Page images
PDF
EPUB

Lillie brightened up in a moment, and ate her bread-and-butter and strawberries with a very good grace when that view of the disaster was presented to her, though she still felt very much hurt with Fluffy, and entirely disappointed in Jip, as she had always believed them to be strictly honest and honourable kittens. Still, on the whole, she was not sorry that she and Jack had been able to help the two little wanderers.

After tea Jack and Lillie worked very hard to complete the two other baskets of fruit, and when they brought them to Susan they each received a nice bright sixpence, and putting their heads together in a quiet corner of the porch they began to discuss again how they should spend it.

Suddenly Lillie looked up. “Jack, how much do you think is a pot of money?" she whispered.

"I don't know, but I should think a lot. Why do you ask?"
" More than sixpence?”
"Yes, I think so."

Lillie looked disappointed. "I thought, Jack, that perhaps if I were to give my sixpence to Meg she mightn't care to run away any farther and be so tired and hungry.”

“Then I'll give mine to Mopsy, and then I'm sure they'll have enough,” Jack cried heartily; "we don't want it so very badly, do we sis?" and having thus disposed of the strawberry shilling they went to bed and slept soundly, for they were very, very tired.

Early the next morning a tall, dark woman came to Rosedale to inquire about the children, and they both ran to her at once. She seemed very glad to see them, and when she promised they should never go back to the cruel man they had run away from, but live with her always, they seemed quite overjoyed. When they were going away Lillie slipped the sixpences into Meg's hand, and whispered that now she would not have to go so far to look for the pot of money, and then ran away as quickly as she could.

Judith, the tall gipsy woman, thanked Susan for her kindness to the little girls, and promised next time she passed that way to come and see her and bring her a trifle of wickerwork as a remembrance, and something for the young lady too, who was so good!

And sure enough, there came one day, after about a month, a most beautiful doll's cradle for Lillie, and a very useful clothes-basket for Susan, who says that she has a better opinion of gipsies than she used to have, and quite believes that an unselfish action never goes unrewarded; and I think so too.

H. J. B. H.

[graphic]

"JACK AND LILLIE WERE IN A STATE OF GREAT EXCITEMENT" (P. 348.

BOB, THE TAILOR'S DOG.

FOUNDED ON FACT.

[ocr errors]

FeF you could have seen Bob looked as if he knew quite well what we

Bob, you would never were talking about, and when there was a pause

have thought that he in the conversation, he wagged his tail in the belonged to a poor man. most intelligent manner, as if he were expressing He was a large Newfound. his appreciation of the butcher's amiable manners. land, and he was such a One day I entered the shop, and the old man's handsome fellow. His board was vacant. When I asked what had coat was so sleek and

become of him, his daughter said — glossy, and he was

“Father's been taken ill. He was working as well fed and comfortable, usual last Tuesday, and all at once he put his hand that he looked quite aristocratic. Yet his master was to his head and fell forward. We carried him to a poor working tailor, and Bob lived in a little room bed, Bob and I, and he has been there ever since. behind a small dark shop, in a back street. He

Bob is sitting with father now; he will come and had no kennel, but he managed very well without tell me if anything is wanted.” one. He lay at night on the hearth-rug in the “Does your father notice the dog ?” little sitting-room, and his master said he was “He knows when he is there, and he is uneasy never afraid of thieves, for Bob was better than if he goes away. He was able to speak a little five or six policemen.

last night, and then he said, “Where's my boy?' Bob was a very well-behaved dog, too. He

and Bob licked his hand, and then he was satisfied. would wipe his feet on the mat when he entered Bob will not sleep on the hearth-rug now. He lies the room, and shut the door after himself, and at the foot of the bed, and when father is asleep scratch with his paws if he wanted it to be opened. he does not so much as growl. He is so troubled He looked thoroughly contented and happy in his that father is ill. At first he could not understand shabby quarters. His master and he understood it; he wanted him to get up and dress and come one another thoroughly.

downstairs; but now he sees there is something "I always tell Bob when I am in trouble, wrong, and does all he can to help.” ma'am," the old man said one day. “He knows I was very sorry that Bob's master was ill, for all about my affairs." As he said this Bob pushed he was such a good, kind, patient old man. He his nose into my hand, as if he were assuring lay helpless on his bed for many weeks, and during me that he was worthy of the confidence reposed this time he suffered a good deal, but he never in him.

complained. His daughter did everything that “Yes, he is a very sensible fellow," said I. she could for him, but she was not strong, and I “What a pity it is he cannot speak!”

don't know how they would have got on if it had "He can speak," said the old man, indignantly. not been for Bob. He was almost as good as a "He can say 'Yes' and 'No' quite distinctly. You nurse. He lay by the side of the sick man's bed, can talk, Bob, can you not, my boy?"

and watched him unceasingly, and if he turned or Bob gave a short, sharp “ Bow," which was moaned, Bob was downstairs in a minute. He evidently taken for “ Yes.”

would come up to the old man's daughter and “There, you see," said the gratified master. look at her, and give a little “Bow !” Then the “He can say, 'Let me out ;''Let me in ;'Come out for woman would say, “All right, Bob; I'll come," and a walk,' and, 'Good night.' When he does not speak Bob went back to his post quite contented. he means more by the wag of his tail than people After a little time, Bob's master did not need in general do by ever such long speeches."

that any one should wait upon him any more. He “Don't you find it costs a good deal to keep had closed his eyes peacefully, and gone away him?” said I.

from the trouble and pain of earth. He lay on the “Oh, no, ma'am. We never buy more than bed with a sweet smile on his face, and if it had two-pennyworth of biscuits a week for him. Then not been for his silvery grey hair one could almost he goes to the butcher's shop round the corner, have fancied that he was a little child, who had been and the master gives him something. Everybody rocked to sleep by his mother, and who was resting knows Bob, and every one is kind to him. He sweetly until she came to take him into her arms never steals anything, but they save odds and again. We who knew what a struggle his life had ends, and when he goes in, the food is there for him.” been could not wish him to return to it. He was

[graphic]

1

The poor

was

not to be pitied, but his daughter was.

first the poor woman was afraid she could not keep woman was nearly heart-broken. “He was all I him, for he was such a large dog that he took up had," she kept saying ; "he was all I had, and now a great deal of room. She was obliged to break up he is gone away.”

her home and go into lodgings, and lodging-house As for Bob, it was pitiable to see him. I was keepers who did not understand how superior an not in the least disposed now to say, "What a pity animal .Bob were inclined to say they he cannot speak.” If ever a look was eloquent, his could not do with a great dog about the place. Howwas. He howled sadly when the coffin was closed, ever, Bob's mistress was very unwilling to part and he followed his master to the grave, as sincere with him, and finally she arranged matters pleaa mourner as ever walked on that sorrowful road, santly. He stood quietly by while the earth was thrown The last time I saw the faithful creature he upon the coffin, looking most despairing and was lying on the sofa in the small room which desolate. I was standing close to him, and I was his mistress's new home, while she told me patted his head and said, “ Poor Bob ! poor what a help and comfort he was to her. fellow !" He looked up in acknowledgment of “I could never get on without Bob,” she said; my sympathy, and gave one small, melancholy wag "he keeps the room when I am away, and he of his tail, then turned away and walked after his would not let any one come in unless they had a mistress.

right to do so for anything. When I have to take Two or three days after this, I went to see how work home on dark evenings he goes with me, and my poor friends were. After talking a little while takes care of me, and he won't let any one molest to the woman, I said, “How is Bob? has he got me. I feel as if he were looking after me for over his trouble yet ?”

father's sake.” “Oh, no," she answered, " he seems quite lost ; "He knows we are talking about him," said I, as he wanders about and goes to the room where Bob wagged his tail in an appreciative manner. father used to lie, as if he were seeking him. He is so quiet and mopy, too, I sometimes think he take.” never will get over his trouble."

So I patted Bob on the head once more, and Perhaps you think I am going to tell you that went away. And as I did so I could not help Bob died of grief for the loss of his master; but wishing that we all did our work in the world as well I am glad to say he did nothing of the kind. At ! and faithfully as he did. PHILLIS BROWNE.

66

he ; mis

[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]

a

LITTLE QUEEN

QUEEN MAB.

By L. C. SILKE,
Author of " In Mischief Again," " Nelly's Champion," &c.
CHAPTER XI.-“IN A DILEMMA."

santer way than the dusty high road ; for it wound CCORDING to up the wooded slope of the hill, a grass-grown,

their aunt's direc- moss-covered path, with deep cart-ruts which
tions, the children seemed to have been made long ago, as apparently
took their leave nothing in the shape of wheels had gone over it
of Mademoiselle for a long time, and everything was delightfully
at seven o'clock. careless and wild-looking.
They had receive “Now don't you agree that this is far better than
ed her permis- the straight hard road we came by?” demanded
sion to go to a

Percy of his sister.
shop or two be- “Yes, indeed; I should like always to come
fore they returned this way instead of the other. Oh! see, Percy,
home, and there- what a glorious patch of purple heather there is
fore now pro-

over there to the right! We must just go and ceeded to make gather some.” their purchases. Having filled their hands with it they returned

Percy spent a to the path and proceeded on their way, not shilling, which loitering too much, as they knew they ought to be was all he had, in pressing on towards home, though occasionally

confectioner's they could not resist the temptation to linger or shop; but Mabel had a little plan of another kind to make a divergence to the right or the left, at. for the shilling which she possessed. She wanted tracted by some rare wild flower, bright-coloured to buy a book for Janet Hope, so the two children fungus, or a floral treasure of some sort. having made their way to the shop where she could After a while the ascent grew steeper, until it get one, she told the bookseller of her wishes; and came to be regular climbing and scrambling for at length, after looking at a great many little

some time.

It was now beginning to seem volumes, she selected one which she thought looked quite dark under the thick shade of the trees, interesting, and having had it carefully wrapped for the sun, which had at first brightened their in paper she bore it off with her.

gnarled trunks and branches with beautiful bits As neither of them had any more money to spend, of golden light, seemed either to have set, or to the shops no longer possessed so many attractions have become hidden behind a cloud, for his rays for them. Moreover, they began to feel it must be no longer played amidst the arching boughs and time to be thinking of returning, and accordingly leafy foliage of the wood. they bent their steps towards Heylands, little At length the forest came to an end, and they thinking what was to befall them by the way. emerged from under its shadow to find, now that

“Mabel,” said Percy, as soon as they had left they had come out upon open ground, that the the town, “we won't go back by the hot dusty weather had changed considerably since they had road. I'm sure there is a pleasanter way. As we entered the wood down below, or else it was that came along I noticed a road running up from the by all their climbing they had reached such high high road, and I believe it leads through the woods ground as to be in another atmosphere. Quite a and over the fall, and comes down close to the mist was resting on the ground, clinging to every. lodge at Heylands. We'll go back that way.” thing, and altogether shrouding the view, so that

Having reached the road to which he referred, the lake, which Percy had counted upon for a land. Percy without more reflection turned into it. mark, was nowhere to be seen. And the mist Mabel ventured a remonstrance, but it was of no seemed to be growing thicker every minute, whilst avail, as the boy was so confident there could be it was so chilly that both children shivered. no mistake." It was as plain as daylight,” he said. “We must turn to the right,” Percy had said as At any rate they could not lose their way, as they left the wood, and they had accordingly done they had the lake for a guide, and knew in which so, but after a while there seemed to be no longer direction Heylands lay."

any regular path, or else they had wandered from It certainly was, as Percy said, a much plea- it. As soon as they discovered they were not

[graphic]

following any beaten track they attempted to find one, but without success.

Meantime the mist was creeping closer and closer, hiding everything from view, and closing round them with its chilly touch.

“Percy, what shall we do? We shan't know which way to go if we can't find any path, and so we shall get lost altogether. And we can't see anything in this thick mist. It is very dangerous to be caught in a mist up on these mountains.”

"Oh, you talk rubbish ! Where's the danger ?”

“Well, I can't see any path to follow, and now that the mist has shut out everything there is nothing to guide us. I don't a bit know in which direction we ought to go, and so we may wander right away from home instead of getting nearer to it. The fact is, Mabel, we are lost for the present. If the fog were to clear off we might be able to find our way, though it is getting so late now it will soon be dark, which makes matters worse ? "

Things did indeed begin to look serious. " Oh ! how I wish the fog would clear away!

وو

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

6 l've

“It isn't rubbish," maintained Mabel. heard of people being overtaken by a fog and having to spend the whole night on the mountain, because they were afraid to move lest they should make a false step. I mean on those high moun. tains that we are going up with Uncle Gwynne. A friend of Aunt Alicia's was telling the other day of an adventure she had of that kind ; the whole party simply had to remain just where they were, shivering with cold, and damp from the fog, until daylight came and the sun was there to disperse the mist.”

“Suppose we have to do the same thing ?” re. marked Percy.

“Oh! I hope not. Whatever would aunt say?"

exclaimed Mabel fervently. “What shall we do, Percy, if it doesn't ? ”

“Make up our minds, I suppose, to follow the example of your friends, and spend the night up here."

“Percy, how can you talk so coolly, as if it were a mere nothing to spend the night all by ourselves up a lonely mountain-side, with no shelter, and no wraps either!

And it gets colder and colder ; in fact, it's dreadfully cold," said the little girl with a shiver, and a very doleful face at the bare thought and prospect of such a fate. “ And

to Aunt Alicia,” she went on, “I expect she will make herself quite ill with anxiety when she finds we don't come back. I do wish we

as

« PreviousContinue »