Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Bessie at the Sea-Side
Author: Mathews, Joanna H. (Joanna Hooe), 1849-1901
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 "Bessie at the Sea-Side" ***

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



BESSIE AT THE SEA-SIDE



_BOOKS BY JOANNA H. MATHEWS._


I. THE BESSIE BOOKS.

6 vols. In a box. $7.50.

SEASIDE                         $1.25
CITY                             1.25
FRIENDS                          1.25
MOUNTAINS                        1.25
SCHOOL                           1.25
TRAVELS                          1.25


II. THE FLOWERETS

A SERIES OF STORIES ON THE COMMANDMENTS.

6 vols. In a box. $3.60.

VIOLET'S IDOL.
DAISY'S WORK.
ROSE'S TEMPTATION.
LILY'S LESSON.
HYACINTHE AND HER BROTHERS.
PINKIE AND THE RABBITS.


III. LITTLE SUNBEAMS.

6 vols. In a box. $6.00.

BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.
DORA'S MOTTO.  16mo.
LILY NORRIS' ENEMY.
JESSIE'S PARROT.
MAMIE'S WATCHWORD.
NELLIE'S HOUSEKEEPING.


IV. KITTY AND LULU BOOKS.

6 vols. In a box. $6.00.

TOUTOU AND PUSSY.
KITTY'S ROBINS.
THE WHITE RABBIT.
RUDIE'S GOAT.
KITTY'S VISIT.
KITTY'S SCRAP-BOOK.


V. MISS ASHTON'S GIRLS.

1. FANNY'S BIRTHDAY             $1.25
2. THE NEW SCHOLARS              1.25
3. ROSALIE'S PET                 1.25
4. ELEANOR'S VISIT               1.25
5. MABEL WALTON                  1.25


VI. HAPS AND MISHAPS.

6 vols. In a box. $7.50.

1. LITTLE FRIENDS               $1.25
2. THE BROKEN MALLET             1.25
3. BLACKBERRY JAM                1.25
4. MILLY'S WHIMS                 1.25
5. LILIES AND THISTLEDOWN        1.25
6. UNCLE JOE'S THANKSGIVING      1.25


ROBERT CARTER AND BROTHERS,

_New York_.

[Illustration: FRONTISPIECE.

Bessie at Sea Side.]



_BESSIE AT THE SEA-SIDE._

_BY_

_JOANNA H. MATHEWS_

"And a Little Child shall lead them."

_NEW YORK:
Robert Carter & Brothers_,
530 BROADWAY.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, 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.



To my dear Mother,

_Whose "children arise up and call her blessed,"_

IS THIS LITTLE VOLUME

_Lovingly and gratefully dedicated_



CONTENTS.


                                    PAGE

_I. The Sea-Shore_,                    7

_II. Old Friends and New_,            21

_III. The Letter_,                    34

_IV. The Quarrel_,                    50

_V. Tom's Sunday-School_,             61

_VI. The Post-Office_,                75

_VII. A New Friend_,                  96

_VIII. Bessie's Little Sermon_,      113

_IX. Faith_,                         122

_X. The Sick Baby_,                  135

_XI. The Happy Circumstance_,        147

_XII. Miss Adams_,                   157

_XIII. Bessie's Repentance_,         167

_XIV. Who is a Lady?_                180

_XV. Uncle John_,                    194

_XVI. The Birthday Presents_,        209

_XVII. The Birthday Party_,          226

_XVIII. The Adventure_,              247

_XIX. Soul and Instinct_,            265

_XX. Nurse taken by Surprise_,       281

_XXI. The Colonel in Trouble_,       305

_XXII. The Broken Nose_,             320

_XXIII. Jesus' Soldier_,             335



_BESSIE AT THE SEA-SIDE._



I.

_THE SEA-SHORE._


The hotel carriage rolled away from Mr. Bradford's door with papa and
mamma, the two nurses and four little children inside, and such a lot
of trunks and baskets on the top; all on their way to Quam Beach. Harry
and Fred, the two elder boys, were to stay with grandmamma until their
school was over; and then they also were to go to the sea-side.

The great coach carried them across the ferry, and then they all jumped
out and took their seats in the cars. It was a long, long ride, and
after they left the cars there were still three or four miles to go
in the stage, so that it was quite dark night when they reached Mrs.
Jones's house. Poor little sick Bessie was tired out, and even Maggie,
who had enjoyed the journey very much, thought that she should be glad
to go to bed as soon as she had had her supper. It was so dark that the
children could not see the ocean, of which they had talked and thought
so much; but they could hear the sound of the waves as they rolled up
on the beach. There was a large hotel at Quam, but Mrs. Bradford did
not choose to go there with her little children; and so she had hired
all the rooms that Mrs. Jones could spare in her house. The rooms were
neat and clean, but very plain, and not very large, and so different
from those at home that Maggie thought she should not like them at all.
In that which was to be the nursery was a large, four-post bedstead
in which nurse and Franky were to sleep; and beside it stood an
old-fashioned trundle-bed, which was for Maggie and Bessie. Bessie was
only too glad to be put into it at once, but Maggie looked at it with
great displeasure.

"I sha'n't sleep in that nasty bed," she said. "Bessie, don't do it."

"Indeed," said nurse, "it's a very nice bed; and if you are going to be
a naughty child, better than you deserve. That's a great way you have
of calling every thing that don't just suit you, 'nasty.' I'd like to
know where you mean to sleep, if you don't sleep there."

"I'm going to ask mamma to make Mrs. Jones give us a better one," said
Maggie; and away she ran to the other room where mamma was undressing
the baby. "Mamma," she said, "won't you make Mrs. Jones give us a
better bed? That's just a kind of make-believe bed that nurse pulled
out of the big one, and I know I can't sleep a wink in it."

"I do not believe that Mrs. Jones has another one to give us, dear,"
said her mother. "I know it is not so pretty as your little bed at
home, but I think you will find it very comfortable. When I was a
little girl, I always slept in a trundle-bed, and I never rested
better. If you do not sleep a wink, we will see what Mrs. Jones can do
for us to-morrow; but for to-night I think you must be contented with
that bed; and if my little girl is as tired as her mother, she will be
glad to lie down anywhere."

Maggie had felt like fretting a little; but when she saw how pale and
tired her dear mother looked, she thought she would not trouble her by
being naughty, so she put up her face for another good-night kiss, and
ran back to the nursery.

"O, Maggie," said Bessie, "this bed is yeal nice and comf'able; come
and feel it." So Maggie popped in between the clean white sheets,
and in two minutes she had forgotten all about the trundle-bed and
everything else.

When Bessie woke up the next morning, she saw Maggie standing by the
open window, in her night-gown, with no shoes or stockings on. "O,
Maggie," she said, "mamma told us not to go bare-feeted, and you are."

"I forgot," said Maggie; and she ran back to the bed and jumped in
beside Bessie. "Bessie, there's such lots and lots of water out there!
You never saw so much, not even in the reservoir at the Central Park."

"I guess it's the sea," said Bessie; "don't you know mamma said we
would see water and water ever so far, and we couldn't see the end of
it?"

"But I do see the end of it," said Maggie; "mamma was mistaken. I saw
where the sky came down and stopped the sea; and, Bessie, I saw such a
wonderful thing,--the sun came right up out of the water."

"O, Maggie, it couldn't; _you_ was mistaken. If it went in the water it
would be put out."

"I don't care," said Maggie, "it _was_ the sun, and it is shining right
there now. It isn't put out a bit. I woke up and I heard that noise
mamma told us was the waves, and I wanted to see them, so I went to
look, and over there in the sky was a beautiful red light; and in a
minute I saw something bright coming out of the water away off; and it
came higher and higher, and got so bright I could not look at it, and
it was the sun, I know it was."

"But, Maggie, how didn't it get put out if it went in the water?"

"I don't know," said Maggie, "I'm going to ask papa."

Just then nurse and Jane came in with water for the children's bath,
and before they were dressed, there was papa at the door asking if
there were any little girls ready to go on the beach and find an
appetite for breakfast. After that, nurse could scarcely dress them
fast enough, and in a few moments they were ready to run down to the
front porch where papa was waiting for them.

"O, papa, what a great, great water the sea is!" said Bessie.

"Yes, dear; and what a great and wise God must He be who made this wide
sea and holds it in its place, and lets it come no farther than He
wills."

"Papa," said Maggie, "I saw the wonderfulest thing this morning."

"The most wonderful," said her father.

"The most wonderful," repeated Maggie. "It was indeed, papa, and you
need not think I was mistaken, for I am quite, quite sure I saw it."

"And what was this most wonderful thing you are so very sure you saw,
Maggie?"

"It was the sun, papa, coming right up out of the water, and it was not
put out a bit. It came up, up, away off there, where the sky touches
the water. Mamma said we could not see the end of the ocean, but I see
it quite well. Do not you see it, too, papa?"

"I see what appears to be the end of the ocean, but these great waters
stretch away for many hundred miles farther. If you were to get on a
ship and sail away as far as you can see from here, you would still
see just as much water before you, and the sea and the sky would still
appear to touch each other: and however far you went it would always be
so, until you came where the land bounds the ocean on the other side.
The place where the sky and water seem to meet, is called the horizon;
and it is because they do seem to touch, that the sun appeared to
you to come out of the water. It is rather a difficult thing for such
little girls as you and Bessie to understand, but I will try to make
it plain to you. You know that the earth is round, like a ball, do you
not, Maggie?"

"Yes, papa."

"And I suppose that you think that the sun is moving when it seems to
come up in the morning, and goes on and on, till it is quite over our
heads, and then goes down on the other side of the sky until we can see
it no more, do you not?"

"Yes, papa."

"But it is really the earth on which we live, and not the sun, which is
moving. Once in twenty-four hours, which makes one day and one night,
the earth turns entirely round, so that a part of the time one side is
turned to the sun, and a part of the time the other side. See if you
can find me a small, round stone, Maggie."

Maggie looked around till she found such a stone as her father wanted,
and brought it to him. "Now," he said, "this stone shall be our earth,
and this scratch the place where we live. We will take off Bessie's hat
and have that for the sun. Now I will hold the mark which stands for
our home, directly in front of our make-believe sun. If a bright light
were coming from the sun and shining on our mark here, it would be the
middle of the day or noon, while it would be dark on the other side.
Then, as our earth moved slowly around in this way, and we turned from
the sun it would become afternoon; and as we turned farther yet till
we were quite away from the sun, it would be night. But we do not stay
there in the dark, for we still go moving slowly round until our side
of the earth comes towards the light again, and the darkness begins to
pass away. The nearer we come to the sun the lighter it grows, until,
if some little girl who lives on our scratch is up early enough and
looks out at the horizon, or place where the earth and sky seem to
meet, she sees the sun showing himself little by little; and it looks
to her as if he were coming up out of the sea, while all the time the
sun is standing still, and the earth on which we live is moving round
so as to bring her once more opposite to him."

"And is it night on the other side of the world?" asked Maggie.

"Yes, there is no sun there now, and it is dark night for the little
children who live there."

"And are they going to have their supper while we have our brefix?"
asked Bessie.

"Just about so, I suppose," said papa.

"But, papa," said Maggie with very wide open eyes, "do you mean that
the world is going to turn way over on the other side tonight?"

"Yes, dear."

"Then we will fall off," said Maggie.

"Did you fall off last night?" asked papa.

"No, sir."

"And you have been living for nearly seven years, and every day of your
life the earth has turned around in the same way, and you have never
yet fallen off, have you?"

"No, papa."

"Nor will you to-night, my little girl. The good and wise God who has
made our earth to move in such a way as to give us both light and
darkness as we need them, has also given to it a power to draw towards
itself, all things that live or grow upon its surface. Do you know what
surface means?"

"Yes, papa,--the top."

"Yes, or the outside. Suppose you were to fall off the top of the
house, Maggie, where would you fall to?"

"Down in the street and be killed," said Maggie.

"Yes, down to the street or ground, and probably you would be killed.
And it is because of this power which the earth has of drawing to
itself all things that are upon it, that you would not fly off into the
air and keep on falling, falling, for no one knows how many miles. It
is too hard a thing for you to understand much about now, but when you
are older you shall learn more. But we have had a long enough lesson
for this morning. We will walk about a little, and see if we can find
some shells before we go in to breakfast."

They found a good many shells: some little black ones which Maggie
called curlecues, and some white on the outside and pink inside. Then
there were a few which were fluted, which the children said were the
prettiest of all. They thought the beach was the best playground they
had ever seen, and they were about right. First, there was the strip
of smooth, white sand, on which the waves were breaking into beautiful
snowy foam, with such a pleasant sound; then came another space full of
pebbles and stones and sea-weed, with a few shells and here and there
a great rock; then more rocks and stones with a coarse kind of grass
growing between them; and beyond these, a few rough fir trees which
looked as if they found it hard work to grow there. Last of all was a
long, sloping bank, on top of which stood Mr. Jones's house and two or
three others; and farther down the shore, the great hotel. And the air
was so fresh and cool, with such a pleasant smell of the salt water.

Maggie was full of fun and spirits, and raced about till her cheeks
were as red as roses. There were several other people on the beach, and
among them were some little boys and girls. Two or three of these, when
they saw Maggie running about in such glee began to race with her, but
the moment she noticed them she became shy and ran away from them to
her father and Bessie who were walking quietly along.

"Papa," said Bessie "isn't it delicious?"

"Is not what delicious, my darling."

"I don't know," said Bessie. "_It._ I like Quam Beach, papa. I wish New
York was just like this."

"It is this cool, fresh sea-breeze that you like so much, Bessie."

"And I like to see the water, papa, and to hear the nice noise it
makes."

"Yes, it's so pleasant here," said Maggie. "Let's stay here always,
papa, and never go home."

"What! and sleep in the trundle-bed all your lives?" said papa.

"Oh, no," said Maggie, "I hate that bed. I believe I _did_ sleep a
little bit last night, because I was so tired; but I know I can't sleep
in it to-night."

"Well," said papa, "I think we will try it for a night or two longer."

And then they all went in to breakfast.



II.

OLD FRIENDS AND NEW.


After breakfast they went out again. Mr. Bradford and his little girls
were standing in the porch waiting for mamma who was going with them,
when Mr. Jones came up from the shore. He had been fishing, and looked
rather rough and dirty, but he had a pleasant, good-natured face.

"Mornin' sir," he said to Mr. Bradford; "folks pretty spry?"

"Pretty well, thank you," said Mr. Bradford; "you have been out early
this morning."

"Yes, I'm generally stirrin' round pretty early; been out since afore
day-light. S'pose these are your little girls. How are you, Miss
Bradford?" he said, holding out his hand.

But shy Maggie hung her head and drew a little away behind her father.

"Why, Maggie," said Mr. Bradford, "you are not polite; shake hands
with Mr. Jones, my daughter."

"Not if she hain't a mind to," said Mr. Jones. "I see she's a bashful
puss, but she'll feel better acquainted one of these days."

"Yes, she will;" said Bessie, "and then she won't be shy with you; but
I'm not shy now, and I'll shake hands with you."

Mr. Jones took the tiny little hand she offered him with a smile.

"No, I see you ain't shy, and I don't want you to be; you, nor your
sister neither. Goin' down to the shore, eh?"

"Yes, when mamma comes," said Bessie.

"Well, you see that big barn out there; when you come back you both
come out there. You'll find me inside, and I'll show you something will
soon cure all shyness; that is, if you like it as much as most young
folks do."

"What is it?" asked Bessie.

"It's a scup."

"Will it bite?" said Bessie.

"Bite! Don't you know what a scup is?"

"She knows it by the name of a swing," said Mr. Bradford.

"Oh, yes! I know a swing; and I like it too. We'll come, Mr. Jones."

"Is it quite safe for them?" asked Mr. Bradford.

"Quite safe, sir. I put it up last Summer for some little people who
were staying here; and Sam, he's my eldest son, he made a seat with
back and arms, and a rung along the front to keep them in,--a fall on
the barn floor wouldn't feel good, that's a fact; but it's as safe as
strong ropes and good work can make it. I'll take care they don't get
into no mischief with it; but come along with the little ones and see
for yourself." And then with a nod to Maggie, who was peeping at him
out of the corners of her eyes, Mr. Jones took up his basket of fish
and walked away to the kitchen.

"Bessie," said Maggie, as they went down to the beach, "do you like
that man?"

"Yes, I do," said Bessie; "don't you?"

"No, not much. But, Bessie, did you hear what he called me?"

"No," said Bessie, "I did not hear him call you anything."

"He called me Miss Bradford," said Maggie, holding up her head and
looking very grand.

"Well," said Bessie, "I suppose he was mad because you wouldn't shake
hands with him."

"No," said Maggie, "it was before that; he said, 'how do you do, Miss
Bradford;' and, Bessie, I like to be called Miss Bradford; and I guess
I'll like him because he did it, even if he _does_ smell of fish. I
think he only wanted to be _respectable_ to me."

They found a good many people upon the beach now, and among them were
some ladies and gentlemen whom Mr. and Mrs. Bradford knew, and while
they stopped to speak to them, Maggie and Bessie wandered off a little
way, picking up shells and sea-weed and putting them into a basket
which their mother had given them.

Presently a boy and girl came up to them. They were the children of one
of the ladies who was talking to Mrs. Bradford, and their mother had
sent them to make acquaintance with Maggie and Bessie.

"What's your name," said the boy, coming right up to Maggie. Maggie
looked at him without speaking, and, putting both hands behind her,
began slowly backing away from him.

"I say," said the boy, "what's your name? My mother sent us to make
friends with you; but we can't do it, if you won't tell us what your
name is."

"Her name is Miss Bradford," said Bessie, who wanted to please her
sister, and who herself thought it rather fine for Maggie to be called
Miss Bradford.

"Oh! and you're another Miss Bradford, I suppose," said the boy,
laughing.

"Why! so I am," said Bessie; "I didn't think about that before. Maggie
we're two Miss Bradfords."

"Well, two Miss Bradfords, I hope we find you pretty well this morning.
My name is Mr. Stone, and my sister's is Miss Stone."

"'Tain't," said the little girl, crossly, "it's nothing but Mary."

"Sure enough," said her brother; "she's just Miss Mary, quite contrary;
whatever you say, she'll say just the other thing; that's her way."

"Now, Walter, you stop," said Mary in a whining, fretful voice.

"Now, Mamie, you stop," mimicked her brother.

"I think we wont be acquainted with you," said Bessie. "I am afraid you
are not very good children."

"What makes you think so," asked Walter.

"'Cause you quarrel," said Bessie; "good children don't quarrel, and
Jesus won't love you if you do."

"What a funny little tot you are," said Walter. "I won't quarrel with
you, but Mamie is so cross I can't help quarrelling with her. I like
girls, and I want to play with you, and your sister, too, if she'll
speak. I have a splendid wagon up at the hotel and I'll bring it and
give you a first-rate ride if you like. Come, let us make friends, and
tell me your first name, Miss Bradford, No. 2."

"It's Bessie, and my sister's is Maggie."

"And don't you and Maggie ever quarrel?"

"Why, no," said Maggie, coming out of her shy fit when she heard this,
"Bessie is my own little sister."

"Well, and Mamie is my own sister, and you see we quarrel for all that.
But never mind that now. I'll go for my wagon and give you a ride; will
you like it?"

"I will," said Bessie.

In a few minutes Walter came back with his wagon. Maggie and Bessie
thought he was quite right when he called it splendid. They told him
it was the prettiest wagon they had ever seen. He said he would give
Bessie the first ride, and he lifted her in and told Maggie and Mamie
to push behind.

"I sha'n't," said Mamie; "I want a ride, too; there's plenty of room,
Bessie's so little."

"No, it will make it too heavy," said Walter. "You shall ride when your
turn comes."

Mamie began to cry, and Bessie said she would get out and let her ride
first; but Walter said she should not.

"There comes Tom," said Mamie; "he'll help you pull."

The children looked around, and there was a boy rather larger than
Walter coming towards them.

"Why, it's Tom Norris!" said Maggie; "do you know him?"

And sure enough it was their own Tom Norris, whom they loved so much.
He ran up to them and kissed Maggie and Bessie, as if he were very glad
to see them.

"Why, Tom," said Bessie, "I didn't know you came here."

"I came night before last, with father," said Tom. "We came to take
rooms at the hotel, and I wanted to stay; so father left me with Mrs.
Stone, and he has gone home for mother and Lily, and the whole lot and
scot of them; they're all coming to-morrow."

"Oh! I am so glad," said Maggie.

"Tom! can't I ride?" asked Mamie.

"You must ask Walter," said Tom; "the wagon is his; what are you crying
about, Mamie?"

Walter told what the trouble was.

"Come, now, Mamie, be good, and you shall ride with Bessie, and I will
help Walter pull." Mamie was put into the seat by Bessie, and then Tom
said they must find room for Maggie, too. So he made her sit on the
bottom of the wagon, and off they started. Of course they were crowded,
but the two children who were good-natured did not mind that at all,
and would have been quite happy had it not been for Mamie. She fretted
and complained so much that at last the boys were out of patience and
took her out of the wagon.

"You see," said Walter, as the cross, selfish child went off screaming
to her mother, "Mamie is the only girl, and the youngest, and she has
been so spoiled there is no living with her."

They were all happier when she had gone, and had a nice long play
together.

Tom Norris was twelve years old, but he did not think himself too large
to play with or amuse such little girls as Maggie and Bessie, who were
only seven and five; and as he was always kind and good to them, they
loved him dearly. Grown people liked him too, and said he was a perfect
little gentleman. But Tom was better than that, for he was a true
Christian; and it was this which made him so kind and polite to every
one.

When Mr. Bradford came to call his little girls to go home, he found
them telling Tom and Walter about the swing which Mr. Jones had
promised them, and he invited the boys to go with them and see it. So
they all went back together.

When they reached home Mr. Bradford told them they might go on to
the barn while he went into the house for a few minutes. The great
barn-doors were open, and Mr. Jones and his son, Sam, were busy inside.
Just outside the door sat Mrs. Jones with a pan full of currants in
her lap which she was stringing. There was a sheep skin on the ground
beside her, and on it sat her fat baby, Susie. Two kittens were playing
on the grass a little way off, and Susie wanted to catch them. She
would roll herself over on her hands and knees, and creep to the edge
of her sheep skin, but just as she reached it her mother's hand would
take her by the waist and lift her back to the place from which she
started. Susie would sit still for a moment, as if she was very much
astonished, and then try again, always to be pulled back to the old
spot. But when she saw Maggie and Bessie she forgot the kittens and sat
quite still with her thumb in her mouth staring at them with her great
blue eyes.

"Mr. Jones," said Bessie, "these are our friends. One is an old friend,
and his name is Tom; and one is a new friend, and his name is Walter.
They have come to see that thing you don't call a swing."

"They're both welcome if they're friends of yours," said Mr. Jones.
"I'll show you the scup in a few minutes, as soon as I finish this job
I'm about."

"Mrs. Jones," said Bessie, "is that your baby?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Jones, "what do you think of her?"

"I think she is fat," answered Bessie. "May we help you do that, Mrs.
Jones?"

"I'm afraid you'll stain your frocks, and what would your ma say then?"

"She'd say you oughtn't to let us do it."

"Just so," said Mrs. Jones. "No, I can't let you help me, but I'll tell
you what I'll do. I am going to make pies out of these currants and
I'll make you each a turnover; sha'n't you like that?"

"What is a turnover," asked Maggie.

"Don't you know what a turnover is? You wait and see; you'll like 'em
when you find out. You can play with Susie if you've a mind to."

But Susie would not play, she only sat and stared at the children, and
sucked her thumb. Pretty soon papa came, and when Mr. Jones was ready
they all went into the barn.

The swing was fastened up to a hook in the wall, but Mr. Jones soon had
it down; and Mr. Bradford tried it and found it quite safe and strong.
The seat was large enough to hold both the little girls, if they sat
pretty close, so they were both put into it, and papa gave them a fine
swing. Then the boys took their turn; and Mr. Jones told them they
might come and swing as often as they liked.



III.

_THE LETTER._


You are not going to hear all that Maggie and Bessie did every day at
the sea-shore, but only a few of the things that happened to them.

They liked Quam Beach more and more. Maggie did not mind the
trundle-bed so very much after a night or two, though she never seemed
to grow quite used to it; and Bessie, who had been weak and sick when
they left home, became stronger, and was soon able to run about more
with the other children.

After a few days they began to bathe in the sea. Maggie was afraid at
first, and cried when she was carried into the water; but the second
time she was braver, and she soon came to like it almost as well as
Bessie, who never was ready to come out when it was thought she had
been in long enough. She would beg her father or the bathing-woman to
let her stay just one minute more; and she would laugh when the waves
came dashing over her, so that sometimes the salt water would get into
her little mouth. But she did not mind it, and begged for another and
another wave, until papa would say that it was high time for her to
come out. Mamma said she had never seen Bessie enjoy anything so much,
and it made her feel very happy to see her little girl growing well and
strong again.

Bessie loved the sea very much, and often when her sister and little
companions were playing, she would sit quietly on some rock, looking
away out over the wide, beautiful waters, or watching and listening to
the waves as they came rolling up on the beach. People who were passing
used to turn and look at her, and smile when they saw the sweet little
face, which looked so grave and wise. But if any stranger asked her
what she was thinking about, she would only say, "Thoughts, ma'am."

Maggie did not like to sit still as Bessie did. She was well and fat
and rosy, and full of fun when she was with people she knew; and she
liked to play better than to sit on the rocks and watch the water, but
she seldom went far away from Bessie, and was always running to her
with some pretty shell or sea-weed she had found. She and Bessie and
Lily Norris would play in the sand and make little ponds or wells, and
sand pies, or pop the air bags in the sea-weed; or have some other
quiet play which did not tire Bessie. Very often Walter Stone and Tom
Norris gave them a ride in the wagon; or Tom told them nice stories;
and sometimes they all went out on the water in Mr. Jones's boat, or
took a drive with papa and mamma. Before they had been at Quam Beach
many days, they knew quite a number of the children who were staying
there; and they liked almost all of them, except fretful Mamie Stone,
who made herself so disagreeable that no one cared to play with her. In
short, there were so many things to do, and so much to see, that the
day was never long enough for them.

Then they made friends with Toby, Mr. Jones' great white dog. He was
an ugly old fellow, and rather gruff and unsociable; but, like some
people, he was in reality better than he appeared. He would never allow
any grown person but his master to pet him; and if any one tried to
pat him or make him play, he would walk away and seat himself at a
distance, with an offended air which seemed to say, "What a very silly
person you are; do you not know that I am too grave and wise a dog to
be pleased with such nonsense!"

But he was not so with little children. Though he would not play, he
let Susie and Franky pull his ears and tail, and roll and tumble over
him as much as they liked without giving them one growl. Maggie and
Bessie were rather afraid of him at first, but they soon found he was
not as fierce as he looked, and after Mr. Jones had told them how
he saved a little boy from drowning the last summer, they liked him
better, and soon came to have no fear of him.

This boy had been one of those who were boarding in the house last
year, and was a disobedient, mischievous child. One day he wanted to
go down on the beach, but it was not convenient for any one to go with
him, and his mother told him he must wait. He watched till no one saw
him, and then ran off followed by Toby, who seemed to know that he was
in mischief.

When the child reached the beach, he pulled off his shoes and stockings
and went to the water's edge where the waves could dash over his feet.
He went a little farther and a little farther, till at last a wave came
which was too strong for him. It threw him down and carried him out
into deeper water, and in another minute he would have been beyond help
had not Toby dashed in and seized hold of him. It was hard work for
Toby, for he was not a water-dog; but he held the boy till a man, who
had seen it all, came running to his help and pulled the boy out.

After this, Toby would never let the child go near the water all the
time he staid at Quam Beach. If he tried to go, Toby would take hold
of his clothes with his teeth, and no coaxings or scoldings would make
him let go till the boy's face was turned the other way.

Toby was of great use to Mrs. Jones; she said that he was as good as a
nurse. Every day she used to put Susie to sleep in a room at the head
of the garret stairs. Then she would call the dog, and leave him to
take care of the baby while she went about her work; and it seemed as
if Toby knew the right hour for Susie's nap, for he was never out of
the way at that time. He would lie and watch her till she woke up, and
then go to the head of the stairs and bark till Mrs. Jones came. Then
he knew that his duty was done, and he would walk gravely down stairs.
Sometimes Mrs. Jones put Susie on the kitchen floor, and left Toby to
look after her. He would let her crawl all round unless she went near
the fire, or the open door or kitchen stairs, when he would take her by
the waist and lift her back to the place where her mother had left her.
Susie would scold him as well as she knew how, and pound him with her
little fist; but he did not care one bit for that.

After a time Bessie grew quite fond of Toby. Maggie did not like him
so much. She liked a dog who would romp and play with her, which Toby
would never do. If his master or mistress did not want him, Toby was
generally to be found lying on the porch or sitting on the edge of the
bank above the beach, looking down on the people who were walking or
driving there. Bessie would sit down beside him and pat his rough head,
and talk to him in a sweet, coaxing voice, and he would blink his eyes
at her and flap his heavy tail upon the ground in a way that he would
do for no one else.

"Bessie," said Maggie, one day, as her sister sat patting the great
dog, "what makes you like Toby so much; do you think he is pretty?"

"No," answered Bessie, "I don't think he is pretty, but I think he is
very good and wise."

"But he is not so wise as Jemmy Bent's Shock," said Maggie; "he does
not know any funny tricks."

Jemmy Bent was a poor lame boy, and Shock was his dog,--a little
Scotch terrier with a black shaggy coat, and a pair of sharp, bright
eyes peeping out from the long, wiry hair which hung about his face.
He had been taught a great many tricks, and Maggie thought him a very
wonderful dog, but Bessie had never seemed to take much of a fancy to
him.

"But he is very useful," said Bessie, "and I don't think Shock is
pretty either; I think he is very ugly, Maggie."

"So do I," said Maggie; "but then he looks so funny and smart: I think
he looks a great deal nicer than Toby."

"I don't," said Bessie, "I don't like the look of Shock; the first time
I saw him I didn't think he was a dog."

"What did you think he was?"

"I thought he was _a animal_," said Bessie, "and I was afraid of him."

"And are you afraid of him now?"

"No, not much; but I had rather he'd stay under the bed when I go to
see Jemmy."

"I wouldn't," said Maggie, "and I can't like Toby so much as Shock. No,
I can't, Toby, and you need not look at me so about it."

Maggie's opinion did not seem to make the least difference to Toby; he
only yawned and blinked his eyes at her.

When Maggie and Bessie had been at Quam Beach about a week, they woke
one morning to find it was raining hard, and Mr. Jones said he hoped it
would keep on, for the rain was much needed. The little girls hoped it
would not, for they did not like to stay in the house all day. About
eleven o'clock they went to their mother and told her they had promised
to write a letter to Grandpapa Duncan, and asked if they might do it
now. Mamma was busy, and told them that she could not write it for them
at that time.

"But, mamma," said Maggie, "we don't want you to write it for us;
grandpapa will like it better if we do it all ourselves. I can print
it, and Bessie will help me make it up."

So mamma gave them a sheet of paper and a pencil, and they went off in
a corner to write their letter. They were very busy over it for a long
while. When it was done they brought it to their mother to see if it
was all right. There were a few mistakes in the spelling which Mrs.
Bradford corrected; but it was very nicely printed for such a little
girl as Maggie. This was the letter:--

     "DEAR GRANDPAPA DUNCAN,--

     "Maggie and Bessie are making up this letter, but I am
     printing, because Bessie is too little. We hope you are
     well, and Bessie is better and I am very well, thank you,
     and every body. It rains, and we have nothing to do, and
     so we are writing you a letter. We like this place; it is
     nice. There is a great deal of sea here. There are two
     kittens here. Mrs. Jones made us a turnover. The old cat is
     very cross. Mrs. Jones put currants in it, and she put it
     in the oven and the juice boiled out and made it sticky,
     and it was good and we eat it all up. Dear grandpa, we hope
     you are well. This is from us, Maggie and Bessie. Good-by,
     dear grandpa. P. S.--We can't think of anything else to
     say. My hand is tired, too.

          "Your beloved

              "MAGGIE AND BESSIE.

     "Another P. S.--God bless you."

Mamma said it was a very nice letter, and she folded it and put it in
an envelope. Then she directed it to Mr. Duncan, and put a postage
stamp on it, so that it was all ready to go with the rest of the
letters when Mr. Jones went to the post-office in the evening.

But you must learn a little about the dear old gentleman to whom the
children had been writing. His name was Duncan, and he lived at a
beautiful place called Riverside, a short distance from New York.
He was not really the children's grandfather, but his son, Mr. John
Duncan, had married their Aunt Helen; and as they were as fond of him
as he was of them, he had taught them to call him Grandpapa Duncan.

A little way from Riverside lived a poor widow named Bent. She had a
son, who a year or two since had fallen from a wall and hurt his back,
so that the doctor said he would never walk or stand again. Day after
day he lay upon his bed, sometimes suffering very much, but always
gentle, patient, and uncomplaining.

Jemmy was often alone, for hours at a time; for his mother had to work
hard to get food and medicine for her sick boy; and his sister, Mary,
carried radishes and cresses, and other green things to sell in the
streets of the city. But Jemmy's Bible and Prayer-book were always at
his side, and in these the poor helpless boy found comfort when he was
tired and lonely.

To buy a wheel chair, in which Jemmy might be out of doors, and be
rolled from place to place without trouble or pain to himself, was the
one great wish of Mrs. Bent and Mary; and they were trying to put by
money enough for this. But such a chair cost a great deal; and though
they saved every penny they could, the money came very slowly, and it
seemed as if it would be a long while before Jemmy had his chair.

Now Mrs. Bradford was one of Mary's customers; so it happened that the
children had often seen her when she came with her basket of radishes.
Bessie used to call her "yadishes," for she could not pronounce _r_:
but neither she nor Maggie had ever heard of the poor lame boy, till
one day when they were at Riverside. Playing in the garden, they saw
Mary sitting outside the gate, counting over the money she had made
by the sale of her radishes: and as they were talking to her, it came
about that she told them of the sick brother lying on his bed, never
able to go out and breathe the fresh air, or see the beautiful blue sky
and green trees, in this lovely Summer weather; and how she and her
mother were working and saving, that they might have enough to buy the
easy chair.

Our little girls were very much interested, and went back to the house
very eager and anxious to help buy the chair for Jemmy; and finding
Grandpapa Duncan on the piazza, they told him the whole story. Now our
Maggie and Bessie had each a very troublesome fault. Bessie had a quick
temper, and was apt to fly into a passion; while Maggie was exceedingly
careless and forgetful, sometimes disobeying her parents from sheer
heedlessness, and a moment's want of thought. When Mr. Duncan heard
about Jemmy Bent, he proposed a little plan to the children, that
pleased them very much.

This was about a month before they were to leave the city for the
sea-shore. Grandpapa Duncan promised that for each day, during the next
three weeks, in which Bessie did not lose her temper and give way to
one of her fits of passion, or in which Maggie did not fall into any
great carelessness or disobedience, he would give twenty cents to each
little girl. At the end of three weeks this would make eight dollars
and forty cents. When they had earned this much he would add the rest
of the money that was needed to buy the wheel chair, and they should
have the pleasure of giving it to Jemmy themselves.

The children were delighted, and promised to try hard, and they
did do their best. But it was hard work, for they were but little
girls,--Bessie only five, Maggie not quite seven. Bessie had some hard
battles with her temper. Maggie had to watch carefully that she was not
tempted into forgetfulness and disobedience. And one day Maggie failed
miserably, for she had trusted to her own strength, and not looked for
help from above. But Grandpapa Duncan gave her another trial; and, as
even such young children may do much toward conquering their faults if
they try with all their hearts, the money was all earned, the chair
bought, and Maggie and Bessie carried it to lame Jemmy. Then it would
have been hard to tell who were the most pleased, the givers or the
receivers.

Nor did Maggie and Bessie cease after this to struggle with their
faults, for from this time there was a great improvement to be seen in
both.



IV.

_THE QUARREL._


Mr. Jones had another errand to do when he went to the post-office,
which was to go to the railway station for Harry and Fred, whose
vacation had begun. Grandmamma and Aunt Annie came with them, but they
went to the hotel, and Maggie and Bessie did not see them till the next
morning. How glad the little girls were to have their brothers with
them; and what a pleasure it was to take them round the next day and
show them all that was to be seen!

"Maggie and Bessie," said Harry, "I saw a great friend of yours on
Saturday; guess who it was."

"Grandpa Hall," said Maggie.

"No; guess again. We went out to Riverside to spend the day, and it
was there we saw him."

"Oh, I know!" said Bessie, "it was lame Jemmy."

"Yes, it was lame Jemmy, and he was as chirp as a grasshopper. He was
sitting up in his chair out under the trees; and you never saw a fellow
so happy, for all he is lame. Why, if I was like him, and couldn't go
about, I should be as cross as a bear."

"Oh, no, you wouldn't, Harry," said Bessie; "not if you knew it was God
who made you lame."

"Oh, but I should, though; I'm not half as good as he is."

"But you could ask Jesus to make you good and patient like Jemmy, and
then He would."

"Well," said Harry, "he's mighty good, anyhow; and Fred and I gave him
a first-rate ride in his chair ever so far up the road. He liked it, I
can tell you; and he asked such lots of questions about you two. And
what do you think he is learning to do?"

"What?" asked both his little sisters.

"To knit stockings for the soldiers."

"What! a boy?" said Maggie.

"Yes; Aunt Helen sent some yarn to his mother to knit socks; and Jemmy
wanted to learn so that he could do something for his country, if he
was a lame boy, he said. Aunt Helen pays Mrs. Bent for those she makes,
but Jemmy told her if he might use some of her yarn he would like to do
it without pay, and she gave him leave; so his mother is teaching him,
and you would think he is a girl to see how nicely he takes to it. He
is not a bit ashamed of it either, if it is girl's work."

"And so he oughtn't," said Bessie. "Girl's work is very nice work."

"So it is, Queen Bess; and girls are very nice things when they are
like our Midget and Bess."

"I don't think boys are half as nice as girls," said Maggie, "except
you and Tom, Harry."

"And I," said Fred.

"Well, yes, Fred; when you don't tease I love you; but then you do
tease, you know. But Mamie Stone is not nice if she is a girl; she is
cross, and she did a shocking thing, Harry. She pinched Bessie's arm so
it's all black and blue. But she was served right for it, 'cause I just
gave her a good slap."

"But that was naughty in you," said Tom, who was standing by; "you
should return good for evil."

"I sha'n't, if she evils my Bessie," said Maggie, stoutly. "If she
hurts me I won't do anything to her, but if she hurts Bessie I will,
and I don't believe it's any harm. I'm sure there's a verse in the
Bible about it."

"About what, Maggie?"

"About, about,--why about my loving Bessie and not letting any one hurt
her. I'll ask papa to find one for me. He can find a verse in the Bible
about everything. Oh, now I remember one myself. It's--little children
love each other."

"And so you should," said Tom; "and it is very sweet to see two little
sisters always so kind and loving to each other as you and Bessie
are. But, Maggie, that verse does not mean that you should get into a
quarrel with your other playmates for Bessie's sake; it means that you
should love all little children. Of course you need not love Mamie as
much as Bessie, but you ought to love her enough to make you kind to
her. And there's another verse,--'blessed are the peace-makers.' You
were not a peace-maker when you slapped Mamie."

"I sha'n't be Mamie's peace-maker," said Maggie; "and, Tom, you ought
to take my side and Bessie's; you are very unkind."

"Now don't be vexed, Midget," said Tom, sitting down on a large stone,
and pulling Maggie on his knee. "I only want to show you that it did
not make things any better for you to slap Mamie when she pinched
Bessie. What happened next after you slapped her?"

"She slapped me," said Maggie; "and then I slapped her again, and Lily
slapped her, too; it was just good enough for her."

"And what then?" asked Tom.

"Why Mamie screamed and ran and told her mother, and Mrs. Stone came
and scolded us; and Jane showed her Bessie's arm, and she said she
didn't believe Mamie meant to hurt Bessie."

"What a jolly row!" said Fred. "I wish I had been there to see."

"Nurse said she wished she had been there," said Maggie, "and she would
have told Mrs. Stone--"

"Never mind that," said Tom; "there were quite enough in the quarrel
without nurse. Now, Maggie, would it not have been far better if you
had taken Bessie quietly away when Mamie hurt her?"

"No," said Maggie, "because then she wouldn't have been slapped, and
she ought to be."

"Well, I think with you that Mamie was a very naughty girl, and
deserved to be punished; but then it was not your place to do it."

"But her mother would not do it," said Maggie; "she is a weak, foolish
woman, and is ruining that child."

The boys laughed, when Maggie said this with such a grand air.

"Who did you hear say that?" asked Harry.

"Papa," said Maggie,--"so it's true. I guess he didn't mean me to hear
it, but I did."

"Oh, you little pitcher!" cried Harry; and Tom said, "Maggie dear,
things may be quite right for your father to say, that would not be
proper for us; because Mrs. Stone is a great deal older than we are;
but since we all know that she does not take much pains to make Mamie
a good and pleasant child, do you not think that this ought to make us
more patient with her when she is fretful and quarrelsome?"

"No," said Maggie; "if her mother don't make her behave, some one else
ought to. I will hurt her if she hurts Bessie."

"Maggie," said Tom, "when wicked men came to take Jesus Christ and
carry him away to suffer a dreadful death on the cross, do you remember
what one of the disciples did?"

"No; tell me," said Maggie.

"He drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of those wicked men; not
because he was doing anything to him, but because he was ill-treating
the dear Lord whom he loved."

"I'm glad of it," said Maggie; "it was just good enough for that bad
man, and I love that disciple."

"But the Saviour was not glad," said Tom, "for he reproved the
disciple, and told him to put up his sword; and he reached out his hand
and healed the man's ear."

"That was because he was Jesus," said Maggie. "I couldn't be so good as
Jesus."

"No, we cannot be as holy and good as Jesus, for he was without sin;
but we can try to be like him, and then he will love us and be pleased
with what he knows we wish to do. Maggie, the other day I heard you
saying to your mother that pretty hymn, 'I am Jesus' Little Lamb;' now,
if you are really one of Jesus' little lambs you will also be one of
his blessed peace-makers. I think if you and Lily had not struck Mamie,
she would have felt much more sorry and ashamed than she does now, when
she thinks that you have hurt her as much as she hurt Bessie."

"Do you want me to be a peace-maker with Mamie, now?" asked Maggie.

"Yes, if you are not friends with her yet."

"Oh, no, we are not friends at all," said Maggie; "for she runs away
every time she sees Lily or me; and we make faces at her."

"And do you like to have it so?"

"Yes," said Maggie slowly, "I think I do; I like to see her run."

"And do you think it is like Jesus' little lamb for you to feel so."

"No, I suppose not; I guess it's pretty naughty, and I won't make faces
at her anymore. What shall I do to make friends, Tom?"

"Well," said Tom, "I cannot tell exactly; but suppose the next time
that Mamie runs away from you, you call her to come and play with you;
will not that show her that you wish to be at peace again?"

"Yes," said Maggie; "and if you think Jesus would want me to, I'll do
it; but, Tom, we'll be very sorry if she comes. You don't know what an
uncomfortable child she is to play with; she's as cross as--as cross
as--_nine_ sticks."

"Perhaps you'll find some other way," said Tom, who could not help
smiling. "If we wish for a chance to do good to a person we can
generally find one. But I must go, for there is father beckoning to me
to come out in the boat with him. You will think of what I have said,
will you not, Maggie?"

"Oh, yes I will, and I will do it too, Tom; and if Mamie pinches Bessie
again, I won't slap her, but only give her a good push, and then we'll
run away from her."

Tom did not think that this was exactly the way to make friends, but he
had not time to say anything more, for his father was waiting.



V.

_TOM'S SUNDAY-SCHOOL._


"There's Tom," said Maggie, on the next Sunday afternoon, as she looked
out of the window; "he is talking to Mr. Jones, and now they are going
to the barn. I wonder if he is going to swing on Sunday."

"Why, Maggie," said Bessie; "Tom wouldn't do such a thing."

"I thought maybe he forgot," said Maggie. "I forgot it was Sunday this
morning, and I was just going to ask Mr. Jones to swing me. I wonder
what they are doing. I can see in the door of the barn and they are
busy with the hay. Come and look, Bessie."

Tom and Mr. Jones seemed to be very busy in the barn for a few minutes,
but the little girls could not make out what they were doing. At last
Tom came out and walked over to the house. Maggie and Bessie ran to
meet him.

"Here you are," he said, "the very little people I wanted to see. I am
going to have a Sunday-school class in the barn. Mr. Jones has given me
leave, for I could find no place over at the hotel. We have been making
seats in the hay. Will you come?"

"Oh, yes, indeed we will," said Maggie, clapping her hands.

Bessie shook her head sorrowfully. "Tom," she said, "mamma wont let me
go to Sunday-school; she says I am too little."

"I think she will let you go to mine," said Tom; "we'll go and ask her."

They all went in together to the room where papa and mamma sat reading.
"Mrs. Bradford," said Tom, when he had shaken hands with her, "I am
going to hold a little Sunday-school class over in the barn; will you
let Maggie and Bessie come?"

"Certainly," said Mrs. Bradford. "Who are you to have, Tom?"

"Only Lily, ma'am, and Mamie Stone, and a few more of the little ones
from the hotel; they were running about and making a great noise in the
hall and parlors, and I thought I could keep them quiet for a while
if Mr. Jones would let me bring them over to his barn, and have a
Sunday-school there. Walter is coming to help me."

"A good plan, too," said Mr. Bradford; "you are a kind boy to think of
it, Tom."

"May I come?" asked Harry.

"And I, too?" said Fred.

"I don't know about you, Fred," said Tom; "I should like to have Harry,
for neither Walter nor I can sing, and we want some one to set the
tunes for the little ones. But I am afraid you will make mischief."

"Indeed I won't, Tom. Let me come and I will be as quiet as a mouse,
and give you leave to turn me out if I do the first thing."

"Well, then, you may come, but I shall hold you to your word and send
you away if you make the least disturbance. I don't mean this for
play."

"Honor bright," said Fred.

They all went out and met Walter who was coming up the path with a
troop of little ones after him. There were Lily and Eddie Norris,
Gracie Howard, Mamie Stone, Julia and Charlie Bolton, and half a dozen
more beside.

Tom marched them into the barn, where he and Mr. Jones had arranged the
school-room.

And a fine school-room the children thought it; better than those
in the city to which some of them went every Sunday. There were two
long piles of hay with boards laid on top of them,--one covered with
a buffalo robe, the other with a couple of sheep skins, making nice
seats. In front of these was Tom's place,--an empty barrel turned
upside-down for his desk, and Fred's velocipede for his seat. The
children did not in the least care that hay was strewn all over the
floor, or that the old horse who was in the other part of the barn,
would now and then put his nose through the little opening above his
manger, and look in at them as if he wondered what they were about.

"Oh, isn't this splendid?" said Maggie. "It is better than our Infant
school-room, in Dr. Hill's church."

"So it is," said Lily. "I wish we always went to Sunday-school here,
and had Tom for our teacher."

Some of the little ones wanted to play, and began to throw hay at each
other; but Tom put a stop to this; he had not brought them there to
romp, he said, and those who wanted to be noisy must go away. Then he
told them all to take their seats.

Maggie had already taken hers on the end of one of the hay benches,
with Bessie next to her, and Lily on the other side of Bessie. Gracie
Howard sat down by Lily, and Mamie Stone was going to take her place
next, when Gracie said, "You sha'n't sit by me, Mamie."

"Nor by me," said Lily.

"Nor me, nor me," said two or three of the others.

Now Mamie saw how she had made the other children dislike her by her
ill-humor and unkindness, and she did not find it at all pleasant to
stand there and have them all saying they would not sit by her.

"I want to go home," she said, while her face grew very red, and she
looked as if she were going to cry.

"Who is going to be kind, and sit by Mamie," asked Tom.

"I should think none of them who know how she can pinch," said Fred.

"Oh, we are going to forget all that," said Tom. "Come, children, make
room for Mamie."

"This bench is full," said Lily, "she can't come here."

Mamie began to cry. "There is plenty of room on the other bench," said
Tom; "sit there, Mamie."

"I don't want to," answered Mamie; "there's nothing but boys there, and
I want to go home."

"Why," said Tom, "what a bad thing that would be, to begin our
Sunday-school by having one of our little scholars go home because
none of the rest will sit by her. That will never do."

All this time Maggie had sat quite still, looking at Mamie. She was
thinking of what Tom had said to her, and of being Jesus' little lamb.
Here was a chance to show Mamie that she was ready to be friends with
her, but it was hard work. She did not at all like to go away from her
little sister whom she loved so much, to sit by Mamie whom she did not
love at all, and who had been so unkind to Bessie. She rose up slowly
from her seat, with cheeks as red as Mamie's and said,--

"Tom, I'll go on the other seat and sit by Mamie."

"And just get pinched for it," said Lily: "stay with us, Maggie."

Mamie took her hand down from her face and looked at Maggie with great
surprise.

"She wants some one to sit with her," said Maggie, "and I had better
go."

"Maggie is doing as she would be done by," said Tom.

Then Maggie felt glad, for she knew she was doing right. "Come, Mamie,"
she said, and she took hold of Mamie's hand, and they sat down together
on the other bench.

"You are a good girl, Midget," said Harry, "and it's more than you
deserve, Miss Mamie."

"I don't care," said Mamie. "I love Maggie, and I don't love any of the
rest of you, except only Tom."

Here Tom called his school to order and said there must be no more
talking, for he was going to read, and all must be quiet. He went
behind his barrel-desk, and opening his Bible, read to them about the
Saviour blessing little children. Then they sang, "I want to be an
Angel." Harry and Fred, with their beautiful clear voices, started the
tune, and all the children joined in, for every one of them knew the
pretty hymn.

[Illustration: Bessie at Sea Side. p. 68]

Next, Tom read how Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in a rough
stable and laid not in a pretty cradle such as their baby brothers
and sisters slept in, but in a manger where the wise men of the east
came and worshipped Him: and how after Joseph and Mary had been told by
God to fly into the land of Egypt with the infant Saviour, the wicked
king, Herod, killed all the dear little babies in the land, with the
hope that Jesus might be among them. When he came to any thing which he
thought the children would not understand, he stopped and explained it
to them. "Now we will sing again," he said, when he had done reading,
"and the girls shall choose the hymns. Maggie, dear, what shall we sing
first?"

Maggie knew what she would like, but she was too shy to tell, and she
looked at Tom without speaking. Tom thought he knew, and said, "I'll
choose for you, then. We will sing, 'Jesus, little lamb;' whoever knows
it, hold up their hand."

Half a dozen little hands went up, but Tom saw that all the children
did not know it. "What shall we do?" he said. "Maggie would like that
best, I think; but I suppose all want to sing, and some do not know the
words."

"Never mind," said Gracie Howard, who was one of those who had not held
up her hand, "if Maggie wants it we'll sing it, because she was so good
and went and sat by Mamie. If we don't know the words we can holler out
the tune all the louder."

Some of the children began to laugh when Gracie said this, but Tom
said, "I have a better plan than that. I will say the first verse over
three or four times, line by line, and you may repeat it after me; then
we will sing it, and so go on with the next verse."

This was done. Tom said the lines slowly and distinctly, and those who
did not know the hymn repeated them. While they were learning the first
verse in this way, Mamie whispered to Maggie, "Maggie, I love you."

"Do you?" said Maggie, as if she could not quite believe it.

"Yes, because you are good; don't you love me. Maggie?"

"Well, no, not much," said Maggie, "but I'll try to."

"I wish you would," said Mamie; "and I wont snatch your things, nor
slap you, nor do anything."

"I'll love you if you do a favor to me," said Maggie.

"Yes, I will, if it is not to give you my new crying baby."

"Oh, I don't want your crying baby, nor any of your toys," said Maggie.
"I only want you to promise that you won't pinch my Bessie again. Why,
Mamie, you ought to be more ashamed of yourself than any girl that ever
lived; her arm is all black and blue yet."

"I didn't mean to hurt her so much," said Mamie, "and I was sorry when
Bessie cried so; but then you slapped me, and Lily slapped me, and
Jane scolded me, and so I didn't care, but was glad I did it; but I am
sorry, now, and I'll never do it again."

"And I sha'n't slap you, if you do," said Maggie.

"What will you do, then?"

"I'll just take Bessie away, and leave you to your own 'flections."

"I don't know what that means," said Mamie.

"I don't, either," said Maggie; "but I heard papa say it, so I said it.
I like to say words that big people say. Bessie won't say a word if
she don't know what it means; but I'd just as lief. I guess it means
conscience."

"Oh, I guess it does, too," said Mamie, "for Walter said he should
think I'd have a troubled conscience for hurting Bessie so; but I
didn't. And Tom talked to me too; but I didn't care a bit, till you
came to sit by me, Maggie, and now I am sorry. Did you tell Tom about
it?"

"I talked to him about it, but he knew before. Why, everybody knew,
Mamie, because your mamma made such an awful fuss about those little
slaps."

Now Maggie made a mistake in saying this; she did not mean it to vex
Mamie, but it did.

"They were not little slaps," she said, "they were hard slaps, and they
hurt; and you sha'n't say my mamma makes an awful fuss."

Before Maggie had time to answer, Tom called upon the children to sing,
and Maggie joined in with her whole heart. The first verse was sung
over twice; and by the time this was done, Mamie felt good-natured
again, for she remembered how Maggie had come to sit with her when none
of the other little girls would do so. She had been quite surprised
when Maggie had offered to do it, and had thought that she could not
have been so good.

"I'll never be cross with Maggie again," she said to herself.

When Tom began to teach the second verse she whispered, "Maggie, will
you kiss me and make up?"

"Yes, by and by, when some of the other children are gone," said Maggie.

"Why won't you do it, now?"

"I don't like to do it before them; I'm afraid they'll think I want
them to see."

When Tom thought the children all knew the hymn pretty well, they sang
it over two or three times, and then he told them a story. After they
had sung once more, he dismissed the school; for he did not want to
keep them too long, lest the little ones should be tired. He invited
all those who liked it, to come again the next Sunday afternoon, for
Mr. Jones had said that they might have Sunday-school in the barn as
often as they liked. Every one of the children said that they would
come. When most of them had left the barn, Maggie said, "Now I will
kiss you, Mamie."

"I want to kiss Bessie, too," said Mamie, as the little girl came
running up to her sister; "will you kiss me, Bessie?"

"Oh, yes," said Bessie; and Mamie kissed both of her little playmates,
and so there was peace between them once more.



VI.

_THE POST-OFFICE_


On Monday Mr. Bradford went up to New York to attend to some business.
He was to come back on Wednesday afternoon; and on the morning of that
day, grandmamma sent over to know if Mrs. Bradford would like to have
her carriage, and drive to the railway station to meet him. Mamma said
yes; and told Maggie and Bessie they might go with her. She offered
to take Harry and Fred, too; but they wanted to go clam-fishing with
Mr. Jones; so she took Franky and baby instead, and carried baby
herself, telling nurse and Jane that they might have a holiday for the
afternoon. The little girls were delighted at the thought of going to
meet their dear father; for he had been gone three days, and they had
missed him very much.

The first part of the ride was through the sand, where the wheels went
in so deep that the horses had hard work to draw the carriage and went
very slowly, but the children did not mind that at all. They liked to
hear the sound of the wheels grating through the sand, and to watch how
they took it up and threw it off again as they moved round and round.
At last the carriage turned off to the right, and now the road was
firmer and harder, and, after a time, ran through the woods. This was
delightful, it was so cool and shady. Baby seemed to think this was a
good place for a nap, for she began to shut her eyes and nod her little
head about, till mamma laid her down in her lap, where she went fast
asleep. James took Franky in front with him and let him hold the end
of the reins, and Franky thought he was driving quite as much as the
good-natured coachman, and kept calling out "Get up," and "Whoa," which
the horses did not care for in the least.

There was a little stream which ran along by the side of the road,
and at last bent itself right across it, so that the carriage had to
go over a small bridge. Just beyond the bridge the stream widened into
quite a large pool. James drove his horses into it, and stopped to let
them take a drink.

It was a lovely, shady spot. The trees grew close around the pool and
met overhead, and there were a number of small purple flowers growing
all around. James tried to reach some of them with his whip, but
they were too far away, so the children were disappointed. When the
horses had stopped drinking, there was not a sound to be heard but the
twittering of the birds in the branches, and the little ripple of the
water as it flowed over the stones.

"Let's stay here a great while, mamma," said Bessie, "it is so
pleasant."

"And what would papa do when he came and found no one waiting for him?"
said Mrs. Bradford.

"Oh, yes! let us make haste then," said Bessie; "we mustn't make him
disappointed for a million waters."

But mamma said there was time enough; so they staid a few moments
longer, and then drove on. At last they passed from the beautiful green
wood into a space where there was no shade. There were bushes and very
small trees to be sure, but they were low and scrubby and grew close
together in a kind of tangled thicket. These reached as far as they
could see on either side, and came so near to the edge of the road,
that once, when James had to make way for a heavy hay wagon, and drew
in his horses to let it pass, Maggie stretched her hand out of the
carriage and pulled some sprigs from one of the bushes.

"Mamma, do you know that funny old man?" asked Bessie, as the driver of
the hay wagon nodded to her mother, and Mrs. Bradford smiled and nodded
pleasantly in return.

"No, dear; but in these lonely country places it is the custom for
people to nod when they pass each other."

"Why, we don't do that in New York," said Maggie.

"No, it would be too troublesome to speak to every one whom we met
in the streets of a great city; and people there would think it very
strange and impertinent if you bowed to them when you did not know
them."

"Mamma," said Maggie, "I don't like the kind of country there is here,
at all. What makes all these bushes grow here?"

Then mamma told how all this ground was once covered with just such
beautiful woods as they had passed through, and how they were set on
fire by the sparks from a train of cars, how the fire spread for miles
and miles, and burned for many days; and the people could do nothing to
stop it, until God sent a change of wind and a heavy rain which put it
out. She told them how many poor people were burnt out of their houses,
and how the little birds and squirrels and other animals were driven
from their cosy homes in the woods, and many of them scorched to death
by this terrible fire. Then for a long time the ground where these
woods had grown was only covered with ashes and charred logs, till at
last these tangled bushes had sprung up. Mamma said she supposed that
by and by the people would cut down the underbrush, and then the young
trees would have space to grow.

By the time she had finished her long story they reached the Station
and found that they had a few moments to wait, for it was not yet quite
time for the train.

There was a locomotive standing on the track, and when the horses saw
it they began to prick up their ears and to dance a little; so James
turned their heads and drove them up by the side of the depot, where
they could not see it. On the other side of the road was a small, white
building, and over the door was a sign with large black letters upon it.

"P-O-S-T, porst," spelled Maggie.

"Post," said mamma.

"Post, O double F."

"O-F, of," said mamma again.

"O-F, of, F-I-C-E; oh, it's the post-office. I wonder if there is a
letter there for us from Grandpapa Duncan."

"Perhaps there may be," said Mrs. Bradford. "I told Mr. Jones we would
inquire for the letters. James, will it do for you to leave the horses?"

"I think not, ma'am," said James. "They are a little onasy yet, and if
she squales they'll run."

"And I cannot go because of baby," said mamma; "we must wait till papa
comes."

"I wish we could get our letter if it is there," said Maggie; "we could
read it while we are waiting for papa."

"There's a nice civil man there, Mrs. Bradford," said James, "and if
you didn't mind Miss Maggie going over, I could lift her out, and he'll
wait on her as if it was yourself."

"Oh, James," said Maggie; "I couldn't do it, not for anything. I
couldn't indeed, mamma."

"Well, dear, you need not, if you are afraid."

"But I would like to have our letter so much, mamma."

"So would I," said Bessie. "And when dear papa comes we will want to
talk to him and not to yead our letter."

"Maybe it is not there," said Maggie.

"But we would like to know," said Bessie. "Could I go, mamma?"

"You are almost too little I think, dear."

"Well," said Maggie, slowly, "I guess I'll go. Mamma, will you look at
me all the time?"

"Yes, dear, and there is nothing to hurt you. Just walk in at that
door, and you will see a man there. Ask him if there are any letters to
go to Mr. Jones's house."

"Yes, mamma, and be very sure you watch all the time."

James came down from his seat and lifted Maggie from the carriage. She
walked very slowly across the road, every step or two looking back to
see if her mother was watching her. Mrs. Bradford smiled and nodded to
her, and at last Maggie went in at the door. But the moment she was
inside, her mother saw her turn round and fly out of the post-office as
if she thought something terrible was after her. She tore back across
the road and came up to the carriage looking very much frightened.

"Why, Maggie, what is it, dear?" asked her mother.

"Oh, mamma, there is a hole there, and a man put his face in it; please
put me in the carriage, James."

"Oh, foolish little Maggie," said mamma; "that man was the post-master,
and he came to the hole as you call it, to see what you wanted. If you
had waited and told him, he would have looked to see if there were any
letters for us."

"He had such queer spectacles on," said Maggie.

"I wish I could go," said Bessie; "I wouldn't be afraid of him. I do
want to know if Grandpapa Duncan's letter is there."

"Then you may try," said her mother; "take her out, James."

So Bessie was lifted out of the carriage, and went across the road
as Maggie had done. She walked into the post-office and saw the hole
Maggie had spoken of, but no one was looking out of it. It was a square
opening cut in a wooden partition which divided the post-office. On one
side was the place where Bessie stood, and where people came to ask for
their letters; on the other was the postmaster's room, where he kept
the letters and papers till they were called for.

Bessie looked around and saw no one. She always moved very gently, and
she had come in so quietly that the post-master had not heard her.
There was a chair standing in front of "the hole." Bessie pushed it
closer, and climbing upon it, put her little face through, and looked
into the post-master's side of the room. He was sitting there reading.
He was an ugly old man, and wore green goggles, which Maggie had called
"such queer spectacles." But Bessie was not afraid of him.

"How do you do, Mr. Post Officer?" she said. "I came for our letter."

The post-master looked up. "Well, you're a big one to send after a
letter," he said. "Who is it for?"

"For Maggie and me, and it is from Grandpapa Duncan; has it come?"

"Where are you from?" asked the post-master, laughing.

"From Mr. Jones's house. Oh, I forgot, mamma said I was to ask if any
letters had come for Mr. Jones's house."

"Then I suppose you are Mr. Bradford's daughter?"

"Yes, I am," said Bessie.

"And are you the little girl who came in here just now, and ran right
out again?"

"Oh, no, sir; that was Maggie. Poor Maggie is shy, and she said you
looked out of a hole at her."

"And you looked in a hole at me, but I did not run away. If I was to
run away you could not get your letter."

"Is it here, sir?" asked Bessie.

"Well, I reckon it may be," said the post-master; "what's your name?"

"My name is Bessie, and my sister's is Maggie."

"Here is one apiece then," said the post-master, taking up some
letters. "Here is one for Miss Bessie Bradford; that's you, is it? and
one for Miss Maggie Bradford, that's your sister, I reckon."

"What! one for myself, and one for Maggie's self," said Bessie. "Are
they from Grandpapa Duncan?"

"I don't know," said the post-master. "You will have to open them to
find that out."

"Oh, how nice; please let me have them, sir; I am very much obliged to
you."

"Stop, stop," cried the post-master, as Bessie jumped down from the
chair, and was running off with her prizes. "Here are some more papers
and letters for your folks."

But Bessie did not hear him; she was already out of the door, running
over to the carriage with flushed cheeks and sparkling eyes, holding
up a letter in each hand. "Oh, Maggie, Maggie," she called, "that nice
post-officer gave me two letters, one for you, and one for me; wasn't
he kind?"

"I think it was a kind Grandpapa Duncan, who took the trouble to write
two letters," said Mrs. Bradford.

"So it was," said Maggie. "Mamma, will you read them for us?"

"In a moment," said Mrs. Bradford; and then she turned to speak to the
post-master, who had followed Bessie to the carriage with the papers
and letters which she had been in too great a hurry to wait for. She
thanked him, and he went back and stood at the door watching the eager
little girls while their mother read to them. She opened Maggie's
letter first. It said,

     "MY DEAR LITTLE MAGGIE:--

     "I cannot tell you how pleased I was to receive the very
     nice letter which you and Bessie sent me. I have put it in
     a safe place in my writing desk, and shall keep it as long
     as I live. As you wrote it together, perhaps you expected
     that I would make one answer do for both; but I thought you
     would be better pleased if I sent a letter for each one.

     "I am glad to hear that you like Quam Beach so much; but
     you must not let it make you forget dear old Riverside. I
     am fond of the sea myself, and do not know but I may take a
     run down to see you some day this summer. Do you think you
     could give a welcome to the old man? and would Mrs. Jones
     make him such a famous turnover as she made for you?

     "I went this morning to see your friend Jemmy, for I
     thought you would like to hear something about him. He
     was out in the little garden, on the shady side of the
     house, sitting in his chair with his books beside him,
     and a happier or more contented boy I never saw. He was
     alone, except for his dog and rabbits, for his mother was
     washing, and Mary was out. Mrs. Bent brought me a chair,
     and I sat and talked to Jemmy for some time. I asked him
     which of all his books he liked best. 'Oh, my Bible, sir,'
     he said. 'I think it is with the Bible and other books,
     just like it is with people, Mr. Duncan.' 'How so?' I
     asked. 'Why, sir,' he answered, 'when Mary and mother are
     away, the neighbors often come in to sit with me and talk
     a bit. They are very kind, and I like to have them tell me
     about things; but no matter how much they make me laugh or
     amuse me, 'tain't like mother's voice; and if I am sick, or
     tired, or uncomfortable, or even glad, there ain't nobody
     that seems to have just the right thing to say, so well as
     her. And it's just so with the Bible, I think; it always
     has just the very thing I want: whether it's comfort and
     help, or words to say how happy and thankful I feel. The
     other books I like just as I do the neighbors; but the
     Bible I love just as I do mother. I suppose the reason is
     that the Bible is God's own words, and he loved and pitied
     us so that he knew what we would want him to say, just as
     mother loves and pities me, and so knows what I like her
     to say.' Happy Jemmy! he knows how to love and value God's
     holy book, that most precious gift, in which all may find
     what their souls need. May my little Maggie learn its worth
     as the poor lame boy has done.

     "I really think your chair has done Jemmy good. He looks
     brighter, and has a better color and appetite since he has
     been able to be out of doors so much. I do not suppose he
     will ever be able to walk again, but he does not fret about
     that, and is thankful for the blessings that are left to
     him. If you and Bessie could see how much he enjoys the
     chair, you would feel quite repaid for any pains you took
     to earn it for him. And now, my darling, I think I must put
     the rest of what I have to say, in your little sister's
     letter. Write to me soon again, and believe me

            "Your loving grandpapa,

                "CHARLES DUNCAN."

Just as mama was finishing this letter, the train came in sight, and
she said she must leave Bessie's letter till they were at home. In
a few minutes they saw their dear father coming towards them, and a
man following with his bag and a great basket. Then papa was in the
carriage, and such a hugging and kissing as he took and gave. Franky
came inside that he might have his share, too; and baby woke up,
good-natured as she always was, and smiled and crowed at her father
till he said he really thought she knew him, and was glad to see him.
Mamma was quite sure she did.

When they had all settled down once more, and papa had asked and
answered a good many questions, he said, "Maggie and Bessie, I met a
very curious old gentleman to-day; what strange question do you think
he asked me?"

The children were sure they did not know.

"He asked me if there were any little girls down this way who wrote
letters to old gentleman?"

Maggie and Bessie looked at each other, and Maggie shook her head very
knowingly; but they waited to hear what papa would say next.

"I told him I thought I knew of two such young damsels, and what do you
think he did then?"

"What?" asked both the little girls at once.

"He handed me these two parcels and told me if I could find any such
little letter-writers, to ask them if they would prove useful."

As Mr. Bradford spoke, he produced two parcels. Like the letters, they
were directed one to Miss Maggie Bradford, and the other to Miss Bessie
Bradford. They were quickly opened, and inside were two purple leather
writing cases, very small, but as Bessie said, "perfaly pretty." They
had steel corners and locks, and a plate with each little girl's name
engraved upon her own. In each were found a small inkstand, a pen, and
two pencils, two sticks of sealing wax, and best of all, tiny note
paper and envelopes stamped M. S. B., and B. R. B.

It would have done Grandpapa Duncan good to have seen his pets'
pleasure. Maggie fairly screamed with delight. "Oh, such paper, such
lovely stamped paper."

"And such _embelopes_," said Bessie, "with our own name letters on
them."

"I am going to write to every one I know in the world," cried Maggie.

"Mamma," said Bessie, when they had looked again and again at their
beautiful presents, "I do think God has made all my people the very
best people that ever lived. I don't think any little girls have such
people as mine."

"I suppose every other little girl thinks the same thing, Bessie."

"Mamma, how can they? they don't have you, nor papa, nor Maggie, nor
Grandpapa Duncan, nor grandmamma;" and Bessie went on naming all the
people whom she loved, and who loved her.

Papa asked if they had not each had a letter from Grandpapa Duncan. The
writing cases had almost made them forget the letters; but now they
showed them to papa, and he told Bessie he would read hers. He let her
open it herself, and taking her on his knee, read:

     "MY DEAR LITTLE BESSIE,--

     "Maggie will tell you how much I was pleased with the
     letter you both sent me, but I must thank you for your
     share in it. Your old grandpapa is very happy to know that
     his little pets think about him, and care for him when they
     are away. I am glad to hear that you are better, and hope
     you will come home with cheeks as red as Maggie's.

     "We are all well here except poor little Nellie, who is
     cutting some teeth which hurt her very much, and make her
     rather fretful. She has learned to say two or three words,
     and among them she makes a curious sound which her mamma
     declares to be a very plain grandpapa; as she looks at me
     every time she says it, I suppose I must believe it is so;
     but I must say it does not sound much like it to my ears.
     However, she loves her old grandpapa dearly, which is a
     great pleasure to me.

     "Your little dog Flossy is growing finely. He is very
     pretty and lively, and will make a fine playmate for you
     and Maggie when you come home. I went down to Donald's
     cottage the other day and found all four of the puppies
     playing before the door while Alice sat on the steps
     watching them. She says they are growing very mischievous
     and have already broken two or three of Donald's fine
     plants, so that when she lets them out for a play, she has
     to keep her eye on them all the time. Alice asked about you
     and Maggie, and I could not help wishing with her that you
     were there to see your little doggie. It will be pleasant
     to have you at Riverside again in the autumn. Send me
     another letter, if you wish to please

            "Your loving grandpapa,

                "CHARLES DUNCAN."



VII.

_A NEW FRIEND._


One morning Bessie was sitting on a large rock on the beach, looking at
the waves as they rolled up, one after another, and listening to the
pleasant sound they made. The other children and Jane were playing a
little way off.

Presently a lady and gentleman came walking slowly along the beach. The
gentleman used crutches, for he had only one foot. They stopped at the
rock where Bessie sat, and the lady said, "You had better sit down,
Horace, you have walked far enough."

The gentleman sat down beside Bessie, who looked at him for a minute
and then got up.

"I'll sit on that other stone," she said, "and then there'll be room
for the lady: that is big enough for me."

"Thank you, dear," said the lady; and the gentleman said, "Well, you
are a polite little girl."

Bessie liked his looks, but it made her sorry to see that he had only
one foot. She sat opposite to him looking at him very gravely; and he
looked back at her, but with a smile. Now that Bessie had given up her
seat to the strangers, she felt they were her company and she must
entertain them, so she began to talk.

"Is your foot pretty well, sir?" she said.

"Which foot?" asked the gentleman.

"The one that is cut off."

"How can it be pretty well if it is cut off?" he said; "you see it is
not here to feel pretty well."

"I mean the place where it was cut off," said Bessie.

"It pains me a good deal," he said. "I am a soldier, and my foot was
hurt in battle and had to be cut off, but I hope it will feel better
one of these days. I have come down here to see what the sea air will
do for me."

"Oh, then you'll feel better, soon," said Bessie. "I used to feel very
_misable_, but now I am most well."

"Why, is your foot cut off, too?" asked the gentleman.

"Oh, no; don't you see I have both my two?"

"So you have," said the gentleman, laughing as she held up two little
feet; "but there is not half as much in those two tiny feet, as there
is in my one big one."

"I had yather have two little ones than one big one," said Bessie.

"So would I, but you see I cannot choose, and all the sea air in the
world will not bring me back my other foot."

"Don't you like the sea, sir?" asked Bessie, "I do."

"Why do you like it so much?"

"Because I like to see the waves, and I think it sounds as if it was
saying something all the time."

"What does it seem to say?"

"I don't know, sir. I listen to it a great deal, and I can't find
out, but I like to hear it for all. I think it must be telling us to
yemember our Father in heaven who made it."

"What a strange child," the gentleman whispered to the lady; "who is
she like?"

"I do not know, but she is lovely;" said the lady; "I should like to
take her picture as she sits there."

"What is your name, fairy?" asked the gentleman.

"Bessie," said the little girl.

"Bessie what?"

"Bessie Bradford."

"Bessie Bradford! and what is your father's name?"

"His name is Bradford, too."

"But what is his first name?"

"Mr." said Bessie, gravely.

The gentleman laughed. "Has he no other names?"

"Oh, yes;" said Bessie, "all his names are Mr. Henry, Lane, Bradford."

"I thought so," said the gentleman, "she is the very image of Helen
Duncan. And where is your father, Bessie?"

"Up in the house, yeading to mamma," said Bessie, looking away from him
to the lady. She was very pretty and had a sweet smile. Bessie liked
her face very much and sat gazing at her as earnestly as she had before
done at the gentleman who presently said, "Well, what do you think of
this lady?"

"I think she is very pretty," said Bessie, turning her eyes back to him.

"So do I," said the gentleman, "do you think that I am very pretty,
too?"

"No," said Bessie.

"Then what do you think about me?"

"I think you are pretty 'quisitive," said the little girl, at which
both the lady and gentleman laughed heartily; but Bessie looked very
sober.

"Will you give me a kiss, little one?" asked the stranger.

"No," said Bessie, "I had yather not."

"Why, you are not afraid of me?"

"Oh, no!" said Bessie, "I am not afraid of soldiers; I like them."

"Then why won't you kiss me?"

"I don't kiss strangers, if they're gentlemen," said Bessie.

"And that is very prudent, too," said the soldier, who seemed very much
amused; "but then you see I am not quite a stranger."

"Oh, what a--I mean I think you are mistaken, sir," said Bessie.

"Don't tease her, dear," said the lady.

"But, little Bessie," said the gentleman, "do you call people strangers
who know a great deal about you?"

"No," said Bessie; "but you don't know anything about me."

"Yes, I do; in the first place I know that you are a very kind and
polite little girl who is ready to give up her place to a lame soldier.
Next, I know that your father's name is Mr. Henry, Lane, Bradford, and
that yours is Bessie Rush Bradford, and that you look very much like
your aunt, Helen Duncan. Then I know that you have a little sister,
whose name is--let me see, well, I think her name is Margaret, after
your mother; and you have two brothers, Harry and Fred. There is
another little one, but I have forgotten his name."

"Franky," said Bessie; "and we have baby, too."

"Ah, well, I have never made baby's acquaintance. And this is not your
home, but you live in New York, at No. 15 ---- street, where I have
spent many a pleasant hour. And more than all this, I know there is a
lady in Baltimore named Elizabeth Rush, who loves you very much, and
whom you love; and that a few days since you wrote a letter to her and
told her how sorry you were that her brother who was 'shooted' had had
his foot cut off."

While the gentleman was saying all this, Bessie had slipped off her
stone and come up to him, and now she was standing, with one little
hand on his knee, looking up eagerly into his face.

"Why, do you know the lady whom I call my Aunt Bessie?" she said.

"Indeed I do; and now if you are so sorry for Aunt Bessie's brother,
would you not like to do something to help him?"

"I can't," said Bessie; "I am too little."

"Yes, you can," said the colonel, "you can give me a kiss, and that
would help me a great deal."

"Why," said Bessie, again, "do you mean that you are Colonel Yush, dear
Aunt Bessie's brother?"

"To be sure I am," said the colonel; "and now are you going to give me
the kiss for her sake?"

"Yes, sir, and for your own sake, too."

"Capital, we are coming on famously, and shall soon be good friends at
this rate," said the colonel as he stooped and kissed the rosy little
mouth which Bessie held up to him.

"Will you tell me about it?" she said.

"About what?"

"About how you was in that country, called India, which papa says is
far away over the sea, and how the wicked heathen named, named--I can't
yemember."

"Sepoys?" said the colonel.

"Yes, Sepoys: how the Sepoys, who you thought were your friends, made a
great fight, and killed the soldiers and put the ladies and dear little
babies down a well. And how brave you was and how you was fighting and
fighting not to let the Sepoys hurt some poor sick soldiers in the
hospital; and the well soldiers wanted to yun away, but you wouldn't
let them, but made the Sepoys yun away instead, and went after them.
And then they came back with ever so many more to help them, and you
and your soldiers had to go away, but you took all the sick men with
you and did not let them be hurt. And you saw a soldier friend of yours
who was dying, and he asked you not to let the Sepoys find him, and
you put him on your horse and carried him away, and the Sepoys almost
caught you. And how the very next day there was a dreadful, dreadful
battle when more soldiers came, and your foot was shooted and your
side; and your foot had to be cut off in the hospital, and would not
get well for a long, long while. And how there was a lady that you
wanted for your wife, and you came to our country to get her--oh, I
guess that's the lady!" Bessie stopped as she looked at the pretty
lady, and the colonel smiled as he said,--

"You are right, Bessie; and what more?"

"And when you were coming in the ship, there was a little boy who fell
in the water and you forgot your lame foot and jumped in after him, and
your foot was hurt so much it had to be cut off some more. So please
tell me all about it, sir."

Bessie said all this just as fast as her little tongue would go, and
the colonel sat watching her with a very amused look on his face. "Upon
my word, you are well posted, little one. I do not know that I could
tell the story better myself; how did you learn so much?"

"Oh, Aunt Bessie put it in the letters she yote to mamma, and mamma
told us about it, and Harry yeads and yeads it; and Maggie made a nice
play about it. Harry gets on the yocking horse and plays he is Colonel
Yush, and Fred is the soldier that you helped."

"Very good," said the colonel, "and what are you and Maggie?"

"Oh! we are Harry's soldiers, I mean _your_ soldiers, and Franky is,
too; and we have the nursery chairs for horses, and our dolls for sick
soldiers, and we have the pillows for Sepoys, and we poke them; and
nurse don't like it, 'cause she says we make a yumpus and a muss in the
nursery."

"I should think so," said the colonel, laughing heartily.

"Will you tell me the story?" asked Bessie.

"I think I had better tell you another, since you know that so well,"
said Colonel Rush; "I will tell you one about a drummer boy."

But just as he began the story Bessie saw her father coming towards
them, and in another minute he and the colonel were shaking hands and
seeming so glad to see one another. Then Mr. Bradford turned and looked
at the pretty lady, and the colonel said, "Yes, this is the lady of
whom you have heard as Miss Monroe, now Mrs. Rush. She has taken charge
of what is left of me."

"Isn't she _perfaly_ lovely, papa?" asked Bessie, as Mr. Bradford took
off his hat and shook hands with the lady, and she saw a pretty pink
color come into her cheeks which made her look sweeter than ever. Papa
looked as if he quite agreed with his little daughter, but he only
smiled and said, "My Bessie speaks her mind on all occasions."

"So I see," said the colonel, looking very much pleased.

"Did I talk too much, sir?" asked Bessie, not knowing exactly whether
he meant to find fault with her, for she was sometimes told at home
that she talked too much.

"Not one word," he answered; "and I hope you will often come and see
me at my rooms in the hotel, and talk to me there. I am very fond of
little children."

"If mamma will let me," said Bessie; "but I can't come _very_ often,
'cause I don't want to be away from Maggie."

"Oh, Maggie must come, too," said the colonel.

"Maggie is shy," said Bessie.

"Well, you bring her to my room, and we will see if I have not
something there that will cure her shyness."

But papa called Maggie to come and see Colonel and Mrs. Rush, and when
she heard that this was the brave English soldier about whom she had
made the famous play, her shyness was forgotten at once, and she was
quite as ready to be friends as Bessie, though she had not much to say.

"You know, Bessie," she said afterwards, "we're so very acquainted with
him in our hearts, he is not quite a stranger."

The next morning, Mrs. Bradford went to the hotel to call on Mrs.
Rush, taking Maggie and Bessie with her; and from this time the little
girls and the colonel were the best friends possible, though Bessie
was his particular pet and plaything, and she always called him her
soldier. When he felt well enough, and the day was not too warm, he
would come out and sit on the beach for an hour or two. The moment he
came moving slowly along on his crutches, Bessie was sure to see him,
and no matter what she was doing, off she would run to meet him. As
long as he stayed she never left him, and her mother sometimes feared
that the colonel might grow tired of having such a little child so much
with him, but he told her it was a great pleasure to him; and indeed
it seemed to be so, for though there were a great many people at Quam
Beach who knew him and liked to talk to him, he never forgot the little
friend who sat so quietly at his side, and had every now and then a
word, or smile, or a touch of his hand for her.

Bessie had been taught that she must not interrupt when grown people
were speaking; so, though she was a little chatterbox when she had
leave to talk, she knew when it was polite and proper for her to be
quiet.

If the colonel could not come down to the shore, he was almost sure to
send for Maggie and Bessie to come to his room, until it came to be
quite a settled thing that they were to pass some time there every day
when he did not go out, and many a pleasant hour did they spend there.
He told them the most delightful and interesting stories of people and
things that he had seen while he was in India, being always careful not
to tell anything that might shock or grieve them, from the day that he
was speaking of the sad death of a little drummer boy, when, to his
great surprise and distress, both children broke into a violent fit
of crying, and it was some time before they could be pacified. Then
such toys as he carved out of wood! He made a little boat with masts
and sails for each of them, which they used to sail in the pools that
were left by the tide; and a beautiful set of jack-straws, containing
arrows, spears, swords, trumpets, and guns.

One day he asked Harry to bring him some sprigs from the spruce tree,
and the next time Maggie and Bessie came to see him, there was a tiny
set of furniture,--a sofa and half a dozen chairs to match, all made
of those very sprigs. He used to lie and carve, while Mrs. Rush was
reading to him; and sometimes he worked while the children were there,
and it was such a pleasure to watch him. Then he had some books with
fine pictures, and oh! wonder of wonders, and what the children liked
best of all, such a grand musical-box, they had never seen one like
it. Mamma had a small one which played three tunes, but it was a baby
musical-box to this, which was so very much larger, and played twenty.
They never tired of it, at least Bessie did not; and she would sit
looking into it and listening so earnestly that often she seemed to see
and hear nothing else around her. Maggie was fond of it, too, but she
could not keep quiet so long as Bessie, and often wanted to be off and
playing out of doors long before her sister was ready to go.

There were many days when the colonel was suffering too much pain to
talk or play with them, and they had to be very still if they went into
his room. Then Maggie never cared to stay very long, nor indeed did
the colonel care much to have her; for though she tried her best to be
gentle and quiet, those restless little hands and feet seemed as if
they must be moving; and she was almost sure to shake his sofa, or to
go running and jumping across the room, in a way that distressed him
very much, though her merry ways amused him when he was able to bear
them. Quiet little mouse of a Bessie went stealing about so softly that
she never disturbed the sick man; and so it came about that she spent
many an hour in his room without Maggie. Maggie never half enjoyed her
play, if her sister was not with her; but she was not selfish, and did
not complain if Bessie sometimes left her for a while.



VIII.

_BESSIE'S LITTLE SERMON._


One afternoon when the children had gone over to the hotel to see
grandmamma, a basket of fine fruit came, from Riverside. They had not
been to the colonel's room for two or three days, for he had been
suffering very much, and was not able to see any one. When the fruit
came grandmamma put some on a plate, and sent Bessie with it to the
colonel's door, but told her that she must not go in.

Bessie went to the door, and, putting her plate down on the hall floor,
knocked very gently. Mrs. Rush came and opened the door, and, taking
up her plate again, Bessie handed it to her, gave her grandmamma's
message, and was going away, when she heard the colonel's voice. "Is
that my pet?" he said.

"Yes, sir; and I love you very much, and I am so sorry for you; but
grandmamma said I must not come in."

"But I want to see you," said the colonel.

"You can come in, darling," said Mrs. Rush; "he is better this
afternoon, and would like to see you."

"But I better mind grandma first; bettern't I?" said Bessie. "I'll yun
and ask her, and if she'll let me, I can come back."

Mrs. Rush smiled, and said, "Very well;" and the obedient little girl
ran to ask her grandmamma's permission.

Grandmamma said, "Certainly, if the colonel wanted her."

"Didn't he invite me?" said Maggie, with rather a long face.

"No," said Bessie. "Would you yather I would not go? I'll stay with
you, if you want me."

"I guess you had better go, if he wants you," said Maggie; "but don't
stay very long, Bessie; it's very sorrowful without you."

"Poor Maggie," said Walter, who was standing by at the time; "it is
very cruel in the colonel not to ask you. Never mind, you shall come
and take care of me when I lose my foot."

"Oh, no, it's me you ought to call cruel," said Maggie, in a very
doleful voice; "you know I am such a fidget, Walter, and I can't help
it. The other day the colonel was so sick, and I meant to be so quiet,
and yet I did two shocking things."

"What did you do?" asked Walter.

"I knocked over a chair, and I slammed the door; and so mamma said I
must not go again till he was better."

"But what do you do without Bessie, when she goes?" said Walter; "I
thought you two could not live apart."

"We can't," said Maggie; "but then, you see, the colonel is a sick,
lame soldier, with a foot cut off and a hole in his side; so, if he
wants Bessie, I ought to make a sacrifice of myself and let her go."

The boys laughed; but Tom said, "That is right, little woman, do all
you can for the soldiers; they have sacrificed enough for us." And
Bessie kissed her sister and ran back to the colonel's room.

"Why, is he better?" she asked, as Mrs. Rush lifted her up to kiss him.
"I think he looks very worse. Oh, how big his eyes are!"

The colonel laughed. "I am like the wolf in Red Riding-Hood; am I not,
Bessie?" he said.

"No," she answered, "not a bit; you are just like my own dear soldier,
only I wish you did not look so white."

"I think he will look better to-morrow, Bessie," said Mrs. Rush. "He
has suffered terribly the last two days; but he is easier now, though
he is very tired and weak, so we must not talk much to him."

"I wont talk a word, only if he speaks to me," said Bessie; and she
brought a footstool and sat down by the side of the sofa. The colonel
held out his hand to her, and she put her own little one in it and
sat perfectly quiet. He lay looking at her, with a smile, for a few
minutes, but presently his eyes closed, and Bessie thought he was
asleep. He looked more ill when his eyes were shut than when they
were open; his face was so very, very pale, and his black hair and
beard made it look whiter still. Mrs. Rush sat by the sofa fanning her
husband, while the little girl watched him with earnest, loving eyes.

At last she whispered, "If he dies, he'll go to heaven, 'cause he's so
very brave and good; wont he?"

Mrs. Rush did not speak, but Bessie did not need any answer. She was
quite sure in her own mind; for she never imagined that this brave
soldier did not love his Saviour. "He could not be so brave and good if
he did not love Jesus very much," she said, looking up at Mrs. Rush.
She could not see the lady's face very plainly, for she was bending
it down almost close to the pillows. Bessie went on very softly and
gravely: "I suppose that's the yeason he's so patient too. Papa says
he never saw any one so patient; and I guess he's like lame Jemmy.
Jemmy said he couldn't help being patient when he thought how much his
Saviour suffered for him, and I guess the colonel is just like him;
and he was so brave in the battles, 'cause he knew Jesus loved him and
would take him to heaven if he was killed. He would have been afraid,
if he didn't know that. And I suppose when he was hurt in that battle
and lay on the ground all night, and his own soldiers didn't know where
he was, but thought the Sepoys had him, he thought about Jesus and his
Father in heaven all the time, and yemembered how Jesus died for him,
and kept saying his prayers to them; and so they took care of him, and
let his own soldiers come and find him. Oh, I know he must love Jesus
very much. And don't you think Jesus took such care of him so he could
love him more yet?" Mrs. Rush's face was quite down on her husband's
pillows now, and Bessie looked back at him. He had turned his head,
and she could not see his face either, but she felt the hand, in which
her own was lying, moving a little uneasily.

"I'm 'fraid I esturb him," she said; "I mustn't whisper any more."

She kissed his hand very gently, and laid her head on the sofa beside
it. The room was rather dark, and very still, and in a few moments
she was fast asleep. After a while the colonel turned his head again,
opened his eyes and looked at her. Then Mrs. Rush lifted up her face.

"Were you asleep, Horace?" she asked.

"No," he said, rather crossly, and moving his head impatiently; "I wish
you would take her away."

Mrs. Rush was glad that Bessie did not hear him; she knew that this
would have grieved her. She lifted the little darling in her arms, and
carried her across the floor to her grandmamma's room. Mrs. Stanton
herself opened the door; there was no one else in the room.

"This precious child is asleep," said Mrs. Rush, in a low voice. "Shall
I leave her with you?"

Mrs. Stanton asked her to lay Bessie on the bed. She did so, and then
bent over her for a moment, and when she raised her head, Mrs. Stanton
saw how very pale and sad her sweet face was.

"What is it, my child?" asked the kind old lady, taking her hand. Mrs.
Rush burst into tears.

"Is your husband worse? Do you think him in danger?"

"Not for this life, but for that which is to come," sobbed Mrs. Rush,
laying her head on Mrs. Stanton's shoulder.

"My poor child! and is it so?" said grandmamma.

"Yes, yes, and he will not hear a word on the subject; he has forbidden
me to mention it to him. And if he would let me, I do not know how to
teach him. I am only a beginner myself. These things are all so new
to me; for it was not until I feared that I was to lose him that I
felt my own need of more than human strength to uphold me. Bessie, dear
little unconscious preacher, has just said more in his hearing than he
has allowed me to say for months. God, in his mercy, grant that her
innocent words may touch his heart. Dear Mrs. Stanton, pray for him and
for me."

Mrs. Stanton tried to comfort her, and then the old lady and the young
one knelt down together, while little Bessie slept on, knowing nothing
of the hopes and fears and sorrows of those who prayed beside her.



IX.

_FAITH._


"Nursey," said Bessie, the next morning, as nurse was putting on her
shoes and stockings, after giving her her bath, "I can't think how it
is."

"How what is, dear?"

"About the Trinity."

"Well!" said nurse. "The Trinity! and what put that into your head?"

"It's not in my head," said Bessie; "I can't get it there. I try and
try to think how it can be, and I can't. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
three Persons and one God," she repeated, slowly; "how can it be,
nursey? I know the Father means our Father in heaven, and the Son means
Jesus, and the Holy Ghost means Heavenly Spirit; but there's only one
God, and I don't understand."

"And wiser heads than yours can't understand it, my lamb," said
nurse; "don't bother your little brains about that. It's just one
of those things we must take upon faith; we must believe it without
understanding it. Don't you think about it any more till you are older."

But Bessie did think about it; and her thoughtful little face looked
more grave and earnest than usual all that day. Mamma wondered what she
was considering, but said nothing, for she was sure that Bessie would
soon come to her if she was in any difficulty.

"What are you thinking about, Bessie?" asked the colonel that
afternoon, when she was in his room. He was much better, and was
sitting up in his easy-chair.

"What is faith?" asked Bessie, answering his question by another, and
turning her great serious, brown eyes on his face. The colonel looked
surprised.

"Faith?" he said. "Why, to have faith in a person is to believe in him
and trust in him."

Bessie did not look satisfied.

"When you first went in bathing," said the colonel, "did you not feel
afraid?"

"No, sir," answered Bessie.

"Why not? Did you not fear that those great waves would wash you away
and drown you?"

"No, sir; before I went in, I thought I would be very 'fraid; but papa
said he would carry me in his arms, and wouldn't let me be drownded."

"And did you believe him?"

"Why, yes," answered Bessie, opening her eyes very wide at this
question; "my father don't tell stories."

"And you were not afraid when he carried you in his arms?"

"No, sir."

"That was faith,--faith in your father. You believed what he told you,
and trusted in his care."

Bessie still looked puzzled.

"Well," said the colonel, "don't you understand yet?"

"I don't know how it is about things," said the little girl.

"What things?"

"Things that I don't know how they can be."

"Do you mean, Bessie," said Mrs. Rush, "that you do not know how to
have faith in what you do not understand?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"See here, little old head on young shoulders," said the colonel,
drawing Bessie closer to him, and seeming much amused, "when I told you
that this box would make sweet music, did you believe me?"

"Yes, sir."

"Did you understand how it could?"

"No, sir."

"Do you know what this paper-knife is made of?"

"No, sir."

"It is made of the shell of a fish; do you believe it?"

"Why, yes," answered Bessie.

"But you did not see it made; how can you believe it?"

"'Cause you tell me so."

"Well, then, that is faith; you believe what I say, even when you
cannot understand how it is, because you trust me, or have faith in me,
for you know I never tell you anything that is not true. If I sometimes
told you what is false, you could not have faith in me; could you?"

"No," said the little girl, "but you never would tell me _falses_."

"Indeed, I would not, my pet," he said, smiling, and twisting one of
her curls over his finger.

She stood for a few minutes, as if thinking over what he had told her,
and then, her whole face lighting up, she said, "Oh, yes, I know now! I
believe what papa tells me when he says he'll take care of me, 'cause
he always tells me true, and I know he can do it; and that's faith; and
I believe what you tell me, 'cause you tell me true; and that's faith;
and we believe what God tells us, even if we can't understand how it
can be, 'cause he tells us what is true; and that's faith. Now I know
what nursey meant."

"What did nurse say, dear?" asked Mrs. Rush.

"She said we must have faith about three Persons in one God, and
believe what we could not understand; but I think I do understand about
that too. I thinked about it when I was sitting on the yocks this
morning, and I am going to ask mamma if it is yight."

"And what do you think about it, Bessie?"

"Why," said Bessie, holding up her little finger, "don't you know
I have a silver three cent piece? Well, there's three pennies in
it--mamma said so,--but it's only one piece of money, and I suppose
it's somehow that way about three Persons in one God,--Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost,--three Persons in one God."[A]

If the colonel had looked surprised before, he looked still more so
now, while Mrs. Rush laid down her work and gazed at the child.

"Who told you that, Bessie?" she asked.

"Oh, nobody," said Bessie, innocently; "I just thinked it; maybe it is
not yight. I couldn't ask mamma about it all day, 'cause she was busy,
or some one came to see her; and I don't like to ask her things when
somebody is there."

Mrs. Rush looked out of the window by which she sat, and seemed to be
watching the sea; and Bessie stood, softly patting the colonel's knee
with her hand, while for a moment or two no one spoke. Suddenly Bessie
looked up in the colonel's face.

"Colonel Yush," she said, "don't you have a great deal of faith?"

"In some people, Bessie," he answered. "I have a great deal of faith in
my little wife, and a great deal in my pet Bessie, and some few others."

"Oh, I mean in our Father," she said. "I should think you'd have more
faith than 'most anybody, 'cause he took such good care of you in the
battles."

"What?" said the colonel, "when my leg was shot off?"

Bessie did not know whether he was in earnest or not, but she did not
think it was a thing to joke about, and he did not look very well
pleased, though he laughed a little when he spoke.

"Oh, don't make fun about it," she said, "I don't think He would like
it. He could have let you be killed if He chose, but He didn't; and
then He took such care of you all that night, and let your men come
and find you. Don't you think He did it 'cause He wanted you to love
Him more than you did before? Oh, I know you must have a great deal of
faith! Didn't you keep thinking of Jesus all that night, and how he
died for you so his Father could forgive your sins, and take you to
heaven if you died?"

"I was very thankful when I heard my men coming, Bessie; but I was too
weak to think much," said the colonel. "Come, let us wind the box and
have some music; hand me that key."

"But you think a great deal about it when you don't feel so bad; don't
you?" persisted the child, as she gave him the key of the musical box.

"Pshaw!" said the colonel, throwing it down again on the table; "what
absurdity it is to fill a child's head--"

"Horace!" said Mrs. Rush, in a quick, startled voice.

The colonel stopped short, then taking up the paper-cutter, began
tapping the table in a very impatient manner. "I am sick of the whole
thing," he said; "there seems to be no end to it. Wife, sister, and
friend, from the parson to the baby, every one has something to say on
the same subject. I tell you I will have no more of it from any one.
I should have supposed I would have been safe there. And my own words
turned into a handle against me too." And he looked at Bessie, who
had drawn a little away from him and stood gazing at him with fear and
wonder in her large eyes. She had never seen him angry before, and she
could not think what had made him so now.

"Am I naughty?" she asked.

"No, darling," said Mrs. Rush, holding out her hand.

Bessie ran over to her. Mrs. Rush lifted her up in her lap.

"Did I talk too much?" asked Bessie. "I did not mean to tease him."

"See that steamship coming in, Bessie," said Mrs. Rush, in a voice that
shook a little. "I think it must be the 'Africa,' which is to bring
Gracie Howard's father. Will she not be glad to see him?"

"Yes," said Bessie; but she did not look at the steamer, but watched
the colonel, who still seemed vexed, and kept up his tattoo with the
paper-cutter.

Nobody spoke again for a few moments, and Bessie grew more and more
uncomfortable. Presently she gave a long sigh, and leaned her cheek on
her hand.

"Are you tired, dear?" asked Mrs. Rush.

"No," said Bessie, "but I'm so uncomf'able. I think I had yather go to
mamma in grandmamma's yoom."

Mrs. Rush put her down, and was leading her away, but when they reached
the door, Bessie drew her hand from hers and ran back to the colonel.
"I am sorry I teased you," she said. "I didn't know you didn't like
people to talk about that night; I'll never do it any more again."

The colonel threw down the paper-cutter, and catching her in his arms,
kissed her heartily two or three times. "You do not tease me, my pet,"
he said; "you did not know how cross your old soldier could be; did
you?"

"You was not so very cross," she said, patting his cheek lovingly with
her little hand. "Sick, lame people can't be patient all the time, and
I do talk too much sometimes; mamma says I do. Next time I come, I'll
be so quiet." Then she ran back to Mrs. Rush, who took her to her
grandmamma's room and left her at the door.

Bessie went to mamma, and tried to climb upon her lap. Mrs. Bradford
lifted her up, but she was talking to her mother, and did not notice
her little girl's troubled face till Mrs. Stanton signed to her to look
at Bessie. Then she asked, "What is it, dearest?"

"I don't know, mamma," said Bessie.

"Has something troubled you?" asked mamma.

"Yes," said Bessie; "I teased the colonel."

"Oh!" said Maggie, "did you slam the door?"

"No, I talked about what he didn't like," said Bessie, with a quivering
lip; "I talked about that night, and it teased him. I didn't know he
didn't like to hear about it, mamma. I s'pose it's because he suffered
so much he don't like to think of it."

Mamma had no need to ask what night she meant; ever since Bessie
had heard of the terrible night when the colonel had lain upon the
battle-field, faint and almost dying from his dreadful wounds, thinking
that he should never see his home and friends again, the story had
seemed to be constantly in her mind; and she spoke of it so often that
her mother knew quite well what she meant. "What did you say about it,
dear?" she asked.

Bessie could not remember all, but she told enough to let her mother
see what had displeased the colonel. But Mrs. Bradford did not tell her
little girl, for she knew it would distress her very much to know that
the brave soldier of whom she was so fond did not like to be reminded,
even by a little child, of his debts and duty to the merciful Father
who had kept him through so many dangers and who had sent his dear Son
to die for him.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote A: The above train of reasoning was actually carried out by a
child of five years.]



X.

_THE SICK BABY._


One night the dear little baby was very sick. Bessie woke many times,
and as often as she did so, she found that nurse had not come to bed,
and when she looked through the open door which led into her mother's
room, she saw either her father or mother walking up and down with the
baby, trying to hush her pitiful cries and moans. In the morning the
doctor was sent for, and grandmamma came over to the cottage and stayed
all day; but the baby grew worse and worse. In the afternoon Maggie
and Bessie went into their mamma's room and stood by her side looking
at their little sister, who was lying on her lap. The baby seemed very
restless, and was moaning and throwing its arms about; suddenly it
threw back its head with a very strange look on its face, and clinched
its tiny hands. Mamma caught it in her arms, and she and grandmamma
called for nurse to bring warm water. Mrs. Jones came with it in a
minute, saying, "I had it all ready, for I thought it would be wanted."
Maggie ran away; she could not bear to see baby look and act so
strangely; but Bessie stayed till grandmamma sent her out of the room.
In a short time, Jane came to take the little girls to the beach. They
did not want to go, and begged her to let them stay at home; but she
said she could not keep Franky in the house all the afternoon, and she
thought their mamma would wish them to go out as usual; so they said no
more, and went with her, like the obedient children they were.

They found Colonel and Mrs. Rush down on the beach. Mrs. Rush talked to
Jane a little, and then said she would go up and see baby. She left the
little girls with the colonel, and he tried to amuse them; but although
he told them a very interesting story, they did not care about it half
as much as usual.

Mrs. Rush stayed a good while, and came back with a very grave face,
and when her husband asked, "How is the child?" she looked at him
without speaking; but Maggie and Bessie knew by this that the baby was
worse. Then Mrs. Rush asked them if they did not want to go to the
hotel and have tea with her and the colonel, but they said "No," they
wanted to go home.

When they went back to the house, Jane left the little girls sitting
on the door-step, while she took Franky in to give him his supper. It
was a very quiet, lovely evening. The sun had gone down, but it was
not dark yet. The sky was very blue, and a few soft gray clouds, with
pink edges, were floating over it. Down on the beach they could see
the people walking and driving about; but not a sound was to be heard
except the cool, pleasant dash of the waves, and Farmer Jones' low
whistle as he sat on the horse-block with Susie on his knee. Susie
sucked her fat thumb, and stared at the children. They sat there
without speaking, with their arms round each other's waists, wishing
they knew about the baby. Presently Mrs. Jones came down stairs and
called out over the children's heads, "Sam'l." Mr. Jones got up off the
horse-block and came towards them. "Here," said Mrs. Jones, handing
him a paper, "they want you to go right off to the station and send
up a telegraph for the city doctor. Here it is; Mr. Bradford writ it
himself, and he says you're to lose no time. 'Taint a mite of use
though, and it's just a senseless wastin' of your time."

"Not if they want it done," said Jones. "Why, Susan, s'pose everybody
hadn't done everything they could when we thought this one was going
to be took, wouldn't we have thought they was hard-hearted creeturs? I
aint done thanking the Almighty yet for leaving her to us, and I aint
the man to refuse nothing to them as is in like trouble,--not if it was
to ride all the way to York with the telegram."

"I'm sure I don't want you to refuse 'em," said Mrs. Jones,--"one can't
say no to them as has a dyin' child; but I do say it's no use. It will
all be over long before the doctor comes; all the doctors in York can't
save that poor little lamb. Anyhow, if I was Miss Bradford, I wouldn't
take on so; she's got plenty left."

"I'll do my part, anyhow," said the farmer, as he handed Susie to her
mother, and then hurried off to saddle his horse and ride away to the
station as fast as possible, while Mrs. Jones carried Susie off to the
kitchen.

"Maggie," whispered Bessie, "what does she mean?"

"The bad, hateful thing!" answered Maggie, with a sudden burst of
crying; "she means our baby is going to die. She wouldn't like any one
to say that of her Susie, and I don't believe it a bit. Bessie, I can't
bear her if she does make us cookies and turnovers. I like Mr. Jones a
great deal better, and I wish he didn't have Mrs. Jones at all. Mamma
wont have plenty left if our baby dies; six isn't a bit too many, and
she can't spare one of us, I know."

"But perhaps Jesus wants another little angel up in heaven," said
Bessie, "and so he's going to take our baby."

"Well, I wish he would take somebody else's baby," said Maggie.
"There's Mrs. Martin, she has thirteen children, and I should think she
could spare one very well; and there's a whole lot of little babies at
the Orphan Asylum, that haven't any fathers and mothers to be sorry
about them."

"Perhaps he thinks our baby is the sweetest," said Bessie.

"I know she is the sweetest," said Maggie, "but that's all the more
reason we want her ourselves. She is so little and so cunning; I think
she grows cunninger and cunninger every day. Day before yesterday she
laughed out loud when I was playing with her, and put her dear little
hands in my curls and pulled them, and I didn't mind it so very much if
she did pull so hard I had to squeal a little; and oh! I'd let her do
it again, if she would only get well. Don't you think, Bessie, if we
say a prayer, and ask Jesus to let us keep her, he will?"

"I think he will," said Bessie; "we'll try."

"Let us go into the sitting-room," said Maggie, "there is no one there."

"Oh! let us stay out here," answered Bessie, "there's such a beautiful
sky up there. Perhaps Jesus is just there looking at us, and maybe he
could hear us a little sooner out here. Nobody will see us."

They knelt down together by the seat on the porch. "You say it,
Bessie," said Maggie, who was still sobbing very hard. She laid her
head down on the bench, and Bessie put her hands together, and with
the tears running over her cheeks said, "Dear Jesus, please don't take
our darling little baby to be an angel just yet, if you can spare her.
She is so little and so sweet, and poor mamma will feel so sorry if
she goes away, and we will, too, and we want her so much. Please, dear
Jesus, let us keep her, and take some poor little baby that don't have
any one to love it, Amen."

They sat down again on the door-step till Harry and Fred came in.

"How is baby?" asked Harry.

"We don't know," said Maggie; "nobody came down this ever so long."

"Go up and see, Midget."

"Oh! I can't, Harry," said Maggie. "I don't want to see that strange
look on baby's face."

"Then you go, Bessie," said Harry; "my shoes make such a noise, and you
move just like a little mouse. You wont disturb them."

Bessie went up stairs and peeped in at the door of her mother's room.
There was no one there but papa and mamma and the baby. Papa was
walking up and down the room with his arms folded, looking very sad and
anxious, and mamma sat on a low chair with baby on her lap. The little
thing lay quiet now, with its eyes shut and its face so very, very
white. Mamma was almost as pale, and she did not move her eyes from
baby's face even when Bessie came softly up and stood beside her.

Bessie looked at her baby sister and then at her mother. Mamma's face
troubled her even more than the baby's did, and she felt as it she must
do something to comfort her. She laid her hand gently on her mother's
shoulder, and said, "Dear mamma, don't you want to have a little angel
of your own in heaven?" Mamma gave a start and put her arm farther
over the baby, as if she thought something was going to hurt it. Papa
stopped his walk and Bessie went on,--

"Maggie and I asked Jesus to spare her to us, if he could; but if he
wants her for himself, we ought not to mind very much; ought we? And
if you feel so bad about it 'cause she's so little and can't walk or
speak, I'll ask him to take me too, and then I can tell the big angels
just how you took care of her, and I'll help them. And then when you
come to heaven, you will have two little angels of your own waiting for
you. And we'll always be listening near the gate for you, dear mamma,
so that when you knock and call us, we'll be yeady to open it for you;
and if we don't come yight away, don't be frightened, but knock again,
for we'll only be a little way off, and we'll come just as fast as I
can bring baby; and she'll know you, for I'll never let her forget you.
And while you stay here, dear mamma, wont it make you very happy to
think you have two little children angels of your own, waiting for you
and loving you all the time?"[B]

Mamma had turned her eyes from the baby's face, and was watching her
darling Bessie as she stood there talking so earnestly yet so softly;
and now she put her arm around her and kissed her, while the tears ran
fast from her eyes and wet Bessie's cheeks.

"Please don't cry, mamma," said the little girl; "I did not mean to
make you cry. Shall I ask Jesus to take me, too, if he takes the baby?"


"No, no, my darling, ask him to leave you, that you may be your
mother's little comforter, and pray that he may spare your sister too."

"And if he cannot, mamma?"

"Then that he may teach us to say, 'Thy will be done,'" said her
father, coming close to them and laying his hand on Bessie's head. "He
knows what is best for us and for baby."

"Yes," said Bessie, "and I suppose if he takes her, he will carry her
in his arms just as he is carrying the lambs in the picture of the Good
Shepherd in our nursery. We need not be afraid he wont take good care
of her; need we, mamma?"

"No, darling," said Mrs. Bradford, "we need not fear to give her to his
care, and my Bessie has taught her mother a lesson."

"Did I, mamma?" said the little girl, wondering what her mother meant;
but before she could answer, grandmamma came in with the country
doctor.

Mr. Bradford took Bessie in his arms, and after holding her down to her
mother for another kiss, carried her from the room. When he had her out
in the entry, he kissed her himself many times, and whispered, as if he
was speaking to himself, "God bless and keep my angel child."

"Yes, papa," said Bessie, thinking he meant the baby, "and Maggie and I
will say another prayer about her to-night; and I keep thinking little
prayers about her all the time, and that's just the same, papa; isn't
it?"

"Yes, my darling," said her father; and then he put her down and stood
and watched her as she went down stairs.

It was not the will of our Father in heaven that the dear little baby
should die. Late in the night the doctor came from New York, and God
heard the prayers of the baby's father and mother and little sisters,
and blessed the means that were used to make it well; and before the
morning it was better, and fell into a sweet, quiet sleep.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote B: Almost the exact words of a very lovely child of a friend
of the writer.]



XI.

_THE HAPPY CIRCUMSTANCE._


The next morning, when Bessie woke up, it was very quiet in the
nursery. She lay still a moment, wondering what it was that had
troubled her last night; and just as she remembered about the baby,
she heard a little discontented sound at her side. She turned her
head and looked around, and there sat Maggie on the floor beside the
trundle-bed, with one sock and one shoe on, and the other shoe in her
hand. She looked rather cross.

"Maggie," said Bessie, "has the baby gone to heaven?"

"No," said Maggie, "and I don't believe she's going just yet. Our own
doctor came in the night, and she's a great deal better; and now she's
fast asleep."

"And don't you feel glad then?"

"Oh, yes! I am real glad of _that_," said Maggie.

"Then why don't you look glad? What is the matter?"

"I can't find my clo'," said Maggie, in a fretful tone.

"What clo'?"

"Why, my sock."

"Why don't nurse or Jane find it for you?" asked Bessie.

"I can't wait," said Maggie; "I want it now; nurse is holding baby
because mamma has gone to sleep too, and Jane has taken Franky to
Harry's room to dress him, because she was afraid he would make a
noise; and she said if I put on my shoes and socks, and all the rest of
my under-clo's before she came back, I might put on yours, if you waked
up. And that's a great 'sponsibility, Bessie; and I want to do it, and
now I can't."

"Look some more," said Bessie, who was very well pleased at the thought
of having her sister dress her.

"I have looked all over," said Maggie. "I just expect a robber came in
the night and stole it."

"Why, it would not fit him!" said Bessie.

"Well, I guess he has a bad little robber girl of his own that he has
taken it to," said Maggie. "Anyhow, she'll be bare one foot, and I'm
glad of it."

Bessie sat up in the bed and looked around the room. "I see a pair of
clean socks over there on your petticoats," she said.

"So there is," said Maggie; and quite good-natured again, she began to
dress as fast as she could.

"Maggie," said Bessie, as she lay down again to wait till her sister
was ready, "what was the name of that word you said?"

"What,--'sponsibility?"

"Yes, that's it; say it again."

"Spons-er-bil-er-ty," said Maggie, slowly.

"Oh!" said Bessie, with a long breath, as if that word was almost too
much for her, "what does it mean?"

"It means something to do or to take care of."

"Then when mamma put baby on the bed the other day, and told me to take
care of her, was that a great spons-er-bil-er-ty?"

"Yes," said Maggie.

"It's a nice word; isn't it, Maggie?"

"Yes, but it is not so nice as happy circumstance."

"Oh, that is very nice? What does that mean, Maggie?"

"It means something very nice and pleasant. I'm going to say happy
circumstance to some one to-day, if I get a chance."

"Whom are you going to say it to?"

"I don't know yet; but I shall not say it to the boys, for they laugh
at us when we say grown-up words. You may say it, Bessie, if you want
to."

"Oh, no," said Bessie, "I would not say your new words before you say
them yourself; that would not be fair, and I would not do it for a
hundred dollars."

"Well," said Maggie, "I would not let any one else do it, but you may
say any of my words you want to, Bessie."

While they were talking away, Maggie was putting on her clothes, and
then Bessie got up; and by the time Jane came back, Maggie had nearly
dressed her sister too. Jane called Maggie a good, helpful little girl,
which pleased her very much, for she liked praise.

After breakfast, as the children were standing on the porch waiting for
Jane to take them for their walk, Harry came along and told them, if
they would come out to the barn, he would give them a swing. They never
said no to the offer of a swing, and, much pleased, followed him to the
barn, where they found Mr. Jones sitting outside of the door mending
his nets. He took down the swing for them, lifted Bessie in, and then
went back to his work. Maggie had said that Bessie should take her turn
first, and that, while Harry was swinging her, she would go out and
talk to Mr. Jones. They were very good friends now, and Maggie was not
at all afraid of him, but sat watching him with great interest as he
filled up the broken places in his nets.

"Well, and so the little sister is better this morning?" said Mr. Jones.

"Yes," said Maggie; "and we are very much obliged to you, Mr. Jones."

"What for?" asked Jones.

"Because you went so quick to send for our own doctor."

"Deary me, that wasn't nothing," said Mr. Jones. "I'd ha' been a
heathen if I hadn't."

Maggie stood silent for a few moments, watching him, and then said,
slowly, but very earnestly, "Mr. Jones, do you think Mrs. Jones is a
very happy circumstance?"

Mr. Jones looked at her for a moment as if he did not quite understand
her, and then he smiled as he said, "Well, yes, I reckon I do; don't
you?"

"No, I _don't_," said Maggie. "What did make you marry her, Mr. Jones?"

"Because I thought she would make me a good wife."

[Illustration: Bessie at Sea Side. p. 152.]

"And does she?"

"First-rate; don't you think she does?"

"I don't know," said Maggie, "I don't like her very much; I like you a
great deal better than I do her; I think you are a very nice man, Mr.
Jones."

"I guess I'm about of the same opinion about you," said Mr. Jones; "but
what is the reason you don't like Mrs. Jones?"

"Oh," said Maggie, "because she--she--does things. She makes me just as
mad as a hop."

"What things?"

"She goes and has trundle-beds," said Maggie.

Mr. Jones laughed out now as he said, "Oh, you haven't got over that
trouble yet, eh? Well, what else does she do?"

"She said we could spare our baby, and we couldn't," said Maggie,
angrily; "and she didn't want you to go send the message for our own
doctor. I think she ought to be ashamed."

"She didn't mean it," said Mr. Jones, coaxingly.

"People ought not to say things they don't mean," said Maggie.

"No more they oughtn't, but yet you see they do sometimes."

"And she said mamma took on," said Maggie, "and mamma would not do such
a thing; mamma is a lady, and ladies do not take on."

This seemed to amuse Mr. Jones more than anything else, and he laughed
so loud and so long that Mrs. Jones came out to the kitchen door.
"Sam'l," she called, "what are you making all that noise about?"

"Oh, don't tell her!" said Maggie; while Mr. Jones laughed harder than
ever, and she saw that Mrs. Jones was coming towards them.

"Don't you be afraid," said Mr. Jones, "I aint goin' to tell her."

"Now aint you just ashamed of yourself, Sam'l," said Mrs. Jones as she
came up, "to be making all that hee-hawing, and poor Miss Bradford and
that little sick lamb lying asleep? Do you want to wake 'em up? Is he
laughing at you, Maggie?"

Maggie hung her head, and looked as if she would like to run away.

"I s'pose he's just tickled to death about some of your long words,
that he thinks so funny," said Mrs. Jones. "It does not take much to
set him going. Never you mind him, come along with me to the kitchen,
and see the nice ginger cakes I am makin' for your supper. I'll make
you and Bessie a gingerbread man apiece. Such good children you was
yesterday, keeping so quiet when the baby was sick, and trying to help
yourselves when your poor 'ma and your nurse was busy. If it had been
them young ones that was here last summer, they'd have kept the house
in a riot from night till morning when they was left to themselves.
Jane was tellin' me how nicely you dressed yourself and Bessie this
morning. Now, Sam'l, you stop bein' such a goose."

Poor Maggie did not know which way to look. Here was Mrs. Jones, whom
she had just been saying she did not like, praising and petting her and
promising gingerbread men; and oh, Mr. Jones was laughing so! He was
not laughing out loud now, but he was shaking all over, and when Maggie
peeped at him from under her eyelashes, he twinkled his eyes at her,
as much as to say, "Now, what do you think of her?" Right glad was she
when Harry called her to take her turn at the swing, and she could run
away out of sight of Mr. and Mrs. Jones.

In a few days the dear baby was quite well and bright again, while her
little sisters thought they loved her more than ever, now that she had
been spared to them when they had so much feared they were to lose her.



XII.

_MISS ADAMS._


Among the many pleasures which Maggie and Bessie Bradford enjoyed at
Quam Beach, there was none which they liked much better than going over
to the hotel to see the dear friends who were staying there. Sometimes
it was to stay a while with grandmamma and Aunt Annie; perhaps to take
a meal with them at the long hotel table; to hear grandmamma's stories,
or to have a frolic with Aunt Annie and their little playmates. Aunt
Annie was a young girl herself, merry and full of mischief, and liked
play almost as well as Maggie. Then there were those delightful visits
to Colonel and Mrs. Rush, which the colonel said he enjoyed more than
they did; but they thought that could not be possible. They knew a good
many of the other people, too, and almost every one was pleased to see
the two well-behaved, ladylike little girls.

But there was staying at the hotel a lady who used to amaze Maggie
and Bessie very much. Her name was Miss Adams. She was very tall and
rather handsome, with bright, flashing black eyes, a beautiful color in
her cheeks, and very white teeth. But she had a loud, rough voice and
laugh, and a rude, wild manner, which was more like that of a coarse
man than a young lady. Then she talked very strangely, using a great
many words which are called "slang," and which are not nice for any
one to use, least of all for a lady. Maggie ran away whenever she came
near; but Bessie would stand and watch her with a grave, disapproving
air, which was very amusing to those who saw it.

Miss Adams generally had a number of gentlemen around her, with whom
she was very familiar, calling them by their names without any "Mr.,"
slapping them on the shoulder, laughing and talking at the top of her
voice, and altogether behaving in a very unladylike way. But Bessie
thought it very strange that sometimes, when Miss Adams had been acting
in this rough, noisy manner, after she went away, the gentlemen would
shrug their shoulders, and laugh and talk among themselves, as if they
were making unkind remarks about her. She thought they could not like
her very much, after all, when they did so.

One evening Harry came home from the hotel in a state of great
indignation. Miss Adams had a beautiful dog named Carlo. He was a
water spaniel, and was a great favorite with all the boys, who often
coaxed him to the shore, where they could play with him. Miss Adams was
generally willing enough to have him go; but that afternoon, when she
was going out in her pony carriage, she wanted him to go with her, and
he was not to be found. Something had happened before to put her out,
and she was very angry at Carlo's absence. She had gone but a little
way, when it began to rain, and she had to turn back. This vexed her
still more; and just as she jumped from her carriage, Carlo ran up.

"So, sir," she said, with an angry frown, "I'll teach you to run away
without leave!" and taking the poor dog by the back of the neck, she
thrashed him with the horse-whip she held in her other hand. Carlo
whined and howled, and looked up in her face with pitiful eyes; but she
only whipped him the harder. The ladies turned pale and walked away,
and the gentlemen begged her to stop, but all in vain; she kept on
until her arm was quite tired, and then the poor dog crept away shaking
and trembling all over. The boys were furious, and Maggie and Bessie
were very much distressed when they heard the story, and disliked Miss
Adams more than ever.

When the baby was quite well again, Mr. and Mrs. Bradford took a drive
of some miles, to spend the day with an old friend. They took only
baby and nurse with them, and Maggie and Bessie went up to the hotel
to stay with their grandmamma. It was a very warm day, and grandmamma
called them indoors earlier than usual. But they did not care much, for
Aunt Annie was a capital playmate, and she amused them for a long time.

But just as she was in the midst of a most interesting story, some
ladies came to make a visit to grandmamma. One of the ladies was old
and rather cross, and she did not like children, and Aunt Annie thought
that it would not be very pleasant for her little nieces to be in the
room while she was there. So she gave them a pack of picture cards and
a basket of shells, and said they might go and play with them on one of
the long settees which stood on the piazza.

There were only one or two people on the piazza, and the children
spread out their shells and pictures, and were very busy and happy for
some time. They heard Miss Adams' loud voice in the hall, but did not
pay any attention to her.

Presently she came out on the piazza, followed by three or four
gentlemen, and looked around for a shady place. She saw none that she
liked as well as that where Maggie and Bessie were playing, and coming
up to them, she sat down on the other end of the bench. The gentlemen
stood around.

"Here, Thorn," said Miss Adams, "sit down here;" and she moved nearer
to Bessie, sweeping down some of the shells and pictures with her
skirts. Mr. Thorn obeyed, and Maggie whispered to Bessie, "Let's go
away." Bessie said, "Yes;" and they began to gather up their treasures,
Maggie stooping to pick up those which Miss Adams had thrown down.
Presently Bessie felt a pretty hard pull at one of her long curls. She
was sure it was Miss Adams, although she did not see her; but she said
nothing, only shook back her hair, and put on the look she always did
when Miss Adams was doing anything of which she did not approve.

There came another pull, this time a little harder. "Don't," said
Bessie.

A third pull, just as Maggie raised her head and saw Miss Adams' hand
at Bessie's hair.

"Don't!" said Bessie again, in a louder and more impatient tone.

"Come now, Lovatt," said Miss Adams, "are you not ashamed to be pulling
a young lady's hair?"

"Oh!" said Maggie, astonished out of her shyness, "you did it yourself!
I saw you."

Miss Adams shook her fist at Maggie, and then gave a longer and harder
pull at Bessie's hair.

"When I tell you _to don't_, why _don't_ you don't?" said Bessie,
furiously, stamping her foot, and turning to Miss Adams, her face
crimson with anger.

Miss Adams and the gentlemen set up a shout of laughter, and Mr.
Lovatt, who was standing just behind Bessie, caught her up in his arms
and held her high in the air.

Now Bessie disliked Mr. Lovatt almost as much as she did Miss Adams. He
was a great tease, and was always running after her and trying to kiss
her. He had never done it yet, for she had always managed to run away
from him, or some of her friends had interfered to save her from being
annoyed.

"Put me down!" she said.

"Not until you have given me three kisses," said Mr. Lovatt. "I have
you now, and you cannot help yourself."

"Put me down!" screamed Bessie, furious with passion.

"For shame, Lovatt!" said Mr. Thorn, and Mr. Lovatt looked for a moment
as if he was going to put Bessie down; but Miss Adams laughed and
said,--

"You are not going to let that little mite get the better of you?
_Make_ her kiss you. Such airs!"

Mr. Lovatt lowered the struggling child a little, but still held her
fast in his arms, while Maggie ran off to call her grandmamma.

"Kiss me, and I'll let you go," said Mr. Lovatt.

"I wont, I wont!" shrieked Bessie. "I'll tell my papa."

"Your papa is far away," said Miss Adams.

"I'll tell Colonel Yush!" gasped Bessie.

"Do you think I care a _rush_ for him?" said Mr. Lovatt, as he tried to
take the kisses she would not give. Bessie screamed aloud, clinched one
little hand in Mr. Lovatt's hair, and with the other struck with all
her force upon the mouth that was so near her own.

"Whew!" said Mr. Lovatt, as he quickly set Bessie upon her feet, "who
would have thought that tiny hand could have stung so?"

"You little tiger!" said Miss Adams, seizing Bessie by the shoulder and
giving her a shake. "You are the child they call so good; are you? Why,
there's not another in the house would have flown into such a passion
for nothing. What a furious temper!"

Bessie had never been shaken before. It was a punishment which Mr. and
Mrs. Bradford would not have thought proper for a child, were she
ever so naughty, and she had never been punished at all by any one but
her father or mother, and that but seldom. But it was not so much the
shaking as Miss Adams' words which sobered Bessie in an instant. She
had been in a passion again! She stood perfectly silent, her lips and
cheeks growing so white that Miss Adams was frightened, but just then
Mrs. Stanton stepped out on the piazza and came quickly toward them.
They all looked ashamed and uncomfortable as the stately old lady
lifted her little granddaughter in her arms and spoke a few words of
stern reproof to the thoughtless young people who could find amusement
in tormenting a little child. Then she carried Bessie away.



XIII.

_BESSIE'S REPENTANCE._


Mrs. Stanton would have come sooner, but her visitors were just leaving
when Maggie came in, and she did not quite understand at first how it
was. Miss Ellery, a young lady who had been standing by, rushed into
Mrs. Stanton's room after she carried Bessie in, and told her how the
little girl had been treated. Mrs. Stanton was very much displeased,
but just now she could think of nothing but the child's distress. She
shook all over, and the sobs and tears came faster and faster till
grandmamma was afraid she would be ill. She soothed and comforted and
petted in vain. Bessie still cried as if her heart would break. All she
could say was, "Oh, mamma, mamma! I want my own mamma!"

At last Mrs. Stanton said kindly but firmly, "Bessie, my child, you
_must_ be quiet. You will surely be sick. Grandmamma is very sorry for
you, but your head cannot hurt you so very much now."

"Oh, no!" sobbed the little girl, clinging about her grandmother's
neck, "it isn't that, grandmamma; I don't care much if she did pull my
hair; but oh, I was so wicked! I was in a passion again, and I was _so_
bad! I struck that man, I know I did. Jesus will be sorry, and he will
be angry with me too. He will think that I don't want to be his little
child any more, 'cause I was so very, very naughty. Oh! what shall I
do?"

"Tell Jesus that you are sorry, and ask him to forgive you, Bessie,"
said grandmamma, gently.

"Oh! I am 'fraid he can't," sobbed Bessie; "he must be so very angry.
I didn't think about him, and I didn't try one bit, grandmamma. I just
thought about what Miss Adams and that man did to me, and I was in such
a dreadful passion; I never was so bad before. Oh, I wish I could tell
my own mamma about it!"

All this was said with many sobs and tears and catchings of her breath,
and grandmamma wished that Miss Adams could see the distress she had
caused.

"Bessie," she said, "why did Jesus come down from heaven and die on the
cross?"

"So our Father in heaven could forgive us," answered the child more
quietly.

"And do you not think that his precious blood is enough to wash away
our great sins as well as those which we may think are smaller?"

"Yes, grandmamma."

"Now, no sin is small in the eyes of a just and holy God, Bessie; but
when he made such a great sacrifice for us, it was that he might be
able to forgive _every one_ of our sins against him, if we are truly
sorry for them. And he will surely do so, my darling, and help and love
us still, if we ask him for the sake of that dear Son."

"And will he listen to me _now_, grandmamma, just when I was so very
naughty?"

"Yes, he is always ready to hear us. No matter how much we have grieved
him, he will not turn away when we call upon him."

Bessie was silent for some minutes with her face hidden on her
grandmother's neck, and her sobs became less violent. At last she
whispered, "Grandmamma, do you think Jesus can love me just as much as
he did before?"

"Just as much, my precious one," said grandmamma, drawing her arms
close about Bessie, and pressing her lips on the little curly head.
Then Bessie raised her face and turned around in her grandmamma's lap.
A very pale little face it was, and very weak and tired she looked;
but she lay quite quiet now except for a long sob which still came
now and then. Maggie wondered why grandmamma bit her lip, and why her
eyebrows drew together in a frown, as if she were angry. She could not
be displeased with Bessie now, she thought.

Presently grandmamma began to sing in a low voice,--

    "Just as I am, without one plea,
    Save that thy blood was shed for me,
    And that thou bid'st me come to thee,
        O Lamb of God! I come.

    "Just as I am, and waiting not
    To rid my soul of one dark blot,
    To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
        O Lamb of God! I come.

    "Just as I am thou wilt receive,
    Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
    Because thy promise I believe,
        O Lamb of God! I come.

    "Just as I am,--thy love unknown
    Has broken every barrier down;
    Now to be thine, yea, thine alone
        O Lamb of God! I come."

When she had sung one verse, Maggie joined in, and Bessie lay
listening. When they were through, Mrs. Stanton put Bessie down in a
corner of the lounge, and said the children must have some lunch. First
she rang the bell, and then went to a little cupboard at the side of
the fireplace and brought out two small white plates, which Maggie and
Bessie knew quite well. Presently the waiter came to the door to know
what Mrs. Stanton wanted. This was James, the head waiter. He knew
Maggie and Bessie, and they were great favorites with him. His wife
washed for some of the ladies in the hotel, and once when she came
there with some clothes, she brought her little girl with her, and left
her in the hall with her father, who was busy there. She was a _very_
little girl, and could just walk alone, and while she was toddling
about after her father, she fell down and knocked her head against the
corner of a door. She cried very hard, and James tried to quiet her,
lest she should disturb some of the boarders. But she had a great bump
on her head, and she did not see any reason why she should be still
when it hurt her so. She was still crying when Maggie and Bessie came
through the hall. Each had a stick of candy, which some one had just
given them. When they heard the little one crying, they stopped to ask
what ailed her.

"I'll give her my candy," said Maggie.

"Yes, do," said Bessie, "and I'll give you half of mine."

The child stopped crying when she had the nice stick of candy. James
was very much pleased, and after that he was always glad to wait upon
our little girls. He had just now heard the story of Bessie's trouble,
for Miss Ellery had taken pains to spread it through the house, so
vexed was she at Miss Adams, and James had been by when she was telling
some of the ladies. He felt very sorry for Bessie, and wished that he
could do something for her. When he came to answer Mrs. Stanton's ring,
she asked him to bring some bread and butter.

"Is it for the little ladies, ma'am?" asked James. Mrs. Stanton said,
"Yes," and James asked if they would not like toast better. Two or
three times when Maggie and Bessie had taken tea with their grandmamma,
he had noticed that Bessie always asked for toast. Mrs. Stanton
thanked him and said yes, for she thought perhaps Bessie would eat
toast when she would not eat bread.

"But can I have it at this time of the day?" she said.

"No fear, ma'am," said James. "You shall have it, if I make it myself;"
and with a nod to the children, he went away.

Bessie sat quiet in a corner of the sofa, still looking very grave.

"Don't you feel happy now, Bessie?" said Maggie, creeping close to her,
and putting her arm around her. "I am sure Jesus will forgive you."

"Yes, I think he will," said Bessie; "but I can't help being sorry
'cause I was so naughty."

"You was not half so bad as Miss Adams, if you did get into a passion,"
said Maggie, "and I don't believe he'll forgive her."

"Oh, Maggie!" said Bessie.

"Well, I don't believe she'll ask him."

"Then I'll ask him," said Bessie.

"Now, Bessie, don't you do it!"

"But I ought to ask him, if I want him to forgive me," said Bessie.
"When we say 'Our Father in heaven,' we say 'Forgive us our sins as we
forgive those that sin against us.' I think Miss Adams sinned against
me a little bit; don't you, Maggie?"

"No, I don't," said Maggie. "No little bit about it. _I_ think she
sinned against you a great bit,--as much as the whole ocean."

"Then if I want Jesus to forgive me, I ought to forgive her, and to
ask him to forgive her too. I think I ought. I'm going to ask mamma
to-night."

"_I_ sha'n't do it, I know," said Maggie. "I wish I was as tall as she
is; no,--as tall as papa or Colonel Rush, and oh! wouldn't she get it
then!"

"What would you do?" asked Bessie.

"I don't know,--something. Oh, yes! don't you know the pictures of
Bluebeard's wives, where they're all hanging up by their hair? I'd
just hang her up that way, and then _her_ hair would be nicely pulled.
And I'd get the boys to come and poke her with sticks." Maggie said
this, shaking her head with a very determined look.

The idea of Miss Adams hanging up by her hair made Bessie laugh; but
in a moment she looked grave again. "I don't believe that's yight,
Maggie," she said.

"I don't care," said Maggie. "I'm going to say it."

Just then James came back, and they forgot Miss Adams for a while. He
brought a nice plate of toast and some butter. Grandmamma spread two
pieces of toast and laid them on the little plates, and then went back
again to the famous cupboard and brought out--oh, delicious!--a box of
guava jelly. She put a spoonful on each plate, and gave them to the
children. "Now, remember," she said, "the jelly goes with the toast."

Bessie looked rather doubtfully at her toast. "Grandmamma, I don't feel
very hungry."

"But you must eat something, Bessie; it is long after your luncheon
time, and it will not do for you to go until dinner without eating.
Mamma will think I did not take good care of you."

But the toast tasted so good with the guava jelly that Bessie eat the
whole of hers and even asked for more, to grandma's great pleasure.
When she brought it to her with some more jelly, she saw that Bessie
had still some of the sweetmeats left on her plate. "Don't you like
your jelly, dear?" she asked.

"Yes, ma'am," said Bessie, "but I didn't know if I could eat all the
toast, and I thought perhaps you only wanted me to eat just so much
share of the guava as I eat a share of the toast; so I eat that first
to be sure."

Grandma smiled, but she did not praise her honest little granddaughter,
for she did not think it best.

When Aunt Annie heard Miss Ellery tell how Bessie had been treated, she
was very angry, and said some things about Miss Adams and Mr. Lovatt
which her mother did not wish to have her say before the children. She
told her so, speaking in French; so Annie said no more just then; but
as soon as Bessie ceased crying, she ran out to tell Miss Adams what
she thought of her conduct. But happily Miss Adams was not to be found,
and before Annie saw her again, her mother had persuaded her that it
was better to say nothing about it.

But now when she could not find Miss Adams, she went off to Mrs.
Rush's room and told her and the colonel the whole story. The colonel
was angry enough to please even Annie. He said so much, and grew so
excited, that Mrs. Rush was sorry Annie had told him. He was far more
displeased than he would have been with any insult to himself, and
when, soon after, he met Mr. Lovatt in the hall, he spoke so severely
and angrily to him that Mr. Lovatt was much offended. Very high words
passed between the two gentlemen, and the quarrel might have become
serious, if Mr. Howard had not interfered.

Miss Adams heard all this, and when she found how much trouble and
confusion she had caused by her cruel thoughtlessness, she felt rather
ashamed, and wished she had not tormented the little child who had
never done her any harm. But this was not the last of it, for Miss
Adams was to be punished a little by the last person who meant to do
it.



XIV.

_WHO IS A LADY?_


In the afternoon the children asked their grandmother if they might go
down upon the beach, but she said it was still too warm, and she did
not wish Bessie to go out until the sun was down.

"Grandma is going to take her nap now," said Aunt Annie; "suppose we
go out on the piazza and have a store, and ask Lily and Gracie to come
play with you."

"Is Miss Adams there?" asked Maggie.

"No, but the colonel has had his arm-chair taken out, and is sitting
there with Mrs. Rush, and I am going there with my work; so you will be
quite safe."

"Oh, then we'll go," said Bessie. She did not feel afraid where the
colonel was.

"Are you going to sew with Mrs. Rush again?" asked Maggie.

Aunt Annie laughed and pinched her cheeks, telling her not to be
inquisitive. For the last few days Aunt Annie had always seemed to be
sewing with Mrs. Rush, and they were very busy, but they did not appear
to wish to let the little girls know what they were doing. Annie was
always whisking her work out of their sight, and if they asked any
questions, they were put off, or told, as Maggie was now, not to be
curious.

Once when they were staying with the colonel, when Mrs. Rush had gone
out for a while, he sent Bessie to a certain drawer to find a knife.
Bessie did as she was told, but as she was looking for it, she suddenly
called out, "Oh, what a dear darling little cap! just like a dolly's.
Why, does Mrs. Yush play with dolls when nobody looks at her?"

"Holloa!" said the colonel, "I forgot; come away from that drawer. I'm
a nice man; can't keep my own secrets."

Maggie was going to ask some questions; but the colonel began to talk
about something else, and they both forgot the little cap. But they
were very curious to know why Aunt Annie and Mrs. Rush were always
whispering and laughing and showing each other their work, as well as
why it was so often put away when they came near. To-day Aunt Annie was
embroidering a little piece of muslin, but she did not put it out of
their sight, though she would answer no questions about it.

They all went out on the piazza to set about making what Maggie called,
"A Grocery and _Perwision_ Store." The piazza steps ended in two large
blocks of wood, and on one of these they were to play. Aunt Annie made
some paper boxes to hold some of their things, and they had clam shells
for the rest. They had sand for sugar, blades of timothy grass for
corn, sea-weed for smoked beef and ham, and small pebbles for eggs,
with larger ones for potatoes. In short, it was quite wonderful to see
the number of things they contrived to have for sale. When the colonel
found what they were about, he called for a couple of clam shells, and
sent his man for a piece of wood and some twine; with these he made a
pair of scales, which Maggie and Bessie thought quite splendid. To be
sure, one side was ever so much heavier than the other, but that did
not matter in the least; neither they nor their customers would be
troubled by a trifle like that. Then he gave them a couple of bullets
and some shot for weights, so that the whole thing was fixed in fine
style.

Maggie went to call Lily and Gracie, and when Mamie Stone heard what
was going on, she asked if she might come too. Maggie said "Yes," for
Mamie was not so disagreeable as she used to be when she first came to
Quam Beach. However fretful and selfish she was when she was playing
with other children, she was almost always pleasant when she was with
Maggie and Bessie.

Maggie went back with her to their little playmates, and in a few
moments they were all as busy as bees. Maggie said Bessie must be
store-keeper, for she knew she did not feel like running about.

They had been playing but a little while, when Walter came up, and when
he saw what they were doing, he said he would be a customer too. He
was a capital playfellow, and pretended to be ever so many different
people. First, he was an old negro man, then he was a naughty boy, who
meddled with everything on the counter, and gave the little shop-woman
a great deal of trouble, which she enjoyed very much; then he was a
Frenchman, who spoke broken English; and after that, he pretended to be
a cross old Irishman.

While they were playing so nicely, who should come sweeping down the
piazza but Miss Adams, dressed in her riding-habit? Away went all the
little girls like a flock of frightened birds. Mamie and Lily ran into
the parlor, where they peeped at her from behind the blinds; Gracie
scrambled into Annie Stanton's lap; Maggie squeezed herself in between
the colonel and Mrs. Rush; and Bessie walked to the other side of the
colonel, where she stood with her hand on his chair.

Miss Adams was vexed when she saw them all fly off so, for she had not
come with any intention of interrupting or teasing them. She was going
out to ride, and had walked to the window of the hall above, to see if
the horses were at the door, and there she had noticed the children at
their play.

Bessie stood quietly behind her counter, while the rest ran about after
Maggie. She looked more pale and languid than usual that afternoon, as
she always did when she had been tired or excited. All the soft pink
color which had come into her cheek since she had been at Quam Beach
was quite gone; it was no wonder that grandma frowned and bit her lip
to keep herself from saying sharp things when she looked at her darling
that day.

Now, Miss Adams always said that she was afraid of nobody, and did not
care what people said of her; but as she watched the delicate little
child, who she knew had been brought by her parents to the sea-shore
that she might gain health and strength, she felt sorry that she had
plagued her so, and thought that she would like to make it up with
her. She went into her room, put a large packet of sugar-plums into
her pocket, and then went down stairs. She came up to Bessie just as
the little girl reached the colonel's side, and, standing before her,
said,--

"Well, Bessie, are you in a better humor yet?"

Bessie was certainly not pale now. A very bright color had come into
her cheeks, as Miss Adams spoke to her, but she said nothing.

"Come," said Miss Adams, holding out the parcel, "here are some
sugar-plums for you; come, kiss me and make up."

"I'll forgive you," said Bessie, gravely; "but I don't want the
sugar-plums."

"Oh, yes, you do!" said Miss Adams; "come and kiss me for them."

"I don't kiss people for sugar-plums," said Bessie; "and I'm sure I
don't want them."

"Then come and kiss me without the sugar-plums."

"No," said Bessie, "I'll shake hands with you, but I don't kiss people
I don't like."

"Oh!" said Miss Adams, "I suppose you keep all your kisses for your
friend, the colonel."

"Oh, no," answered Bessie, "a great many are for papa and mamma, and
the yest of the people I like."

Miss Adams saw that the colonel was laughing behind his newspaper, and
she was provoked.

"And you don't like me, eh?" she said, sharply. "Don't you know it's
very rude to tell a lady you don't like her, and wont kiss her?"

Bessie opened her eyes very wide. "Are you a lady?" she asked, in a
tone of great surprise.

Mrs. Rush did not wish to have Miss Adams go on talking to the child,
for she was afraid straightforward Bessie would say something which
would cause fresh trouble; and she begged Annie Stanton to take her
away; but Annie would not; she rather enjoyed the prospect, and when
Mrs. Rush would have spoken herself, her husband put out his hand and
stopped her.

"A lady!" repeated Miss Adams; "what do you take me for? Don't you know
a lady when you see one?"

"Oh, yes," answered Bessie, innocently. "Mamma's a lady, and grandma
and Aunt Annie and Mrs. Yush, and ever so many others."

"And I'm not, eh?" said Miss Adams, angrily.

Bessie did not answer, but peeped up under the colonel's paper, to see
if he would help her; but he did not seem inclined to interfere. His
eyes were fixed on the paper which he held before his face, and his
other hand was busily engaged in smoothing his moustache.

Miss Adams was very angry. She would not have cared if she had been
alone with Bessie; but she was provoked that she should tell her she
was not a lady, before so many people, for two or three gentlemen had
gathered near, and the colonel's amusement vexed her still more.

"You don't call me a lady, eh?" said Miss Adams again.

"How can you quarrel with such a baby about nothing, Miss Adams?" said
Mrs. Rush, rising from her seat.

"She is no baby. She knows very well what she is about, and she has
been put up to this," said Miss Adams, with a furious look at the
colonel. "Who told you I was not a lady?"

"Nobody; I just knew it myself," said Bessie, drawing closer to the
colonel, as Miss Adams came nearer to her. He threw down his paper, and
put his hand over her shoulder.

"You little impertinent!" said Miss Adams, "who made you a judge, I
should like to know? Not a lady, indeed!"

Poor Bessie! She would not say what she did not think, and she did not
like to say what she did think; but she was tired of the dispute, and
thought Miss Adams would have an answer. She gave a long sigh, and
said,--

"Well, perhaps you are a kind of a lady; but if you are, it must be a
kitchen or stable lady."

The gentlemen who were standing by walked quickly away; Mrs. Rush
looked frightened; Annie bent her head down on Gracie's shoulder, and
shook with laughter; and the colonel reached his crutches and, rising,
began to steady himself.

Miss Adams stood silent a moment, and then began to speak in a voice
almost choked with rage, "You little--" when the colonel interrupted
her.

"Excuse me, madam," he said, "if I remind you that you have no one to
blame for this but yourself. The child is straightforward and honest,
accustomed to speak as she thinks; and if she has said what was better
left unsaid, remember that you forced her to it. I cannot permit her to
be annoyed any farther."

Helpless as he was, he looked so grand and tall as he stood there with
his eyes fixed sternly on Miss Adams, that she felt abashed. Mrs. Rush
had taken Bessie into her room, Annie had followed with Maggie and
Gracie, and there was no one left to quarrel with but the colonel. Just
at that moment the horses were led up, and she turned away and went
down the steps to mount.

But Miss Adams had never been so annoyed. She had no mother, or perhaps
she would not have been so rough and unladylike; but she had had many
a reproof from other people. Many a grave, elderly lady, and even some
of her own age, had spoken, some kindly, some severely, upon the wild,
boisterous manner in which she chose to behave. But she had always
laughed at all they said, and went on as before. But that this innocent
little child, to whom she had been so unkind, should see for herself
that she had acted in an improper way, and one that was only fit for
the kitchen or stable, and should tell her so, and show such surprise
at hearing her call herself a lady, was very mortifying, and she could
not forget it.

That evening, when Mr. and Mrs. Bradford came home, they went over
to the hotel for their little girls, and Annie told them all that
had happened that day. After Bessie was undressed, and had said her
prayers, she sat on her mother's lap, and told her of all her troubles,
and then she felt happier.

"Mamma, I'm afraid I made Miss Adams mad, when I said that, and I
didn't mean to," she said.

"But why did you say it, Bessie?--it was saucy."

"Why, I had to, mamma; I didn't want to; but I couldn't _break the
truth_; she asked me and asked me, so I had to."

"Oh, my Bessie, my Bessie!" said mamma, with a low laugh, and then she
held the little girl very close in her arms, and kissed her. Bessie
nestled her head down on her mamma's bosom, and her mother held her
there, and rocked her long after she was fast asleep. Sometimes she
smiled to herself as she sat thinking and watching her child; but
once or twice a bright tear dropped down on Bessie's curls. Mamma
was praying that her little girl might live to grow up and be a good
Christian woman, and that she might always love the truth as she did
now, even when she was older and knew it was not wise to say such
things as she had done to-day.



XV.

_UNCLE JOHN._


"A letter from Uncle John!" said mamma, at the breakfast-table. "I hope
Nellie is no worse. No, she is better; but the doctor has ordered sea
air for her, and they all want to come here, if we can find room for
them, either in this house or in the hotel."

"The hotel is full, I know," said Mr. Bradford; "I do not think there
is a room to be had. I wonder if Mrs. Jones can do anything for us."

"I think not," said Mrs. Bradford. "Old Mr. Duncan must be with them
wherever they go, for John is not willing to leave his father alone."

"We can ask her, at least," said Mr. Bradford.

So the next time Mrs. Jones came in with a plate full of hot cakes,
she was asked if she could possibly take in Mr. Duncan's family.

"Couldn't do it," she said. "If you didn't mind scroudging, I could
give 'em one room; but two, I can't do it. I've plenty of beds, but no
more rooms."

Maggie and Bessie looked very much disappointed. It would be such a
pleasure to have Grandpapa Duncan, and all the rest.

"Suppose we gave up this little dining-room, and took our meals in the
sitting-room," said Mr. Bradford; "could you put old Mr. Duncan in
here?"

"Oh, yes, well enough," said Mrs. Jones. "Didn't suppose you'd be
willing to do that, York folks is so partickler."

"We would be willing to do far more than that to accommodate our
friends," said Mrs. Bradford, smiling.

After a little more talk with Mrs. Jones, it was all settled; so mamma
sat down to write to Uncle John, telling him they might come as soon as
they chose.

"Mamma," said Maggie, "what did Mrs. Jones mean by 'scroudging'?"

"She meant to crowd."

"I sha'n't take it for one of my words," said Maggie; "I don't think it
sounds nice."

"No," said mamma, laughing, "I do not think it is a very pretty word;
crowd is much better."

The children went out in the front porch, greatly pleased with the
idea of having their Riverside friends with them. Dear Grandpapa
Duncan and Aunt Helen, merry Uncle John and little Nellie! Maggie went
hopping about the path, while Bessie sat down on the steps with a very
contented smile. Presently she said,--

"Maggie, if you was on the grass, what would you be?"

"I don't know," said Maggie; "just Maggie Stanton Bradford, I suppose."

"You'd be a grasshopper," said Bessie.

Maggie stopped hopping to laugh. She thought this a very fine joke; and
when, a moment after, her brothers came up to the house, she told them
of Bessie's "conundrum." They laughed, too, and then ran off to the
barn.

Maggie sat down on the step by her sister. "Bessie," she said,
"don't you think Mrs. Jones is very horrid, even if she does make us
gingerbread men?"

"Not very; I think she is a little horrid."

"I do," said Maggie; "she talks so; she called papa and mamma 'York
folks.'"

"What does that mean?" asked Bessie.

"I don't know; something not nice, I'm sure."

"Here comes papa," said Bessie; "we'll ask him. Papa, what did Mrs.
Jones mean by York folks?"

"She meant people from New York," said Mr. Bradford.

"Then why don't she say that?" said Maggie; "it sounds better."

"Well, that is her way of talking," answered Mr. Bradford.

"Do you think it a nice way, papa?"

"Not very. I should be sorry to have you speak as she does; but you
must remember that the people with whom she has lived are accustomed to
talk in that way, and she does not know any better."

"Then we'll teach her," said Maggie. "I'll tell her she doesn't talk
properly, and that we're going to teach her."

"Indeed, you must do nothing of the kind," said Mr. Bradford, smiling
at the idea of his shy Maggie teaching Mrs. Jones; "she would be very
much offended."

"Why, papa," said Bessie, "don't she like to do what is yight?"

"Yes, so far as I can tell, she wishes to do right; but probably she
thinks she speaks very well, and she would think it impertinent if two
such little girls were to try to teach her. It is not really wrong for
a person to talk in the way she does, if they know no better. It would
be wrong and vulgar for you to do so, because you have been taught to
speak correctly."

"And do we do it?" said Bessie. "Do we speak coryectly?"

"Pretty well for such little girls," said papa.

"Mrs. Jones laughs at us because she says we use such big words," said
Maggie; "and Mr. Jones does too. They ought not to do it, when they
don't know how to talk themselves. I like grown-up words, and I am
going to say them, if they do laugh."

"Well, there is no harm in that, if you understand their meaning," said
papa; "but I would not feel unkindly towards Mrs. Jones; she means to
be good and kind to you, and I think she is so; and you must not mind
if her manner is not always very pleasant."

"But she called you and mamma particular," said Maggie, who was
determined not to be pleased with Mrs. Jones.

"Well, if Mrs. Jones thinks we are too particular about some things,
we think she is not particular enough; so neither one thinks the other
quite perfect."

Maggie did not think this mended the matter at all. But just then
the nurses came with the younger children, and after their father had
played with them for a while, they all went for their morning walk on
the beach.

Two days after, the party came from Riverside, and, with some crowding,
were all made comfortable. They almost lived out of doors in this
beautiful weather, and so did not mind some little inconveniences in
the house.

Uncle John was always ready for a frolic. Now he would hire Mr. Jones'
large farm wagon and two horses, cover the bottom of the wagon with
straw, pack in Aunt Annie and the little Bradfords, and as many other
boys and girls as it would hold, and start off for a long drive. Then
he said they must have a clam-bake, and a clam-bake they had; not only
one, but several. Sometimes Uncle John would invite their friends from
the hotel, and they would have quite a grand affair; but, generally,
they had only their own family, with Mrs. Rush, and the colonel when he
was well enough to come; and the children enjoyed the smaller parties
much more than they did the larger ones. First, a large, shallow hole
was made in the sand, in which the clams were placed, standing on end;
a fire was built on top of them, and they were left until they were
well roasted, when they were pulled out and eaten with bread and butter.

When Mrs. Jones found how fond the children were of roast clams, she
often had them for their breakfast or supper; but they never tasted so
good as they did when they were cooked in the sand and eaten on the
shore.

One cool, bright afternoon, Mr. Bradford and Mr. Duncan went down to
the beach for a walk. The children had been out for some time: Maggie
was racing about with the boys; Bessie, sitting on the sand beside a
pool of salt water, looking into it so earnestly that she did not see
her father and uncle till they were quite close to her.

"What is my little girl looking at?" said her father, sitting down on a
great stone which was near.

"Such an ugly thing!" said Bessie.

Papa leaned forward and looked into the pool, and there he saw the
thing Bessie thought so ugly. It was a small salt-water crab which had
been left there by the tide. He was very black and had long, sprawling
legs, spreading out in every direction. He lay quite still in the
bottom of the pool, with his great eyes staring straight forward,
and did not seem to be in the least disturbed by the presence of his
visitors.

"What do you suppose he is thinking about, Bessie?" said Uncle John.

"I guess he thinks he looks pretty nasty," said Bessie; "I do."

"Bessie," said her father, "it seems to me that you and Maggie say
'nasty' very often. I do not think it is at all a pretty word for
little girls to use."

"Then I wont say it," said Bessie; "but when a thing looks--looks
_that_ way, what shall I say?"

"You might say ugly," said Mr. Bradford.

"But, papa, sometimes a thing looks ugly, and not nasty. I think that
animal looks ugly and nasty too."

"Tell us of something that is ugly, but not nasty," said Uncle John.

Bessie looked very hard at her uncle. Now Mr. Duncan was not at all a
handsome man. He had a pleasant, merry, good-natured face, but he was
certainly no beauty. Bessie looked at him, and he looked back at her,
with his eyes twinkling, and the corners of his mouth twitching with a
smile, for he thought he knew what was coming.

"Well?" he said, when Bessie did not speak for a moment.

"Uncle John," said she, very gravely, "I think you are ugly, but I do
not think you are nasty, a bit."

Uncle John laughed as if he thought this a capital joke; and Mr.
Bradford smiled as he said, "It don't do to ask Bessie questions to
which you do not want a straightforward answer."

"But I want to know about 'nasty,'" said Bessie. "Is it saying bad
grammar, like Mrs. Jones, to say it?"

"Not exactly," said Mr. Bradford, "and you may say it when a thing
is really nasty; but I think you often use it when there is no need.
Perhaps this little fellow does look nasty as well as ugly; but the
other day I heard Maggie say that Mamie Stone was a nasty, cross child.
Now, Mamie may be cross,--I dare say she often is,--but she certainly
is not nasty, for she is always neat and clean. And this morning I
heard you say that you did not want 'that nasty bread and milk.' The
bread and milk was quite good and sweet, and not at all nasty; but you
called it so because you did not fancy it."

"Then did I tell a wicked story?" asked Bessie, looking sober at the
thought of having said what was not true.

"No," said papa, "you did not tell a wicked story, for you did not mean
to say that which was not so. But it is wrong to fall into the habit
of using words which seem to say so much more than we mean. But do not
look so grave about it, my darling; you did not intend to do anything
that was not right, I am sure."--

"But, papa," said Bessie, "why did God make ugly things?"

"Because he thought it best, Bessie. He made everything in the way
which best fitted it for the purpose for which he intended it. This
little crab lives under the sea, where he has a great many enemies, and
where he has to find his food. With these round, staring eyes which
stand out so far from his head, he can look in every direction and see
if any danger is near, or if there is anything which may do for him
to eat. With these long, awkward legs, he can scamper out of the way,
and with those sharp claws, he fights, for he is a quarrelsome little
fellow. He can give a good pinch with them, and you had better not put
your fingers too near them. Under that hard, black shell, he has a
tender body, which would be hurt by the rocks and stones among which
he lives, if he had not something to protect it."

Uncle John took up a stick. "Here, Johnny Crab," he said, "let us see
how you can fight;" and he put the stick in the water and stirred up
the crab. The moment he was touched, the crab began to move all his
legs, and to scuttle round the pool as if he wanted to get out. But
Uncle John did not mean to let him come out until he had shown Bessie
what a nip he could give with those pincers of his. He pushed him back,
and put the stick close to one of his larger claws. The crab took hold
of it, as if he were very angry, and such a pinch as he gave it!

"See there, Bessie," said Uncle John, "are you not glad it is not one
of your little fingers he has hold of?"

"Yes," said Bessie, climbing on her father's knee as the crab tried to
get out. "I didn't know he could pinch like that."

"Or you would not have sat so quietly watching him, eh, Bessie?" said
Uncle John. "Well, romp,"--to Maggie, as she rushed up to them, rosy
and out of breath, and jumping upon the rock behind him, threw both
arms around his neck,--"well, romp, here is a gentleman who wishes to
make your acquaintance."

"Why, Uncle John, what a horrid, nasty thing! What is it?" said Maggie,
as her uncle pushed back the crab, which was still trying to get out of
the pool.

"There it goes again," said Uncle John,--"horrid, nasty thing! Poor
little crab!"

"Maggie," said Bessie, "we must not say 'nasty.' Papa says it means
what we do not mean, and it's unproper. Tell her about it, papa."

"No," said papa, "we will not have another lecture now. By and by you
may tell her. I think you can remember all I have said."

"Now see, Maggie," said Uncle John, "you have hurt the crab's feelings
so that he is in a great hurry to run off home. I am sure his mother
thinks him a very handsome fellow, and he wants to go and tell her how
he went on his travels and met a monster who had the bad taste to call
him 'a horrid, nasty thing.'"

"Oh," said Bessie, laughing, "what a funny Uncle John you are! But I
should think it would hurt the crab's feelings a great deal more to be
poked with a stick, and not to be let to go home when he wants to. I
don't believe he knows what Maggie says."

"I think you are about right, Bessie; I guess we must let him go."

So the next time the crab tried to come out of the pool, Uncle John put
the stick by his claw, and when he took hold of it, lifted him out of
the water and laid him on the sand. Away the crab scampered as fast as
his long legs could carry him, moving in a curious side-long fashion,
which amused the children very much. They followed him as near to the
water's edge as they were allowed to go, and then ran back to their
father.



XVI.

_THE BIRTHDAY PRESENTS._


The tenth of August was Maggie's birthday. She would be seven years
old, and on that day she was to have a party. At first, Mrs. Bradford
had intended to have only twenty little children at this party, but
there seemed some good reason for inviting this one and that one, until
it was found that there were about thirty to come.

Maggie begged that she might print her own invitations on some of the
paper which Grandpapa Duncan had sent. Mamma said she might try, but
she thought Maggie would be tired before she was half through, and
she was right. By the time Maggie had printed four notes, her little
fingers were cramped, and she had to ask her mother to write the rest
for her. Mrs. Bradford did so, putting Maggie's own words on Maggie's
and Bessie's own stamped paper. Maggie said this was Bessie's party
just as much as hers, and the invitations must come from her too. So
they were written in this way.

     "Please to have the pleasure of coming to have a party with
     us, on Tuesday afternoon, at four o'clock.

             "MAGGIE AND BESSIE."

Among those which Maggie had printed herself, was one to Colonel and
Mrs. Rush.

"What do you send them an invitation for?" said Fred. "They wont come.
The colonel can't walk so far, and Mrs. Rush wont leave him."

"Then they can send us a _refuse_," said Maggie. "I know the colonel
can't come, but maybe Mrs. Rush will for a little while. We're going to
ask them, anyhow. They'll think it a great discompliment if we don't."

Such busy little girls as they were on the day before the birthday! The
dolls had to be all dressed in their best, and the dolls' tea things
washed about a dozen times in the course of the morning. Then Bessie
had a birthday present for Maggie. She had been saving all her money
for some time to buy it. Papa had bought it for her, and brought it
from town the night before. Every half-hour or so, Bessie had to run
and peep at it, to be sure it was all safe, taking great care that
Maggie did not see.

They went to bed early, that, as Maggie said, "to-morrow might come
soon," but they lay awake laughing and talking until nurse told them it
was long past their usual bedtime, and they must go right to sleep.

The next morning Bessie was the first to wake. She knew by the light
that it was very early, not time to get up. She looked at her sister,
but Maggie showed no signs of waking.

"Oh, this is Maggie's birthday!" said the little girl to herself. "My
dear Maggie! I wish she would wake up, so I could kiss her and wish her
a happy birthday. 'Many happy yeturns,' that's what people say when
other people have birthdays. I'll say it to Maggie when she wakes up.
But now I'll go to sleep again for a little while."

Bessie turned over for another nap, when her eye was caught by
something on the foot of the bed. She raised her head, then sat
upright. No more thought of sleep for Bessie. She looked one moment,
then laid her hand upon her sleeping sister.

"Maggie, dear Maggie, wake up! Just see what somebody brought here!"

Maggie stirred, and sleepily rubbed her eyes.

"Wake up wide, Maggie! Only look! Did you ever see such a thing?"

Maggie opened her eyes, and sat up beside Bessie. On the foot of the
bed--one on Maggie's side, one on Bessie's--were two boxes. On each
sat a large doll--and such dolls! They had beautiful faces, waxen
hands and feet, and what Bessie called "live hair, yeal live hair."
They were dressed in little white night-gowns, and sat there before
the surprised and delighted children as if they had themselves just
wakened from sleep. Maggie threw off the bed-covers, scrambled down to
the foot of the bed, and seized the doll nearest to her.

"Who did it, Bessie?" she said.

"I don't know," said Bessie. "Mamma, I guess. I think they're for your
birthday."

"Why, so I s'pose it is!" said Maggie. "Why don't you come and take
yours, Bessie?"

"But it is not my birthday," said Bessie, creeping down to where her
sister sat. "I don't believe somebody gave me one; but you will let me
play with one; wont you, Maggie?"

"Bessie, if anybody did be so foolish as to give me two such beautiful
dolls, do you think I'd keep them both myself, and not give you one?
Indeed, I wouldn't. And even if they only gave me one, I'd let it be
half yours, Bessie."

Bessie put her arm about her sister's neck and kissed her, and then
took up the other doll.

"What cunning little ni'-gowns!" she said. "I wonder if they have any
day clo's."

"Maybe they're in these boxes," said Maggie. "I'm going to look. Gracie
Howard's aunt did a very unkind, selfish thing. She gave her a great
big doll with not a thing to put on it. I don't believe anybody would
do so to us. Oh, no! here's lots and lots of clo's! Pull off your cover
quick, Bessie. Oh, I am so very, very pleased! I know mamma did it. I
don't believe anybody else would be so kind. See, there's a white frock
and a silk frock and a muslin one, and--oh! goody, goody!--a sweet
little sack and a round hat, and petticoats and drawers and everything!
Why don't you look at yours, Bessie, and see if they are just the same?"

"Yes," said Bessie; "they are, and here's shoes and stockings, and oh!
such a cunning parasol, and here's--oh, Maggie, here's the dear little
cap that I saw in Mrs. Yush's drawer the day the colonel sent me to
find his knife! Why, she must have done it!"

"And look here, Bessie, at this dear little petticoat all 'broidered.
That's the very pattern we saw Aunt Annie working the day that
'bomnable Miss Adams pulled your hair. Isn't it pretty?"

"And see, Maggie! Mrs. Yush was sewing on a piece of silk just like
this dear little dress, and she wouldn't tell us what it was. I do
believe she did it, and Aunt Annie and maybe the colonel."

"How could the colonel make dolls' clothes?" said Maggie. "Men can't
sew."

"Soldier men can," said Bessie. "Don't you yemember how Colonel Yush
told us he had to sew on his buttons? But I did not mean he made
the dolly's clothes, only maybe he gave us the dolls, and Mrs. Yush
and Aunt Annie made their things. Oh, here's another ni'-gown,--two
ni'-gowns!"

"Yes," said Maggie. "I was counting, and there's two ni'-gowns, and two
chemise, and two everything, except only dresses, and there's four of
those, and they're all marked like our things,--'Bessie,' for yours,
and 'Maggie' for mine. Oh, what a happy birthday! Bessie, I'm so glad
you've got a doll too! Oh, I'm so very gratified!"

"I have something nice for you too, Maggie. Please give me my slippers,
and I'll go and get it."

Maggie leaned over the side of the trundle-bed, to reach her sister's
slippers, but what she saw there quite made her forget them. She gave a
little scream of pleasure, and began hugging up her knees and rolling
about the bed squealing with delight. Bessie crept to the edge of the
bed, and peeped over. There stood two little perambulators, just of the
right size for the new dolls, and in each, lay neatly folded, a tiny
affghan.

When this new excitement was over, Bessie put on her slippers and went
for her present for Maggie. This was a little brown morocco work-bag,
lined with blue silk, and fitted up with scissors, thimble, bodkin,
and several other things. She gave it to her sister saying, "I make
you many happy yeturns, dear Maggie." Then Maggie had another fit of
rolling, tumbling, and screaming, until nurse, who was watching the
children from her bed, though they did not know it, could stand it no
longer, but broke into a hearty laugh.

"Now, nursey," said Maggie.

"Is it a pig or a puppy we have got here for a birthday?" said nurse.
"Sure, it is a happy one I wish you, my pet, and many of 'em, and may
you never want for nothing more than you do now. Now don't you make
such a noise there, and wake Franky. I s'pose I may just as well get up
and wash and dress you, for there'll be no more sleep, I'm thinking."

"Who gave us these dolls and all these things, nursey?" asked Maggie.

"Indeed, then, Bessie was just right," said nurse. "Colonel Rush gave
you the dolls, and his wife, with Miss Annie, made the clothes; and
did you ever see dolls that had such a fittin' out? It was your mamma
that bought the wagons and made the blankets."

"We didn't see her," said Bessie.

"No, but she did them when you were out or asleep; but you see Mrs.
Rush and Miss Annie had to be working all the time on the clothes, lest
they wouldn't be done; and you're round there so much, they had to let
you see."

"But we never knew," said Maggie.

The children could scarcely keep still long enough to let nurse bathe
and dress them; but at last it was done, and then the dolls were
dressed, and the rest of the clothes put nicely away in the boxes. As
soon as baby awoke, they were off to their mamma's room, scrambling
up on the bed to show their treasures, and talking as fast as their
tongues could go.

"I was so very surprised, mamma!" said Maggie.

"You were not; were you, Bessie?" said mamma, laughing.

"Why, yes, I was."

"Didn't you see or hear something last night?" asked mamma.

Bessie looked at her mother for a minute, and then exclaimed, "Oh,
yes, I do yemember, now! Maggie, last night I woke up and somebody was
laughing, and I thought it was Aunt Annie; but when I opened my eyes,
only mamma was there, and when I asked her where Aunt Annie was, she
said, 'Go to sleep; you shall see Aunt Annie in the morning.' Mamma,
I thought you came to kiss us, as you do every night before you go to
bed. I suppose you put the dolls there that time?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Bradford.

"That's what I call being _mysteyious_," said Bessie.

"Do you like people to be mysterious, Bessie?" asked her father,
laughing.

"About dolls, I do, papa; but about some things, I don't."

"What things?"

"When they're going to say what they don't want me to hear, and they
send me out of the yoom. I don't like that way of being mysteyious at
all. It hurts children's feelings very much to be sent out of the yoom."

"What are these magnificent young ladies to be named?" asked Uncle
John, at the breakfast-table.

"Mine is to be Bessie Margaret Marion," said Maggie,--"after mamma and
Bessie and Mrs. Rush."

"Why, all your dolls are named Bessie," said Harry; "there are big
Bessie and little Bessie and middling Bessie."

"I don't care," said Maggie; "this is going to be Bessie too. She will
have two other names, so it will be very nice. Besides, I am not going
to play with middling Bessie again. The paint is all off her cheeks,
and Franky smashed her nose in, and yesterday I picked out her eyes, to
see what made them open and shut, so she is not very pretty any more. I
am going to let Susie have her."

"And what is yours to be, Bessie?"

"Margayet Colonel Hoyace Yush Byadford," said Bessie, trying very hard
to pronounce her r's.

The boys shouted and even the grown people laughed.

"That is a regular boy's name,--all except the Margaret," said Fred,
"and the Colonel is no name at all."

"It is," said Bessie,--"it is my own dear soldier's, and it is going to
be my dolly's. You're bad to laugh at it, Fred."

"Do not be vexed, my little girl," said her father. "Colonel is not a
name; it is only a title given to a man because he commands a regiment
of soldiers. Now young ladies do not command regiments, and Horace is
a man's name. You may call your doll what you please, but suppose you
were to name her Horatia; would not that sound better?"

But Bessie held fast to the Horace; it was her soldier's name, and she
was quite determined to give her doll the same.

After breakfast, Mrs. Bradford called Maggie up stairs for a while.
"Maggie, dear," she said, when she had taken the little girl up into
her lap, "have you remembered this morning that our Father in heaven
has brought you to the beginning of another year of your life?"

"Oh, yes, mamma," said Maggie; "I have done nothing but think it was
my birthday ever since I woke up. You know I could not forget it when
every one was so kind and gave me such lots and lots of lovely things."

"But have you remembered to thank God for letting you see another
birthday, and for giving you all these kind friends, and so many other
blessings? And have you asked him to make you wiser and better each
year, as you grow older?"

"I am afraid I did not think much about it that way," said Maggie,
coloring; "but I _am_ very thankful. I know I have a great many
blessings. I have you and papa and Bessie, and my new doll, and all
the rest of the family. But I want to know one thing, mamma. Isn't it
wrong to pray to God about dolls? Bessie said it wasn't, but I thought
it must be."

"How to pray about them, dear?"

"To thank God because he made Colonel Rush think of giving us such
beautiful ones. Bessie said we ought to, but I thought God would not
care to hear about such little things as that. Bessie said we asked
every day for our daily bread; and dolls were a great deal better
blessing than bread, so we ought to thank him. But I thought he was
such a great God, maybe he would be offended if I thanked him for such
a little thing as a doll."

"We should thank him for every blessing, dear, great and small. Though
we deserve nothing at his hands, all that we have comes from his love
and mercy; and these are so great that even our smallest wants are
not beneath his notice. He knows all our wishes and feelings,--every
thought, whether spoken or not; and if you feel grateful to him
because he put it into the hearts of your kind friends to give you
this pretty present, he knew the thought, and was pleased that you
should feel so. But never fear to thank him for any mercy, however
small. Never fear to go to him in any trouble or happiness. He is
always ready to listen to the simplest prayer from the youngest child.
Shall we thank him now for all the gifts and mercies you have received
to-day, and for the care which he has taken of you during the past
year?"

"Yes, mamma."

"And, Maggie, I think you have one especial blessing to be grateful
for."

"What, mamma?"

"That you have been able, with God's help, to do so much towards
conquering a very troublesome fault."

"Oh, yes, mamma! and I do think God helped me to do that, for I asked
him every night and morning, since I meddled with papa's inkstand. I
mean, when I said, 'God bless,' when I came to 'make me a good little
girl,' I used to say quite quick and softly to myself, 'and careful
too.'"

"That was right, dear," said Mrs. Bradford, tenderly smoothing Maggie's
curls, and kissing her forehead; "you see he did hear that little
prayer, and help you in what you were trying to do."

Then Mrs. Bradford knelt down with Maggie, and thanked God that he had
spared her child's life, and given her so many blessings, and prayed
that each year, as she grew older, she might be better and wiser, and
live more to his glory and praise.

"I am not quite careful yet, mamma," said Maggie, when they rose from
their knees. "You know the other day, when nurse told me to bring in
Bessie's best hat, I forgot and left it out on the grass, and the rain
spoiled it; but I mean to try more and more, and maybe, when I am
eight, I will be as careful as Bessie."



XVII.

_THE BIRTHDAY PARTY._


Maggie said this was the very best birthday she had ever had. The whole
day seemed one long pleasure. She and Bessie walked over, with their
father and Uncle John, to see Colonel and Mrs. Rush, leaving mamma,
Aunt Helen, and Aunt Annie all helping Mrs. Jones to prepare for the
evening. There were cakes and ice cream and jelly to make, for such
things could not be bought here in the country as they could in town.

The new dolls went too, seated in the perambulators and snugly tucked
in with the affghans, though it was such a warm day that when they
reached the hotel, Bessie said she was "yoasted."

"So this is a pleasant birthday; is it, Maggie?" said the colonel.

"Oh, yes!" said Maggie; "I wish every day was my birthday or Bessie's."

"Then in sixty days you would be old ladies. How would you like that?"
said Uncle John.

"Not a bit," answered Maggie; "old ladies don't have half so much fun
as children."

"So you will be content with one birthday in a year?"

"Yes, Uncle John."

"And you liked all your presents, Maggie?" asked the colonel.

"Yes, sir, except only one."

"And what was that?"

"Mrs. Jones gave me a white _Canting_ flannel rabbit, with black silk
for its nose, and red beads for its eyes. Idea of it! just as if I was
a little girl, and I am seven! I told nurse if baby wanted it, she
could have it; and I didn't care if she did put it in her mouth. Nurse
said I was ungrateful; but I am not going to be grateful for such a
thing as that."

The colonel and Uncle John seemed very much amused when Maggie said
this, but her father looked rather grave, though he said nothing.

"Colonel Yush," said Bessie, "you didn't send me a yefuse."

"A what?"

"A yefuse to our party note."

"Oh, I understand. Did you want me to refuse?"

"Oh, no, we didn't _want_ you to; but then we knew you couldn't come,
because you are so lame."

"Will it do if you get an answer to-night?" said the colonel.

Bessie said that would do very well.

When they were going home, Mr. Bradford fell a little behind the rest,
and called Maggie to him. "Maggie, dear," he said, "I do not want to
find fault with my little girl on her birthday, but I do not think you
feel very pleasantly towards Mrs. Jones."

"No, papa, I do not; I can't bear her; and the make-believe rabbit too!
If you were seven, papa, and some one gave you such a thing, would you
like it?"

"Perhaps not; but Mrs. Jones is a poor woman, and she gave you the best
she had, thinking to please you."

"Papa, it makes Mrs. Jones very mad to call her poor. The other day I
asked her why she didn't put pretty white frocks, like our baby's and
Nellie's, on Susie. Bessie said she supposed she was too poor. Mrs.
Jones was as cross as anything, and said she wasn't poor, and Mr. Jones
was as well off as any man this side the country; but she wasn't going
to waste her time doing up white frocks for Susie. She was so mad that
Bessie and I ran away."

"Then we will not call her poor if she does not like it," said Mr.
Bradford; "but Mrs. Jones is a kind-hearted woman, if she is a little
rough sometimes. She tries very hard to please you. Late last night, I
went into her kitchen to speak to Mr. Jones, and there she sat making
that rabbit, although she had been hard at work all day, trying to
finish her wash, so that she might have the whole of to-day to make
cakes and other nice things for your party. Yet this morning when she
brought it to you, you did not look at all pleased, and scarcely said,
'Thank you.'"

"Ought I to say I was pleased when I was not, papa?"

"No, certainly not; but you should have been pleased, because she meant
to be kind, even if you did not like the thing that she brought. It
was not like a lady, it was not like a Christian, to be so ungracious;
it was not doing as you would be done by. Last week you hemmed a
handkerchief for Grandpapa Duncan. Now you know yourself that, although
you took a great deal of pains, the hem was rather crooked and some
of the stitches quite long, yet grandpapa was more pleased with that
one than with the whole dozen which Aunt Helen hemmed, and which were
beautifully done, because he knew that you had done the best you could,
and that it was a great effort for you. It was not the work, but the
wish to do something for him, that pleased him. Now, if grandpa had
frowned, and looked at the handkerchief as if it were scarcely worth
notice, and grumbled something that hardly sounded like 'Thank you,'
how would you have felt?"

"I'd have cried," said Maggie, "and wished I hadn't done it for him."

"Suppose he had told other people that he didn't like work done in that
way, and was not going to be grateful for it?"

Maggie hung her head, and looked ashamed. She saw now how unkindly she
had felt and acted towards Mrs. Jones.

Mr. Bradford went on: "I think Mrs. Jones was hurt this morning,
Maggie. Now, I am sure you did not mean to vex her; did you?"

"No, papa, indeed, I did not. What can I do? I don't think I ought to
tell Mrs. Jones that I think the rabbit is pretty when I don't."

"No, of course you must not. Truth before all things. But you might
play with it a little, and not put it out of sight, as you did
this morning. Perhaps, too, you may find a chance to thank her in a
pleasanter way than you did before."

"I'll make a chance," said Maggie.

When they reached the house, Maggie ran up to the nursery. "Nursey,"
she said, "where is my rabbit; did baby have it?"

"No, indeed," said nurse; "I wasn't going to give it to baby, to hurt
Mrs. Jones' feelings,--not while we're here, at least. When we go
to town, then my pet may have it, if you don't want it; and a nice
plaything it will make for her then. It's up there on the mantel-shelf."

"Please give it to me," said Maggie; "I'm going to cure Mrs. Jones'
feelings."

Nurse handed it to her, and she ran down stairs with it. She took her
doll out of the little wagon, put the rabbit in its place, and tucked
the affghan all round it. Then she ran into the kitchen, pulling the
wagon after her.

"Now, come," said Mrs. Jones, the moment she saw her, "I don't want any
children here! I've got my hands full; just be off."

"Oh, but, Mrs. Jones," said Maggie, a little frightened, "I only want
you to look at my rabbit taking a ride in the wagon. Don't he look
cunning? I think you were very kind to make him for me."

"Well, do you know?" said Mrs. Jones. "I declare I thought you didn't
care nothing about it,--and me sitting up late last night to make it.
I was a little put out when you seemed to take it so cool like, and I
thought you were stuck up with all the handsome presents you'd been
getting. That wasn't nothing alongside of them, to be sure; but it was
the best I could do."

"And you were very kind to make it for me, Mrs. Jones. I am very much
obliged to you. No, Susie, you can't have it. Maybe you'd make it
dirty, and I'm going to keep it till I'm thirteen; then I'll let baby
have it, when she's big enough to take care of it."

"Oh, it will be in the ash-barrel long before that," said Mrs. Jones.
"Here's a cake for you and one for Bessie."

"No, thank you," said Maggie; "mamma said we musn't eat any cakes or
candies this morning, because we'll want some to-night."

"That's a good girl to mind so nice," said Mrs. Jones; "and your ma's a
real lady, and she's bringing you up to be ladies too."

Maggie ran off to the parlor, glad that she had made friends with Mrs.
Jones. She found her mother and Aunt Helen and Aunt Annie all making
mottoes. They had sheets of bright-colored tissue paper, which they
cut into small squares, fringed the ends with sharp scissors, and then
rolled up a sugar-plum in each. They allowed Maggie and Bessie to help,
by handing the sugar-plums, and the little girls thought it a very
pleasant business. And once in a while mamma popped a sugar-plum into
one of the two little mouths, instead of wrapping it in the paper; and
this they thought a capital plan. Then came a grand frolic in the barn
with father and Uncle John and the boys, Tom and Walter being of the
party, until Mrs. Bradford called them in, and said Bessie must rest
a while, or she would be quite tired out before afternoon. So, taking
Bessie on his knee, Grandpapa Duncan read to them out of a new book he
had given Maggie that morning. After the early dinner, the dolls, old
and new, had to be dressed, and then they were dressed themselves, and
ready for their little visitors.

The piazza and small garden and barn seemed fairly swarming with
children that afternoon. And such happy children too! Every one was
good-natured, ready to please and to be pleased. And, indeed, they
would have been very ungrateful if they had not been; for a great deal
of pains was taken to amuse and make them happy. Even Mamie Stone was
not heard to fret once.

"I do wish I had an Uncle John!" said Mamie, as she sat down to rest
on the low porch step, with Bessie and one or two more of the smaller
children, and watched Mr. Duncan, as he arranged the others for some
new game, keeping them laughing all the time with his merry jokes,--"I
do wish I had an Uncle John!"

"You have an Uncle Robert," said Bessie.

"Pooh! he's no good," said Mamie. "He's not nice and kind and funny,
like your Uncle John. He's as cross as anything, and he wont let
us make a bit of noise when he's in the room. He says children are
pests; and when papa laughed, and asked him if he said that because he
remembered what a pest he was when he was a child, he looked mad, and
said no; children were better behaved when he was a boy."

"I don't think he's very better behaved to talk so," said Bessie,
gravely.

"No, he's not," said Mamie. "He's awful. He's not a bit like Mr.
Duncan. And I like your Aunt Annie too. She plays so nice, just as if
she were a little girl herself; and she helps everybody if they don't
know how, or fall down, or anything."

"Are we not having a real nice time, Bessie?" asked Gracie Howard.

"Yes," said Bessie; "but I do wish my soldier and Mrs. Yush could come
to our party."

"What makes you care so much about Colonel Rush?" asked Gracie. "He's
such a big man."

"He isn't any bigger than my father," said Bessie; "and I love my
father dearly, dearly. We can love people just as much if they are big."

"Oh, I didn't mean that," said Gracie; "I meant he's so old. You'd have
to love your father, even if you didn't want to, because he is your
father, and he takes care of you. But Colonel Rush isn't anything of
yours."

"He is," said Bessie; "he is my own soldier, and my great, great
friend; and he loves me too."

"I know it," said Gracie. "Mamma says it is strange to see a grown man
so fond of a little child who doesn't belong to him."

"I think it is very good of him to love me so much," said Bessie, "and
I do wish he was here. I want him very much."

"And so do I," said Maggie, who had come to see why Bessie was not
playing; "but we can't have him, 'cause he can't walk up this bank,
and the carriage can't come here, either. I just wish there wasn't any
bank."

"Why, what is the matter?" asked Uncle John. "Here is the queen of the
day looking as if her cup of happiness was not quite full. What is it,
Maggie?"

"We want the colonel," said Maggie.

"Why, you disconsolate little monkey! Are there not enough grown people
here already, making children of themselves for your amusement, but you
must want the colonel too? If he was here, he could not play with you,
poor fellow!"

"He could sit still and look at us," said Maggie.

"And we could look at him," said Bessie. "We are very fond of him,
Uncle John."

"I know you are," said Uncle John, "and so you should be, for he is
very fond of you, and does enough to please you. But I am very fond of
you too, and I am going to make a fox of myself, to please you. So all
hands must come for a game of fox and chickens before supper."

Away they all went to join the game. Uncle John was the fox, and Mrs.
Bradford and Aunt Annie the hens, and Aunt Helen and papa were chickens
with the little ones; while grandpa and grandma and Mrs. Jones sat on
the piazza, each with a baby on her knee. The fox was such a nimble
fellow, the mother hens had hard work to keep their broods together,
and had to send them scattering home very often. It was a grand frolic,
and the grown people enjoyed it almost as much as the children.

Even Toby seemed to forget himself for a moment or two; and once, when
the chickens were all flying over the grass, screaming and laughing,
he sprang up from his post on the porch, where he had been quietly
watching them, and came bounding down among them with a joyous bark,
and seized hold of the fox by the coat tails, just as he pounced on
Harry and Walter, as if he thought they had need of his help. How the
children laughed! But after that, Toby seemed to be quite ashamed of
himself, and walked back to his old seat with the most solemn air
possible, as if he meant to say,--

"If you thought it was this respectable dog who was playing with you
just now, you were mistaken. It must have been some foolish little
puppy, who did not know any better." And not even Bessie could coax him
to play any more.

But at last fox, hen, and chickens were all called to supper, and went
in together as peaceably as possible. The children were all placed
round the room, some of them on the drollest kind of seats, which Mr.
Jones had contrived for the occasion. Almost all of them were so low
that every child could hold its plate on its lap, for there was not
half room enough round the table.

They were scarcely arranged when a curious sound was heard outside,
like a tapping on the piazza.

"That sounds just like my soldier's crutches," said Bessie. "But then
it couldn't be, because he never could get up the bank."

But it seemed that the colonel could get up the bank, for as Bessie
said this, she turned, and there he stood at the door, with Mrs. Rush
at his side, both looking very smiling.

"Oh, it is, it is!" said Bessie, her whole face full of delight. "Oh,
Maggie, he did come! he did get up! Oh, I'm _perferly_ glad."

And indeed she seemed so. It was pretty to see her as she stood by the
colonel, looking up at him with her eyes so full of love and pleasure,
and a bright color in her cheeks; while Maggie, almost as much
delighted, ran to the heavy arm-chair in which Grandpapa Duncan usually
sat, and began tugging and shoving at it with all her might.

"What do you want to do, Maggie?" asked Tom Norris, as he saw her red
in the face, and all out of breath.

"I want to take it to the door, so that he need not walk another step.
Please help me, Tom," said Maggie, looking at the colonel who stood
leaning on his crutches, and shaking hands with all the friends who
were so glad to see him.

"Never mind, little woman," said he; "I shall reach the chair with far
less trouble than you can bring it to me, and I can go to it quite
well. I could not have come up this bank of yours, if I had not been
'nice and spry,' as Mrs. Jones says. I told you you should have the
answer to your invitation to-night; did I not?"

"Oh, yes; but why didn't you tell us you were coming?"

"Because I did not know myself that I should be able to when the
time came; and I was vain enough to think you and Bessie would be
disappointed if I promised and did not come after all. I knew I should
be disappointed myself; so I thought I would say nothing till I was on
the spot. Would you have liked it better if I had sent you a 'refuse'?"

"Oh, no, sir!" said Maggie. "How can you talk so?"

"You gave us the best answer in the world," said Bessie.

Certainly the colonel had no reason to think that all, both old and
young, were not glad to see him. As for Maggie, she could not rest
until she had done something for him. As soon as she had seen him
seated in the great chair, she rushed off, and was presently heard
coming down stairs with something thump, thumping after her, and in
a moment there she was at the door dragging two pillows, one in each
hand. These she insisted on squeezing behind the colonel's back, and
though he would have been more comfortable without them, he allowed her
to do it, as she had taken so much trouble to bring them, and smiled
and thanked her; so she was quite sure she had made him perfectly easy.
Neither she nor Bessie would eat anything till he had taken or refused
everything that was on the table, and he said he was fairly in the way
to be killed with kindness.

After supper Fred whispered to his father, and receiving his
permission, proposed "three cheers for Bessie's soldier, Colonel Rush."
The three cheers were given with a hearty good-will, and the room rang
again and again.

"Three cheers for all our soldiers," said Harry; and these were given.

Then Walter Stone cried, "Three cheers for our Maggie, the queen of
the day," and again all the boys and girls shouted at the top of their
voices.

But Maggie did not like this at all. She hung her head, and colored all
over face, neck, and shoulders, then calling out in a vexed, distressed
tone, "I don't care," ran to her mother, and buried her face in her lap.

"Poor Maggie! That was almost too much, was it not?" said her mother,
as she lifted her up and seated her on her knee.

"Oh, mamma, it was dreadful!" said Maggie, almost crying, and hiding
her face on her mother's shoulder. "How could they?"

"Never mind, dear; they only did it out of compliment to you, and they
thought you would be pleased."

"But I am not, mamma. I would rather have a discompliment."

Maggie's trouble was forgotten when Uncle John jumped up and began a
droll speech, which made all the children laugh, and in a few moments
she was as merry as ever again.

"So this has been a happy day?" said the colonel, looking down at
Bessie, who was sitting close beside him, as she had done ever since he
came in.

"Oh, yes," said Bessie; "it is the best birthday we have ever had."

"We?" said the colonel. "It is not your birthday, too; is it?"

"No," said Bessie; "but that's no difference. I like Maggie's birthday
just as much as mine, only I like hers better, 'cause I can give her a
present."

"Does she not give you a present on your birthday?"

"Yes; but I like to give her one better than to have her give me one;
and it was such a great part of the happiness 'cause you came to-night."

"Bless your loving little heart!" said the colonel, looking very much
pleased.

"You know, even if you did not give me that beautiful doll, it would be
'most the same; for Maggie would let me call hers half mine; but I am
very glad you did give it to me. Oh, I'm _very_ satisfied of this day."

"Wasn't this a nice day?" Bessie said to her sister, when their little
friends were gone, and they were snug in bed.

"Yes, lovely," said Maggie, "only except the boys hollering about me. I
never heard of such a thing,--to go and holler about a girl, and make
her feel all red! I think, if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't know what
to do 'cause of my gladness."



XVIII.

_THE ADVENTURE._


There was a dreadful storm that week, which lasted several days, and
did a great deal of damage along the coast. The sky was black and angry
with dark, heavy clouds. The great waves of the ocean rolled up on the
beach with a loud, deafening roar, the house rocked with the terrible
wind, and the rain poured in such torrents that Maggie asked her mother
if she did not think "the windows of heaven were opened," and there was
to be another flood.

"Maggie," said her mother, "when Noah came out of the ark, what was the
first thing he did?"

Maggie thought a moment, and then said, "Built an altar and made a
sacrifice."

"Yes; and what did the Lord say to him?"

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said Maggie, who, provided she
had an answer, was not always particular it was the right one.

Mrs. Bradford smiled a little.

"We are not told the Lord said that," she answered, "though he was
doubtless pleased that Noah's first act should have been one of praise
and thanksgiving. Indeed, the Bible tells us as much. But what did he
place in the clouds for Noah to see?"

"A rainbow," said Maggie.

"What did he tell Noah it should be?"

"I forgot that," said Maggie; "he said it should be a sign that the
world should never be drowned again."

"Yes; the Lord told Noah he would make a covenant with him 'that the
waters should no more become a flood to destroy the earth;' and he made
the rainbow for a sign that his promise should stand sure."

"I am glad God made the rainbow, 'cause it is so pretty," said Maggie;
"but I think Noah might have believed him without that, when he took
such care of him in the ark."

"Probably he did; we are not told that Noah did not believe, and it was
of his own great goodness and mercy that the Almighty gave to Noah, and
all who should live after him, this beautiful token of his love and
care. But if my little girl could have believed God's promise then, why
can she not do so now? His word holds good as surely in these days as
in those of Noah."

"So I do, mamma," said Maggie; "I forgot about the rainbow and God's
promise. I wont be afraid any more, but I do wish it would not rain so
hard, and that the wind would not blow quite so much."

"We are all in God's hands, Maggie. No harm can come to us unless he
wills it."

"Franky don't like this great wind either, mamma," said Maggie, "and
he said something so funny about it this morning. It was blowing and
blowing, and the windows shook and rattled so, and Franky began to cry
and said, 'I 'fraid.' Then nurse told him not to be afraid, 'cause God
made the wind blow, and he would take care of him. A little while
after, he was standing on the chair by the window, and it galed harder
than ever, and the wind made a terrible noise, and Franky turned round
to nurse and said, 'How God do blow!' and then the poor little fellow
began to cry again."

"Yes, and Maggie was very good to him," said Bessie; "she put her new
doll in the wagon, and let him pull it about the nursery, only we
watched him all the time, 'cause he's such a misfit." (Bessie meant
mischief.) "Mamma, will you yead us about Noah?"

Mrs. Bradford took the Bible and read the chapter in Genesis which
tells about the flood, and the children listened without tiring until
she had finished.

At last the storm was over,--the wind and rain ceased, and the sky
cleared, to the delight of the children, but they still heard a great
deal of the storm and the damage which had been done. Many vessels had
been wrecked, some with men and women on board, who had been drowned
in the sea. Some miles farther up the shore, a large ship had been cast
upon the rocks, where she was driven by the gale. The guns of distress
she had fired had been heard by the people of Quam the night before the
storm ceased. It was an emigrant ship coming from Europe, and there
were hundreds of poor people on board, many of whom were drowned; and
most of the saved lost everything they had in the world, so there was
much suffering among them. Mr. Howard and Mr. Norris drove over to the
place, to see if anything could be done for them, and came back to try
and raise money among their friends and acquaintances to buy food and
clothing.

Maggie and Bessie were down on the beach with their father and Colonel
Rush when Mr. Howard joined them, and told them some of the sad scenes
he had just seen. The little girls were very much interested, and the
gentlemen seemed so too. Mr. Bradford and Mr. Duncan gave them money,
and the colonel, too, pulled out his pocket-book, and taking out a
roll of bills, handed Mr. Howard two or three. Mr. Howard was still
talking, and the colonel, who was listening earnestly, and who was
always careless with his money, did not pay much heed to what he was
doing. He put the roll of bank-notes back in his pocket-book, and, as
he thought, put the book in his pocket; but instead of going in, it
dropped upon the sand behind the rock on which he sat, and no one saw
it fall, but a bad boy standing a little way off.

Now this boy was a thief and a liar. Perhaps no one had ever taught
him better; but however that was, he was quite willing to do anything
wicked for the sake of a little money. He saw the soldier take out the
roll of bank-notes, put them back again, and then drop the pocket-book
on the sand, and he hoped no one would notice it, so that he might pick
it up when they had gone.

[Illustration: Bessie at Sea Side. P. 252.]

By and by the colonel said he was tired, and thought he would go home.
Mr. Bradford and the other gentlemen said they would go with him,
Mr. Bradford telling his little girls to come too.

"In a minute, papa," said Bessie; "my dolly's hat has come off, and I
must put it on."

"We'll go on then," said her father; "you can run after us."

The gentlemen walked on, while Bessie began to put on Miss Margaret
Horace Rush Bradford's hat.

"Oh, Maggie!" she said, "there's Lily Norris going out in the boat with
her father, and mamma said we might ask her to tea. I know she'd yather
come with us; you yun ask her, while I put on my dolly's hat, and then
I'll come too."

Maggie ran on, leaving Bessie alone. The boy came a little nearer.
Bessie put on her doll's hat, and was going after her sister, when she
dropped her doll's parasol, and as she stooped to pick it up, she saw
the pocket-book.

"Oh, there's my soldier's porte-monnaie!" she said to herself; "I know
it is; I'll take it to him. My hands are so full, maybe I'll lose it.
I'll put it in my bosom, and then it will be all safe."

She laid doll, parasol, and the little basket she held in her hand upon
the rock, picked up the pocket-book, and pulling down the neck of her
spencer, slipped it inside. Just at this moment the boy came up to her.

"Give me that," he said.

"What?" asked Bessie, drawing back from him.

"Don't you make believe you don't know,--that pocket-book. It's mine."

"It isn't," said Bessie; "it's the colonel's."

"No, 'taint; it's mine. Hand over now, else I'll make you."

"I sha'n't," said Bessie. "I know it's the colonel's. I've seen it a
great many times, and just now he gave Mr. Howard some money out of it
for the poor people who lost all their things."

"Are you going to give it to me?" said the boy, coming nearer to her.

"No," said Bessie, "I am not. I am going to give it to the colonel,
and I shall tell him what a very naughty boy you are. Why, I'm afraid
you're a stealer! Don't you know--"

Bessie was stopped by the boy taking hold of her, and trying to drag
away the spencer, beneath which he had seen her slip the pocket-book.
Just at this moment Maggie turned her head, to see if Bessie were
coming, and saw her struggling in the grasp of the boy. Down went her
new doll, happily in a soft place in the sand, where it came to no
harm, and forgetting all fear, thinking only of her little sister, she
ran back to her help.

"Leave my Bessie be! Leave my Bessie be!" she screamed, flying upon the
boy, and fastening with both her hands upon the arm with which he was
tearing away the spencer and feeling for the pocket-book, while he held
Bessie with the other.

"Let go!" he said, fiercely, between his teeth. But Maggie only held
the tighter, screaming,--

"Leave my Bessie be! Oh! papa, papa, do come!"

Both terrified children were now screaming at the top of their voices,
and they were heard by their father and the other gentlemen, who turned
to see what was the matter. Although they were at a distance, Mr.
Bradford saw his little girls were in great trouble. Back he came, as
fast as he could, Mr. Howard and Uncle John after him, the colonel,
too, as quick as his crutches would carry him.

"Let go!" cried the boy, as he saw Mr. Bradford, letting go his own
hold on Bessie, and giving Maggie a furious blow across the face. But
fearing he would seize Bessie again, brave little Maggie held fast.

"Take that, then!" said the boy, giving her another and a harder blow.

Maggie fell, striking her head against the edge of the rock, and the
boy turned to run before Mr. Bradford reached the spot. But all this
time another pair of eyes had been upon him. Four swift feet were
coming toward him, and ever so many sharp teeth were set for a grip of
him. While the children had been with their father, Toby, Mr. Jones'
great white dog, had been seated on the edge of the bank before the
house, watching the people as he was accustomed to do.

Now between Toby and Joe Sands, the boy who tried to take the
pocket-book, there was great enmity. Joe never saw Toby without trying
to provoke him to a quarrel by making faces at him, and throwing sticks
and stones; but though the dog would growl and show his teeth, he had
never yet tried to bite him.

This afternoon, the moment Joe appeared, Toby seemed to suspect
mischief. He straightened himself up, put his head on one side, cocked
up one ear and drooped the other. Toby was not a handsome dog at the
best of times, and it was not becoming to him to hold his ears in this
fashion. He looked very fierce as he sat thus, but Joe did not see him,
or he might have been afraid to meddle with Bessie.

Toby never told whether he saw the colonel drop the pocket-book, but
from the minute it fell, he looked all ready for a spring, and never
took his eyes from Joe. When the boy spoke to Bessie, he appeared still
more uneasy, rose to his feet, snarled, and gave short, angry barks,
but did not think it was time to interfere till Joe laid his hand upon
the little girl. Then his patience was at an end, and with a furious,
rough bark, he rushed over the bank, down the beach, and just as Joe
turned to run from Mr. Bradford, seized fast hold of his leg. Happily
for Joe, he had on a thick, strong pair of boots; but even through
these Toby's teeth came in a way far from pleasant. Not a step could
he stir, and in an instant Mr. Bradford and the other gentlemen came
up. Mr. Bradford stooped to pick up Maggie, while Mr. Howard collared
Joe. Even then Toby would not let go, but gave Joe a good shake, which
made him cry out with pain. Poor Maggie was quite stunned for a moment
by the blow which Joe had given her, and there was a bad cut on her
head, where it had struck the rock, while one side of her face was much
bruised and scratched. But when, a moment after, she came to herself,
her first thought was still for Bessie, who was crying loudly with
terror and distress for her sister.

"Oh, my Bessie, my Bessie! leave her be!" she said, as she slowly
opened her eyes.

"Bessie is safe, my darling," said her father. "She is not hurt at
all. My poor little Maggie!" and sitting down on the rock, with her on
his knee, he tenderly bound up her head with his handkerchief. By this
time, Colonel Rush and two or three more people had come up, and Uncle
John went on to the house, to tell Mrs. Bradford what had happened, so
that she might not be startled when she saw Maggie.

Mr. Howard kept his hand on Joe's shoulder, but there was not much
need, for Toby still held him fast, and if he made the least move, gave
him a hint to keep still, which Joe thought it best to mind.

Mr. Bradford carried Maggie to the house, and the rest followed; but
it was a long time before any one could make out what had happened.
Bessie was too much frightened to tell, Maggie too sick, and Joe too
sullen. And Maggie did not know about the pocket-book. All she could
tell was, that she had seen Bessie struggling with the boy, and had run
to help her. At last Bessie was quieted, and then told the story in her
straightforward way, putting her hand in her bosom and pulling out the
pocket-book.

"Oh, you villain!" said Mrs. Jones, who was holding the basin while
Mrs. Bradford washed the blood from Maggie's face and head. "Oh, you
villain! Aint it enough to go robbin' orchards and melon patches, and
farmers' wagons market-days, but you must be fighting and knocking
down babies like these to get what's not your own? If you don't see
the inside of the county jail for this, my name's not Susan Jones. And
you'd have been there long ago, only for your poor mother, whose heart
ye're breakin' with your bad ways. That's you, Toby, my boy; you know
when you've a rascal fast; but you may let him go now, for there's your
master, and he will take him in hand."

Mr. Jones was the constable, and Toby knew this quite as well as if he
went on two feet instead of four. When Mr. Jones was sent to arrest any
one, he always took Toby with him, and it was curious to see how the
dog would watch the prisoner, and seem to feel that he had quite as
much share as his master in bringing him to be punished for the wicked
things he had done. As soon as Mr. Jones came in the room, he let go of
Joe, but sat down close to him, ready to take another grip, if he tried
to run away.

"And what's to be done about your poor mother?" said Mr. Jones, when he
had heard the story. "I shall have to have you up for this. It will go
nigh to kill her."

Joe made no answer, only looked more sullen and obstinate than ever.

"Mr. Jones," said Maggie, in a weak little voice, "please take him
away; it frightens me to see him."

"I'm going to take him right off where he wont trouble you for one
while," said Mr. Jones. "But how is it that you are afraid of him just
standing here, and you weren't afraid of him when he was handling you
and Bessie so rough?"

"I didn't think about that," said Maggie, "and if I had, I couldn't let
anybody do anything to my Bessie. I thought he was going to kill her.
Oh, dear! oh, dear!" and Maggie began to cry again; she could not have
told why, except that she could not help it.

"Come along," said Mr. Jones, taking hold of Joe's arm.

"Mr. Jones," said Bessie, "are you going to take him to the jail?"

"I am going to take him to the squire, and I guess he'll give him a few
days of it. Serve him right too."

"But I'm 'fraid it will break his mother's heart," said Bessie; "Mrs.
Jones said it would."

"He's breakin' his mother's heart fast enough, any way," said Mr.
Jones. "Drinkin' and swearin' and stealin' and idlin' round, when he
ought to be a help to her, poor, sick body! It isn't goin' to do him
nor his mother no harm for him to be shut up for a little while where
he can think over his bad ways. He wants bringin' up somewhere, and
Toby knows it too."

Toby growled and wagged his tail, as if to say he agreed with Mr.
Jones. The growl was for Joe, the wag for his master.

"You surely don't think he ought to be let off," said Mrs. Jones, "when
he hurt Maggie that way? Why, she's going to have a black eye, sure as
a gun!"

Joe walked away with Toby at his heels. Maggie's head was bound up, and
her bruises washed with arnica, and both she and Bessie were petted and
comforted.

As for the new doll, which Maggie had thrown down in her haste to run
to her little sister's help, it was picked up by one of the gentlemen,
who brought it safe and unbroken to Maggie. To be sure, Miss Bessie
Margaret Marion's dress was rather soiled by the wet sand on which she
had fallen; but as it was of muslin, it could easily be washed, and
Mrs. Jones soon made it quite clean again.



XIX.

_SOUL AND INSTINCT._


"Papa," said Maggie, the next morning, as she sat on his knee at
the breakfast-table, leaning her aching little head against his
breast,--"papa, is there anything in the paper about our 'sault and
battery?"

"About what?"

"Our 'sault and battery," said Maggie. "The other day, Uncle John was
reading to Aunt Helen how Mr. King was knocked down, and beaten by a
man who didn't like him; and he called it an 'unprovoked 'sault and
battery.' I thought that meant when somebody hit somebody that didn't
do anything to him."

"So it does," said her father, trying not to smile, "and yours was a
most 'unprovoked assault and battery,' my poor little woman; but there
is nothing in the paper about it."

"Do you think that there should be?" asked Mrs. Bradford.

"Oh, no, mamma; I'm very glad there isn't. I thought maybe the
paper-maker would hear about it, and put it into his paper; and I
didn't want people to be reading about Bessie and me. Do you think he
would do it another day, papa?"

"I think not, dear; you need not be afraid."

"I don't see what's the reason then," said Harry. "Maggie is a real
heroine, and so is Bessie. Why, there isn't a boy at Quam, however big
he is, that would dare to fight Joe Sands; and to think of our mite of
a Bess standing out against him, and holding fast to the pocket-book,
and Maggie running to the rescue!"

"Yes, you little speck of nothing ground down to a point," said Uncle
John, catching Bessie up in his arms, "how dared you hold your ground
against such a great rough boy as that?"

"Why, it was the colonel's pocket-book," said Bessie, "and he was
going to take it, and it wasn't his; so I _had_ to take care of it, you
know. I couldn't let him do such a naughty thing."

"They're bricks, both of them," said Harry.

"So they are," said Fred; for both of the boys were very proud of their
little sisters' courage; "and Maggie has the right stuff in her, if she
is shy. She is a little goose where there is nothing to be afraid of,
and a lion where there is."

"Holloa! what is all this heap of pennies for?" asked the colonel, a
while after, as he came into Mrs. Jones' parlor, and found Maggie and
Bessie, like the famous king, "counting out their money." He had come
up the bank and paid them a visit two or three times since Maggie's
birthday, so that they were not very much surprised to see him.

"But first tell me how that poor little head and face are, Maggie? Why,
you do look as if you'd been to the wars. Never mind, the bruises will
soon wear away; and as for the cut, your hair will hide that. It is
not every soldier that gets over his scars so easily; and you must not
be ashamed of yours while they last. But you have not told me what you
are going to do with so much money," he added, when he was comfortably
seated in the arm-chair.

"Oh, it isn't much," said Maggie; "it is only a little, and we wish it
was a whole lot."

"And what do you and Bessie want with a whole lot of money? I should
think you had about everything little girls could wish for."

"Yes, we have," said Bessie, "and we don't want it for ourselves."

"Who for, then?"

"For those poor shipyecked people. Papa and Uncle John have gone over
to see them; and mamma and Aunt Helen have gone to the village to buy
some flannel and calico to make things for the poor little children
who have lost theirs. Mr. Howard says there's a baby there that hasn't
anything but a ni'-gown, and no mother, 'cause she was drowned. A
sailor man has it, and he's going to take care of it, but he hasn't
any clothes for it. And we wanted to help buy things, but we have such
a very little money."

"Bessie has such a little, 'cause she spent all hers for my birthday
present," said Maggie. "Mamma gives us six cents a week, but it's such
a little while since my birthday, Bessie hasn't saved much. I have more
than she has, but not a great deal."

"And she wanted mamma to let her hem a pock'-han'kerchief and earn some
money," said Bessie, "but she can't, for the doctor says she musn't use
her eye while it's so black."

"Well," said the colonel, "I think you two have fairly earned the right
to dispose of at least half the money that was in that unfortunate
pocket-book. You shall say what shall be done with it."

Maggie looked as if she did not know what to say.

"If you mean, sir," said Bessie, "that you're going to give us half
that money, papa and mamma would not like it. They don't allow us to
yeceive money from people who are not yelations to us."

"And they are quite right," said the colonel. "I should not like you to
do it, if you were my little girls. But I do not mean that I will give
_you_ the money, only that I will give it away for any purpose you may
choose. Your father and mother can have no objection to that. There
were fifty dollars in the pocket-book. Half of that is twenty-five.
Now, shall I give it all to the shipwrecked people, or shall I give
part to something else?"

"Will you please to 'scuse me if I whisper to Maggie?" said Bessie.

"Certainly," said the colonel.

They whispered together for a minute or two, and then Bessie said, "If
you didn't mind it, sir, we would like to give half to Mrs. Sands;
she's very poor, and sick too; and she's in such a trouble 'cause Joe's
so bad. She has no one to work for her or do anything. Mamma sent Jane
to see her, and she told us about her; and we're so very sorry for her."

"Well, you are two forgiving little souls," said the colonel. "Do you
want me to give money to the mother of the boy who treated you so?"

"_She_ didn't treat us so," said Maggie, "and we would like her to be
helped 'cause she's so very poor. She cried about the pocket-book,
and she is a good woman. She couldn't help it if Joe was so bad. We
can't help being a little speck glad that Joe is shut up, he's such
a dangerous boy; and we'd be afraid of him now; but his mother feels
very bad about it. So if you want to do what we like with the money,
sir, please give half to the baby in the shipwreck, and half to Joe's
mother."

"Just as you please," said the colonel; "twelve and a half to the baby,
twelve and a half to Mrs. Sands. I shall give the baby's money to Mrs.
Rush, and ask her to buy what it needs. Will not that be the best way?"

The children said yes, and were much pleased at the thought that Mrs.
Sands and the little orphan baby were to be made comfortable with part
of the money which they had saved.

"Now, suppose we go out on the piazza," said the colonel; "Mrs. Rush is
there talking to Grandpa Duncan, and I told them I would come out again
when I had seen you."

"But there's no arm-chair out there," said Maggie.

"Never mind; the settee will do quite as well for a while."

But when Mrs. Jones happened to pass by, and saw the colonel sitting
on the piazza, nothing would do but she must bring out the arm-chair,
and make a great fuss to settle him comfortably. Maggie could not help
confessing she was very kind, even if she did not always take the most
pleasant way of showing it.

"What are you thinking of, Bessie?" asked the colonel, after he had
talked to Mr. Duncan for some time.

Bessie was sitting on the piazza step, looking at Toby with a very
grave face, as he lay beside her with his head in her lap.

"I am so sorry for Toby," she answered.

"Why, I think he is as well off as a dog can be. He looks very
comfortable there with his head in your lap."

"But he hasn't any soul to be saved," said the child.

"He does not know that," said the colonel, carelessly; "it does not
trouble him."

"But," said Bessie, "if he had a soul, and knew Jesus died to save it,
he would be a great deal happier. It makes us feel so happy to think
about that. Isn't that the yeason people are so much better and happier
than dogs, grandpa?"

"That's the reason they should be happier and better, dear."

"There are some people who know they have souls to be saved, who don't
think about it, and don't care if Jesus did come to die for them; are
there not, grandpa?" said Maggie.

"Yes, Maggie, there are very many such people."

"Then they can't be happy," said Bessie,--"not as happy as Toby, for he
don't know."

"I don't believe Joe thinks much about his soul," said Maggie.

"I am afraid not," answered Mr. Duncan.

"Grandpa," said Bessie, "if people know about their souls, and don't
care, I don't think they are much better than Toby."

"But, grandpa," said Maggie, "Toby behaves just as if he knew some
things are naughty, and other things right. How can he tell if he
has no soul? How did he know it was naughty for Joe to steal the
pocket-book; and what is the reason he knows Susie must not go near the
fire nor the cellar stairs?"

"It is instinct which teaches him that," said grandpa.

"What is that?"

"We cannot tell exactly. It is something which God has given to animals
to teach them what is best for themselves and their young. It is not
reason, for they have no soul nor mind as men, women, and children
have; but by it some animals, such as dogs and horses, often seem to
know what is right and wrong. It is instinct which teaches the bird to
build her nest. I am an old man, and I suppose you think I know a great
deal, but if I wanted to build a house for my children, I would not
know how to do it unless I were shown. But little birdie, untaught by
any one,--led only by the instinct which God has given her,--makes her
nest soft and comfortable for her young. It is instinct which teaches
Toby to know a man or a boy who is to be trusted from one who is not;
which makes him keep Susie from creeping into danger when he is told to
take care of her."

"And, grandpa," said Bessie, "Toby had an instinct about our baby, too.
The other day, when nurse left her asleep in the cradle, and went down
stairs for a few minutes, she woke up and fretted. Toby heard her, and
went down stairs, and pulled nurse's dress, and made her come up after
him to baby."

"Yes, that was his instinct," said Mr. Duncan. "He knew that baby
wanted to be taken up, and that nurse should come to her."

"He did such a funny thing the other day," said Maggie, "when Fred
played him a trick. You know he brings Mr. Jones' old slippers every
evening, and puts them by the kitchen door, so Mr. Jones can have them
all ready when he comes from his work. You tell it, Bessie, it hurts my
face to speak so much."

"Well," said Bessie, who was always ready to talk, "Fred took the
slippers, and hid them in his trunk, 'cause he wanted to see what Toby
would do. Toby looked and looked all over, but the poor fellow could
not find them. So at last he brought an old pair of yubber over-shoes,
and put them by the kitchen door. Then he went away and lay down behind
the door, and he looked so 'shamed, and so uncomf'able, Maggie and I
felt yeal sorry for him, and we wanted to show him where the slippers
were, but we didn't know ourselves, and Fred wouldn't tell us. Then
Fred called him ever so many times, but he was very cross, and growled,
and would not go at all till Fred said, 'Come, old dog, come, get the
slippers.' Then he came out and yan after Fred, and we all yan, and it
was so funny to see him. He was so glad, and he pulled out the slippers
and put them in their place, and then he took the old yubbers and put
them in the closet, and lay down with his paws on the slippers, as if
he thought somebody would take them away again. And now Mrs. Jones says
that every morning he hides them in a place of his own, where no one
can find them but his own self. I think that is very smart; don't you,
grandpa?"

"Very smart," said Mr. Duncan; "Toby is a wise dog."

"But, grandpa, don't Toby have conscience, too, when he knows what's
good and what's naughty? Mamma says it's conscience that tells us when
we're good, and when we're naughty."

"No, dear; Toby has no conscience. If he knows the difference between
right and wrong in some things, it is partly instinct, partly because
he has been taught. Conscience is that which makes us afraid of
displeasing God, and breaking his holy laws, but Toby feels nothing of
this. He is only afraid of displeasing his master; he has neither love
nor fear of One greater than that master, for he does not know there is
such a wise and holy being. If Toby should steal, or do anything wrong,
God would not call him to account for it, because he has given to the
dog no soul, no conscience, no feeling of duty to his Maker."

"Grandpa," said Bessie, "don't you mean that if Toby is naughty, God
will not punish him when he dies, 'cause he didn't know about him?"

"Yes, dear; for Toby there is neither reward nor punishment in another
world. For him, there is no life to come."

"Grandpa," said Maggie, "where will Toby's instinct go when he dies?"

"It will die with the dog. It is mortal; that is, it must die; but
our souls are immortal; they will go on living for ever and ever,
either loving and praising God through all eternity, or sinking down
to endless woe and suffering. Toby is a good, wise, faithful dog,
and knows a great deal, but the weakest, the most ignorant boy or
girl--that poor idiot you saw the other day--is far better, of far more
value in the sight of God, for he has a soul; and to save that precious
soul, our Lord left his heavenly home, and died upon the cross. Think
what a soul is worth when it needed that such a price be paid for its
salvation!"

"I can't help being sorry for Toby, 'cause he has no soul," said
Bessie; "but I'm a great deal sorrier for those people that don't think
about their souls, and go to Jesus to be saved. How can they help
it, when they know he wants them to come? Grandpa, don't they feel
ungrateful all the time?"

"I am afraid not, Bessie. If they do not feel their need of a Saviour,
they do not feel their ingratitude."

Bessie was silent for a minute or two, and sat gazing for a while far
away over the water, with the thoughtful look she so often had in her
eyes, and then she said slowly, as if speaking to herself,--

"I wonder if they think about for ever and ever and ever."

No one answered her. Not a word had the colonel said since Bessie had
said that she thought those who did not care for their souls were no
better than Toby; but he sat with his eyes sometimes on her, sometimes
on the dog, and his face, which was turned from his wife and Mr.
Duncan, had a vexed, troubled look. Mrs. Rush had often seen that look
during the last few days, and now she guessed it was there, even though
she did not see it. But, presently, when the carriage was seen coming
back with Mrs. Bradford and Mrs. Duncan, he drove it away, and was soon
laughing and talking as usual.



XX.

_NURSE TAKEN BY SURPRISE._


Nurse and Jane had taken all the children for a long walk. About a
mile up the shore lived the woman who took in Mrs. Bradford's washing.
Mrs. Bradford wished to send her a message, and told Jane to go with
it. There were two ways by which this house could be reached: one by
the shore, the other by a road which ran farther back, part of the
way through the woods. About a quarter of a mile this side of the
washer-woman's, it turned off nearer to the shore; and here it was
crossed by the brook, which also crossed the road to the station. It
was wider here, and deeper, and ran faster towards the sea. Over it was
built a rough bridge. Two beams were laid from bank to bank; on these
were placed large round logs, a foot or two apart, and above these
were the planks, with a miserable broken rail. It was a pretty place
though, and the walk to it was shady and pleasant,--pleasanter than the
beach on a warm day.

Nurse said she would walk to the bridge with the children, and rest
there, while Jane went the rest of the way. When Harry and Fred heard
this, they said they would go too, for the brook was a capital place
to fish for minnows. So they all set off, the boys carrying their
fishing-rods and tin pails.

But when they reached the bridge, they found there would be no fishing.
The rains of the great storm a few days ago had swollen the brook very
much, and there had been several heavy showers since, which had kept it
full, so it was now quite a little river, with a muddy current running
swiftly down to the sea. The tiny fish were all hidden away in some
snug hole, and the boys knew it was of no use to put out their lines.

"Oh, bother!" said Harry. "I thought the water would be lower by this
time. Never mind, we'll have some fun yet, Fred. Let's go in and have
a wade!"

"I don't believe father would let us," said Fred. "He said we must not
the day before yesterday, and the water is as high now as it was then."

"Let's go back, then," said Harry. "I don't want to stay here doing
nothing."

"No," said Fred. "Let's go on with Jane to the washer-woman's. She has
a pair of guinea-fowls, with a whole brood of young ones. Bessie and I
saw them the other day, when Mr. Jones took us up there in his wagon.
We'll go and see them again."

Maggie and Bessie asked if they might go too, but nurse said it was
too far. Bessie did not care much, as she had seen the birds once, but
Maggie was very much disappointed, for she had heard so much of the
guinea-fowls, that she was very anxious to have a look at them. So Jane
said, if nurse would let her go, she would carry her part of the way.
So at last nurse said she might. Then Franky said he wanted to go too,
but he was pacified by having a stick with a line on the end of it
given to him, with which he thought he was fishing.

A tree which had been blown down by the gale lay near the bridge, and
on this nurse sat down with baby on her knee, and Bessie and Franky
beside her. Franky sat on the end of the log, toward the water, where
he was quite safe, if he sat still, and nurse meant to keep a close eye
on him. But something happened which made her forget him for a moment
or two.

"And I'll tell you Cinderella," said nurse to Bessie, as the others
went off.

"I'd yather hear about when you were a little girl on your father's
farm," said Bessie.

Nurse liked to talk of this, so she began to tell Bessie of the time
when she was young, and lived at home in far-off England. Bessie had
heard it all very often, but she liked it none the less for that.
Franky sat still, now and then pulling up his line, and saying, "Not
one fis!" and then throwing it out again.

Suddenly the sound of wheels was heard, and looking round, they saw
Miss Adams' pony carriage, with the lady driving, and the little groom
behind.

Several times since the day when Miss Adams had teased Bessie, and
Bessie had called her a kitchen lady, she had shown a wish to speak to
the little girl; but she could never persuade her to come near her.
Once or twice, as Bessie was passing through the hall of the hotel,
Miss Adams had opened her door and called to her in a coaxing voice;
but Bessie always ran off as fast as possible, without waiting to
answer. As Miss Adams passed, she nodded, drove on a little way, and
then turned back. She pulled in her horses close to nurse and Bessie.
Baby crowed and shook her little hands at the carriage. It was a pretty
affair, the low basket, softly cushioned, the black ponies with their
bright, glittering harness, and the jaunty groom in his neat livery;
but Bessie had no wish to get in it when Miss Adams said, "Come,
Bessie, jump in and take a ride."

"No, thank you, ma'am," said Bessie, drawing closer to nurse.

"Yes, come," said Miss Adams, coaxingly. "I'll give you a nice ride,
and bring you back quite safe to your nurse, or take you home, as you
like."

"I'd yather not," said Bessie, taking hold of nurse's dress, as if she
feared Miss Adams might take her off by force.

"You don't know how pleasant it is," said Miss Adams,--"come."

"I don't want to yide," said Bessie.

All this time nurse had been looking very grim. She was quite an old
woman, and had lived in the family a great many years, for she had
taken care of Mrs. Bradford herself when she was a little girl. She
loved her and her children dearly, and would have done anything in
the world for them, and if any one brought harm or trouble to her
nurslings, she ruffled up her feathers like an old hen, and thought
herself at liberty to do or say anything she pleased.

"And she wouldn't be let, if she did want to," she said sharply to Miss
Adams.

The young lady looked at the old woman with a sparkle in her eye.

"I'll take the baby, too, if you like," she said, mischievously; "I can
drive quite well with her on my lap, and Bessie can sit beside me."

"My baby!" said nurse, who seemed to think the baby her own special
property,--"my baby! Do you think I'd risk her neck in a gimcrack like
that? There isn't one of them I'd trust a hand's breadth with ye, not
if ye was to go down on your bended knees."

"I'm not likely to do that," said Miss Adams, turning round and driving
off once more, "Well, good-by, Bessie, since you wont come."

She had gone but a short distance, when she drew in the ponies again,
jumped out, tossed the reins to the groom, and ran back to the bridge.
"Bessie," she said, "I want to speak to you; will you come over on the
other side of the road?"

Bessie looked as shy as Maggie might have done. "No, ma'am," she
answered.

"But I have something very particular to say to you, and I shall not
tease or trouble you at all. Come, dear, that is a good child. If you
do not, I shall think you are angry with me still."

"No, I'm not," said Bessie. "Well, I'll go."

"Not with my leave," said nurse. "If you have anything to say, just say
it here, miss. You can't have anything to tell this child her old nurse
can't hear."

"Yes, I have," said Miss Adams. "Come, Bessie. I shall not pull your
hair. I want to speak to you very much. Don't you wish to do as you
would be done by?"

"I think I'd better go; bett'n't I?" said Bessie. "I don't want her to
think I'm angry yet."

"Sit ye still," said nurse, without looking at Miss Adams. "I sha'n't
let ye go to have I know not what notions put into your head."

Miss Adams looked vexed, and bit her lip, then she laughed. "Now, don't
be cross, nurse. I am not going to say anything to Bessie which you or
her mother would not approve."

"Maybe," said nurse, dryly.

"And if Mrs. Bradford were here, I am sure she would let Bessie come."

"Maybe," said nurse again, beginning to trot baby rather harder than
she liked.

Miss Adams stood tapping the toe of her gaiter with her riding whip.
"I promise you," she said, "that I will let her come back to you in
a moment or two, and that I will not do the least thing which could
trouble or tease her."

"Promises and fair words cost nothing," said nurse.

"How dare you say that to me?" she said, losing her temper at last.
"Whatever else I may have done, I have never yet broken my word!
Bessie,"--she said this in a softer tone,--"don't think that of me,
dear. I would not say what was not true, or break a promise, for the
world." Then to nurse again: "You're an obstinate old woman, and--Look
at that child!"

These last words were said in a startled tone and with a frightened
look.

Nurse turned her head, started up, and then stood still with fear and
amazement. Finding himself unnoticed, Master Franky had concluded
that he had sat quiet long enough, and slipping off his stone, he had
scrambled up the bank and walked upon the bridge. About the centre of
this he found a broken place in the railing through which he put the
stick and line with which he was playing to fish. Putting his head
through after it, he saw that it did not touch the water and that just
in front of him was the projecting end of one of the logs. Here, he
thought, he could fish better, and slipping through, he was now where
Miss Adams told nurse to look at him, stooping over, with one fat hand
grasping the railing and with the other trying to make his line touch
the water. The bridge was four or five feet above the stream, and
although a fall from it might not have been very dangerous for a grown
person, a little child like Franky might easily have been swept away by
the current, which was deepest and swiftest where he was standing.

"Don't speak," said Miss Adams, hastily, and darting round to the other
side of the bridge, she walked directly into the water, and stooping
down, passed under the bridge and came out under the spot where Franky
stood. As she had expected, the moment he saw her, he started and fell,
but Miss Adams was ready for him. She caught him in her arms, waded
through the water, and placed him safe and dry on the grass.

"Oh, you naughty boy!" said nurse, the moment she had done so, "what am
I to do with you now?"

"Nosin' at all; Franky dood boy. Didn't fall in water."

"And whose fault is that I should like to know," said Miss Adams,
laughing and shaking her dripping skirts, "you little monkey? I do not
know but I should have done better to let you fall into the water and
be well frightened before I pulled you out."

"Franky not frightened; Franky brave soldier," said the child.

"You're a mischievous monkey, sir," said the young lady.

"That he is," said nurse, speaking in a very different way from that in
which she had spoken before. "And where would he have been now but for
you and the kind Providence which brought you here, miss? What would I
have done, with the baby in my arms and he standing there? I'd never
have thought of catching him that way. It was right cute of you, miss."

"I saw it was the only way," said Miss Adams. "I knew he would be off
that slippery log if he was startled."

"I thank you again and again, miss," said the nurse, "and so will his
mother; there's your beautiful dress all spoiled."

"Oh! that's nothing," said Miss Adams, giving her dress another shake;
"it was good fun. But now, when I have saved one of your chickens from
a ducking, you cannot think I would hurt the other if you let me have
her for a moment."

"Surely I will," said nurse; "but you are not going to stand and talk
in such a pickle as that? You'll catch your death of cold."

"No fear," said Miss Adams, "I am tough. Come now, Bessie." She held
out her hand to the little girl, and now that she had saved her
brother, she went with her willingly. She was not afraid of her any
more, though she wondered very much what the lady could have to say to
her which nurse might not hear.

"You'll excuse me for speaking as I did before, miss, but I'm an old
woman, and cross sometimes, and then you see--" Nurse hesitated.

"Yes, I see. I know I deserved it all," said Miss Adams, and then she
led Bessie to the other side of the road. "Suppose I lift you up here,
Bessie; I can talk to you better." She lifted her up and seated her on
the stone wall which ran along the road.

"Now," she said, leaning her arms upon the wall, "I want to ask you
something."

"I know what you want to ask me," said Bessie, coloring.

"What is it, then?"

"You want me to say I'm sorry 'cause I said that to you the other day,
and I am sorry. Mamma said it was saucy. But I didn't mean to be saucy.
I didn't know how to help it, you asked me so much."

"You need not be sorry, Bessie. I deserved it, and it was not that I
was going to speak about. I wanted to ask you to forgive me for being
so unkind to you. Will you?"

"Oh, yes, ma'am! I did forgave you that day, and mamma told me
something which made me very sorry for you."

"What was it? Would she like you to repeat it?"

"I guess she wont care. She said your father and mother died when you
were a little baby, and you had a great deal of money, more than was
good for you, and you had no one to tell you how to take care of it; so
if you did things you ought not to, we ought to be sorry for you, and
not talk much about them."

Miss Adams stood silent a moment, and then she said, slowly,--

"Yes, if my mother had lived, Bessie, I might have been different. I
suppose I do many things I should not do if I had a mother to care
about it; but there is no one to care, and I don't know why I should
myself. I may as well take my fun."

"Miss Adams," said Bessie, "hasn't your mother gone to heaven?"

"Yes, I suppose so," said the young lady, looking a little
startled,--"yes, I am sure of it. They say she was a good woman."

"Then don't she care up there?"

"I don't know. They say heaven is a happy place. I should not think my
mother could be very happy even there, if she cared about me and saw me
now."

"Do you mean she wouldn't like to see you do those things you say you
ought not to do?"

"Yes."

"Then why don't you do things that will make her happy? I would try to,
if my mother went to heaven."

"What would you do?"

"I don't know," said Bessie.

"I suppose you would not pull little girls' hair, or tease them, or
behave like a kitchen lady."

"Please don't speak of that any more," said Bessie, coloring.

"And your mother thinks I have too much money; does she? Well, I do not
know but I have, if having more than I know what to do with is having
too much."

"Why don't you give some away?" Bessie asked.

"I do, and then am scolded for it. I drove down the other day to take
some to those shipwrecked people, and the next day Mr. Howard came to
me with his long face and told me I had done more harm than good; for
some of them had been drinking with the money I gave them, and had a
fight and no end of trouble. That is always the way. I am tired of
myself, of my money, and everything else."

Bessie did not know what to make of this odd young lady, who was
talking in such a strange way to her, but she could not help feeling
sorry for her as she stood leaning on the wall with a tired,
disappointed look on her face, and said these words in a troubled voice.

"Miss Adams," she said, "why don't you ask our Father in heaven to give
you some one to take care of you and your money, and to make you--"
Bessie stopped short.

"Well," said Miss Adams, smiling, "to make me what?"

"I am afraid you would not like me to say it," said Bessie, fidgeting
on her hard seat. "I think I had better go to nurse."

"You shall go, but I would like to hear what you were going to say. To
make me what?"

"To make you behave yourself," said Bessie, gravely, not quite sure she
was doing right to say it.

But Miss Adams laughed outright, then looked grave again.

"There are plenty of people would like to take care of my money,
Bessie, and there are some people who try, or think they try, to make
me behave myself; but not because they care for me, only because they
are shocked by the things I do. So I try to shock them more than ever."

Bessie was sure this was not right, but she did not like to tell Miss
Adams so.

"But I am sorry I shocked you, Bessie, and made you think me no lady.
Now tell me that you forgive me, and shake hands with me. I am going
away to-morrow, and may never see you again."

Bessie put her little hand in Miss Adams', and lifted up her face to
her.

"I'll kiss you now," she said, "and I'm sorry I wouldn't that day."

The young lady looked pleased, and stooping, she kissed her two or
three times, then took her hand to lead her back to nurse. Nurse was
just rising from her seat and looking anxiously up at the sky.

"There's a cloud coming over the sun," she said; "I'm afraid it is
going to rain."

"I expect it is," said Miss Adams; "I saw there was a shower coming as
I drove down the hill, but I did not think it would be here for some
time yet."

Just then the boys and Jane came running up to them, Jane carrying
Maggie in her arms.

"Oh, nursey!" called Maggie, "it's going to gust. We thought you would
be gone home. Why, there's Miss Adams!"--and Maggie stopped. Not only
she, but all the rest of the party were very much surprised to see
Miss Adams standing there, and seeming so friendly with Bessie and
nurse. But there was no time to say anything.

There was indeed a gust coming. The edge of a black cloud was just
showing itself over the woods which had hidden it till now from nurse.

"Make haste!" cried Harry; "I never saw a cloud come up so fast."

"Quick, nurse!" said Miss Adams; "jump into the pony carriage with the
little ones, and we will be home in less than no time. Quick, now!"

Nurse made no objections now to the "gimcrack." She thought of nothing
but how to get her babies home before the storm should overtake them.
She bundled into the carriage with baby, while Miss Adams, laughing as
if she enjoyed the fun, packed in Maggie, Bessie, and Franky beside
her. "Hurry up, now, Tip!" she said to the groom, and giving the ponies
a crack with her whip, away they dashed down the road.

"Now, boys, try if we can outrun the clouds. See who'll be first at
the bend in the road. One, two, three, and away!" and off she went,
with Fred and Harry after her, while Jane stood still for a moment in
amazement at the pranks of this strange young lady, and then followed
as fast as her feet could carry her.

Meanwhile, on went the carriage with its precious load, nurse, as soon
as they were fairly started, wishing they were all out again, and every
minute begging Tip to drive carefully, and not upset them, to which
he did not pay the least attention. But they reached home without
accident, and found papa and Uncle John setting out to meet them.

It was growing very dark now. The black cloud had covered nearly the
whole sky, and a white line was moving swiftly along the water, showing
that a furious wind was sweeping over the waves. In another minute they
were in the house, and right glad was the anxious mother to see her
little ones.

"But where are Harry and Fred?" she said; "and how came you home in
that?" looking at the carriage.

"Miss Adams sent us," said Maggie, "and the boys are coming with her."

"And she didn't let him fall in, mamma," said Bessie, "and she is all
wet. But she only laughed. She's been talking to me, and I was sorry
for her, and she's sorry 'cause she pulled my hair. I kissed her, so we
are friends now."

"Miss Adams!" said Mrs. Bradford, in great surprise.

"Yes, ma'am, Miss Adams," said nurse, giving baby to her mother, "and
surely I think she's turned over a new leaf. She's been talking to
Bessie as tame as a lamb, and making friends with her, and that after
me giving her a piece of my mind. And she saved that boy there (oh, you
naughty fellow!) from drowning; for what could I have done?"

"Saved my boy from drowning!" said Mrs. Bradford, turning pale.

Then nurse told how Miss Adams' presence of mind had saved Franky from
a fall, and probably from being carried away and drowned. Just as she
finished her story, the young lady and the boys came up.

Mr. and Mrs. Bradford went out on the piazza, to meet Miss Adams, but
she did not mean to come in, nor could she be persuaded to do so,
though the large drops of rain were beginning to plash heavily down;
nor would she listen to any thanks from Mrs. Bradford.

"But you are heated with your run," said Mrs. Bradford, "come in and
have some dry clothes. You will be drenched in this pouring rain, and
will take cold."

"No fear," said Miss Adams, laughing. "The second wetting will do me no
harm; nothing ever hurts me. Good-by. Good-by, dear little Bessie." She
stooped to kiss her, and running down the bank, snatched the reins from
the groom, jumped into the carriage, and kissing her hand, drove away
through all the rain.

"Strange, wild girl," said Mrs. Bradford, with a sigh, as she turned
into the house.

"But there must be some good in her, mamma, when she gave up her
carriage to the children, and walked or rather ran all the way here,"
said Harry; "and she didn't seem to think she'd done anything at all.
How she did scud though! I don't like to see a woman act the way she
does, and I can't quite forgive her about Carlo and Bessie; but I do
think there's some good in her."

"Ah, Harry," said his mother. "There is some good in every one, if we
only knew how to find it."



XXI.

_THE COLONEL IN TROUBLE._


"Bessie," said Harry, as the children were at their supper, and he saw
his little sister sitting with her spoon in her hand and her eyes fixed
on the table as if she had forgotten the bread and butter and berries
before her,--"Bessie, what are you thinking of."

"Of Miss Adams," said the little girl.

"Nurse said she was talking to you ever so long," said Fred; "what was
she saying?"

"I don't think she meant me to talk about it," said Bessie; "she didn't
want nurse to hear, and so I shall only tell mamma and Maggie. You
know I must tell mamma everything, and I couldn't help telling my own
Maggie."

"She is a queer dick," said Fred, "pulling your hair, and tormenting
you out of your life one time, and telling you secrets another. The
idea of a grown woman telling secrets to a little snip like you!"

"No snip about it!" said Maggie; "and if I was everybody, I'd tell
Bessie every one of my secrets."

"That's right, Maggie. You always stand up for Bessie and fight her
battles; don't you?"

"But, Bessie," said Harry, "did Miss Adams tell you you mustn't repeat
what she said?"

"No," said Bessie.

"Then there's no harm in telling."

"Oh, Harry!" said Fred. "If Bessie knows Miss Adams don't want her to
talk about it, she ought not to tell any more than if she had promised;
ought she, father?"

"Certainly not," said Mr. Bradford; "it would be unkind as well as
dishonorable."

"Yes," said Maggie; "it is not to do to others as I would that they
should do to me."

"Exactly, little woman," said her father, "and remember, dear
children, that is a very safe rule to be guided by, when we do not feel
sure whether a thing is fair or not."

"Bessie," said Fred, "tell us what ails the colonel. I suppose you
know, for all the grown-uppers seem to be telling you their secrets."

"Why, that's not a secret! His leg is cut off."

"Don't think I don't know that. I mean, what makes him so grumpy? He
isn't like the same fellow he was when he first came down here."

"Fred," said Bessie, giving him a reproving look, "you're not polite at
all to talk that way about my soldier. He's not a fellow, only boys are
fellows, and he's a big gentleman. And he's not that other thing you
called him,--I sha'n't say it, because it is a very ugly word."

"And it's saucy to say it about the colonel," said Maggie.

"I don't care," said Fred. "It's true; isn't it, Hal? He used to be
the best company in the world,--always ready to tell us boys stories
by the hour, and full of his fun and jokes. But for the last few days
he has been as solemn as an owl, with no fun to be had out of him, and
if one can get him to talk, it always seems as if he were thinking of
something else. He's as cross as a bear too. Now don't fire up, Bess;
it's so. Starr, his man, says he was never half so impatient or hard to
please all the time he was sick as he has been for the last ten days."

"Fred," said Mrs. Bradford, "you should not talk to a servant of his
master's faults."

"He didn't, mother," said Harry,--"at least, not in a way you would
think wrong. The colonel was dreadfully dull and out of sorts the
other day, though he declared that nothing ailed him, and seemed quite
provoked that we should ask, though any one could see with half an eye
that something was the matter. Starr was hanging round, bringing him
this and that, books and newspapers, coaxing him to have something
to eat or drink. At last he asked him if there was _nothing_ he could
do for him, and the colonel thundered at him and said, 'Yes, leave me
alone.' Then he got himself up on his crutches and went off, and would
not let Starr help him. The man looked as if he had lost every friend
he had in the world. So Fred told him he didn't believe the colonel
meant anything. Starr said he was sure he did not, for he was the best
master that ever lived. But he was troubled about it, for he was sure
that something was wrong with him. Fred said perhaps his wounds pained
him worse; but Starr said no, the wounds were doing nicely, and the
colonel was not a man to make a fuss about them if they did pain him,
for all the time he was suffering so dreadfully that no one thought he
could live, he never heard a complaint or a groan from him. And it was
then he said the colonel was far harder to please, and more impatient
than when he was so ill."

"Maybe he wants to get back to his regiment," said Fred.

"No, it is not that,--at least, Mrs. Rush says it is not; for this
morning, when I was standing in the hall, the doctor came out of the
room with Mrs. Rush, and he said her husband had something on his mind,
and asked if he were fretting to be with his regiment. And she said,
'Oh, no, the colonel never frets himself about that which cannot be.'"

"Didn't she tell him what it was?" asked Fred.

"No, but I guess she, too, thinks there's something wrong with him,
for the doctor told her she must not let anything worry him, and she
did not say a word. And when he went, and she turned to go back to her
room, her face was so very sad."

"She's just the sweetest little woman that ever was made," said Fred,
who was a great admirer of Mrs. Rush, "and I don't know what he can
have to make him fret. I should think he had everything a man could
want."

"Except the one great thing," said Grandpapa Duncan, in a low voice to
himself.

Mr. Bradford, who had been listening to what his children were saying,
but had not spoken, now walked out on the piazza, where he stood
watching the clearing away of the storm. In a moment or two Bessie
followed him, and silently held out her arms to him to be taken up.

"Papa," she said, as he lifted her, "do you think my soldier has a
trouble in his mind?"

"I think he has."

"Wont you help him, papa?" said Bessie, who, like most little children,
thought her father able to help and comfort every one.

"I could only show him where he could find help, my darling, and I do
not think he cares to have me tell him."

"Then is there no one that can help him, papa?"

"Yes, there is One who can give him all the help he needs."

"You mean the One who lives up there?" said Bessie, pointing to the sky.

"Yes. Will my Bessie pray that her friend may receive all the help he
needs from that great merciful Father?"

"Oh, yes, papa, and you'll ask him, and my soldier will ask him, and
he'll be sure to listen; wont he?"

Mr. Bradford did not tell his little girl that the colonel would not
ask such aid for himself; he only kissed her and carried her in. Bessie
did not forget her friend that night when she said her evening prayers.

Maggie and Bessie went over to the hotel the next morning with their
mother. After making a visit to their grandma, they thought they would
go to see the colonel, so they ran away to his room. Mrs. Rush was
there busy, and she told them the colonel was out on the piazza. He
was reading the newspaper, but threw it down when they came, and was
very glad to see them. Bessie looked at him earnestly, to see if she
could see any signs of trouble about him. But he seemed much as usual,
laughing and talking pleasantly with them. But she could not forget
what Harry had said, and she turned her eyes so often upon him with a
questioning look that he noticed it, and said, "Well, my pet, what is
it? What do you want to know?"

"Does something trouble you?" asked Bessie.

"Trouble me!" he repeated. "What should trouble me?"

"I don't know," she answered; "but I thought maybe something did."

"What have I to trouble me?" he again asked, carelessly. "Have I not
the dearest little wife and two of the dearest little friends in the
world, as well as pretty much everything else a reasonable man could
want? To be sure, another leg would be a convenience, but that is a
small matter, and we will see what Palmer can do for me one of these
days; he will make me as good as new again."

Bessie was not quite satisfied. Though the colonel spoke so gayly, she
felt sure there had been something wrong, if there was not now. She
still watched him wistfully, and the colonel, looking into her loving
eyes, said, "If I were in any trouble, you would help me out of it,
Bessie; would you not?"

"If I could," she answered; "but I couldn't do very much, I'm too
little. But we know who can help us; don't we? and we can tell Him.
Mamma has a book named 'Go and tell Jesus.' Aint that a pretty name? I
asked her to read it to me, and she said I couldn't understand it now.
When I am older, she will; but I can understand the name, and I like to
think about it when I have been naughty or have a trouble."

"May your troubles never be worse than they are now, little one," said
the colonel fondly, with a smile; "and one of your troubles is done
with, Bessie. Do you know that your enemy, Miss Adams, is gone?"

"Oh, she is not my enemy any more," said Bessie; "we are friends now,
and I am glad of it, for I don't like to be enemies with people."

"Ho, ho!" said the colonel. "How did that come about? I thought she
wanted to make it up with you, but I did not see how it was to come
about when you were off like a lamp-lighter every time she came near
you."

Then Bessie told how Miss Adams' presence of mind had saved Franky from
falling into the stream, "And then we talked a little," she said, "and
I told her I was sorry I had been saucy, and kissed her, and so we are
all made up."

"That was the way; was it?" said the colonel. "I do not think you were
the one to ask pardon."

"Oh, she did too," said Bessie; "she said she was sorry she teased me."

"And what else did she say?"

"I don't think she meant me to talk about it, 'cause she didn't want
nurse to hear."

"Then I wont ask you, honorable little woman."

"And she sent us home in the pony-carriage when the rain was coming,
and ran all the way to our house herself, and mamma was very much
obliged to her," said Maggie.

"Well," said the colonel, "I suppose I shall have to forgive her
too, since she saved you from a wetting, and took a bad cold in your
service. We all wondered how she came to be so drenched, but she would
not tell us how it happened."

"Did she take cold?" asked Maggie. "Mamma said she would, but she said
nothing ever hurt her."

"Something has hurt her this time. They say she was really ill when she
went away this morning, and some of the ladies tried to persuade her to
wait until she was better. But go she would, and go she did. Here comes
Mrs. Rush to take me for a walk. Will you go with us?"

The children were quite ready, and, mamma's permission gained, they
went off with their friends.

But although this was the last they saw of Miss Adams, it was not the
last they heard of her. Mrs. Bradford was right. Miss Adams had been
wet to the knees in the brook, and much heated by her long run; and
then again thoroughly drenched in the rain, and when she reached home,
the foolish girl, for the sake of making people wonder at her, would
not change her clothes. She took a violent cold, but, as the colonel
had said, insisted on travelling the next morning, and went on till she
was so ill that she was forced to give up. She had a long illness, from
which it was thought she would never recover, but she afterwards said
that this was the happiest thing that had ever happened to her in her
life.

Sometime after this, about Christmas time, came a letter and a little
parcel to Bessie. The letter said,--


     "MY DEAR LITTLE BESSIE,--

     "Tell your mother I scorned her advice the day we were
     caught in the rain, and paid well for my folly, for I was
     very ill; but there was a good, kind doctor, who came and
     cured me, and now he is going to 'take care of me and my
     money, and make me behave myself.' He thinks he can make
     the 'kitchen lady' less of a mad-cap; but I do not know but
     that my long illness has done that already. While I lay
     sick, I had time to think, and to feel sorry that I had
     acted so wildly and foolishly as to leave myself without a
     true friend in the world. I shall never forget you, Bessie,
     and I hope you will sometimes think kindly of me, and that
     you may do so, will you ask your mother to let you wear
     this bracelet in remembrance of

            CLARA ADAMS."

The little parcel contained a very beautiful and expensive bracelet
with a clasp which made it smaller or larger, according to the size of
the arm of the wearer.

But Mrs. Bradford did not think it a suitable thing for her little
girl, and she told Bessie she should put it away till she was grown up.

"I sha'n't wear it then, mamma," said Bessie; "she never sent Maggie
one, and I don't want to wear what she don't. We can both look at it
sometimes, and then we can both think of Miss Adams: but we can't both
wear it, and we don't want to be dressed _different alike_."



XXII.

_THE BROKEN NOSE._


"There comes mamma with Mamie Stone," said Maggie, as they were going
back to the hotel with Colonel and Mrs. Rush.

When Mamie saw the little girls, she ran to meet them, saying she was
going home to spend the morning with them; and Mrs. Bradford took
them all back with her. While Maggie and Bessie said their lessons,
Mamie amused herself with Franky and Nellie and the baby; and she was
delighted when nurse made her sit down on the floor, and putting the
baby in her lap, let her hold her for a few minutes. Afterwards they
all had a good play together, a doll's tea-party, and a fine swing.

Mamie stayed to dinner, and was very good all day; and very soon after
dinner, Mr. Stone came to take his daughter home. He was a grave,
serious man, and it was rather unusual to see him with such a bright
smile, and looking so happy. He said a few words in a low tone to Mrs.
Bradford and Mrs. Duncan, and they seemed pleased too, and shook hands
with him.

"Yes," he said, in answer to something Mrs. Bradford said to him, "I am
glad of it; it is the best thing in the world for Mamie."

"What is it, papa?" said Mamie, springing forward; "have you got
something for me?"

"Yes," he answered. "Will you come home and see it?"

"What is it,--a new toy?"

"The very prettiest plaything you ever had in your life," he answered,
with a smile.

Mamie clapped her hands. "Can Maggie and Bessie come too?" she asked,
turning to Mrs. Bradford.

"Not to-day," said Mrs. Bradford, "but they shall come soon."

Mamie went away with her father, while Maggie and Bessie stood and
watched her as she went skipping along by his side, looking very happy
and eager.

But when an hour or two later they went down on the beach and found
Mamie, she seemed anything but happy. Indeed, she looked as if nothing
pleasant had ever happened to her in her life. She was sitting on a
stone, the marks of tears all over her cheeks and now and then giving
a loud, hard sob. It was more than sulkiness or ill-humor; any one who
looked at the child could see that she was really unhappy. Martha, her
nurse, was sitting a little way off knitting, and not taking the least
notice of her.

Maggie and Bessie ran up to her. "What is the matter, Mamie?" asked
Maggie.

"My nose is broken," sobbed Mamie, "and my father and mother don't love
me any more."

"Oh," exclaimed Maggie, paying attention only to the first part of
Mamie's speech, "how did it get broken?"

"Baby did it."

"What baby? Not ours?"

"No, an ugly, hateful little baby that's in my mother's room."

"How did it do it?"

"I don't know; but Martha says it did, and she says that's the reason
my papa and mamma don't love me any more."

"Don't they love you?" asked Bessie.

"No, they don't," said Mamie, passionately. "Mamma tried to push me
away, and papa scolded me and took me out of the room. He never scolded
me before, and he was so angry, and it's all for that hateful little
baby. Oh, dear, oh, dear! what shall I do?"

"Wasn't you naughty?" asked Maggie.

"I sha'n't tell you," said Mamie.

"Then I know you was. If you hadn't been, you'd say, 'No!'"

Mamie did not answer. Bessie walked round her, looking at her nose,
first on one side, then on the other.

"I don't see where it's broken," she said. "It looks very good. Will it
blow now?"

"I don't know," said Mamie. "I'm afraid to try. Oh, dear!"

"Does it hurt?" asked Bessie.

"No, not much; but I expect it's going to."

"Maybe we can feel where it's broken," said Maggie. "Let's squeeze it a
little."

"I wont let you," said Mamie. "But I'll let Bessie, 'cause she's so
softly."

Bessie squeezed the nose, first very gently, then a little harder, but
it seemed all right, and felt just as a nose ought to feel. Then Mamie
let Maggie squeeze; but she pinched harder than Bessie had done, and
hurt it a little.

"Oh, you hurt! Go away!" said Mamie, and set up an angry cry.

Martha, who had been talking to Jane, rose at this. "Come, now," she
said, "just have done with this. I wont have any more crying, you bad
child."

"Go away!" screamed Mamie, as Martha came near; "you're bad yourself.
Oh, I want my mamma!"

"Your mamma don't want you then, little broken nose. Have done with
that crying."

"I'll tell mamma of you," said Mamie.

"Oh, you needn't be running with your tales now. Your mamma has got
some one else to attend to."

"That's a shame, Martha," said Jane. "She's just teasing you, Miss
Mamie; your mamma does care for you."

"Martha," said Bessie, "I'm glad you're not my nurse; I wouldn't love
you if you were."

"There's no living with her. She'll be cured of her spoiled ways now,"
said Martha, as she tried to drag the struggling, screaming child away.
But Mamie would not stir a step. She was in a great rage, and fought
and kicked and struck Martha; but just then Mrs. Bradford was seen
coming towards them.

"What is the matter?" she asked.

"She's just going on this way because of the baby, ma'am," said Martha.

"Mamie," said Mrs. Bradford, "you don't look like the happy little girl
who left us a short time ago."

Mamie stopped screaming, and held out one hand to Mrs. Bradford, but
Martha kept fast hold of the other, and tried to make her come away.

"Let her come to me, Martha," said the lady; "I want to speak to her."

Martha looked sulky, but she let go of Mamie, and walked away
muttering. Mrs. Bradford sat down on the rock and took Mamie on her lap.

"Now, Mamie, what is the matter?" she asked, kindly. "I thought I
should find you so pleasant and happy."

"My nose is broken," sobbed Mamie, "and oh, dear! my papa and mamma
don't love me any more. I would not care if my nose was broken, if they
only loved me."

"They do love you just as much as they ever did," said Mrs. Bradford,
"and your nose is not broken. How should it come to be broken?"

"There's an ugly baby in mamma's room," said Mamie. "The bad little
thing did it."

"Oh, nonsense!" said Mrs. Bradford, "how could such a little thing
break your nose? Even if it were to give you a blow, which I am sure it
did not, that tiny fist could not hurt you much."

"Martha said it did," said Mamie.

"Then Martha told you what was not true. That is a very foolish, wicked
way which some people have of telling a little child that its nose
is broken, when a baby brother or sister comes to share its parents'
love. And it is quite as untrue to say that your father and mother do
not love you any longer. They love you just as much as they ever did,
and will love you more if you are kind to the baby, and set it a good
example."

"But I don't want it to be mamma's," said Mamie. "I'm her baby, and I
don't want her to have another."

"But you are six years old," said Mrs. Bradford. "You surely do not
want to be called a baby now! Why, Franky would be quite offended if
any one called him a baby. This morning, when you were playing with my
little Annie, you said you did wish you had a baby at home, to play
with all the time; and now, when God has sent you the very thing you
wanted, you are making yourself miserable about it."

"But it isn't a nice, pretty baby like yours," said Mamie. "It don't
play and crow like little Annie, and it don't love me either. It made a
face and rolled up its fist at me."

"Poor little thing!" said Mrs. Bradford, "it did not know any better.
Such very small babies do not know how to play. For some time this
little sister must be watched and nursed very carefully by its mother,
for it is weak and helpless; but when it is a little older, though it
must be cared for still, it will begin to hold up its head and take
notice, and play and crow, as Annie does. Then she will know you, and
be pleased when you come, if you are kind to her. By and by you may
help to teach her to walk and talk. Think what a pleasure that will
be! The first words Franky spoke were taught to him by Maggie, and the
first one of all was 'Mag.'"

Mamie stopped crying, and sat leaning her head against Mrs. Bradford as
she listened.

"But I know my father and mother don't love me so much now," she said.
"Mamma did try to push me away, and papa scolded me so, and he never
did it before."

"Then I am sure you deserved it. I am afraid you must have been very
naughty. Now tell me all about it," said Mrs. Bradford, smoothing back
Mamie's disordered hair, and wiping her heated, tear-stained face with
her own soft, cool handkerchief. "Perhaps we can cure some of your
troubles by talking a little about them. When your father came for you
this afternoon, it seemed to me that half his own pleasure came from
the thought that the baby was to bring so much happiness to you. That
did not look as if he did not love you; did it?"

"No, but he was angry with me."

"Tell me what happened after you went home with him?"

Mamie put her finger in her mouth and hung her head, but after a moment
she looked up and said,--

"He took me into mamma's room, and there was a woman there I did not
know, and that baby was in the bed with mamma."

"And what then?"

"Mamma told me to come and see my darling little sister, and I cried
and said I would not have her for my sister, and she should not stay
there. And papa said I was naughty, and that woman said she would not
have such a noise there, and I must go away if I was not quiet, and
that made me madder. I wasn't going to be sent out of my own mamma's
room for that baby. If she was its nurse, she could take it away. It
hadn't any business there, and then--then--"

Mamie was beginning to feel ashamed, and to see that the most of her
trouble came from her own naughtiness.

"Well, dear," said Mrs. Bradford, gently, "and then?"

"And then I tried to pull the baby away, and I tried to slap the bad
little thing."

"Oh, Mamie!" exclaimed Maggie and Bessie.

"That was the reason your papa was angry, was it not?" asked Mrs.
Bradford.

"Yes, ma'am. Mamma pushed me away, and papa carried me out of the room,
and oh, he did scold me so! He called Martha, and told her to take me
away. Then she said my nose was broken, and papa and mamma would not
love me any more, because the baby had come. Oh! I would be good, if
they would let me go back to mamma, and she would love me."

"She does love you just as much as ever. You see, my child, you
frightened and disturbed her when you tried to hurt that tender little
baby. She cares for you just as much as she did before, and I am sure
she is grieving now because you were naughty, and had to be sent away
from her. And your papa, too, when you see him, only tell him you mean
to be a good child, and kind to the baby, and you will find you are
still his own little Mamie, whom he loves so dearly, and for whose
comfort and pleasure he is always caring. I am sorry Martha has told
you such cruel, wicked stories. There is not a word of truth in them,
and you must always trust your father and mother. I am sure your dear
little sister will be as great a delight to you as Annie is to Maggie
and Bessie, and that you will learn to love her dearly; but you must
be kind and loving yourself, dear, not selfish and jealous, if you
should have to give up a little to baby. It was jealousy which made you
so unhappy. Jealousy is a wicked, hateful feeling, one which is very
displeasing in the sight of God, and which makes the person who gives
way to it very miserable."

"It was Martha who made her jealous," said Maggie. "Martha is a very
bad nurse; she is not fit to have the care of a child. Nurse said so,
and that she told wicked stories; so she does, for I have heard her
myself she is very _deceptious_."

"Well," said her mother, "I hope Mamie will be too wise to mind what
Martha says after this."

"I will try to be good," said Mamie, "and I do love you, Mrs. Bradford.
Do you think, when the baby is older, I can hold her on my lap like I
did Annie?"

"I have not a doubt of it. I cannot tell you in how many ways she will
be a pleasure to you, if you teach her to be fond of you, and she will
be, as your father said, the very prettiest plaything you have ever
had. There comes your papa now;" and Mamie, looking up, saw her father
coming towards them.

Mr. Stone looked grave and troubled, and turned his eyes anxiously
towards Mamie as he spoke to Mrs. Bradford.

"Here is a little girl who thinks she has not behaved well, and wishes
to tell you so," said Mrs. Bradford.

Mr. Stone held out his arms to Mamie, and in another moment she was
clinging round his neck, with her face against his.

"Oh, I will be good! Will you please love me again?"

"Love you? and who ever thought of not loving you?" said Mr. Stone.
"Poor little woman, you did not think your father would ever cease to
love his own Mamie? Not if a dozen daughters came. No, indeed, my pet;
and now do you not want to go and see your poor mamma again, and be a
good, quiet girl? She is feeling very badly about you."

So Mamie went off with her father, feeling quite satisfied that her
nose was as good as ever, and that her father and mother loved her just
as much as they had done before the baby came to claim a share of their
hearts.



XXIII.

_JESUS' SOLDIER._


One warm, bright Sunday morning, Mrs. Rush came over to the cottage.
Old Mr. Duncan was sitting on the piazza reading to the children. On
the grass in front of the porch, lay Uncle John, playing with Nellie.
She shook hands with the gentlemen, and kissed the children--Bessie
two or three times with long, tender kisses--and then went into the
sitting-room to see their mother. There was no one there but Mr. and
Mrs. Bradford.

"Mrs. Bradford," said Mrs. Rush, when she had bidden them good-morning,
"I have come to ask you a favor. This is the first Sunday morning since
we have been here that my husband has been able and willing to have
me leave him to go to church, but to-day he is pretty well, and Mrs.
Stanton has offered me a seat in her carriage. I could not leave the
colonel quite alone, and he wishes to have Bessie. Will you let her
come over and stay with him while I am gone?"

"Certainly," said Mrs. Bradford. "I do not, as you know, approve of
Sunday visiting for my children, except when they may be of some use or
comfort, then, indeed, I should never hesitate to let them go."

"Bessie can indeed be of use, and oh! I trust a help and comfort to
him. Dear Mrs. Bradford," she went on, the tears starting to her
eyes, "I think, I am sure, that God's Spirit is striving with my dear
husband, and he knows not where to look for help. But he has so long
hardened his heart, so firmly closed his ears against all his friends
could say to him, so coldly refused to hear one word on the subject,
that he is now too proud to ask where he must seek it. I am sure, quite
sure, that it has been your dear little Bessie's unquestioning faith,
her love and trust in the power and goodness of the Almighty and,
more than all, her firm belief that one for whom he had done so much,
and preserved through so many dangers, must of necessity have a double
share of faith and love, which has touched his heart. He is restless
and unhappy, though he tries to hide it, and I think he is almost
anxious to have me away this morning, that he may have her alone with
him, in the hope that he may hear something in her simple talk which
will show him where to go for aid. He will hear and ask from her what
he will hear and ask from no one else."

"My little Bessie! That baby!" said Mrs. Bradford, in great surprise.
"Do you mean to tell me that anything she has said has had power with
him?"

"Yes, yes," said Mrs. Rush. "I think the first thing that roused
him was one day when he was very ill, and she was in his room. She
thought him asleep, and in her pretty, childish way spoke of the love
she thought he had for his Saviour, and how he had been spared that
he might love and serve him more and more. Horace was touched then,
and her words took hold of him I could see, though he tried to seem
impatient and vexed, and would not permit me to allude to them. So it
was again and again. She was always saying some little thing which
would not let him forget or keep his heart closed. She was so fond of
him, so pretty and sweet in all her ways, that he had not the heart
to check her, even when it annoyed him. And besides, I know he could
not bear that her trust in him should be shaken by the knowledge that
he was not what she thought him,--a Christian. Then came the day when
Bessie fell into such trouble with Miss Adams. Annie came to our room,
telling of it, and of the poor child's touching repentance. Horace sat
silent for a good while after Annie had gone away; at last he said,
'Poor innocent little lamb! and she is so earnestly seeking forgiveness
for the trifling fault which is far more the sin of another than her
own, while I--' There he stopped, and indeed it seemed as if he had
been speaking more to himself than to me. It was the first word I had
ever heard from him which showed that he was allowing the thought
of his own need of forgiveness, but I dared not speak. I felt that
that baby was doing what I could not do. The tiny grain of mustard
seed dropped by that little hand had taken root on a hard and stony
ground, it might be; but I could only pray that the dews of heaven
might fall upon it, and cause it to grow and bring forth fruit. It is
years, I believe, since he has opened a Bible. He made me move mine
from the table, for he said he did not want to see it about. I have
almost feared he would forbid me to read it, and here I felt I must
resist him. Even his wishes or commands must not come between me and
the precious words in which I found so much comfort and strength. But
the other day I had to leave him alone for a little while. I had been
reading my Bible, and left it lying on my chair. When I came back, it
lay upon the window-ledge. There had been no one there to touch it
but my husband, and he must have left his seat to reach it. With what
purpose? I thought, with a sudden hope. Yesterday it was the same. I
had been away for a few minutes, and when I came back, the colonel
started from the window where he was standing, and walked as quickly
as he could to his sofa. My Bible lay where I had left it, but a mark
and a dried flower had fallen from it. I was sure now. He had been
searching within for something which might help him, but was still
unwilling to ask for human or divine guidance. Since then I have left
it again on his table, but he has not made me move it, as he would have
done a month ago. And this morning, when Mrs. Stanton sent for me, and
I asked him if he could spare me, he said so kindly, but so sadly,--

"'Yes, yes, go. I fear I have too often thrown difficulties in your
way, poor child; but I shall never do so again. Only, Marion, do not
leave your husband too far behind.'

"Then I said I would not leave him, but he insisted, and went back to
his careless manner, and said, if you would let him, he would have
Bessie for his nurse this morning. I said I would ask, but he had
better let Starr sit in the room, lest he should want anything she
could not do. But he said no, he would have none but Bessie, and told
me to send Starr at once. But I came myself, for I wanted to tell you
all I felt and hoped. Now, if Bessie comes to him, and he opens the
way, as he may with her, she will talk to him in her loving, trusting
spirit, and perhaps bring him help and comfort."

Mr. Bradford had risen from his seat, and walked up and down the room
as she talked. Now he stood still, and said, very low and gently, "And
a little child shall lead them."

When Mrs. Rush had gone, Mrs. Bradford called Bessie. "Bessie," she
said, taking her little daughter in her arms and holding her very
closely, "how would you like to go over and take care of your soldier
this morning, and let Mrs. Rush go to church?"

"All by myself, mamma?"

"Yes, dear. Do you think you will be tired? We shall be gone a good
while. It is a long ride to church."

"Oh, no, I wont be tired a bit," said Bessie, "and I'll take such good
care of him. Mamma, are you sorry about something?"

"No, dear, only very glad and happy."

"Oh," said Bessie, "I thought I saw a tear in your eye when you kissed
me; I s'pose I didn't."

When the wagon started for church with the rest of the family, Bessie
went with them as far as the hotel, where she was left, and taken to
the colonel's room by Mrs. Rush.

"Now what shall I do to amuse you, Bessie?" said the colonel, when his
wife had gone.

"Why, I don't want to be amused on Sunday," said Bessie, looking very
grave. "Franky has his playthings, and baby has her yattle, 'cause they
don't know any better. I used to have my toys, too, when I was young,
but I am too big now. I mean I'm not very big, but I am pretty old, and
I do know better. Besides, I must do something for you. I am to be your
little nurse and take care of you, mamma said."

"What are you going to do for me?"

"Just what you want me to."

"Well, I think I should like you to talk to me a little."

"What shall I talk about? Shall I tell you my hymn for to-day?"

"Yes, if you like."

"Every day mamma teaches us a verse of a hymn," said Bessie, "till we
know it all, and then on Sunday we say it to papa. I'll say the one
for this week, to-night; but first I'll say it to you. It's such a
pretty one. Sometimes mamma chooses our hymns, and sometimes she lets
us choose them, but I choosed this myself. I heard mamma sing it, and
I liked it so much I asked her to teach it to me, and she did. Shall I
say it to you now?"

"Yes," said the colonel, and climbing on the sofa on which he sat,
she put one little arm over his shoulder, and repeated very slowly and
correctly:--

    "I was a wandering sheep;
      I did not love the fold;
    I did not love my Father's voice;
      I would not be controlled.
    I was a wayward child;
      I did not love my home;
    I did not love my Shepherd's voice;
      I loved afar to roam.

    "The Shepherd sought his sheep;
      The Father sought his child;
    They followed me o'er vale and hill,
      O'er deserts waste and wild.
    They found me nigh to death;
      Famished and faint and lone;
    They bound me with the bands of love;
      They saved the wandering one.

    "Jesus my Shepherd is;
      'Twas he that loved my soul;
    'Twas he that washed me in his blood;
      'Twas he that made me whole;
    'Twas he that sought the lost,
      That found the wandering sheep;
    'Twas he that brought me to the fold;
      'Tis he that still doth keep.

    "No more a wandering sheep,
      I love to be controlled;
    I love my tender Shepherd's voice;
      I love the peaceful fold.
    No more a wayward child,
      I seek no more to roam;
    I love my heavenly Father's voice;
      I love, I love his home."

"Isn't it sweet?" she asked, when she had finished.

"Say it again, my darling," said the colonel.

She went through it once more.

"Where is that hymn?" asked the colonel. "Is it in that book of hymns
Marion has?"

"I don't know," said Bessie. "Mamma did not say it out of that; but we
will see."

She slipped down from the sofa, and going for the hymn-book, brought it
to the colonel. He began slowly turning over the leaves, looking for
the hymn.

"Why, that is not the way," said Bessie; "don't you know how to find a
hymn yet? Here is the way:" and she turned to the end of the book, and
showed him the table of first lines. No, it was not there. "I'll ask
mamma to lend you her book, if you want to yead it for yourself," said
Bessie. "She will, I know."

"No, no," said the colonel, "I do not wish you to."

"But she'd just as lief, I know."

"Never mind, darling; I would rather not," said Colonel Rush, as he
laid down the book.

"Shall I say another?" asked Bessie.

"I should like to hear that one again," said the colonel, "if you do
not mind saying it so often."

"Oh, no; I like to say it. I guess you like it as much as I do, you
want to hear it so many times. I was glad that I learned it before, but
I am gladder now when you like it so;" and the third time she repeated
the hymn.

"The Shepherd," she said when she was through; "that means our
Saviour,--does it not?--and the big people are the sheep, and the
children the lambs. Maggie and I are his lambs, and you are his sheep;
and you are his soldier too. You are a little bit my soldier, but you
are a great deal his soldier; are you not?"

The colonel did not answer. He was leaning his head on his hand, and
his face was turned a little from her.

"Say, are you not?" repeated Bessie,--"are you not his soldier?"

"I'm afraid not, Bessie," he said, turning his face towards her, and
speaking very slowly. "If I were his soldier, I should fight for him;
but I have been fighting against him all my life."

"Why?" said the little girl, a good deal startled, but not quite
understanding him; "don't you love him?"

"No, Bessie."

It was pitiful to see the look of distress and wonder which came over
the child's face. "Don't you love him?" she said again,--"don't you
love our Saviour? Oh, you don't mean that,--you only want to tease me.
But you wouldn't make believe about such a thing as that. Don't you
really love him? How can you help it?"

"Bessie," said the colonel, with a kind of groan, "I want to love him,
but I don't know how. Don't cry so, my darling."

"Oh," said the child, stopping her sobs, "if you want to love him,
he'll teach you how. Tell him you want to; ask him to make you love
him, and he will. I know he will, 'cause he loves you so."

"Loves me?" said the colonel.

"Yes; he loves you all the time, even if you don't love him. I think
that's what my hymn means. Even when we go away from him, he'll come
after us, and try to make us love him. I know it's wicked and unkind
not to love him, when he came and died for us. But if you're sorry, he
wont mind about that any more, and he will forgive you. He will forgive
every one when they ask him, and tell him they're sorry. The other
day, when I was so wicked and in such a passion, and struck Mr. Lovatt,
I asked Jesus to forgive me, and he did. I know he did. I used to be
in passions very often, and he helped me when I asked him; and now he
makes me better; and he'll forgive you too, and make you better."

"I fear there can be no forgiveness for me, Bessie. I have lived seven
times as long as you, my child, and all that time, I have been sinning
and sinning. I have driven God from me, and hardened my heart against
the Lord Jesus. I would not even let any one speak to me of him."

"Never matter," said Bessie, tenderly. "I don't mean never matter,
'cause it is matter. But he will forgive that when he sees you are
so sorry, and he will be sorry for you; and he does love you. If he
didn't love you, he couldn't come to die for you, so his Father could
forgive you, and take you to heaven. There's a verse, I know, about
that; mamma teached it to me a good while ago. It hangs in our nursery
just like a picture, all in pretty bright letters; and we have 'Suffer
little children,' too. It is 'God so loved the world that he gave his
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have eternal life.' Mamma says the world means everybody."

"Could you find that verse for me, Bessie?" asked the colonel.

"I don't know, sir; I can't find things in the Bible,--only a few; but
Jesus said it to a man named Nicodemus, who came to him and wanted to
be teached. He'll teach you, too, out of his Bible. Oh, wont you ask
him?"

"I will try, darling," he said.

"I'll get your Bible, and we'll see if we can find that verse," said
Bessie. "Where is your Bible?"

"I have none," he answered; "at least, I have one somewhere at home, I
believe, but I do not know where it is. My mother gave it to me, but I
have never read it since I was a boy."

"Oh, here's Mrs. Yush's on the table," said Bessie; "she always keeps
it on the window-seat, and she always made me put it back there; but I
s'pose she forgot and left it here."

She brought the Bible, and sat down by the colonel.

"I can find, 'Suffer little children,'" she said, turning to the
eighteenth chapter of Matthew. "I can yead you a little bit, if you
tell me the big words: 'Suffer little children to come unto me, and
forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.' Isn't it sweet?"

"Yes; and I can believe it," he said, laying his hand on Bessie's head;
"of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Bessie turned to the fifteenth chapter of Luke. "Here's about the
prodigal son," she said, "but it's too long for me. Will you please
yead it?"

He took the Bible from her, and read the chapter very slowly and
thoughtfully, reading the parable a second time. Then he turned the
leaves over, stopping now and then to read a verse to himself.

"If you want what Jesus said to Nicodemus, look there," said Bessie,
pointing to the headings of the chapters.

He soon found the third of John, and sat for a long time with his eyes
fixed on the sixteenth and seventeenth verses. Bessie sat looking at
him without speaking.

"What are you thinking of, my pet?" he asked at last, laying down the
book.

"I was thinking how you could be so brave when you didn't love Him,"
she said "Didn't it make you afraid when you was in a danger?"

"No," he said; "I hadn't even faith enough to be afraid."

"And that night didn't you feel afraid you wouldn't go to heaven when
you died?"

"The thought would come sometimes, Bessie, but I put it from me, as I
had done all my life. I tried to think only of home and Marion and my
sister. Will you say that hymn again for me, Bessie?"

"Shall I say, 'I need thee, precious Jesus'?" she asked, after she had
again repeated, "I was a wandering sheep;" "I think you do need our
precious Jesus."

"Yes," he said, and she said for him, "I need thee, precious Jesus."

"Shall I ask papa to come and see you, and tell you about Jesus?" she
said, when her father and mother stopped for her on their way from
church. "I am so little, I don't know much, but he knows a great deal."

"No, dear, I want no better teacher than I have had," said Colonel Rush.

"Who?" asked Bessie.

But the colonel only kissed her, and told her not to keep her father
and mother waiting; and so she went away.

But that afternoon there came a little note to Mr. Bradford from Mrs.
Rush:--


     "DEAR FRIEND,--

     "Can you come to my husband? He has opened his heart to me,
     and asked for you.

            "MARION RUSH."

Mr. Bradford went over directly.

The colonel looked pale and worn, and had a tired, anxious expression
in his eye. But after Mr. Bradford came in, he talked of everything but
that of which he was thinking so much, though it seemed as if he did
not feel a great deal of interest in what he was saying. At last his
wife rose to go away, but he called her back, and told her to stay. He
was silent for a little while, till Mr. Bradford laid his hand on his
arm.

"Rush, my friend," he said, "are you looking for the light?"

The colonel did not speak for a moment then he said in a low voice,--

"No; I _see_ the light, but it is too far away I cannot reach to where
its beams may fall upon me. I see it. It was a tiny hand, that of your
precious little child, which pointed it out, and showed me the way by
which I must go; but my feet have so long trodden the road which leads
to death, that now, when I would set my face the other way, they falter
and stumble. I cannot even stand, much less go forward. Bradford, I am
a far worse cripple there than I am in this outer world."

"There is one prop which cannot fail you," said Mr. Bradford. "Throw
away all others, and cast yourself upon the almighty arm which is
stretched out to sustain and aid you. You may not see it in the
darkness which is about you, but it is surely there, ready to receive
and uphold you. Only believe, and trust yourself to it, and it will
bear you onwards and upwards to the light, unto the shining of the
perfect day."

Colonel Rush did not answer, and Mr. Bradford, opening the Bible, read
the 92d and 118th Psalms. Then he chose the chapter which the colonel
and Bessie had read in the morning, and after he had talked a little,

"Marion," said the colonel, after some time, "do you know a hymn
beginning

     'I was a wandering sheep'?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Rush; and in her low, sweet voice, she sang it to
him. Next she sang, "Just as I am," twice over,--for he asked for it a
second time,--then both sat silent for a long while.

The rosy light of the August sunset died out of the west, the evening
star which little Bessie had once said looked "like God's eye taking
care of her when she went to sleep," shone out bright and peaceful;
then, as it grew darker and darker, came forth another and another
star, and looked down on the world which God had loved so much, till
the whole sky was brilliant with them; the soft, cool sea-breeze came
gently in at the windows, bringing with it the gentle plash of the
waves upon the shore, mingled with the chirp of the crickets and the
distant hum of voices from the far end of the piazza; but no one came
near or disturbed them; and still the colonel sat with his face turned
towards the sea, without either speaking or moving, till his wife, as
she sat with her hand in his, wondered if he could be asleep.

At last he spoke, "Marion."

"Yes, love."

"The light is shining all around me, and I can stand in it--with my
hand upon the cross."

"Bessie," said the colonel, when she came to him the next morning,
"I have found your Saviour. He is my Saviour now, and I shall be his
soldier, and fight for him as long as I shall live."



530 BROADWAY, NEW YORK,
March, 1884.

ROBERT CARTER AND BROTHERS

NEW BOOKS.


     =HANDS FULL OF HONEY=, and other Sermons, preached in 1883,
     by C. H. SPURGEON. 12mo. $1.00.


     =THE PRESENT TRUTH.= New Sermons by C. H. SPURGEON.
     12mo. $1.00.

SERMONS. 10 vols. 12mo.                          $10.00
   _Any volume sold separately at_ $1.00.
MORNING BY MORNING. 12mo                           1.00
EVENING BY EVENING. 12mo                           1.00
TYPES AND EMBLEMS. 12mo                            1.00
SAINT AND SAVIOUR. 12mo                            1.00
FEATHERS FOR ARROWS. 12mo                          1.00
LECTURES TO STUDENTS. 12mo                         1.00
SPURGEON'S GEMS. 12mo                              1.00
COMMENTING AND COMMENTARIES. 12mo                  1.00
JOHN PLOUGHMAN'S TALK.                              .75
JOHN PLOUGHMAN'S PICTURES. 16mo                     .75
JOHN PLOUGHMAN'S TALK AND PICTURES. 12mo           1.00
GLEANINGS AMONG THE SHEAVES. 18mo                   .60


     =THE LIFE AND WORKS OF THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D.= New, neat, and
     very cheap edition. 11 vols. $10.00.

     Or, separately, as follows:--

GUTHRIE'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND LIFE. 2 vols. 12mo    $2.00
THE GOSPEL IN EZEKIEL. 12mo                        1.00
THE SAINT'S INHERITANCE.                           1.00
THE WAY TO LIFE. 12mo                              1.00
ON THE PARABLES. Illustrated.                      1.00
THE CITY AND RAGGED SCHOOLS.                       1.00
MAN AND THE GOSPEL, AND OUR FATHER'S BUSINESS.
    In 1 vol. 12mo                                 1.00
SPEAKING TO THE HEART. 12mo                        1.00
OUT OF HARNESS. 12mo                               1.00
STUDIES OF CHARACTER. 12mo                         1.00

=WORKS OF THE REV. T. L. CUYLER, D.D.=

THE EMPTY CRIB. 24mo, gilt                        $1.00
STRAY ARROWS. 18mo                                  .60
CEDAR CHRISTIAN. 18mo                               .75
THOUGHT HIVES. With Portrait. 12mo                 1.50
POINTED PAPERS. 12mo                               1.50
FROM THE NILE TO NORWAY. 12mo                      1.50
GOD'S LIGHT ON DARK CLOUDS. 18mo                    .75

     =* A. L. O. E. LIBRARY.= New and very beautiful edition.
     Complete in 50 volumes. 16mo, crimson cloth. Put up in a
     neat wooden case. _Net_, $28.00.

     The volumes are sold separately at 80 cents each.

     =* OLIVE LIBRARY.= 40 large 16mo volumes, containing 15,340
     pages, in a neat wooden case. _Net_ (no discount to S. S.
     Libraries), $25.00.

     =INFORMATION AND ILLUSTRATION= for Sermons and Addresses. By
     G. S. BOWES. 12mo. $1.50.

     =THE PUBLIC MINISTRY AND PASTORAL METHODS OF OUR LORD.= By
     W. G. BLAIKIE, D.D. $1.50.

     =PHILOSOPHY AND CHRISTIANITY.= By Prof. GEORGE S.
     MORRIS. 12mo. $1.75.

     =HOW SHALL I GO TO GOD?= By HORATIUS BONAR, D.D.
     18mo. 40 cents.

     =THE HUMAN MIND.= By EDWARD J. HAMILTON, D.D. 8vo.
     $3.00.

     =MOSES AND THE PROPHETS.= By Dr. W. H. GREEN. 12mo.
     $1.00.

     =THE NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES=: Their Claims, History, and
     Authority. By A. H. CHARTERIS, D.D. 8vo. $2.00.

     =THE LIFE AND LABORS OF ROBERT MOFFAT=, Missionary to Africa.
     12mo. $1.25.

     =ARNOT ON THE PARABLES.= New edition, 12mo. $1.75.

     =FROM YEAR TO YEAR.= Hymns and Poems. By the Rev. E. H.
     BICKERSTETH. 18mo. $1.25.

     =FAITH THURSTON'S WORK.= By the author of "Win and Wear."
     12mo. $1.25.

     =THROUGH THE NARROWS.= By W. W. EVERTS, D.D. 16mo.
     60 cents.

     =HAUSSER'S PERIOD OF THE REFORMATION.= New edition. 12mo.
     $2.50.

=J. M. DRINKWATER CONKLIN'S BOOKS.=

RUE'S HELPS                                       $1.50
ELECTA: A STORY                                    1.50
FIFTEEN                                            1.50
BEK'S FIRST CORNER                                 1.50
MISS PRUDENCE                                      1.50
TESSA WADSWORTH'S DISCIPLINE                       1.50
ONLY NED                                           1.25
NOT BREAD ALONE                                    1.25
FRED AND JEANIE                                    1.25

=AGNES GIBERNE'S BOOKS.=

AIMEE: A TALE OF JAMES II.                        $1.50
THE DAY STAR; OR, GOSPEL STORIES                   1.25
THE CURATE'S HOME                                  1.25
FLOSS SILVERTHORN                                  1.25
COULYNG CASTLE                                     1.50
MURIEL BERTRAM                                     1.50
THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS                           1.50
THE WORLD'S FOUNDATIONS                            1.50
DUTIES AND DUTIES                                  1.25
THROUGH THE LINN                                   1.25
SWEETBRIAR                                         1.50
JACOB WITHERBY                                      .60
DECIMA'S PROMISE                                   1.25
TWILIGHT TALKS                                      .75
KATHLEEN                                           1.50

=EMILY SARAH HOLT'S BOOKS.=

ISOULT BARRY                                      $1.50
ROBIN TREMAYNE                                     1.50
THE WELL IN THE DESERT                             1.25
ASHCLIFFE HALL                                     1.50
VERENA: A TALE                                     1.50
THE WHITE ROSE OF LANGLEY                          1.50
IMOGEN                                             1.50
CLARE AVERY                                        1.50
LETTICE EDEN                                       1.50
FOR THE MASTER'S SAKE                              1.00
MARGERY'S SON                                      1.50
LADY SYBIL'S CHOICE                                1.50
THE MAIDEN'S LODGE                                 1.25
EARL HUBERT'S DAUGHTER                             1.50
JOYCE MORRELL'S HARVEST                            1.50
AT YE GRENE GRIFFIN                                1.00
RED AND WHITE                                      1.50
NOT FOR HIM                                        1.25
WEARYHOLME                                         1.50
THE WAY OF THE CROSS                                .60

=EMMA MARSHALL'S BOOKS.=

POPPIES AND PANSIES                               $1.50
DEWDROPS AND DIAMONDS                              1.50
REX AND REGINA                                     1.50
DAYSPRING                                          1.50
RUBY AND PEARL                                     1.25
A CHIP OF THE OLD BLOCK                             .50
FRAMILODE HALL                                      .50
=Violet and Lily Series.=
    6 vols., 16mo, in a box                        3.00
SIR VALENTINE'S VICTORY                            1.25
MATTHEW FROST                                      1.00
STELLAFONT ABBEY                                   1.00
THE LITTLE PEAT CUTTERS                             .50
ROGER'S APPRENTICESHIP                              .50
KATIE'S WORK                                        .50
CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS                            .50
LITTLE PRIMROSE                                     .50
THE TWO MARGARETS                                   .50
=Primrose Series.= The above
    6 vols., 18mo, in a box                        3.00
BETWEEN THE CLIFFS                                 1.00
LITTLE BROTHERS AND SISTERS                        1.00
STORIES OF THE CATHEDRAL CITIES                    1.50

     =THE EMPEROR'S BOYS.= By ISMAY THORN. $1.25.

     =WILD HYACINTHS.= By LADY HOPE. $1.50.

     =MARJORIE'S PROBATION.= By J. S. RANKING. $1.25.

     =THE CAGED LINNET.= By MRS. STANLEY LEATHES. $1.25.

=SUSAN WARNER'S BOOKS.=

MY DESIRE                                         $1.75
END OF A COIL                                      1.75
THE LETTER OF CREDIT                               1.75
NOBODY                                             1.75
STEPHEN, M.D.                                      1.75
THE OLD HELMET                                     2.25
MELBOURNE HOUSE                                    2.00
PINE NEEDLES                                       1.25
=King's People, The= 5 vols.,
    16mo, in a box                                 7.00
  WALKS FROM EDEN                                  1.50
  HOUSE OF ISRAEL                                  1.50
  STAR OUT OF JACOB                                1.50
  KINGDOM OF JUDAH                                 1.50
  BROKEN WALLS OF JERUSALEM                        1.25
=A Story of Small Beginnings.=
    4 vols., 16mo, in a box                        5.00
  WHAT SHE COULD                                   1.25
  OPPORTUNITIES                                    1.25
  THE HOUSE IN TOWN                                1.25
  TRADING                                          1.25
=The Say and Do Series.=
    6 vols., 16mo, in a box                        7.50
  LITTLE CAMP ON EAGLE HILL                        1.25
  WILLOW BROOK                                     1.25
  SCEPTRES AND CROWNS                              1.25
  A FLAG OF TRUCE                                  1.25
  BREAD AND ORANGES                                1.25
  RAPIDS OF NIAGARA                                1.25

=ANNA B. WARNER'S BOOKS.=

THE BLUE FLAG                                     $1.25
TIRED CHURCH MEMBERS                                .50
A BAG OF STORIES                                    .75
LITTLE JACK'S FOUR LESSONS                          .50
=Stories of Vinegar Hill.=
    3 vols., 16mo, in a box                        3.00
=Ellen Montgomery's Book-Shelf.=
    5 vols., 16mo, in a box                        5.00
  MR. RUTHERFORD'S CHILDREN                        1.00
  SYBIL AND CHRYSSA                                1.00
  HARD MAPLE                                       1.00
  CARL KRINKEN                                     1.00
  CASPER AND HIS FRIENDS                           1.00

=DR. RICHARD NEWTON'S BOOKS.=

THE BEST THINGS                                   $1.25
THE KING'S HIGHWAY                                 1.25
THE SAFE COMPASS                                   1.25
BIBLE BLESSINGS                                    1.25
THE GREAT PILOT                                    1.25
BIBLE JEWELS                                       1.25
BIBLE WONDERS                                      1.25
NATURE'S WONDERS                                   1.25
LEAVES FROM THE TREE                               1.25
RILLS FROM THE FOUNTAIN                            1.25
THE JEWISH TABERNACLE                              1.25
GIANTS, AND WONDERFUL THINGS                       1.25
RAYS FROM THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS                 1.25
THE KING IN HIS BEAUTY                             1.25
PEBBLES FROM THE BROOK                             1.25
COVENANT NAMES AND PRIVILEGES                      1.50

=REV. W. W. NEWTON'S BOOKS.=

LITTLE AND WISE                                   $1.25
THE WICKET GATE                                    1.25
THE INTERPRETER'S HOUSE                            1.25
THE PALACE BEAUTIFUL                               1.25

=BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR OF "WIN AND WEAR."=

WIN AND WEAR SERIES. 6 vols. 16mo                 $7.50
THE GREEN MOUNTAIN STORIES. 5 vols. 16mo           6.00
LEDGESIDE SERIES. 6 vols. 16mo                     7.50
FAITH THURSTON'S WORK                              1.25
HIGHLAND SERIES. 6 vols. 16mo                      7.50
HESTER TRUEWORTHY'S ROYALTY                        1.25
MABEL'S STEPMOTHER                                 1.25
BUTTERFLY'S FLIGHTS. 3 vols. 18mo                  2.25

=JULIA MATHEWS' BOOKS.=

=Drayton Hall Series.= 6 vols.                    $4.50
  LAWRENCE BRONSON'S VICTORY                        .75
  CHRISTY'S GRANDSON                                .75
  ALLAN HAYWOOD                                     .75
  FRANK AUSTIN'S DIAMOND                            .75
  EAGLE CRAG                                        .75
  TRUE TO HIS FLAG                                  .75

=Golden Ladder Series.=
    3 vols. 16mo                                  $3.00
=Dare to Do Right.= 5 vols. 16mo                    .50
  GRANDFATHER'S FAITH                              1.10
  OUR FOUR BOYS                                    1.10
  GIUSEPPE'S HOME                                  1.10
  NELLIE'S STUMBLING-BLOCK                         1.10
  SUSY'S SACRIFICE                                 1.10
KATY AND JIM, containing
    "LITTLE KATY" and
    "JOLLY AND KATY"                               1.25

=JOANNA H. MATHEWS' BOOKS.=

=Bessie Books.= 6 vols., 16mo,
    in a box                                      $7.50
  AT THE SEASIDE                                   1.25
  IN THE CITY                                      1.25
  AND HER FRIENDS                                  1.25
  AMONG THE MOUNTAINS                              1.25
  AT SCHOOL                                        1.25
  ON HER TRAVELS                                   1.25
=Flowerets.= 6 vols., 18mo, in a box               3.60
=Little Sunbeams.= 6 vols.,
    16mo., in a box                                6.00
  BELLE POWERS' LOCKET                             1.00
  DORA'S MOTTO                                     1.00
  LILY NORRIS' ENEMY                               1.00
  JESSIE'S PARROT                                  1.00
  MAMIE'S WATCHWORD                                1.00
  NELLIE'S HOUSEKEEPING                            1.00
=Kitty and Lulu Books.=
    6 vols., 18mo, in a box                        3.60
=Miss Ashton's Girls.= 6 vols.                     7.50
  FANNY'S BIRTHDAY GIFT                            1.25
  THE NEW SCHOLARS                                 1.25
  ROSALIE'S PET                                    1.25
  ELEANOR'S VISIT                                  1.25
  MABEL WALTON'S EXPERIMENT                        1.25
  ELSIE'S SANTA CLAUS                              1.25
=Haps and Mishaps.= 6 vols.                        7.50
  LITTLE FRIENDS AT GLENWOOD                       1.25
  THE BROKEN MALLET                                1.25
  BLACKBERRY JAM                                   1.25
  MILLY'S WHIMS                                    1.25
  LILIES OR THISTLEDOWN                            1.25
  UNCLE JOE'S THANKSGIVING                         1.25

=CATHERINE SHAW'S BOOKS.=

THE GABLED FARM                                   $1.25
NELLIE ARUNDEL                                     1.25
IN THE SUNLIGHT                                    1.25
HILDA. 12 mo                                       1.25
ONLY A COUSIN                                      1.25
OUT IN THE STORM                                    .50
ALICK'S HERO                                       1.25

=EMILY BRODIE'S BOOKS.=

JEAN LINDSAY                                      $1.25
DORA HAMILTON'S CHOICE                             1.25
ELSIE GORDON                                       1.25
UNCLE FRED'S SHILLING                              1.25
LONELY JACK                                        1.25
RUTH'S RESCUE                                       .50
NORA CLINTON                                       1.25

=L. T. MEADE'S BOOKS.=

SCAMP AND I                                       $1.25
DAVID'S LITTLE LAD                                 1.25
A KNIGHT OF TO-DAY                                 1.50
WATER GIPSIES                                      1.00
YOUR BROTHER AND MINE                              1.00
BEL-MARJORY                                        1.50
DOT AND HER TREASURES                              1.00
THE CHILDREN'S KINGDOM                             1.50
ANDREW HARVEY'S WIFE                               1.00
NORA CRENA                                         1.00
MOTHER HERRING'S CHICKEN                           1.00

=PEEP OF DAY LIBRARY.= 8 vols. 18mo. $4.50.

LINE UPON LINE                                    $ .50
PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT                                .50
THE KINGS OF ISRAEL                                 .60
THE KINGS OF JUDAH                                  .60
CAPTIVITY OF JUDAH                                  .60
PEEP OF DAY                                         .50
SEQUEL TO PEEP OF DAY                               .60
STORY OF THE APOSTLES                               .60

=M. L. CHARLESWORTH'S BOOKS.=

MINISTERING CHILDREN                              $1.50
SEQUEL TO MINISTERING CHILDREN                     1.50
ENGLAND'S YEOMEN                                   1.50
OLIVER OF THE MILL                                 1.50
DOROTHY COPE, containing
  "THE OLD LOOKING-GLASS"
  and "BROKEN LOOKING-GLASS"                      $1.50


DEVOTIONAL BOOKS.

     =BICKERSTETH, REV. E. H.= YESTERDAY, TO-DAY, AND
     FOREVER. 18mo, 50 cents; 16mo, $1.00; 12mo, $1.50.

     =BOGATZKY, C. V. H.= GOLDEN TREASURY. 24mo, gilt. 75
     cents.

     =BONAR, HORATIUS, D.D.=

HYMNS OF FAITH AND HOPE, 3 vols. 18mo, gilt top   $2.25
HYMNS OF THE NATIVITY, 18mo, gilt                 $1.00

     =CLARKE'S SCRIPTURE PROMISES.= 24mo, red edges. 50 cents.

     =DICKSON, REV. ALEXANDER.=

ALL ABOUT JESUS. 12mo                             $2.00
BEAUTY FOR ASHES. 12mo                            $2.00

     =DYKES, J. OSWALD, D.D.= PRAYERS FOR THE HOUSEHOLD.
     $1.25.

     =FAMILY WORSHIP.= PRAYERS FOR EVERY DAY IN THE YEAR.
     $2.50.

     =FLETCHER, ALEXANDER, D.D.= FAMILY DEVOTION. Quarto,
     gilt. $5.00.

     =JAY, REV. WILLIAM.= MORNING AND EVENING EXERCISES.
     2 vols. 12mo. $2.00.

     =LOGAN, WILLIAM.= WORD OF COMFORT TO BEREAVED
     PARENTS. $1.00.

     =MACDUFF, JOHN R., D.D.=

BOW IN THE CLOUD. 18mo, limp                      $ .50
GATES OF PRAYER. 18mo, limp, red edges              .75
MIND AND WORDS OF JESUS.
  24mo, limp, gilt, 60 cts.; red edges              .50
MORNING AND NIGHT WATCHES.
  24mo, limp, gilt, 60 cts.; red edges              .50
FAMILY PRAYERS. 16mo                               1.00
MIND AND WORDS OF JESUS
  and MORNING AND NIGHT
  WATCHES, in 1 vol. 24mo,
  red-line edition, gilt                           1.50
GLEAMS FROM THE SICK CHAMBER.                       .75
WELLS OF BACA. 24mo, gilt edges                     .50
VOICES OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD.                        .75

     =MORE, HANNAH.= PRIVATE DEVOTION. 24mo, gilt, 60
     cents; red edges, 50 cents.

     =RUTHERFORD'S LETTERS.= 8vo. $2.50.

     =SMITH, REV. JAMES.= DAILY REMEMBRANCER. 18mo, gilt
     edges. $1.00.

     =SPURGEON, REV. CHARLES H.=

MORNING BY MORNING. 12mo                          $1.00
EVENING BY EVENING. 12mo                          $1.00



Transcriber's Notes

Minor punctuation errors were silently corrected.

Twenty-nine instances of "wont" were retained as dialect or the
author's preference; "won't" was used 13 times.

Six instances of "aint" were retained as dialect or the author's
preference; "ain't" was used 2 times.

Page 26: "Mary" and "Mamie" are used interchangeably for the same girl.

Page 216: "affghan" may be a typo for "afghan."
  (Orig: lay neatly folded, a tiny affghan.)





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bessie at the Sea-Side" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home