U 4 -t. 4; -4"
~ r *4
'is FY ~~~
. .: I
S- The Baldmin L bra
I m -.
m :. ..
t '*',, V .'' -^ -----
STORIES BY AGNES GIBERNE
Large crown 8vo, with Illustrations, 2s. 6d., gilt edges.
"Dorothy Tracy is one of the most delightful young ladies to whom we
have ever been introduced."-Bookseller.
An excellent story for girls by one of their favourite writers."-Pall
OR, THE JOURNAL OF DOROTHEA FRITH.
Large crown 8vo, 3s. 6d.
"A most wholesome book for girls."-Saturday Review.
"A very well written tale; not sensational, but thoroughly interesting."
LIFE IN A NUTSHELL:
Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
"A very refreshing tale of devotion and care."-Record.
"The story of a girl's life and love pleasantly told."-Aftenceuzm.
OR, THE TOWERS OF ICKLEDALE.
Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
"Agnes Giberne has never written a prettier tale. The characters are
made to live, and there is a refreshing tone running throughout the whole."
WON AT LAST;
OR, MRS. BRISCOE'S NEPHEWS.
Large crown 8vo, with Illustrations, 3s. 6d.
"The treatment is so admirable, we can understand Miss Giberne's book
being a help to many."-Athleneum.
LONDON: JOHN F. SHAW & CO., 48 PATERNOSTER Row, E.C.
STORIES BY AGNES GIBERNE-continued.
THE EARLS OF THE VILLAGE.
Large crown 8vo, 2:. 61.
"A pathetic tale of country life, in which the fortunes of a family are
followed out with a skill that never fails to interest. "-Scotsman.
THE OLD HOUSE IN THE CITY;
OR, NOT FORSAKEN.
Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
'.'An admirable book for girls. The narrative is simply written, but
there is a good deal of quiet force that deserves special notice."-Teachers'
OR, THE MASTER'S LITTLE HANDMAID.
Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
"An admirable study of a simple-hearted, well-reared, and self-sacrificing
OR, THE MISTS OF THE VALLEY.
Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
"An extremely interesting book, and one that can be read with profit by
WILL FOSTER OF THE FERRY,
Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
"We are glad to see this capital story in a new shape."-Record.
TOO DEARLY BOUGHT.
Crown 8vo, with Illustrations, Is. 6d.
Crown 8vo, with Illustrations, Is. 6d.
LONDON: JOHN F. SHAW & CO., 48 PATERNOSTER Row, E.C.
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
L. T. MEADB.
I -lqm i
~Q ~zc~a ~d4~.
'I- j 64P'
'V -2"' 1 411.
"Well! 'ere's the babby," said Dot, holding out her treasure. She'll rest
L. T. MEADE
"SCAMP AND I," "CHILDREN'S KINGDOM," "WHITE LILIES,"
"WATER GIPSIES," ETC.
JOHN F. SHAW AND CO.
48 PATERNOSTER ROW
Pa 00R .
UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME,
NOTHING TO NOBODY ByBRENDA.
HIS MOTHER'S BOOK E. EVERETT-GREEN.
GRANNY'S CABIN; or, All HeDoes is Love M. E. WINCHESTER.
DOT AND HER TREASURES .L. T. MEADE.
JACK FORRESTER'S FATE CATHARINE SHAW.
FRANK USHER; or, Soldiers of the Cross ANON.
YOUNG ISHMAEL, The Coster's Boy E. A. BLAND.
BARDWELL'S SWORD. A Story ofAgincourt ANON.
OUTCAST ROBIN; or, Your Brother and Mine L. T. MEADE.
FOR THE MASTER'S SAKE EMILY S. HOLT.
LITTLE FREDDIE; or, Friends in Need E. EVERETT-GREEN.
HILLSIDE FARM; or, Marjorie's Magic. M. L. RIDLEY.
BERTIE CLIFTON E. EVERETT-GREEN.
BECKIE'S MISSION. What a Little Girl Did L. MARSTON.
MARGARET CASSON. A Tale ofVictory E. C. KENYON.
CAUGHT BY THE TIDE; or, Prison Bars CATHARINE SHAW.
THE WELL IN THE DESERT EMILY S. HOLT.
JACK AND JILL. A Story of To-day Mrs. STANLEY LEATHBS,
RUTH'S LITTLE LADY. A Story E. EVERETT-GREEN.
MAGGIE'S MISTAKE L. SHADWELL.
OUR LITTLE LADY EILY S. HOLT.
ONLY US THREE E. A. BLAND.
WE WIVES; or, All Hallowe'en J. COOPER.
FAIRY PHCEBE; or, Behind the Footlights LucY TAYLOR.
HURLY BURLY; or, Calm after Storm EMMA MARSHALL
MINNIE GRAY; or, For Conscience Sake. ANON.
DAVID ELLIOTT; or, True to His Promise. M. IRVINE.
BRITAIN'S QUEEN. A Story and a Memorial T. PAUL.
DENHAM HALL. A Story of Wycliffe's Days G. STABBING.
ALL AMONG THE DAISIES M. LEATHES.
THE EARL PRINTER. A Tale of Caxton C. MAC SORLEY.
THE HAMILTONS; or, Dora's Choice EMILY BRODIE.
LONDON: JOHN F. SHAW & CO., 48, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.GC
1. A HOME FOR HER AND THEM t
II. DOT'S DAY ALONE 6
IIL CAN THE FAIRY TALE BE TRUE ? : .
IV. A PROJECT FOR CARRYING ON THE BATTLE OF LIFE 24
V. OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE 28
VI. HOW TO LEARN THE STORY .34
VII. THE CHORISTER BOYS FAIL TO AID DOT 46
VIII. HE IS .. 53
IX. POLLY'S OLD MEMORY 58
X. A TIME OF MUCH RAN 66
XL HOW TO KEEP A PROMISE 72
XII. THE TRUEST THING IN ALL THE WORLD 80
KIII. THE HOME OVER THERE 89
XIV, THE GOOD THINGS THAT POLLY COULD NOT GET 93
XV. "BUY A BUNCH O' VI'LETS 102
XVI. FADED LACE AND RIBBON I12
XVII. POLLY'S HOME BY THE WOOD 122
tVIII. WILD FLOWERS, AND A DREAM 148
XIX. POLLY BECOMES GOD'S MESSENGER 153
XX. THERE'S POLLY 157
XXI. RETURNING FROM "THE FAR COUNTRY 165
XXII. SINGING AMONG THE CHILDREN 171
EXIII SINGING AMONG THE ANGELS 79
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
A HOME FOR HER AND THEM.
IT was not a very brilliant home. I mention
this fact in passing, lest any one should be
inclined to envy her her very insecure and
uncertain possession of it. Dot's was a London
attic home. Does not that explain at once its
whole story ? No need after this information has
been imparted to dwell on its shadows and its
crosses, its sunshine and its rare delights.
The home was a London attic; the inmates-
the living inmates, at least, were four.
Dot was the youngest; there were two brothers
and one sister older than herself. Dot was nearly
eight years old; the boys ranged in ages from that
to twelve, and the eldest girl was just fourteen.
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
There was neither father nor mother-both had
long been dead; thus there was no special head
to the little home.
The boys between Dot and the elder sister
were named Mike and Ted; the eldest girl was
known by one name, and one only-that of
Slavey. There is no doubt she had never been
christened by this title; Sarah-Anne, or Mary-
Jane, had more than likely been the distinguishing
mark she had been intended to carry through life.
But these names, had they ever been hers, were
forgotten-forgotten alike by her and by the rest
of the world; she was Slavey to the boys and to
Dot; Slavey to the neighbours; most of all-most
emphatically most of all-Slavey to herself. This
not too tempting name gave her no offence;
on the contrary, it caused her unqualified satis-
"Wen I does slave, wy mayn't a body know
it ? was her mental soliloquy. "Wen I toils from
morning to night, and 'ave more work than a
black from Africa, were's the use o' bottling of it
up, and not making the most o' it ? "
She would toss her head with a kind of pride
after these reflections, and rush about her hard
work more frantically than ever.
A HOMB FOR HER AND THEM.
There was no doubt as to her having plenty
of work to do. What cleaning was considered
necessary in the little attic, was done by Slavey;
what meals were eaten, were cooked by her;
when Mike's trousers were torn down from knee
to ankle, it was Slavey's province to sew them
together again. She was the household factotum,
the household drudge; but she was more, Slavey
had not only to perform the home work, but she
had to provide the home money. London attics
are not very expensive places to live in, still to
keep even London attics afloat requires a few
shillings weekly; these shillings Slavey had to
provide. It was this part of her duty which
really entitled her to her name. Her education
was neither finished enough, nor her attainments
sufficiently varied, to enable her to be very
particular as to the means by which the weekly
shillings were brought in; she had, indeed, many
and varied resources, but neither, nor any, of
them were very reliable. At five o'clock in the
morning she would repair to Covent Garden; to
appear for the remainder of that day in the
character of a flower-girl, either selling sweet
violets, or primroses, or some not too expensive
flowers which happened to be in season. On
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
another occasion she would sally forth with a tray
full of matches; on another, she would disregard
all street vending, and devote herself to the care
of a neighbour's baby, or she would run messages
for neighbour after neighbour until she was fit to
drop. She scorned all regular employment, and
would belong to no factory; though a slavey, she
would, in a certain grotesque sense, be free. She
was short for her age; with a rather babyish face
and black eyes and hair. This circumstance drew
upon her the frequent notice of the school
inspectors ; but she was far too clever to be
caught by them into entering any school. Her
earnings in this very erratic manner were certainly
scant; but she was honest as the day. The
police had no occasion to look suspiciously at
her, and as these functionaries have the power of
reading character even through rags, they speedily
left her alone. So much for Slavey, who was not
only the maid-of-all-work, but the bread-winner in
The boys who came between her and Dot were
those species of lads, who, while very troublesome
to the police, odious to all drivers of trams or
omnibuses, because of their unappeased desire to
hang on to these conveyances, were at the same
A HOME FOR HER AND THEM. 5
time of little consequence at home. Home had
small meaning for them. They sought its shelter
only for the purposes of sleep; now and then
coming in to devour a voracious meal when the
weather was very bad, or their luck had gone
clean against them. At these times they fought
with Slavey tooth and nail; but these times did
not happen every day. They were not bad boys;
indeed, Ted had manifestly some good points in
him. But they were inclined to look down on
girls-and of all girls, on Slavey in particular.
DOT'S DAY ALONE.
A ND Dot-Dot was the youngest in the home;
she was between seven and eight years of
age at the time this story about her and hers
There came a day in Dot's life which she had
to spend quite by herself. Slavey was doing a
thriving trade in primroses, and would not return
until late in the evening. Dot had the attic to
herself, and her entertainment, both physical and
mental, was spread before her. Dot was lying
flat on her back on a mattress on the floor. She
was not asleep; on the contrary, her large blue
eyes were wide open, fixed earnestly on the
entertainment provided for her by Slavey. The
entertainment lay on a board close to the mat-
tress; so close that by stretching out her hand she
could grasp it all. Certainly, it was a simple bill
of fare both for body and mind; but it filled Dot's
DOT'S PAY AZONE. f
soul with delight. Good Dot I she had arranged
her day's amusements with an eye to her best and
highest instincts; the physical part-consisting
of a mug of milk and water and a hunch of stale
bread, lay farthest away; but the part that was to
satisfy the mind and soul of Dot, lay close. She
laid her hand on it now, drew it towards her and
kissed it. The "it" in question was an india-
rubber doll. A doll without a nose, and with a
very much battered and injured face. Originally it
had been about a foot long, but now it had lost its
legs; it was only the trunk of a doll that Dot
clasped in her arms. She held it very close, gazed
at it tenderly, folded her arms round it, and closed
her eyes with a sigh of satisfaction. She knew she
had a long day before her. She had meant not
to take comfort from her doll quite so early in
the morning, but the temptation had proved quite
irresistible. And now she was drinking in her
joy silently. Had any one come into her attic
and looked at her-as she lay with her eyes closed
and the ugly doll clasped to her breast,-they
would have said, What a miserable child! What
wretched surroundings! Then the happy blue
eyes would open, and they-these visitors-would
have gone away considerably puzzled.
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
For Dot-lame, poor, alone-had as gay a
spirit and as bright a heart as ever fell to the lot
of the richest and healthiest child. She hugged
and kissed her doll-talking to it in the manner
of a mother to her baby. Then a great clock out-
side proclaiming that a certain hour had arrived,
she raised herself slightly in bed, stretched forth
her hand, and drew her breakfast to her side.
She ate slowly-feeding her doll in some myste-
rious fashion at the same time. About a quarter
of the supply of milk and water had disappeared
from the mug, and a certain portion of the
bread had been demolished, when a noise on
the stairs caused her to raise her head with a start
"Oh ef it is only Polly," she sighed. "Oh
it 'ud be too good ef it were Polly "
Eager feet were heard coming quickly up the
Dot's face became radiant-she tried to sit up
in bed, and welcomed smilingly a girl who now
entered the room. The new-comner was tall and
very pretty; she had, however, a certain half
discontented, half never-me-care expression, which
marred the effect of lovely dark eyes and curving
DOT'S DAY ALONE. 9
"I'm tired out, Dot," she exclaimed, throwing
herself into a chair.
"Well I 'ere's the babby," said Dot, holding out
her treasure. "She'll rest yer," she continued,
Lay her across yer arms-so-ain't she comfort-
ing, and don't she look real cunning this morning?'
Oh I you poor, little thing I" answered the girl.
"You poor, little, lame thing I where's the comfort
in a dirty bit o' rag like this ?"
"Don't said Dot. She snatched her doll away
and hid it under the bedclothes.
"I don't love yer, Polly," she continued, bring.
ing out her words with great passion and vehe-
"Oh yes, yer does, Dot; I'm a bit cranky, I
know, but I'll be h'all right in a minute. Where's
Slavey, Dot ? "
"Out a primrosing," answered Dot. "She
won't be in afore evening."
Does yer know her lay ?"
"Round by the corner where the h'omnibuses
stops theirselves-by Tottenham Court Road,"
replied Dot glibly.
H'all that way I well, that's a sight too far-I
must only wait."
"Fur what, Polly?"
IO DOT AND HPR TREASURES.
"That's a secret I "
"But I loves secrets,-oh more'n anything,"
said Dot, with a profound sigh.
Polly looked at her, relaxed into a smile, and
"'Tis nothing much; o'ny I thinks o' going to
the big boat-race down the river; and I fancied as
Slavey and perhaps Ted might come along o' me.
I means to do a bit o' business there, and who
knows but Slavey and Ted may turn a penny
"Oh! and see the race and the river, and tell me
arterwards," exclaimed Dot. Oh I oh I oh "
"Yer loves me now, don't yer, Dot ?"
"Well, I must be orf; I'm rare and tired; and
nothing seems to rest me like, but, lor, it don't
"I'm tired, too, now and then," answered Dot.
"I doesn't like being tired; it makes my hip ache;
and sometimes I get a bit cross, and ef it weren't
for my babby, I'd be down h'all together."
"Well, I'm glad as yer 'as the doll," said Polly;
"it beats me holler where yer finds the comfort in
it ; but ef it is so, wy, I'm glad."
"But. Polly, I thought wen a body wor tired, the
DOT'S DAY ALONB. II
best way wor to think o' the werry nicest things.
I 'as my babby, and you 'as yer songs, Polly."
Polly had a beautiful voice; she knew it, and
again her face relaxed.
S "I doesn't say as yer not right there, young 'un.
I likes singing; and I'm real sharp and picks up
words and tunes as quick as quick; but I can't
be a screeching through this house."
"But up yere, Polly, up yere wid me; can't yer
sing a bit o' a tune and rest yerself up yere,
"Oh, ain't yer cunning!" said Polly, laughing;
"yer likes to listen, ain't that it ?"
"Yes, I real loves to listen."
Well, I don't mind ef I does sing one song."
"Let it be a song as had an organ playing to
it, and little boys h'all in white, like angels, a
singing of it," asked Dot with great earnestness.
"Lor, child, does yer mean a church hymn ?
there's no fun in them I does go to church now
and then just to listen to the fine roll of the
organ, but, lor I the things they calls hymns have
no fun in 'em."
I don't know whether it is a church 'ymn or
not," continued Dot, "but I wants to hear the real
lovely song, 'bout the story; I minds yer telling
12 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
me that there wor an organ and little boys hall in
white a singing it. I has it always ringing in
my head, and I wants to hear it real, real bad."
I don't know rightly what it means," said
Polly; but so be as yer a pining for it, I'll sing it
She paused a moment; then the coarse accent
growing refined in the beauty of the simple tune,
and the still greater beauty of the sweet voice, these
words came floating softly through the attic-
I love to hear the story
Which angel voices tell
How once the King of Glory
Came down on earth to dwell
I am both weak and sinful,
But this I surely know,
The Lord came down to save me,
Because He loves me so.
I'm glad my blessed Savicur
Was once a child like me;
To show how pure and holy
His little ones might be;
And if I try to follow
His footsteps here below,
He never will forget me,
Because He loves me so.
To sing His love and mercy
My sweetest songs I'll raise;
DOT'S DAY ALONE. 13
And though I cannot see Him
I know He hears my praise;
For He has kindly promised
That even I may go
To sing among His angels,
Because He loves me so.'
Polly paused; the words, sweet and touching as
they were, had no apparent effect on her; but Dot
who had listened breathlessly, said now with a
gasping sigh and tears in her eyes-
Oh I what does it mean ?"
I can't rightly tell," answered Polly. I thinks
as 'tis only fairy tale kind o' talk, pretty enough,
but no way true. Why, who is it 'as loves you
and me, Dot? nobody-that's a certain fact!"
But, perhaps, He does," continued Dot, "I
wouldn't be surprised ef He did. The song says as
He is called the blessed Saviour,-I'd real like to
He's nowhere," said Polly, beginning to yawn.
He's the King o' Glory, too," continued Dot
"Where's glory, Polly ?-and ain't a king an awful
grand kind o' a body."
"Course," said Polly, "and that's what makes
the nonsense o' it. What 'ud a king trouble 'bout
you and me ? Let's think no more o' it, Dot; 'tis
just a fairy song and no more."
14 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
With these words Polly rose, and throwing her
shawl over her shoulders left the room; she sighed,
however, as she ran downstairs.
Dot, on the contrary, lying on her mattress,
clasped her doll very tightly, and smiled. She
did not believe Polly in the least.
( rs )
CAN THE FAIRY TALE BE TRUE ?
D OT had been lame from her birth; she
had also been motherless. When the
poor, little, half-deformed baby had been laid in
the mother's arms, the mother had smiled at it-
had even managed to kiss it,-but then the woman
-tired out of the life she had scarcely managed
well-had resigned its burden, and the baby had
taken it up. She was a very small baby, and
Dot seemed to be her natural title. She cer-
tainly never knew any other name.
When she was a year old her father followed
her mother to another world, and from this time
Slavey seemed to manage everything. The
neighbours all said that the family must retire
from their attic and take the advantages the
workhouse could afford to them. They said
that, at least, the baby must go. But though
they prophesied and shook their heads and
10 DOT ANI HER TREASURES.
looked wise, neither the elder children went, nor
the baby. The baby grew-not very much,
nor very strong; but all her growth and all her
strength came to her in her home. Slavey pro-
vided her with food, and bread, and the three
boys, as I before said, did not cost much to
No-none of the family, thanks to Slavey's
diligence, went to the workhouse, and Dot nevet
knew any home but her attic.
She was just eight years old, but she could
not walk. She was really affected with hip
disease, but it never occurred to Slavey to try
and get her any medical advice, or to have her
taken into a children's hospital. She did not
suffer a great deal of pain, and not knowing
anything of the pleasures of the outside world-
she did not pine for them. She was a happy
child, happier than Slavey or the two boys;
and had a bright word to give to the elders of
the family when they came home. She had a
piquant little face and a ready wit, and whoever
else they quarrelled with-the boys and the elder
sister had all a sincere love for Dot. Now, as
she lay on her mattress after Polly had left her
she had trophies of the love of these brothers and
CAN THE FAIRY TALE BE TRUE? T7
sister all around her. That mug which held her
milk and water-that mug emblazoned with the
magical letters which, spelt, formed words signi-
fying and testifying to the high moral worth of
the girl who drank out of it-that mug had
been Slavey's gift. Many a night had hungry
Slavey done without her supper to secure for
Dot this treasure: now it was hers, and she
prized it much. The plate which rested by the
mug had been given to her by Polly-for Polly
was counted quite as one of the family. The
three-legged table on which her treasures lay was
made by Mike, who was a very handy boy. And
the doll-the india-rubber doll-without a nose
and minus its legs, had been Ted's gift. Ted
had picked it out of the gutter, had fought with
another boy for its possession, and had borne it
home to Dot in triumph.
She had loved her table, her plate, her beauti-
ful mug; but a new light had come into her
eyes at sight of the doll. There was a flutter
in the little heart, and a tremble in the thin
arms with which she enfolded her treasure. She
raised moist eyes to Ted, and did not thank
him much. But the arrival of the doll made
quite an epoch in her life.
She was always a gentle, bright child, only
I1 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
regarding one event in her life as a trial-and that
was Slavey's frequent and long absences from
home; but since the arrival of the noseless and
much dilapidated doll, this trouble had vanished-
Slavey might be away from morning to night, but
Dot need not be lonely. She had her baby-her
india-rubber baby-to talk to, and to draw endless
She called her baby Eva-some one having
once told her part of the story of Eva in Uncle
She believed her dark darling to be quite as
beautiful as the real Eva; and never for long,
either night or day, was it out of her arms.
Slavey laughed at her, Polly even spoke cross
words against her treasure, but Dot only loved
her Eva all the more steadfastly for and because
of this opposition.
After Polly's departure on this particular day,
Dot lay quiet and silent. Her doll was by her
side; all her dearly-loved belongings were within
reach; but for the first time, almost, in her life,
there was just a trifle of discontent in her patient
blue eyes. She did not attempt to go to sleep;
her brows were knit with some anxious thought
-even Eva failed altogether to comfort her.
"I don't believe as 'tis only a fairy tale," she
CAN THE FAIRY TALE BE TRUEB 39
murmured almost indignantly. "I don't believe
no sich nonsense. I believe as He's a real King,
and the blessed Saviour, and the King o' Glory;
and He loves me so."
"Who loves yer, Dot? Hillow, Dot, ain't yer
comical I said a small boy who suddenly dashed
into the room, rushed up to Dot, and turned a
somersault before her eyes. He was a boy very
little bigger than herself, with intensely black eyes
and black curling hair.
"Ted," said Dot-raising herself, half dropping
Eva, and staring very hard at the restless little
figure, who regarded her with much merriment.
"Why, Ted, 'tis only quite early in the morning."
"Never mind !" answered Ted. I doesn't
mind no hours; I means to set wid yer for a
little bit, Dot; so here goes."
He threw himself down by the side of the bed,
and took up Eva. He and Dot had a common
interest in Eva, and in consequence a strong
friendship the one for the other.
"I'll stick on a new nose on her," said Ted,
regarding the very great blank occasioned by the
loss of this feature in Eva's face.
"Oh, please, Ted, I thinks I like her best without
a nose," answered Dot, in a voice of some anxiety.
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
"Well, take her then," replied Ted, tossing
back the doll on the bed and beginning to
"I say, Dot, who is it as loves yer so ? he
0 Ted 'tis a song as Polly sings. She 'ave
sung it fur me three times now, and I remembers
a little bit o' the words-these are the words as
I thinks most on, Ted,
I am both weak and sinful,
But this I surely know,
The Lord came down to save me
Because He loves me so.'
That's me, Ted," continued Dot very earnestly;
"I'm as weak as weak; and I s'pose I'm sinful, fur
Slavey often says Yer a real sinner,' wen I cries
out wid the pain. I'm sure as 'tis me as He
Ted burst into a loud laugh.
"0 Dot! ain't yer jest the most comical gal;
yer ain't the least bit o' a sinner, Dot. Lor bless
yer, Dot I I knows wot sinners is-wy, they're real
awful; maybe they're plucky, but they ain't the
least bit like you-big thunderin' fellers, some o'
Dot looked very anxious.
CAN THE FAIRY TALE BE TRUE? 21
Be they all big and thunderin' ?" she asked.
"No, not all. Some o' 'em is soft and cunnin',
and some o' 'em sharp and mean. Oh not a
bit like you. Wy, a real out-and-out sinner,
Dot-such as the nippers takes notice of-would
tear yer h'eyes out as soon as not."
Dot could not help shuddering.
Be you a sinner, Ted? she demanded.
Well, I don't say as I'm not a bit o' one;
nothing to make a fuss over; but I 'as my own
lay; and I likes punchin' fellers' 'eads now and
Then you're a sinner, and I'm weak," proceeded
Dot, "that'll do fine; the song is fur both o' us
together; I'm real glad."
"Well, what ever fur ?"
"0 Ted! wy, 'tis grand. The man as is spoke
of in the song is called the King o' Glory, the
blessed Saviour, and the Lord, and He loves us.
You're a sinner, and I'm weak; He loves us both."
"I never heard o' Him," said Ted, "I don't
believe in Him a bit. A king, did yer say ? ain't
it a joke; a king lovin' me, well, I never! a
king lovin' me! Wy don't Victoria, as lives in
Buc'nam Palace, send fur me, then, ef I'm the
sort as she wants."
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
"But, O Ted, I thinks, I really thinks as 'tis
true. Polly on'y laughs at it; but I believes it.
Tis no queen,-but a king; the King o' Glory."
Dot had now tears in her eyes; she half sat up
in bed, and laid her thin hand on Ted's brown
one. The sight of her tears and her earnestness
touched the small, rough boy, who sat by her sidq
for if there was any one in all the world for whom
he felt a particle of affection, it was Dot.
Cheer up, young 'un," he said, ef so be as 'tis
true, I'll find it h'out."
Will yer, Ted, will yer really? 'Tis sung of
in a place wid a big organ as rolls out music,
and little boys as small as you are, Ted, they sings
there all in white."
"A church, yer means ?" answered Ted.
"Yes, that's it 1 0 Ted! ef yer were to go to
a church and arsk one o' they small boys, maybe
as they could tell yer ? "
Here Ted laughed louder than ever.
Me arsk the little beggars?" he exclaimed;
"would I demean myself I No, ef yer wishes me
to roll 'em in the mud-the conceited little imps,
-wy, I'm yer 'umble servant to any amount, but
ask 'em ef a fairy tale is true no thank yer,
Without looking at her, he fell in utter exhaustion at her feet."'-Pae 32.
CAN THr FAIRY TALE BE TRUB ? 23
"But they could say," continued Dot tearfully,
"I knows as they could say wy they sings about
it; maybe as they was weak, and sinners, and He
helped 'em, and loved 'em."
Not a bit o' it," answered Ted, "catch any
one a lovin' o' 'em; no, no, Dot, I'll find h'out in
my own way, leave it to me."
Dot sighed and was silent After a moment or
two Ted went out.
( 24 )
A PROJECT FOR CARRYING ON THE BATTLE OP
T HAT evening there was great excitement in
Polly came in and had a long and mysterious
conversation with Slavey, during which Slavey
grew very red, and seemed much interested. After
a time she said breathlessly-
I'll find Ted, this minute, I'll find Ted."
She dashed away, fleet almost as the wind, and
-no one knew ila, '.-mi .-,na to capture and
'rinlg back with her her erratic young brother.
Then Polly unfolded her plans to Ted, who
i:nt..int stood on his head, made several somer-
saults, and stuck his t.-in.': in his cheek.
I'm yer man," exclaimed the small boy, wink-
i at D, t and then ,lacn::i admiringly at Po.'.l.
The :'.-ult of all this c,. it:.tior. was the matur-
ing of a '.ryv ex:itin: and advantageous plot. Two
CARRYING ON THE BATTLE OF LIFE. 25
of Dot's family were to repair, in company with
Polly, to the scene of the great Cambridge and Ox-
ford boat-race; they were to start-as the children
who went to the Derby did-the night before the
race. They were to reach Barnes, if possible; then
they were to camp as best they could on the grass,
and were to be ready to take their part in the excite-
ment and pleasure of the next day's proceedings.
They were not going down, however, solely for plea-
sure. Polly, Slavey, and even Ted, had, all three,
far too keen an eye to business to allow any scene
of mere pleasure to absorb them absolutely. Nay,
the very scene of other peoples' pleasure might be
the occasion of their gain. It was arranged that
Polly, in fitting moments, was to sing; that Slavey
was to vend small wares; and while Polly sang-
was to collect her profits; and that Ted was to
turn somersaults and look out for all chances of
honest employment that might offer. The three
children-for even Polly was little more than a
child, made one unspoken resolve-it was this
they would gain no money-no shadow of gain
should come to them-by any dishonest means.
This instinct towards honesty is often to be
found in the most ignorant amongst the poor ; it
seems-no one quite knows how-to be the virtue
DOT AND HAR TREASURES.
they most understand, and most unwillingly part
from. When, through any temptation, this rubicon
is passed, their downward career is very rapid; this
they know, and start away from the sin of dis-
honesty as from the brink of a precipice.
The day for the Oxford and Cambridge boat-
race was to be the following Saturday; this was
Thursday evening; the time for preparation was,
therefore, short. It sufficed, however, for the
small needs of the young adventurers. Slavey
washed her least faded cotton frock, ironed her
best apron, then she mended Ted's trousers,
sighing as she did so, for these garments were
almost past all manipulation with the needle.
Afterwards she made what preparations she could
think of for Dot's comfort; spoke in cheerful
words of the happy time she (Dot) and Eva
would pass together, promised her some small
present from the boat-race, and finally warned
her on no account to inform Mike, should this
young gentleman make his appearance on the
scene, where the rest of the family had gone.
Slavey had wise reasons for making this
request, for Mike, being both strong and un-
principled, would certainly leave no stone
unturned to deprive poor Slavey of any small
CARRYING ON HlE BATTLE OF LIFE. 21
earnings she might make at the boat-race. Then
Slavey, Polly, and Ted kissed Dot; and Ted
even laid a short smack from his rosy lips on
There were some cheerful words, some merry
laughter, some hopes of coming back with com-
fortable earnings on the following evening, and
Dot was alone, with her doll to comfort her, and
the long, long, lonely night to pass as best she
OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE.
WHAT a gay and brilliant scene is the
University boat-race! There, mingling in
one common interest, are to be found the highest
in the land and the lowest of the people. Gay
colours fly, gay banners wave, laughter and merri-
ment resound on all sides. Hour by hour, mo-
ment by moment, the crowd increases, until on
each bank of the fair, winding river may be
discerned a perfect mass of upturned, eager faces.
The river itself, too, is alive with pleasure-boats
and highly-ornamented steamers. Shouts are
heard, songs are sung. Those strangers who
attend for the first time the great boat-race must
suppose that the people of England keep per-
Then, too, if the weather is propitious to the
annual festival-which, alas! is not always the
OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE.
case-how beautiful as well as gay is the richly
varied scene! how the river sparkles in the
sun! how the many gay robes worn by the crowd
stand out in fine relief!-and at last when Oxford
and Cambridge appear in sight, decked in their
true blues, what a long, swelling, deepening
English shout is heard; rising on the breeze, it
floats, coming straight from hearts as well as lips.
The sun shines brighter than ever on the vic-
torious eight. The river is one froth and sea of
foam from the many steamers that have followed
the boats. The flag of victory is hoisted. Those
who have been on the winning side proudly
display their chosen colour; some craven souls
even change on the sly what they have hitherto
worn. Then the bright side is over, and the dark
For there is a dark side even to this scene of
enthusiasm and joy. Those who have betted on
the wrong colour walk away with heavy hearts.
Those who have won, pocket gains they can never
expect to prosper with. Then the drinking booths
are filled, the little thieves, who have rifled so
many pockets, run away to gloat over their spoils
-for Satan is too clever and too knowing not to
/ profit by this vast assemblage, and not to in-
30 DOT AND HER TRBASURES.
troduce sin into this scene of brightness and
The children, however, from Dot's attic, not
only spent their day innocently, but also well.
Their luck, as they expressed it, was all for them,
and their profits were by no means contemptible.
Early on the scene, they secured for themselves
excellent places, and led by Polly used the advan-
tage their position gave them with much skill
Polly was no mean general, and her little army
obeyed her promptly. Slavey was richly supplied
with Oxford and Cambridge bows, which she was
to sell for a penny apiece. Who so clever as
Polly for reading at a glance the sort of people in
the crowd, who not only wanted bows, but would
be willing to buy them I Who so sharp in direct-
ing Slavey to dart in front of these individuals, to
wave aloft her tray of small wares, and to solicit
custom before another could interfere I Ted, too,
under Polly's surveillance, was enabled to turn
somersaults and to stand on his head just before
those comical individuals who would be most
amused and most softened by such an exhibition.
And Polly herself-Polly used her sweet voice
before and for the benefit of those persons who,
having come a little early, were a trifle weary of
OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE. 31
the long delay. She had a perfect instinct for
singling out the people who would be most in
harmony with her singing. The songs she sung,
though popular, were simple and innocent; she
had a natural refinement which caused her to
shrink from even the semblance of anything low.
With her pretty face upturned, her dark eyes fixed
pathetically on some rich lady lying back in her
luxurious carriage, she trilled forth delicious notes,
-and was successful.
After the race, the children retired into some
comparatively retired corner to count their gains.
Their united efforts had realized ten shillings.
The money lay on Polly's lap, and the three were
speechless, fairly silent with delight.
Slavey was the first to speak.
I'll bring something real pretty home to Dot,"
"This 'ul keep us all going fur a bit," said
"Let us 'ave a jolly good feed I was the wise
suggestion put in by hungry Ted.
The three children were about to act on this
last thought- and Polly had just gathered up her
spoils, when a crowd of people turned suddenly
round the quiet corner where they had planted
DOT AND HER TRRASURRS.
themselves. A drunken, disorderly crowd, evi-
dently bent on one object-that of pursuing and
annoying an individual too weak to defend
"What a shame l" exclaimed Polly. She was a
strong girl, and darted to her feet with the inten-
tion, if necessary, of taking the side of the
oppressed party. "Come on, Ted and Slavey,"
she shouted, and rushed in front. Suddenly a
lame and bent old man came in view. He was
the object of all this cruel derision. Struggling
against some hands that were trying to detain him,
he nearly ran into Polly's arms. Polly, radiant,
rosy, and strong, was about to receive him. With-
out looking at her, he fell in utter exhaustion at
her feet. What ailed Polly? She was about to
stoop, when, as though an arrow had pierced
through her very heart, she stood still.
The grey head of a weak and injured old man
almost touched her feet, but she never offered to
touch it. Paler and paler grew her face, until every
vestige of colour had fled even from the brilliant
carnation of her lips.
"What is it, Polly ? said Slavey, touching her
in terror and concern.
The words and the touch seemed to recall her
OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGR. 3
from her stupor. She uttered a loud and piercing
cry, and turned to fly. Too quickly did she run
for any one to think of overtaking her. Some
hours later, Slavey and Ted found her standing,
with tear-stained eyes and face swollen with cry-
ing, by the river. Seldom did a more forlorn little
figure gaze into its quick flowing waters.
Slavey, coming up to her, looked very tired, and
Ted's face was white and hungry.
Let's have some'ut to eat," she said, half notic-
ing their hunger, half remembering her own.
"But there ain't no money," suddenly sobbed
Ted. "Wen yer runned inter that crowd, Polly,
yer let the money slid out on to the grass, and
some'un must have seen it, fur wen Slavey and
me, we runned back fur it, it were h'all gone-
Here the poor, little, hungry boy threw himself
on the grass, and sobbed most piteously. Slavey,
too, thinking of Dot, whisked a tear or two out of
her eyes. But Polly had already wept all the
tears she could shed.
"Let's come home," she remarked sententiously.
HOW TO LEARN THE STORY.
AND Dot was alone. All the hours while
those she loved were enjoying themselves,
and, as the sequel proves, rather failing in their
enjoyment, she was alone. She was an unselfish
child, and she tried hard not to mind. No one
had expressed any pity at leaving her, so she
endeavoured not to pity herself. She managed
very well for the first few hours; she was sleepy,
and she slept. About midnight, however, she
awoke up with one of those strange fits of terror
to which nervous and delicate children are subject.
Dot often felt them, and when they came, the
agony with which her poor little frame was
convulsed was sad to witness. Slavey had many
times been awakened by sharp cries from the
excitable child; and Slavey, on most of these
occasions, by taking her in her arms and pouring
NOW TO LEARN THE STORY.
out numbers of loving words, had succeeded in
soothing and calming her.
Once, indeed, the terror and trembling were so
strong, that even Slavey could not stop her sobs.
In despair, she had to go downstairs and fetch
Polly up. Polly had considerable influence over
Dot, and when she arrived, she soothed her on her
bosom, walked about the room with her, and sang
her to sleep. It was on this night that she first
sang those words about the King of Glory.
Dot had smiled at the end of this strange, new
song, had raised her little lips to kiss Polly, and
had then gone peacefully to sleep. She had
often asked for the song since, and had no more
fits of trembling at night.
But now-now she was alone. Shaking in every
limb from the effects of some terrible nightmare,
she looked around her,-neither Slavey nor Polly
were in reach; they, her comforters and kind
protectors, were far away. The moonbeams
filled the attic, but they only seemed to reflect
strange and weird shadows. Dot covered her
face with the bedclothes and shuddered. Oh!
what was going to happen to her? was no one
coming to protect her ?
Then, suddenly, there floated through the little
36 DOT AND IBER TREASURES.
child's mind some words from the sweet song that
Polly had sung-
I am both weak and sinful,
But this I surely know,
The Lord came down to save me
Because lie loves me so."
Oh I would He save her? save her now from
her fears? Would He this unknown Lord -
be good to her, a weak and frightened little
Yes; thinking it all over as she lay and
shivered under the bedclothes, she felt quite sure
that she was just the person meant in the song.
She was very weak,-or she would not be so
terrified now of the moonbeams. And some
instinct also told her that, notwithstanding Ted's
contemptuous words, she also was sinful. He,
who was the Lord,-and also the King of Glory,
would find that she was just the person to love
and to save. If-if only He could be got to
know about her.
There must be some way of letting of Him
know," thought Dot. "There must be some
way of telling of Him how, as there's a little,
weak, sick girl a-longing fur Him to love 'er."
Dot was very young-not quite eight years
HOW TO LEARN THE STORY. 37
old; but she had fully learned the great, great
lesson of life, that all is worthless without love-
that love is first, best of all.
This is one of the beautiful doctrines that very
little children hold without knowing that they
hold it. Older children and young people talk
of it, without really making it the life of their
Middle-aged persons often laugh at it, and
say-whether they really believe it or not-that
life is very well without it; that, in fact, there is
no such thing left in the world as pure disinter-
ested love; but the aged-the old-ask them ? and
if their lives have been beautiful,-and if their
white heads are to them crowns of glory,-they
will tell you, and tell you truly, that life is nothing
without love-nay, more; that life, lived in its
truest and deepest sense, is all love. Riches-
ambition-fame, each of these take to themselves
wings and fly away-but love remains-for love is
a part of God and heaven.
Dot, with most other children, believed this;
but, unlike other children, she knew that she
believed it. She valued love more than any-
thing ; and she believed herself to be very rich
in love. Had she not her own Slavey, and Ted,
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
and Polly? She loved these three immensely, and
knew that they loved her; she also loved her
elder brother, Mike; not quite so much as Slavey
and Ted, but still she loved him, and she believed
that he cared for her. He was never very rough
to her; now and then even he brought her
presents. Lying now under the bedclothes,
trying to recover from her fit of trembling, she
remembered with great delight these trophies of
the love of those she cared for. Her mug, her
three-legged stool, her plate, above all, her doll, her
Eva. She clasped Eva very tightly in her arms,
and again fell fast asleep.
She awoke with a strange resolve which seemed
to have come to her in her dreams.
She thought in her dream that she had seen
the King of Glory; that He had entered her poor
attic room, and bending over her had said very
softly, and oh with such a loving look, "Yes,
little Dot, you are just the poor, weak, little child I
want to comfort, because I love you."
Then He had gone away, and Dot awoke with
the remembrance that she had seen in her
wonderful dream some one who was the King of
Glory, and who wore a look on His face-well-
she often spoke of her dream afterwards, and she
HOW TO LEARN THE STORY.
always said that He looked nicer than Ted, or
Slavey, or even pretty Polly, because-because He
had more love on His face than even these dear
ones who loved her so well. After her dream
Dot lay still, planning out a great resolve. She
must know more about the King of Glory-and she
must know it soon. Her little heart fluttered with
impatience at the idea of any long delay. Ted,
indeed, had promised to help her, but she knew
that Ted might forget his promise. At least she
feared that it would be a long time before he got
her this precious information. Then, too, Ted had
refused to go to the right source. He had refused
to have any dealing with those little boys who
wore white dresses, and went to a place where an
organ pealed, and where they sang to beautiful
music these sweet words. Who could possibly
know so much about the King of Glory as those
little boys who sang about Him? Oh! why would
not Ted go to this fountain head for information ?
Dot lay quietly on her bed and planned out her
own resolve. Certainly it was a great one. She
had a long day before her; she would go herself
to the church with the organ-herself listen to the
lovely music-and herself boldly ask one of those
little boys to tell her where the King of Glory
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
lived, and where she might find Him? True, she
could not walk; true, she was only out once or
twice in her life before-but she would beg and
coax some one to carry her to the right place.
She would reward this kind some one with her
very dearest possessions. Her mug-that de-
lightful mug "for a good girl"-should belong-to
this good individual, and if he or she would not
help her without, she would even part with her
Tears started to her eyes as she contemplated
this last sacrifice. But the gain would be greater
than the loss. The remembrance of the face that
had bent over her last night decided her on this
point. She lay on her bed and waited eagerly.
The first neighbour who came in must be got to
render her this service. She drank the milk and
water and ate the bread that Slavey had provided,
in order to give herself greater strength; then,
clasping Eva, she tried to control her impatience
as best she could.
After all, she had not long to wait. Early-quite
in the early morning-quick steps were heard on
the stairs, the handle of the attic door was roughly
turned, and a tall boy, with a great shock df red
hair dashed into the room.
Ii'_ I I
ill,11 "1 1.
HOW TO LEARN THE STORY. 41
Hillow Dot," he said ; "why, I say where's
Slavey, Dot ?"
This was Dot's roughest and biggest brother,
Mike. She was rather afraid of Mike, still her
need was great, and she believed he could be got
to help her.
"Where's Slavey ?" demanded Mike impa-
Suddenly it dawned on Dot that she must on
no account betray the whereabouts of Slavey, Ted,
and Polly. She grew very red, but she shut her
little mouth firmly.
Why don't yer speak, Dot ?" demanded Mike,
his tone now growing angry.
"'Cause I can't," said Dot. "'Cause yer not fur
to know. Slavey's a coming back to-night. Yer
not fur to know, Mike."
Mike began to whistle. The whereabouts of
Slavey, which really had been a matter of no very
vital importance to him, suddenly grew interesting.
"And why ain't I to know ?" he said. "I say,
Dot, I must know, and that this minute; so out
with it, young 'un."
Dot still kept her lips closed, but Mike looked
so angry and so determined that she began to feel
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
Mike saw the fear growing into her face.
Suddenly he changed his tactics; he sat down by
Dot and spoke softly-
Look yere, young 'un; I doesn't mean fur to
harm Slavey. Lor why should I ? No, I 'as a
plan as Slavey must know at once. 'Tis real
wital as I should see Slavey at once, Dot; and ef
yer tells me, I'll give yer somethink-somethink
better than that ugly doll."
At these last words Dot's pale face grew very
red. The fact was, the little child, who had only
her instincts to guide her, was overpowered by a
sudden temptation. If she told Mike that which
he wanted to know, perhaps he could be induced
to carry her to the place where the boys in their
white dresses sang about the King of Glory!
Oh I suppose Mike would do that, and would stay
with her for half an hour, so as to bring her home
again, why, then, all her difficulties would be
soothed, her great question answered, and her
heart at rest. Why might she not make this
arrangement with Mike? Why might he not pur-
chase her secret from her in this way ? She was
shrewd enough to know that Mike was very
anxious to obtain this knowledge. Perhaps he
really had something very important to communi-
HOW TO LEARN THE STORY. 43
cate to Slavey; something that, for all their sakes,
Slavey ought to know at once. Perhaps, after all,
it would be very wrong of her not to let him know.
But then, if Mike, who was not very scrupulous-
were to deprive poor Slavey of the money she
earned at the boat-race! No, she would make
him promise to be kind to Slavey first.
Mike, who was watching her face, and knew she
would yield, now rose as if to go away.
H'all right, Dot," he said, "ef yer won't tell,
why, yer won't; good-morning to yer; I'm sorry
fur yer, as yer not more trustful and obligating.
There I good-morning to yer, I'm orf."
"Oh but, Mike, perhaps I'll tell," said Dot,
" ef yer'll promise not to do no harm to Slavey,
and Ted, and Polly; not to take no money from
'em, Mike, and"-
"Money from 'em 1" ejaculated Mike. Lor,
whatever does yer take me fur? I steal from
the poor things I lor, Dot, ain't yer mean to think
"Well," said Dot, greatly relieved, and all her
remaining scruples vanishing under the righteous
scorn expressed in Mike's tones,-" well, I'll tell
yer, ef yer promises to do some'ut fur me."
"Anything in life, young 'un. Now, ain't yer a
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
cute young 'un. I admires yer, Dot, fur yer
Mike put on a very tender air as he said these
words. He even sat down by Dot's side and took
her hand in his.
"Speak yer mind up," he said in an encourag-
Thus adjured, and gently entreated, Dot did
tell her mind. All her longings and desires were
poured into Mike's attentive ear. Then came her
request, uttered earnestly and with tears, Could
Mike help her? Would Mike help her ?" Mike
saw no reason why he should not. Whether he
would have found it so easy without the informa-
tion which was to follow, and which was to be his
reward, is a matter of consideration. However,
as it was, he made little or no objection to Dot's
Better let the young 'un find out fur herself as
'tis all a lie," he soliloquised with regard to Dot's
For the rest, he could easily aid her. He knew
at once the sort of place she wanted to go to. It
was a church. There was a church not far away
-quite close, in fact-where there was a service
at eight o'clock every morning. It must be close
AOW TO LEARN THE STORY. 45
to that hour now. He might take Dot there at
once; and then, if hei secret about Slavey was
worth anything, he would have the whole day to
act upon it.
"'As yer some'ut warm to wrap up in, young
'un?" he said. I'll carry yer orf at once. Lor, I
knows the werry place. We'll go at once, Dot."
"There's Slavey's old cloak," said Dot; "and I
'ave my gown on. I doesn't want no bonnet,
does I ?"
"Lor, no; what does it signify ? Yere, put yer
arms round me, and we'll be orf."
( 46 )
THE CHORISTER BOYS FAIL TO AID DOT.
T HE church to which Mike carried Dot was an
old-fashioned one. It could boast of a
great deal of painted glass. The windows in the
church were gorgeously illuminated, and with the
morning light on them, they threw dazzling reflec.
tions on column, arch, and pillar.
The place was a little dark-but the general
effect was very rich and solemn. Mike placed
Dot in a snug corner near the door, in a position
where she could see everything. Then he left her,
promising to come back in half an hour. Dot, it
is true, had first imparted to him her secret about
Slavey. When she was left alone, she sat very
quiet, trembling a little, her weak heart still
fluttering, but the trembling and the excitement
were caused by greater joy than she had ever ex-
perienced in all her life before.
THE CHORISTER BOYS PAIL TO AID DOT. 47
Whep the organ pealed, she could scarcely re-
strain some happy tears from starting to her eyes;
and when the little choir boys filed into their
places, she certainly did say aloud,-quite forget-
ting place or time, Ain't I h'in luck "
These words being uttered quite audibly, a
very stern-looking man who sat in the same seat,
turned round and said severely, Hush "
After this rebuke Dot sat perfectly motionless.
But her enjoyment of the music, her interest in
those angelic little boys, was none the less.
She could not make much out of either the
reading or the prayers. She wondered why,
when the clergyman prayed, the people in the
church either went on their knees, or covered
their faces, and also why they looked so very
solemn. She also covered her face, though she
could not kneel.
She was puzzled, but happy, for she felt sure
that one of the little boys in white would soon
tell her all about this mystery. Once or twice,
both in prayers and reading, she caught the word
Lord," and as she remembered that this name
was given to the King of Glory in her dear song,
her faith in the truth of the whole thing grew
stronger and stronger. At last, however, the
48 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
service came to an end; the congregation went
out, and the little boys and the men who formed
the choir began to file slowly through the aisles to
the choir vestry. Then, for the first time, Dot felt
frightened. Suppose those little boys were going
to vanish away, and she could not get up to
speak to one of them. This possibility was so
dreadful, that, in her horror of it, she forgot her
shyness, and turned despairingly to the stern man,
who still lingered near her.
Oh! please," said Dot, let one of 'em come
"What is it, my dear ? said the man, bending
down with some condescension to listen to the
distress in her voice.
Oh, please, I wants fur to arsk a question of
one o' 'em little 'uns in white,-and I can't walk,
-please, let him come to me."
"One of the choir boys," said the man, which
of them ? you must tell me quickly, as they are
most of them home to their breakfasts by this
time.- What is the name of the boy you want to
speak to, little child ? "
"Oh, I doesn't mind no name; him as'll tell
me best 'bout the King o' Glory I"
Here the man, who was one of the pew-openers,
THE CHORISTER BOYS PAIL TO AID DOT. 49
mnd was in a great hurry home to his breakfast,
grew decidedly impatient.
"Come, child," he said, for he quite misunder-
stood the eager voice and eyes, "I can't fetch a
choir boy on that errand; if you knew one of
them, it would be a different matter. Come, you
must get out of this, as I want to lock up the
church. Come along-why, you're lame however
did you come ? "
My brother brought me; he's a coming back
fur me. Oh ain't I never to know 'bout the King
o' Glory ? Oh please let me stay till 'em little
'uns comes back again."
Here Dot not only cried, but beat her hands in
despair. The pew-opener having no sympathy
for children, and not having caught a glimpse of
Dot's malady-being, indeed, notwithstanding all
his church privileges, much farther off from the
kingdom of heaven than this little child, now lost
"I don't understand you, child," he said, "but
you must stay here no longer. You must wait for
your brother outside."
With these words he lifted Dot in his arms, and,
not unkindly, placed her in a comfortable seat
against the railings, just where the sun could warm
50 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
her. He made no promise of returning again, but
feeling a little uncomfortable as he turned away,
said to himself that he might look round in an
hour or two.
Dot heard his foosteps retreating down the
street, but she did not care; her face was covered
by her hands, and her whole little frame was so
shaken by grief and passion, that she was quite
oblivious to the fact that she was utterly alone in
the great London streets, and that it was long
past the hour when Mike had promised to return
for her. She was awakened from her misery at
last by a jeering laugh-and raising her head she
saw that she was surrounded by a group of chil-
dren as poor and ragged as herself.
These small urchins being attracted by her sobs,
had now clustered close to her, and some of them
began to mock her.
Go it, young 'un," they said, and one or two
heartless-looking girls bent down and in cruel jest
offered their dirty pinafores to wipe Dot's eyes.
Dot, however, was no real coward, and she re-
sented this indignity with flashing eyes, and even
tried to push away the offenders with her tiny
hands. This absence of fear on Dot's part served
her well. Being much the smallest of the group,
THE CHORISTER BOYS FAIL TO AID DOT. 51
and having about twenty enemies,-the enemies
could afford to be generous.
"'Tis a shame!" said a big boy; she's a plucky
young 'un. Come along, comrades."
He ran off with a shout, and the others followed
him. Dot was now again alone. She had time
to look around her, and to reflect on the grave
situation in which she was placed. After a little
time the great clock over her head struck ten.
Dot knew when she heard those solemn strokes
that Mike had certainly forgotten her. How, it
this was the case, could she ever get back to her
attic. She was very cold, for she was utterly
unaccustomed to the morning air, and as she sat
on the stone step where the pew-opener had
placed her, she shivered in every limb. Sur-
rounded by these bodily discomforts and fears,
she forgot, or partly forgot, her other and greater
There was nothing for her present position but
to bear it patiently; but she wondered greatly
what was going to happen. In about an hour or
so an applewoman came and set up her stall
quite near to Dot, but whether she was indif-
ferent, or whether she was cross, and preferred
Dot's room to her company, she took no notice of
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
the little child whatever. The day was a March
one, and cold; poor little Dot shivered more and
But succour was at hand. Just as her sleepy
eyes were closing, and she was beginning sadly to
believe that there was no King of Glory after all,
a tall -policeman, who had passed her once or
twice, came and stood by her side.
What are you doing here, little one ? "
Please, sir, I thought as Mike 'ud come back;
please, sir, I'm lame," said Dot,-raising patient
The policeman regarded her kindly.
"Who is Mike ?" he said.
Dot told all her story, and though the policeman
did not profess to understand all of it, yet, when
it was finished, he smiled again, and said kindly-
I will take you home."
Who is the King of Glory ?" said Dot, as she
was lifted into her new friend's strong arms !
"You may read about Him in the Bible," said
the policeman. He said this after a pause and
somewhat awkwardly. In truth, he, too, failed to
understand the longing little heart, and thought
the child must be ill
( 53 )
HE IS /
F OR the rest of that day the tired child lay
very quiet and patient on her truckle-bed on
the floor. The policeman, when he went away,
had sent a neighbour to her, and the neighbour
had given her a cup of warm tea, and wrapped her
up in bed, and scolded her not a little. Dot had
been very grateful for the tea, and rather indif-
ferent to the scolding.
The neighbour had asked if she should look in
later, and she had answered-
No,-she did not want anything-she had
her doll, Eva. No; she did not mind being
"Uncommon queer, little mite!" said the
woman to herself, as she closed the door. Then
she went downstairs, and absorbed in her own
affairs forgot the "little mite's" existence.
It was a bright March day, and the sun shone
54 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
down warm and pleasant through Dot's attic
window; stretching its pleasant beams across the
room, it gilded the bed and lit up the white face
of the tired child.
Dot's eyes were closed, but when the kind sun
kissed her eyelids she opened them wide. She
did not smile, however. She drew her ugly doll,
Eva, very close to her heart, and said aloud, and
"It wor h'all a big mistake "
She said this several times that day. She had
a great sense of cruelty and disappointment
pressing upon her, but she did not cry.
She was only a very little child, but she had
dreamt a very bright dream, and all the pain of
this dream, proving itself but a dream, had now to
be borne. How rainbow-tinted had been her
fancy I How sure she had felt of soon finding
this King of Glory I How certainly she had told
herself He would take her in His arms, and lay
her head on His shoulder, and assure her of His
love Well! it was all a mistake-there was no
King of Glory-it was all a big mistake.
She did not shed a tear. She only tried to
relieve some of her pain by pressing more kisses
than usual on Eva's face; but the day of the great
Hr is I 55
boat-race was certainly one of the longest she
had ever spent.
About nine o'clock that evening, Slavey,
Polly, and Ted returned. They all trooped,
dejectedly and worn with fatigue, into the attic;
too tired and too hungry to answer any of Dot's
questions, supposing she were inclined to put
them. Being too tired to answer her questions,
they were also too weary to notice her silence.
Ted just threw himself on the floor, and was fast
asleep in an instant; Slavey-ever true to her
name-bustled about, lit the fire, and made
some tea out of tea-leaves used twice before.
A cup of this mixture she brought to Polly, who
had seated herself by Dot's side on the floor and
had buried her head on her knees. Polly drank
the tea, but refused to touch any bread. Then
Slavey, on economical principles bent, blew out
their solitary candle, and lay down on her own
truckle-bed at the other side of the attic.
Polly and Dot, both wide awake, presently
heard her snores of heavy slumber. The moon-
beams, as kind as the sunbeams had been during
the daytime, enabled Dot to see Polly's form still
huddled up motionless. She also fancied she
heard one hard, dry sob. This sound, indicative
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
of much distress, and Polly's whole woe-begone
attitude, had the effect of rousing Dot from her
own distress. She stretched out her hand, touched
Polly, and whispered timidly-
Wot is it ? "
"Let me sleep wid you, Dot," said Polly.
"Oh yes," replied Dot, much cheered by this
request. Polly lay down at once, wrapped her
arms round Dot, and being very tired and com-
forted by this warm living contact, was about to
fall asleep, when Dot said something in a clear
voice, but with great sadness, in her ear.
Polly, I 'as found h'out some'ut to-day."
"What?" asked Polly.
"Wy,-there ain't no King o' Glory, Polly-
no 'Lord,' nor nobody. Don't never sing me
that song no more, please, Polly,-fur I can't
abear it 1"
After saying these words, Dot heaved a great
sigh, and a tear or two fell on Eva's face-a teat
or two at first, but then they came faster and
faster, like pent-up rain, and tumbled on from
Eva's face to Polly's hand. Polly felt them, and
started from her silent mood.
Instead of corroborating Dot's final belief on
this momentous question; instead of saying as Dot
HB IS I 57
felt so sure she would," Ah, yer right enough there,
young 'un !" instead of muttering, as she so often
did before, Ah I I told yer as it wor but a fairy
tale,"-she raised her head, and bending forward,
Hush, don't speak, and I'll say something."
There was that in Polly's tone which made Dot's
heart almost stand still.
Wot ? she replied in a low breathless voice.
Wy, there is a King o' Glory-not fur me, but
fur you. There's a King o' Glory as loves you, Dot.
Don't arsk me no questions, young 'un,-for I can't
listen to 'em now, but I'll find h'out 'bout Him fur
yer ;-see ef I don't"
( 58 )
POLLY'S OLD MEMORY.
P OLLY, who rented a cellar in the same house
where Slavey and Dot lived, was always
something of a mystery to her friends. Polly, as
far as her words were concerned, seemed to be a
girl without any past. She came from no one
knew where; took this cellar at a very low rent;
made acquaintance with no one in the house,
Dot and her family excepted; and managed to
make a scanty living as a flower-girl. She had so
far confided in Slavey, as to question her with
regard to the trade she should be able to take up
with most chance of success. Slavey-contemplat-
ing her bright handsome face-not with the least
admiration or envy, but simply with a shrewd eye
to business-had remarked that-
She believed as Polly might 'do' as a button-
This observation, when explained, meant that
POLLY'S OLD MEMORY. 59
Polly might sell very small and dainty bouquets,
suitable for gentlemen to stick into their button-
holes. She, Slavey, dealt in a less aristocratic
line of the same business; but Polly, with her
handsome face, might take up this more lucrative
branch. Polly acted on the hint and met with
When her fine voice was discovered, Slavey, and
not Slavey alone, had further suggested that she
might add to her small gains by street singing; but
Polly had tossed her head indignantly at this, and
replied in a short and decided negative. Slavey
--whose temper was rather short-pronounced her
a conceited minx-but Dot, with far keener obser-
vation, had seen tears in the proud eyes.
When she saw them, she stretched out her
little hand rather timidly, and Polly's fingers had
closed over it. From that moment the young girl
and the little child were fast friends; still Polly
spoke of no past to Dot, of no home-love or home-
memories. Once she had said rather shortly that
she was no London girl, but further information
with regard to herself no one could induce her to
Dot, indeed, was not curious. Polly had been
a whole year now in the house, and a year seemed
Fl ;2- r _~ __ ~_~ ~_~ ~~ ~ _~_ ~~~~
60 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
like for ever to Dot. She could never bring her-
self to realise the time when she had not known
Polly; therefore, Polly's past history possessed
no interest to her. And this want of interest,
this calm and utter content in the present, con-
stituted Dot's great charm for Polly; she never
plied her with hard questions, like the neighbours
viho possessed keener and longer memories; she
never seemed to search for some secret and
buried past; therefore, Polly, feeling safe with
Dot, loved her better than any other soul in
On the morning after the boat-race she rose
soon after four o'clock, and accompanied by
Slavey set off to buy a stock of flowers for the
Both girls were still very tired, but Slavey was
not so weary as not to be able to watch her com-
panion, and speculate a little about her. Slavey,
though a very well-meaning girl in the main,
was by no means above that feminine failing,
She had for a long time been anxious about
Polly. Since the event which had occurred yester-
day, her curiosity had been much strengthened;
she longed for Polly to speak, she thought it
POLLY'S OLD MEMORY. 61
unkind and mean of her companion not to confide
Two or three times, as the girls walked rapidly
through the frosty morning air, she glanced at
Polly. Polly, indeed, had fastened an old shawl
about her head; but though her face by this
means was invisible, Slavey heard her sigh once
or twice. After the last of these long-drawn
sighs, the younger girl's desire to know the mean-
ing of it all quite passed the bounds of prudence.
"I say, Polly," she exclaimed, "do say, I'm
burning to know, why h'ever yer got so white at
the sight o' that droll old man yesterday ? Do say,
Polly, why yer runned away from him ? Here
Slavey laid an entreating hand on Polly's sleeve.
But the hand was flung off with vehemence.
"Ef yer ever," began Polly, turning sharply
round, and looking with flashing eyes at Slavey-
Ef yer ever speaks o' that old man to me again,
I'll,- I'll- 0 Slavey, don't tempt me, I could
hurt yer real awful, when yer speaks o' that old
"Yer wouldn't !" exclaimed Slavey, falling back
in considerable fright. I didn't know as 'twas
no harm, I on'y wanted fur to know."
But here Polly put wings to her feet, and
62 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
running swiftly away, Slavey saw her no more
Slavey wondered for a moment or two-for that
brief time felt inclined to be cross; then she forgot
all about it in the keen interest of choosing her
flowers for her day's business. Owing to the un-
known somebody who had taken away her gains
yesterday, she had a very small stock of money in
hand, not more than two or three pence. With this
sum she could only buy the very commonest
flowers, and the heart of the poor little housewife
grew heavy as she remembered the many wants at
home. She also had an uncomfortable recollection
of Dot's face as she parted from her that morning.
The face of the little child was drawn and heavy,
and she raised very languid eyes to bid Slavey
good-bye. Slavey, as she sorted her flowers,
thought of all this with a sort of undefined uneasi-
ness. Of late there had been a change in Dot, a
change which Slavey could in no manner account
for. From being the merriest little soul in the
world, she had grown quiet and thoughtful; in-
stead of being the droll, delightful Dot, whose
shrewd observations and wit had been the family
delight, she smiled less and less, and a longing,
wistful look grew and grew in her patient eyes.
POLLY'S OLD MEMORY. 63
What ailed Dot, was she ill? what-what was
the matter? Slavey, having no clue to the
mystery, felt puzzled and sad, for Dot was the
darling of her heart, the object for which she
Meanwhile, Polly-taking care to avoid Slavey
by sundry dodgings behind barrels and large
hampers-had also provided herself with flowers
from Covent Garden. Her income was rather
smaller than Slavey's, so her selection was poor.
She got a fair supply of, by no means the finest,
primroses; and perceiving that Slavey had left
the market, she sat down with her back to a
large hamper and began to arrange them. She
pulled them to pieces, and commenced to tie
them up in halfpenny and penny bunches, and
as she did so, she tried to wile away the time by
singing snatches of a gay song.
But her efforts at light-heartedness were vain.
Suddenly the flowers dropped from her fingers-
the dark head was pressed on the little brown
hands, and heavy and bitter sobs shook the poor
little flower-girl's frame. In truth, Polly was look-
ing at a dreadful picture. An old man with
white hair, and drawn, haggard, pathetic face,
seemed ever to be lying at her feet,-an old man
64 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
-a tired, helpless, old man, who was-who was
-no, she could not-she would not think of
that. She wiped away her tears and walked
rapidly off to the best corner to sell her goods.
She had not a very successful day. Her thoughts
were too busy to allow her to watch every chance
for the disposal of her flowers. Many a promising
customer she allowed to pass by unheeding; only
hunger forced her to any exertion; but her gains
were undoubtedly small. Besides the shock she
had received yesterday, she, also, as well as
Slavey, was troubled about Dot. That absurd
fancy about the hymn Polly had sung to her was
doing her harm, positive harm-she so longed to
find out the truth about that hymn-she had
taken up such an odd idea about it-and had
actually wept last night, fearing that there was no
King of Glory.
Often and often had Polly told her there was
none; often and often had she denied the existence
of the King-who, unknown, had won Dot's heart.
But last night, something in her tone, something
in the despair of her voice, had touched Polly's
pity; touched it to that extent, that a long-for-
gotten memory and a story from a long-forgotten
book had returned to her.
POLLY'S OLD MEMORY. 65
The memory was of a story read to her out of
this book by one-well-no-even to herself, she
would not speak the name of her who had
read her that story. But certainly the story told
about a Man who spoke of Himself as a King-a
Man who seemed to love, with a wonderful love,
poor and sick and sinful people. How well Polly
remembered the shape of the book out of which
that story was read, how well she also remem-
bered the face and voice of the reader-
Is it true ? she had asked, when her voice
had ceased; and she had answered, "True !
is the sky above your head blue ? and the grass
under your feet green ?-'tis as true as that. 'Tis
as true as God is true!"
These words, making little impression at the
time, had come back to Polly last night; had
come back with Dot's despair and agony, and
moved by pity and a sudden influence-perhaps,
who knows? the beginning of a sudden belief-she
had answered the excited child, by assuring her
that there was a King of Glory; and, further, pro-
mising to find out all about Him.
Sitting now, with her unsold primroses lying in
her lap, she pondered sadly over this promise, and
wondered how it would be possible to fulfil it.
( 66 )
A TIME OF MUCH RAIN.
P OLLY managed to sell all her primroses, but
she returned home late and very tired.
She was also, notwithstanding a terrible pain tug-
ging at her heart, thoroughly hungry. So she
bought herself a hunch of stale bread and a
cooked sausage, and with this provision, went into
her cellar, and threw herself on her bed. It was a
small place this home of hers, not very bad for a
cellar, and it was her own. She always, when she
went out in the morning, took the key with her, so
it was secure from all prying eyes, and too greedy
fingers. This thought when she was out all day
was a great comfort to Polly. But now, as she
lay tired out on her truckle bed, she had, added to
the other troubles which beset her, a fear that the
comfort she so relied upon was about to leave
her; she feared very much that she must give up
the luxury of her cellar to herself. Of late hei
A TIME OF MUCH RAIN.
earnings, from some cause or other, had been too
small to meet even her expenses. She paid two
shillings a week for the cellar, not a great deal
certainly, but she already owed two weeks' rent;
she had hoped to make all straight at the boat-
race, but alas! the boat-race had brought her
nothing but disaster, she could not bear to think
of it now. No, she feared much that there was no
way of making her slender resources cover her
expenses but by giving up the cellar. There was
a cheaper way in which she might live. In the
very same house there was an Irish woman, a
Mrs. Murphy, who allowed children and young
people to have a shake-down in her room for a
penny a night. For about an additional penny
paid weekly, she would further take charge of any
box or small possession.
Polly knew that, unless times improved wonder-
fully, she must come to this. All the luxury of
being alone must be denied her, she must sleep
at Mrs. Murphy's, and resign the one thing she
valued in the world to Mrs. Murphy's keeping.
This one thing which Polly valued, this one
thing, on account of which she kept her cellar
door so carefully locked, was nothing more nor less
68 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
than a small, roughly-made deal box-a box
easily carried in one hand and secured by a lock
and key. The key, Polly always kept fastened by
a string round her neck; the box she never by any
chance opened; that key might have grown rusty
so far as its use was concerned. But the outside
of the box Polly looked at morning and evening;
she always placed it close to her at night, and
she often lay with her hand stretched over it, as if
to protect it. It was the fear of this box going out
of her own keeping, and becoming the object of
Mrs. Murphy's curiosity, that so troubled her now.
She would have asked Dot to give it room, but
Dot was utterly powerless to protect this precious
treasure from her lawless brothers' curious young
fingers. Nay, even more, it was just possible that
Slavey might take it into her head to have a spy
into its contents. Thinking these melancholy and
anxious thoughts, and munching at the same time
vigorously at her bread and sausage, Polly was
about to drop asleep, when a loud knocking and
some words of entreaty at her cellar door effectu-
ally awakened her. She started to her feet at the
sound of Slavey's voice.
"Wot is it ?" she asked, as she flung open the
A TIME OP MUCH RAIN. 69
"Come along, come quick !" said Slavey,
laying her strong hand with great force on
Polly's arm. She ran upstairs as she spoke,
unheeding any more of Polly's demands for infor-
"There! 'tis Dot," she said, as, at last having
reached the attic, she opened the door. Rough
in all her actions hitherto, she managed to push
aside the creaking door almost noiselessly.
"'Tis Dot," she said again, "I fears as Dot's took
At these words Polly felt her own heart sinking
down very low. She made no exclamation, but
she and Slavey approached the bedside quickly
Yes-something ailed Dot-there was a won-
derful change in her. Instead of lying quiet and
patient in her little bed, she was sitting upright,
her pale cheeks were flushed crimson, her eyes
were bright, she talked rapidly and incessantly,
but did not seem to know either of the girls when
they approached her.
"I wants Polly," she cried; "she promised-
she promised I" but when Polly tenderly bent over
her, she turned away without the least recognition
in her eyes.
7-0 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
"Oh wot is it?" asked poor Slavey, looking
helplessly at the elder girl.
"'Tis a case fur a doctor," answered Polly, "the
little 'un's real bad. I'll run and fetch one in a
jiffy. You keep up heart, Slavey," she added, as
she prepared to fly on swift feet on her errand.
In less than half an hour the doctor came, and
pronounced it an undoubted case of rheumatic
fever, "brought on," he said, "most probably from
some great chill."
"She never got no chill," answered Slavey.
But the doctor shook his head; he knew better.
He proposed that the child should be moved to an
hospital, and promised to make the necessary
But here Polly and Slavey overpowered him
with a torrent of words and entreaties.
"It 'ud kill Dot to wake up and find herself
away from them-they could not live without her.
Yes; in some way or other they would provide
the necessary food." Love in these two girls'
breasts made them believe all difficulties easy.
"And I can nurse, I nursed afore," said Polly,
raising soft, tear-filled eyes to the doctor's face.
The entreating voice and sweet eyes made the
good doctor inclined to waver. But Dot, herself,
Ye has got to do me a kindness young un" she said.
"Yer has got to do me a kindness, youug 'un," she said.-Page 83.
i;! 18 !i!j i tj
A TIMR OF MUCH RAIN. 71
unconsciously settled the question; for in the
morning she was far too ill to be moved.
"I wants Polly-she promised,-she promised,
she said as it wor true I moaned the poor little
"Do you understand to what she alludes?"
asked the doctor of the young nurse, for Polly had
established herself in that capacity.
I am Polly,-I knows what she wants," was the
"Then get it for her, impossible, poor little soul!"
replied the doctor, as he went hurriedly out.
These were the beginning of very dark times.
HOW TO KEEP A PROMISE.
S LAVEY had indeed gone through many
troubles in the course of her young life.
Poverty, anxiety, the loss of her parents, rough
speeches, cold and hunger, had each in turn
visited her, but they all seemed trifles compared
to the pain that filled her breast during the fort-
night of Dot's severe illness and danger. She was
a commonplace girl; a girl with perhaps no great
intensity of feeling, but Dot was her treasure.
When the doctor said that perhaps Dot might
die, when he said further that he thought it very
probable Dot would die-the whole world seemed
to grow very dark before Slavey's eyes. She did
not complain, she worked on harder and harder,
but a cloud, which was indeed the cloud of
despair, was surrounding all her poor narrow
HOW TO KEE A PROMISE. 73
She and Polly having determined both to nurse
Dot and to provide for her small necessities,
agreed to divide these duties. Slavey was still to
be the family provider, Polly was to be the nurse.
Polly, of course, had to be fed; but Slavey
proved herself equal to this task. Whether it was
a certain pathos in her eyes at this time, or
whether, as was more likely, it was some special
care from her Father in heaven, who had numbered
every hair on poor Slavey's head, certain it is that
during the fortnight of Dot's illness, Slavey was
more successful in selling her flowers than she had
ever been in her life before. No matter what
number she bought at Covent Garden, she came
home every evening with her basket empty
and her pockets tolerably full. These earnings
enabled her to buy the necessary food for Dot
and to keep herself and Polly alive. The boys-
who were never very frequent visitors to the attic,
she forbid even to enter it during Dot's illness.
Mike, indeed, had come once and told to her and
Polly a strange tale about himself and Dot-a
tale told with some pain by the rough boy, who
had never meant to injure the little one, but a
tale that had filled Slavey's heart with such bitter-
ness, when she heard that he had forgotten to
74 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
fetch Dot home from church, that she had
requested him, if he valued his life, never to set
eyes on her again.
"Yer a nice one !" she exclaimed, "and I suppose
as it was yer as come so mean an' tuk away h'our
To this question Mike made no answer, but
dashed downstairs out of reach of Slavey's in-
dignation; nevertheless, though he obeyed her so
far as to keep clear of the attic when she was
there, he came regularly once a-day to learn all
about Dot that Polly could tell him.
And Polly-Polly undertook the nursing. Polly
had told the doctor that she was a good nurse,
that she had nursed before. She sat now,
patiently, day after day, hour after hour, by the
little truckle bed, tending with much skill the
suffering child who was indeed lying within the
very shadow of death. Polly proved herself a
good nurse. She could soothe Dot's wildest fits of
delirium, she could lay her in the most comfort-
able positions; the touch of her hand on the
little hot head often produced sleep when every
other means failed. As she said, she had nursed
before. Charmed with her skill and kindness,
the doctor had once asked her where she had
HOW TO KEEP A PROMISE. 75
learned so much. At this question Polly's face
had grown first red and then pale; she had stam-
mered out some unintelligible words, and turned
away. From that moment the doctor began to
watch her with interest. Polly was quick to per-
ceive this, and avoided his eye. She had resigned
her cellar, living now altogether in Dot's attic.
She sat all day long by Dot's side, and seldom
slept much at night. During this solemn time,
dwelling indeed within the very presence of death,
she had much time for reflection. She tried hard
not to reflect-thought, of all things, was the most
dreadful to Polly. She had a past at which she
dared not glance, a past and a memory that must
at all costs be forgotten. This, sitting in the
silent room, was no easy task, and Polly's face
grew paler day by day.
Dot remained very ill for a fortnight. At the
end of that time there came a crisis and a change
-the change was for the better. Dot awoke to
consciousness; she smiled at Slavey, she put her
wasted little hand inside Polly's. Slavey, never
known to cry in her life, burst into a flood of
tears, and threw herself flat down on the floor,
before that smile of Dot's.
Polly did not cry, but she kissed the little face.
76 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
and a gleam of returning happiness came back to
From that hour Dot grew very slowly better.
and Slavey's laugh was again heard in the house.
But Polly's anxieties were by no means at an
end. It was happiness beyond words to feel
that she need not live without Dot; but Dot in
her convalescence and weakness could be trouble-
some. She plied Polly with questions, and Polly
either could not, or would not answer them. Dot
had by no means forgotten the immediate cause
of her illness. She awoke from it, possessed with a
greater longing, to learn the great secret that so
puzzled her, than ever.
Dot had gone through hope; then despair had
visited her. Again, Polly, herself, touched by her
longing and pain, had changed the despair into
certainty-into the certainty that Dot longed for.
She had said to her, "Yes, Dot, there is a King of
Glory." She had assured the little, hungry, long-
ing soul that there was this great love to satisfy
her. Further than this, she had promised to find
out all about the King of Glory for Dot. Dot
had carried this promise with her all through her
illness. She had awoke to fresh life with a
greater need than ever for its fulfilment.
HOW TO KEEP A PROMISE. 77
But Polly-there seemed to be a change in
Polly. To Dot's eager questions she day after
day turned a deaf ear. She would say, "Yes,
honey, some day I'll try an' tell yer," and then she
would talk eagerly of something else.
Dot might have borne aJl this delay had she
been in her usual heath, but now, in her great
weakness, it injured her. She ceased to gain
ground. She began even to go back. The doctor
was puzzled and uneasy. One day he questioned
"There is something on the little one's mind;
she looks anxious, and as if she longed for some-
thing; is this so?"
Yes, sir," answered Polly.
"Can I get it for her ?"
I don't think so," said Polly.
"Can you ? "
"I-it is hard. But-I-promised-to get her
what she wants !"
"Then do so, and at once, or the child will die."
After this conversation Polly lay awake all
night. No, Dot must not die. She could not-
could not live without Dot. But how could she
fulfil that rashly-made promise ? How could she,
a sinful girl, a girl with a dreadful past, find
78 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
out this great knowledge for Dot ? Dare she look
into these things ? She had, indeed, heard that
they were true, she had been told of them. She
had known one who had believed them, and lived
in the joy of that belief; but she had never cared
for them, or felt the least anxiety to possess them
for herself. To talk of them now, to try to
explain them to Dot, would awaken a thousand
memories--memories of the nature that kill when
they visit. Besides, even if willi-ng, she could
not quite explain; she had but a scanty know-
ledge-but a smattering of the old story. Oh !
why had she sung that hymn to Dot? Why had
she awakened Dot's curiosity which must be
satisfied with so much pain to herself?-for of
course it must be satisfied; come what would,
Dot must not die. She lay awake all night,
wondering, trembling, fearing.
When she had at last made up her mind that
her promise must be kept, she had to consider
further how she was to keep it. She herself did
not know enough; who did ?-who did ? To whom
could she apply ? With the breaking of the day, a
thought came to her, suggested first by Dot herself.
Dot, in her extremity, had gone to church with
HOW TO KEEP A PROMISE.
the intention of asking for information from one
of the choristers. She had come home unsuccess-
ful, she had not met any of the boys who sang
that beautiful song. Yes, but where Dot had
failed, where Dot, indeed, could not but fail, Polly
might be successful. Polly knew several dodges
that, of course, Dot must be ignorant of.
Suppose Polly went to the church, and taking
counsel of no hard-hearted verger, waylaid one
of the choristers herself, and perhaps by bribes,
perhaps by a few well-chosen words, persuaded
this boy to accompany her home, and to impart
to Dot that which she longed to know. The
more Polly thought of this plan, the more feasible
did it grow. When she jumped out of bed she
resolved to adopt it, and that very day ;-for
there was a look on Dot's pale face that she had
seen before on another face.
( 8o '
THE TRUEST THING IN ALL THE WORLD.
THERE was a little chorister boy at St
Peter's Church, who found on a particular
March day that the effort of sitting still was
too much for him. There was a very fresh and
sweet wind blowing outside, and the sun shone
brilliantly through the painted windows of the
old church. The little choir boy longed to be
out, and could not see the use of singing hymns
that he knew so well for the benefit of the very
few people who attended the daily service. This
boy had an ambitious soul, as well as a beautiful
voice; and he did not at all object to pouring
forth his liquid notes for the delight of well-filled
pews, but on week days the church pews were
never full, and on week days he found church a
Never more so than to-day. He was tired-he
was restless-and he knew the hymns and the
THE TRUST THING IN ALL THE WORLD. 81
services so well. Not entering at all into the
spirit of the beautiful church service, he tried to
beguile the weary moments by looking about him.
Gazing down the church he quickly perceived that
a stranger occupied one of the pews. A young
girl, very shabbily dressed, sat in the shadiest
corner. He would not have noticed her, but for
the fact that her dark, eager eyes were fixed on
him. He quite blushed under their gaze, and
turned his head away. There was a sermon this
afternoofi, and he resigned himself with a groan
to sitting it out. He closed his eyes, and won-
dered could he sleep a little. Perhaps he did
sleep; but certainly he went away with a dim im-
pression that he had been hearing over again some
of his mother's words. His mother was dead-
and though he was a wild enough little lad, yet
any memory of her had power to touch him. Her
influence had been all for good, her influence had
been all unselfish. She had often talked to her
boy about the talents God had given him, and
had said, as she put her arms round his neck and
kissed his curly head, that those talents might be
used most happily in the service of the great and
good Giver. The little lad had listened to her
words without quite understanding them; now,
DOT AND HER TREASURES.
however, as he rushed out of church, he had a
kind of idea that the clergyman, to whose sermon
he was supposed to have listened, had told him
the very same thing. Though he was hurrying off
to meet some companions, and expected a good
deal of sport during the remainder of the after-
noon, yet the memory of his mother, dead now
for quite two years, was very present to him. He
had just turned a corner, and was preparing to set
off on a swift trot, when a hand was laid with some
force on his arm. He turned round to face this
unexpected intruder, and saw the girl whose
strange dark face had attracted him during the
Yer has got to do me a kindness, young 'un,"
she said, a trifle breathlessly, for she had been
running after him.
I never saw you until just in church to-day,"
answered Frank Denbigh, for this was the chor-
ister's name. "What do you want ?" he con-
tinued, I'm in no small hurry, I can tell you "
"Yer sung a hymn to-day as yer have sung
afore, I guess."
Frank laughed. I should rather think so," he
said; do you mean the one that begins I love
to hear the story' ?"
THE TRUEST THING IN ALL THE WORLD. 83
"Can yer tell me the meaning o' that hymn ? "
asked Polly, and here again her breath came fast
"Of course I can; 'tis as plain as possible. I
really can't wait now-take off your hand."
He was preparing to dart away, but Polly was
too strong for him.
Little boy," she said, I told yer as yer had
got to tell some 'ut. I means as yer as got to do
a kindness. There's a little 'un at home as is
dying-she is hungering to know some 'ut, and
the hunger is killing her-she is a little tender
thing of eight years old, and she never walked in
all her life. Once I come to church and I heard
yer sing that hymn; I took no count of it, but
the music wor pretty, and I'm sharp, and I picked
it up, and when I seed the young 'un, I sung it fur
her. She went wild over it-and wor sure as it
wor true. I said no, as it wor all a fairy tale, but
she wouldn't heed me. One day we all went out
and left her alone ; and wot does she do, but get
herself carried to church on purpose to larn ef it
wor true. Of course she could larn nothing; and
she took cold and wor like to die. She's better
now, only she's pining, pining fur them words as she
says is true. The doctor says as she'll die, ef she's
84 DOT AND HER TREASURES.
not satisfied. She shan't die. Yer 'as got to
come home wid me this werry minute, and tell
her as the hymn's true."
At the end of this eager torrent of words, Frank
looked very red and very excited.
Of course the hymn's true," he said, you tell
her yourself that 'tis true as the gospel I can't-
I can't speak to young 'uns."
Again he was preparing to rush away, but Polly
would not let go.
You come and tell her," she said; "she's such
a tender little 'un-and she's dying to know. Ef
yer'll tell her, she'll maybe get well. It 'ud kill
us to part wid Dot. Come home and tell her
yerself, fur I knows nothing."
After saying these words, Polly ceased to hold
the chorister. She stood humbly before him;
he might run away now if he pleased. Why did
not he? here was his chance. He was tired of
being cooped up; he hated the kind of work that
Polly asked him to do; it sounded very like
preaching a sermon. Then he had an engage-
ment; and he longed, as only healthy boys can
long, for a run in the country. Still he did not
stir, but stood gazing very hard at Polly. Why
was this ? The reason was plain enough ; the reason
THE TRUEST THING IN ALL THE WORLD. 85
was manifest. He knew at last what his mother
meant by begging him to use his talent for God.
He knew what the clergyman had preached about.
Here was the meaning, and also the opportunity.
A little girl dying, because she did not know
such a simple-such an old story I He thought all
the world knew the meaning of that hymn. Of
course he could tell her. Yes, he would tell her;
he would go with Polly: his companions might
enjoy the country without him just for once.
"Come along I" he said in a quick and rather
gruff voice, "she must be a precious little duffer not
to know all about it; but I'll tell her what I can."
Certainly his words were not very courteous;
but as he and Polly walked quickly back together,
something, he knew not what, made his heart dance;
he felt wonderfully near to his dead mother, and
he even forgot about the country walk.
In ten minutes' time they reached the attic.
Dot was alone. She had been asleep; with Eva in
her arms and her other treasures quite close, she
had fallen into an uneasy slumber; but at the
sound of Polly's step her rather large blue eyes
were opened wide.
Stay ahint of me," said Polly to the choir boy.
She herself came softly forward,