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Title: Melbourne House, Volume 1
Author: Warner, Susan, 1819-1885
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Melbourne House, Volume 1" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



MELBOURNE HOUSE.

[Illustration: THE OLD IRISH TOMB.]

Melbourne House, Vol. I.



MELBOURNE HOUSE.


BY THE
AUTHOR OF THE "WIDE, WIDE WORLD."

"Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and
whether it be right."--PROV. XX. 11.


VOL. I.


NEW YORK:
ROBERT CARTER & BROTHERS,
530 BROADWAY.
1865.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by

ROBERT CARTER AND BROTHERS,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of New York.



Stereotyped by SMITH & MCDOUGAL, 82 & 84 Beekman St.

Printed by E.O. JENKINS, 20 North William St.

[Transcriber's note: This edition of the novel was badly typeset in
places. Many small errors--missing periods, missing apostrophes, missing
closing quotes--have been corrected for reading ease. When the author
spelled a word as 'ankle' nine times and 'ancle' twice, occurrences of
'ancle' have been corrected to 'ankle'--and so forth. Other errors,
such as the persistent misspelling of 'visitor' as 'visiter', have been
left, as these are more likely to represent the author's convictions as
to spelling.]


MELBOURNE HOUSE.



CHAPTER I.


A little girl was coming down a flight of stairs that led up from a
great hall, slowly letting her feet pause on each stair, while the light
touch of her hand on the rail guided her. The very thoughtful little
face seemed to be intent on something out of the house, and when she
reached the bottom, she still stood with her hand on the great baluster
that rested on the marble there, and looked wistfully out of the open
door. So the sunlight came in and looked at her; a little figure in a
white frock and blue sash, with the hair cut short all over a little
round head, and a face not only just now full of some grave concern, but
with habitually thoughtful eyes and a wise little mouth. She did not
seem to see the sunlight which poured all over her, and lit up a wide,
deep hall, floored with marble, and opening at the other end on trees
and flowers, which shewed the sunlight busy there too. The child
lingered wistfully. Then crossed the hall, and went into a matted,
breezy, elegant room, where a lady lay luxuriously on a couch, playing
with a book and a leaf-cutter. She could not be _busy_ with anything in
that attitude. Nearly all that was to be seen was a flow of lavender
silk flounces, a rich slipper at rest on a cushion, and a dainty little
cap with roses on a head too much at ease to rest. By the side of the
lavender silk stood the little white dress, still and preoccupied as
before--a few minutes without any notice.

"Do you want anything, Daisy?"

"Mamma, I want to know something."

"Well, what is it?"

"Mamma"--Daisy seemed to be engaged on a very puzzling question--"what
does it mean to be a Christian?"

"_What?_" said her mother, rousing herself up for the first time to look
at her.

"To be a Christian, mamma?"

"It means, to be baptized and go to church, and all that," said the
lady, turning back to her book.

"But mamma, that isn't all I mean."

"I don't know what you mean. What has put it into your head?"

"Something Mr. Dinwiddie said."

"What absurd nonsense! Who is Mr. Dinwiddie?"

"You know him. He lives at Mrs. Sandford's."

"And where did he talk to you?"

"In the little school in the woods. In his Sunday-school. Yesterday."

"Well, it's absurd nonsense, your going there. You have nothing to do
with such things. Mr. Randolph?--"

An inarticulate sound, testifying that he was attending, came from a
gentleman who had lounged in and was lounging through the room.

"I won't have Daisy go to that Sunday-school any more, down there in the
woods. Just tell her she is not to do it, will you? She is getting her
head full of the most absurd nonsense. Daisy is just the child to be
ruined by it."

"You hear, Daisy," said Mr. Randolph, indolently, as he lounged finally
out of the room by an open window; which, as did all the windows in the
room, served for a door also. By the door by which she had entered,
Daisy silently withdrew again, making no effort to change the resolution
of either of her parents. She knew it would be of no use; for
excessively indulgent as they both were in general, whenever they took
it upon them to exercise authority, it was unflinchingly done. Her
father would never even hear a supplication to reconsider a judgment,
especially if pronounced at the desire of her mother. So Daisy knew.

It was a disappointment, greater than anybody thought or would have
guessed, that saw her. She went out to the large porch before the door,
and stood there, with the same thoughtful look upon her face, a little
cast down now. Still she did not shed tears about the matter, unless one
time when Daisy's hand went up to her brow rather quick, it was to get
rid of some improper suggestion there. More did not appear, either
before or after the sudden crunching of the gravel by a pair of light
wheels, and the coming up of a little Shetland pony, drawing a miniature
chaise.

"Hollo, Daisy! come along; he goes splendidly!"

So shouted the driver, a boy somewhat bigger than Daisy.

"Where are you going?"

"Anywhere--down to the church, if you'll be quick. Never mind your hat!"

He waited, however, while Daisy dashed into the house and out again, and
then stepped into the low chaise beside him. Then the eager intimation
was given to the pony, which set off as if knowing that impatience was
behind him. The smooth, wide, gravelled road was as good and much better
than a plank flooring; the chaise rolled daintily on under the great
trees; the pony was not forgetful, yet ever and anon a touch of his
owner's whip came to remind him, and the fellow's little body fairly
wriggled from side to side in his efforts to get on.

"I wish you wouldn't whip him so!" said Daisy, "he's doing as well as he
can."

"What do girls know about driving!" was the retort from the small piece
of masculine science beside her.

"Ask papa," said Daisy quietly.

"Well, what do they know about horses, any how!"

"I can _see_," said Daisy, whose manner of speech was somewhat slow and
deliberate, and in the choice of words, like one who had lived among
grown people. "I can observe."

"See that, then!"--And a cut, smarter than ordinary, drove the pony to
his last legs, namely, a gallop. Away they went; it was but a
short-legged gallop after all; yet they passed along swiftly over the
smooth gravel road. Great, beautiful trees overshadowed the ground on
either side with their long arms; and underneath, the turf was mown
short, fresh and green. Sometimes a flowering bush of some sort broke
the general green with a huge spot of white or red flowers; gradually
those became fewer, and were lost sight of; but the beautiful grass and
the trees seemed to be unending. Then a gray rock here and there began
to shew itself. Pony got through his gallop, and subsided again to a
waddling trot.

"This whip's the real thing," said the young driver, displaying and
surveying it as he spoke; "that is a whip now, fit for a man to use."

"A man wouldn't use it as you do," said Daisy. "It is cruel."

"That's what _you_ think. I guess you'd see papa use a whip once in a
while."

"Besides, you came along too fast to see anything."

"Well, I told you I was going to the church, and we hadn't time to go
slowly. What did you come for?"

"I suppose I came for some diversion," said Daisy with a sigh.

"Ain't Loupe a splendid little fellow?"

"Very; I think so."

"Why, Daisy, what ails you? there is no fun in you to-day. What's the
matter?"

"I am concerned about something. There is nothing the matter."

"Concerned about Loupe, eh!"

"I am not thinking about Loupe. O Ransom! stop him; there's Nora
Dinwiddie; I want to get out."

[Illustration: THE CHURCH BY THE WINTERGREENS.]

The place at which they were arrived had a little less the air of
carefully kept grounds, and more the look of a sweet wild wood; for the
trees clustered thicker in patches, and grey rock, in large and in small
quantities, was plenty about among the trees. Yet still here was care;
no unsightly underbrush or rubbish of dead branches was anywhere to be
seen; and the greensward, where it spread, was shaven and soft as ever.
It spread on three sides around a little church, which, in green and
gray, seemed almost a part of its surroundings. A little church, with a
little quaint bell-tower and arched doorway, built after some old, old
model; it stood as quietly in the green solitude of trees and rocks, as
if it and they had grown up together. It was almost so. The walls were
of native greystone in its natural roughness; all over the front and
one angle the American ivy climbed and waved, mounting to the tower;
while at the back, the closer clinging Irish ivy covered the little
"apse," and creeping round the corner, was advancing to the windows, and
promising to case the first one in a loving frame of its own. It seemed
that no carriage-road came to this place, other than the dressed
gravelled path which the pony-chaise had travelled, and which made a
circuit on approaching the rear of the church. The worshippers must come
humbly on foot; and a wicket in front of the church led out upon a path
suited for such. Perhaps a public road might be not far off, but at
least here there was no promise of it. In the edge of the thicket, at
the side of the church, was the girl whose appearance Daisy had hailed.

"I sha'n't wait for you," cried her brother, as she sprang down.

"No--go--I don't want you,"--and Daisy made few steps over the
greensward to the thicket. Then it was,--"O Nora! how do you do? what
are you doing?"--and "O Daisy! I'm getting wintergreens." Anybody who
has ever been nine, or ten, or eleven years old, and gone in the woods
looking for wintergreens, knows what followed. The eager plunging into
the thickest of the thicket; the happy search of every likely bank or
open ground in the shelter of some rock; the careless, delicious
straying from rock to rock, and whithersoever the bank or the course of
the thicket might lead them. The wintergreens sweet under foot, sweet in
the hands of the children, the whole air full of sweetness. Naturally
their quest led them to the thicker and wilder grown part of the wood;
prettier there, they declared it to be, where the ground became broken,
and there were ups and downs, and rocky dells and heights, and to turn a
corner was to come upon something new. They did not note nor care where
they went, intent upon business and pleasure together, till they came
out suddenly upon a little rocky height, where a small spot was shaded
with cedars and set with benches around and under them. The view away
off over the tops of the trees to other heights and hills in the
distance was winningly fair, especially as the sun shewed it just now in
bright, cool light and shadow. It was getting near sundown.

"Look where we are!" cried Nora, "at the Sunday-school!"

Daisy seated herself without answering.

"I think," went on Nora, as she followed the example, "it is the very
prettiest place for a Sunday-school that there ever was."

"Have you been in other Sunday-schools?" asked Daisy.

"Yes, in two."

"What were they like?"

"O they were in a church, or in some sort of a room. I like being out of
doors best; don't you?"

"Yes, I think so. But was the school just like this in other things?"

"O yes; only once I had a teacher who always asked us what we thought
about everything. I didn't like that."

"What you thought about everything?" said Daisy.

"Yes; every verse and question, she would say, 'What do you think about
it?' and I didn't like that, because I never thought anything."

Whereat Daisy fell into a muse. Her question recurred to her; but it was
hardly likely, she felt, that her little companion could enlighten her.
Nora was a bright, lively, spirited child, with black eyes and waves of
beautiful black hair; neither at rest; sportive energy and enjoyment in
every motion. Daisy was silent.

"What is supposed to be going on here?" said a stronger voice behind
them, which brought both their heads round. It was to see another head
just making its way up above the level of their platform; a head that
looked strong and spirited as the voice had sounded; a head set with
dark hair, and eyes that were too full of light to let you see what
colour they were. Both children came to their feet, one saying,
"Marmaduke!" the other, "Mr. Dinwiddie!"

"What do two such mature people do when they get together? I should like
to know," said the young man as he reached the top.

"Talking, sir," said Daisy.

"Picking wintergreens," said the other, in a breath.

"Talking! I dare say you do. If both things have gone on together, like
your answers," said he, helping himself out of Nora's stock of
wintergreens,--"you must have had a basket of talk."

"_That_ basket isn't full, sir," said Daisy.

"My dear," said Mr. Dinwiddie, diving again into his sister's, "that
basket never is; there's a hole in it somewhere."

"You are making a hole in mine," said Nora, laughing. "You sha'n't do
it, Marmaduke; they're for old Mrs. Holt, you know."

"Come along, then," said her brother; "as long as the baskets are not
full the fun isn't over."

And soon the children thought so. Such a scrambling to new places as
they had then; such a harvest of finest wintergreens as they all
gathered together; till Nora took off her sunbonnet to serve for a new
basket. And such joyous, lively, rambling talk as they had all three,
too; it was twice as good as they had before; or as Daisy, who was quiet
in her epithets, phrased it, "it was _nice_." By Mr. Dinwiddie's help
they could go faster and further than they could alone; he could jump
them up and down the rocks, and tell them where it was no use to waste
their time in trying to go.

They had wandered, as it seemed to them, a long distance--they knew not
whither--when the children's exclamations suddenly burst forth, as they
came out upon the Sunday-school place again. They were glad to sit down
and rest. It was just sundown, and the light was glistening, crisp and
clear, on the leaves of the trees and on the distant hill-points. In the
west a mass of glory that the eye could not bear was sinking towards the
horizon. The eye could not bear it, and yet every eye turned that way.

"Can you see the sun?" said Mr. Dinwiddie.

"No, sir,"--and "No, Marmaduke."

"Then why do you look at it?"

"I don't know!" laughed Nora; but Daisy said: "Because it is so
beautiful, Mr. Dinwiddie."

"Once when I was in Ireland," said the gentleman, "I was looking, near
sunset, at some curious old ruins. They were near a very poor little
village where I had to pass the night. There had been a little chapel or
church of some sort, but it had crumbled away; only bits of the walls
were standing, and in place of the floor there was nothing but grass and
weeds, and one or two monuments that had been under shelter of the roof.
One of them was a large square tomb in the middle of the place. It had
been very handsome. The top of it had held two statues, lying there with
hands upraised in prayer, in memory of those who slept beneath. But it
was so very old--the statues had been lying there so long since the roof
that sheltered them was gone, that they were worn away so that you could
only just see that they had been statues; you could just make out the
remains of what had been the heads and where the hands had been. It was
all rough and shapeless now." [Footnote A: See frontispiece.]

"What had worn the stone so?" asked Daisy.

"The weather--the heat and the cold, and the rain, and the dew."

"But it must have taken a great while?"

"A very great while. Their names were forgotten--nobody knew whose
monument or what church had been there."

"More than a hundred years?" asked Nora.

"It had been many hundred."

"O Duke!"

"What's the matter? Don't you believe that people died many hundred
years ago?"

"Yes; but--"

"And they had monuments erected to them, and they thought their names
would live forever; but these names were long gone, and the very stone
over their grave was going. While I sat there, thinking about them, and
wondering what sort of people they were in their lifetime,--the sun,
which had been behind a tree, got lower, and the beams came striking
across the stone and brightening up those poor old worn heads and hands
of what had been statues. And with that the words rushed into my head,
and they have never got out since,--'_Then_ shall the righteous shine
forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.'"

"When, Mr. Dinwiddie?" said Daisy, after a timid silence.

"When the King comes!" said the young man, still looking off to the
glowing west,--"the time when he will put away out of his kingdom all
things that offend him. You may read about it, if you will, in the
thirteenth chapter of Matthew, in the parable of the tares."

He turned round to Daisy as he spoke, and the two looked steadily into
one another's faces; the child wondering very much what feeling it could
be that had called an additional sparkle into those bright eyes the
moment before, and brought to the mouth, which was always in happy play,
an expression of happy rest. He, on his part, queried what lay under the
thoughtful, almost anxious, search of the little one's quiet grey eyes.

"Do you know," he said, "that you must go home? The sun is almost down."

So home they went--Mr. Dinwiddie and Nora taking care of Daisy quite to
the house. But it was long after sundown then.

"What has kept you?" her mother asked, as Daisy came in to the
tea-table.

"I didn't know how late it was, mamma."

"Where have you been?"

"I was picking wintergreens with Nora Dinwiddie."

"I hope you brought me some," said Mr. Randolph.

"O I did, papa; only I have not put them in order yet."

"And where did you and Nora part?"

"Here, at the door, mamma."

"Was she alone?"

"No, ma'am--Mr. Dinwiddie found us in the wood, and he took her home,
and he brought me home first."

Daisy was somewhat of a diplomatist. Perhaps a little natural reserve of
character might have been the beginning of it, but the habit had
certainly grown from Daisy's experience of her mother's somewhat
capricious and erratic views of her movements. She could not but find
out that things which to her father's sense were quite harmless and
unobjectionable, were invested with an unknown and unexpected character
of danger or disagreeableness in the eyes of her mother; neither could
Daisy get hold of any chain of reasoning by which she might know
beforehand what would meet her mother's favour and what would not. The
unconscious conclusion was, that reason had little to do with it; and
the consequence, that without being untrue, Daisy had learned to be very
uncommunicative about her thoughts, plans, or wishes. To her mother,
that is; she was more free with her father, though the habit, once a
habit, asserted itself everywhere. Perhaps, too, among causes, the
example of her mother's own elegant manner of shewing truth only as one
shews a fine picture,--in the best light,--might have had its effect.
Daisy's diplomacy served her little on the present occasion.

"Daisy!" said her mother, "look at me." Daisy fixed her eves on the
pleasant, handsome, mild face. "You are not to go anywhere in future
where Mr. Dinwiddie is. Do you understand?"

"If he finds you lost out at night, though," said Mr. Randolph a little
humorously, "he may bring you home."

Daisy wondered and obeyed, mentally, in silence; making no answer to
either speaker. It was not her habit either to shew her dismay on such
occasions, and she shewed none. But when she went up an hour later to be
undressed for bed, instead of letting the business go on, Daisy took a
Bible and sat down by the light and pored over a page that she had
found.

The woman waiting on her, a sad-faced mulatto, middle-aged and
respectable looking, went patiently round the room, doing or seeming to
do some trifles of business, then stood still and looked at the child,
who was intent on her book.

"Come, Miss Daisy," said she at last, "wouldn't you like to be
undressed?"

The words were said in a tone so low they were hardly more than a
suggestion. Daisy gave them no heed. The woman stood with dressing gown
on her arm and a look of habitual endurance upon her face. It was a
singular face, so set in its lines of enforced patience, so unbending.
The black eyes were bright enough, but without the help of the least
play of those fixed lines, they expressed nothing. A little sigh came
from the lips at last, which also was plainly at home there.

"Miss Daisy, it's gettin' very late."

"June, did you ever read the parable of the tares?"

"The what, Miss Daisy?"

"The parable about the wheat and the tares in the Bible--in the
thirteenth chapter of Matthew?"

"Yes, ma'am,"--came somewhat dry and unwillingly from June's lips, and
she moved the dressing-gown on her arm significantly.

"Do you remember it?"

"Yes, ma'am,--I suppose I do, Miss Daisy--"

"June, when do you think it will be?"

"When will what, Miss Daisy?"

"When the 'Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather
out of his kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity,
and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in
the kingdom of their Father.' It says, 'in the end of this world'--did
you know this world would come to an end, June?"

"Yes, Miss Daisy--"

"When will it be, June?"

"I don't know, Miss Daisy."

"There won't be anybody alive that is alive now, will there?"

Again unwillingly the answer came: "Yes, ma'am. Miss Daisy, hadn't you
better--"

"How do you know, June?"

"I have heard so--it's in the Bible--it will be when the Lord comes."

"Do you like to think of it, June?"

The child's searching eyes were upon her. The woman half laughed, half
answered, and turning aside, broke down and burst into tears.

"What's the matter, June?" said Daisy, coming nearer and speaking
awedly; for it was startling to see that stony face give way to anything
but its habitual formal smile. But the woman recovered herself almost
immediately, and answered as usual: "It's nothing, Miss Daisy." She
always spoke as if everything about her was "nothing" to everybody else.

"But, June," said Daisy tenderly, "why do you feel bad about it?"

"I shouldn't, I s'pose," said the woman desperately, answering because
she was obliged to answer; "I hain't no right to feel so--if I felt
ready."

"How can one be ready, June? that is what I want to know. Aren't you
ready?"

"Do, don't, Miss Daisy!--the Lord have mercy upon us!" said June under
her breath, wrought up to great excitement, and unable to bear the look
of the child's soft grey eyes. "Why don't ye ask your papa about them
things? he can tell ye."

Alas, Daisy's lips were sealed. Not to father or mother would she apply
with any second question on this subject. And now she must not ask Mr.
Dinwiddie. She went to bed, turning the matter all over and over in her
little head.



CHAPTER II.


For some days after this time, Mrs. Randolph fancied that her little
daughter was less lively than usual; she "moped," her mother said. Daisy
was not moping, but it was true she had been little seen or heard; and
then it was generally sitting with a book in the Belvidere or on a bank
under a rose-bush, or going out or coming in with a book under her arm.
Mrs. Randolph did not know that this book was almost always the Bible,
and Daisy had taken a little pains that she should not know, guessing
somehow that it would not be good for her studies. But her mother
thought Daisy was drooping; and Daisy had been a delicate child, and the
doctor had told them to turn her out in the country and "let her run;"
therefore it was that she was hardly ever checked in any fancy that came
into her head. But therefore it was partly, too, that Mrs. Randolph
tried to put books and thinking as far from her as she could.

"Daisy," she said one morning at the breakfast-table, "would you like to
go with June and carry some nice things down to Mrs. Parsons?"

"How, mamma?"

"How what? Do speak distinctly."

"How shall I go, I mean?"

"You may have the carriage. I cannot go, this morning or this
afternoon."

"O papa, mayn't I take Loupe and drive there myself?"

If Daisy had put the question at the other end of the table, there would
have been an end of the business, as she knew. As it was, her father's
"yes" got out just before her mother's "no."

"Yes she may," said Mr. Randolph--"no harm. John, tell Sam that he is to
take the black pony and go with the pony-chaise whenever Miss Daisy
drives. Daisy, see that he goes with you."

"Well," said Mrs. Randolph, "you may do as you like, but I think it is a
very unsafe proceeding. What's Sam?--he's a boy."

"Safe enough," said Mr. Randolph. "I can trust all three of the party;
Daisy, Loupe, and Sam. They all know their business, and they will all
do it."

"Well!--I think it is very unsafe," repeated Mrs. Randolph.

"Mamma," said Daisy, when she had allowed a moment to pass--"what shall
I take to Mrs. Parsons."

"You must go and see Joanna about that. You may make up whatever you
think will please her or do her good. Joanna will tell you."

And Mrs. Randolph had the satisfaction of seeing that Daisy's eyes were
lively enough for the rest of breakfast-time, and her colour perceptibly
raised. No sooner was breakfast over than she flew to the consultation
in the housekeeper's room.

Joanna was the housekeeper, and Mrs. Randolph's right hand; a jewel of
skill and efficiency; and as fully satisfied with her post and power in
the world, at the head of Mr. Randolph's household, as any throned
emperor or diademed queen; furthermore, devoted to her employers as
though their concerns had been, what indeed she reckoned them, her own.

"Mrs. Randolph didn't say anything to me about it," said this piece of
capability,--"but I suppose it isn't hard to manage. Who is Mrs.
Parsons? that's the first thing."

"She's a very poor old woman, Joanna; and she is obliged to keep her bed
always; there is something the matter with her. She lives with a
daughter of hers who takes care of her, I believe; but they haven't much
to live upon, and the daughter isn't smart. Mrs. Parsons hasn't anything
fit for her to eat, unless somebody sends it to her."

"What's the matter with her? ain't she going to get well?"

"No, never--she will always be obliged to lie on her bed as long as she
lives; and so, you see, Joanna, she hasn't appetite for coarse things."

"Humph!" said Joanna. "Custards won't give it to her. What does the
daughter live upon?"

"She does washing for people; but of course that don't give her much.
They are very poor, I know."

"Well, what would you like to take her, Miss Daisy?"

"Mother said you'd know."

"Well, I'll tell you what _I_ think--sweetmeats ain't good for such
folks. You wait till afternoon, and you shall have a pail of nice broth
and a bowl of arrowroot with wine and sugar in it; that'll hearten her
up. Will that do?"

"But I should like to take something to the other poor woman, too."

"How are you going?"

"In my pony-chaise--I can take anything."

Joanna muttered an ejaculation. "Well then, Miss Daisy, a basket of cold
meat wouldn't come amiss, I suppose."

"And some bread, Joanna?"

"The chaise won't hold so much."

"It has got to hold the basket," said Daisy in much glee, "and the bread
can go in. And, Joanna, I'll have it ready at half-past four o'clock."

There was no air of moping about Daisy, when, at half-past four she set
off from the house in her pony-chaise, laden with pail and basket and
all she had bargained for. A happier child was seldom seen. Sam, a
capable black boy, was behind her on a pony not too large to shame her
own diminutive equipage; and Loupe, a good-sized Shetland pony, was very
able for more than his little mistress was going to ask of him. Her
father looked on, pleased, to see her departure; and when she had
gathered up her reins, leaned over her and gave her with his kiss a
little gold piece to go with the pail and basket. It crowned Daisy's
satisfaction; with a quiet glad look and word of thanks to her father,
she drove off.

[Illustration: LOUPE.]

The pony waddled along nicely, but as his legs were none of the longest,
their rate of travelling was not precisely of the quickest. Daisy was
not impatient. The afternoon was splendid, the dust had been laid by
late rains, and Daisy looked at her pail and basket with great
contentment. Before she had gone a quarter of a mile from home, she met
her little friend of the wintergreens. Nora sprang across the road to
the chaise.

"O Daisy, where are you going?"

"I am going to carry some things for mamma, to a house."

"All alone?"

"No, Sam is there to take care of me."

Nora looked back at the black pony, and then at Daisy. "Isn't it nice!"
she said, with a sort of half-regretful admiration.

"It's as nice as a fairy tale," said Daisy. "I'm just as good as a
princess, you know, Nora. Don't you want to go, too? Do come."

"No, I musn't--there are people coming to tea. Mrs. Linwood, and Charles
and Jane--I wish I could go! How far is it, Daisy?"

"About five miles. Down beyond Crum Elbow, a good nice way; but I shan't
go through Crum Elbow."

"It's so splendid!" sighed Nora. "Well, good-bye. I can't go."

On went the pony. The roads were good and pleasant, leading through
farm, fields and here and there a bit of wood, but not much. It was
mostly open country, cultivated by farmers; and the grain fields not yet
ripe, and the grass fields not yet mown, looked rich and fair and soft
in bright colours to Daisy's eyes, as the afternoon sun shone across
them and tree shadows lay long over the ground. For trees there were, a
great many, growing singly about the fields and fences, and some of
them, very large and fine. Daisy was not so busy with her driving but
that she could use her eyes about other things. Now and then she met a
farm wagon, or a labourer going along the road. The men looked at her
curiously and pleasantly, as if they thought it a pretty sight; but once
Daisy, passing a couple of men together, overheard one say to the other:

"It's Randolph's folks--they stick themselves up considerable--"

The tone of the voice was gruff and coarse, and Daisy marvelled much in
her little mind what had displeased the man in her or in "Randolph's
folks." She determined to ask her father. "Stick ourselves up?" said
Daisy thoughtfully--"we _never_ do!"

So she touched the pony, who was falling into a very leisurely way of
trotting, and in good time came to Mrs. Parsons' door.

Daisy went in. The daughter was busy at some ironing in the outer room;
she was a dull, lack-lustre creature, and though she comprehended the
gifts that had been brought her, seemed hardly to have life enough to
thank the donor. _That_ wasn't quite like a fairy tale, Daisy thought.
No doubt this poor woman must have things to eat, but there was not much
fun in bringing them to her. Daisy was inclined to wonder how she had
ever come to marry anybody with so lively a name as Lark. But before she
got away, Mrs. Lark asked Daisy to go in and see her mother, and Daisy,
not knowing how to refuse, went in as requested.

What a change! Another poor room to be sure, very poor it looked to
Daisy; with its strip of rag carpet on the floor, its rush-bottomed
chairs, and paper window-shades; and on the bed lay the bed-ridden
woman. But with such a nice pleasant face; eyes so lively and quiet,
smile so contented, brow so calm, Daisy wondered if it could be she that
must lie there always and never go about again as long as she lived. It
had been a matter of dread to her to see anything so disagreeable; and
now it was not disagreeable. Daisy was fascinated. Mrs. Lark had
withdrawn.

"Is your mother with you, dear?"

"No ma'am, I came alone. Mamma told me to ask Mrs. Parsons if there is
anything she would like to have, that mamma could do for her."

"Yes; if you would come in and see me sometimes," said the old lady, "I
should like it very much."

"Me?" said Daisy.

"Yes. I don't see young faces very often. They don't care to come to see
an old woman."

"I should like to come," said Daisy, "very much, if I could do anything;
but I must go now, because it will be late. Good-bye, ma'am."

Daisy's little courtesy it was pleasant to see, and it was so pleasant
altogether that Mrs. Parsons had it over and over in her thoughts that
day and the next.

"It's as nice as a fairy tale," Daisy repeated to herself, as she took
her seat in the chaise again and shook up her reins. It was better than
a fairy tale really, for the sunshine coming between the trees from the
sinking sun, made all the world look so beautiful that Daisy thought no
words could tell it. It was splendid to drive through that sunlight. In
a minute or two more she had pulled up her reins short, and almost
before she knew why she had done it or whom she had seen, Mr. Dinwiddie
stood at her side. Here he was. She must not go where ha was; she had
not; he had come to her. Daisy was very glad. But she looked up in his
face now without speaking.

"Ha! my stray lamb," said he, "whither are you running?"

"Home, sir," said Daisy meekly.

"Do you know you have run away from me?"

"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie."

"How came that?"

"It was unavoidable, sir," said Daisy, in her slow, old-fashioned way.
But the bright eye of the young man saw that her eye fell and her face
clouded over; it was not a slight nor a chance hindrance that had been
in her way, he was sure.

"Then you don't mean to come to me any more?"

It was a dreadful question, but Mr. Dinwiddie's way of speaking was so
clear and quick and business-like, and he seemed to know so well what he
was talking about, that the answer was forced from Daisy. She looked up
and said, "No, sir." He watched the soft thoughtful face that was raised
towards him.

"Then if this is the last time we are to talk about it, Daisy, shall I
look for you among those that will 'shine as the sun' in the Lord's
kingdom?"

"O sir,--Mr. Dinwiddie,"--said Daisy, dropping her reins and rising up,
"that is what I want to know about. Please tell me!"

"Tell you what?" said Mr. Dinwiddie, gathering up the reins.

"Tell me how to do, sir, please."

"What have you done, Daisy?"

"Nothing, sir--only reading the Bible."

"And you do not find it there?"

"I find a great deal, sir; but I don't quite understand--I don't know
how to be a Christian."

Daisy thought it might be her last chance; she was desperate, and spoke
out.

"Do you love the Lord Jesus, Daisy?"

"I don't know, Mr. Dinwiddie."

"You know how he loves you? You know what he has done for you?"

"Yes--I know--"

"He died to save you from death and sin. He will do it if you trust him.
Now what he wants is that you should love him and trust him. 'Let the
little children come to me,' he said a great while ago, and says now.
Daisy, the good Lord wants you to give him your heart."

"But suppose, Mr. Dinwiddie--"

"Yes. What?"

"Suppose I can't. I don't know how."

"Do you want to do it?"

"Yes, sir. Indeed I do."

"Very well; the Lord knows just what your difficulty is; you must apply
to him."

"Apply to him?" said Daisy.

"Ask him."

"How, sir?"

"Pray to him. Tell the Lord your trouble, and ask him to make it all
right for you. Did you never pray to him?"

"No, sir--not ever."

"My lamb," said Mr. Dinwiddie, "he will hear you, if you never prayed to
him before. I will shew you the word of his promise." And he opened a
pocket-Bible and found the place of these words which he gave Daisy to
read. "'_I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony
heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh; that
they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and
they shall be my people, and I will be their God_.' Now is that what you
want, Daisy?"

"Yes, sir; only I don't know how."

"Never mind; the Lord knows. He will make it all right, if only you are
willing to give yourself to be his little servant."

"I will give him all I have got, sir," said Daisy, looking up.

"Very well; then I will shew you one thing more--it is a word of the
Lord Jesus. See--'_If ye love me, keep my commandments_.' Now I want you
to keep those two words, and you can't remember where to find them
again--I must let you take this book with you." And Mr. Dinwiddie folded
down leaves in the two places.

"But Mr. Dinwiddie,"--said Daisy softly--"I don't know when I can get it
back to you again, sir."

"Never mind--keep it, and when you don't want it, give it to some poor
person that does. And remember, little one, that the good Lord expects
his servants to tell him their troubles and to pray to him every day."

"Thank you, sir!" was Daisy's deep ejaculation.

"Don't thank me. Now will your pony get you home before dark?"

"O yes, Mr. Dinwiddie! Loupe is lazy, but he can go, and I will make
him."

The chaise went off at a swift rate accordingly, after another soft
grateful look from its little driver. Mr. Dinwiddie stood looking after
it. Of a certain woman, of Thyatira it is written that "the Lord opened
her heart, that she attended to the things which were spoken." Surely,
the gentleman thought, the same had been true of his late little charge.
He went thoughtfully home. While Daisy, not speculating at all, in her
simplicity sat thinking that she was the Lord's servant; and rejoiced
over and over again that she had for her own and might keep the book of
her Lord's commandments. There were such things as Bibles in the house,
certainly, but Daisy had never had one of her own. That in which she had
read the other night and which she had used to study her lessons for Mr.
Dinwiddie, was one belonging to her brother, which he was obliged to use
at school. Doubtless Daisy could also have had one for the asking; she
knew that; but it might have been some time first; and she had a certain
doubt in her little mind that the less she said upon the subject the
better. She resolved her treasure should be a secret one. It was right
for her to have a Bible; she would not run the risk of disagreeable
comments or commands by in any way putting it forward. Meanwhile she had
become the Lord's servant! A very poor little beginning of a servant she
thought herself; nevertheless in telling Mr. Dinwiddie what she had, it
seemed to Daisy that she had spoken aloud her oath of allegiance; and a
growing joy in the transaction and a growing love to the great Saviour
who was willing to let her be his servant, filled her little heart. She
just knew that the ride home was lovely, but Daisy's mind was travelling
a yet more sunshiny road. She was intelligent in what she had done. One
by one Mr. Dinwiddie's lessons had fallen on a willing and open ear. She
knew herself to be a sinner and lost; she believed that the Lord Jesus
would save her by his death; and it seemed to her the most natural and
reasonable and pleasant thing in the world, that the life for which his
blood had been shed, should be given to him. "If ye love me, keep my
commandments." "I wonder," thought Daisy, "what they are."



CHAPTER III.


"What sort of an expedition did you have, Daisy?" her father asked at
breakfast next morning. Company the evening before had prevented any
talk about it.

"O very good, papa! It was as good as a fairy tale."

"Was it?" said Mr. Randolph. "I wonder what pitch of excellence that is.
I don't remember ever finding a fairy tale very good to me."

"Did you ever read any, papa?"

"I don't know! Were you not tired with your long drive?"

"O no, papa!"

"Would you like to go again?"

"Yes papa, very much."

"You may go as often as you like--only always let Sam be along."

"Did you find out what Mrs. Parsons wants?" said Mrs. Randolph.

"No, mamma--she did not look as if she wanted anything, except to see
me. And yet she is very poor, mamma."

At this speech Mr. Randolph burst into a round laugh, and even Mrs.
Randolph seemed amused.

"Did she _look_ as if she wanted to see you, Daisy?"

"Papa, I think she did," said Daisy colouring; "she said so at any rate;
but I could not find out what else she would like."

"Daisy, I think she shewed very good taste," said Mr. Randolph, drawing
his little daughter into his arms; "but it would be safe to take
something else with you when you go."

"Your birthday is next week, Daisy," said her mother; "and your aunt
Gary and your cousins will be here. What would you like to have, to
celebrate the day?"

"I don't know, mamma," said Daisy, returning her father's kisses.

"You may have what you please, if you will think and tell me."

"Mamma, may I talk to Nora Dinwiddie about it?"

"Nonsense! What for?"

"Only to consult, mamma."

"Consult Ransom. He would be a much better help to you."

Daisy looked sober and said nothing.

"Why not?" said Mr. Randolph. "Why not consult your brother?"

"Papa," said Daisy slowly, "Ransom and I do not understand each other."

"Don't you," said her father laughing; "what is the cause of that,
Daisy?"

Daisy was not very willing to answer, but being pressed by both father
and mother she at length spoke. "I think, papa, it is because he
understands so many other things."

Mr. Randolph was excessively amused. "Ransom!"--he called out to the
hall.

"Please, papa, don't!" said Daisy.

"Ransom!--come here.--What is this? your sister says you do not
understand her."

"Well, papa," said Ransom, an exceedingly handsome and bright-looking
boy and a great pet of his mother,--"there are things that are not deep
enough to be understood."

Daisy's lips opened eagerly and then closed again.

"Girls always use magnifying glasses where themselves are concerned!"
went on Ransom, whose dignity seemed to be excited.

"Hush, hush!" said his father,--"take yourself off, if you cannot
maintain civility. And your mother does not like fishing-tackle at the
breakfast-table--go! I believe," he said as Ransom bounded away, "I
believe conceit is the normal condition of boyhood."

"I am sure," said Mrs. Randolph, "girls have enough of it--and women
too."

"I suppose it would be rash to deny that," said Mr. Randolph. "Daisy, I
think _I_ understand you. I do not require so much depth as is necessary
for Ransom's understanding to swim in."

"If you do not deny it, it would be well not to forget it," said Mrs.
Randolph; while Daisy still in her father's arms was softly returning
his caresses.

"What shall we do on your birthday, Daisy?" said her father without
seeming to heed this remark.

"Papa, I will think about it. Mamma, do you like I should talk to Nora
about it?"

"By all means!" said Mr. Randolph; "send for her and hold a grand
council. Your mother can have no objection."

Daisy did not feel quite so sure of that; but at any rate she made none,
and a messenger was sent to ask Nora to come that afternoon. All the
morning Daisy was engaged with her mother, going to make a visit to some
friends that lived a long way off. It was not till the afternoon was
growing cool and pleasant that she was released from dinner and dressing
and free to go with her Bible to her favourite reading place;--or rather
one of her favourites; a garden seat under a thick oak. The oak stood
alone on a knoll looking over a beautiful spread of grassy sward that
sloped and rolled away to a distant edge of thicket. Other noble trees
dotted the ground here and there; some fine cattle shewed their red and
white heads, standing or lying about in the shade. Above the distant
thicket, far, far away, rose the heads of great blue mountains. The
grass had just been mown, in part; and a very sweet smell from the hay
floated about under the trees around the house. Daisy's tree however was
at some distance from the house. In the absolute sweet quiet, Daisy and
her Bible took possession of the place. The Bible had grown a wonderful
book to her now. It was the book of the commandments of the Great King
whose servant she felt herself. Now every word would tell her of
something she must do, or not do; all sweet to Daisy; for she felt she
loved the King, and his commandments were good to her. This time she got
very much interested in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, in the
parable of the talents. But she wished she could have had Mr. Dinwiddie
to tell her a little better exactly what it meant. Some of its meaning
she understood; and remembering Mr. Dinwiddie's words, she prayed with
clasped hands and a very earnest little heart, that the Lord would "make
her know what all her talents were and help her to make good use of
them." Then Daisy went on studying.

In the midst of her studies, a light step bounded down through the
shrubbery from the house, and Daisy had hardly raised her head when Nora
was at her side. There was room for her on the seat, and after a glad
greeting the children sat down together, to talk much joyful talk and
tell childish news, in the course of which Daisy's perplexities came
out, for which she had wanted Nora's counsel. She explained that she
could have precisely what she chose, in the way of merry-making for her
birthday. Daisy spoke about it seriously, as a weighty and important
matter; and so Nora took it up, with a face of great eagerness.

"You can have _just_ what you like, Daisy?" Daisy nodded. "O what have
you thought of, Daisy?"

"What would be nicest, Nora?"

"I'll tell you what _I_ should have--I should have a party."

"A party!"

"Yes, that is what _I_ should have."

"I never thought of that. Who would you ask, Nora? I thought of a
pic-nic; and of a great journey to Schroeder's Mountain;--that would be
nice;--to spend the whole day, you know."

"Yes, that would be nice: but I should have a party. O there are plenty
to have. There is Kitty Marsden."

"I don't know Kitty Marsden, much"--said Daisy.

"And Ella Stanfield."

"I like Ella Stanfield"--said Daisy sedately.

"And there are the Fishes."

"I don't like Mrs. Fish's children very well;--when Alexander and Ransom
get together, they make--a great deal of disturbance!"

"O we needn't mind their disturbance," said Nora; and she went on
discussing the plan and the advantages of the party. Suddenly Daisy
broke in with a new subject. "Nora, you know the story of the servants
with the talents, in the New Testament?"

"Yes--" said Nora with open eyes; "I know."

"Do you know what it means?--the talents, I mean; of course I know what
the rest means; but do you know what the talents are? Is it just
money?--because then you and I have very little indeed; and all the
servants had something."

"Why Daisy, what made you think of that just now? we were talking about
the party."

"I have been thinking of it all the while," said Daisy. "I was reading
it--do you know what it means, Nora?"

"But we were talking about the party!" said Nora.

"Yes, but I want to understand this; and then we will go on about the
party. If _you_ know what it means."

"I have heard Duke explain it," said Nora, unwillingly coming to the
graver subject.

"Well, what does he say it is? the talents, you know."

"Duke says it is everything anybody has. Not money, _everything_--Now
don't you think we can make up a nice party?"

"Everything, Nora? Just wait a little--I want to know about this. What
do you mean by 'everything'?"

"Are you studying for Sunday-school, Daisy? that isn't the lesson."

"No," said Daisy sorrowfully; "if I was, I could ask Mr. Dinwiddie.
That's why I want you to help me, Nora; so think and tell me what he
said."

"Well, _that_," said Nora, "he said that; he said the talents meant
everything God has given people to work with for him."

"What could they work with besides money?" said Daisy.

"Why _everything_, Duke says; all they've got; their tongues and their
hands and their feet, and all they know, and all their love for people;
and even the way we do things, our studies and all, Marmaduke says. What
do you want to know for, Daisy?"

"I was thinking about it," answered Daisy evasively. "Wait a minute,
Nora,--I want to write it down, for fear I should forget something."

"What _are_ you going to do?" exclaimed Nora. "Are you going to teach a
class yourself?"

Daisy did not answer, while she was writing down with a pencil what Nora
had said and making her repeat it for that purpose. When she had done
she looked a little dubiously off towards the woods, while Nora was
surprised and disappointed into silence.

"I think perhaps I ought to tell you----" was Daisy's slow conclusion.
"I want to know what this means, that I may do it, Nora."

"_Do_ it?"

"Yes," said Daisy turning her quiet eyes full upon her companion--"I
want to try to please God. I love the Lord Jesus."

Nora was very much confounded, and looked at Daisy as if a gap in the
ground had suddenly separated them.

"So," Daisy went on, "as I have talents to use, I want to know what they
are, for fear I shouldn't use them all. I don't understand it yet, but I
will think about it. Now we will go on about the party if you like."

"But Daisy----" said Nora.

"What?"

"Are you in earnest?"

"Certainly I am in earnest," said Daisy gravely. "What makes you ask me?
Don't you think your brother is in earnest?"

"Marmaduke! oh yes,--but--you never told me of it before."

"I didn't know it till yesterday," said Daisy simply, "that I loved the
Lord Jesus; but I know I do now, and I am very glad; and I am going to
be his servant."

Her little face was very sweet and quiet as she looked at her little
neighbour and said these words; but Nora was utterly confounded, and so
nearly dismayed that she was silent; and it was not till several
invitations in Daisy's usual manner had urged her, that she was able to
get upon the subject of the party again and to discuss it with any
spirit. The discussion then did not come to any determination. Daisy was
at least lukewarm in her fancy for that mode of spending her birthday;
and separate plans of pic-nics and expeditions of pleasure were taken up
and handled, sure to be thrown aside by Nora for the greater promise and
splendour of the home entertainment. They broke up at last without
deciding upon anything, except that Nora should come again to talk about
it, and should at all events have and give her share in whatever the
plan for the day might be.

Perhaps Daisy watched her opportunity, perhaps it came; but at all
events she seized the first chance that she saw to speak with her father
in private. He was sauntering out the next morning after breakfast.
Daisy joined him, and they strolled along through the grounds, giving
here and there directions to the gardener, till they came near one of
the pleasant rustic seats, under the shade of a group of larches.

"Papa, suppose we sit down here for a moment and let us look about us."

"Well, Daisy,"--said her father, who knew by experience what was likely
to follow.

"Papa," said Daisy as they sat down, "I want to ask you about
something."

"What is it?"

"When I was in the chaise, driving Loupe the other day, papa, I heard
something that I could not understand."

"Did you?"

"It was two men that passed me on the road; I heard one say to the other
as I went by, that it was your carriage, and then he said that
'Randolph's folks were a good deal _stuck up_;'--what did he mean,
papa?"

"Nothing of any consequence, Daisy."

"But why did he say it, papa?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"I did not understand it nor like it, papa; I wanted to know what he
meant."

"It is hardly worth talking about, Daisy. It is the way those who have
not enough in the world are very apt to talk of others who are better
off than themselves."

"Why, papa?"

"They were poor men, I suppose, weren't they?"

"Yes papa--working men."

"That class of people, my dear, are very apt to have a grudge against
the rich."

"For what, papa?"

"For being able to live better than they do."

"Why papa! do poor people generally feel so?"

"Very often, I think. They do not generally speak it out aloud."

"Then papa," said Daisy speaking slowly, "how do you know? What makes
you think they feel so?"

Her father smiled at her eagerness and gravity. "I see it, Daisy, when
they do not speak it. They shew it in various ways. Besides, I know
their habit of talking among themselves."

"But papa, that is very bad."

"What?"

"That poor people should feel so. I am sure rich people are their best
friends."

Her father stroked her head fondly, and looked amused.

"They don't believe that, Daisy."

"But _why_ don't they believe it, papa?" said Daisy growing more and
more surprised.

"I suppose," said Mr. Randolph rising, "they would be better satisfied
if I gave them my horses and went afoot."

A speech which Daisy pondered and pondered and could make nothing of.
They walked on, Mr. Randolph making observations and giving orders now
and then to workmen. Here a man was mowing under the shrubbery; there
the gardener was setting out pots of greenhouse flowers; in another
place there were holes digging for trees to be planted. Daisy went
musing on while her father gave his orders, and when they were again
safe out of hearing she spoke. "Papa, do you suppose Michael and Andrew
and John, and all your own people, feel so about you?"

"I think it is likely, Daisy. I can't hope to escape better than my
neighbours."

"But, papa, they don't look so, nor act so?"

"Not before me. They do not wish to lose their places."

"Papa,--couldn't something be done to make them feel better?"

"Why Daisy," said her father laughing, "are you going to turn
reformer?"

"I don't know what that is, papa."

"A thankless office, my dear. If you could make all the world wise, it
would do, but fools are always angry with you for trying it."

The conversation ended and left Daisy greatly mystified. Her father's
people not liking him?--the poor having ill will against the rich, and a
grudge against their pleasant things?--it was very melancholy! Daisy
thought about it a great deal that day; and had a very great talk on the
subject with Nora, who without a quarter of the interest had much more
knowledge about it than Daisy. She had been with her brother sometimes
to the houses of poor children, and she gave Daisy a high-coloured
picture of the ways of living in such houses and the absence of many
things by Daisy and herself thought the necessaries of life. Daisy heard
her with a lengthening face, and almost thought there was some excuse
for the state of feeling her father had explained in the morning. The
question however was too long a one for Daisy; but she arrived at one
conclusion, which was announced the next morning at the breakfast-table.
Mrs. Randolph had called upon her to say what was determined upon for
the birthday.

"Papa," said Daisy, "will there be a great plenty of strawberries next
week?"

"Yes, I believe so. Logan says the vines are very full. What then?"

"Papa, you gave me my choice of what I would have for Wednesday."

"Yes. Is it my strawberry patch?"

"Not for myself, papa. I want you to have a great table set out of doors
somewhere, and give a feast to all your work people."

"Daisy!" exclaimed Mrs. Randolph. "I never heard anything so ridiculous
in all my life!"

Daisy waited with downcast eyes for her father to speak. He was not in a
hurry.

"Would that give you pleasure, Daisy?"

"Yes, papa."

"Did Nora Dinwiddie put that scheme in your head?" asked Mrs. Randolph.

"She didn't like it at all, mamma. I put it into her head."

"Where did you get it?"

Daisy looked troubled and puzzled, and did not answer till her father
said "Speak." Then nestling up to him with her head on his breast, a
favourite position, she said, "I got it from different sources, I think,
papa."

"Let us hear, for instance."

"I think, partly from the Bible, papa--and partly from what we were
talking of yesterday."

"I wish you would shew me where you found it in the Bible. I don't
remember a strawberry feast there."

"Do you mean it in earnest, papa?"

"Yes."

Daisy walked off for a Bible--not her own--and after some trouble found
a place which she shewed her father; and he read aloud, "When thou
makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends nor thy brethren,
neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee
again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call
the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shalt be blessed;
for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the
resurrection of the just." Mr. Randolph closed the book and laid it on
the table, and drew his little daughter again within his arms.

"That child is in a way to get ruined!" said Mrs. Randolph
energetically.

"But Daisy, our work people are not lame or blind--how will they do?"
said her father.

"They are poor, papa. I would like to have the others too, but we can't
have everybody."

Mr. Randolph kissed the little mouth that was lifted so near his own,
and went on.

"Do you think then it is wrong to have our friends and neighbours? Shall
we write to your aunt and cousins, and Gary McFarlane and Capt.
Drummond, to stay away?"

"No, papa," said Daisy smiling, and her smile was very sweet,--"you know
I don't mean that. I would like to have them all; but I would like the
feast made for the other people."

"You will let the rest of us have some strawberries?"

"If there are enough, papa. For that day, I would like the other people
to have them."

Mr. Randolph seemed to find something as sweet as strawberries in
Daisy's lips.

"It is the very most absurd plan I ever heard of!" repeated her mother.

"I am not sure that it is not a very good thing," remarked Mr. Randolph.

"Is it expected that on that day we are to do without servants in the
house, and wait upon ourselves? or are we expected to wait upon the
party!"

"O mamma," said Daisy, "it isn't the servants--it's only the out-of-door
people."

"How many will there be, Daisy?" said her father; "have you numbered
them up?"

"Not yet, papa. There is Logan, and Michael, and Mr. Stilton, and the
two under-gardeners----"

"And four hay-makers."

"Hay-makers, papa?"

"Yes--there will be four of them in the fields next week. And there is
the herdsman and boy."

"And there is old Patrick at the gate. That is all, papa."

"And are the ladies of all these families to be invited?"

"Papa! What do you think?"

"I have no doubt there will be strawberries enough."

"But I am afraid there would be too many children. Logan has six, and
Michael has four, and I believe the herdsman has some; and there are
four at the Lodge. And Mr. Stilton has two."

"What shall we do with them, Daisy?"

"Papa, we can't have them. I should like to have the men and their wives
come, I think, and send some strawberries home to the children. Wouldn't
that do best?"

"Admirably. And you can drive over to Crum Elbow and purchase some
suitable baskets. Take the chaise and Sam. I expect you to arrange
everything. If you want help, come and consult me."

"If mamma will tell Joanna--?" said Daisy looking somewhat doubtfully
towards the other end of the table.

"I have nothing to do with it," said Mrs. Randolph. "I have no knowledge
how to order such parties. You and Joanna may do what you please."

Daisy's eye went to her father.

"That will do, Daisy," said he. "You and Joanna can manage it. You may
have carte-blanche."

The earliest minute that she knew Joanna could attend to her, found
Daisy in the housekeeper's room. Joanna was a tall, rather hard-featured
woman, with skill and capacity in every line of her face however, and
almost in every fold of her gown. She heard with a good deal of
astonishment the project unfolded to her, and to Daisy's great delight
gave it her unqualified approbation.

"It's a first-rate plan," said Joanna. "Now I like that. The men won't
forget it. Where are you going to have the table set, Miss Daisy?"

"I don't know yet, Joanna. In some pretty, shady place, under the
trees."

"Out of doors, eh!" said Joanna. "Well, I suppose that'll be as good a
way as any. Now what are you going to have, Miss Daisy? what do you want
of me?"

"Mamma and papa said I was to arrange it with you."

Joanna sat down and folded her arms to consider the matter.

"How many will there be?"

"I counted," said Daisy. "There will be about seventeen, with their
wives, you know."

"Seventeen, wives and all?" said Joanna. "You'll have to get the
carpenter or Mr. Stilton to make you a table."

"Yes, that's easy," said Daisy; "but Joanna, what shall we have on it?
There will want to be a good deal, for seventeen people; and I want it
handsome, you know."

"Of course," said Joanna, looking as if she were casting up the
Multiplication Table--"it'll have to be that, whatever else it is. Miss
Daisy, suppose you let me manage it--and I'll see and have it all right.
If you will give orders about the strawberries, and have the table
made."

"I shall dress the table with flowers, Joanna."

"Yes--well--" said Joanna,--"I don't know anything about flowers; but
I'll have the cake ready, and everything else."

"And tea and coffee, Joanna?"

"Why I never thought of that!--yes, to be sure, they'll want something
to drink--who will pour it out, Miss Daisy?"

"I don't know. Won't you, Joanna?"

"Well--I don't know--" said the housekeeper, as if she were afraid of
being taken on too fast by her little counsellor--"I don't know as
there's anything to hinder, as it's your birthday, Miss Daisy."

Away went Daisy delighted, having secured just what she wanted. The rest
was easy. And Daisy certainly thought it was as promising an
entertainment as she could have devised. It gave her a good deal of
business. The table, and the place for the table, had to be settled with
Mr. Stilton, and the invitations given, and many particulars settled;
but to settle them was extremely pleasant, and Daisy found that every
face of those concerned in the invitations wore a most golden glow of
satisfaction when the thing was understood. Daisy was very happy. She
hoped, besides the pleasantness of the matter, it would surely incline
the hearts of her father's workpeople to think kindly of him.



CHAPTER IV.


It happened that one cause and another hindered Daisy from going to Crum
Elbow to fetch the strawberry-baskets, until the very Tuesday afternoon
before the birthday. Then everything was right; the pony chaise before
the door, Sam in waiting, and Daisy just pulling her gloves on, when
Ransom rushed up. He was flushed and hurried.

"Who's going out with Loupe?"

"I am, Ransom."

"You can't go, Daisy--I'm going myself."

"You cannot, Ransom. I am going on business. Papa said I was to go."

"He couldn't have said it! for he said I might have the chaise this
afternoon and that Loupe wanted exercise. So! I am going to give him
some. He wouldn't get it with you."

"Ransom," said Daisy trembling, "I have got business at Crum Elbow, and
I must go, and you must not."

"Fiddlesticks!" said Ransom, snapping his fingers at her. "Business! I
guess you have. Girls have a great deal of business! Here Sam--ride
round mighty quick to Mr. Rush's and tell Hamilton to meet me at the
cross road."

And without another word to Daisy, Ransom sprang into the chaise,
cracked his whip over Loupe's head and started him off in a very
ungraceful but very eager waddling gallop. Daisy was left with one glove
on and with a spirit thoroughly disordered. A passionate child she was
not, in outward manner at least; but her feelings once roused were by no
means easy to bring down again. She was exceedingly offended, very much
disturbed at missing her errand, very sore at Ransom's ill-bred
treatment of her. Nobody was near; her father and mother both gone out;
and Daisy sat upon the porch with all sorts of resentful thoughts and
words boiling up in her mind. She did not believe half of what her
brother had said; was sure her father had given no order interfering
with her proceedings; and she determined to wait upon the porch till he
came home and so she would have a good opportunity of letting him know
the right and the wrong of the case. Ransom deserved it, as she truly
said to herself. And then Daisy sorrowed over her lost expedition, and
her missing strawberry baskets. What should she do? for the next morning
would find work enough of its own at home, and nobody else could choose
the baskets to please her. Ransom deserved--!

In the midst of the angry thoughts that were breaking one over the other
in Daisy's mind, there suddenly came up the remembrance of some words
she had read that day or the day before. "_Lord, how oft shall my
brother sin against me and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith
unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy
times seven._" This brought Daisy up short; her head which had been
leaning on her hands suddenly straightened itself up. What did those
words mean? There could be no doubt, for with the question came the
words in the Lord's Prayer which she knew well, but had never felt till
then. Forgive Ransom out and out?--say nothing about it?--not tell her
father, nor make her grievance at all known to Ransom's
discomfiture?--Daisy did not want to yield. He _deserved_ to be reproved
and ashamed and made to do better. It was the first time that a real
conflict had come up in her mind between wrong and right; and now that
she clearly saw what was right, to her surprise she did not want to do
it! Daisy saw both facts. There was a power in her heart that said, No,
I will not forgive, to the command from a greater power that bade her do
it. Poor Daisy! it was her first view of her enemy; the first trial that
gave her any notion of the fighting that might be necessary to overcome
him. Daisy found she could not overcome him. She was fain to go, where
she had just begun to learn she might go, "to the Strong for strength."
She ran away from the porch to her room, and kneeled down and prayed
that the King would give her help to keep his commandments. She was
ashamed of herself now; but so obstinate was her feeling of displeasure
against her brother, that even after she thought she had forgiven him
Daisy would not go downstairs again nor meet him nor her father, for
fear she should speak words that she ought not, or fail of a perfectly
gentle and kind manner.

But what to do about her baskets? A bright and most business-like
thought suddenly came into her head. The breakfast hour was always late;
by being a little earlier than usual she could have plenty of time to go
to Crum Elbow and return before the family were assembled. Splendid!
Daisy went down the back stairs and gave her orders in such a way that
they should not reach Ransom's ear. If not put on the alert he was sure
to be down to breakfast last of anybody. So Daisy went to bed and to
sleep with her mind at rest.

It was so pleasant when she came out at half past six the next morning,
that Daisy almost thought it was the prettiest time of all. The morning
air smelt so fresh, with the scent of the trees and flowers coming
through the dew; and the light was so cool and clear, not like the hot
glow of later hours, that Daisy felt like dancing for very gladness.
Then it was such a stroke of business to go to Crum Elbow before
breakfast!

The pony and the chaise came up presently, and Sam and the black pony,
all right, and every one of them looking more brisk and fresh than
usual. And off they went; under the boughs of the dew-bright trees,
where the birds seemed to be as glad as Daisy, to judge by the songs
they were singing; and by and by out from the beautiful grounds of
Melbourne, into the road. It was pleasanter there, Daisy thought, than
she had ever seen it. The fields looked more gay in that clear early
light, and the dust was kept down by the freshness in the air. It was
delightful; and Loupe never went better. Daisy was a very good little
driver, and now the pony seemed to understand the feeling in her fingers
and waddled along at a goodly rate.

Crum Elbow was not a great many miles off, and in due time they reached
it. But Daisy found that other people kept earlier hours than her father
and mother at Melbourne. She saw the farmers were getting to work as she
went on; and in the houses of the village there were signs that
everybody was fully astir to the business of the day. It was a
scattering village; the houses and the churches stood and called to each
other across great spaces of fields and fences between; but just where
the crossing of two roads made a business point, there was a little more
compactness. There was the baker's, and the post-office, and two stores
and various other houses, and a blacksmith's shop. Up to the corner
where the principal store stood, came the pony and his mistress, and
forthwith out came Mr. Lamb the storekeeper, to see what the little pony
chaise wanted to take home; but Daisy must see for herself, and she got
out and went into the store.

"Baskets," said Mr. Lamb. "What sort of baskets?"

"Baskets to hold strawberries--little baskets," said Daisy.

"Ah! strawberry baskets. That, ma'am, is the article."

Was it? Daisy did not think so. The storekeeper had shewed her the kind
of baskets commonly used to hold strawberries for the market; containing
about half a pint. She remarked they were not large enough.

"No, ma'am? They are the kind generally used--regular strawberry
baskets--we have sold 'em nearly all out, but we've got a few left."

"They are not large enough, nor pretty enough," repeated Daisy.

"They'll look pretty when they get the strawberries in them," said the
storekeeper with a knowing look at her. "But here's a kind, ma'am, are a
little neater--may be you would like these--What do you want, child?"

There had come into the store just after Daisy a little poor-looking
child, who had stood near, watching what was going on. Daisy turned to
look at her as Mr. Lamb's question was thrown at her over the counter,
in a tone very different from his words to herself. She saw a pale,
freckled, pensive-faced little girl, in very slim clothing, her dress
short and ragged, and feet bare. The child had been looking at her and
her baskets, but now suddenly looked away to the shopkeeper.

"Please, sir, I want--"

"There! stop," said Mr. Lamb; "don't you see I'm busy. I can't attend to
you just now; you must wait.--Are these baskets better, ma'am?" he said
coming back to Daisy and a smooth voice.

Daisy felt troubled, but she tried to attend to her business. She asked
the price of the baskets.

"Those first I shewed you, ma'am, are three pence apiece--these are
sixpence. This is quite a tasty basket," said Mr. Lamb, balancing one on
his forefinger. "Being open, you see, it shews the fruit through. I
think these might answer your purpose."

"What are those?" said Daisy pointing to another kind.

"Those, ma'am, are not strawberry baskets."

"But please let me see one.--What is the price?"

"These fancy baskets, ma'am, you know, are another figure. These are not
intended for fruit. These are eighteen pence apiece, ma'am."

Daisy turned the baskets and the price over. They were very neat! they
would hold as many berries as the sixpenny ones, and look pretty too, as
for a festival they should. The sixpenny ones were barely neat--they had
no gala look about them at all. While Daisy's eye went from one to the
other, it glanced upon the figure of the poor, patient, little waiting
girl who stood watching her. "If you please, Mr. Lamb," she said, "will
you hear what this little girl has to say?--while I look at these."

"What do you want, child?"

The answer came very low, but though Daisy did not want to listen she
could not help hearing.

"Mother wants a pound of ham, sir."

"Have you brought the money for the flour?"

"No, sir--mother'll send it."

"We don't cut our hams any more," said the storekeeper. "Can't sell any
less than a whole one--and that's always cash. There! go child--I can't
cut one for you."

Daisy looked after the little ragged frock as it went out of the door.
The extreme mystery of some people being rich and some people poor,
struck her anew, and perhaps something in her look as it came back to
the storekeeper made him say,

"They're very poor folks, Miss Randolph--the mother's sickly, and I
should only lose my money. They came and got some flour of me yesterday
without paying for it--and it's necessary to put a stop to that kind of
thing at once. Don't you think that basket'll suit, ma'am?"

Baskets? and what meant those words which had been over and over in
Daisy's mind for the few days past?--"Whatsoever ye would that men
should do to you, do ye even so to them." Her mind was in great
confusion.

"How much does a ham cost, Mr. Lamb?"

"Sixteen pence a pound, ma'am," said the storekeeper rather drily, for
he did not know but Daisy was thinking a reproof to him.

"But how many pounds are there in a ham?"

"Just as it happens, ma'am--sometimes twenty, and from there down to
ten."

"Then how much does a whole ham cost?" said Daisy, whose arithmetic was
not ready.

"A ham of fifteen pounds, ma'am, would be about two dollars and forty
cents."

Daisy stood looking at the baskets, and thinking how much money she
would have over if she took the sixpenny ones. She wanted twenty
baskets; she found that the difference of price between the plain and
the pretty would leave her twenty shillings in hand. Just enough!
thought Daisy,--and yet, how could she go to a strange house and offer
to give them a ham? She thought she could not. If she had known the
people; but as it was--Daisy bought the pretty baskets and set off
homewards.

"Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to
them"--Daisy could see nothing along the road but those words. "That is
my King's command to me--and those poor people have got no breakfast. If
I was in that little girl's place, I would _like_ to have it given to
me. But those other baskets--would they do?--I could make them do
somehow--Nora and I could dress them up with greens and flowers!"--

The pony chaise stopped. Sam came up alongside.

"Sam, take those baskets back to the store. I am going back there."

Round came the chaise, and in five minutes more they were at the Crum
Elbow corner again, for Daisy's heartburning had not let her go far. Mr.
Lamb was exceedingly mystified, as it was very unusual for young ladies
like this one to come buying whole hams and riding off with them.
However he made no objections to the exchange, being a gainer by ten
cents; for Daisy had asked for a ham of fifteen pounds. Then Daisy
enquired the way to the girl's house, and her name, and set off in a new
direction. It was not far; a plain little brown house, with a brown gate
a few yards from the door. Daisy got out of the chaise and opened the
gate, and there stood still and prayed a little prayer that God would
help her not to feel foolish or afraid when she was trying to do right.
Then she went up to the door and knocked. Somebody said in a very
uninviting tone of voice, "Come in!"

It was hard for Daisy; she had expected that somebody would open the
door, but now she must go in and face all that was there. However, in
she went. There was a poor room to be sure, with not much in it. A woman
was taking some hot bread, just baked, out of a little cooking stove.
Daisy saw the little girl standing by; it was the right place.

"Well!" said the woman looking up at Daisy from her stove oven--"what is
it?" She looked pale and unhappy, and her words were impatient. Daisy
was half afraid.

"I am Daisy Randolph"--she began gently.

"Go on," said the woman, as Daisy hesitated.

"I was in Mr. Lamb's store just now, when your little girl came to buy
some ham."

"Well!--what then?"

"Mr. Lamb said he would not cut any, and she was obliged to go without
it."

"Well, what have you to do with all that?"

"I was sorry she was disappointed," said Daisy more steadily; "and as
Mr. Lamb would not cut one for her I have brought a whole one--if you
will please accept it. It is at the gate, because the boy could not
leave the horses."

The woman set her bread on the floor, left the oven door open, and rose
to her feet.

"What did you tell her, Hephzibah?" she said in a threatening voice.

"I didn't tell her nothing," said the girl hurriedly--"I never spoke to
her."

"How did she know what you came for?"

"I was so near," said Daisy bravely, though she was afraid, "that I
couldn't help hearing."

"Well what business was it of yourn?" said the woman turning upon her.
"If we are poor, we don't throw it in anybody's face; and if you are
rich, you may give charity to those that ask it. _We_ never asked none
of you--and don't want it."

"I am not rich," said Daisy gently, though she coloured and her eyes
were full of tears;--"I did not mean to offend you; but I thought you
wanted the ham, and I had money enough to get it. I am very sorry you
won't have it."

"Did Mr. Lamb tell you we were beggars?"

"No, not at all."

"Then what put into your head to come bringing a ham here? who told you
to do it?"

"Nobody told me," said Daisy. "Yes there did, though. The Lord Jesus
Christ told me to do it, ma'am."

"What do you mean?" said the woman, suddenly sobering as if she was
struck.

"That's all, ma'am," said Daisy. "He had given me the money to buy the
ham, and I heard that your little girl wanted it. And I remembered his
commandment, to do to others what I would like they should do to me--I
didn't mean to offend you."

"Well I ain't offended," said the woman. "I s'pose you didn't mean no
harm; but we have some feelings as well as other folks. Folks may work,
and yet have feelings. And if I could work, things would be well enough;
but I've been sick, miss, and I can't always get work that I would like
to do--and when I can get it, I can't always do it," she added with a
sigh.

Daisy wanted to go, but pity held her fast. That poor, pale, ragged
child, standing motionless opposite her! Daisy didn't venture to look
much, but she saw her all the same.

"Please keep the ham this time!" she broke out bravely--"I won't bring
another one!"

"Did nobody send you?" said the woman eyeing her keenly.

"No," said Daisy, "except the Lord Jesus--he sent me."

"You're a kind little soul!" said the woman, "and as good a Christian as
most of 'em I guess. But I won't do that. I'd die first!--unless you'll
let me do some work for you and make it up so." There was relenting in
the tone of these last words.

"O that will do," said Daisy gladly. "Then will you let your little girl
come out and get the ham? because the boy cannot leave the horses. Good
bye, Mrs. Harbonner."

"But stop!" cried the woman--"you hain't told me what I am to do for
you."

"I don't know till I get home and ask there. What would you like to do?"

"My work is tailoring--I learnt that trade; but beggars mustn't be
choosers. I can do other things--plain sewing, and washing, and
cleaning, and dairy work; anything I _can_ do."

Daisy said she would bring her word, and at last got off; without her
ham and in glee inexpressible. "They will have some for breakfast," she
said to herself; for there had been something in little Hephzibah's eye
as she received the great ham in her arms, that went through and through
Daisy's heart and almost set her to crying. She was _very_ glad to get
away and to be in the pony chaise again driving home, and she almost
wondered at her own bravery in that house. She hardly knew herself; for
true it was, Daisy had considered herself as doing work not of her own
choosing while she was there; she felt in her Master's service, and so
was bold where for her own cause she would have shrunk away. "But they
have got something for breakfast! I think mine will be good when I get
it," said Daisy.

Daisy however fell into a great muse upon the course of her morning's
experience. To do as she would be done by, now seemed not quite so easy
as she had thought; since it was plain that her notions and those of
some other people were not alike on the subject. How _should_ she know
what people would like? When in so simple a matter as hunger, she found
that some would prefer starving to being fed. It was too deep a question
for Daisy. She had made a mistake, and she rather thought she should
make more mistakes; since the only way she could see straight before her
was the way of the command and the way of duty therefore; and she was
very much inclined to think, besides, that in that way her difficulties
would be taken care of for her. It had been so this morning. Mrs.
Harbonner and she had parted on excellent terms--and the gleam in that
poor child's eyes!--



CHAPTER V.


Daisy was so full of her thoughts that she never perceived two gentlemen
standing at the foot of the hall steps to receive her. Not till Loupe in
his best style had trotted up the road and stopped, and she had risen to
throw down her reins. Then Daisy started a little. One gentleman touched
his cap to her, and the other held out his hands to help her to alight.

"You are just in time for breakfast, Miss Randolph. Is that the coach
that was made out of a pumpkin?"

Daisy shook hands with the other gentleman and made no answer.

"I had always heard," went on the first, "that the young ladies at the
North were very independent in their habits; but I had no idea that they
went to market before breakfast."

"Sam," said Daisy, "take the baskets to Joanna."

"What is in the baskets?--eggs?--or butter?--or vegetables? Where do you
go to market?"

"To New York, sir," said Daisy.

"To New York! And have you come from there this morning? Then that is
certainly also the pony that was once a rat! it's a witchcraft concern
altogether."

"No sir," said Daisy, "I don't go to market."

"Will you excuse me for remarking, that you just said you did?"

"No sir,--I didn't mean that _I_ went."

"How are gentlemen to understand you, in the future experience of life,
if you are in the habit of saying what you do not mean?"

"I am not in the habit of it," said Daisy, half laughing, for she knew
her questioner. He was a handsome young man, with a grave face and
manner through all his absurd speeches; dressed rather picturesquely;
and altogether a striking person in Daisy's eyes. To her relief, as they
reached the hall her mother appeared.

"Come in to breakfast, Gary--Daisy, run and get yourself ready."

And Daisy went, in great glee on various accounts. When she came down,
everybody was at table; and for a little while she was permitted to eat
her breakfast in peace. Daisy felt wonderfully happy. Such a pleasant
breakfast, for the talk among the elders went on very briskly; such
pleasant work done already, such pleasant work to do all through the
day; nothing but joy seemed to be in the air.

"And what did you get at market, Daisy?" suddenly asked the gentleman
whom her mother called "Gary."

"I went to buy baskets," said Daisy concisely.

"What else did you get at market?"

"I didn't go to market, sir."

"She told me she did"--said Mr. Gary looking at her father.

"Did you buy anything else, Daisy?" said her father carelessly.

"Papa," said Daisy colouring, "Mr. McFarlane asked me, I thought, where
we went to market, and I told him New York. I did not mean that _I_ went
myself."

"Didn't you get anything but baskets?" said Mr. McFarlane mischievously.

"Papa," said Daisy making a brave push, "if I only spend what you give
me for my birthday, don't you think it would be considerate in Mr.
McFarlane not to ask me any more?" But this speech set the gentlemen to
laughing.

"Daisy, you make me curious," said her father. "Do you think it would be
inconsiderate in _me_ to ask?"

"Papa, I think it would."

"Answer, Daisy, directly, and don't be ridiculous," said her mother.

Daisy's face clouded, coloured, and the tears came into her eyes.

"Answer, Daisy, since it is put so," said her father gravely.

"I bought a ham, papa."

But the shout that was raised at this was so uproarious that Daisy was
almost overcome. She would certainly have made her escape, only she knew
such a thing would not be permitted. She sat still, and bore it as well
as she could.

"The baskets held eggs, no doubt," said Capt. Drummond, the other
gentleman.

"Roast potatoes would be better for your Irish friends, Daisy," said
McFarlane. "Ham and eggs is good for the Yankees. It would be the best
plan to make a fire out of doors and let each one cook for himself,
according to his country. How do you expect to please everybody?"

"Come here, Daisy," said her father kindly, and he put his arm round her
and kissed her; "did you have money enough for your ham and your other
purchases too?"

"Plenty, papa," said Daisy gratefully.

"And why didn't you go yesterday afternoon, as I thought you intended?"
Daisy's and Ransom's eyes met.

"Papa, it was a great deal pleasanter this morning than it would have
been then; I never had such a nice ride."

"And what do you want done now? Is your table ready?"

"It will be ready--Mr. Stilton is getting it ready."

"Who is invited, Daisy?" inquired Mr. McFarlane. "Do you intend to
receive any except those who are not your friends?"

"I don't think those of a different class had better come," said Daisy.

"Daisy is quite right," said Mrs. Randolph. "Do you not intend to shew
yourself?" said her husband, with some meaning.

"I? No! Certainly not. At her age, since you choose to indulge Daisy in
her whim, she may do what she pleases."

Was this what the man meant by Randolph's people being "stuck up?" Daisy
looked grave, and her father bade her run away and attend to her
preparations.

Even then she went slowly and a little puzzled, till she reached the
housekeeper's room; and there the full beauty of the occasion burst upon
her. Such nice things as Joanna was making ready!

Daisy ran off at full speed to Logan to get a supply of greens and
flowers to trim her baskets. Nora was coming to help her and be with her
all day, and arrived just in time. With aprons and baskets full, the two
children sought a hidden spot on the bank under the trees, and there sat
down, with strawberry baskets in one heap and the sprigs and leaves to
dress them in another.

"Now throw off your hat," said Daisy. "It's shady enough, and you'll
feel cooler. Now Nora, how shall we do?--You try one and I'll try one;
that will be best; and then we can see. I want them to look very pretty,
you know; and they are to be filled with strawberries to send home to
the children; if we make them very nice they will go on the table, I
think, and help dress it up."

For a time there was comparative silence, while the little hands turned
and twisted the mosses and bits of larch and cedar and hemlock in and
out of the openings of the baskets. It was not found easy at first to
produce a good effect; hands were unused to the work; and Nora declared
after half an hour she believed the baskets would look best plain, just
as they were. But Daisy would not give up. She grew very warm indeed
with the excitement of her efforts, but she worked on. By and by she
succeeded in dressing a basket so that it looked rich with green; and
then a bit or two of rosebuds or heath or bright yellow everlasting made
the adornment gay and pretty enough. It was taken for a model; and from
that time tongues and fingers worked together, and heat was forgotten.

[Illustration]

"Isn't this pleasant!" exclaimed Daisy at length, dropping her work into
her lap. "Isn't it just as pleasant as it can be, Nora?"

"Yes," said Nora, working away.

"Just see the river--it's so smooth. And look up into the leaves;--how
pretty they are!--and every one of them is trembling a little; not one
of them is still, Nora. How beautiful the green is, with the sun shining
through! Wouldn't you like to be a bird up there?"

"No," said Nora; "I'd rather be down here."

"I think it would be nice to be a bird." said Daisy; "it must be
pleasant up in those branches--only the birds don't know anything, I
suppose. What do you think heaven must be like, Nora?"

"Daisy, you're so funny. What makes you think about heaven?"

"Why, you know," said Daisy slowly, "I expect to go there. Why shouldn't
I think about it?"

"But you won't go there till you die," said Nora.

"I don't see what that has to do with my thinking about it. I shall die,
some time."

"Yes, but Daisy, don't be so queer. You are not going to die now."

"I don't know about that," said Daisy; "but I like to think of heaven.
Jesus is there. Isn't it pleasant, Nora, that he can see us always, and
knows what we are doing?"

"Daisy, Marmaduke said he wished you would invite him to your party."

The turn Nora wished to give to Daisy's thoughts took effect for the
moment. It was grievous; to wish so much for her friend and to have him
join in the wish, and all in vain. But, characteristically, Daisy said
nothing. She was only silent a moment.

"Nora, did you ever hear Mr. Dinwiddie say that poor people disliked
rich people?"

"No. They don't dislike _him_, I know."

"Is Mr. Dinwiddie rich too?"

"Of course he is," said Nora.

"I shouldn't think anybody would dislike him," said Daisy; "but then he
never seemed like rich people." She went into a muse about it.

"Well, he is," said Nora. "He has got as much money as he wants, I
know."

"Nora, you know the parable of the servants and the talents?"

"Yes."

"Are you one of the good servants?"

Nora looked up very uneasily. Daisy's face was one of quiet inquiry.
Nora fidgeted.

"Daisy, I wish you would be like yourself, as you used to be, and not
talk so."

"But are you, Nora?"

"No, I don't suppose I am! I couldn't do much."

"But would you like to have the King say to you what he said to the
servant who had one talent and didn't do anything?"

"Daisy, I don't want to have you talk to me about it," said Nora, a
little loftily. "I have got Marmaduke to talk to me, and that's as much
as I want."

"_I_ mean to be one of them!" said Daisy gently. "Jesus is the king; and
it makes me so glad to think of it!--so glad, Nora. He is my king, and I
belong to him; and I _love_ to give him all I've got; and so would you,
Nora. I only want to find out all I have got, that I may give it to
him."

Nora went on very assiduously with the covering of the baskets, and
Daisy presently followed her example. But the talk was checked for a
little.

"Nora, Jesus is _your_ king, though," said Daisy again. "He made
everything, and he made you; and he _is_ your king. I wish you would be
his servant too."

Daisy was greatly astonished at the effect of this speech; for Nora
without speaking arose, left her baskets and greens on the ground, and
set off from the spot with an air that said she did not mean to return
to it. Daisy was too bewildered to speak, and only looked after her till
she was too far to be recalled.

What was the matter? Greatly puzzled and dismayed, she tried to find a
possible answer to this question. Left alone on her birthday in the
midst of her business, by her best friend,--what could have brought
about so untoward a combination of circumstances? Daisy could not
understand it; and there was no time to go after Nora to get an
understanding. The baskets must be finished. Luckily there did not much
remain to be done, for Daisy was tired. As soon as her work was out of
her hand, she went to see about the success of her table. It was done; a
nice long, neat table of boards, on trestles; and it was fixed under a
beautiful grove of trees, on the edge of a bank from which the view over
the grounds was charming. Mr. Stilton was just gathering up his tools to
go away, and looked himself so smiling and bright that Daisy concluded
there was reason to hope her party was going to be all right; so with
fresh spirit she went in to her own dinner.

After that it was busy times. The long table was to be spread with a
table-cloth, and then the cups and plates in proper number and position,
leaving the places for the baskets of strawberries. It was a grave
question whether they should be arranged in a pyramid, with roses
filling the spaces, or be distributed all round the table. Daisy and
Joanna debated the matter, and decided finally on the simpler manner;
and Logan dressed some splendid bouquets for the centre of the table
instead. Daisy saw that the maids were bringing from the house pretty
china dishes and cups; and then she ran away to get dressed herself.
Just as this was almost done she saw her mother driving off from the
house with several gentlemen in her party. It suddenly struck Daisy, who
was to do the honours of the strawberry feast? She ran down stairs to
find her father; she could not find him, he was out; so Daisy went to
see that the setting the table was going on all right, and then came and
planted herself in the library, to wait for Mr. Randolph's coming in.
And while she waited eagerly, she began to think about its being her
birthday.

"Nine years old," thought Daisy; "there isn't much of my life passed.
Perhaps, if I live a good while, I may do a great deal to serve the
Lord. I wonder if I know all the things I can do now! all my 'talents'?
I am afraid of missing some of them, for not knowing. Everything I
have, Mr. Dinwiddie said,--so Nora said,--is a talent of some sort or
other. How strange Nora was to-day! But I suppose she will come and tell
me what was the matter. Now about the talents--I wish papa would come!
This birthday was one talent, and I thought it would be a good thing if
papa's people could be made to know that he is not 'stuck up,' if he is
rich,--but if neither he nor mamma come out to speak to them at all, I
wonder what they will think?"

Daisy ran out again to view the table. Yes, it was looking very
handsome. Joanna was there herself, ordering and directing; and china
and glass, and flowers, and silver, made a very brilliant appearance,
though none of the dishes were on the table as yet.

"But who is going to pour out the coffee and the tea, Joanna?" said
Daisy. "Aren't you going to dress and come and do it for me?"

"La! Miss Daisy, I don't see how I can. I expect the best plan will be
to have you do it yourself. That will give the most satisfaction, I
guess."

"Joanna! I don't know how."

"Yes, you do, Miss Daisy; you'll have the coffee urn, and all you have
to do is to turn the faucet, you know; and Sam will wait upon you, and
if you want tea poured out he can lift it for you. It'll taste twice as
good to all the party if you do it."

"Do you think so, Joanna?"

"I don't want to think about it," said Joanna; "I know without
thinking."

"But, Joanna, I can't reach the things."

"I'll have a high seat fixed for you. I know what you want."

Daisy stood watching; it was such a pleasure to see Joanna's nice
preparations. And now came on the great dishes of strawberries, rich and
sweet to the eye and the smell; and then handsome pitchers filled with
milk and ice-water, in a range down the table. Then came great fruit
cakes and pound cakes, superbly frosted and dressed with strawberries
and rosebuds; Joanna had spared no pains. Great store of sliced bread
and butter too, and plates of ham and cold beef, and forms of jelly. And
when the dressed baskets of strawberries were set in their places all
round the table, filling up the spaces, there was a very elegant,
flowery, and sparkling appearance of a rich feast. Why was not Nora
there?--and with the next thought Daisy flew back to the library to find
her father. He was found.

"Oh papa," she said gently, though she had rushed in like a little
summer wind, "are you going to come to the feast?"

"What for, my dear?"

"Papa, they will all like it; they will be pleased."

"I think they will enjoy themselves better without me."

"Papa, I am _sure_ they would be pleased."

"I should only make it a constraint for them, Daisy. I do not think they
will want anything but the strawberries--especially if _you_ look at
them."

"But mamma is not here to speak to them either, papa."

"You think somebody must speak to them, eh? I don't think I can make
speeches, Daisy," said Mr. Randolph, stretching himself at ease in a
chaise longue. "But perhaps I may step down and look at them by and by,
my dear."

There was no more to be done, Daisy knew. She went slowly off over the
grounds, meditating whether the people would be satisfied with so very
at-arms'-length an entertainment. Would _this_ draw the poor nearer to
the rich? or the rich nearer to the poor? Daisy had an instinctive,
delicate sense of the want, which she set herself to do the best her
little self could to supply. "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to
you"--that sweet and most perfect rule of high breeding was moving her
now; and already the spirit of another rule, which in words she did not
yet know, was beginning to possess her heart in its young discipleship;
she was ready "to do good to all men, even as she had opportunity."

She went slowly back to the table. Nobody come yet. Joanna was there,
putting some last touches. Suddenly a new idea struck Daisy, as she saw
what a long table it was.

"Joanna--there must be somebody else to wait. Sam can never do it all."

"He'll have to. James is busy, and Hiram. Sam's all that can be spared;
and that's as much as ever."

"But I must have more, Joanna. Can't some of the maids come?"

"To wait?--they wouldn't, Miss Daisy."

"Yes they would, Joanna. You must make them, Joanna. Send Maria and
Ophelia down here, and I'll tell them what I want of them. And quick,
Joanna; and don't you tell them, please, what I want."

"I hope you'll grow up to marry the President, some day," said Joanna,
walking off; "you could help him if he got puzzled!"

Poor Daisy almost felt as if she had the affairs of a nation on her
hands, when she saw Mr. and Mrs. Stilton, dressed in their best, coming
near through the trees. But the spirit of kindness was so thoroughly at
work in Daisy, that it made her reception of her guests just what it
ought to be, and she was delighted a few minutes after to see that their
eyes were kindling with gratification. Logan looked at the table as if
he had some right to take an interest in it; the hay-makers were
open-mouthed; the women in a flutter of ribands and propriety; and the
various people who had come upon the ground with doubtful expectancy,
sat down to table proud and gay. It was a pretty sight! and prettier was
the sight of little Daisy perched up at one end of the board and with
tremulous fingers filling cups of coffee and ordering cups of tea.

"Miss Daisy," said Mrs. Stilton, "it's too much trouble for you to fill
all them cups--sha'n't I come there, and take the responsibility? if you
would delegate me."

Gladly Daisy agreed, slipped off her high chair, and saw Mrs. Stilton's
full portly figure take the place. But Daisy's labours were not ended.
She saw one of the Irish labourers sitting with his eyes straight before
him and nothing on his plate for them to look at. Daisy went round. It
was her feast; she felt she must do the honours.

"Will you have a cup of coffee?" said a soft little voice at the man's
elbow. He started.

"Ach!--Sure Miss, I wouldn't be troublesome."

"It's no trouble. Will you have some tea or some coffee?"

"'Dade, sorrow a drop ever I tuk of ary one of 'em but the one time,
plase yer ladyship. It's too good for me, sure; that's why it don't
agree wid me, Miss."

Very much puzzled by the confidential little nod with which this
information was communicated, Daisy yet felt she could not give up the
matter.

"Then what will you have?--some ham? or some strawberries?"

"Sure I'll do very well, niver fear, plase yer ladyship; don't trouble
yerself. The angels wouldn't want something purtier to eat, than what we
have, Miss!"

Daisy gave up in despair and charged Sam to see that the man had his
supper. Then without asking any more questions she carried a cup of
coffee down the table to a meek-looking old woman who likewise seemed to
be in a state of bewilderment. It was the mother of Michael the
gate-keeper. She started a little too, as Daisy's hand set down her cup,
and half rose from her chair.

"Blessings on ye, for a dear little lady! It's a wonder to see the
likes of you. The saints above bless the hand and the fut that wasn't
above doing that same! and may ye always have plenty to wait on ye, and
the angels of heaven above all!"

"Sit down, Mrs. Sullivan," said Daisy. "Do you like coffee?"

"Do I like it! It's better to me nor anything else in the worruld, when
it wouldn't be a sup o' summat now and thin, if I'd have the rheumatiz."

"A sup of what?"

"Medicine, dear, medicine that I take whin the doctor says it's good for
me. May you niver know the want of it, nor of anything in the wide
worruld! and niver know what it is to be poor!"

Daisy managed to get the old woman to eat, supplying her with various
things, every one of which was accepted with--"Thank you, Miss," and
"Blessings on ye!" and turning away from her at last, saw her handmaids
approaching from the house. The girls, however disposed to stand upon
their dignity, could not refuse to do what their little mistress was
doing; and a lively time of it they and Daisy had for the next hour,
with all the help Sam and Mrs. Stilton could give them. Daisy saw that
strawberries and cream, cake and coffee, were thoroughly enjoyed; she
saw too that the honour of being served off silver and china was duly
felt. If her father had but come out to say a kind word! but he did not
come. His little substitute did all a substitute could do; and at last
when everybody seemed in full tide of merry-making, she stole away that
they might have no constraint upon it. Before she had got far, she was
startled by a noise behind her, and looking round saw that all the
tableful had risen to their feet. The next instant there was a great
shout. Daisy could not imagine what they were doing, but she saw that
they were all looking at her. She came back a step or two. Now there was
another shout greater than the other; the women flourished
handkerchiefs, the men waved their arms above their heads. "Long life to
ye!" "Good luck to ye forever!" "Blessings on ye for a lady!" "Many
thanks to ye, Miss Daisy!" "May ye niver want as good!" "Hurra for the
flower of Melbourne!"--Shouts various and confused at last made Daisy
comprehend they were cheering _her_. So she gave them a little courtesy
or two, and walked off again as fast as she thought it was proper to go.

She went home and to the library, but found nobody there; and sat down
to breathe and rest; she was tired. Presently Ransom came in.

"Hallo, Daisy!--is nobody here?"

"No."

"Have you seen your things yet?"

"My things?--what things?"

"Why your _things_--your birthday things. Of course you haven't or you'd
know. Never mind, you'll know what I mean by and by. I say, Daisy----"

"What?"

"You know when papa asked you this morning why you didn't go yesterday
to Crum Elbow?----"

"Yes."

"Why didn't you tell him?"

Daisy hesitated. Ransom was cutting a pencil vigorously, but as she was
silent he looked up.

"Why didn't you tell him? did you tell him _afterwards_?"

"Why no, Ransom!"

"Well why didn't you?--that's what I want to know. Didn't you tell
anybody?"

"No, of course not."

"Why didn't you, then?"

"Ransom----" said Daisy doubtfully.

"What? I think you're turned queer."

"I don't know whether you'd understand me."

"Understand _you_! That's a good one! I couldn't understand _you_! I
should rather like to have you try."

"Well, I'll tell you," said Daisy.

"Just do."

"Ransom, you know who the Lord Jesus Christ is."

"I used to; but I have forgotten."

"Oh Ransom!"

"Come, go ahead, and don't palaver."

"I am his servant," said Daisy; "and he has bid me do to other people
what I would like to have them do to me."

"He has bid you! What do you mean?"

"You know what I mean. It is in the Bible."

"What's in the Bible?"

"_That_;--that I must do to other people what I would like to have them
do to me."

"And I suppose you thought I wouldn't like to have you tell? Well you're
out, for I don't care a shot about it--there! and you may tell just as
fast as you're a mind to."

"Oh Ransom! you know--"

"What do I know?"

"It's no matter," said little Daisy checking herself.

"Go ahead, and finish! What is the use of breaking off? That's the way
with girls;--they don't know how to speak English. You may just as well
say the whole of something ugly, as the half of it."

If Daisy was tempted to comply with the request, she did not give way to
the temptation; for she was silent; and in a mood less pleasant than her
own apparently, Ransom took himself out of her presence. Left alone,
Daisy presently curled herself down on a couch, and being very tired
fell asleep.



CHAPTER VI.


Daisy slept on, until a bustle and sounds of voices and laughter in the
hall, and boots clattering over the marble and up the staircase, at last
found their way into her ears.

The riding party had got home. Daisy sat up and rubbed her eyes and
looked out.

The sun was low, and shining from the western mountains over the tops of
all the trees. It was certainly near dinner-time; the cool glittering
look of the light on the trees and shrubs could not be earlier than
that. What had become of the strawberry feast? It seemed like a dream.
Daisy shook off the remains of her sleep and hurried out by one of the
glass doors to go and see. She ran down to the bank where the table was
spread. It was a feast over. The company were gone, so were the baskets
of strawberries; yes, and the very bouquets of flowers had been taken
away. That was a sign of pleasure. Nothing was left but the disordered
table. Daisy hoped the people had had a good time, and slowly went back
towards the house. As she came near the library window she saw her
father, standing in it.

"Well, Daisy?"

"Well, papa."

"How has the feast gone off?"

"I don't know, papa. There's nothing left but the boards and the cups
and saucers."

Mr. Randolph sat down and drew his little daughter up to his side.

"Have you enjoyed it, Daisy?"

"Yes, papa--I have enjoyed it pretty well."

"Only pretty well!--for your birthday! Do you think now you made a good
choice, Daisy?"

"Yes, sir--I think I did."

"What has been wanting? I am afraid your ham did not figure on the
board, if it is so empty?"

Daisy did not answer, but her father watching her saw something in her
face which made him pursue the subject.

"Did it?"

"No, papa," said Daisy, colouring a little.

"How was that?"

"Joanna arranged everything that was to go on the table."

"And left the ham out of the question? It seems to me that was a
mistake, though I am not much of a housekeeper. Why was that?"

"Papa," said Daisy, "do you think I would make a wrong use of a ham?"

Mr. Randolph laughed. "Why Daisy, unless you are a finished economist,
that might be. Do you mean that I am not to know the particular use made
of this ham?"

"Papa, I wish you would not desire to know!"

But Daisy's face was too much in earnest. "I think I cannot grant that
request," said her father. "You must tell me."

Daisy looked distressed. But she dared not evade the order, though she
feared very much what might come of it.

"I didn't buy the ham for the party, papa."

"Then for what?"

"I bought it, papa, for a little girl who was going without her
breakfast. She came to Mr. Lamb's to buy ham, and she had no money, and
he wouldn't let her have any."

"And what became of your baskets?"

"O I got them, papa; I got cheaper ones; and Nora and I dressed them
with greens. I had money enough."

Mr. Randolph took his little daughter on his knee and softly put down
his lips to kiss her.

"But Daisy, after all, why did you not go to Crum Elbow yesterday
afternoon, as you meant to do?"

"Papa, this morning did better, for it was pleasanter."

"Do you call that an answer?" said Mr. Randolph, who was still softly
kissing her.

"Papa, if you would be so _very_ good as not to ask me that?"

"I am not good at all, Daisy. I ask,--and I mean to know."

Daisy was in trouble. No entreaty was worth a straw after that. She was
puzzled how to answer.

"Papa," she ventured, "I don't like to tell you, because Ransom would
not like I should."

"Ransom's pleasure must give way to mine, Daisy."

"He wanted the pony-chaise," said Daisy, looking very downcast.

"And you gave it him?"

"No, sir."

"What then? Daisy," said Mr. Randolph bringing her head round to face
him, "tell me what I want to know without any more questions."

"He took the chaise, papa,--that was all,--so I went this morning."

"Ransom knew you wanted it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then Daisy, tell me further, why you did not give me this information
when I asked about your drive this morning at breakfast?"

"Papa, I thought Ransom would not like to have it told."

"Were you afraid he would revenge himself in any way if you did?"

"O no, papa! not at all."

"Then what moved you to silence?"

"Why papa, I did not want to trouble Ransom. I was afraid you would be
displeased with him perhaps, if I told."

"Were you not displeased when he took the chaise?"

"Yes, papa," said Daisy softly.

"And had your displeasure all gone off by this morning?"

"Yes, sir."

Mr. Randolph was not quite satisfied. There was no doubting Daisy; but
he had reasons of his own for knowing that she had not said to him quite
all that she had confessed to her brother. He would have liked the whole
confession; but did not see how he could get at it just now. He took a
little gold piece out of his pocket and quietly slipped it into Daisy's
hand.

"Papa! what is this for?"

"For your poor woman, if you like. You can send it to her by Sam."

"O thank you, papa! But papa, she won't take it so--she will not take
the least thing without working to pay for it."

"How do you know?"

"She told me so, papa."

"Who told you so?"

"The poor woman--Mrs. Harbonner."

"Where did you see her?"

"I saw her at her house, papa."

"Why did you go to her house?"

"To take her the ham, sir."

"And she told you she wouldn't have anything without doing work for
it--eh?"

"Yes, papa--she wouldn't even take the ham any other way."

"What work did you engage her to do, Daisy?"

"I thought Joanna could find her some, papa."

"Well, let Joanna manage it. You must not go there again, nor into any
strange house, Daisy, without my leave. Now go and get ready for dinner,
and _your_ part of your birthday."

Daisy went very soberly. To see Mrs. Harbonner and her daughter again,
and to do them all sorts of good, had been a dream of hers, ever since
the morning. Now this was shut off. She was very sorry. How were the
rich to do good to the poor, if they never come together? A question
which Daisy thought about while she was dressing. Then she doubted how
her feast had gone; and she had been obliged to tell of Ransom.
Altogether, Daisy felt that doing good was a somewhat difficult matter,
and she let June dress her in very sober silence. Daisy was elegantly
dressed for her birthday and the dinner. Her robe was a fine beautifully
embroidered muslin, looped with rose ribands on the shoulder and tied
with a broad rose-coloured sash round the waist. There was very little
rose in Daisy's cheeks, however; and June stood and looked at her when
she had done, with mingled satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

"You've tired yourself to-day, Miss Daisy, with making that party for
the men!" she said.

"Have you done? Now June, will you go away, please, and leave me my room
for a few minutes?"

"Yes, Miss Daisy--but it's most time for you to go down."

June went, and Daisy locked her doors, and dropped on her knees by her
little bed. How was she to know what was right to do? and still more,
how was she to do it wisely and faithfully? Little Daisy went to her
stronghold, and asked for help; and that she might know what her talents
were.

"Miss Daisy," said the voice of June at the door, "you are wanted in the
library."

Down went Daisy in a hurry. There was her father; and there also, to
her great surprise, were Nora and Mr. Dinwiddie!

"I have brought Nora to make her peace with you, Daisy," said Mr.
Dinwiddie. "I found her in great trouble because, she said, you were
offended with her. Will you love her again?"

Daisy put her arms round Nora, who looked a little ashamed, and gave her
a very peaceful and reassuring kiss. The gentlemen both smiled at her
action. It was too graceful to need the aid of words.

"My mission is successful," said Mr. Dinwiddie.

"But I was not offended the least bit, Mr. Dinwiddie," said Daisy.

"I believe it; but Nora thought you had so much reason, that she would
not come alone to make her apology."

The young man looked towards Mr. Randolph, whose attention was just then
taken by somebody who had come to him on business. He waited.

"Won't you sit down, Mr. Dinwiddie?" said Daisy.

"I must go."

"But I want to ask you a question, sir."

Mr. Dinwiddie sat down.

"Mr. Dinwiddie," said Daisy with a grave face, "what are my talents?"

"What is the question, Daisy? I do not understand."

"You know, sir--one servant had ten and another had five. What are my
talents?"

"I do not know."

"But how can I tell, Mr. Dinwiddie?"

Then the young man's eyes glowed, as Daisy had a few times seen them do
before. "Ask the Lord, Daisy. See what his word tells you to do."

"But Mr. Dinwiddie, I am little; I can't do much."

"_You_ cannot do anything. But Jesus can use you, to do what he
pleases,--if you will be his little servant.--Give me that spoon,
Nora."

"But Marmaduke----"

"Yes--I know," said her brother. He took from Nora's hand and unfolded
from its wrapping-paper a very curious thing, which he told Daisy was an
Egyptian spoon. He did not give her time to look at it, only he held it
so that she saw what it was.

"You see that spoon, Daisy. It cannot do anything. But in your hand it
might carry drops of comfort to somebody's lips."

Daisy looked earnestly at the spoon, then at the bright eyes that were
fixed on her; and taking his meaning, she smiled, a bright, satisfied
smile. It satisfied Mr. Dinwiddie too. He wrapped up the spoon again,
handed it to Nora, and rose up to make his adieus to Mr. Randolph.

"Daisy," whispered Nora, "this spoon is for you. Will you take it for my
birthday present? Marmaduke says it is very handsome. It is his--he gave
it to me to give to you."

"It is very, very old," said Mr. Dinwiddie coming to Daisy. "It was
found in an old Egyptian tomb, and was made and put there perhaps before
the Israelites came out of Egypt. Good bye!"

He took Daisy's hand with a strong, kindly grasp, and went away with his
little sister just as the dinner-bell rang. Daisy had not time to look
at her present. She held it tight, and went in to dinner with it in her
hand.

Daisy did not generally dine with her father and mother. To-day was a
great exception to the rule. Even to-day she was not expected to eat
anything till the dessert came on; she had had her dinner; so she had
the more time for other things. Her place was by her mother; Capt.
Drummond on the other side, and Gary McFarlane opposite. Then her aunt,
Mrs. Gary, had arrived, just an hour before dinner; and she and her
children and one or two other friends filled the table, and the talking
and laughing went round faster than the soup. Daisy looked and
listened, very much pleased to see her aunt and cousins, and amused;
though as usual in her quiet fashion she gave no sign of it.

"How did that party come off, Daisy?" said Mr. Gary McFarlane.

"What party?" said Mrs. Gary.

"Daisy's birthday entertainment."

"Daisy invited all the gardeners and hay-makers to take supper and
strawberries with her, Aunt Gary," said Ransom.

"What is that?" said Mrs. Gary, looking to her sister.

"Ransom has stated the matter correctly."

"Gardeners and hay-makers! What was that for, Daisy?"

"I thought it would give them pleasure, aunt Gary,--" said Daisy.

"Give _them_ pleasure! of course, I suppose it would; but are we to give
everybody pleasure that we can? At that rate, why not invite our footmen
and chambermaids too? Why stop?"

"I suppose that will be the next thing," said Mrs. Randolph. "Daisy, you
must not eat that cheese."

"What's Daisy's notion?" said Mrs. Gary, appealing to her
brother-in-law.

"A child's notion," said Mr. Randolph. "The worst you can say of it is,
that it is Arcadian."

"How did it go off, Daisy?" said Gary McFarlane.

"I don't know," said Daisy. "I think it went off pretty well."

"How did the hob-nails behave themselves?"

"They had lots of things to eat," said Ransom. "I don't believe we shall
have any strawberries for a day or two ourselves."

"Did you give them strawberries?" said Mrs. Gary.

"A tableful," said Ransom; "and baskets and baskets to take home."

"Something new,--" said Mrs. Gary, eating her salad.

"But how did the company behave?" said Mr. McFarlane.

"I saw no behaviour that was not proper," Daisy answered gravely. She
thought as much could not be said of the present company, seeing that
servants were present.

"What have you there, Daisy?" said her mother.

"It is a birthday present, mamma. It is an Egyptian spoon."

"An Egyptian spoon! Where did you get it?"

"Mr. Dinwiddie--I mean, Nora gave it to me."

"What about Mr. Dinwiddie?"

"Nothing, mamma."

"Then why did you speak his name?"

"I don't know. He brought Nora to see me just now."

"Where did you see him?"

"In the library."

"Mr. Randolph"--said the lady--"did Mr. Dinwiddie call to see you?"

"He did me that honour," said Mr. Randolph; "but I think primarily his
visit was to Daisy."

"Who is Mr. Dinwiddie?" said Mrs. Gary, seeing a contraction in her
sister's brow. "It's a Virginian name."

"He is a fanatic," said Mrs. Randolph. "I don't know what else he is."

"Let us see the fanatic's spoon," said Gary McFarlane. "Egyptian, is it,
Daisy? Curious, upon my word!"

"Beautiful!" said Capt. Drummond, taking the spoon in his turn across
the table. "Beautiful! This is a nice piece of carving--and very old it
undoubtedly is. This is the lotus, Daisy--this stem part of the spoon;
and do you see, in the bowl here is the carving of a lake, with fish in
it?"

"Is it?" said Daisy; "and what is a _lotus_, Capt. Drummond?"

"If you will put me in mind to-morrow, privately, I will tell you about
it," said he.

"Let me look at that, Capt. Drummond," said Mrs. Gary.--"Why, here's a
duck's head at the end of the handle. What a dear old thing! Who is this
Mr. Dinwiddie, pray?"

"The duck's bill makes the spoon, aunt Gary," said Daisy.

"If you asked me _what_ he is, I have told you," said Mrs. Randolph.

"He is a young man, of good family I believe, spending the summer with a
neighbour of ours who is his relation," Mr. Randolph answered.

"What is he a fanatic about?"

This question did not get an immediate answer; the conversation
diverged, and it was lost. Daisy's spoon made the round of the company.
It was greatly admired, both from its oddness and from the beauty of its
carving.

"Daisy, I will buy this spoon of you," said her aunt.

Daisy thought not; but she said, "With what, aunt Gary?"

"With anything you please. Do you set a high value on it? What is it
worth?"

Daisy hesitated; and then she said, "I think it is worth my regard, aunt
Gary!"

She could not guess why there was a general little laugh round the table
at this speech.

"Daisy, you are an original," said Mrs. Gary. "May I ask, why this piece
of old Egypt deserves your regard?"

"I think anything does, aunt Gary, that is a gift," Daisy said, a little
shyly.

"If your first speech sounded forty years old, your second does not,"
said the lady.

"Arcadian again, both of them," Mr. Randolph remarked.

"You always take Daisy's part," said the lady briskly. But Mr. Randolph
let the assertion drop.

"Mamma," said Daisy, "what is an original?"

"Something your aunt says you are. Do you like some of this _biscuit_,
Daisy?"

"If you please, mamma. And mamma, what do you mean by a fanatic?"

"Something that I will not have you," said her mother, with knitting
brow again.

Daisy slowly eat her biscuit-glacé and wondered. Wondered what it could
be that Mr. Dinwiddie was and that her mother was determined she should
not be.

Mr. Dinwiddie was a friend of poor people--was that what her mother
meant? He was a devoted, unflinching servant of Christ;--"so will I be,"
said Daisy to herself; "so I am now; for I have given the Lord Jesus all
I have got, and I don't want to take anything back. Is that what mamma
calls being a fanatic?"--Daisy's meditations were broken off; for a
general stir round the table made her look up.

The table was cleared, and the servants were bringing on the fruit; and
with the fruit they were setting on the table a beautiful old fashioned
silver épergne, that was never used but for great occasions. Generally
it was adorned with fruit and flowers; to-day it was empty, and the
attendants proceeded to arrange upon it very strange looking things;
packages in white paper, books, trinkets, what not; and in the middle of
all a little statuette of a Grecian nymph, which was a great favourite
of Daisy's. Daisy began to guess that the épergne had something to do
with her birthday. But the nymph?--perhaps she came there by her beauty
to dignify this use made of the stately old thing. However, she forgot
all about fanatics and Mr. Dinwiddie for the present. The looks and
smiles of the company were unmistakable. Who would speak first?

"How are you to reach the épergne, Daisy?" said her father.

"Shall I be the medium?" said Mrs. Gary. "These things are to travel up
to Daisy, I suppose."

"I will represent the rolling stock of this road, and undertake to carry
parcels safely," said Mr. McFarlane. "Any message with the goods, Mrs.
Gary?"

"I believe they carry their own message with them," said the lady;--"or
else I don't see what is the use of these little white tickets. Where
shall I begin, Mr. Randolph?"

"I do not think the order of proceedings will be criticised, provided it
does not delay," said Daisy's father.

"Then transmit this, Gary."

"Literary freight"--said Gary McFarlane, handing over to Daisy a little
parcel of books. Five or six little volumes, in pretty binding--Daisy
looked eagerly to see what they might be. "Marmion"--"The Lady of the
Lake"--Scott's Poetical Works.

"O thank you, papa!" said Daisy, looking delighted.

"Not me," said Mr. Randolph. "I am not to be thanked."

"There's no name in them--" said Daisy.

"That's Preston's gift," said her aunt. Preston was Daisy's oldest
cousin; a fine boy of sixteen.

"I like it so much, Preston!" said Daisy, sending a grateful look down
the table to where he sat.

"Is Daisy fond of poetry?" inquired Mr. McFarlane with a grave look.

"Very fond," Mrs. Randolph said.

"Dangerous taste!" said Gary. "What is this new consignment?"

"Something valuable--take care of it."

"To be taken with care--right side up," said Gary, putting before Daisy
by a stretch of his long arm a little paper covered package. Daisy's
cheeks were beginning to grow pink. She unfolded the package.

A little box--then white cotton--then a gold bracelet.

"Mamma?--" said Daisy instantly. Mrs. Randolph stooped and kissed her.

"It's beautiful, mamma!" Daisy spoke very earnestly; however her face
did not shew the light of pleasure which the first gift had called into
it.

"How did you know so well?" said Mr. McFarlane. "Mrs. Randolph, I am
afraid you are not literary. Now Daisy, exercise your discernment upon
that."

It was a little box containing a Chinese puzzle, with the plans and keys
belonging to it.

"Where do you think _that_ comes from?"

Daisy looked up. "I think--perhaps--from _you_, Mr. McFarlane."

"Do you think I am anything like a puzzle?"

"I think--perhaps--you mean to be,"--Daisy said innocently. But a shout
from the whole tableful answered to this chance hit. Daisy didn't know
what they could mean.

"I have done!" said Gary. "I have got more than my match. But I know who
will plague people worse than a puzzle, if she gets well educated.
There's a pair of gloves, you little fencer."

It was a nice little thick pair of riding or driving gloves; beautifully
made and ornamented. These came from Eloïse, Daisy's other cousin. Mrs.
Gary had brought her two beautiful toilet bottles of Bohemian glass.
Daisy's end of the table was growing full.

"What is this?" said Mrs. Gary, taking from the épergne a sealed note
directed to Daisy.

"That is Ransom's present. Give her mine first," said Mr. Randolph.

"Which is yours? I don't see anything more."

"That little Proserpine in the middle."

"_This_? Are you going to give this to Daisy? But why is she called
Proserpine? I don't see."

"Nor I," said Mr. Randolph, "only that everything must have a name. And
this damsel is supposed to have been carrying a basket, which might
easily have been a basket of flowers, I don't see how the statement
could be disproved. And Daisy is fonder of the little nymph, I believe,
than any one else in the house."

"O papa! thank you," exclaimed Daisy, whose eyes sparkled. "I like to
have her _very_ much!"

"Well, here she goes," said Mrs. Gary. "Hand her over. You have a
variety, Daisy. Chinese playthings and Grecian art."

"_Some_ modern luxury," said Gary McFarlane. "Just a little."

"Egyptian art, too," said Capt. Drummond.

"O where's my spoon?" cried Daisy. "Has papa got it?"

"Here is Ransom's present," said her aunt, handing the note. "Nobody
knows what it is. Are we to know?"

Daisy opened and read, read over again, looked very grave, and finally
folded the note up in silence.

"What is it?" said her aunt.

Daisy hesitated, wishing, but in doubt if she would be permitted to keep
it to herself. Her father answered for her.

"It is all of Ransom's part, share, and possession in a certain small
equipage known about these premises; the intent and understanding being,
that henceforth the pony carriage and pony are Daisy's sole property,
and to be by her used and appropriated without any other person's
interference whatever."

"But, papa--" Ransom began.

"I think it is a very poor arrangement, Mr. Randolph," said Ransom's
mother. "Daisy cannot use the pony half enough for his good."

"She will make more use of him now," said Mr. Randolph.

Ransom looked very glum. His mother rose, with the ladies, and went to
the drawing-room.



CHAPTER VII.


A day or two after the birthday, it happened that Capt. Drummond was
enjoying the sunshine in a way that gentlemen like to enjoy it; that is,
he was stretched comfortably on the grass under the shade of some elm
trees, looking at it. Perhaps it was not exactly the sunshine that he
was enjoying, but the soft couch of short grass, and the luxurious warm
shadow of the elms, and a little fanciful breeze which played and
stopped playing, and set the elm trees all a flutter and let them be
still, by turns. But Capt. Drummond was having a good time there, all by
himself, and lying at length in a most lazy luxurious fashion; when he
suddenly was "ware" of a fold of white drapery somewhere not very far
from his left ear. He raised himself a little up, and there to be sure,
as he had guessed, was Daisy. She was all alone too, and standing there
looking at him.

Now Capt. Drummond was a great favourite of Daisy's. In the first place
he was a handsome fellow, with a face which was both gentle and manly;
and his curly light-brown hair and his slight well-trimmed moustache set
off features that were pleasant for man or woman to look upon. Perhaps
Daisy liked him partly for this, but I think she had other reasons. At
any rate, there she stood looking at him.

"Can you command me, Daisy?" said the young officer.

"Are you at leisure, Capt. Drummond?"

"Looks like it!" said the gentleman rousing himself. "What shall I give
you? a camp-chair? or will you take the--O! that is a better
arrangement."

For Daisy had thrown on the ground a soft shawl for a carpet, and took
her place upon it beside Capt. Drummond, who looked at her in a pleased
kind of way.

"Are you quite at leisure, Capt. Drummond?"

"Gentlemen always are--when ladies' affairs are to be attended to."

"Are they?" said Daisy.

"They ought to be!"

"But I am not a lady."

"What do you call yourself?"

"I don't know," said Daisy gravely. "I suppose I am a little piece of
one."

"Is that it?" said Capt. Drummond laughing. "Well, I will give you as
large a piece of my leisure as you can make use of--without regard to
proportions. What is on hand, Daisy?"

"Capt. Drummond," said Daisy with a very serious face,--"do soldiers
have a very hard time?"

"Not always. Not when they are lying out under the trees at Melbourne,
for example."

"But I mean, when they are acting like soldiers?"

He was ready with a laughing answer again, but seeing how earnest
Daisy's face was, he controlled himself; and leaning on his elbow, with
just a little smile of amusement on his face, he answered her.

"Well, Daisy--sometimes--they do."

"How, Capt. Drummond?"

"In a variety of ways."

"Will you please tell me about it?"

He looked up at her. "Why, Daisy, what makes you curious in the matter?
Have you a friend in the army?"

"No other but you," said Daisy.

"That is a kind speech. To reward you for it, I will tell you anything
you please. What is the question, Daisy?"

"I would like to know in what way soldiers have a hard time?"

"Well, Daisy, to begin, with, a soldier can't do what he has a mind."

"Not about anything?"

"Well--no; not unless he gets leave. I am only at Melbourne now because
I have got leave; and I must go when my leave is up. A soldier does not
belong to himself."

"To whom does he belong?'

"To his commander! He must go and come, do or not do things, just as his
General bids him; and ask no questions."

"Ask no questions?" said Daisy.

"No; only do what he is ordered."

"But why mayn't he ask questions?"

"That isn't his business. He has nothing to do with the reason of
things; all he has got to do is his duty. The _reason_ is his General's
duty to look after."

"But suppose he had a very good General--then that wouldn't be much of a
hardship," said Daisy.

"Well, that is a very material point," said the Captain. "_Suppose_ he
has a good General--as you say; that would make a great difference,
certainly."

"Is that all, Capt. Drummond?"

"Not quite all."

"What else?"

"Well, Daisy, a soldier, even under a good General, is often ordered to
do hard things."

"What sort of things?"

"What do you think," said the Captain lolling comfortably on the green
bank, "of camping out under the rain-clouds--with no bed but stones or
puddles of mud and wet leaves--and rain pouring down all night, and hard
work all day; and no better accommodations for week in and week out?"

"But Capt. Drummond!" said Daisy horrified, "I thought soldiers had
tents?"

"So they do--in fine weather--" said the Captain. "But just where the
hardest work is to do, is where they can't carry their tents."

"Couldn't that be prevented?"

"I'm afraid not."

"I should think they'd get sick?"

"_Think_ they would! Why they do, Daisy, by hundreds and hundreds. What
then? A soldier's life isn't his own; and if he has to give it up in a
hospital instead of on the field, why it's good for some other fellow."

So this it was, not to belong to oneself! Daisy looked on the soldier
before her who had run, or would run, such risks, very tenderly; but
nevertheless the child was thinking her own thoughts all the while. The
Captain saw both things.

"What is the 'hard work' they have to do?" she asked presently.

"Daisy, you wouldn't like to see it."

"Why, sir?"

"Poor fellows digging and making walls of sand or sods to shelter them
from fire--when every now and then comes a shot from the enemy's
batteries, ploughs up their work, and knocks over some poor rascal who
never gets up again. That's one kind of hard work."

Daisy's face was intent in its interest; but she only said, "Please go
on."

"Do you like to hear it?"

"Yes, I like to know about it."

"I wonder what Mrs. Randolph would say to me?"

"Please go on, Capt. Drummond!"

"I don't know about that. However, Daisy, work in the trenches is not
the hardest thing--nor living wet through or frozen half through--nor
going half fed--About the hardest thing I know, is in a hurried retreat
to be obliged to leave sick and wounded friends and poor fellows to fall
into the hands of the enemy. That's hard."

"Isn't it hard to fight a battle?"

"You would not like to march up to the fire of the enemy's guns, and see
your friends falling right and left of you--struck down?"

"Would you?" said Daisy.

"Would I what?"

"Don't _you_ think it is hard, to do that?"

"Not just at the time, Daisy. It is a little tough afterwards, when one
comes to think about it. It is hard to see fellows suffer too, that one
cannot help."

Daisy hardly knew what to think of Capt. Drummond. His handsome pleasant
face looked not less gentle than usual, and _did_ look somewhat more
sober. Daisy concluded it must be something about a soldier's life that
she could not understand, all this coolness with which he spoke of
dreadful things. A deep sigh was the testimony of the different feelings
of her little breast. Capt. Drummond looked up at her.

"Daisy, women are not called to be soldiers."

Daisy passed that.

"Have you told me all you can tell me, Capt. Drummond?"

"I should not like to tell you all I could tell you."

"Why? Please do! I want to know all about soldiers."

He looked curiously at her. "After all," he said, "it is not so bad as
you think, Daisy. A good soldier does not find it hard to obey orders."

"What sorts of orders does he have to obey?"

"All sorts."

"But suppose they were wrong orders?"

"Makes no difference."

"_Wrong_ orders?"

"Yes," said Capt. Drummond, laughing. "If it is something he can do, he
does it; if it is something he can't do, he loses his head trying."

"Loses his head, sir?"

"Yes--by a cannon ball; or his heart, by a musket ball; or maybe he gets
off with losing a hand or a leg; just as it happens. That makes no
difference, either." He watched Daisy as he spoke, seeing a slight
colour rise in her cheeks, and wondering what made the-child's quiet
grey eyes look at him so thoughtfully.

[Illustration: A SOLDIER.]

"Capt. Drummond, is he ever told to do anything he _can't_ do?"

"A few years ago, Daisy, the English and the French were fighting the
Russians in the Crimea. I happened to be there on business, and I saw
some things. An order was brought one day to an officer commanding a
body of cavalry--you know what cavalry is?"

"Yes, I know."

"The order was brought in--Hallo! what's that?"

For a voice was heard shouting at a little distance, "Drummond!--Ho,
Drummond! Where are you?"

"It's Mr. McFarlane!" said Daisy. "He'll come here. I'm very sorry."

"Don't be sorry," said the Captain. "Come,--let us disappoint him. He
can't play hide and seek."

He jumped up and caught Daisy's willing hand, with the other hand caught
up her shawl, and drew her along swiftly under cover of the trees and
shrubbery towards the river, and away from the voice they heard calling.
Daisy half ran, half flew, it seemed to her; so fast the strong hand of
her friend pulled her over the ground. At the edge of the bank that
faced the river, at the top of a very steep descent of a hundred feet or
near that, under a thick shelter of trees, Capt. Drummond called a halt
and stood listening. Far off, faint in the distance, they could still
hear the shout.

"Drummond!--where are you? Hallo!"

"We'll go down to the river," said the Captain; "and he is too lazy to
look for us there. We shall be safe. Daisy, this is a retreat--but it is
not a hardship, is it?"

Daisy looked up delighted. The little face so soberly thoughtful a few
minutes ago was all bright and flushed. The Captain was charmed too.

"But we can't get down there,"--said Daisy, casting her eye down the
very steep pitch of the bank.

"That is something," said the Captain, "with which as a soldier you have
nothing to do. All you have to do is to obey orders; and the orders are
that we charge down hill."

"I shall go head first, then," said Daisy, "or over and over. I couldn't
keep my feet one minute."

"Now you are arguing," said the Captain; "and that shews
insubordination, or want of discipline. But we have got to charge, all
the same; and we'll see about putting you under arrest afterwards."

Daisy laughed at him, but she could not conceive how they should get to
the bottom. It was very steep and strewn with dead leaves from the trees
which grew thick all the way. Rolling down was out of the question, for
the stems of the trees would catch them; and to keep on their feet
seemed impossible. Daisy found however that Capt. Drummond could manage
what she could not. He took hold of her hand again; and then--Daisy
hardly believed it while she was doing it,--but there she was, going
down that bank in an upright position; not falling nor stumbling, though
it is true she was not walking neither. The Captain did not let her
fall, and his strong hand seemed to take her like a feather over the
stones and among the trees, giving her flying leaps and bounds down, the
hill along with him. How _he_ went and kept his feet remained always a
marvel to Daisy; but down they went, and at the bottom they were in a
trifle of time.

"Do you think he will come down there after us?" said the Captain.

"I am sure he won't," said Daisy.

"So am I sure. We are safe, Daisy. Now I am your prisoner and you are my
prisoner; and we will set each other at any work we please. This is a
nice place."

Behind them, was the high, steep, wooded bank, rising right up. Before
them was a little strip of pebbly beach, and little wavelets of the
river washing past it. Beyond lay the broad stream, all bright in the
summer sunshine, with the great blue hills rising up misty and blue in
the distance. Nothing else; a little curve in the shore on each side
shut them in from all that was above or below near at hand.

"Why this is a fine place," repeated the Captain. "Were you ever here
before?"

"Not in a long time," said Daisy. "I have been here with June."

"June! Aren't we here with June now?"

"_Now_!--O I don't mean the month--I mean mamma's black June," said
Daisy laughing.

"Well that is the first time I ever heard of a black June!" muttered the
Captain. "Does she resemble her name or her colour?"

"She isn't much like the month of June," said Daisy. "I don't think she
is a very cheerful person."

"Then I wouldn't come here any more with her--or anywhere else."

"I don't," said Daisy. "I don't go with her, or with anybody else--much.
Only I go with Sam and the pony."

"Where's Ransom? Don't he go with you?"

"O Ransom's older, you know; and he's a boy."

"Ransom don't know his advantages. This is pleasant, Daisy. Now let us
see. What were you and I about?"

"You were telling me something, Capt. Drummond."

"What was it? O I know. Daisy, you are under arrest, you know, and
sentenced to extra duty. The work you are to perform, is to gather as
many of these little pebbles together--these white ones--as you can in
five minutes."

Daisy went to work; so did the Captain; and very busy they were, for the
Captain gathered as many pebbles as she did. He made her fetch them to a
place where the little beach was clean and smooth, and in the shadow of
an overhanging tree they both sat down. Then the Captain throwing off
his cap, began arranging the white pebbles on the sand in some
mysterious manner--lines of them hero and lines of them there--whistling
as he worked. Daisy waited with curious patience; watched him closely,
but never asked what he was doing. At last he stopped, looked up at her,
and smiled.

"Well!--" he said.

"What is it all, Capt. Drummond?"

"This is your story, Daisy."

"My story!"

"Yes. Look here--these rows of white stones are the Russians;--these
brown stones are the English," said he, beginning to marshal another set
into mysterious order some distance from the white stones. "Now what
shall I do for some guns?"

Daisy in a very great state of delight began to make search for
something that would do to stand for artillery; but Capt. Drummond
presently solved the question by breaking some twigs from the tree
overhead and cutting them up into inch lengths. These little mock guns
he distributed liberally among the white stones, pointing their muzzles
in various directions; and finally drew some lines in the sand which he
informed Daisy were fortifications. Daisy looked on; it was better than
a fairy tale.

"Now Daisy, we are ready for action. This is the battle of Balaklava;
and these are part of the lines. An order was brought to an officer
commanding a body of cavalry stationed up here--you know what cavalry
is?"

"Yes, I know."

"The order was brought to him to charge upon the enemy down _there_,--in
a place where he could do no good and must be cut to pieces;--the enemy
had so many guns in that place and he had so few men to attack them
with. The order was a mistake. He knew it was a mistake, but his General
had sent it--there was nothing for him to do but to obey. So he
charged."

"And his men?"

"Every one. They knew they were going to their death--and everybody else
knew it that saw them go--but they charged!"

"Did you see it, Capt. Drummond?"

"I saw it."

"And did they go to their death?" said Daisy, awe-stricken, for Captain
Drummond's look said that he was thinking of something it had been grave
to see.

"Why yes. Look here, Daisy--here were cannon; there were cannon; there
were more cannon; cannon on every side of them but one. They went into
death they knew, when they went in there."

"How many of them went there?"

"Six hundred."

"Six hundred!--were they _all_ killed?"

"No. There were a part of them that escaped and lived to come back."

Daisy looked at the pebbles and the guns in profound silence.

"But if the officer knew the order was a mistake, why must he obey it?"

"That's a soldier's duty, Daisy. He can do nothing but follow orders. A
soldier can't know, very often, what an order is given for; he cannot
judge; he does not know what his General means to accomplish. All he has
to think of is to obey orders; and if every soldier does that, all is
right."

What was little Daisy thinking of? She sat looking at her friend the
Captain. He was amused.

"Well, Daisy--what do you think? will it do? Do you think you will stand
it and be a soldier?"

Daisy hesitated a good deal, and looked off and on at the Captain's
face. Then she said very quietly, "Yes."

"You will!" he said. "I wish you would join my branch of the service.
Suppose you come into my company?"

"Suppose you join mine?"

"With all my heart!" said the Captain laughing; "if it is not
inconsistent with my present duties. So you have enlisted already? Are
you authorized to receive recruits?"

Daisy shook her head and did not join in his laugh.

"Honestly, Daisy, tell me true; what did you want to know about soldiers
for? I have answered you; now answer me. I am curious."

Daisy did not answer, and seemed in doubt.

"Will you not honour me so far?"

Daisy hesitated still, and looked at the Captain more than once. But
Capt. Drummond was a great favourite, and had earned her favour partly
by never talking nonsense to her; a great distinction.

"I will tell you when we get back to the house," she said,--"if you will
not speak of it, Capt. Drummond."

The Captain could get no nearer his point; and he and Daisy spent a good
while longer by the river-side, erecting fortifications and studying the
charge of the Light brigade.



CHAPTER VIII.


The Captain was not able to claim Daisy's promise immediately. On their
return to the house he was at once taken up with some of the older
people, and Daisy ran off to her long delayed dinner.

The next day in the course of her wanderings about the grounds, which
were universal, Daisy came upon her cousin Preston. He sat in the shade
of a clump of larches under a great oak, making flies for fishing; which
occupation, like a gentlemanly boy as he was, he had carried out there
where the litter of it would be in nobody's way. Preston Gary was a very
fine fellow; about sixteen, a handsome fellow, very spirited, very
clever, and very gentle and kind to his little cousin Daisy. Daisy liked
him much, and was more entirely free with him perhaps than with any
other person in the family. Her seeing him now was the signal for a
joyous skip and bound which brought her to his side.

"O Preston, are you going fishing?"

"Perhaps--if I have a good day for it."

"When?"

"To-morrow."

"Who's going with you?"

"Nobody, I reckon. Unless you want to go, Daisy."

"O Preston, may I go with you? Where are you going?"

"Daisy, I'm bound for the Hillsdale woods, back of Crum Elbow--they say
there are first-rate trout streams there; but I am afraid you can't go
so far."

"O I can go anywhere, Preston! with Loupe, you know. You're going to
ride, aren't you?"

"Yes, but Loupe! What shall we do with Loupe? You see, I shall be gone
the whole day, Daisy--it's likely. You'd get tired."

"Why we could find somewhere to put Loupe--Sam could take care of him.
And I should like to go, Preston, if you think I would not frighten the
fish."

"O if Sam's going along, that is another matter," said Preston. "_You_
frighten the fish, Daisy! I don't believe you can do that for anything.
But I won't let you get into mischief."

So it was settled, and Daisy's face looked delighted; and for some time
she and Preston discussed the plan, the fish, and his flies. Then
suddenly Daisy introduced another subject.

"Preston, where is the Crimea?"

"The Crimea!" said Preston.

"Yes; where the English and the French were fighting with the Russians."

"The Crimea! Why Daisy, don't you know where it is? You'll find it in
the Black Sea somewhere."

Daisy hesitated.

"But Preston, I don't know where the Black Sea is."

"Why Daisy, what has become of your geography?"

"I never had much," said Daisy humbly, and looking serious;--"and lately
mamma hasn't wanted me to do anything but run about."

"Well, if you take the map of Europe, and set out from the north of
Russia and walk down, you'll find yourself in the Crimea after a while.
Just hold that, Daisy, will you?"

Daisy held the ends of silk he put in her fingers; but while he worked,
she thought. Might it not be possible that a good knowledge of geography
might have something to do with the use or the improvement of her
_talents_? And if a knowledge of geography, why not also a knowledge of
history, and of arithmetic,--and of everything! There could not be a
reasonable doubt of it. What would Preston be,--what would Mr. Dinwiddie
or Capt. Drummond be,--if they knew nothing? And by the same reasoning,
what would Daisy Randolph be? What could she do with her talents, if she
let them lie rusty with ignorance? Now this was a very serious thought
to Daisy, because she did not like study. She liked knowledge right
well, if she could get it without trouble, and if it was entertaining
knowledge; but she did not think geography at all entertaining, nor
arithmetic. Yet--Daisy forgot all about Preston's artificial flies, and
her face grew into a depth of sobriety.

"Preston--" she began slowly,--"is it hard?"

"Not just that," said Preston, busy in finishing a piece of work,--"it
is a little ticklish to stroke this into order--but it isn't hard, if
you have the right materials, and know how."

"O no--I don't mean flies--I mean geography."

"Geography!" said Preston. "O you are at the Crimea yet, are you? I'll
shew it to you, Daisy, when we go in."

"Preston, is the use of geography only to know where places are?"

"Well, that's pretty convenient," said Preston. "Daisy, just look for
that bunch of grey silk--I had it here a minute ago."

"But Preston, tell me what _is_ the use of it?"

"Why, my dear little Daisy--thank you!--you'd be all abroad without it."

"All abroad!" exclaimed Daisy.

"It comes to about that, I reckon. You wouldn't understand anything. How
can you? Suppose I shew you my pictures of the North American
Indians--they'll be as good as Chinese to you, if you don't know
geography."

Daisy was silent, feeling puzzled.

"And," said Preston, binding his fly, "when you talk of the Crimea you
will not know whether the English came from the east or the west, nor
whether the Russians are not living under the equator and eating ripe
oranges."

"Don't they eat oranges?" said Daisy seriously. But that question set
Preston off into a burst of laughter, for which he atoned as soon as it
was over by a very gentle kiss to his little cousin.

"Never mind, Daisy," he said; "I think you are better without geography.
You aren't just like everybody else--that's a fact."

"Daisy," said Capt. Drummond, coming upon the scene, "do you allow such
things?"

"It is Preston's manner of asking my pardon, Capt. Drummond," Daisy
answered, looking a little troubled, but in her slow, womanly way. The
Captain could not help laughing in his turn.

"What offence has he been guilty of?--tell me, and I will make him ask
pardon in another manner. But Daisy, do you reckon such a liberty no
offence?"

"Not if I am willing he should take it," said Daisy. The Captain seemed
much amused.

"My dear little lady!" he said, "it is good for me you are not half a
score of years wiser. What were you talking about the Crimea?--I heard
the word as I came up."

"I asked Preston to shew it to me on the map--or he said he would."

"Come with me and I'll do it. You shouldn't ask anybody but me about the
Crimea."

So getting hold affectionately of Daisy's hand, he and she went off to
the house. No one was in the library. The Captain opened a large map of
Russia; Daisy got up in a chair, with her elbows on the great library
table, and leaned over it, while the Captain drew up another chair and
pointed out the Crimea and Sebastopol, and shewed the course by which
the English ships had come, for Daisy took care to ask that. Then,
finding so earnest a listener, he went on to describe to her the
situation of other places on the Peninsula, and the character of the
country, and the severities of the climate in the region of the great
struggle. Daisy listened, with her eyes varying between Capt. Drummond's
face and the map. The Black Sea became known to Daisy thence and
forever.

"I never thought geography was so interesting!" she remarked with a
sigh, as the Captain paused. He smiled.

"Now Daisy, you have something to tell me," he said.

"What?" said Daisy, looking up suddenly.

"Why you wanted to know about soldiers--don't you remember your
promise?"

The child's face all changed; her busy, eager, animated look, became on
the instant thoughtful and still. Yet changed, as the Captain saw with
some curiosity, not to lesser but to greater intentness.

"Well, Daisy?"

"Capt. Drummond, if I tell you, I do not wish it talked about."

"Certainly not!" he said suppressing a smile, and watched her while she
got down from her chair and looked about among the bookshelves.

"Will you please put this on the table for me?" she said--"I can't lift
it."

"A Bible!" said the Captain to himself. "This is growing serious." But
he carried the great quarto silently and placed it on the table. It was
a very large volume, full of magnificent engravings, which were the sole
cause and explanation of its finding a place in Mr. Randolph's library.
He put it on the table and watched Daisy curiously, who disregarding all
the pictures turned over the leaves hurriedly, till near the end of the
book; then stopped, put her little finger under some words, and turned
to him. The Captain looked and read--over the little finger--

"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

It gave the Captain a very odd feeling. He stopped and read it two or
three times over.

"But Daisy!"--he said.

"What, Capt. Drummond?"

"What has this to do with what we were talking about?"

"Would you please shut this up and put it away, first?"

The Captain obeyed, and as he turned from the bookshelves Daisy took his
hand again, and drew him, child-fashion, out of the house and through
the shrubbery. He let her alone till she had brought him to a shady
spot, where under the thick growth of magnificent trees a rustic seat
stood, in full view of the distant mountains and the river.

"Where is my answer, Daisy?" he said, as she let go his hand and seated
herself.

"What was your question, Capt. Drummond?"

"Now you are playing hide and seek with me. What have those words you
shewed me,--what have they to do with our yesterday's conversation?"

"I would like to know," said Daisy slowly, "what it means, to be a good
soldier?"

"Why?"

"I think I have told you," she said.

She said it with the most unmoved simplicity. The Captain could not
imagine what made him feel uncomfortable. He whistled.

"Daisy, you are incomprehensible!" he exclaimed, and catching hold of
her hand, he began a race down towards the river. Such a race as they
had taken the day before. Through shade and through sun, down grassy
steeps and up again, flying among the trees as if some one were after
them, the Captain ran; and Daisy was pulled along with him. At the edge
of the woods which crowned the river bank, he stopped and looked at
Daisy who was all flushed and sparkling with exertion and merriment.

"Sit down there!" said he, putting her on the bank and throwing himself
beside her. "Now you look as you ought to look!"

"I don't think mamma would think so," said Daisy panting and laughing.

"Yes, she would. Now tell me--do you call yourself a soldier?"

"I don't know whether there can be such little soldiers," said Daisy.
"If there can be, I am."

"And what fighting do you expect to do, little one?"

"I don't know," said Daisy. "Not very well."

"What enemies are you going to face?"

But Daisy only looked rather hard at the Captain and made him no answer.

"Do you expect to emulate the charge of the Light Brigade, in some tilt
against fancied wrong?"

Daisy looked at her friend; she did not quite understand him, but his
last words were intelligible.

"I don't know," she said meekly. "But if I do it will not be because the
order is a _mistake_, Capt. Drummond."

The Captain bit his lip. "Daisy," said he, "are you the only soldier in
the family?"

Daisy sat still, looking up over the sunny slopes of ground towards the
house.

The sunbeams shewed it bright and stately on the higher ground; they
poured over a rich luxuriant spread of greensward and trees, highly
kept; stately and fair; and Daisy could not help remembering that in all
that domain, so far as she knew, there was not a thought in any heart of
being the sort of soldier she wished to be. She got up from the ground
and smoothed her dress down.

"Capt. Drummond," she said with a grave dignity that was at the same
time perfectly childish too,--"I have told you about myself--I can't
tell you about other people."

"Daisy, you are not angry with me!"

"No sir."

"Don't you sometimes permit other people to ask your pardon in Preston
Gary's way?"

Daisy was about to give a quiet negative to this proposal, when
perceiving more mischief in the Captain's face than might be manageable,
she pulled away her hand from him, and dashed off like a deer. The
Captain was wiser than to follow.

[Illustration: MELBOURNE HOUSE.]

Later in the day, which turned out a very warm one, he and Gary
McFarlane went down again to the edge of the bank, hoping to get if they
could a taste of the river breeze. Lying there stretched out under the
trees, after a little while they heard voices. The voices were down on
the shore. Gary moved his position to look.

"It's that child--what under the sun is she doing! I beg pardon for
naming anything warm just now, Drummond--but she is building
fortifications of some sort, down there."

Capt. Drummond came forward too. Down below them, a little to the right,
where a tiny bend in the shore made a spot of shade, Daisy was
crouching on the ground apparently very busy. Back of her a few paces
was her dark attendant, June.

"There's energy," said Gary. "What a nice thing it is to be a child and
play in the sand!"

The talk down on the shore went on; June's voice could scarcely be
heard, but Daisy's words were clear--"Do, June! Please try." Another
murmur from June, and then Daisy--"Try, June--do, please!" The little
voice was soft, but its utterances were distinct; the words could be
heard quite plainly. And Daisy sat back from her sand-work, and June
began to sing something. _What_, it would have been difficult to tell at
the top of the bank, but then Daisy's voice struck in. With no knowledge
that she had listeners, the notes came mounting up to the top of the
bank, clear, joyous and strong, with a sweet power that nobody knew
Daisy's voice had.

"Upon my word, that's pretty!" said the Captain.

"A pretty thing, too, faith," said Gary. "Captain, let's get nearer the
performers. Look out, now, and don't strike to windward."

They went, like hunters, softly down the bank, keeping under
shelter, and winding round so as to get near before they should be seen.
They succeeded. Daisy was intent upon her sand-work again, and June's
back was towards them. The song went on more softly; then in a chorus
Daisy's voice rang out again, and the words were plain.

  "Die in the field of battle,
   Die in the field of battle,
   Die in the field of battle,
     Glory in your view."

"Spirited!" whispered Gary.

"I almost think it is a Swedish war song," said the Captain. "I am not
sure."

"Miss Daisy!"--said June--"the gentlemen--"

Daisy started up. The intruders came near. On the ground beside her lay
an open map of Europe; in the sand before her she had drawn the same
outlines on a larger scale. The shore generally was rough and pebbly;
just in this little cove there was a space of very fine sand, left
wetted and adhesive by the last tide. Here the battle of Inkermann had
been fought, and here Daisy's geography was going on. Capt. Drummond,
who alone had the clue to all this, sat down on a convenient stone to
examine the work. The lines were pretty fairly drawn, and Daisy had gone
on to excavate to some depth the whole area of the Mediterranean and
Black Seas, and the region of the Atlantic to some extent; with the
course of the larger rivers deeply indented.

"What is all this gouging for, Daisy?" he said. "You want water here
now, to fill up."

"I thought when the tide came, Capt. Drummond, I could let it flow in
here, and see how it would look."

"It's a poor rule that don't work both ways," said the Captain. "I
always heard that 'time and tide wait for no man;' and we won't wait for
the tide. Here Gary--make yourself useful--fetch some water here; enough
to fill two seas and a portion of the Atlantic Ocean."

"What shall I bring it in, if you please?"

"Anything!--your hands, or your hat, man. Do impossibilities for once.
It is easy to see you are not a soldier."

"The fates preserve me from being a soldier under you!" said Gary--"if
that's your idea of military duty. What are _you_ going to do while I
play Neptune in a bucket?"

"I am going to build cities and raise up mountains. Daisy, suppose we
lay in a supply of these little white stones, and some black ones----"

While this was done, and Daisy looked delighted, Mr. McFarlane seized
upon a tin dipper which June had brought, and filled it at the river.
Capt. Drummond carefully poured out the water into the Mediterranean,
and opened a channel through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, which were
very full of sand, into the Black Sea. Then he sent Gary off again for
more, and began placing the pebbles.

"What is that for, Capt. Drummond?" asked Daisy.

"These are the Alps--white, as they should be, for the snow always lies
on them."

"Is it so cold there?"

"No,--but the mountains are so high. Their tops are always cold, but
flowers grow down in the valleys. These are very great mountains,
Daisy."

"And what are those black ones, Capt. Drummond?"

"This range is the Pyrenees--between France and Spain;--they are great
too, and beautiful. And here go the Carpathians--and here the Ural
mountains,--and these must stand for the Apennines."

"Are they beautiful too?"

"I suppose so--but I can't say, never having been there. Now what shall
we do for the cities? As they are centres of wealth, I think a
three-cent piece must mark them. Hand over, Gary; I have not thrips
enough. There is St. Petersburg--here is Constantinople--here is
Rome--now here is Paris. Hallo! we've no England! can't leave London
out. Give me that spoon, Daisy--" and the Captain, as he expressed it,
went to work in the trenches. England was duly marked out, the channel
filled, and a bit of silver planted for the metropolis of the world.

"Upon my word!" said Gary,--"I never knew geography before. I shall
carry away some ideas."

"Keep all you can get," said the Captain. "Now there's Europe."

"And here were the battles,"--said Daisy, touching the little spot of
wet sand which stood for the Crimea.

"_The_ battles!" said Gary. "What battles?"

"Why, where the English and French fought the Russians."

"_The_ battles! Shades of all the heroes! Why Daisy, Europe has done
nothing but fight for a hundred thousand years. There isn't a half inch
of it that hasn't had a battle. See, _there_ was one,--and there was
another--tremendous;--and there,--and there,--and there,--and
there,--and all over! This little strip here that is getting swallowed
up in the Mediterranean--there has been blood enough shed on it to make
it red from one end to the other, a foot deep. That's because it has had
so many great men belonging to it."

Daisy looked at Capt. Drummond.

"It's pretty much so, Daisy," he said; "all over the south of Europe, at
any rate."

"Why over the south and not the north?"

"People in the north haven't anything to fight for," said Gary. "Nobody
wants a possession of ice and snow--more than will cool his butter."

"A good deal so, Daisy," said Capt. Drummond, taking the silent appeal
of her eyes.

"Besides," continued Gary, "great men don't grow in the north. Daisy, I
want to know which is the battle-field _you_ are going to die on."

Daisy sat back from the map of Europe and looked at Gary with
unqualified amazement.

"Well?" said Gary. "I mean it."

"I don't know what you mean."

"I hear you are going to die on the field of battle--and I want to be
there that I may throw myself after you, as Douglas did after the
Bruce's locket; saying 'Go thou first, brave heart, as thou art wont,
and I will follow thee!'"

"Daisy," said the Captain, "you were singing a battle-song as we came
down the hill--that is what he means."

"Oh!--" said Daisy, her face changing from its amazed look. But her
colour rose too a little.

"What was it?"

"That?" said Daisy. "O that was a hymn."

"A hymn!" shouted Gary. "Good! A hymn! That's glorious! Where did you
get it, Daisy? Have you got a collection of Swedish war-songs? _They_
used to sing and fight together, I am told. They are the only people I
ever heard of that did--except North American Indians. Where did you get
it?"

"I got it from June."

"June! what, by inspiration? June is a fine month, I know--for
strawberries--but I had no idea----"

"No, no," said Daisy, half laughing,--"I mean my June--there she is; I
got it from her."

"Hollo!" cried Gary. "Come here, my good woman--Powers of Darkness! Is
your name June?"

"Yes sir, if you please," the woman said, in her low voice, dropping a
courtesy.

"Well, nobody offers more attractions--in a name," said Gary;--"I'll say
that for you. Where did you get that song your little mistress was
singing when we came down the hill? Can you sing it?"

June's reply was unintelligible.

"Speak louder, my friend. _What_ did you say?"

June made an effort. "If you please, sir, I can't sing," she was
understood to say. "They sings it in camp meeting."

"In camp meeting!" said Gary. "I should think so! What's that! You see I
have never been there, and don't understand."

"If you please, sir--the gentleman knows"--June said, retreating
backwards as she spoke, and so fast that she soon got out of their
neighbourhood. The shrinking, gliding action accorded perfectly with the
smothered tones and subdued face of the woman.

"Don't _she_ know!" said Gary. "Isn't that a character now? But, Daisy,
are you turning Puritan?"

"I don't know what that is," said Daisy.

"Upon my word you look like it! It's a dreadful disease,
Daisy;--generally takes the form of--I declare I don't know!--fever, I
believe, and delirium; and singing is one of the symptoms."

"You don't want to stop her singing?" said Capt. Drummond.

"That sort? yes I do. It wouldn't be healthy, up at the house. Daisy,
sing that gipsy song from 'The Camp in Silesia,' that I heard you
singing a day or two ago."

"'The Camp in Silesia?'" said Capt. Drummond. "Daisy, can you sing
_that_?"

"Whistles it off like a gipsy herself," said Gary. "Daisy, sing it."

"I like the other best," said Daisy.

But neither teasing nor coaxing could make her sing again, either the
one or the other.



CHAPTER IX.


It was bright morning, the pony chaise at the door, and Daisy in it;
standing to arrange matters.

"Now, Daisy, have you got all in there? I don't believe it."

"Why don't you believe it?"

"How much will that concern hold?"

"A great deal more than you want. There's a big box under all the seat."

"What have you got in it?"

Daisy went off into a laugh, such a laugh of glee as did her father's
heart good. Mr. Randolph was standing in the doorway to see the
expedition set forward.

"What's the matter, Daisy?" he said.

"Papa, he don't think anybody is a person of forethought but himself."

It was Preston's turn to laugh, and Mr. Randolph joined him.

"Shews he don't know you, Daisy, as well as I do. When do you expect to
be home again?"

Mr. Randolph had come down to the side of the chaise and was looking
with a very pleased face at what was in it. Daisy said she supposed they
would stay till Preston had caught as many fish as he wanted.

"And won't you be tired before that?"

"O no, papa! I am going to fish too."

"I'll have all you catch, Daisy,--for my own eating!"

He bent his head down as he spoke, to kiss the little fisherwoman; but
Daisy, answering some unusual tenderness of face or manner, sprung up
and threw her arms round his neck, and only released him after a very
close pressure.

"She is in a fair way to be cured of her morbid seriousness"--Mr.
Randolph thought as he saw the cavalcade set forth; and well pleased he
went in to breakfast. Daisy and Preston had breakfasted already, before
the family; and now were off to the hills just as other people were
stirring sugar into cups of coffee.

Preston led the way on a fine bay of his uncle's; taking good gallops
now and then to ease his own and his horse's spirits, and returning to
go quietly for a space by the side of the pony-chaise. Loupe never went
into anything more exciting than his waddling trot; though Daisy made
him keep that up briskly.

"What a thing it is, to have such short legs!" said Preston, watching
the movements of the pony.

"_You_ go over the road without seeing it," said Daisy.

"I don't want to see it. What I want to see is Hillsdale."

"So do I; but I want to see _everything_."

Preston smiled, he could not help it, at the very happy and busy little
face and spirit down in the pony chaise.

"What do you see, Daisy, that you have not seen a hundred times before?"

"That makes no difference," said Daisy. "I have seen _you_ a hundred
times before."

Preston laughed, set spurs to his horse, and went off for another
gallop.

Daisy enjoyed her morning's drive. The light was clear and the air was
fresh; Preston gallopping before and Sana jogging on behind; everything
was fine! Then it was quite true that she liked to see everything; those
grey eyes of hers were extremely busy. All the work going on in the
fields had interest for her, and all the passers-by on the road. A
strange interest, often, for Daisy was very apt to be wondering whether
any of them knew and loved the name she loved best; wondering who among
all those rough-looking, unknown people, might be her fellow-servants.
And with that a thought which, if Mr. Randolph had known it, would have
checked his self-congratulations. He had not guessed what made the clasp
of Daisy's arms round his neck so close that morning.

Till they passed through Crum Elbow everything had been, as Preston
said, seen a hundred times before. A little way beyond that everything
became new. Mrs. Randolph's carriage never came that road. The country
grew more rough and broken, and the hills in their woody dress shewed
more and more near.

"Do you see that break in the woods?" said Preston, pointing with his
whip; "that is where the brook comes out,--that is where we are going."

"What time is it, Preston?"

"Time?--it is half past nine. What about it?"

"I'm hungry--that's all. I wanted to know what time it was."

"Hungry! O what a fisher you will make, Daisy! Can't stand fasting for
two hours and a half."

"No, but Preston, I didn't eat much breakfast. And I've had all this
ride since. I am going to stand fasting; but I am going to be hungry
too."

"No you aren't," said Preston. "Just let Loupe take you up to that
little gate, will you? I'll see if we can leave the horses here.
Sam!--take this fellow!"

Preston jumped down from the saddle and went into the house, to the
front yard of which the little gate opened. Daisy looked after him. It
was a yard full of grass and weeds, among which a few poppies and
hollyhocks and balsams grew straggling up where they could. Nothing kept
them out of the path but the foot-tread of the people that went over it;
hoe and rake were never known there Since the walk was first made. The
house was a little, low, red-front house, with one small window on each
side the door.

"All right!" said Preston, coming back. "Sam, take the horses round to
the barn; and bring the baskets out of the chaise-box and wait at this
gate for us."

"Why is he to wait? where are we going?"

"Going in to get some breakfast."

"_Here_, Preston?--O I can't."

"What's the matter?"

"I can't eat anything in there. I can wait."

"Why it looks clean," said Preston; "room and table and woman and
all."--But Daisy still shook her head and was not to be persuaded; and
Preston laughing went back to the house. But presently he came out again
bearing a tray in his hand, and brought it to Daisy. On the tray was
very nice looking brown and white bread, and milk and cheese and a
platter of strawberries. Preston got into the chaise and set the tray on
his knees. After him had come from the house a woman in a fly-away cap
and short-gown. She stood just inside the gate leaning her arms on it.
If she had not been there, perhaps Daisy would still have refused to
touch the food; but she was afraid of offending or hurting the woman's
feelings; so first she tried a strawberry, and found it of rare flavour;
for it was a wild one; then she broke a morsel of bread, and that was
excellent. Daisy discovered that breakfast in a pony chaise, out in the
air, was a very fine thing. So did Preston.

"So you're agoin' afishin'?" said the woman at the gate.

"Yes, ma'am," Preston said.

"And that little one too?"

"Certainly."

"I declare! I never see nobody so little and gauzy as was willin' to do
such indelicate work! But I shouldn't wonder, now, if she was to catch
some. Fishes--and all things--is curious creeturs, and goes by
contrairies."

"Hope they won't to-day!" said Preston, who was eating strawberries and
bread and milk at a great rate.

"Where's the rest of your party?" the woman went on.

"We're all here, ma'am," said Preston.

"Well, I see a horse there that haint nobody on top of him?"

"I was on top of him a little while ago," said Preston.

"Well, I expect that little creetur haint druv herself?"

"Drove the pony, anyhow," said Preston. "Now, ma'am, what do we owe you,
besides thanks, for your excellent hospitality?"

"I reckon you don't owe me much," said the woman, as Preston got out of
the chaise. "You can set the tray in there on the table, if you're a
mind to. We always calculate to set a good meal, and we're allowed to;
but we don't never calculate to live by it and we've no dispensary.
There's only my husband and me, and there's a plenty for more than us."

Preston had handed the tray to Sam to carry in, and as soon as he could
get a chance bade good morning, and went forward with Daisy. On foot now
they took their way to the woods, and presently plunged into them. It
was very pleasant under the deep shade, for the sun had grown warm, and
there was hardly air enough to flutter the leaves in the high branches.
But Daisy and Preston pushed on briskly, and soon the gurgle of the
brook gave its sweet sound to their ears. They followed up the stream
then, over stones and rocks, and crossing from side to side on trunks of
trees that had fallen across the water; till a part of the brook was
reached far enough back among the hills to be wild and lonely; where the
trout might be supposed to be having a good time.

"Now, Daisy," said Preston, "I think this will do. Can't have a better
place. I'll try and get you to work here."

"And now, how must I manage, Preston?" said Daisy anxiously.

"I'll shew you."

Daisy watched while Preston took out and put together the light rod
which she was to use, and fixed a fly for the bait.

"Do you see that little waterfall, Daisy?"

"Yes."

"And you see where the water curls round just under the fall?"

"Yes."

"That is where you must cast your fly. I should think there must be some
speckled fellows there. What glory, Daisy, if you should catch one!"

"Well, what must I do, Preston?"

"Throw your fly over, so that it may light just there, and then watch;
and if a fish jumps up and catches it, you pull your line away and catch
the fish."

"But I can't throw it from here? I must go nearer."

"No, you mustn't--you're near enough; stand just here. Try if you can't
throw your fly there. If you went nearer, you would frighten the fish.
They are just about as shy as if they were Daisies. Now I will go a
little further off and see what I can do. You'll catch the first fish!"

"No, I shall not," said Daisy, gravely.

She tried with a beating heart to throw her line; she tried very hard.
The first time it landed on the opposite side of the brook. The next
time it landed on a big stone this side of the waterfall. The third
trial fastened the hook firmly in Daisy's hat. In vain Daisy gently
sought to release it; she was obliged at last to ask help of Sam.

"That ar's no good, Miss Daisy," said Sam, as he got the fly out of its
difficulty.

"If I could only throw it in----" said Daisy. And this time with a very
great effort she did succeed in swinging the bait by a gentle motion to
the very spot. No statue was more motionless than Daisy then. She had
eyes and ears for nothing but the trout in the brook. Minutes went by.
The brook leaped and sang on its way the air brought the sweet odours of
mosses and ferns; the leaves flapped idly overhead; you could hear every
little sound. For there sat Daisy and there stood Sam, as still as the
stones. Time went by. At last a sigh came from Daisy's weary little
body, which she had not dared to move an inch for half an hour.

[Illustration: HILLSDALE.]

"Tain't no good, Miss Daisy," whispered Sam.

"I can't keep it still," said Daisy under her breath, as if the fishes
would hear and understand her.

"Suppos'n you try t'other bait, Miss Daisy."

"What bait?"

"O t'other kind, Miss Daisy. Will I put it on for you to try?"

Daisy sat awhile longer however, in silence and watching, until every
joint was weary and her patience too. Then she left the rod in Sam's
hands and went up to see what Preston was doing. He was some distance
higher up the stream. Slowly and carefully Daisy crept near, till she
could see his basket, and find out how much he had in it. That view
loosed her tongue.

"Not one yet, Preston!" she exclaimed.

"Not a bite," said Preston.

"I hadn't either."

"I don't believe that there are any fish," said Preston.

"O but Sam said he saw lots of them."

"Lots of them! It's the flies then. Sam!--Hollo, Sam!--Sam!--"

"Here, sir," said Sam, coming up the brook.

"Just find me some worms, will you?--and be spry. I can't get a bite."

Daisy sat down to look about her, while Preston drew in his line and
threw the fly away. It was a pretty place! The brook spread just there
into a round pool several feet across, deep and still; and above it the
great trees towered up as if they would hide the sun. Sam came presently
with the bait. Preston dressed his hook, and gave his line a swing, to
cast the bait into the pool; rather incautiously, seeing that the trees
stood so thick and so near. Accordingly the line lodged in the high
branches of an oak on the opposite side of the pool. Neither was there
any coaxing it down.

"What a pity!" said Daisy.

"Not at all," said Preston. "Here, Sam--just go up that tree and clear
the line--will you?"

Sam looked at the straight high stem of the oak, which had shot up high
before it put forth a single branch, and he did not like the job. His
slow motions said so.

"Come!" said Preston,--"be alive and do it quick, will you?"

"He can't--" said Daisy.

"Yes he can," said Preston. "If he can't he isn't worth his bread and
salt. That's it, Sam--hand over hand, and you'll be there directly."

Sam shewed what he _could_ do, if he did not like it; for he worked
himself up the tall tree like a monkey. It was not so large but he could
clasp it; so after a little rough work on his part and anxious watching
on Daisy's, he got to the branches. But now the line was caught in the
small forks at the leafy end of the branch. Sam lay out upon it as far
as he dared; he could not reach the line.

"O he'll fall!" cried Daisy softly. "O Preston, let him come down!--he
can't get it."

"He'll come to no harm," said Preston coolly. "A little further,
Sam--it's oak wood, it will hold you; a little further, and you will
have it--a little further!--"

And Daisy saw that Sam had gone too far. The bough swayed,--Sam made a
lunge after the line, lost his hold, and the next minute his dark body
was falling through the air and splashed into the pool. The water flew
all over the two fishers who stood by its side; Preston awe-struck for
the moment, Daisy white as death. But before either of them could speak
or move, Sam's head reappeared above water.

"O get him out! get him out, Preston!" was Daisy's distressed cry.
Preston spoke nothing, but he snatched a long stick that lay near and
held it out to Sam; and so in a few minutes drew him to the shore and
helped him out. Sam went to a little distance and stood dripping with
water from head to foot; he did not shake himself as a Newfoundland dog
would have done.

"Are you hurt, Sam?" said Preston.

"No, sir--" Sam answered, in a tone as if he felt very wet.

"Well, you've cleared the line for me at last," said Preston. "All's
well that ends well. Hollo!--here's my hook gone,--broken off, float and
all. Where's that basket, Sam?"

"It's below, sir."

"Below? where? just fetch it here, will you? _This_ misfortune can be
mended."

Sam moved off, dripping from every inch of him. "O Preston," said Daisy,
"he's all wet as he can be--do let him go right down to that house and
dry himself! We can get the basket."

"Do him good to move about," said Preston. "Nonsense, Daisy!--a ducking
like that won't do anybody any harm in a summer's day."

"I don't think _you'd_ like it," said Daisy; "and all his clothes are
full of water, and the sun don't come down here. Tell him to go and get
dry!"

"I will, as soon as I've done with him. Here, Sam--just bend on this
hook for me, while I see how the brook is further up. I've no time to
lose,--and then you can go sun yourself somewhere."

Preston bounded off; Sam stood with the tackle in hand, silently at
work. Daisy sat still on a stone near by, looking at him.

"Were you hurt, Sam?" she asked tenderly.

"No, Miss Daisy." This answer was not discontented but stoical.

"As soon as you have done that, Sam, run down to Mrs. Dipper's, and
maybe she can give you something dry to put on while your clothes can be
hung out."

Silence on Sam's part.

"Have you almost finished that?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Then run off, Sam! Make haste to Mrs. Dipper's and get yourself
dry--and don't come back till you are quite dry, Sam."

Sam finished his piece of work, flung down the line, and with a grateful
"Thank you, Miss Daisy!" set off at a bound. Daisy watched him running
at full speed down the brook till he was out of sight.

"Has he done it?" said Preston returning. "The rascal hasn't put any
bait on. However, Daisy, it's no use coaxing the trout in _this_ place
at present--and I haven't found any other good spots for some distance
up;--suppose we have our lunch and try again?"

"O yes!" said Daisy. "The other basket is down by my fishing-place--it's
just as pleasant there, Preston."

They went back to the basket, and a very convenient huge rock was found
on the edge of the brook, which would serve for table and seats too, it
was so large and smooth. Preston took his place upon it, and Daisy at
the other end with the basket began to unpack.

"Napkins?" said Preston--"you have no right to be so luxurious on a
fishing party."

"Why not?"

"Why because a fisher is a kind of a Spartan animal, while he is about
his business."

"What kind of an animal is that?" said Daisy, looking up from her
arrangements. She had set out a plate of delicate rolls, and another
with bread and butter folded in, a napkin; and still she paused with her
hand in the basket.

"Go on, Daisy. I want to see what comes next."

"I don't know," said Daisy. "Why, Joanna has made us a lemon pie!"

"Capital!" said Preston. "And what have you got in that dish?"

"I know," said Daisy. "Joanna has put in some jelly for me. What sort of
an animal is that, Preston?"

"It is a sort I shall not be to-day--with jelly and lemon pie. But what
has Joanna put in for me? nothing but bread?"

"Why there are sandwiches."

"Where?"

"Why there! Those rolls are stuffed with meat, Preston."

"Splendid!" said Preston, falling foul of the rolls immediately. "What
sort of an animal is a Spartan? My dear little Daisy, don't you know?"

"I don't believe I know anything," said Daisy humbly.

"Don't you want to?"

"O yes, Preston! if I had anybody to help me,--I do."

"Well--we'll see. How perfect these sandwiches are! when one's hungry."

"I am hungry too," said Daisy. "I think the sound of the water makes me
hungry. O I wish I had given Sam some!--I never thought of it. How
hungry he must be!"

"He'll get along," said Preston, helping himself to another roll.

"But how could I forget!" said Daisy. "And _he_ did not have a second
breakfast either. I am so sorry!" Daisy's hands fell from her own
dainties.

"There is nothing here fit for him," said Preston. "I dare say he has
his own pockets full."

"They were full of water, the last thing," said Daisy, quaintly.

Preston could not help laughing. "My dear Daisy," he said, "I hope you
are not getting soft-hearted on the subject of servants?"

"How, Preston?"

"Don't;--because it is foolish."

"But Preston," said Daisy, looking earnestly at his handsome pleasant
face which she liked very much,--"don't you know what the Bible says?"

"No."

It says, "The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of
them all."

"Well," said Preston, "that don't mean that he made them all alike."

"Then if they are not made alike, what is the difference?"

"Good gracious!" said Preston; "do you often ask such questions, Daisy?
I hope you are not going to turn out a Mrs. Child, or a philanthropist,
or anything of that sort?"

"I am not going to be a Mrs. Anybody," said Daisy; "but why don't you
answer me?"

"Where did you get hold of those words?"

"What words?"

"Those words that you quoted to me about rich and poor."

"I was reading them this morning."

"In what?"

"Why, in the Bible of course," said Daisy, with a little check upon her
manner.

"This morning! Before we started! How came you to be reading the Bible
so early in the morning?"

"I like to read it."

"Well, I'd take proper times for reading it," said Preston. "Who set you
to reading it at five o'clock in the morning?"

"Nobody. O Preston, it was a great deal after five o'clock. What are
proper times for reading it?"

"Are you going to cut that lemon pie?--or shall I? Daisy, I thought you
were hungry. What is the use of jelly, if you don't eat it? You'll never
catch fish at that rate. Fishers must eat."

"But Preston, what do you mean by proper times for reading the Bible?"

"Daisy, eat some lemon pie. It's capital. It melts in your mouth. Joanna
Underwood is an excellent woman!"

"But Preston, what do you mean?"

"I don't mean you shall be religious Daisy, if I can help it."

"What do you mean by being religious?"

"I declare!" said Preston, laughing at her grave little face, "I believe
you've begun already. I am come in good time. I won't let you be
anything but just what you ought to be, Daisy. Come--eat some jelly, or
some pie, or something."

"But tell me then, Preston!" Daisy persisted.

"It is something ridiculous,--and you would not wish to be ridiculous."

"I do not think I have ever seen ridiculous religious people," said
Daisy steadily; "and they couldn't be ridiculous _because_ they were
religious."

"Couldn't they?" said Preston. "Look out well, Daisy--I shall watch you.
But they won't like it much down at Melbourne House, Daisy. If I were
you, I would stop before you begin."

Daisy was silent. One thing was clear, she and Preston were at issue;
and the value she set upon his favour was very high. She would not risk
it by contending. Another thing was as clear, that Preston's last words
were truth. Among her opposers Daisy must reckon her father and mother,
if she laid herself open at all to the charge of being "religious." And
what opposition that would be, Daisy did not let herself think. She
shrunk from it. The lunch was finished, and she set her attention to
pack the remainder of the things back into the basket. Suddenly she
stopped.

"Preston, I wish you to consider my words confidential."

"Perfectly!" said Preston.

"You are honourable"--said Daisy.

"O Daisy, Daisy! you ought to have lived hundreds of years ago! You have
me under command. Come," said he, kissing her grave little face, "are
all these things to go in here? Let me help--and then we will go up
stream."

He helped her with a delicate kind of observance which was not like most
boys of sixteen, and which Daisy fully relished. It met her notions.
Then she went to get her fishing-rod which lay fallen into the water.

"O Preston!" she exclaimed, "there is something on it!--it's
heavy!--it's a fish!"

"It _is_ a fish!" repeated Preston, as a jerk of Daisy's line threw it
out high and dry on the shore--"and what's more, it's a splendid one.
Daisy, you've done it now!"

"And papa will have it for breakfast! Preston, put it in a pail of water
till we come back. There's that tin pail--we don't want it for
anything--won't you? O I have caught one!"

It was done; and Daisy and Preston set off on a charming walk up the
brook; but though they tried the virtue of their bait in various places,
however it was, that trout was the only one caught. Daisy thought it was
a fine day's fishing.

They found Sam, sound and dry, mounting guard over the tin pail when
they came back to it. And I think Daisy held to her own understanding of
the text that had been in debate; for there was a fine portion of lemon
pie, jelly and sandwiches, laid by for him in the basket, and by Sam
devoured with great appreciation.



CHAPTER X.


June came the next morning to dress her young mistress as usual. Daisy
was not soon done with that business on this particular day; she would
break off, half dressed, and go to lean out of her window. There was a
honeysuckle below the window; its dewy sweet smell came up to her, and
the breath of the morning was sweet beside in all the trees and leaves
around; the sun shone on the short turf by glimpses, where the trees
would let it. Daisy leaned out of her window. June stood as often
before, with comb and brush in hand.

"Miss Daisy--it's late."

"June," said Daisy,--"it's Sunday."

"Yes, ma'am."

"It'll be hot too," Daisy went on. "June, are you glad when Sunday
comes?"

"Yes ma'am," said June, shifting her position a little.

"I am," said Daisy. "Jesus is King to-day. To be sure, he is King
always; but to-day _everything_ is his."

"Miss Daisy, you won't be dressed."

Daisy drew her head in from the window and sat down to submit it to
June's brush; but she went on talking.

"What part of the Bible do you like best to read, June?"

"Miss Daisy, will you wear your white muslin, to-day--or the one with
blue spots?"

"White. But tell me, June--which part of the Bible do you like best?"

"I like where it tells about all they had to go through"--June answered,
rather unwillingly.

"They?--who?"

"The people, Miss Daisy--Christians, I s'pose."

"What did they have to go through?"

"Things, ma'am," said June very confusedly. "Miss Daisy, please don't
turn your head round."

"But what things? and what for? Where is it, June?"

"I can't tell--I can find it for you, Miss Daisy. But you won't be
ready."

June however had to risk that and find the chapter; and then Daisy read
perseveringly all through the rest of her dressing, till it was
finished. All the while June was fastening her frock, and tying her
sash, and lacing her boots, Daisy stood or sat with the Bible in her
hands and her eyes on the eleventh of Hebrews.

"June, I wonder when all this happened?"

"A great while ago, it's likely, Miss Daisy--but it's good to read
now"--June added but half distinctly, as it was her manner often to
speak. Daisy was accustomed to her, and heard it. She did not answer
except by breaking out into the chorus she had learnt from June--

  "'Die in the field of battle,
    Die in the field of battle,
    Die in the field of battle,
      Glory in your view!'"

"Miss Daisy--I wouldn't sing that in the house," June ventured. For the
child's voice, clear and full, raised the sweet notes to a pitch that
might have been heard at least through several of the large rooms. Daisy
hushed her song.

The trout was to be for breakfast, and Daisy when she was quite ready
went gaily down to see if it would be approved. Her father was engaged
to eat it all, and he held to his promise; only allowing Daisy herself
to share with him; and on the whole Daisy and he had a very gay
breakfast.

"It is too hot to do anything," said Mrs. Randolph, as the trout was
very nearly reduced to a skeleton. "I shall not go to church this
morning."

A shade passed over Daisy's face, but she did not look towards her
mother.

"If you do not, I can't see why I should," said Mr. Randolph. "The
burden of setting a good example lies upon you."

"Why?" said his wife quickly.

"Nobody will know whether I am there or not."

"Nobody will know that _I_ am there at any rate," the lady rejoined.
"The heat will be insufferable." Mrs. Gary declared herself of the same
opinion.

An hour after Daisy came into her mother's room.

"Mamma, may I go to church with Joanna?"

"It's too hot, Daisy."

"No, mamma--I don't mind it. I would like to go."

"Children don't mind anything! Please yourself. But how are you going?"

"On foot, mamma; under the shade of the trees. It is nice and shady, all
the way."

"It is enough to kill you! But go."

So Daisy's great flat set off alongside of Miss Underwood's Sunday gown
to walk to church. They set out all right, on the way to the church by
the evergreens. Preston Gary was a good deal surprised to find them some
time later in another part of the grounds and going in a different
direction.

"Where are you bound, Daisy?" he asked.

"To church, Preston."

"Church is the other way."

"Yes, but Mr. Pyne is sick and the church is closed, and we are going
over to that little church on the other side of the road."

"Why that is a dissenting chapel, isn't it?"

"There's no more dissent amongst 'em than there is among other folks!"
broke in Miss Underwood with a good deal of expression. "I wish all
other folks and churches was as peaceable and kept as close to their
business! Anyhow, it's a church, and the other one won't let us in."

Preston smiled and stepped back, and to Daisy's satisfaction they met
with no further stay. They got to the little church and took their
places in the very front; that place was empty, and Joanna said it was
the only one that she could see. The house was full. It was a plain
little church, very neat, but very plain compared with what Daisy was
accustomed to. So were the people. These were not rich people, not any
of them, she thought. At least there were no costly bonnets nor
exquisite lace shawls nor embroidered muslin dresses among them; and
many persons that she saw looked absolutely poor. Daisy however did not
see this at first; for the service began almost as soon as they entered.

Daisy was very fond of the prayers always in church, but she seldom
could make much of the sermon. It was not so to-day. In the first place,
when the prayers and hymns were over, and what Daisy called "the good
part" of the service was done, her astonishment and delight were about
equal to see Mr. Dinwiddie come forward to speak. It is impossible to
tell how glad Daisy was; even a sermon she thought she could relish from
his lips; but when he began, she forgot all about it's being a sermon.
Mr. Dinwiddie was talking to her and to the rest of the people; that was
all she knew; he was not looking down at his book, he was looking at
them; his eyes were going right through hers. And he did not speak as if
he was preaching; his voice sounded exactly as it did every day out of
church. It was delightful. Daisy forgot all about it's being a sermon,
and only drank in the words with her ears and her heart, and never took
her eyes from those bright ones that every now and then looked down at
her. For Mr. Dinwiddie was telling of Him "who though he was rich yet
for our sakes became poor." He told how rich he was, in the glories and
happiness of heaven, where everything is perfect and all is his. And
then he told how Jesus made himself poor; how he left all that glory and
everything that pleased him; came where everything displeased him; lived
among sin and sinners; was poor, and despised, and rejected, and treated
with every shame, and at last shamefully put to death and his dead body
laid in the grave. All this because he loved us; all this because he
wanted to make us rich, and without his death to buy our forgiveness
there was no other way. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that
he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

Daisy forgot even Mr. Dinwiddie in thinking of that wonderful One. She
thought she had never seen before how good he is, or how beautiful; she
had never felt how loving and tender Jesus is in his mercy to those that
seek him, and whom _he_ came to seek first; she never saw "the kindness
and love of God our Saviour" before. As the story went on, again and
again Daisy would see a cloud or mist of tears come over the brightness
of those brilliant eyes; and saw the lips tremble; and Daisy's own eyes
filled and ran over and her cheeks were wet with tears, and she never
knew it!

But when Mr. Dinwiddie stopped she was so full of gladness in her little
heart,--gladness that this beautiful Saviour loved her and that she
loved him, that although if she _could_ have been sorry, she would have
been very sorry that the sermon was over, she was not; she could be
nothing but glad.

She thought they were going home then, after the hymn was sung; but in
her thoughts she had missed some words not spoken by Mr. Dinwiddie. And
now she perceived that not only it was sacrament day, which she had
seen before; but further, that the people who would not share in that
service were going, and that Miss Underwood was staying, and by
consequence she must stay too. Daisy was pleased. She had never in her
life, as it happened, seen the observance of this ordinance; and she
had, besides a child's curiosity, a deep, deep interest in all that
Christians are accustomed to do. Was she not one?

Mr. Dinwiddie had spoken about the service and the purpose of it; he
explained how the servants of Christ at his command take the bread and
wine in remembrance of him and what he has done for them; and as a sign
to all the world that they believe in him and love him, and wait for him
to come again. Now some prayers were made, and there were spoken some
grave words of counsel and warning, which sounded sweet and awful in
Daisy's ears; and then the people came forward, a part of them, and
knelt around a low railing which was before the pulpit. As they did
this, some voices began to sing a hymn, in a wonderfully sweet and
touching music. Daisy was exceedingly fond of every melody and harmony
that was worthy the name; and this--plaintive, slow, simple--seemed to
go not only through her ears, but down to the very bottom of her heart.
They sang but a verse and a chorus; and then after an interval, when
those around the railings rose and gave place to others, they sang a
verse and a chorus again; and this is the chorus that they sang. It
dwelt in Daisy's heart for many a day; but I can never tell you the
sweetness of it.

  "O the Lamb! the loving Lamb!
     The Lamb on Calvary;
   The Lamb that was slain, but lives again,
     To intercede for me."

It seemed to Daisy a sort of paradise while they were singing. Again and
again after a pause the notes measuredly rose and fell; and little Daisy
who could take no other open part in what was going on, responded to
them with her tears. Nobody was looking, she thought; nobody would see.

At last it was all done; the last verses were sung; the last prayers
spoken; the little crowd turned to go. Daisy standing behind Joanna in
the front place was obliged to wait till the aisle was clear. She had
turned too when everybody else did, and so was standing with her back to
the pulpit, when a hand was laid on her shoulder. The next minute
Daisy's little fingers were in Mr. Dinwiddie's clasp, and her face was
looking joyfully into his.

"Daisy--I am glad to see you."

Another look, and a slight clasp of her little fingers, answered him.

"I wish you had been with us just now."

"I am too little--" was Daisy's humble and regretful reply.

"Nobody is too little, who is old enough to know what Jesus has done and
to love him for it, and to be his servant. Do you love him, Daisy?"

"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie."

A very soft but a very clear answer; and so was the answer of the eyes
raised to his. To Daisy's great joy, he did not let go her hand when
they got out of the church. Instead of that, keeping it fast, he allowed
Miss Underwood to go on a little before them, and then he lingered with
Daisy along the shady, overarched walks of Melbourne grounds, into which
they presently turned. Mr. Dinwiddie lingered purposely, and let Joanna
get out of hearing. Then he spoke again.

"If you love Jesus, you want to obey him, Daisy."

"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie!"

He felt the breathless manner of her answer.

"What will you do, little one, when you find that to obey him, you may
have a great deal of hard fighting to go through?"

"I'll die on the field of battle, Mr. Dinwiddie."

He looked at her a little curiously. It was no child's boast. Her face
was quiet, her eye steady; so had her tone been. It was most unlike
Daisy to make protestations of feeling; just now she was speaking to the
one person in the world who could help her, whom in this matter she
trusted; speaking to him maybe for the last time, she knew; and moreover
Daisy's heart was full. She spoke as she might live years and not do
again, when she said, "I'll die on the field of battle."

"That is as the Lord pleases," returned Mr. Dinwiddie; "but how will you
_fight_, Daisy? you are a weak little child. The fight must be won, in
the first place."

"Please tell me, Mr. Dinwiddie."

He sat down on a bank and drew Daisy down beside him.

"In the first place, you must remember that you are the Lord's and that
everything you have belongs to him; so that his will is the only thing
to be considered in every case. Is it so, Daisy?"

"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie! But tell me what you mean, by 'everything I have.'
That is what I wanted to know."

"I will tell you presently. In the next place--whenever you know the
Lord's will, don't be afraid, but trust him to help you to do it. He
always will, he always can. Only trust him, and don't be afraid."

"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie!" Daisy said; but with a gleam on her face which
even then reflected the light of those words.

"That's all, Daisy."

"Then Mr. Dinwiddie, please tell me what you mean by 'everything?'"

"If you love the Lord, Daisy, you will find out."

"But I am afraid I don't know, Mr. Dinwiddie, what all my talents are."

"He is a wise man that does. But if you love the Lord Jesus with all
your heart, you will find that in everything you do you can somehow
please him, and that he is first to be pleased."

They looked into each other again, those two faces, with perfect
understanding; grateful content in the child's eyes, watchful tenderness
in those of Mr. Dinwiddie, through all their keenness and brightness.
Then, he rose up and offered his hand to Daisy; just said "good bye,"
and was gone, he turned off another way, Daisy followed Miss Underwood's
steps. But Joanna had got to the house long before she reached it; and
Daisy thought herself very happy that nobody saw her come home alone.
She got to her own room in safety.

Daisy's heart was full of content. That day was the King's, to be sure;
the very air seemed to speak of the love of Jesus, and the birds and the
sunshine and the honeysuckle repeated the song of "The Lamb on Calvary."
There was no going to church a second time; after luncheon, which was
Daisy's dinner, she had the time all to herself. She sat by her own
window, or sometimes she lay down--for Daisy was not very strong
yet--but sitting or lying and whatever she was doing, the thought that
that King was hers, and that Jesus loved her, made her happy; and the
hours of the day rolled away as bright as its own sunshine.

"Well, mouse." said her mother when Daisy came down to tea,--"where have
you been? What a mouse you are!"

"Intelligent--for a lower order of quadrupeds," said Mr. McFarlane.

"The day has been insufferable!" said Mrs. Randolph. "Have you been
asleep, Daisy?"

"No, mamma."

"You were lying down?"

"Yes, mamma."

Daisy had drawn up close to her mother who had thrown an arm round her.
The family were gathered in the library; the windows open, the fresh
air coming faintly in; the light fading, but no lamps needed yet.

"I am glad the day is over!" said Mrs. Gary. "This morning I did not
know how I was going to live through it. There is a little freshness
now. Why is it always so much hotter on Sundays than on any other day?"

"Because you think about it," said Mr. Randolph, who was moving from
window to window setting the glass doors wider open.

"There is nothing else to think about," said Mrs. Randolph with a yawn.
"Gary, do bring me a cup of tea."

"You ought to think about your evil deeds," said Mr. McFarlane obeying
the command. "Then you would have enough."

"_You_ would, you mean."

"I know it. I speak from experience. I tried it once, for a whole
afternoon; and you've no idea how good tea-time was when it came!"

"What _could_ set you about such a piece of work, Gary?" said his
hostess laughing.

"Conscience, my dear," said her sister. "I am not at all surprised. I
wonder if anybody has been to church to-day?"

"I am sorry for the clergyman, if anybody has," remarked Gary.

Mrs. Randolph's arm had slipped from Daisy, and Daisy slipped away from
her mother's sofa to the table; where she dipped sponge biscuits in milk
and wondered at other people's Sundays. A weight seemed settling down on
her heart. She could not bear to hear the talk; she eat her supper and
then sat down on the threshold of one of the glass doors that looked
towards the west, and watched the beautiful colours on the clouds over
the mountains; and softly sung to herself the tune she had heard in
church in the morning. So the colours faded away, and the light, and the
dusk grew on, and still Daisy sat in the window door humming to
herself. She did not know that Gary McFarlane had stolen up close behind
her and gone away again.

He went away just as company came in; some gay neighbours who found the
evening tempting, and came for a little diversion. Lamps were lit and
talking and laughing went round, till Mrs. Randolph asked where Daisy
was.

"In the window, singing to the stars," Gary McFarlane whispered. "Do you
know, Mrs. Randolph, how she can sing?"

"No,--how? She has a child's voice."

"But not a child's taste or ear," said Gary. "I heard her the other day
warbling the gypsy song in 'The Camp in Silesia,' and she did it to
captivation. Do, Mrs. Randolph, ask her to sing it. I was astonished."

"Do!" said Capt. Drummond; and the request spread and became general.

"Daisy--" said Mrs. Randolph. Daisy did not hear; but the call being
repeated she came from her window, and after speaking to the strangers,
whom she knew, she turned to her mother. The room was all light and
bright and full of gay talkers.

"Daisy," said her mother, "I want you to sing that gypsy song from the
'Camp in Silesia.' Gary says you know it--so he is responsible. _Can_
you sing it?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Then sing it. Never mind whether you succeed or not; that is of no
consequence."

"Mamma----," began Daisy.

"Well, what?"

Daisy was in great confusion. What to say to her mother she did not
know.

"No matter how you get along with it," repeated Mrs. Randolph. "That is
nothing."

"It isn't that, mamma,--but--"

"Then sing. No more words, Daisy; sing."

"Mamma, please don't ask me!"

"I _have_ asked you. Come Daisy--don't be silly."

"Mamma," whispered Daisy trembling, "I will sing it any other night but
to-night!"

"To-night? what's to-night?"

"To-night is Sunday."

"And is that the reason?"

Daisy stood silent, very much agitated.

"I'll have no nonsense of the kind, Daisy. Sing immediately!" But Daisy
stood still.

"Do you refuse me?"

"Mamma--" said Daisy pleadingly.

"Go and fetch me a card from the table."

Daisy obeyed. Mrs. Randolph rapidly wrote a word or two on it with a
pencil.

"But where is the gypsy?" cried Gary McFarlane.

"She has not found her voice yet. Take that to your father, Daisy."

Daisy's knees literally shook under her as she moved across the room to
obey this order. Mr. Randolph was sitting at some distance talking with
one of the gentlemen. He broke off when Daisy came up with the card.

"What is it your mother wishes you to sing?" he inquired, looking from
the writing to the little bearer. Daisy answered very low.

"A gypsy song from an opera."

"Can you sing it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then do so at once, Daisy."

The tone was quiet but imperative. Daisy stood with eyes cast down, the
blood all leaving her face to reinforce some attacked region. She grew
white from second to second.

"It is the charge of the Light Brigade," said Capt. Drummond to himself.
He had heard and watched the whole proceeding and had the key to it. He
thought good-naturedly to suggest to Daisy an escape from her
difficulty, by substituting for the opera song something else that she
_could_ sing. Rising and walking slowly up and down the room, he hummed
near enough for her to hear and catch it, the air of "Die in the field
of battle." Daisy heard and caught it, but not his suggestion. It was
the thought of the _words_ that went to her heart,--not the thought of
the tune. She stood as before, only clasped her little hands close upon
her breast. Capt. Drummond watched her. So did her father, who could
make nothing of her.

"Do you understand me, Daisy?"

"Papa--"

"Obey me first, and then talk about it."

Daisy was in no condition to talk; she could hardly breathe that one
word. She knew the tone of great displeasure in her father's voice. He
saw her condition.

"You are not able to sing at this minute," said he. "Go to your room--I
will give you ten minutes to recover yourself. Then, Daisy, come here
and sing--if you like to be at peace with me."

But Daisy did not move; she stood there with her two hands clasped on
her breast.

"Do you mean that you will not?" said Mr. Randolph.

"If it wasn't Sunday, papa--" came from Daisy's parted lips.

"Sunday?" said Mr. Randolph--"is that it? Now we know where we are.
Daisy--do you hear me?--turn about and sing your song. Do not give me
another refusal!"

But Daisy stood, growing paler and paler, till the whiteness reached her
lips, and her father saw that in another minute she would fall. He
snatched her from the floor and placed her upon his knee with his arm
round her; but though conscious that she was held against his breast,
Daisy was conscious too that there was no relenting in it; she knew her
father; and her deadly paleness continued. Mr. Randolph saw that there
would be no singing that night, and that the conflict between Daisy and
him must be put off to another day. Making excuse to those near, that
she was not well, he took his little daughter in his arms and carried
her up stairs to her own room. There he laid her on the bed and rang for
June, and staid by her till he saw her colour returning. Then without a
word he left her.

Meanwhile Capt. Drummond, down stairs, had taken a quiet seat in a
corner; his talking mood having deserted him.

"Did I ever walk up to the cannon's mouth like that?" he said to
himself.



CHAPTER XI.


Daisy kept herself quite still while her father and June were present.
When Mr. Randolph had gone down stairs, and June seeing her charge
better, ventured to leave her to get some brandy and water, then Daisy
seized that minute of being alone to allow herself a few secret tears.
Once opened, the fountain of tears gushed out a river; and when June
came back Daisy was in an agony which prevented her knowing that anybody
was with her. In amaze June set down the brandy and water and looked on.
She had never in her life seen Daisy so. It distressed her; but though
June might be called dull, her poor wits were quick to read some signs;
and troubled as she was, she called neither Daisy's father nor her
mother. The child's state would have warranted such an appeal. She never
heard June's tremulous "Don't, Miss Daisy!" She was shaken with the
sense of the terrible contest she had brought on herself; and grieved to
the very depths of her tender little heart that she must bear the
displeasure of her father and her mother. She struggled with tears and
agitation until she was exhausted, and then lay quiet, panting and pale,
because she had no strength to weep longer.

"Miss Daisy," said June, "drink this."

"What is it?"

"It is brandy and water. It is good for you."

"I am not faint. I don't like it."

"Miss Daisy, please! You want something. It will make you feel better
and put you to sleep."

Disregarding the tumbler which June offered, Daisy slowly crawled off
the bed and went and kneeled down before her open window, crossing her
arms on the sill. June followed her, with a sort of submissive
pertinacity.

"Miss Daisy, you want to take some of this, and lie down and go to
sleep."

"I don't want to go to sleep."

"Miss Daisy, you're weak--won't you take, a little of this, to
strengthen you a bit?"

"I don't want it, June."

"You'll be sick to-morrow."

"June," said Daisy, "I wish a chariot of fire would come for me!"

"Why, Miss Daisy?"

"To take me right up. But I shall not be sick. You needn't be afraid.
You needn't stay."

June was too much awed to speak, and dared not disobey. She withdrew;
and in her own premises stood as Daisy was doing, looking at the
moonlight; much wondering that storms should pass over her little white
mistress such as had often shaken her own black breast. It was
mysterious.

Daisy did not wish to go to sleep; and it was for fear she should, that
she had crawled off the bed, trembling in every limb. For the same
reason she would not touch the brandy and water. Once asleep, the next
thing would be morning and waking up; she was not ready for that. So she
knelt by the window and felt the calm glitter of the moonlight, and
tried to pray. It was long, long since Daisy had withstood her father or
mother in anything. She remembered the last time; she knew now they
_would_ have her submit to them, and now she thought she must not. Daisy
dared not face the coming day. She would have liked to sit up all night;
but her power of keeping even upon her knees was giving way when June
stole in behind her, too uneasy to wait for Daisy's ring.

"Miss Daisy, you'll be surely sick to-morrow, and Mis' Randolph will
think I ought to be killed."

"June, didn't the minister say this morning--"

"What minister?"

"O it wasn't you,--it was Joanna. Where is Joanna? I want to see her."

"Most likely she's going to bed, Miss Daisy."

"No matter--I want to see her. Go and tell her, June--no matter if she
is in her night-gown,--tell her I want to speak to her one minute."

June went, and Daisy once more burst into tears. But she brushed them,
aside when Joanna came back with June a few minutes after.

"Joanna--didn't the minister say this morning, that when we are doing
what Jesus tells us, he will help us through?"

"It's true," said Joanna, looking startled and troubled at the pale
little tear-stained face lifted to her;--"but I don't just know as that
minister said it this morning."

"Didn't he?"

"Why it's true, Miss Daisy; for I've heard other ministers say it; but
that one this morning was preaching about something else--don't you
know?"

"Was he? Didn't he say that?"

"Why no, Miss Daisy; he was preaching about how rich----"

"O I know!" said Daisy--"I remember; yes, it wasn't then--it was
afterwards. Yes, he said it--I knew it--but it wasn't in his sermon.
Thank you, Joanna--that's all; I don't want you any more."

"What ails her?" whispered Joanna, when June followed her out with a
light.

But June knew her business better than to tell her little mistress's
secrets; and her face shewed no more of them, than it shewed of her own.
When she returned, Daisy was on her knees, with her face hidden in her
hands, at the foot of the bed.

June stopped; and the little white figure there looked so slight, the
attitude of the bended head was so childlike and pitiful, that the
mulatto woman's face twinkled and twitched in a way most unwonted to its
usual stony lines. She never stirred till Daisy rose up and submissively
allowed herself to be put to bed; and then waited on her with most
reverent gentleness.

So she did next morning. But Daisy was very pale, and trembled
frequently, June noticed; and when she was dressed sat down patiently by
the window. She was not going down, to breakfast, she told June; and
June went away to her own breakfast, very ill satisfied.

Breakfast was brought up to Daisy, as she expected; and then she waited
for her summons. She could not eat much. The tears were very ready to
start, but Daisy kept them back. It did not suit her to go weeping into
her father and mother's presence, and she had self command enough to
prevent it. She could not read; yet she turned over the pages of her
Bible to find some comfort. She did not know or could not remember just
where to look for it; and at last turned to the eleventh of Hebrews, and
with her eye running over the record there of what had been done and
borne for Christ's sake, felt her own little heart beating hard in its
own trial.

June came at length to call her to her mother's room.

Mrs. Randolph was half lying on a couch, a favourite position; and her
eye was full on Daisy as she came in. Daisy stopped at a little
distance; and June took care to leave the door ajar.

"Daisy," said Mrs. Randolph, "I want in the first place an explanation
of last night's behaviour."

"Mamma, I am very sorry to have offended you!" said Daisy, pressing both
hands together upon her breast to keep herself quiet.

"Looks like it," said Mrs. Randolph; and yet she did see and feel the
effect of the night's work upon the child. "Go on;--tell me why you
disobeyed me last night."

"It was Sunday--" said Daisy softly.

"Sunday!--well, what of that? what of Sunday?"

"That song--wasn't a Sunday song."

"What do you mean by a Sunday song?"

"I mean"--Daisy was on dangerous ground, and she knew it,--"I mean, one
of those songs that God likes to hear people sing on his day."

"Who is to be judge?" said Mrs. Randolph,--"you or I?"

"Mamma," said Daisy, "I will do everything else in the world you tell
me!"

"You will have to do everything else and this too. Isn't there a
commandment about children obeying their mothers?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"That is the very first commandment I mean you shall obey," said Mrs.
Randolph, rousing herself enough to bring one foot to the floor. "You
have no business to think whether a thing is right or wrong, that I
order you to do; if I order it, that makes it right; and anybody but a
fool would tell you so. You will sing that song from the 'Camp in
Silesia' for me next Sunday evening, or I will whip you, Daisy--you may
depend upon it. I have done it before, and I will again; and you know I
do not make believe. Now go to your father."

"Where is he, mamma?" said Daisy, with a perceptible added paleness in
her cheek.

"I don't know. In the library, I suppose."

To the library Daisy went, with trembling steps, in great uncertainty
what she was to expect from her father. It was likely enough that he
would say the same as her mother, and insist on the act of submission to
be gone through next Sunday; but Daisy had an inward consciousness that
her father was likely to come to a point with her sooner than that. It
came even sooner than she expected.

Mr. Randolph was pacing up and down the library when Daisy slowly opened
the door. No one else was there. He stopped when she came in, and stood
looking at her as she advanced towards him.

"Daisy, you disobeyed me last night."

"Yes, papa,--but--"

"I have but one answer for that sort of thing," said Mr. Randolph,
taking a narrow ruler from the library table. "Give me your hand!"

Daisy gave it, with a very vague apprehension of what he was about to
do. The sharp, stinging stroke of the ruler the next moment upon her
open palm, made her understand very thoroughly. It drew from her one cry
of mixed pain and terror; but after that first forced exclamation Daisy
covered her face with her other hand and did not speak again. Tears,
that she could not help, came plentifully; for the punishment was
sufficiently severe, and it broke her heart that her father should
inflict it; but she stood perfectly still, only for the involuntary
wincing that was beyond her control, till her hand was released and the
ruler was thrown down. Heart and head bowed together then, and Daisy
crouched down on the floor where she stood, unable either to stand or to
move a step away.

"There! That account's settled!" said Mr. Randolph as he flung down his
ruler. And the next moment his hands came softly about Daisy and lifted
her from the floor and placed her on his knee; and his arms were wrapped
tenderly round her. Daisy almost wished he had let her alone; it seemed
to her that her sorrow was more than she could bear.

"Is your heart almost broken?" said Mr. Randolph softly, as he felt
rather than heard the heavy sobs so close to him. But to speak was an
impossibility, and so he knew, and did not repeat his question; only he
held Daisy fast, and it was in his arms that she wept out the first
overcharged fulness of her heart. It was a long time before she could
quiet those heavy sobs; and Mr. Randolph sat quite still holding her.

"Is your heart quite broken?" he whispered again, when he judged that
she could speak. Daisy did not speak, however. She turned, and rising
upon her knees, threw her arms round her father's neck and hid her soft
little head there. If tears came Mr. Randolph could not tell; he thought
his neck was wet with them. He let her alone for a little while.

"Daisy----"

"Papa----"

"Can you talk to me?"

Daisy sank back into her former position. Her father put his lips down
to hers for a long kiss.

"That account is settled," said he; "do you understand? Now Daisy, tell
me what was the matter last night."

"Papa, it was Sunday night."

"Yes. Well?"

"And that song--that mamma wanted me to sing"--Daisy spoke very
low,--"was out of an opera; and it was good for any other day, but not
for Sunday."

"Why not?"

Daisy hesitated, and at last said, "It had nothing to do with Sunday,
papa."

"But obedience is not out of place on Sunday, is it?"

"No, papa,--except----"

"Well, except what?"

"Papa, if God tells me to do one thing, and you tell me another, what
shall I do?" Daisy had hid her face in her father's breast.

"What counter command have you to plead in this case?"

"Papa, may I shew it to you?"

"Certainly."

She got down off his lap, twinkling away a tear hastily, and went to the
bookcase for the big Bible aforesaid. Mr. Randolph seeing what she was
after and that she could not lift it, went to her help and brought it to
the library table. Daisy turned over the leaves with fingers that
trembled yet, hastily, hurriedly; and paused and pointed to the words
that her father read.

"Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day."

Mr. Randolph read them and the words following and the words that went
before; then he turned from them and drew Daisy to her place in his arms
again.

"Daisy, there is another commandment there. 'Honour thy father and thy
mother.' Is there not?"

"Yes, papa."

"Is not one command as good as the other?"

"Papa, I think not," said Daisy. "One command tells me to obey you,--the
other tells me to obey God."

Childish as the answer was, there was truth in it; and Mr. Randolph
shifted his ground.

"Your mother will not be satisfied without your obeying the lesser
command--nor shall I!"

Silence.

"She will expect you to do next Sunday evening what you refused to do
last evening."

Still silence, but a shiver ran over Daisy's frame.

"Do you know it?" said Mr. Randolph, noticing also that Daisy's cheek
had grown a shade paler than it was.

"Papa--I wish I could die!" was the answer of the child's agony.

"Do you mean that you will not obey her, Daisy?"

"How can I, papa? how can I!" exclaimed Daisy.

"Do you think that song is so very bad, Daisy?"

"No. papa, it is very good for other days; but it is not _holy_." Her
accent struck strangely upon Mr. Randolph's ear; and sudden contrasts
rushed together oddly in his mind.

"Daisy, do you know that you are making yourself a judge of right and
wrong? Over your mother and over me?"

Daisy hid her face again in his breast; what could she answer? Mr.
Randolph unfolded the little palm swollen and blistered from the marks
of his ruler.

"Why did you offend me, Daisy?" he said gravely.

"Oh papa!" said Daisy beside herself,--"I didn't--I couldn't--I
wouldn't, for anything in the world! But I couldn't offend the Lord
Jesus!"

She was weeping again bitterly.

"That will not do," said Mr. Randolph. "You must find a way to reconcile
both duties. I shall not take an alternative." But after that he said no
more and only applied himself to soothing Daisy; till she sat drooping
in his arms, but still and calm. She started when the sound of steps and
voices came upon the verandah.

"Papa, may I go?"

He let her go, and watched her measured steps through the long room, to
the door, and heard the bound they made as soon as she was outside of
it. He rang the bell and ordered June to be called.

She came.

"June," said Mr. Randolph, "I think Daisy wants to be taken care of
to-day--I wish you would not lose sight of her."

June courtesied her obedience.

A few minutes afterwards her noiseless steps entered Daisy's room.
June's footfall was never heard about the house. As noiseless as a
shadow she came into a room; as stealthily as a dark shadow she went
out. Her movements were always slow; and whether from policy or caution
originally, her tread would not waken a sleeping mouse. So she came into
her little mistress's chamber now. Daisy was there, at her bureau,
before an open drawer; as June advanced, she saw that a great stock of
little pairs of gloves was displayed there, of all sorts, new and old;
and Daisy was trying to find among them one that would do for her
purpose. One after another was tried on the fingers of her right hand,
and thrown aside; and tears were running over the child's cheeks and
dropping into the drawer all the time. June came near, with a sort of
anxious look on her yellow face. It was strangely full of wrinkles and
lines, that generally never stirred to express or reveal anything.
Suddenly she exclaimed, but June's very exclamations were in a smothered
tone.

"O Miss Daisy! what have you done to your hand?"

"I haven't done anything to it," said Daisy, trying furtively to get rid
of her tears,--"but I want a glove to put on, June, and they are all too
small. Is Cecilia at work here to-day?"

"Yes, Miss Daisy; but let me look at your hand!--let me put some
liniment on."

"No, I don't want it," said Daisy; and June saw the suppressed sob that
was not allowed to come out into open hearing;--"but June, just rip that
glove, will you, here in the side seam; and then ask Cecilia to make a
strip of lace-work there--so that I can get it on." Daisy drew a fur
glove over the wounded hand as she spoke; it was the only one large
enough; and put on her flat hat.

"Miss Daisy, Mr. Randolph said I was to go with you anywhere you
went--to take care of you."

"Then come down to the beach, June; I'll be there."

Daisy stole down stairs and slipped out of the first door she came to.
What she wanted was to get away from seeing anybody; she did not wish to
see her mother, or Preston, or Capt. Drummond, or Ransom; and she meant
even if possible to wander off and not be at home for dinner. She could
not bear the thought of the dinner-table with all the faces round it.
She stole out under the shrubbery, which soon hid her from view of the
house.

It was a very warm day, the sun beating hot wherever it could touch at
all. Daisy went languidly along under cover of the trees, wishing to go
faster, but not able, till she reached the bank. There she waited for
June to join her, and together they went down to the river shore. Safe
there from pursuit, on such a day, Daisy curled herself down in the
shade with her back against a stone, and then began to think. She felt
very miserable; not merely for what had passed, but for a long stretch
of trouble that she saw lying before her. Indeed where or how it was to
end, Daisy had no idea. Her father indeed, she felt pretty sure would
not willingly allow his orders to come in conflict with what she thought
her duty; though if he happened to do it unconsciously,--Daisy would not
follow that train of thought. But here she was now, at this moment,
engaged in a trial of strength with her mother; very unequal, for Daisy
felt no power at all for the struggle,--and yet she could not yield!
Where was it to end? and how many other like occasions of difference
might arise, even after this one should somehow have been settled? Had
the joy of being a servant of Jesus so soon brought trouble with it?
Daisy had put the trunk of a large tree between her and June; but the
mulatto woman where she sat heard the stifled sobs of the child. June's
items of intelligence picked up by eye and ear, had given her by this
time an almost reverent feeling towards Daisy; she regarded her as
hardly earthly; nevertheless this sort of distress must not be suffered
to go on, and she was appointed to prevent it.

"Miss Daisy--it is luncheon time," she said without moving. Daisy gave
no response. June waited and then came before her and repeated her
words.

"I am not going in."

"But you want your dinner, Miss Daisy."

"No, I don't, June. I don't want to go in."

June looked at her a minute. "I'll get you your luncheon out here, Miss
Daisy. You'll be faint for want of something to eat. Will you have it
out here?"

"You needn't say where I am, June."

[Illustration]

June went off, and Daisy was left alone. Very weary and exhausted, she
sat leaning her head against the stone at her side, in a sort of
despairing quiet. The little ripple of the water on the pebbly shore
struck her ear; it was the first thing eye or ear had perceived to be
pleasant that day. Daisy's thoughts went to the hand that had made the
glittering river, with all its beauties and wonders; then they went to
what Mr. Dinwiddie had said, that God will help his people when they are
trying to do any difficult work for him; he will take care of them; he
will not forsake them. Suddenly it filled Daisy's soul like a flood,
the thought that Jesus _loves_ his people; that she was his little child
and that he loved her; and all his wisdom and power and tenderness were
round her and would keep her. Her trouble seemed to be gone, or it was
like a cloud with sunlight shining all over it. The very air was full of
music, to Daisy's feeling, not her sense. There never was such sunlight,
or such music either, as this feeling of the love of Jesus. Daisy
kneeled down by the rock and rested her forehead against it, to pray for
joy.

She was there still, when June came back and stopped and looked at her,
a vague expression of care sitting in her black eyes, into which now an
unwonted moisture stole. June had a basket, and as soon as Daisy sat
down again, she came up and began to take things out of it. She had
brought everything for Daisy's dinner. There was a nice piece of
beefsteak, just off the gridiron; and rice and potatoes; and a fine bowl
of strawberries for dessert. June had left nothing; there was the roll
and the salt, and a tumbler and a carafe of water. She set the other
things about Daisy, on the ground and on the rock, and gave the plate of
beefsteak into her hand.

"Miss Daisy, what will you do for a table?"

"It's nicer here than a table. How good you are, June. I didn't know I
wanted it."

"I know you do, Miss Daisy."

And she went to her sewing, and sewed perseveringly, while Daisy eat her
dinner.

"June, what o'clock is it?"

"It's after one, ma'am."

"You haven't had your own dinner?"

June mumbled something, of which nothing could be understood except that
it was a general abnegation of all desire or necessity for dinner on her
own part.

"But you have not had it?" said Daisy.

"No, ma'am. They've done dinner by this time."

"June, I have eaten up all the beefsteak--there is nothing left but some
potato and rice and strawberries; but you shall have some strawberries."

June in vain protested. Daisy divided the strawberries into two parts,
sugared them both, broke the remaining roll in two, and obliged June to
take her share. When this was over, Daisy seated herself near June and
laid her head against her knee. She could hardly hold it up.

"June,"--she said presently, "I think those people in the eleventh
chapter of Hebrews--you know?"

"Yes, Miss Daisy."

"I think they were very happy, because they knew that Jesus loved them."

June made no audible answer; she mumbled something; and Daisy sat still.
Presently her soft breathing made June look over at her; Daisy was
asleep. In her hand, in her lap, lay a book. June looked yet further, to
see what book it was. It was Mr. Dinwiddie's Bible. June sat up and went
on with her work, but her face twitched.



CHAPTER XII.


Daisy was at the dinner-table. After having a good sleep on June's knee,
she had come home and dressed as usual, and she was in her place when
the dessert was brought on. Mr. Randolph from his distant end of the
table watched her a little; he saw that she behaved just as usual; she
did not shun anybody, though her mother shunned her. A glove covered her
right hand, yet Daisy persisted in using that hand rather than attract
notice, though from the slowness of her movements it was plain it cost
her some trouble. Gary McFarlane asked why she had a glove on, and Mr.
Randolph heard Daisy's perfectly quiet and true answer, that "her hand
was wounded, and had to wear a glove,"--given without any confusion or
evasion. He called his little daughter to him, and giving her a chair by
his side, spent the rest of _his_ time in cracking nuts and preparing a
banana for her; doing it carelessly, not as if she needed but as if it
pleased him to give her his attention.

After dinner Daisy sought Preston, who was out on the lawn, as he said,
to cool himself; in the brightness of the setting sun to be sure, but
also in a sweet light air which was stirring.

"Phew! it's hot. And you, Daisy, don't look as if the sun and you had
been on the same side of the earth to-day. What do you want now?"

"I want a good talk with you, Preston."

"I was going to say 'fire up,'" said Preston, "but no, don't do
anything of that sort! If there is any sort of talking that has a chilly
effect, I wish you'd use it."

"I have read of such talk, but I don't think I know how to do it," said
Daisy. "I read the other day of somebody's being 'frozen with a look.'"

Preston went off into a fit of laughter and rolled himself over on the
grass, declaring that it was a splendid idea; then he sat up and asked
Daisy again what she wanted? Daisy cast a glance of her eye to see that
nobody was too near.

"Preston, you know you were going to teach me."

"O, ay!--about the Spartans."

"I want to learn everything," said Daisy. "I don't know much."

Preston looked at the pale, delicate child, whose doubtful health he
knew had kept her parents from letting her "know much"; and it was no
wonder that when he spoke again, he used a look and manner that were
caressing, and even tender.

"What do you want to know, Daisy?"

"I want to know everything," whispered Daisy; "but I don't know what to
begin at."

"No!" said Preston,--"'everything' seems as big as the world, and as
hard to get hold of."

"I want to know geography," said Daisy.

"Yes. Well--you shall. And you shall not study for it neither; which you
can't."

"Yes I can."

"No you can't. You are no more fit for it, little Daisy--but look here!
I wish you would be a red daisy."

"Then what else, Preston?"

"Nothing else. Geography is enough at once."

"O no, it isn't. Preston, I can't do the least little bit of a sum in
the world."

"Can't you? Well--I don't see that that is of any very great
consequence. What sums do _you_ want to do?"

"But I want to know how."

"Why?"

"Why Preston, you know I _ought_ to know how. It might be very useful,
and I ought to know."

"I hope it will never be of any use to you," said Preston; "but you can
learn the multiplication table if you like."

"Then will you shew it to me?"

"Yes; but what has put you in such a fever of study, little Daisy? It
excites me, this hot weather."

"Then won't you come in and shew me the multiplication table now,
Preston?"

In came Preston laughing, and found an arithmetic for Daisy; and Daisy,
not laughing, but with a steady seriousness, sat down on the verandah in
the last beams of the setting sun to learn that "twice two is four."

The same sort of sweet seriousness hung about all her movements this
week. To those who knew what it meant, there was something extremely
touching in the gentle gravity with which she did everything, and the
grace of tenderness which she had for everybody. Daisy was going through
great trouble. Not only the trouble of what was past, but the ordeal of
what was to come. It hung over her like a black cloud, and her fears
were like muttering thunder. But the sense of right, the love of the
Master in whose service she was suffering, the trust in his guiding
hand, made Daisy walk with that strange, quiet dignity between the one
Sunday and the other. Mr. Randolph fancied sometimes when she was
looking down, that he saw the signs of sadness about her mouth; but
whenever she looked up again, he met such quiet, steady eyes, that he
wondered. He was puzzled; but it was no puzzle that Daisy's cheeks grew
every day paler, and her appetite less.

"I do not wish to flatter you"--said Mrs. Gary one evening--"but that
child has very elegant manners! Really, I think they are very nearly
perfect. I don't believe there is an English court beauty who could
shew better."

"The English beauty would like to be a little more robust in her
graces," remarked Gary McFarlane.

"That is all Daisy wants," her aunt went on; "but that will come, I
trust, in time."

"Daisy would do well enough," said Mrs. Randolph, "if she could get some
notions out of her head."

"What, you mean her religious notions? How came she by them, pray?"

"Why there was a person here--a connexion of Mrs. Sandford's--that set
up a Sunday school in the woods; and Daisy went to it for a month or
two, before I thought anything about it, or about him. Then I found she
was beginning to ask questions, and I took her away."

"Is asking questions generally considered a sign of danger?" said Gary
McFarlane.

"What was that about her singing the other night?" said Mrs. Gary--"that
had something to do with the same thing, hadn't it?"

"Refused to sing an opera song because it was Sunday."

"Ridiculous!" said Mrs. Gary. "I'll try to make her see it so
herself--if I get a chance. She is a sensible child."

Mr. Randolph was walking up and down the room, and had not spoken a
word. A little time after he found himself nearly alone with Mrs.
Randolph, the others having scattered away. He paused near his wife's
sofa.

"Daisy is failing," he said. "She has lost more this week than she had
gained in the two months before."

Mrs. Randolph made no answer, and did not even move her handsome head,
or her delicate hands.

"Can't you get out of this business, Felicia?"

"In the way that I said I would. You expect your words to be obeyed, Mr.
Randolph; and I expect it for mine."

Mr. Randolph resumed his walk.

"Daisy has got some things in her head that must get out of it. I would
as lieve not have a child, as not to have her mind me."

Mr. Randolph passed out upon the verandah, and continuing his walk
there, presently came opposite the windows of the library. There he saw
Daisy seated at the table, reading. Her hand was over her brow, and Mr.
Randolph did not feel satisfied with the sober lines of the little mouth
upon which the lamplight shone. Once too, Daisy's head went down upon
her book and lay there a little while. Mr. Randolph did not feel like
talking to her just then, or he would have liked to go in and see what
she was studying. But while he stood opposite the window, Capt. Drummond
came into the library.

"You here, Daisy! What are you busy about?" he said kindly. "What are
you studying now?"

"I am reading the History of England, Capt. Drummond."

"How do you like it?"

"I have not got very far. I do not like it very much."

"Where are you?"

"I have just got to where it tells about Alfred."

"Why do you read it, Daisy? Is it a lesson?"

"No, Capt. Drummond,--but--I think proper to read it."

"It is proper," said the Captain. "Come, Daisy,--suppose we go down on
the sand-beach to-morrow, and we will play out the Saxon Heptarchy there
as we played out the Crimea. Shall we?"

Daisy's face changed. "O thank you, Capt. Drummond!--that will be nice!
Shall we?"

"If you will, I will," said the Captain.

Mr. Randolph moved away.

The next day after luncheon, Daisy followed her father when he left the
table. She followed till they were got quite away from other ears.

"Papa, I would like to go to Mrs. Harbonner's again. You said I must not
go without leave."

"Who is Mrs. Harbonner?"

"Papa, it is the place where I took the ham,--do you remember? Joanna
has enquired about her, and found that she is respectable."

"What do you want to go there again for, Daisy?"

"Joanna has found some work for her, papa. She would not have the ham
unless she could work to pay for it. I want to see her to tell her about
it."

Mr. Randolph had it on his tongue to say that somebody else might do
that; but looking down at Daisy, the sight of the pale face and hollow
eyes stopped him. He sat down and drew Daisy up to his side.

"I will let you go."

"Thank you, papa!"

"Do you know," said Mr. Randolph, "that your mother is going to ask you
to sing that song again when Sunday evening comes?"

The smile vanished from Daisy's face; it grew suddenly dark; and a
shuddering motion was both seen and felt by Mr. Randolph, whose arm was
round her.

"Daisy," said he, not unkindly, "do you know that I think you a little
fool?"

She lifted her eyes quickly, and in their meeting with her father's
there was much; much that Mr. Randolph felt without stopping to analyze,
and that made his own face as suddenly sober as her own. There was no
folly in that quick grave look of question or appeal; it seemed to carry
the charge in another direction.

"You think it is not right to sing such a song on a Sunday?" he asked.

"No, papa."

"But suppose, by singing it, you could do a great deal of good, instead
of harm?"

"How, papa?"

"I will give you a hundred dollars for singing it,--which you may spend
as you please for all the poor people about Melbourne or Crum Elbow."

It was very singular to him to see the changes in Daisy's face. Light
and shadow came and went with struggling quickness. He expected her to
speak, but she waited for several minutes; then she said in a troubled
voice,--"Papa, I will think of it."

"Is that all, Daisy?" said Mr. Randolph, disappointed.

"I am going to Mrs. Harbonner's, papa, and I will think, and tell you."

Mr. Randolph was inclined to frown and suspect obstinacy; but the meek
little lips which offered themselves for a kiss disarmed him of any such
thought. He clasped Daisy in his arms and gave her kisses, many a one,
close and tender. If he had known it, he could have done nothing better
for the success of his plan; under the pressure of conscience Daisy
could bear trouble in doing right, but the argument of affection went
near to trouble her conscience. Daisy was obliged to compound for a good
many tears, before she could get away and begin her drive. And when she
did, her mind was in a flutter. A hundred dollars! how much good could
be done with a hundred dollars. Why would it not be right to do
something, even sing such a song on Sunday, when it was sung for such a
purpose and with such results? But Daisy could not feel quite sure about
it; while at the same time the prospect of getting quit of her
difficulties by this means--escaping her mother's anger and the
punishment with which it was sure to be accompanied, and also pleasing
her father--shook Daisy's very soul. What should she do? She had not
made up her mind when she got to the little brown house where Mrs.
Harbonner lived.

She found mother and daughter both in the little bare room; the child
sitting on the floor and cutting pieces of calico and cloth into strips,
which her mother was sewing together with coarse thread. Both looked
just as when Daisy had seen them before--slim, and poor and uncombed;
but the room was clean.

"I thought you warn't coming again," said Mrs. Harbonner.

"I couldn't come till to-day," said Daisy, taking a chair. "I came as
soon as I could." Partly from policy, partly because she felt very
sober, she left it to Mrs. Harbonner to do most of the talking.

"I never see more'n a few folks that thought much of doing what they
said they'd do--without they found their own account in it. If I was
living in a great house, now, I'd have folks enough come to see me."

Daisy did not know what answer to make to this, so she made none.

"I used to live in a better house once," went on Mrs. Harbonner; "I
didn't always use to eat over a bare floor. I was well enough, if I
could ha' let well alone; but I made a mistake, and paid for it; and
what's more, I'm paying for it yet. 'Taint _my_ fault, that Hephzibah
sits there cuttin' rags, instead of going to school."

Again Daisy did not feel herself called upon to decide on the mistakes
of Mrs. Harbonner's past life; and she sat patiently waiting for
something else that she could understand.

"What are you come to see me for now?" said the lady. "I suppose you're
going to tell me you haven't got no work for me to do, and I must owe
you for that ham?"

"I have got something for you to do," said Daisy. "The boy has got it at
the gate. The housekeeper found some clothes to make--and you said that
was your work."

"Tailoring," said Mrs. Harbonner. "I don't know nothing about women's
fixtures,--except what'll keep me and Hephzibah above the savages. I
don't suppose I could dress a doll so's it would sell."

"This is tailoring work," said Daisy. "It is a boy's suit--and there
will be more to do if you like to have it."

"Where is it? at the gate, did you say? Hephzibah, go and fetch it in.
Who's got it?"

"The boy who is taking care of the horses."

"I declare, have you got that little covered shay there again?--it's
complete! I never see a thing so pretty! And Hephzibah says you drive
that little critter yourself. Ain't you afraid?"

"Not at all," said Daisy. "The pony won't do any harm."

"He looks skeery," said Mrs. Harbonner. "I wouldn't trust him. What a
tremenjious thick mane he's got! Well, I s'pect you have everything you
want, don't you?"

"Of such things--" said Daisy.

"That's what I meant. Gracious! I s'pose every one of us has
wishes--whether they are in the air or on the earth. Wishes is the
butter to most folks' bread. Here, child."

She took the bundle from Hephzibah, unrolled it, and examined its
contents with a satisfied face.

"What did _you_ come along with this for?" she said suddenly to Daisy.
"Why didn't you send it?"

"I wanted to come and see you," said Daisy pleasantly.

"What ails you? You ain't so well as when you was here before," said
Mrs. Harbonner, looking at her narrowly.

"I am well," said Daisy.

"You ain't fur from bein' something else then. I suppose you're dyin'
with learning--while my Hephzibah can't get schooling enough to read her
own name. That's the way the world's made up!"

"Isn't there a school at Crum Elbow?" said Daisy.

"Isn't there! And isn't there a bench for the rags? No, my Hephzibah
don't go to shew none."

Mrs. Harbonner was so sharp and queer, though not unkindly towards
herself, that Daisy was at a loss how to go on; and moreover, a big
thought began to turn about in her head.

"Poverty ain't no shame, but it's an inconvenience," said Mrs.
Harbonner. "Hephzibah may stay to home and be stupid, when she's as much
right to be smart as anybody. That's what I look at; it ain't having a
little to eat now and then."

"Melbourne is too far off for her to get there, isn't it?" said Daisy.

"What should she go there for?"

"If she could get there," said Daisy, "and would like it,--I would teach
her."

"_You_ would?" said Mrs. Harbonner. "What would you learn her?"

"I would teach her to read," said Daisy, colouring a little; "and
anything else I could."

"La, she can read," said Mrs. Harbonner, "but she don't know nothing,
for all that. Readin' don't tell a person much, without he has books. I
wonder how long it would hold out, if you begun? 'Taint no use to begin
a thing and then not go on."

"But could she get to Melbourne?" said Daisy.

"I don't know. Maybe she can. Who'd she see at your house?"

"Nobody, but the man at the lodge, or his mother."

"Who's that?"

"He's the man that lives in the lodge, to open the gate."

"Open the gate, hey? Who pays him for it?"

"Papa pays him, and he lives in the lodge."

"I shouldn't think it would take a man to open a gate. Why Hephzibah
could do it as well as anybody."

Daisy did not see the point of this remark, and went on. "Hephzibah
wouldn't see anybody else, but me."

"Well, I believe you mean what you say," said Mrs. Harbonner, "and I
hope you will when you're twenty years older--but I don't believe it.
I'll let Hephzibah come over to you on Sundays--I know she's jumpin'
out of her skin to go--she shall go on Sundays, but I can't let her go
other days, 'cause she's got work to do; and anyhow it would be too fur.
What time would you like to see her?"

"As soon as it can be after afternoon church, if you please. I couldn't
before."

"You're a kind little soul!" said the woman. "Do you like flowers?"

Daisy said yes. The woman went to a back door of the room, and opening
it, plucked a branch from a great rose-bush that grew there.

"We haint but one pretty thing about this house," said she presenting it
to Daisy,--"but that's kind o' pretty."

It was a very rich and delicious white rose, and the branch was an
elegant one, clustered with flowers and buds. Daisy gave her thanks and
took leave.

"As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men." There was a
little warm drop of comfort in Daisy's heart as she drove away. If she
could not go to Sunday-school herself, she might teach somebody else yet
more needy; that would be the next best thing. Sunday afternoon--it
looked bright to Daisy; but then her heart sank; Sunday evening would be
near. What should she do? She could not settle it in her mind what was
right; between her mother's anger and her father's love, Daisy could not
see what was just the plumb line of duty. Singing would gain a hundred
dollars' worth of good; and not singing would disobey her mother and
displease her father; but then came the words of one that Daisy honoured
more than father and mother--"Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath
day;" and she could not tell what to do.



CHAPTER XIII.


Daisy had gone but a little way out of the village, when she suddenly
pulled up. Sam was at the side of the chaise immediately.

"Sam, I want a glass of water; where can I get it?"

"Guess at Mrs. Benoit's, Miss Daisy. There's a fine spring of cold
water."

"Who is Mrs. Benoit?"

"It's Juanita--Miss Daisy has heard of Mrs. St. Leonard's Juanita. Mr.
St. Leonard built a house for her,--just the other side o' them trees."

Daisy knew who Juanita was. She had been brought from the West Indies by
the mother of one of the gentlemen who lived in the neighbourhood; and
upon the death of her mistress had been established in a little house of
her own. Daisy judged that she would be quite safe in going there for
water.

"If I turn into that road, can I go home round that way, Sam?"

"You can, Miss Daisy; but it's a ways longer."

"I like that," said Daisy.

She turned up the road that led behind the trees, and presently saw
Juanita's cottage. A little grey stone house, low-roofed, standing at
the very edge of a piece of woodland, and some little distance back from
the road. Daisy saw the old woman sitting on her doorstep. A grassy
slope stretched down from the house to the road. The sun shone up
against the grey cottage.

"You take care of Loupe, Sam, and I'll go in," said Daisy. A plan which
probably disappointed Sam, but Daisy did not know that. She went through
a little wicket and up the path.

Juanita did not look like the blacks she had been accustomed to see.
_Black_ she was not, but of a fine olive dark skin; and though certainly
old, she was still straight and tall and very fine in her appearance and
bearing. Daisy could see this but partially while Juanita was sitting at
her door; she was more struck by the very grave look her face wore just
then. It was not turned towards her little visiter, and Daisy got the
impression that she must be feeling unhappy.

Juanita rose however with great willingness to get the water, and asked
Daisy into her house. Daisy dared not, after her father's prohibition,
go in, and she stood at the door till the water was brought. Then with a
strong feeling of kindness towards the lonely and perhaps sorrowful old
woman, and remembering to "do good as she had opportunity," Daisy
suddenly offered her the beautiful rose-branch.

"Does the lady think I want pay for a glass of water?" said the woman,
with a smile that was extremely winning.

"No," said Daisy,--"but I thought, perhaps, you liked flowers."

"There's another sort of flowers that the Lord likes,"--said the woman
looking at her; "they be his little children."

Daisy's heart was tender, and there was something in Juanita's face that
won her confidence. Instead of turning away, she folded her hands
unconsciously and said, more wistfully than she knew, "I want to be
one!"

"Does my little lady know the Lord Jesus?" said the woman, with a bright
light coming into her eye.

Daisy's heart was sore as well as tender; the question touched two
things,--the joy that she did know him, and the trouble that following
him had cost her; she burst into tears. Then turning away and with a
great effort throwing off the tears, she went back to the chaise. There
stood Sam with the pony's foot in his hand.

"Miss Daisy, this fellow has kicked one of his shoes half off; he can't
go home so; it's hanging. Could Miss Daisy stop a little while at Mrs.
Benoit's, I could take the pony to the blacksmith's--it ain't but a very
little ways off--and get it put on, in a few minutes."

"Well, do, Sam,"--said Daisy after she had looked at the matter; and
while he took Loupe out of harness she turned back to Juanita.

"What is gone wrong?" said the old woman.

"Nothing is wrong," said Daisy; "only the pony has got his shoe off, and
the boy is taking him to the blacksmith's."

"Will my lady come into my house?"

"No, thank you. I'll stay here."

The woman brought out a low chair for her and set it on the grass; and
took herself her former place on the sill of the door. She looked
earnestly at Daisy; and Daisy on her part had noticed the fine carriage
of the woman, her pleasant features, and the bright handkerchief which
made her turban. Through the open door she could see the neat order of
the room within, and her eye caught some shells arranged on shelves; but
Daisy did not like to look, and she turned away. She met Juanita's eye;
she felt she must speak.

"This is a pleasant place."

"Why does my lady think so?"

"It looks pleasant," said Daisy. "It is nice. The grass is pretty, and
the trees; and it is a pretty little house, I think." The woman smiled.

"I think it be a palace of beauty," she said,--"for Jesus is here."

Daisy looked, a little wondering but entirely respectful; the whole
aspect of Juanita commanded that.

"Does my little lady know, that the presence of the King makes a poor
house fine?"

"I don't quite know what you mean," said Daisy humbly.

"Does my little lady know that the Lord Jesus loves his people?"

"Yes," said Daisy,--"I know it."

"But she know not much. When a poor heart say any time, 'Lord, I am all
thine!'--then the Lord comes to that heart and he makes it the house of
a King--for he comes there _himself_. And where Jesus is,--all is glory!
Do not my little lady read that in the Bible?"

"I don't remember"--said Daisy.

The woman got up, went into the cottage, and brought out a large print
Testament which she put into Daisy's hands, open at the fourteenth
chapter of John. Daisy read with curious interest the words to which she
was directed.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my
words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make
our abode with him."

Daisy looked at the promise, with her heart beating under troublesome
doubts; when the voice of Juanita broke in upon them by saying,
tenderly,

"Does my little lady keep the Lord's words?"

Down went the book, and the tears rushed into Daisy's eyes.

"Don't call me so," she cried,--"I am Daisy Randolph;--and I do want to
keep his words!--and--I don't know how."

"What troubles my love?" said the woman, in low tones of a voice that
was always sweet. "Do not she know what the words of the Lord be?"

"Yes,"--said Daisy, hardly able to make herself understood,--"but--"

"Then do 'em," said Juanita. "The way is straight. What he say, do."

"But suppose----" said Daisy.

"Suppose what? What do my love suppose?"

"Wouldn't it make it right, if it would do a great deal of good?"

This confused sentence Juanita pondered over.

"What does my love mean?"

"If it would do a great deal of good--wouldn't that make it right to do
something?"

"Right to do something that the Lord say _not_ do?"

"Yes."

"If you love Jesus, you not talk so," said Juanita sorrowfully. But that
made Daisy give way altogether.

"O I do love him!--I do love him!" she cried;--"but I don't know what to
do." And tears came in a torrent. Juanita was watchful and thoughtful.
When Daisy had very soon checked herself, she said in the same low,
gentle way in which she had before spoken, "What do the Lord say--to do
that some good thing,--or to keep his words?"

"To keep his words."

"Then keep 'em--and the Lord will do the good thing himself; that same
or another. He can do what he please; and he tell you, only keep his
words. He want you to shew you love him--and he tell you how."

Daisy sat quite still to let the tears pass away and the struggle in her
heart grow calm; then when she could safely she looked up. She met
Juanita's eye. It was fixed on her.

"Is the way straight now?" she asked. Daisy nodded, with a little bit of
a smile on her poor little lips.

"But there is trouble in the way?" said Juanita.

"Yes," said Daisy, and the old woman saw the eyes redden again.

"Has the little one a good friend at home to help?"

Daisy shook her head.

"Then let Jesus help. My little lady keep the Lord's words, and the
sweet Lord Jesus will keep her." And rising to her feet and clasping her
hands, where she stood, Juanita poured forth a prayer. It was for her
little visiter. It was full of love. It was full of confidence too; and
of such clear simplicity as if, like Stephen, she had _seen_ the heavens
open. But the loving strength of it won Daisy's heart; and when the
prayer was finished she came close to the old woman and threw her arms
round her as she stood, and wept with her face hid in Juanita's dress.
Yet the prayer had comforted her too, greatly. And though Daisy was very
shy of intimacies with strangers, she liked to feel Juanita's hand on
her shoulder; and after the paroxysm of tears was past, she still stood
quietly by her, without attempting to increase the distance between
them; till she saw Sam coming down the lane with the pony.

"Good bye," said Daisy, "there's the boy."

"My lady will come to see old Juanita again?"

"I am Daisy Randolph. I'll come,"--said the child, looking lovingly up.
Then she went down the slope to Sam.

"The blacksmith couldn't shoe him, Miss Daisy--he hadn't a shoe to fit.
He took off the old shoe--so Miss Daisy please not drive him hard home."

Daisy wanted nothing of the kind. To get home soon was no pleasure; so
she let Loupe take his own pace, anything short of walking; and it was
getting dusk when they reached Melbourne. Daisy was not glad to be
there. It was Friday night; the next day would be Saturday.

Mrs. Randolph came out into the hall to see that nothing was the matter,
and then went back into the drawing-room. Daisy got her dress changed,
and came there too, where the family were waiting for tea. She came in
softly and sat down by herself at a table somewhat removed from the
others, who were all busily talking and laughing. But presently Capt.
Drummond drew near and sat down at her side.

"Have you had a good drive, Daisy?"

"Yes, Capt. Drummond."

"We missed our history to-day, but I have been making preparations.
Shall we go into the Saxon Heptarchy to-morrow--you and I--and see if we
can get the kingdom settled?"

"If you please. I should like it very much."

"What is the matter with you, Daisy?"

Daisy lifted her wise little face, which indeed looked as if it were
heavy with something beside wisdom, towards her friend; she was not
ready with an answer.

"You aren't going to die on the field of battle yet, Daisy?" he said
half lightly, and half he knew not why. It brought a rush of colour to
the child's face; the self-possession must have been great which kept
her from giving way to further expression of feeling. She answered with
curious calmness,

"I don't think I shall, Capt. Drummond."

The Captain saw it was a bad time to get anything from her, and he moved
away. Preston came the next minute.

"Why Daisy," he whispered, drawing his chair close, "where have you been
all day? No getting a sight of you. What have you been about?"

"I have been to Crum Elbow this afternoon."

"Yes, and how late you stayed. Why did you?"

"Loupe lost a shoe. I had to wait for Sam to go to the blacksmith's with
him."

"Really. Did you wait in the road?"

"No. I had a place to wait."

"I dare say you are as hungry as a bear," said Preston. "Now here comes
tea--and waffles, Daisy; you shall have some waffles and cream. That
will make you feel better."

"Cream isn't good with waffles," said Daisy.

"Yes it is. Cream is good with everything. You shall try. I know! I am
always cross myself when I am hungry."

"I am not hungry, Preston; and I don't think I am cross."

"What are you, then? Come, Daisy,--here is a cup of tea, and here is a
waffle. First the sugar--there,--then the cream. So."

"You have spoiled it, Preston."

"Eat it--and confess you are hungry and cross too."

Daisy could have laughed, only she was too sore-hearted, and would
surely have cried. She fell to eating the creamed waffle.

"Is it good?"

"Very good!"

"Confess you are hungry and cross, Daisy."

"I am not cross. And Preston, please!--don't!" Daisy's fork fell; but
she took it up again.

"What is the matter, then, Daisy?"

Daisy did not answer; she went on eating as diligently as she could.

"Is it that foolish business of the song?" whispered Preston. "Is _that_
the trouble, Daisy?"

"Please don't, Preston!"--

"Well I won't, till you have had another waffle. Sugar and cream,
Daisy?"

"Yes."

"That's brave! Now eat it up--and tell me, Daisy, is _that_ the trouble
with you?"

He spoke affectionately, as he almost always did to her; and Daisy did
not throw him off.

"You don't understand it, Preston," she said.

"Daisy, I told you my uncle and aunt would not like that sort of thing."

Daisy was silent, and Preston wondered at her. Mrs. Gary drew near at
this moment, and placed herself opposite Daisy's tea-cup, using her eyes
in the first place.

"What are you talking about?" said she.

"About Daisy's singing, ma'am."

"That's the very thing," said Mrs. Gary, "that I wanted to speak about.
Daisy, my dear, I hope you are going to sing it properly to your mother
the next time she bids you?"

Daisy was silent.

"I wanted to tell you, my dear," said Mrs. Gary impressively, "what a
poor appearance your refusal made, the other evening. You could not see
it for yourself; but it made you seem awkward, and foolish, and
ill-bred. I am sure everybody would have laughed, if it had not been for
politeness towards your mother; for the spectacle was ludicrous,
thoroughly. You like to make a graceful appearance, don't you?"

Daisy answered in a low voice,--"Yes, ma'am; when I can."

"Well you _can_, my dear, for your behaviour is generally graceful, and
unexceptionable; only the other night it was very rough and uncouth. I
expected you to put your finger in your mouth the next thing, and stand
as if you had never seen anybody. And Daisy Randolph!--the heiress of
Melbourne and Cranford!"--

The heiress of Melbourne and Cranford lifted to her aunt's face a look
strangely in contrast with the look bent on her; so much worldly wisdom
was in the one, so much want of it in the other. Yet those steady grey
eyes were not without a wisdom, of their own; and Mrs. Gary met them
with a puzzled feeling of it.

"Do you understand me, Daisy, my dear?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Do you see that it is desirable never to look ridiculous, and well-bred
persons never do?"

"Yes, aunt Gary."

"Then I am sure you won't do it again. It would mortify me for your
father and mother."

Mrs. Gary walked away. Daisy looked thoughtful.

"Will you do it, Daisy?" whispered Preston.

"What?"

"Will you sing the song for them next time? You will, won't you?"

"I'll do what I can"--said Daisy. But it was said so soberly, that
Preston was doubtful of her. However he, like Capt. Drummond, had got to
the end of his resources for that time; and seeing his uncle approach,
Preston left his seat.

Mr. Randolph took it and drew Daisy from her own to a place in his arms.
He sat then silent a good while, or talking to other people; only
holding her close and tenderly. Truth to tell, Mr. Randolph was a little
troubled about the course things were taking; and Daisy and her father
were a grave pair that evening.

Daisy felt his arms were a pleasant shield between her and all the
world; if they might only _keep_ round her! And then she thought of
Juanita's prayer, and of the invisible shield, of a stronger and more
loving arm, that the Lord Jesus puts between his children and all real
harm.

At last Mr. Randolph bent down his head and brought his lips to Daisy's,
asking her if she had had a nice time that afternoon.

"Very, papa!" said Daisy gratefully; and then added after a little
hesitation, "Papa, do you know old Juanita?--Mrs. St. Leonard's woman,
that Mr. St. Leonard built a little house for?"

"I do not know her. I believe I have heard of her."

"Papa, would you let me go into _her_ house? She has some beautiful
shells that I should like to see."

"How do you know?"

"I saw them, papa, through the doorway of her house, I waited there
while Sam went with Loupe to the blacksmith's."

"And you did not go in?"

"No, sir--you said I must not, you know."

"I believe Juanita is a safe person, Daisy. You may go in, if ever you
have another opportunity."

"Thank you, papa."

"What are you going to do with the hundred dollars?" said Mr. Randolph,
putting his head down and speaking softly.

Daisy waited a minute, checked the swelling of her heart, forbade her
tears, steadied her voice to speak; and then said, "I sha'n't have them,
papa."

"Why not?"

"I can't fulfil the conditions." Daisy spoke again after waiting a
minute.

"Don't you mean to sing?"

Every time Daisy waited.--"I can't, papa."

"Your mother will require it."

Silence, only Mr. Randolph saw that the child's breath went and came
under excitement.

"Daisy, she will require it."

"Yes, papa"--was said rather faintly.

"And I think you must do it."

No response from Daisy; and no sign of yielding.

"How do you expect to get over it?"

"Papa, won't you help me?" was the child's agonized cry. She hid her
face in her father's breast.

"I have tried to help you. I will give you what will turn your fancied
wrong deed into a good one. It is certainly right to do charitable
things on Sunday."

There was silence, and it promised to last some time. Mr. Randolph would
not hurry her: and Daisy was thinking, "If ye love me, keep my
commandments." "_If ye love me_"--

"Papa,"--said she at last, very slowly, and pausing between her
words,--"would you be satisfied,--if I should disobey you--for a hundred
dollars?"

This time it was Mr. Randolph that did not answer, and the longer he
waited the more the answer did not come. He put Daisy gently off his
knee and rose at last without speaking. Daisy went out upon the verandah
and sat down on the step; and there the stars seemed to say to her--"If
a man love me, he will keep my words." They were shining very bright; so
was that saying to Daisy. She sat looking at them, forgetting all the
people in the drawing-room; and though troubled enough, she was not
utterly unhappy. The reason was, she loved her King.

Somebody came behind her and took hold of her shoulders. "My dear little
Daisy!" said the voice of Preston, "I wish you were an India-rubber
ball, that I might chuck you up to the sky and down again a few times!"

"Why? I don't think it would be nice."

"Why?--why because you want shaking; you are growing dull,--yes,
absolutely you are getting heavy! you, little Daisy! of all people in
the world. It won't do."

"I don't think such an exercise would benefit me," said Daisy.

"I'd find something else then. Daisy, Daisy," said he, shaking her
shoulders gently, "this religious foolery is spoiling you. Don't _you_
go and make yourself stupid. Why I don't know you. What is all this
ridiculous stuff? You aren't yourself."

"What do you want me to do, Preston?" said Daisy standing before him,
not without a certain childish dignity. It was lost on him.

"I want you to be my own little Daisy," said he coaxingly. "Come!--say
you will, and give up these outlandish notions you have got from some
old woman or other. What is it they want you to do?--sing?--Come,
promise you will. Promise me!"

"I will sing any day but Sunday."

"Sunday? Now Daisy! I'm ashamed of you. Why I never heard such nonsense.
Nobody has such notions but low people. It isn't sensible. Give it up,
Daisy, or I shall not know how to love you."

"Good night, Preston"--

"Daisy, Daisy! come and kiss me and be good."

"Good night"--repeated Daisy without turning; and she walked off.

It half broke June's heart that night to see that the child's eyes were
quietly dropping tears all the while she was getting undressed.
Preston's last threat had cut very close. But Daisy said not a word; and
when, long after June had left her, she got into bed and lay down, it
was not Preston's words but the reminder of the stars that was with her
and making harmony among all her troubled thoughts--"If a man love me,
he will keep my words."



CHAPTER XIV.


In spite of the burden that lay on Daisy's heart, she and Capt. Drummond
had a good time the next morning over the Saxon Heptarchy. They went
down to the shore for it, at Daisy's desire, where they would be
undisturbed; and the morning was hardly long enough. The Captain had
provided himself with a shallow tray filled with modelling clay; which
he had got from an artist friend living a few miles further up the
river. On this the plan of England was nicely marked out, and by the
help of one or two maps which he cut up for the occasion, the Captain
divided off the seven kingdoms greatly to Daisy's satisfaction and
enlightenment. Then, how they went on with the history! introduced
Christianity, enthroned Egbert, and defeated the Danes under Alfred.
They read from, the book, and fought it all out on the clay plan, as
they went along. At Alfred they stopped a good while, to consider the
state of the world in the little island of Britain at that time. The
good king's care for his people, his love for study and encouragement of
learning; his writing fables for the people; his wax candles to mark
time; his building with brick and stone; his founding the English navy,
and victories with the same; no less than his valour and endurance in
every time of trial; all these things Capt. Drummond whose father had
been an Englishman, duly enlarged upon, and Daisy heard them with greedy
ears. Truth to tell, the Captain had read up a little for the occasion,
being a good deal moved with sympathy for his little friend, who he saw
was going through a time of some trial. Nothing was to be seen of that
just now, indeed, other than the peculiarly soft and grave expression
which Daisy's face had worn all this week; and which kept reminding the
Captain to be sorry for her.

They got through with Alfred at last--by the way, the Captain had
effaced the dividing lines of the seven kingdoms and brought all to one
in Egbert's time--and now they went on with Alfred's successors. A place
was found on the sand for Denmark and Norway to shew themselves; and
Sweyn and Canute came over; and there was no bating to the interest with
which the game of human life went on. In short, Daisy and the Captain
having tucked themselves away in a nook of the beach and the tenth and
eleventh centuries, were lost to all the rest of the world and to the
present time; till a servant at last found them with the information
that the luncheon bell had rung, and Mrs. Randolph was ready to go out
with the Captain. And William the Conqueror had just landed at Hastings!

"Never mind, Daisy," said the Captain; "we'll go on with it, the next
chance we get."

Daisy thanked him earnestly, but the thought that Sunday must come and
go first, threw a shadow over her thanks. The Captain saw it; and walked
home thinking curiously about the "field of battle"--not Hastings.

Daisy did not go in to luncheon. She did not like meeting all the people
who felt so gay, while she felt so much trouble. Nor did she like being
with her mother, whose manner all the week had constantly reminded Daisy
of what Daisy never forgot. The rest of Saturday passed soberly away.
There was a cloud in the air.

And the cloud was high and dark Sunday morning, though it was as fair a
summer day as might be seen. Some tears escaped stealthily from Daisy's
eyes, as she knelt in the little church beside her mother; but the
prayers were deep and sweet and strong to her, very much. Sadly sorry
was Daisy when they were ended. The rest of the service was little to
her. Mr. Pyne did not preach like Mr. Dinwiddie; and she left the church
with a downcast heart, thinking that so much of the morning was past.

The rest of the day Daisy kept by herself, in her own room; trying to
get some comfort in reading and praying. For the dread of the evening
was strong upon her; every movement of her mother spoke displeasure and
determination. Daisy felt her heart beating gradually quicker and
quicker, as the hours of the day wore on.

"Ye ain't well, Miss Daisy,"--said June, who had come in as usual
without being heard.

"Yes I am, June," said Daisy. But she had started when the woman spoke,
and June saw that now a tear sprang.

"Did you eat a good lunch, Miss Daisy?"

"I don't know, June. I guess I didn't eat much."

"Let me bring you something!"--said the woman coaxingly--"some
strawberries, with some good cream to 'em."

"No--I can't, June--I don't want them. What o'clock is it?"

"It is just on to five, Miss Daisy."

Five! Daisy suddenly recollected her scholar, whom she had directed to
come to her at this hour. Jumping up she seized her hat and rushed off
down stairs and through the shrubbery, leaving June lost in wonder and
concern.

At a Belvidere, some distance from the house and nearer the gate, Daisy
had chosen to meet her pupil; and she had given orders at the Lodge to
have her guided thither when she should come. And there she was; Daisy
could see the red head of hair before she got to the place herself.
Hephzibah looked very much as she did on weekdays; her dress partially
covered with a little shawl; her bonnet she had thrown off; and if the
hair had been coaxed into any state of smoothness before leaving home,
it was all gone now.

[Illustration: THE BELVIDERE.]

"How do you do, Hephzibah?" said Daisy. "I am glad to see you."

Hephzibah smiled, but unless that meant a civil answer, she gave none.
Daisy sat down beside her.

"Do you know how to read, Hephzibah?"

The child first shook her shaggy head--then nodded it. What that meant,
Daisy was somewhat at a loss.

"Do you know your letters?"

Hephzibah nodded.

"What is that letter?"

Daisy had not forgotten to bring a reading book, and now put Hephzibah
through the alphabet, which she seemed to know perfectly, calling each
letter by its right name. Daisy then asked if she could read words; and
getting an assenting nod again, she tried her in that. But here
Hephzibah's education was defective; she could read indeed, after a
fashion; but it was a slow and stumbling fashion; and Daisy and she were
a good while getting through a page. Daisy shut the book up.

"Now Hephzibah," said she, "do you know anything about what is in the
Bible?"

Hephzibah shook her head in a manner the reverse of encouraging.

"Did you never read the Bible, nor have any one read it to you?"

Another shake.

Daisy thereupon began to tell her little neighbour the grand story which
concerned them both so nearly, making it as clear and simple as she
could. Hephzibah's eyes were fixed on her intently all the while; and
Daisy, greatly interested herself, wondered if any of the interest had
reached Hephzibah's heart, and made the gaze of her eyes so unwavering.
They expressed nothing. Daisy hoped, and went on, till at a pause
Hephzibah gave utterance to the first words (of her own) that she had
spoken during the interview. They came out very suddenly, like an
unexpected jet of water from an unused fountain.

"Mother says, you're the fus'ratest little girl she ever see!"

Daisy was extremely confounded. The thread of her discourse was so
thoroughly broken indeed, that she could not directly begin it again;
and in the minute of waiting she saw how low the sun was. She dismissed
Hephzibah. telling her to be at the Belvidere the same hour next
Sunday.

As the shaggy little red head moved away through the bushes, Daisy
watched it, wondering whether she had done the least bit of good. Then
another thought made her heart beat, and she turned again to see how low
the sun was. Instead of the sun she saw Gary McFarlane.

"Who is that, Daisy?" said he, looking after the disappearing red head.

"A poor little girl--" said Daisy.

"So I should think,--very poor!--looks so indeed! How came she here?"

"She came by my orders, Mr. McFarlane."

"By your orders! What have you got there, Daisy? Let's see! As sure as
I'm alive!--a spelling book. Keeping school, Daisy? Don't say no!"

Daisy did not say no, nor anything. She had taken care not to let Gary
get hold of her Bible; the rest she must manage as she could.

"This _is_ benevolence!" went on the young man. "Teaching a spelling
lesson in a Belvidere with the thermometer at 90° in the shade? What
sinners all the rest of us are! I declare, Daisy, you make me feel bad."

"I should not think it, Mr. McFarlane."

"Daisy, you have _à plomb_ enough for a princess, and gravity enough for
a Puritan! I should like to see you when you are grown up,--only then I
shall be an old man, and it will be of no consequence. What _do_ you
expect to do with that little red head?--now do tell me."

"She don't know anything, Mr. McFarlane."

"No more don't I! Come Daisy--have pity on me. You never saw anybody
more ignorant than I am. There are half a dozen things at this moment
which I don't know--and which you can tell me. Come, will you?"

"I must go in, Mr. McFarlane."

"But tell me first. Come, Daisy! I want to know why _is_ it so much
more wicked to sing a song than to make somebody else singsong?--for
that's the way they all do the spelling book, _I_ know. Hey, Daisy?"

"How did you know anything about it, Mr. McFarlane?"

"Come, Daisy,--explain. I am all in a fog--or else you are. This
spelling book seems to me a very wicked thing on Sunday."

"I will take it, if you please, Mr. McFarlane."

"Not if I know it! I want my ignorance instructed, Daisy. I am persuaded
you are the best person to enlighten me--but if not, I shall try this
spelling book on Mrs. Randolph. I regard it as a great curiosity, and an
important question in metaphysics."

Poor Daisy! She did not know what to do; conscious that Gary was
laughing at her all the while, and most unwilling that the story of the
spelling book should get to Mrs. Randolph's ears. She stood hesitating
and troubled, when her eye caught sight of Preston near. Springing to
him she cried, "O Preston, get my little book from Mr. McFarlane--he
won't give it to me."

There began then a race of the most uproarious sort between the two
young men--springing, turning, darting round among the trees and bushes,
shouting to and laughing at each other. Daisy another time would have
been amused; now she was almost frightened, lest all this boisterous
work should draw attention. At last, however, Preston got the spelling
book, or Gary let himself be overtaken and gave it up.

"It's mischief, Preston!" he said;--"deep mischief--occult mischief. I
give you warning."

"What is it, Daisy?" said Preston. "What is it all about?"

"Never mind. Oh Preston! don't ask anything, but let me have it!"

"There it is then; but Daisy," he said affectionately, catching her in
his arms,--"you are going to sing to-night, aren't you?"

"Don't Preston--don't! let me go," cried Daisy struggling to escape from
him; and she ran away as soon as he let her, hardly able to keep back
her tears. She felt it very hard. Preston and Gary, and her mother and
her father,--all against her in different ways. Daisy kneeled down by
her window-sill in her own room, to try to get comfort and strength;
though she was in too great tumult to pray connectedly. Her little heart
was beating sadly. But there was no doubt at all in Daisy's mind as to
what she should do.--"If a man love me, he will keep my words." She
never questioned now about doing that.

The dreaded tea bell rang, and she went down; but utterly unable to eat
or drink through agitation. Nobody seemed to notice her particularly,
and she wandered out upon the verandah; and waited there. There
presently her father's arms came round her before she was aware.

"What are you going to do, Daisy?"

"Nothing, papa," she whispered.

"Are you not going to sing?"

"Papa, I can't!" cried Daisy dropping her face against his arm. Her
father raised it again and drawing her opposite one of the windows,
looked into the dark-ringed eyes and white face.

"You are not well," said he. "You are not fit to be up; and my orders to
you, Daisy, are to go immediately to bed. I'll send you some medicine by
and by. Good night!"

He kissed her, and Daisy needed no second bidding. She sprang away,
getting into the house by another door; and lost no time. Her fear was
that her mother might send for her before she could get undressed. But
no summons came; June was speedy, thinking and saying it was a very good
thing for Daisy to do; and then she went off and left her alone with the
moonlight. Daisy was in no hurry then. She knelt by her beloved window,
where the scent of the honeysuckle was strong in the dewy air; and with
a less throbbing heart prayed her prayer. But she was not at ease yet;
it was very uncertain in her mind how her mother would take this order
of her father's; and what would come after, if she was willing to let it
pass. So Daisy could not go to sleep, but lay wide awake and fearing in
the moonlight, and listening to every sound in the house that came to
her ears.

The moonlight shone in peacefully, and Daisy lying there and growing
gradually calmer, began to wonder in herself that there should be so
much difficulty made about anybody's doing right. If she had been set on
some wrong thing, it would have made but a very little disturbance--if
any; but now, when she was only trying to do right, the whole house was
roused to prevent her. Was it so in those strange old times that the
eleventh chapter of Hebrews told of?--when men, and women, were stoned,
and sawn asunder, and slain with the sword, and wandered like wild
animals in sheepskins and goatskins and in dens and caves of the earth?
all for the name of Jesus. But if they suffered once, they were happy
now. Better anything, at all events, than to deny that name!

The evening seemed excessively long to Daisy, lying there on her bed
awake, and listening with strained ears for any sound near her room. She
heard none; the hours passed, though so very slowly, as they do when all
the minutes are watched; and Daisy heard nothing but dim distant noises,
and grew pretty quiet. She had heard nothing else, when turning her head
from the moonlight window she caught the sight of a white figure at her
bedside; and by the noble form and stately proportions Daisy knew
instantly whose figure it was. Those soft flowing draperies had been
before her eyes all day. A pang shot through the child, that seemed to
go from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet.

"Are you awake, Daisy?"

"Yes, mamma," she said feebly.

"Get up. I want to speak to you."

Daisy got off the bed, and the white figure in the little night dress
stood opposite the other white figure, robed in muslin and laces that
fell around it like a cloud.

"Why did you come to bed?"

"Papa--papa ordered me."

"It's all the same. If you had not come to bed, Daisy if you had been
well,--would you have sung when I ordered you to-night?"

Daisy hesitated, and then said in a whisper:

"No, mamma--not that."

"Think before you answer me, for I shall not ask twice. Will you promise
to sing the gypsy song, because I command you, next Sunday in the
evening? Answer, Daisy."

Very low it was, for Daisy trembled so that she did not know how she
could speak at all, but the answer came,--

"I can't, mamma."

Mrs. Randolph stepped to the bell and rang it. Almost at the same
instant June entered, bearing a cup in her hand.

"What is that?" said Mrs. Randolph.

"Master sent Miss Daisy some medicine."

"Set it down. I have got some here better for her. June, take Daisy's
hands."

"Oh mamma, no!" exclaimed Daisy. "Oh please send June away!"

The slight gesture of command to June which answered this, was as
imperious as it was slight. It was characteristically like Mrs.
Randolph; graceful and absolute. June obeyed it, as old instinct told
her to do; though sorely against her will. She had held hands before,
though not Daisy's; and she knew very well the look of the little whip
with which her mistress stepped back into the room, having gone to her
own for it. In a Southern home that whip had been wont to live in Mrs.
Randolph's pocket. June's heart groaned within her.

The whip was small but it had been made for use, not for play; and there
was no play in Mrs. Randolph's use of it. This was not like her father's
ferule, which Daisy could bear in silence, if tears would come; her
mother's handling forced cries from her; though smothered and kept under
in a way that shewed the child's self-command.

"What have you to say to me?" Mrs. Randolph responded, without waiting
for the answer. But Daisy had none to give. At length her mother paused.

"Will you do what I bid you?"

Daisy was unable to speak for tears--and perhaps for fear. The wrinkles
on June's brow were strangely folded together with agitation; but nobody
saw them.

"Will you sing for me next Sunday?" repeated Mrs. Randolph.

There was a struggle in the child's heart, as great almost as a child's
heart can bear. The answer came, when it came, tremblingly--

"I can't, mamma."

"You cannot?" said Mrs. Randolph.

"I can't, mamma."

The chastisement which followed was so severe, that June was moved out
of all the habits of her life, to interfere in another's cause. The
white skinned race were no mark for trouble in June's mind; least of
them all, her little charge. And if white skin was no more delicate in
reality than dark skin, it answered to the lash much more speakingly.

"Missus, you'll kill her!" June said, using in her agitation a carefully
disused form of speech; for June was a freedwoman. A slight turn of the
whip brought the lash sharply across her wrist, with the equally sharp
words, "Mind your own business!"

A thrill went through the woman, like an electric spark firing a whole
life-train of feeling and memory; but the lines of her face never moved,
and not the stirring of a muscle told what the touch had reached,
besides a few nerves. She had done her charge no good by her
officiousness, as June presently saw with grief. It was not till Mrs.
Randolph had thoroughly satisfied her displeasure at being thwarted, and
not until Daisy was utterly exhausted, that Mrs. Randolph stayed her
hand.

"I will see what you will say to me next Sunday!" she remarked calmly.
And she left the room.

It was not that Mrs. Randolph did not love her daughter, in her way; for
in her way she was fond of Daisy; but the habit of bearing no opposition
to her authority was life-strong, and probably intensified in the
present instance by perceiving that her husband was disposed to shield
the offender. The only person in whose favour the rule ever relaxed, was
Ransom.

June was left with a divided mind, between the dumb indignation which
had never known speech, and an almost equally speechless concern. Daisy
as soon as she was free had made her way to the window; there the child
was, on her knees, her head on her window sill, and weeping as if her
very heart were melting and flowing away drop by drop. And June stood
like a dark statue, looking at her; the wrinkles in her forehead scarce
testifying to the work going on under it. She wanted first of all to see
Daisy in bed; but it seemed hopeless to speak to her; and there the
little round head lay on the window-sill, and the moonbeams poured in
lovingly over it. June stood still and never stirred.

It was a long while before Daisy's sobs began to grow fainter, and June
ventured to put in her word and got Daisy to lay herself on the bed
again. Then June went off after another sort of medicine of her own
devising, despising the drops which Mr. Randolph had given her. Without
making a confidant of the housekeeper, she contrived to get from her
the materials to make Daisy a cup of arrowroot with wine and spices.
June knew well how to be a cook when she pleased; and what she brought
to Daisy was, she knew, as good as a cook could make it. She found the
child lying white and still on the bed, and not asleep, nor dead, which
June had almost feared at first sight of her. She didn't want the
arrowroot; she said.

"Miss Daisy, s'pose you take it?" said June. "It won't do you no
hurt--maybe it'll put you to sleep."

Daisy was perhaps too weak to resist. She rose half up and eat the
arrowroot, slowly, and without a word. It did put a little strength into
her, as June had said. But when she gave back the cup and let herself
fall again upon her pillow, Daisy said,

"June, I'd like to die."

"O why, Miss Daisy?" said June.

"Jesus knows that I love him now; and I'd like--" said the child
steadying her voice--"I'd like--to be in heaven!"

"O no, Miss Daisy--not yet; you've got a great deal to do in the world
first."

"Jesus knows I love him--" repeated the child.

"Miss Daisy, he knowed it before--he's the Lord."

"Yes, but--he wants people to _shew_ they love him, June."

"Do, don't! Miss Daisy," said June half crying. "Can't ye go to sleep?
Do, now!"

It was but three minutes more, and Daisy had complied with her request.
June watched and saw that the sleep was real; went about the room on her
noiseless feet; came back to Daisy's bed, and finally went off for her
own pillow, with which she lay down on the matting at the foot of the
bed, and there passed the remainder of the night.



CHAPTER XV.


The sun was shining bright the next morning, and Daisy sat on one of the
seats under the trees, half in sunshine, half in shadow. It was after
breakfast, and she had been scarcely seen or heard that morning before.
Ransom, came up.

"Daisy, do you want to go fishing?"

"No, I think not."

"You don't! What are you going to do?"

"I am not going to do anything."

"I don't believe it. What ails you? Mother said I was to ask you--and
there you sit like a wet feather. I am glad I am not a girl, however!"

Ransom went off, and a very faint colour rose in Daisy's cheek.

"Are you not well, Daisy?" said Mr. Randolph, who had also drawn near.

"I am well, papa."

"You don't look so. What's the matter, that you don't go a fishing, when
Ransom has the consideration to ask you?"

Daisy's tranquillity was very nearly overset. But she maintained it, and
only answered without the change of a muscle, "I have not the
inclination, papa." Indeed her face was _too_ quiet; and Mr. Randolph
putting that with its colourless hue, and the very sweet upward look her
eyes had first given him, was not satisfied. He went away to the
breakfast room.

"Felicia," said he low, bending down by his wife,--"did you have any
words with Daisy last night?"

"Has she told you about it?" said Mrs. Randolph.

"Told me what? What is there to tell?"

"Nothing, on my part," answered the lady nonchalantly. "Daisy may tell
you what she pleases."

"Felicia," said Mr. Randolph looking much vexed, "that child has borne
too much already. She is ill."

"It is her own fault. I told you, Mr. Randolph, I would as lief not have
a child as not have her mind me. She shall do what I bid her, if she
dies for it."

"It won't come to that," said Mrs. Gary. Mr. Randolph turned on his
heel.

Meantime, another person who had seen with sorrow Daisy's pale face, and
had half a guess as to the cause of it, came up to her side and sat
down.

"Daisy, what is to be done to-day?"

"I don't know, Capt. Drummond."

"You don't feel like storming the heights, this morning?"

Again, to him also, the glance of Daisy's eye was so very sweet and so
very wistful, that the captain was determined in a purpose he had half
had in his mind.

"What do you say to a long expedition, Daisy?"

"I don't feel like driving, Capt. Drummond."

"No, but suppose I drive,--and we will leave Loupe at home for to-day. I
want to go as far as Schroeder's Hill, to look after trilobites; and I
do not want anybody with me but you. Shall we go?"

"What are those things, Capt. Drummond?"

"Trilobites?"

"Yes. What are they?"

"Curious things, Daisy! They are a kind of fish that are found on land."

"Fish on land! But then they can't be fish, Capt. Drummond?"

"Suppose we go and see," said the captain; "and then if we find any, we
shall know more about them than we do now."

"But how do you catch them?"

"With my hands, I suppose."

"With your _hands_, Capt. Drummond?"

"Really I don't know any other way,--unless your hands will help. Come!
shall we go and try?"

Daisy slowly rose up, very mystified, but with a little light of
interest and curiosity breaking on her face. The Captain moved off on
his part to get ready, well satisfied that he was doing a good thing.

It went to the Captain's heart nevertheless, for he had a kind one, to
see all the way how pale and quiet Daisy's face was. She asked him no
more about trilobites, she did not talk about anything; the subjects the
Captain started were soon let drop. And not because she was too ill to
talk, for Daisy's eye was thoughtfully clear and steady, and the Captain
had no doubt but she was busy enough in her own mind with things she did
not bring out. What sort of things? he was very curious to know. For he
had never seen Daisy's face so exceeding sweet in its expression as he
saw it now; though the cheeks were pale and worn, there was in her eye
whenever it was lifted to his a light of something hidden that the
Captain could not read. It was true. Daisy had sat stunned and dull all
the morning until he came with his proposal for the drive; and with the
first stir of excitement in getting ready, a returning tide of love had
filled the dry places in Daisy's heart; and it was full now of feelings
that only wanted a chance to come out. Meanwhile she sat as still as a
mouse and as grave as a judge.

The hill for which they were bound was some dozen or more miles away. It
was a wild rough place. Arrived at the foot of it, they could go no
further by the road; the Captain tied his horse to a tree, and he and
Daisy scrambled up the long winding ascent, thick with briars and
bushes, or strewn with pieces of rock and shaded with a forest of old
trees. This was hard walking for Daisy to-day; she did not feel like
struggling with any difficulties, and her poor little feet almost
refused to carry her through the roughnesses of the last part of the
way. She was very glad when they reached the ground where the Captain
wanted to explore, and she could sit down and be still. It was quite on
the other side of the mountain; a strange looking place. The face of the
hill was all bare of trees, and seemed to be nothing but rock; and
jagged and broken as if quarriers had been there cutting and blasting.
Nothing but a steep surface of broken rock; bare enough; but it was from
the sun, and Daisy chose the first smooth fragment to sit down upon.
Then what a beautiful place! For from that rocky seat, her eye had a
range over acres and acres of waving slopes of tree tops; down in the
valley at the mountain foot, and up and down so many slopes and ranges
of swelling and falling hillsides and dells, that the eye wandered from
one to another and another, softer and softer as the distance grew, or
brighter and more varied as the view came nearer home. A wilderness all,
no roof of a house nor smoke from a chimney even; but those sunny ranges
of hills, over which now and then a cloud shadow was softly moving, and
which finished in a dim blue horizon.

"Well, are you going to sit here?" said the Captain, "or will you help
me to hunt up my fishes?"

"O I'll sit here," said Daisy. She did not believe much in the success
of the Captain's hunt.

"Won't you be afraid, while I am going all over creation?"

"Of what?" said Daisy.

The Captain laughed a little and went off; thinking however not so much
of his trilobites as of the sweet fearless look the little face had
given him. Uneasy about the child too, for Daisy's face looked not as he
liked to see it look. But where got she that steady calm, and curious
fearlessness. "She is a timid child," thought the Captain as he climbed
over the rocks; "or she was, the other night."

But the Captain and Daisy were looking with different eyes; no wonder
they did not find the same things. In all that sunlit glow over hill and
valley, which warmed every tree-top, Daisy had seen only another
light,--the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. With that love round her,
over her, how could she fear anything. She sat a little while resting
and thinking; then being weary and feeling weak, she slipped down on the
ground, and like Jacob taking a stone for her pillow, she went to sleep.

So the Captain found her, every time he came back from his hunt to look
after his charge; he let her sleep, and went off again. He had a
troublesome hunt. At last he found some traces of what he sought; then
he forgot Daisy in his eagerness, and it was after a good long interval
the last time that he came to Daisy's side again. She was awake.

"What have you got?" she said as he came up with his hands full.

"I have got my fish."

"Have you! O where is it?"

"How do you do?" said the Captain sitting down beside her.

"I do very well. Where is the fish? You have got nothing but stones
there, Capt. Drummond?"

The Captain without speaking displayed one of the stones he had in his
hand. It looked very curious. Upon a smooth flat surface, where the
stone had been split, there was a raised part which had the appearance
of some sort of animal; but this too seemed to be stone, and was black
and shining, though its parts were distinct.

"What is that, Capt. Drummond? It is a stone."

"It is a fish."

"_That_?"

"That."

"But you are laughing."

"Am I?" said the Captain, as grave as a senator. "It's a fish for all
that."

"This curious black thing?"

"Precisely."

[Illustration]

"What sort of a fish?"

"Daisy, have you had any luncheon?"

"No, sir."

"Then you had better discuss that subject first. Soldiers cannot get
along without their rations, you'll find."

"What is that?" said Daisy.

"Rations?"

"Yes, sir."

"Daily bread, Daisy. Of one sort or another as the case may be. Where is
that basket?"

Daisy had charge of it and would not let him take it out of her hands.
She unfolded napkins, and permitted the Captain to help himself when
she had all things ready. Then bread and butter and salad were found to
be very refreshing. But while Daisy eat, she looked at the trilobite.

"Please tell me what it is, Capt, Drummond."

"It is a Crustacean."

"But you know I don't know what a Crustacean is."

"A Crustacean, is a fellow who wears his bones on the outside."

"Capt. Drummond! What do you mean?"

"Well I mean that, Daisy. Did you never hear of the way soldiers used to
arm themselves for the fight in old times? in plates of jointed armour?"

"Yes, I know they did."

"Well these fellows are armed just so--only they do not put on steel or
brass, but hard plates of bone or horn that do exactly as well, and are
jointed just as nicely."

"And those are Crustaceans?"

"Those are Crustaceans."

"And was this thing armed so?"

"Splendidly. Don't you see those marks?--those shew the rings of his
armour. Those rings fitted so nicely, and played so easily upon one
another, that he could curl himself all up into a ball if he liked, and
bring his armour all round him; for it was only on his back, so to
speak."

"And how came he into this rock, Capt. Drummond?"

"Ah! how did he?" said the Captain, looking contentedly at the
trilobite. "That's more than I can tell you, Daisy. Only he lived before
the rock was made, and when it was made, it wrapped him up in it,
somehow; and now we have got him!"

"But, Capt. Drummond I----"

"What is it?"

"When do you suppose this rock was made?"

"Can't just say, Daisy. Some rocks are young, and some are old, you
know. This is one of the old rocks."

"But how do you know, Capt. Drummond?"

"I know by the signs," said the Captain.

"What is an old rock? how old?"

"I am sure I can't say, Daisy. Only that a _young_ rock is apt to be a
good deal older than Adam and Eve."

"How can you tell that?"

"When you see a man's hair grey, can't you tell that he is old?"

"But there are no grey hairs in rocks?" said Daisy.

"Yes, there are. Trilobites do just as well."

"But I say," said Daisy laughing, "how can you tell that the rock is
old? You wouldn't know that grey hairs were a sign, if you saw them on
young people."

"Pretty well, Daisy!" said the Captain, delighted to see her interested
in something again;--"pretty well! But you will have to study something
better than me, to find out about all that. Only it is true."

"And you were not laughing?"

"Not a bit of it. That little fellow, I suppose, lived a thousand
million years ago; may as well say a thousand as anything."

"I can't see how you can tell," said Daisy, looking puzzled.

"That was a strange old time, when he was swimming about--or when most
of them were. There were no trees, to speak of; and no grass or anything
but sea-weed and mosses; and no living things but fishes and oysters and
such creatures?"

"Where were the beasts then, and the birds?"

"They were not made yet. That's the reason, I suppose, there was no
grass for them to eat."

Daisy looked down at the trilobite; and looked profoundly thoughtful.
That little, shiny, black, stony thing, _that_ had lived and flourished
so many ages ago! Once more she looked up into the Captain's face to see
if he were trifling with her. He shook his head.

"True as a book, Daisy."

"But Capt. Drummond, please, how do you know it?"

"Just think, Daisy,--this little fellow frolicked away in the mud at the
bottom of the sea, with his half moons of eyes--and round him swam all
sorts of fishes that do not live now-a-days; fishes with plate armour
like himself; everybody was in armour."

"Half moons of eyes, Capt. Drummond?"

"Yes. He had, or some of them had, two semi-circular walls of eyes--one
looked before and behind and all round to the right, and the other
looked before and behind and all round at the left; and in each wall
were two hundred eyes."

The Captain smiled to himself to see Daisy's face at this statement,
though outwardly he kept perfectly grave. Daisy's own simple orbs were
so full and intent. She looked from him to the fossil.

"But Capt. Drummond----" she began slowly.

"Well, Daisy? After you have done, I shall begin."

"Did you say that this thing lived at the bottom of the sea?"

"Precisely."

"But then how could he get up here?"

"Seems difficult, don't it?" said the Captain. "Well, Daisy, the people
that know, tell us that all the land we have was once at the bottom of
the sea; so these rocks had their turn."

"All the land?" said Daisy. "O that is what the Bible says!"

"The Bible!" said the Captain in his turn. "Pray where, if you please?"

"Why don't you know, Capt. Drummond?--when God said, 'Let the waters be
gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.'"

The Captain whistled softly, with an amused face, and stealthily watched
Daisy, whose countenance was full of the most beautiful interest.
Almost lovingly she bent over the trilobite, thinking her own thoughts;
while her friend presently from observing the expression of her face
began to take notice anew of the thin and pale condition of the cheeks,
that had been much healthier a week ago.

"You like to look at armour, Daisy," he said.

She made no answer.

"Are you still in the mind to 'die on the field of battle?'"

He guessed the question would touch her, but curiosity got the better of
sympathy with him. He was not prepared for the wistful, searching look
that Daisy gave him instantly, nor for the indescribable tenderness and
sorrow that mingled in it. As before, she did not answer.

"Forgive me, Daisy," said the Captain involuntarily "You know you told
me you were a soldier."

Daisy's heart was very tender, and she had been living all the morning
in that peculiar nearness to Christ which those know who suffer for him.
She looked at the Captain, and burst into tears.

"You told me you were a soldier--" he repeated, not quite knowing what
to say.

"O Capt. Drummond!" said Daisy weeping,--"I wish you were!"

It stung the Captain. He knew what she meant. But he quietly asked her
why?

"Because then," said Daisy, "you would know Jesus; and I want you to be
happy."

"Why Daisy," said Capt. Drummond, though his conscience smote him,--"you
don't seem to me very happy lately."

"Don't I?" she said. "But I _am_ happy. I only wish everybody else was
happy too."

She presently wiped her eyes and stood up. "Capt. Drummond," said she,
"don't you think we can find another of these things?"

Anything to change the course matters had taken, the Captain thought,
so he gave ready assent; and he and Daisy entered upon a most lively
renewed quest among the rocks that covered all that mountain side. Daisy
was more eager than he; she wanted very much to have a trilobite for her
own keeping; the difficulty was, she did not know how to look for it.
All she could do was to follow her friend and watch all his doings and
direct him to new spots in the mountain that he had not tried. In the
course of this business the Captain did some adventurous climbing; it
would have distressed Daisy if she had not been so intent upon his
object; but as it was she strained her little head back to look at him,
where he picked his way along at a precipitous height above her,
sometimes holding to a bramble or sapling, and sometimes depending on
his own good footing and muscular agility. In this way of progress,
while making good his passage from one place to another, the Captain's
foot in leaping struck upon a loosely poised stone or fragment of rock.
It rolled from under him. A spring saved the Captain, but the huge stone
once set a going continued its way down the hill.

"Daisy--look out!" he shouted.

"Have you got one?" said Daisy, springing forward. She misunderstood his
warning; and her bound brought her exactly under the rolling stone. She
never saw it till it had reached her and knocked her down.

"Hollo, Daisy!" shouted Capt. Drummond,--"is all right?"

He got no answer, listened, shouted again, and then made two jumps from
where he stood to the bottom. Daisy lay on the ground, her little foot
under the stone; her eyes closed, her face paler than ever. Without
stopping to think how heavy the stone was, with a tremendous exertion of
strength the young man pushed it from where it lay and released the
foot; but he was very much afraid damage was done. "It couldn't help
it"--said the Captain to himself as he looked at the great piece of
rock; but the first thing was to get Daisy's eyes open. There was no
spring near that he knew of; he went back to their lunch basket and
brought from it a bottle of claret--all he could find--and with it
wetted Daisy's lips and brow. The claret did perhaps as well as cold
water; for Daisy revived; but as soon as she sat up and began to move,
her words were broken off by a scream of pain.

"What is it, Daisy?" said the Captain. "Your foot?--that confounded
stone!--can't you move it?"

"No,"--said Daisy with a short breath, "I can't move it. Please excuse
me, Capt. Drummond--I couldn't help crying out that minute; it hurt me
so. It doesn't hurt me so much now when I keep still."

The Captain kept still too, wishing very much that he and Daisy and the
trilobites were all back in their places again. How long could they sit
still up there on the mountain? He looked at the sun; he looked at his
watch. It was three o'clock. He looked at Daisy.

"Let me see," said he, "if anything is the matter. Hard to find out,
through this thick boot! How does it feel now?"

"It pains me very much, these two or three minutes."

The Captain looked at Daisy's face again, and then without more ado took
his knife and cut the lacings of the boot. "How is that?" he asked.

"That is a _great_ deal better."

"If it hadn't been, you would have fainted again directly. Let us
see--Daisy, I think I had better cut the boot off. You have sprained the
ankle, or something, and it is swollen."

Daisy said nothing, and the Captain went on very carefully and tenderly
to cut the boot off. It was a very necessary proceeding. The foot was
terribly swollen already. Again the Captain mused, looking from the
child's foot to her face.

"How is the pain now?"

"It aches a good deal."

He saw it was vastly worse than her words made it.

"My little soldier," said he, "how do you suppose I am going to get you
down the hill, to where we left our carriage?"

"I don't know," said Daisy. "You can't carry me."

"What makes you think so?"

"I don't _know_," said Daisy,--"but I don't think you can." And she was
a little afraid, he saw.

"I will be as careful as I can, and you must be as brave as you can, for
I don't see any other way, Daisy. And I think, the sooner we go the
better; so that this foot may have some cold or hot lotion or
something."

"Wait a minute," said Daisy hastily.

And raising herself up to a sitting position, she bent over her little
head and covered her eyes with her hand. The Captain felt very
strangely. He guessed in a minute what she was about; that in pain and
fear, Daisy was seeking an unseen help, and trusting in it; and in awed
silence the young officer was as still as she, till the little head was
raised.

"Now," she said, "you may take me."

The Captain always had a good respect for Daisy; but he certainly felt
now as if he had the dignity of twenty-five years in his arms. He raised
her as gently as possible from the ground; he knew the changed position
of the foot gave her new pain, for a flush rose to Daisy's brow, but she
said not one word either of suffering or expostulation. Her friend
stepped with her as gently as he could over the rough way; Daisy
supported herself partly by an arm round his neck, and was utterly mute,
till they were passing the place of luncheon; then she broke out,--

"Oh! the trilobite!"

"Never mind the trilobite."

"But are you going to lose it, Capt. Drummond?"

"Not if you want it. I'll come back for it another day--if I break my
furlough."

"I could hold it in my other hand--if I had it."

The Captain thought the bottle of claret might chance to be the most
wanted thing; nevertheless he stopped, stooped, and picked up the
fossil. Daisy grasped it; and they went on their way down the mountain.
It was a very trying way to both of them. The Captain was painfully
anxious to step easily, which among rocks and bushes he could not always
do, especially with a weight in his arms; and Daisy's foot hanging down,
gave her dreadful pain because of the increased rush of blood into it.
Her little lips were firmly set together many a time, to avoid giving
her friend the distress of knowing how much she suffered; and once the
Captain heard a low whisper not meant for his ear but uttered very close
to it,--"O Lord Jesus, help me." It went through and through the
Captain's mind and heart. But he only set his teeth too, and plunged on,
as fast as he could softly, down the rough mountain side. And if ever
anybody was glad, that was he when they reached the wagon.

There was a new difficulty now, for the little vehicle had no place in
which Daisy could remain lying down. The seat was fast; the Captain
could not remove it. He did the best he could. He put Daisy sideways on
the seat, so that the hurt foot could be stretched out and kept in one
position upon it; and he himself stood behind her, holding the reins. In
that way he served as a sort of support for the little head which he
sometimes feared would sink in a swoon; for while she lay on the ground
and he was trying measures with the wagon, the closed eyes and pale
cheeks had given the Captain a good many desperately uneasy thoughts.
Now Daisy sat still, leaning against him, with her eyes open; and he
drove as tenderly as he could. He had a frisky horse to manage, and the
Captain congratulated himself for this occasion at least that he was a
skilled whip. Still the motion of the wagon was very trying to Daisy,
and every jar went through the Captain's foot up to his heart.

"How is it, Daisy?" he asked after they had gone some distance.

"It isn't good, Capt. Drummond," she said softly.

"Bad, isn't it?"

"Rather."

"I have to make this fellow go slowly, you see, or he would shake you
too much. Could you bear to go faster?"

"I'll try."

The Captain tried cautiously. But his question, and possibly Daisy's
answer, were stimulated by the view of the western horizon, over which
clouds were gathering thick and fast. Could they get home in time? that
was the doubt in both minds.

"Capt. Drummond," said Daisy presently, "I can't bear this shaking."

"Must I go slower?"

"If you please."

"Daisy, do you see how the sky bodes yonder? What do you suppose we
shall do if those clouds come up?"

"I don't know," she answered. But she said it with such a quiet tone of
voice, that the Captain wondered anew. He had hoped that her fears might
induce her to bear the pain.

"Daisy, do you think it will come up a storm?"

"I think it will."

"How soon? you know the signs better than I do. How soon will it be
here?"

"It will come soon, I think."

Yet there was no anxiety in Daisy's voice. It was perfectly calm, though
feeble. The Captain held his peace, looked at the clouds, and drove on;
but not as fast as he would have liked. He knew it was a ride of great
suffering to his little charge, for she became exceedingly pale; still
she said nothing, except her soft replies to his questions. The western
clouds rolled up in great volumes of black and grey, rolling and
gathering and spreading at a magnificent rate. The sun was presently hid
behind the fringe of this curtain of blackness; by and by the mountains
were hid beneath a further fringe of rain; a very thick fringe. Between,
the masses of vapour in the sky seemed charging for a tremendous
outburst. It had not come yet when the slow going little wagon passed
through Crum Elbow; but by this time the Captain had seen distant darts
of lightning, and even heard the far-off warning growl of the thunder. A
new idea started up in the Captain's mind; his frisky horse might not
like lightning.

"Daisy," said he, "my poor little Daisy--we cannot get to Melbourne--we
must stop and wait a little somewhere. Is there any house you like
better than another? I had best turn back to the village."

"No, don't,--stop!" cried Daisy, "don't go back, Capt. Drummond; there
is a place nearer. Turn up that road--right round there. It is very
near."

The Captain obeyed, but pulled in the reins presently as he heard a
nearer growl of the coming thunder. "Daisy, where is it? I don't see
anything."

"There it is, Capt. Drummond--that little house."

"_That_?" said the Captain; but there was no more time now for retreat
or question. He sprang out, threw the reins two or three times over the
gate-post; then executed the very difficult operation of taking Daisy
out of the wagon. He could not do it without hurting her; she fainted on
his shoulder; and it was in this state, white and senseless, that he
carried her into Mrs. Benoit's cottage. The old woman had seen them and
met him at the door. Seeing the state of the case, she immediately and
with great quickness spread a clean covering over a comfortable chintz
couch which stood under the window, and Daisy was laid there from her
friend's arms. Juanita applied water and salts too, deftly; and then
asked the Captain, "What is it, sir?"

"There's a foot hurt here," said the Captain, giving more attention to
the hurt than he had had chance to do before. "Pray heaven it is not
broken! I am afraid it is,--the ankle--or dislocated."

"Then Heaven knows _why_ it is broken," said the old woman quietly. "The
gentleman will go for a doctor, sir?"

"Yes, that must be the first thing," said Capt. Drummond gravely. "Where
shall I find him?"

"Dr. Sandford--the gentleman, knows the road to Mr. St. Leonard's?"

"Yes--the Craigs--I know."

"Dr. Sandford is half way there--where the gentleman remembers a great
brown house in the middle of the cedar trees."

The Captain beat his brain to remember, thought he did, and was starting
away, but turned back to see Daisy's eyes open first; fearing lest she
might be alarmed if he were not by her when she came to herself. There
was a bright flash and near peal of thunder at the moment. Juanita
looked up.

"The gentleman will not fear the storm? There is work _here_"--touching
the foot.

The Captain remembered that Daisy herself had directed him to the house,
and dashed away again. The clouds were growing blacker every moment. In
the darkening light Juanita bent over Daisy and saw her eyes open.

"Does my little lady know Juanita?"

Daisy sighed, looked round the room, and then seemed to recollect
herself.

"O I am here!" she said. "Where is Capt. Drummond?"

"The gentleman is gone for the doctor, to see to the hurt foot. How is
it now, dear?"

"It hurts me a good deal."

Juanita's first business was to take off the stocking; this could only
be done by cutting it down. When it was removed, a very
sorrowful-looking little foot was seen. Juanita covered it up lightly,
and then turned her attention again to Daisy's pale face.

"What can I give my little lady?"

"I am Daisy Randolph."

"What may I do for Miss Daisy? to give her some comfort."

"Juanita,--I wish you would pray for me again."

"What does Miss Daisy want of the Lord?"

"My foot hurts me very much, and I want to be patient. And, Juanita, I
want to thank him too."

"What for, Miss Daisy?"

"Because--I love him; and he has made me so happy."

"Praise the Lord!" came with a most glad outburst from Juanita's lips;
but then she knelt down, and so uttered her warm petitions for help
needed and so her deep thanksgiving for help rendered, that Daisy was
greatly overcome and poured out her tears as the prayer went on. When it
was ended, Juanita went about her room for a little while, making
certain arrangements that she foresaw would be necessary; then came and
sat down. All this while the storm had been furious; the lightning
hardly ceased, or the thunder, and both were near; but the two inmates
of the little cottage seemed hardly to be conscious what was going on
outside its walls. There was a slight lessening now of the storm's fury.

"Has it gone well with my little lady then, since she gave Juanita the
rose branch?"

This was the new opening of conversation. Daisy hesitated a little what
to answer; not for want of confidence, for there was something about the
fine old woman that had won her completely.

"I don't know"--she said at length, slowly. "It has been very hard to do
right, Juanita."

"But has my little lady kept her Lord's words?"

"Yes, Juanita, I did; but I don't know whether I should, if it hadn't
been for what you said."

"And did she meet the trouble too?"

Juanita saw that she had, for a flush rose on Daisy's poor pale cheeks,
and her face was strangely grave. She did not answer the question
either; only as the flash passed away she looked placidly up and said,

"I am not in trouble now, Juanita."

"Bless the Lord!" was the utterance of Juanita's heart. "The Lord knows
how to deliver out of trouble, Miss Daisy."

"Yes," said Daisy. "O!"--she exclaimed suddenly, with a new light
breaking all over her face--but then she stopped.

"What is it, my love?"

"Nothing--only I am so glad now that my foot is hurt."

Juanita's thanksgiving rose to her lips again, but this time she only
whispered it; turning away, perhaps to hide the moisture which had
sprung to her eyes. For she understood more of the case than Daisy's few
words would have told most people.

Meantime Capt. Drummond and his frisky horse had a ride which was likely
to make both of them remember that thunderstorm. They reached Dr.
Sandford's house; but then the Captain found that the doctor was not at
home; where he was, the servant could not say. The only other thing to
do seemed to be to go on to Melbourne and at least let Daisy have the
counsel of her father and mother. To Melbourne the Captain drove as fast
as his horse's state of mind would permit.

The drawing room was blazing with lights as usual, and full of talkers.

"Hollo!" cried Gary McFarlane, as the Captain entered,--"here he is. We
had given you up for a fossil, Drummond--and no idea of your turning up
again for another thousand years. Shouldn't have known where to look
for you either, after this storm--among the aqueous or the igneous
rocks. Glad to see you! Let me make you acquainted with Dr. Sandford."

"I am glad to see you, sir," said the Captain involuntarily, as he shook
hands with this latter.

"You haven't left Daisy somewhere, changed into a stone lily?" pursued
McFarlane.

"Yes," said the Captain. "Dr. Sandford, I am going to ask you to get
ready to ride with me. Mr. Randolph, I have left Daisy by the way. She
has hurt her foot--I threw down a stone upon it--and the storm obliged
her to defer getting home. I left her at a cottage near Crum Elbow. I am
going to take Dr. Sandford to see what the foot wants."

Mr. Randolph ordered the carriage, and then told his wife.

"Does it storm yet?" she asked.

"The thunder and lightning are ceasing, but it rains hard."

The lady stepped out of the room to get ready, and in a few minutes she
and her husband, Capt. Drummond and the doctor, were seated in the
carriage and on their way to Mrs. Benoit's cottage. Capt. Drummond told
how the accident happened; after that he was silent; and so were the
rest of the party, till the carriage stopped.

Mrs. Benoit's cottage looked oddly, when all these grand people poured
into it. But the mistress of the cottage never looked more like herself,
and her reception of the grand people was as simple as that she had
given to Daisy. Little Daisy herself lay just where her friend the
Captain had left her, but looked with curious expression at the others
who entered with him now. The father and mother advanced to the head of
the couch; the Captain and Juanita stood at the foot. The doctor kept
himself a little back.

"Are you suffering, Daisy?" Mr. Randolph asked.

The child's eyes went up to him. "Papa--_yes_!"

She had begun quietly, but the last word was given with more than quiet
expression, and the muscles about her lips quivered. Mr. Randolph
stooped and pressed his own lips upon them.

"I have brought Dr. Sandford to look at your foot, Daisy. He will see
what it wants."

"Will he hurt me, papa?" said the child apprehensively.

"I hope not. No more than is necessary."

"It hurts to have anybody touch it, papa."

"He must touch it, Daisy. Can't you bear it bravely?"

"Wait, papa!"--

And again the child clasped her two hands over her face and was still.
Mr. Randolph had no idea what for, though he humoured her and waited.
The Captain knew, for he had seen more of Daisy that day, and he looked
very grave indeed. The black woman knew, for as Daisy's hands fell from
her face, she uttered a deep, soft "Amen!" which no one understood but
one little heart.

"Papa--I am ready. He may look now."

Juanita removed the covering from the foot, and the doctor stepped
forward. Daisy's eyes rested on him, and she saw gratefully a remarkably
fine and pleasant countenance. Mrs. Randolph's eyes rested on the foot,
and she uttered an exclamation. It was the first word she had uttered.
Everybody else was still, while the doctor passed his hands over and
round the distressed ankle and foot, but tenderly, and in a way that
gave Daisy very little pain. Then he stepped back and beckoned Juanita
to a consultation. Juanita disappeared, and Dr. Sandford came up to Mr.
Randolph and spoke in a low tone. Then Mr. Randolph turned again to
Daisy.

"What is it, papa?" asked the child.

"Daisy, to make your foot well, Dr. Sandford will be obliged to do
something that will hurt you a little--will you try and bear it? He will
not be long about it."

"What is the matter with my foot, papa?"

"Something that the doctor can set right in a few minutes--if you will
try and bear a little pain."

A little pain! And Daisy was suffering so much all the while! Again her
lip trembled.

"Must he touch me, papa?"

"He must touch you."

Daisy's hands were clasped to her face again for a minute; after that
she lay quite still and quiet. Mr. Randolph kept his post, hardly taking
his eye off her; Mrs. Randolph sat down where she had stood; behind the
head of Daisy's couch, where her little daughter could not see her; and
all the party indulged in silence. At length the doctor was ready and
came to the foot, attended by Juanita; and Mr. Randolph took one of
Daisy's hands in his own. With the other the child covered her eyes, and
so lay, perfectly still, while the doctor set the ankle bone which had
been broken. As the foot also itself had been very much hurt, the
handling of necessity gave a great deal of pain, more than the mere
setting of the broken bone would have caused. Mr. Randolph could feel
every now and then the convulsive closing of Daisy's hand upon his;
other than that she gave no sign of what she was suffering. One sign of
what another person was feeling, was given as Dr. Sandford bound up the
foot and finished his work. It was given in Juanita's deep breathed
"Thank the Lord!" The doctor glanced up at her with a slight smile of
curiosity. Capt. Drummond would have said "Amen," if the word had not
been so unaccustomed to his mouth.

Mrs. Randolph rose then, and inquired of the doctor what would be the
best means of removing Daisy?

"She must not be moved," the doctor said.

"Not to-night?"

"No, madam; nor to-morrow, nor for many days."

"Must she be left _here_?"

"If she were out in the weather, I would move her," said the doctor;
"not if she were under a barn that would shed the rain."

"What harm would it do?"

The doctor could not take it upon him to say.

"But I cannot be with her here," said Mrs. Randolph; "nor anybody else,
that I can see."

"Juanita will take care of her," said the doctor. "Juanita is worth an
army of nurses. Miss Daisy cannot be better cared for than she will be."

"Will you undertake the charge?" said Mrs. Randolph, facing round upon
Daisy's hostess.

"The Lord has given it to me, madam,--and I love to do my Lord's work,"
was Juanita's answer. She could not have given a better one, if it had
been meant to act as a shot, to drive Mrs. Randolph out of the house.
The lady waited but till the doctor had finished his directions which he
was giving to the black woman.

"I don't see," then she said to her husband, "that there is anything to
be gained by my remaining here any longer; and if we are to go, the
sooner we go the better, so that Daisy may be quiet. Dr. Sandford says
that is the best thing for her."

"Capt. Drummond will see you home," said her husband. "I shall stay."

"You can't do anything, in this box of a place."

"Unless the child herself desires it, there is no occasion for your
remaining here over night," said the doctor. "She will be best in quiet,
and sleep, if she can. You might hinder, if your presence did not help
her to this."

"What do you say, Daisy?" said her father tenderly, bending over
her;--"shall I stay or go? Which do you wish?"

"Papa, you would not be comfortable here. I am not afraid."

"Do you want me to go?" said her father, putting his face down to hers.
Daisy clasped her two arms round his neck and kissed him and held him
while she whispered,

"No, papa, but maybe you had better. There is no place for you, and I am
not afraid."

He kissed her silently and repeatedly, and then rose up and went to look
at the storm. It had ceased; the moon was struggling out between great
masses of cloud driving over the face of the sky. Mrs. Randolph stood
ready to go, putting on her "capuche" which she had thrown off, and
Juanita laying her shawl round her shoulders. The doctor stood waiting
to hand her to the carriage. The Captain watched Daisy, whose eye was
wistfully fixed on her mother. He watched, and wondered at its very
grave, soft expression. There was very little affection in the Captain's
mind at that moment towards Mrs. Randolph.

The carriage was ready, and the lady turned round to give a parting look
at the child. A cold look it was, but Daisy's soft eye never changed.

"Mamma," said she whisperingly, "won't you kiss me?"

Mrs. Randolph stooped instantly and gave the kiss; it could not be
refused, and was fully given; but then she immediately took Doctor
Sandford's arm and went out of the house. The Captain reverently bent
over Daisy's little hand, and followed her.

The drive was a very silent one till Dr. Sandford was left at his own
door. So soon as the carriage turned again, Mrs. Randolph broke out.

"How long did he say, Mr. Randolph, the child must be left at that
woman's cottage?"

"He said she must not be moved for weeks."

"She might as well stay forever," said Mrs. Randolph,--"for the effect
it will have. It will take a year to get Daisy back to where she was! I
wish fanatics would confine their efforts to children that have no one
else to care for them."

"What sort of fanaticism has been at work here, Mrs. Randolph?" the
Captain enquired.

"The usual kind, of course; religious fanaticism. It seems to be
catching."

"I have been in dangerous circumstances to day, then," said the Captain.
"I am afraid I have caught it. I feel as if something was the matter
with me."

"It will not improve you," said Mrs. Randolph drily.

"How has it wrought with Daisy?"

"Changed the child so that I do not recognize her. She never set up her
own will before; and now she is as difficult to deal with as possible.
She is an impersonation of obstinacy."

"Perhaps, after all, she is only following orders," said the Captain
with daring coolness. "A soldier's duty makes him terribly obstinate
sometimes. You must excuse me,--but you see I cannot help appreciating
military qualities."

"Will you be good enough to say what you mean?" the lady asked with
sufficient displeasure of manner.

"Only, that I believe in my soul Daisy takes her orders from higher
authority than we do. And I have seen to-day--I declare! I have seen a
style of obedience and soldierly following, that would win any sort of a
field--ay, and die in it!" added the Captain musingly. "It is the sort
of thing that gets promotion from the ranks."

"How did all this happen to-day?" asked Mr. Randolph, as the lady was
now silent. "I have heard only a bit of it."

In answer to which, Capt. Drummond went into the details of the whole
day's experience; told it point by point, and bit by bit; having a
benevolent willingness that Daisy's father and mother should know, if
they would, with what sort of a spirit they were dealing. He told the
whole story; and nobody interrupted him.

"It is one thing," said the Captain thoughtfully as he concluded,--"it
is one thing to kneel very devoutly and say after the minister, 'Lord,
have mercy upon us, and write all these laws in our hearts;'--I have
done that myself; but it gives one an entirely different feeling to see
some one in whose heart they are written!"

"There is only one thing left for you, Capt. Drummond," said Mrs.
Randolph slightly; "to quit the army and take orders."

"I am afraid, if I did, you would never want to see me settled in Mr.
Pyne's little church over here," the Captain answered, as he helped the
lady to alight at her own door.

"Not till Daisy is safely married," said Mrs. Randolph laughing.



CHAPTER XVI.


Till the sound of the carriage wheels had died away in the distance,
Juanita stood at the door looking after them; although the trees and the
darkness prevented her seeing anything along the road further than a few
yards. When the rustle of the breeze among the branches was the only
thing left to hear, beside the dripping of the rain drops shaken from
the leaves, Juanita shut the door and came to Daisy. The child was lying
white and still, with her eyes closed. Very white and thin the little
face looked, indeed; and under each eyelid lay a tear glistening, that
had forced its way so far into notice. Juanita said not a word just
then; she bustled about and made herself busy. Not that Juanita's busy
ways were ever bustling in reality; she was too good a nurse for that;
but she had several things to do. The first was to put up a screen at
the foot of Daisy's couch. She lay just a few feet from the door, and
everybody coming to the door and having it opened, could look in if he
pleased; and so Daisy would have no privacy at all. That would not do;
Juanita's wits went to work to mend the matter. Her little house had
been never intended for more than one person. There was another room in
it, to be sure, where Mrs. Benoit's own bed was; so that Daisy could
have the use and possession of this outer room all to herself.

Juanita went about her business too noiselessly to induce even those
closed eyelids to open. She fetched a tolerably large clothes-horse from
somewhere--some shed or out-building; this she set at the foot of the
couch, and hung an old large green moreen curtain over it. Where the
curtain came from, one of Mrs. Benoit's great locked chests knew; there
were two or three such chests in the inner room, with more treasures
than a green moreen curtain stowed away in them. The curtain was too
large for the clothes-horse to hold up; it lay over the floor. Juanita
got screws and cords; fixed one screw in the wall, another in the
ceiling, and at last succeeded in stretching the curtain neatly on the
cords and the clothes-horse, where she wanted it to hang. That was done;
and Daisy's couch was quite sheltered from any eyes coming to the door
that had no business to come further. When it was finished, and the
screws and cords put away, Juanita came to Daisy's side. The eyes were
open now.

"That is nice," said Daisy.

"It'll keep you by yourself, my little lady. Now what will she have?"

"Nothing--only I am thirsty," said Daisy.

Juanita went to the well for some cold water, and mixed with it a
spoonful of currant jelly. It was refreshing to the poor little dry
lips.

"What will my love have next?"

"I don't know," said Daisy--"my foot aches a good deal, and all my leg.
I think--Juanita--I would like it if you would read to me."

Juanita took a somewhat careful survey of her, felt her hands, and
finally got the book.

"Is there too much air for my love from that window?"

"No, it is nice," said Daisy. "I can see the stars so beautifully, with
the clouds driving over the sky. Every now and then they get between me
and the stars--and then the stars look out again so bright. They seem
almost right over me. Please read, Juanita."

Mrs. Benoit did not consider that it made much difference to Daisy where
she read; so she took the chapter that came next in the course of her
own going through the New Testament. It was the eighth chapter of Mark.
She read very pleasantly; not like a common person; and with a slight
French accent. Her voice was always sweet, and the words came through it
as loved words. It was very pleasant to Daisy to hear her; the long
chapter was not interrupted by any remark. But when Mrs. Benoit paused
at the end of it, Daisy said,

"How can anybody be ashamed of him, Juanita?"

The last verse of the chapter has these words--

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this
adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be
ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy
angels."

"How _can_ anybody be ashamed of him, Juanita?"

"They not see the glory of the Lord, my lady."

"But _we_ do not see it yet."

"My love will see it. Juanita has seen it. This little house be all full
of glory sometimes, when Jesus is here."

"But that is because you love him, Juanita."

"Praise the Lord!" echoed the black woman. "He do shew his glory to his
people, before he come with the holy angels."

"I don't see how anybody can be _ashamed_ of him," Daisy repeated,
uttering the words as if they contained a simple impossibility.

"My little lady not know the big world yet. There be ways, that the Lord
know and that the people not know."

"What do you mean, Juanita?"

"My lady will find it," said the black woman folding her arms. "When all
the world go one way, then folks not like to go another way and be
looked at; they be ashamed of Christ's words then, and they only think
they do not want to be looked at."

A colour came all over Daisy's face--a suffusion of colour; and tears
swam in her eyes.

"I didn't like to be looked at, the other night!" she said, in a
self-accusing tone.

"Did my love turn and go with the world?"

"No, I didn't do that."

"Then Jesus won't turn away neither," said the black woman.

"But I ought not to have felt so, Juanita."

"Maybe. My love is a little child. The good Lord shall 'stablish her and
keep her from evil. Now she must not talk no more, but trust the Lord,
and go to sleep."

"I can't sleep, Juanita--my leg aches so."

"That will be better. Is my love thirsty again?"

"Very thirsty! I wish I had some oranges."

"They would be good," said Juanita, bringing another glass of jelly and
water for Daisy. And then she sat down and sang softly; hymns in French
and English; sweet and low, and soothing in their simple and sometimes
wild melody. They soothed Daisy. After a time, wearied and exhausted by
all her long day of trial, she did forget pain in slumber. The eyelids
closed, and Juanita's stealthy examination found that quiet soft
breathing was really proving her fast asleep. The singing ceased; and
for a while nothing was to be heard in the cottage but the low rush and
rustle of the wind which had driven away the storm clouds, and the
patter of a dislodged rain drop or two that were shaken from the leaves.
Daisy's breathing was too soft to be heard, and Juanita almost held her
own lest it should be too soon disturbed. But the pain of the hurt foot
and ankle would not suffer a long sleep. Daisy waked up with a sigh.

"Are you there, Juanita?"

"I am here."

"What o'clock is it?"

Juanita drew back the curtain of the window by Daisy's couch, that the
moonlight might fall in and shew the face of the little clock. It was
midnight.

"It won't be morning in a great while, will it?" said Daisy.

"Does my lady want morning?"

"My foot hurts me dreadfully, Juanita--the pain shoots and jumps all up
my leg. Couldn't you do something to it?"

"My dear love, it will be better by and by--there is no help now for it,
unless the Lord sends sleep. I s'pose it must ache. Can't Miss Daisy
remember who sends the pain?"

The child answered her with a curious smile. It was not strange to the
black woman; she read it and knew it and had seen such before; to
anybody that had not, how strange would have seemed the lovingness that
spread over all Daisy's features and brightened on her brow as much as
on her lips. It was not patient submission; it was the light of joyful
affection shining out over all Daisy's little pale face.

"Ay, it isn't hard with Jesus," said the black woman with a satisfied
face. "And the Lord is here now,--praise his name!"

"Juanita--I have been very happy to-day," said Daisy.

"Ay? how has that been, my love?"

"Because I knew he was taking care of me. It seemed that Jesus was so
near me all the time. Even all that dreadful ride."

"The Lord is good!" said the black woman with strong expression. "But my
love must not talk."

She began to sing again.

  "O what shall I do, my Saviour to praise!
   So faithful and true, so plenteous in grace.
   So good to deliver, so strong to redeem
   The weakest believer that hangs upon him."

"O that's good, Juanita!" said Daisy. "Hush!--Juanita, it is very late
for anybody to be out riding!"

"Who is out riding, Miss Daisy?"

"I don't know--I hear a horse's feet. Don't you hear?--there!"

"It's some young gentleman, maybe, going home, from a dinner-party."

"Don't draw the curtain, Juanita, please! I like it so, I can look out.
The moonlight is nice. Somebody is very late, going home from a dinner
party."

"They often be. Miss Daisy, the moonlight will hinder you sleeping, I am
afraid."

"I can't sleep. It's so good to look out! Juanita--there's that horse's
feet, stopping just here."

Juanita went to her door, and perceived that Daisy spoke truth. Somebody
down at her little wicket had dismounted and was fastening his horse to
the fence. Then a figure came up the walk in the moonlight.

"Juanita!" cried Daisy with an accent of joy, though she could not see
the figure from where she lay,--"it's papa!"

"Is she asleep?" said the voice of Mr. Randolph the next minute softly.

"No, sir. She knows it's you, sir. Will his honour walk in?"

Mr. Randolph with a gentle footfall came in and stood by the side of the
couch.

"Daisy--my poor little Daisy!"--he said.

"Papa!--"

This one word was rich in expression; joy and love so filled it. Daisy
added nothing more. She put her arms round her father's neck as he
stooped his lips to her face, held him fast and returned his kisses.

"Cannot you sleep?" The question was very tenderly put.

"I did sleep, papa."

"I did not wake you?"

"No, papa. I was awake, looking at the moonlight."

"Pain would not let you sleep, my poor darling?"

The sympathy was a little too trying. Tears started to the child's eyes.
She said with a most gentle, loving accent, "I don't mind, papa. It will
be better by and by. I am very happy."

An indignant question as to the happiness which had been so rudely
shaken, was on Mr. Randolph's lips. He remembered Daisy must not be
excited; nevertheless he wondered, for he saw the child's eyes full, and
knew that the brow was drawn with pain; and the poor little thin face
was as white as a sheet. What did she mean by talking about being happy?

"Daisy, I have brought you some oranges."

"Thank you, papa!--May I have one now?"

Silently and almost sternly Mr. Randolph stood and pared the orange with
a fruit knife--he had thought to bring that too--and fed Daisy with it,
bit by bit. It was pleasant and novel to Daisy to have her father serve
her so; generally others had done it when there had been occasion. Mr.
Randolph did it nicely, while his thoughts worked.

"What are you going to do to-night, papa?" she said when the orange was
finished and he stood looking at her.

"Stay here with you."

"But papa, how can you sleep?"

"I can do without sleeping, if it is necessary. I will take a chair here
in the doorway, and be near if you want anything."

"O shall not want anything, papa, except what Juanita can give me."

He stood still watching her. Daisy looked up at him with a loving face;
a wise little face it always was; it was gravely considerate now.

"Papa, I am afraid you will be uncomfortable."

"Can nobody bear that but you?" said Mr. Randolph, stooping down to kiss
her.

"I am very happy, papa," said the child placidly; while a slight tension
of her forehead witnessed to the shooting pains with which the whole
wounded limb seemed to be filled.

"If Mr. Randolph pleases--" said the voice of Juanita,--"the doctor
recommended quiet, sir."

Off went Mr. Randolph at that, as if he knew it very well and had
forgotten himself. He took a chair and set it in the open doorway, using
the door-post as a rest for his head; and then the cottage was silent.
The wind breathed more gently; the stars shone out; the air was soft
after the storm; the moonlight made a bright flicker of light and shade
over all the outer world. Now and then a grasshopper chirruped, or a
little bird murmured a few twittering notes at being disturbed in its
sleep; and then came a soft sigh from Daisy.

On noiseless foot the black woman stole to the couch. Daisy was weeping;
her tears were pouring out and making a great wet spot on her pillow.

"Is my love in pain?" whispered the black woman.

"It's nothing--I can't help it," said Daisy.

"Where is it--in the foot?"

"It's all over, I think; in my head and everywhere. Hush, Juanita; never
mind."

Mrs. Benoit, however, tried the soothing effect of a long gentle
brushing of Daisy's head. This lasted till Daisy said she could bear it
no longer. She was restless.

"Will my love hear a hymn?"

"It will wake papa."

Mrs. Benoit cared nothing for that. Her care was her poor little charge.
She began immediately one of the hymns that were always ready on her
tongue, and which were wonderfully soothing to Daisy. Juanita was old,
but her voice was sweet yet and clear; and she sang with a deal of quiet
spirit.

  "'A few more days or years at most,
    My troubles will be o'er;
  I hope to join the heavenly host
    On Canaan's happy shore.
  My raptured soul shall drink and feast
    In love's unbounded sea;
  The glorious hope of endless rest
    Is ravishing to me.'"

Mr. Randolph raised his head from leaning against the door-post, and
turned it to listen; with a look of lowering impatience. The screen of
the hanging curtain was between him and the couch, and the look did
nobody any harm.

  "'O come, my Saviour, come away,
    And bear me to the sky!
  Nor let thy chariot wheels delay--
    Make haste and bring it nigh:
  I long to see thy glorious face,
    And in thy image shine;
  To triumph in victorious grace,
    And be forever thine.'"

Mr. Randolph's chair here grated inharmoniously on the floor, as if he
were moving; but Juanita went on without heeding it.

  "'Then will I tune my harp of gold
    To my eternal King.
  Through ages that can ne'er be told
    I'll make thy praises ring.
  All hail, eternal Son of God,
    Who died on Calvary!
  Who bought me with his precious blood,
    From endless misery.'"

Mr. Randolph stood by Mrs. Benoit's chair.

"My good woman," he said in suppressed tones, "this is a strange way to
put a patient to sleep."

"As your honour sees!" replied the black woman placidly. Mr. Randolph
looked. Daisy's eyes were closed; the knitted brow had smoothed itself
out in slumber; the deep breath told how profound was the need that
weakness and weariness had made. He stood still. The black woman's hand
softly drew the curtain between Daisy's face and the moonlight, and then
she noiselessly withdrew herself almost out of sight, to a low seat in a
corner. So Mr. Randolph betook himself to his station in the doorway;
and whether he slept or no, the hours of the night stole on quietly. The
breeze died down; the moon and the stars shone steadily over the lower
world; and Daisy slept, and her two watchers were still. By and by,
another light began to break in the eastern horizon, and the stars grew
pale. The morning had come.

The birds were twittering in the branches before Daisy awoke. At the
first stir she made, her father and Mrs. Benoit were instantly at her
side. Mr. Randolph bent over her and asked tenderly how she felt.

"I feel hot, papa."

"Everybody must do that," said Mr. Randolph. "The breeze has died away
and the morning is very close."

"Papa, have you been awake all night?"

He stooped down, and kissed her.

"You must go home and get some breakfast and go to sleep," Daisy said,
looking at him lovingly with her languid eyes.

"Shall I bring you anything from home, Daisy?" he said, kissing her
again.

The child looked a little wistfully, but presently said no; and Mr.
Randolph left her to do as she had said. Mrs. Benoit was privately glad
to have him out of the way. She brought water and bathed Daisy's face
and hands, and gave her a delicate breakfast of orange; and contrived to
be a long while about it all, so as to rest and refresh her as much as
possible. But when it was all done, Daisy was very hot and weary and in
much pain. And the sun was only in the tops of the trees yet. The black
woman, stood considering her.

"It will be a hot day, Miss Daisy--and my little lady is suffering
already, when the dew is not dried off the grass. Can she say, 'Thank
the Lord?'"

Daisy first smiled at her; then the little pale face grew grave, the
eyelids fell, and the black woman saw tears gathering beneath them. She
stood looking somewhat anxiously down at the child; till after a few
minutes the eyelids were raised again and the eyes gave her a most meek
and loving response, while Daisy said faintly, "Yes, Juanita."

"Bless the Lord!" said Juanita with all her heart. "Then my love can
bear it, the hot day and the pain and all. When his little child trust
him, Jesus not stay far off. And when he giveth quietness, then who can
make trouble?"

"But I have a particular reason, Juanita. I am very glad of my hurt
foot; though it does ache."

"The aching will not be so bad by and by," said the woman, her kindly
face all working with emotion.

She stood there by Daisy's couch and prayed. No bathing nor breakfast
could so soothe and refresh Daisy as that prayer. While she listened and
joined in it, the feeling of yesterday came all back again; that
wonderful feeling that the Lord Jesus loves even the little ones that
love him; that he will not let a hair of their heads be hurt; that he is
near, and keeps them, and is bringing them to himself by everything that
he lets happen to them. Greatly refreshed and comforted, Daisy lay quiet
looking out of the open window, while Juanita was busy about, making a
fire and filling her kettle for breakfast. She had promised Daisy a cup
of tea and a piece of toast; and Daisy was very fond of a cup of tea and
did not ordinarily get it; but Mrs. Benoit said it would be good for her
now. The fire was made in a little out-shed, back of the cottage where
it would do nobody any harm, even in hot weather. Daisy was so quieted
and comforted, though her leg was still aching, that she was able to
look out and take some pleasure in the sparkling morning light which
glittered on the leaves of the trees and on the blades of grass; and to
hearken to the birds which were singing in high feather all around the
cottage. The robins especially were very busy whistling about in and
under the trees; and a kildeer quite near from time to time sung its
soft sweet song; so soft and tender, it seemed every time to say in
Daisy's ears--"What if I am sick and in pain and weary? Jesus sends
it--and he knows--and he is my dear Saviour." It brought the tears into
Daisy's eyes at length; the song of the kildeer came so close home into
her heart.

Juanita had gone to make the tea. While the kettle had been coming to a
boil, she had put her little cottage into the nicest of order; and even
filled a glass with some roses and set it on the little table. For, as
she said to Daisy, they would have company enough that day, and must be
in trim. She had gone now to make the tea, and Daisy lay contentedly
looking out of the window, when she heard the swift tread of horses'
feet again. Could her father be back from Melbourne already? Daisy could
not raise herself up to look. She heard the feet stop in the road before
the cottage; then listened for somebody's step coming up to it. She
heard the step, but it was none of Mr. Randolph's; it was brisk and firm
and measured. She guessed it was somebody's step whose feet had been
trained.

Juanita came to open the door at the knock, and Daisy heard her saying
something about the doctor's orders, and keeping quiet, and no
excitement. Daisy could not stand that.

"O Capt. Drummond--come in! come in!" she cried. And in came the
Captain. He looked wonderfully sober at his poor little playfellow. But
Daisy looked all smiles at him.

"Is your furlough over? Are you going, Capt. Drummond?"

"I am off, Daisy."

"I am so glad you came to see me!" she said, putting out her little hand
to him. The Captain took it and held it and seemed almost unable to
speak.

"Daisy, I would have run the risk of being cashiered, rather than not
have done it."

"What is that?"

"Cashiered? Having my epaulettes pulled off."

"Do you care a great deal for your epaulettes?" said Daisy.

The Captain laughed, with the water standing in his eyes. Yes,
absolutely, his bright sparkling eyes had drops in them.

"Daisy, I have brought you our land fish--that we had such trouble for."

"The trilobite! O did you?" exclaimed Daisy as he placed it before her.
"I wanted to see it again, but I was afraid you wouldn't have time
before you went." She looked at it eagerly.

"Keep it Daisy; and keep a little bit of friendship for me with it--will
you? in case we meet again some day."

"O Capt. Drummond--don't you want it?"

"No; but I want you to remember the conditions."

"When will you come to Melbourne again?"

"Can't say, Daisy; I am afraid, not till you will have got the kingdom
of England quite out of all its difficulties. We were just going into
the battle of Hastings, you know; don't you recollect?"

"How nice that was!" said Daisy regretfully. "I don't think I shall ever
forget about the Saxon Heptarchy, and Egbert, and Alfred."

"How about forgetting _me_?"

"You know I couldn't," said Daisy with a most genial smile. "O Capt.
Drummond!"--she added, as a flash of sudden thought crossed her face.

"What now, Daisy?"

The child looked at him with a most earnest, inquisitive wistful gaze.
The Captain had some difficulty to stand it.

"O Capt. Drummond," she repeated,--"are you going to be ashamed of
Christ?"

[Illustration]

The young soldier was strangely enough confused by this simple question.
His embarrassment was even evident. He hesitated for a reply, and it did
not readily dome. When it came, it was an evasion.

"That is right, Daisy," he said; "stand by your colours. He is a poor
soldier that carries them behind his back in the face of the enemy. But
whatever field you die in, I should like to be alongside of you."

He spoke gravely. And he asked no leave this time, but clasping Daisy's
hand he bent down and kissed her forehead twice and earnestly; then he
did not say another word, but strode away. A little flush rose on
Daisy's brow, for she was a very particular little lady as to who
touched her; however she listened attentively to the sound of the
retreating hoofs which carried the Captain off along the road; and when
Juanita at last came in with her little tray and a cup of tea, she found
Daisy's face set in a very thoughtful mood and her eyes full of tears.
The face did not even brighten at her approach.

"Miss Daisy," said the black woman, "I thought you wanted a cup of tea?"

"So I do, Juanita. I want it very much."

Mrs. Benoit made remarks to herself upon the wise little face that met
her with such a sober greeting. However she made none aloud; she
supported Daisy nicely with one arm and set the little tray before her.
The tea was excellent; the toast was in dainty, delicate, thin brown
strips. Daisy took it soberly.

"Does it seem good to my love?"

"O yes, Juanita!" said the child looking up gratefully; "it is _very_
good; and you make the prettiest toast I ever saw."

The black woman smiled, and bade her eat it and not look at it.

"But I think it tastes better for looking pretty, Juanita."

"The Lord knows," said the woman; "and he made the trees in the garden
of Eden to be pleasant to the eyes, as well as good for food."

"I am glad he did," said Daisy. "How pleasant the trees have been to my
eyes this morning. Then I was sick and could not do anything but look at
them; but they are pleasant to my eyes too when I am well. It is very
painful to have one's friends go away, Juanita."

"Has my love lost friends?" said Mrs. Benoit, wondering at this speech.

"Yes," said Daisy. "Mr. Dinwiddie is gone; and now Capt. Drummond. I
have got hardly anybody left."

"Was Mr. Dinwiddie Miss Daisy's friend?"

Such a bright, warm, glad flash of a smile as Juanita got in answer! It
spoke for the friendship on one side.

"But he is gone," said Daisy. "I wish I could see him again. He is gone,
and I never shall!"

"Now Miss Daisy, you will lie still and be quiet, my love, until
somebody else comes. The doctor says that's the way. Mr. Dinwiddie is
about his Master's work, wherever he is; and you want to do the same?"

"How can I, Juanita, lying here? I cannot do anything."

"Does my love think the good Lord ever give his servants no work to do
for him?"

"Why _here_, Juanita--I can only lie here and be still. What can I do?"

"My love pray the dear Master to shew her; and now not talk just now."

Daisy lay still. The next comer was the doctor. He came while the
morning was still early; made his examinations; and Daisy made hers. He
was a very fine-looking man. Thick locks of auburn hair, thrown back
from his face; a noble and grave countenance; blue eye keen and steady;
and a free and noble carriage; there was enough about Dr. Sandford to
engage all Daisy's attention and interest. She gave him both, in her
quiet way; while he looked not so much at her as at her condition and
requirements.

"It is going to be a hot day," he remarked to Juanita who attended upon
him. "Keep her quiet. Do not let more than one other person be here at
once. Say I order it."

"Will his honour say it to Miss Daisy's father and mother?"

"I shall not see them this morning. You are armed with my authority,
Juanita. Nobody is to be here to talk and excite her; and only one at a
time beside you. Have you got fruit for her? Let her live on that as
much as she likes; and keep the house empty."

"I will tell papa--" said Daisy.

"How do you do?" said the doctor. It was the first question he had
addressed to her; and the first attention he had given her otherwise
than as a patient. Now the two looked at each other.

"I am better, a little, thank you," said the child. "May I ask
something?"

"Ask it."

"Shall I be a long while here?"

"You will be a week or two--till your foot gets strong again."

"Will a week or two make it strong?"

The two pairs of eyes looked into each other. The thoughtful grey eyes
of the child, and the impenetrable blue orbs of the man. There was
mutual study; some mutual recognition.

"You must be a good child and try to bear it."

"Will you come and see me again?" said Daisy.

"Do you desire it?"

"You would not come unless it was necessary," said Daisy; "and if it is
necessary, I should like to have you."

The lips of the young man curled into a smile that was very pleasant,
albeit a little mocking in its character.

"I think it will be necessary, little one; but if I come to see you, you
must be under my orders."

"Well, I am," said Daisy.

"Keep still, then; do not talk to anybody any more than is needful to
relieve your impatience."

The doctor went away, and Daisy lay still musing. The morning had gone
on a little further, when carriage wheels stopped at the gate.

"There's mamma--" said Daisy.

It was very unconsciously on her part that the tone of these two words
conveyed a whole volume of information to Juanita's keen wits. It was no
accent of joy, like that which had announced her father last night;
neither was it fear or dread; yet the indefinable expression of the two
words said that "mamma" had been a trouble in Daisy's life, and might be
again. Juanita went to have the door open; and the lady swept in. Mr.
Randolph was behind her. She came to Daisy's side and the mother and
child looked at each other; Daisy with the tender, wistful eyes of last
night, Mrs. Randolph with a vexed air of dissatisfaction. Yet after
looking at her a moment she stooped down and kissed Daisy. The child's
eye went to her father then. Mrs. Randolph stood in his way; he came
round to the head of the couch, behind Daisy, and bent over her.

"Papa, I can't see you there."

"You can feel, Daisy--" said Mr. Randolph, putting his lips to her face.
"How do you do?"

"This is a most maladroit arrangement of Capt. Drummond's!" said the
lady. "What can we do to rectify it? A most stupid place for the child
to be."

"She will have to bear the stupidity--and we too. Daisy, what would you
like to have to help it along?"

"Papa, I am not stupid."

"You will be, my little daughter, I am afraid, before the weeks are
over. Will you have June come to be with you?"

"Papa," said Daisy slowly,--"I think it would not be considerate."

"Are you comfortable?" said Mr. Randolph smiling, though his looks
expressed much concern.

"No, papa."

"What is the matter?"

"It is hot, papa; and my leg aches; not so much as it did last night
sometimes; but it aches."

"It is a cool, fresh morning," said Mrs. Randolph. "She is hot because
she is lying in this place."

"Not very cool, with the mercury at eighty-four before eight o'clock.
You are cool because you have been driving fast."

"Mr. Randolph, this is no proper place for the child to be. I am
convinced she might be moved with safety."

"I cannot risk the doctor's convictions against yours, Felicia. That
question must be given up."

"He says I am under his orders, papa."

"Undeniable, Daisy. That is true doctrine. What orders does he give
you?"

"To eat fruit, and keep quiet, papa. He says there must not be more than
one person here at a time, besides Juanita."

"I suppose he does not mean to forbid your mother," said Mrs. Randolph,
a good deal incensed. "I will see about that. Here, my good woman--where
are you?--Will you let your cottage to me for the time that this child
is confined here--and remove somewhere else yourself, that I may put the
people here I want about her?"

"Oh mamma!--" said Daisy. But she stopped short; and Mrs. Randolph did
not attend to her. Mr. Randolph looked round to see Juanita's answer.

"My lady shall put here who she will please," the woman said, standing
before her visiters with the most unruffled face and demeanour.

"And you will leave me the house at once?"

"No, my lady. My lady shall have the house. Juanita will not be in the
way."

"You do not seem to understand, my good woman, that I want to be here
myself and have my people here. I want the whole house."

"My lady shall have it--she is welcome--nobody shall find Juanita
trouble them," the black woman said with great sweetness.

"What will you do with yourself?"

"A little place be enough for me, my lady. My spirit lives in a large
home."

Mrs. Randolph turned impatiently away. The manner of the woman was so
inexpressibly calm and sweet, the dignity of her beautiful presence was
so immovable, that the lady felt it in vain to waste words upon her.
Juanita was a hopeless case.

"It is no use for me to be here then," she said. "Mr. Randolph, you may
make your own arrangements."

Which Mr. Randolph did. He held a consultation with Juanita, as to what
was wanting and what she would do; a consultation with which he was
satisfied. Juanita was left in full charge, with authority to do for
Daisy precisely according to Dr. Sandford's instructions, in all
matters. Mrs. Randolph meanwhile had a talk with her poor pale little
daughter, upon more or less the same subjects; and then the father and
mother prepared to go home to breakfast.

"Shall I send you June?" said Mrs. Randolph.

"No, mamma; I think not."

"Be patient a little while, Daisy," said her father kissing her; "and
you will be able to have books and company too. Now for a little while
you must keep quiet."

"Juanita will keep me quiet, papa."

"I will come and see you again by and by."

"Papa, I want to tell you one thing. I want to speak to you and mamma
before you go."

Mr. Randolph saw that the child's face flushed as if she were making
some effort. He bent down over her again.

"Is it something of interest, Daisy?"

"Yes, papa. To me."

"Don't talk of it now then. Lie still and do not talk at all. By and by
you will tell me what it is."



CHAPTER XVII.


Mr. and Mrs. Randolph departed.

"Daisy will be ruined forever!" So said the lady as soon as she was in
the carriage.

"I hope not."

"You take it coolly, Mr. Randolph. That woman is exactly the sort to
infect Daisy; and you have arranged it so that she will have full
chance."

"What is the precise danger you apprehend?" said Mr. Randolph. "I have
not heard it put into words."

"Daisy will be unmanageable. She is nearly that now."

"I never saw a more docile child in my life."

"That is because you take her part, Mr. Randolph. You will find it out
in time, when it is too late; and it will be your own doing."

"What?"

"Daisy will be a confirmed piece of superstition. You will see. And you
will not find her docile then. If she once takes hold of anything, she
does it with great obstinacy."

"But what is she taking hold of now? After all, you do not tell me,"
said Mr. Randolph carelessly.

"Of every sort of religious fanatical notion, you will find, Mr.
Randolph! She will set herself against everything I want her to do,
after the fashion of those people, who think nothing is right but their
own way. It will be a work of extreme difficulty, I foresee, to do
anything with her after these weeks in this black woman's house. I
would have run any risk in removing her, rather than let it be so."

"Well, we shall see," said Mr. Randolph. "I cannot quite take your view
of the matter. I would rather keep the child--even for my own private
comfort--than lose her to prevent her from becoming religious."

Mrs. Randolph indignantly let this statement of opinion alone.

Little Daisy had a quiet day, meanwhile. The weather grew excessively
hot; her broken ankle pained her; it was a day of suffering. Obliged to
lie quite still; unable to change her position even a little, when the
couch became very hot under her; no air coming in at the open window but
what seemed laden with the heats of a furnace, Daisy lay still and
breathed as well as she could. All day Juanita was busy about her;
moistening her lips with orange juice, bathing her hands, fanning her,
and speaking and singing sweet words to her, as she could attend to
them. The child's eyes began to go to the fine black face that hovered
near her, with an expression of love and trust that was beautiful to
behold. It was a day that tried poor little Daisy's patience; for along
with all this heat, and weary lying still in one position, there were
shoots and twitches of pain that seemed to come from the broken ankle
and reach every part of her body; and she could not move about or turn
over to ease them by some change.

At last the weary hours began to grow less oppressive. The sun got low
in the sky; the air came with a little touch of freshness. How good it
was to see the sun lost behind the woods on the other side the road.
Juanita kindled her fire again and put on the kettle; for Daisy was to
have another cup of tea, and wanted it very much. Then, before the
kettle had boiled, came the doctor.

It was a pleasant variety. Dr. Sandford's face was a good one to see
come in anywhere, and in Daisy's case very refreshing. It was so noble a
face; the features fine, manly, expressive; with a sedate gravity that
spoke of a character above trifling. His calm, forceful eye was very
imposing; the thick auburn locks of his hair, pushed back as they were
from, his face, were beautiful to Daisy's imagination. Altogether he
fastened her attention whenever he came within reach of it; she could
not read those grave lines of his face; she puzzled over them. Dr.
Sandford's appearance was in some way bewitching to her. Truly many
ladies found it so.

He examined now the state of her foot; gave rapid comprehensive glances
at everything; told his orders to Mrs. Benoit. Finally, paused before
going, and looked into the very wise little eyes that scanned him so
carefully.

"Is there anything you want, Daisy?" he said with a physician's
familiarity.

"No, sir,--I thank you."

"Mrs. Benoit takes good care of you?"

"Very good."

The manner of Daisy's speech was like her looks; childlike enough, and
yet with a deliberate utterance unlike a child.

"What do you think about, as you lie there all day?" he said.

The question had been put with a somewhat careless curiosity; but at
that he saw a pink flush rise and spread itself all over Daisy's pale
face; the grey eyes looked at him steadily, with no doubt of some
thoughts behind them. Dr. Sandford listened for her answer. What _was_
the child thinking about? She spoke at last with that same sweet
deliberateness.

"I have been thinking, Dr. Sandford, about what Jesus did for me."

"What was that?" said the doctor in considerable surprise.

"Because it was so hard for me to keep still to-day, I thought--you
know--how it must have been--"

The flush deepened on the cheeks, and Daisy's eyes were swimming full of
tears. Dr. Sandford looked, in much surprise; perhaps he was at some
pains to comprehend what all this meant.

"How it must have been when?" said he, bending over Daisy's couch.

"You know, Dr. Sandford," she said tenderly. "When he was on the
cross--and couldn't move----"

Daisy gave way. She put her hands over her face. The doctor stood erect,
looking at her; glanced his grave eyes at Mrs. Benoit and at her again;
then made a step towards Juanita.

"No excitement is permitted," he said. "You must keep her from it. Do
you understand?"

"Yes, sir," Juanita said. But her face was all alight.

"Have you been reading some of those stories to her?"

"I have not been reading to her at all to-day, if his honour pleases."

"Daisy," said Dr. Sandford, coming back to the couch, "what put such
thoughts into your head?"

"I felt so badly to-day." She spoke with her usual collectedness again.

"Well, try and not mind it. You will feel better in a day or two. Do you
know when that happened that you were talking about?"

"Yes, sir."

"When was it?"

"More than eighteen hundred years ago."

"Do you think it is worth your while to be troubled for what happened
eighteen hundred years ago?"

"I think it is just the same as if it happened now," said Daisy, without
moving her eyes.

"Do you? By what power of reasoning?"

"I don't think I know how to reason," said Daisy. "It is feeling."

"How does feeling manage it?"

Daisy discerned the tone of the question, looked at her questioner, and
answered with tender seriousness:

"I know the Lord Jesus did that for me; and I know he is in heaven now."

The doctor kept silence a minute. "Daisy," said he, "you are under my
orders at present. You must mind me. You are to take a cup of tea, and a
piece of toast, if you like; then you are to go to sleep and keep quiet,
and not think of anything that happened more than an hour ago. Will
you?"

"I will try to be quiet," said Daisy.

She and the doctor looked at each other in a dissatisfied manner, she
wistfully, he disapprovingly, and then the doctor went out. Daisy's eyes
followed, straining after him as long as they could; and when she could
see him no longer they filled with tears again. She was looking as
intent and wistful as if she might have been thirty years old instead of
nine or ten, when Juanita came to her side with the tea she had been
making.

The tea and toast did Daisy good; and she was ready to enjoy a visit
from, her father, who spent the evening with her. But he would not let
her talk. The next day was hot again; however Daisy felt better. The
heat was more bearable. It was a very quiet day.

Both she and Juanita obeyed orders and did not talk much; nevertheless
Juanita sang hymns a great deal, and that was delightful to Daisy. She
found Juanita knew one hymn in particular that she loved exceedingly; it
was the one that had been sung in the little church the day she had
heard Mr. Dinwiddie preach; it fell in with the course of Daisy's
thoughts; and several times in the day she had Juanita sing it over.
Daisy's eyes always filled when she heard it; nevertheless Juanita could
not resist her pleading wish.

  "O the Lamb! the loving Lamb!--
   The Lamb on Calvary.
   The Lamb that was slain, but lives again,
   To intercede for me."

"I am so happy, Juanita," Daisy said after one of these times. "I am so
happy!"

"What makes it so, my love?"

"O because that is true--because he lives up there to take care of me."

"Bless the Lord!" said the black woman.

Towards evening of that day, Juanita had left the room to make her fire
and attend to some other things, when Daisy heard her own name hailed
softly from the window. She turned her head, and there was Preston's
bright face.

"My poor, poor little Daisy!"

"How do you do, Preston?" said Daisy, looking as clear as a moonbeam.

"There you are a prisoner!"

"It is a very nice prison."

"Don't, my dear Daisy! I'll believe you in anything else, you know; but
in this I am unable. Tied by your foot for six weeks, perhaps! I should
like to shoot Capt. Drummond."

"It was not Capt. Drummond's fault."

"Is it bad, Daisy?"

"My foot? It has been pretty bad."

"Poor Daisy! And that was all because you would not sing."

"Because I would not sing, Preston!"

"Yes, that is the cause of all the trouble that has been in the house.
Now, Daisy, you'll give it up?"

"Give what up?"

"Give up your nonsense, and sing."

"_That_?" said Daisy, and a slight flush came into the pale cheeks.

"Aunt Felicia wants you to sing it, and she will make you do it, when
you get well."

Daisy made no answer.

"Don't you see, my dear Daisy, it is foolish not to do as other people
do?"

"I don't see what my broken ankle has to do with what you are saying,
Preston."

"Daisy, what will become of you all these six weeks? We cannot go a
fishing, nor have any fun."

"You can."

"What will you do?"

"I guess I can have books and read, by and by. I will ask Dr. Sandford."

"Suppose I bring some books, and read to you?"

"O Preston! how nice."

"Well, I'll do it then. What shall I bring?"

"I wish you could bring something that would tell about these things."

"These things? What is that?"

"It is a trilobite. Capt. Drummond got it the other day. It was a fish
once, and now it is a stone; and I would like very much to know about
it."

"Daisy, are you serious?"

"Why, yes, Preston."

"My dear little Daisy, do _not_ you go and be a philosopher!"

"Why, I can't; but why shouldn't I?"

"Philosophers are not 'nice,' Daisy, when they are ladies," said
Preston, shaking his head.

"Why not?"

"Because ladies are not meant to be philosophers."

"But I want to know about trilobites," said Daisy.

"I don't think you do. You would not find the study of fossils
interesting."

"I think I should--if you would help me, Preston."

"Well, we will see, Daisy. I will do anything for you, if you will do
one thing for me. O Daisy, do! Aunt Felicia has not given it up at
all."

"Good bye, Preston," said Daisy. "Now you must go, and not talk to me
any more this time."

Preston ran off. He was not allowed to come again for a day or two; and
Daisy was not allowed to talk. She was kept very quiet, until it was
found that the broken bone was actually healing and in a fair way to get
well. The pains in it were no longer so trying; the very hot days had
given place to a time of milder weather; and Daisy, under the care of
the old black woman, enjoyed her solitary imprisonment well enough.
Twice a day always her father visited her; once a day, Mrs. Randolph.
Her stay was never very long; Juanita's house was not a comfortable
place for her; but Mr. Randolph gave a large piece of his time and
attention to his suffering little daughter, and was indeed the first one
to execute Preston's plan of reading aloud for her amusement. A new and
great delight to Daisy. She never remembered her father taking such
pains with her before. Then, when her father and mother were gone, and
the cottage was still, Juanita and Daisy had what the latter called
their "good time." Juanita read the Bible and sang hymns and prayed.
There was no time nor pleasure in all the day that Daisy liked so well.

She had gained strength and was in a good way to be well again. The
first morning this was told her, Daisy said:

"Papa, may I speak to you now?"

"About something important, Daisy?"

"Yes, papa, I think so."

"Go on. What is it?"

Juanita was standing near by. The child glanced at her, then at her
father.

"Papa," she said, speaking slowly and with some hesitation,--"I want you
to know--I want to tell you--about me, so that you may understand."

"Are you so difficult to understand, Daisy?"

"No, papa; but I want you to know something. I want you to know that I
am a Christian."

"Well, so are we all," said Mr. Randolph coolly.

"No, papa, but I don't mean that."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, papa,--that I belong to the Lord Jesus, and must do what he
tells me."

"What am I to understand by that, Daisy?"

"Nothing, papa; only I thought you ought to know."

"Do you understand what you are saying yourself, my child?"

"Yes, papa."

"What does it mean, Daisy?"

"Only, papa, I want you to know that I belong to the Lord Jesus."

"Does that imply that you will not belong to me any more?"

"O no, papa!"

"Why do you tell it me, then?"

"Papa, Jesus says he will be ashamed of those who are ashamed of him; I
will not be ashamed of him; so I want you to know what I am."

"But, Daisy, you and I must come to an understanding about this," said
Mr. Randolph, taking a chair. "Does this declaration mean that you are
intending to be something different from what I like to see you?"

"I do not know, papa."

"You do not! Does it mean that you are proposing to set up a standard of
action for yourself, independent of me?"

"No, papa."

"What then, Daisy?"

"Papa, I do not quite know what you mean by a _standard_."

"I will change the word. Do you mean that your purpose is to make,
henceforward, your own rules of life?"

"No, papa; I do not mean that."

"What do you mean?"

"Papa," said Daisy, very deliberately, "if I belong to my Saviour,--you
know,--I must follow his rules."

"Daisy, I shall not cease to require obedience to mine."

"No, papa,--but----" said Daisy, colouring.

"But what?"

"I don't know very well how to say what I want, papa; it is difficult."

"Try."

"Papa, you will not be displeased?"

"That depends upon what you have to say. Daisy."

"Papa, I do not _mean_ to displease you," said the child, her eyes
filling with tears. "But--suppose----"

"Well,--suppose anything."

"Suppose _those_ rules should be different from your rules?"

"I am to be the judge, Daisy. If you set up disobedience to me, on any
pretext, you know the consequences."

Daisy's lip trembled; she put up her hands to her face and burst into
tears. She could not bear that reminder. Her father took one of her
hands down and kissed the little wet cheek.

"Where are you going to find these rules, Daisy," he said kindly, "which
you are going to set up against mine?"

"Papa, I do not set them up."

"Where do you get them?"

"Only in the Bible, papa."

"You are a little child, Daisy; you are not quite old enough to be able
to judge properly for yourself what the rules of that book are. While
you are little and ignorant, I am your judge, of that and everything
else; and your business is to obey me. Do you understand that?"

"But, papa----"

"Well--what?"

"Papa, I am afraid you will be angry."

"I do not think I shall. You and I had better come to an understanding
about these matters. Say on, Daisy." "I was going to say, papa--"

Daisy was afraid to tell what. Mr. Randolph again stooped and kissed
her; kissed her two or three times.

"Papa, I do not _mean_ to make you angry," said the child with intense
eagerness,--"but--suppose--papa, I mean,--are _you_ a servant of the
Lord Jesus?"

Mr. Randolph drew back. "I endeavour to do my duty, Daisy," he said
coldly. "I do not know what you include in the terms you use."

"Papa, that is what I mean," said Daisy, with a very meek face. "Papa,
if I _am_, and you are _not_, then perhaps you would not think the
things that I think."

"If you are, and I am not, what?"

"_That_, papa--which I wanted you to know I am. A servant of Jesus."

"Then, what?"

"Then, papa, if I am, and you are not,--wouldn't you perhaps not think
about those rules as I must think of them?"

"You mean that our thoughts would disagree?"

"Papa--they might."

"What shall we do, then, Daisy?"

Daisy looked wistfully and somewhat sadly at him. There was more weight
of thought under the little brow than he liked to see there. This would
not do; yet matters must be settled.

"Do you want to be a different little person from what you have been,
Daisy, hitherto?"

"I don't know, papa--I think so."

"How do you wish to be different?"

"I can't tell, papa. I might have to be."

"I want you just as you are, Daisy."

Mr. Randolph stooped his head down again to the too thoughtful little
face. Daisy clasped her arms around his neck and held him close. It was
only by her extraordinary self-command that she kept from tears; when he
raised his head her eyes were perfectly dry. "Will you be my good
little Daisy--and let me do the thinking for you?" said Mr. Randolph
tenderly.

"Papa--I _can't_."

"I will not have you different from what I like you, Daisy."

"Then, papa, what shall I do?"

"Obey me, and be satisfied with that."

"But, papa, I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ," said the child,
looking unutterably sober.

"I do not intend my commands shall conflict with any of higher
authority."

"Papa--suppose--they _might_?"

"I must be judge. You are a little child; you must take the law from my
mouth, until you are older."

"But, papa, suppose I _thought_ the Bible told me to do what you did not
think it said?"

"I advise you to believe my judgment, Daisy, if you wish to keep the
peace between us. I will not have anymore calling of it in question."

Daisy struggled plainly, though she would not cry; her colour flushed,
her lip quivered. She was entirely silent for a little while, and Mr.
Randolph sat watching her. The struggle lasted some minutes; till she
had overcome it somewhat she would not speak; and it was sharp. Then the
child closed her eyes and her face grew calm. Mr. Randolph did not know
what to think of her.

"Daisy----"

"What, papa?"

"I do not think we have settled this question yet."

"I do not think we have, papa."

"What is to be done? It will not answer, my little daughter, for you to
set up your will against mine."

"Papa, it is not my will."

"What do you call it, then?"

"Papa, it is not my will at all. It is the will of God."

"Take care, Daisy," said her father. "You are not to say that. My will
will never oppose itself to that authority you speak of."

"Papa, I only want to obey that."

"But remember, I must be the judge."

"Papa," said Daisy, eagerly, "won't this do? If I think something is in
the Bible, mayn't I bring it to you to see?"

"Yes."

"And if you think it _is_ there, then will you let me do it?"

"Do what?"

"Do what the Bible says, papa."

"I think I may promise that, Daisy," said Mr. Randolph; though
dubiously, as not quite certain what he was promising; "so long as I am
the judge."

"Then that will do, papa! That is nice."

Daisy's countenance expressed such utter content at this arrangement,
that Mr. Randolph looked grave.

"Now you have talked and excited yourself enough for to-day," he said.
"You must be quiet."

"Mayn't I tell mamma when she comes?"

"What, Daisy?"

"I mean what I have told you, papa."

"No. Wait till to-morrow. Why do you wish to tell her, Daisy?"

"Papa, I think I ought to tell her. I want her to know."

"You have very uncompromising notions of duty. But this duty can wait
till another day."

Daisy had to wait more than a day for her opportunity; her mother's next
visits were too bustling and unsatisfactory, as well as too short, to
promise her any good chance of being heard. At last came a propitious
morning. It was more moderate weather; Daisy herself was doing very well
and suffering little pain; and Mrs. Randolph looked in good humour and
had sat down with her tetting-work as if she meant to make her daughter
something of a visit. Mr. Randolph was lounging at the head of the
couch, out of Daisy's sight.

"Mamma," began the child, "there is something I wish to say to you."

"You have a favourable opportunity, Daisy. I can hear." Yet Daisy looked
a minute at the white hand that was flying the bobbin about. That white
hand.

"It isn't much, mamma. It is only--that I wish you to know--that I am a
Christian."

"That you are _what_?" said Mrs. Randolph coldly.

"A Christian, mamma."

"Pray what does that mean?"

"That I am a servant of Christ, mamma."

"When did you find it out, Daisy?"

"Some time ago, mamma. Some time--a little while--before my birthday."

"You did! What do you think _me_?"

Daisy kept silence.

"Well! why don't you speak? Answer me."

"Mamma, I don't know how to answer you," said Daisy, flushing for an
instant. Her mother's eyes took note of her.

"I shall not ask you a third time, Daisy."

"Mamma," said the child low,--"I do not think you are what I mean by a
Christian."

"You do not. I supposed that. Now you will go on and tell me what you
mean by 'a Christian.'"

"It means," said Daisy, her eyes filling with tears, "it means a person
who loves the Lord Jesus and obeys him."

"I hope you are gratified, Mr. Randolph," said the lady, "with this
specimen of the new Christianity. Dutiful and respectful are happily
united; along with a pleasant mixture of modesty. What do you expect me
to do, Daisy, with this announcement of yours?"

"Nothing, mamma," said Daisy faintly.

"I suppose you think that my Christianity must accommodate itself to
yours? Did you expect that?" "No, mamma."

"It would be very foolish of you; for the fact will be the other way.
Yours must accommodate itself to mine."

"I only wanted you to know what mine is, mamma."

"Yours is what mine is, Daisy. What I think right for you, that you are
to do. I will not hear a whimper from you again about what you are--do
you understand? Not again. I have listened to you this time, but this is
the last. If I hear another syllable like this, about what you are or
your Christianity, I shall know how to chastise it out of you. You are
nothing at all, but my Daisy; you are a Jewess, if I choose to have it
so."

Mr. Randolph made an uneasy movement; but the lady's white fingers flew
in and out of her tetting-work without regarding him.

"What do you want to do, that you are asking my permission in this
roundabout way? What do you want to do, that you think will not please
me?"

Daisy at first hesitated; then Mr. Randolph was surprised to hear her
say boldly--

"I am afraid, a great many things, mamma."

"Well, you know now what to expect. Mr. Randolph," said the lady letting
fall her tetting-work, "if you please, I will go home. The sun will only
be getting hotter, if I stay."

Mr. Randolph stood behind Daisy, bending down and holding her face in
his two hands.

"What would you like me to send you from home, Daisy?"

"Nothing, papa."

"Would you like to have Preston come and see you?"

"If he likes to come, papa."

"He has been only waiting for my permission, and if you say so, I will
give him yours."

"He may come. I should like to see him very much."

"You may have books too, now, Daisy. Do you not want some books?"

"I should like 'Sandford and Merton,' papa; and when Preston comes I'll
tell him what else I want."

Mr. Randolph stood still, smoothing down the hair on each side of the
little round head, while Mrs. Randolph was adjusting herself for her
drive.

"Are you ready, Mr. Randolph?"

"Cannot say that I am," said the gentleman, stooping to kiss Daisy's
forehead,--"but I will go with you. One thing I should like understood.
For reasons which are sufficient with me, Daisy is to consider herself
prohibited from making any music on Sundays henceforward, except she
chooses to do it in church. I mention it, lest you should ask her to do
what I have forbidden, and so make confusion."

Mrs. Randolph gave no sort of answer to this speech, and walked off to
the door. Daisy, whose eyes had brightened with joy, clasped her arms
around her father's neck when he stooped again and whispered with an
energetic pressure,

"Thank you, papa!"

Mr. Randolph only kissed her, and went off after his wife. The drive
home was remarkably silent.



CHAPTER XVIII.


It happened that day that Juanita had business on hand which kept her a
good deal of the morning in the out-shed which formed part of her
premises. She came in every now and then to see how Daisy was doing; yet
the morning was on the whole spent by Daisy alone; and when Juanita at
last came in to stay, she fancied the child was looking pale and worn
more than usual.

"My love do not feel well?"

"Yes I do, Juanita--I am only tired. Have you done washing?"

"It is all done. I am ready for whatever my love pleases."

"Isn't washing very disagreeable work, Juanita?"

"I do not think what it be, while it is mine," the woman said
contentedly. "All is good work that I can do for the Lord."

"But _that_ work, Juanita? How can you do that work so?"

"When the Lord gives work, he give it to be done for him. Bless the
Lord!"

"I do not understand, though, Juanita. Please tell me. How can you?"

"Miss Daisy, I don't know. I can do it with pleasure, because it is my
Lord's command. I can do it with thanksgiving, because he has given me
the strength and the power. And I can do it the best I can, so as nobody
shall find fault in his servant. And then, Miss Daisy, I can do it to
get money to send his blessed word to them that sit in darkness--where I
come from. And I can do it with prayer, asking my Lord to make my heart
clean for his glory; like as I make soiled things white again. And I do
it with joy, because I know the Lord hear my prayer."

"I think you are very happy, Juanita," said Daisy.

"When the Lord leads to living fountains of waters, then no more
thirsting,"--said the black woman expressively.

"Then, Juanita, I suppose--if I get tired lying here,--I can do patience
work?"

"Jesus will have his people do a great deal of that work," said Mrs.
Benoit tenderly. "And it is work that pleases him, Miss Daisy. My love
is very weary?"

"I suppose, Juanita, if I was really patient, I shouldn't be. Should I?
I think I am impatient."

"My love knows who carries the lambs in his bosom."

Daisy's tired face smoothed itself out at this. She turned her eyes to
the window with a placid look of rest in them.

"Jesus knows where the trouble is," said the black woman. "He knows all.
And he can help too. Now I am going to get something to do Miss Daisy
good."

Before this could be done, there came a heavy clumping step up to the
house and a knock at the door; and then a person entered whom Juanita
did not know. A hard-featured woman, in an old-fashioned black straw
bonnet and faded old shawl drawn tight round her. She came directly
forward to Daisy's couch.

"Well I declare if it ain't true! Tied by the heels, ain't ye?"--was her
salutation. Juanita looked, and saw that Daisy recognized the visiter;
for she smiled at her, half pleasure, half assent to what she said.

"I heerd of it--that is, I heerd you'd gone up to the mountain and broke
something; I couldn't find out what 'twas; and then Hephzibah she said
she would go down to Melbourne Sunday. I said to her, says I,
'Hephzibah, I wouldn't go all that ways, child, for to do nothing;
'tain't likely but that some part of the story's true, if you and me
can't find out which;' but Hephzibah she took her own head and went; and
don't you think, she came back a cryin'?"

"What was that for?" said Daisy, looking very much interested.

"Why she couldn't find you, I guess; and she thought you was killed. But
you ain't, be you?"

"Only my foot and ankle hurt," said Daisy smiling; "and I am doing very
well now."

"And was you broke anywheres?"

"My ankle was broken."

"I declare! And you couldn't be took home?"

"No."

"So the folks said; only they said that young soldier had killed you. I
hope he got hurted himself?"

"Why Mrs. Harbonner, _he_ did not do it. It was an accident. It wasn't
anybody's fault."

"It wouldn't ha' happened if _I_ had been there, I can tell you!" said
Hephzibah's mother. "I don't think much of a man if he ain't up to
taking care of a woman;--and a child above all. Now how long are you
goin' to be in this fix?"

"I don't know. I suppose I shall have to lie still for four or five
weeks more, before my foot is well."

"It's tiresome, I guess, ain't it?"

"Yes--sometimes."

"Well I used to think, if folks was good, things wouldn't happen to 'em.
That's what I thought. That was my study of divinity. And when
everything on earth happened to me, I just concluded it was because I
warn't a bit too good to deserve it. Now I'm beat--to see you lie there.
I don't see what is the use of being good, if it don't get none."

"O Mrs. Harbonner!" said Daisy--"I am glad my foot was broken."

"Well, I'm beat!" was all Mrs. Harbonner could say. "You air, be you?"

"It hasn't done me any harm at all; and it has done me a great deal of
good."

Mrs. Harbonner stood staring at Daisy.

"The promise is sure," said Mrs. Benoit. "All things shall work together
for good to them that love God!"

The other woman wheeled about and looked at her for an instant with a
sharp keen eye of note-taking; then she returned to Daisy.

"Well I suppose I'll tell Hephzibah she won't see you again till
summer's over; so she may as well give over thinking about it."

"Do you think Hephzibah wants to learn, Mrs. Harbonner?"

"Well, I guess she does."

"Wouldn't she come here and get her lessons? Couldn't she come to see me
every day while I am here?"

"I 'spose she'd jump out of her skin to do it," said Mrs. Harbonner.
"Hephzibah's dreadful sot on seeing you."

"Mrs. Benoit," said Daisy, "may I have this little girl come to see me
every day, while I am here?"

"Miss Daisy shall have all, who she will," was the answer; and it was
arranged so; and Mrs. Harbonner took her departure. Lingering a minute
at the door, whither Juanita attended her, she made one or two enquiries
and remarks about Daisy, answered civilly and briefly by Mrs. Benoit.

"Poor little toad!" said Mrs. Harbonner, drawing her shawl tight round
her for the last time. "But ain't she little _queer_?"

These words were spoken in a low murmur, which just served to draw
Daisy's attention. Out of sight behind the moreen curtain, Mrs.
Harbonner forgot she was not beyond hearing; and Daisy's ears were
good. She noticed that Juanita made no answer at all to this question,
and presently shut the door.

The business of giving Daisy some fruit was the next thing attended to;
in the course of eating which Daisy marvelled a little to herself what
possible likeness to a _toad_ Mrs. Harbonner could have discovered in
her. The comparison did not seem flattering; also she pondered somewhat
why it could be that anybody found her queer. She said nothing about it;
though she gave Mrs. Benoit a little account of Hephzibah and the reason
of the proposed series of visits. In the midst of this came a cheery
"Daisy"--at the other side of her; and turning her head, there was
Preston's face at the window.

"O Preston!"--Daisy handed to Mrs. Benoit her unfinished saucer of
strawberries--"I am so glad! I have been waiting for you. Have you
brought my books?"

"Where do you think I have been, Daisy?"

"I don't know. Shooting!--Have you?"

Daisy's eye caught the barrel of a fowling-piece shewing its end up at
the window. Preston without replying lifted up his game bag and let her
see the bright feathers of little birds which partly filled it.

"You have!--Shooting!"--Daisy repeated, in a tone between disapprobation
and dismay. "It isn't September!"

"Capital sport, Daisy," said Preston, letting the bag fall.

"I think it is very poor sport," said Daisy. "I wish they were all alive
and flying again."

"So do I--if I might shoot them again."

"It's cruel, Preston!"

"Nonsense, Daisy. Don't you be too tender. Birds were made to kill. What
are they good for?"

With a wit that served her instead of experience, Daisy was silent,
looking with unspoken abhorrence at the wicked muzzle of the
fowling-piece.

"Did you bring me 'Sandford and Merton,' Preston?" she said presently.

"'Sandford and Merton'! My dear Daisy, I have been going all over the
world, you know--this part of it--and I was too far from Melbourne to go
round that way for your book; if I had, it would have been too late to
get here. You see the sun's pretty well down."

Daisy said no more; but it was out of her power not to look
disappointed. She had so counted upon her book; and she was so weary of
lying still and doing nothing. She wanted very much to read about the
house that Harry and Tommy built; it would have been a great
refreshment.

"Cheer up, Daisy," said Preston; "I'll bring you books to-morrow--and
read to you too, if you like it. What shall I bring?"

"O Preston, I want to know about trilobites!"

"Daisy, you might as well want to know about the centre of the earth!
That's where they belong."

"I should like to know about the centre of the earth," said Daisy. "Is
there anything there?"

"Anything at the centre of the earth? I suppose so."

"But I mean, anything _but_ earth," said Daisy.

Preston burst out laughing. "O Daisy, Daisy!--Hadn't you better learn
about what is on the outside of the earth, before we dig down so deep
into it?"

"Well, Preston, my trilobite was on the outside."

"Daisy, it wouldn't interest you," said Preston seriously; "you would
have to go deep into something else besides the earth--so deep that you
would get tired. Let the trilobite alone, and let's have Grimm's Tales
to-morrow--shall we? or what will you have?"

Daisy was patiently silent a minute; and then in came Dr. Sandford. In
his presence Preston was mute; attending to the doctor's manipulations
as gravely as the doctor himself performed them. In the midst of the
general stillness, Dr. Sandford asked,

"Who was speaking about trilobites as I came up?"

"Preston was speaking," said Daisy, as nobody else seemed ready to
answer.

"What about them?"

"He thinks they would not interest me," said Daisy.

"What do you know about trilobites?" said Dr. Sandford, now raising his
blue eyes for a good look into the child's face. He saw it looked weary.

"I have got a beautiful one. Juanita, will you bring it here, please?"

The doctor took it up and handled it with an eye that said, Daisy knew,
that it was a fine specimen. The way he handled it gratified her.

"So this is one of your playthings, is it, Daisy?"

"No, sir; it is not a plaything, but I like to look at it."

"Why?"

"It is so wonderful, and beautiful, I think."

"But do tell Daisy, will you, doctor," said Preston, "that it is a
subject she cannot understand yet. She wants me to bring her books about
trilobites."

"Time hangs heavy, Daisy?" said the doctor.

"No, sir--only when I have nothing to do."

"What have you done to-day?"

"Nothing, sir; except talking to papa and mamma,--and some business
about a little girl."

The sedateness of this announcement was inexpressible, coming as it did
after a little thoughtful pause. Preston burst out laughing. Dr.
Sandford did not so far forget himself. He only gave Daisy a rapid look
of his grave blue eyes.

"It would be a charity to give you more employment than that," he said.
"You like wonderful things, Daisy?"

"Very much, when I understand about them."

"I will agree to tell you anything you please--that I know--about any
wonderful things you can see to-morrow, looking from your window."

The Doctor and Preston went off together, and left Daisy, though without
books, in a high state of excitement and gratification. The rest of the
evening her little head was busy by turns with fancying the observations
of the next day, and wondering what she could possibly find from her
window to talk to the doctor about. A very unpromising window Daisy
considered it. Nothing was to be seen beside trees and a little strip of
road; few people passed by that way; and if there had, what wonder could
there have been in that. Daisy was half afraid she should find nothing
to talk to the doctor about; and that would be a mortification.

Daisy and Juanita were both apt to be awake pretty early. Lying there on
her back all day, without power to run about and get tired, Daisy's
sleep was light; and her eyes were generally open before the sun got
high enough to look at them. Juanita was always up and dressed earlier
even than that; how much earlier Daisy had no means of knowing; but she
was sure to hear the murmur of her friend's voice at her prayers, either
in the other room or outside of the house. And Juanita did not come in
to see Daisy till she had been awake a good while, and had had leisure
to think over a great many things. Daisy found that was a good time for
her own prayers; there was nothing to disturb her, and nothing to be
heard at all, except that soft sound of Juanita's voice and the clear
trills and quavers of the little birds' voices in the trees. There was
no disturbance in any of those sounds; nothing but joy and gladness and
the voice of melody from them all.

By and by, when the light began to kindle in the tops of the trees, and
Daisy was sure to be watching it and trying to get sight of some of the
bird singers which were so merry up there, she would hear another sound
by her bedside, or feel a soft touch; and there would be Juanita, as
bright as the day, in her way of looking bright, bending over to see
and find out how Daisy was. Then, having satisfied herself, Juanita
would go about the business of the morning. First her fire was made, and
the kettle put on for breakfast. Daisy used to beg her to leave the door
open, so that though she could not follow her with her eyes and see, she
could yet hear what Juanita was doing. She used to listen to hear the
kindling put in the stove, and the wood; she knew the sound of it; then
when the match was lit and applied she liked the rushing sound of the
blaze and kindling fire; it gave pleasant token that the kettle would be
boiled by and by. But first she listened to Juanita's feet brushing
through the grass to get to the well; and Daisy listened so hard she
could almost tell after a while whether the grass was dry or whether it
was heavy with dew. Juanita always carried the kettle to the well; and
when she came back Daisy could hear the iron clink of the stove as the
kettle was put on. Presently Juanita came in then from her kitchen, and
began the work of putting the house in order. How nicely she did it!
like the perfection of a nurse, which she was. No dust, no noise, no
bustle; still as a mouse, but watchful as a cat, the alert old woman
went round the room and made all tidy and all clean and fresh. Very
likely Juanita would change the flowers in a little vase which stood on
the mantelpiece or the table, before she felt that everything was as it
ought to be.

When all that was done, her next attention was to Daisy herself; and
Daisy never in her life had nicer tending than now. If Juanita was a
nurse, she was a dressing-maid too, of first-rate qualifications. It was
a real pleasure to have her ministering about the couch; and for that
matter, the whole work of the morning, as Juanita managed it, was a
regular and unfailing piece of amusement to Daisy. And in the midst of
it, every look at the black woman's noble, sweet face, warmed Daisy's
heart with something better than amusement. Daisy grew to love her very
much.

This morning all these affairs had been gone through as usual; and
leaving Daisy in a happy, refreshed state, Mrs. Benoit went off to
prepare her breakfast. Like everything else, that was beautifully done.
By and by, in she came with a tray and white napkin, white as napkin
could be, and fine damask too. For Juanita had treasures of various
sorts, besides old moreen curtains. On this tray for instance, there was
not only a fine napkin of damask; there was a delicate cup and saucer of
fine china, which Daisy thought very beautiful. It was as thin and fine
as any cup at Melbourne House, and had a dainty vine of leaves and
flowers running round it, in a light red brown colour. The plate was not
to match; it was a common little white plate; but that did not matter.
The tea was in the little brown cup, and Daisy's lips closed upon it
with entire satisfaction. Juanita had some excellent tea too; and if she
had not, there was a sufficient supply sent from Melbourne; as well as
of everything else. So to-day there was not only the brown toast in
strips, which Daisy fancied; but there were great red Antwerp
raspberries for her; and that made, Daisy thought, the very best
breakfast that could be eaten. She was very bright this morning.

"Juanita," she said, "I have found something for Dr Sandford already."

"What does Miss Daisy mean?"

"Don't you know? Didn't you hear him yesterday? He gave me something to
do. He said he would tell me about anything wonderful I could see in the
course of the day; and I have found something already."

"'Seems to me as all the Lord has made is wonderful," said the black
woman. "Does Miss Daisy think Dr. Sandford can tell her all about it?"

"Why I suppose he knows a great deal, Juanita."

"If he knowed one thing more,"--said the black woman. "Here he is, Miss
Daisy. He's early."

Certainly he was; but Dr. Sandford had a long ride to take that morning,
and could only see Daisy then on his way. In silence he attended to her,
and with no delay; smiled at her; put the tips of his fingers to her
raspberry dish and took out one for his own lips; then went quick away.
Daisy smiled curiously. She was very much amused at him. She did not ask
Juanita what she meant by the "one thing more." Daisy knew quite well;
or thought she did.

All that day she was in an amused state, watching to see wonderful
things. Her father's and mother's visits came as usual. Preston came and
brought her some books. Hephzibah came too and had a bit of a lesson.
But Hephzibah's wits were like her hair, straying all manner of ways. It
was very difficult to make her understand the difference between a, b,
ab,--and b, a, ba; and that was discouraging. Daisy toiled with her till
she was tired; and then was glad to lie still and rest without even
thinking of wonderful things, till Juanita brought her her dinner.

As the doctor had been early, so he was late to-day. It was near sunset
when he came, and Daisy was a little disappointed, fancying that he was
tired. He said nothing at first; attended to Daisy's foot in the
profoundest gravity; but in the midst of it, without looking up, he
asked,

"What wonderful things have you seen to-day?"

"I am afraid you are tired, Dr. Sandford," said Daisy very gently.

"What then?"

"Then it might tire you more to talk to me."

"You have seen something wonderful, have you?" said the doctor glancing
at her.

"Two or three things, sir."

"One at a time," said the doctor. "I _am_ tired. I have ridden nearly
seventy miles to-day, one way and another. Have you got a cup of milk
for me, Mrs. Benoit?"

Daisy eagerly beckoned Juanita and whispered to her, and the result was
that with the cup of milk came a plate of the magnificent raspberries.
The doctor opened his grave eyes at Daisy, and stood at the foot of her
couch picking up raspberries with his finger and thumb, as he had taken
that one in the morning.

"Now what are the wonderful things?" said he.

"You are too tired to-night, Dr. Sandford."

"Let us have number one. Promises must be kept, Daisy. Business is
business. Have you got such hard work for me? What was the first thing?"

"The first wonderful thing that I saw--or at least that I thought of--"
said Daisy, "was the sun."

The doctor eat half a dozen raspberries without speaking, giving an odd
little smile first in one corner of his mouth and then in the other.

"Do you expect me to tell you about _that_?" said he.

"You said business was business," Daisy replied with equal gravity to
his own.

"I am glad the idea of the universe did not occur to you," said the
doctor. "That might have been rather inconvenient for one evening's
handling. What would you like me to tell you about the sun?"

"I do not know anything at all about it," said Daisy. "I would like to
know everything you can tell me."

"The thought that first comes to me," said the doctor, "is, that it
ripened these raspberries."

"I know _that_," said Daisy. "But I want to know what it _is_."

"The sun! Well," said the doctor, "it is a dark, round thing, something
like this earth, only considerably bigger."

"_Dark!_" said Daisy.

"Certainly. I have no reason to believe it anything else."

"But you are laughing at me, Dr. Sandford," said Daisy, feeling very
much disappointed and a little aggrieved.

"Am I? No, Daisy--if you had ridden seventy miles to-day, you might be
tempted, but you would not feel like laughing. Business is business, I
must remind you again."

"But you do not _mean_ that the sun is dark?" said Daisy.

"I mean precisely what I say, I assure you."

"But it is so bright we cannot look at it," said Daisy.

"Something is so bright you cannot look at it. The something is not the
body of the sun."

"Then it is the light that comes from it."

"No light comes from it, that I know. I told you, the sun is a dark
body."

"Not laughing?"

"No," said Dr. Sandford, though he did laugh now;--"the sun, you see, is
a more wonderful thing than you imagined."

"But sir, may I ask any question I have a mind to ask?"

"Certainly! All in the course of business."

"How do you know that it is dark, sir?"

"Perfectly fair. Suppose that Mrs. Benoit stood behind your curtain
there, and that you had never seen her; how could you know that she has
a dark skin?"

"Why I could not."

"Yes, you could--if there were rents in the curtain."

"But what are you talking of, sir?"

"Only telling you, in answer to your question, how I know the sun to be
a dark body."

"But there is no curtain over the sun."

"That proves you are no philosopher, Daisy. If you were a philosopher,
you would not be so certain of anything. There is a curtain over the
sun; and there are rents or holes in the curtain sometimes,--so large
that we can see the dark body of the sun through them."

"What is the curtain? Is _that_ the light?"

"Now you are coming pretty near it, Daisy," said the doctor. "The
curtain, as I call it, is not light, but it is what the light comes
from."

"Then what _is_ it, Dr. Sandford?"

"That has puzzled people wiser than you and I, Daisy. However, I think I
may venture to say, that it is something like an ocean of flame,
surrounding the dark body of the sun."

"And there are holes in it?"

"Sometimes."

"But they must be very large holes to be seen from this distance?"

"Very," said the doctor. "A great many times bigger than our whole
earth."

"Then how do you know but they are dark islands in the ocean?"

"For several reasons," said the doctor looking gravely funny; "one of
which reasons is, that we can see the deep ragged edges of the holes,
and that these edges join together again."

"But there could not be holes in _our_ ocean?" said Daisy.

Dr. Sandford gave a good long grave look at her, set aside his empty
plate which had held raspberries, and took a chair. He talked to her now
with serious quiet earnest, as if she had been a much older person.

"Our ocean, Daisy, you will remember, is an ocean of fluid matter. The
ocean of flame which surrounds the sun is gaseous matter--or a sort of
ocean of air, in a state of incandescence. This does not touch the sun,
but floats round it, upon or above another atmosphere of another
kind--like the way in which our clouds float in the air over our heads.
You know how breaks come and go in the clouds; so you can imagine that
this luminous covering of the sun parts in places, and shews the sun
through, and then closes up again."

"Is _that_ the way it is?" said Daisy.

"Even so."

"Dr. Sandford, you said a word just now I did not understand."

"Only one?" said the doctor.

"I think there was only one I did not know in the least."

"Can you direct me to it?"

"You said something about an ocean of air in a state--what state?"

"Incandescence?"

"That was it."

"That is a state where it gives out white heat."

"I thought everything at the sun must be on fire," said Daisy looking
meditatively at the doctor.

"You see you were mistaken. It has only a covering of clouds of fire--so
to speak."

"But it must be very hot there."

"It is pretty hot _here_," said the doctor shrugging his
shoulders,--"ninety five millions of miles away; so I do not see that we
can avoid your conclusion."

"How much is ninety five millions?"

"I am sure I don't know," said Dr. Sandford gravely. "After I have gone
as far as a million or so, I get tired."

"But I do not know much about arithmetic," said Daisy humbly. "Mamma has
not wanted me to study. I don't know how much one million is."

"Arithmetic does not help one on a journey, Miss Daisy," said the doctor
pleasantly. "Counting the miles did not comfort me to-day. But I can
tell you this. If you and I were to set off on a railway train, straight
for the sun, and go at the rate of thirty-two miles an hour,--you know
that is pretty fast travelling?"

"How fast do we go on the cars from here to New York?"

"Thirty miles an hour."

"Now I know," said Daisy.

"If we were to set off and go straight to the sun at that rate of speed,
keeping it up night and day, it would take us--how long do you guess? It
would take us three hundred years and more; nearly three hundred and
fifty years, to get there."

"I cannot imagine travelling so long," said Daisy gravely. At which Dr.
Sandford laughed; the first time Daisy had ever heard him do such a
thing. It was a low, mellow laugh now; and she rather enjoyed it.

"I should like to know what a million is," she observed.

"Ten hundred thousand."

"And how many million miles did you say the sun is?"

"Ninety-five millions of miles away."

Daisy lay thinking about it.

"Can you imagine travelling faster? And then we need not be so long on
the journey," said Dr. Sandford. "If we were to go as fast as a cannon
ball, it would take us about seven years--not quite so much--to get to
the sun."

"How fast does a cannon ball go?"

"Fifty times as fast as a railway train."

"I cannot imagine that either, Dr. Sandford."

"Give it up, Daisy," said the doctor, rising and beginning to put
himself in order for travelling.

"Are you going?" said Daisy.

"Not till you have done with me!"

"Dr. Sandford, have you told me all there is to tell about the sun?"

"No."

"Would it take too long this evening?"

"Considering that the sun will not stay to be talked about, Daisy," said
the doctor glancing out of the window, "I should say it would."

"Then I will ask only one thing more. Dr. Sandford, how can you tell so
exactly how long it would take to go to the sun? how do you know?"

"Quite fair, Daisy," said the doctor surveying her gravely. "I know, by
the power of a science called mathematics, which enables one to do all
sorts of impossible things. But you must take that on my word; I cannot
explain so that you would understand it."

"Thank you, sir," said Daisy.

She wanted further to ask what sort of a science mathematics might be;
but Dr. Sandford had answered a good many questions, and the sun was
down, down, behind the trees on the other side of the road. Daisy said
no more. The doctor seeing her silent, smiled, and prepared himself to
go.

"Shall we finish the sun to-morrow, Daisy?"

"O, if you please."

"Very well. Good bye."

The doctor went, leaving Daisy in a very refreshed state; with plenty to
think of. Daisy was quite waked out of her weariness and disappointment,
and could do well enough without books for one day longer. She took her
own raspberries now with great spirit.

"I have found two more wonderful things to talk to Dr. Sandford about,
Juanita; that is three to-day."

"Does Miss Daisy think the doctor can tell her all?"

"I don't know. He knows a great deal, Juanita."

"'Seems he knows more than Job did," said Mrs. Benoit, who had her
private misgivings about the authenticity of all Dr. Sandford's
statements. Daisy thought a little.

"Juanita, Job lived a great while ago."

"Yes, Miss Daisy."

"How much did he know about the sun? does the Bible tell?"

"It tells a little what he didn't know, Miss Daisy."

"O, Juanita, after I get through my tea and when you have had yours,
won't you read me in the Bible all about Job and the sun?"

Mrs. Benoit liked nothing better; and whatever other amusements failed,
or whatever other parties anywhere in the land found their employments
unsatisfactory, there was one house where intent interest and unflagging
pleasure went through the whole evening; it was where Daisy and Mrs.
Benoit read "about Job and the sun." Truth to tell, as that portion of
Scripture is but small, they extended their reading somewhat.

Daisy's first visiter the next day was her father. He came with fresh
flowers and fresh fruit, and with "Sandford and Merton" too, in which he
read to her; so the morning went well.

"Papa," said Daisy when he was about leaving her, "do you not think Dr.
Sandford is a very interesting man?"

"It is the general opinion of ladies, I believe, Daisy; but I advise you
not to lose your heart to him. I am afraid he is not to be depended on."

"O papa," said Daisy, a little shocked, "I do not mean that he is a man
one would get _fond of_."

"Pray who do you think is, Daisy?" said Mr. Randolph, maintaining his
gravity admirably.

"Papa, don't you think Capt. Drummond is--and--"

"And who, Daisy?"

"I was thinking--Mr. Dinwiddie, papa." Daisy did not quite know how well
this last name would be relished, and she coloured a little
apprehensively.

"You are impartial in your professional tastes, I am glad to see," said
Mr. Randolph. Then observing how innocent of understanding him was the
grave little face of Daisy, he bent down to kiss her.

"And you are unfortunate in your favourites. Both at a distance! How is
Gary McFarlane?"

"Papa, I think he has good nature; but I think he is rather frivolous."

Mr. Randolph looked soberly at the little face before him, and went away
thinking his own thoughts. But he had the cruelty to repeat to Dr.
Sandford so much of this conversation as concerned that gentleman; in
doing so he unwittingly laid the foundation of more attention to Daisy
on the doctor's part, than he probably would ever otherwise have given
her. To say truth--the idea propounded by Daisy was so very novel to
the doctor that it both amused and piqued him.

Mr. Randolph had hardly gone out, when Hephzibah came in. And then
followed a lesson the like of which Daisy had not given yet. Hephzibah's
attention was on everything but the business in hand. Also, she had a
little less awe of Daisy lying on Mrs. Benoit's couch in a loose gown,
than when she met her in the Belvidere at Melbourne, dressed in an
elegant cambrick frock with a resplendent sash.

"C, a, spells ca, Hephzibah. Now what is that?"

"Over your finger?"

"Yes."

"That's--C."

"C, a. And what does it spell?"

"Did the stone fall right onto your foot?"

"Yes--partly on."

"And was it broke right off?"

"No. O no. Only the bone of my ankle was broken."

"It smarted some, I guess; didn't it?"

"No. Now Hephzibah, what do those two letters spell?"

"C, a, ca. That don't mean nothin'."

"Now the next. D, a--"

"What's D, a?"

"D, a, da."

"What's that?"

"Nothing; only it spells that."

"How soon'll you be up again?"

"I do not know. In a few weeks."

"Before the nuts is ripe?"

"O yes, I hope so."

"Well, I'll shew you where there's the biggest hickory nuts you ever
see! They're right back of Mr. Lamb's barn--only three fields to
cross--and there's three hickory trees; and the biggest one has the
biggest nuts, mother says, she ever see. Will you go and get some?"

"But, Hephzibah, those are Mr. Lamb's nuts, aren't they?"

"I don't care."

"But," said Daisy, looking very grave, "don't you know, Hephzibah, it is
wrong to meddle with anything that belongs to other people?"

"He hain't no right to 'em, I don't believe."

"I thought you said they were in Mr. Lamb's field?"

"So they be."

"Then they are his nuts. You would not like anybody to take them, if
they belonged to you."

"It don't make no odds," said Hephzibah sturdily, but looking down at
the same time. "He'll get it out of us some other way."

"Get it out of you?" said Daisy.

"Yes."

"What do you mean?"

"He gets it out of everybody," said Hephzibah. "Tain't no odds."

"But Hephzibah, if those trees were yours, would you like to have Mr.
Lamb come and take the nuts away?"

"No. I'd get somebody to shoot him."

Daisy hardly knew how to go along with her discourse; Hephzibah's
erratic opinions started up so fast. She looked at her little rough
pupil in absolute dismay. Hephzibah shewed no consciousness of having
said anything remarkable. Very sturdy she looked; very assured in her
judgment. Daisy eyed her rough bristling hair, with an odd kind of
feeling that it would not be more difficult to comb down into smoothness
than the unregulated thoughts of her mind. She must begin gently. But
Daisy's eyes grew most wistfully earnest.

"Would you shoot Mr. Lamb for taking away your nuts?"

"Just as lieves."

"Then how do you think he would feel about your taking his nuts?"

"I don't care!"

"But, Hephzibah, listen. Do you know what the Bible says? It says, that
we must do to other people just what we would like to have them do to us
in the same things."

"Then he oughtn't to have sot such a price on his meat," said Hephzibah.

"But then," said Daisy, "what would it be right for you to do about his
nuts?"

"I don't care," said Hephzibah. "'Tain't no odds. I'm a going to get
'em. I guess it's time for me to go home."

"But Hephzibah,--you have not done your lesson yet. I want you to learn
all this row to-day. The next is, f, a, fa."

"That don't mean nothin'," said Hephzibah.

"But you want to learn it, before you can go on to what does mean
something."

"I don't guess I do," said Hephzibah.

"Don't you want to learn to read?"

"Yes, but that ain't readin'."

"But you cannot learn to read without it," said Daisy.

Under this urging, Hephzibah did consent to go down the column of
two-letter syllables.

"Ain't you going with me after them nuts?" she said as soon as the
bottom of the page was reached. "I'll shew you a rabbit's nest. La! it's
so pretty!"

"I hope you will not take the nuts, Hephzibah, without Mr. Lamb's
leave."

"I ain't going to ask his leave," said Hephzibah. "He wouldn't give it
to me, besides. It's fun, I tell you."

"It is wrong," said Daisy. "I don't think there's any fun in doing
what's wrong."

"It is fun, though, I tell you," said Hephzibah. "It's real sport. The
nuts come down like rain; and we get whole baskets full. And then, when
you crack 'em, I tell you, they are sweet'"

"Hephzibah, do you know what the Bible says?"

"I don't want to learn no more to-day," said the child. "I'm going. Good
bye, Daisy."

She stayed no further instruction of any kind; but caught up her calico
sunbonnet and went off at a jump, calling out "Good bye, Daisy!" when
she had got some yards from the house. Daisy lay still, looking very
thoughtful.

"The child has just tired you, my love!" said the black woman.

"What shall I do, Juanita? She doesn't understand."

"My love knows who opened the eyes of the blind," said Juanita.

Daisy sighed. Certainly teaching seemed to take very small hold on her
rough little pupil. These thoughts were suddenly banished by the
entrance of Mrs. Randolph.

The lady was alone this time. How like herself she looked, handsome and
stately, in characteristic elegance of attire and manner both. Her white
morning dress floated off in soft edges of lace from her white arms; a
shawl of precious texture was gathered loosely about them; on her head a
gossamer web of some fancy manufacture fell off on either side, a mock
covering for it. She came up to Daisy and kissed her, and then examined
into her various arrangements, to see that she was in all respects well
and properly cared for. Her mother's presence made Daisy feel very meek.
Her kiss had been affectionate, her care was motherly; but with all that
there was not a turn of her hand nor a tone of her calm voice that did
not imply and express absolute possession, perfect control. That Daisy
was a little piece of property belonging to her in sole right, with
which she did and would do precisely what it might please her, with very
little concern how or whether it might please Daisy. Daisy was very far
from putting all this in words, or even in distinct thoughts;
nevertheless she felt and knew every bit of it; her mother's hand did
not touch Daisy's foot or her shoulder, without her inward consciousness
what a powerful hand it was. Now it is true that all this was in one way
no new thing; Daisy had always known her mother's authority to be just
what it was now; but it was only of late that a question had arisen
about the bearing of this authority upon her own little life and
interests. With the struggle that had been, and the new knowledge that
more struggles in the future were not impossible, the consciousness of
her mother's power over her had a new effect. Mrs. Randolph sat down and
took out her tetting work; but she only did a few stitches.

"What child was that I met running from the house as I came up?" she
asked, a little to Daisy's discomfiture.

"It was a little girl who belongs in the village, mamma."

"How comes she to know you?"

"It happened by accident partly, in the first place."

"What accident?"

"Mamma, I will tell you another time, if you will let me." For Daisy
knew that Juanita was not far off. But Mrs. Randolph only said, "Tell me
now."

"Mamma--it was partly an accident," Daisy repeated. "I found out by
accident that they were very poor--and I carried them something to eat."

"Whom do you mean by 'them?'"

"That little girl and her mother--Mrs. Harbonner."

"When did you do this?"

"About the time of my birthday."

"And you have kept up the acquaintance since that time?"

"I carried the woman work once, mamma. I had papa's leave to go."

"Did you ask mine?"

"No, mamma. It was papa who had forbidden me to go into any house
without leave; so I asked him to let me tell her about the work."

"What was this child here for to-day?"

"Mamma--she is a poor child and could not go to school; and--I was
trying to teach her something."

"What were you trying to teach her?"

"To read, mamma--and to do right."

"Have you ever done this before?"

"Yes, mamma--a few times."

"Can it be that you have a taste for low society, Daisy?"

Mrs. Randolph had been asking questions calmly while going on with her
tetting work; at this one she raised her eyes and bent them full, with
steady cold inquiry, on Daisy's face. Daisy looked a little troubled.

"No, mamma--I do not think I have."

"Is not this child very rude and ill-mannered?"

"Yes, ma'am, but--"

"Is she even a clean child?"

"Not _very_, mamma."

"You are changed, Daisy," said Mrs. Randolph, with a slight but keen
expression of disdain. The child felt it, yet felt it not at all to the
moving of her steadfastness.

"Mamma--it was only that I might teach her. She knows nothing at all,
almost."

"And does Daisy Randolph think such a child is a fit companion for her?"

"Not a _companion_, mamma."

"What business have you with a child who is not a fit companion for
you?"

"Only, mamma, to try to be of some benefit to her."

"I shall be of some benefit to you, now. Since I cannot trust you,
Daisy--since your own delicacy and feeling of what is right does not
guide you in such matters, I shall lay my commands on you for the
future. You are to have nothing to do with any person, younger or older,
without finding out what my pleasure is about it. Do you understand
me?"

"Yes, mamma."

"You are to give no more lessons to children who are not fit companions
for you. You are not to have anything to do with this child in
particular. Daisy, understand me--I forbid you to speak to her again."

"O mamma--"

"Not a word," said Mrs. Randolph.

"But mamma, please! just this. May I not tell her once, that I cannot
teach her? She will think me so strange!"

Mrs. Randolph was silent.

"Might I not, just that once, mamma?"

"No."

"She will not know what to think of me," said Daisy; her lip trembling,
her eye reddening, and only able by the greatest self-control to keep
from bursting into tears.

"That is your punishment"--replied Mrs. Randolph, in a satisfied, quiet
sort of way. Daisy felt crushed. She could hardly think.

"I am going to take you in hand and bring you into order," said Mrs.
Randolph with a smile, bending over to kiss Daisy, and looking at her
lips and eyes in a way Daisy wished she would not. The meek little face
certainly promised small difficulty in her way, and Mrs. Randolph kissed
the trembling mouth again.

"I do not think we shall quarrel," she remarked. "But if we do, Daisy, I
shall know how to bear my part of it."

She turned carelessly to her tetting again, and Daisy lay still; quiet
and self-controlled, it was all she could do. She could hardly bear to
watch her mother at her work; the thought of "quarrels" between them was
so inevitable and so dreadful. She could hardly bear to look out of her
window; the sunshine and bright things out there seemed to remind her of
her troubles; for they did not look bright now as they had done in the
early morning. She lay still and kept still; that was all; while Mrs.
Randolph kept at her work amusing herself with it an uncommonly long
time. At last she was tired; threw her shawl round her shoulders again,
and stood up to go.

"I think we can soon have you home, Daisy," she said as she stooped to
kiss her. "Ask Dr. Sandford when he comes, how soon it will do now to
move you; ask him to-night; will you?"

Daisy said "Yes, mamma," and Mrs. Randolph went.



CHAPTER XIX.


The day was a heavy one to Daisy and Juanita after that. The little
cottage was very silent. Daisy lay still, saying nothing, and generally
keeping her face turned towards the window so that her friend could not
see at; and when Mrs. Benoit proposed, as she several times did, to read
to Daisy or sing to her, she was always answered by a gentle, "No,
Juanita," which was as decided as it was gentle. The last time indeed,
Daisy had yielded and given assent to the proposition; but Mrs. Benoit
did not feel sure that she gave anything else; either attention or
approbation. Daisy's dinner she had prepared with particular care; but
it was not enjoyed; Mrs. Benoit knew that. She sighed to herself, and
then sang to herself, in a softly kind of way; Daisy gave no heed, and
only lay still with her face turned to the window. By and by, late in
the afternoon, the doctor came in. He was not a favourite of Mrs.
Benoit, but she was glad to see him now. She withdrew a little out of
the way and watched to see what he would say.

The doctor's first care as usual was the foot. That was going on well.
Having attended to that, he looked at Daisy's face. It did not seem to
him satisfactory, Mrs. Benoit saw; for his next move was to the head of
the couch, and he felt Daisy's hand, while his eyes studied her.

"How do you do to-day?"

"I am getting better," said Daisy.

"Are you? Your voice sounds weak to-night."

"I do not suppose I am very strong."

"How many wonderful things have you found to-day?"

"I have not thought about them--I have not found any."

Doctor Sandford bent a little over Daisy's couch, holding her hand still
and examining her.

"What is the matter, Daisy?" said he.

Daisy fidgeted. The doctor's fine blue eyes were too close to her and
too steady to be escaped from. Daisy turned her own eyes uneasily away,
then brought them back; she could not help it. He was waiting for her to
speak.

"Dr. Sandford," she said humbly, "won't you please excuse me?"

"Excuse you what, Daisy?"

"From telling you what you want to know."

"Pray why should I?"

"It is something that is quite private to myself."

If the doctor's lips remained perfectly still for some moments, it was
because they had a private inclination to smile, in which he would not
indulge them. Daisy saw nothing but the most moveless gravity.

"Private from all but your physician, Daisy," he said at last. "Do not
you know he is an exception to general rules?"

"Is he?" said Daisy.

"Certainly. I always become acquainted with people's private affairs."

"But I do not want that you should be acquainted with mine."

"No matter. You are under my care," said the doctor. Then after a minute
he added in a lower tone, "What have you been shedding tears about
to-day?"

Daisy's face looked intensely grave; wise and old beyond her days,
though the mouth was also sweet. So she faced the doctor and answered
him with the sedateness of fifty years--"I can't very well tell you, Dr.
Sandford."

"You have been shedding tears to-day?"

"Yes, sir--" said Daisy softly.

"A good many of them? You have been lying here with your face to the
window, crying quietly, a good part of the afternoon--have you not?"

"Yes, sir," said Daisy, wondering at him.

"Now I am your physician and must know what was the matter."

"It is something I cannot tell about, Dr. Sandford."

"Yes, Daisy, you are mistaken. Whatever concerns you, concerns me; if it
is the concern of nobody else. Were you tired of lying here so long, day
after day?"

"O no, sir! I don't mind that at all. I mean--I don't mind it at all
much."

"You do not?" said the doctor. "Have you lost a pet kitten, or a beloved
lap-dog?"

"I haven't any, either a kitten or a dog," said Daisy.

"Has that young cavalier, Preston Gary, neglected you?"

"He would not do that," said Daisy; "but he is very fond of shooting."

"He is!" said Dr. Sandford. "Most boys are. You have not felt lonely,
then, Daisy?"

"O no, sir."

"I believe I should, in your place. What is the matter, then? I ask as
your friend and physician; and you must tell me, Daisy. Who has been to
see you to-day?"

"Papa--he came and read to me. Then a little girl--and mamma."

"Did the little girl trouble you?"

"Not much--" said Daisy hesitatingly.

"In what way?"

"She only would not learn to read as fast as I wanted."

"You were the teacher?"

"Yes sir--I was trying--I wanted to teach her."

"And has her obduracy or stupidity caused all this sorrow and
annoyance?"

"O no, sir--" But Daisy's eyes filled.

"Then has Mrs. Randolph been the trouble-maker?"

Now Daisy flushed, her lip worked tremblingly; she turned her little
head to one side and laid her hand over her brow, to baffle those steady
blue eyes of the doctor's. But the doctor left the side of the couch and
took a step or two towards where Juanita was sitting.

"Mrs. Benoit," said he, "has this little patient of yours had her tea?"

"No, sir. His honour knows, it's early yet in the afternoon."

"Not so very. Do you mean she took enough for dinner to last her till
to-morrow?"

"No, sir; her dinner was little better than nothing."

"Then make a cup, in your best style, Mrs. Benoit--and perhaps you will
give me one. And have you got any more of those big raspberries for her?
bring them and a bit of toast."

While Juanita was gone on this business, which took a little time, the
doctor slowly paced back and forth through the small cottage room, with
his hands behind him and a thoughtful face. Daisy fancied he was
considering her affair; but she was very much mistaken; Dr. Sandford had
utterly forgotten her for the moment, and was pondering some difficult
professional business. When Juanita appeared with her tea tray, he came
out of his abstraction; and though still with a very unrelaxed face, he
arranged Daisy's pillows so that she might be raised up a little and
feel more comfortable. His hands were strong and skilful, and kind too;
there was a sort of pleasure in having them manage her; but Daisy looked
on with a little wonder to see him take the charge of being her servitor
in what came afterwards. He made her a cup of tea; let her taste it from
his hands; and gave the plate of raspberries into her own.

"Is it good?" he asked her.

"Very good!" Daisy said, with so gentle and reverential a look at him
that the doctor smiled. He said nothing however at present but to take
care that she had her supper; and looked meanwhile to see the colour of
Daisy's cheeks change a little, and the worn, wearied lines of her face
take a more natural form. His own ministrations were more effectual than
the eating and drinking; it was so very odd to have Dr. Sandford waiting
upon her that Daisy was diverted, and could not help it.

"Will you take some tea too, Dr. Sandford?" she said in the midst of
this. "Won't you take it now, while it is hot?"

"I take my tea cold, Daisy, thank you. I'll have it presently."

So he poured out his own cup and left it to cool while he attended to
Daisy; and when she would have no more, he took the cup from the tray
and sent Mrs. Benoit off with the rest of the things.

"Now Daisy," said he as he took away her bolstering pillows and laid her
nicely down again, "now, Daisy, I am your confidential friend and
physician, and I want to know what command Mrs. Randolph has given to
trouble you. It is my business to know, and you must tell me."

He was so cool about it, and so determined, that Daisy was staggered. He
stood holding her hand and waiting for her answer.

"Mamma--"

Daisy came to a great stop. The doctor waited.

"It was about the little girl."

"Very well. Go on, Daisy."

He took up his cup of tea now and began to sip it. Poor Daisy! She had
never been more bewildered in her life.

"What about the little girl?"

"Mamma--doesn't want me to teach her."

"Is it so favourite an amusement?"

"No, sir--" said Daisy hesitatingly.

"Was that all the trouble?"

"No, sir."

The doctor sipped his cup of tea and looked at Daisy. He did not say
anything more; yet his eyes so steadily waited for what further she had
to say, that Daisy fidgeted; like a fascinated creature, obliged to do
what it would not. She could not help looking into Dr. Sandford's face,
and she could not withstand what she saw there.

"Dr. Sandford," she began in her old-fashioned way, "you are asking me
what is private between my mother and me."

"Nothing is private from your physician, Daisy. I am not Dr. Sandford; I
am your physician."

"But you are Dr. Sandford to mamma."

"The business is entirely between you and me."

Daisy hesitated a little longer, but the power of fascination upon her
was irresistible.

"I was sorry not to teach the little girl," she said at length; "but I
was particularly troubled because--because--"

"Mrs. Randolph was displeased with your system of benevolence?"

"No--not that. Yes, I was troubled about that too. But what troubled me
most was--that mamma would not let me speak to her, to tell her why I
must not teach her. I must not say anything to her again, at all."

Dr. Sandford's eyes, looking, saw that Daisy had indeed spoken out her
trouble now. Such a cloud of sorrow came over her brow; such witnessing
redness about her eyelids, though Daisy let the witness of tears get no
further.

"What do you suppose was your mother's purpose in making that last
regulation?" he went on in a cool business tone.

"I don't know--I suppose to punish me,"--Daisy said faintly.

"Punish you for what?"

"Mamma did not like me to teach that little girl--and I had done it, I
mean I had begun to do it, without asking her."

"Was it a great pleasure?" said the doctor.

"It would have been a great pleasure if I could have taught her to
read," Daisy said, with her face brightening at the idea.

"I presume it would. Well Daisy, now you and I will arrange this affair.
I do not consider it wholesome for you to engage in this particular
amusement at this particular time; so I shall endorse Mrs. Randolph's
prohibition; but I will go round--Where does this girl live, and who is
she?"

"Her name is Hephzibah Harbonner; she lives in the village, on the road
where the Episcopal church is--you know;--a little way further on. I
guess it's a quarter of a mile."

"South, eh? Well, I will go round by her house and tell the girl that I
cannot let you do any such kindnesses just now, and that till I give her
leave she must not come to see you. How will that do, Daisy?"

"Thank you, Dr. Sandford!"

He saw it was very earnestly spoken and that Daisy's brow looked
clearer.

"And instead of that amusement, you must study wonderful things to
morrow. Will you?"

"O yes, Dr. Sandford! But we have not finished about the sun yet."

"No. Well--to-morrow, then, Daisy."

"Thank you, sir. Dr. Sandford, mamma wanted me to ask you a question
before you go."

"Ask it."

"How soon I can be moved home?"

"Are you in a great hurry?"

"No, sir, but I think mamma is."

"You can bear to wait a little longer and study wonderful things from
your window?"

"O yes, sir! I think I can do it better here than at home, because my
bed is so close to the window, I can look right out."

"I shall not let you be moved just yet, Daisy. Good night. I will
see--what's her name?"

"Harbonner--Hephzibah Harbonner."

"Good night."

And Daisy watched the doctor as he went down the path, mounted his horse
and rode away, with great admiration; thinking how handsome and how
clever and how chivalric he was. Daisy did not use that word in thinking
of him; nevertheless his skilful nursing and his taking up her cause so
effectually had made a great impression upon her. She was greatly
comforted. Juanita, watching her face, saw that it looked so; there was
even a dawning smile upon Daisy's lips at one time. It faded however
into a deep gravity; and one or two long drawn breaths told of heavy
thoughts.

"What troubles has my love?" said the old woman.

Daisy turned her head quick round from the window, and smiled a very
sweet smile in her face.

"I was thinking, Juanita."

"My little lady has a cloud come over her again."

"Yes, Juanita, I think I have. O Juanita, I might tell you! What shall I
do, when everybody wants me to do what--what I don't think is right?
What shall I do, Juanita? I don't know what I shall do."

"Suppose Miss Daisy take the Bible to her pa'--Miss Daisy knows what her
pa' promised."

"So he did, Juanita! thank you. I had forgotten that."

In five minutes more Daisy was fast asleep. The black woman stood
looking at her. There was no cloud on the little face now, but the signs
of the day's work were there. Pale cheeks, and weary features, and the
tokens of past tears. Juanita stood and looked, and twinkled away one
or two from her own eye-lashes; and then knelt down at the head of the
bed and began a whispered prayer. A prayer for the little child before
her, in which her heart poured itself out, that she might be kept from
evil, and might walk in the straight path, and never be tempted or
driven from it. Juanita's voice grew louder than a whisper in her
earnestness; but Daisy slept on.



CHAPTER XX.


The next day was an exceedingly hot and sultry one. Daisy had no
visiters until quite late in the afternoon; however it was a peaceful
day. She lay quiet and happy, and Juanita was quite as well contented
that the house should be empty and they two alone. Late in the
afternoon, Preston came.

"Well my dear little Daisy! so you are coming home"

"Am I?" said Daisy.

"To be sure; and your foot is going to get well, and we are going to
have all sorts of grand doings for you."

"My foot _is_ getting well."

"Certainly. Don't be a Quaker, Daisy."

"What sort of doings are you going to have, Preston?"

"First thing--as soon as you are well enough for it--we are going to
have a grand pic-nic party to Silver Lake."

"Silver Lake? what, on the other side of the river?"

"Yes."

"O how delightful! But I shall not be able to go in a long time,
Preston."

"Yes, you will. Aunt Felicia says you are coming back to Melbourne now;
and once we get you there, we'll cure you up. Why you must have moped
half your wits away by this time. I don't expect to find more than
two-thirds of the original Daisy left."

"I haven't moped at all."

"There! that is proof the first. When people are moping and do not know
they are moping, that is the sign their wits are departing. Poor Daisy!
I don't wonder. We'll get you to rights at Melbourne."

"Doctor Sandford will not let me be moved."

"Doctor Sandford cannot help himself. When aunt Felicia says so, he will
find ways and means."

"Preston," said Daisy, "I do not think you understand what sort of a man
Dr. Sandford is."

"Pray enlighten me, Daisy. I thought I did."

But Daisy was silent.

"What sort of a man is he?"

"Preston," said Daisy abruptly, "I wish you would bring me from
Melbourne that tray filled with something,--plaster,--I don't know what
it is,--on which Capt. Drummond and I studied geography, and history."

"Geography and history on a tray!" said Preston. "That would be one's
hands full to carry!"

"Well, but it was," said Daisy. "The tray was smooth filled with
something, something a little soft, on which you could mark; and Capt.
Drummond drew the map of England on it; and we were just getting into
the battle--what battle was it?--when William came over from France and
King Harold met him?"

"Hastings?"

"We were just come to the battle of Hastings, before Capt. Drummond went
away; and I should like so much to go on with it!"

"But was the battle of Hastings on the tray?"

"No, Preston, but the place was; and Capt. Drummond told me about the
battles."

"Who is here to tell you about them now, Daisy?"

"Couldn't you?--sometimes, now and then?"

"I might; but you see, Daisy, you are coming to Melbourne now, and there
will be Silver Lake and lots of other things to do. You won't want the
tray here."

Daisy looked a little wistfully at her cousin. She said nothing. And
Preston turned sharply, for he heard a soft rustle coming up the path,
and was just in time to spring to the door and open it for his aunt.

"Plow insufferably hot!" was Mrs. Randolph's remark. "How do you do,
Daisy?"

"I think she is bewitched to stay in banishment, aunt Felicia; she will
have it she is not coming home."

Mrs. Randolph's answer was given to the doctor, who entered at the
instant behind Preston.

"How soon can Daisy be moved, doctor?"

The doctor took a leisurely view of his little patient before he
replied.

"Not at present."

"How soon?"

"If I think her fit for it, in a fortnight; possibly earlier."

"But that is, not till September!"

"I am afraid you are correct," said the doctor coolly. Mrs. Randolph
stood pondering the question, how far it was needful to own his
authority.

"It is dreadfully hot here, in this little place! She would be much
better if she were out of it."

"How have you found it at Melbourne to-day?"

"Insufferable!"

"How has it been with you, Daisy?"

"It has been a nice day, Dr. Sandford."

The contrast was so extreme between the mental atmosphere of one speaker
and of the other, that Dr. Sandford smiled. It was ninety degrees of
Fahrenheit--and the fall of the dew.

"I have heard nobody say as much for the day before," he remarked.

"But she would be much better at Melbourne."

"As soon as I think that, she shall go."

The doctor was absolute in his sphere, and Mr. Randolph moreover, she
knew, would back him; so Mrs. Randolph held her peace, though
displeased. Nay, she entered into a little conversation with the doctor
on other subjects, as lively as the day would admit, before she
departed. Preston, stayed behind, partly to improve his knowledge of Dr.
Sandford.

"All has gone well to-day, Daisy?" he asked her pleasantly.

"O yes. And Dr. Sandford, shall we finish the sun?"

"By all means. What more shall I tell you?"

"How much more do you know, sir?"

"I know that it is globe-shaped--I know how big it is--I know how heavy
it is; and I know that it turns round and round continually."

"O sir, do you _know_ all these things?"

"Yes."

"Please, Dr. Sandford, how can you?"

"You would mature into a philosopher, in time, Daisy."

"I hope not," muttered Preston.

"I know that it is globe-shaped, Daisy, because it turns round and lets
me see all sides of it."

"Is one side different from another?"

"Only so far, as that there are spots here and there," Dr. Sandford went
on, looking at the exceeding eagerness in Daisy's eyes. "The spots
appear at one edge--pass over to the other edge, and go out of sight.
After a certain time I see them come back again where I saw them first."

"O I should like to see the spots on the sun!" said Daisy. "You said
they were holes in the curtain, sir?"

"Yes."

"What curtain?" said Preston.

"You are not a philosopher," said the doctor.

"How long does it take them, the spots, Dr. Sandford, to go round and
come back again?"

"A little more than twenty-five days."

"How very curious!" said Daisy. "I wonder what it turns round for--the
sun, I mean?"

"You have got too deep there," said the doctor. "I cannot tell you."

"But there must be some reason," said Daisy; "or it would stand still."

"It is in the nature of the thing, I suppose," said Dr. Sandford; "but
we do not fully know its nature yet. Only what I am telling you."

"How came people to find these things out?"

"By watching--and experimenting--and calculating."

"Then how big is the sun, Dr. Sandford?"

"How big does it look?"

"Not very large--I don't know--I can't think of anything it looks like."

"It looks just about as big as the moon does."

"Is it just the same size as the moon? But Dr. Sandford, it is a great
deal further off, isn't it?"

"Four hundred times as far."

"Then it must be four hundred times as large, I should think."

"It is just about that."

"But I do not know how large that would be. I cannot think."

"Nor can I, Daisy. But I can help you. Suppose we, and our earth, were
in the centre of the sun; and our moon going round us at the same
distance from us that she is now; there would be room enough for the
whole concern, as far as distances are concerned."

"In the sun, Dr. Sandford?"

"In the sun."

"And the moon as far off as she is now?"

"Yes."

"But the _moon_ would not be in the sun too?"

"Plenty of room, and to spare."

Daisy was silent now. Preston looked from her face to the doctor's.

"Not only that, Daisy; but the moon then would be two hundred thousand
miles within the circumference of the sun; the sun's surface would be
two hundred thousand miles beyond her."

"Thank you, Dr. Sandford!"

"What for, Daisy?"

"I am so glad to know all that."

"Why?"

Daisy did not answer. She did not feel ready to tell her whole thought,
not to both her friends together, at least; and she did not know how to
frame her reply. But then perceiving that Dr. Sandford was looking for
an answer, and that she was guilty of the rudeness of withholding it,
she blushed and spoke.

"It makes me understand some things better."

"What, for instance?" said the doctor, looking as grave as ever, though
Preston was inclined to laugh. Daisy saw it; nevertheless she answered,

"The first chapter of Genesis."

"O you are there, are you?" said the doctor. "What light have I thrown
upon the passage, Daisy? It has not appeared to myself."

Now Daisy hesitated. A sure though childish instinct told her that her
thoughts and feelings on this subject would meet with no sympathy. She
did not like to speak them.

"Daisy has peculiar views, Dr. Sandford," said Preston. But the doctor
paid him no attention. He looked at Daisy, lifted her up and arranged
her pillows; then as he laid her back said, "Give me my explanation of
that chapter, Daisy."

"It isn't an explanation, sir;--I did not know there was anything to
explain."

"The light I have thrown on it then--out of the sun."

Preston was amused, Daisy saw; she could not tell whether the doctor
was; his blue eyes gave no sign, except of a will to hear what she had
to say. Daisy hesitated, and hesitated, and then with something very
like the old diplomacy she had partly learned and partly inherited from
her mother, she said,

"If you will read the chapter, I will tell you."

Now Daisy did not think Dr. Sandford would care to read the chapter, or
perhaps have the time for it; but with an unmoved face he swung himself
round on his chair and called on Mrs. Benoit for a Bible. Preston was in
a state of delight, and Mrs. Benoit of wonder. The Bible was brought,
Dr. Sandford took it, and opened it.

"We have only time for a short lecture to-day," he remarked, "for I must
be off. Now Daisy, I will read, and you shall comment."

Daisy felt worried. She turned uneasily and rested her face on her hand,
and so lay looking at the doctor; at his handsome calm features and
glittering blue eye. What could _she_ say to him? The doctor's eye saw a
grave sweet little face, a good deal flushed, very grave, with a whole
burden of thought behind its unruffled simplicity. It may be said, that
his curiosity was as great as Daisy's unwillingness. He began, facing
her as he read. Juanita stood by, somewhat anxious.

'"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."'--

The doctor stopped and looked down at that face of Daisy looking up at
him. He waited.

"I did not use to think how much all that meant," said Daisy humbly. The
doctor went on.

He went on with the grand, majestic words of the story, which sounded
very strange to Daisy from his lips, but very grand; till he came to the
fourteenth verse. '"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament
of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for
signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for
lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth: and
it was so."' The doctor looked at Daisy again.

"There," said she, "that is very different now from what it used to
be--I didn't know what sort of lights those were; it's a great deal more
wonderful now. Won't you read on a little further?"

"'And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and
the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set
them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth, and
to rule over the day, and over the night, and to divide the light from
the darkness: and God saw that it was good.'"

"That is what I mean," said Daisy, as the doctor paused. "I never knew
before what those 'lights' meant--I thought the sun was--I don't know
what; I didn't think much about it; but now I never shall forget again.
I know now what sort of a light was made to rule the day; and I don't
wonder--"

"Do not wonder what, Daisy?"

"I do not wonder that God said that it was good. I am so much obliged to
you for telling me about it."

"Never heard a more satisfactory application of knowledge in my
life,"--the doctor remarked with a smile as he handed back the Bible to
Mrs. Benoit. And then he and Preston went off; but Daisy lay long very
thoughtfully looking after them out of her window. Till the sound of the
horses' feet was far out of hearing Daisy lay there looking into the
evening. She did not stir till Mrs. Benoit brought her supper.

"Isn't it wonderful, Juanita," she said with a long drawn breath, "how
the sun divides the light from the darkness?"

"Most things is wonderful, that the Lord makes," answered the black
woman.

"Are they?" said Daisy.

"But what makes my love sigh?" said Juanita anxiously; for Daisy's face
had not brightened up, though she was taking her tea. Daisy looked at
her.

"O Juanita!" she said,--"I am afraid that Dr. Sandford is in the
darkness!"

"Where the sun don't shine it be darkness, sure!" said Juanita. "And he
do not see the Light of the world, Miss Daisy."

Daisy's eyes filled, filled. She liked Dr. Sandford very much. And then
who else that she loved had never seen that Light! Daisy pushed aside
her tears and tried to drink her tea; but at last she gave it up. Her
spoon fell into her saucer and she lay down and hid her face in the
pillow. The black woman stood with a strange grave look and with
watering eyes, silent for a little time; holding Daisy's tray in her
hands and waiting.

"Miss Daisy--"

"What, Juanita?"

"My love take her tea, to be strong; and then see how many she can bring
out of the darkness."

"I, Juanita?" said Daisy rousing up.

"Maybe the Lord send his message by little hands. What hinder?"

"But, Juanita, _I_ can't do anything?"

"Carry the Lord's message, Miss Daisy."

"Can I?"

"Why not, my love? The dear Lord, he do all. And Miss Daisy knows, he
hear the prayer of his servants."

The child looked at the black woman, with a wistful, earnest, searching
look that it was curious to see. She said nothing more; she eyed Juanita
as if she were searching into the depth of something; then she went on
with her supper. She was thoughtful all the evening; busy with
cogitations which she did not reveal; quiet and absent minded. Juanita
guessed why; and many a prayer went up from her own secret heart.

But from, about this time Daisy began to grow well again. She could not
be moved, of course; Dr. Sandford would not permit that; neither to be
carried home, nor to change her place and position in the cottage. But
she was getting ready for it. The latter half of August cooled off from
its fierce heats and was pleasantly warm. Daisy took the benefit of the
change. She had rather a good time, those last weeks at Juanita's house;
and perhaps that was one reason why Dr. Sandford, seeing it, chose to
let well alone and would not have anybody take Daisy home. Daisy had a
very good time. She had the peace of Juanita's house; and at home she
knew there would be things to trouble her. She had books and could read
now as much as she liked; and she was very fond of reading. Preston did
not find it expedient to bring the geography tray; on the other hand,
Mr. Randolph thought it good to come every day and spend a piece of time
with his little daughter; and became better acquainted with her than
ever he had been in his life before. He discovered that Daisy was very
fond of knowledge; that he could please her no way better than by taking
up the history of England and reading to her and stopping to explain
everything by the way which Daisy did not understand. English history
was certainly an old story to Mr. Randolph; but to discuss it with Daisy
was a very new thing. He found her eager, patient, intelligent, and wise
with an odd sort of child-wisdom which yet was not despicable for older
years. Daisy's views of the feudal system, and of the wittenagemot, and
of trial by jury, and of representative legislation, were intensely
amusing to Mr. Randolph; he said it was going back to a primitive
condition of society, to talk them over with her; though there I think
he was mistaken. If Daisy had read those pages of history to herself,
she would have passed over some of these matters at least with little
heed; she would not have gone to anybody with questions. But Mr.
Randolph reading to her, it was an easy thing to ask the meaning of a
word as they passed; and that word would draw on a whole little bit of
talk. In this intercourse Mr. Randolph was exceedingly gentle,
deliberate, and kind. Daisy had nothing to fear, not even that she might
weary him; so those were hours of real enjoyment to both parties.

Preston not very seldom came and made himself agreeable; playing an
occasional game of chess, and more often regaling Daisy with a history
of his expeditions. Other visitors Daisy had from Melbourne, now and
then; but her best friend for real service, after her father and
Juanita, was Dr. Sandford. He took great care of his little patient's
comfort and happiness; which was a pretty thing in him, seeing that he
was a young man, busy with a very good country practice, and furthermore
busy with the demands made upon him as an admired pet of society. For
that was Dr. Sandford, and he knew it perfectly well. Nevertheless his
kind care of Daisy never abated.

It was of course partly his professional zeal and care that were called
for; but it could not have been those that made him keep up his lectures
to Daisy on the wonderful things she found for him, day by day. In
professional care those lectures certainly began; but Daisy was getting
well now; had nothing more to trouble her, and shewed an invariably
happy as well as wise little face. Yet Dr. Sandford used to sit down and
tell her of the things she asked about, with a sort of amused
patience--if it was no more; at any rate he was never impatient. He
talked to Daisy of the stars, which, with the moon, were very naturally
the next subjects of investigation after the sun.

At last Daisy got him upon the subject of trilobites. It was not
difficult. Dr. Sandford was far more easy to move than Preston--in this
matter at least. He only smiled, and slid into the story very simply;
the story that Daisy was so eager to hear. And it did not seem less
worth hearing than she had expected, nor less wonderful, nor less
interesting. Daisy thought about it a great deal, while Juanita listened
and doubted; but Daisy did not doubt. She believed the doctor told her
true. That the family to which her little fossil trilobite
belonged--the particular family--for they were generally related, he
said to the lobster and crab, were found in the very oldest and deepest
down rocks in which any sort of remains of living things have been
found; therefore it is likely they were among the earliest of earth's
inhabitants. There were a great many of them, the doctor said, and many
different species; for great numbers of them are found to this day in
those-particular rocks. The rocks must have been made at the time when
the trilobites lived, and have somehow shut them in. And the doctor
thought it likely that at the time when they lived, there was no dry
land in existence, but all covered by the sea. He would not take it upon
him to be positive; but this he could tell Daisy; there was never a
stick or a leaf to be found in those old rocks that ever lived and grew
on dry ground, though there were plenty that grew in the sea, until in
the very topmost or latest of those rocks some few bits of fern growth
began to appear.

"But what plants live under water?" said Daisy.

"Sea weeds."

"Oh! So many of them?"

"So many, that the rocks are sometimes darkened by their fossil remains,
and in some places those remains form beds of coal several feet thick."

"And are there a great many remains of the trilobites?"

"There are whole rocks, Daisy, that are formed almost entirely of
trilobites."

"Sea weeds and trilobites--what a strange time!" said Daisy. "Was that
all that was living?"

"No; there were other sea creatures of the lower kind, and at last
fishes. But when the fishes became very numerous, the trilobites died
out and passed away."

That old time had a wonderful charm for Daisy; it was, as she thought,
better than a fairy tale. The doctor at last let her into the secret
that _he_ had a trilobite too; and the next time he came he brought it
with him. He was good enough to leave it with Daisy a whole day; and
Daisy's meditations over it and her own together were numberless and
profound.

The next transition was somewhat sudden; to a wasp or two that had come
foraging on Daisy's window-sill. But Dr. Sandford was at home there; and
so explained the wasp's work and manner of life, with his structure and
fitness for what he had to do, that Daisy was in utter delight; though
her eyes sometimes opened upon Dr. Sandford with a grave wistful wonder
in them, that he should know all this so well and yet never acknowledge
the hand that had given the wasp the tools and instinct for his work,
one so exactly a match for the other. But Dr. Sandford never did. He
used to notice those grave looks of Daisy, and hold private speculation
with himself what they might mean; private amused speculation; but I
think he must have liked his little patient as well as been amused at
her, or he would hardly have kept up as he did this personal ministering
to her pleasure, which was one of the great entertainments of Daisy's
life at this period. In truth only to see Dr. Sandford was an
entertainment to Daisy. She watched even the wave of his long locks of
hair. He was a fascination to her.

"Are you in a hurry to get home?" he would ask her every now and then.
Daisy always said, "No sir; not till you think it is time;" and Dr.
Sandford never thought it was time. No matter what other people said,
and they said a good deal; he ordered it his own way; and Daisy was
almost ready to walk when he gave permission for her to be taken home in
the carriage. However, the permission was given at last.

"To-morrow night I shall not be here, Juanita," Daisy remarked as she
was taking her supper.

"No, Miss Daisy."

"You will be very quiet when I am gone."

It had not been a bustling house, all those weeks! But the black woman
only answered,

"My love will come to see Juanita sometimes?"

"O yes. I shall come very often, Juanita--if I can. You know when I am
out with my pony, I can come very often,--I hope."

Juanita quite well understood what was meant by the little pauses and
qualifying clauses of this statement. She passed them over.

But Daisy shed a good many tears during Juanita's prayer that night. I
do not know if the black woman shed any; but I know that some time
afterwards and until late in the night, she knelt again by Daisy's
bedside, while a whisper of prayer, too soft to arouse the child's
slumbers, just chimed with the flutter and rustle of the leaves outside
of the window moving in the night breeze.

[Illustration: THE DOCTOR'S TRILOBITE.]





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