma; she
needs it so when she has to go out in the
wind and storm. I wonder if I can get
one for fifty cents more. Oh, dear! if I
can't get all the things, what will I give
up ? Jumping-Jack for baby he must
have something. He don't get much,
poor baby! But he 's just as sweet as
Mrs. Marshal's, and he 'd look as pretty
too in a white dress and everything
Tommy Marshal came unexpectedly
sliding down the balustrade just then,
and startled Maggie to her feet so


suddenly that she dropped one of her
precious coins and it rolled out of sight.

"Little Miss Muffett
She sat on a tuffet,
Eating of curds and whey;
There came a big spider,
And sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away,",

sang Master Tommy mischievously.
" Halloo, Maggie, what was it you
dropped ? "
A five-cent piece," answered Maggie,
looking for it hastily and vainly, and then
starting toward the kitchen because she
dared loiter no longer.
Tommy followed her.
"0 mamma, where do you think I
found Maggie ? Sitting on the stairs
' counting out her money like the king
in the parlor,' and I swooped down upon


her like one of the 'four and twenty
blackbirds' and frightened her so that
she actually lost five cents."
Stop your teasing, Tommy," said
Mrs. Marshal, but she laughed. Did
you lose it, Maggie ? Never mind; you
will probably find it again sometime when
you are sweeping, and if you don't, I
will give you another," she said care-
There was a choking lump in Maggie's
throat, and she could scarcely keep the
tears from her eyes. Sometime"
was n't to-day, and the five-cent piece
that seemed so little to the Marshals
had been hardly earned, and meant a
great deal to her; missing it might dis-
appoint her in some of her precious pur-
chases. But she could not explain.
Tommy's nonsense and Mrs. Marshal's
laughter made her fancy that the close


counting of her small hoard would seem
absurd in their eyes. She could n't bear
to have them laugh at it, and so she
went on with her dish-washing and kept
the tears from falling; but she slipped
away at the earliest opportunity to look
for the piece again. She had only a
spare moment, however, before some
one called her, and she did not find it.
Everything seemed to go wrong after
that. How many things they did want,
here and there and everywhere, and no-
body seemed to think that she wanted
anything It was growing so late too;
already the shadows were gathering dark
in the hall and on the stairs, but they
gathered darker in Maggie's heart. All
the sunshine of the day had gone for
her, and left a tired, disappointed, sore-
hearted little girl.
Oh, dear, why can't I go! It's too


bad that there must be so many things
to do just this one day when I did so
want to go! I don't see what makes
things happen so. God could help it,
but he don't. I guess he don't care
anything about my poor little Christ-
mas either," she whispered rebelliously.
" They have everything they want here
-just everything Some folks have it
all, and I can't have even the little bit of
a good time I worked so hard for."
There was a timid tap at the back
door, and opening it Maggie saw her
little brother Josey. She went out on
the steps and closed the door behind her.
Ma said I must n't come in," said
Josey, exactly as if he had been asked.
" She said I might come up to the door
and see if you was coming' home to-night;
she thought maybe you 'd be 'most


How faded his little cap looked, and
how threadbare the small overcoat in
comparison with everything on the other
side of that closed door! Maggie
looked at the round freckled face pity-
ingly, but it held no thought of self-pity;
it was as bright and merry as a boyish
face could be.
Ain't they goin' to have grand times
in there to-morrow, though ? he ex-
claimed with sparkling eyes as he
nodded toward the house. I had a
little bit of a peep through the windows
coming' round- wreaths and everything.
My Say, Maggie, will you come home?
'cause it 'll be dark 'fore very long."
"I know it," said Maggie drearily;
"but I don't know when I can come.
I'll come sometime though, if it's ever
so dark ; but you must n't wait for me,


Josey turned away, crowding his bare
fists down into his pockets to keep them
warm, and Maggie went into the house
again, more tired and dispirited than she
had been before. She noticed every
luxury in the open room beyond her,
and thought of the plain little rooms at
home. She saw Lily Marshal and her
brother slip out together, whispering and
laughing, on some secret expedition, and
thought of Josey going home alone.
She saw mysterious packages brought in
and whisked away upstairs and thought
of the few things she had planned so
happily, and how she had been kept so
late without any chance to buy them.
I don't see why things must happen
so when it is n't any good or use to any-
body she cried again. She could have
the consolation of talking aloud if she
wanted it, for there was no one but her-


self in the kitchen now no one in the
room beyond but baby, who was toddling
about at his own sweet will, and enjoying
unusual freedom because everybody was
trusting him to everybody else.
There is no surer way of making our
own path dark than by counting all the
sunbeams on other people's as so many
taken from ours; 'and so poor tired
Maggie was fast making herself into the
most disappointed, sorrowful, bitterly
neglected little girl in the world that
Christmas eve as she slowly finished the
last bit of clearing up.
A sudden scream of terror from the
next room started her out of her brood-
ing. She turned to see a flash of light,
a little figure wrapped in flame. Baby
had pressed too near the fire, and his
white dress had swept in. Maggie com-
prehended it -all in an instant as she


sprang toward him. She tried to tear
away his clothing, but sash and band
resisted her efforts, and catching him in
her arms she wrapped her own dress
about him the coarse woolen dress -
how she blessed it then! and holding
him tightly in her arms rolled over and
over upon the carpet, adding her shrieks
to his.
It was but a few moments, but Maggie
had never thought so fast and so far in
all her life before of the empty water-
pail in the kitchen, of the snow in the
yard and the blankets upstairs, all so
hopelessly out of reach. Would no one
ever come ? It was all over in a minute
or two. The excited, frightened house-
hold rushed in, but the flames were
already extinguished. A little pile of
burnt clothing lay on the floor to tell of
the horror that had passed so narrowly


by, and there were only a few slight
burns on baby's limbs and on Maggie's
hands. Pale trembling lips questioned
and exclaimed, and if baby lifted up his
voice and wept, and Maggie buried her
face and sobbed now that the terrible
danger was over, they had plenty of
company. The mother held her darling
as if she would never trust him out of
her arms again.
But, oh, my dear brave Maggie, if
you had not been here! she said shud-
deringly as she tenderly bound up the
burned fingers that had done such
There was no lack of petting and
praise and thanks for Maggie that night.
She quite forgot how dreary and forlorn
she had been, and how the time was
passing, until a sweet solemn thought
swept suddenly over her. This was why


she had been kept so late. God had not
forgotten, but she had been kept to save
The scorched dress was covered with
a pretty shawl when she was ready to go
home at last, and as the night had fallen
before anybody noticed, Dr. John pro-
posed to take Maggie home in his sleigh
that stood at the door. Dr. John never
seemed to forget that she was only a
little girl, or to care whether a little girl
played with dolls in the parlor or washed
dishes in the kitchen; so, when the
sleigh robes were tucked around her,
she ventured to ask him if he would
mind driving up town for about five
minutes so that she could buy a few'
Not a bit. I have a little shopping
of my own to do," said Dr. John gravely.
What a ride that was to the glittering

stores, and how cheap and nice every-
thing seemed And then the drive home
in the starlight, with the flying snow and
the tinkling bells, was like a bit of fairy-
land, and the whole world had grown
beautiful by the time Maggie reached
her own door, and was lifted out with
the bundles which seemed to have in-
creased in number marvelously since
they were deposited in the sleigh.
That was a happy evening when, with
her own baby brother close in her arms,.
she told the story at home with mamma,
grandma, and Josey listening eagerly;
but she was sure there could be no hap-
pier girl than herself when the next-
morning came, and with it Mrs. Marshal
with a host of gifts.
"You must let me do something.
Think what a Christmas this would have
been to us but for her," said the lady


with tears in her eyes as Maggie's mother
faintly protested.
So Josey, baby, and Maggie fairly
reveled in treasures that day- the whole
household shared them indeed.
"And God was planning all this for
me when I was so cross and wicked,
thinking he did not care," she whispered
with penitent wonder. He was bring-
ing all this good time to me when he let
it be such a long, long day."


T HERE was a tribe of Indians out
in Uncle Hiram's back yard one
Saturday afternoon; at least they called
themselves Indians; and if they did n't
know what they were, I should like to
know who did? And then they made
noise enough for a whole tribe too. To
be sure, there were only five of them -
Tommy, Charlie, Fred, Millie, and Mabel
- and the first three were dressed in
jackets and boots, and the last two in
calico dresses and sunbonnets; but what
of that? Were they not rigged out in
gorgeous trimming of hen feathers, and
were not their faces streaked with all the



colors Millie's paint box could afford?
They were; and not only that, but they
talked, or rather shouted, the strangest
jargon you ever heard. I guess they
did n't understand each other very well
though, for every once in a while they
spoke in English.
Ow-ow-wow! said Tommy; I 'm
big Injun; eat much; ow-ow! Charlie,
your feathers are all falling out."
Then they tied Charlie to a post
and began a war dance -I don't know
what else to call it around him. They
flourished wooden knives and wooden
guns before his face, pretended to shoot
him with arrows, shouted and howled,
and seemed to be in a terrible rage with
their prisoner. But Charlie did not ap-
pear to be much frightened. For a
captive among Indians, he seemed to
bear it with wonderful fortitude, until


Tommy, in making a particularly wild
flourish, happened to hit him on the
head, and then the prisoner's bravery
forsook him and he began to cry. At
this mishap the "war dance" ceased,
and, being pretty tired by this time, the
Indians pulled out their feathers and
went to the horse trough and washed
off the paint. And then they came
back five rosy-cheeked little boys and
Now let us play something else,"
said Tommy.
"What ?" asked Fred.
"Oh, 'most anything."
"I know," said Millie; "let us go
down in the spring woods and gather
flowers. It will be cooler there."
Pshaw there 's no fun in that; they
will all wither when we 've got them,"
answered Tommy a little pettishly.


I would sooner do that, though,
than play anything hard like we have
been," observed Fred, fanning himself
vigorously with his straw hat. "Tell
you what, I 'm pretty tired now! "
All agreed to Millie's proposal except-
ing Tommy, and he insisted on remain-
ing and playing in the yard. And that
was the way the trouble began. The
majority were tired, and wished to go to
the woods, while Tommy urged playing
where they were. And so word followed
word, until the whole party were not
only heated by their play, but became
very warm in their discussion.
"Well," said Tommy at length, "if
you must go to the woods, why, just
go; but I won't, that's all." And he
walked angrily away into the house.
The others waited a little, hoping he
would come back and go with them,


after all; but he did not, and finally
they passed out the back gate and
down toward the spring woods. Tommy
watched them discontentedly from the
window until they were gone; then went
and sat down on the sofa. He picked
up a book and tried to read. It was
a new book, given to him by Aunt Mary,
and he had thought he should enjoy it
very much. But he could not become
interested. Somehow he felt lonesome
and dissatisfied; angry at the others for
not having agreed to his wishes, and, if
the truth be told, angry with himself
for having become angry at all. But
Tommy was not yet quite ready to
acknowledge this last not quite.
Finally he threw down the book, went
out at the front door, and wandered list-
lessly up and down the piazza. The
bright afternoon, which he had been


looking forward to through the week
with numerous brilliant plans for amuse-
ment, seemed to have lost all its btight-
ness, and he really began to wish it were
ended and that night had come. His
eye rested on old Carlo, lying by the
garden walk, and he tried to get up
a romp with him. But Carlo was not
inclined to play; neither was Tommy;
and they soon stopped by mutual con-
What should he do next? Tommy
did not know, and he walked slowly
around the house toward the woodshed.
He felt half inclined to go down where
the others were, after all. Maybe they
are having lots of fun," he thought. He
hesitated a moment. But no; if they
would n't stay and play where he wanted
them, he would n't play with them down
there, that was certain ; and with a very


sullen face indeed he entered the shed
and sat down on the sawhorse. He
picked up a piece of soft pine and
began to whittle; but he felt in no
mood for that, and soon replaced the
knife in his pocket. Then he glanced
aimlessly around the old shed: at the
woodpile in one corner; the rough tim-
bers, cobwebbed and dusty, overhead;
the numerous chinks and holes that
admitted the sunlight in long slanting
streams; and there, too, at one side, was
the armory of wooden swords, knives,
and pistols. What a fund of amuse-
ment they had been to him! But they
had no interest to him now, and he
even wondered that he had ever enjoyed
them at all.
In fact, Tommy was becoming quite
cynical; and if you don't know what
that is, just look in the dictionary, and


then, if you wish to be happy, and do
God and man right loyal service, keep
from becoming like that. Presently, in
looking about, Tommy caught sight of
his fishing-pole stretched along the side
of the shed, and his face brightened.
"There, I never thought of that!" he
said. "I will go over to Sweethill
Creek and fish; that's what I will do."
And in a moment more he pulled down
the pole to see if it was in order and
then hurried away to the orchard to pro-
cure bait.
It was not long, however, before
Tommy was on his way. Sweethill
Creek was in a lonely place, some
little distance from the village, and ran
through a large wood. It was a splendid
place to fish, shady and cool, and usually
Tommy enjoyed going there very much.
But to-day he did not. Someway every-


thing had gone wrong, and he felt lone-
some and disagreeable. If the others
were only with him, he thought, why,
then -but then they were not, and he
would have a good time by himself.
Poor Tommy! Like many another, he
had done wrong, he knew it, yet was
unwilling to acknowledge it or discover
it to be the cause of his unhappiness.
He sauntered slowly along the road
in a disconsolate sort of way, crossed the
railroad, and ascended the small hill by
the schoolhouse. Then he entered the
dark woods, and a little farther on came
to the creek. He seated himself on
a gnarled root projecting from the bank
and threw his line into the water. For
a while Tommy became deeply inter-
ested, and he nearly forgot his troubles
in watching the floating cork. But the
cork remained perfectly still, and not


a fish came nigh to give as much as a
nibble. Even they seemed combined
against him; and after an hour of
patient waiting Tommy drew up his
line in disgust and walked away into
the woods to look for huckleberries.
He wandered on for some time, picking
berries, and not caring in what direction
he went, until finally he came out upon
a road different from the one he had
come. He knew the way, however, and,
as he looked up at the sky he saw the
sun far in the west, and he thought it
time to go home. Accordingly, he
hurried forward until he arrived in sight
of the village, and then he suddenly
paused. Right beside the road stood
the little church, and as Tommy's eye
rested on it he saw the door was open.
Halloo !" he exclaimed; guess the
sexton must be fixing it up for Sunday,


or something. I never was, in church
except on Sunday, either. Wonder how
it looks when there's no meeting or
anything ?" As he spoke Tommy
turned from the road and walked into
the church.
Now, the old sexton was in the church,
but having just stepped into a small
room near the door he did not see
Tommy as he entered, and being quite
deaf he did not hear him. Neither was
Tommy aware of the sexton's presence.
He walked slowly up the long aisle,
somewhat awed, too, by the sacredness
and lonely quiet of the place, until he
came near the pulpit. Then he sat
down in a pew. He looked about him;
at the great windows, with their curi-
ously colored glass, the frescoed ceiling,
and the singers' seats. Then he turned
his eye to the pulpit.


Must take an awful good man to be
a minister," he thought. Kind of nice,
too, to sit up there and see all the
folks." He got up, mounted the pulpit
stairs, and sat down on the sofa. Wish
I was a minister," he continued. Guess
I will be when I grow up. Wonder
how it would seem, anyhow! And he
picked up a book and tried to imagine
the house full of people who had come
to hear him. Presently he got up be-
fore the desk and gave out a hymn, and
then, as there was no one else to do
so, he began to sing. The long words
bothered Tommy considerably, however,
and there were so many pauses in the
singing that he concluded to stop.
"We won't sing any more," he said
gravely, laying down the book and look-
ing around the empty church, "but I
guess we 'd better take up a collection."


Then he sat down to wait for the
imaginary collection to be taken up.
Just as he did so a noise near the door
attracted his attention. The old sexton,
having completed his arrangements for
the morrow, was passing through the
vestibule toward the front door. Tommy
saw him, and forgetting his make-
believe dignity hurried down the aisle
at a speed ministers do not usually go.
But he was too late. The sexton closed
the door and locked it.
Halloo, Mr. Jones!" cried Tommy
at the top of his voice, "I'm in here;
let me out! "
Mr. Jones did not hear; he was too
deaf for that; and as Tommy looked
out from a small window he saw the old
man walking calmly on without a thought
of the prisoner behind. And the pris-
oner's heart sank under his blue jacket.


Oh, dear! he murmured, what
shall I do! Like as not I won't get out
until to-morrow, and it will be just awful
to stay here all night in a church
too! "
Then he tried. to raise the window,
but his strength was not sufficient. His
efforts at the other windows were equally
unsuccessful, and he finally gave up all
hope of present escape. How different
the church seemed now from what it
did a little while before! Tommy felt
a strange, reverential awe come over
him, and he sank down in a pew. He
glanced toward the pulpit, and his eye
rested on the words above it: The
Lord is in his holy temple: let all the
earth keep silence before him." Was it
true? was the Lord there? he ques-
tioned. Then a little farther on was
a large card, with the sentence: "The


eyes of the Lord are in every place,
beholding the evil and the good."
Tommy trembled. The eyes of the
Lord! Were they fixed upon him, and
what did they behold? He thought of
his selfish, unkind conduct of the after-
noon, of the wrong words and sinful
thoughts. Did the eye of the great God
see all these? Ah, yes: Tommy felt
it to be true, and he lay back on the
soft cushion and asked God to forgive
him. He became calmer after that, and
presently, without knowing how, he
went to sleep.
How long he slept he did not know;
but he was awakened at last by a shuf-
fling step along the aisle. It so hap-
pened a meeting was to be there that
night, and after supper the old sexton
came back to open the church. He was
much surprised to see Tommy; and that


Tommy was glad to see him, you may
well imagine.
Now, how the released prisoner
hurried home, and how pleased he was
to get there, and how anxious papa and
mamma were about him picture that
for yourselves. But one thing Tommy
tried to remember and I think it kept
him from many an angry word and
wicked thought and that was the text
he saw in the church: The eyes of the
Lord are in every place, beholding the
evil and the good."


T was a very large house a hand-
some house indeed and the
spacious grounds were beautifully kept;
but the faces and forms which were con-
stantly appearing at some of its many
windows or emerging from its doorways
did not seem exactly in keeping with its
stateliness. Granny Larkins, with flap-
ping cap border and gay cotton hand-
kerchief, leaned from an open casement
in the second story and called to a boy
on the graveled walk below: -
See here, sonny, if you 're goin' past
the post office, jest stop and ask if


there's a letter for Mrs. Larkins, will ye?
Mrs. Brigadier-General Larkins, mind!
I'm expecting' a silver tea-set as a testy-
monal from my husband's troops."
Yes'm," answered Billy, going
slowly down toward the great arched
Land sakes youngster, you needn't
take it so airnest," piped the little hump-
backed woman on the steps. "She
never had no general for a husband, and
he never had no troops, and they never
had no tea-set. She 's always looking' for
a letter."
Billy knew that she had been looking
for one ever since he came to the place,
a few weeks before, and that she made
the same request of every one whom she
saw going toward the road. He knew
the older children called her a little
out," whatever that might mean, and


that they paid no attention to her, and
that the one-legged sailor always laughed
as he answered: -
If I find that 'ere cargo, I 'll bring it
aboard, ma'am, never fear! "
But it was Billy's habit to take things
seriously. In fact, it had been a very
serious world to him so far, and he
leaned his yellow curly head against the
fence, that bright Sunday afternoon, and
pondered its mysteries once more. He
had a fancy that the numerous little
houses he saw, where only a few people
lived together, were pleasanter than this
large one with so many crowded into it.
He dimly remembered one of those little
homes, with its daintily spread table at
supper time, and a laughing face that
had bent over his at the window while
they waited for somebody else to come.
He had a later and more distinct


memory of that same face, white as the
pillow on which it rested, and of being
lifted up to kiss it, while a tremulous
voice whispered: God will take care of
you, my poor darling." Since then he
had been in so many places, only to stop
until he could be taken somewhere else.
He looked up at the black letters on the
white arch over the gateway, and spelled
them out as he had often done before,
" C-o-u-n-t-y P-o-o-r F-a-r-m." He
asked Granny Larkins one day what
that meant.
Why, it means that we' re poorhouse
folks, and the county takes care of us.
They won't take care of me long after I
get word from the general," said granny,
nodding her head in a way that set her
cap border flying.
But my mother said God would take
care of me," urged Billy, with an idea

66 BILL Y.

that he should like God's care much
better than this.
"Why, so he does, child. You're an
orphin, and he cares for the orphin."
But when ? persisted puzzled Billy.
" Seems as if I 'd been sent so many
places to get the right ones to take care
of me. When will he do it?"
The form of the question bewildered
granny; her slender stock of coherent
ideas was nearly exhausted.
I I ruther s'pose he gets folks to
do it," she said. Mebby some nice
folks '11 want a boy me and the gin-
eral, like as not, when he comes back."
The prevailing lack of faith in the
general had so far affected Billy as to
prevent his building any hope on the
latter statement, but her suggestion of
the other nice folks" haunted him.
He did wish he could find them, and he


was all the more anxious this Sunday
because of a bit of conversation that he
had overheard. The old sailor had told
the humpbacked woman that he, Billy, was
to be sent away in a few days -
"To another work'us not nigh so good
as this, but it's in the county where he
belongs, d' ye see; and it stands to
reason every county ought to take care
of its own. We don't fare none too
sumptuous, nohow, and they only kept
him here to get it rightly settled where
he belonged."
The one-legged sailor was a connois-
seur in the matter of poorhouses, to
judge from his descriptions, and his vivid
portrayal of the bad points of those he
had seen made poor Billy's blood run
cold. It was such a fair world outside
that gate, with soft clouds floating over
the blue sky, and white daisies fringing


the roadside -if only he could find in it
the nice folks Granny Larkins had men-
tioned. He was half a mind to run
away and try; and he would never come
back unless he did get a letter for
granny. He meant to ask for one, if
he saw a post office.
Nobody hindered or noticed his going.
In one direction the road ran straight to
the town, in the other it wound away to
a little village. For a moment the small
bare feet paused irresolutely, then
trudged villageward. He liked being
alone, he liked walking, and he was
quite satisfied with his choice when his
Flow journeying brought him at last to
a grove where he could rest and gather
the wild flowers that grew at his feet.
After a time he was startled from his
enjoyment by the sound of approaching
voices, and, with a sudden fear of being


sent back to the farm, he hid behind a
growth of bushes. That grove seemed
a favorite resting place, for two women,
on their way home from an afternoon
meeting, stopped in the pleasant shadow
and sat down on a mossy log so near to
Billy that he could hear them talk. He
cared nothing for that, however, and
was only impatiently wishing they would
go on, when one sentence attracted
Yes, he never forgets to pray for
the poor and for the .orphan such a
feeling prayer too! I always like Dea-
con Cole."
Please, ma'am, where does he live ?"
questioned an eager voice behind them.
Oh-h! "
The two women started to their feet in
alarm; but there was nothing very ter-
rifying in Billy's head of tangled curls


when once they turned to look at it, and
they sat down again with a gasp and a
laugh. Billy hardly waited for that.
Where does that man Mr. Cole -
live ? He's he's the one I 'm looking
In that big white house, where you
can just see the roof through the trees.
Bless me, child, how you did frighten
me !"
But Billy was speeding away as fast as
his bare feet would carry him. A man
must want an orphan pretty badly when
he prayed for one, he reasoned; so, of
course, Deacon Cole must be the one
he was looking for. In blissful confi-
dence he presented himself before the
open doorway where a man sat reading,
and said simply: -
I've come! "
So I see," said Mr. Cole, somewhat


astonished. "Who are you, and what
did you come for?"
"Oh, I've come to live with you,"
said Billy with an assuring smile. I 'm
the orphan you prayed for; but I guess
you did n't think I'd get here to-night.
I don't like the poorhouse."
"You don't, eh ? Well!" Mr. Cole
dropped his paper and slowly rose to his
feet as if he could only express his sur-
prise by standing at full height. A
longer look at the little waif, and a few
questions, solved the small mystery.
But, my little lad," he said not un-
kindly but very positively, you have
,made a mistake. I have n't thought of
such a thing as taking any boy to live
here; we don't want one."
Billy's face had been gradually cloud-
ing under the unexpected examination,
and now there swept over it a wave of


bewilderment, consternation, and dread.
The blue eyes filled, and the child
dropped hopelessly down on the porch.
"Oh, I was so sure so sure he
sobbed. They said you 'd prayed to
take care of the orphan."
Back from the depths of the comfort-
able kitchen, where a tempting supper
was preparing, came old Aunt Dinah.
Laws, honey, dat ain't nuffin'; don't
fret so! Don't ye know folks prays de
Lord to do lots ob things dey don't want
de trouble ob doin' derselves ? Dat's de
mistake ye made; don't cry, po' lamb."
Dinah was apparently intent only
upon soothing the child, but Deacon
Cole started as if he had been pierced
with an arrow. He glanced out over
his broad fields, at his full barns, and
then down at the little morsel of
humanity at his feet. Was Dinah right?


"Well, well, don't cry! Come in and
stay to-night, anyway, and well, we
will see what Mary says about it."
Even while he spoke he felt what she
would say what the true mother's
heart, bereaved for years, could not help
saying when it met this lonely little one.
So it happened that the next day Billy,
washed, brushed, and arrayed in gar-
ments that bore the trace of tasteful,
loving fingers rode back to the poor-
house in Deacon's Cole's carriage, to be
duly transferred to his new home and
parents. He found a chance to whisper
joyfully to Granny Larkins : -
"So, you see, it did come true what
you said, and maybe your part of it will
too. Some day maybe you 'll get that
letter yet."
Oh, yes," said granny cheerfully.
" I'm expecting' that tea-set to-morrer."

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