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Full text of "Vermont vale; or, Home pictures in Australia"

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600059965/ 






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■ '■ ■ "*"^ 



VERMONT VALEj 



OB, 



Pome ^ktuns m %,mitnliu. 



BY 

MAUD JEANNE FEANC, 

AUTHOB OF <* HABIAN ; OB, THB LIGHT OF BOMB ONB's HOMB." 




LONDON: 

SAMPSON LOW, SON, AND MARSTON, 

MILTON HOUSE, LUDaATE HILL. 

1866. 

[The Bigki qf TramlaHon Beterved.^ 



£^(^. ^. HJ^SL. \ 



D.'»fc : 



PEEPACE. 



The kind reception accorded to " Marian," both by 
an Anstralian and English public, induces its Author 
once again to appear before them, trusting that the 
same lenient spirit that welcomed her former little 
volume, may be willing as kindly to review the pages 
of " Vermont Vale." 

With the simple details of every-day life, at least 
in some of its phases, the Author has endeavoured to 
blend a few of those clear gospel truths that are " able 
to make wise unto salvation," with the blessing of 
the Holy Spirit upon them ; and if, indeed, this bless- 
ing be bestoT^ed, if only a few of those who have 
hitherto sought vainly afber happiness among earthly 
objects, shall be led by the perusal of "Vermont 
Vale" to discover the Fountain from which true 
happiness alone can spring, most deeply gratefol will 
be its Author, 

MAUD JEANNE FRANC. 



CONTENTS. 



VAOl 

CHAPTEB I. • 

TssHovT Valb 1 

CHAPTEB n. 
Suiranr Hollow 7 

CHAPTEB m. 
GsACiotrs BAnr 12 

CHAPTEB IV. 

SiSTBB KaTB 19 

CHAPTEB V. 

COFFEB Ain> CONYBBEOE 24 

CHAPTEB VI. 

S(ȣiiTHINa LeABXTED PBOM A BULLOCK-DSAY 86 

CHAPTEB VTL 
Katie's Weloohb at Vesmoitc Vale 4A 

CHAPTEB Vm. 
Katie Linwood Cakyassed at the Stobe 52 

CHAPTEB EC 
Katie Discussed at the Bbsaevast-tablb 65 



VI " CONTENTS. 

FAOB 

CHAPTER X. 

Sabbath-DAT Doings ; 74 

CHAPTER XI. 
Sabbath Msmobiss and thbib Results 86 

CHAPTER Xn. 
Katie IN HBB New Sphbbe 98 

CHAPTER XIII. 
An Abteenoon's Visit 106 

^ CHAPTER XIY. 
Thoughts Dissipated and Re-oolleoted 116 

CHAPTER XV. 
Thoenbush and its New Inmate 123 

CHAPTER XYI. 
Weeds 137 

CHAPTER XVII. 

CONTBASTS 145 

CHAPTER XVin. 
The Steadfast Light 157 

CHAPTER XIX 
The Result op the Revel 1G6 

CHAPTER XX 
Katie's Tboubles 177 

CHAPTER XXI. 
Fbiends in Need 188 

CHAPTER XXII. 

SlOK-BOOM ExPBEIBNCB 201 



CONTENTS. VU 

9AQm 

CHAPTEH XXni. 
Fbabls Wobth DiTiiro fob 210 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
Mother 221 

CHAPTER XXV. 
A PsEP INTO THE Minibteb's Study ! 280 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
The New Life's Fiest Effobt 240 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
Rest 260 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 
The Teaoheb and the Taught 259 

CHAPTER XXIX 
The Silent Ride 266 

CHAPTER XXX. 
The Scene at Thoenbush 274 

CHAPTER XXXI. 
The Beotheb and Sisteb 286 

CHAPTER XXXn. 
Dolly's Stbatagem 291 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 
The Little Gbave 299 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 
The Homewaed Ride 307 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

Sad News feom Home 316 



vm 


CONTENTS. 






OFAPTKH XXXVT. 


PJL6X 


Tbting Hottes .. 




325 



CHAPTER XXXYII. 
The Sistbe's Mission 331 

CHAPTER XXXVin. 
The Setting Bjts 338 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 
WiNTES AT Veemont Yale 346 

CHAPTER XL. 
Sunny Hollow Peepaeations 353 

CHAPTER XLI. 
The Day at Last 359 

CHAPTER XLH. 
The Pastoe Peeplexed 366 

CHAPTER XLIII. 
The Speeading op the News, and its Result 373 

CHAPTER XLIV. 
Deawing towards Conclusion 380 

CHAPTER XLV. 
Conclusion 388 



VEKMONT VALE; 

OB, 

HOME PICTURES IN AUSTRALIA. 



CHAPTER I. 

VERMONT VALE. 

" Even the green trees 
Partake the deep contentment, as they bend 
To the soft winds, the snn from the blue sky 
Looks in, and sheds a blessing on the scene." 

It was not a village, nor even a hamlet, nor indeed 
were there any great number of houses visible, and 
jet it had been assigned a name. The real name our 
readers must permit us to conceal, and accept one we 
have thought fit to give it — " Vermont Vale." 
i»;3 And a very sweet vale it was, with its surrounding 
heights, its unmolested antiquated old gums, fresh 
blooming wattle-trees, blackwoods, and cherry-trees. 
Pew people would have guessed, as they passed along 
the winding road leading through the centre of the 
vale, followed by a mossy creek, how many hearts 
beat healthfully among those hills, or how many feet 
eagerly traversed the green sward as on each Sabbath 

1 



55 . VERMONT VALE. 

mommg tlie soft tinkle of the bell reminded them of 
One who has pronounced the Sabbath his own ! 

In almost the prettiest place in the vale the little 
unpretending Sabbath-house was situated. It was only 
a wooden structure — rough wood too, and yet it was 
neat. Some one had superintended its erection, who 
knew how to make the best of rough materials ; who 
had an eye for the picturesque. The painted window- 
frames were neatly set. There were very white blinds 
to the windows ; the walls were half-mantled in cape- 
ivy. Even a rose had wreathed the rude porch ; and 
same one had taken the trouble to clear and keep in 
order a straight and broad pathway from the door to 
the slip-panel, on either side of which some carefully- 
preserved young wattles formed a pretty avenue, 
esp8eially when laden with the odorous yellow blossom. 
Xheir rich perfume penetrated even within the house 
(af prayer. 

Within ! Ah, it was a treat to look within. So 
pure, so clean, so white, and yet so primitive. The 
simple desk of unpolished cedar, and its dark blue 
cloth cushion, on which reposed the large Bible, 
neatly covered up all the week in its brown-holland 
case ; the plain deal benches, with their one rail for 
weary backs. The one luxury of the place was a 
pretty harmonium, concealed behind a crimson curtain. 
Some lady, therefore, played in Vermont ; some lady 
awoke a concord of sweet sounds from its keys 
Sabbath after Sabbath. Even among the scattered 
population of Vermont Vale, fingers were found 
familiar with harmony. If rough without, the walls 
of the little chapel were smoothly plastered within, 
and white as lime could make them. The floor was 



TEBMOHT YALE. 3 

boarded, and pnre, and clean. It \v«a8 easy to hoc 
that some hearts dearly loved their little prayer- 
house — dearly loved the " Gates of Zion," and 
believed in that trite, but true old proverb, that 
" Cleanliness is next to godliness/* 

To odd to the beauty of the scener}', a hill in 
spring-time, covered with verdure, and pink with 
heather, rose abruptly behind the little chapel. A 
thick hedge of mingled kangaroo, yellow-blossonu^d 
furze, and multiflora roses divided the chapel-yard 
fix)m a luxuriant garden, rife with fniit, vegetables, 
and flowers, and full of pleasant shady walks. More 
than half-hidden by a vine stood the pretty cottagt^ 
belonging to the garden ; a deep verandah encircled 
it on every side, and walls, roof, and verandah were 
covered with passion-flower and vine-leaves, each 
striving which should hide most of the bare wooden 
walls. At every part of the verandah honeysuckle 
and roses united their foliage and fragrance, and 
before the door were arranged gracefully-curved 
flower-beds, rich Tvith rare specimens of the gifts of 
Flora, and being deeply bordered with violets. 

Every breath of air that wandered in through the 
open window must have been laden with health as 
well as fragrance — ^it could not be othei'wise ; and 
everything was sweet and pure within to do honour 
to their entrance. Nothing luxurious was there in 
the little room, excepting, perhaps, the deep easy- 
chair, the softly-cushioned sofa, and the round table 
deeply draped with a dark blue cloth. Perhaps, too, 
the delicate drawings on the walls, the transparent 
drapery at the window, and library of books, which 
nearly took up one side of the room, might have 



4 VERMONT VALE. 

assisted to give the air of refinement that most 
certainly was dominant there. Well, we have intro- 
dneed yon, dear readers, to the minister's study, for 
OTtr pretty cottage is the residence of the pastor of 
Vermont Yale. 

And will onr fair readers believe it that, in spite 
of the order and beauty around, our pastor was a 
bsichelor ? Not, however, a confirmed one. Ah, no, 
dear reader ! He had taken no vows — ^he was truly 
Protestant in his creed — on that point as on every 
other. In fact, he was just like hundreds more of 
the brotherhood, he was still a bachelor, because he 
had as yet encountered none with whom he felt he 
could go hand-in-hand in his round of holy duties. 
We will not surmise how many times as he passed 
from his little parlour to the simple room beyond, and 
sat down to the table with no other companion than 
his respectable old housekeeper, dreams of the fature 
would arise in which younger hands were to preside, 
and younger eyes to beam back glances of afiection, 
and younger, brighter thoughts be interchanged with 
his ! But at present these were but dreams, and he 
was still a bachelor, and old Mrs. Norton the pre- 
sidiug genius of his home. 

There are a dozen roads branching out of Vermont 
Vale. At the comer of one of these, close to the 
road, not even parted by a strip of flower-garden, and 
rejoicing in the shade of a deep verandah, stood a 
substantial stone house, a house with an upper story 
too, and green blinds at every window. That was 
refreshing for the eye to rest upon, and so were the 
glimpses one caught of snowy bed-furniture within. 
The crochet articles over the looking-glasses told of 



VERMONT VALE. 5 

the presence of feminine fingers, and for the matter 
of that so did everything else about the house, from 
parlour to kitchen. One little room told a diiferent 
tale ; its atmosphere was redolent with the odour of 
drugs. Glass bottles in any number, pill-machines, 
drawers with Latin labels, and one or two instru- 
ments, the very sight of which was sufficient to cure 
the most violent toothache, betrayed the professional 
character of this mystic cell. Here, indeed, the only 
medical man in the district compounded his medicines. 
Every one for miles knew Dr. Moore, and his only 
daughter — ^Miss Fanny. 

Up ' that same road, but further still from the 
chapel, a rude slab hut, made charming by its jessa- 
mine drapery, and surrounded by a garden enclosing 
a few vegetables and many flowers, rejoiced in the 
title of the " school-house." Within it, day by day, 
sat a wee little morsel of a schoolmistress, giving 
instruction in A B C to boys who overtopped her 
many inches, and to girls numbering quite as many 
years as her own. Like many other things in this 
vnde world of ours, there was more in that modest 
little dwelling than met the eye. 

On the other side the " Vale," and yet further 
from our starting-point, where three roads met, was 
another slab building, containing in one many useful 
branches of trade. Hither came the Vermonts for 
their letters, pins, needles, and tape. Mysterious- 
looking " lollies " attracted the halfpence from the 
pockets of Vermont's young fry. Huge joints of 
meat found their way from thence into the Vermont 
larders and beef-tubs. A yard of print, or a bonnet 
out of date, might be bought here for something less 



5 VERMONT VALE. 

than double the Adelaide price, and a motley assort- 
ment of common earthenware was generally displayed 
round the door, amidst brooms and agricultural im- 
plements of all shapes and sizes. This was decidedly 
the store of Vermont. Everybody within the Yale — 
ah ! and within four and five miles distant from it — 
found it convenient sometimes to wend their foot- 
steps thither. Amongst other things, all the gossip 
for half a dozen miles around was related. Births, 
and deaths, and marriages, and the trips and failings 
of poor human nature, were the ordinary refreshment 
bestowed with the goods. 

The other inhabitants of the Yale were chiefly 
farmers, scattered here and there, and of different 
standing and importance, but all cultivators of the 
soil. One of the best-farmed sections in Vermont 
was about half a mile or more from the little chapel. 
Of that and its owner, Fred Linwood, our next 
chapter will have something more to say. 



CHAPTER II. 

SUNNY HOLLOW. 

" Oh, yea ! I lovo the snnflhino j 
Like kindness, or like mirth, 
Upon a hnman countenance, 
Is sunshine on the earth." 

Rich, green, velvety slopes, rife with young wheat ; 
noble gums skirting the comridges, through which 
the sun shone softly ; bams, and stables, and stock- 
yards surpassing any in Vermont. Such was Sunny 
HoUow, the home of Frederick Linwood. 

Beautiftil for situation was Sunny Hollow, for, as 
its name betokened, in a hollow it lay, and at the 
very foot of a range of hills whose verdant heads 
were crowned with the first golden beams of morning, 
and blushed with evening's roseate. Beautiful for 
situation, from the topmost heights of those hills to 
the deepest hollow beneath them. Thither came the 
rain and pearly dew-drops in season. The creek ran 
bubbling along through part of the home section ; it 
was never dry. The sunshiue stole in everywhere, 
for every part of its name was well merited. 

Fine abundant crops that farm yielded ; nowhere 
finer. The straight, even furrows, faultless in sym- 
metry and proportion, were justly the pride of the 
young farmer ; for, assisted by his brother Stephen, 



8 VERMONT VALE. 

Fred Linwood had turned almost all those fttrrovrs 
vdth his own plough. The wheat sprang up from 
thence as though it could experience the pleasure of 
growing synmietrically. 

Yes, certainly, had that spot been chosen for mere 
beauty of situation, none more lovely could have been 
selected. The very bams were in picturesque atti- 
tudes, grouping themselves together in unstudied 
grace ; but all this was mere accident after all, for 
Fred Linwood thought of the useful far more than 
the ornamental. The situation of his bams had been 
chosen for convenience and utility — not a thought of 
adding to the loveliness of Sunny Hollow even 
occurred to him — chance alone gave them their 
quaint beauty. 

So with the house ; it was, indeed, a regular bush 
residence, such as one encounters in South Australia 
everywhere. It possessed neither superfluity of 
beauty or architectural proportion. When that house 
was built, Fred Linwood was but a beginner, and his 
fiither was principled against "doing too much for 
the boys." "Let them work as I have done," he 
would say, "they will enjoy the possessions more 
they have laboured for." And so, spite of a few 
mild suggestions from his mother, Fred had gone 
forward on the path of life with his own energies, 
health, and spirits, and a right good will, for capital, 
backed by a fine section in as fine a valley as our 
southern land caji boast. 

The land was not even cleared for him, but what 
cared he for that ! He set to work at once with axe 
and auger, not merely overlooking, but labouring as 
hard — and by far more energetically, because he was 



SUNNY HOLLOW. 9 

working for himself — than the men ho had to assist 
him. 

The house, too, was yet to build : stone was out of 
the question. There was but little on his section, 
while timber abounded. Up therefore it went, clumsy 
enough, rough enough, but of such excellent dimen- 
sions that many a sly joke was passed at his expense. 
Many a prognostication matrimonial- wise issued from 
the wise ones of Vermont. Fred, however, thought 
of the present rather than the future. He remembered 
the complaint of the cobbler of old ; 

" All that ho wanted was elbow room." 

And he felt determined, at least not to expose himself 
to this want. Elbow room ! at least give him plenty 
of that. He understood but little of architectural 
elegance ; the plain matter of fact was more familiar 
to him; it distinguished all his actions. Sunny 
Hollow Farm bore the impress of his mind every- 
where. Plain, substantial, good, but symmetrical! 
No. Plenty of elbow room was in the large kitchen, 
stretching itself almost along the whole front of the 
house. This was eating, cooking, and sitting-room 
in one, warmed by one enormous chimney, with a 
large stone hearth, and heavy cranes and hooks in 
any number. This room was lighted by three large 
windows, one at the side and two in front of the 
house, affording a good look out over the section. 
Fred loved light as well as elbow room ; he chose to 
have both, and he had them. Yet though the walls 
were tolerably plastered, and thoroughly secured from 
wind and weather, — though the floor was neatly 
paved with brick, yet up to the rafters and roof you 
might look, for the rooms in Fred's house were in- 



10 VEBMONT VALE. 

nocent of ceiling. Huge gum rafters stretcTiing 
across from wall-plate to wall-plate, and thick thatch. 
Snug and warm and comfortable it look, in com- 
parison to the bare shingles of many houses, through 
whose crevices the sun sometimes looks too hotly, — 
the stars too coldly. Bush house as it was too, there 
was one advantage it possessed over many of its 
neighbours, we mean the advantage of closed doors. 
No curtains for Fred: give him good, substantial, 
sohd wood, be it ever so rough. Those doors were 
chiefly of his own rude workmanship ; yet clumsy 
and rude as they were, each room (and there were 
four of them) had one of its own. 

We know not why there should be so generally in 
the bush an absence of the common decencies of 
society. "We know not why there should be so little 
care for the closed door. Where lies the fault ? Is it 
in the lack of wood or the laziness of the master ? Is 
it the deamess of labour or the want of ingenuity ? 
No door to one's bed-rpom ! Shame on the dilatory, 
careless habits of our bush-farmers ! Shame on the 
women who submit to that apology for a door, a 
print curtain ! Little wonder if even the curtain be 
forgotten. Gentle reader, we have even seen this ! 

Yes ; good doors, and good windows ; plenty of 
air — ^plenty of light, and all necessary seclusion Fred 
was principled for. The rudeness and roughness 
troubled him little. He did care, however, for the 
internal management of his house. He liked home 
comforts, and was not at all disposed to settle down 
to the everlasting succession of " damper, tea, and 
mutton," varied by " mutton, damper, and tea." 
Besides, he had cows, and liked to turn them to 



SUNNY HOLLOW. 11 

account, so as he did not choose at present to take 
nnto himself a wife, he engaged with a married 
couple, the one 'as farm labourer, the other as house- 
keeper, and thus he and his brother, Stephen, had 
contrived to get along pretty comfortably till the 
attraction of the gold-fields proved too great for the 
worthy couple, and one fine morning they made a 
clear exodus, leaving their young master to do his 
own cooking. 

Miserable enough, — ^but what to do? Fred 
muddled on with the help of Steve, till human 
patience could endure no longer ; besides, he could not 
always expect the help of a neighbour's wife in 
making up the butter, and what was to be done with 
the milk? 

So one night, Fred opened a large old-fashioned 
desk that had once been his father's, and pulling 
toward him writing-paper and pen, commenced with 
unaccustomed fingers a letter home, detailing all his 
household trials, and concluding with — 

" Dear mother, have pity on me, and spare Katie, 
and you, my darling little sister, come and keep house 
for me ; I'll take all manner of care of her, mother, 
and I'm sure Sunny Hollow needs her badly enough, 
spite of its sunshine." 

And what said mother and Katie to this earnest 
appeal ? Whatever was said, or whatever was done, 
gentle reader, will be related in another chapter. 



CHAPTER III. 

GRACIOUS RAIN. 

" The wind simk away like a sleeping cliild*s breath, 
The pavilion of clouds was imfurled, 
And the stin, like a spirit triumphant o*er death, 
Smiled out on this beautiful world." 

Rain had fallen during the night — cooling, refreshing 
showers. Those trickling rain-drops made sweet 
melody in the ear of the farmer. Visions of wither- 
ing crops and parched-np feed fled away from his 
dreams as the low mnrmnring of those showers beat- 
ing above his head was heard. How many faces 
brightened as heaven's face grew dark and lowering. 
How many heavy hearts beat lightly that evening 
as drop after drop pattered against the window- 
panes. 

And the morrow — the morrow with its snnshine 
sending a thousand coruscations from a thousand 
depending drops, leaving rainbow tints on tree and 
flower, and drinking up the moisture from the satu- 
rated ground ! From how many farm-houses issued 
eager glances. Those rainy nights were a boon to 
Vermont. 

Sunny Hollow had as usual received the fall 
benefit of every shower, and now the morning sun- 
shine stole in everywhere. How beautifol the wheat 



GRACIOUS BAIH. 13 

looked, with its vivid green ; on every shaded leaflet 
rain-drops, like seed-pearls or crystalites, were glisten- 
ing. What a glorions promise of a future abundant 
harvest met Fred Linwood*s eye as he threw open 
the house door, and sallied forth into the fresh morn- 
ing air, leaving Stephen to the rather ungracious 
task of kindling the fire and preparing breakfast. 
The whole face of nature wore a rejoicing aspect, the 
atmosphere was rife with the perfume of now hay, 
fresh sweet flowers, and with wild gushing bird-song. 
The very trees looked glad and smiling, bright as 
they were with the sweeping rain of the night, and 
under the full influence of a lovely sunshine. Fred 
felt the inward thrill produced by the beauty of the 
morning, though he would not have acknowledged 
it ; indeed, no doubt he attributed all his light-heart- 
edness to his luxuriant crop of wheat which every- 
where encountered his eye. 

He stood leaning on the fence near the road, look- 
ing at some fine potatoes. The rain had washed 
every particle of dust from their dark green leaves. 
They formed a pretty contrast to the light green 
wheat that fringed them on every hand. 

Fred Linwood himself was no unworthy ad- 
dition to that morning scene. His tall, stout 
athletic figure, laughing blue eyes, and light waving 
hair thrown carelessly back from an ample brow, 
gave him a full passport to the society of the fair 
sex within a range of at least fifty miles of Vermont. 
A luxuriant growth of beard and whisker, and a soft, 
carefully-nurtured moustache, added not a little to 
the general admiration. But, after all, it was his 
frank, warm, kind manner, his bright merry laugh. 



14 VERMONT VALE. 

his unceasing good 'humour that won the way to the 
ladies' hearts. Indeed, Fred was not only the 
favourite of the ladies — the men nearly courted him 
as much. His success in farming was the country 
talk, and many a farmer with grown-up daughters 
gave the promising young man the freedom of his 
house and hearth. 

Fred was still standing, viewing with complacent 
eye his plentiful crops, when a loud greeting startled 
him out of his complacency. 

"Good day; good day, Mr. Linwood. Looking 
at your crops, eh ? "Well, that is just what IVe been 
doing. Fine, on my word ! Haven't seen finer the 
country round;" and the speaker, a stout, fresh- 
looking, middle-aged man, again glanced over the 
wide section, or rather the slope where he had reined 
in his horse, and where the young wheat was cer- 
tainly as near perfection as possible. 

" Yes ; I rather think it will do, Doctor," was 
the quiet reply of Fred ; but with a merry flash from 
his blue eyes that belied his quiet words, " This rain 
was just what we wanted." 

"What you wanted? of course, you always do 
get that," said the Doctor, with a comical shake of 
his head. " I tell you, Linwood, if I had half a 
chance of such success as yours, I'd pretty soon quit 
my profession for the plough-handle — something free 
and invigorating to body and mind this cultivating of 
the soil, drawing out its treasures and beauties ; 
while for my part I think it but sorry work living on 
the misfortunes and sorrows and afflictions of others, 
as is my lot to do." 

" As to that," repUed Fred, smiling, " though I 



GRACIOUS BAIV. 15 

must say I never envied that profession of yours, 
Doctor, and would not give up my place at the 
plough-handle for the finest practice in the world, 
yet I think you are taking a very low view of your 
duties when you talk of living on the sorrows and 
afflictions of others," 

" You do, do you ? and how, may I ask ? " 

" Why, to me the medical profession appears a 
very passable, fair, and for that matter creditable 
way of gaining a living — spending your time in going 
about doing good, in easing and preventing pain and 
suffering ! " 

" Bravo ! bravissimo ! Thanks be praised, the 
old profession has such an advocate ! Though, by the 
by, you do not patronize it much, Mr. Linwood. I 
do not believe I have once had the pleasure of 
administering to your relief since your sojourn at 
Vermont." 

" No, you have not ; thanks to the sweet air of 
heaven and the fresh breath of the upturned earth, 
the sun rarely finds me in bed, Doctor. Plenty 
of air, plenty of exercise, that's all the medicine 
I want. I have no need to touch your nauseous 
draughts." 

" Ah ! it's such healthy young fellows as you would 
ruin the profession if there were many of you. You 
have not even the conscience to break a limb out of 
pure friendship. If you ever do, I can promise you a 
treat. Setting bones is my hobby ! " 

" Thank you, Doctor ; but while I can keep my 
bones whole, I assure you I will," laughed Fredj " I 
am quite willing to forego the treat." 

" More the pity ; it's not a thing to be seen or felt 



16 VERMONT VALE. 

either every day, let me tell you. But, by the by, I 
was down at the store last night. Mrs. Bateman has a 
cold, or fancies she has, at any rate ; not much matter 
which, between you and I. However, she tells me 
you have parted with your housekeeper, and have 
been some time without any one. I wonder I have 
never heard of it before." 

" Rather they have parted with me," said Fred, 
" unfortunately hands just now are by no means 
so plentiful as to be parted with for a trifle, 
particularly with the promise of a good harvest 
before me." 

" WeU, I didn't think Griffiths was such a fool. 
What new notion had he taken into his head to give 
up so good a place ? " 

" Oh ! the gold-fields were his attraction ; if he 
chose to leave a comfortable place for mere uncer- 
tainty, that's his look out, not mine. He might have 
done well if he had stopped, but, of course, every one 
knows their own business best." 

" It can't be very pleasant for you though, 
to be left in the lurch. How ever do you and 
your brother manage without a woman about the 
house ? " 

" Oh ! badly enough," laughed Fred ; " neither 
Steve or myself are much good at household matters. 
We have scrubbed along some way." 

" But you surely don't mean to go on so ? You 
should get married, Linwood. Why, when Fanny 
leaves me I mean to be married myself; I often tell 
her so. What's a house without a woman? Get 
married, man, and have done with it." 

" Marry in haste, repent at leisure," laughed Fred. 



OBACIOUS HAIN. 17 

" No, Doctor, I don't think I*U do that. But I per- 
fectly agree with yon that a house without a woman 
is a very miserable and uncomfortable affair. I told 
my mother so, and she has had compassion on us. I 
expect my sister Katie some time to-day." 

" Indeed ! your sister ? An elder sister, may I 
ask ? if it is not a rude question." 

" Younger than myself; but the best, the quickest, 
most industrious little sprite you ever saw. Doctor. 
One of mother's servants is coming with her. She is 
attached to Katie. I think of doing rather more in 
the dairy now I have got the adjoining section." 

" Yes, to be sure ; that's the way with you all. 
Add bam to bam. A sprite did you call your sister ? 
That positively don't sound sedate." 

" Sedate ! No, that word hardly describes my 
sister Kate. But you will see her, Doctor. We have 
a pretty house for her to come to ; but, I wager my 
hat she and Dolly will have it in apple-pie order to- 
morrow morning. Come any time to-morrow, and 
see if I am not correct." 

" No, no ; that won't be quite feir to the young 
lady ; — the next day — ^the next day," said the Doctor, 
gathering his reins together. " You may expect me 
then," he shouted as he cantered off, "without some 
unlucky patient wants me. I have a little curiosity 
to see your sprite. My Fanny must become acquainted 
with her." 

"All right, old fellow!" was Fred's not very 
polite though laughing mental rejoinder, as he turned 
towards the house from whence a distance "cooee" was 
summoning him to breakfast. Perhaps, as he thought 
of the pretty coquettish face with its glossy brown 

2 



18 VERMONT VALE. 

liair connected with the name of Fanny, he viewed his 
sister's coming in a new and still more pleasant light. 
At any rate, there was a meaning smile on his lips, 
and a covert merriment in his eye as he tnmed home. 
Sisters are so very convenient sometimes. 



CHAPTER IV. 

SISTER KATE. 

As fair a moming as heart could wish, and as bright 
a sunshine as ever tinted an Australian sky, greeted 
the opening eyelids of a fair yonng maiden as its 
joyons light stole through the lifted curtain of a neat 
little chamber in as neat a stone house, some miles 
from Vermont, dispelling very roseate slxmibers. 

Eyes looking like very blue violets opened as the 
sunlight fell upon them, and as they did so a pair ol' 
wilfdl and determined little hands pushed back the 
ringlets from the fair face. Another moment and she 
was out on the floor, rapidly dressing, and merrily 
singing as she dressed. 

" My birthday at last !" she exclaimed, as she 
stood at length before the glass slowly brushing out 
her curls, literally tossing one after another from the 
brush, as though it was almost too much trouble to 
take, as she continued half gaily, half pensively 
singing to herself, "My birthday," as though the 
acquisition of another year brought with it more of 
joy than sorrow. 

And so it hitherto had with Kate Linwood. The 
flight of time troubled her but little. There was but 
little philosophy beneath those dancing ringlets ; no 
amount of grave thought in those laughing blue eyes. 



20 VERMONT VALE. 

She was in the stmshine of Hfe, and experienced so 
few clonds that she thought they never wonld come 
to her, if indeed she thought at all. And so her 
years were passing away, and the place of refdge 
from all storms was nnsonght and unfonnd. Katie, 
sweet girl as she was, was not a follower of Jesns. 

But, for this birthday, she had looked forward to 
for many a month, almost ready to fret at the tardi- 
ness of the wheels of Time. Passionately fond of 
riding, she had never yet possessed a horse of her 
own. She could ride two or three of her father's 
horses at any time, but she had long coveted most 
earnestly one over which she might have entire con- 
trol ; one whom she could name as she liked, ride 
as she liked, and do just as she chose with. On that 
ha,ppy day her father had promised her a pony and 
side-saddle for her birthday present. This rendered 
the morning very welcome to her. Then there were 
two or three other Httle things making up the happi- 
ness of that day ; but the one great happiness was 
connected with her brother Fred's letter. From that 
day she was to assume important duties, to occupy a 
pleasant though responsible position, to become the 
little mistress of a little household ; in other words, 
Sunny Hollow was to be all the brighter for her 
presence. 

Katie knew very well that her position would be 
no sinecure. She was quite aware of the number of 
cows to be milked ; and that, in consequence, there 
would be plenty of cream to skim, and dozens of 
pounds of butter to make, not to mention cheese — 
and that a goodly portion of this same dairy work 
would have to pass through her own little hands. 



SISTER KATE. 21 

What did she care for that ? Active life was every- 
thiog to Kate. She was no sedentary young lady, 
fond of bending from morning to night over costly 
embroidery, or delighting in the delicate formation of 
wax flowers, whose frail petals were the result of the 
devotion of many precious hours. Flowers she loved 
truly, but then they were natural flowers ; flowers 
fresh from the garden, the creek, or the hill-side. 

Yes ; active life for Kate. She had learnt to milk 
many a year ago. Feeding the calves had been her 
earliest pastime ; and there were plenty of those very 
calves at Fred's section, now full-grown respectable 
cows. She was not afraid of the wildest of them. 

" She milked the dun cow that ne'er oflfer'd to stir ; 
Though it frolicked with others 'twas gentle to her." 

" Well, Dolly ; won't you wish me a happy return 
of my birthday ?" she exclaimed, merrily dancing 
into the kitchen where the girl she addressed was 
busily preparing breakfast. 

" Sure, miss, and I will ; and many of them," Dolly 
replied with a bright smile, and then a little laugh. 

" Thank you, Dolly. Are you not delighted that 
this charming weather has set in ? How lovely it has 
been after the rain. I like to have sunshine on my 
birthday ; it makes the whole year seem bright ; at 
least, in my estimation." 

" I think you mostly do have sunshiny birthdays, 
Miss Kate." 

Kate laughed merrily. "Ah, Dolly, that I sup- 
pose is because October is generally a bright month, 
and not out of compliment to my birthday. Still, I 
get the benefit of it. I am very glad it is fine, 



22 VERMONT YALE. 

thongli. Our journey to Sunny Hollow will be so 
much, more pleasant. Are you ready to go, Dolly ?" 

" Shall be by to-morrow, miss." 

" So shall I. Now, Dolly, please tell mother I 
shall not be home to breakfast. I must go down to 
bid Amy and her husband good-bye. I promised I 
would, and this is the only time I can spare. I shall 
be back before dinner," and snatching up a garden 
hat from a peg outside the kitchen door, she tied it 
down over her golden curls, and oflf she ran, her little 
dog Fly after her, leaping and barking, for very plea- 
sure ; sometimes rolling in the grass at her feet, 
sometimes far on ahead, leaping and frisking like a 
little wild thing — only a degree, however, more wild 
that morning than his young mistress behind him. 

" Down, down, Tly ! Down ! down ! you un- 
mannerly little thing. Do you think I am gathering 
flowers for you to tear in pieces ? Not I, indeed ! 
There now, I believe you have spoilt the best wreath 
of pea-blossom I have seen this spring. You pro- 
voking little animal !" And Katie chased the offender 
with threatening finger, who scampered away, guilty 
creature as he was, and then facing round, made a 
dead stand, wagging his tail and winking his eyes, as 
much as to say, "I'll just see whether you are in 
earnest or not ; and, if I don't think you are, expect 
me back again." 

Katie went laughing back" in search of another 
scarlet wreath. She knew that if one was spoiled 
there were hundreds of the bright blossoms all over 
the sections which her way lay; she could have 
covered herself entirely with them had she been so 
disposed. As it was, she contented herself with a 



SISTEB KATE. 23 

wreath ronnd her slight waist, and permitted the 
bright scarlet blossoms a hiding-place among her 
soft sunny cnrls; for her hat was tossed to the 
ground as she twined her brilliant garlands ; and Fly, 
presently finding nothing dangerous in his young 
mistress, came springing back, and took possession of 
it at once. 

" Ah, well ; carry my hat and welcome," said 
Kate, going on with her graceful employment, be- 
stowing only a glance now and then at the little 
animal. She was not afi^d for her hat. She knew, 
full of play and mischievous as he was, that her hat 
was perfectly safe with her petite Mend. 

A pretty picture they formed — the girl and the 
dog. The attitude of both was playful. Fly, 
crouched down in the soft grass which lay under him 
like a velvet cushion, had relinquished the hat for the 
pleasure of watching his young mistress, and watch 
her he did, intently too. His quick bright eyes fol- 
lowed every movement of her baby fingers, the soft 
curling ears moved restlessly about, and the tail beat 
a perfect tattoo on the ground. Elatie was too much 
occupied with the wreaths to heed him, or she would 
have laughed at the comical little face upturned to 
hers. But at last the garlands were finished to her 
satisfaction, and snatching up her hat, she snapped 
her fingers at Fly, and the merry pair set off fcdl 
speed onward. 



CHAPTER V. 

COFFEE AND CONVERSE. 

" Beware lest thou from sloth that would appear 
But lowliness of mind, with joy proclaim 
Thy want of worth.** 

The momiiig sunsliiiie passed on throngli low Frencli 
windows to a very pleasant breakfast-table, round 
whicli an interesting gronp were seated. Tbe house 
of whicli the said French windows and breakfast- 
table formed a part was a half gothic building sur- 
rounded by the never-failing verandah and a garden 
of sweet flowers. It was some little distance from 
Klate Linwood's home, and near the little town- 
ship of E . Indeed, the bed-room windows (they 

were upper ones) looked out upon three prominent 
objects — ^the wheat-store, the mill, and the Wesleyan 
chapel. We beg pardon ; we might have added yet 
another, for where in all this wide southern land of 
ours can we go where there is the least semblance of 
a township and find no public-house ? Pity is it that 
with them they bring too often so much sin and evil ! 
The house itself was no common building ; that 
is, the house with the French windows be it under- 
stood. The large gate at the side led to snug stables, 
a chaise stood covered over with a white cloth in the 
neat yard ; and, at a little distance under a shed, a 



COFFEE AND CONVERSE. 



25 



very pretty dog-cart peeped into view with its freshly- 
painted claret-colonred wheels, picked ont, as the 
technical phrase is, with black. From the delicate 
drapery at the parlour windows, to the choice and 
lovely flowers that smiled in the garden, afflaence and 
comfort were everywhere visible. In truth. Amy 
Linwood had done no foolish thing when she tendered 
her &ir little portionless hand to George Henderson 
the rich owner of the wheat-store before mentioned, 
and he, for his part, with all his wealth and education, 
had never been so happy as when he took to his 
home and heart our fair little Amy. She was a true 
and earnest Christian, and was made the happy 
medium of bringing salvation to her own hearth. 

But with all this our tale has little or nothing 
to do; only in connection with our little friend 
Kate should we mention them at all, though the 
scene that morning sunshine peeped in upon was a 
very endearing one. It stole in then through the 
French windows of that very pleasant home, falling 
on the snowy cloth and bright spoons, and clear 
breakfast china, with a wild and radiant gladness in 
its beams, leaving its glowing influence everywhere 
just like those bright joyous natures that adorn our 
world, scattering gloom and darkness by the sunlight 
of their presence, sending out a thousand corus- 
cations of joy into many a dark bosom. 

But the faces grouped around the table, the sun- 
light also fell upon them, and they have yet to be 
introduced to our readers. 

Something like Katie, just enough to point out 
the relationship between them, Amy Henderson's was 
a sweet tranquil fece, hardly ever bearing a ruffle. 



26 YEBMONT YALE. 

Her soft grey eyes at times took almost a sad gleam, 
but sadness was fer jfrom her qnietly liappy nature. 
The little figure so trim and matronly was faultless in 
its blue morning dress. The soft fair bair lay in 
ripples under a tiny French cap. That was Hender- 
son's fancy. * It looked so wifely, he said, and she 
yielded as was her wont because he liked it, and in 
truth. Amy Henderson, as she sat opposite her lord 
and master with her circle of Httle ones round her, 
looked the very perfection of wifely beauty. Others 
could love and appreciate her besides her husband. 
She had comfort or advice for all who needed. Katie 
loved her dearly. 

A happy fellow looked George Henderson as he 
sat with slippered feet and newspaper at the most 
perfect ease and enjoyment. The newspaper occupied 
but little of his attention; his Httle home circle 
much. His brow and eyes at aU times thoughtftd, 
were yet fall of happiness. How could he help those 
eyes wandering many times from the pages of poHtics 
to those dear ones ? There was something beautiful 
to him in each. His eldest bom, Freddy, with his 
large dark eyes and curling brown hair, and the little 
pet of three summers, Emily, clinging so closely to 
his side, often laying her light curly head upon his 
shoulder, and looking into his face with a sweet, 
winning smile. There were roses of health on her 
cheek and lip and brow, and sunlight in her clear 
blue eyes. The baby was a little fairy creature, only 
a few months old, and yet he had abeady so many 
little winning ways that he daily won more love and 
cherishing. He was ahnost too fai/r and fragile with 
those blue eyes of his, and for that reason, perhaps, 



COFFEK AND CONTERSE. 27 

the young mother held him more closely to her bosom, 
and gazed more earnestly in his angel &ce. 

^^ How we shall miss Katie ! '' said Amy, with the 
shadow of a sigh as she began to arrange the cups 
before she ponred ont the coffee, for breakfast was yet 
imcommenced. " She makes everything bright where 
she is," she continned, " we can scarcely spare her." 

** That is true," said the husband, " we are sure 
to miss her ; but then, dear, those boys must be very 
miserable with no female about them. I know I was 
wretched enough before I gained my little wifie." 

" Tes, I dare say they are," Amy smilingly re- 
plied, blushing a little by the way at the implied 
compliment ; "I know it is rather selfish to wish to 
keep her when they want her so much. Then too," 
she added in graver tones, " I am a Httle afraid of her 
duties being too much for her." 

" So am I. She is too young and thoughtless for 
such a responsible situation, I fear. She does not 
think so herself, I fancy." 

" Oh, no ! She is delighted to go. Indeed, I am 
not in the least afraid of her doing well in the house, 
and acting with perfect propriety, notwithstanding 
her excess of spirits. I know her better than you, 
' dear. She has really excellent domestic qualities as 
woman should have, and good moral ones too. For 
the rest we must leave her in God's hands after all, 
dear Gteorge." 

" After all — yet I wish she had experienced a 
change of heart — ^we could trust her the more com- 
pletely ; she would be of fer greater blessing to her 
brothers. There is so much fan about Fred, and 
Stephen is no better, or if reports are true much 



88 VERMONT VALE. 

worse. It would have been better if EZatie bad been 
of a more sedate, grave nature." 

" We must wait our Father's will for the change 
of heart, George," Amy repHed, rather sadly, " but I 
am not sure whether she would suit her brothers so 
well were she less light-hearted. Ah ! I shall miss 
her, dear girl ; but I ought not to be selfish, for I 
cannot help hoping that she may yet be the means of 
good. I comfort myself with that thought. God is 
in every place, dear, no one can hinder His work ! " 

" There's Fly, mamma ! there's Fly ! " exclaimed 
little Fred, springing from his chair. " May I go and 
see if Klatie is coming ? " 

But ere he reached the door it was thrown widely 
open, and Fly and his young mistress stood revealed. 

George and Amy interchanged glances as the 
pretty vision broke through the sunshine at the door, 
still wreathed in rich scarlet pea-blossom, the colour 
in cheek and lip only more beautifiil. 

" Klatie's birthday ! I know it is by the crown," 
shouted little Fred, dragging her in with all his 
strength, while Fly danced and sprang round them, 
barking in very fiilness of joy. 

" This is like yourself, dear Klatie ; you have come 
to breakfast with us ? " said Amy, with a close kiss. ' 
" Many happy returns, dearest. May your birthdays 
never be less bright. May God bless you ! " 

" Thank you, thank you, dear Amy ; your birth- 
day wishes are always good," said Katie, taking 
Henderson's proflTered hand, and then the chair he 
placed for her at the table. "Now, Master Fred, 
come and sit by me. Don't you know I am going to 
leave you to-morrow — going to Vermont Vale ? " she 



COFFEE AND CONVERSE. 29 

added langhinglj, *' yoa must make much of me to- 
day, I can tell yon." 

Make much of her ! I fancy they did. One with 
chubby arms thrown round her waist, the other 
nestled close to her bosom. What a picture that 
group would have made! How George wished at 
that moment for a power he did not possess — the 
power of the artist. But Amy was already taking up 
hot buttered scons from the fire, and the coffee was 
diffusing its rich aroma through the room — the prose 
of life had the mastery. So it is ever. Nature dis- 
pels some of our most beautiful visions and thoughts 
by her clamorous requirements ; and so arbitrary is 
she that the most delicate feeling, the most refined 
poetry, must yield to her sway. 

A gay little meal was that morning breakfast. 
Katie sat with her fair curls still wreathed with 
scarlet blossoms, like a fisury queen with cupid at- 
tendants ; and, in spite of due respect paid to the 
light scons and fragrant coffee, many covert glances 
found their way fi^m Henderson's eyes ftdl of pride 
and admiration. 

" And do you really like going up to Vermont, 
Elatie P '' he at length asked, as he pushed aside his 
empty cup and dusted the crumbs fi^m his knee with 
his handkerchief. " Are y6u not afraid of the duties 
there?" 

" Not a bit, Mr. Henderson. There are no duties 
required of me that I have not been accustomed to 
fcom very childhood. Mother always wished me to 
be accustomed to them ; and I love them for their 
own sake. You may laugh," she continued, tossing 
her head, " but I know very well I can manage a 



30 VERMONT TALB. 

house a great deal better tlian many of our Australian 
farmers' wives. Nothing 'sonr shall ever come out of 
my dairy. No one shall ever surpass my bread and 
cake. Nowhere shall there be more real cleanliness 
and comfort while I have the charge there ! Duties, 
indeed ! I don't fear them ! " 

Henderson laughed at the pretty, saucy, half- 
defiant face upturned to his ; then pushing aside his 
chair, he rose from the table, and giving an expressive 
glance at his wife, called the two eldest children after 
him, and left the room. 

" I suppose Mr. Henderson never will be con- 
vinced that I am anything else than a baby," said 
K[atie rather pettishly, after a few moments' silence, 
during which the little foot had beaten a ftirious . 
tattoo on the carpet. " I believe he is the only one 
who thinks me idle." 

" Oh, Katie, darling ! he thinks no such thing ; he 
could not think so, for he knows to the contrary." 

" One would not judge so from what he said." 

" Perhaps there was more in his question than 
met your ear," Amy quietly answered. 

Kate looked suddenly up. " What else could he 
mean ? Why did he not say what he meant ?" she 
asked impatiently. 

Amy snuled as she answered. " Because, dearest, 
he thinks you will allow me to tell you. That you 
win like to hear from me best. That is the reason." 
She rose as she spoke, and ringing a little bell for the 
removal of the breakfast things, passed her arm round 
her cousin's waist, and coaxingly drew her into the 
other room, shutting the door upon them. 

" I see I am to prepare for a lecture," said Katie, 



' COFFEE AND C0SYSB8E. 81 

half smiling, lialf sighing, as she sank back into one 
of the comfortable large chairs, pleasantly placed near 
the window, commanding a view of the garden at the 
back of the honse. There was afiected resignation in 
the tone of the exclamation. 

" No, Katie — no lecture," said Amy, smiling. 
^^ Only a pleasant little chat 'together. Yon know 
yon were anzions to hear what George means by 
yonr duties." 

'' Yes ; I certainly am anxious to know what 
duties he thinks I shall neglect ! " 

" Well, dear ; I have told you that those duties 
are not household duties, as we accept the term ; no 
doing work or pie-making. We know you are quite 
<m fait in that sort of thing. But, darling, have 
you never felt there were higher duties devolving 
on you ? " 

" Higher duties ? What are they ? I know very 
weU what I am going to Vermont Vale for — to make 
a very disorderly, uncomfortable house snug and 
comfortable, to give my brothers better fare than 
damper and mutton, and to make them and myself as 
happy as need be." 

" All quite right, quite sisterly, quite pleasant, 
dear Elatie ; but there are higher duties still de- 
volving upon you as a sister — as a woman. Have you 
never felt that a portion of woman's mission is to 
warn — to comfort?" 

" I never tried my hand at either," said Kate, 
leaning out of the window and gathering a spray of 
jasmine from without. " I never tried either ; at any 
rate, not in your way. Amy," she added energetically. 
" If I find sorrow will not yield to a jest, or a laugh. 



32 VERMONT TALE. 

I have done. I suppose that is to the extent of my 
mission." 

" Do you remember the Scripture comparison, 
dear Kate, 'As vinegar upon nitre, so is he that 
siQgeth songs to a heavy heart ?' " 

Kate was sUent a moment or two — the jasmine 
spray suffered a little meanwhile from her busy 
fingers. At length, drawing a sigh of relief, she 
replied with a smile of triumph — 

" "Well, but, dear Amy, this is borrowing sorrow ; 
enough when that comes. One would think I was 
going to two poor disconsolate fellows in the last 
stage of despair, iustead of to two of the lightest- 
hearted beings Australia contains. Why, I verily 
believe we shall be the merriest trio you ever heard 
of. So, if that is part of the duty George thinks I 
shall neglect, or ought to be afraid of, you may tell 
him I have no fear on that score. The duty will 
prove a mere sinecure." 

" Perhaps so, dear Kate ; I admit that under the 
present circumstances * comfort ' may not be needed. 
But that is only part of woman's mission. Don't you 
remember the other ? " 

" To warn ? Oh ! I can make nothing of that. 
Amy. Much fitted I look to give warning," said the 
merry girl, springing up and dancing before the 
mirror — the very impersonation of mischief. But 
Amy was quite grave, so she presently reseated 
herself, exclaimiug — 

"Ah, I suppose this is the duty — the duty for 
which George thinks I am unsuited. "Well, I don't 
know but he is right in* that." She sat silently 
picking the leaves from the spray, one by one they 



COFFEB AND CONYEBSE. 83 

fell on the carpet. Amy did not care to intermpt her 
thoughts jnst then. 

"Have jou any reason to think there is mnch of 
this warning needed ? '' she presently asked in a 
low tone. 

'^ Yes, dear Katie ; I have an especial reason,'* 
replied Amy, the tears stealing into her eyes. " The 
gentle warning voice of a sister will be invaluable to 
Stephen. We hear he is very unsteady. It must be 
yours to try and make his home attractive to him, to 
win him from bad company, to deal gently, discrimi- 
nately with his. faults — yet firmly still." 

" Ah ! now you give me a task indeed. I am so 
little suited for a monitress. I should not know what 
to say. Indeed, if Stephen ever comes home in a 
state of intoxication, I should be too angry for any- 
thing else." 

" Angry J dear Katie ! No, that surely would not 
be the feeling. Sorrow and shame are more akin to 
the womanly heart, to a sister's love." 

" But I would not own a brother who could so 
disgrace himself. I would not own a drunkard for a 
brother ! " 

" Hush, Katie love ! Hush, dear ! The mild and 
gentle religion of Jesus does not teach this language. 
Sisterly affection can and ought to cover great faults ; 
at least, it should quench all ill-feeling in the hope of 
reclaiming. If the sad reports that reach us from 
time to time prove true, you will have this trial 
awaiting you. Oh ! if you only knew on whom to 
cast your burden and look for strength ! George 
wishes this for you as well, dear Katie, as I do." 

Katie threw herself back in her chair, and rocked 

3 



34 TSEMONT YALE, 

to and fro in moody thonght ; her elbow on the arm 
of the chair, and her little hand covering eyes thai 
would fain have distilled bright drops, had not 
determined pride kept them back. To and fro, to 
and fro — a little 'quick pettish movement of the foot 
meanwhile. The dock on the mantel-^shelf ticked 
loudly in the interval. How distinetly every one of 
the strokes soonded throogh the quiet room. They 
fell like dead weights upon Katie's already qnendied 
spirits. She could bear it no longer. 

With a toss of the head that sent the ringl^ 
flying back from her face, she sprang from her seat, 
exclaiming, " Well, Amj^ I dare say yon mean well, 
«Bd intend all this for my good; but if yon and 
George have not fincceeded in maki-ng me very low- 
.&^)irited and miserable on my birthday, my name is 
not Katie Linwood ! " 

** I am very sorry, dear Elatie, bat " 

** Oh, yes ! I know exactly what yon are going to 
say, jnst as if yon told me. Yon needn't. I tell yon, 
I know yon mean it all for my good ; and tiiongh I 
won't believe reports, I don't say your warning is not 
needed. May be it is ; bnt aU this most decidedly 
^ects my spirits ; and this Inrthday I meant to be so 
bappy- Oh, Amy] " 

'' Ah, dear Katie ; if yon only possessed the secret 
<xfendu/rmg happiness ! " 

^* My dear Amy, yon are cmly wasting words 
npon such a hamm-scariun as myself How can 
I feel themp I am not a Ohristian, yon know, and 
cannot trouble my head about it;" and off she 
flew ont of the door, calling gaily to i^e children to 
Join her. 



COrfIB AND CONYIBSE. 85 

Amy turned off to her employment with a 
sigh, but the sigh would have been less bitter conld 
she have seen the glittering drops dashed off by 
a very wilM little hand when ont of both sight 
and hearing. 



CHAPTER VI. 

SOMETHING LEAENED FEOM A BULLOCKi-DRAT. 

'' Jewels and traths escape the careless eye." 

A EiDE on horseback, a wild scamper among the 
brushwood, creeks to leap, rocks to climb, anything 
rather than the eternal rumble of the old dray- wheels, 
and creeping idle movements of the stupid bullocks, 
so thought Katie, but not so her father ; at any rate 
he willed otherwise. So pretty little Hebe, the pony 
he had given her for a birthday present, was des- 
patched by other roads the day before, and Elatie was 
obliged most unwilHngly to submit with the best 
^gwtce she could. Perched up amid sundry articles of 
furniture of which her brother's house was innocent, 
«he sat martyr-like, when sit she must, through sheer 
fatigue. The rest of the time she was off on the wing, 
•concealed from view by the tea-tree bushes, or wattle, 
or anything indeed that could come between her and 
the old jumbling, jolting vehicle to whose tender 
mercies she resigned the more patient, the more 
easily-accommodated Dolly, who preferred any mode 
of carriage to the marrow-bone stage. 

Have any of our readers escaped a ride in a 
bullock-dray — a genuine rough and tumble ride up 
hill and down dale, through dust, and mud, and 



SOMETHINO LEABNED FROM A BULLOCK-DBAT. 37 

quagmire ? Be h^ or she who they may, let me tell 
them ihej haye missed some of the real experience of 
bush-life, some of the positive form of bush travelling, 
and must not think of professing colonial knowledge. 
A ride in a bnllock-draj ? Yes, gentle reader, it 
reminds ns of the experience of life, rough and 
smooth, turmoil and calm, bitter and sweet, a yery 
Babel of a noise echoing in onr ears all the way. 

In fexjt, we have no manner of objection to a ride 
in a bnllock-dray ; a ride occasionally, bo it remem- 
bered. We do not wish, dear readers, to give you an 
impression that we prefer that mode of travelling. 
Dust and mud, slow movements, and rough jolting ; 
even a " boggling " now and then, by way of change, 
we accept as the natural offering at the shrine of our* 
penchant. Indeed, it is more than probable that the 
penchant itself arises from the variety of attending 
circumstances. The very slowness of a bullock-dray 
has its advantages — advantages unknown to the 
more rapid and elegant vehicle. The hill-side has 
often to be climbed on foot, and how many a flower 
has been discovered, while springing from rock to 
rock, which might have " spent its sweetness on the 
desert air." How many a treasure to add to the 
cabinet of minerals has peeped out of some quiet nook 
to greet the eager eyes of the pedestrian, which but 
for that same old lumbering dray, coming slowly and 
surely, yet far behind, would have remained in its 
quiet nook still. What a pleasure, too, to mount the 
heights, and then look back through bush, and scrub, 
and tree to that narrow, steep strip of road, up which 
the lazy-waUdng bullocks were making imperceptible 
progress. To them it is a very "hill difficulty," 



38 YiRKOirr tals* 

ihongh yoEor &et hxv& so rapidly^azid easilj i 
pHsked it. Maj we not call a lessoa iroat thks — a 
lesson of mild and gentle judgment. The bnrdeoa 
overpowering to another, we, p^chance, can hghttjF 
bear. Possil^, however, we are dififerently consti- 
tnted, perhaps divinelj supported. Let us not, then, 
de^nse our weak brother, or fail to sympathize in 
his sorrows. It may be ours to siok beneaJh a 
burden that he can easily sustain, and we may then 
be glad of sympathy and love. ^Bear ye one 
another's burdens ** is the law of Christ ; by so doing 
we ftilfil that law, 

Eren another lesson may we learn firom this suzie 
old rumHii^ bnllock-dray — this tedious, time-con- 
samiDg afiair. A lesson it obyionsly teaches, a grace 
it naturally calls fosQi, even patience / — patience, so 
pore^ so nteek, so gentle a yirtne, that it beautifies 
and soflens the character ; while tempered with other 
graces, it eleyates the mind. Endurance in minor 
matters strengthens the soul; habitual patience in 
smaU affiurs prepares for weightier evils. Thus, even 
the tedhuBL of a bollock- dray ride may do somethix^ 
towards the formation of character. Truly, all around 
us are engraven lessons of wisdom, that even '^hdn 
that rmu^th may read!^ 

No such reflections as these, however, passed 
through the merry head of Katie. She possessed bat 
little of the virtue of patience ; perhaps hitherto she 
had had Httle to call it forth. As we before intimated, 
sheer £it%ue alone induced her at all to submit to 
Hke skxir movements of "Brandy" and "Tinker^'* 
and their no less tardy csMfreres, r^okang in as 
elegfuit a|)peDatives* By the by, £ur readers^ we 



SOMETHma LEAKSID FIOIC A BULLOCK-DRAT. 89 

hsFWB oflflDL woadered-^iunre you not?— why sueli 
fri^bifbl oogotmyeim skould be itBTMriably attftcbed to 
these poor hard-working animals, who are at least 
wort h y of more eixphonioiis nameck 

But of Elatie. A bewitching Httle creature she 
looked, seated up in the old dray, fixed, m the 
Americans would have it, in a sort of throne, made 
pre i§m, from a large easy-chair she had begged of 
her mother to take with her to. Sunny Hollow ; for, 
little sprite ae she was, flying from place to place- 
industry personified — she yet loved, as dearly as any 
one, now and then, to creep into the deepest recesses 
of that old chair, reading or sleeping, or dreaming 
wild dreams, or what not, or looking out from its 
depths with those laughing blue eyes of hers — half 
saucily, half defiant ; she was, in £skot, more than half 
buried in it when she leaned frdly back. 

She was doing that now ; but if a queen enthroned, 
it msst have been a fiuvy queen. There was Terj 
little state, though, perhaps, a little power to wis 
and command was betrayed hj the way her tiny feet 
beat time to a song of her own humming, or impi^ 
tkntly urged on the bullocks with its furious but 
munraalzDg tattoo. She had shaken ouit most of the 
sesnous thoughts induced by Amy's conyersation wil^ 
her rin^ets that morning ; and though the rosy lips 
were just toow compressed, it was with no troublous 
thought, but with a little internal satisfisu;tion — with 
just a petUe morcecuux of pride that the dimpled 
comers of the mouth struggled to ecmceal. Katie 
was secretly rej<»eing still at the new sphere of life 
and action awaiting her. 

**I dare sa^rwe shall have a pretty house to go 



40 VERMONT VALE. 

into, Dolly," she at last latLgMngly exclaimed, after a 
rather nmLsiial silence, tossing aside the stmny ringlets 
that had fallen over her face. 

"La, miss! I expects we shall; but, may be, we 
shall soon make things straight." 

" May be ! no * may be ' about it, Dolly. I tell 
you we shall ; that's positive," replied the wayward 
little mistress, springing forward from her more 
dignified position, and leaning over the arm of her 
chair while she familiarly chatted to her companion. 
"No, indeed, Dolly. No 'may he's' about it. We 
will have a regular clearing up. ' Sunny Hollow ' 
shall be truly all sunshine if I live there." 

" That it will, miss, and not able to help itself," 
Dolly ventured, coaxingly. 

" I can tell you as well as possible how we shall 
find the place— as well as possible," continued Katie, 
bending her pretty head in meek reflection. "We 
shaU find Fred's pipe and tobacco in close communion 
with the bread and butter, and Stephen's boots 
adorning the mantel-shelf; beds unmade, coats here 
and there, heaps of unwashed plates and dishes, rolls 
of dirty shirts tucked up, perhaps among the cheeses 
by way of improvement ; guns, stock-whips, and farm 
implements on every available piece of ftimiture, and 
two or three large dogs in fall possession of the 
chimney-comer. Bless your heart, Dolly, I can see 
it all in my mind's eye as if it was there. But don't 
it do you good to see what a change we'll make !'* 
and Katie clapped her hands, and laughed merrily. 

" And wiU Mr. Fred like it ?" asked DoUy, rather 
dubiously. 

" Like it ? To be sure he will ; or, if he does not, 



80METHIN0 LEASNED JBOU A BULLOCK-DRAT. 41 

he will have to submit. He did not send for me in 
vain, and no one ever saw Katie Lin wood and disorder 
together. We cried quits since I gave over craw- 
fishing. I haven't quite given up mischief-loving — 
everybody says so, at least ; and everybody must be 
right, you know." Katie bent down her head to hide 
the merry roguish glances that shot from her eyes 
as some old memory came flashing to mind. 

" There's more than one will miss you at home," 
slily suggested Dolly. " One in particular will be 
pretty mad when he finds you're off." 

"I'm glad of it — heartily glad," said Katie, 
throwing herself back in her chair and crimsoning to 
her brow. " If there was no other reason, I should 
be glad to get out of the way of that horrid stupid, 
Albert Grrey. I dislike his name, but I dislike him- 
self more ; and I don't know what he means by con- 
tinually coming, as he has done the last few 
months." 

" Easy to see what he means," insinuated Dolly. 
" Mr. Grey is a good judge ; he knows where to look 
for the blue eyes and bright ringlets he likes so 
much." 

The blue eyes flashed immediately, and the ringlets 
gave a contemptuous toss ; but there was a tiny, tiny 
httle curl of the lip the quick eye of Dolly detected 
so she went on — 

" Poor fellow ! I fancy I see him as he enters the 
house to-night, and misses some one from the fireside. 
You ought to have left him some message, Miss 
Katie." 

" Have done, Dolly ! You know very well I 
ought not ; or, setting that aside, that I didn't choose 



42 



V KK MOU T TALB. 



to do SO. I don't like Albert Grey ; lien's a great deal 
too forward and confident. I hope I sball neTer see 
hint again." And a» i^e spoke, she sprang from tke 
dray iq) tke Bank, and away on ahead, as thongk ihfr 
T€fly object of her dislike was behind her. 

** Albert Grey, indeed !"^ she exclaimed to hersdi^ 
when she was beyond the sound of Dolly's langhter; 
" I wonder if the stupid fdtbw really thinks I can 
like him. Why, he has not a bit more sense than 
myself, or so mnch, if it comes to th«fc ! No, no ! if J 
oyer like any one, he won't be like you, Mr. AlboHs 
Ghrey, or like any one in the least like yonP* and 
with that conckLsive resolre' Katie leaped a creek thai 
spanned the road, and ^ung herself by catching hol^ 
of infcOTvening braaaches, to the very top of a hill thai 
skirted the roadside, ascending almost perpendicB^ 
larly, bnt affording ample compensation for toil and 
weariness at its snmmit in the glorious prospect open 
to the view. E[atie had, however, her thoughts too foil 
just then of other things to admire anything. She 
gave, indeed, one slight glance, and then down die 
came to the dray-side, fti-ngi-ng herself from branch to 
branch like one of her own native opossums. 

Mr. and Mrs. linwood had been more ready to 
ecHnply with Fred's earnest soliicitadtions&jrhis sister'a 
company^ because they were very anxious to put & 
stop to the evident pretensions of this same Albert 
Grey. He was a young man without a purpose, so 
£ur as the business of this liJEe, and eridently aornksa 
wi& a view to the next. A biterer, an idler in tiia 
busy world, an unbeliever almost in the world to 
come. As sudk^ the fi)nd parents far from desired a 
union between him and their only daughter ; and yet. 



SOMETHIKO LEABinSD FROM A BULLOCK-DRAT. 43 

as Katie said, for months past they had never been 
secure from his visits. Morning, noon, or night, on 
most days he might be seen walking up to the house, 
or galloping on horseback to their stables, with the 
most perfect freedom. He evidently liked it better 
than his own home, at least that portion of it that 
held Katie, though, sprite as she was, no portion of it 
held her long when he was near. He was the son of 
an old friend of Mr. Linwood's, or he would soon have 
had a dismissal. Indeed, had the parents have 
known how he annoyed their child with his impor- 
toniiieft for love, whidi she Odnstuitly declared she 
neitiber ooold, would, nor should give hfm, iJuxi would 
have settled everything. As it was, befcare consulting 
to Katie leaving home at all, her feither contrived to 
see I'red, to warn him on the subject. 

"So remember," he concluded, "remember, Fred, 
if Albert Cbey comes to Vermont, just send him back 
again, for it won't be you he comes to see." 

■'I think,'* said Fred, slowly articulating, "he 
bad better not come. If he does, he will find Sunny 
Hollow too warm for him." 



CHAPTER Vn. 

Katie's welcome at veemont tale. 

" Yon are welcome as the flowers of spring, or as the drops 
of dew to the parched earth." 

It was all very pleasant this sanntermg on aihead of 
the dray, gathering flowers, or peeping into creeks, 
or, seated on a fallen tree, to leisnrelj await its 
arrival : very pleasant for a time, and in the day- 
light ; but when the snn sank down to his westem 
home, leaving a pathway of gold and crimson to tell 
which way he went — ^when the night hreeze arose, 
keen and chilly, as it often does in October evenings, 
K[atie was glad to creep into the dray, fold herself up 
in a large shawl, and from her snug cushioned chair 
to look dreamily at the spangled sky. 

What a clear sky — such a deep, dark blue ; and 
the moon — a silver crescent, pure and bright. One 
by one the little stars came peeping out : Venus rose 
fair and lovely and brilliant — ^the reigning beauty of the 
evening ; there was the beautiftd " Southern Cross," 
" Orion's belt," and Elatie's favourite constellation, 
the " Seven Sisters," all brilliantly visible. Uncon- 
sciously Bible words came to her memory — she had 
heard Amy often use them : '^ The heavens declare 
the glory of God, and the firmament showeth forth 
his handiwork." And, as they came to her mind, a 



EATIE*S WELCOME AT YEBMONT YALE. 45 

conviction of their truth and beantj also stole in with 
them such as she had never felt before — they were 
glorions, those starry heavens, and spoke of the 
greatness J and loftiness, and glory of the Creator ! 

For the Christian, they had yet another voice ; 
and told of mercy and love, and sustaining power. 

" The voice that made the promises 
Bolls all the stars along." 

But, alas, that was a blank page to Katie — she 
was not a Christian. 

This travelling along by night was new experience 
to our young friend — at least in the present mode of 
travelling, the slow-moving dray. How dark the 
trees looked that belted them in on either hand : for 
as they got nearer Vermont Vale the road narrowed 
considerably — the thick scrub skirting it like a dense 
fringe, the denser for the pale moonlight from a moon 
but a few days old. Now and then Katie was startled 
up from a half doze by the sudden whirr- whirr of 
an opossum, as it shot across the road, and flung itself 
j6x)m branch to branch of some old gum. There was 
just moonlight enough to show her the little creatures 
as they scampered one after another along the thick 
boughs to the topmost heights. Once the distant 
hootings of an owl alarmed her : it was so like the 
cry of a human being in pain ; but she had too much 
knowledge of the bush to think that long — ^her fears 
were soon dissipated by a repetition of the sound. 
Sometimes when her dreams were deepening and 
growing sweeter, she would be rudely aroused by the 
sudden jumbling of the dray- wheels over a stone or 
root of a tree that had intruded into the road — not 



46 ¥E£lfONT VALE. 

a F^y pleasant metliod of dispellizig dreams — or 
periiafis tlie fihorp crack of the bullock-whip, or a 
^iddai loud exdamatkm to the tardy bollocks, pot 
all sle^ to fligbt. 

On <mB of the latter occasions she was ilioioii^hly 
awakened, io^ sitting up, looked about her. 

" How dark it is, Dolly ; why, the moon is almost 
down ! I am so lired, are not yon ?" 

" Yes, miss, very ; but not so bad as yon," said 
Dolly, Boppressing a yawn. ^'Yon kziow I have 
been riding all day, and yon have been nmnin^ 
about." 

^Tm glad of one tibing, Dolly; ihaib mother had 
iixe goodness and tbonghtfalness to pnt up that hstge 
basket of provisions, fear I don't suppose the bojs 
liave anything eatable, and it wonld be bad to bane 
to make anything beeodes oo&e to-night. How cfM 
lam!" 

^ So am I," said DoUy, shnddCTing, ** I wonder 
how &r <xff w© are now ?" 

*^Ican'tsay. Do]uiM,are wenearVermoBityetf" 
fdbe exclaimed, addiessing the driver. 

^Yes, missee! wait a wee — ^ye're no tibttt&r£»e 
il ihe noo." 

'^That^soomlortiz^fdisnyrttte^ DcHiiald; bnihow 
&3r do yon iidnk ?" 

^ Wed, ye see, I dinaia just ken — half a mik^ 
maybe.** 

^' Is that all? 'tisaok yon, Donald. Gome, Dc^, 
we need not give np jusk yet if the bollocks doa% 
and even ihem we oonld fi^ot it I Look oat &r tiie 
lights, we most be dose on ' Sunny Hollow.* " 

^' Ain't I gkdT' said Do%, who always echoed 



Katie's wiLOcna at tibmont yali. 47 

lier jofwag mistroBB, And she tried to peer into dark- 
ness for the expectant light, but TBinly. 

Sfttie meanwhile made better nse of her own eye- 
sight. A. few moments more, and half rising in the 
dnay, she joyfbll j cried — ^ Yes ! there^s a light ; that's 
it, is it not, Dmald ? is it not mj brother's house?** 

^'Yes, missee, it's just a wee bittoe down the 
ffoad ; we'H oome to the slip panel in a wee." 

*'Bon^t yon wish it was daylight? I do," said 
iSjktie. ^I don't feel tired a bit now. Ah ! there's 
i^ sEp panel at last — ^I can jnst see it. Well, I 
wonder Fred or Stevee don't oome to meet ns." 

^ The wind's getting up," snggestod Dolly; ^ per- 
iiaps iiiey don't hear the dray." 

JUL as the dray passed through the slip panel, 
some door was evidently opened, for a great stream 
of light &H upon the ground before the house, and in 
wawaihffr TPoment the two brothers had passed the 
Useshold, and hurried forward into the darlmess. 

^<Well, Sktie, darling, here at last! Why, we 
had almost given you up for to-night," exclaimed 
IVed, taking her in his arms, for ihe moment the 
dray sto^^ped, she sprang to the ground, and flew off 
to meet her brothers. 

" Fortunate you were not in bed," laughed Katie. 
*^Ahj yon might have been sure I would come ; 
but don't you mean to welcome me to Sunny 
JBEoftwf?" 

'^ With all my heart; welcome a thousand times, 
dear Katie; we have wanted you badly enough," 
said fired, coaidnotiiig ber to the "tjireshold of i^ 
door. 

^Ton unst not be too tantical, Katie, in our 



48 VERMONT VALE. 

' doing up' of affairs," laughed Stephen ; " you know 
this has been ' Bachelors' Hall !' " 

"I'll make no promises," returned Katie, with a 
saucy toss of the head. " Well, I declare ! it looks 
very comfortable at any rate," and she stood at the 
doorway surveying the aspect of things vrithin with 
a well-pleased eye. 

Whatever was the condition of things "behind 
the scenes," all looked orderly that was visible, and 
Katie was in no bantering humour that night. The 
floor was very cleanly swept — so was the large hearth, 
which was without a cinder, and a thick log of she- 
oak was glowing thereupon like a living coal, sending 
up now and then scintillations of flame and little jets 
of gas, and diffusing its ruddy glow and cheering 
warmth through the room. The long table had a 
new covering of oil-cloth, and at one end of this 
stood the lamp, throwing its pleasant light over a 
battalion of cups and saucers, a huge tea-pot, and 
other table arrangements, in any number and con- 
cision. 

" I tried hard to get a woman to come and do 
things up first-rate, K^tie, but could not, so we've 
had to do the best we could," said Fred, with 
gravity. 

" It looks very comfortable and very nice, Fred ; 
don't trouble about it." 

"Yes, but your room; I didnt know how to 
make up the beds and things." 

" Didn't you, indeed !" said Katie, half teasingly ; 
then laying her hand affectionately on her brother's 
arm, she added, "Dolly and I will soon set that 
matter straight — ^please show us the way, and get the 



KATIS'S WELCOME AT YEBIlONT YALE. 49 

things out of the dray. I've got all the fximitiire for 
my room that I shall want, I think ; if I want any* 
thing else I am to send to mother." 

''I shan't impack a thing till youVe had some 
supper," said Fred, decidedly ; " so off you go, and 
take off your things, and be back in a trice, little 
witch !" and he shut the door upon her. 

" Now, Dolly, come here and help me to set table, 
if you are not too tired," said Stephen, as she re- 
entered the room ; '* I don't understand much about 
these matters, I confess." 

Dolly smilingly tendered her help, and a few 
minutes wrought a visible change ; the tea or supper- 
table became a very pretty affair. 

*'I declare mother's basket will go begging," 
exclaimed K^^tie, taking a surprised survey, for there 
was one dish of delicately sliced ham, and another of 
roast chicken, all prettily garnished with parsley. A 
raised pork-pie occupied another post of honour, and 
this again was flanked by a fine cheese, firesh water- 
cress, and young radishes. A piece of transparent 
honeycomb was the gem of the table ; but still more, 
to Katie's bewilderment, flowers made up the tcmt 
ensemble. A vase of lovely garden flowers stood 
near the tray at the upper end of the table ; at the 
opposite side, another of wild blossoms in beautifdl 
variety, many Katie had never seen before, formed a 
pretty contrast. 

" Now, Fred, confess — ^this is not all your work," 
she coaxingly exclaimed. 

" Why not ?" he laughingly replied. 

"But, is it?" 

" Well, if you ask me positively, I suppose I must 

4 



^ 



50 YEBMONT YALE. 

answer positiyely, it is not. I suppose I may as well 
confess that it is tbe work of some of my lady Mends, 
who took compassion npon my dilemma, and came to 
the rescue^" and he affected tones of supreme in- 
difference. 

"Tour lady jfriends,'* echoed Katie; "and kow 
many of them have you, may I ask ?*' 

" Oh ! that you will find out by and by ; mean- 
while I may as well admit that the presents in 
question are a little homage done to you, Katie — a 
sort of welcome to Vermont. The ham and fowl 
are presents from Miss Fanny Moore, our Doctor's 
daughter, who persisted she knew I should not have 
anything fit to set before my sister on her arrivaL 
The pork-pie and honeycomb come firom an old friend 
of mine, Mrs. Banger, who lives about five miles 
from this ; and you may thank Miss Maitland for the 
flowers ; she has also offered the young radishes and 
watercress at your shrine." 

" I acc^t them all most graciously," said Katie, 
with mock reverence, at the same time covertly 
gazing into her brother's face — she read nothing 
there except a little concealed fan, and she left the 
scrutiny till another time. Then again exclaiming 
with admiration at the taste of the donors, and the 
real kindness betrayed in such a welcome, she took 
her seat at the table, folly prepared to do ample justice 
to her kind friends' providing. 

Katie was neither critical nor particular that 
night; she was far too weary. The furniture and 
bedding were rapidly unpacked, and conveyed to the 
room appointed as her own. Fred and Stephen soon 
put up the iron bedstead, and other matters rapidly 



Katie's welcome at yebmoiit tale. 51 

followed, so that in a very little time after the " good 
night " was spoken, and her door closed, Elatie was 
in the land of dreams. 

The prayer bell had sonnded vainly to her that 
night. Poor Katie ! 



CHAPTER Vm. 

KATIE LINWOOD CANVASSED AT THE STORE. 

"The consciousness of wrong, in wills not evil, brings 
diarity." 

" Give credit to thy mortal brother's heart. 
For all the good that in thine own hath part." 

Ant one who has allowed many miles to intervene 
between him and Adelaide, has also made some sort 
of an acquaintance with, a conntry store — one of those 
gennine conntry stores where everything may be 
bonght, or where at least yon may expect to find 
most things from a needle to an anchor — ^from a cake 
of scented soap to a spade or a pick ; food for the 
body, refreshment for the mind, ontward and inward 
dressing of all kinds — ^we will not say of the most 
modem date, or of the most refined qnality, or of the 
lowest rate of charge. No matter, onr conntry store 
is a boon to the women folk, if the men will grumble 
at the money it attracts from their pockets. These 
very grumblers are no less rejoiced that they are able 
to replenish the empty tobacco-pouch or snuflP-box, 
vnthont the delay of a journey to Adelaide, or to 
some distant township. 

Such a store had Vermont Yale to boast of; as 
voluminous in the chaoracter of its contents as any 



KATIE LINWOOD CANVASSED AT THE STORE. 53 

store in oxir fSEur colony (any country store be it 
understood) — where competition was out of the 
question. • Possessed it was of due qualifications for 
supplying most of the requisites of life for money — 
with a choice dish of gossip into the bargain. What 
could transpire in any comer of the Vale and the 
thing be unknown at Mrs. Bateman's store ? Wattle 
and dab, substantial slabs, nay, even stone walls, 
were of but little protection. Bather mortifying, 
after some little ridiculous episode, some unfortunate 
favx pas, which we had confidently hoped no one but 
ourselves were conscious of, to discover that it had 
already been retailed over the counter of the store 
with a pound or so of sugar, or a quarter of. mutton, 
or a staylace, and that not without money embellishing 
additions. 

As we have before said, all the births, deaths, and 
marriages that took place for miles round were 
regularly chronicled at the store, and many a nod, 
many a shake of the head, added force to a few 
common-place words. Matches were often made as 
well as sold at the store; but then one could not 
always rely upon their reality — one could not always 
depend upon the final going off of either one kind or 
the other. Be that as it may, those who delighted in 
the regalement of hearing of the last flirtation were 
certain of finding satisfaction on that score at the store. 

We do not mean to say that Mrs. Bateman was 
exactly a bad-meaning woman, given to malice or to 
a real love of scandal for scandal's sake, but her 
natural disposition was to think well of but few, 
very few ; and however industrious with hands and 
feet (and we must do her the justice to say none were 



54 TBB1CQ2IS YALE, 

tiiore bo), ahe ha.d one very idle member, and that 
was her tongue. Not, indeed, but it saw more actiYe 
service than her bands or fleet ; but, alas, it was butt 
idle serriee after all — seryice that was worse than 
idle, inasmndi as it occasioned too often very mis- 
ddeYOns results^ And then it was too apt to run on 
without method or measure, to the waste of time, 
dliaracter, and womanly feeling. 

* Mrs. Bateman was a widow — a widow with two 
doubters the yery counterpart of herself. The loss 
of her husband was rather gain to her, for during 
bis life he kept her poor ; while freed firom what she 
never scrupled to call an incumbrance, she had boldly 
started on bar own track, and prospered. P^haps it 
was as well that her own troubles, joys, and ailments, 
and those of Jemimy and Selina entered largely into 
her couYersational topics^ though they m%ht prove a 
little wearisome to some of her customers ; for certainly 
while she was discussing home subjects, her neigh- 
bours were, at least for a while, unmcdested. " The 
tongue is an unruly member." " Behold how great 
a matter a little fire kbadleth." 

Mrs. Bateman was short, round, and stout — ^not 
fileek-— oh, no! — ^hers was hard, solid fiat— nothing 
unctuous or oily in its character. Many times have 
we heard, and read ihe remark — ^that fleshy people are 
always good tCTapered. We b^ to enter our protest 
against that statement. Many have we now in our 
mind's eye, faHj entitled to the appeUative stout or 
(permit it, gentle reader, for the term is more expres- 
sive) fleshy, bat whose temper would not bear a 
breath, would not brock a co&tradiction. We know 
ast a glance our gpod-niatiEred &t Mend : tha:« are soft 



KATIE UNWOOD GANYASSSB AT THE STORE. 55 

dimples in her cheeks and chin — Iftoghter-loying, 
kind, gentle, tractate dimples; smiles are always 
fingering at the comers of h^ month; there is a 
deep, earnest, loving look in her eyes ; she is one of 
(hose happy individuals whom a recent author has de- 
Bcribed as jonmeying through life on feather cashiona. 
We know at one glanoe, we repeat, that a sweet dis- 
poBition, amiable, easy manners, and a thorough good 
temper reign there predominant. 

Mrs. Bateman, however, as we hefore hinted, was 
not of this downy, loving class : her very fiitness was 
firm, hard, and solid ; there was nothing loving in her 
eyes, for they were grey, quick, and sharp. She had 
no other rapid movements, for she respected her own 
dignity too much for Ihat, had not the " fat solid " in- 
texposed. When she did go out, and she made a rule to 
do so ev^y Sunday to the little Vermont ohapel, it 
was edifying to see her as she mardbed along, dowly 
and solemnly, with stately steps, between her two 
daughters, Miss Jemimy and Selina. Some of the 
simple farmers' wives, who sat on the hard benches in 
dieon but unpretending sun-bonnets, were awed at the 
stateliness and satins of the '^ store ladies ! " others 
were not. 

Miss Jemimy most resembled her august momma : 
Ae had the same style of grey eye, the same thin- 
Hpped, pnrsy mouth. She had, however, the art to 
hide the first, or shade them by a profttsion of sandy- 
ooloured ringlets, and to wreathe the latter in smiles 
when any object worth conciliating or captivating was 
near. Like her mother she was given to emhonpamt, 
and tibough but sixteen or seventeen, had almost as 
womanly a figure. 



56 VERMONT VALE. 

Miss Selina (pray pronounce it with the full 
sound of the % if you would not give offence), though 
as tall as mamma or sister, and bidding fair to match 
them in stoutness, was the darling, the pet, the baby 
of the establishment. She was a fine specimen of 
your colonial girls of thirteen : precocious in appear- 
ance as in manners. But mamma thought proper to 
keep her frocks short, beneath which any degree of 
lace or embroidery or crochet was visible. And 
pinafores, generally round ones, were an indispensable 
addition to her wardrobe ; the only wonder is that 
they did not add the bib, but perhaps Miss Selina 
herself kicked at that : for, like mamma, she had a 
will of her own, and fought determinedly and un- 
wearyingly to attain a banishment of socks, and the 
reception of good, comfortable stockings. She had 
the sense, poor thing, to see that her bare, over-fat 
ankles were not the most attractive objects to meet 
the gaze ; and fight she did, and conquered, too — the 
stockings won the day ! 

Miss Jemimy's place was behind the counter at 
her mother's side, but her sister's shadow was only 
seen there, she was too young to employ in the 
business. All day long she went to school at Miss 
Maitland's. The honour she derived in having such 
a pupil was partly attributable to a disposition on 
Mrs. Bateman's part to patronize the widow and her 
pretty daughter, partly from a desire to get as much 
of their custom as she could, and partly because she 
was much too nervous to trust her dear delicate 
Selina from her sight at boarding-school. So Miss 
Maitland had the happiness of numbering this fair 
daughter of a fair mother among her pupils, little and 



KATIE LINWOOD GANYASSED AT THE STORE. S7 

Ing, and Selina went regularly to school, for she 
rather liked her teacher, increasing meanwhile rather 
in inches than mental knowledge. 

It was one morning abont a week after the events 
of the preceding chapter, one of Mrs. Bateman's more 
distant customers stopped at the door of the store. 
Katie had been fairly established at Vermont Yale as 
mistress pro tern., and with almost all the circum- 
stances Mrs. Bateman was, or professed to be for the 
benefit of her customers, quite familiar, and through 
her, therefore, most of the Vale's inhabitants enjoyed 
similar enlightenment. Some few there were, however, 
who spent their time more profitably, Tniudiug their 
own household, knew little or nothing of what had 
happened, and amongst their number was the lady in 
question, who reining her horse up rather roughly to 
the door, sprang, or if we give the literal rendering of 
the word, jumped to the ground. 

Mrs. Banger, the equestrian lady, the kind 
bestower of the pork-pie and honeycomb that wel- 
comed Katie on her arrival, lived, as we before said, 
exactly five miles from the store ; the distance had 
been ascertained by line and measure from doorstep 
to doorstep, so there was no gainsaying it. Mrs. 
Banger was as little deserving her name as any 
individual on the &ce of the earth, so little was she 
given to range many inches from the last fence that 
boimded their " bit of land." A quarterly visit to the 
store to settle up for all the " oddments " the children 
had from time to time been commissioned to fetch, 
was the extent of Mrs. Banger's leave of absence, 
excepting her visit to chapel, which was taken in the 
great waggon every Sunday. The day the quarterly 



58 TERMOST TALE. 

visits to the store were paid, there was always troubliB 
in the Banger house ; little desponding, tearfiil eyes 
watching mother getting ready to " go away," with 
fearfdl rememhrance of foimer misdeeds, and strange 
and pamfol wonderings as to whether she would ever 
oome back any more. Poor Tnamma ! Nay, rather 
fond, tme mother !. There wonld be tears in her own 
eyes before she had passed the fence, and the sonnd of 
the plaintiye little voices beseeching her to stop, com- 
pelled her to put her old horse to an nneasy trot^ that 
she might be sooner out of sight and hearing. 

Mrs. fBanger was not rich in earthfy treasures, 
excepting in the many olive branches that surrounded 
iifir table. She had but little education — her ^ef 
study was her Bible — and that was a treasure worthy 
of all her energies, all her spare moments. For her it 
was enough ! She loved her Bible, for it spoke of 
Jesus, and of her heavenly home. Her husband, and 
hear children she dearly loved as His gifts, and gifts 
they were most precious to her. For all else she could 
sing most frediy — 

" Content— obscure Td pass my days 
To all I meet unknown. 
And wait till Thou thy child shall raise. 
And place her near thy throne." 

Mrs. Bateman felt she had &r less in common 
with this earnest, simple-minded woman than with 
any of her other customers; and yet she always 
greeted her with a smile, for never did that old horse 
stop at the store, with his mistress on his back, but 
Mrs. B.'s fat pahn Mt that it was to be crossed with 
golden coins, unhesitatingly and ungrudgingly paid. 



KATIE LINWOOD GANTA88ID AT THE STORE. 59 

On the preseni occasion, the each was soon 
emptied oa the counter, and Mrs. Baseman's signature, 
indifiBBraitly written, appended to the bill, when 
nnable to resist the temptation of a new listener, for 
news that in Vermont was already becoming rathor 
stale, Mrs. Bateman eagerly asked : 

*^ Have jon heard the Vermont news, Mrs. 
Banger?'' 

'^ No,*' responded her cnstomer, qnietly Tn^Virtpp 
room in her already crowded basket for lollies and 
cakes ior the little olive branches at home. " No, 
Mrs. Bateman, I hear very little news; I am too folly 
empk^ed to leave home much if I wished, and there- 
fore I hear little of what goes on." 

•' You know Fred Linwood, any way ? " 

*' Oh yes, he usually calls at our place when he 
passes our way ; he has not been lately though ; 
nothing has happened to him, I hope ! " 

" Well, no ; not in the way you mean, certainly, 
ihou^ I don't mean to say but it may be considered 
a kind of misfortune. His sister is come and is keep- 
ing house for him." 

" Do you think that a misfortune ? " 

" Of course not, generally speakings but in some 
cases a great one, Mrs. Banger. When a yoimg girl 
takes to %ing through the village like mad on a 
pony with roses in its ears, with the brightest blue 
riding habit, and a hat whose feathers droop on to 
her very diioulder, why then, I say, there goes a 
AftgigpiTig young creature, one who cares for nothing 
but attracting the young men. That's my opinion at 
least, Mrs. Ranger." And Mrs. Bateman gave an 
ftjlfiifif^^im^l ijjLuiiip to the bag oi rice she was in the 



60 VERMONT VALE. 

act of " doing up." Unforttmately her energy was 
too much for tlie strengtli of the paper bag — it rent 
from top to bottom, and the whole of the rice was 
deposited on the fLoot. She was fain to get another, 
and to hide her chagrin still talked on. 

" Can that be Fred Linwood's sister?" asked Mrs. 
Ranger, rather gravely. " I am indeed sorry to hear 
such an account of a Linwood. Do you know any- 
thing of the rest of the family, Mrs. Bateman ? " 

" No, only the two brothers. Fred Linwood is a fine 
young man enough, deserving of a better housekeeper 
than that fly-away thing. For my part I wonder he 
don't settle ; it's not as if there ain't plenty of nice 
young girls to choose from." And the mother gave 
a furtive glance at Jemimy who was rolling ribbons 
at the other end of the counter, apparently absorbed 
in her occupation, though reaUy most attentively 
listening to the conversation near her. She caught a 
little of the glance directed towards her, and shook 
the ringlets from her brow by way of answer, display- 
ing by the action a fat round face, like a full moon in 
its rotundity, if not in hue. 

" I like Fred Linwood, I always ^ did," Mrs. 
Ranger replied in the same grave tones. " There is 
something in his manner so winning one cannot help 
loving him. He likes his joke, but he is always ready 
to give a helping hand, and is always so fair, so 
straightforward in his dealings. I often think if 
God should be pleased to touch his heart, what an 
ornament he would be in God's house, what a temple 
of strength. I knew from the first that I saw him at 
our house I should like him." 

Mrs. Bateman winced slightly at this, for Mrs* 



KATIE LINWOOD CANVASSED AT THE STORE. 61 

Banger too had a daughter, a meek, modest girl of 
Jemimy's age, or perhaps a little older. Was it 
possible that Fred pinwood, the prosperons young 
fiumer of Sunny Hollow, waA paying attention to 
Betsy Banger ? Impossible, surely ! Mrs. Bateman 
repudiated the idea. Fred Linwood had more judg- 
ment than that, and, besides, Mrs. Banger had just 
said that he had not been to the house for some time, 
so that point was settled. 

" Have you seen Miss Linwood ? " suddenly 
asked Mrs. Banger, rousing &om a reverie her last 
words had thrown her into. 

" Seen her ? yes, flying past like a race-horse or 
a shooting star, just a flash of blue and then she was 
gone." And Mrs. Bateman's vixen eyes gave an 
additional twinkle as memory restored that little flying 
figure. " That's all I've seen, and all I'm likely to 
see, I warrant," she continued. " No more butter or 
cheese either from Sunny Hollow now, I reckon. 
Feathers and the chum-work won't agree, depend 
upon it. I'm sorry, too, for those are fine cows of 
Fred Innwood's, and they do give nice butter." 

" His sister has been here some time then," said 
Mrs. Banger, quietly. 

" No, only a week, but " she would have 

added more, but a telegraphic sign from Jemimy 
stopped her, and at the same time an animated but 
sweet voice exclaimed — 

" Is npt this Mrs. Bateman's store ? " 

Both the women started and turned round in con- 
frision; Mrs. Bateman particularly could with difficulty 
command her voice to reply in the affirmative, for 
ftdl in the doorway, holding up with one hand the 



62 TEBXONT TILE. 

blue folds of the offending liding-dress, and wii^ the 
other hand sapporting a large basket closely coreied 
np, excepting at one comer, whi^ displayed roDs ai 
the purest batter in al^ number, stood the delinquent 
Katie hersel£ 

Kaiae with her drooping feathers, Katie with iier 
sonny, dn.uciTTg ringlets, Katie with her sweet, vrdiL, 
Hebe &oe looking so fresh, so bright, so pretty, azkd 
none the less so, because her Httle round arm was 
aching with the weight of lier dairy produce, the 
work of those very little hands. Mrs. Bateman, most 
incredulous of women, see and believe ! 

" You have been in the habit of having butter 
from Sunny Hollow, my lH*other tells me," said Katie, 
advancing to the counter and extending her little 
gloved hand across the rude boards to the mistress of 
the store. 

" Yes, miss," said Mrs. Bateman, a little relaxing 
her stem countenance, and just touching the tips of 
the gloved fingers; but that did not suit Katie, a 
slight compression of the under lip, a slight curl of 
the upper, and Mrs. Bateman foxmd her own digits in a 
firm grasp, despite the tender fingers that clasped them ; 
she was obliged to submit to a hearty shake of the hand. 

" Well, I have brought you some," said Katie, 
laughing ; **not quite so many pounds this week as I 
intend there shall be. My brother will bring home 
two or three cows from the run next week, and then 
I shall have my pans fall. Bachelors don't manage 
these matters well." 

Mrs. Ranger gave a meaning glance at the store 
mistress as pound after pound of beautifol butter was 
laid side by side upon the dishes waiting for them. 



KATIE LDTWOOD GAjrVASSID AT THS STORE. 63 

She oonld not help thinkiTig how happy were those 
who possess the charity that thinketh no evil, and 
wishing there was more of it in the world, and 
prosentlj she said — 

'^ It does one good to see so much good batter; 
Cfur cows are dry. Yon mnst spare me two or three 
ponnds, Mrs. Bateman, to take home with me." 

Katie turned a veiy bright look on the kind fiice 
hjher side. 

*^ I am glad yon like my batter," she exdaimed, 
merrily, ** for I think yon are a jndge. I hope yoa 
will come and see my dairy, will yoa not ? " she added, 
winningly. " I want it to be the best in Vermont, 
and perhaps you can give me the benefit of yoar 
experience." 

" Do you know me, Miss Innwood ? " asked Mrs. 
Banger, in utter astonishment. ^ 

" Oh yes," said Katie, with a laugh and a toss of 
her head that shook all her fair ringlets from her 
sunny brow. " People are often seen when they do ' 
not imagine it. My brother pointed you out to me as 
you rode past this morning. By the by, you should 
not have done that, Mrs. Ranger, and I hope you 
never will again. You are a prime favourite with my 
brother, let me tell you." And Katie laid her own 
soft little hand warmly upon the hard-working fingers 
that rested on the counter, and looked kindly into the 
calm, quiet face now slightly colouring with pleased 
surprise. Then turning away and addressing the 
bridling owner of the store, who had amused herself 
during this conversation by pursing her mouth, and 
exchanging glances indicative of contempt with 
Jemimy, she said. 



64 VERMONT VALE. 

" And now, Mrs. Bateman, when you are qnite 
ready to serve me, I have a long list [of articles with 
which to reload my basket. I found out a nnmber of 
wants in the household line that my brothers would 
scarce have dreamt of. And I knew," she added, 
with a half-saucy smile, "you could serve me well 
here." 

Half propitiated, at least considerably mollified, 
Mrs. Bateman began with eager hands placing pound 
after pound of the tempting butter upon her dishes, 
preparatory to attending to the extensive order. 

How fer, sometimes, a little well-directed flattery 
goes in smoothing the rough surface of some people's 
tempers ! 



CHAPTER IX. 

KATIE DISCUSSED AT THE BBEAKFAST-TABLE. 

" Go— lift the wiUing latch— the scene explore. 

Sweet peace, and love, and joj, thon there shalt find. 
For there religion dwells." 

A GABDEK — ah, we do loye a garden, be it one 
abounding in Flora's costliest gifts, in groves and 
labyrinths, in shrubberies or sninmer grottoes, or 
the simple unpretending yet fragrant slip before a 
cottage door. There is sufficient in either to lift the 
mind from its low grovelling tendency to those noble, 
exalted themes that, unlike earth and its whirlpool of 
bustle and coiifrLsion,know neither decay or exhaustion. 
God shines forth as gloriously in the petals of the 
simple unpretending field flower as in the most 
brilliant exotic of the greenhouse. The impress of 
Tfis finger is as visible on the deep dark velvet of the 
tranquil heartsease or even more common wallflower, 
as in the horn of the harem lily, or the waxen bosom 
of the rose Camilla, or of blossoms rarer still, still 
prouder in their matchless beauty and grace. 

But the garden to which we intend conducting 
our readers this balmy October morning, abounds in 
no exotic bloom. A narrow little pathway leads from 
the unpretending little gate, opening into the road to 
the house. This pathway is bordered with fragments 

5 



66 VERMONT VALE. 

of mica-covered rock, now firmly imbedded in the 
earth, and so very white that but for onr knowledge 
of the nature of those fragments we shonld abnost feel 
inclined to accuse them of receiving an occasional 
visit from the whitening-bmsh. 

Close behind this rocky border was another of 
living green, contrasting admirably with its white- 
ness — a closely cui, neatly trimmed border of leaves, 
familiar to every lover of the copse, and wood, and 
meadow lands of old England. Round green leaves, 
round ftill leaves, pressing here and there between the 
rocky fragments, refreshing for the eye to look on. 
But there were bat leaves — no blossoms. They had 
gone, for the sun sometimes, even in October, looks 
down rather warmly from his throne. Perhaps, in- 
deed, if we search amongst the clustering leaves, we 
may find one or two stragglers unwilling to retire 
from their sheltering bed, one or two 

" Gleaming throngli moss tnfts deep, 
Like dark eyes filled with sleep," 

for thus a fcertain anthor sweetly describes our fra- 
grant little friend the violet. 

But notwithstanding the farewell of the violet had 
been whispered, there were a few sweet roses, and 
over the rude slab front of the dwelling (for why 
should we call it a hut?) a jessamine had been trained, 
till but little remained between its glossy leaves and 
the firm dasp of a passion-flower to tell the tale of the 
brown old slabs. The passion-flower was a slip from 
the minister's verandah. There was an archway at 
the gate enfolded with the same blossoms and leaves. 
What apower of beauty and grace is there not in the 



KATIE DISCUSSED IT TKB BUAKFAST-TABLE. 67 

simplest of Nature's robes. Who wonld liare re- 
oc^iuzed the bare slab cottage in which eighteen 
moDths had wronght so marvelloiis a change. 

Ah ! there is something thai pleases ns, and we 
wonder it is not more generall j adopted bj our slab- 
building friends. The windows, larger than ordinary 
(mes, are not hossted np almost to the thatched eaves, 
Hke iqpectral eyes, for so they always seem to ns, 
darting defiance at our entrSe, bnt are only two or 
three feet from the gronnd. The breath of heaven 
coald reach freely every nook and comer of the room. 
No dust could lay there concealed, and all without 
was -pkojilj visible. The deep green hiUs with their 
swelling indenture, the creek with its tree-fringed 
margin, the grassy flat on which dozens of little bare 
feet found a soft carpet. Yes, the eye could feast on 
these beauties, together with the loveliness of the 
Uttle cultivated plot at the door, without the exertion 
of out-stretched neck or tip-toed feet. The inmates 
of our slab dwelling could sit quietly at their break- 
fast-table and through the widely-opened casement 
take in all that was in the range of their house, even 
to the violet border, and the simple but luxuriant tuft 
of "Venus looking-glass," that grew close to the 
ground near the gate. 

We should scarcely have noticed the door had we 
not to lift the latch and enter. The shade of the 
jessamine porch hid its rough exterior from view, and 
some dark-brown paint had a little retrieved its 
character. The door-step was formed of smooth 
round pebbles, cemented firmly into the earth, and 
always clean and glossy. 

FOTgive us, gentle reader, we nmst describe. We 



68 VEBMONT VALE. 

love to make you acquainted with a spot we may, 
perhaps, often enter together. K we pointed not out to 
you the delicately-netted curtains draping the bright 
windows, the cleanly-swept floor, with its cloth 
knitted hearthrug, the bright dimity of the sofa, the 
white hearth, the neatly-arranged book-shelres (for 
books were plentiftd there), we should feel you could 
not half so well comprehend the character of the in- 
mates, or understand how there is an external as well 
as internal beauty in holiness. 

Break&flt was set for two, and two were seated 
at the little round table. We could have joined that 
meal, so inviting looked the snowy cloth, the simple 
white earthenware cups, the bright spoons, the home- 
baked loaf, the yellow butter. So white were the 
eggs, in egg-cups almost as white, and to crown all, 
so fragrant was the simple glass of flowers resting 
between mother and daughter, for such they were. 

How many times, in passing through this world 
of human countenances, have we been struck with 
some, upon whose brow appeared to us impressed as 
in legible characters what they were within. We do 
to some extent believe in physiognomy. We do 
believe that the passions and desires, and feelings of 
the inner man, will find external impression. Often as 
we have watched the calm unruffled brow, the deep 
searching yet placid eye, the nameless something that 
will betray though nameless, we have exclaimed, 
"There goes a Christian — ^there is a lover of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. That man is not of the world ; 
he is a pilgrim passing through it. His treasure is 
not here ; it is in heaven ! " 

This same impress was on the brow, and in the 



KATIE BISCUSSID AT THS BBIAKTAST-TABUE. 69 

eyes of both mother and daughter. There was sweet 
cakn in the pale thin &ce of the widow, for Mrs. 
Maitland was, indeed, a widow, and Annie, her onlj 
daughter. She had two children ; her son was absent 
at the gold-fields of Victoria, where, they knew not, 
and Annie alone was the comfort of the widowed 
heart. What conld she have done without her ? for 
Annie, too mnch of the snowdrop as she was, had life, 
and health, and energy enough ; and still higher were 
her qualifications, those of true inbred Christianity. 

Annie Maitland was Vermont's little school-mis- 
tress ; to her the youth of Vermont went for know- 
ledge, and wee morsel as she was, she had much to 
impart. There were two apartments on either side 
that simple sitting-room, — the open door of one looked 
into a neat bed-room, chiefly inviting for its snowy 
draperies, the other betrayed the professional character 
of the dwelling, and &om that room the name of 
"school-house" was derived. Well-worn forms of 
the rudest material and most primitive make, of red- 
gum, time polished into a hue almost rivalling 
mahogany ; long narrow tables, by no means remark- 
ably level, of the same material, and supported by 
heavy blocks driven into the floor, did service as 
desks ; two or three maps hung suspended from the 
roughly-plastered lime-washed walls, and a long shelf 
irojD. one side of the wall-plate to the other, held 
books and slates innumerable, only to be reached by 
climbing on the table. At present it was too early in 
the morning for anything but a streak or two of 
sunshine, and a soft breath or two from, without to 
seek an entrance. These two wandered about as they 
listed, — ^lighting up and uplifting Europe and its 



70 TKEMOSTT TALE. 

nmnj-ooloTirecL conntnes, and showing ihsdi at IdSiak 
order was the rtding monarcli of the ^aoe. 

*^ And BO you have at last seen Miss Lmwood, 
Annie ? " said ICrs. Maitland, smilingly, an she 
handed her cup to be replenished from the bright 
little ooffee-pot. ^'AJPber all our espectations, does 
she quite come up to the standard we raised for a 
sister of Fred Innwood ? " 

'' Yes, -mnTnTrin.^ quite^" replied Annie, with a quidc 
hbsh that would come unbidden to acoompaay the 
smile. **Yes, quite — ^not in height though; she is 
only about my own size, a little feir thing, with the 
brightest golden nnglets, and sweetest, merriest Hue 
eyes you can imagine. They are certainly like her 
brother's — ^in merriment and colour, I mean. It was 
by mere chance we met, you know, dear mamma. I 
had gone for your cough mixture to Dr. Moore ; she 
came in while I was there. I was nearly behind ihe 
door, and she did not see me when she entered, but 
commenced a running fire of conversation with the 
doctor, who persisted she needed his advice ; that the 
colour on her cheeks was a decided sign of plethora, 
and that he should have great pleasure in l^eding 
her; while she, equally persistent, said she never had, 
could, would, or should require professional aid, for 
she had the most unwearying health imaginable, and 
iha* if she was troubled with anything, it was with 
an exuberance of spirits." 

"*Bad, very bad, my dear,* said Dr. Moore, 
fannily; ^ a bad disorder, depend upon't; wants 
nipping in the bud-' " 

'' Subduing by the grace of God," said ihe widow, 
quietly. 



KATIE DISCUSSID AT THB BBBAKTAST-TABLB. 71 

" All ! but, mother, Dr. Moore did not mean wiiat 
he said ; he wius only teaflmg/' 

*' I do not doubt that, dear, but I do mean what I 
say ; I think it quite possible to hare too great an 
exuberance of animal spirits — spirits that lead one to 
say and do things l^t are regretted afterwards." 

" I know, dearest mother, I know," Annie answered 
in a subdued voice, playing with the spoon in her 
cup as she spoke. ^' From experience, dear mother, I 
know I have often regretted foolish words and foolidi 
actions too, that a moment's excess of spirits has led 
to. But you do not think a very lively disposit&m 
wrong, dear mamma — do you ?" 

" No, darling, far fipom it ; a buoyancy of spiiits 
is one of the precious gifts of our heavenly Father. 
It is a source of happiness to the possessor and to all 
around. It is the excess that is hurtftd, dear Annie, 
the excess that leads to foohdi and even wroo^ 
actions. But it is not such spirits as yours I mean, 
dear Annie. I bless Grod, my child, for the share He 
has granted you, and that He haji sweetly temp^!^ 
aU witifi his most precious gifts, the gifts of his Hioly 
Spirit.'^ 

Annie bent over her coffee-cup for a minute or 
two, unwilling that ber mother should see the bright 
drops sparkling on her lashes. Poor girl ! there had, 
indeed, not been too much brightness in h^r path. 
From her tenderest years she had known sorrow, 
quite sufficient to tincture her after life with its 
shade. But she had early learnt to look to the 
Refiige of the weary and heavy-lad^i ; eariy leamt 
to love, to trust in Him who " feedeth the young 
rav^ when they cry ;" and tlie bright joyousness 



72 VERMONT VALE. 

with wHcli her nature had been gifted, was not 
damped by reverses, or sobered by religions realities. 
These latter had only tempered and softened, not 
annihilated. Annie's free, happy natnre had been 
the balm of her mother's heart. 

"We have wandered from onr subject, Annie," 
at last her mother said, smiling ; "we most come 
back to the old theme — ^Miss Linwood." 

"Willingly, manmia. Where was I? Ah! in 
Dr* Moore's snrgery. WeU, after a bit the Doctor 
seemed suddenly to remember my existence, for, 
turning suddenly round upon me, he exclaimed,, in 
his usual abrupt manner, *Ah! by the by. Miss 
Linwood, here is a little lady you have not made 
acquaintance with. This is Miss Maitland, Miss 
Annie, our wee schoolmistress; without whom, 1 
apprehend, all Vermont would grow up in ignorance. 
Allow me to introduce you, ladies.' " 

"And what said Miss Linwood ?" 

" Ah ! she gave me the brightest possible smile, 
took both my hands in hers, and exclaimed, * Thank 
you, Doctor, I was prepared to like Miss Maitland. 
We will be friends — ^will we not?' What, dear 
mamma, could I answer but an assent, though you 
know that my friendships are not so easily formed." 

" Quite right, darling ; but I think I thoroughly 
comprehend Miss Linwood, perhaps the more so from 
having had opportunity of judging of her brother. 
She is warm-hearted — ^impetuous — ^rather self-willed, 
I should think. What more, Annie; did you dis- 
cover anything to lead you to hope that she is a 
Christian ?" 

" Nothing, mamma. I fear not, for she walked 



KITH DISCUSSED AT THB BBIAK7AST-TABLI. 73 

with me to the torn of the road, and I jnst touched 
on the snbject for a moment. She turned her merry 
bine eyes Ml upon me, exclaiming with jnst a little 
toss of the head, ' Ah ! that's what a certain friend of 
mine tells me. I do not understand these things, my 
dear Miss Maitland. K yon conld only talk to my 
consin now. We will be friends, nevertheless. When 
may I come and see yon ? Will yon be very angry 
if I peep in at your school-room door some day ? I 
am bnsy as well as yon, and yon mnst come and see 
how bnsy I can be.* " 

''And she is coming. Well, darling, I am not 
sorry. Who knows bnt that my dear patient Annie 
may be of nse to her friend. She seems to be affec- 
tionate. We will hope better things still for her. 
Bnt hark, dear, the clock is striking the half-honr ; 
bring the Bible, and let ns have a few refreshing 
words before we commence the duties of the day." 

"Diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving 
the Lord," might have been written over the portal 
of that dwelling. 



CHAPTER X. 

£ABBATH-DAY DOINQS. 

" Go, man of pleasure, strike thy lyre ! 
Of broken Sabbaths sing tbe cbarms ; 
Ours be the prophet's car of fire, 
SSiat bears ns to a Fafcher^s arms.'' 

Tee days passed pleasantly and rapidly away afc 
Snnny HoUow, and brought with them the sweet 
Sabbath morning, lorely as any of the others had 
been, and qniet as Sabbaths in the conntry always 
seem. 

Katie Linwood sat at breakfast with her two 
brothers; they were a pleasant party to look at, 
having a very large share of good looks among them, 
and no inconsiderable amonnt of cheerfalness. Yet 
this morning some slight dash of quietude had even 
pervaded their nsnaUy merry chit-chat. 

There had been a little silence for a time, and 
Stephen had quitted the table, when as Katie poured 
out a third cup of tea for her brother Fred, she 
exclaimed, "Chapel of course, Fred; you go, I 
suppose ?'* 

" Chapel of course, Katie," repeated Fred, teas- 
icLgly ; "it would be preposterous not to go. To see 
and be seen is what a woman lives for." 

" And pray what do you live for ? And why do 



SABBATH-IUT IX>1H0S. 75 

jou go to chapel maj I ask, air?" bantered back 
Katie in her sanciest tones. 

Fred paid no attention to the question, bat 
pursned his tantalizing with a provoking smile. 
** Kot go, indeed, when there is snch a nice yonng 
minister in the case. Yon have been tiying all the 
week to get a glimpse of the clerical coat flap, or an 
end of the white choker." 

'^ I try to get a sight !" echoed Katie, crimsoning 
between vexation and resentment ; '^ not I, indeed. 
Ah, ah ! Mr. Fred," she continued, rallying a little, 
*^aJl very well to talk about me. Some one else, I 
£uicy, goes to chapel for other objects than the right 
one; not to see the minister, or to listen to his 
sermon either. What say you to pretty Fanny 
Moore;, or to my fiivourite little schoolmistress — ^my 
last introduciion, Annie MaitJand ?" 

Fred sprang up with a laugh, and pushed back 
his chair firmly against the wall. 

"What do I think?" he echoed merrily, though 
with a slight accession of colour. " Why, the same 
as yourself, Katie — the same as yourself They are 
both confoundedly pretty girls, and nice girls into the 
bargain. The mischief of it is, one don't know which 
is best." 

"I know," said Eaiie, more earnestly than was 
her wont, as she pushed aside her cup, and threw 
hersdf back in her chair. 

" You do ?" exclaimed Fred, stopping short in 
his passage through the door. 

" Yes ; I was thinking of a text I remember to 
have heard or read some time or other ; from Amy, I 
expect. It was something about distinguishing be- 



76 VERMONT VALE. 

tween him who serves the Lord and him who serves 
Him not. Of course, though we neither of us know 
much about these matters, Fred, we can guess which 
of these two characters are best. But, oh my ! I 
shall be preaching a sermon next. How absurd! 
Me, Katie Linwood, quoting texts, and of all others 
to Fred !" And the giddy girl went off into a fit of 
uncontrollable laughter. 

Not so her brother ; he walked slowly from the 
room. Such a speech to come from the gay little 
Katie, whom he believed had had even fewer serious 
thoughts than himself. He felt, as he went sobered 
to his occupation of watering the horses, that there 
was something more in the text than mere words. 
He knew that not one of the inmates of Sunny 
Hollow could answer to the description of the man 
in the portion of the text who served the Lord. 

"You will go with us, Stephen?" said Katie, 
turning to her youngest brother, who stood at the 
window, polishing his spurs to the last degree of 
brightness, an apparently inattentive listener to the 
breakfast conversation. 

"Not I!" was the peculiarly intoned reply, and 
the polishing went on a little more vehemently. 

"Why not?" 

" Oh, I don't know ; because I would rather be 
somewhere else, I suppose, or because I have nothing 
to go for. According to Fred, you go to look at the 
minister ; a little of woman's curiosity, or what not. 
You say Fred goes to look at the gals. So much for 
his taste. For my part I take no pleasure in either 
girls or minister, but prefer my old roan to the best 
of them, and so good-bye to you !" 



SABBATH-DAT DOINGS. 77 

" Well, we are a pretty set," tHonght Katie, as, 
rather sobered hy the thought, she passed on to her 
dairy. '* I am afraid, after all, Fred is right. To see, 
if not to be seen, is the greatest attraction chapel- 
wise. I have been so accnstomed, too, to go, that I 
should feel strange at stopping away ; so cnstom, I 
suppose, is another motive." There was a sigh strug- 
gling for escape, but at that moment Dolly entered, 
and the next instant merry laughter issued from the 
dairy. 

Is my picture too highly drawn ? Are there not 
many in this fair land of ours who can subscribe to 
its truthfrdness ? Alas ! how little is the seventh day 
regarded ; how few love the gates of Zion ; how small 
the number of those whose hearts make sweet melody 
to the Lord of the Sabbath, who delight to keep holy 
day. The house of Qt)d, where He had promised to 
meet with his people, how often is it turned into a 
a den of thieves ! How oft^en made a house of mer- 
chandise, and frequently desecrated by vain thoughts, 
foolish actions, and dishonourable motives ! And yet 
God is in that house, for wheresoever two or three 
meet together in his name, He has promised to be 
there to bless them. Where He is all hearts are dis- 
closed to his view, all motives comprehended, all 
intentions revealed. The inmost recesses of the heart 
are laid bare to his omniscient gaze. Who can calcu- 
late the amount of condemnation resting among our 
congregations even for this offending in the house of 
Gt)d? Well might the Psalmist exclaim, "I hate 
vain thoughts." Happy, indeed, are those who can 
add with him, " But thy law do I love." 

The household of Sunny Hollow is but a sample 



78 YEKMOHT TALK. 

of manj and many a Loiiseliold in onr Australia, 
where the temple erected for the service of God is 
afben of the homeliest description. The benches mde, 
the walls nnplastered, and the bare rafters stretching 
aboye the worshippers ; there is comparatively little 
to attract, Httle imposing, little to excite the nnmbera. 
Yet the heart is the same everywhere. Even amon^ 
those rude benches it can form to itself idols, and 
upon these idols it can concentrate every thonghty 
every hope, every aspiration, to the exclusion of the 
living God, who has proclaimed, " Me only shalt thou 
worship." "Give Me thine heart." Oh! how few 
there are who can sing with the sweet Psalmist of 
Israel, in reference to the house of God — " K I forget 
thee, Jemsalem, let my right hand forget its cun- 
ning ; if I do not remember thee, let my tongue 
cleave to the roof of my mouth ; if I prefer not Jeru- 
salem above my chief joy." ^ 

No ! and we say it with humbled heart for thee, 
O land of com and wine ; fuH of all God's treasure ; 
ftiH of his glorious works ; bountifully spread as thou 
art with his rich bestowings — ^that household of Sunny 
Hollow was indeed no exception to the rule. Sabbath 
desecration is a sore, a prevalent disease, that knows 
no bounds of city wall. In the bush how seldom is it 
regarded; sometimes passing by entirely unrecog- 
nized, or, if recognized, uncared for. 

Stephen Linwood had not been brought up with 
this entire disregard to the day of rest. Many of the 
years of his boyhood had been passed in the shelter 
of home, where at least he had been taught to reve- 
rence the Sabbath, and to attend the public worship 
of God J but not from love to that worship — ^not from 



SABBATH-DAT DOOrOS. 79 

dcsre to serre Him, liad he ever entered the simple 
pmyer-house. And how phdnlj was this shown 
when bejomd parental restraint. He at once broke 
tkroQgh all bonds, and, choosing for himself^ forgot 
thftt the seventh day was to be holy unto the Lord — 
forgot^ or diose not to remember, the snnmions of the 
Sdbbaib-bell, and at once stood boldlj forward a 
determined Sabbath-breaker. 

Poor Stephen ! How carelessly he stood, polish- 
ing his last stimip, the bit, and eyen the handle of 
his whip having an extra mb. How carefully he 
brushed and oiled his chesnnt locks, and adjusted the 
bine sOk neckerchief and whife shirt-collar over his 
daA tiae belted jumper. How jauntily he placed 
his bfaie- veiled cabbage- tree over his glossy curls ; and 
with how light, how unconsciously graceftil, how 
proud a step he sprung to the saddle of his fine horse 
" Boan," who, scarcely less proud than his master, 
tKxL the ground as though it was unworthy of such an 
honour, and bowed his fine head almost to the green 
sod with impatience at the restraining hand, bound- 
ing fcMTward with a firee, joyous spring the moment 
the slackened rein permitted. It was a feir picture, 
the proud and noble horse and the graceM rider in 
the saddle, so perfectly assimilating himself to every 
movement of the animal. But, alas ! there was a sad 
blot on the fiur picture — one sad sentence written on 
the upHfled brow; that sentence, ^The fool hath 
said in his heart, there is no God," robbed all of its 
beauty, tinctured all with sadness. 

Stephen was off for the day ; off with like-minded 
companions ; off beyond the sound of the Sabbath 
bell that now softly echoed among the hills round 



80 VERMONT YALE. 

Vermont. There was no echo in Ms heart ; the voice 
of prayer and praise had no charm for him. What 
to him was the tale of Jesus' love ? The wine-cup 
beckoned forward with her flower- wreathed poison. 
"We'll quaff the ruddy wine," was the song that 
best accorded with his feelings at that moment. He 
was bound to a distant homestead, noted in Vermont 
for the extent of its vineyard, the beauty of its grapes, 
and the excellence and strength of its wines. God 
keep thee, young man, weak as thou art ; thou art 
" that way bound to temptation." 

Alas for the vineyards of our southern land ! that 
with the gleaning of God's beautifal gifts should be 
also gathered folly and madness! — ^that the rich 
clusters of his bounty should be used to brutalize, to 
madden, to stamp with imbecility the image of Gx)d. 
Alas that the bestowments of our Heavenly Father 
should be thus perverted ! 

A little after Stephen's departure, Fred, with his 
sister at his side, left the house, and passing the slip- 
panel, sauntered along the road in the direction of 
the still pealing chapel-bell. The morning was soft 
and balmy; spring seemed every day ready to 
emerge into summer. Flowers of every hue grew^by 
the roadside, or spangled the green woodland. The 
scarlet creeper shone forth resplendently in the rich 
sunHght. Katie could not help gathering a little 
cluster of the brilliant blossom, that peeped provok- 
ingly at her fix)m under a fence ftill in her way. 

" What a pity it is this lovely creeper is scent- 
less," she said, as she fastened the sprig to her 
waist. 

" You want beauiy and fragrance both, eh ?" 



SABBATH-DAT D0IN08. 81 

langHed Fred. "Now, suppose yon cannot have 
both ; which of the qualities would you prefer ?" 

" Beauty or fragrance ! I don't know," replied 
Katie, thoughtfully. " I love sweet things, certainly ; 
but then, beauty ! * A thing of beauty is a joy for 
ever.' Ah ! I think I must ^say beauty, after that 
lovely, though hackneyed, quotation from Keats." 

" I see you like your eye charmed, as well as I do, 
Miss Katie, with beauty of all sorts." And Fred 
laughed significantly. 

" Remember," said Katie, in answer to his laugh, 
as they turned into the chapel-yard, " remember, Mr. 
Fred, that I am speaking only of flowers, and mean 
what I say only in respect to them." 

"All right, sis," was the laughing rejoinder. 

Service had not commenced, for the people were 
yet assembling, and, with the usual custom of our 
country folks, were gathered in little groups all over 
the chapel-yard, that they might get as much of the 
sweet air of heaven as they could. Just clustered 
round the doorway were a knot of young men, half- 
grown boys, rife with health, spirits, and mischief, 
and only half solemnized into a degree of decorum by 
the close vicinity of the chapel- walls. Some of these 
were farmers' sons in all the stiff discomfort of Sunday 
gear, who were infinitely better looking in their every- 
day apparel, the jumper and rusty straw hat, because 
they were easier, and more adapted to their stalwart 
figures. Others there were, the boys of the labouring 
men — great overgrown boys they were — whose Sab- 
bath wardrobe was limited to a clean shirt and 
trousers. Some with their elf-locks laden with any 
ampunt of grease ; other heads as rough as a newly- 

6 



82 YBBHONT YAIil. 

thrown heap of hay. Then there were others still, 
who claimed no home in Vermont, not eTen in the 
colony, but who rejoiced in the proud boast of being 
" on their own hook " — an expressive term enough, 
though not ofben a desirable position to occupy. 
Among these there was little appearance of Sabbath 
sanctity, little of the respect of those who call the 
Sabbath a delight. 

Kear them — at least, as near as country bashfol- 
ness would permit — stood a group of giggling girls, 
in all the finery their parents' means would permit, 
or Vermont store produce. Among them, fair and 
modest, and sweet-looking as daisies amid a bed of 
glaring poppies, two or three neat white sun-bonnets 
were visible, with spotless print dresses as an accom- 
paniment. We needed scarcely to look beneath these 
snowy bonnets to convince ourselves that they chiefly 
concealed pretty faces, redolent with health and sweeb 
natural blushes. Amidst them was one gentle face, 
ever dimpling into smiles. Her compamons ad- 
dressed her as Betsy Bianger, and surely the impress 
of the mother's teachiag was visible there. She was 
not one of the gigglers. The ready smile came when 
spoken to, but her thoughts were evidently of a more 
reverent character, more consistent with the day toad 
hour, than those of the others, who continued their 
sly laughter, and glances, and remarks on the knot of 
young men at the door. 

Here two or three men, with elbows lolling over 
the fence, stood discussing the progress of crops and 
cattle, the probabilities of a good season, and the pos- 
sibility of a continuance of the present weather. 
There, a like number of matrons, with babies at breast 



SiBBATH-DAT 

or in amis, or hanging to their aldrU, were deep in 
matters peculiarly their own ; and oyer the heads of 
them aU came the soft tinkle of the prayer-bell. U 
£aU on accostomedy and, therefore^ unheeding ears. 

And yet among even these were those who lo'^ed 
to keep ^ Holy day " — who would not hare nusaed 
that Sabbath service, wet or dry, on any aecoiai. 
Mammon, with his golden stores^ had not qinle 
blunted the edge of the soul though, alas for his 
influaKse, the business of the market too often aUie 
into the temple. The taUes of the money-changer 
too frequently occupied a position near the throne of 
God. Here, surely, was the whip of small cords 
needed, as in the temple of Jerusalem; and here 
also, as there, were those who loTed and feared dod. 

For our part we love not the gatherings in chnrdi 
er chapel yard. The quiet walk oyer hill and field, 
the silent influence of Nature's loveliness, the tranqnil 
thought of our Father and our home abore, is thore 
obliterated. For us we would turn at once into the 
little place of worship, calmly seat ourselves, and 
suffer the occasion, the hour, the solemnity of ben^ 
in the presence of Grod, in a house expressly erected 
for His worship, to drive out the market, and the 
money-changer, and all else besides of worldly trans- 
actions. We would sing with heart as well as Up — 

" One day amid the plaee 

Where my dear Lord hath been* 
Is better than a thoasand days 
Of pleasurable sin." 

Bui as Fred and Kate approadbed the place there 
was a sudden movement among the little social 
gatherings. One after another passed the threshold 



84 VERMONT VALE. 

of the prayer-house, till all had entered. The move- 
ment was simultaneous, and Kate, at first surprised 
into the belief that her own approach with her 
brother had occasioned the sudden exodus, was not 
Sony to discover the real cause betrayed to her by 
the shutting of the adjoining garden gate. The 
appearance of the minister of Vermont had sent his 
gathered congregation so hurriedly to their seats. 

Not, indeed, that there was anything terrific in 
Graham Howard's tout ensemble. About the middle 
height, with a face and brow, while indicating a high 
' order of intellect, beaming with all gentle and bene- 
volent feelings. His waa a countenance to win love, 
and not create fear. Indeed, fear was not the feeling 
that dissolved the little gatherings of his people. 
Custom was with them the principal reason for those 
outside talks, custom also induced their rapid flight 
on the minister's approach ; the sight of his figure 
passing down the garden being the signal for their 
departure to their seats. Perhaps it was a part of 
their life-lesson that induced these singular actions — 
the necessity of making the most of their time. Be 
that as it may, when their pastor did enter, there was 
not the calm aspect the house of God should wear, 
but a conftised hurrying to and fro, a push and 
struggle for places. Graham Howard had often felt 
grieved at this apparently irreverent conduct ; often 
the quiet current of his thoughts had been disturbed. 
Fresh from his knees in the solitude of his little 
parlour, it had troubled him much to view the 
apparently prayerless aspect of his congregation. 
Yet he had never mentioned it, and custom and habit 
still held its sway. 



SABBATH-DAT DOINQS. 85 

Fred's expressive nudge of his sister's elbow 
nearly npset her gravity, as the young minister ap- 
proached them, for they were so near when he turned 
into the chapel-yard, that they could not have passed 
onwards vnthout being guilty of great rudeness. As 
it waa, Katie was obliged to veil,the merry glances of 
her eyes beneath their downcast lashes, while her 
brother introduced her. Whether or not Graham 
Howard noticed the action does not appear. If ho 
did he gave no sign, and Katie, as they passed into 
the little chapel and took their seat, had only time to 
give an expostulating whisper — 

"Oh, Fred!" 

And this was Katie's first introduction to the 
minister of Vermont. "Whether, indeed, as her brother 
intimated, she had really desired to see him with the 
common curiosity peculiar to her sex, she did not 
betray. Certain it is that one of Graham Howard's 
most attentive listeners was our young friend Katie ; 
and as certainly afterwards, when taxed with her 
absorbed attention by her teasing brother, she simply 
replied, with a slight toss of her head, a Uttle aug- 
mentation of colour, and a contemptuous curl of 
her lip — 

" Oh, the sermon was passable enough." 

"And what of the Rev. Graham Howard? " asked 
Fred, with a provoking smile. 

" On a piece vrith his sermon, to be sure," laughed 
Katie, with a glowing face. To hide it, and escape 
farther teasing, she ran from the room. 



CHAPTER XL 

flftBBCTH HEMOMES AJn> THEIE SESVLTS. 

** Thoa who aooraest troths diyine. 
Say — what hope, what joy is thine ? 
Is thy soul from sorrow free ? 
Is ihi8 world enough for thee ?" 

Hate our readers ever been aroused from a morning 
sleep, by the soft splashing of rain-drops on roof or 
wmdow — ^aroused, and yet but half aroused, only in 
&ct restored to such an amount of consciousness as to 
enjoy the isoft pillow, and comfortable snug position in 
bed, with a deepra* zest, for the musical murmur 
viiiiout. It was thus Eibtie Linwood's slumbers 
w«re dissipated, and a quiet dreamy sort of feeling 
substituted. She lay for a long time unconscious of 
the lulling influence of the sounds without. But by 
degrees those sounds became familiar, and then she 
listened to the drops of rain with feelings almost akin 
to pleasure. 

Splash, splash upon the window-pane — ^tinkle, 
tinkie, tinkle among the yine-leayes that clung to the 
window-frame. She &ncied she could ahnost distin- 
guish the difference in the sound as those drops swept 
vine or rose-leaf. Pancy, no doubt, but a pretty con- 
ceit after all. She lay a long time simply listening, 



SABBATH HEHOBIES AXD THIIB RESULTS.'] 87 

aaid ihen thonglits half defined came into being, and 
tihe Bonnds were presently forgotten. 

Thonghts of the past day, thoughts of the fntiire 
strangely intermingled, and amidst all these were 
Bible words reverberating in her ears. She strove to 
shot them against the memory, bat they came again 
and again, and would not be dismissed. She closed 
her eyes, and laid her face on the pillow, bat even 
beneath the closed eyes, in crimson characters she 
seemed to see the impressive langaage, 

" For whoBoever shall keep the whole law, and yet ofiBBnd 
in one point, he is gniltj of all." 

They were the words Graham Howard had 
chosen for his text on the previous day. His way of 
opening the subject was new to Katie, never before 
had she seen herself in the light that sermon dis- 
played. Kot that she felt any desire to seek after 
that better righteousness, that sure fountain of blood, 
which can 

" Cleanse each spot ;" 

not that there was any coming to Christ as the all- 
sufficient atonement, able and willing to save men to 
the uttermost. Ah, no ! this happy state of feeling 
was ffor from being the one Katie possessed, as she lay 
restlessly tossing on her pillow with those words 
ringing in her ears. Discomfort, uneasiness, con- 
sciousness of sin — ^these were some of Katie's present 
experiences. She knew that in more points than one 
^bie had offended, she felt that but little portion of the 
divine law had been kept by her. But on account of 
aSecLding in some points, to be accounted guilty of 
all ! Human nature strove hard against the idea. 



88 VERMONT VALE. 

" What ! " she thought, recalling some of the 
earnest words of the young preacher of the little 
Vermont chapel. "What! am I too to be classed 
with thieves and murderers ? am I on no higher level 
than those who break through every law, human and 
divine? Will God think the same of one whose 
whole life is crime, as of one whose sins are at least 
innocent and chiefly the result of youthful folly ? No 
— I will not believe it, I will not — will not believe it 
— God is not unjust, and those words can't mean 
that." She sprang from her pillow in angry haste, 
angry with herself and the attention she had bestowed 
on both minister and sermon, angry especially with 
Graham Howard for his determined language and 
unflinching assertions, — angry with those words of 
Scripture which would still follow her — " Guilty of 
all " — for she could make nothing else of them, and 
against their real meaning she rebelled. 

" What folly it is of me," she at last contemp- 
tuously exclaimed, " bothering my head about such 
things ; what do I know of such matters ? Why 
should I trouble myself about them ? I am young 
enough yet, and these solemn subjects don't agree 
with this wild head of mine, and so, Mr. Graham 
Howard, farewell to your preaching." And off she 
ran with a merry song rivalling our old English lark 
for sweetness, and merry and joyous as our own 
magpie in its highest notes. There was no trace of 
sober thought in her gay little face, as at last she 
burst in upon Dolly in the large kitchen waltzing 
round and round with her lightest step to a stave 
of the " Fairy Waltzes," till fairly exhausted with 
her effort. 



SABBATH ICEHOBIES AND THEIB RESULTS. 89 

Readers ! has it ever been thus with you ? have 
you sought to quench the voice of the Spirit by gay 
frivolity ? Have you ever tried to drown the sacred 
words that would remind you of another world, of 
other objects, of other things than those of earth ? do 
you, alas, with E^atie Linwood exclaim, '' Time enough, 
I am yet too young for such sober thoughts ; Chris- 
tianity is so dull, and worldly things, and worldly 
objects, and worldly people are so much more inter- 
esting ? " Beware ! beware, young friend ! the fairest 
flower is soonest faded, the bud is often cankered, the 
tiny leaflet often falls before the sudden blast. Oh ! 
if the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit have come to 
you, quench not his aspirations. 

** Wake ! thon that sleepest in enchanted bowers, 
Lest these lost years should haunt thee on the night 
When death is waiting for thy numbered hours, 
To take their swift and everlasting flight. 
Wake, ere the earth-bom charm unnerve thee quite." 

Once bent on stifling the voice of conscience 
speaking within, and we shall have plenty of assistance 
from the world and its allies. Katie found this ; a 
few brisk movements round the dairy to see that all 
was duly prepared for the reception of the morning's 
milk, a little laughing raillery with Dolly who assisted 
her in her duties, and by the time she found herself 
seated by her favourite " Daisy" the white sweet fluid 
streaming from her nimble fingers into a pail whose 
brightness caught and emulated the sunbeams, all 
serious thought was forgotten. 

" A pretty picture," thought Fred to himself, as he 
passed the end of the paddock where his sister and 
Dolly were milking, on his way to look at a few acres 



90 TaEEMOWT YALIL 

of lucerne of parfcicnlarly fine growiih ; " a pretty 
picture I must say. Eatie is just the daintiest litde 
dairy-maid one could meet on a summer morning; 
though I need not teU her that, for no doubt the 
gipsy knows it well enough already, without telling, 
most women-kind do. If they possess an atom of 
good looks, no fear but they will find it out." 

Fred was tolerably right in some of his con- 
clusions, though he might have extended his remarks 
to his own sex, who are by no means behindhand in 
like discoveries. Kate knew very well that she was 
pretty, but at that, moment she was certainly not 
thiTiking about it. Indeed, as she could not see her- 
self from the poiut of view Fred did, it was impossible 
for her to tell how pretty she looked. Her pale blue 
morning dress sweeping the green carpet, the snowy 
sun-bonnet pushed back from her face, hiding in vain 
the light silken ringlets, and the rosy cheek itself 
leaning against the snowy side of Daisy. All this was 
a picture for Fred's eyes; she knew nothing 
about it. 

Wholly engrossed with the large supply of imTk 
her favourite was yielding, and quite unconscious of 
her brother's gaze, she sat there very quietly. The 
morning shower had given place to a cloudless sky, 
and Soft refreshing breezes, exhilarating to the spirits, 
tempering the rather fervid sunbeams, before whose 
influence the drops of rain had quitted the grass, and 
with them all traces of EZatie's chagrin and angry 
feelings. She had forgotten everything about the 
Sabbath, aU she had heard at the little Vermont 
chapel, even its minister. The bright beauttfol morn- 
ing, Daisy's gentleness, the perfume of flowers, 



SABBATH MBMOSIES AHD THEIB BBBULTS. 91 

bloflfloming in a small adjacent garden (very sweet 
thon^ onlj cammon stocks), the plajfiil breese, the 
profusion of milk pouring into the brig^ pans; 
gladdened her heart. She sang at her work, bnt not 
songs of thanksgiving to the Donor of all these bless- 
ings. Alas, poor Katie ! 

Once past the paddock, and Fred's ptctnre had 
TBaished from memory. Other images took their 
plaee — images as fresh and hir, thongh no £airer, for 
thai could not well be. His thoughts took somewhat 
of the same channel Katie's had taken that morning, 
at least they flew off in the same direction ; the past 
Sabbath and the Httle chapel their halting place, 
though not their theme. He had certainly heard the 
text, and had with becoming decorum found it out in 
his Bible ; but the subject of the discourse was as far 
distant from him as though he had been miles away. 
He had joined in the songs of praise, but it was with 
the lip and not the heart. He was quite as conscious 
of his full fine voice as Katie of her attractions ; he 
knew well it shared admiration with the short light 
cork that swept fr^om his brow. No other thought, 
except perhaps the pleasure he felt in vocal exercise, 
induced him to join in the sacred song. Was it the 
prayer he remembered ? Alas, no ; its commence- 
ment indeed he heard^ and the concluding ** Amen," 
but the rest was lost in obHvion as £ar as concerned 

No — ^neither sermon, prayer, hymn, nor even 
minister, had any share in Fred's Sabbath recollec- 
tions; they had all other sources. Beside him, or 
nearly so, b^ieath a pretty white bonnet, were soft 
hrowm eyes, a roguish mouth, and a dazk glossy head 



92 , VERMONT VALE. 

of liair. Sometimes the eye suddenly met liis, to be 
as qxiickly withdrawn beneath their lashes ; while the 
mounting blush and half-smiling month told not of 
the utter unconsciousness those averted glances in- 
tended to represent. Sometimes the tip of a tiny 
Httle boot peeped out beyond the soft folds of muslin, 
or little daintily-gloved fingers trifled with the leaves 
of a rose or a cut-glass vinaigrette. Fanny Moore 
was certainly a bewitching girl, and Fred's looks ftilly 
acknowledged it ; though while he looked, Long- 
fellow's expressive lines would steal in. 

" She has two eyes so soft and brown, 

Take care ! 
She gives a side glance and looks down, 

Beware— Beware ! 
Trust her not, she's fooling thee." 

And Fred linwood was not inclined to be fooled. 
Not he! 

And so, his glances dwelt longest in another 
direction. His position admitted him to a full view 
behind the curtain concealing the harmonium, and a 
very little figure seated there so quietly unconscious 
of his gaze, that her very unconsciousness provoked 
him. The modest brown straw hat could not conceal 
her gentle face, eyes deep as violets, downward 
glancing, and jetty hair embracing a tranquil, peaceful 
brow. Fred wished she was not so insensible, his 
pride was aroused. Had she given all her attention 
to the minister ? Were those violet eyes only to be 
raised to lift them to him ? Fred was more than 
usually disturbed at what he called her apathy that 
morning. Watching her small white fingers as they 
glided over the keys of the harmonium, he almost lost 



SABBATH MEMORIES AND THEIB RESULTS. 93 

his place in His book. Annie Maitland*s indifference 
proved more attractive than Fanny Moore's winning 
glances. It was memories such as these that occupied 
Fred's morning ride, and yet of the two yonng ladies 
he scarcely knew which to prefer. He knew he was 
far from an unwelcome visitor at the Doctor's, he 
knew also by the coquettish smile and blush that he 
was quite as acceptable to the daughter; and yet 
spite of her winning glances, her pretty face, in spite 
indeed of even more attractive metal, her father's 
heavy bank-book, Annie Maitland was uppermost in 
his thoughts that morning. 

And so he went to look at the lucerne. It was 
necessary he should that morning. At the very 
extremity of the section it was situated, and one point 
of it came so near to the school-house that the fence 
joined the hedge of the little garden. 

That lucerne needed very particular attention for 
so fine a crop, especially the end bordering the garden. 
Its owner made a long stay there, but his eyes were 
not all the time on his own land ; they wandered not 
a little to that of his neighbour's, to one window 
particularly through which he could catch a glimpse 
of a little figure gliding to and fro, in a simple print 
dress, and little black apron, and snowy collar ; now 
with duster in hand, flitting from one article to 
another, now spreading a white breakfast cloth, and 
anon placing cups and saucers and all the parapher- 
nalia of breakfast service for two thereon. She came 
at last to the threshold of the door looking out on the 
clear morning sky, now soft and beautiful and un- 
clouded^ though bright drops yet lingered tremblingly 
on the leaves of the passion-flower. A rose-bush grew 



94 TBBtfOHT THJL 

BBsar ihe door laden witli a few dioice bads, acarcelj 
mdre than hal£ opened^ and some only feintly blushing 
throngli the enfolding green. Thafc morning shower 
had brought out their fragrance. Annie gathered 
three or four of the choicest, and then advancing a 
little ftorther into the garden, stooped for two or three 
sprigs of mignonette, and a fragrant stem or two of 
Ittvender ; a drooping stem of wax-Kke fachsia next 
wooed her attention ; she added that to her bonqoiet, 
and then returning to the door lefb her flowers on the 
seat in the verandah while she went in. Presezdly 
Fred saw her return with a Httle coloured vase in her 
hand^ and this time she went frirther down the garden 
to the margin of the creek whose green and mossj 
bank divided the comer of the garden firom the 
liLC^ne aa*es. How near to himself she camie, and 
yet he stood perfectly still watching every move- 
ment. Annie,' secure in her fancied soHtude, lingered 
on the bank of the creek. An insect floating on 
the water had attracted her attention. Then a few 
young watercresses temptingly green won her £rom 
the pursuit of the insect. How the HtUe hand 
plunged in to gather the youngest and freshest of 
f.lift¥n y rinsing them again and again in the stream till 
no earthly particle adhered. It seemed to Fred she 
enjoyed the pure air of early morning that lifted away 
the jetty hair from her clear fbrdiead, the sofb cool 
waters that ran murmuring over her hand, for she 
still lingered at her self-imposed task with the little 
vase yet unfilled. Should he speak, and disturb the 
dreamy thoughtftil expression of the violet 'eyes ? 
No ; it would then appear as if he watched her. That 
would not do. And while he hesitated she filled her 



SABBATH MEM(HUIS ASD THEIB RESULTS. 95 

yase, and, tammg back into the honse, with that and 
the watercresses disappeared together. 

What pretence could he make for a call ? He had 
no message from his sister. ^' What a fool I was not 
to pay a visit to the dairj before I came awaj," he 
thought, *' a little cream might hare been acceptable ; 
or to the poultry-yard I might have made a mission, 
and secured my entrance too, with a nice plump 
fbwL" He forgot what he had been saying to himself 
over and over again previously, that his visit was 
only to the lucerne crop, and that presents were out 
of the question there. So he turned away, and walked 
very, very slowly by the side of his unregarded 
lucerne, looking back every now and then, and 
wondering whether Annie Maitland was as heart- 
whole as she seemed, wondering at her happiness, 
wondering at everything, but chiefly at himsel£ 

He did not return the same way as he came : he 
took the road past the Doctor's. Fanny was at the 
window, looking very naive and pretty, in a light 
pink m(»ming dress, with very wide sleeves — ^betray- 
ing fair plump arms, and a small graceful throat, 
clasped by a narrow velvet band and brooch, that 
rendered its whiteness more conspicuous. She smiled, 
and blushed, and bowed as she saw him, and aa in 
duty bound, he stopped. 

" You up, Miss Fanny ! really breathing the air so 
early ? " he exclaimed, teasingly. 

" Yes I to be sure. I was just thinking with the 
American poet — 

* Lovely indeed is morning ! I have dmnk 
Its firagrance and its freshness, and hare felt 
Its delicate toinh — and 'tis a kindlier thing 
Than mnsic, or a feast, or medicine.' 



96 VERMONT VALE. 

But I beg pardon, Mr. linwood, you are not fond of 
poetry." 

" So far as mere rhyming goes, perhaps not," 
laughed Fred ; " but I can discern the truthftdness of 
your quotation. Miss Fanny, at any rate. The * delicate 
touch ' of the morning has left its impress on your 
fair cheek, if I mistake not : you are as bright as the 
rose in your waistband. Miss Fanny ! " 

" Nonsense ! " said Fanny, blushing and laughing. 

" Not at aU, perfect sense : I speak as I see. By 
the by, you may give me that rose if you like." 

" May I, indeed ! And suppose I do not like ? " 

" Oh, but you do; I'm sure you will not refdse 
me I 

" Why, I dare say you will scarcely turn the 
comer before you will toss it away; but here, you 
may have it if you like," and she placed it on the 
window-ledge. 

" So ungraciously ! no, I will only take it from 
your own fair fingers. Miss Fanny !" 

She blushingly held the rose towards him; he took 
both rose and fingers. 

"Mr. Fred!" 

" Miss Fanny ! come, tell me when you are coming 
to Sunny Hollow to farther acquaintance with Katie, 
and then I will release you." 

"I won't!" 

" Nor I either, I am quite contented and happy in 
standing before your window. Miss Fanny ! " 

" Loose my hand, Mr. Linwood ! Papa is 
coming ! " 

" Yery happy to see him," coolly replied Fred. 

" Let me go— let me go, what a tease you are ! 



SABBATH HBMOBIES AND THEIR RESULTS. 97 

There, then, 1*11 tell yon, some time this week, 
Wednesday, perhaps ; now loose my hand." 

Fred gradnally did so, and with one of his parting 
squeezes and langhs, tamed away, and homewards. 
Three pictures that morning, which was uppermost ? 



CHAPTER Xn. 

KATIE IN HER NEW SPHERE. 

" A solitaiy blessing few can find, 
Onr joys with those we love are all entwined." 

Katie was now becoming familiarized with her new 
home [and her many duties. She liked it and them 
none the less becanse she was so entirely her own 
mistress. She had got on famonsly with her brothers; 
for though she had now and then to give them a little 
scolding for the disorderly habits they had contracted, 
though she had at times to complain of boots, and 
hats, and spurs out of place, and occupying positions 
by no means improving to the symmetry of the room, 
yet all was generally taken in good part, particularly 
if the offender happened to be Fred. 

Indeed, both brothers were ready and willing 
enough to listen to her playfiil reproofs, and mock 
authoritative orders, for the sake of having their 
pretty little sister with them. They were very proud 
of her, and very thUnkfiil to have her company. It 
was no common pleasure they felt in the orderly 
arrangements, the punctual and well-appointed meals; 
but the little " sprite," as Fred called her, that flitted 
about the rough rooms of Sunny Hollow, gave the 
house, in his opinion, all the sunlight it needed — 
there was no other improvement necessary, he thought. 



KATIE or HIS raw SPHERE. 99 

Not BO thonght Katie. She dearlj loved her 
farother, but could not qnite agree with all his 
theories ; her nature had a trifle more poetry in it, 
spite of her being such a practical little maiden. She 
loved the beantifnl aa well as the orderly, and her 
spirit rebelled against rough exteriors. It was wonder- 
ful to see how her poetry prevailed over her brothers' 
rude prose. 

She had scarcely been a week at Sunny Hollow 
before Fred and Stephen, under her supervision, were 
busily engaged in the erection of a broad verandah, 
extending not simply in front, but all around the 
house. 

" This will serve two purposes, Fred," she ex- 
claimed, enthusiastically. '* We shall have plenty of 
shade in summer, no fear of getting sun-struck in 
running round to the dairy : the dairy itself will be 
fifty times cooler. Then the same may be said of 
winter : ample shelter from the rain, to say nothing 
of the appearance — the superior appearance the house 
will have, particularly when the passion-flowers, and 
dolicus, and jessamine, that I intend to plant, shall 
wreathe and twine their drapery round these rough 
poles ; but for that I suppose you care nothing ? " 

"Absolutely nothii^!" laughed Fred. "Well, 
perhaps not : I am glad however to gratify you, little 
K&iie, who do so much to make us comfortable. And, 
besides, I do like a verandah very well ; it is pleasant 
to sit in on a warm summer's evening." 

" I wonder why you have never had one before, 
then," asked K!atie, raising her eyebrows in pretty 
surprise. 

" Oh, I've had plenty of work always on hand ; 



100 VERMONT VALE. 

and, truth to tell, I never gave it a thonght, sis ; it 
vras left to yonr genins to develop the idea, I expect, 
though I suppose it will depend somewhat on mine to 
cany it out," and he shouldered his axe vsdth a half 
sly, half proud snule, and walked to the door. 

" Well," he resumed, " I suppose we may as well 
finish the thing at once; we shall be busy enough 
by and by. And so, little Katie, if you have any 
orders or directions to give, better come and give them 
now, for you know very well I don't let the grass 
grow under my feet when I make a commencement, 
and I would rather you had the thing done to your 
fancy." 

" Thank you, thank you, dear Fred ; and here I 
am, ready and willing to prompt. Grass don't often 
grow under my feet," said Katie, springing merrily, 
forward. 

" I should rather think not," Fred mentally re- 
sponded, as he stood for a moment watching her 
graceftd little figure, and then stepped after her into 
the fresh morning air. 

This was Katie's first and pet improvement. 
Numbers of minor ones followed ; some with the aid 
of the brothers, some with only Dolly for assistant — 
an able and willing assistant she found her. Home 
with Katie, and home without her, both Fred and 
Stephen felt was a very different thing. It was so 
pleasant, after a hard day's work, to come into that 
clean, bright, cool kitchen — the hearth snowy white, 
the floor red and spotless, the table spread with fault- 
less bread and butter, and all the abundance of a good 
farm and dairy. Pleasant it was to look out of those 
bright windows, through curtains of pure clean mus- 



KATIE IN HEB NEW SPHSBB. 101 

lin — pleasant to look np even to the rafters, and 
see hams and sides of bacon in goodly array, defy- 
ing the entrance of famine. No less pleasant wore? 
the bedrooms — plain, to be sure ; but pure, and clean, 
and sleep-inviting. Elatie was a little queen of a 
housekeeper ; so thought her brothers, and so thought 
all who took a peep in at Sunny Hollow and its in- 
ternal arrangements ; though the better portion of 
Vermont society scarcely gave Katie time comfort- 
ably to establish herself before they intruded upon 
her. There were wonderful revolutions in those 
^ys. 

Katie had nearly forgotten the conversation she 
had held with Amy on her birthday ; she seldom 
thought of the gentle, kindly warning then given, or 
if she did, it was with a laugh at Amy and her hus- 
band's expense. " What duties had as yet transpired 
that were not easily performed ? It was a pleasure 
to make her brothers' home pleasant to them ; she 
enjoyed the very act of doing so. Was not that com- 
fort enough ?" And she glanced complacently around 
the well-arranged rooms, forgetting that all these 
were merely external comforts, and could not minister 
to a mind diseased, should that kind of ministration 
be needed. Happily, at present, it was not. Then 
as to warning, what occasion had there been for that 
yet ? * All had gone on straight with Stephen as far as 
she could see. She hoped it still wotild ; for her 
warning, she feared, would not be of the right sort. 
Indeed, she began to believe the folks at home had 
frightened themselves for nothing ; some false report 
had reached them. Stephen had his own way ; he 
always had done so ; and certainly now, when he had 



102 VERMONT VALE. 

grown up to nearly manbood, lie wonld at least choose 
Ids own friends and companions. There conld be no 
harm in that. She would not beheve that that hand- 
some, animated face could ever wear the silly, maud- 
lin aspect of a lover of strong drink. At any rate, 
she had never witnessed snch an aspect. What should 
she do if she ever did ? Warn ! no ; there was hap- 
pily nobody that needed that ; there was nothing of 
that kind that she could discern to do. Occasionally, to 
be sure, Stephen, afber one of his long absenteeisms, 
would look dull and heavy next morning; would 
scarcely touch his breakfast, and complained of head- 
ache ; but all this was quite likely to proceed from 
his long ride. Katie was ready enough to soothe her- 
self and her fears into quietness with this. 

But was Fred as unsuspicious ? He was not. To 
him these morning headaches were no mystery. The 
untouched breakfast he regarded with different eyes 
to his sister. While she besieged her gloomy brother 
with teasing, laughing jests, suggesting one or another 
fiair lady as the cause of his failing appetite — the ab- 
sence of her smile as the reason of his headache and 
depression (which she told him she should christen 
"heartache" at once), Fred could with diflGlculty 
restrain a burst of indignation or contempt, though 
far from desiring to expose the delinquent till he had 
effectually exposed himself, and this, eveln, he had no 
wish to do before his little sister. 

"You are a fool, Stev^," he exclaimed one day 
when alone, with more truth than politeness. " You 
are an arrant fool, and I have told you so again and 
again. Why will you drink to excess ? Why cannot 
you be moderate, like I am ? If you must drink at 



KATIE IH HEB NXW SPHEBE. 103 

all, no need for TnaVing yourself a sot, and that's wbat 
it will end in at the rate 70a are going on. I wonder 
Katie has not notioed it." 

^ A sot ! Nonsense ; I'm as moderate as yon, for 
ihat matter — that is to saj, generally ; bnt, somehow, 
Horton's colonial wine is about the strongest and best 
I ever tasted ; though it does get up into a fellow's 
head confoundedly." 

" Why do you take it, then, or so much ?" 

" Why ? For the same reason that I take any- 
thing else that is good — because I like it. That 
wine," continued Steye, forgetting his headache in 
the recollection, '* that wine, I tell you, has a body in 
it such as no other wine I have tasted yet has." 

" So it seems," said Fred, drily ; " a body and a 
spirit too, that appears to mount most inconveniently 
to your head." 

" Ah ! that's because, somehow or other, I manage 
to take a glass too much. With wine that flows like 
oil itself, it is dif&cult to calculate the precise time to 
stop." 

" Yery likely ; in that case I should make myself 
scarce in its neighbourhood. K I was Horton, before 
I'd have a drop of colonial wine in my house, I'd stave 
every barrel, smash every bottle, and pull up every 
vine ; for I don't envy him that report about his wife." 

"What report?" 

" What report ! now, Steve, that is rich ; do you 
mean to tell me you have not heard of Mrs. Horton's 
occasional vagaries with the bottle ? If you have 
not, I have, that's all. I suppose, like you, she finds 
the wine flows so smoothly, that she does not know 
when to stop!" said Fred, contemptuously; and 



104! VERMONT VALE. 

then shrriggiiig his shoulders he indignantly con- 
tinued, " Before I'd see a wife of mine degrade her- 
self and family like she does — before I'd see her drink 

like a beast rather than a woman, I'd there's no 

knowing what I wouldn't do," said Fred, foil of 
wrath, turning on his heel as he spoke. 

" I tell you, Stephen," he added, turning back to 
his brother, who sat with his head between his hands 
and his elbows on the table, writhing between a ter- 
rible headache and a by-no-means quiet conscience : 
" I tell you, Stephen, there's not a sight on earth 
more disgusting, more brutalizing, more abominable, 
than a woman the worse for liquor, no matter what 
that liquor be. Bad enough if a man lowers himself 
to a brute. But a woman — Faugh !" 

" You can drink yourself, Fred," said Stephen, with 
a slight sneer. " I'm sure you profess to be quite a 
connoisseur in the taste of wines." And he leaned 
his aching head on the table over his extended arm. 

Fred slightly coloured at the charge. "Well, 
what if I do ?" he repHed, after a moment's silence ; 
" I know better than to exceed ; I know when I have 
had enough, and take care not to overstep the 
boundary ; I can take a glass or two of wine, now 
and then, of really good colonial wine. I don't pro- 
fess to be a total abstainer — though, by the way, if 
anything wotdd induce me to become one, it would 
be the sight of yourself, Stephen, as you were last 
night, when Harry Horton brought you home in his 
gig; or the tales abroad of such women as Mrs. 
Horton, who even only occasionally degrade the 
woman, the wife, the mother ?" 

Fred had worked himself up into as much temper 



KATIE IN HEB NEW SPHERE. 105 

as he wa43 capable of, and he tnmed to look at his 
brother as he said the last words, wondering whether 
he had any feeling yet remaining. He was scarcely 
surprised to find that he had fallen into a heavy sleep, 
and, turning once more contemptuously away, he left 
the room. 

" I wonder how many glasses of wine I take in 
the course of the year?** he muttered to himself. 
" Stephen need not quote that, though I see no harm 
in moderation, not a whit ; but for all the love that I 
bear to the juice of the grape, if it would prove the 
means of staying Stephen in his degrading course, not 
a drop more should pass my lips.'* He struck the 
match rather energetically with which he was about 
to light the tobacco in his pipe, and, as he turned off 
towards the stock-yard, wondered to himself whether 
it would not be worth while at least to make the 
experiment. 



CHAPTER Xni. 

AH AFTEENOON'B VISIT. 

" This world is but the rugged road 
WMcli leads us to the bright abode 
Of peace above V* 

"Have you any message to send with me this 
afternoon, Fred?" asked Katie, archly, one morn- 
ing, as she sat with her two brothers at their 
pleasant noontide meal, engaged in Mendly, langhing 
chat. 

" Depends upon where yon are going, sis. There 
may be a dozen places in your list of caUs, to none of 
which I should care to send even a message, and there 
might be a few to whom I should be too happy to 
have a message to send." 

" Indeed, sir ! Permit me to ask who are those 
favoured few ?" 

"Oh!" laughed Fred, "you expect me to tell 
you, do you ? Where are you bound for this after- 
noon, Katie ? Tell me that, and perhaps then I can 
answer you." 

" It would serve you right if I did no such thing, 
but as that would punish me perhaps as much as 
you, I won't withhold it. In the first place, then," 
said K!atie, laughing and looking very shly into 
her brother's face, "I am going to pay your fair 



AN ▲mBirooir's yisit. 107 

Mend Fanny Moore a visit. Haye yon a message 
iJiere?" 

" To Fanny Moore ! Why, she was only here two 
days ago. What can you girls have to talk about 
again?" 

" Oh ! we find plenty of topics, without even in- 
troducing a certain gentleman who, at the present mo- 
ment, shall be nameless," said Katie, tossing her head. 

''Ill vouch for the quantity, at any rate," said 
Stephen, going on with his dinner very quietly. 

"Well, Fve told you where I am going first. 
ELave you a message, I ask P" said Katie, feigning 
impatience. 

" Yes," said Fred, laughing, and drawing some- 
thing slowly from his pocket. " Give her this hand- 
kerchie£ I stole it from her, when she was here the 
other evening for a lark, and forgot to give it back. 
I'm sure I don't want it." 

" I shan't tell her that, sir ; so, if you have no 
better message, farewell to you. I thought you liked 
Foony Moore !" 

" So I do. She's a nice girL Not quite enough 
in her for me, though. She's a trifle too tall for my 
taste. What besides is no matter." 

"Why, Fred, she is a most gracefol figure, and 
has qxdte a pretty, piquant style of &ce. I don't 
know what you want, sir." 

" Something more than that," said Fred, helping 
himself to potatoes, and laughing at his sister's ex- 
clamations. 

" Very well, very well ! and so that is the extent 
of your message. I have a great mind to make you 
dehver the parcel yourself." 



108 VBEMONT VALE. 

" Where else are you going, little Katie ?" 

" Further along the road, to that little bower of a 
school-house. I hope the fair Annie within is short 
enough for your fastidious taste ?" 

"Are you going there ?" 

" And why not, sir ? I have, indeed, that pur- 
pose. I have packed away a most delicate cream 
cheese, some of my best butter, and a bottle of cream 
for a peace-offering. Mrs. Maitland's sweet, patient 
face, and the bewitching one of her little daughter, 
have taken my heart by storm. I don't know what 
they have done with yours." 

Fred rose from the table with a~ slight accession of 
colour, which he endeavoured to conceal by a well- 
affected yawn and laugh. 

"Have you any message there?" asked Katie, 
-looking fannily at her brother. 

" My respects," said Fred, now fairly outside the 
door, as though he were hurrying away from her 
words. 

" ToMrs.Maitland, of course ; but what to Annie?" 

But Fred either was, or pretended to be, beyond 
hearing. 

What a lovely afternoon it was, very warm though, 
making every little shadow welcome. Katie chose to 
walk instead of ride, and arraying herself in the 
coolest of cool lilac muslin dresses, with a thin 
gossamer scarf, and a pretty white hat and feathers — 
Katie was fond of feathers, drooping feathers espe- 
cially — she sauntered off with her basket of cheese, 
and butter, and cream ; a rather heavier burden than 
one would choose for a hot day certainly, but the 
pleasure of the giver made it light. 



AN afternoon's VISIT. 109 

"Wliat a pity," thonght Katie, as she left the 
slip panel of Sunny Hollow behind her, and struck 
off across an opposite paddock for Mrs. Maitland*s 
house, " what a pity we cannot have this pleasant 
weather all the year. Now, in a little time all this 
grass will be burnt up, there will not be a flower 
remaining, and the sun will come scorching down 
upon our heads, there will be no enduring it. I 
don't like winter, for we have nothing then but rain 
rain, rain ; and I don't like summer, for we are burnt 
up then." An involuntary sign rose to her lips, for 
at that very moment a little memory rose up of 
something she had once read. It was about a 
shepherd on Salisbury Plains, who, when asked what 
kind of weather he liked best, answered, "Such 
weather as pleases Qod pleases me." She could not 
say that, for she knew she thought differently. She 
could not help wishing that the finiits would ripen 
with less sun, that the com would grow with less 
rain, and so with her vain wishes she was cherishing 
a spirit of discontent, and forgetting the present 
lovely weather and her pleasant walk. 

It was not in Katie's nature, however, to brood 
over imaginary or distant sorrows. Her light^ 
buoyant spirit too readily seized on the present 
enjoyment, and, butterfly-like, revelled in the flowers 
of to-day, forgetfdl of what to-morrow might bring 
forth, forgetfdl that flowers must fade. It is a little 
light-hearted creature our readers have to follow in 
her rambles, who would have been better for a trifle 
more ballast to steady her curly head, and tranquillize 
her palpitating little heart. That ballast religion 
could have given her, but Katie thought religion a 



110 TEEMONT YALE, 

very gloomy thing, and tried to put thoughts of it 
away as much as ever she could. This was not 
always possible, as some of our Mr young readers 
know from their own experience. Well would it be 
if the soft whisper within were heeded ; well would it 
be if no deaf ear were turned to its murmuring. 

Katie resolutely turned her thoughts away from 
what to her was very unpleasant, but thought "proved 
too strong an antagonist — ^it would come. Her very 
mission, the very basket on her arm, sided against 
her, she was going to see those who she knew 
possessed the talisman of happiness that she had not. 
She knew it, and almost reverenced them for it, 
though sometimes she thought she should love Aimio 
Maitland better if she were a little more like herself; 
yet that was an impossibility, and strangely mingled 
with that thought came a sighing wish that she 
herself could more resemble Annie. 

"That I never shall — ^never, never!" thought 
Elatie, as she crept under the fence in the close 
neighbourhood of the school-house. " So I must 
even be contented to be Katie after aU — ^random, wild 
little Katie, as they call me." She need not have 
desired to be other than herself; it was but the calm, 
the beautiful influence of the grace of Gtod. she 
needed, and what a lovely change would that have 
made. 

As Elatie crept under the fence in sight of the 
school-house, the door opened widely, and one after 
another, in wild delight at freedom, rushed forth the 
happy children, some one way, some another.. School 
was out, and there was no longer any necessity to 
restrain the laugh and shout, no longer need to keep 



AN AVTlBirOOV'S YI8IT. Ill 

qniei the restless feet that would sometimes rebel 
against all law and role, impatient for a run. Books, 
and slates, and maps, farewell to yon till Monday. 
Eespite now for the pale, weary teacher. Respite 
now for the almost as weary little ones. Horrah for 
the holiday for both ! Precions boon this Saturday 
and Snnday to the teacher and the taught. 

Katie passed quickly through the crowd of 
children, with a nod and a smile for each, unknown 
as they were to her ; and on their part, though they 
were impatient enough for a good play, they were yet 
all eyes for Katie's pretty face, and fair ringlets, and 
more especially for the white feathers that drooped 
over both. 

"May I come in ?" she softly asked, putting her 
pretty head in at the open door. 

Annie Maitland was standing in the centre of her 
cleared school-room, with her back towards the door, 
in an attitude of deep thought. The neat dress 
exquisitely fitted her slender figure, and, simple as it 
was in material, was faultless in proportion. The 
little linen collar looked delicately white, and the hair 
fell in dark soft masses over her white throat, not in 
curls, but drooping bands, which swept away from 
brow and cheek, and was gathered in some graceftJ 
fashion of her own. She did not hear Katie's voice, 
so deep was her reverie, and Klatie waited two or 
three moments before she again spoke, taking a good 
view meanwhile of her fair friend, and wondering 
after all what made her so exceeding fair ; wondering, 
too, the subject of those intense thoughts, so intense 
that she could not even hear. 

" Hear she shall, though," thought K^tie, springing 



112 VERMONT VALE. 

forward on tip-toe, and then suddenly placing both 
hands on her shoulders, at the same time exclaiming, 
"Will yon never come back from dream-land, and 
salute a fellow-mortal ?" 

Annie turned suddenly round, the crimson blood 
brightly deluging cheek and brow. She was so 
thoroughly taken by surprise, that her hands were 
given in welcome without words. 

"You gave me permission, you know. Miss 
Maitland, to come and see you," said Katie, laughing 
at the confiision she had caused. 

" Indeed I did," said Annie, warmly, " and I am 
very glad to see you, Miss Linwood." 

"Are you? Well, then, give me another per- 
mission. If we are to be friends, let us have done 
with formalities ; call me Katie, and I will call you 
Annie." 

"Willingly; I am no friend to formalities either." 

" And I am the most informal little personage in 
the world." 

" Come in, and let me introduce you to mamma, 
then," said Annie, smiling; "there need be no 
formality there, mamma half knows you already." 

"And I know her, far more than know her, 
though we have never spoken," said Katie. "But 
stay, my dear Annie, do you think your mamma will 
accept a little of my dairy produce ? I hope she will 
like it, for I have come all through the heat because I 
thought she would." 

" Like it, indeed she will ; she is so fond of cheese, 
and it is so long since we have tasted any. How 
kind you are !" 

" Nonsense, Annie ; but I am glad the cheese will 



AK afternoon's VISIT. 113 

be a novelty, it will be all the sweeter/' and Katie 
followed her Mend into the adjacent room. 

It was impossible not to like Mrs. Maitland. Her 
kind, qniet, lady-like manners, her winning smile, 
attracted Katie at first; bnt, prepared as she had 
been to love Annie's mother, she loved her much 
more than she conld have believed. There was much 
to reverence too, and yet £!atie was surprised to find 
how soon she felt at home even in her presence. 
The little room was very pleasant that afternoon, so 
perfectly neat and spotless. The chimney, not of 
quite so large dimensions as many of its neighbours, 
was filled with fresh flowers and waving grasses, for 
the little kettle was boiling in a tiny shed outside 
that usually did service as a kitchen. The door and 
window stood widely open, giving a full view of 
everything green and lovely without, while the 
perfame of the garden flowers wandered in with 
every breeze. A few of the best of them were 
nestled together in a vase upon the table, and 
presently, to keep them company, Annie placed there 
a little old-fashioned, oval tray, and upon this somo 
of that qu^t, rich, old china, that does one's heart 
good to see ; rich and deep in colour, but not ancient 
in make, though not, perhaps, of the orthodox bush 
dimensions, or calculated to satisfy all colonial thirst. 
These, and the silver tea-pot and cream-jug and 
spoons, were relics of past days of affluence, some of 
the few things saved out of a vast sacrifice of house- 
hold treasures. No wonder they were valued, and as 
K!atie was a welcome guest, Annie did all she could 
to show that she was welcome. 

"How quiet and happy you always seem, dear 

8 



114 VEEMONT TALE. 

Mrs. Maitland," said Kafcie, as, seated between motlier 
and dangliter at the table, sbe drank tea from tbose 
delicate cups, and admired their delicacy. "You 
never seem to repine," she continued, "and yet 
things must seem so different to you here to those 
you were accustomed to at home." 

" Do you remember what St. Paul says of himself, 
my dear girl, * I have learnt in whatsoever state I am 
therewith to be content' ?" replied Mrs. Maitland, 
with a smile. " Now, I fear I have scarcely attained 
to that happy condition, though I desire it." 

"Does St. Paul say that?" asked Katie in 
surprise. " I did not remember. Well then, my 
dear Mrs. Maitland, that seems to me just like you ; 
but I cannot think how St. Paul and you learnt it." 

*' It is a very difficult lesson, my dear, but a very 
happy one, to know, as Paul did, both how to abound 
and to suffer need, and yet with all to be contented 
is very blessed." 

" Yes ; but to me it seems impossible," said £!atLe, 
" and I can't think it in the least wrong to lament 
past luxuries or happiness. I don't see how any one 
can help doing it, Mrs. Maitland." 

*' Is it wise to do so ? The regret will not replace 
iiiem, will it ?" asked Mrs. Maitland, with a smile. 
" Is it not, think you, acting a more sensible part to 
try to be contented with the present lot, instead of 
sighing after the past ? It is, as I said, a difficult 
truth, but less difficult to those who know that ' aU 
tilings work togetiher for good' to them, fbr their 
Path^r has promised it." 

Katie eat her bread and butter in colence. 

" Those who know this," contimied Mrs. Maitland, 



AN afternoon's VISIT. 116 

" have little need to trouble themselves about paat, 
present, or fdture. What matter a few rude storms, 
what matter a few untoward accidents, the treasure 
in the heavens cannot fade away, the mansions above 
are indisputable. Has Miss Linwood any title to 
those mansions, to this refuge ?" 

The voice was kind and earnest that asked the 
question. Katie rose from the table, and, pushing 
aside her chair, tied her hat-strings tightly under her 
chin to hide the tears that started unbidden to her 
eyes, while in a constrained voice she answered — 

"Ko, Mrs. Maitland, you must not look for 
Glmstiaziity in me. I am a poor, wild little thing, 
without a Berioxus thought ; but don't forsake me on 
i&ai acoonnt." 

There was Bomething so like tears in the choked 
Toice that said this, that it 'brought answering tears 
to the widow's eyes, " Forsake you ? No, my poor 
cixild,^ she said, as she Warmly shook the little 
ixemUizi^ hand, and then kissed the flushed cheek. 
She stood for a moment or two watching the little 
retreating figure as it passed the garden gate, then 
skGdng again to her chair, she looked up into Annie's 
face with a smile through her tears, and gently said, 
** MS desperandum." 



CHAPTER XEV. 

THOUGHTS PISSIPATED AND EE-COLLECTED. 

The tears came fast and xmrestraiiied for a few 
moments after Klatie lefb the little garden gate. She 
would not for anything have met with any one just 
then, and even when those tears were driven back, 
there was a pain in her heart at the answer she had 
been forced to give to Mrs. Maitland*s question that 
would not be put down so readily. 

" I cannot help it," at length she said, desperately, 
" I cannot help it that I am not a Christian ; there 
seems so much to do to become one, and it is not in 
my nature either.*' 

Poor K!atie, she never spoke a truer word when 
she said Christianity was not in her nature. We 
wonder in whose nature, indeed, it is ? By nature 
aU have sinned, and come short of the glory of G-od ; 
by nature the heart is deceitftd above all things, and 
desperately wicked. Katie, however, was not thinking 
of the scriptural view of her nature. Oh, no ! she 
was but remembering that all her inclinations and 
tastes tended to the opposite side of Christianity, 
that in it to her there was nothing alluring, however 
in another she might admire it. Yet she could not 



THOUGHTS DISSIPATED AND BE-COLLECTED. 117 

help being troubled at the knowledge that she was 
not a ChriiNdan ; that she had rea^J had no title to 
the eternal mansions, no refage for her soul. 

Are there any among my readers to whom this 
view of the subject has never hitherto occurred? 
Oh, think of it now, my dear young fiiend, now seek 
a refuge for your trembling soul ; now seek a title to 
the mansions above ; oh, now, now, now flee to Jesus, 
and be secure. 

Katie began, however, to take comfort in her 
nature, to take refuge from her trouble in her 
inability to become a Christian. Why should she 
trouble herself about it? She was not, and never 
could be, like Annie Maitland, and she should not 
try. By the time she reached Dr. Moore's house 
every trace of tears was gone, and not a vestige even 
of the pain in her heart remained. It was rather a 
gay little knock she gave at the door. The door flew 
open as soon as she knocked, for Fanny Moore had 
seen her from the window, and seizing her in her 
arms, almost carried her into the parlour. 

"You dear little thing!" she exclaimed, with the 
usual amount of kisses girls bestow on one another. 
" You dear little Katie ; here have I been half dying 
with ennui, and almost inclined to run t^ to Sunny 
Hollow again to see you, if it had not been for very 
shame at coming so soon again. And here you are 
yourself, to dissipate the * blues ' in person, and 
everything else besides of an unpleasant nature." 

" No ; I can't take off my things," laughed Katie ; 
**I can only stay a very little while." 

Fanny laid violent hands on the hat-strings. " A 
little while, indeed 5 don't tell me ! Now, Katie, you 



118 VEEaCONT YALE. 

must stop ; I've any nmnber of ihingB to talk abonfcy 
I want yon to stay tea so much." 

"I've * stayed tea' elsewhere, Miss Fanny, and 
can't positively take a second* I liave been to see 
Annie Maitland." 

" Yon naughty girl, yon ought to have come to 
me first. No, you shan't have your hat ! Can't you 
sit your 'little while ' without it ?'* and Fanny held 
it out of her reach. 

"Well, if I must sit down, I suppose I must," 
and Katie, nothing loath, threw off her scarf, and 
to<^ possession of the Doctor's comfortable easy- 
chair, crossing her little feet on a footstoaL, and 
looking very much at her ease, 

"How hot you are, dear; what have you been 
doing with yourself?" and Fanny brought a Chinese 
fSsm from the mantel-piece, and stationed herself 
before her Mend, waving it rapidly up and down. 
" Papa would say you were at fever-heat, and wanted 
some of his advice ; but he don't know everything. 
By the by, Elatie," she added, slily, "did you meet 
any one on the road as yon came ?" 

"Why?" asked Katie. 

" Oh 1 I thought perhaps you had. I saw some 
one ride past your way a short time ago J* 

" Who ?" again asked Katie. 

"Now, are you not anxious to know, Katie? 
Confess that. Why, who but the Rev. Graham 
Howard, our worthy pastor. I verily believe he waa 
going to your house." 

" He will find me out, then, that's aU," said Katie, 
colouring slightly. " I'm glad of it.'* 

" For shame^ Elatie^ what can make you say thai ? 



THOUGHTS DISSIPAXED AHB BB-GOLLECTED. 119 

Why, we are all so glad to have a visit from h{m 
Don't you think he is nice looking? Has he not 
splendid eyes ? And that name of his, Graham, is so 
nncommon." 

^ Does he know how much you admire him p" 
said Katie, with a saucy smile, colouring even more, 
and tearing to shreds a spray she held in her hand, 
an old trick of hers. 

'^ Not he ! At least I suppose not, I have never 
told him. Oh, no ! he would never think of me ; I 
am not good enough for him. I expect ho will 
choose a very different girl from either you or me 
when he wants a wife ; but I* think him very nice, 
after all." 

Katie looked up at her graceful attendant, 
admiring the £auce and figure before her, and wondering 
why Fred did not fall in love instanter with the 
pretty girl. Very pretty she looked indeed, waving 
to and fro the elegant fan. The pale rose-coloured 
dress she wore suited well her complexion and hair^ 
which was worn half in bandeaux, half in heavy curls. 
After what Fred had said she supposed that Fanny 
Moore would never be sister of hers ; and yet she 
did not know, he would not be likely to confess 
to her. 

" Fanny !" she exclaimed, presently, " here is 
something you left at our house the other evening. 
Fred had it in his possession all the time. It was too 
bad of him." 

Fanny's face was crimson with eloquent blood. 
Katie looked at her with a covert smile, as she quietly 
took the handkerchief. 

''Thank you, EAtie," she said; "it is too bad 



120 VERMONT VALE. 

that you should have had to bring it. He ought to 
have brought it himself.'* She would gladly have 
recalled the words the next moment, but could not. 

" He ought to have done so,*' laughed Katie. 
"Never mind, Fanny, you can repay him another 
time." 

An hour of laughing chit-chat, and Katie, 
regaining possession of her hat, started for home. 
Fanny accompanied her a few steps; but she was 
expecting her papa's return to tea, and knew he 
would not be pleased to have Mary the servant-girl's 
presidence at the table instead of her own, so, with 
some reluctance, she quitted her friend, and ran back 
to the house. 

Amid Fanny's laughter and nonsense, Katie had 
banished all her serious thoughts. Fanny had been 
giving extra lively details of an evening party she 
had recently enjoyed about ten miles from home ; 
and Katie, whose psission was dancing, entered so 
fully into all, that not even the wish that she was a 
Christian remained. She almost danced along in her 
homeward path, as polkas and waltzes passed in 
. succession through her pretty, but giddy little head. 

It was such a lovely evening, too, the sky was 
one glowing carmine, and here and there small flaky 
clouds just caught the radiance, and blushed back 
again. The sun — almost sinking — poured forth his 
rich flood of glory upon the tree-tops ; they looked 
beautiful in that glory. What a perfect chorus of 
birds; the magpie with its rich notes of ecstatic 
gladness, the laughing jackass with its perfectly 
joyous bursts of merriment, the robin with its crimson 
waistcoat and sweet notes of melody. And yet Katie 



THOUGHTS DISSIPATED AND BE-COLLECTED. 121 

did not notice all these ; the eye of her mind waa 
busily engaged with other scenes. Instead of the 
glory of evening, she was thinking of wax- lights, and 
mnsic, and the whirling dance. Strange, wondrous 
strange as it was, at that moment she was preferring 
the works of man to the handiwork of the Creator. 

She did not even stay to gather one of her 
favourite flowers, fond as she was of them. They 
were some of the natural objects that she greatly 
preferred to artificial ones; but straight home she 
went, for she remembered that her brothers would be 
nearly home from their work at the other side of the 
section, and quite ready for supper too. 

She was scarcely prepared, though, as she ap- 
proached the slip-panel, to see Fred standing there. 
He was evidently not alone, for a fine horse stood 
there impatiently pawing the ground with his feet, 
whose bridle was held by some one whom she could 
not see, for, unfortunately, the huge trunk of a gum 
came in the way. Whether it was something in the 
appearance of the horse, or whether the indescribable 
monitor within betrayed, or whether what Fanny had 
said about a certain horseman having passed in that 
direction made her suspicious, we do not know, but 
certainly she was not very much surprised when, on 
rounding the tree, she found that it was the minister 
of Vermont who was standing with her brother. 

Graham Howard was just turning to spring into 
his saddle, when his eye caught her little figure 
crossing the road. He stopped short, and stood 
waiting for her ; while Fred, having taken his fare- 
well, was already half across the paddock on his way 
to the house, not having seen his sister at all. 



122 YEBUONT YALE. 

" Miss Imiwood," said GraJiaiu, kindly, " I have 
been so nnfortnnate to-day as to pay my visit in your 
absence ; but I hope I shall have the pleasure of soon 
seeing yon again.'* 

" I hope my brother has not fiuled in politeness, 
and has done himself the pleasure of asking you to 
remain to tea with us, Mr. Howard," Katie replied, 
with a frank smile. 

"He nrged me to do so," replied Graham; "but 
I begged him this time to excuse me, as I have to 
preach at a distant station to-night; and for that 
reason, my dear Miss Linwood, I must be so rude as 
to hasten away now." 

Katie shook hands, and they parted. But with 
only the sight of the minister her pain&l thoughts 
came back again, and the wish that she more 
resembled these children of Grod was very de^ down 
in her heart indeed Yet how closely was covered up 
from view this pearl of a wish, amidst a vast heap of 
dross. 



I 



CHAPTER XV. 

THOKHTBUSH AND ITS NEW INMATE. 

" Who can foresee the beanty of the flower, 
Enfolded in the tiny bud ? — ^who trace 
Tlie glory of ita future ?" 

Dats and weeks pass rapidly away when they are 
well employed. This was the case with most of those 
spait at Stmny Hollow. There were not many idle 
haxids or idle moments there ; yet, amidst all, Katie, 
hy good management, fomid many a Httle interval for 
a gallop on her pretty pony ; for more than one quiet 
visit to Annie Maitland and her mother ; for many a 
langhwith Fanny Moore and the facetious Doctor. 
In spite, also, of Mrs. Bateman's malicioos doubts 
and suspicions, she was never less than once a week 
at the store, with her basket of tempting butter 
enclosed in cloths of snowy purity; and from even 
that grim personage she would sometimes ahnost 
extract a smile, though one of very frosty character. 
Two or three times she had cantered her pony along 
the road leading from the township, for an honr^s 
chat with quiet, home-loving Mrs. Ranger, or for a 
moment's romp with her children, whose name might 
have been legion, so numerously th^ clustered rocmd 
ilie old roof-iree. Lollies from the store, or ginger- 



124 VEEMONT VALE. 

nuts from her own well-stocked shelves, generally 
accompanied her on these visits; fpr her part, she 
never came quite empty away. Mrs. Ranger was not 
one to let an opportunity slip of doing good. A 
word, even though hut a word, was never forgotten ; 
nor was she discouraged at the apparently little effect 
her words seemed to meet with. She rememberpd 
the command and its attendant promise, " Cast thy 
bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after 
many days." 

Katie liked Mrs. Ranger very much; her kind 
motherly manner won upon her warm little heart. 
She was often surprised to find herself so quietly 
listening to words and advice little akin to her 
general feelings. But for this she would apologize to 
herself that Mrs. Ranger was so different to many; 
she had so peculiarly winning a way of saying these 
things ; she spoke always as though she firmly believed 
all she said, and all she did so constantly proclaimed 
the Christian ; it was rather pleasant than otherwise 
to hear her talk. Truly, if ever Katie was sobered 
down into anything like serious thought, it was the 
result of a visit to Mrs. Maitland's or to Thombush, 
for so. the Rangers* place was named. Katie often 
laughed to herself at the discovery she had made of 
roses amidst the thorns — one rose, at least, whose 
fragrance shed beauty on all around. 

One lovely afternoon towards the latter end of 
November, Hebe, Katie's pet pony, stood before the 
door, ready equipped with saddle and bridle, and 
impatiently pawing the ground with her slender feet, 
giving little short neighs meanwhile by way. of 
testifying her dislike at the delay and the restraining 



THOBNBUSH AND ITS NEW INMATE. 125 

rein. She was out of the snn, too, just in the shadow 
of the verandah, as cool and pleasant a spot as her 
mistress could have devised ; but, like her mistress, 
Hebe was inclined to be wilfdl, and the pretty, 
graceful head and neck again and again bowed to the 
very earth with impatience. 

"Hebe! Hebe! what ails you, 'pet?" exclaimed 
the little mistress herself, appearing in the doorway, 
with her habit gathered in one hand and a small 
basket in the other. 

Hebe responded to the well-known voice by a 
little glad note of her own. 

" That beast knows you like a Christian, miss ; I 
never see the like," said Dolly, advancing to take the 
basket, while Katie sprang to her seat. 

"Like a Christian, Dolly? Ah! and I'm sadly 
a&aid a great deal better than most Christians know 
me. I have not sought the acquaintance of many 
who deserve that name." And Katie slackened the 
rein, and permitted Hebe to bound forward. "At 
any rate," she thought to herself, " even here I am 
not quite destitute. I have gained, I think, the love 
of some who truly deserve that name." And her 
thoughts particularly recurred to Mrs. Maitland, to 
Annie, and, lastly, to the object of her present visit — 
dear, kind, homely Mrs. Ranger. 

" It must be beautifiil to be a Christian," sighed 
Katie, as she quickly cantered along the road past her 
brother's wheat, now high, and not far from " white 
unto harvest." She looked round her, as she uttered 
these words, at the bending com, at the grass skirting 
the roadside, purple in places with the heath blossom, 
in others scarlet with the native pea-flower ; at the 



126 YSEMOin? TALE. 

green trees, yet in the beauty of early summer ; at the 
creek, which ran in one spot across the road ; and, as 
she did so, the thought arose : He who made them all, 
80 good, so great, would that He also was her fskth^, 
her friend! would that she also knew something 
of the beauty of holiness, the beauty of being a 
Chnstum ! 

^* But all ! " she thought presently, " what folly in 
me to think of such a thing! A Christian! It is 
indeed something more than name, or I do not under- 
stand the Bible. Do I love Grod above everything ? 
that is one command. A-m I prepared to do this r 
^o, no ! my heart tells me that. I love the world ; I 
love its pleasures. I am not prepared to do this ; to 
part with a single one. Not much of the Christian 
spirit there," she sighed, bending slightly forward 
and caressing Hebe's arching neck. " Then, too,*' 
she continued mentally, " have I not read somewhere 
in the Bible some such words as these ; ' If ye love Me, 
keep my coromandments.' Commandments! not 
conmiandment. More than one. What are tbey?" 
E^atie was at fault here. She could not remember any 
but the one whose foundation was love, love to Ood, 
love tq neighbour. She bad not made the Bible 
her companion. She had read it sometimes, to be 
sure ; but she had not thought over it, prayed over 
it. It was to her a sealed book; a casket of jewels, 
indeed J but tihe key was not in her possession. 
^ Ah ! " she sighed again, *' it is beautiful to be -a 
Christian; but obi liow difBicult! it is useless for 
me to try." 

Yes, Xiade, w<H'se tlian useless in your own 
strength ; fOT indeed you harve neiHier strength, nor 



TH0BN6USH AlO) ITS HEW INMATE. 127 

power, nop ability to become a follower of Christ of 
jonr own. That evil heart within has no goodness to 
yield. Christ is indeed able, willing, mighty to sayo 
to the uttermost all that come to Him. Bnt then they 
must come empty, to be filled ; as having nothing, to 
TTiTn who possesseth all things; weak, to be made 
strong ; poor, to be made rich. Not the righteons ; 
sinners Jesns came to save. 

Bnt Katie knew nothing of this; and when a 
desire after the life of a Christian came over her, and 
someiames, we know, as now it did, the recollection 
of her own love of the world and its enjoyments — 
of her entire inability to fulfil the requirements of the 
gospd, effectnally closed her month, and checked 
the wish. 

" No use," she muttered in a half careless tone, 
and with a slightly bitter laugh ; and she urged her 
pony forward, for Hebe was almost forgotten during 
her serious thoughts, and seizing the advantage, she 
had come almost to a stand under a shady tree, where 
a particularly invitiug patch of green herbage had 
attracted her appetite. 

" So, so ! So, so ! talk of an angel, etc.," ex- 
i^laimed a well-known voice in her close vicinity. 
Elate looked up hurriedly ; a bright flush rising to her 
very temples, as though the Doctor could read the 
thoughts that had occupied the last few moments. 

** You, Doctor ! how you frighten me,** she 
cxdaimfid with a smile. 

** Nervous, eh ? Bad thing ; wants attention ; a 
stimulant I should say. That's what I tell Fanny. 
The boys and girls of Vermont all want stinm- 
latmg." 



128 VERMONT VALE. 

"Why, sir?" 

" Wliy ? Oil ! the place is in a state of stagnation, 
highly dangerous. Half onr youth are becoming 
little better than mopes. Bad sign ; bad sign, depend 
on it. Must be relieved. Mental plethora, requires 
bleeding.'* 

" I hope you won't bleed me, Doctor," laughed 
Elatie ; " I'm sure I don't require it. My blood is not 
stagnant ; it dances lightly enough in my veins." 

" Eh ! and up into your cheeks, too, my fair lady ; 
but I should like to see a little more in your toes. 
What do you say to a dance, eh ? " 

" A dance, Doctor !" Katie's eyes were dancing 
now. Where were the thoughts of the last few 
moments ? where indeed ? The first anticipation of 
worldly pleasure had banished them. 

" I have seen your brother," the Doctor continued, 
" and shall expect both him, yourself, and Master 
Stephee next Thursday ; Fanny and I between us are 
thinking of getting up a little dancing party. We 
shall invite a few Mends outside Vermont to meet 
those in it. I'll give you stimulants, you young folks, 
for I'm sure you need them. You are five pounds 
better now than when I met you. So good-bye, and 
remember Thursday." 

Where now was the beauty of holiness ? Whither 
had passed those earnest yet fleeting desires after that 
purity without which " no man can see the Lord ? " 
Oh! the world! the world! what charms it has for 
the gay and young ! How fair are the chaplets she 
weaves ! — fair, though fading ! But who among the 
fair and gay, while gathering her flowers, will stop to 
consider how soon they will wither ! No ; there is 



THORNBUSH AND ITS NEW INMATE. 129 

intoxicatioii in their perfome, and those who gather, 
imbibe the fatal breath. 

Scarcely possible it seemed that the Katie of the 
present moment conld be the Katie of a few previous 
moments; scarcely possible, the change seemed so 
great. No longer with her head bowed down to her 
saddle ; no longer bending over the neck of her pet 
pony. Ah, no ! Once more Katie Linwood was the 
Katie of old ; the wilful, coquettish, laughing Katie. 
Hebe seemed to participate in the change, for, with 
ears erect, and nostrils sHghtly distended, on she went, 
scarcely touching the ground with her dainty feet. 
Pretty creature ! unknowingly she kept pace with the 
feelings of her mistress. 

A dance ! there was exhilaration in the thought. 
At present it had been very quiet in Vermont ; no 
music, no fun. Katie's heart beat merrily with her 
new anticipation, and as Hebe sped along with fairy 
steps and swifb, the mistress was busy in the mazes of 
the dance ; busy in the arrangements of the evening, 
anticipating who would be there and who would not, 
and as busy as thought could be in the mysteries of 
muslin and lace, and all the et ceteras of an evening 
costume. " Vanity of vanities," sdith the preacher, 
"all is vanity." 

Katie's gay bright thoughts made her forgetftil of 
everything else ; her pony stopped at the slip-panel of 
the Rangers' paddock so suddenly, as nearly to throw 
her out of the saddle. A fine little girl of eight years 
old ran eagerly forward to let down the panels. 

" Well, Lucy," exclaimed Katie, merrily, " have 
you come to meet me ? Here, hold this little basket 
while I fefiten Hebe. How is mother ? " 

9 



130 TBRMONT VALE. 

" Oil, better, Miss Linwood, nmch better; she's 
up to-day, and we've got the prettiest, dearest, and 
littlest baby yon have ever seen. Miss Linwood," said 
the little girl, coloxiring with pleasnre. 

"You have!— a baby?" 

" Yes, Miss Linwood; it came on Sunday night, 
and mother's up now, sitting in the bed-room, and 
I've nursed the baby ever so many times ! " 

" You are a clever little girl, indeed ; will you 
0kow me the baby?" said Eatie, smiling te herself 
at the unexpected surprise. 

" Oh, yes, dear little thing ; mother will be so glad 
to see you ; " and she led the way with rapid footsteps 
to the house. 

" Tell mother I am here," said Katie, in a low 
voice, but that was unnecessary, for a quiet " Come in, 
Miss Linwood," firom the adjacent chamber saluted 
her ears, and at the same time the curtain hanging 
before the door was quietly pushed aside, and Betsy, 
the eldest daughter, stood blushing and smiling a 
welcome in the entry. 

" Only a curtained door! how miserable," was 
Katie's first thought. Her second, as she entered, 
was one of surprise at the neatness and order that 
bush bed-room exhibited. The floor was earthen — 
only earthen, but it was at least level ; and it was 
now covered in every part by sugar bags neatly sewn 
together, and well washed and bleached, till they 
formed a very neat and respectable matting. A large 
box at the window, which was curtained with snowy 
calico, did duty as a toilet table, covered with a very 
white cloth, on which were arranged the small looking- 
glass, pincushion, and brush and comb ; above this 



THORNBUSH AND ITS HEW INMATE. 131 

was the little window, with its white curtain half 
drawn aside, admitting a glimpse of a rose that grew 
without, and now playfully kissed the bright panes. 
At the other end of the room was the simple bush- 
bedstead, the stalwart legs of which were firmly 
rooted in the ground, but the rudeness of its manu- 
facture was concealed beneath the neat pink and 
white patchwork quilt, the white sheets and piUow- 
cases. A little square table stood near the bed, on 
which a small tray had been placed, covered with a 
towel, and upon it a basin of savoury broth, with its 
accompaniments of toast sippets, and blue salt-cellar, 
stood awaitiug the attention of the invalid, who was 
seated by its side in a rude home-made rocking-chair, 
comfortably cushioned with patchwork pillows, her 
feet resting upon a little round log set up endways, 
which did duty as a footstool. Pale she looked, and 
rather weary, but very happy and contented, for at 
her bosom she held the tiny stranger whose advent 
little Lucy had announced; and although this was her 
ninth child, it was welcomed as warmly as the rest 
had been ; because both parents took it as a precious 
boon froiR their heavenly Father, a treasure entrusted 
to their care, the last was no less loved than the first 
had been. 

Katie, as she took the hand of the happy mother 
in hers, and gently pressed it, could not help looking 
with wondering admiration upon the mild tranquil 
fece beneath the neatly-bordered cap. Everything 
was so dean, so sweet, and even fragrant in that little 
bush-room, for there was a mug of wallflowers 
mingling their blood-red with some pale roses, close 
beside the tray, and near these, witih a single rogje-bud 



132 VERMONT VALE. 

between the leaves, was the "Book of books," the 
treasnred, mucli-loved, mucli-read Bible, and Katie's 
gay spirit was softened and quieted by what she saw 
within. 

" Yon must not let me disturb you, my dear Mrs. 
Bianger," she said quietly. " Let me have the little 
stranger, I shall love to nurse it ; and let me see you 
take your lunch as though I were not here." And 
Katie drew a chair near the window, and gently took 
the tiny one, in its simple white gown, pure and 
sweet as driven snow, into her arms. 

" God has been very good to me," said Mrs. 
Ranger, thankfnlly, " better far than I have deserved ; 
He has spared my life, and given me another." And 
she looked fondly at the helpless Httle babe as she 
placed it in Katie's arms, and then turning towards 
the table, bowed her head for a moment as she asked 
a blessing on the simple meal. 

Tears almost started into Katie's eyes as she 
noticed this ; she bent low over the infant in her lap 
to conceal her emotion as she remembered the table 
at home, loaded with the bounties of God's bestowing, 
but no blessing entreated upon it. 

" Dear little thing," she exclaimed, as Mrs. Ranger 
drew the tray near her, and began her pleasant 
luncheon. " I am sure, Mrs. Ranger, you have reason 
to be proud of this tiny baby, it is really the prettiest 
baby I have ever seen, with the exception of my 
cousin's children, and they are lovely too." 

The pleased mother looked fondly at the little 
velvet-looking morsel nestling in Katie's arms. " I have 
sometimes thought, too, that it is pretty; though you 
know," she added, smiling, "most mothers thinlr 



THOENBUSH AlH) ITS NEW INMATE. 133 

that of their babies; and yet," she added, as she 
trifled with her teaspoon, "I confess my baby has 
reminded me of the infant Moses, who was so fair 
that his mother, ont of the deep love she felt for him, 
hid him away from the tyrant." 

" Yon must not call it Moses, my dear Mrs. 
Ranger ; don't ! it is not a pretty name," said Katie, 
deprecatingly. 

" No, we shall name him, not Moses, but Samuel," 
replied Mrs. Ranger, " for, like Hannah, I have given 
him to the Lord." 

"A gift that will not be despised, my dear friend," 
said a deep-toned but quiet voice in the entry. Katie 
started, and looked up, the quick blush rising to her 
temples as she did so, for at the doorway, with the 
parted curtain in his hand, stood the minister of 
Vermont Chapel, Graham Howard. 

Katie's first impulse was to restore "little 
Samuel " to his mother's arms, and to take a hasty 
flight. A better sense of decorum prevented so child- 
ish a proceeding. She kept her seat with the baby 
in her lap, and contented herself with extending her 
hand, which the intruder advanced to take. 

" You have undertaken a new, but a very becom- 
ing office, Miss Linwood," said Mr. Howard, with a 
slight smile. 

" I am admiring Mrs. Ranger's little one," replied 
K!atie, laughing, and colouring more than she desired, 
as she tossed her fair ringlets fi*om her brow, and 
looked an instant at the speaker. " But I am afraid," 
she added, as baby began to exhibit symptoms of 
restlessness, " I make a poor nurse. Oh, baby, baby, 
don't cry ; I must give you back to your mother, I see." 



184 YEEMONT VALE. 

" I am afraid I am tlie innocent canse of disturb- 
ing your nnrsing," retnmed Graham Howard, with 
the same quiet smile, as E^atie yielded np the tiny 
morsel to the arms it knew best ; " I was anxious to 
see my good friend, and this is the only opportunity 
I am likely to have for some little time ; so I thought 
I had better come now," he continued, turning 
kindly to the invalid ; " I am rejoiced to see you so 
weU." 

" Thank you, sir ; I have ever found God faithfol." 

" And now you have dedicated the little life He 
has given to Him ! This ,is right, my dear sister. 
May your little Samuel grow up before the Lord as 
did the Samuel of old. Your trust is an important 
one. Hannah did not undertake the office of bring- 
ing up her child for the Lord ; she deputed that tajsk 
to Eli. You, my friend, have the priest's task as-, 
signed to you." 

"Yes; I have thought of that," replied the 
mother, quietly. " I feel, too, that we are Httle for 
the task; but God can give strength and wisdom 
even for this duty." 

" He can and will," said Mr. Howard, who had 
taken up the Bible, and was slowly tumiug over the 
leaves. " He who sent his Son in the likeness of a 
simple babe upon the earth, loves little children. I 
do not know that I can choose any more suitable 
portion to read you than that which this rosebud 
indicates. I see it is of the birth of Jesus, and his 
manger bed. Your little one lies more softly than 
did his Saviour." 

"He does indeed, sir; yes, I like that subject. 
I was reading it when Miss Linwood came in." 



THOBNBUSH IKD ITS HXW INMATS. 135 

" You will not object to hear it again, will yon P" 

" Oh, no, sir — oh, no !" 

And Graham Howard read in his calm, impres- 
siye way, commenting sweetly as he went on. Ratio 
sat with her chair turned towards the window, her 
elbow resting on the chair-back, and her brow on hei 
hand. He glanced towards her once or twice during 
the course of the reading, bat ho coald not see her 
&ce ; the cnrls shadowed that, as well as the little 
hand upon which her brow rested. He did not see the 
tremulous motion of the lips, the downcast eye, or 
the little tear that wandered from the fringed lid; 
* and yet there was something in the bowed expression 
of the head, the drooping of the little figure, that 
made him believe she was not unimpressed. 

They knelt together. Katie listened to the hal- 
lowed words of prayer, as they ascended from that 
little room to heaven — listened, and felt strangely 
solemnized; listened, and trembled. What a con- 
trast, again, was * here to some of her previous 
thoughts — those that had passed through her mind 
before quitting Dr. Moore. The dance! the song! 
the merry jest, was then their theme ; now, she was 
kneeling before God, listening to the holy language 
of prayer. She heard Graham Howard pray as a 
child to a fond parent — pray for the children of that 
Father. And she ? She was not one of the number 
— she could have no interest in that prayer; she 
alone was left out ! 

Left out ! what a thought ! " One shall be taken 
and the other left." It rang in her ears while Graham 
was praying. She did not weep, but her heart felt 
still and cold : and, as they rose from their knees, she 



136 VERMONT VALE. 

tied her hat, and gathered together her habit, and 
took a kind but hnrried leave of Mrs. Ranger, pro- 
mising soon to come again. 

Graham Howard stood in the middle of the room, 
watching her as she parted with Mrs. Ranger, and 
stooped to kiss the babj in her lap. He held ont his 
hand as she approached him, and sHghtly detained 
her as he said — 

" The gift of the heart in jonth is precious, Miss 
Linwood — 

" * The flower, when offered in the bud, 
Is no mean sacrifice.* " 

Katie's colour rose as he spoke. " Yon mistake 
me, sir," she answered somewhat haughtily ; " I have 
no interest in these things." 

" Why not ?" he quietly asked. 

" I am not a Christian." 

Katie could not trust herself to say more. Her 
voice was husky as she uttered even this, and, turn- 
ing away, she hurried from the room. 

With a sigh, Graham Howard followed to assist 
her on her pony ; but this she did not intend. He 
had not walked many steps before she had leaped 
into her saddle, and the next moment she was flying 
down the road, waving an adieu to the group of 
children, among whom she had hastily turned out 
her basket of sweets. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

WEEDS. 

" III weeds grow apace." Ay ! weeds of all kinds 
— ^wecds of the garden, the field, but most certainly 
of the heart. Thus soliloquized Graham Howard, as, 
a morning or two after his call at Mrs. Ranger's, he 
strolled out into his garden, with a view of gaining a 
little relief from mental labour by a trifle of physical. 
He stood with something between dismay and des- 
pondency, looking at the condition of some of his 
flower-beds. Flowers were there in abundance — ^beau- 
tifdl and profuse ; but the weeds were almost as 
numerous, and their influence was certainly not the 
best amid the flowers. Long, twining tendrils in- 
sinuating themselves among bulbs and delicate an- 
nuals, choking the roots of rose-trees, and preventing 
entirely the growth of some few fragile flowerets, and 
doing all the mischief, in fact, that they could. They 
had sprung so quickly into being ; it seemed but the 
other day that those beds had been perfectly free. 
Graham Howard thought every vestige had been com- 
pletely eradicated, and nowhe discovered he was indeed 
mistaken. He stood, as we have said, leaning on his 
hoe, looking down at the flower-beds, but his thoughts 
were presently far from them. 

They had wandered with his weeds to another 



138 YERMONT VALE. 

garden — tlie garden of tlie world ; the garden of his 
own httle pastoral charge ; the garden of the human 
heart — and a gloom gradually settled on his clear 
brow as the thought of weeds there, weeds in abun- 
dance, weeds far more difficult to uproot, occurred to 
him. 

Over the whole world how was the influence of 
these weeds spread ; over all human nature ; over all 
most bright and fair; sin, unbeHef, iniquity of all 
kinds, those deadly weeds first owing their origin to 
that fair garden of Eden where aU was so beautiftJ, 
so pure, all so rich in innocence and loveliness, so 
fresh fix)m the hands of the Creator. How had these 
weeds, first sown by the Serpent in those sweet garden 
shades, since swept their noxious leaves and berries 
over the surface of the whole earth ! Graham Howard 
was inclined to exclaim with the prophet : — " The 
whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint." 

" Verily, the harvest is great, and the labourers 
are few," he thought to himself, as he slowly began 
his weeding operations. " Yet that is but a reason 
for more strenuous exertion on the part of the few." 
And then he remembered how the tares and the 
wheat were to grow together till harvest, and that 
then the separation was to take place. Yes ; he re- 
membered that, after all, man could only judge by 
the exterior ; that God alone knows the heart. He 
felt, in a measure, cheered by the reflection — more 
hopefdl than he had been when he first surveyed the 
state of his parterre. And, as his hoe turned out 
weed after weed, leaving the fair flowers room to un- 
fold their foliage and exhibit their loveliness, hope 
grew yet more dear and bright, and even radiant. 



WEEDS. 139 

But, trouble as he might, and grieve oyer the 
weeds of the world at large, those nearer home dis- 
tressed him far more. It was but a little church over 
which he laboured. It was but a small body of 
Christians at most who met with him round the 
sacred board, upon which the symbols of a Saviour's 
dying love were spread ; and yet, among even this 
little number, how visible sometimes were the weeds 
choking up the sweet blossoms of peace, and joy, 
and righteousness, hiding almost from view their 
beauty. Oh! this was something indeed for the 
minister to grieve over ; something to cause the hang- 
ing down of head and hands. Hard it was to see. 
Sabbath after Sabbath, the weeds still flourishing in 
his congregation — weeds uneradicated, notwithstand- 
ing his labours constantly among them ; but even this 
was as nothing to the wounds he sometimes received 
in the houses of his friends. 

Graham Howard was not alone in his trials. 
Alas ! many faithftd ministers of the Gospel have the 
same occasion to mourn ; again and again to bemoan 
the growth of ill weeds, when they looked only for 
the blossoms of peace. Bitter indeed must be the 
disappointment of those whose whole life proclaims, 
"We seek not yours, but you," when looking and 
expecting to find Christian graces predominating, 
only to discover the harsh influence of the world and 
its maxims. 

Yet perhaps Graham Howard was beneath a cloud 
that morning. He was looking at the dark side of 
the little Vermont church. There were some bright 
spots in its history, and those spots at least were 
ameliorating. Fresh jfrom England, favoured, Chris- 



140 VERMONT VALE. 

tian England, and from the centre of a warm circle 
of friends, lie had entered Vermont Yale with a hope 
of. better things. Bnt how desolate did he find its 
scattered population ! No Sabbath chime — ^no prayer 
bell to whisper of commemorating holy day ; no 
prayer honse set aside for the worshipping of the 
Lord of all. No ; he found the people of Vermont in 
much the same condition as he would have antici- 
pated the heathen of a far-off land. " God was not in 
all their thoughts." No wonder, therefore, they had 
erected no temple to his name. 

"Ah! those were desolate days!" Graham took 
off his hat, and wiped his heated brow as he thought 
of them. Desolate days, and drear days of little 
hope — ^little expectation. The whole surface of the 
ground he gazed on seemed covered with weeds. 
And now, was there no change for the better ? No 
different aspect ? Nothing to disperse the cloud on 
his brow, the despair from his heart ? There was — 
there was ! God had been faithfol to his promise. 
He had heard and answered prayer. He had proved 
gracious. The dew from on high had descended in 
copious draughts. Graham remembered, and was 
stiU! 

Then came refreshing memory of flowers among 
the weeds. How well now he remembered his sweet 
overpowering feelings when the first Christian re- 
sponse met his ear. How, like an anxious, eager 
antiquarian, he sought amidst those hills for the pre- 
cious jewels, encased in the hard clay ; for the bright 
gold in the rough quartz — sought, and was not dis- 
appointed in his search. 

The shadow was clearing from his brow. Were 



WEEDS. 141 

the weeds gone ? No ; but they were concealed be- 
neath sweet blossoms. There was the fragrancy of 
the bud, the ftiture promise of the flower : and faith 
and hope were again in the ascendancy. Faith again 
resuming her sway, the spirit within was stirred. 

And how thought followed thought, fresh, and 
vivid, and beautiful ; how promise crowded on pro- 
mise, till he felt it would indeed be impious to doubt. 
Gt)d himself had declared that his word should not 
return unto Him void ; that it should accomplish that 
whereunto it was sent. He had nothing left but to 
work on and to trust. 

Gt)d had blessed him hitherto in his labours. 
He had made known to him the bright gems beneath 
the unpromisiQg soil. He had shown him veins of 
silver and gold in the shadow of the hills, and had 
planted his seal on the ministrations of his servant 
in such a way that Graham, remembering, felt 
ashamed and grieved at his despondency in the face 
of so much goodness. 

What had he been expecting ? Perfection in the 
creature ? His own heart warranted no such expec- 
tation. The Word of God gave him no reason to 
look for it. Even among the beloved Apostles of the 
Lord, the imperfection of human nature was too 
visible. Peter, the warm-hearted, impetuous Peter, 
how grievous was his fall ; he, who so short a time 
before had exclaimed, " I will lay down my life for 
thy sake." And what exclaims the high, the noble, 
the exalted Apostle Paul? "When I would do 
good, evil is present with me." And at another time 
he exclaims from the depths of a burdened heart, 
" wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me 



142 VERMONT VALE. 

from the body of this death?" Even the beloved 
Apostle John, that loving, affectionate follower of otir 
Lord, he who was so highly favoured as to enjoy 
particular conmnmion with Jesus, who lay upon his 
breast, and is called emphatically " the disciple whom 
Jesus loved" — he exclaims, " K we say we have no 
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not 
in us." 

Graham Howard's weeding proceeded rapidly with 
the new current of his thoughts, but at last they 
oane too fast for work. Work of another kind lay 
imperatively upon him. It seemed to him now as 
though he had been but half-hearted in his work ; as 
if more zealous ^orts still were needed. It was not 
sufficient to work in the Lord's vineyard, but to work 
earnestly, to wrestle mightily for souls ; and not only 
for souls to be brought from darkness into Hght, but 
that those who already bore the Christian name 
might more fcJly exemplify the life of a Christian. 
He threw down his hoe, and with hands crossed 
behind his back and bowed head, slowly turned 
tiowards the house, the words of his Saviour re- 
echoing in his ears, " I pray, not thou shouldest take 
them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep 
them from the evil." 

We will leave our young minister on his way to 
his chamber, to pour out his whole soul before his 
heavenly Father, on his own behalf, on behalf of the 
people of his charge, and of all those whose sins were 
separating between them and God. Him we will 
leave, to ask the question of ourselves, and of you, 
dear reader, whether our many or our one talent is 
in foil activity, or whether these talents, bestowed by 



WEEDS. 143 

a beneficent God, are idly lying by nnnBed, nnthought 
of? Look to the weeds, dear reader; are they 
flUnii^ up jonr garden ? Ask for guidance and 
direction, that yon msy be t— ght to distinguish 
between flowers and weeds ; and that the latter, as 
soon as discoTered, may be rooted up. And then go 
forward into the garden of your family, the garden of 
your Mends, the garden of the world, and wherever 
you detect the noxious tendrils, pray, entreat, labour 
till they be destroyed. "Work while it is called 
to-day; the night cometh wherein no man can 
work." 

But perchance some of you may say, what can 
we do ? What is our province in the garden of the 
Lord ? True, we are members of a church, but there 
seems no sphere of labour for us. Stop a bit, Mends, 
make not so sure of that ; as members of a church 
you have much to do. Look well to it, that you use 
your talents aright. Are there no young to instruct ? 
Or, if all other places are engrossed, is there no 
seeking soul to encourage, no fainting one to revive, 
no wanderer to restore ? Think you all this devolves 
upon the minister ? Nay, thrice nay, dear readers. 
No sphere for your labour ? Have you not your 
prayers to give in public or in private on that 
minister's behalf? Ought you not to support his 
hands, to sustain and enconrage him in his work ? 
If no blessing descends on you through his ministry, 
TnsLj it not frequently be traced to delinquency in 
your closet ? Do you not, from time to time, go up 
to the house of God to hear what man shall say, and 
not the Lord, and still do you expect a blessing? 
No, Mends, God does not act thus with his people. 



144 VERMONT VALE. 

His promise is to them tliat ask ; to them who seek ; 
to those that knock. And to all these the promise is 
sore. Ask yonrself, dear reader, whether you are 
one of these characters, and if not, seek to be so. 
Ask ; for God has said, " Prove Me now herewith, if 
I will not open yon the windows of heaven, and ponr 
you out a blessing, that there shall not be room 
enough to receive it." 



CHAPTER XVn. 

CONTRASTS. 

" I dreamed of bliss in pleasure's bowers, 
While pillowing roses stayed mj head i 
Bnt serpents Inrked among the flowers, 
I woke, and thorns were all mj bed." 

Such an eyening! an evening withont clouds, and 
with aa pnre a moonlight aa ever beamed athwart our 
Australian sky. Who would covet other illumination 
than that fair light whose mellow beams fell sofbly 
and dreamlike over the old gum-trees, throwing 
fantastic shadows to the grass beneath, gently casting 
its magic spell over quaint bams and rude fences, 
and scarcely less rude habitations, beautifying all 
with its pure radiance. How softly, too, the breeze 
rose and fell, whispering lovingly among the trees, 
rustling the long dry grass, stealing the incense of 
the garden flowers, folded as their sweet heads were 
in their night sleep. The day had been cloudless 
too, the sky of one unvaried and intense azure, and 
through that azure the sun had poured forth an 
xminterrupted succession of lurid beams. The heat 
of the day rendered still more delicious the soft balmy 
coolness of the evening air. 

Up among the hills, in the bosom of some thick 
blackwood, a morepork uttered its cuckoo-like note ; 

10 



146 VERMONT VALE. 

softly and plaintively it came down to the valley, 
soft;ened, perhaps, by distance ; sometimes a stave of 
richer melody succeeded the echoed joyonsness from 
some other httle night-bird's throat. The owl was 
silent ; the moon was too brilliant for him to venture 
out; he left that to the lighter-hearted of his 
feathered compaiiions, to the sprightly opossums, who 
revelled in the moonbeams, or to those of human 
kind who found its illumination more to their taste 
than he. 

It was Thursday evening — the Thursday that was 
to quicken the blood of Vermont's youth, to dispel 
the moping into which it appears there was some 
danger of their falling. In other words, to drive, as 
fer as possible, all thoughts of a serious nature from 
their minds. Thus, according to Dr. Moore, and 
<5ertainly a more auspicious and inviting evening 
could not have ushered in so worthy an object. 
There were lights in aU the rooms, back and fi»nt, of 
the Doctor's house ; he never did things by halves. 
The parlour windows were all open to admit the 
sweet bahny air, and only the mushn drapery floated 
between the illumination without and within. How 
surpassingly more lovely the former! And yet it 
was a pretty sight that came through the flashing 
muslin. Fair, fresh, young fac^s and young figures 
passing and repassing; delicate muslins, some pure 
white, or pale lilac, or rose-colour, round white arms, 
lace shadowed, curls and bandeaux, some dark as 
night, some fair as the first amber-tint of morning ; 
and yet there were not, perhaps, more than some 
half-dozen young girls in the room besides the fair 
yoijng hostess. Katie Linwood had not yet arrived. 



COHTRABTB. 147 

(Mier figures, less fiur, were mingled with the- 
soft gossamer robes of the ladies. Stalwart figures, 
some little calculated to adorn a ball-room, bat 
admiraUe at the handle of a plough ; these in difierent 
eostanies, according to the fancy of the wearer, and 
by no means stadionsly adhering to drawing-room 
etiquette. One particnlarlj fair, corly-haired jonng 
man appeared habited in a snow-white linen snit, 
jnst relieyed at the neck by a pale bine silk hand- 
kerchief. That he was a Linwood was easily 
peroeiyed; in fact, Stephen had taken the start of 
Fred and Katie, choosing to make his dehiU alone. 
One or two had adopted another style of dress — dark 
bine holiday-looking guernseys, faced with silk, in 
the ooitre of which elegant embroidered shirts and 
elaborate fancy neckties peeped forth. These were 
the Hortons, Stephen's particular Mends, young men 
who prided themselves exceedingly upon the grace 
with which they could trip on " the light fantastic 
toe," or their skill in horsemanship, or in the number 
of glasses of wine that they could presume on without 
hemg betrayed into anything like bad breeding. The 
elder of the two really was, or pretended to be, 
deeply smitten with Fanny Moore; but the fair 
Fanny herself paid but little attention to her 
admirer. 

There was plenty of light within — ^wax-lights 
bnming from the pretty crystal candlesticks on the 
mantel-piDce, and in stands of alabaster wreathed 
with roses on the chiffonier. Flowers of every hue 
and form were used in every a.vailable position 
allowing such decoration. The room to the right, 
where the principal part of the company were 



148 VERMONT VALE. 

assembled, extended the wWle depth of the house. 
At the back there were French windows of stained 
glass, opening upon a broad verandah; for though 
there was no verandah at the front, the back of the 
house was not so unprotected. This verandah was 
an admirable promenade for those who liked the cool 
evening air. A broad even path, neatly cut out of 
the grass, led from the door down to the margin of 
the creek, which here diverging from the high road, 
swept at some distance from behind the house, yet 
not so far that the musical murmur of the bull-frog, 
and shnll treble of his companions, could not be 
heard distinctly. Near these open windows the 
elaborately appointed tea and coiSee trays, with their 
delicate cakey accompaniments, stood waiting the 
arrival and pleasure of the guests. 

On the part of some of these, that arrival was 
rather tardy. For some reasons best known to him- 
self, Fred was in no hurry to prepare for his evening 
visit. He found innumerable little things to do, and 
was unusually particular about some matters ; at least 
so thought Katie, who, ready dressed for the occasion, 
walked up and down in a pretty fever of im- 
patience. 

" Fred ! Fred ! will you never leave those 
horses ?" she exclaimed in despair from the door, aa 
she watched him most leisurely dealing out a 
quantum of hay from the bam, stopping now and 
then to give a pat or caress to one and another 
eager head. 

"All right, sis!" was the response; but it did 
not seem all right to her, that, though turning from 
the horses, he should follow it up by a visit to the 



CONTBA8T8. 149 

pigsfy; the pigsty, of all other places, the least 
desirable to frequent before an evening party. 

" I hope yon have plenty of ean-de-cologne, 
Ered," she exclaimed in a vexed tone, " yonr boots 
•will be qnite offensive." 

" So I think ; and therefore, sister, I intend to 
change them ; they are scarcely the thing to dance 
in,*' and Fred glanced laughingly at the thick soles, 
and coolly walked to his bed-room. 

It was to be a moonlight walk from Sunny 
Hollow to the Doctor's. To ride Hebe would have 
caused the utter destruction of crinoline and barege ; 
that was not to be thought of, so Katie retainod her 
walking-boots, consigning her dancing-slippers to 
Rred's pockets for safe keeping. 

" What was Fred doing — ^what could make him 
so long dressing — surely he intended to captivate 
Fanny to-night, at least," thought Katie, standing at 
the moon-lit door, and pettishly tapping the step 
with her foot. Could she have seen him at that 
moment, standing only half-dressed at the little 
window of his room, which commanded a distant 
view of the lucerne-field ; could she have seen how 
his eyes were fixed, not upon that, but upon a little 
light beyond, stedfastly gleaming from some other 
window, Fanny Moore's name would never have been 
mentioned again in connection with her brother's. 

Katie had thrice most beseechingly called " Fred !'^ 
before that gentleman thought proper to appear ; bu\ 
when he did come, she was quite as much astonished 
at his sudden haste as she had been at his former 
slowness; not but what she was better pleased for 
him to walk her out of breath, than that he should 



150 VERMONT TALE. 

do twenty things rather than the one she wished, 
though even that could not be borne beyond a certain 
stage of endurance. 

Across the farm-yard, and by the slip-panel into 
the road, for Katie had no wish to tear her dress 
creeping through the fences. Here the moon poured 
a very fall flood of light ; their own shadows were 
plainly visible, for it was behind them. Katie 
laughed at her petite figure beside the tall ^q 
shadow her brother cast. She was in the mood to 
laugh at anything, ready for any amount of fiin, and 
Fred's unusually quiet manner afforded infinite bco^q 
for her amusement. 

Whatever were Fred's thoughts, he did not choose 
to communicate them. He parried Elatie's raillery 
as best he might, and by no means unsuccessfiilly ; 
had she not been too much attracted by the scene 
that came through the Doctor's window, and by the 
sound of a pretty lively polka, excellently played 
upon the flutina by some sldlfcd hand, she could not 
have failed to observe that her brother's gaze had 
wandered still farther down the road, to a little 
sted&fit light from an unpretending little window. 
Certainly the lucerne was in that direction ; perhaps 
he was thinking of that — perhaps not ! 

E[atie Linwood, with her profasion of soft fair 
ringlets, her sweet laughing blue eyes and saucily 
curling lips, her pale blue barege, with a single 
white rose for adornment, was decidedly the belle of 
the evening. Wbo would have dreamt that one 
serious thought ever entered that little head ? Who 
would have guessed that even while whirling in the 
giddy dance, flushed with excitement, and apparently 



CGSTUAffTB, 151 

ai the Teiy height of enjoyment, Inrking beneath all 
these was a heart-pang, a sorrow, a fear, and that 
words were re-echoing again and again in her memory, 
words of fearfiQ import, words she knew not how she 
had learnt, or where she had heard them, " Bejoice, 
O yonng man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer 
thee in the days of thy yonth, and walk in the ways 
of thine heart and in the sight of thine eyes; bat 
know thou that for all these things God will bring 
thee into judgment." 

Dance and song — dance and song. The Doctor 
was in the midst of a merry group, not to restrain, 
but to promote the merriment. He was doing his 
utmost to drive all serious thoughts from the youth 
of Yermont, and he showed not a Httle skill in the 
human heart by the measures he adopted. He was, 
in fact, working for Satan, and against the kingdom 
of Gbd. No doubt he did not look thus seriously 
upon the work he was about, but that it really was. 

Yet all the youth of "Vermont had not been 
seduced by the music and the dance. There were 
* seren thousand in Israel who had not bowed the 
knee to Baal;" there were a few names in Sardis 
whose garments were undefiled ; and so in Vermont 
there were some upon whom the Doctor's question- 
able beneyolence had produced no effect. 

Later in the evening, a party of the young folka 
were standing or walking about in the verandah, 
partly to enjoy the cool fi^sh breeze, for they were 
heated with dancing; partly for the sake of ex- 
dbanging one illumination for another. Amongst 
the number were Fred and Katie Linwood — ^not 
together though ; Fred was standing a little hi 



152 VERMONT YALE. 

adyance of all ilie rest, alone, while Katie was the 
centre of a meny laughing group nearer the 
door. 

Suddenly, a fall clear volume of music rose and 
fell with the evening breeze; its rich harmony 
arrested even the merriment at the door. Fred 
moved a few steps further from the house, and stood 
in an attitude of deep attention. 

" What is that ?" asked E[atie, in amazement. 

"Do not you know there is a meeting at the 
chapel — this is service night ?" replied a young lady 
at her elbow, with a laugh. "Come a little this 
way ; here. Now, look through the trees ; don't you 
see the Hght ?" 

" Yes," replied E[atie,tuming away rather gravely ; 
she did not see that there was anytlung to laugh at, 
for at the moment she almost wished she was there 
too. She stood thoughtftdly looking out into the 
moonlight, and towards the little chapel, the words 
again returning, " For all these things God will bring 
thee to judgment," and envied Annie Maitland's 
place at the harmonium, wished almost she could 
slip away fitDm the gay party, even to the quiet of 
her own home. "Happy Annie," she thought, as 
again she heard the music and chorus of voices, 
softened into melody by the distance. "Happy 
Annie, those words have no terror to her. She loves 
God, she delights in his ways, and is not tempted by 
the thiags that tempt me !" But she was not per- 
mitted time for farther reflection. One of the young 
Hortons, who had scarcely left her side all the 
evening, came up at that moment to remind her that 
she was engaged as his partner for the forthcoming 



OONTBASTS. 153 

polka, and a moment more thought was buried 
beneath a Myolons flirtation. 

Within those chapel walls there was a pleasant 
little company assembled, not greatly lessened in 
number by the party at the Doctor's. True, two or 
three who were wont at times to creep in on week 
nights had preferred the dance to the sermon. £[atie 
had never yet been on a week-night to chapel, and 
had thought little about it. The meeting was not 
well attended certainly, but how seldom, in this 
southern land of ours, are week-night services 
appreciated; yet are there some who can exclaim 
with David, " How amiable are thy tabernacles, 
Lord of hosts ; my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth 
for the courts of the Lord." 

Annie Maitland and her mother were rarely absent 
icom. the weekly meeting; they were certauily not 
that night. Elatie's ears had not deceived her; it 
was from Aimie's fingers the concord of sweet sounds 
arose ; it was Annie's voice that rose full and clear 
above the rest of the singers ; hers was not alone the 
worship of the lips, there was heart- worship in every 
tone of her flexible voice as it yielded itself to the 
sweet words of sacred song penned by the Christian 
poet, Montgomery : — 

" When on Sinai's top I see 
Gk>d descend in majesty. 
To proclaim his holy law. 
All my spirits sink in awe. 

" When in ecstasy sublime. 
Tabor's glorious steep I climb. 
At the too transporting light. 
Darkness rashes o'er my sight. 



154 YEBMOKT YAIE. 

" When on Calyary I rest, 
God, in flesh made mazdfesty 
Shines in my Bedeemer's face, 
Full of beanty, troth, and grace. 

*^ Here I would for ever stay, 
Weep and gaze my sonl away; 
Thon art heaven on earth to me. 
Lovely, monmftil Calvary." 

Yes, Calvary was the theme — the theme of the 
song, the prayer, of the sacred page, and of the few 
and simple, yet eloquently simple, words of Graham 
Howard that evening ; a theme, as he told his people, 
though worthy of an angel's song, yet best told, best 
expressed, deepest felt by those whose hopes were 
centred in the hallowed spot, whose life was derived 
from the transactions there, whose first spiritual 
breath was drawn upon its sacred heights. Sweet 
Calvary ! the resting-place of all our hopes, the birth- 
place of our faith. Jesus ! precious Jesus ! by thy 
death we live ; from those bleeding wounds of thine 
issues our life-blood ; in thy final groan our anchor 
has firm foundation. 

" Finished aH the types and shadows 
Of the ceremonial law. 
Finished aU that God hath promised. 
Death and hell no more shall awe. 
It is finished, 
Saints, from thence yonr comfort draw." 

Graham Howard was at home in his subject ; it 
was dear to him. From Calvary's mount he could 
expatiate with holy joy on that marvellous love — that 
love past understanding, issuing from the depths of a 



. CX1NTRA8T8. 155 

bleeding Saviour's heart. Clirist's love for the vile, 
the weak, the helplMS. AU this was faithfiilly 
depicted, held forth as encoxLragement to the seeker, 
as comfort for the sorrowing. Bnt for those who 
disdained the lovely heights of Calvary, who chose 
the flower-woven valley at its base, who clnng to the 
paths of sin, and saw nothing winning in the sacred 
cross — for these there were no joy, no hope, no 
happiness. Condemnation, and woe, and final misery 
were at the termination of the valley ; they who chose 
its paths chose the paths of death ! 

Tears stole into Annie's eyes as the picture of the 
height and the valley beneath was placed before her 
in the forcible language of the enthusiastic young 
preacher, particularly as after the happy service the 
little band of worshippers lingered in groups in the 
chapel-yard, the minister moving about among them, 
giving here a word of exhortation, here one of 
consolation or encouragement, as he knew the 
character and circumstances of the case required. 
Annie's tears were for those who had not been among 
them, for those who she knew were treading the 
mazes of the valley, who loved the paths of sin, and 
knew nothing of the choice of Moses, who preferred 
to " suffer affliction with the people of God than to 
enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." As she 
passed the Doctor's house on her way home, with her 
mother leaning heavily on her arm, the sight of the 
scene within, disclosed by the floating muslin drapery, 
by no means tended to check her tears. She caught 
a glance of Katie Linwood in her fair beauty, the 
centre of a merry group ; but Fred, where was 
he? 



156 VERMONT YALE. 

" Why was I made to hear Thy voice, 
And enter while therms room, 
While thonsands make a wretched choice, 
And rather starve than come." 

Those were words that rushed to Annie's mind, as, 
with a shuddering sigh, she turned her back on the 
gay, MyoIous scene, and again lifted her thoughts to 
Calvary. 



CHAPTER XVm. 

THE STIADFAST LIQHT. 

" One little steadfast light shot through the gloom, 
And wooed tg holier thoughts." 

Fbed was not there. No; the pleasures of the 
eyemiiig had suddenly become distasteful to him. 
He loathed the very soimd ^of the gaiety within, and 
determined to stay no longer. 

"If my sister asks for me, tell her I have ihe 
headache, and am going straight home. Stephen 
will take care of her," he presently said to the 
servant girl, who came out into the verandah as the 
troop of merry dancers went in. He did not wait 
for either response or remonstrance, but turned 
immediately into the road towards the back of the 
little chapel, and disappeared amidst the shadow of 
the trees. 

What had produced such unaccountable depres- 
sion? What had so suddenly caused the wild 
throbbing of his temples ? What had occasioned the 
intense distaste he suddenly experienced for the gaiety 
of the evening ? Was he ill ? No ; or if so, it was 
a species of mental illness — that illness which is, 
perhaps, the most terrible to endure. Wine was not 
the cause of all this ; it sparkled in abundance on 
the sideboard at the Doctor's, but he had barely 



158 VERMONT VALE. 

touclied it with his lips. Neither had anything 
occurred to offend him, for he had been one of the 
most honoured guests. The promising young farmer, 
with his well-cultivated lands, was not despicable in 
the Doctor's eyes ; nor were his fine figure, handsome 
face, and laughing eyes calculated to create dislike in 
those of the fair Fanny. No, there had been no 
offence ; for Fred Linwood, go where he might, was 
always a favourite, always courted, always admired. 

Hb was going home, but certainly not straight ; 
he could scarcely have chosen a more circuitous 
route. The road at the back of the chapel was the 
yeay last a person in haste would have chosen ; but 
once away &om the Doctor's house, and it became 
evident that haste was not the desired object with 
Fred. Indeed, as he approached the simple little 
edifice, his steps became slower and slower, tiU ab 
last he came to a dead stand just under the window, 
near the pulpit. Only for a moment though, yet in 
that moment he heard far more than he had calcu- 
lated on hearing. The preacher was in the heat of 
his discourse, fired with zeal, and filled with holy 
anxiety for the souls around him. He was speaking 
of the world, of its attractions, its pleasures, ii» 
amusements ; of how little all these abccorded with 
the sweet moumfaluess of Calvary ; and after enume- 
raidng all that world's seductions, with a sudden 
change of voice, that sent a chill through Fred's 
athletic frame, he exclaimed — 

" What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole 
world and lose his own soul ?" 

He had heard enough; he lingered no longer. 
A3 if to dash with his previous thoughts of distaste 



THB. 8TRADFA8T LIGHT. 159 

£oir the izifling of the ereniiig, came those worda — 
deep, Boleinn, imprescdye. They fbund an echo in 
his imnost sonl, '' Wliat shall it profit a man ?** Ah 1 
what ilideed, if for such pleasures, such trifles, yea, 
for the gain of the whole wealth of worlds, the soul 
was to be bartered 1 He walked no longer listlessly, 
eyeiy step told. 

At the rate he walked, home was soon reached, 
circuitous aa was the route ; creeks were no obstacle, 
fallen trees no impediment, fences were almost 
inyisible barriers in his eyes. Indeed, if any choice 
be had, he made the roughest way his choice, as 
though the derangement of his thoughts and ideas 
best tallied with the rugged and rude ; as though the 
very obstacles he encountered not a trifle subdued 
the unrest withia. 

And Sxmny Hollow looked so calm, so quiet in its 
moonlight aspect as he approached it. The ripening 
wheat, as he passed through the midst of it, rustled 
but slightly with the sweet breath of night ; iiie very 
passage of the waters of the creek across his path was 
tranquil ; their low, low murmur was only of peace, 
but peace was far from Fred linwood. 

And yet he could not have deciphered his own 
feelings; why he was so disturbed was almost a 
mystery to lmnsel£ He had heard much of religion ; 
there had [been times when he had thought much 
about it. He was not an ^itire stranger to his Bible ; 
but words he had lightly read therein and lightly 
received, seemed to come back to memory with ad- 
ditional power that night. He paced backward and 
forwards in the shadow of the bams ; backwards and 
Ibrwards witii slow and measured footsteps. The 



160 VERMONT YALE. 

cnirent of his thoughts impeded his movements, and 
this time he could not shake them off so readily, he 
scarcely tried to do so. 

" What shaU it profit a man?" Eh! what, in- 
deed, this gaining of the world when the salvation of 
the soul is at stake? Fred was no miser, but he 
dearly loved gain, the gain of the world. He looked 
upon his well-filled bams, he turned to his promising 
fields ahnost white unto harvest, he remembered his 
growing bank account in Adelaide, and felt that in 
this gain a great portion of his happiness had been 
placed, that this gain had been the main point of his 
existence, while the life eternal had but little if any 
attention. Yet, to lose his soul ! was he willing for 
that ? No, that 'indeed waa a fearftJ alternative, he 
shuddered at the thought. 

But whence had originated this restlessness? 
From whence came these streams of thought ? They 
were not "natural to him, the merry-hearted, firee, 
careless Fred, what had he to do with care, or sad- 
ness, or remorse ? What had there been in his life 
to cause all this uneasiness ? Almost might he have 
exclaimed with the Pharisee of old, " I am not as other 
men," for he had little zest for the follies of other 
young men, the attractions of the wine cup were little 
to him. No one could cast a shadow over his moral 
character, his principles were just and good, and he 
was generally beloved. Still there was something 
wanting, and of that something he was just con- 
scious. Yet what was it that rendered this conscious- 
ness more vivid ? 

There [is such a thing as preaching in the life 
without the utterance of the lip. It is this that so 



THS STEADFAST UOHT. IGl 

frequently renders the child of Qod obnoxious to the 
worldly man. It is this that renders him an object 
of dislike and almost dread. Those quiet deeds, 
those unobtrusive actions, are as strings to the con- 
science of the lover of pleasure. They speak more 
loudly of another world, and of allegiance owned 
there. They whisper more surely of " a fleeing from a 
wrath to come," of a hope founded on more certain 
treasures than those of earth. The worldling cares 
not to be reminded of these things, hence is the very 
presence of the just distasteful to him. 

It is a trite but a true old proverb, that actions 
3peak louder than words. Fred was just one of 
those matter-of-fact characters who believe fully in 
this. Action had ever been his forte ; if others gave 
forth the idea, he was generally the first to bring the 
idea into bearing. Was a thing to be done, he was 
one of the first to do it. He spoke but few words on 
the occasion, but was prompt to act. There was 
therefore nothing he approved of more highly than 
promptitude of action in others. There was nothing 
he observed more. But those quiet habits of obser- 
vation had at last led to disquiet in his own soul. 
Words had little touched him, though they had not 
been wanting ; or if they had touched him, it was but 
a momentary uneasiness they caused, passing quickly 
away, a fleeting expression of feelings soon gone. 

There were, however, examples of active life that 
had passed under his notice. There was his cousin 
and her husband, so calm, so noble, so decided in 
their Christian walk; no hesitation, no doubt, no 
inactivity in the path they trod. And his mother ! 
How constantly her clear brow bore the mark of a 

11 



162 TEEMONT YALE. 

follower of the Lamb npon it ; these were witnesses 
for the cross of Christ ; witnesses as to the truth of 
religion ; witnesses for Heaven ! And he felt it; felt it 
in his inmost sonl, that they were essentially different 
from him. Their paths, their lives, their joys, were 
separate from his. They were right ; and he, he was' 
widely wrong. 

Bnt there were other quiet witnesses to this 
hidden life in Vermont that yet more impressed him. 
One was, the unwearying, untiring, zealous Graham 
Howard ; who studied no fatigue, who sought no rest 
while labouring in his Master's cause. Another was 
the unpretending lirs. Ranger ; who, amidst her own 
home circle, so evidently evinced the power of the 
Grospel ; whose lip and life so eminently corresponded : 
whose attachment to her Saviour, whose love for souls, 
was so real, so apparent, in every action. 

" By their works ye shall know them." These 
were words of sacred writ that suited all Fred's ideas. 
Wherever these works were visible, he acknowledged 
the difference. But, perhaps, among all his models of 
Christianity, his thoughts wandered most frequently 
to the cottage near the lucerne patch ; to the inmates 
of the school-house. Por if ever religion wore a 
lovely aspect, certainly he felt it was within those un- 
pretending walls. There, Christianity was no mere 
Sabbath dress, to be assumed at the end of ev^y 
seven days, and cast aside at its close. No ! Oh no ! 
It beautified the actions of eveiy-day life ; it cheered 
and consoled amidst painfal trials ; it was a beaccm- 
light at all times visible, and yet as unostentatious as 
that same steadfast little light Fred had watohed so 
long that evening. 



THB fflEADFAST LIGHT. 1G3 

And wherefore had he watched it ? Oh ! much to 
him seemed staked in the flickering of that little light. 
Was his Mth in Annie to be shaken ? Was she going 
to prove that the pleasures of the world were still her 
pleasures ? Was she now going practically to deny 
her Lord, by xmiting with the world from which she 
had hitherto professed to stand aloof? No. Fred 
could not believe that of Annie Maitland. If so, his 
&ith in the very essence of Christianity inust be 
shaken. And yet, if not, why that light ? It pro- 
ceeded neither from the parlour nor schoolroom, but 
came from behind the drawn curtains of the bedroom. 
The draperied frame of the looking-glass was shadowed 
on those curtains ; and more than once, on the re- 
moval of the light to another part of the room, another 
shadow flitted across the window. Fred knew even 
the shadow of that hat and flgure ! 

She was going out, then ! But could it be to 
make one of the Doctor's party? That he could 
scarcely credit. To make sure on that score he had 
hurried the completion of his toilette, and walked his 
sister out of breath. But when they reached the 
Doctor's, the Kttte light was still burning brightly ; 
the shadow stiU came and went before the window, and 
Annie Maitland had evidently not left her home yet. 

Little could the gay party within, who welcomed 
Fred and his sister with such acclamations of joy, 
decipher the quick, earnest glances the former cast at 
iihe door as one or two later guests arrived ; or the 
look of intense relief that passed over his face as he 
saw them enter. StiU less could they imagine the 
amount of comfort he was experiencing as the evening 
passed on, and one came not. 



164 VERMONT VALE* 

" I knew it ! " was the inward record of his heart ; 
" I knew it." And as at last he heard her voice 
mingling with others floating throngh the open 
windows of the little chapel, and recognized her tonch 
npon the keys of the harmonium, he exclaimed to 
himself with a deep-drawn breath, " As ever ! Annie 
Maitland is true to her principles ! There is truth in. 
Christianity after all ! Oh ! that I had it ! " 

Alas! poor Fred! He was falling into a very 
general failing of mankind. It might, had he been 
less happily situated, have led him far wrong. He 
was looking for that in the creature for which he 
should have turned to the Creator. He was expecting 
that from poor fallen human nature which in poor 
human nature might most miserably have failed ; and 
he was ready to stake his faith, his hope, and all 
expectation of fature joy, upon the steadfastness of 
that most unsteadfast of all things, a human heart ! 
permitting that to be the arbitrator of his belief, rather 
than the Word of God that never can fail. 

Christians ! Is not this a word to you ? " Ye 
are a light in the world." Take care that the light 
bum clearly. See that ye have oil in your lamps ; 
and mislead not those who would seek your guidance. 
There are many eyes upon you; the eyes of your 
fellow-travellers; they watch as those who "watch 
for your Fsouls," lovingly, tremblingly. The eyes of 
the world are upon you : they will readily detect 
your failing footsteps ; they will contemptuously point 
out youi' slightest dereliction from the right path. 
The eyes of devils are upon you : they seek occasion 
for your halting; they pour their poisonous seduc- 
tions into your ears. Oh! seek strength from on 



THE STEADFAST LIGHT. 1G5 

Mgh, that no weapon, be it flower-girdled or not, may- 
prosper against you, but that you may still steadfastly, 
decidedly, and with all meekness and lowliness of 
heart, follow after your Lord. 

In no mood for encountering either brother or 
sister, Fred went off to bed some two or three hours 
before they returned home. Not immediately, how- 
ever, did sleep visit his eyes. His thoughts were of 
too tormenting a character to invoke the presence of 
" Nature's sweet restorer." Dawn was purpling the 
east when the revellers returned from their orgies. 
By that time he had fallen into so deep a slumber that 
he was entirely oblivious to every sight and sound of 
-whatever nature or character. 



CHAPTER XTX. 

THE RESULT OF THE EEYEL. 

" Still where rosy pleasure leads, 
See a kmdred grief pursue." 

" Miss Katie ! Miss Katie ! don't go on so ; there's a 
dear ; it will linrt you — indeed and it will." 

Another passionate burst of tears was the answer ; 
tears partaking of two natures — shame and indigna- 
tion ; it [was almost difficult to tell which feeling 
predominated. 

Katie, half-lay, half-crouched upon the outside of 
her little white bed, her face buried in the pillows, 
her fair ringlets in wild disorder, her pretty blue 
barege all crushed beneath her. The flowers fix)m her 
hair and bosom covered the foot of the bed, withered 
and dying like her own pleasure. 

The dawn, which was gradually diffusing itself 
over the whole face of Nature, came but dimly through 
the closed curtaiQS of the chamber. There was still 
but a dreamy, half-developed light within. On the 
dressing-table, a little night-lamp yet emitted a few 
expiring rays, but entreat earnestly as she "might, 
Dolly could not get her young mistress to go to bed. 
She persisted in lying where she had first thrown 



THE RESULT OF THE BETEL. 167 

herself on entering the room, and nttered only ejacu- 
lations of anger or choking sobs. 

Dolly was baside herself; she was a thorongh 
wann-hearted girl, and conld not endure to see all 
this in quiet. She from time to time renewed her 
efforts, alternately expostulating and coaxing. 

" Miss Katie, don't take on so ; why, there's no 
great harm done, after all ! Sure, and young Horton, 
for all his mighty fine speeches, was pretty nigh aa 
bad himself as Master Stephen." 

" There is harm done, Dolly, there is harm done!" 
cried Katie, indignantly, half rising from her pillow. 
" I tell you I won't own a brother who has so dis- 
graced himself and us ! I could not have beheved it 
of Stephen," she continued, melting into tears agadn, 
and resuming her place on her pillow. 

" I thought you knew, miss, that your brother did 
sometimes take a Httle too much," said Dolly in a tone 
of surprise. 

"JSTot I, indeed!" said Katie, "not I! I have 
never seen anything like last evening's doings ; 
Stephen would soon have heard of it if I had. I tell 
you, Dolly, it's a bitter disgrace to have a brother 
behave himself like he has done ; I can never see the 
Doctor or Fanny again 1 " 

" Oh I as to the Doctor, he is not much better 
himself; I am sure you need not mind him, and your 
brother is not the only one. Miss Katie, who gets 
drunk now and again in Vermont. Did he behave so 
very bad ? " 

" Bad ! " replied Katie, this time sitting up and 
fj^^^TiiTig her dishevelled curls right and left from her 
flushed cheeks ; " he disgraced himself and us, I tell 



168 YEEMONT VALE, 

you ; he made himself the laughing-stock of the room 
— ^insulted Famiy Moore, smashed half a dozen glasses, 
fonght with one of the Hortons, and woimd up by 
falling into the wretched state of insensibility in 
which he was brought home ; I wish I had been any- 
where else rather than at that dance," and Katie threw 
herself down again with a fresh burst of tears. 
, That dance — ^that dance ; yes, that had done the 
mischief, and Dolly was right. If such things had 
occurred in the Doctor's house, they were of his own 
Peeking. He had, indeed, stirred up the blood of 
Vermont youth, and wild blood it had proved, ter- 
minating in destruction to his property' and insult to 
his daughter. From the Doctor's own sideboard the 
poison had been liberally diffnsed ; from the Doctor's 
own example Vermont youth had been inspired. He, 
^t least, as DoUy said, had nothing to complain of. 

Elatie wept at last more quietly, and with her face 
so hidden in the pillow that at last DoUy thought she 
had really fallen to sleep, and, creeping slowly- fit)m 
the room, went out into the kitchen to put fresh wood 
on the smouldering ashes, and prepare for an early 
breakfast. Poor girl ! the revel had brought no good 
to her, as her heavy eyes and weary yawn testified. 
She had not been to bed, and there was a long day's 
work before her that must be done. She had no 
prospect of rest till another night brought again the 
hour for sleep. That she would not have cared for, 
but she did care for Katie's evident distress ; she did 
mind Stephen's disgrace ; and she felt sure that some* 
thing was wrong with Mr. Fred ; and this she cared 
for most of all. Dolly had been long in the family — - 
too long not to feel a degree above common interest 



THE BIISULT OF THE BETEL. 169 

in its members. She began to think that Sunny 
Hollow would enjoy sunshine no longer. 

And through all the noise and bustle of that re^ 
turn, Fi«d had slept, never once arousing from his 
heavy slumber,; though the by-no- means quiet en- 
trance of the Hortons with their senseless burden 
was made into his very chamber. The golden sun- 
beams streaming in through a lifted comer of the 
window-blind at length dispelled his sleep. He woke 
with a sudden start, and with a consciousness of 
having lain too long pressing upon him. As he 
awoke, the whole pain of the past evening returned. 

"What shall it profit a man?" Yes! that waa 
the burden of the song echoing again in his ears. 
Was he still to go on as ever ? Were the world's 
pursuits still to be his ? Was he willing, for such 
pleasures, to barter his soul ? No ; he was resolved 
not to do that. He would seek after another state of 
things from this time forth. And he sprang from 
his bed with the energy of the thought. 

Poor human nature ! How pertinaciously it 
clings to its own strength ; how elevating the thought 
of doing something to merit — whereas, the lesson 
taught us by the lowly Jesus is, that empty we must 
come to be filled ; naked, to be clothed ; sick, to the 
Physician. 

Fred sprang from his bed full of the determina- 
tion, but he came to a dead stand at the side of his 
brother's bed, and an indignant flush crossed his face, 
for there lay Stephen in all the disorder of an in- 
ebriate, still sleeping soundly, heavily, his white sum- 
mer dress stained and soiled both with wine and 
blood — ^for, in the disgraceful part he had played, he 



170 VBEMOirr vale. 

had not come off scatMess, as a gash across the fore- 
head testified ; a gash but imperfectly boimd with a 
Grnnson silk handkerchief, which had added to the 
ghastlj paleness of his conntenance. 

Ered stood almost motionless, his colonr coming 
and going with the powerfbl character of his feelings. 
At one moment he reached out his hand, as though to 
strike his brother fix)m his senseless slumber, but 
other, better thoughts came. He remembered that at 
least he was his brother, and the upraised hand fell 
again to his side. He turned away from the bed, and 
went and leaned against the window, shrouding his 
£etce with his hand, as though he would shut out from 
his sight even the fair fisice of Nature itself— calm, 
serene Nature, whose very quiet and calm seemed to 
reprove by its powerfdl contrast. 

"No thanks to the Doctor for this," muttered 
Fred, turning another look on the haggard counte- 
nance of his young brother. "It may give him a 
patient ; that's all the good his dance will do. EEang 
the drink! No drop shall ever pass my lips from 
this day forth !" And he clenched his hands deter- 
minately. He laid his hand on the Bible, which had 
been left open on the table beneath the window the 
night before, and, as though to reprove the positive 
character of his words, his eyes fell upon the open 
page, and rested on the sentence — 

" He that tmsteth. in his own heart is a fool." 
His hand fell from the book, and, for a moment, his 
head dropped in his hands, and then came forth the 
agonizing petition, " O God, help me to do right !" 

Dear reader, does not Gt)d always come to the aid 
of those who in earnest seek his aid ? He does, He 



THE RESULT OF THE BETEL. 171 

will; thongh sometimes, to show us our own atter 
weakness, He delays his coming. 

*' Engraved as in eternal brass. 
The mighty promise stands ; 
Kor can the powers of darkness rase 
Those everlasting lines." 

Fred gave one more look at his prostrate brother 
—a look now savouring more of pity than of anger 
or contempt. He was still in the heavy, stupid sleep 
of inebriety, the most degrading condition to which 
man can reduce himself, even lower than the very 
beasts of the field ; his fair curls all crushed and en- 
tangled, and matted with blood from the wound upon 
his brow. Fred turned from the room with a deep 
sigh, and sallied forth into the broad kitchen, already 
neatly arranged for breakfast. What a pleasant pic- 
ture it presented, even that rude bush kitchen, with 
its steaming kettle, and bright fire, and cleanly-swept 
floor ! The breakfast-service had been placed as far 
as possible from the fire, and near the open window, 
through which a gentle but very pleasant morning 
breeze was sending the perftime of the cornfields over 
the bright cups and saucers, and spoons, lifting, 
or rather softly swaying to and fro, the snowy 
comers of the breakfast-cloth. Over home-made 
bread, and golden butter, and white- shelled eggs, the 
sweet breath passed, making all more pure and sweet, 
A glass of flowers from somewhere stood near the 
tray, and green watercress presented their cool tempt- 
ing leaves near a finely-cured ham. There was a 
strong contrast in the fresh coolness of the kitchen 
to the close, hot air of the chamber he had just 
quitted. Fred felt it so, and stood at the door a mo- 



172 YEEMONT VALE, 

ment refreslimg his eyes with the sight. Then, 
catching sight of the flowers, he drew nearer the 
table, and concentrated his thoughts on them. 

Just such roses he had seen somewhere before, 
with their waxen petals and soft leaves, half-opened, 
too, and dew still resting upon them. He ought to 
know that fachsia ; it drooped its bell-like blossoms 
in only two of Vermont's gardens. The passion-flower, 
with its curliug tendrils, was there also ; and one tiny 
little blue flower, peculiar only to one spot. Fred 
needed not to ask whence they came ; but he did ask, 
nevertheless, as Dolly entered the room. 

" They were a gift from Miss Maitland to Miss 
Katie," Dolly said. " She had just run over with a 
little cream for the breakfast of the little school- 
mistress and her mother, and just to beg a few of the 
watercresses that grew in the creek at the bottom of 
the garden, and Miss Maitland would gather a nose- 
gay as well." 

"You are fond of running down there, Dolly," 
said Fred, ynth a carelessly assumed manner. 

" It is so pleasant to hear Miss Annie talk," said 
Dolly, apologetically, " I always get good when I go 
there." 

Fred thought he should like to increase the num- 
ber of his visits, that he might " get good," but he 
did not say so. He only asked — 

"What good have you got this morning ?" 

"I don't know," said Dolly, colouring, and dust- 
ing the coffee-pot most industriously with the comer 
of her apron. " I don't know as I've got much, only 
it's pleasant to hear " 

" What were you talking about ?" 



THE RESULT OP THE BETEL. 173 

" The flowers, and sure Miss Annie knows a power 
abontthem. Those roses, now/ ' said Dolly, gather- 
ing coi^*age ; " you don*t know what she had to say 
about them.'* 

" I should like to know," said Fred, with a touch 
of his old spirit of ftin. 

" That yellow rose, a rare sort, as she told me,** 
continued Dolly; "is called the Rose of Sharon. 
She had a deal to tell me about that ; how it made 
barren places far off beautiful ; and smells so sweetly, 
too, in its native air ; and how that Jesus calls Him- 
self the Rose of Sharon ; and that to those who love 
him He is sweet as a rose, and altogether lovely. 
There are no thorns in Sharon's rose, she told me ; 
and there is nothing like a thorn in Jesus — nothing 
sharp, nothing cruel. Then, this blood-red damask 
rose — that, she said, always reminded her of Calvary, 
and the blood that was shed there to wash away the 
sins of his people ; and those snowy- white rosebuds, 
she told me made her think of the saints, ' washed 
white in the blood of the Lamb.* Oh ! I could have 
listened to her for ever." 

Fred thought he could have done so too, but he 
made no remark; only walked fix)m the table into 
the verandah, and stood there a few moments with 
bowed head and folded arms, perfectly oblivious to 
Dolly's glance. He spoke again presently, only to 
ask what time Elatie and Stephen reached home ? 

Dolly simply named the hour. 

" And who brought my sister home ? for I sup- 
pose, from Stephen's beastly condition, he did not," 
said Fred, his deep disgust reviving. 

Dolly did not know the young man's name 5 he 



174 VEEMONT VALE. 

only brought Miss K^tie to the door. The Horton* 
carried Stephen in their gig. 

" Quite drunk, was he ?" 

" Yes, quite," said Dolly, in a loud tone ; " but I 
fency he is hurt as well. He seems pretty bad, any way»" 

" Serve him right, too, a fool !" said Fred, hastily, 
turning from the house, and walking with rapid foot- 
steps towards the bams. He cooled down a little 
before reaching the stock-yard, and returned to tell 
Dolly to see if Kiitie were awake. 

" I shall be ready for breakfast in twenty minutes, 
tell her," was his parting injunction, as he once more 
went off to the house. 

The breakfast-room was not unoccupied when he 
returned. Katie was there awaiting his arrivaL 
She had removed every evidence of the last night's 
revel, and was simply attired in a cool morning dress. 
Her curls, even, were pushed away from the forehead 
behind her ears. When Fred entered, she was leaning 
forward, with her face upon the table, between her 
outspread arms. He came forward, and laid his 
hands up'on her shoulders, exclaiming — 

"Katie!" 

She started, and gave a little irrepressible shudder, 
but did not look up. 

"Are you so tired?" inquired Fred, "or is it 
another cause that depresses you? You must not 
take on so." 

She looked up then — ^looked up with her flushed 
and tear-swollen face ; then again lay down her head, 
as she reproachftdly exclaimed — 

"Oh, Fred! why did you leave us? All this 
might have been prevented," 



THE BSSULT OF THE BEVEL, 175 

"I don't think it, Katio— I don't think it. Ste- 
phen is too headstrong to be advised ; I have tried 
that often enough." And Fred moodily took his seat 
at the table. 

''But he has never been like this before," said 
Katie. 

"You have never seen him, Katie; I have, and 
in spite of all my efforts to prevent it," Fred replied. 
"It's those Hortons have mined him. Ho is per- 
fectly infetuated with their society." 

"Fred, he has disgraced himself; he has dis- 
graced ns. Things can't go on so," exclaimed EZatie, 
passionately. " I won't stay here to be pointed at as 
the sister of a drunkard !" 

"At any rate," said Fred, gravely, after a slight 
pause, " I don't think there will be any chance for 
some time of Stephen's drinking again. He has 
&irly done himself np this time. I looked at him 
just now, and see plainly enough there's more the 
matter with him than drink. I sent for the Doctor 
as I came in to breakflELst." 

** Not much wonder if he is ill," said Katie, bit- 
terly, as she played with the spoon in her untasted 
cup of coffee. 

"Blessed are the mercifdl, for they shall obtain 
mercy," repeated Fred, in a low tone, as though the 
words were half spoken to himself. His sister looked 
up in surprise, but made no other answer, and Fred 
went on silently with his breakfast. 

And there stood those flowers between them, 
breathing a double fragrance now. He was thinking 
of them — ^thinking of the sweet meanings Annie 
Maitland had attached to each, wishing that he could 



176 VERMONT VALE. 

feel the same. Oh, how sickly did the pleastireS of 
the past night appear when placed in comparison 
with the pnre joys of heaven — ^with that love he was 
beginning to crave after. Ah ! he thought those 
sweet bnds bore Annie's own image, so pnre, so stain- 
less ; the very emblem of the white-winged cherubs. 
But wa3 it possible that he could ever hope to ap- 
proach to such a condition ? 

" Do you wish for another dance to-night, Katie ?** 
he presently asked, as he rose from the table, with a 
bitter smile on his lips. 

"Another!" re-echoed Elatie, indignantly. "No, 
indeed ; I wish I had never gone to this. I am sick 
of dancing." 

" And I," returned Fred, moving moodily towards 
the door. " That is why I left last night. I was 
thoroughly tired, and sick, and disgusted with the 
proceeding, and I wouldn't have stayed longer for five 
pounds ; I couldn't, and that's an end of it." He 
leant a moment against the door-post in silence. 
" There's something wanting, depend upon it, Katie," 
he continued; "and, after all I've seen and heard, 
I'm inclined to think it's God's blessing we lack* 
Mother and Amy would tell us so, and maybe they 
are right." 



CHAPTER XX. 

Katie's troubles. 

" Strange that they fill not, with their tranquil love, 
The spirit, walking in their midst alone.'' 

Oh ! how calmly and sweetly the soft moonlight 
looked down npon everything that evening ! How it 
threw shadows to the ground of quaint old trees, with 
gnarled trunks and outstretching branches, and 
leaves like lacework ! How it glistened on the waters 
of the little creek, which ran so soberly along with 
very gentle murmuring, having no fear of the moon*s 
qxiiet gaze ! Yes ! cabn moonlight, quiet moonlight 
looks down upon many a scene of wnquiet; upon 
many an aching head, or, stiU worse, aching heart ; 
upon many a scene of trouble, or cruelty, or despair ! 
And so calmly it looks ! Whatever of earth's doings 
ever ruffled thy fair, pure face, O sweet moon ? 

EZatie stood in the moonlight, looking up at the 
heavens with cold tearless eyes, and lips heavily 
compressed. She had come out into the air, for it 
was hot, stifling in- doors, or, at any rate, it seemed 
so to her; and, with her head resting against the 
post of the verandah, she had already stood there 
many minutes. Her thoughts were not, however, of 
the calm, sweet evening. No ; the beauty of all 
around her entered not into her soul. Her spirit 

12 



178 VERMONT VALE. 

" walked in the midst " alone, and disqxdet was its 
walk. Yesterday evening, that nnhappy yesterday, 
returned again and again to memory in all its most 
painful details. Katie had just left her brother's 
sick-room, and was keenly alive to a recollection of 
the scenes of the past night that had led to that 
sick-bed ; keenly alive to the degradation of having 
a drunkard for a brother ! Yes ; Katie had no milder 
term to give him. She had wept over the disgrace, 
till it seemed to her she had no more tears to weep. 

And had that sick-room no softening influences ? 
Could Elatie indeed look coldly, angrily upon thafc 
swollen face, pale and almost livid as it waa — ^upon 
those helpless limbs, and feel no pity ? Pity ! Yes ; 
for he was herr brother. But those pale, livid lips, 
those feeble, trembling hands, all had a voice for 
Katie— -a voice that at times almost froze her pity 
np — and that voice was Think ! Yes, drink had done 
all ! That was at the root of the mischief; and, like 
Fred, disgusted at its abuse in their own brother's 
case, she stood there in the moonlight, and, raising 
her hands impetuously to heaven, forswore ita use 
for ever ! 

Poor Stephen ! Poor Stephen, say yon ? Even 
so ; for was he not the slave of his own passion, the 
slave of what to him was liquid poison, and had 
almost maddened him ? "Was it not like a very 
tyrant bumiug in his veins, and scorching his very 
temples with fire? K!atie had been his constant 
attendant all that day, and oh how lovingly would she 
have attended him had any other cause for sickness 
laid him low ! How gently and lovingly vronld the 
fingers have lingered among the dishevelled curls as 



KATIB'8 TB0UBLB8. 179 

she bathed his heated brow! But now it needed 
again and again that sentence, " He is my brother !" 
to remind her of her duty. Oh ! it was hard to bear, 
to hear those fevered lips calling again and again for 
the wine-cnp, the very " hair of the dog " that had 
so cmelly bitten him. 

Yet he was her brother; and that thought had 
kept her all day in the sick-room bathiog the uncon- 
scious head, holding cooling drink to the parched 
Eps, and had restrained the bitter words that again 
and again were ready to break out upon the senseless 
invalid. 

Doctor Moore had made an early visit, but Elatie 
was not by to see him ; she would not come when he 
aaked for her, and he was obliged, therefore, to leave 
his directions with Dolly. Somehow or other, she 
viewed the Doctor as the root of all the evil. That 
invitation, that unlucky invitation! how angry she 
felt that she had accepted it. She remembered the 
time, too, when the invitation was given, remembered 
what different thoughts the Doctor's light words had 
dissipated, and bowed her head with shame at the 
recollection of how easily she had yielded to the first 
temptation. 

But she! oh, she could never be a Christian !• 
she exclaimed to herself petulantly, as she stood alone 
in the shadow of the verandah, cooling her heated 
brow with the gentle night breezes. No ; it was 
useless for her to seek to do right, she had not the 
steadfastness ; and the tears gathered into the sweet 
eyes that were raised still to the pure moon. 

Katie's idea of the Christian life was widely 
different from those of the present faahionable 



180 VERMONT VALE. 

religions world. It is not now considered necessaay 
to take up the cross of Christ, or to lay aside the 
pleasures of earth. By some sophistical course of 
reasoning, these two extremes are made most comfort- 
ably to meet ; and those who would place their veto 
against the song and dance are proclaimed fanatical 
enthusiasts, but little removed from those pilgrims of 
old, not those of modem date, who perform their 
pilgrimage luxuriously on the cushioned seats of the 
railway car, but those veritable martyrs of an 
unworthy cause, who walked the whole distance with 
peas in their shoes ! Well, be it so ; we are content 
with the name, and would gladly adhere more closely 
than we do to the dear old-fashioned doctrines of the 
Bible, which say, " Is any merry, let him sing psalms ;" 
and " Singing unto yourselves hymns and spiritual 
songs, making melody in your hearts to the Lord." 
These are the kind of songs we would sing. Alas ! there 
is too great conformity to the world in this present 
day ; the distinction is a very faint one. We are all 
apt to forget that, " denying ungodliness and worldly 
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly 
in this present world ; looking for that blessed hope 
and the glorious appearing of the great God and our 
. Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that 
He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify 
xmto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good 
works" (Titus ii. 12— U). 

Katie's view of religion was, after all, a Bible 
view, for the religion of the Bible is pure and holy ; 
and so she mourned her oyho. lack of steadfastness, her 
clinging to earthly pleasures. Did the thought never 
occur to her that, like herself, Stephen might lack 



Katie's teoubles. 181 

the steadfast quality ? Did it never occnr to her that 
manifold temptations lay around his path, and that 
he might not possess strength of purpose, as he 
certainlj had not grace, to resist them ? Did it not 
occur to her that henceforward it would be her duty 
to aid him with her strength, with her example, to 
try to draw him, with gentle love and persuasion, 
away from the tempter ? No, this did not yet occur 
to her. 

Stephen was very ill, that was certain. The 
Doctor had spoken of care, and the most perfect 
quiet ; he had even hinted at danger, but they did not 
tell Katie that. She knew little of sickness; the 
office of nurse was new to her, and, weary both in 
body and mind, she knew that there was yet a long 
dreary night of watching before her. Dolly, indeed, 
had offered to sit up ; but then she had her work to 
do in the day, and how could she do it after another 
night of watching ? Besides, a little inward monitor 
proclaimed it her duty. She wondered whether 
she must sit up alone. Would Fred go to bed ? 
and she turned sick at the thought of the solitary 
w^atching. 

She could see Fred fix)m where she stood. What 
w^as he doing, pacing up and down, past the bams — 
up and down, without any definite purpose ? Was 
he troubled ? and about what ? Was Stephen so 
bad? or was he thinking of that sentence he had 
uttered that morning after breakfast, " It is God's 
blessing we want" ? 

" God's blessing ! and had they not that ?" Katie 
trembled at the thought. " God's blessing !" They 
never asked for it, and she remembered a certain text 



182 VERMONT VALE. 

in her seldom-read Bible, " Ask, and ye shall receive." 
Not asking, cotdd they expect to have ? Had Grod's 
blessing been petitioned for, would her brother be 
lying a prey to his own inebriety as he then was ? 
Wonld they not all be happier for that blessing? 
Tears again came nnbidden, but she drove them 
back. "What right, indeed, had she to talk of 
asking for God's blessing ? How conld she expect to 
receive answers to her asking, when she was so far 
firom God, so clearly a lover of pleasure more than a 
bverof God?" 

Fred presently came slowly towards the house, 
and stood in the verandah by her side. 

"A lovely night, isn't it?" he remarked, in a 
low tone. 

K!atie made a slight movement of impatience, 
and then replied, "Yes, to those who have light 
hearts." 

" Lovely to any one, I should think," said Fred, 
drily. " If it is dark vnthin, I should think the light 
without would be all the more welcome, eh ? I can't 
for the life of me wish for a cold, dark, stormy night, 
because I feel dull and gloomy in myself; and I can't 

flii-nir you do." 

"Wish for gloomy weather! No, indeed," said 
Katie. "What I mean is, I cannot glory in the 
beauty of the night while there is gloom, and sorrow, 
and sickness around me." 

"And sin," said Fred, gravely.) 

" Yes," said Katie, after a lengthened pause, " I 
think sin might well be put first, for there is plenty 
of it here. That is the very cause of Stephen's 



Katie's tboubles. 188 

'' I listen little enongli to Mr. Howard's sermons, 
Katie," Fred presently resumed, " yet I do remember 
one thing lie qnoted the other Sunday, ' If we say 
we have no sin, we deceiye ourselves, and the truth 
is not in us.' iNow, this is not speaking of individual 
caaes, it refers to all. ' All have sinned, and come 
short of the glory of God.' So Graham Howard 
says, and I suppose it is so. However, in that case, 
Katie, there are other sinners at Sunny Hollow 
besides Stephen." 

Katie made no reply ; she only bent her head a 
little lower, and tapped her foot fretfully on the 
ground. Human nature rebels at being declared 
ntterfy gtdlty. Wbat had she done to render her so 
onfulp What sins had she committed? At least 
nothing flagrant. How many there were far worse 
than herself; yet she could not deny the accusing 
conscience within, that declared her "a lover of 
pleasure more than a lover of God." 

"You must not sit up to-night, Katie!" at 
length Ered abruptly exclaimed, as he noticed the 
drooping of the little figure against the post of the 
verandah. " You were up late enough last night. I 
was in bed hiours before you came home ; indeed, I 
much doubt whether you went to bed at all" 

*'I laid down outside the bed," replied Katie. 
" But, Fred, it will not be right to leave Stephen." 

*' Keither am I thinkiTig of doing so. I shall sit 
up myself; and as there might be some little matters 
that a man could not very well attend to, I went 
round an hour ago, and got old Mother HaU to come 
for the night. She's a good-natured old thing, and a 
good noise ; and, moreover, has taken quite a liking 



184 VERMONT VALE. 

to Stephen. So you see, my girl, yon won't bo 
wanted, and you had better be off as soon as possible. 
That's my verdict!" and he laid his hands affec- 
tionately on his sister's shoulder as he spoke. 

She turned, and threw her arms round him with 
sudden emotion. " Oh ! thank you, thank you, dear 
Fred ! I am so glad old Mrs. Hall is coming. I 
know so little about sickness, and sometimes I get so 
finghtened ; and in the night, too, I don't know what 
I should do." 

" I think you might as well add, ' And I am so 
tired.' Why, child, I can see you are pale by this 
moonlight." 

" Perhaps the moonlight helps to make me look 
pale,'* said Katie, almost gaily, for the relief she felt 
when she heard that an older and a wiser head, in 
sick-room experience at least, was to take the 
watching post that night, was greater, maybe, than 
she would have chosen to acknowledge. 

" You must call me if I am wanted, Fred," she 
exclaimed, as she took his good-night kiss, and ran 
off with a lighter step into the house than she had 
walked out of it ; but the sight of her brother's 
bed-room door, through which the dim light was 
visible, and the sound of moans and mutterings that 
met her ear, soon subdued her spirits again. She 
stole softly in. 

" How does he seem now, Dolly ?" she said in a 
voice abnost below her breath. She scarcely ventured 
a look at the restless head on the pillow. 

" No different. Miss Katie, that I see," replied 
Dolly. " He just moans on same as ever. Now and 
then he calls out, and talks to himself; but he's out of 



Katie's teoubles. 185 

his head all the time. You are not a-going to sit up 
to-night, though. It won't hurt me." 

" No, Dolly. Fred says neither of us need to- 
night. He knows you have enough to do in the day, 
and I am a poor little thing in a sick-room ; and so 
he has asked Mrs. Hall to come." 

"That's good! She knows as much as three of 
us. Well, miss, I won't say but what I'm glad ; for 
I'm always afraid of going to sleep, I am, if I sit 
up o' nights; and that wouldn't be much good 
neither." 

Katie went and stood at her brother's bedside 
with folded hands. Was that Stephen, the handsome, 
merry Stephen ; her playmate and companion in many 
an olden froHc? Oh! how altered, even in that 
short time ; even though he lay quite tranquil for a 
short interval. 

" K he were to die ! Oh ! if he were to die ! " she 
thought in terror, " and he, her brother, to die in a 
state of senselessness ; to die oblivious to all good ! 
Where would his soul go? Would he be lost for 
ever?" She turned away in horror at the thought; 
and in agony of earnestness exclaimed to Dolly — 

"Oh, Dolly! never marry a man who drinks! 
Never get a drunkard for a husband ! Of all lives, 
what a wretched life a drunkard's wife must lead ! " 

" No fear, miss. I'll take good care when I do 
marry. But don't think so hardly of your brother. 
Miss Katie. This, you see, is not all drink : the 
Doctor says so. The heat has a good deal to do 
with it." 

" I wish it had all to do with it," sighed Katie. 
" Well, DoUy," she presently added, " I 6m very tired. 



186 VERMONT TALSU 

and shall go to bed ; so yon had better, too, when 
Mrs. Hall comes. We may have to sit up another 
night." And Katie passed on to her little bed-room 
and closed the door, but did not immediately retire 
to bed. 

She put her little lamp down on the dressing-table, 
and drew the curtains over the open window, and then 
took a chair ; and, sitting down at the table, slowly 
brushed out her hair. There was a Bible laying near 
her, her mother's gift : for that it had been treasured; 
for itself, for its own virtue, Httle regarded. It placed 
itself in view now. Katie paused midway in her 
farushing, and took it in her baud. 

" What a littie I know of this book," she said to 
herself; " and Christians love it : one more proof how 
&r I am off Christianity. How hard it is to be a 
Christian ! The more I wish and try, the &rther I 
seem off it." 

** Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, and 
few there be that find it," she read, as she carelessfy 
turned the leaves of her Bible. 

*' That's it I That's it I That's why I can't find 
it. I don't seek aright, I expect : don't tiy enough,'* 
she said, the tears coming into her eyes. *' Oh ! I 
needn't ever expect to find it, or to be among those 
* few ;'" and she went on turning the leaves. 

Again words met her view : 

** I am the way, the truth, and the life." 

She shook her head, and pushed aside the book ; 
and yet with a deep inward wish that she knew what 
that meant. A few minutes more, and the lamp was 
out ; and only the quiet moonlight looked in upon the 
weary sleeper. 



Katie's teoubles. 187 

Foolish, foolish, E[atie ! She felt her malady, but 
neglected the Physician; she was conscious of her 
ignorance, but passed by the fountain of all know- 
ledge. No prayer went up fix)m that little room 
that night. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

FRIENDS IN NEED. 

" Conldst thon but catch one glimpse of him, 
Thy brother dear, thy faithful fiiend. 
Whose watchful eye no sleep may dim, 
Who loving, loves thee to the end." 

"Trouble at Snimy Hollow, — not mucli sxmsliine 
there now, I warrant me. That comes of giving 
places snch names, as if all the sunshine was there, 
indeed!" 

These words came from an old Mend of onr 
readers, and from behind a motley array of goods she 
was slowly packing for another friend of onrs, to 
whom we have twice before introduced them, and who, 
from some cause or other, had made an earlier visit 
to the store than wonted. 

Mrs. Bateman wore her usual sarcastic smile, and 
was that morning in the worst possible humour. 
Not even the gentle face of Mrs. Ranger, or the 
large ready-money order she had bought, could re- 
store her to good humour. She was glad even to 
vent her maHce on Sunny Hollow and its trouble. 

" Trouble at Sunny Hollow?" echoed Mrs. Ranger, 
though in a very different tone, looking up suddenly 
frx)m her basket, in which she was carefully depositing 



FEIENDS IS NEED. 189 

a portion of her stores ; "I passed by as I came along, 
and saw no signs of anything the matter, not at any 
rate with Fred Linwood; I saw him in the stock- 
yard, though not near enough to speak. What is the 
matter, Mrs. Bateman ?'* 

" Ah, nothing but what happens to other folks 
sometimes," said Mrs. Bateman, with a curl of her Hp ; 
" I'm not surprised, but I should think it would pull 
Miss Linwood's pride down a bit." 

" What is it ? Something wrong with Miss 
Linwood ? "No, surely, has her brother failed ? or 
what?" 

" You're not good at guessing this morning, Mrs. 
Ranger ; it*s none of these. The fact is, Stephen's ill, 
very ill. The Doctor says it's brain fever." 

" Poor fellow ! and I not to know it," said Mrs. 
Ranger's really grieved voice. " When was he taken 
ill, Mrs. Bateman ?" 

" Yesterday morning, I suppose. The fact is, his 
illness is all of his own seeking. The Doctor gave a 
dance, or ball, or what not, and all three of the 
Linwoods went, of course ; I wouldn't have let my 
girls have gone if they had been asked. Well, 
Stephen Linwood chose to drink a good deal, and 
drank too much, and got noisy and quarrelsome, so 
what with the heat and the drink, and a blow he got 
on his head in fighting, he's downright ill. Brain 
fever he's got, the Doctor says ; don't he, Jemimy ?" 

" Yes, mother ; and not much wonder," replied 
the dutiful daughter of her worthy mamma, with a 
slight toss of her head, as she shut the drawer of 
ribbons with a bang. 

"Poor fellow! poor fellow! Ah! this is bad news, 



190 VEEMONT VALE. 

Hrs. Bateman/' said her customer, earnestly ; '' and I 
to pass the house ! Well, I shan't go by again wiili- 
ont calling. Poor Miss Linwood, too ; little gay 
thing as she is; how will she get on with her 
troubles?" 

" Law ! Mrs. Ranger, as other folks do, I suppose! 
What help did I have, I wonder, when Jemimy was 
took ill of fever ? Oh, it will do her good, a little 
trouble, depend on't." 

Mrs. Ranger was a wise woman ; she did not say 
all she could have said at that moment ; she saw very 
plainly that Mrs. Batelnan was in no humour to think 
well of any one. She might have said, had she thought 
proper, "He who would have a friend, must show 
himself friendly;" she might have repeated those 
words of our Saviour, " Blessed are the merciftJ, for 
they shall obtain mercy ; " or have administered the 
warning, "Judge not, that ye be not judged;" but 
she said none of these things, for in the present mood 
of the lady in question, she was sure that by ad- 
monishing she should but add fuel to the fire already 
burning. 

So her only answer was a slight accession of 
colour, and a little uneasy trembling about the mouth, 
while her stores were thrust into her basket, and tied 
up in her blue checked handkerchief, a little more 
rapidly and with less precision. But whether Mrs. 
Bateman interpreted this silent language rightly, is 
best known to herself; perhaps she did not even 
understand it to be language, for to some people only 
words are intelligible. Those thousands of expressive 
though silent signs conveyed by eye, and lip, and 
action are incomprehensible to them. 



FBIEKDS IK NEED. 191 

Someihing very like a tear glistened in Mrs. 
Ranger's meek grey eyes as she hurriedly tied her 
handkerchief bnndle to the horn of her saddle, and 
she almost turned her head away as, after climbing np 
to her seat, Jemima handed her heavy basket to her. 

She stood for a moment in thonght, then suddenly 
tamed her horse's head a little out of his usual course, 
to his evident discomfiture, and took the road that 
led past the Doctor's. It was not, however, to the 
Doctor's house she was going, such a thought never 
entered her mind, though she was very anxious to 
hear more certain news before she went to the 
linwoods. Dobbin was not to be xirged, or even 
coaxed to go any but his own pace on a road he dis- 
liked, for no other reason than that it was not home- 
ward, but at ^ast he came to a stop, in answer to a 
sharp pull at the bridle, before the open door of the 
little school-house. 

Open doors and windows were imperative on such 
a day. The sun sent down his fervid beams, and both 
Mrs. Ranger and her old horse were in a state of heat 
and perspiration. It was inviting to look into the 
shade of ^that cool school-room, the very pail of water 
under the porch, with its tin pannikin appended, 
ready for thirsty scholars, was refreshing, and Mrs. 
Ranger, as she jumped down from the saddle and 
walked to the door, did not fail to take a draught of 
the pure fluid. 

*^ Miss Maitland ! Miss Maitland ! " exclaimed two 
or three voices, as young eyes caught sight of the 
figure in the doorway, where Mrs. Ranger had been 
quietly standing for the last five minutes, r^arding 
the busy pleasant scene within, ssid listening with a 



192 VERMONT VALE. 

motlier's pride to the ready answers one of her Kttle 
ones was giving in his nmltiplication-table. 

It was a pleasant scene, for the sweet face of 
Annie beautified it, and the little folks around were 
interesting. 

The one chair in the school-room, and be it known 
that only a wooden one, was occupied by the little 
governess herself, and upon the one foot-stool, con- 
verted, by the by, out of the root of a tree, were 
perched her dainty little feet, that just peeped out, 
black and shining, fix)ni beneath the cool green ging- 
ham dress. What sofb glossy bands of hair fell on 
either side the gentle face, forming a pretty contrast 
to the slightly-flushed cheeks; and how softly and 
brightly the violet eyes fell upon one and another of 
the group that were gathered round her. There was 
perfect order and neatness from, the jetty hair and 
gossamer collar, fastened by a simple, sparkling 
crystal brooch, to the small neatly-fitting boots, and 
the little black apron. 

Yes, it was a pleasant sight to look upon, but 
more pleasant still to listen to the winning tones of 
the young governess as she encouraged one and 
another of her little troop to " speak up," and Mrs. 
Ranger's admiration was fairly divided between 
Annie and her own youngest boy, who had just 
achieved the wonderfol feat of proclaiming that, 
" six times six are thirty-six," and but for other eyes, 
Mrs. Banger might have lingered longer still, for 
Annie was so absorbed with her class, that she did 
not even hear the first " Miss Maitland ! " that sought 
to attract her notice ; but the deHghted exclamation 
of " Mother !" that burst fipom little Joseph, and his 



FRIENDS IN NEED. 193 

rusli from his place in the class, at once aronsed her. 
She sprang up and came eagerly forward to the door, 
and seized the hard hand extended to her. 

" Mrs. Ranger ! have you been waiting long ? I 
was so busy, you see," she exclaimed merrily. " Did 
you hear Joey ? " she added sotto voce. 

" Yes, that I did. Miss Maitland, and I was sur- 
prised. You certainly do get the children on. There's 
Lucy is as fond of her book as can be. No," she 
continued, " I have not been long, just time to hear 
Joey." 

" How hot you look ; do come in, mamma will be 
so glad to see you; it is so long since you have 
caUed." 

" Yes, I will go in ; I won't hinder you. Miss 
Maitland, but I'll take another drink first, for I am 
very dry to-day, riding along in the heat and dust," 
and Mrs. Ranger stooped down to make good her 
word. 

" Oh no, Mrs. Ranger, not this ; you shall have 
some of mamma's lemon syrup, or a cup of tea if you 
like it better," said Annie, gaily seizing the pannikin, 
and leading the way out of the school-room. 

"I have but a few moments to spare," said Mrs. 
Ranger, " have you heard of the illness at Sunny 
HoUow?" 

" Only a little while ago," said Annie, colouring 
brightly. " Stephen Linwood, the children tell me, 
— ^but is he very ill ? " 

" Very bad," replied Mrs. Ranger, " so I heard at 
the store ; brain fever, they say ; I'm afraid poor Miss 
Katie is in sad trouble." 

" Yes, indeed ! " gaid Annie, tears starting into 

13 



194 TEBHONT YALE. 

her eyes, " I had no idea it was so bad as that. I 
wonder I have not heard of it before ; I will speak to 
mamma, and run np after school this afternoon; I 
can let the children out half an hour earlier." 

" Yes, do," said Mrs. Ranger ; " I'm sure she'd like 
you to come, and I'm going to call on my way home. 
To-night I couldn't stay, so it's no use of me to offer ; 
but if you could, it would be a real good thing, and 
then I might come to-morrow ; we know what sick- 
ness is. Miss Maitland, and I don't much think that 
poor little thing does." 

" And, I am aft*aid, has not the same hope as we 
have,^ said Annie, the bright drops trembling on the 
downcast eyelashes. " Oh, Mrs. Ranger, what should 
we do without our anchor, Hope ? " 

"Ah! that's what I always say," replied Mrs. 
Ranger, meekly ; "that hope will do to die by ; we can 
leave all in our Father's hands when this hope is 
ours. But oh ! to have no hope — no faith — no trust 
in Gk>d, must be terrible ! " 

" Oh, terrible indeed ! " 

" And yet I sometimes have hope for Miss Lin- 
wood ; I scarcely know why. Well, I'm just going 
in to see your mother ; " and Mrs. Ranger passed 
through the Httle door, closing it after her to shnt 
out the noise, while Annie turned with glistening 
eyes to rearrange her disorderly class, and set her 
scholars once more about their interrupted duties. 

Half an hour after, Mrs. Ranger's old Dobbin was 
tied against Fred Linwood's stockyard, while she 
wended her way to the house. 

It had so happened that she had never visited 
Sunny Hollow since Katie's arrival there, though 



FBIENDS m SEED. 195 

Katie had more than once been to Thombush. She 
was, therefore, scarcely prepared for its improved 
appearance, visible even at that distance. The deep 
verandah, up the posts of which two or three tendrils 
of Cape ivy were essaying to climb, threw into 
shadow, but did not conceal, very bright windows, 
neatly curtained with muslin drapery. There was a 
snnny aspect about the whole house, with the excep- 
tion of one window, and the closely-drawn curtains of 
that proclaimed sickness within. Mrs. Hanger lin- 
gered a moment or two before she entered the open 
door, as she was rather fond of doing, and looked 
about her ; along the cleanly-swept verandah to the 
dairy, the door of which was also open, and looked 
exceedingly inviting with its clean shelves and bright 
pans of milk, and dishes of butter fresh from the 
chum. Having regaled her eyes so far, she advanced 
to the doorstep of the house, and looked in. All quiet 
and still there ; freshly swept, and clean, and bright 
looking ; the large table stretching its length across 
one end of the kitchen, and chairs and benches all 
neatly back against the wall. Rather too much fire 
on that clean hearth, though ; but it was too hot to 
venture fire out of doors ; and the huge pot swinging 
from the crane told of pigs in the sty, upon whose 
appetites the heat would have no effect. Several 
other minor utensils swinging from the same crane 
told also of the necessity there was for feeding the 
genus homo, heat or no heat. There was a large mat 
of different-coloured pieces of cloth, ingeniously 
knitted together, lying outstretched at a little dis- 
tance from the hearth. It was astonishing what a 
comfortable aspect it gave the large room. The 



196 VERMONT VALE. 

table, too, was neatly covered with a pretty-patterned 
oilcloth; and, certainly, the glass of flowers in the 
centre gave an air of refinement to the bush house in 
spite of the rafters above, and their well-arranged 
store of hams and bacon. Perhaps Mrs. Ranger, in 
her pleased contemplation, might have forgotten that 
there was anything but sunshine at Sunny Hollow, 
spite of Mrs. Bateman's assertion, had not a Httle 
tray containing an empty physic phial, a spoon, the 
peel of an orange, a half-eaten quarter of the same, 
and a glass partly full of lemon syrup, betrayed it ; 
these all spoke of a sick-room ; besides, through a 
partly-opened door came the sound of hushed talking, 
and now and then a moan, or a few incoherent words. 
Grieved and sad, Mrs. Ranger stood silently by the 
side of the table, waiting for some one to come out. 
She had found the shadow resting upon Sunny Hol- 
low now. 

The door opened a little wider, and a well-known 
voice met her ear. 

" Oh, you must not be frightened ! He'll do well 
enough ; he has youth on his side, and a good consti- 
tution. Keep the vinegar cloth constantly to his 
head, and send over for the medicine. He'll be better 
after that." 

The door was pushed widely open, and out came 
the Doctor, followed by Katie. 

" Mrs. Ranger ! Who would have thought of 
seeing you ? " and he came forward in his heartiest 
manner to shake hands. 

" Oh, Mrs. Ranger ! I am so glad to see you," was 
Katie's earnest, tearful exclamation with voice and 
hand. 



FEIENDS IN NEED. 197 

" Well, I need not ask how you are, I see,'* said 
the Doctor ; " and the young hopefol, I suppose it's 
well, or you wouldn't be here ? " 

"Yes, sir, quite well," replied Mrs. Ranger, 
quietly. "He sleeps all the morning, so I am not 
afraid of leaving him for an hour or so." 

" You don't dose him, I hope ? " 

" Sir ? " 

"Dose him; give him laudanum, or Godfrey's 
cordial, or any of those messes, to make him sleep, 
eh?" 

" Oh no, sir ! It's nature in him." 

" And a very good nature, too. Well, good morn- 
ing. Miss Linwood; keep up your spirits. All's right. 
I'U look in to-night." 

Mrs. Ranger followed him to the door, and out 
into the verandah. 

" Is there any danger, sir ? " she whispered 
softly. 

" Humph ! Always danger in these cases. The 
heat is against him, but his youth is in his favour, as 
I told his sister. He may get better." 

"And this all arose from drink!" said Mrs. 
Ranger, in a grieved voice. 

" Well, well ! partly, no doubt. These young 
fellows don't know what moderation is, you know, 
like you and I do," said the Doctor, ftmnily. 

" Ah, sir ! moderation in drinking poison ? " 

"Come to that, all food is poison if taken in 
excess. Did you ever know that before ? " said the 
Doctor, laughing. " No, no, my good friend ; no fault 
in wine any more than in the bread we eat. God has 
given us the vine ; He himself drank of the fiTiit of 



198 VEBMONT VALE. 

the grape ; and our Bibles tell ns that * wine cheereth 
the heart of God and man.' I can quote Scripture, 
you see, Mrs. Eanger." 

"That is nothing new," thought Mrs. Ranger. 
"Satan did that to our Saviour;" but she quietly 
answered, " Doctor, I have been a total abstainer for 
years, and I have found nothing in my Bible yet to 
encourage me to break my pledge, and see everything 
there to cry down the sin of drunkenness, and show 
forth its evil." 

*' Oh, well ! if I only had the time, I could prove 
quite clearly to you that wine is a good thing — in 
moderation, of course — but I haven't ; I've to see a 
patient ten miles off, and it's late already. So, good 
day. That boy wants good nursing," he cried out, as 
he mounted his horse, and rode away. 

Mrs. Ranger shook her head, and then turned to 
go in. Katie was standing by the table, both arms 
extended on it, and her face hidden in her hands ; 
her whole frame was trembling, and quivering with 



" Come, come. Miss Linwood, don't distress your- 
self; your brother will be better soon, I daresay," 
said the kind woman, gently laying her hand on 
Katie's shoulder. " Are you all alone, dear ? " 

" Yes, all alone. Dolly is feeding the calves ; she 
is obliged to be about a great deal; and Fred has gone 
to the post with a letter, to fetch mother." 

"Ah! I'm glad of that; that's right. Do you 
think your mother will come ? " 

" I think so ; I'm sure she will ; but she cannot 
possibly be here before the day after to-morrow, and 
Stephen is so ilL And oh! Mrs. Banger, I know 



FBIEimS m KBED. 199 

nothing abont illness, absolutely nothing, and am no 
better than a baby ; " and Kktie's face was again 
bowed down to the table. 

" I daresay yon will get on a good deal better than 
yon think, Miss Linwood,'' said Mrs. EaEiger, kindly ; 
" but it is lonesome for you, and you must not be left 
alone. I would have stayed myself to-night, could I 
have known before." 

" Oh ! Mrs. Ranger, I could not expect you with 
your large family, and dear little baby too.'* 

"Oh, baby's very quiet; he don't give much 
trouble," said Mrs. Ranger, smiling ; " but I was 
going to say, as I cannot come till to-morrow night, 
Miss Maitland will come. I have arranged to send 
Susy up to keep Mrs. Maitland company." 

"Annie Maitland coming to-night! Ah! how 
kind ! " exclaimed Katie, brightening up. 

"Miss Maitland knows a good deal about sick- 
ness. She is a good nurse; and beautiful com- 
pany, too. I always feel better for a little talk with 
her." 

" And can she reaUy come ? " 

" Oh yes ; her mamma wished her to do so. She 
told me she would send school out half an hour earlier, 
and come away immediately after." 

" And I have been so unhappy, thinking I had no 
Mends," said Klatie, the tears weUing up again. 

" You should not have thought that till you had 
tried them," returned Mrs. Ranger, gently. " Yet, at 
best, my degx Miss Linwood, earthly Mends can do 
us but little real good, if we have not a Friend that 
loveth at all times. Jesus is the best Mend. Oh! 
let Him be yours." 



200 VERMONT VALE. 

Katie Iiad nothmg to say to this, with the excep- 
tion of a little qniet sob. Presently she turned be- 
seechingly to Mrs. Ranger, and exclaimed — 
" Yon will come in and look at Stephen ? " 
" Certainly, my dear child ; that was one reason 
why I came ; " and she followed her into the sick- 
room. 



CHAPTER XXn. 

SICK-EOOM EXPEEIENCE. 

" Dost thou my profit seek, 
And chftsten as a friend ? 
God, I'll kiss the smarting rod, 
There's honey at the end." 

There are seasons in the life of every one -when even 
the most Mvolons must feel snbdned and impressed. 
At the bed of the afflicted ; at the couch of the dying, 
■when every pulsation of the clock seems to teU the 
fleeting moments of existence — such times as these 
are not for the merry laugh and jest ; no gay song, 
no dance here. What a discord would they make in 
those night, watchings ! 

In midnight hours of sad and anxious watching, 
when the whole past life stands before the eyes, a dis- 
mal spectacle indeed, if that life has hitherto been 
spent without God. To the Christian, it is of little 
consequence whether the broad eye of heaven looks 
into the chamber, or the stars of night. The know- 
ledge that he is under the shadow of the Almighty 
wing, is a peaceful, happy one. He need not fear even 
the review of his past life, for those sinfiil deeds of 
past days are all cancelled ; blood has procured them 
pardon, has blotted them out for ever. 

"Thou givest songs in the night," one Bible 



202 VERMONT VALE. 

Christian exclaims ; and how many since those words . 
were written have added their seal to the testimony. 
No ; there is nothing for the child of God to dread. 
His Father is near to him in the night as in the day ; 
those eyes never slumber, never sleep ! 

Midnight ! the great clock in the adjoining room 
had just proclaimed the hour. It fell with almost a 
chill upon Katie's unaccustomed ears ; she lifted her 
head from her book, and looked around her with a 
half shudder, turning with a glance of relief to the 
little figure opposite to her ; for Annie Maitland had 
fulfilled her kind promise, and was sharing the 
watch. 

All had been so quiet for the last half hour in that 
little chamber. The patient was in a heavy slumber, 
and the silence was only broken by his thickened 
breathing, and the monotonous tick of the dock in 
the other room. 

It was sultry yet within doors ; without, a most 
refreshing breeze was playing with the leaves of 
passion-flower and Cape ivy, and a little of its fresh- 
ness came in at the widely-open window, gently 
swaying to and fro the white curtains, and wan- 
dering over the heated brow of the invalid; in its 
way thither, toying with Katie's sumay ringlets, and 
softly kissing Annie's placid brow. They had placed 
a small round table between them, nearly underneath 
the window, and had seated themselises on opposite 
sides, within sight of the sleeper. A small lamp stood 
between them, with a deep green shade over it, that 
threw the rest of the room into shadow, while the 
light fell pleasantly on the open books that each had 
chosen to wile away the hours, and upon their own 



SICE-BOOM EXPERIENCE. 203 

little figures, and downcast, drooping heads. A little 
vase of monthly roses breathed their faint perfmne on 
the two weary watchers. That vase was the most 
cheerftd thing in the room ; for it spoke of life — afresh, 
young, blooming life — ^ia the midst of so much that 
reminded of death, that bore its impress. 

Katie's eyes were divided between those rosea 
and her sweet companion, Annie. Perhaps they 
rested more frequently upon the latter. It was a 
pretty picture of rest she formed. Katie saw that, 
and felt the contrast in herself. The smooth hair, 
with unruffled bands, so gracefully sweeping from 
the cheek's fair oval, a soft, faint rose-hue resting on 
either cheek. What a sweet expression the Httle 
mouth had taken, and the brow was as calm as a 
summer mom. There was nothing but quiet and 
rest everywhere that Katie could see. The delicate 
muslin dress, so fair with its tiny spots of pink on a 
snowy ground, the gossamer collar again — Annie's 
collars were always of lace-like texture — all this was 
faultless, and yet she had not been idle that evening. 
She had frequently shaken the pillows, the nicely- 
arranged bed was her work ; she had administered 
the draught each time ; the cup of panado was made 
by her little hand, and a hundred little kindred offices 
had fallen to her share, and yet she was unruffled as 
a rose-leaf on the bosom of a quiet lake. So Katie 
thought — thought, admired, and wondered. 

There was another watcher in the other room. 
Katie begged him to take her bed, and sleep that 
night ; but Fred would not hear of it, even though 
Annie Maitland added her gentler entreaties to his 
sister's. Yet, though he would not go to bed, he 



204 VEEMONT VALE. 

promised her lie would lie down on tlie sofa in the 
kitchen, and try to sleep, if they wonld promise to 
wake him shonld he be wanted, or Stephen worse ; 
and they thought he had done so once, when they 
stole softly in, Katie to show where materials might 
be found, and Annie to mix the panado, and boil it to 
its right consistency. They little knew, as he lay 
there fall length upon the sofa, his arms thrown back 
and crossed over his brow, that, beneath the shadow 
of those arms, there were earnest blue eyes intently 
watching every movement. 

And what did he think as he saw that little, 
calm, unruffled figure so quietly moving about his 
house. Ah ! she seemed an angel to him — an angel 
of goodness and mercy — an angel who added fi^sh 
brightness to the rough house of Sunny Hollow. He 
considered whether it would be possible to transplant 
that sweet flower from its lowly station beside his 
lucerne, and permanently to fix it in his home ! Was 
it possible that he should ever have the happiness of 
bestowing his name upon her ? Would she turn 
away if he asked her to share Sunny Hollow with 
him ? How he wished he knew ! 

And there she was so quietly standing at the 
table, unconscious of the eyes that were resting on 
her, so utterly unconscious of the thoughts that were 
passing within the sleeper's (?) breast, that once she 
fixed her own with a sweet half-sorrowful gaze upon 
him. The unwonted tears rose to Fred's eyes as he 
met that gaze. " What ! is she thinking of me ?" he 
inwardly exclaimed. " That I am deep, deep down 
in sin, too sinful for her ! Ah, so I am ; but she 
does not know how earnestly I am seeking another 



SICK-ROOM EXPEBIENCB. 205 

state of things — how I long to be a Christian, intend 
to be one ere long." 

It was well that Annie turned and went back into 
the room just then, with her nicely-prepared cup, for 
Fred's thoughts were becoming too disturbed for 
quiet. He lay in forced stillness a moment or two, 
and then sprung softly up, and went and paced up 
and down the verandah. 

It was the first time thoughts of Annie Maitland, as 
his wife, had placed themselves in such tangible shape 
before his mind. He had, it is true, been aware of a 
certain growth in his warmth of feeling towards her ; 
he had made the discovery that, as the stars grow 
pale in the light of the sun, so all other girls, in his 
estimation, had become insignificant in the presence 
of Annie Maitland. But it was reserved for that 
evening, when he saw her so quietly moving about 
his house, as though she were indeed a portion of it, 
for the pent-up feelings of his heart to pour forth— 
not audibly, but mentally — he knew now, ahnost 
angelized though she was in his estimation, that he 
could not calmly look upon her as the bride of 
another. No ; she must be his, or he should never 
again be happy. But would she ? 

Not if she thought of him as that sorrowful 
glance she gave him declared she did still ; not if she 
deemed him still wandering away from the fold of 
Christ, still a seeker after false gods, still a votary of 
pleasure, and what had he proved himself yet to be ? 
And, after all, should he be able to falfil the gospel 
requirements ? Was he able to perform all the 
promises he had made to his own heart ? Was he 
capable of becoming a Christian ? 



206 YEBMONT YALE. 

All! Fred was fast treading the way to Mr. 
Legality's manse ; by and by tbe tlnmder and light- 
ning of Sinai will alarm him if be continue this 
watcbing. Strange is it tbat so many take that 
terrible road, when the way to Monnt Calvary is so 
easy, so plain. Jesus only ! Jesus only ! 

" Just as I am, and waiting not. 
To free mj sonl from one dark spot, 
Lamb of God, I come !" 

Yes ; that is the secret, " Waiting not " — " Just 
as I am." That is how Jesus would have us come to 
Him. He " will cleanse each spot ;" we may vainly 
try to do so. He will accept us just as we are, and 
take us to his loving bosom. 

Young Mends, are there any among you who, 
like Fred, are seeking to become Christians in your 
own strength — seeking to make yourselves pure and 
holy ? Oh, come at once to Christ, and the work is 
done ! 

Fred was still walking up and down when Katie 
came out into the verandah. 

" Is Stephen sleeping yet ?" he asked. 

" Yes ; he took a few spoonfols of panado, and is 
asleep again. He was quite sensible for a moment or 
two, and asked for a drink ; but he relapsed again 
almost directly. Won't you come and look at 
him?" 

Fred followed his sister into the room, and stood 
by the side of Annie at his brother's pillow. 

" What do you think of him, Miss Maitland ?" he 
asked, as though he thought her opinion of greater 
value than his own eyesight. 



SICE-BOOH EXFEBIENCB. 207 

" I tluiik that the Doctor will say he is out of 
danger, Mr. Linwood," said Annie, raising her dark 
blue eyes to his face with a flush of pleasure. " I 
hare been watching him attentively since he took the 
last draught, and I feel sure there is improvement." 

" Doctor Moore promised to be here by day- 
break," said Fred, gently ; " we shall certainly know 
then. I confess I have had my fears to-day of his 
recovery," he presently added, in a low voice, as 
Elatie left the room to prepare some coffee. 

" I feared much too," replied Annie ; " but I 
knew that Grod is all-powerfol, and that He is a hearer 
and an answerer of prayer. In this case I believe He 
has already answered." 

"You have prayed for him?" asked Fred, in 
surprised and earnest tones. 

" Oh yes, Mr. Linwood ; have not you ?" 

" Do you think God would hear prayer of mine, 
Miss Maitland ? Would it not be presumption in 
me to try?" 

Annie gave a quick, penetrating glance into his 
face, and then suffering her lashes to drop over her 
soft eyes, she replied, " Presumption ! oh no. Jesus 
has invited us to come, to bring all our burdens to 
Him ; rather would it be presumption to try to bear 
our burdens ourselves. Have you tried to do that, 
Mr. Linwood ?" 

" Too much, I am afraid," returned Fred, sorrow- 
ftiUy. 

" Because," said Annie, fervently, "it is so much 
easier to take our troubles to Jesus, and this particu- 
larly, for Jesus can heal where man's skill avails 
nothing. He can alone make remedies available." 



208 VERMONT VALE. 

" Does it not need strong faith to credit this ?" 
" I do not think so ; it seems so simple to me. 
God's words ought snrely to be enough for u^." 

" I am ashamed to say what a stranger I am to 
the Bible, to the words of Jesus. What are those 
words, Miss Maitland?" asked Fred, leaning back 
against the wall with folded arms, and looking 
earnestly down at the fair face by his side. 

"Words of rest and comfort, Mr. Linwood," 
returned Annie, looking up with tear-gemmed eyes. 
" * Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest.* ' Cast thy burden 
on the Lord, and He will sustain thee.' * Look unto 
Me, and be ye saved.' ' Li the time of trouble He 
shall hide me in his pavilion, in the secret of his 
tabernacle shall He hide me.' *K any man lack 
wisdom, let him ask of Me.' 'Ask and receive, that 
your joy may be fall.' These, and many other as 
precious promises, are for the Christian; but," she 
continued, with downcast eyes and low sad tones, 
" Jesus also said, ' Ye have not, because ye ask not ;' 
*Ye will not come unto Me, that ye might have 
life.' " 

" You think," said Fred, in slow hesitating tones, 
after a pause of some length, " you think that I am 
among the latter class — those who will not come, will 
not ask. Miss Maitland ? I trust you are mistaken." 

Annie turned quickly round, a joyous flush illu- 
mining her face as she turned it to his. 

" Oh, how gladly would I be mistaken !" she 
exclaimed, in earnest, eager tones. " You are, then, 
seeking Christ ? You are a Christian !" 

" I dare not call myself by that name yet, Miss 



SICE-BOOM EXPEBIENCE. 209 

Annie, but that I desire to become one, to be wortby 
to enjoy that name, I can truly say; and that I 
intend, with all my heart and soul, to try is also true. 
Will you not pray for me ?" 

"Indeed I -will!" said Annie, with tearful face. 
She did not tell him how frequently before he had 
been remembered in her prayers, and ho did not say 
all he could have said just then ; how the steadfast 
little light of her Christian walk had lured him into 
the narrow path, lured him into the desire to search 
for himself, and see whether or no these things were 
true. 

" Remember, Mr. Linwood," said Annie, gently, 
•as she turned away at Katie's call to enjoy a cup of 
coffee, " remember, Jesus can perform all things. He 
not only leads sinners to Himself, but guides them all 
the way. * If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of 
Me.* ' I will guide thee with mine eye, and after- 
wards receive thee into glory.' " 



14, 



CHAPTER XXm. 

PEAELS WORTH DIVING |X)R. 

" My pardon I claim. 
For a sinner I am, 
A sinner beKeving in Jesns* name." 

A FEW hours later, and the Sabbath morning sun 
stole quietly into the kitchen at Smmy Hollow, 
throwing loi^ golden bars across the floor as it 
entered the open doorway, and illnmining the very 
qniet scene with its radiaat beauty. The window- 
blinds of green Venetian were drawn down to exclude 
the too lurid entree of those sunbeams ; they cast a 
grateful shade over everything in the room. All was 
in the same perfect order ; the floor was swept to the 
last degree of nicety, and the hearth had not even a 
stray cinder on its snowy expanse. From the chairs 
set carefully back in their places, to the vase of fresh 
flowers on the table, everything was just as every- 
thing should be and ought to be, where there are no 
children to displace, and disarrange, and litter vnth 
their unwearying little feet and fingers. These little 
ones will make themselves felt, as well as seen and 
heard. They leave the impress of their presence 
everywhere, be it by the scattered toys upon the 
carpet or the greasy finger-marks upon your dress. 
After all, the world would be a stiff-set, prim sort of 



PEABLS WOBTH DJVIHO FOB, 211 

plaloe, were it not for these little meddleBomfi, mig^ 
cliieYond clierabB. 

But tliere were no children at Snnnj HolloWy 
though the little figure on the sofa waa almost as 
petiie as a child. Perfectly quiet it lay, the little 
hands resting on one another, and the soft cheek 
resting on both. Katie, worn out with the fatigue of 
the previous evening, had consented to yield up her 
watch to a neighbour, who had come in for an hcmr 
or two tni Mrs. Banger should reUeve guard. She 
would not, however, in spite of all Dolly's coaxing, 
go further than the sitting-room ; but, when there, 
she had scarcely thrown herself on the BO&k five 
minutes, when all other senses were drowned in 
sleep. 

What would become of our weary frames were it 
not for this sweet restorer ? How wonderftdly and 
beautifdlly adapted to the human frame is every 
provision Gx>d has made for it. Where wonld be our 
mental power without the wholesome refreshment of 
sleep ? How little we think of this when we sink 
wearily on our pillows, and luxuriate in our soft 
beds, toying with sleep. 

Katie's sleep was made up of more than cme in^- 
gredient ; grief had a large share in it, and she dosed 
her eyehds to shut out the sense of shame that still 
continued to haunt her, which, indeed, since the 
Doctor had proclaimed the danger in some degree 
over, had returned with double force. How little had 
she thought, in her light-heartedness, that there really 
was truth in those odious reports that from time to 
time had found their way to her father's house ! How 
she had longed to prove to Amy and her husband 



il2 VERMONT VALE. 

tliat they were but reports aftet all ; tliat lier brotliei* 
Steve, wliom she dearly loved, was as free from the 
vice of intoxicatioii as she wished him to be. " Alas ! 
now, what could she say to Amy ? " And her head 
snnk wearily down on the soft pillow with the ques- 
tion. She fell asleep like a child, with the tears yet 
upon her lashes. 

Annie Maitland had left Sunny Hollow soon after 
brealdfast, promising to come again in the afternoon, 
to see how Stephen was getting on. She had heard 
the Doctor's report, who had been very early, as he had 
promised, and confirmed her own opinion that there 
was certainly a change for the better in the patient, 
but that the most perfect quiet was yet necessary 
to prevent a relapse. Stephen was still but partially 
conscious, but he was quiet, and that was much. It 
was certainly far less painftd to attend upon him. 
Annie left with greater satisfaction when she had 
seen the patient under the care of old Mrs. Hall once 
niore, and received Katie's promise to lie down and 
take some sleep. 

The house after that was quiet in the extreme. 
Even Dolly had found some place to stand herself out 
of sight and hearing. The sunbeam stole in quietly 
enough, and so also did a modest little zephyr; it 
played but few pranks at its entrance ; gently, very 
gently swaying to and fro the comer of the table- 
cover ; softly, very softly, rustling the window-blinds; 
and finally, lightly, very lightly, uplifting some of the 
fair ringlets that swept the brow of the sleeper. 

By and by a quiet step crossed the room ; a chair 
was noiselessly placed against the table ; a large book 
laid open upon that, and Fred seated himself down to 



PEARLS WORTH DIVING FOR. 213 

study his Bible. That was a sight that doubtless the 
angels delighted to look upon ; for Fred was no com- 
mon reader. He had come to that old volume, that 
long-unused volume, as the thirsty traveller to an un- 
unexpected fountain. It was to drink of the living 
water he desired ; to lave in the pure streams of sal- 
vation, and be cleansed, that he eagerly sought. He 
knew what that book contained : healing for the sick, 
cleansing for the leper, comfort for the troubled, rest 
for the weary ; he knew fhis, though not practically 
as yet, for he had not made it his study hitherto ; he 
had only heard of its precious contents from others, 
like one who has been told of the skill of a physician, 
but has not tested the efficacy of the medicine himself. 
So Fred had yet to prove in his own case that the 
Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is all-sufficient, all- 
consoling, all-divine. 

It was a new thing at Sunny Hollow for the Bible 
to form a part of even the Sabbath reading. Hitherto, 
the newspaper, with all its detaQ of politics and crimes, 
this world's pleasure, and amusements, and fashions, 
the whole Babel of the world in all its everyday phases, 
had always been reserved to wile away the tedium of 
the Sabbath afternoon. To go to chapel twice on 
Sunday, or even once, had been considered quite 
enough ; and, as Fred's own conscience admitted, he 
had not gone there either to listen to the preacher or 
to the word of God. But now, he was going to that 
sacred word, because he felt among those who " hun- 
ger and thirst after righteousness." Jesus himself 
pronounced these blessed ; and the promise to them, 
was, he knew, "they shall be .fiUed." He was deter- 
mined to search, that the fulfilment of that promisQ 



214 TSBMONT YALE. 

xniglit be seen in him. As he turned sofbly oyer £he 
great pages, his eye fell npon the 13th chapter of 
Matthew, the 45th, 46th, and 47th verses ; and, as he 
slowly read them over again and again, he thought 
that he was like the man seeking for hidden treasure. 
But was he willing to give up all for the sake of the 
Gospel of Christ ? He, too, was deeply anxious to 
find the pearl of great price ; but to possess it, would 
he resign the world ? Yes, he desired so ; he thought 
most certainly he would; he wanted that pearl of 
great price ; he wanted that treasure in his posses* 
sion. Just then he felt with the poet : 

" For Thee I could the world resign, 
And sail to heaven with Thee and thine." 

Ho bowed down his head upon his hands, and in- 
wardly prayed that he might always feel thus. 

He presently went on with his reading, but the 
remainder seemed almost fearftil to think of — the end 
of the world ; its tribunal ; the good and the bad ! K 
judged by his deeds, where should he be placed? 
Would the " ftimace of fire," the " weeping and wail- 
ing," have anything to do with him ? 

^ When Thou, the righteona Judge, shall come, 
To call Thy ransom'd people home. 

Shall I among them stand ? 
Shall such a worthless wretch as I, 
Who sometimes am afraid to die. 
Be fonnd at Thy right hand ? " 

This was the substance of what passed through 
Fred's mind, as he fixedly gazed on the words that 
troubled him so greatly. What had he to recommend 
]him to the meroy <^ God ? Why dhouM he be saved 



PEAELS WORTH DIVING FOE. 215 

and otliers lost ? And lie hurriedly tnmed over leaf 
afiber leaf of his Bible, while his troubled thoughts ran 
heavily along. He was beginning to think that the 
road was indeed narrow that led to life eternal, and 
that he ought not to be expected to enter, when his 
eye agaiu fell upon healing words — ^words just suited 
to his state of mind : " Ho ! every one that thirsteth, 
come ye to the waters ; and he that hath no money, 
come ye, buy and eat ; yea, come, buy wine and milk^ 
without money and without price." Ah! this was 
what he wanted. He had no money; nothing to 
recommend him in the sight of a holy God. He 
needed, then, a free salvation. And what could be 
more foil? "Without money and without price.'* 
Was he, then, to do nothing? And he hurriedly 
sought again through many pages to find an answer 
to his question. He found something, at last, that 
seemed the very thing for him. The very same ques- 
tion is asked by the jailer of Paul and Silas—" Sirs,^ 
what must I do to be saved ? " Fred bent eagerly 
over the words as he read the reply, " BeKeve on the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.*' Yes, 
it was only faith was needed ; fadth in Jesus, faith in 
his love, his ability, his willingness to save. The 
spirit, if not the words of the answer, made by the 
ruler who sought healing for his child, came to !Fred*s 
lips — " Lord, I beHeve, help thou my unbelief." 

Li the midst of his earnest pursuit after the waters 
of life, so purely gushing for his refreshment from the 
sacred word, a shadow crossed the sunshine at the 
door, and clouded the golden bar that by this time 
had found its way to the opposite wall. He looked 
from the large Bible before- him to meet the Mnd 



216 VERMONT VALE. 

sympatliiziiig face of Mrs. Ranger, whose passage 
ihrougli the door had been suddenly arrested by the 
pleasing and unwonted sight, the young master of 
Sunny Hollow studying the Word of God ! 

Fred rose instantly ; pointing with one hand to 
his still sleeping sister, with the other, giving a warm 
grasp of welcome to the hand extended to him. 

" She is wearied out, poor thing ; and no wonder, 
with mind and body too on the stretch," said Mrs. 
Ranger, in under-tones. "I have heard the good 
news, that your brother is better, Mr. Fred. Miss 
Maitland told me ; and I am -heartily thankful for it. 
I know Gx)d is a hearer of prayer." Miss Maitland 
had not told her of Fred's confession to herself, or 
that he intended and desired to become a Christian, 
that she had treasured in her own heart ; and there- 
fore Mrs. Ranger's surprise and pleasure were un- 
feigned when she saw the open Bible upon the table, 
and the eager, searching look of the face that bent 
over it. 

" You looked just now as if you knew something 
of the goodly pearls to be found in here," she pre- 
sently said, laying her hand on the pages of the book. 

" What makes you think so, Mrs. Ranger ? " 

"You seemed reading in earnest, as though you 
were seeking for something." ' • 

" I was, Mrs. Ranger." 

" And have you not found it ? " 

"Yes, indeed; I have found more than I ever 
expected to find in here for me. Mrs. Ranger, I be- 
lieve I now understand what makes you call the Bible 
a precious book." 

" Bless God for that ! Bless God for that ! " said 



PEARLS WORTH DIVING FOR. 217 

Mrs. Ranger, the tears of joy mnniiig into lier eyes. 
" K yoTi are beginning to understand why I think it 
precious, you are feeling it precious to yourself. Ah ! 
how I have prayed for this; prayed as though you 
were my own son." 

" You have prayed for me ? " said Fred, tears in- 
voluntarily coming into his own eyes. "I did not 
deserve that, Mrs. Ranger ; and I fear I am now very 
far from what you think me." 

" No, ilo ; I hope not. I think not. You are a 
sinner as I am, and you feel it ; feel you have dis- 
obeyed the commands of God, walked in your own 
ways, and that of the world ; that hitherto God has 
been forgotten by you, and that you are undeserving 
of his mercy." 

" Yes, yes ; all this, and more too." 

" I thought so," repKed Mrs. Ranger, still clasp- 
ing his hand. " And you need a Saviour ; you feel 
that you do ? " 

" I do, indeed ! " 

" Jesus Christ says, * I came not to call the righte- 
ous, but sinners to repentance ; * * The whole need not 
a physician, but the sick.' Is not that invitation 
enough for the sinner who feels the burden of his 
sin?" 

" Yes, Mrs. Ranger. Yes ; I see that it is beauti- 
ful and plain. And see here, this is what I have been 
reading ; " and he turned first to the words in Isaiah, 
and then to the Acts of the Apostles. " See ! " he 
exclaimed, " I was asking the same question as this 
man asked, and how beautifoUy this ^swer came in, 
' Beheve in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 
saved.' " 



218 VBEMONT VALE. 

" And you believe ? " asked Mrs. Ranger, her 
meek eyes glowing witli intensity of feeling, as she 
asked the momentous question. 

"I do most fervently, most reverently," replied 
Fred, in low decided tones. 

** Bless the Lord ! Bless the Lord, my dear Mr. 
Linwood. Salvation follows ! K you believe with 
your heart, you will confess with your tongue. You 
will seek to follow TTitti ; to do His will ; not because 
you fear, but because you love TTitti who first loved 
yon, who has given Himself for you." 

Gentle reader, has this confession ever been made 
by you ? Have you also believed in Jesus to the sal- 
TBtion of your soul ? If not, pray, pray, pray that 
the heart of unbeKef may be removed, and that you 
may sit at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in your right 
mind. 

little knew those earnest, low-voiced speakers 
that their half-hushed tones were being eagerly taken 
in by a pair of ears not far distant ; that eyes blue 
as violets, half hidden by the clustering ringlets and 
little hands, were stealthily glancing from one to 
another ; and that, finally, when Fred proclaimed his 
belief in Christ, tears crept silently through the fin- 
gers that concealed her face. " Fred a Christian ! " 
she mentally exclaimed ; " and what, oh, what am I ? 
Yes, he will be a pillar of strength ; he will not swerve 
from his opinions, if he has indeed become a Chris- 
tian ; he will be a true, unflinching one, I know that ; " 
and she watched her brother as he followed Mrs. 
Ranger into the sick-chamber with mingled feelings of 
admiration and wonder, half tinctured with fear : fear 
that he would not be the same to her ; fear that he 



PEARLS WOBTH DIVIKG FOR. 219 

would not love her as ever ; fear that; another cloud 
was coming over Sunny HoUow. 

She noiselessly crept off the sofa when she saw 
there was no danger of being seen, and snatching her 
garden-hat from its peg, slipped out of the house be- 
yond the bams, and a long way up the creek, a por- 
tion of which wandered through IVed's own land. 
To one point, not that point where the watercress 
grew — that only favoured Annie Maitland's garden — 
but to a clear, bright little open bit of water, that ran 
playfully, brawling over stones at the bottom, Katie 
wandered. Just at that point where the interposition 
of some large rocks formed a miniature cascade, it 
was so overshadowed by trees and bushes, and high 
embankments, and huge boulders, that it formed an 
excellent hiding-place, and Katie knew it. 

She threw herself down on the rocky bank, rest- 
ing her arms and head upon a moss-grown boulder 
that grew out of the embankment at her side, feeling 
very desolate and miserable, and as if she were quite 
aJone in the world. She dearly loved Fred, very 
dearly; and she admired as well as loved him. And 
now, what was this barrier that was springing up 
between them ? He was a Christian, a child of God. 
And she ? Ah ! what was she ? Not that ; not that. 

She had been there more than an hour watching 
the stream as it musically tinkled over the stones ; 
watching the deep smooth surface of a deeper spot, 
or the feathery spray of the torrent of two feet high ; 
and thinking of herself and of her brother, and of the 
change there would be in his affection now, when she 
heard that brother calling her loudly, first in one 
direction, and then in another. 



220 YBEMONT VALE. 

She lay qnite still listening to his voice, till it 
approached nearer and nearer, and the vrords, 
"Katie darling, where are you?" seemed nothing 
wanting in affection, or to be even more tender and 
sympathizing in their tones. She stood np then, and 
catching sight of her, Fred sprung down the creek, 
and was at her side in a moment. 

" Why, you Kttle puss, where have you been hid- 
ing ? I have sought high and low for you. You are 
wanted at home, I can teU you,'* said Fred, laughing 
at her amazement, and lifting her in his arms to the 
top of the bank. 

"Wanted!" asked KAtie, curiously. "Not to 
Stephen ; I see he's no worse." 

" No, Kttle Katie ; I am thankfol to say not. But 
you are wanted for all that. Don't you want to see 
mother?" 

" Is mother come ? " Elatie eagerly asked. 

" Come and see for yourself," laughed Fred, doing 
his best to hasten her to the house; but her feet 
needed no wings now. 

Mother's presence! Ah! what a weight that 
word took off Elatie's mind. She rushed into the 
house, and a moment after was weeping out aU her 
trouble, and grief, and anxiety, on that best resting- 
place this world can afford, a mother's bosom ! 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

MOTHER. 

" As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.'* 

Mother! most musical word of uttered language; 
the first soft lispings of the infant tongue. Mother, 
a name so sweet, that it should always be coupled 
with expressions of endearment. Dearest mother! 
while I breathe, shall I ever forget thee ? Will thy 
gentle teachings ever be obhterated? that sweet 
and lovely face, the soft and flexile voice, those fond 
endearing caresses, ever cease to be remembered ? 
Ah ! never, never ! 

Katie's mother was but little like her daughter, 
for though ^petite in stature, she was very stout — not 
like Mrs. BatemSn, but soft and downy, and loving- 
looking, with deep dimples near her mouth, and soft 
eyes that smiled upon you, and soft silver hair, 
smoothly put away beneath a very neat Kttle cap of 
lace, as gossamer as Annie Maitland's coUars, it did 
not give one particle of stiflBiess to the sweet face, 
though no cap could have done that. When Katie 
entered, she was seated in the large easy-chair, near 
the door, fanning herself with her handkerchief; for 
she was very warm after her ride through the sun. 



222 VERMONT VALE. 

thongli the cool nmslin in wluch she liad arrayed her- 
self looked very pleasant, and a nice little breeze was 
beginning to rise and toy with her lace cap-strings, 
and the soft folds of her dress. 

Katie was not more glad to see her mother than 
her mother was to see her ; she fondled and petted her 
darling child, smoothing again and again the soft hair 
from the clear brow, and kisfiing it warmly, and 
wiping away the tears with her impromptu fan. " She 
had been sadly missed at home," she told her ; " and 
bnt for her brothers' sake, wonld have been sent for 
home long before." 

^And does ^Either miss me?" smiled Eaiae, as 
though she knew what tl^e answer would be. 

*^ Indeed he does, dear ; I hare had much to do to 
keqp him from fetching you home. He says that the 
boys ought not to have all the sunshine up at Sunny 
Hollow; but you seem happy enough here, darlings 
when Stephen's well, and that is sufficient." 

Happy ! Well, so she was, now that her mother 
was with her, and that she had that dear bosom to lay 
on, and pour all her sorrows into ; but had her mother 
seen her a few moments ago, she would not have 
thought so. She little knew the under-current iliat 
was silently making its way beneath the smooth water 
of Sunny Hollow ; glad enough would she have been 
to hear that there was already a ^'troubling of the 
waters." 

" You have come to stay, dear mother ? " asked 
Katie, eagerly. 

" Yes, dear, till Stephen is well enough to move, 
and then I will take him back with me for a time. 
Poor fellow, poor fellow I Oh, how it grieves me to 



MOTHEB. 223 

hear the can^e of all this," and the handkerchief was 
pressed to the eyes that were now streaming with 
tears. " Ah ! " she continned presently, in a broken 
voicje, " if my children were only decided for the Lord 
— ^if they had only given their hearts to Him, whai* a 
deal of sorrow I should be spared." 

Katie seized the bonnet and shawl that had been 
lefb on the table, and hurried out of the room to pni 
them away, and hide her tears. Fred stood for a 
moment perfectly stiU, his head leaning against the 
door-post. 

" There is one thing I believe, mother," he pre- 
sently said, in a grave voice, "that God will yet 
answer your prayers in our behalf." 

" I trust and hope He may, indeed, my son, even 
though it should not be till I am gone. I shall rejoice 
even then with the angels in heaven." 

" I hope you may yet have to do it on earthy 
mother," he quietly replied ; and he passed out into 
the verandah, and began walking towards the stableu 

His mother looked anxiously after him. " What 
did he mean by these quiet words — so unlike Fred 5 
she had never heard him speak thus before ; ooold it 
indeed be that he was already seeking the Saviour ? ** 
The mother's heart beat with joyous expectation, as 
only a mother's heart can beat, though there waa 
little outward semblance, excepting a slight accession 
of colour on her cheek. 

Yes, she had strong hopes of Fred. But Stephen, 
her poor misguided Stephen ! and her true mother's 
heart clung to the erring one. What had she of him ? 
True, God was sparing his life ; and while there ia li& 
there is hope : 



224 VBBMONT VALE. 

" While the lamp holds out to bnm, 
The vilest sinner may return." 

But ah, if there was only to be a repetition of former 
follies with the spared life, that, indeed wonld be hard 
to endnre, even in thought. 

She got up from her comfortable chair, no longer 
comfortable with that thought as an accompaniment, 
and went into the sick-chamber. How nice and 
orderly and fresh even that looked. The white cur- 
tains were looped far back, so that the patient might 
have the benefit of aU the air that came in at the 
little window. The sweet fresh smell of a few flowers 
took off a little of the heavy atmosphere. The little 
table drawn near the bed, with the glass of cooling 
drink upon it ; the medicine for the next dose, and an 
orange cut into quarters, one quarter of which had 
abeady disappeared, — all these spoke most loudly of 
a sister's careful attention. Katie was learning from 
her trouble one part of woman's mission — that most 
certainly best learnt in the school of experience — pain- 
£ul as the lessons may be. Her mother felt this as 
she looked around on the evidence of her daughter's 
ministration ; and from her warm heart there arose a 
silent prayer, that among all gentle and lovable 
things written on that fair young brow, the seal of 
God might appear; making aU lovely, lovelier stiU; all 
sweet, more perfect in sweetness, that the beautiftil 
ornament of a meek and quiet spirit might be the 
adornment of her beloved child. She coveted these 
far more than jewels or costly array, and she was 
right; for, after aU, exquisite as are the pearls of 
earth, what are they to that pearl of great price? 
What is the wealth of Golconda's minfe to the trea- 



HOTHEB. 225 

STires in tlie heavens, where neither moth can corrupt, 
nor thieves break in and steal ? Far better to be the 
lowliest of the low in time, and an heir of God for 
eternity. Far better be despised in this world, and 
reign with Jesus in heaven ! Better far tread a path 
of trial and sorrow below, and receive the crown and 
the palm-branch in glory ! 

Would that we could dwell more on this " glory 
that shall be revealed," and that the puny cares, and 
sorrows, and annoyances of every- day life affected us 
less ! Strange that our hearts are so earth- worn, so 
attracted by the pebbles and dust of a &ding 
mortality, that the crown above our head is ofben 
disregarded, while we diligently, ah, most diligently, 
most earnestly, rake together the straws and dust 
beneath our feet. 

" Pleased with these earthly toys !" 

And yet our life is but as a moment ! 

Mrs. Ranger still kindly offered to remain with 
her quiet Httle baby, for this time she had brought it 
with her ; and as Mrs. Linwood was fatigued with 
her hurried journey, her offer was most gratefolly 
accepted ; and, indeed, Mrs. Linwood was glad of her 
company through the night, although Stephen was 
still much better. The Doctor came in the evening, 
and pronounced the fever much abated ; and it was 
evident that, though Stephen lay very quiet, con- 
sciousness had returned ; for once, when his mother 
laid her hand softly upon his brow, he opened his 
eyes, and turned liiem on her, saying, in a faint 
voice — 

" You here, mother ?" 

15 



226 YERMONT VALE. 

But she quickly hushed him, and he felt little 
inclination to say more, soon dozing again. 

"You think he is better, Doctor?" asked his 
mother, as she watched him counting the pulse. 

" Sure of it, madam, sure of it ! Strange 
alteration in his pulse ! The lad will be well in a 
few days ! You must mind, though, he don't get 
spreeing it again too soon." 

" If it lies in his mother's power to prevent it, he 
never shall again," replied Mrs. Innwood, with deep 
feeling. 

" You see, Mrs. Linwood," said the Doctor, folding 
his arms and looking straight before him, "these 
young men never can have enough of a thing ; they 
don't seem to. know when it is time to leave off, 
that's the worst of it. You'll have to look after your 
son a bit." 

Look after him, eh ! if a mother's vigilance 
could keep him from evil, would it not be done ? 
But Mrs. Linwood felt with deep anguish how short 
a distance her power extended ; felt that a Higher 
Power was needed to restrain her erring son frx)m 
sin. But she rejoiced that to go to that Higher 
Power was her prerogative, and that she was 
encouraged to beheve from former instances of 
answers to prayer. She did not give up in despair 
even now. 

" You needn't fight so shy of me. Miss Katie," 
said the Doctor, laughingly, as he went out of the 
door, and caught Katie in the very act of beating a 
retreat. " Come, now, this is not fair, I want to talk 
with you. What are you running away for ?" 

Katie stood perfectly still now, and the Doctor 



MOTHER. . 227 

looked down into the fair little face with nninistaike- 
able admiration. 

"What have you against me?" he presently- 
asked, in softened tones, taking both her hands 
in his. 

But Katie made no answer to that, otherwise 
than by bending down her head till the soft ringlets 
almost hid the angry flush that sprang to her cheek, 
and vainly striving to free her hands. 

"What have I done to make you angry?" the 
Doctor again asked, in slightly-amazed tones. " Cured 
your brother, eh ?" 

" For that I thank you," said Katie, almost 
haughtily ; " but for the cause of his illness, I have a 
right to be angry as a sister." 

" With me ? Come, come, Miss Katie, this won't 
do. I be hanged if you won't drive all the politeness 
I have about me to the winds ! How did I cause his 
illness ?" 

" By putting temptation in his way, Doctor ! You 
know," said E^atie, with pretty indignation, "you 
must have seen, too, that he was taking more than 
he ought, and you did not restrain him." 

" He was my guest !" said the Doctor, somewhat 
abashed, letting fall the little hands he held. 

Katie retreated to the wall. 

" Tour guest, Doctor ! Yes, he was ; but did you 
not know his failing ? Surely, you could not have 
been blind to it, though I, his sister, was." 

"Well, Miss Katie, I'm sorry you won't bo 
friends — ^very sorry. If there's any complaint though, 
by the by, I think I ought to complain, since it was 
Fanny who suffered somewhat." 



228 VEBICONT YALE. 

" I am very sorry for it, Doctor ; it has bitterly 
grieved me — bitterly," said Katie, the hot colour 
flxLfihmg to her face, and the tears coming into her 
eyes. " I'd rather anything, anything than that my 
brother should have insnlted her. But you know. 
Doctor, a madman is not accountable for his actions. 
Panny ought to know that too." 

" Well, well, she does, to be sure, and I don't 
believe she thinks a word about the whole affair. 
She's fretting for you, that's all, and, Httle puss as 
she is, declares she won't preside at another party if 
there is anything stronger than tea or coffee going 
forward. What say you to such mutiny ? I shall 
have to look out for another housekeeper," he added, 
with a peculiar and meaning snule. 

" Keep the one yon have as long as you can, 
Doctor," replied Katie, with a slightly increasing 
colour. " I am glad to hear this of Fanny. Give 
my love to her after that," and she retreated into the 
house, leaving Doctor Moore to find his own way to 
the stables, where his horse had been Tnaking the 
most of its time the last twenty minutes. 

" I am surprised we have not had one visitor," 
said Fred, as a little later he stood with his sister in 
the porch, watching the little stars as they came out 
one after another. There was no moon that night. 

" What visitor ?" asked Katie, with anticipating 
glance. 

"Mr. Howard, our minister," answered Fred. 
" He is usually so prompt in his attentions in cases of 
inness, and I'm sure this is no common case. Are 
you not surprised he has not been ?" 

"No," answered Katie, quietly; "because he 



MOTHER. 229 

knows nothing about it. Mrs. Eanger says tliat He 
went away early on Friday morning to one of lis 
distant stations, and that a stranger preached to-day 
at onr chapel. There are some anniversary services 

at S ; something of the sort. I believe it was 

given out last Sunday." 

" Ah ! yes, I had forgotten. Well, then, that 
doubt in my -mind is set at rest ;" and Fred very 
comfortably lighted his pipe, and threw himself along 
the seat in the verandah to enjoy a luxurious 
smoke. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

A PEEP INTO THE MINISTER'S STUDY. 

" He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all ; 
And as a bird each fond endearment tries, 
To tempt its new-fledg'd offspring to the skies, 
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay. 
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way." 

A VEST gentle breeze stole in at an open window, 
about a room wbose atmosphere was quiet and calm, 
and serene as tbe evening sky. It was a playfal 
Kttle breeze, one would almost Have doubted its right 
of entrance there, though evidently it did not. It 
knew too knew well that, tiny as it was, it brought 
balm, and refreshment, and sweet fragrance with it, 
amply compensating for the slight derangement it 
effected in sundry papers during its stealthy wan- 
derings. 

"We have entered the room before, and introduced 
with us our fair readers, so that there is no new 
introduction to make. The room is the same, muslin 
drapery, books, and all, only upon the little table 
stands an open desk, several books, and a mass of 
manuscripts and blank paper, some of which the 
truant breeze had very disrespectfiilly scattered, still 
keeping up a playful rustle amongst them. 

The owner of the desk and papers is seated at the 
table, with head bent down over a large folio Bible ; 



A PEEP INTO THE MINISTEB'S STUDY. 231 

he is not reading, but dreaming. (Jraham Howard 
often fell into reveries in the midst of lis studies, 
and at the present moment he had quite wandered 
from the subject on which he had then been writing 
brief notes, and something of the same old trouble 
that had crossed his brow, and darkened his spirit, 
when last we met him at home, was lingering 
there yet. 

So little fruit, so little fruit to pay him for all 
his untiring labour, for the miles he weekly traversed 
in pursuit of souls ; for Graham Howard rode far in 
his efforts to do good. Vermont was not his only 
preaching station ; there were other little out-of-the- 
way hamlets that gladly received him, and profited 
by his coming amongst them, and over these he 
grieved not, rather indeed rejoiced. It was for 
Vermont that he grieved in spirit, the youth of 
Vermont over whom he desponded. In truth, his 
present painful reveries had all taken their colouring 
from the report of Stephen Linwood's illness and its 
cause, which had arrived at table with his cup of 
coffee that morning, and deprived him of all remaining 
appetite. 

Yes, the revel and its results ; this occupied the 
thoughts of Graham Howard so entirely that sweet 
evening, that its sweetness was unnoticed. Wearied 
out with his long services and journey of the previous 
day, he had been obliged to rest the greater portion 
of this, and to leave his visit to the Linwoods till the 
evening ; and since his early cup of tea he had been 
trying to arrange a few thoughts, to collect a few 
scattered ideas previously to his intended walk, 
though almost vaLoly, for sorrow held too predomi- 



282 YSBHONT YALE. 

nant sway for quiet study. Dr. Moore, though a 
professed friend of the minister's, and one of his most 
active and energetic cash supporters, was in reality 
an enemy, for the whole tenor of his life lay in an 
opposite direction,- and, most unhappily, he was not 
contented to journey alone in his downward path, 
but strove to attract others after him, too frequently, 
alas! succeeding. (Jraham Howard remembered 
some young faces in his congregation of whom he 
had been very hopeful lately ; he had noticed marks 
of earnest increasing attention, of eager listening, in 
more than one fair countenance ! Were aQ these 
hopefrd signs to be dissipated by worldly influences ? 
Perhaps "he who goeth about as a roaring lion, 
seeking whom he may devour," had noticed them 
too, and aided the Doctor in his ill-timed revel ; and 
80 the lambs of the fold were to be put to flight, 
these hopeful ones transformed ! Were, indeed, the 
dance and the song to put aside the littie good that 
Graham Howard had so long hoped and earnestly 
prayed for ? 

He had been told a littie before the evening party 
that the Doctor had said, "the young people of 
Vermont were getting the blues, and that, while he 
oould help it, they should not suffer from the want of 
a little life. He, for his part, would not let them go 
without a dance, and he knew of two or three more, 
not far from Vermont, quite ready and willing to 
back him, and so a succession of revels might be 
expected." What was to be done ? Graham Howard 
knew enough of the Doctor to feel convinced that his 
was no idle threat, and was he willing tamely to 
submit to see the utter extinction of the littie good 



A PEEP INTO THE IONISTEB'S STUDT. 233 

that lie hoped was already done ? Was lie to see all 
his efforts nxdlified, and Satan's kingdom augmented 
without an effort ? No ; that was not like our young 
minister. He had resolved upon steady resistance, 
but he had not quite determined on his course of 
action, and at last his thoughts resolved themselves, 
as they often did, into the form of prayer. Strength, 
assistance, ' and guidance he well knew were his 
Heavenly Father's to bestow, and those words of the 
dear Saviour not inaptly occurred to his memory, 
" Ye have not, because ye ask not." 

Ah, sweet relief! ah, kind provision for the 
burdened spirit ! Prayer, that beautiful behest ! how 
dull the Christian's path would be without thy solace. 
" Ye have not, because ye ask not." Ah ! how may 
every Christian pilgrim take these loving words of 
rebuke to his own breast. "We ask not, and yet 
wonder we do not receive ; or else we ask, believing 
all the time that our request will not be granted. 
This is not the prayer of fedth ; this is not honouring 
the Lord ; this is not taking our Grod at his word. 
Oh, that there was more faith among us, dear 
readers ! you who know what prayer is ; would that 
we could indeed believe more, then would our receipts 
be greater. 

Graham Howard rose at length, and, gathering up 
his truant papers, turned the key of his desk upon 
them; then, taking his hat, he passed through the 
window, carefully closing it behind him, and so out 
into the garden, and through a little side gate, leaving 
the house on his right. Still deeper in thought, his 
hands clasped behind him as he walked along, he 
was reviewing a number of plans to rouse up the 



234 VERMONT YALE. 

youth of Yermoiit, though in a far different way to 
that the Doctor had chosen. Something, he felt, 
must be done to interest and attract the yonng people, 
that at least they might be brought under the sound 
of the gospel — ^might be retained among the hearers ; 
and who could then teU what God might do ; how 
many of these youthfcd hearers He might call into his 
church ? Graham Howard was not a man to sit with 
folded hands and await a blessing. No ; he knew 
that the promise is to him " who soweth beside all 
waters," and he was determined not to withhold his 
hand while sinners were to be won from their giddy 
pursuit of the phantom happiness, or souls to be 
rescued from falling into the pit. 

It was a pleasant walk on a lovely summer's even- 
ing. The road was the same Fred Linwood had 
taken the evening he left the Doctor's — ^that memor- 
able evening when the words of the young minister 
struck home so forcibly to his heart, although merely 
an outside listener. Little knew Graham how recently 
that same way had been traversed by one of his 
hearers to whom his words had indeed proved a 
" savour of Hfe unto Hfe." How strengthened would 
he have been in his faith, in his resolves, how ani- 
mated in his course of usefulness, had he known it. 
But stones do not speak, rocks will not testify, and 
even the babbling little brook, though it might have 
told a tale, at any rate was unintelligible to his ears. 

What could be done ? What was doing in his 
church already ? There was the Sabbath-school ; it 
certainly wanted stirring up. There were plenty of 
children in Vermont, and not half of them came for 
Sabbath instruction. Perhaps they needed more in- 



A PEEP INTO THE MINISTER'S STUDY. 235 

dncement. At present no regular system of rewards 
had been established ; that must be attended to — 
anything to entice the lambs into the fold. Then 
there had been no Sabbath-school fete. And how 
was this ? Graham Howard knew very well how it 
was. He had been almost single-handed in his work ; 
not one congenial spirit had he to go forward with 
him. The school had no superintendent. Where 
could he look for one ? His thoughts turned yearn- 
ingly towards the very spot whither his feet were 
journeying; and Fred Linwood, with all his fine 
qualities, his commanding yet winning aspect, his 
methodical, straightforward, energetic ways, stood 
forward as the very model of the man he wanted, 
but for one thing. Yes ; but for that ! — and Graham 
Howard would not have asked a better coadjutor. 
But without that, how could he, with all his capa- 
bihties, be suited for such a position ? The superin- 
tendent of a Sabbath-school must at least be a servant 
of God ; and, though he owned that it would not do 
to think of him, he looked vainly round the field of 
his labours to find one that would. Teachers, though, 
were wanted. They must be canvassed for ; and his 
thoughts would stray again to Sunny Hollow — a little 
figure in a blue riding-dress would flit across his 
memory, as though to suggest one. 

" Oh ! if Miss Linwood were only a Christian,'* 
he sighed, " what an influence she might have over 
her brothers. I must, at any rate, ask her to become 
a teacher when her brother recovers, though she is 
not serious. Who can tell if it may not result in 
good to herself! — ^that, instructing others, she may 
not herself be taught ?" 



236 7EBM0NT YALE. 

Yes, they needed stirring up ; but not only in the 
Sabbath-sdiool. The public prayer-meeting required 
deeper fervour, more constant attendance. And what 
of the secret prayer ? — had it not declined ? Was all 
right in the " dwellings of Jacob '* ? There was 
another subject for his Sabbath sermons. 

But how could he gather the young people of 
Teimont together, so as to throw interest into these 
meetings ? Ah ! he would try what, as yet, he had 
never tried before, to form a Bible-class ; render that 
as interesting as his plenti^ resources, his weU-stored 
mind, and his ample library would allow — one that 
would just meet the requirements of Vermont's youth, 
asid would embrace all who chose to come. This he 
determined to put into action immediately. He had 
Mth in its operation, and only wondered it had not 
occurred before. 

He hastened his footsteps now, for he was getting 
in sight of the house — just passing the potato-patch, 
and passing through the rusthng com, already turn- 
ing yellow in the November sunbeams. He had only 
crossed half the paddock when he caught sight of 
the young master himself advancing to meet him. A 
moment after they met, with a hearty shake of the hand. 

" I should have been here before this, Mr. Lin- 
wood," said Graham Howard, "but you are doubt- 
less aware I have been away &om Vermont. I did 
not return till very early this morning — ^to breakfast, 
in &ct ; and I was too tired to do anything but rest, 
as there was nothing very urgent in your brother's 
case, and I hope he still continues to amend." 

" I am glad to be able to answer, Yes," replied 
Ered. " My brother has been very seriously ill ; but 



A PEEP INTO THE musisteb's studt. 237 

since yesterday a decided improvement is visible, and 
it continues." 

" Was lie conscious of his danger P' 

" No, lie was not. Indeed, wMle lie was in danger 
lie was quite unconscious of anything — ^not even re- 
cognizing those around him." 

" God has indeed been merciful in sparing his 
life. Had he been removed in that state of uncon- 
sciousness, where would his soul be now ? And who 
can say that he may not yet prove * a brand plucked 
from the burning ' ? Is he conscious now ?" 

" Yes ; but he says little, and sleeps much,** re- 
plied Fred. " I am afraid he is scarcely yet in a fit 
state to attend to anything you may say; but my 
mother is here, and she will be very glad to see you," 

The two young men walked side by side up 
towards the house for some moments in silence. At 
last Gh:^am Howard spoke again. 

"This inness of your brother's has a painful 
origin, I am grieved to hear, Mr. Innwood." 

" One that I am ashamed of, sir ; one that has 
troubled me much," replied Fred, the burning colour 
rising to his brow. "Yes," he continued, "we are 
ashamed to have it said that a brother of ours is a 
drunkard." 

" That is a harsh temL Not an habitual one, I 
hope?" 

" It is growing upon him, and is a great deal too 
frequent in its occurrence to my taste," replied 
Fred, rather bitterly. " I have warned him before of 
this, but he is doing all that he can to make a sot of 
himself. At present he has not the power, even if he 
had the wiU." 



238 VERMONT YALE. 

" I trust the * will ' will never be in the ascen- 
dancy again," said Gh:aham Howard, with a sigh, as 
he entered the house, and, the next moment, the sick- 
chamber. 

The sight of that pale, sleeping face was enongh 
to disarm all bitterness. So Fred thought, as he 
followed him in, and then stood at a little distance, 
leaning against the wall, listening to the conversation 
that ensned between his mother and the young 
minister; for Katie, like himself, though present, 
took but little part in it. 

She sat, too, with half-averted face again, when, 
presently, they read from the Sacred Word ; but she 
listened to the impressive tones that carried so much 
power with them with a sorrowful earnestness ; and, 
as she knelt again with the rest, while he poured 
forth, in earnest language, a heart-melting prayer, 
including each member of the household in its peti- 
tion, tears came so fast that, at the close, she quietly 
slipped from the room, and took refuge in her own 
chamber. 

" I am sorry, Mr. Linwood," said Graham Howard, 
as Fred accompanied him across the section on his 
leaving — "I am sorry that these parties at the 
Doctor's have any attraction for you. I have been 
hoping other things of you." 

" I think I have given you little reason to do so," 
replied Fred, lashing the toe of his boot with a 
riding- whip he had taken from the table. " But the 
parties in question have less attraction than you think, 
perhaps." 

"I hope so," said the young minister, with a 
quick glance into his companion's face. "Yet 



A PEEP INTO THE MINISTER'S STUDY. 239 

I think you were among tlie nninber tlie other 
night." 

"I was; more out of compliance than taste. I 
trust I shall never go again for any reason." 

Graham Howard turned quickly round and faced 
the young man as he said this, seizing his unresisting 
hand. 

" Can it be that you have learned to feel that these 
also are vanity ?" he eagerly asked. 

"I have," was the laconic reply; and the hands 
were warmly clasped and shaken. Gh:aham Howard 
with difficulty found words to inquire — 

" Since when have you felt thus ?" 

And then he heard how, on that same evening, 
words he had spoken had reached a heart he had little 
dreamt of reaching; how the outside listener had 
carried away the blessing ; how the very revel he had 
so much dreaded had been overruled for good. The 
two young men paced backwards and forwards in 
the path through the wheat, in glad, earnest converse, 
till the stars peeped out at them jGrom the dull blue 
sky, and the " morepork " uttered its cuckoo note, 
soft and sweet, and the agile opossum whizzed across 
their path with its peculiar " whir, whir." And then 
they separated, with a promise soon to meet again ; 
Fred returning to the house, and Graham Howard 
wending his way back to his quiet home, with his 
heart singing sweet melody, and his lips uttering 
earnest thanksgiving for this more than answer to 
his prayer. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

THE IfBW life's FIRST EFFORT. 

" Language ig slow. The masteiy of words 
Both teach it to the infant drop by drop. 
As brooklets gather." 

Sunny Hollow was smmy once more; for the evidence 
of sickness was removed, and Stephen, nnder his 
mother's escort, had left Vermont, and gone to 
complete his restoration at home. Things were pro- 
gressing much in their nsnal oonrse among the in- 
mates : there was the same amonnt of butter tnmed 
out from the chum, or nearly so ; for, to be sure, the 
season was rapidly advandng, and butter now stood 
at a higher figure than it had done when so many 
pounds were produced. There was a long row of very- 
nice-looking cheeses upon the shelves that extended 
round the dairy, which told of activity enough ; while 
the well-cured hams, in their neat canvas bags, and 
huge sides of bacon, betrayed that industry was cine 
of the household virtues of Sunny Hollow. 

There had also been plenty of activity vnthout 
doors. The hay harvest had passed, as the high, 
well-formed hay-ricks testified ; and it had been so 
abundant that Fred had had to employ half-a-dozen 
men to assist in getting it in and stacking it. This 
increased the amount of labour within doors, of 



THE NEW life's HBST EFFORT. 241 

coxtrse ; there were additional months to devonr the 
good things. Dolly and EZatie vied with each other 
in working for the table ; bnt they did not mind that 
in the least. They thonght that the labonrer was 
worthy of his hire, and of all the attention they 
conld bestow. 

Bnt the hay had been careftdly stacked, and there 
was now a short interval of rest before the still more 
important wheat harvest began— a period well known 
to every resident of a farmhonse, as entailing a vast 
amonnt of labonr npon all, both within and without 
too — a period when most certainly the Scripture de- 
claration is fulfilled that "man shall eat his bread 
by the sweat of his brow." 

How different were now the feelings with which 
Fred traversed his paddock of waving com! — ^how 
differently he looked npon the plentifiil heaps of 
hay he had gathered. "They are all the gifts 
of thy hand, O my Father," he conld now ex- 
claim; and wlule he gave to Gk)d the glory, his 
heart thrilled within him that he should be thonght 
worthy of claiming relationship with One so great 
— ^worthy with the worthiness that Christ had put 
npon him. 

Many times since that memorable evening Fred 
had enjoyed the privilege of conversation with the 
young pastor of Vermont — conversations that had 
encouraged him much in his new life, in his efforts 
heavenward, Godward. With faith that could at 
first scarcely move its wing, he had commenced his 
pilgrimage ; but, since then, that faith had gathered 
strength, and he had found that there was One to 
help him upwards in his journey — One to whom he 

16 



242 VERMONT VALE. 

could at all times flee ; that, weak in himself as lie 
felt to be, lie might lay hold of the strength of One 
mightier than he. Graham Howard, in all his com- 
mnnions with him, enconraged this sort of reliance, 
constantly pointed to Christ as the all-snfl&cient 
Savionr, ready to save, willing to save, able to save 
to the uttermost, and not only jGrom death and hell, 
but jGfom sin and its power. 

True to his character, and to his strong belief in 
that description of the Christian, " By their finits ye 
shall know them," he had made no secret of his faith. 
Those words of our Saviour, " K ye confess Me before 
men, my heavenly Father will confess you," were 
constantly ringing in his memory. There was no 
ostentation about him, or Pharisaical prominence given 
to his religion ; no saying by his actions or words, 
" Stand by, I am holier than thou :" but there was a 
quiet boldness in the declaration of his belief in 
Christ — his desire to walk in his ways ; there was a 
sacred courage in his openly laying aside things that 
before he was known to love, that greatly rejoiced 
Graham Howard. Here was the " pillar of strength " 
he had so much needed — here the companion in his 
work he so much desired. And, after all, how was 
this lost sheep brought home to the fold ? In such a 
way that he was compelled to exclaim, " Not by might, 
nor by power," but by the Spirit of God alone. 

Half with wonder, half with dismay, Katie be- 
held the change in her brother. Was he less kind 
than usual ? No ; he was more so. His manners 
were more gentle and affectionate; he studied her 
CDmfort more than ever. Yet there had arisen a 
barrier between them ; there was one point on which 



THE NEW life's FIEST EFFORT. 243 

they still differed. Katie knew her brother was a 
Christian, but she also knew that she was not. 

Did she desire to be one ? Was she willing to 
follow Jesus, and renounce all for Him ? No ; she was 
yet unwilling ; she knew that. The amusements of 
the world were yet delightfal to her. She had no in- 
clination to bear the cross of Christ. She could not 
give up the few pleasures that were still in her power; 
and, strange to say, she was sorry that Fred, in this 
respect, was no longer a companion for her. 

But now Fred Linwood had learned to love the 
Saviour, was he not anxious for his sister ? He was 
indeed. How could he avoid it ? We who feel 
within the impress of Grod's forgiving love, who 
believe that our names are indeed written on high, 
how is it possible that we can calmly look around us 
at our dying fellow-travellers who are passing away, 
without a pardon, without a wish for one? Many 
and earnest were the prayers Fred put up for his only 
sister. But at present he had said but little to her. 
" Let me show first that in reality I am a follower of 
Christ," he exclaimed to himself, "then I shall be 
more at liberty to talk of these things, and she, 
perhaps, may more readily receive them." 

One evening Fred had sauntered across the pad- 
dock to the minister's house, and found him at home, 
and sufficiently at leisure for an hour's pleasant con- 
versation. The matters just then nearest Graham's 
heart were introduced : the proposed revivals in the 
church and school. Fred engaged to ask his sister to 
become a teacher in the Sabbath-school, and a 
member also of the Bible-class, and he promised his 
own presence in both, and entered very warmly into all 



24A iTEsaiom yum. 

Graham Howard's plans for iutnre benefit to the 
youth of Yennoxit ; and, finally, he was just taking 
his leave at the garden-gate, when the minister, lay- 
ing hia hand on his shoulder, quietly said — 

** I suppose, Mr. Linwood, you have alrea^ 
erected an altar to the Lord in your house ?" 

Fred coloured, and hesitated a moment, and pre- 
-Beoitly said, " If you mean by that that you suppose I 
have commenced family prayer, and reading, in our 
little family, I have not yet, Mr. Howard. I was not 
sure that I ought to do so." 

"Tou are the master of Sunny Hollow, The 
house is yours. It is your duty, my dear 'friend, to 
Boknowledge God in your family.*' 

'^ I have thought so little about it, and do not 
know how T should succeed. Indeed, I am not sure 
that my sister would consent." 

*' Have you reason to believe that she will 
refuse?" 

" No, certainly; I have no right to think that, fbr 
I have never asked her." 

*' Make the attempt to-night, then," said Graham 
Howard, with a quiet smile, as he warmly shook the 
hand he held, and turned back to the house. 

Fred took the homeward path with slow and un- 
certain steps, his head bent down, his arms folded 
behind his back. It was not his usual attitude, for 
he generally walked erect, with a step firm and un- 
bending. But to-night he had Bometthing to think 
of that bowed head and heart together. Kot that he 
felt sorry that he had had his duty so plainly set 
before him, not that he disliked the idea of thus com- 
mencing the outward worship of his God in his little 



THE NEW lute's FIBST EFFORT. 245 

household ; it was the commencement was the trial, 
the uncertainty whether his sister woxild like it — 
would remain present ; the knowledge that he himself 
had so recently learned to pray, even in private, and 
the fear that he should scarcely be able to utter a 
word with his sister, the young man who had recently 
taken Stephen's place on the farm, and Dolly for 
listeners. Yet it must be done; it must be done! 
And why should he not expect God's help in this, as 
in other matters? And now, the chapter he had 
read to himself that morning returned to his memory 
(the eighth chapter of the Romans, and the twenty- 
sixth verse especially); it was just to the point, and 
came almost Hke an answer to hiTn r 

" Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities y 
for we know not what we should pray for as we 
ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for 
us with groanings that cannot be uttered." 

That was sufficient. With such an assurance as 
that, he had no right to fear, nor would he ! N"o ! he 
had Grod's word for his assistance, the Spirit's in- 
fluence to rely on, and in Crod's name he would go 
forward. 

With heart and eyes uplifted to hiff Father in. 
heaven, Fred pursued the rest of his way ; a thanks- 
giving on his tongue for that Word he had so long 
despised and rejected, but which now he found so 
precious, so exceedingly precious to him. 

The supper was on the table when he reached 
home, the lamp burning brightly, and the little houses 
hold gathered, waiting only for his own arrival. 
Kiltie, seated in her favourite easy-chair, was taking 
it very much at her ease ; her feet outstretched upon 



246 VERMONT VALE. 

a small footstool, her elbows deep in the cmsliions, and 
her head bent over a small volume she held in her 
hand, a volume of American poetry. Not far from her, 
and a little nearer the table, sat Dolly, busy darning 
stockings, a bundle of which articles lay in her lap. 
She was a comely-looking young woman ; and so the 
new man seemed to think, for half lying along the 
sofa, with an air of perfect ease and freedom that no 
" new chum " could assume, he divided his attentions 
equally between her and a short black pipe he was 
smoking, that indispensable appendage to the bush- 
man of AustraHa, with its little chain and brass cap, 
to shut in all truant sparks. Near the door sat the 
boy of the establishment, a gawky, half-grown youth, 
hovering between the boy and the man, and uncertain 
which character to assume. He was carving some- 
thing very carefully from a small block of wood, that 
was beginning to look already most suspiciously like 
a pipe. Australian youths are as fond of imbibing 
the pernicious weed as their seniors. 

Fred passed through the room to his own seat at 
the table, and took his place. 

" Have I kept you long, Katie ? " he asked 
apologetically. 

" Oh no ! " replied EZatie, looking up with a smile 
from her book. "We have been very pleasantly 
employed ; at least I have." 

" You will not mind being detained a few moments 
later,'* he resumed, quietly producing a Bible from, his 
pocket, and drawing the lamp towards him. 

Katie subsided into her chair without a word, 
mechanically closing her book, and receding as far 
into the cushions as she possibly could. She turned 



THE NEW life's riBST EFFORT. 247 

her face quite away from, her brother, so that scarcely 
a ghmpse of it could be seen. " And it had come to 
that at last," she thought. " Well, she had expected 
it ; it was nothing strange.'* Was she angry ? No ; 
that was scarcely the feeling, and yet there was a 
strange, icy chill at her heart, a feeling as though the 
tears must come. They came no farther than her 
eyes though, and she sat perfectly still while her 
brother read. 

He opened the Bible at the l?th chapter of John's 
Gospel, and read slowly and feelingly that beautiful 
and touching prayer our Saviour offered up for his 
people a little before his crucifixion. His faith grew 
stronger as he read. Did Jesus pray thus that his 
chosen ones might safely be kept fix)m the evil in- 
fluences of the world? Did He pray, indeed, that 
they might be sanctified, made holy, kept pure? 
What had he to fear, then? The same Jesus was 
interceding for his people now, pleading for their 
sanctity now. One with Christ! Loved of Him! 
Cared for by Him! what could harm him? what 
influence could hurt him ? Oh ! thus it is ever. The 
nearer we keep to Christ, the less power have worldly 
influences over us ; the more we hold communion with 
Christ, the less shall sin assert its dominion. Jesus, 
and Jesus only, can put the tempter to shame, and we 
through His name. 

With that prayer echoing in his ears, Ered rose 
from his chair and fell upon his knees, trembling at 
once with excitement and uncomprehended feelings, 
but no longer at a loss for language. Katie sUd from 
her seat also, and knelt, her face buried in the 
cushions ; while the wondering, more than half-glad 



248 YEBMOFT YALE. 

Dollj followed her example. Tbe young man Tipon 
the sofe. half rose, then resumed his position. It was 
something so new to him, he scarcely comprehended 
the thing ; and the boy at the door for a moment stood 
hesitating, scarcely knowing what to do, but finally 
followed his master's example, and knelt also. There 
was a pause of two or three moments, a silence almost 
felt, and then Fred began in low, deep, fervent 
. tones his first public prayer. Simple and earnest was 
bus language, but it went straight to the heart. Once 
or twice he hesitated slightly, but it was but for a 
mranent. He had but recently learned to pray, it is 
true ; but the Spirit of (Jod was his teacher, and it 
was his own needs and the needs of his household for 
which he pleaded; and feith and confidence in the 
Hearer and Answerer of prayer gave wings to his 
speech. God honours those who honour Him ; and 
Fred's first attempt at establishing His wor^p in his 
house was eminently successful. It met no opposi- 
tion. 

There was one thing that slightly troubled Fred. 
On his rising from, his knees, he found that his sister 
had disaj^eared. She was visible no more that 
night. But coxdd he have seen her, her iace crushed 
into the pillow in perfect abandonment of tears, he 
would have sought his pillow with far greater, happier, 
more hopefol feelings. Still he was thankful that 
this decisive step had been made ; that he had esta- 
blished an altar in his family. God helping him, it 
should be a permanent one. 

Little knew the inhabitants of Vermont that Sunny 
HoUow was now more than ever deserving of the 
name: for over that household had the ''Sun of 



THE NEW life's fibst effobt. 249 

Eighteonsness arisen, witll healing in his wings." 
Ah ! when that Snn illumines not with its beams, the 
loveliest, brightest spot on earth is but a dark blot on 
the creation ! 

" The opening heavens around me shine, 
With beams of sacred bliss. 
While Jesns tells me He is mine, 
And whispers, I am his." 



I 



CHAPTER XXVn. 

BEST. 

" Jesus, all our consolations 

Flow fix>m Thee, the sovereign good ; 
Love, and fSeuth, and hope, and patience. 
All are purchased by Thy blood." 

Fbed Linwood liad made one bold step in the right 
direction. He was thankM that he had been enabled 
to do so. There was now no difficulty in assembling 
his little household to evening and morning prayer. 
No one objected. No one, indeed, had a right to do 
so bat Katie ; and she said nothing at all, made not 
the slightest remark, but quietly kept her seat while 
her brother read, or knelt when he prayed, express- 
ing neither pleasure nor displeasure at the movement. 
Even this tacit consent was better than Fred had 
expected. He knew he was now in the path of duty. 
The rest he left in the Lord's hands. 

According to Mr. Howard's wish, Fred had 
sounded his sister about the Sabbath-school ; but, as 
he anticipated, with little effect. She would hear 
nothing about it from him, and laughed merrily when 
he mentioned the subject, and bewildered him by her 
amusing antics. 

" I must leave Mr. Howard to do his own work," 
he thought after one such fruitless attempt. " I don't 



BEST. 251 

think lie will succeed, tHougli I most own he has a 
better chance than I have. Elatie will at least put on 
a little more gravity with him than with me." 

On one point Katie was re-assured. She had dis- 
covered that Fred's altered opinions, his becoming a 
Christian, had made no alteration in his love to her. 
She was still his petted little sister, though he did not 
consent to join in her song-singing or dancing as of 
yore ; and though he did sometimes talk gravely to 
her, and with his arm around her waist would ask 
her if she remembered that to all these things there 
must be an end. This fretted her sometimes. She 
grew impatient too if she could not have his company 
whenever she desired it. Sometimes he coaxed her 
out to the week-night service, but she always com- 
plained that he gave too much time to Mr. Howard, 
and too little to her. 

Time, and Stephen's restoration to health, had 
softened Katie's anger against the Doctor ; and she 
was again on visiting terms at his house, again in 
close intimacy with his daughter Fanny. Fanny 
Moore, indeed, had made the first advances, but they 
found ready acceptance. Katie felt, as she said, 
lonely, for setting affection on one side, there was, in 
reality, a wide gulf between herself and her brother. 
There .were many subjects now in which they had 
nothing in common, and vexed and irritated that it 
should be so, she was too glad to fall in with more 
congenial society, to join in more congenial amuse- 
ments, though all the time in her inmost heart she 
acknowledged that her brother was right, and she and 
her companions were all wrong. 

But after this reconciliation with the Moores, if 



2S2 VEBMOIIT YALE. 

any one liad to complain of being left mncli alone it 
certainly was Fred, Katie was away very often in 
the evening now, or Eanny was at Snnny Hollow 
with her, and that was much the same. To escape 
from the troublesome thoughts that beset her, to turn 
away from the view of her sins, not to the Saviour 
bub to the world and its vanities, was now her eager 
endeavour. Very hard work she found it, to run 
away from conviction, very fruitless work too ; but 
she did her best to accomplish it, did her best to drive 
away all troublesome thoughts of another world, and 
judgment to come, and sins unfbrgiven, and to give 
herself entirely to all worldly objects, all earthly 
delights. 

Do any of my young readers know what this is, 
this fighting for the world, fighting against Christ ? 
Oh ! it is a battle difficult to wage, and not worth the 
waging ! But, oh ! take heed that by these fearftil 
strivings against conviction, that ye grieve not the 
Spirit, so that He never return to you^ so that you are 
indeed left to an impenitent heart. Kather ask that 
• these convictions may be deepened ; that the spark of 
desire may be kindled to a living flame, and say — 

*' Hast Thou imparied to my soni 
A living spark of holy fire ? 
Oh ! kindle now the sacred flame, 
Make me to bnm with pure desire.*^ 

Or^ with the Psalmist — 

" Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me." 

Fanny Moore was only too glad to have Elatie 
Linwood again for a companion; there was not 
another girl in Yermont for whose companionship 



sfisr« 253 

ahe cared. Aimie Maitland she Iiigbly esteemed and 
respected ; but, as to fi^temizing with her, that was 
another thing altogether. Annie was so " decidedly 
pious ! " she would have as soon detailed all her 
flirtations and nonsense to the minister of Vermont 
himself as to her. She was a sweet little creature, 
that could not be denied, and a great deal too pretiy 
to make such a recluse of herself, or a Methodist, 
which was much the same, Fanny thought. And, 
alas for example! after Blatie's return to the Ver- 
mont's little world, she too began to think Annie a 
dull companion. Her presence seemed a oonstaait 
rebuke to her. Her -visits became less and less Se- 
quent. Annie grieved, but did not upbraid her ; and 
Annie's mother grieved for both. 

There was one who grieved still more at this 
apparent estrangement of his sister from. Annie. iEt 
touched him most painfully, and yet he did not com- 
plain. Annie Maitland came no more to Sunny Hol- 
low. She was never invited, and her own delicacy of 
feeling forbade her giving her company unsought. 
Fred now only met her at chapel, and here she was 
never alone. If her mother was not with her, one of 
her elder pupils was — ^Betsy Banger as often as not. 
There were no more pleasant conversations, no more 
sweet words of comfort for him from her lips. He did 
not even know whether she rejoiced at the change he 
had experienced — ^whether she still continued, as she 
promised she would, to pray for him. 

One evening, after an intensely warm day, the soft 
tinkle of the prayer-bell met his ear just as he and his 
men left work. Harvest had already commenced, axtd 
the home-party was increased in number, by twenty 



254 YEBMONT YALE. 

at least, for a time. Tired enougli Fred was, for he 
had worked side by side with his men, sharing in 
both rest and toil ; and certainly he was now abnost 
too much fatigued to wash and equip himself, and 
walk to chapel. But if he was tired in body, and 
needed rest, he needed quite as much repose for his 
mind, and that he must have. He had heard quite 
enough of levity, and foolish talking and jesting, 
through the day, to say nothing of worse things still ; 
and so, giving orders for his horse to be brought 
round, he went immediately to his bedroom, hurriedly 
performed his ablutions, put on a clean linep suit, and 
passed out again before the last musical chime had 
swept round the hill. 

It was rest, at any rate, to be alone, away from the 
sound of uncongenial voices. Rest, to be able to 
think in quietude, to feel how near the Comforter 
was — ^how near to bless, to soothe, to tranquillize. But 
Fred did not linger while he thought. He only re- 
joiced with a glad sort of rejoicing, as he passed 
swiftly along the road, that he had a place of rest 
whereunto to resort in times of mental fatigue, of 
which the world knew nothing. His horse soon took 
him to the little Vermont chapel, and, leaving it with 
two or three others beneath the trees, he turned to 
the chapel-door. 

The service had commenced; indeed, the hymn 
was over, the chapter read, and Graham Howard 
was in prayer. How the sound of his voice recalled 
the time, not so many weeks ago, when he stood an 
outside Hstener there. And such a different listener ! 
not, indeed, thinking of entrance, not dreaming of 
-having any part in that little assembly; and now; 



BEST. 255 

oh, wliat now ? Grace, grace had done all ; had 
turned his footsteps from paths of sin to those that 
lead above ; had changed the current of his life, and 
taught him how empty a thing is the human heart 
without Christ. Without Christ ! Ah ! Fred had 
learnt how terrible that situation is ; and with a deep 
sense of his need of the Saviour's presence during 
every moment of his life, could exclaim — 

" I need Thy presence every passing hour ; 
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power ? 
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be ? 
Throug]jL cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me ! 

" I fear no foe ; with Thee at hand to bless. 
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness. 
Where is death's sting ? Where, grave, thy victory ? 
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me. 

" Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes ; 
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies. 
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee, 
In life, in death, Lord, abide with me ! " 

Fred stood in the porch, leaning against the wall, 
with head and hedrt bowed together ; bowed, not 
with sorrow, but adoration ; with thanksgiving, that 
he should have been counted meet to share the bless- 
ing, and to walk in the way of salvation. And when, 
at the conclusion of the prayer, he turned into the 
chapel, and walked rather wearily down to his own 
seat, rather wearily, also, leaning back against the 
" one rail " that was alone allowed for weary backs, 
his countenance betrayed that, though bodily fatigued, 
his mind had found rest, for he had leaned on the 
bosom of Jesus. 

Have you ever tried this resting-place,dear reader ? 



2Si6 YEBMOKT YALE. 

Have you taken your sorrows, your trials, your bnr- 
dens, and laid your aching lieart upon Jesus ? If you 
liaye not, try it now ; oli, try it now ! It is tlie safest, 
sweetest resting-place you liave ever had, and nowhere 
else can you find rest for your souls. The silken 
CQshion cannot rest the burdened ^iiit, but Jesus' 
love can. Yes, dear readers, we know by experience 
that it can. Will you not, then, bring your burdens 
to this sweet resting-place, and try for yourselves? 
Oh, hear the words of this loving Jesus, addressed to 
you, " Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest." ^ 

There was rest, too, in the hymn that followed the 
prayer ; rest even in the sweet tune that flowed from 
the keys of the harmonium, and swelled through the 
voices of the people — ^the few worshippers assembled. 

« Btm with Thee, O my God! 
I would desire to be 5 
By day, by night, at home, abroad, 
I would be still with Thee." 

Yes, they were seeking the presence of Jesus, and 
He was already there to meet them with his promised 
Messing. Already there to utter his " Peace, be stiU," 
to the surging billows of worldly cares ; to whisper a 
little of what heaven would be into the souls of his 
waiting ones. 

And the subject Graham Howard had chosen ^o 
beautifiilly corresponded with Fred's feelings: "If 
Thy presence go not with me, carry me not up hence." 
It was just what he needed, the presence of his 
Saviimr through all the devious turnings of life, in all 
circumstances, pauafdl or pleasant ; to have Jesus near 
was all he desired, nor would he take one step alone. 



REST. 257 

" Lead Thon the way. I do not ask to see 
The distant scene, — one step's enong^ for me." 

was the inward exclamation of his sonl. And there 
was rest in all this, for was it not leaning on the 
bosom of Jesus ? Far happier shonld we be if we 
did this more frequently, " Casting all our care upon 
Him, knowing that He caretb for us." 

Fred's mind was stUl glowing with tbese feelings 
wben Graham Howard closed his Bible, and ceased 
speaking. But then, instead of giving out another 
hymn, as he usually did, or engaging in the conclud- 
ing prayer,:' he looked towards Fred, and very quietly, 
though with some degree of firmness in his voice, 
asked him to close in prayer. 

For a moment Fred was in doubt whether he was 
really addressed ; for a moment he hesitated whether, 
in this new and untried duty, he reaUy might venture. 
It was but for a moment ; with the sense of God's 
presence so thoroughly in his soul, with that feeling 
of perfect rest he was experiencing, it was not possible 
for more than momentary hesitation. He rose, and 
with closed eyes and clasped hands, poured out all his 
soul before his heavenly Father, in joyous thanks- 
giving for the unspeakable gifb bestowed even upon 
him ; for the perfect rest purchased by the Saviour's 
blood ; for that balm for every wound distilled from 
Calvary's cross. 

There were few dry eyes present ; his own were 
filled with glad tears, and there were other closed 
eyes behind the curtains of the harmonium that were 
weeping as joyously — ^weeping with surprise j but oh, 
how gladly weeping ! 

With a fervent, earnest, though unsteady voice, 

17 



k 



258 VERMONT VALE. 

Graham Howard prononnced the benediction. His 
inner sonl was stirred to its depths. His feelings 
were indeed too deep for expression. A fervent clasp 
of the hand was all that passed between the young 
men, but the clasp was understood, and thus they 
parted. Fred, with heart and soul warm with holy 
fire, turned from the little chapel, and, remounting 
his horse, slowly rode homewards. Something of 
earth, however, stole in to disturb him, even at that 
moment, and, suddenly turning his horse's head, he 
rode slowly past the chapel again ; and presently dis- 
mounting, walked as slowly by his horse's side in an 
opposite direction to Sunny Hollow. 



CHAPTER XXVni. 

THE TEACHER AND THE TAUGHT. 

" Faith, like a simple, unsuspecting child, 
Serenely resting on its mother's arm, 
Eeposing every care upon her God, 

Sleeps on his bosom, and expects no harm. 

** Receives with joy the promises He makes. 
Nor questions of his purpose or his power. 
She does not trembling ask, * Can this be so ?* 
The Lord has said it, and there needs no more." 

We are creatures of earth, even wHle we are denizens 
of heaven. We have the soil of onr earthly pilgrimage 
npon onr outward garments, even while our souls are 
enwrapt in the spotless robe of a Saviour's righteous- 
ness. Earthly joys, social joys, earthly loves and 
friendships visit the Christian's heart, even while his 
wings are plumed for higher flight. Our blessed 
Saviour exclaims Himself, " I pray not that Thou 
shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou 
shouldest keep them from the evil." Yes, from the 
evil — from the evil may we be kept ! And while we 
^ not our whole affections upon our earthly posses- 
sions of love, or friendship, or social good, far be it 
from us to despise or think lightly of these precious 
gifts of a loving Father's hand. Lightly, indeed, 
may we hold these gifts, for He who gave may recall 



k 



260 VERMONT VALE. 

the gift in his own inscrutable wisdom, and ever 
ready may we be to exclaim — 

" Grood when He gives, supremely good, 
Nor less when He denies ; 
E'en crosses in his sovereign hand 
Are blessings in disguise." 

Tet, while our heavenly Father bestows upon us 
earthly good, in humble thankfulness may his gifts 
be acknowledged and enjoyed. 

It was the unwonted sight of a little, well-known 
figure, walking home alone, that turned Fred's 
thoughts and horse's head in a contrary direction to 
Sunny Hollow. He scarcely knew what he should 
say when he came up to the lonely pedestrian, or 
why he had turned back — scarcely knew what to 
think of his own temerity ; but something urged him 
forward, something within his heart that would not 
allow him to linger. It was not till nearly at Annie 
Maitland's side, and after he had shaken hands with 
her, that he slowly led his horse along the pathway 
she was traversing. 

And after the first mutual inquiries after the 
health of those at home, after the progress of the 
school had been entered upon and the beauty of the 
weather exhausted, Fred was puzzled how to proceed. 
Vexed as he felt at his own silence, wondering as ha 
did what she would think of it, he could not help it, 
not another word would come. 

With woman's happy tact, Annie broke the 
silence, which was becoming oppressive to both, and 
with a kiud smile exclaimed — 

" I was so glad of what happened this evening. 



THE TEACHER AND THE TAUGHT. 261 

Mr. Linwood. I have been so rejoiced to hear that 
your resolve to try after Christianity has been 
successfal ; that now, indeed, yon have proclaimed 
yonrself on the Savionr's side." 

" Yon have heard all this. Miss Maitland, and yon 
believed it tme ?" said Fred, with an eager Bcrati« 
nizing glance. 

"Yes, I believed it. People do not say the 
things they have said of yon for nothing, bnt this 
evening has confirmed all I have heard. I have 
rejoiced with the angels, Mr. Linwood, and now," 
added she fi-anMy, extending her hand, while tears 
stood in her eyes, " now I rejoice with yon." 

" I was afraid I had not even yonr prayers and 
sympathy," said Fred, in a low voice, taking the 
little hand, thongh respectfolly releasing it the next 
moment. 

" Why so ?" asked Annie, in slightly-snrprised 
tones. 

" It has been so long since yon have been to see 
ns ; so long since I have seen yon." 

Annie walked on in silence ; to that she had 
nothing to say. 

" I wish my sister was different," he continned, a 
moment a^er, in tronbled tones ; " I am aftmd that 
she mnst be very nncongenial society to yon, Miss 
Maitland." 

" Katie allows me to see bnt very little of her," 
replied Annie, gravely ; " bnt it is not my fault, 
Mr. Linwood. I wish, indeed, she saw things 
differently ; bnt we need not stop short at wishing, 
we have something better than that to do." 

" Yes, I know ; we can pray. I do imceasingly. 



i 



262 YEBlfOKT YALE. 

But you will not quite forsake her, Miss Maitlond. 
Your example might do so much, while Fanny Moore's 
is decidedly hurtftd to her." 

" Katie has an example nearer home now," replied 
Annie, softly. "Surely her brother's influence is 
great." 

" Yes ; I believe Katie does not so easily pursue 
her worldly course. I believe she has many a pang 
at heart even now; but she used to value your 
company very much, Miss Annie, and I had learnt to 
do the same, before you left us." 

Annie looked suddenly up into the speaker's face, 
and then as suddenly down, a bright colour stealing* 
into her soft cheeks, even to her brow; but she 
quietly answered — 

" To be of use in my Saviour's vineyard, indeed, 
is my desire. I wish I could speak more for Him ; 
but I am a poor weak creature, prone to look to earth 
and earthly objects, and to tremble before the least 
trial. And shall I tell you, Mr. Linwood," she added, 
again looking up with a bright smile into his face, 
" shall I tell you how your prayer to-night has done 
me good ? I came away from home in a weary, 
desponding mood. Two or three things had troubled 
me. UnMndness from the parents of one of my 
pupils, unjust complaints of non-improvement, though 
the child was sent but half the time, and the hard 
and unkind manner in which the complaint was 
made, from one who professed to belong to the same 
heavenly Father, who profess to obey the injunction, 
* love as brethren,' in the first place grieved me, for it 
was cruel, and the mischief they have tried to do me 
worse still. Yet, perhaps, it was silly in me to take 



THE TEACHER AND THE TAUGHT. 263 

notice of it ; but tlien, Mr. Linwood, it is liaa*d, very 
hard, after labouring witb all your power among 
your pupils, doing all you can for their advancement, 
having to contend with all their carelessness and 
inattention, or obstinacy, to meet with so little 
sympathy, so little help or appreciation from the 
parents ; though parents I need not say, for this is 
but a solitary case, and therefore ought not to have 
troubled me." 

"No, Miss Annie, it ought not," replied Fred, 
indignantly, "there are enough left to appreciate 
your services. The unkindness of one who has 
evidently forgotten that a part of *pure* religion, 
and undefiled before God, is this — ^to visit the father- 
less and widows in their affliction ; who has evidently 
forgotten the law of love that should exist between 
Christians, is Httle worthy of heed or trouble ; but! 
would not be in the position of that person, be he 
man or woman, for much !" 

" Perhaps for the moment I might have dreaded 
their influence against me, but I do not now. Your 
prayer made me. ashamed of myself ; it taught me to 
remember Paul's exclamation, ' If God be for us, who 
can be against us ?' But this was not all my 
trouble. My dear mother's health is so delicate, I 
fear so to lose her ; and it is so long since we have 
heard from my brother, that troubles us both very 
much, for we do not know where he is. Yet you have 
made me ashamed of myself; so short a time have 
you known the Saviour, and yet seem so full of 
faith, of trust!" 

" I have not your trials, Miss Annie ; perhaps, 
when trial comes, I may not prove so strong. And 



264 TEBMONT YALE. 

jet," lie added, earnestly, strokiiig liis horse's mane 
as lie spoke, " yet it seems almost impossible to doubt 
sacb. promises as tbese, ' My God sbaU supply all 
your need, according to bis ricbes of mercy in Cbrist 
Jesus ;' ' No weapon formed against thee shall 
prosper.' Tbere is a sure promise for you to rest 
upon. Miss Annie. Tbe evil tongues tbat may desire 
to bxirt are powerless witb tbat promise at band 1" 

"Yes, yes," said Annie, witb overflowing eyes, 
" I see it all, and am cured of my unbelief to-nigbt. 
Ob, tbat I should ever distrust my heavenly Father, 
who has always been so true to bis promise ! Thank 
you, thank you, Mr. Linwood, you are the teacher 
now, and I the learner." 

And ftbalriTig bis hand warmly in token of adieu, 
for they had reached the bouse, with eyes still fall of 
tears, she opened ^e Httle gate and ran in, leaving 
him nothing more to do than to mount his horse, and 
turn its bead once more towards Snnny Hollow. 

Had be said all be intended to say ? I^o, he bad 
not ; but be blessed God tbat anything be bad said 
had been overruled for tbe comfort and consolation of 
her whom, best of earthly things, be felt be loved. 
Strange, indeed^ it seemed tbat it should be so ; 
strange that be should be able to say anything for 
the Saviour, whom so lately he had begun to love 
and try to serve ; and to her especially, to whom be 
had so long looked up as a standard of Christian 
uprightness and perfection ! After all, what had be 
said ? Nothing but tbe utterance of bis own faith 
in tbe word of the Lord, his own belief in the verity 
of the promises ; and bis prayer was simply tbe 
breathing forth of his own wants, his own thanks- 



THE TEACHER AND THE TAUGHT. 265 

giving. Fred Linwood again and repeated this to 
Mmself, for sucli is the human heart that he found 
himself in danger of being lifted up, even with the 
thought of being made usefiil to her. The prayer 
that night that was most frequently upon his lips, 
was for the blessedness of the " poor in spirit." 

" Did not our hearts bum within us, while we 
talked with Him by the way ?" Would Christians, 
when they meet, talk more of Jesus ; they, too, would 
experience more of these heart-burnings, for Jesus 
Himself would be with them. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

THE SILENT RIDE. 

" Say, dost thou well to murmur when thy sky is overcast ? 
Bather bend in meek submission till the darkening cloud be 
past." 

Harvest-time, with its golden gatherings, passed 
away. The heavy-laden waggons, with their waving 
store ; the monotonous mmble of the reaping-machine, 
as it relentlessly cut down the precious grain ; and, 
finally, the murmur of the winnowiDg-machine, all 
ceased, and with that last busy recognition of harvest 
passed away also most of the men, who, during their 
sojourn, had made Sunny Hollow little better than a 
Babel. 

The summer was gradually sinking into the 
autumn, leaving yellow tints on the finiit-trees, and 
scattering leaves to the ground. The chrysanthe- 
mums were now the gayest denizens of the garden, 
and these, with the variety and briUiancy of their 
hue, strove to make up for the absence of other and 
fairer flowers. The peach still showed its crimson 
cheek, though even that was passing away ; and 
though rich clusters of grapes still loaded the vines, 
the glory of their purple and green was over, and the 
leaves that sheltered looked sere and autumn-tinged. 

The hot winds were already among the things of 



THE SILENT EIDE, 267 

the past, arid the cool breeze that sprung up every 
evening now, with daylight's departure, made a fire 
on the hearth a pleasant thing to look at, a pleasant 
thing to feel. Still there were some few lingering 
warm days, some occasional warm evenings too, that 
rendered open doors and windows inviting still. 

Around Sunny Hollow things were quietly pro- 
gressing. Well-stocked bams, well-built hay-stacks, 
weU-foddered cattle, and perfect order throughout all 
the farm arrangements, gave a very enviable repu- 
tation to the young master; while the butter and 
cheese from the dairy, the neatness of the household 
affairs, made Katie's name no less a household word ; 
nor did Dolly lack her full meed of praise. More 
than one stalwart well-to-do young farmer began to 
think it pleasant to be in the neighbourhood of 
Sunny Hollow. More pleasant still to obtain a seat 
at the table there. One gentlemanly young fellow^ 
'a sheep farmer, with plenty of " rhino," as he himself 
expressed it, had discovered latterly that a lounge 
beside the kitchen hearth at Sunny Hollow was so 
infinitely preferable to the loneliness of his own 
Murray mansion, that he endeavoured to make very 
frequent business (?) visits to Vermont Vale, dreaming 
maybe, meanwhile, of a future, when, perhaps, he 
might transplant from thence a wee little wife to 
grace and cheer his own home. But he little knew 
Katie, or how little his rhino affected her heart, or 
surely he would never so coolly, so comfortably, so 
securely have wooed her. 

Fanny Moore was still an occasional visitor at 
Sunny Hollow; but she also had been wooed, and, 
unlike Katie, won. Whether her affections had any- 



VERMONT VALE. 

thing to do witli tlie matter is doTibtfiil ; it is certaan 
tliat gold had, and that she was delightedly looking 
forward to an Anstralian mansion, horses in abun- 
dance to ride, an elegant dog-cart, and a buggy to 
drive when and where she chose, and a visit to dear, 
delightful Adelaide by way of bridal tour ! As the 
owner of all these delectabilities was very attentive 
in his visits to his fiancee, Fanny Moore was less 
come-at-able than of yore ; and Katie, beginning to 
find the Doctor not quite such pleasant company, 
because, foolishly, he tried to make himself more 
pleasant, seldom made her appearance within the 
range of his surgery, so that altogether she was 
1^ a great deal to the loneliness of her own 
home. Twice Annie Maitland had called upon her, 
and once she had returned the visit ; but somewhat 
of the coolness still remained, and to Fred's sorrow 
he could do nothing to prevent it. 

Elatie's pony carried her pretty fi^uently to 
Thombush, where she managed to dispel some of 
her gathering gloom in a game of romps with the 
children. Little Samuel, however, the last bom, was 
her favourite, and the " flower of the flock" he most 
certainly was in every sense of the term, his large 
spiritual blue eyes, his light curly hair, unusually 
abundant for such an infant, and sweet cherub mouth, 
told that. He was but six months old, scarcely that, 
but he was a lovely child, and many a pretty present 
found its way from Katie's hands into Mrs. Ranger's, 
for her " wee pet-blossom." Pretty little dresses she 
made for him to wear, and snowy pinafores and sleeve- 
ties, and little coloured shoes — nothing was too good 
for her pet. The little creature knew her voice, and 



THE SILENT BIDE. ISOS^ 

wotdd stretch out liis arms to her, and cling round 
her neck with all his baby might when she took him* 
He was so pnre and delicate, a very " lily beU," and 
sooth to say, this very deHcate transparency of skin, 
Katie so much admired, caused the mother's heart to 
tremble, and the father to shake his head in sorrow^ 
for their last little one was the darling of the whole 
honsehold. 

Katie alone laughed at their fears, and prophesied 
great things for the pet of Thombnsh, this "little 
rose without a thorn." 

On one of these intervening warm aftemoonSy 
when sitting ont of doors was more pleasant than 
within. Kiltie took possession of a seat in the verandah, 
with her brother by her side, a plate of rich pnrple 
and green grapes between them, to which they were 
both doing ample justice ; habited in one of the 
coolest of cool muslins, with her soft light ringlets 
floating away from her face with every passing breeze, 
that playfally stole under the eaves of the verandah, 
Katie was looking her loveliest, Fred thought, and 
sighed as he thought it, that one so Mr should have 
only " hope for this present life." Yet was there not 
reason to beheve that beneath all that seeming levity 
and thoughtlessness, there might be an under-current 
of deep feeling ? Fred thought there was, for the 
cloud that sometimes crossed the sunshine on her 
brow, the tear that trembled occasionally in her eye, 
that quivering motion of the Hp, told of desires un- 
satisfied, hopes unrealized, and might yet lead to the 
hope that " maketh not ashamed 1" He had just 
arisen at last, after having had an ample feast of 
grapes, and was standing looking out in the direction 



270 VERMONT VALE. 

in wHch liis aftemoon's work lay, when his footsteps 
were arrested by a soft voice behind him, and turning 
suddenly, he found himself face to fiuje with Annie 
Maitland. 

" I am come to ask a favour of you, this afternoon, 
Mr. Linwood," she said, with sHght hesitation ; " I 
am come to borrow a horse.'* 

Fred's snule of pleasure was very bright as he 
replied that one should immediately be at her service. 

"The one I have been accustomed to use has 
fallen lame," said Annie, " and I know you have more 
than one horse that can take a lady." 

" Have my Hebe, Annie ; I am sure you are 
welcome to her," said Katie, kindly. 

" Thank you, Katie dear ; but if you will, I want 
you to ride Hebe yourself, and accompany me." 

"You do not require an escort?" asked Fred, 
with a half wistfal smile. 

" No, thank you," said Annie, gravely, " it is only 
to Mrs. Ranger's we are going ; you have not heard, 
perhaps, that her baby is seriously ill ?" 

" Little Sammy ; my little pet ? Ah, Annie, I 
am so sorry," exclaimed Katie, starting from her seat, 
tears springing to her eyes ; " when was he taken ill ? 
I saw him so lately." 

" Only a day or two ago, of dysentery, of which 
so many babies die ; I fear for him, and yet do hope, 
for his mother's sake, that his life may be spared, for 
her heart seems so wrapt up in him." 

"Well it maybe!" said Katie, warmly. "Poor 
little Sammy is the * flower of her flock' most truly. 
But it is always so — ^the best go first ;" and she gave 
an angry shrug to her shoulders as she spoke. 



THE SILENT RIDE. 2?1 

" Shall I order Hebe as well os Lily ?" Fred 
asked of his sister, a pained expression crossing his 
brow, as he heard his sister's nncomfortable speech. 

" If yon please, Fred ! Yes, Lily — ^yon will like 
Lily ; she is a capital lady's horse ; snch a gentle 
creatnre, Annie, too gentle for snch a hamm scamm 
as me ; Hebe snits me better," 

Why shonld I go ? what good can I do ? what 
words of comfort can I give, if dear baby is dying ? 
thonght Katie, bitterly, thongh with tears in her eyes, 
as with trembling fingers she hurried on her habit, 
her thoughts hindering not in the least her rapid 
movements. She was ready and waiting before Fred 
appeared with the horses. 

" Yon will at least say for me, that if I can be of 
any use, Mrs. Eanger need only send for me," said 
Fred, as he assisted the yonng ladies to their saddles* 
" Mrs. Eanger is an old Mend of mine, and if I be no 
use to her in her trial, teU her I thank God I can yet 
pray for her !" 

" I will," said Annie, looking np through her 
tears ; " she will need our prayers — that is all you 
can do, and it is much !" 

Beyond an occasional word between the two fjEur 
riders, the ride to Thombush was a very silent one. 
Lily moved graceftdly forward, suiting her paces to 
the mood of her mistress pro tern., and Elatie did all 
she could to restrain the vagaries of her wilful little 
Hebe, so that for the greater part of the way they 
rode side by side — the thoughts of each fixed, not on 
the road they were traversing, fair even road as it 
was, but on the distant homestead, the scene of sorrow 
they feared awaited them ; and oh, how different were 



272 TEEHOirr yale. 

the thonglits that occapied them even on this 
subject. 

Elatie was in no snbmissiye, hxunble state of mincL 
The only baby she had ever loved was about to be 
taken from her; the little fair creature wbo had 
learnt to loye her, to seek her caresses, to lay his 
little curly head on her bosom was soon to welcome 
her no more with his sunny smile ; she was sure of 
it ; she knew he would die, and why should she be 
submissive ? Did it not seem cruel and unkind <^ 
Qpd to take this little one from its mother's arms ? 
Could there be mercy in such an action ? She could 
not understand it ; she would not believe it, and so 
she rode along ftill of proud, rebellious thoughts- 
thoughts derogatory to Him who is all mercy, and 
goodness, and love. 

Annie's thoughts were widely different from these. 
She thought, it is true, of the anguish of the parting, 
for farewells on earth are ever sad, but she re- 
membered also that there was a fairer shrine for the 
little spirit than it wore below ; she thought of the 
crown and the palm-branch, and the winged mes- 
sengers to carry it home, and knew that if God took 
it from its mother's arms it would but be to make it 
happy for ever. Then, too, she knew, that by and by 
there would be glad reunions, the babe and its mother 
would meet again, and the sorrowing one would find 
her little lamb safe and happy in that fold where 
there is but one Shepherd — He who gathereth the 
lambs in his arms ! Then, remembering that if, in- 
deed, it had arrived to this, that mother and child 
must part on earth, that these parting hours contain 
much that is very bitter ; that the spirit needs sustain- 



THE SILENT RIDE. 273 

ing at these times witli more than human help ; that 
nature is apt to fail and droop, and to cry out tinder 
the heaviness of the trial, "All thy waves and thy 
billows have gone over me." Knowing it is hard, 
even for the child of God to say, at times when sorrow 
presses heavily, "It is the Lord, let Him do what 
seemeth Him good." She prayed as she rode along, 
earnestly, fervently, that sustaining grace might be 
given, and that the chastened one might feel the 
stroke a stroke of love, and bow in hiunble submission 
and trust. 

And so passed on the two Mends through all that 
silent ride, communing with their own hearts : how 
different those communings, their countenances, alas ! 
too visibly betrayed. 



18 



CHAPTER XXX. 

THE SCENE AT THORNBUSH. 

" The baby wept, 
The mother took it from the nnrse's arms, 
And soothed its griefs, and still'd its yain alarms : 
And baby slept. 

Again it weeps. 
And God doth take it from its mother's arms — 
From present pain, and unknown fatore harms : 

And baby sleeps." 

Thornbush looked the same to Kiitie, as they 
approaclied it, as it had ever looked to her. Nattire 
never changes its serenity, for all the troubled scenes 
around. Its cahn, qniet face is nnmffled by human 
sorrow. So thought Katie, as they passed through 
the shp-panels, which some hand had left open. 
One sight and sound she had missed, most sorrow- 
fully : there were generally three or four children at 
that sHp-panel to meet her, and, among them, the 
sweet baby Samuel, whose tiny arms would be out- 
stretched to hers until, lifted to her saddle, she rode 
with biTn to the house, covering him with kisses and 
caresses on the way. That absence told still more 
painfdlly upon her spirits ; and when, at a little dis- 
tance from the house, they left their horses, and then 
walked .towards it, with every step she felt her 



THE SCENE AT THOENBUSH. 275 

courage flag ; and when, at length they reached the 
door, she trembled so excessively she could scarcely 
stand. 

Well might she ; for, as they stood in that door- 
way, the whole scene of sorrow burst upon them, and 
their worst fears were verified. Sadly significant was 
the group collected in that rude bush-room. The 
very absence of the younger portion of the family 
told much. Two or three of the elder children stood 
huddled together in a comer, half awed, half terrified, 
by this first scene of death. By the fireplace, with 
his arms resting on the back of a chair, his face lean- 
ing in his hands, stood the taU athletic form of the 
father of the household. It was easy to tell what 
caused the attitude. Joseph Ranger, who seldom 
bent beneath any trouble, was bowed down to the 
dust by the illness of his ninth child. The loving 
caresses of that little one had stole around the un- 
yielding heart of its usually unbending father, and 
the strong man was melted even to unwonted tears 
by its sufferings. 

The centre of that sorrowing group, on a low stool 
near the hearth, sat the patient, suffering Mrs. Ranger; 
her meek face looking heavy and worn, and with an 
unmistakable expression of anguish upon it ; for upon 
her lap lay her darling httle one, the impress of death 
upon its tiny features, and she knew it was going 
from her. And yet, thj^ough all the anguish, there 
was yet another expression : the heart of the Christian 
was seeking to lay itself down on the sympathizing 
heart of its Saviour, to yield up aU to Him. 

A mute upraising of the eyes was all the welcome 
the afficted mother could give her visitors. They 



276 VEEMONT VALE. 

pressed her hand in silent sympathy, and stood at her 
side tearMly watching the dying babe. 

For it was dying. The pale unmistakable hues of 
death had gathered on brow and Kps ; yet there was 
no straggle. The violet eyes half-open, and the 
breath came qniveringly through the slightly-parted 
lips ; but so quietly did it lay it might have been 
simply sleepng. So Katie thought, till she took the 
little hand in hers, that little hand that used so 
caressingly to toy with her ringlets, and felt that 
indeed the chill of death was there. Death ! What 
was it ? this strange, mysterious visitant, desolating 
the household, and snatching away the sweetest and 
brightest. Katie turned away with a shivering sigh, 
the colour fiuling away from her own &ce so entirely 
that, but for the timely interposition of a chair and 
glass of water, she must have fallen. A passionate 
burst of tears relieved her. 

" The darling is only going home, dear B^atie," 
said Annie, softly. " Do not weep ; thinlr of the 
happiness it wiQ soon gain. Sweet little creature, 
there will soon be no more pain for thee ! He who 
said, * Suffer the Kttie children to come unto Me,' will 
soon have thee in his loving arms. You can yield hi-m , 
to those arms, can you not, dear Mrs. Ranger ? " 

" Yes, yes ! If it is His will to take my child, I 
ought to bow; but nature rebels. I want to lay 
down my stubborn will. Pray for me, that I may. 
Pray for us alL" 

" I have, and do, my dear friend," said Annie, 
fervently. *' But I will pray now, if you wish it." 
And Annie knelt down by the side of the dying 
infent, and in hushed tones earnestly prayed ; p*ayed 



THE SCENE AT THOBNBUSH. 277 

for that presence, that promised presence, to be mani- 
fested (that ah-eady was there) ; for the " Peace, be 
still," that can qnell the raging tnmtdt withont or 
within ; for that entire snbmission to the will of God 
that leads the bereaved to exclaim, " The Lord gave, 
and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of 
the Lord ; " and for the paiialess flight of the little one 
she also prayed ; that Jesns wonld gently bear it from 
its mother's arms. Even in the sofb tones that 
uttered that fervent prayer, there seemed peace. 

Katie rose from her knees, still trembling exces- 
sively. Never before had she been brought into such 
close contact with death; and tears gashed forth 
again and again as she gazed on the pale lips of the 
baby, and noticed the peculiar leaden hue that per- 
vaded its fair little hce, changed and thin, as even in 
two or three days' severe illness it had become. 

Armie put her arm round her waist, and drew her 
head down to her shoulder, as a slight convulsion ran 
over the quiet little features.. 

" It is in no pain, dear," she softly said. " Jesus 
is taking his Httle lamb very quietly home." 

" Sin brought death into the world and all our 
woe," she presently continued, " but Jesus brought 
life and immortality. Our little one will soon be an 
immortal being, a winged angel. He will soon enter 
on a bright beauti^ life. You will at least have this 
little one to welcome you when you reach home, Mrs. 
Eanger." 

" Bless my sweet baby ! Yes ! I ought not to 
murmur ; but it is hard to part." And tears gushed 
from the mother's eyes, bedewing the little convulsed 
hands. '^ Ah, precious one ! thou wilt soon be gone ; 



278 VERMONT VALE. 

soon have done with pain," she sobbed, as another 
and another convulsion pass qniveringly over the 
little form ; and then it lay quite quiet, slightly 
gasping for breath, but very shghtly. Katie hid her 
face in her hands, weeping stni more bitterly. 

" Let me take the darling from you, dear Mrs. 
Ranger ; you are wearied out," said Annie. 

" Thank you. Oh no ! I can only give him up to 
his Saviour. I shall soon lose him. A few moments 
more, my sweet one, and thou wilt not want thy 
mother." And through blinding tears she watched 
her fading treasure. 

Dying fast now. Slower and slower the breath 
came from the parted lips, more quiveringly, more 
fisilteringly. The blue eyes gently unclosed in a last 
loving recognition of its mother, the pale lips moved, 
and then the spirit winged its flight. Yes ; gone ! 
and without a struggle or a sigh, gone in those 
loving arms that would never loose their hold ; en- 
folded in the bosom of Jesus. 

Was he really dead ? Katie bent down, though 
she trembled and wept incessantly, to look closer at 
her little favourite ; when Annie whispered he was 
gone. "Oh, it could not be! could not be ! " and 
yet, those cold lifeless hands, their contact made her 
shudder; and the strange, sweet smile that seemed 
to have taken possession of the little mouth, what did 
that mean ? Was it that the spirit of the little one, 
glad to escape to its bright home, had left its last 
glad impress on the senseless clay ? 

Lovingly the mother kissed her baby; tenderly 
she closed the violet eyes ; softly composed its limbs, 
murmuring gently meanwhile (though her heart 



THE SCENE AT THORNBUSH. 279 

yearned sadly over the " pet lamb " of the household), 
" The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, 
blessed be the name of the Lord." 

Katie conld bear it no longer ; conld bear no 
longer to see either the humble submissive sorrow of 
the bereaved mother, or the tall stont frame of .the 
father bowing to the very dust with grief. Springing 
from the chair at Mrs. Ranger's side, she ran from 
the house ; whither she scarcely knew, nor cared ; 
only to be alone, away from that scene of death, 
anywhere ! She could not get away from herself. 
She threw herself down at last, exhausted by her own 
feelings, upon a heap of loose hay, behind a huge 
haystack that intervened between the house and the 
bam, and here gave fall vent to her sorrow. 

How mixed were the feelings that disturbed her ! 
Grief, fear, and indignation, each in turn usurped 
her breast. Her little favourite was gone for ever. 
And tears burst forth again at that thought, and the 
remembrance of what Mrs. Ranger must feel. The 
first child, too, she had ever lost ! Then came rebellious 
feelings. Why should it be thus? Why had God 
taken the darling from them ? Why had He thus 
smitten one of his own children ? Was this his 
kindness, his goodness to his children ? And through 
all came echoing that sentence from her neglected 
Bible, " Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord." 

Blessed ? Yes, surely it must be so ! Those whom 
God loves are blessed. But what of those who have 
nothing to do with Him ? who will not have Him to 
reign over them ? what of those who, with the fool, 
have said in their hearts, " There is no God." Ah ! 
Katie well remembered reading Voltaire's terrible 



280 YEBMONT YALE. 

death scene, and shuddered as she remembered. Oh ! 
she thonght, it is only those who love Ood that can 
have no reason to fear death. Our little lamb is 
folded now in the Shepherd's arms. 

" Safe in the Heavenly Shepherd's arms, 
And gathered to his faithfxil breast, 
Beyond all dangers and alarms, 
GDhe infant spirit is at rest. 

" Glad to forsake the feeble clay, 

And breathe a pnre immortal air. 
He winged his joyous flight away, 
The glory of the bless'd to share.** 

" But what," she thought, " if I had been thus 
called away from earth ? I, who have no hope that 
will do for eternity ? " Katie's tears burst forth again. 
She wept long, and with exceeding bitterness. The 
sun was fast sinking, when at last she arose and 
returned to the house. 

She met Annie at the door, and asked in a low 
voice if they had not better return. 

"Yes, dear," replied Annie, "we can be of no 
forther use to-night. But come in, Betsy has made 
some tea ; you must take a cup before you ride home." 
And she looked kindly and sadly at the evidence of 
weepii^ and distress in the young girl's face. 

Katie swallowed a little tea with difEiculty, and 
then Annie softly drew her into the other room.. 

'* You must look once more at our little cherub, 
dear Katie," she said, tenderly raising a white doth 
from the bed as she spoke. 

How sweet a picture ! Surely it was but asle^ ! 
There he lay in his snowy night-dress, with its deli- 



THE SCENB AT THORNBUSH. 281 

cately crimped frills, the last, the very last gift Katie 
had made him; the crimping her own fingers had 
done. Little did she think it would prove a shroud ! 
Death! it was not like death, to see the soft hair 
curling over his little head as in life ; those violet eyes 
just peeping between the long lashes ; and the lips, 
with that strangely sweet smile upon them ! She 
could scarcely beheve that this indeed was but the 
casket, that the jewel was gone, for ever. 

" He will not return to us, but we shall go to 
him," said Annie, softly, stooping to kiss the marble 
brow, and placing a monthly rose-bud iu the cold 
little fingers. 

Katie dared not trust her voice, but sadly shook 
her head. 

" Is it not worth living the life of a Christian to 
have a Christian's death, dear Kiitie ? " 

" Worth anything I Worth anything ! " Katie 
huskily whispered. 

Annie silently pressed her hand, and then, letting 
the veil fall lightly over the little sleeper, left the 
room. 

Katie's heart was too ftdl then for any words. 
Her hand was silently given to one and another in 
ferewell; but when she came to Mrs. Ranger, she 
threw her arms impulsively round her neck and 
kissed her. 

" God bless you, my dear child, for all your good- 
ness to my little one. May you indeed have Gk)d's 
blessing, and then you need not fear to die." Mrs. 
Ranger's heart waa ftdl ; so was Katie's : they parted 
thus. 

" We wiU be here again the day after to-morrow, 



282 VERMONT VALE. 

Betsy," said Annie, kindly, as they mounted their 
horses and rode rapidly away. 

Very rapidly; for they had a long ride before 
them, and the shadows of night were beginning to 
thicken around them. But a faint crescent of a moon 
broke through the darkness, and shghtly silvered 
their pathway, throwing, perhaps, into deeper shadow 
the bush that skirted the road. The road was straight 
and plain, that was one good thing ; but Annie was 
shghtly timid, and hurried forward, keeping as much 
by Katie's side as possible. They were both as silent 
as before, occupied each with their own thoughts, till 
they were broken through by the sound of approach- 
ing horses' feet. Annie slightly drew her rein, but 
Katie kept onward. 

" It is only Fred," she exclaimed. " I know the 
sound of his horse's feet, and of that low whistle, too. 
I expect he is afi:aid that something has happened to 
us." I wonder, she thought to herself, for whom his 
fears are awakened ? for Annie, or for me ? And as 
she thought, she turned and looked at her fair com- 
panion. Very sweet she looked in that pale silvery 
moonlight; a pretty little figure in a very graceful 
habit; and Katie turned back with the inward ex- 
clamation, " If he loves her, no wonder ; she is all he 
could wish for, and will make a sweet mistress for 
Sunny Hollow, if she will have him, and if Sunny 
Hollow must have another mistress.'* 

The horses met, and the horseman turned back 
with the young ladies after a brief salutation. It was 
Fred Linwood ; and Katie's suspicions being aroused, 
she soon detected a certain empressement in his man- 
ner to Annie, which made her feel herself a httle 



THE SCENE AT THORNBUSH. 283 

Madame de trojp. At least so she fancied; though 
only fancy it might have been. For that reason, 
when they reached the sHp-panel, she took leave of 
Annie, leaving Fred to escort her home alone. 

" You have not heard from your brother yet, Miss 
Annie ?" said Fred, presently, reducing the speed ot 
his horse to a slow walk. 

"No, Mr. Linwood," Annie replied, sorrowftdly, 
" I have not." But something peculiar in his manner 
made her suddenly look up. 

" Mamma has not had a letter since I left home, 
has she ? Surely you know something, Mr. Fred ? " 

"Yes," Fred exclaimed slowly, "I confess I do, 
though there is no letter. You wiU find your brother 
at home. Miss Annie, when you get there." 

" My brother at home ! " But then there was a 
burst of joyous tears, and Annie, faint and trembling 
with the sudden surprise, almost fell from her saddle. 

Fred was at her side in a moment, angry with him- 
self at his want of tact. 

"I am a stupid bungler at letting out a secret. 
Miss Annie," he exclaimed; "but it is all right at 
home ; and Mrs. Maitland is well and happy." 

"Oh, never mind," said Annie, laughing and 
wiping her eyes; "I have had so many mixed feelings 
to-day, and I beheve I am not quite well. But you 
will think me very foolish ? " 

" I think no such thing, Miss Annie. I am angry 
with my own haste and bungling. But, somehow or 
other, there seems so much connected with the return 
of your brother. He has come back fr'om the dig- 
gings successful; and for his own sake and yours, I am 
glad of that. But I am afraid of one thing, Miss Annie." 



284 YEBMONT YALE. 

" Of what ? '* asked Annie, timidly. 

'' I am afiuid yon are going to leave ns ; and there 
is something I shonld so mnch like to ask yon first. 
Bnt this is selfish ia me ; yon are tired — exhansted.*^ 
For he noticed she swayed like a reed on the saddle 
as he spoke. 

They had fortunately jnst reached the honse. He 
lifted her fix)m the horse to the gronnd. 

" I am tired," she said, faintly. " This day has 
been very exciting. And the thonght of my brother, 
too— the two conflicting feelings, sorrow and joy — 
forgive me ! " 

" I cannot forgive myself,' ' said Fred, sadly. " And 
yet, before we part, Miss Annie, jnst one word. May 
I ask yon the qnjestion I wish, to-morrow ? " 

" Yes," was Annie's timid reply, as she gave him 
her hand. " Thank yon, Mr. Idnwood, for yonr care 
of me." She tnmed into the school-room ; and Fred 
rode off, not without some hope, leaving Annie to seek 
the presence of her newly-arrived brother. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

THE BROTHER AND SISTER. 

" Love — ^hmnan love — ^thy tone 
Is sweet to the bosom lone; 
And a potent spell dwells in tky song, 
That to joyons thonght gives birth. 
Do snch deep thrills of bliss belong 
To the sad and changefiil earth ? " 

Life is made up of extremes : birth and deatli, sorrow 
and joy, simsliiiie and clond, often cross and recross 
each other in one short day. The heart is torn wil^ 
conflicting feelings, lifbed one moment to the heaYens 
with happiness, the next dashed down to the earth in 
despair. Bnt how sweetly here comes in the Chris- 
tian's strong City of Refdge: "We know tihat all 
things shall work together for good to those that Iotb 
God," " Who shall separate from the love of Christ ? 
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or &mine, 
or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? Nay, in all these 
things we are more than conquerors through TTrm 
that loveth us." 

Yes, it is weU to be thoroughly grounded and 
rooted in the fidth, to be aMe to exclaim with St. 
Paul, " None of these things move me ; " and whether 
a ftdl tide of joy or sorrow set in upon our souls, to 
be enabled meekly to He at Jesus' feet is happiness 
indeed. 



286 VEEMONT YALE. 

Annie Maitland's day bad been indeed a day of 
excitement, of mingled sorrow and rejoicing. Little 
bad sbe anticipated its winding np — ^ber iHother's 
return; still less tbat Fred Linwood wonld reaOj 
bave nttered words wbose meaning sbe conld not, 
if sbe wonld, misunderstand. If ber many mingled 
feelings gave pallor to ber cbeek, it was no wonder ; 
for tbe buman frame is weak, and tbe barp-strings 
delicate, and too mucb tension of eitber joy or sorrow 
is trying to eitber. 

Mrs. Maitland, under experience of tbe over- 
wbelming bappiness tbat in full tide bad seemed to 
.rusb at once upon ber witb ber son's return, bad only 
bestowed ber good nigbt and blessing upon ber cbil- 
dren, and retired to bed, leaving tbe field clear to 
Annie and ber brotber James. Tbey sat out tbe 
nigbt togetber, talking till tbe stars paled in tbe 
borizon, and tbe first fSaiint streaks of dawn appeared. 

Tbere was so mucb to talk about — so mucb of 
bold adventure, so mucb of wild romance, so mucb 
of deprivations, and trials, and danger, tbat Annie's 
blood nearly curdled in ber veins many times, as balf- 
lying in ber brotber's arms, sbe listened to bis tbrill- 
ing recitals; ten times more tbrilling were tbey 
because be bad been an actor in all tbe scenes be 
narrated. He bad forded tbe dangerous creek ; be 
bad leaped tbe beetling crag ; be bad been stripped 
by busbrangers, and all taken from bim. It was not 
of anotber be was talking, but of bim self. And more 
tban once Annie raised berself upon bis sboulder to 
look into tbe face, so cbanged witb its quantity of bair 
and immense moustacbe, to see if it was indeed ber 
brotber, or wbetber it was not, after all, an imposition. 



THE BROTHER AND SISTER. 287 

What marvellous " digging tales " were also re- 
lated, and how perfectly mystified poor Annie was 
with them, losing half the charm of the narration in 
the mnltiphcity of new words that thronged her ears ; 
and she confessed herself fairly bewildered as she 
heard him speak of the merits of different claims and 
drives, and discuss the cradle and the puddling- 
machine, with all their ramifications. It was sur- 
prising to her how he could laugh over " duffers," 
and " shisers," and seem to think it glorious fan to 
sink a shaft, no matter how far down into the entrails 
of the earth, and find it after all without a speck. 

"Never mind, sis," he laughed. "Never mind, 
I have made a glorious pile. Let that suffice. The 
old reef turned out at last better than we expected, 
and so you see me here." 

" And here you are going to stay, are you not, 
dear James ? You will not go away again," said 
Annie, coaxingly passing her fingers through his dark 
hair. 

"Not without you, little witch," he replied, laugh- 
ing. " I don't intend to leave you and mother be- 
hiud. I certainly do not intend to have your pretty 
cheeks become thin and sallow, your blue eyes hollow, 
and your voice sharp, teaching school for Vermont's 
small fry, I can assure you." 

" Do I look all this? " asked Annie, with a slightly 
mischievous smile. 

"Well, no, little one; glad to say not, though 
there is just a modicum of dehcacy about that fair 
cheek of yours which is rather more than I like; 
however, we will take care to restore its bloom at the 
diggings." 



288 TBKMONT YiLB. 

"The diggings, James! You ynR not take us 
there?" 

"What do you know about the diggings?" 
laughed James. "Have I fairly frightened you hy 
my savage account ? " 

" But they live in tents there ! " 

" A veritable canvas town ! and boil their tea in 
their billies ! Well, my dear Annie, you will not. 
You must know ihat at a well-established diggings, 
where there is plenty of quartz-crushing going on, 
there are plenty of houses going up. You would find 
the diggings you exclaim so determinedly against 
another sort of place to Vermont Yale ; or, for that 
matter, to any other towns in South Australia. Wo 
Victorians laugh at the poor puny doings over here. 
South Australians are too slow for us. Do you know, 
little sis, what I once heard a man exclaim, who had 
been visiting Adelaide, and returned to Victoria. He 
said, 'he did not like South Australia much, the 
people there could talk nothing but theology ! ' " 

" If he could have added that their discussion of 
theology influenced their lives for good," said Annie, 
gravely, " it would have been an excellent character ; 
but if your Victorians are to bear an opposite one, 
what kind of people must they be ? No, James, I 
think we are better in South Australia, where coun- 
try and people are familiar to us. Mamina would 
never bear removal, or stand a voyage." 

" Here ! what, in Vermont ? Not I, indeed ! Too 
slow altogether, Annie ! What on earth should I 
stay here for ? Why should you stay here, why any 
of us ? I see nothing so attractive in Vermont ; it is 
a pretty place erough, but that is all ; and I'm no 



THE BROTHER. AND SISTER. 289 

farmer to take pleasure in fine crops. No, there is 
nothing attractive that I can discover, unless, indeed," 
he added, slightly changing his tone, and suddenly 
facing round upon his sister, " unless, indeed, it pos- 
sesses attractions I am unaware of. Is it so, my little 
Annie ? Has my Uttle timid dove indeed found a 
mate, and is he worthy of her ? '* 

The rich colour that remorselessly flushed Annie's 
fair cheek and brow answered more expressively than 
any words could have done. With a half sigh, a half 
smile, her brother rose and fondly kissed her, and 
then, pointing to the streaks of dawn already rising, 
bade her go to bed. 

" You must tell me all about it in the morning, 
Annie," he said, laughing. " I will not tease you 
to-night, for you are weary enough. Little did I 
think to find my bird wooed away from her nest on 
my return." 

Neither had he, but she did not say so. She only 
thanked him deeply in her heart for the respite he 
had given her ; for what had she to tell him ? What ? 
Nothing in the least tangible at present ; nothing she 
could possibly put into words ; nothing of which she 
should even like to speak. Tell — tell what? She 
did not even whisper that to herself. 

She laid her head upon her pillow, but not to 
sleep. There she lay, in the little white bed near her 
mother's — silently, prayerfully, wakefally; lay and 
watched the dawn come in, the rose-flakes gather on 
the bosom of the heavens, the pearl and the gold and 
the ruby clouds sail forth one by one, and, finally, 
en masse to usher in the god of day ; but sleep came 
not. The future, and what it might be to her, would 

19 



290 TEBKONT TALE. 

trouble her weaiy brain ; and the question that was 
to be asked, and bow it would be asked, and what 
answer she should return — all this forbade the ap- 
proach of Somnus. 

The song, gushing, firee, and joyous, of her own 
favourite magpie at last rose on the soft morning air. 
A Httle breeze caused a late rose playfully to rustle 
its perftimed petals up and down the window-pane. 
That same playful bree2se softly moved among the 
«he-oak leaves that stood beside the house. Even ab 
last the clouds of gold and crimson grew dream-like. 
And when, in all its splendour, the sun broke forth, 
scattering its scintillations on every hand, and when 
one truant beam stole even into the lady's chamber, 
the fair lady herself was asleep. 



CHAPTER XXXn. 

dolly's STBA.TAQEK. 

" It is here ! it is here ! it is lightening again. 
With sim-braided smiles, the deep heart of the glen ; 
It is touching the momitain and tinging the hill. 
And dimpling the face of the low laughing rill." 

The stars had paled, and the moming dawned, on 
other eyes than those within the little school-house ; 
for, though all besides in Sunny Hollow soundly 
slept that night, it contained one unquiet spirit that 
would not be stilled. It was not a Borrowfdl spirit^ 
nor a gloomy spirit^ nor a dark spirit; for, as the 
glorious poet Milton says — 

" He that has light within his own clear breast, 
May sit in the centre, and enjoy bright day." 

And something very like "bright day " occasionally 
flashed across his face, spite of an occasionally passing 
cloud, 

Fred Idnwood's spirit was in truth too deeply 
stirred within him for sleep to k)ck his senses. Half 
startled by the bold step he had taken, more than hope- 
ful by the promise of reply to his question, he could 
scarcely beUeve in his own happiness ; could scarcely 
bless his heavenly Father sufficiently for the bounti- 
fal bestowments of his hand. But he was still per- 
plexed, he had something still to do, and how without 



292 VERMONT YALE. 

a deal of very painfal formality, very nncoiigeiiial to his 
nature, could lie possibly gain an opportunity of asking 
liis question ? How was he likely to find Annie sepa- 
rated from her brother, a brother only just returned, 
and who naturally would be anxious to engross his 
sister's company, at the same time he would not for 
worlds delay. James Maitland's movements were 
uncertain. He had proclaimed the immediate dis- 
missing of the school. That was inevitable, but who 
can tell when and where he would cany off his 
mother and sister ? He paced the floor of his room 
across and across. He sat down and thought, he 
rose up and thought still, but could hit on no plan of 
easy access to the fair Annie herself. Easy matter 
enough, for that matter, to speak to either mother or 
brother, it seemed so to him, but it was to Annie he 
owed an explanation, and she should have it some 
way or other. But how ? 

His Bible lay open at the words that met his case, 
" Commit thy way unto the Lord, and He shall direct 
thy paths." A clear direction and safe promise. 
Why should he not obey it ? Did he not desire to 
commit his way into the Lord's hands ? And had he 
not reason to believe, whenever he had done so, his 
path had been directed ? This present dilemma was 
a path through which he wanted direction. Was ' it 
"wrong to ask ? He was ashamed of himself for the 
unbeUeving question — ashamed that he should for a 
moment have doubted the loving care of his Father, 
who had said, * " Ye are of more value than many 
sparrows," and who proclaimed, by his servant 
David, " Commit thy way unto the Lord, and He 
shall bring it to pass." 



dolly's stratagem. 293 

And wliile on bended knees he lowly pleaded the 
promise, asking for gmdance in this important epoch 
of his life's history, let the sceptic laugh if he will. 
For ns, we rejoice that onr God, though enthroned 
upon the heavens, stoops down to men of low estate, 
and like a father pitieth his children, like a mother 
comforteth them, sticketh closer than a brother, and 
is a friend that loveth at all times. In these endear- 
ing characters we have a Ucense to approach Him, 
and ask for all we need ; always bearing in mind his 
own loving rebuke, "Ye have not, because ye ask 
not !" 

Dawn had triumphantly made its entree while he 
knelt. Its rosy hght even now bathed the room in 
its beauty ; the birds were up with their glad matin 
songs ; a chorus of laughing-jackasses suddenly and 
joyously filled the air from an adjacent group of gum- 
trees ; while the sweet gurgle of the magpie, softened 
hj distance, sounded sweeter still. 

Fred threw open the window with the air of one 
no longer perplexed, and stood a moment to enjoy 
the beauty of the morning, and the soft fresh air that 
blew across his forehead from the Vermont hills. 
Then, drawing a chair to his httle table, he opened 
his own writing-desk, and sat down with pen and 
paper to write. 

What was it he wrote ? Oh no, gentle readers, 
we will not be guilty of such rudeness. We leave 
him with very earnest fingers to plead his own cause, 
and, as he has chosen this method of action, we wish 
him all the success he can desire ; but, to read the 
loving words that were meant for other eyes, we will 
not. 



294 YSBXOirr tali. 

Two letters! one fcdded within tlie other! and 
finished at last jnst as the snn made its trinnifdmiit 
entrSe npom the Vermont world, and sleep lell upon 
Annie's eyes. Bnt Fred had no inclination for sleep. 
Daylight had come, and with it the day's work; 
and, afber a plentiful ablution and brushing, which 
banished all traces of the night's watching, he care- 
fully placed his sealed letter in his pocket, and sallied 
forth to his mpmiiLg's work. 

Half an hour later all was astir ab Sunny Hollow. 
The hens were proclaiming a plentiful store of eggs, 
while chanticleer's shriU clarion re-echoed again and 
again among the hills ; geese and ducks most noisily 
proclaimed their existence; cows with fall udders lowed 
to be milked ; horses, recognizing the men that fed 
them, uttered pleasant^ cheerftd welcome. In short. 
Sunny Hollow would haye loudly proclaimed itself 
eyery inch a farm, even to a blind man ! 

" Dolly, do you think you can do me a faTour ?'* 
asked Fred, quietly fallowing the girl into the dairy, 
during his sister's absence a little later in the morning. 

"Yes, sir ; sure I can I" was Dolly's bright reply, 
and she looked rather curiously into his face as she 
spoke. 

" Wdl, then, will you try to give this letter to 
Miss Maitland as soon as possible this morning, into 
bra* own hands ? You understand ?" 

" I wiQ, gladly I" Dolly replied, with a smile of 
quick apprehension. " No other hands nor eyes shall 
catch a glimpse of it." 

" Not even my sister's ?" 

"No, sir, not if you say so." And, proud of her 
secret mission, Dolly instantly put the precious docu- 



dolly's stratagem. 295 

ment out of sight. " IVe a little more to do liere 
first, but I'll manage an errand to the scliool-honfle 
yet." 

" I will give you one. Take some cream and fresh. 
butter. Mrs. Maitland will be glad of it now her 
son's come home; and a few fresh eggs too, Dolly," 
he added, turning away just in time to miss the 
meaning smile that overspread the girl's good-natured 
face. 

" Dolly !" said Katie, coming into the dairy a few 
moments after, " I have been thinking you might run 
over to Mrs. Maitland's with some cream, for now her 
son is returned she will be glad of something nice to 
give him for breakfast ; and then there is that small 
ham, put that up too, I know it is a good one." 

" It's a beauty, miss ! and Mr. Fred told me to 
take eggs and butter." She did not say what besides. 

"Has he? Oh, oh! I am forestalled I see. Well, 
take all you can, and the best, and run off with yoTi. 
I'll see to the milk-dishes;" and Katie turned to 
her employment with a half-sad smile. 

" Well, Katie," she said to herself, half disconso- 
lately, " I see your reign at Sunny Hollow is nearly at 
an end. A short reign, too, you have had of it, but I 
suppose it is in the nature of things, and no use 
grumbHng against. I might have expected it." 

A morning run over to Mrs. Maitland's, especially 
with something nice in her basket to tempt the old 
lady and please the young, was always a pleasant 
affair to Dolly, but never had it been so pleasant as 
now, for she was the bearer of a secret that was to be 
kept even from the bright eyes of her young mistress, 
and she felt as if in a certain measure Master Fred 



296 VERMONT VAI.fi. 

had taken her into his confidence, though all he had 
told her was to deliver the letter in question. So 
much for v^oman's power of putting " two and two '* . 
together, and making up a tale. 

Dolly had made that tale up long before. Those 
dark, saucy eyes of hers had not been used for 
nothing ; and she had detected, perhaps long before 
Fred himself had done so, "which way the land 
lay." 

*' I am glad of it — as glad as can be," she said to 
herself as she went along. " I am sure Miss Annie 
will make a rare good wife ; and if she is not much 
about a farm, he can afford to keep people to do the 
work. He don't want a wife for that, I know. If 
there is anything that would make me leave Miss 
EZatie, it would be to live with Mr. Fred and his 
young wife. And who knows ? Perhaps I may, if 
Miss Katie gets married, and I don't like her hus- 
band !" 

And, so saying, she crept under the fence, and 
advanced towards the house. One person was there 
already she did not wish to see — ^young Maitland him- 
self, very busy feeding his horse. She hoped he 
would continue to do so, and not follow her to the 
door, and he did not. 

Annie herself came, looking revived by her sleep^ 
but rather pale too. She welcomed Dolly with a very 
bright smile. 

" A few httle things she had brought from Mr. 
Fred and Miss Katie," said Dolly, "if Mrs. Maitland 
would accept them." 

Annie did, on her mother's behalf, with msaiy 
thanks, as she emptied the basket. 



dolly's stratagem. 297 

"Our kind neighbours have sent ns a plentiftd 
supply fix)m their dairy for your benefit, James," she 
exclaimed, as her brother that instant entered the 
room. 

"Very kind indeed!" said James, with a half- 
quizzical look at his sister's blushing face. " I am 
sure I am greatly obliged to these kind Mends." 

Poor Dolly was in perplexity. Her predous letter 
— how should she get it into the proper hands un- 
seen ? What could she do ? Her woman's wit be- 
friended her. 

" May I trouble you to spare a little parsley from 
your border. Miss Annie ?" she presently asked, as 
the empty basket was returned to her. 

" Oh, yes ! as much as you like, Dolly," replied 
Annie. She would have added, " Grather what you 
like for yourself," had not something in the expres- 
sion of the girl's face assured her she had something 
to say without witnesses. 

She followed immediately into the garden, and 
her suspicions were confirmed the moment they knelt 
together at the parsley-bed, for among its most thick 
and curly leaves Dolly laid her letter. 

With a start of surprise, Annie took it in her hand^ 
and read her own name upon it. " Were you told to 
bring me this, Dolly ?" she asked, the beautiful colour 
deluging her cheeks. She looked like a guilty child 
detected in a wrong action. 

" Yes, miss ; and I thought I had better give 
it you out here," said Dolly, with a sly, side way 
glance at the fair, blushing girl beside her; "and, 
thank you, miss, that will be quite enough parsley. 
You are robbing yourself," she added ; for, in her 



298 VEBMOIST VALE. 

contusion, Annie began to tear up parsley, roots and 
aQ', in abnndance. 

" Ton can plant the roots," she replied, langhing', 
and blushing anew at finding how she was betraying 
what she sought to hide. " Grood-bye, Dolly." And 
she ran off as fast as she could ; while Dolly, with a 
quiet smile at the success of her stratagem, returned 
home to whisper the accomplishment of her errand to 
iVcd. 

What an old, old story it is, this love ! Tet how, 
again and again, it renews its youth, from sire to son, 
from mother to daughter ! And, after aU, how much, 
of God's love and mercy are enfolded in each one of 
our affections. Did all view them in their proper 
light, we should see them as part of a beautiful whole. 
Our happiest moments are all the gift of God ! 

"AU my springs are in Thee!" says the sweet 
songster of Israel; and to us his songs are very 
sweet. 



CHAPTER XXXm. 

THE LITTLE GBA.VB. 

" Grod took thee in his mercy, 

A laihb imtask'd, untried ; 
He fonght the fight for thee. 
He won the victory, 

And thon art sanctified." 

Our readers liave not forgotten, in the interest we 
trust they have taken in our fair Annie's fdtnre, the 
sad scene we lately introduced them to at Thombudi, 
Katie had not, neither had Annie, for to them had 
been assigned the task of bearing the little one to his 
last earthly resting-place. It was but the clay that 
remained, it is true, but even that seemed dear ; and 
Katie's eyes were many, many times weeping bitterly 
as the day drew on. 

'^I shall stay, and take care of mother/^ said 
James Maitland, as they rose from, the dinner-table. 
" I am no hand at attending babies' fdnerals ; I'm a 
stranger besides. I hope, however, my dear Annie, 
you win be taken care of. I have had no answer to 
my question yet, you know. I scarcely like letting 
you go alone." 

"You may safely; and for the question, ask 
mamma when I am gone," said Annie, colouring and 
laughing. " I give you leave to do that." 



300 VERMONT VALE. 

" Oh, well, if motlier knows all about it, I'll soon 
hear news. But mind, if I don't approve, I shall mn 
off with yon to those * odious diggings ' still." 

A Kttle time after, Annie set off with two of her 
pupils, attired in white (for they were also to be 
bearers), to walk to Sunny Hollow. Fred Linwood's 
large waggon was to go from there ; but, according 
to Annie's written intimation, she had taken her 
riding-habit, very carefully rolled up in a parcel, for 
a homeward ride. There was one thing, therefore, 
evident : had the letter met an unfavourable answer, 
that parcel would have been left at home. 

The waggon was already outside the slip-panel, 
and a bevy of young people near it of either sex, 
their merriment but half kept down by the remem- 
brance of the cause of the gathering. Amongst them 
Annie recognized Fred. He came instantly to her 
side to shake hands, and assist her to one of the best 
seats. She scarcely spoke ; but the one timid glance 
up into his face, as he handed her that parcel, was all 
he needed. His thanks and pleasure were in his 
looks. 

It was a fine afternoon, not hot and sultry, like 
the afternoon of Klatie's ride, but soft and genial, 
with neither too much sunshine, or dust, or wind to 
be pleasant. The ride was a pleasant one, too, and, 
with so many young people congregated together, 
could not be very gloomy; for when youth, and 
health, and buoyant spirits exist, they must betray 
their existence. 

The proposition to sing a hymn met with universal 
favour. Young people are fond of hearing their own 
voices, and very pleasant it was to hear those sweet 



THE LITTLE GRAYE. 301 

young voices thrilling out, " There is a land of pure 
delight," and its triumphant refi^in — 

" We're inarching tlirough Immannel's ground, 
And soon shall hear the trumpet sound ; 
We hope to meet at Jesns' feet, 
And never, never part again." 

The horses rattled along bravely with that chorus 
of voices behind them, and, perhaps, none but Fred's 
experienced hand could have restrained them, fresh 
as they were from food and rest ; and yet they seemed 
to like the singing, and so the sweet singers sang 
again, this time the " Better land," the words and 
music so wide- world known and loved, arose, and fell 
softly with the breeze. 

They were singing the concluding verses when a 
horseman joined them, and the pastor of Vermont 
made himself known to his young flock. 

" I thought you passed some time since, Mr. 
Howard," said Fred ; " some one told me so. It was 
you, Klatie, was it not ?" 

"Yes, I saw Mr. Howard pass," replied Kjitie, 
slightly colouring. 

" I did pass. Miss Linwood, you were quite right, 
but I had a sick member to call upon on the way* 
We heard you pass while I was in the cottage. 
The singing sounded very sweet indeed." 

"A good way to employ the time, sir," said one 
of the young men demurely, putting slily into his 
pocket what appeared most unmistakably like a bow 
of ribbon from the dress of his companion, whose 
entreating gestures almost betrayed him. 

" Yes," said Graham Howard, " yes, if the heart 



302 TERMONT YALE. 

is employed with the voice. Without that there is 
no 'making melody to the Lord.' Perhaps," lie 
added, " we had better harry forward, Mr. Linwood ; 
my watch warns me that we are rather late." 

And on galloped the horses in sober silence noYY, 
for the minister was by, and conld see, if he conld 
not hear, all that was said. Besides, a little sense of 
outward decorum, and the near approach to the 
scene of death, quieted the most reckless and giddy 
among them. 

As they drew near Thombush, a little boy, with 
hat-band round his cap, threw down the panels, and 
the horses passed through, and on up to the house. 
They stopped there, and all quietly dismounted, fop 
this was surely no place for unseendy mirth. 

It was a sad gathering, strange and sad. The 
mother and father, and elder children, in then* haliili- 
ments of woe, and each little one with some sligiit 
mourning for their Kttle brother, were aJready there ; 
and now the young men and maidens came flocking 
in, in all the beauty of youth and health, forming a 
strange contrast as they grouped around in their 
hoUday garb; all but the four young bearers, and 
the snowy whiteness of their dresses was still more 
strange in that scene. 

They had placed the little white coffin upon a krw 
bench in the midst ; it was not closed, and all could 
yet see the last of Httle Samuel. Rose-buds were 
lying in profusion round the little ice-cold baby ; but, 
oh, how chaTiged he had become ! E^atie's breath 
came thick and fast, as she saw and recognized the 
waxen hue of death that now rested on the sunkrai 
eyelids and Mien cheeks. The smile was there, still 



THE LITTLE OSAYE. 303 

sweet, most wondronsly sweet ; but, passing strange, 
like no earthly smile. Her own heart seemed growing 
cold and still, as she looked at the &ded blossom 
before her, and felt that death must come upon them 
all ; that the bright eyes round her must grow dim, 
the red lips wither, the fiill round cheeks fall, and 
that that same waxen hue would stamp itself too soom 
on every feature in the room. 

And then came the vain, vain wish, the wish that 
hundreds have echoed, that death in infancy had 
been her lot ! Yet why that wish ? Why, when 
there is a loving, a willing Sa/viour to go to now ? 
Why, when there is life yet to yield to Him ? Why, 
when there are talents to devote to his service, wish 
that life had passed away in infancy ? All who will 
may come. Jesus has said it; He who has said, 
"Ask, and receive, that your joy may be ftilL" 
Surely, if the wish to be safe for etesmity were sincere, 
that wish would be uppermost, and would work out 
into realization. 

Graham Howard presently stood by the side of 
the little cofl&n, with his Bible in his hand, and there 
was an instant hush through the room. He read a 
few verses from the story of Lazarus, commenting 
very sweetly upon those words of the Saviour, " I am 
the resurrection and the life," " Thy brother shall 
rise again." And while he spoke of the little one'B 
happy, glorified state, and sought to comfort the 
parents with the assurance of their child's eternal 
happiness, feithftdly and firmly he spoke to the youtli 
around him, bidding them remember that, perhaps, 
the hour might be near at hand, when they, too, 
would be carried to their " long home," when their 



304 VERMONT VALE. 

eyes would close in death, their pulses cease to beat ; 
and what terrible moments woxdd those be, if 
" without Christ and without hope " then ! 

There were not many dry eyes present, when all 
rose fix)m their knees, after his solemn concluding 
prayer. Katie's tears still continued to flow ttn- 
ceasingly, as they prepared to sally forth with their 
light burden to the grave, for Kttle Samuel was not 
to be laid far jfrom his old home, and the loved ones 
there. There was no regular graveyard at Vermont, 
no enclosed place for the dead, and so the father had 
prepared the little grave for his child at th^ bottom 
of the long straggling garden, among a cluster of 
red-and- white moss-rose bushes, and almost beneath 
a slender willow, that sent down its dehcate branches 
to the ground. To this lovely spot the little pro- 
cession slowly walked. Graham Howard led the 
way, and immediately afber him came the Httle coffin 
with its snowy pall, and its four youthful bearers, 
each in white. Then followed the mourning parents, 
tearless now, but sorrowing still ; and after them 
their eight remaining children, two and two, the 
youngest carried by his sister. The remainder of the 
procession consisted of the Vermont youth, who had 
come with Fred Linwood, and other near neighbours, 
amongst whom were three or four German counte- 
nances, made up the group. 

As the Kttle coffin rested at the side of the tiny 
grave, Graham Howard again spoke; spoke of the 
unseen world, its bliss, its glory ; of the convoy of 
angels ; of immortal flowers and living fountains ; of 
the " Lamb in the midst of the throne ;" and then 
into almost joyous tones as he proceeded, he 




THE LITTLE GRAYE. 305 

exclaimed, " What, my friends, what must it be to 
be there ! This little babe has done for ever with 
sorrow ; it is now beholding face to face * the glories 
of the Lamb before his Father's throne.' Can we 
wish it back ? Ah, no, fond mother ! loving father ! 
you do not — ^yon cannot. But let us who are left 
behind press forward to the same bright home, where 
sorrow, and sighing, and death cannot enter !" 

He paused a moment, and in the deep silence 
that followed, the rustling of the leaves of the hymn- 
book he held in his hand was distinctly audible. 
Then with deep feeling he read the following sweet 
verses, which were presently as sweetly sung by the 
whole of the little group around the grave : — 

" What must it be to dwell above, 

At God's right hand, where Jesns reigns, 
Since the sweet earnest of his love 

O'erwhelms us on these dreary plains ? 
No heart caA think, no tongae explain. 
What bliss it is with Christ to reign. 

" When sin no more obstructs our sight. 
When sorrow pains our heart no more. 

Then shall we view the Prince of Light, 
And all his works of grace explore ! 

What heights, what depths of love divine 

Will then through endless ages shine ! 

" Well, He has fixed the happy day, 

When the last tear shall fill our eyes, 
And God shall wipe that tear away. 

And fill us with divine surprise. 
To hear his voice, and see his face. 
And feel his infinite embrace. 

20 



306 TSBMOHT YALE. 

" This is the heaven I long to know. 
For this with patience I would wait. 

Till weaned firom earth and all below, 
I monnt to my celestial seat. 

And wave my palm, and wear my crown. 

And with the elders cast them down." 

Afi they ceased aingmg, a motion from Mr. 
Howard, and softly, tenderly the little coffin was 
lowered to its last resting-place; as tenderly and 
slowly the earth was thrown in, and, as the little 
grave was filled, the pastor turned, and took the 
parents' hands in his. 

^Yonr child is not dead, my friends," he ex- 
claimed ; " that little baby simply sleeps, till it shall 
be again nnited, a glorified body to a glorified spirit. 
A little while, and we shall rejoice. Come, yonng 
friends, once more, as we walk back to the honse, let 
ns have your favourite — 

" * We sing of the realms of the bless'd.' " 

And soon the ftill chorus was swelling throngh 
the air, not one voice silent but Katie's, and she was 
still weeping bitterly. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

THE HOMEWABD RIDE. 

" Sweeter far, 
By those we love, in that all soft'ning hour. 
To watch with mntnal eyes each coming star, 
And the faint moon-rays streaming through our bower 
Of foliage, wreathed and trembling, as the car 
Of night rolls duskier onwards." 

The moon was shining brightly, not much more than, 
a crescent bb it was, when the party left Thombush, 
on their way back to Vermont and their several 
homes. Fred had secured his companion and her 
horse, but he was afraid not their solitary ride, for 
Mr. Howard was an equestrian too ; and how could 
they evade him ? How was it likely that he should 
discover that there were moments when even his 
valued society was not coveted ? 

Katie settled' that point herself, though scarcely 
for the benefit of her brother. Her feelings were too 
deeply excited by the scene of the afternoon to endure 
the babble of nonsense the waggon contained; so, 
quietly borrowing a horse and side-saddle of a neigh- 
bour of the Rangers', and Betsy Ranger's skirt, she 
signified her intention of proceeding home in that 
manner, to Fred's very great joy and relief. She 
was scarcely, however, prepared for the convoy who 



308 VERMONT VALE. 

immediately took her in cliarge ; for it must be con- 
fessed that of all others she had least expected the 
minister of Vermont at her side — ^least desired it. 
There was no help for it, though ; for no sooner had 
he ascertained that his sister was in safe hands, than 
Fred and his " fair companion " disappeared ; for, 
anxious to avoid interruption, he took a circuitous 
bend, away from the high road, where the opossums 
and night-birds, curlews and moreporks, could alone 
have to contend with their voices. 

Very lovely it looked, too, in its deep solitude ; the 
path scarcely admitted two abreast ; did not some- 
times. Now and then the gnarled branches of the 
huge gum-trees stretched quite across them, inter- 
twining above their heads. In one or two places, 
Fred had to dismount and lead forward his com- 
panion's horse, and at last their course appeared com- 
pletely arrested, the overthrow of a huge gum in the 
midst of a forest of young wattles, fall in the path, 
proving an enormous barrier. 

There was nothing, then, for both to do, but to 
dismount and view the land, and then they found that 
one of two courses only remained open to them, to 
turn back into the high road again and regain their 
companions, or for Fred to force a "passage through 
the young wattles round the tree. The latter course, 
though more difficult, yet involving a continuance of 
their quiet ride, appeared most agreeable, and that 
was chosen by Fred at once. 

Fastening the horses to the limb of the fallen tree, 
preparatory to commencing his wattle breakage, he 
came back to where Annie had quietly seated herself 
to wait, and stood at her side looking down at her. 



THE HOMEWARD BIDE. 309 

" Am I to understand, dear Annie, tliat by tlms 
kindly granting me this ride, as I asked, you liave not 
turned away from my other request ? We have had 
no word yet together ; but it is so, is it not ? " 

She looked up a moment, and placed her trembling 
Httle hand in his. He wanted no more. She was 
his, he knew. Her promise was given with sealed 
lips, but it was a true one. And now, what would he 
not do to prove his love and care for her ! 

Half an hour passed away unheeded before either 
deemed many moments had elapsed, and then, with 
Annie's gentle reminder, Fred set to work, soon 
making a clear pathway for the horses. They were pre- 
sently once more mounted, and riding slowly through 
a rather clearer pathway side by side homewards. 

" I had very hard thoughts of your brother, dear 
Annie,'' said Fred, as they rode along. "When I 
heard, the afternoon he came, that he was going to 
spirit you and your mother away from Vermont very 
shortly, I was half incHned to put in my veto imme- 
diately. The time for an effort was so short, and yet 
it was * nothing venture, nothing have.' Did I not 
right to venture ? " 

" It seems so," said Annie, smiling and blushing 
in the moonlight. 

" But how I should speak to you — that puzzled me 
most. You would be off before I could get a chance. 
I did not sleep last night, Annie." 

"Nor did I." 

" W^ it my words that kept you awake ? Well, 
I daresay you wondered what I had to ask you. And 
yet, not so ; for you surely must have known what I 
thought of you. Now, did you not, dearest ? " 



810 VERMONT YALE. 

" It is too bad to ask me, Mr. Linwood." 

"Not Mr. Linwood, now, dear Annie; that is cold." 

" I am not used to call you Fred yet," said Annie, 
laughing. "But cannot we get out upon the high 
road again before the waggon comes up ? " 

" Yes, dear, if you prefer it ; or we can go straight 
home without meeting any one at all." 

" We had better not do that ; Katie would think 
it unkind, and Mr. Howard rude." 

So they turned presently off into another track, 
and, after a little intricate meandering, the high road, 
looking white in the moonlight, appeared. They stood 
together, waiting and hstening for the approach of the 
waggon. 

" You like Vermont, don't you, Annie ? " Fred 
presently asked. 

" Better than any other place in the colony," re- 
plied Annie, warmly. 

" Then the thought of leaving it, even in the com- 
pany of your brother, was not pleasiug to you. I am 
glad of that." 

"Why?" 

" Because I'wish your fdture home to be the dear- 
est spot on earth to you, darHng ; because I want you 
to have no wish ungratified that I can grant you." 

Annie was silent for a few moments. When she 
spoke again her voice slightly trembled. "You would 
not wish me to become an idolater," she gently 
answered ; " I still want to be able to say, 

" * The dearest idol I have known. 
Whatever that idol be, 
Help me to tear it from Thy throne. 
And worship only Thee.* 



THE HOMEWAfiD BIDE. 811 

I would not that the feirest, dearest earthly treasure 
should make me forget my heavenly." 

" Nor I, dear Annie ; but we shall seek that 
together — ^together we shall be able to talk of its 
beanties. Our hearts are one in this, as in all else, 
dear one, do not forget that. Onr home will be 
brighter for that thonght. We may enjoy oxtr 
Father's bounty, dear Annie, without idolatry ; and 
rejoice in his gifts without requiring the apostle's 
injunction, 'Little children, keep yourselves from 
idols.' " 

The waggon wheels approaching nearer and nearer, 
with the prancing of the horses on the hard road as 
an accompaniment, were now distinctly audible. They 
slowly urged their horses forward, and were presently 
joined by the whole group. Mr. Howard and Katie 
rode forward with them the remaLuder of the way, till 
the waggon stopped at Sunny Hollow. 

A pressing invitation to stay and take supper was 
made to all, but, on account of the lateness of the 
hour, refused. In a little time, Mr. Howard was on 
his way home, accompanied by those whose path led 
the same way. Fred, of necessity, could not entrust 
his charge to other keeping. The waggon, denuded 
of its horses and trappings, was left in the yard ; and 
Katie hurried indoors, complaLoing of fatigue to the 
kkid and anxious Dolly, whose attentions she could 
have done without just then, and whom she soon got 
rid of by retiring to her room for the night. 

Not to go to bed — ^tired as she was she cotdd not 
do that; but, throwing herself into the large chair 
which she had wheeled into her room that momii^, 
she covered her face with her hands and sighed deeply. 



312 VBRMONT VALE. 

" What will he tlunk of me ? what will he think ? " 
she exclaimed to herself in grieved tones. " I have 
been absolutely rude to him ; have answered so differ- 
ently to what I feel. Ah ! why am I so foolish ? why 
do I throw happiness from me like this ? What is 
it within me so antagonistic to all that is good ? And 
yet I wonld do good ; I would be good. I know my 
sin, and would come to the Saviour if I only knew 
how ; and he would have told me, would have helped 
me, and I would not have his help — would not listen 
to him. He would have led me to his Saviour ; would 
have given me his advice, and I would not take it ; 
would not humble my proud, proud heart. And when 
he so kindly asked me the cause of my tears, pretended 
it was because I grieved so for dear httle Samuel, 
when all the time the grief was for myself, for he, I 
know, is happy; for my own sin — for fear of this 
death that I know must come to me yet ! " 

Yes, Katie was right ; her heart was proud, and 
needed humbling — needed leading to the foot of the 
cross. But a great deal of her pride was external : 
inwardly, her spirit would cower even to the very 
dust; and often, as now, when she had rejected 
the kindly offered guidance of another, bitterly she 
repented in private, bitterly bemoaned the folly that 
kept her away, perhaps, from her best friends. 

Graham Howard's opportunity with Katie had 
been a golden one, and he was not the man to lose it. 
Her sorrow gave him a pretext for speech; and as 
they rode some distance in the rear of the waggon, a 
little beyond the noise of its wheels and tongues, he 
had his own way. 

Not all his own way though, for he found E]atie 



THE HOMEWARD RIDE. 313 

as wilfy as her own little pony; repudiating any 
serious thoughts, and, as she said afterwards to her- 
self, laying the fall charge of her griefs and tears 
upon the buried little one. It would not do ; Graham 
Howard read her better than that. He knew she was 
struggling with conviction — ^that he soon discovered 
— struggling against life and light. The calm, quiet, 
yet serious question he addressed to her, was sufficient 
to betray his thoughts, when suddenly, after she had 
made a vain attempt to laugh away her tears, he 
turned to her, exclaiming — 

" Miss Linwood, do you not desire to have Christ 
for your friend ? " 

"Why do you ask me such a question? " said 
Katie, rather haughtily. 

"Because," he replied, sadly, "I fear you are 
seeking to shut Him out of your heart ; you are seek- 
ing to give the heart to the world that He desires for 
his own." 

"If I am," said Katie, slowly, " surely I am per- 
mitted to do as I like. No one has a right to inter- 
fere." 

" Only the right of friendship," replied Graham. 
" It is not in the nature of one to see a friend run into 
danger and not start to the rescue." 

" What danger am I in ? " 

" In danger of forsaking the fountain of living 
waters, and * hewing unto yourself cisterns that hold 
no water ; ' in danger of leaving on one side the bread 
of life, and satisfying yourself with husks ; in danger 
of proving yourself a hearer of the gospel, but not a 
doer of it, Miss Linwood ; is not this danger enough ? " 

Katie's eyes were ftdl of tears, and her bosom 



314 VERMONT YALE. 

heaving with sobs, but she contrived to reply, "Is 
that all the danger ? " 

" Is it not enough ? " he replied in a deeply grieved 
manner ; " but no, there is greater danger still ; for 
our Saviour himself said, ' Except ye repent, ye shall 
all likewise perish.' " He paused for a few moments, 
as though after that terrible sentence he could say 
no more; but she did not speak, and he presently 
went on — 

"BeHeve me. Miss Liuwood, I have hoped such 
different things of you. I have looked forward to the 
time when you should, with your brother, be aiding 
me forward in the gospel work. I have built highly 
on what seems to be a baseless foundation. Is it to 
be so?" 

" There is no help for it, Mr. Howard." 

" Why no help ? You are not happy ; I am sure 
you are not ; and if you would only take your sorrow 
to Jesus, aU would be well. Why will you not per- 
mit me to help you forward ? Why will you reftise 
this dear, this loving Saviour ? " 

" What if I do not see Him as a loving Saviour ? 
What if I can see no kindness in Him ; nothiug but 
the harsh Judge, the austere Lawgiver ? " said Katie, 
in low tones. 

" Ah ! you are not looking to Jesus, Miss Katie ; 
it is not Jesus you are looking at. He is all love, all 
goodnessj all mercy. It is the high and mighty God 
who is the Judge ; but when we flee to Jesus, and hide 
ourselves there, the Judge no longer looks upon us, 
but upon *our Shield,' and for his sake we are 
accepted." 

A little glad thrill ran through Katie's frame as 



THE HOMEWARD BIDE. 315 

she saw the beauty of what he said. Her sonl cltmg 
to the * Shield/ but not for worlds woxdd she have 
betrayed herself. At this jnnctiire she caught sight 
of her brother in the distance, and quickened her 
horse's pace ; her companion did the same, and they 
were no longer alone. He shook hands with her 
when they parted at Simny Hollow, warmly and 
inquiringly, but no other opportunity occurred for 
renewing the conversation. 

And now she sat in the large chair, reviewing the 
past ; not only the past events of the evening, but of 
her bygone life, and for the fii'st time in that life, at 
last she prayed ; prayed that she might find Jesus a 
shield indeed ; that beneath his shadow she might 
find repose; and as at last she crept away to bed, 
cold, and shivering with emotion, the last of her 
waking thoughts was expressed in Toplady's inimitable 
lines — 

** Bock of Ages, shelter me ; 
Let me bide my soul in Thee." 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

SAD NEWS FROM HOME. 

" Is this, dear Lord, the thorny road 
Which leads ns to the mount of God ? 
Are these the toils thy people know, 
While in the wilderness below ? " 

" *Tis even so — thy faithful love, 
Doth all thy children's graces prove, 
"lis thus — our pride and self must fall, 
That Jesus may be all in all." 

Days passed away, almost xiimoticed by some of oitr 
young fiiends, for happiness leaves little room for 
remarking the flight of time, without it be that it runs 
all too quickly. Certainly " the course of true love," 
in the case of Fred and his sweet fiiend Annie, ran 
very smoothly with nothing to interrupt it. The 
watchfiil eye of the fond mother could detect nothing 
that she would not desire in her daughter's intended, 
and James Maitland fraternized at once with the 
young farmer, entered into all his plans, listened to his 
advice, and half-promised to take it. As to Katie, 
she had guessed the whole matter before her brother 
revealed it to her, and was not therefore in the least 
surprised; she could not help two or three teaors 
escaping when he whispered the news to her, though 
in her warmest tones she answered him — 



SAD NEWS FROM HOME. 317 

" I knew it, dear Fred, and am glad of it ; she 
will make you a dear little wife." And when she 
next saw Annie, wliich was very soon, kissing her 
warmly, she exclaimed — 

" My dear Annie, my own sweet little sister, yon 
have made Fred very happy, I thank yon heartily 
for it." 

But in her inmost sonl Katie felt very, very sad 
and lonely. It seemed, indeed, to her, as if she was 
being left alone, as if the happiness of those aronnd 
her conld have nothing in common with her desolate 
heart, as if their bright, joyous countenances were 
only a mockery of her grief ; and they in the mutual 
love that makes people selfish, forgot how lonely she 
must be, and suffered her to disappear from among 
them for long intervals without discovering she had 
left them. Certainly they often wished her to ac- 
company them in their walks and rides, but she was 
fertile in inventing excuses, and they, engrossed in 
their own society, were, perhaps, too easily induced 
to accept them. Be it how it may, Katie was almost 
always solitary now. 

" I can't think what ails Miss Katie ; she is not 
like the same," said Dolly to Mrs. Ranger, one day ; 
" her colour is all going, and her appetite too ; she 
feeds like a bird. Then she don't care for a single 
thing she used to ; she takes no care for the cows, or 
the dairy, or the butter, or any of it at all ; it's well 
we're not so busy as we were a time ago. It cuts me 
to the heart to see her stealing so silently in and out, 
away for the most part among the rocks, out of 
sight; she's never been the same since your baby 
died." 



318 VERMONT VALE. 

" Wait a bit, Dolly," said Mrs. Banger, quietly, 
" it will all be for the best ; the world is sbowing its 
dark side to her now ; perhaps by and by, through 
the clouds she may see Jesus." 

" I wish to my heart she may ; she needs some- 
thing to comfort her ; I only wish our minister conld 
say the word ! " 

Mrs. Ranger was right; the dark side of the 
world was turned towards Katie, and what was 'worse, 
the dark side of her own heart, and very dark it 
seemed, so dark that she despaired of it ever be- 
coming clear and pure. For though sometimes she 
gathered a grain of comfort from her remembrance of 
Graham Howard's parting words, about taking shelter 
in Jesus, and the Judge looking there, not upon the 
sinner, but the shield, though she very often repeated 
to herself with clasping hands — 

" Bock of Ages, shelter me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee !" 

Yet stni the next moment the law with its thunders 
would alarm her, and the terrific sentence, " Do this 
and live," make her shiver to her very soul, for she 
was learning that terrible lesson that " the heart is 
deceitftd above all things, and desperately wicked ; " 
she was gradually learning, that " Not the righteous, 
but sinners Jesus came to save." And what, ah, what 
could she do ? 

But Blatie, like many another sinking, trembling 
sinner, shut up all her troubles in the depths of her 
own heart, and obstinately shrunk from revealing a 
particle of her sorrow. She rather shunned Graham 
Howard than not, ghding quickly out of chapel when 



SAD NEWS FROM HOMB. 319 

he approached, or disappearing out of the back door 
when he entered the front ; and yet that very action 
was always repented of with bitter tears, while she 
grieved alone nnutterably that the pride of her heart 
kept her distant from all sonrces of comfort ; that the 
very stronghold of strength she so longed to apply to 
for advice, was the one of all others she constantly 
shunned. Even when her brother kindly questioned 
her as to her change of manner and troubled brow, 
she would assume a manner which was but very 
foreign to her feelings, and but half-convinced him. 
The little Bible that made the constant companion of 
her daily walks, was carefdlly and adroitly substituted 
for a volume of poetry, if any one approached her. 
Poor Katie, she was shutting herself up fix)m consola- 
tion, and she knew it. 

One afternoon, Fred and Annie had taken a ride 
to a distant village, and she was left alone with only 
Dolly for companion. Rather late in the afternoon 
she laid aside the work she had been affecting to do, 
and tying on her hat and throwing on a shawl, for the 
days were beginning to be rather chilly now and then, 
she set out for a walk, her two books for companions, 
as usual. 

How fair it looked, for the green old gums were 
not less green, though the finiit trees in the gardens 
were stripping of their leaves, though the latest 
chrysanthemums were in blossom, and though vine- 
leaves were all yellow and sere. The grass, too, was 
recovering a little of its freshness, for there had been 
already some heavy showers that had laid the dust, 
and given a touch of green to the ground, and 
brought a few wild flowers to light. A few heavy 



820 VERMONT VALE. 

showers that had widened the creek and sent its 
waters tumbling noisily and boisterously along* 
their way. The afternoon sun was so pleasant too, 
and threw such exquisite light upon all, while a 
delicate haze mellowed the distant hills and softened 
the rocky declivities. Katie chose a way in which 
she thought she should be least likely to be disturbed, 
a well-beaten pathway across the creek, deeply fringed 
with trees on either hand; trees whose branches 
sometimes met above her, and hid the blue of heaven 
from her gaze. It suited well with her desolate 
mood, and there were many such walks round Sunny 
Hollow. 

Fairly secure in her retreat, she took out her 
Httle Bible and read as she walked ; she opened first 
on that beautiftd psalm of David's, the forty-second, 
commencing — 

" As the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so 
panteth my soul after thee, O God. 

" My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God ; 
when shall I come and appear before Gt)d ?" 

" Yes," she thought, " I surely know something of 
this thirst; I am wanting God, waiting for God, 
thirsting in vain for his presence." She read again, 
and the tears welled out as she read — 

" Why art thou cast down, my soul ? and why 
art thou disquieted within me ? hope thou in God ; for 
I shall yet praise Him for the help of his counte- 
nance." 

" I shaU yet praise Him ? Shall I ? " thought 
Katie ; " shall I ever praise God for the help of his 
countenance ? WiQ He indeed hear me ? " The tears 
were almost blinding her now, but she still read on. 



SAD NEWS FROM HOME. 321 

Then tnrning back a leaf, her eye caught sometldng 
else. 

" I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined 
unto me, and heard my cry. 

" He brought me up also out of the horrible pit, 
out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and 
estabUshed my goings. 

" And He hath put a new song into my mouth, 
even praise ^unto our God. Many shall see it, and 
fear, and shall trust in the Lord." 

She stood still for a moment, and looked fixedly 
at the words. " * Patient waiting,' " she murmured, 
" followed by ' dehverance.' Yes, that is clear 
enough. Oh ! if by patient waiting I could attain 
what I want ; if only the Lord would hear me ! " 

" And whenever has He turned away the earnest 
seeker ?" inquired a quiet voice nearly at her side. 

Katie started violently, the colour receding from 
her cheek, and as suddenly returning, for seated on a 
fallen tree, himself with Bible in hand, and two or 
three fly-sheets upon which he was taking notes, was 
Graham Howard. 

Flight or conceahnent was equally impossible this 
time ; Katie sought neither, but stood her ground as 
best she might. 

Not long, for he did not choose that she should 
stand, he quietly led her to his own seat on the fallen 
tree, and took up his place at her side. 

" I came here for solitude. Miss Katie," he said, 
with a sHght smile ; "it appears you have done the 
same, and so, without dreaming of it, we have inter- 
rupted each other. As it is so, permit me to ask that 
question again I asked just now : Whenever did 

21 



822 VERMONT YALE. 

the Lord turn bock one who patiently waited for 
Him?" 

" You know more of these things than I do, Mr. 
Howard," said Katie, gravely, too feirly caught in 
the toils to be able or willing to retreat. " Perhaps," 
she continued in a low voice, " it is those who are 
impatient that receive no blessing." 

'* That patient waiting, Miss Elatie, does not 
imply apathy," replied Graham, taking up his little 
Bible ; " the very psabn you have been reading is 
contrary to that : * As the hart panteth for the water- 
brook.' Does not that imply vehement desire, ardent 
longing after God ? Then ferther on, in the 130th 
Psalm, David says again — 

" ' I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in 
his word do I hope. 

" ' My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they 
that watch for the morning.' 'No apathetic watch- 
ing that, as I am sure you will admit, if you remember 
watching all night by the sick ? " 

Katie did remember it; did remember how 
earnestly when watching at Stephen's bedside, she 
had longed for the first dawning streak of daylight, 
and in her own heart compared it with the longing 
now after God and salvation. The comparison seemed 
strong. 

" In another place David says, ' Wait on the Lord, 
be of good courage ; wait I say on the Lord.' We 
are to ask, you know, if we want to receive ; we are 
to seek if we wish to find ; " and Graham Howard 
looked eagerly down at the bowed head before him, 
teaftrs almost rising to his eyes, as he saw how utterly 
bowed it was. 



SAD NEWS FBOU HOME. 323 

" Will yon not give me the happiness of knoTfing 
that yon are amongst the seekers ? " he presently 
asked in softened tones, afber a lengthened silence, 
which neither had cared to break. 

" I am nothing good, Mr. Howard," said Katie, 
in a low broken voice. 

" I do not ask you that," he replied, a flnsh of 
pleasure illmnining his fine countenance; '*I do not 
ask you what you think of yourself, I only ask you if 
you are seeking Jesus ? " 

But she did not answer that, and he stood patiently 
waiting by her side, watching her bowed head, bowed 
down in her hands as though it would never rise 
again, and sighed deeply. 

" You will not give me that consolation ? " There 
was deep pathos in his tones, as he spoke. 

She sprang up then, and tossed back the hair from 
her heated brow. 

" Why should you trouble about me ? What 
should induce you to ask these questions ? How can 
it concern you ? " she asked with sudden petulance, 
but she ended in tears. 

" More, perhaps, than you deem," replied Graham, 
in deep, earnest sounds. But he more quietly added, 
as if stifling some inward feeling that sought for out- 
ward expression. " Has your minister no interest in 
these things ? Has he prayed and watched for souls, 
and may he not rejoice over those he hopes are 
saved ? " 

" You have nothing yet to rejoice in me," said 
Blatie, sadly. " I am not saved, and fear I never shall 
be. It is hard, hard work to be a Christian ! " • 

" But easy to trust aU to Christ ! " He took her 



324 VERMONT VALE. 

hand a moment in botli his, for she was in haste to 
go ; "I trust you are coming, Miss Katie, thoxigh 
you will not admit it, and that one day yet you will 
be spared to tell me what a dear Saviour you have 
found." 

And so they parted, each turning homewards. 
Poor Elatie ! she was yet to find the road to the king- 
dom a thorny one, through afflictions she was yet to 
learn the sweetness of Jesus' love. 

When she reached home she found her brother 
returned ; he was waiting at the door for her when 
she came up ; the expression of his face alarmed her. 

" Is all well ? " she asked, in startled tones. 

" Not quite, at home," he repHed, as steadily as he 
could ;^ " we must both start for home immediately ! " 

" What is the matter ? " faltered EZatie, the cx»lour 
receding fix)m her cheeks, for the second time that 
evening. " Not mother ? " 

" No, not mother," replied Fred, " but poor 
Stephen again ; he has fallen fix)m his horse and 
broken both his legs ! " 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

TRYING HOURS. 

" Trials make the promise sweet ; 
Trials give new life to prayer : 
Trials bring ns to his feet ; 

Lay us low, and keep ns there !'* 

An hour later and two horses stood ready caparisoned 
at the door, waiting for Fred and his sister. The news 
they had received came by letter, and consequently 
there had abeady been some delay. There was no 
telegraphing in those days of colonial progress, and 
perhaps the more direct method of sending a message 
was not practicable. Be that as it may, the brother 
and sister suffered nothing farther to hinder their 
progress. With a few parting directions to Dolly, 
from Katie, they mounted their horses and were soon 
turning their backs on Sunny Hollow, prepared for a 
rapid night-ride homeward. 

" You must try and keep up, Elatie darling, for 
mother's sake," said Fred, as he noticed his sister's 
bowed head and almost drooping figure. 

" Perhaps it may not be so bad as we hear — it 
may be worse ; but oh, Kxitie, our heavenly Father 
does all things well, and even this may be seen to 
work together for good." 

Katie could not trust her voice to reply : she was 



326 TERMONT VALE. 

thinkiiig how tliat could be ; how her brother's terri- 
ble death could in any way lead to good ; how this 
dreadM trial could be in any way sanctified. Then 
cam6 Bible words to her by way of answer : " In the 
world ye shall have tribulation, but in Me ye shall 
have peace." 

So in the midst of great trial and trouble it was 
possible to have this peace ; " The peace that passeth 
all understanding." Katie prayed earnestly for it as 
they rode rapidly and silently along. She was begin- 
ning already to find one use of trials. They were 
teaching her to pray; they were opening her lips, 
and putting prayer in her mouth ; prayer for herself, 
and oh ! what earnest prayer for Stephen. If he was 
going to die, how was his soul fitted for death? 
"Would that God would hear her agonizing cnes fbr 
him ! Would that even in the last hour. He would 
show Himself all-powerful to change, to turn the soul 
in love to Him 1 

The brother and sister were united in their aspirar- 
tions, though neither knew the other was praying. 
Fred prayed most earnestly for both sister and 
brother^ prayed that the heavy trial might at least 
bring his sister out of her gloomy state of mind into 
" the glorious liberty of the children of Gk)d." But 
it was a bitter, a painful trial, that night's ride, foil 
of the torture of suspense as it was. Never in after 
life was it forgotten by either. Every little incident 
was painftdly impressed on the memory of each; 
never had ride seemed so long, so dreary, though a 
beautifol night it was, for the moon was at its foU, 
gloriously clear; and the dark blue of heaven was 
unsullied by a cloud, and studded here and there with 



TSYDSTG HOUBS. 827 

twinkliiig stars, lookmg pale in the brilliant moon 
Hght. 

Tlie moon went down, and the morning star alone 
glimmered in the horizon, where dawn was sending 
forth its first &mt streaks. 

" There is a soft and fragrant hoar, 
Sweet, fresh, reviving in its power ; 

*Tis when a ray. 
Steals from the veil of parting night. 
And by its mild preolnsive light, 

Foretells the day." 

And even for those sorrowing hearts the approach 
of day was sweet. The bright dawn will bring hope 
with it, while hope can have existence, while night 
makes all onr gloomy forebodings gloomier still. One 
gleam of snnshine will often revive the drooping 
spirit, and replnme it for action. 

But the snnlight had not yet climbed the hill-top 
when Fred and his sister came in sight of the old 
homestead, embosomed in hills and trees. At any 
other time, and in any other circumstances, the sight 
of the dear old home would have sent a thrill of 
pleasure through E^atie's heart — now it only gave her 
a thrill of pain. And yet it looked calm and peaceftd 
in the early dawn, almost buried as it was in the 
thick canopies of jasmine and passion-flower, and Bosa 
banksia intermingled. The blinds were all down too 
— that looked peaceftd, though a thin column of smoke 
was slowly rising jBx)m the kitchen-chimney, which to 
its very top was ivy- wreathed, betraying there wexe 
wakers already in the household. 

PeaoeM did we say tibie old homestead looked ? 



i 



328 VERMONT VALE. 

Scarcely that to Katie. The sere and yellow leaves 
of the fruit-trees in the large old garden, the few pale 
flowers that decked the faded beds, the very quiet 
that reigned around, to her were significant of grief. 
Tears came to her eyes, and sobs she strove to quiet 
shook the slight figure as they slowly rode up by the 
side of the house, and dismounted. 

The sound of the horses' feet, quietly as they rode 
in, had been heard in the kitchen. Their father came 
to the open door to meet them, and answered their mate 
questions by a shake of the head, and a sorrowful— 

" Not much hope ! Keep up, K^tie, my girl, for 
your poor mother's sake." 

" Is he consciotis ?" asked Fred, below his breath. 

" Yes, yes, quite so ; he wants Katie ; he is asking 
for her all the time. Come in, breakfast is ready ; 
you must not see him till you have rested." 

" Ecsted ! when should she be that ?" thought 
Katie, with overflowing eyes. If bodily, certainly 
not mentally, for in what a state of mental unrest she 
was. Stephen wanted her ! her of all others ! Why 
did he want her ? What could she do for him ? 

She went into her little room — her little room 
still, religiously reserved for her in all her absence. 
It was the same into which we introduced our readers 
when we indulged them with their first peep at Katie. 
Joyous was she then, bright and joyous as a bird, 
welcoming her birthday with a gladness she would 
never have done could she have foreseen the future. 
Oh ! wisely hid from us is our fature ; wisely con- 
cealed the trials and sorrows that are coming. These 
frail bodies would never endure the weight of expected 
trouble ; our spirit would crush as a moth before the 



TEYING HOURS. 329 

mere anticipation, and therefore the loving-kindness 
of a Father has not revealed them. Would we seek 
to rend aside the veil that shrouds our fature ? No, 
dear readers ; no, thrice no ! "We would not. Rather 
would we leave body, soul, and spirit under the 
guardian care of our Father in heaven, who " knoweth 
our frame, who remembereth that we are dust !" 

Throwing off her hat and habit, indulging in a 
plentiful ablution, and then arranging herself in a 
morning wrapper, Katie's next step was to fling her- 
self upon her little bed, and assuming her usual 
attitude, her face buried deep in her pillows, to hide 
her tears and sobs there. So few months had rolled 
away, and yet what changes they had brought — 
changes she had little dreamt of Fred, how changed 
had he become, and what a different aspect things at 
Sunny Hollow were already beginning to assume, 
and was she herself unchanged ? No, indeed, if any 
were changed, it was herself. But was the change 
for the better or the worse ? She could hardly 
answer that ^ the joyousness was gone, the thought- 
lessness, light-heartedness had flown ; b^ut though 
she was under the heavy cloud of a sense of God's 
displeasure — ^though as yet she had not entered 
into the shelter of the "Rock of Ages" — ^though the 
storm still beat around her, and she still exclaimed, 

" Cover my defenceless head, 

Witli the shadow of Thy wing." 

Yet still, was it not better to be thus, than apathetic? 
"Was it not better to be for a time under the cloud, 
hereafter to emerge into the broad sunlight of God's 
love, than to "enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season?" 



830 YEBMONT TALE« 

to follow the mnltitnde down the pleasant broad road 
to destruction ? Surely, surely it was ! 

Are any of our dear young readers like Katie — 
feeling after Christ in the darkness, seeking Him 
through the night, and dreading never to find Him ? 
Take courage, dear ones, "those that seek shall find ;'' 
that precious promise will never grow old, will never 
fail. The clouds shall by and by part, and the pure 
sunlight be revealed. You seek Jesus, and assuredly 
by and by you shall find Tf\m ! And ah, then for yen. 
awaits a glorious future, when you " shall see Him 
as He is,'' with no veil between, when &ith shall 
be exchanged for sight, and the clouds be rolled away 
for ever ! 

In the midst of her trouble, one thing surprised 
Eatie — sprayer no longer seemed difficult ; her whole 
thoughts turned to prayer ; her very breath was tinc- 
tured with it, and in the midst of her tears, in the 
midst of her grief, with prayer yet upon her lips, the 
wearied body had the ascendancy. She fell into a 
deep sleep. 

" Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of 
death, being bound in affliction and iron; because 
they rebelled against the words of God, and con- 
temned the counsel of the Most High : therefore He 
brought down their heart with labour ; they fell down, 
and there was none to help. Then they cried unto 
the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of 
their distresses. He brought them out of darkness 
and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in 
sunder. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his 
goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children 
of men I" 



CHAPTER XXX VIL 

THE sister's mission. 

" Peace— througli the blood of the ctobb." 

" Just as I am, and waiting not 
To rid my sonl of one dark blot, 
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each Rpot, 
Lamb of Gk)d, I come." 

Daekened "windows and Bhrouding cnrtains softened 
the rays of the sun tliat fell from the eastern sky, and 
wonld have penetrated the chamber but for them, and 
broken the slumber of the sufferer within. Rest and 
sleep were too precious to be lightly broken — thero 
was balm in both, and the tender care of loving 
friends took aU precautions that neither hght nor noise 
should disturb the fitful slumber. 

If, indeed, all slumber it was, and that was scarcely- 
possible to tell, for the face was almost concealed 
among the pillows which were purposely drawn 
round, as closely as practicable, the broken limbs 
permitting no other position than a prostrate one 
upon the back. 

The room was well furnished and replete" wi^ih 
every convenience — softly carpeted and draped with, 
curtains. The hangings of the bed were white, and 
almost aH draped around it now, -to provoke iAud 
slumber that it had been found so diflicult to win. 



332 VERMONT VALE. 

Beside the invalid, there was but one other occu- 
pant of the room ; a httle figure in a morning wrapper, 
with light flowing ringlets, all pushed back from a 
fair clear brow, and cheek without its bloom — pale 
with anxiety, fatigue, and grief. Crouched behind 
the curtain sat Elatie, jealously watching her prostrate 
brother through a loop-hole she had purposely left, 
watching every breath, every movement, however 
slight, with an aching, beating heart, and tears that 
came no further than her sweet blue eyes, but pained 
her as they came. 

Have you, gentle reader, ever sat thus beside the 
sick, watching, fearfully watching for the last breath 
to be drawn ? K you have, you will be able to sym- 
pathize with our poor little Katie, as she crouched, 
yea, Hterally crouched beside her dying brother. 
Dying ! Yes, she knew now he was ; she knew 
again the leaden hue, the dark circles round month 
and eyes ; that strange, strange indescribable expres- 
sion she had but so lately witnessed in the dying baby. 
It was here too, she read it on her brother's face, 
though they did say they thought him better. 

Oh ! was he dying ? Dying without hope ? Was 
his intemperance indeed going to place him in a 
drunkard's grave ? And was there no hope beyond 
for him ? She had not ventured, had not dared to 
ask ; but she heard, nevertheless, that no response 
had passed his lips to any questions put to him of a 

serious kind. The minister of W had been with. 

him, talking and praying ; his mother had unceasingly 
tried to win him to Christ, to extract his feelings from, 
him ; but vainly, for whenever they tried to direct hiTn 
to Jesus, he constantly replied — 



THE sister's mission. 333 

" Where is Katie ? teU her I want her !" 

And Katie came at last. 

But why did he want her ? And what wonld she 
do ? There was one thing, and that in her agony 
lest her brother should be lost for ever, she conld and 
did do — she prayed, agonized in prayer, like Jacob 
wrestling with the angel ; it seemed to her she could 
take no denial. Her brother must be saved. " Thou 
hast promised. Lord," she cried, "that all shall be 
granted to those that believe; I believe that Thou 
canst save my brother : not his life — no ; if it is thy 
will take that — ^but spare, oh, spare his soul — show 
that he is thine — that thou hast bought him with a 
price ! Hear, Lord ! for thine own honour hear !*' 

And the perspiration stood out upon her forehead 
in great drops, and her hands clenched together till 
the nails were almost embedded in the soft flesh, so 
great was the agony and anguish of the petitioner, so 
deep the trial of her faith. 

And yet there was no sound went up in that silent 
chamber. 

" Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace," came 
floating melodiously to her memory. It was as if the 
sweet voice of Jesus himself had spoken it, almost as 
if her outward ears drank in the music — ^that it was 
but one of those exceedingly precious communings the 
Holy Spirit is pleased at times to grant to the sup- 
pliant. Jesus still thus talks to his children, still 
comforts and strengthens them thus — still thus re- 
veals to them the love of his heart. Oh, holy and 
blessed Comforter, thou promised good! Wouldst 
Thou but more frequently dwell in our poor hearts, 
how well with us would it be ! 



334 YBBironT yals. 

Well ?— eh ! and Katie felt tliat it was well with 
her too, and wonld be well with her dyin^ brother. 
No longer crouched to the earth in agony, she sat with 
ahnost a smile upon her lips, a little streak of colour 
coming back to her pale cheeks, and her brow snuxith 
and calm'as the snrfiuje of a lake. What had wrought 
the change ? He^ brother, apparently, was in a deep 
shimber. No words had passed between thenb — no, 
indeed, but Jesus' words had entered her sonl, and 
that was enough, was more than enough ! 

Fellow- Christian — ^traveller Zionward — ^you are no 
stranger to these communings of Jesus, and is it not 
indeed sweet when He talks thus with you by the 
way? Do not your hearts bum within; and does 
not fear, and weakness, and unbelief, all vanish before 
his presence, like mist before the rising sun ? 

" The opening heavens aboye me shine, 
With beams of sacred bliss ; 
While Jesus tells me He is mine, 
And whispers I am His." 

" Katie ! " The voice was weak and tremulous 
that called her ; she gently put aside the curtains that 
parted them, and kissed the pale brow, softly ex- 
claiming — 

" Dear Stephy, I am come ! " 

" Yes, at last — ^I wanted you ; I am glad you are 
come ; I am going to die this time, Katie, I know." 

She held back her tears forcibly, and as forcibly 
steadied her voice, as she answered — 

" Are you aftmd to die, dear Stephen ? " An ex- 
pression of deep agony passed over his fiwe ; he waited 
a. moment, and she softly repeated her question — 

" Dear Stephy, are you fearftd of death ? " 



THE sister's mission. 335 

" Death is fearful," lie answered ; " and what have 
I to remove its sting ? " 

" What all may have, Stephy. The blood of Jesus 
Christ, which taketh away that which causes the 
sting. You know the sting of death is sin." 

"Yes, and I have been a great sinner; I have 
sinned against light and knowledge ! " 

" But not sinned beyond the mercy of Jesus ? 
You can't do that, Stephen, for his blood cleanseth 
from all sin ! " 

" You used not to think so, E[atie ; you used not 
to talk so. They all talk on and on about Christ to 
me, but I did not believe they could understand my 
case ; I do not believe they have ever despised Christ 
like I have ; despised his people, despised his word, 
like I have. But you, Katie, I used to think in these 
things you were something like myself; I used to 
think that you cared as little for religion as I did. 
That's why I wanted you — ^I wanted to see how you 
would feel in trouble, for I knew you would be troubled 
for me ; I wanted to ask you if you really believed 
there was any truth in these things that they tell me 
of — any truth in the Bible, any truth in an hereafter? " 

" Dear Stephy, it is all true \ all true I I have 
found that out myself! " Elatie's eyes were stream- 
ing tears, but she kept her ground. 

" You beUeve ? " 

"Yes, yes, I do, I do!" 

" It is true, then, that is certain, if you believe 1 ** 
and he sunk back on his pillow with a groan of 
anguish. 

" Quite true, dear Stephy, quite true ; but that is 
a cause for joy, not anguish ! If Jesus has pardoned 



^ 



336 VERMONT VALE. 

me, He will pardon you ; I kQow He will. I, too, 
sinned against light and knowledge ; I, too, langlied at 
and ridiculed his word ; I, too, trampled on his pre- 
cepts, and heeded not his promises, and despised his 
counsels ; I, too, till but lately, put aside convic- 
tions, put aside prayer, and went on in my own mad 
career!" 

"And now?" asked Stephen, in low, husky tones, 
eagerly looking for an answer. 

" Now?" said Katie, " now, 

" * I lay my sins on JesoS) 
The spotless Lamb of Grod.' 

All of them, each of them ; He is teaching me to bring 
them all to Him, instead of trying to remove them 
myself; He is showing me how his precious blood 
can cleanse ' each spot ' without one of my poor 
efforts. Yes, dear Stephy, I am learning how to come 
with * nothing in my hand' to Jesus. That's how He 
likes a sinner to come; and He is taking me to be 
his, and He will take you, if you will but bring all 
to Him." 

" I have nothing to bring," said Stephen, bitterly. 

" Nothing but sin ! Yes, dear Stephy, I know ; 
but bring that, take your sin to Him." 

" My sin, Katie, that is the sting I fear in death ! 
Ah, Katie ! " 

"Well, take it to Him; the burden is too great for 
you, the sting is toO sharp, take it to Him — He will 
hide it behind his back, and forgive and receive you 
for ever. Will you not, dear Stephen ? " 

" WiU I not ? eh, gladly will I, if I can," said 
Stephen, a ray of hght stealing into his dark soul. 
" Yes, I have plenty of sin, I don't want that ; take 



THE sister's mission. 337 

it, Jesus ! take it, and hide it with Thy precious 
Hood ! " 

He closed his eyes, and snch a deathly hue stole 
over his face, that, fearfully alarmed, Elatie called 
aloud for help. There was plenty of help at hand. 
Stephen had only fainted, but for a few moments they 
thought him dying. A restorative revived him suffi- 
ciently to enable him to look round for Eiitie ; he 
motioned her to remain, and she sank down quietly 
in her old place, only looping back the curtain that 
he might see her, and holding his thin hand in hers. 
He pressed it once or twice, and looked upwards, but 
did not speak ; but she saw that many times his Hps 
were moving as though in prayer ; and once he softly 
whispered — 

" Thank you, Katie, I am glad that Jesus will take 
my sin ; I have nothing else to give Him." 

She gently repeated by way of answer — 

" Nothing in my hand I bring, 
Simply to Thy cross I cling ; 
Naked, come to Thee for dress ; 
Empty, look to Thee for grace ; 
Black, I to the fountain fly. 
Wash me. Saviour, or I die." 

He smiled, and pressed her hand again, and after 
that he sank into a quiet sleep. 

" The sting of death is sin ; but thanks be to God, 
who giveth us the victory ! " 

"He hath blotted out the handwriting of ordin- 
ances against us, nailing them to his cross ! " 



CHAPTER XXXVllL 

THE SETTING SUN. 

" So fades a summer clond away ; 

So sinks the gale when siorma are o'er. 
So gently shnts the eye of day ; 
So dies a wave along the shore." 

There was a change in tlie invalid from the earliest 
dawn of that day ; a change the anxions parents saw, 
and yet dreaded to see or interpret. 

From the time of the accident there had been little 
intermission of severe pain, gradnally amounting to 
agony; but with the first peep of dawn there bad 
been a gradual cessation of snffering, he ceased bis 
complaints, and slumber began to succeed. 

Was the change good or bad? They anxiously 
waited the arrival of the two doctors, who had been 
in constant consultation since the accident occurred. 
How the friends of the sick cling to the medical man, 
hoping even against hope; how anxiously are bis visits 
anticipated, how eagerly bis countenance examined, 
and what a weighty charge hangs over the doctor's 
head ! Surely, of all other men, he should be a Chris- 
tian ; of all others he needs the wisdom from on high! 
But how many are there in this southern land of ours, 
among our staff of medical men, care to name the name 
of Christ? 



THE SETTINa SUN. 339 

Fred and E[atie sliared togeilier the watch tliat 
day; for, exhausted by previous watching and anxiety, 
their father and mother were obhged to yield to their 
entreaties, and take a Httle rest in an adjacent chamber. 
Katie still retained her position close by her brother's 
pillow, her face many times concealed in it ; for she 
was still earnestly praying — spraying that there might 
yet be greater manifestation that Jesns was received 
and loved — greater manifestation that hope was 
rightly founded, that the soul was winging its way to 
a happier woi*ld ; for after the doctor had seen him, 
she knew there was no longer reason to hope for life, 
that was fast ebbing away — ^fast, fast. KsAie knew 
that by the grave shake of the head ; knew that bat 
for a little time her brother would be with them. Oh, 
how earnestly it made her pray throngh her bitter tears. 

And Fred, too, he was more troubled still ; for he 
had had no word with his brother — ^his continued 
sleep prevented it — and he knew nothing even to lead 
him to think hopefully of him. But he prayed un- 
ceasingly, and awaited for an awakening with an 
eagerness he could not express. 

And hour after hour wore away, and with scarcely 
any intervals, Stephen strangely slept on, the shadow 
of death increasingly lingering about his eyes and 
mouth, the cold dew resting on his forehead. Fred 
sat with his elbows leaning upon the bottom of the 
bed, his face in his hands, watching every breath that 
passed the pale Hps with painftd intensity. • Was he 
going to pass fipom them Hke this ? Was there to be 
no sign — ^no word? He could bear the silence no 
longer, but came softly round and stood by his sister's 
side. 



340 VERMONT VALE. 

" Katie, is lie going to die like this ? Don't you 
think he will awake again ? " 

"I don't know," she sadly whispered; "yet I 
think he will, before — ^before " and her voice fal- 
tered ; she conld not speak the word. 

" Oh that he would ! It is dreadful to die and 
give no sign of other but worldly feeling ; I would 
give everything to know that he trusted in Christ!" 
, "I believe he does," said Katie, in firm low tones. 

" You do ? " was Fred's whispered exclamation, a 
joyous light coming into his eyes. " My dear Elatie, 
what makes you think so ? " 

" His own words ! " was Katie's reply, low and 
fervent. 

" He has spoken to you, then ? " 

"Yes;" but Katie held up her finger then to 
silence him, and leaned eagerly forward to the dying 
one. 

His eyes were open now, but their brightness was 
gone. All was evidently dim to his vision. He 
stretched forward his hand, murmuring — 

" Katie." 

"Here, dear Stephy, I have not left you a mo- 
ment ; " and K^tie clasped the hand she held, and 
kissed the clammy brow. " What can I do for you, 
dear Steve ? " 

" Pray, K^tie, pray ; I am going fast ; pray that 
Jesus may be with me ! " 

" I do, dear Stephy, I do all the time ; and He will, 
I'm sure He will. He always comes to those who 
want Him; He always is near those who ask for Him; 
He is by you now, dear brother ; His rod and staff 
will comfort you." 



THE SETTING SUN. 341 

"I have taken my sin to Him." 

"And is He not hiding it, Stephy? is not his 
blood sufficient to blot it all out ? " 

" Yes, yes, quite, though I have forgotten Him all 
my life long. He says, ' Come,* and I will go to Him. 
Oh, Katie, I have been a great sinner ! " 

" Yes, but He is a great Saviour, and saves to the 
uttermost." 

There was a moment's quiet; Stephen lay per- 
fectly still, with eyes upraised to heaven, and scarcely 
able to beheve his ears, Fred stood with- clasped hands 
in unutterable wonder. " Were these, indeed, his 
brother and sister ? Oh, unspeakable mercy ! who 
teacheth Hke Him ? " thought he in silent thanks- 
giving, as he hurried to the door, and quietly but 
quickly summoned his parents. He knew that his 
brother's moments were growing few upon earth, and 
longed that they also should hear the happy tidings. 
Returning with them, he bent over his dying brother. 

" Do you not know me, dear Steve ?" he eagerly 
asked. 

But the dying eyes gave no sign of recognition 
as token that they knew the companion of their boy- 
hood ; and, deeply distressed, Fred spoke again. 

" You know Jesus ? Do you not, Steve ?" 

" I have just learnt to know Him," was the feeble 
reply. 

" And to love Him ?" 

" Yes, yes ! He has blotted out my sins !" 

" You will love Him more in heaven, dear Stephen ; 
you will praise Him loud enough there, will you not ?" 
said Katie. 

" Louder than any of them, Katie, for I shall have 



342 YXBMOKT TALE. 

more cause !" he answered, bis dying eyes lighting np 
for a moment in trimnph. He lay still for a few mo- 
ments, the silence only broken by his slightty hurried 
breathing ; and the sobs would burst forth, not un- 
tinctured with joy and thanksgiving as they were. 

"Crying, Katie!" he presently feltered. "Not 
for me! — don't; you should rejoice! Wotild you 
have me live, like I was before, in my sin ? or die, 
and live with Christ, which is fiur better ?" 

" I would rather see you die, dear Stephy, and go 
to Jesus. It is selfish in me to weep, but I love yon 
so, dear Stephen !" 

"Yes, I know that; but Jesus loves me more. 
Oh, that I had found Him, and served Ham in life ! 
Will He accept me now ?" he feebly whispered, as a 
cloud momentarily crossed the sunshine of his mind. 

" Yes ! do not doubt Him ; do not doubt Him, my 
dear Stephen ! What did He say to the dying thief? 
'This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise !' He 
says that to you, dear Stephen. You will soon see 
Jesus, and cast down your crown before Him." 

He raised his hands and eyes in reply towards 
heaven, but the shadows were deepening round his 
mouth and eyes, the dew of death stood out upon his 
forehead. Stephen was fast leaving them. 

"Let me once more see the light of earth," he 
whispered, huskily. " It's growing dark — so dark." 
And they put back the curtains from, the window, 
and let the full light of evening into the room. The 
hills were glowing in the roseate hues of the setting 
Sim ; the crimson glow bedewed the whole heavens. 
But the aspect of the chamber was eastern, and there- 
fore no sunbeam stole within. Still, the room was 



THE SETTINa SUN. 343 

anything but dark. It was tlie darkness of death 
that was sealing the mortal vision. How soon were 
those eyes to reopen on a fairer, brighter scene — ^upon 
celestial fields and living sunshine — ^npon a snn that 
wonld no more go down ! 

With his dying head resting upon his mother's 
shonlder, and his hands clasped in his sister's loving, 
trembling embrace, Stephen lay placidly breathing 
out his life. His father stood with his silver-haired 
head bowed, and his arms folded, at the foot of the 
bed, utterly bowed in spirit as in body, unable to 
utter a word. Fred at last arose, and then the voice 
of prayer, fervent, loving prayer for the safe conduct 
of his dear brother through the Jordan to the celes- 
tial city, echoed softly through the [room. That the 
comfort of the rod and the staff, for the presence of 
Jesus, to the last moment of life, and that by and 
by there might be with all a happy reunion before 
the throne of the Lamb ; for this how earnestly, how 
entreatingly, he prayed. And while he prayed, the 
sun went down, and the shadows of evening began to 
fall thick around ; and while he prayed, there were a 
few whispered words from the dying one. They 
listened attentively, and caught the feint, dying 
accents — 

" Lord, I come ! just as I am !" 

And then there was a brief, brief struggle, and 
the sun of Stephen's life had set for ever on earth. 

Set for ever on earth, to rise in brighter beauty in 
heaven. Jesxis had received him — his loving arms 
had enfolded him. He was safe now, for in all his 
sin he had come to Jesus; and, just as he was, 
Jesus had taken him; just as he was, Jesus had 



344 YEBMONT VALE. 

blessed him ; just as lie was, Jesus had jnstified him ; 
and now, jnst as he was. He had taken him home to 
glory — "Made meet by the precious blood that 
blotteth out all sin." 

Those weeping Mends knew this; they had no 
doubt of the efficacy of that blood ; they doubted not 
that the beloved one was safe in the arms of a loTing 
Saviour. And, though nature will feel these separa- 
tions, still they " sorrowed not as those without hope." 

The excitement over, and suspense at rest, and 
Katie's power was gone. She saw them close the 
eyes that had to the last turned towards her, and then 
all consciousness forsook her — she fell senseless to the 
floor! Tenderly her brother carried her to her 
mother's room ; tenderly they watched over her ; but 
though, after a time, consciousness returned, she lay 
quiet and nerveless, and almost pulseless, all night, 
notwithstanding the stimulants constantly adminis- 
tered. The tension on mind and body had been 
terribly severe. No wonder that the slender frame 
felt some of the shock ; no wonder that it succumbed 
to the oppressed brain. 

And yet, through the long illness that followed 
this tension of mind, there was the "peace that 
passeth aU understanding " to comfort and sustain 
her ; the knowledge that her brother was safe, to up- 
hold her. No longer fear of wild and dreadful wan- 
dering into sin. God had, indeed, most wonderfully 
put a stop to his wild career, and brought him to 
Himself. In those days Katie's faith was established, 
the sorrow and heaviness removed from her spirit. 
Like a little child, she sat down at the feet of Jesus, 
taught to see and feel the reason for all that had 



THE SETTTNG SUN. 345 

passed, and to acknowledge, with James, that " Blessed 
is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is 
tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the 
Lord hath promised to them that love Him." 

She had also learnt, amidst her trials, to sing — 

" Father, I know that all my life 

Is portioned out for me ; 
And the changes that wUl snrely come, 

I do not fear to see : 
Bnt I ask Thee for a present mind, 

Intent on pleasing Thee. 

" I wonld not have the redtless will 

That harries to and fro. 
Seeking for some great thing to do. 

Or secret thing to know ; 
I would be treated as a child, 

And guided where I go. 

" There are briers besetting every path 

Which call for patient care ; 
There is a cross in every lot, 

And an earnest need for prayer ; 
But a lowly heart that leans on Thee 

Is happy anywhere." 



I 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

WINTER AT TEKMONT VALE. 

" The rocks are from their old foundafcioii rent, 
The winds redouble, and the rains augment ; 
The waves in heaps are dashed against the shore, 
And now the woods, and now the billows roar." 

Vermont Vale was in its winter season ; and winter 
at Vermont Vale was very mncli like winter anywhere 
else in onr southern land — replete with rude storms 
and heavy rains ; replete with murmuring creeks and 
felling branches. Perhaps the artillery of heaven re- 
echoed and reverberated more loudly here than in the 
plains, for there were hills enough to throw back the 
sound. Perhaps, too, Boreas held rather more un- 
bounded sway along the valley, roaring, like a chained 
spirit, in and out the hills that shut him in. Perhaps, 
too, the rain fell a little more heavily, for hills are 
said to attract the limpid fluid, and a valley is a 
tempting reservoir. Be that as it may, the winter 
that followed the events of the last chapter proved a 
very wet one. 

Shortly after his brother's death, Fred returned 
alone to Sunny Hollow. His sister was ill, and un- 
able to accompany him. She needed her mother's 
tender care and nursing, and all that winter she re- 
mained at home even after she was convalescent — 



WIKTEB AT TIBMONT YALE. 347 

sheltered, like any fragile flower, with loving atten- 
tion. The roads, too, were completely saturated with 
the winter rains, so as to be in many places impass- 
able. She was beginning already mentally to bid 
adien to Snnny Hollow as her queendom, for it wonld 
be hers but a little while longer. She had merely 
consented to return and prepare the honse for the 
reception of its new mistress, whenever things were 
in the state of forwardness to make that desirable. 
Meanwhile, Dolly most willingly did all the washing, 
cooking, and dairy- work required in the precincts of 
Snnny Hollow, much to her own and her yonug 
master's satisflEtction. 

Saturated roads and swelling creeks did not pre- 
vent Fred from paying daily visits to his wee little 
lady-love. It was known now all over Vermont 
that they were engaged. All that could be said upon 
the subject was exhausted almost at the first onset. 
Mrs. Bateman's indignant feelings rose, and bubbled 
up, and ran over most furiously when first she heard 
the intelligence. 

" That Fred Linwood should have made such a 
fool of himself as to take that little schoolmistress for 
a wife, who knew as much about butter as a cow 
itself ! Well, some people didn't know how to choose, 
and if they neglected good chances, why, it was their 
own fault." 

And the mother glanced over at her beloved 
Jemima, by that glance signifying the "good chance" 
Fred had been so utterly unconscious of, and had so 
strangely passed by. 

The young lady herself proclaimed, with a toss of 
her head, that '' for her part she woi^ not have had 



i 



348 VERMONT VALE. 

that Fred Linwood if he had. gone down on his 
bended knees to ask her." But, as he never did do 
so, the truth of her assertion could not be satisfac- 
torily credited or proved. 

Be that as it may, on one of the few really fine 
moonHght nights that Yermont's tempestuous winter 
afforded, Jemima Bateman absconded from home. 
Whether in pique at the loss of the owner of Sunny 
Hollow, or whether really out of love to the wild, 
harum-scarum young feUow who accompanied her 
flight, is not certain ; but certain it is, the morning 
sun, wintry and watery as it was, shone into her little 
room, revealing an unruffled bed, but very disordered 
chest of drawers, rifled, evidently, of their choicest 
articles. To complete the romance of the thing (for 
Jemima, spite of the rotundity of face and figure, 
piqued herself on being romantic), she had placed upon 
the looking-glass a little silver-edged note, addressed 
to her august mamma, which, in spite of bad writing, 
worse spelling, and very questionable grammar, that 
lady contrived to read, amidst indignant bursts of 
tears ; finding thereby that her beloved Jemima, 
before twelve o'clock that day, would be twenty miles 
from home, and would have yielded up, by that time, 
her maiden name for ever — Jemima Bateman being 
exchanged for the scarcely less euphonious one of 
Jemima Cassey. 

"Mrs. Mark Cassey!" repeated over and over 
again the sister in pinafore. "Oh, mamma, never 
mind; the name sounds well enough, I'm sure." 

"What's the name to do with it, child?" cried 
mamma, amidst her sobs. " The man's an idle good- 
for-nothing, whose whole soul is taken up with horse- 



WINTER AT VERMONT VALE. 34i) 

racing, and who has not a penny of his own to begin 
life on. I'll have nothing to do with them, not I. 
K Jemima makes a hard bed, she mnst lie npon it ; 
she'll get nothing ont of me, I can tell her." 

And when the next day's post brought in a letter 
from the repentant Mrs. Mark Cassey, asking for for- 
giveness, and purposing to retnm with her husband, 
and still assist her mother in the shop, as hitherto, 
the angry mother tore the offending scrawl into 
twenty pieces, delivered them over to the flames, and 
ordered Selina to write instanter, sternly forbidding 
her sister the house. 

Which she did, but added a postscript of her 
own — 

" Never mind, Jemima ; ma's * up ' now, and in 
an awful passion at your marrying Mark ; but I'll see 
what I can do. I'll work her round. She won't be 
able to do long without you, or Mark either. 
Only keep quiet a bit." 

And Selina's poHcy was correct, child as she was. 
Spite of her short frocks and piaafores, she most 
decidedly knew a thing or two; for Mark Cassey, 
notwithstanding his idle propensities, notwithstanding 
his love for horseflesh and racing, had proved a very 
efl&cient aid to Mrs. Bateman hitherto in the butcher- 
ing line, and her daughter's services were not easily 
dispensed with in the shop : and so it happened that, 
before many weeks had expired, before the last penny 
had quitted the purse of the improvident young 
couple, Mark and his fair bride were recalled home, 
re-established in shop and slaughter-yard, a slab hut, 
meanwhile, going rapidly up in the close viciniiy, 
intended to form the nucleus of the future home of 



350 VEBMOOT VALE. 

t!he " happy pair " — ^for Bnch newly-married oonples 
are nsnally denominated ; whether they are really so 
or not is a matter that concerns them alone — and in the 
case in question, spite of Mark's recklessness and way- 
wardness, as his lady inherited a great amonnt of her 
mamma's amiability, it is rather dubioxus which had 
the best of the bargain. Selina gained something by 
the event, at any rate — the loss of the mnch-hated 
pinafores ; and, to crown aU, her next dresses were 
permitted to be made several inches longer. 

The elopement at the store was the one great 
event of the Vermont world that winter. All else- 
where went on very tranqnilly and serenely, nothing 
of greater moment occnrring than the washing away 
of somebody's pigs by a flood in miniature, or the 
hogging of some dray upon the excellent macadamized 
roads (?) so distinguished in onr yonng colony. 

The floods of rain that descended on Vermont's 
pastures, somewhat thinned the attendance at the 
little chapel, but Graham Howard laboured early and 
late among his flock, rode miles in the drenching wet, 
toiled day after day that he might win souls to Christ, 
and often with a throbbing brow and sorrowftJ heart. 
His home, too, somehow or other, had lost its pleasant 
aspect ; not that it was less careftilly tended, not that 
his old housekeeper was one whit less attentive or 
studious of his comfort ; but if the truth must be told, 
he was wearying for a younger face to answer back 
his smile at the breakfast-table, for brighter eyes to 
give back a welcome to him when weary and sad lie 
returned from his journeys ; and without that other 
face that rose in vision frequently before him, his 
home seemed very desolate. 



WINTER AT VEEMOKT VALE. 351 

Perhaps not the less did lie experience his own 
desolation of feeling in view of his Mend Innwood's 
approaching happiness. It met him at all points. 
Fred and Annie came together to chapel; he en* 
countered them in his rides when weather at all per- 
mitted ; he saw them in Annie's own home, and they 
always looked happy, tmstfiil and happy. He oonld 
not avoid longing for similar happiness, and wonder-" 
ing whether he shonld ever know it ; and after such 
encounters no wonder his bachelor home seemed 
lonely and desolate. 

And meanwhile the winter stole away rapidly. 
The streams became few and far between. The snn 
peeped forth more frequently from a mild blue sky, 
daily waxing warmer and warmer, and invigorating 
the chilled, saturated earth. Tiny flowers ventured 
to show their pink and blue heads. The magpie 
uttered her sweetest notes, and the swelling buds in 
the garden, and green mantle in the valley, whispered 
that winter's reign was nearly over, 

" The sadness of the winter 

Wliich gloomed onr hearts is gone, 
A thousand signs betoken 
That Spring-time comes anon. 

" 'Tis Spring-time in onr bosoms, 
All strife aside we cast ; 
The storms were for the winter days, 
But thej are gone and past." 

So sings sweet Mary Howitt, and so sing we, 
gentle readers ; and so doubtless sung others within 
the neighbourhood of Vermont Yale. Fred looked 
forward to that early spring with very pleasurable 
feelings. Annie had promised to become his wife 



352 VERMONT YALE. 

then ; and, therefore, to make his home a pleasant one 
to receive his yonng bride, occnpied all his spare 
moments. Dolly was a hearty and delighted assistant 
in all his plans for improvements, but for the last 
delicate tenches, the last arrangements, he looked 
forward to Katie's taste and skill, and with the first 
appearance of spring she was coming once more to 
Snnny Hollow. 



CHAPTER XL. 

SUNNY HOLLOW PBEPARATIONS. 

" There's music in each wind that blows 
Within our native valley breathing ; 
There's beantj in each flower that grows 
Around our native woodland wreathing." 

The spring, with its budding beauty, its pure fresh- 
ness, and enamelling of flowers, came at last, and 
with it came Klatie. Not the Katie of old, not the 
joyous, madcap Klatie of twelve months since. Those 
months had wrought a wondrous change in the little 
sprite to whom we first introduced our readers. They 
had tamed down the colour in her cheek, though she 
was not less lovely for that ; nor was the ready smile 
less sweet, though the Hght in the sweet blue eyes 
was softened. Time had altered her most assuredly, 
but circumstances more ; the love of God yet more, 
and that had only beautified while it subdued — ^refined 
and purified while it restrained. Katie of the present 
spring was happier far than the Klatie of the past, for 
her happiness had a deeper foundation. 

It was one of spring's loveliest early days when 
Katie once more left home on her return to Sunny 
Hollow. Her father was driving her this time in the 
gig, for he did not consider her sufficiently strong for 
so long a journey on horseback. Besides, she had 

23 



364 VERMONT VALE. 

STindry and divers packages of mysterious shape and 
size, most suspicions-looking band-boxes, nnder her 
convoy, which wonld have been sadly out of place on 
the dray, among the new fnmitnre, which encased in 
hay-bands and wrappers innumerable, had toiled np 
from Adelaide, and stood nnder the close cover of the 
gig-house awaiting the time when Sunny HoUow 
should be in a fit stage of preparation to receive 
them. 

For though Fred admitted that his home, with its 
present arrangements, was excellent for a bachelor, 
yet in view of the pretty little bride that was to grace 
that home, he began to think that he must get some 
pretty things to correspond ; and so with the dawn of 
spring he had started for Adelaide, and under the 
guidance of a married lady friend, made sundry im- 
portant purchases, committed them to the tender 
mercies of the bullock-dray, and the still scarcely 
dried roads, and reached Sunny Hollow once more to 
complete the work already commenced there, and 
receive his sister Katie. 

" We shall have you all to ourselves soon, Katie," 
said her kind old father, glancing lovingly down at 
the Httle fairy thing by his side, as they trotted 
merrily along in the gig at early dawn, after many 
kisses and " good-byes " to dear mother, as she lay 
warmly tucked up in bed. " Once get this marriage 
through, and Fred and his wife comfortably settled, 
and then, my Httle girl, you must come and comfort 
your poor father and mother." 

All which Katie declared she intended to do, and 
if there wus a Httle secret wish lying at the bottom of 
her heart for a home of her own, and some one nearer 



SUNNT HOLLOW FBSMRATI0N8. 355 

her own age to love and oiherisli lier, yon, mj fear 
readers, will not blame her. 

Eatie, as slie rode alongside wiili her fiither, cofold 
not help remembering the time she first started lor 
Snnny HoUow ; her bright Hght-heartedness ; her 
bnllock-dray ride; her anticipationB of gladness aft 
becoming the yoimg mistress of her brother's &rm« 
And what a short reign she had had ! and yet how 
mnch had been compressed into that twelre months ! 
She conld scarcely beHeve at times that twelTO 
months were barely passed. And now, there was one 
missing from Sunny Hollow ! She glanced down at 
her sable dress, and the tears came &8t. Was it well 
that one was missing ? Yes, it was well. 

For who conld tell what sin and sorrow had been 
spared to him ? Who conld frdly count the merey 
that had stopped him in his wild career? Who 
conld sufficiently estimate the blessing of the full and 
free pardon he had received ? of the welcome even he 
had been accorded to those pnre and spotless reafans 
wherein shall enter '' nothing that defileth P " Oh ! 
matchless grace ! Oh ! wonderfiDl love ! " The blood 
of Jesns Christ cleanseth from all sin." 

And so, with Ml assurance of fiuth, she conld look 
up to those blue heavens, and beheve her brother 
Stephen there with Jesus, as much as she believed the 
martyr Stephen had entered among the white-robed 
throng ; for, after all, it was only the " blood upon 
the lintel " of either that had given them a right to 
the heavenly city. 

With a swift horse and a " good whip," for such old 
Mr. Innwood was still accounted, Sunny Hollow was 
made before the evening shadows had quite concealed 



356 YEEMOirr valb. 

it from view. Fred, in the ftdness of his joy, took his 
little sister in his arms, and carried her bodily in to 
their old hannts, thongh they were certainly as ^' an 
old friend with a new face," for what with plastered 
walls, and ceiled roofs, she scarcely recognized the 
scene of her former reign. However, she liked it 
none the less that the rafters were now invisible, and 
langhingly exclaimed — 

. . " We will have more improvements yet, dear 
Fred, to welcome home yonr sweet little bride. I 
have twenty ideas in my head, and as many con- 
trivances." 

" As many as yon like, Katie," said her brother 
as langhingly. . 

Bnt if the honse did not look homely, the bright 
fire did; it sparkled forth a warm welcome. The 
cnps and sancers, and hnge teapot, welcomed her too, 
in their way, and a very pleasant way it was, after a 
long ride of many honrs. Nor was her old chair slow 
in offering her its welcome. Yet, nevertheless, Katie 
felt that her reign in Snnny Hollow was over for ever. 
She was qneen no longer ; the rightful sovereign was 
yet to come. 

In her own little room Katie went to sleep that 
night ; her room still, spite of the ceiling and plaster 
that had so strangely altered it. She went to sleep ; 
not, indeed, now, withont committing herself to other 
guardianship than hnman. The prayer-bell sonnded 
not in vain now. Katie had learned the worth, of 
prayer. 

Her dreams were confdsed and mingled that night. 
With retnm to Vermont Yale, many thonghts re- 
turned, and faces arose to memory ; forgive her — ^but I 



SUNNY HOLLOW PBBPAEATIONS. 367 

know yon will, fair readers — ^if one face throngh all 
her dreams reigned supreme ; mingled itself in every 
scene ; bnt whether for joy or sorrow Katie herself 
conld scarcely tell. 

By early morning, jnst as the snn peeped forth, 
Katie was np, and out. A hearty welcome fix)m her 
brother saluted her as she stepped out into the old 
kitchen, and forthwith, with something of the Katie 
of old in look and step, she followed him about, look- 
ing at all his improvements, and suggesting morcj 
admiring and wondering at the rapid growth of the 
Cape-ivy and passion-flower she had planted, and 
which now beautifully wreathed the formerly bare 
verandah poles, and hung in graceftd festoons across. 
The front, too, of the house had been neatly raQed 
round, and dug up, and planted with flowers; not 
many blooming, to be sure, at present, but plenty 
bearing ample promise. It was astonishing how the 
new relations in which Fred stood were drawing forth 
a latent love for the beautifnl, so Katie said; at which 
he only laughed, and kissed her. 

" And now, Mr. Fred," said she, " I am going to 
have a morning run over to my sister that is to be. 
I shall be too busy after breakfast. No ! I want her 
all to myself; so, please, keep back. I shall not get 
a chance for a word, or a look, if you go too ; and 
you know, sir, I am somewhat of a jealous disposition, 
and like to receive attention." And with a saucy 
shake of her head, off she ran. 

" Don't go through the grass, it's wet with dew, 
Katie," laughed Fred ; " there's a dry path for you, 
if you will please to look." 

" Well, I declare ! Worn by your feet, Mr. Fred. 



358 YBBMOMT YALl. 

That betrays how many times a day yon have visited 
little Annie this winter." But the path was very 
pleasant, after all, and its termination none the less 
so; for, though the two girls met with kisses and 
encircling arms, as girls are always wont, though tears 
were very plentiful too, and came in copious showers 
of sorrow, and sympathy, yet there was so much 
really joyous awaiting them, so much of the sunshine 
of Sunny Hollow surrounding them, so many things 
appertaining to the coming event, that waa already 
sending its long shadows before, to consult about, and 
discuss, that the tears were soon dried, and the sun- 
shine had its fn]l sway. 

After that the preparations at Sunny Hollow went 
on very rapidly indeed. Annie's bridal was to come 
with the first roses, and they were budding already. 



CHAPTER XLI. 

THE DAT AT LAST. 

" Nay ! shrink not fW)in that word, ' Farewell ! ' 
As if 'twere friendship's final knell ; 

Such fears may prove but vain. 
So changeful is life's fleeting day, 
Whene'er we sever — Hope may say, 

We part, to meet again ! " 

T^E roses had bloomed, and bronglit with them the 
important day ! Vermont Vale was on the tiptoe of 
expectation; Vermont youth wild with excitement; 
who would, and who would not, be at the wedding, 
was the theme of discussion throughout many a 
homestead. 

After all, the wedding-party was very small, and 
entirely a family affair. It was the safest way, both 
TVed and Annie agreed, to prevent jealous or sUghted 
feelings ; and entirely on the " no card " system, so 
extensively adopted at the present stage of South 
Australian life — a system, by the by, with which we 
cordially agree. 

The wedding-party arrived the night before! 
Father and mother, and George and Amy, with their 
sweet little girl, who in conjunction with Aunt Elatie 
was to act as bridesmaid. Avery cheerfcd party they 
were indeed ; for was it not a joyful occasion ? Of 



360 VERMONT TALE. 

oonrse Fred had to nndergo the usual amomit of 
roasting from his father and consin, but he bore it all 
very well ; and laughed as merrily as any of them, as 
well he might, for he was to be the winner. 

But the morning dawned at last in all its loveli- 
ness; the roses opened in the bright spring sun, 
which kissed away all the glittering pearl-drops that 
bedewed their fair faces ; the lilacs shot forth, and 
offered their delicate aroma to the senses ; the wattle 
put on its golden mantle, and shook its glittering 
robes in the fresh morning breeze till the air was rich 
with the perfume ; over hill and dale the grass was 
studded with golden blossoms, glowing joyously in 
the sunbeams; and Katie's glorious scarlet creeper 
festooned every bank and hill-side. 

The spring, and its flowers, and warmth, a^d 
sunshine, appeared to have burst at once upon them, 
and a glorious spring it was, beautiftd enough to 
gladden the heart of any fair young bride. 

And so it did Annie's, as she peeped out of her 
chamber-window and beheld its beauty. There was 
not a cloud resting upon her fature to disturb her 
happy, tranquil spirit. That fature seemed to her as 
bright as the sunshine, that dispelled her slumbers 
and bade her be stirring. Her mother was still to be 
with her — ^that had been decided upon from the first ;. 
and her brother had arranged to take a farm but a 
few sections away from Sunny Hollow, and had 
laughingly declared that he should have to look out 
for a housekeeper as well as his neighbours. Katie, 
too, would often come and see them. Certainly the 
future had a rose-hue upon it ; thai drove back the 
glittering drops that would most strangely steal out 



THE DAY AT LAST. 361 

in the yery excess of her happiness ; and Annie's fnll 
heart uttered many a prayer for future guidance, 
many a thanksgiving for present happiness. 

We will not dwell upon the wedding ceremony, 
fair readers, weddings are such every-day occurrences 
among us ; the bride is always " fair," and the bride- 
groom always "happy." And though in this case it 
was really so, our gentle readers must be contented 
with the assurance that Annie Maitland did not look 
less fair in her snowy robes and bridal veil, though 
we decline describing either veil or robes. The little 
group, assembled in the tiny Vermont chapel, looked 
just as it should. Altogether, it was a neat, quiet 
little afiair, just as they wished it to be ; and a very 
few moments sufficed to rob our Mend Annie for ever 
of her maiden name, conferring on her the title of a 
matron ! 

The most discomposed of the Httle circle that 
surrounded him was Graham Howard himself; and 
most certainly discomposed he was, though he strove 
hard to eonceal it. The paleness of his cheek bore 
testimony to the fact, had it not been for two or three 
most unclerical mistakes that he committed during 
the service. What ailed him ? Was he marrying to 
another one he would have chosen for his own bride ? 
No, assuredly not ; he had never dreamt of Annie 
Maitland in such a light. But to say that no other 
had been dreamt of by day and by night would as 
certainly be false. 

However, the thoughts of the Vermont visitors 
were too much centred upon the bridal party to 
notice the agitation of their pastor who officiated; 
and the bridal party, we suppose, were too much 



362 YnMONT YALB. 

enwrapped in their own thonglits to observe anything 
else ; and so Graham Howard had time to r^ain his 
tranquillity, and oongratulate the happy pair at the 
condnsion, as a friend shonld ; and he was tolerably 
restored by the time they had gained the outside of 
the chapel, and the vehicles that awaited to drive 
them back to Smmy Hollow, where the wedding- 
breakfast was to be taken. He handed Katie to the 
gig, and took the seat beside her, with a beating 
heart to be sure ; bnt his words sonnded as calmly 
as ever to his companion. She envied him his 
calmness. 

. The arrangements that had been made by the 
party were a little peculiar, and out of the common 
order ; but the law of necessity had interfered with 
the customary course. George and his wife were 
compelled to return home immediately, and old 
Mr. Linwood had business of importance at home ; so 
that, after all, the newly-married pair were to be left 
to the quiet possession of Sunny Hollow, while the 
rest of the party took their departure, Mrs. Maitland 
and her son accompanying them. 

The wedding breakfast, tastefully arranged in the 
long room, no longer a kitchen but a sitting-room, 
pleasantly furnished, and even carpeted, was merrily 
despatched. The huge bridal cake, one of Goldsack's 
best, was cut, and tied with its snowy ribbons for the 
Vermontites, who would not be contented without 
such a testimony of regard; and then the parting 
moments arrived. 

Katie had yielded up her place in her father's gig 
to Mrs. Maitland, and had taken possession of her 
ridiDg-habit and Hebe. There was yet a shoH 



THE DAT AT LAST. 363 

interval remaming ; so, gathering the folds of the 
former around her, and leaving the latter by the side 
of its companion (James Maitland's horse), she stole 
off to visit for the last time her £a,vonrite old hannts ; 
to pat, as it seemed, for the last time, her favourite 
cows. She had kept in her tears all day, but they 
would not be restrained longer, and they burst forth 
with foil power as she stood on the top of one 
elevated point, and caught sight of the Httle Vermont 
chapel amidst its trees, the only peep of Vermont 
Vale Sunny HoUow permitted. 

Why should she weep at leaving Vermont ? Was 
not her own home pleasant ? and were there not her 
kind and loving parents there? Yes, truly it was 
so ; and yet that dear old home seemed dull, for 
young faces were absent, and youth ever clings to 
youth. There seemed, too, now so much to make 
her love Vermont, but she dared not whisper even to 
herself all that rendered it dear. 

Dashing her tears away as she remembered that 
time was fleeting onwards, and would not stay for 
them, she hurried again &om place to place, maldng 
her silent adieus, till at length once again she stood 
waiting under the verandah. 

" Lovely Vermont ! sweet Sunny Hollow !" she 
exclaimed to herself, " I am leaving you in all your 
fresh young beauty." And so it was, for the grass 
was green and velvety, the golden wattles in their 
fall beauty, and the young springing wheat of 
glorious promise. She could have wept again, but 
she drove back her tears, and re-entered the house^ 
where the bustle of leave-taking was actively 
going on. 



364 YEBMONT YALE. 

" Well, Katie, have you said * good-bye ' to yoxir 
cows?" asked her cousin G-eorge, rather mischievously. 
" You look thoroughly dismal upon it." 

"Good-bye!" exclaimed Fred, warmly; "not 
she. What has she to say * good-bye ' for ? No, no, 
Blatie, we shall see you very often here, if you will 
only come." 

" I shall want you," said Annie, blushingly. 

" Oh ! to be sure ; I forgot that !" said Gteorge. 
" Certainly, Mrs. Linwood wants your instruction. 
Come, you need not think your work over, you have 
plenty more yet to do." 

" You little thought, dear Q-eorge, how well our 
little Elatie would perform her mission," insinuated 
Amy, softly, laying her little fair hand upon her 
husband's shoulder. 

" Admitted, little wife ; I did not. But we must 
make the most of her now we have her, for, depend 
upon it, these weddings are infectious, and we shall 
have her running away from us soon, and becoming 
Mrs. — ^what is it to be, Katie ?" 

There was a movement in the room, and Katie 
took advantage of it, quietly slipping out to her 
pony. 

" You will not half so much miss Vermont as you 
will be missed, Miss Linwood," said a gentle voice at 
her side ; and she knew that Graham Howard had 
followed her out. 

" I shall miss it more than I can tell." 

" You will be missed still more ; Vermont will be 
dull without you, Katie." 

Did it seem strange that he should call her 
ElatieP Scarcely that; but something in the tone 



THE DAT AT LAST. 365 

and manner struck her. She raised her eyes in timid 
surprise to his, and the eloquent blood crimsoned her 
cheek, and went throbbing to her heart. And where- 
fore, gentle reader ? What did she read in his face 
to cause the emotion so suddenly raised? Ah! it 
matters not, for not a word was spoken more ; and 
presently her father and mother, and Mrs. Maitland, 
took their places in the gig, and her cousins took 
possession of their dog-cart. James Maitland,, too, 
was in readiness to mount, awaiting only her pleasure ; 
while her brother, with his fair blushing Httle bride, 
stood expecting her farewell kiss. Those few passing 
moments were passed in such an exciting whirl, she 
could never after clearly remember what she did or 
said; the pressure of one hand, the fervent "God 
bless and keep you, Katie," of one voice, were indeed 
never forgotten ; but all else was a void. 

The last view of Sunny Hollow also retained a 
place in her memory. She did recollect turning, as 
they passed through the sHp-panel, and catching 
sight of it in the full glow of its spring noon-tide 
beauty ; she did remember seeing her brother, with 
his arm encircling his fair Httle wife, standing, with 
waving hat, beneath the golden wattles that skirted 
the Httle garden ; but she remembered far more one 
other figure, standing at a Httle distance on the road 
to his own soHtary home, watching, with folded arms, 
their departure. She remembered far more the 
snowy handkerchief upHfted in the air when he saw 
her, lost from view by a sudden turn in the road. 
She drew her thick veil closely over her face then, 
and not for worlds, dear readers, would we uplift it. 



> 



CHAPTER XLn. 

THE PASTOR PERPLEXED. 

" Thns taruBting in Thy lore, I tread 

The narrow path of dnty on. 
What thongh some cherished joys are fled ? 

What thongh some scattering dreams are gone. 
Yet pnrer, brighter joys remain, 
Why should my spirit then complain ?" 

A WEEK had passed oyer the Yermont world, and 
lulled to rest the snbject of the wedding at Smmy 
Hollow, that had formed aJmost the only topic of 
conversation for many a previons day. Fred Idnwood 
was fairly now a married man, and had appeared in 
that character at chapel on Snnday, with his pretty 
Utile bride on his arm, blnshingly receiving the 
congratulations, polite or nnconth, yet all well meant, 
that Vermont had to bestow. Yes, he was married, and 
had therefore lost considerably in the eyes of some of 
Vermont's maidens ; while others of the opposite sex 
began to wonder why they had thought Annie 
Maitland so pretty, or why, as Mrs. Fred Linwood, 
she should be less so, though, we suppose, it was all 
on the principle of the old song — 

" If she be not fair to me. 
What care I how fair she be ?" 



THE PASTOB FBSFLEXED. 367 

As to the young folks themselves, they were very 
happy, and every day Fred congratnlated himself on 
having named his farm Snnny Hollow, for it certainly 
seemed to have plenty of snnshine on it jnst now, 
and to deserve its name more than ever — at least so 
it seemed to him ; and so, by her sweei face, was it 
to his wee little wife, who moved here and there in 
her new home like a gentle presiding spirit, maldTig 
that home for her hnsband very bright indeed with 
her fair presence. 

We have no sympathy with those who teU ns that 
in this world there is no happiness ! Grentle reader, 
believe it not ; it is untrue again and again. What ! 
has our heavenly Father bestowed npon ns so much 
that is lovely, so much that is beautiful, and are these 
gifbs of his hand to remain nnenjoyed, to form no 
source of pleasure? Has He painted the delicate 
tints of the rose, and bathed it in rich perfume, and 
shall we experience no joyous thrill at its beauty ? 
Has the rosy tint of the morning, and the golden 
glory of the closing eve, no charm to enhance our 
happiness below ? Are not many of our heart songs 
aroused by the splendour of the starry heavens above 
our heads. Ay, and by the richness of the verdure 
beneath our feet ? Gentle reader, they are ; we know 
it — they are ! 

And thus, too, with those other of God's bountiful 
gifbs to man, our dear ones, are not they rich portions 
of our earthly bliss ? Are they not all the dearer, 
also, that Gtod has given them to us, that He has 
bestowed the happiness ? Yes, it is indeed so ; that 
thought crowns all ! 

Yes, that crowns all; Grod's love in the heart 



868 YEBMONT YALB. 

beautifies all. Where tlie grace of God is, all else 
seems lovely, all else fair ! 

Vermont Vale, we have said, was fast snbsidiiig 
into its customary quietude; things were wearing 
their usual appearance even around Sunny Hollow. 
But there was one hearth-stone more desolate and 
solitary than ever ; not that it was so in reality, but 
only in seeming ; for no brighter feminine smile than 
that of the old housekeeper had ever lighted up the 
little room. 

And yet there was a shadow upon the brow of the 
minister of Vermont, a void at his heart he could not 
overcome. 

It was rather more than a week after the wedding 
that he returned home rather late in the afternoon firom 
a distant station, and stopped by the way at the store 
for letters. 

"Has the post brought any news for me, Mrs. 
Cassey ?" he smilingly asked that lady, for it was. the 
bride of the store that was in attendance. 

" Plenty, Mr. Howard ; the English mail's in, and 
you have quite a heap this time," and she began 
turning out letter after letter, and paper aft^r paper, 
for his inspection, till he found it necessary to get his 
valise from his saddle, and dispose of them in that. 

" The English mail is particularly favourable to 
me this month !" he exclaimed, turning rather pale 
as he recognized one or two deeply-edged black 
envelopes amongst the rest, ominously foreboding 
death in some of the dear home quarters. He dared 
not look too closely, then, to see which of those it 
was Hkely to be, for the raised eyes of Mrs. Cassey 
were upon him ; so hurriedly taking up his valise of 



THE PASTOR PERPLEXED. 369 

letters, and rather imceremonioiisly his leave at the 
same time, his horse and himself were soon within 
the precincts of home. 

Yielding up the former to the care of a man who 
was at work in the garden, he hnrried indoors, 
startling Mrs. Norton very greatly by his sudden and 
unannounced entrance. 

"Why, I never heard you come in, sir?" she 
exclaimed. " Have you but just come ?" 

"Only this moment, and I am very tired, and 
shall be very glad of a cup of tea, my kind Mrs. 
Norton ; I have EngHsh letters to read, and can enjoy 
them best while I take my tea." 

This scarcely comported with the old lady's ideas 
of either comfort or propriety, but she was used to it, 
for seldom did the young minister engage in a meal 
without either a book or paper as companion. She 
loved him for all that, and respected him too, and 
hurried off now as fast as she could to get him as 
good a cup of tea as the Httle silver teapot would 
make ; and in a very few moments Graham Howard 
was seated in his easy-chair by a little table covered 
with a very tempting array of viands, presided over 
by the lady in question, with his letters by his side, 
ready to read at his leisure, his slippered feet crossed 
on a footstool, and a cup of tea in his hand, which he 
thoughtfully sipped, glancing now and then at the 
heap of news at his side which he desired yet dreaded 
to open. 

"This is weakness," he at length exclaimed to 
himself, " the news must come out, and I may as well 
know at once all that I have to suffer;" and he 
singled out &om the heap the black-edged letters, 

24 



870 TamoNT tale. 

and glandng at the lumdwiiidiig, hurriedly tore open 
one of them. 

The old lady opposite, though apparentlj Yery 
haaj with her teapot, was in reaHty covertly watch- 
ing her yonmg miniater. The black edge to Uie letter 
liad not eecaped her eye. What did it mean? Some 
one was dead — some one dear to him. Yes» she was 
sure of that now; for — for a moment he hurriedly 
read, then dropped the letter, and covered his eyee 
with hk hands, and then her own tears almost 
blinded her, for she saw on her dear minister's cheeks 
the glistening drc^ begin to shine ; she conld besr 
it no longer. 

'^ Mr. Howard^ iiiere's trouble I'm afraid in that 
letter ? Oh, I hoipe aoi^ sir !" she said, in a ToiQe of 
deep sympathy. 

'^Yes, Mrs. Norton; I have lost a dear, an 
hononred &ther. Hiia letter is from my only sister,*' 
replied Graham, sadly. ^* Little did I think I had 
seen the last of the dear old man when I quitted 
Ebgkad; I always hoped to see him once more; 
but God's wiU be done." 

" And your mother, sir ?" 

'^ Z Jost my mother before I left England,*' said 
Gosham, taking up his letter again, and presently 
beoomiag so absorbed in its contents that it was well 
that he had taken .some tea before he commenced the 
pemsal, or little enough would have stood a chance 
with him now. He rose after a little whiles and 
ooUectixig his letters, left Mrs. Norton bemoaning the 
little tea he had taken, and shut himself up in his 
&roarite room, in which a small but bright fLre;, 
ooonportuig with the coolness of the evenii^g, wa# 



THE PASTOS PERPLEXED. 871 

already diffasing a cheerM glow. Then throTdng 
hiTnself into the large chair that stood by the table, 
in comfortable distance from the fire, and kindling 
his lamp with a small wax taper, he again became 
deeply absorbed in his letters, reading on and on to 
the last one. Then pushing the whole from him, and 
wheeling his chair ronnd to the fire, he remained long 
with his elbows resting on the arms of the chair and 
his face in his hand, gazing at the glowing embers 
as though all the dear faces he had ever seen, or 
knoYm, or loved were there. 

" ^ The lot is cast into the lap,' " said he at last to 
himself in low, sad tones. " ' Man proposeth, but 
God disposeth!' That is most true. Oh, how 
different were the plans I had proposed to myselt 
this day ! What happiness I had dreamt of, and now 
— now, all is over, the dream has passed." 

But was there no possibility of avoiding this 
voyage to England ? Was it inevitable ? He turned 
abruptly to his letters again, but they gave him no 
loophole of escape. His return to England was im- 
perative, and must be immediate. There could be 
no settlement of property without, and that settle- 
ment involved others beside himself. Yes, even ii 
it sacrificed all his happiness, the sacrifice must be 
made. That was clear ; there was no gainsaying it, 
and he was silent. 

He presently got up and walked about the room 
in his old attitude of despondency ; up and down, up 
and down. He was thinking of his people and how 
they would fare, lefb like sheep without a shepherd. 
Should he ever be permitted to return to them, 
would it not be to find them scattered ? His heart 



872 YERMONT YALE. 

bled to think of it, but the words of Jesus came 
refireshingly to his memory, ''Of those thou hast 
given me, I have lost none," and he was ashamed 
that even for a moment he had forgotten to conmiit 
them into the heavenly Shepherd's care. Kneeling 
then, he brought them all before his Master — ^his 
church, his congregation, himself, and last one dearer 
still, whom he had scarcely yet dared to mention even 
in his prayers, and while he thus committed all to 
the guidance of his heavenly Father, his faith was 
perceptibly strengthened, his way seemed less dark, 
his perplexity ceased. He resolved, and waited for 
dayhght to carry his resolves into action. 

Not even at the family prayer that night did he 
betray his emotion ; he chose to let his worthy house- 
keeper have a night of undisturbed rest, for well he 
knew that were he to tell her how shortly Vermont 
was to lose its minister, her pillow would be sleepless. 
He kept his intelligence till the morning for her. 
Not much sleep visited his own eyes that night. 



CHAPTER XLm. 

THE SPBEADma OF THE NEWS, AND ITS RESULT. 

" I dare not choose my lot, . 
I would not if I might 5 
But choose Thou for me, O my God, 
So shall I walk aright." 

We liave presented you, gentle readers, with our 
favourite Yermont Yale in many aspects. We have 
given it to you in its springtide beauty, when the 
very hills seemed to rejoice in their mantle of blos- 
som, and bird songs echoed from tree to tree ; we 
have shown it in its glowing, flashing, summertide, 
when blushing fruits and golden grain enriched and 
beautified; we have ushered it into your presence 
amidst storms and rain, amidst swollen creeks and 
lightning flashes. We have brought you into its 
neighbourhood in the midst of festivity, we have 
exhibited it at a season of death, we have even per- 
mitted the bridal veil to adorn its graceful valley, and 
now we have another aspect to present to our fair 
readers — ^Yermont Yale mourning the anticipated loss 
of their pastor. 

At the breakfast-table next morning, according to 
one of his resolves, Graham Howard gently broke the 
intelligence to the astonished and greatly distressed 



374 VERMONT VALE. 

Mrs. Norton, that Yermont Vale wonld possess liiTn 
but two or three days longer, that his presence was 
immediately necessary in England, and that he mnst 
positively go. How that news flew is not knovTn, but 
like wildfire it spread through the place fix)ni one to 
another, till before sundown it had even communicated 
itself to the distant stations, and there was one general 
distress throughout the whole. 

Then came calls innumerable; expostulations as 
wearying as unavailing. Graham Howard saw his 
duty plainly before him ; and though cut to the heart, 
and deeply wounded on more accounts than one, he 
had committed his way unto the Lord, and knew it 
must all be right. 

Amongst some of the first callers came Fred Lin- 
wood ; for he viewed the loss of his minister not only 
as a public, but a private calamity. 

" Why cannot they settle these afiairs in England, 
vnthout compelling you to voyage 16,000 miles away 
from your flock. It's a great shame, and a great trial; 
I don't see how we shaU get on without you." 

" I would not go for worlds, you may believe, Mr. 
Linwood, if I had my own choosing. I have more at 
stake than you imagine by this voyage ; but it is not 
mine to choose, nor would I choose if permitted ; I 
would rather be guided by my Father all my way." 

"Yes; and if you go, I suppose it will all be 
right," said Fred, sadly. " The clouds seem hovering 
over Vermont enough now, but we must hope that 
you will soon return among us." 

" If I live, and may choose, believe me I will ; and 
now, my dear Mr. Linwood, I may as well say all I 
want ; I have a word or two for your ear alone ;" and 



THE SPREADING OF THE HfSWBy JOID ITS RESULT. 375 

leading Fred on one side, the two entered upon a low- 
toned, earnest conversation, wMcli ended in Fred*iB 
suddenly seizing his yonng pastor's hand and wring- 
ing it with aU his might. 

" From my heart I wish joo. aH the ^access I be- 
lieve yon will have," he exclaimed warmly. 

" Ah ! I see we shall have yon among ns again ; 
at leajst, I hope so," he added, thonghtfcdly taming 
away. 

" You have heard the news, of course, Mrs. Ban- 
ger," said Mrs. Bateman, as she weighed out a quan- 
tity of goods once more for her exceDent customer. 

" I am sorry to say I have, Mrs. Bateman, if you 
mean about our dear pastor's intended voyage ? " 

" Yes, I do mean that ; it's the only news we have 
just now worth anything. Well, I must say I am 
surprised; I thought things would have turned out 
veary different." 

"How so?" 

" Why, at first I had set down Annie Maitland lor 
him. I'm sure it would have been a better match 
than the one she has now ; but since she and Fred 
Linwood made it up, I made sure that as Katie lix^ 
wood had become so terribly good and pious, that our 
young minister would fall in love with her ; and so I 
did think he had, and should think so still, only i^ 
odd to me that he's going off to England in the midsfc** 

Mrs. Eanger smiled. She too had indulged is 
her own thoughts, and, sooth to say, th^led to some^ 
what fflmilar results to those of her companion. Sl^ 
kept them to herself, however, contenting herself with 
the fflnile> but she presen^y i 



376 VERMONT VALB. 

"We shall miss ottr minister very much, Mrs. 
Bateman." 

" Yes, I suppose we shall for a bit ; but I expect 
we shall get another from somewhere. Of course we 
can't do without one, and we may be all the better 
for a change." 

Mrs. Ranger looked grieved and shocked. " I 
thought you liked Mr. Howard ? " she exclaimed. 

" Oh yes, he is well enough ; but I think lie has 
been rather duU lately, and he does preach long ser- 
mons, to be sure." 

" If you think that, no wonder you will not miss 
him. Thank God, aU have not hearts alike ! " said 
Mrs. Ranger, rapidly putting up her goods together, 
and preparing to hurry away. 

" No, aU hearts are not alike indeed in Vermont ; 
we should indeed be a cold set if it was so," said the 
warm-souled woman to herself, as she urged her old 
" Dobbin " forward. " But, alas ! there are too many 
lovers of change amongst even us ; too much indiffer- 
ence to what is taught; too much overlooking the 
good done, the time spent, the weary, weary feeling 
of the hard- worked minister." And our worthy Mrs. 
Ranger was right ; for among the crying sins of our 
Southern Australia is the treatment of her ministers. 
Exceptions there may be — ^many we hope there are — 
but how many are there labouring by day incessantly 
among a flock who cause them bitter tears by night ; 
who slight their minister ; find fault with his teach- 
ing, or, if they cannot do that, with his manner, or 
the length of his sermons ; who grieve him by their 
non-attendance ; who cavil in. the church-meeting ; 
who grudge the unworthy pittance they bestow upon 



THE SPREADING OF THE NEWS, AND ITS EESULT. 377 

him, thongli it be lower than they would award to the 
lowest of their day labourers. What wonder, indeed, 
that the labourers be few; what wonder that the 
Lord of the harvest recall his servants home, when, 
thongh the meed of praise has been wanting on earth, 
shall be heard the welcome, " Well done, thon good 
and faithful servant, enter thon into the joy of thy 
Lord." 

Well, it is blessed to labonr in the service of Christ; 
it is happiness to win sonls to Christ ; it is happiness 
to seek for the pnre gold amidst the dross. Still, noble 
servants of the cross, though that cross bear heavily 
npon yon — though the spitting, and the mocking, ay, 
and even the cruel scourging shall attend you — there 
was One who bore it all before you, and now He wears 
the crown, and by and by so shall yon. Yet " woe 
unto those by whom the offences come ! " 

There were, as Mrs. Ranger said, many in 
Vermont who loved their pastor dearly, who appre- 
ciated his labour of love amongst them, and grieved 
deeply at his removing from them, grieved at the 
necessity they saw was laid upon him, for they knew 
his heart was in his work, that he was ready to live 
and die for them ; and he knew and rejoiced in these 
seals to his ministry, and encouraged them on with 
kind and cheering words to keep together the little 
congregation as much as it lay in their power, " not 
forsaking the assembling of themselves together," but 
"rejoicing in hope," "waiting for the appearing of 
the Lord." He gave his advice to those assembled 
at the week-night meeting, and there were few dry 
eyes present. They went away weeping, " sorrowing 
most of all that they should see his face no more," 



b 



378 TEAMOST YALX. 

for SO it seemed to them. England was so fesr 
distant^ was it probable that he wonld come back 
among them? What had they done to entice him 
back ? Nay, what conld they do now, in the short 
space of time that remained before he shonld embacrk, 
to show their love and respect to him ? Bnt a day 
or two remained before he qnitted Vermont. They 
flew to Fred Linwood in their perplexity, and he 
decided at once ; a farewell tea and presentatiosL to 
their minister was imperative. 

The utmost powers of the honsekeepers of 
Vermont were taxed, in the rapid preparation of 
cakes and condiments innnmerable, for these, in any 
Toriety, are the essentials of a Sonth- Australian tea* 
meeting. The good old substantial bread and butter 
and plum-cake at some of the tea-meetings in the 
home land would not suit South- Australian palates. 
Delicate custards cream laden, jam-tarts of endless 
variety, cakes of all kinds, from pound and sponge to 
the tortuous fancy biscuits ; wafered slices of bread 
and butter, between which the thinned slices of ham 
were visible, and these garnished with parsley. Such 
are some of the belongings of our southern tea- 
meetings. 

With James Maitland's assistance — ^for he had 
returned to Vermont — a large marquee was erected 
at Sunny Hollow, and arrangements on an extensive 
scale made for the meeting. The young lads and 
lasses twined, into words of " Farewell,'* the yellow 
and white blossoms gathered in profasion by the 
busy fingers of the children under Mrs. Linwood'a 
supervision. Annie's own graceful fingers wrought 
in roses and leaves the feeling inscription — 



THE SPREADING OF THE NEWS, AND ITS RESULT. 379 

" God bring thee back in safety.** 

As there were few dry eyes, there were certainly 
few idle hands. To give a warm farewell to their 
pastor was now all they strove after, and if an 
assemblage of all that was good in the edible line was 
a token of it, certainly it was done. The gardens 
round Vermont must have been sadly shorn of their 
flowers, for they were brought in profasion to Sunny 
Hollow to breathe out their fragrant farewell to the 
Vermont pastor. But he valued more than all the 
gathered multitude that, on so short a notice, had 
collected together to bid him adieu, to pray for his 
safe guidance over the mighty ocean, and show at 
once their love and respect to his memory. Far 
more he valued these than the heavy purse that, as a 
last testimonial of their love and gratitude, they laid 
before him for his acceptance. After all, it was the 
hearty shakes of the hand, the fervent " God bless 
you, and keep you, and bring you back to us," that 
dwelt longest on his memory, and sank deepest into 
his heart. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

DRAWING TOWARDS CONCLUSION. 

" Were it not sweeter still 

To give imagination holier scope, 
And deem that thns the future maj fulfil 
A loftier hope?" 

Ant letters, Katie ?" 

" Yes, mother, some for us all, I believe. I liaye 
qxiite a budget, at any rate. Two or three from 
England, among them one from Vermont for myself — 
from Annie by tbe writing. At any rate, I have an 
afternoon's reading before me ; and so have you, dear 
mother." 

So said Katie, as she came with a quick, elastic 
step into the room where her mother was sitting 
with that favourite fancy-work of old ladies — a 
stocking — ^in her hand. Katie had just returned 
from a walk to the post, and the fresh spring breeze 
had given her cheek a little deeper colour than usual. 
Her mother, at any rate, thought she looked very 
lovely, as she threw off her hat, and unprisoned her 
soft, hght ringlets, which fell in pretty conftision over 
her shoulders. 

"Give me my spectacles as well as my letters^ 
dear, and let us commence at once." 



DEAWING TOWABDS CONCLUSION. 381 

" Yes, mother, but I can afford to read my letters 
leisurely; I will take off my things first." 

Then singling out her own portion, she snpphed 
her mother with the remainder and the necessary 
spectacles, and ran off, singing, to her own room. 

She tossed her letters down on the bed, and her 
hat and cap after them ; then, turning, threw open 
the window to its widest extent. There was a lovely 
prospect fix)m without, bounded as it was, of a 
bowery garden. Two or three orange-trees that grew 
near the window breathed out their deHcious perftime 
on the soft breeze, and the roses that climbed to the 
top of the sash peeped in and shook their incense in 
her face, vying with a slender jasmine to win her 
favour by their beauty. A few sweet notes from the 
" shepherd's companion " now and then came floating 
through the air from a group of cherry-trees not far 
distant, and the soft murmuring hum of insect life 
without came soothingly within, and made Katie 
dreamy. It was a pleasant place this home of hers, 
and it was strange, gentle readers, that a wish should 
ever cross her mind to change it — now was it not ? 

But such creatures of contradiction are we, we 
never know when we are happiest, never think that 
our path is so smooth, that nothing is wanting to 
make it smoother; and so Elatie, in her pleasant 
home, had begun to think and dream of one more 
pleasant in the fature. Perhaps occurred to her 
memoiy these lines of Josiah Conder's : — 

" Oh, when shall Israel's mystic guide, 
The pillar'd cloud, our steps decide ; 
Then, resting, spread its guardian shade. 
To bless the home that love hath made ? 



882 TESMONT TILE. 

Daily my love shall thence arise. 
Our hearts' united sacrifioe ; 
And homo indeed a home will be, 
Thns consecrate and shared with Thee." 

Poor Katie ! how unconscioxisly slie stood lookmg' 
out into the pleasant garden, hstening to birds* song, 
and drinking in the incense of the flowers, dreaming 
so pleasantly, meanwhile, of the last day at Vermont, 
and Httle dreaming what was transpiring there — little 
dreaming what her neglected letters wonld unfold. 
She had forgotten them. 

She thought of them at last, and turned hurriedly 
to the place where she had thrown them, selecting 
the one from Vermont for a first perusal. 

"Ah! from Annie, my new little sister. What 
has she to say ? Not wearying for me, surely, yet ?" 
she exclaimed, with a smile, as she tore open the tiny 
envelope. " Such a short note ! Well, she is growing 
idle, surely." 

But, short as it was, she ahnost stopped breathing 
as she read it, while the colour her mother so much 
admired gradually faded from her face. 

" SuNNT Hollow. 

"Dearest Katie, — Fred has made me hurry off 
to write you a wee note, just to ask you if you can 
possibly come back to Vermont to-morrow ? I am 
grieved to tell you that Mr. Howard, our minister, 
has had letters from England announcing his father's 
death, and recalling him home inmiediately. We are, 
therefore, about giving him a hurriedly got up fare- 
well tea-meeting the day after to-morrow, Thursday 



DRAWINO T0WABD8 COKCLUSION. 383 

the 24tli. Do come, if you can. In great haste, with 
love from Fred aad self, your affiBctionate sister, 

♦'Annie." 



" The day afber to-morrow !" Katie looked at the 
date, and then at the words ♦'too late" outside the 
euTelope. The letter had been delayed, and the 
preyious afbemoon the &Tewell meeting had taken 
place at Vermont. She sat down on a chair near the 
window, trembling and faint. 

So this was the end of her pleasant dreams ! this 
was the end of her happiness! Yes, she acknow- 
ledged it all to herself now — acknowledged what you, 
our most sage reader, have long since found out, that 
Graham Howard's love had become essential to her 
happiness ; and he was going to leave her for ever ! 
Poor Katie! crushed, heart-broken, covered with 
shame as she felt at this discovery of the state of her 
own heart, and of what she deemed the state of his — 
free, unscathed — safc cowering down by the side of the 
bed, the fatal letter crumpled in her hand, and her face 
hiding itself from view in her old despondent attitude, 
forgetting in her sorrow that one place yet remained 
to which the Christian may always bring his grief. 

She was accusing herself of presumption in aspiiv 
ing to such a post as a minister's wife. Oh, she was 
not worthy of it ! How could she ever have dreamt 
he would choose her P And yet, what had she done ? 
Surely there was no harm in her having given her 
love to him in secret ? She had done it. A secret it 
could remain. And that he did not, could not, return . 
that love did not prove him unworthy. No ! he was 
worthy of her love, and it was not strange that she 



884 YEBMONT YALE. 

should love liim. But, since it was so, slie was glad 
He was going away, that by no possibility he should 
ever find out that she thought of him otherwise than 
as a friend — a dear and esteemed pastor. And, after 
the chilling effects of grief were past, she felt glad, 
too, that the post had been delayed — ^that she had not 
been present at the " Farewell meeting," for that, 
she felt, would have been beyond endurance. Better 
indeed that they should never meet again. 

She raised her head after a httle while, and went 
and stood again at the window, allowing the soft, cool 
air to play upon her fevered brow. The sun was 
rapidly sioldng into the west, makiag the heavens 
glorious with gold and purple ; the shadows frt)ni the 
trees fell broad and long, and many of them were 
only tipped with the rosy radiance m their topmost 
branches; the "shepherd's companion" had de- 
parted with his sweet glad melody, and had given place 
to the long, melancholy, wailing cry of the cxirlews, 
which suited better with Katie's feelings now. 

And yet her thoughts were far away, still with 
the pastor of Vermont Vale — ^wondering whether his 
grief for his father's loss had overwhelmed hiTn in 
this "Farewell meeting," and how he had borne 
himself through this leave-taking with a people whom 
she knew he loved, and many of whom she knew 
dearly loved him. And then came thoughts of his 
distant voyage to far-off England — ^the land of her 
birth, indeed, but beyond the reach of her memory. 
Would he ever come back ? And what was it taking 
him away? What so urgent as to induce hinr^ to 
desert them aU ? What, oh ! what would become of 
Vermont Vale without him ? 



DRAWING TOWARDS CONCLUSION. 385 

And then came refreshing words of promise to her 
aid — " I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee ;'* and 
tears came with that, for she knew she had been for- 
getting her Lord and his power ; knew that she had 
been leaning npon hnman power ; knew that she had 
been reclining npon a reed which had only broken 
and cruelly pierced her through. Was not that word 
of promise enough ? He who cannot lie had pro- 
mised " never to forsake," and did she not believe ? 

Yes, she did, and prayed that she might still more 
believe; be able still more to commit all her way 
tmto his hand ; to submit to all He laid in her path, 
whether of joy or of sorrow ; to bow humbly before 
Him, even though thorns were more plentiftd than 
roses in her life. 

" Let me henceforth love only Thee, dear Jesus," 
she prayed. " Let all earthly love be swallowed up 
in love to Thee. Henceforth may I devote myself 
wholly to thy service, giving up time, and energy, 
and even life, for Thee.*' 

Thus Katie yielded up her broken heart to the 
Saviour, and thus He took the gift ; for He bids the 
broken-hearted come to Him, and smiles upon the 
yielding spirit, even though it be earth-crushed. Oh ! 
what a Saviour have we ! How suited to our every 
need. 

The shadows were failing &&t in her room, when, 
at the foot of the stairs, she heard her mother call 
her. She rose immediately, replying, " Yes, mother, 
I will be down presently;^' and, bathing her face 
with cool, clear water, and smoothing a little her dis- 
hevelled hair, she gathered up her letters, and thrust 
them into a little drawer, tied a small black silk 

25 



386 VERMONT VALE. 

apron round her waist, and prepared to join her 
mother with all the composnre she conld muster. 
For worlds she would not have had those kind, pene- 
trating eyes read her secret, and grieve over it. 

Her fovonrite little dog, "Fly," came bonnding 
towards her as she entered the passage. She took it 
up in her arms, and carried it in with her, covering 
it with caresses. 

" Were you wondering where I had got to, mother 
dear ?" she asked, as she entered the sitting-room, 
where the tea-table was spread ; but the lamp was 
unkindled, and the fitful light of the fire on the 
hearth, burnt down to red embers, threw the room 
all the more into misty shadows. She could see, 
however, that it was not her mother who rose to 
meet her. Coming quickly forward and starting 
violently, she let little Fly fall from her arms. 

" Did you really think I could leave the colony 
without coming to say farewell?" asked a quiet, 
well-known voice, one she little expected to hear 
again. She might, indeed, have thought she was 
again dreaming, had it not been for the hand that 
held her own so warmly. 

" I did not think — I do not know, Mr. Howard, 
what I thought," said Elatie, breaking down in utter 
confosion, and very much, indeed, iuclined to cry. 
But she presently mastered her emotion, and asked — 

" Does mother know you are here ? have you seen 
her?" 

" Yes ; I have been here nearly three-quarters of 
an hour; I wanted to see your mother aJone first. 
You have heard from Mrs. Fred Linwood, have you 
not, that I am summoned suddenly to England ? " he 



DRAWma TOWARDS CONCLUSION. 387 

presently continued, drawing lier to a seat, and 
placing Mmself beside her, withont releasing her 
hand. "I have lost my dear old father, Katie; he 
has gone home at last.'' 

" Yes, I heard ; I am so sorry," said Katie, almost 
in a whisper. 

" We may sorrow, but not as those without hope, 
Katie ; he was a true servant of Christ, and died in 
the midst of his work." 

There was a moment's pause, in which the silence 
was only broken by the quickened breathing of Katie. 
Graham presently went on — " There is property in 
England to settle that cannot be apportioned without 
my presence, and I am compelled to go ; much as it 
grieves me, I am compelled. But there is one thing 
I Cannot go without, and that is — a farewell from yon, 
Katie." 

Her heart beat quickly, but she pushed aside her 
feeling, and answered ahnost coldly, though in low 
trembling tones — 

" I thought you had no time to remember us." 

*^ I could not forget you if I tried, dear Kiitie," he 
answered ; "have you not discovered that ? But this 
is not what I want to say. I want to carry with me 
something more than a farewell, Katie. I want to have 
a promise I hope one day to return and call upon you 
to redeem. "Will you give me that promise, Katie ? " 

" A promise ? " she faintly asked. 

"Yes, dear Katie," he replied, drawing her yet 
closer to him, "that you will one day be my own little 
wife, aiding me in my work, making my home a 
happy one, labouring for Christ with me. Dearest, is 
it too much to ask ? " 



CHAPTER XLV. 

CONCLUSION. 

" If some poor wandering child of Thin© 
Have spnmed to-day the voice Divine, 
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin, 
Let him no more lie down in sin." 

To those of our dear readers who always can tell fix)in 
the first page of a book what the last will be, we leave 
OTir dear little Katie's answer. For onr part, ottr task 
is rapidly closing; and however imperfectly delineated 
be the characters of Vermont Vale, however ineffi- 
ciently told onr tale, we leave it in the same mercifiil 
hands who so kindly welcomed onr "Marian" in 
times gone by. 

Onr task is done ; we have longed for yonr souls, 
dear yonng fiiends; we have anxiously sought to 
induce you to love the Saviour whom we love. Ah ! 
and why are we so anxious? Because this world is 
a fleeting dream at best — ^the reahty is beyond ! Be- 
cause all here is passing away ; because earthly joys 
are delusive, earthly hopes unstable, and nothing out 
of Christ worthy our confidence. And ah, if but one 
of our dear readers — if but one discovers through the 
medium of these few poor pages the emptiness of the 
world, and the preciousness of Jesus — ^if but one is 



CONCLUSION. 389 

brought, like Elatie, to sit at the Savioxir's feet, our 
desire will indeed be accomplished; for we feel indeed 

" *Tis worth a world of shame and loss, 
To draw one sinner to the cross." 

Onr characters, dear reader, are drawn firom daily- 
life ; they are such as most of you meet every day in 
our southern land. We have sought to place before 
you "every-day" characters and "every-day" experi- 
ence, and these combined with the hopes and fears 
attending a better state of things — a transition from 
darkness to light. Imperfectly though we may have 
fulfilled our intention, may God's blessing attend it. 

And now for the enlightenment of those of our 
dear readers who may not have some of their phreno- 
logical organs so largely developed as the class of 
readers we first address, for those who love to follow 
a favourite heroine to a comfortable settlement (and 
we have the vanity to hope our Katie is a favourite 
with some), we will take another peep at the fair girl 
still in her quiet home, fulfilling her quiet duties. 
Graham Howard, though long away in England, 
engaged in many duties too, had not forgotten his 
affianced bride in Australia ; and though it was soon 
discovered that those duties would require a perma- 
nent residence in England — though Vermont Vale 
was not likely again to welcome him as its pastor, 
yet a return to Australia was already contemplated. 
He was coming, even on his way, to take off his little 
wife to an English home, and even her fond parents 
have not refused it. 

And so, after all, our little Australian Katie was 
to be transplanted into a less genial soil ! How will 



390 YEBMONT YALE. 

she bear the transplautiiig ? Happily slie could say 
with all her heart — 

" Since Thon, my Qod, art eyerywliere, 
I cannot be where Thou art not." 

And though it is not our purpose to follow her to 
see how her wifely mission was performed, though we 
intend not to go with her to her new sphere of action, 
we can safely trust her in those hands that never fail, 
to the care of Him who has promised to be with his 
people '^ in all places," to bless them. 

Smmy Hollow, happily settled, we can as safely 
resign ; Fred and Annie, both with hearts beating in 
nnison, only added greater snnshine to the place ; and 
by and by, when Httle prattlers climb those green 
velvety slopes, and langh and shout among the 
wattles, the snnshine will assume another phase, bnt 
not a whit less bright. 

And Vermont Vale, we will trust that was not 
neglected. Those who love holyday will surely not 
tamely yield up their privileges because their minister 
has been called away ; and not forsaking the assem- 
bhng of themselves together, as the manner of some 
is, '' will find that Gt)d is iudeed near to bless, and 
that He will still water them abundantly with his 
Holy Spirit ! " 

After our fair friend, Fanny Moore, there may be 
some inquiries. She was not slow in following the 
example of Annie Maitland, and but a very short 
time elapsed when another wedding took place with 
great eclat in our pretty vale. Let us hope that our 
young friend Fanny found in her Murray mansion all 
the happiness she hoped for. Would that we could 



CONCLUSION. 391 

tell OTir readers that in all her finding she had dis- 
covered the " Pearl of great price.** 

Dr. Moore, a short time after the marriage of his 
daughter, wooed and won a fair bride for himself; so, 
after all, the Doctor's house in Vermont still bore the 
evidence of feminine fingers about it, and the Doctor 
was a happy man. 

Mrs. Bateman, we are sorry to say, did not im- 
prove in temper, though she increased in fat. Ad- 
ditionally soured by the match her fe,vourite daughter 
had made, she was getting quite disagreeable to many 
of her customers, when happily Selina, having re- 
signed short frocks, and pinafores, and being reaUy a 
passable young lady, attracted the attention of a 
wealthy sheep-farmer, many years her senior, and 
with abundance of the " yellow dust,** a circximstance 
which rendered the disparity in years quite pardonable. 
A short courtship and a hurried marriage followed, 
and then Mrs. Bateman, yielding up the store to her 
daughter Mrs. Cassey, went to spend the rest of her 
days with Selina and her husband in the far bush. 

Mrs. Ranger, in her quiet home, continued bring- 
ing up her children in the fear of the Lord. Peacefdl 
and trustfol as ever, and looking forward to the end 
of her journey as to approaching happiness, she 
could say 

** Lo, when my latest breath 
Shall rend the veil in twain, 
By death, I shall escape from death, 
And life eternal gain. 

" Knowing as I am known, 

How shall I love that word ! 
And oft repeat before the throne, 
For ever with the Lord ! ** 



392 YEBMONT YALE. 

Yes, to her the thought of life with Jesns for ever, 
sweetened all her daily toils, made even sickness, and 
pain, and sorrow, bnt messengers to lead her thoughts 
above. 

And thus may it be with ns all. Having Jesns for 
onr Friend on earth, may we find Him near when life 
and strength shall fail — ^when the dark cnrtain of 
death shall be drawn over our failing eyes, and onr 
fleeting breath is fitfully drawn between onr pale 
lips. Then may those words, "For ever with the 
Lord," sweeten our dying mo^lents ; may the " rod 
and the staff " sustain us ; may the hand of Jesus 
uphold us! On his bosom may our last breath be 
drawn. Then, indeed, all shall be well ! 

" When my sad heart Borveys the pain 
Which weary pilgrims here sustain. 
As o'er the waste of life they roam, 
Oppressed without, betrayed within. 
Victims of violence and sin. 
Shall I not cry * Thy kingdom come ? ' 

" And when I know whose strong control. 

Can calm and cheer each troubled sonl. 

And lead these weary wanderers home j 

Can lodge them in a Father's breast. 

And soothe this weary world to rest. 

Shall I not cry, * Thy kiiagdom come ? "* 



THE END. 



HAX&ILD, PRIKTXB, LOVDOV. 



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artistic beauty; and, when the holydays are over, to be placed for fr^uent 
and c^ectionate consultation on a favourite shelf" — Athenaeum. 

Schiller's Lay of the Bell. Sir E. Bulwer Lytton's translation; 
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Scott, and engraved by J. D. Cooper, after the Etchings by Betsich. 
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*• A very elegant and classic Christmas present.*' — Guardian. 

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The Poetry of Nature. Selected and Illustrated with Thirty-six 

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A New Edition of Choice Editions of Choice Books. Illustrated 
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Bloomfleld's Farmer's Bov. 
Campbell's Pleasures of Hope. 
Condall's Elizabethan Poetry. 
Coleridge's Ancient Mariner. 
Goldsmith's Deserted Village. 
Goldamith's Vicar of Wakefield, f 
Gray's Elegy in a Churchyard. 



Keat's Eve of St. Agnes. 
Milton's I'Allegro. 
Roger's Pleasures of Memory. 
Shakespeare's Songs and Sonnets. 
Tennyson's May Queen. 
Wordsworth's Pastoral Poems. 




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IiITERATURE. "W^ORKS OF REFERENCE. AND 
EDUCATION. 

^UE English Catalogue of Books: giving the date of 
publication of every book published from 1835 to 1868, in addi- 
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don Catal<^^e " and the " British Catalogue." One thick 
volume of 900 pages, half morocco, 45«. 

Like unto Christ. A new translation of the De Imitatione 
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The Gentle Life Series. Small post 8vo. 6«. 

The Gentle Life : Essays in Aid of the Formation of Character 

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About in the World : Essays uniform with, and by the author 
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Essays by Montaigne. With Vignette Portrait. Small post 
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Familiar Words ; an Index Verborum, or Dictionary of Quotation 
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" Not only the most extensive dictionary of quotations which we have 
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of the line." — Notes and Queries. 

The Complete Poetical Works of John Milton, with a Life of the 
Author : and a Verbal Index containing upwards of 20,000 references to 
all the Poems. By Charles Dexter Cleveland. New Edition. 8vo. 12s. ; 
morocco, 21s. 

Life Portraits of Shakspeare; with an Examination of the 
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By J. H. Friswell, Member of the National Shakspeare Committee. 
Illustrated by Photographs of authentic and received Portraits. Square 
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Her Majesty's Mails : a History of the Post Office, and an 
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^A book tee strongly recommend to tho$e vko wish to be ftiUy informed 
on the subject^ as cm interesting emd ^enendl^ aeaarate aceoimt of the 
emdv ' ' '" "■ ' -^-- . ™^^ 



history and working of the Post CJ^Ea. — Edinbni^h Reriew. 

'* Will take its stand as a really useful book of reference om the history 
of the Poet. We heartily recommend it ax a tnorovghfy careful perform' 
once." — Saturday Review. 

A History of Banks for Savings ; inclading a full account of the 
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William Lewins, Author of * Her Majesty's Mails.' With a Photogr^h 
of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 8to. cloth. 

Yaria : Rare lU^adings from Scarce Books. Reprinted by pei^ 
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The Origin and History of the English Language, and of the 
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Lectures on the English Language; forming the Introductory 
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Mr. Marsh traces the history of human industry as shown in the extensive 
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life, and the salubrity of the climate, on which we have to depend for the 
physical well-being of mankind." — Examiner. 

English andScotch Ballads, &c. An extensive Collection. De- 
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nearly all the Ancient and Traditionary Ballads both of England and 
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The Ladies' Reader : with some Plain and Simple Rules and In- 
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The Clerical Assistant : an Elocutionary Guide to the Reading 
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The Art of Elocution as an essential part of Rhetoric, with in- 
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Latin-English Lexicon, by Dr. Andrews. 7th Edition. 8vo. IS*. 

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Prince Albert's Golden Precepts. Second Edition, with Photo- 
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Our Little Ones in Heaven : Thoughts in Prose and Verse, se- 
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NEW BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPIaB. 

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The Cherry-coloured Cat and her Three Friends. 

The Live Kocking-Horse. 

Master Mischief and Miss Meddle. 

Cousin Nellie's Stories after SchooL 

Harry High-Stepper. 

Grandmamma's Spectacles. 

How the House was Built. 

Dog Toby and Artistical Arthur. 

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The Cruise of the Frolic. By W. H. G. Kingston. Dlustrated. 

Larffefcap. 8vo. cloth, 5s. 

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The Boy's Own Book of Boats. Illustrated by Weedon. 5«. 
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Golden Hair; a Story for Young People. By Sir Lascelles 
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Boyhood of Martin Luther. By Henry May hew. 
Stories of the Woods. From CJooper's Tales. 
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Also, now ready, same size and price, and full of Illustrations, 
Great Fun for our Little Friends. By Harriet Myrtle. 
More Fun for our Little Friends. By the same Author. 
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The Stories that Little Breeches told. By the same Author. 
Mr. Wind and Madame Rain. Illustrated by Charles Bennett 

Paul Duncan's Little by Little ; a Tale for Boys. Edited by 
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The Swiss Family Robinson ; or, the Adventures of a Father and 
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HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY. 

The Conspiracy of Count Fieschi : an Episode in Italian 

History. By M. De Celesia. Translated by David HUton, 

Esq., Author of a ** History of Brigandage." With Portrait 

Bvo. [Shortfy. 

Biography of Admiral Sir B. P. V. Broke, Bart., K.C.B. 

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George Washington's Life, by Washin^n Irving. 5 vols, 
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Life of John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, by C. 
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TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE. 

WALK from London to the Land's End. By Elihu 
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Social Life of the Chinese : with some account of their religious, 
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Rev. Justus Doolittle. With over 100 Illustrations, in two vols. Demy 
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A Thousand Miles in the Bob Boy Canoe, or Elvers and Lakes 
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Captain HalPs Life with the Esquimaux. New and cheaper 
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" Jf Capt. Hall should survive the perils of the journey on which he is 
now engaged, we are convinced he wilt bring home some news, be it good or 
bad, about the Franklin expedition. He can hardly be expected back before 
the autumn of 1866. But if he has gone he has left us his vastly enter- 
taining volumes, which contain much valuable information, as we have said, 
concerning the Esquimaux tribes. These volumes are the best that we have 
ever met with, concerning the people and things to be found among ' the 
thick ribb'd ice.' " — Standard. 

" The pen of WUkie Collins would fail to describe in more life-like terms 
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kyack, boat and all, and to introduce our readers to our Author's dogs, 
including thefarrums Barbekerk ; but we must pause, and refer to this most 
interesting work itself, which uHll repay perusal." — Press. 

A Winter in Algeria, 1863-4. By Mrs. George Albert Rogers. 
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Ten Days in a French Parsonage. By Rev. G. M. Musgrave. 
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Letters on England. By Louis Blanc. 2 vols, post 8to. [Shortly. 

House and Home in Belgium. By Blanchard Jerrold. Author 
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The Story of the Great March : a Diary of General Sherman's 
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Cape Cod. By Heniy D. Thoreau. 12mo. cloth, 7». 6d. 

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Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain. 7s. 6d. 

Travels in Greece and Russia. Witn an Excursion to Crete. 7t, 6<i. 

INDIA, AMBRIOA, AND THB OOIiONZBS. 

HISTORY of the Discovery and Exploration of 
Australia; or an Account of the Pr««ress of Oeogn^hieal 
Discovery in that Continent, from the Earliest Period to the 
Present Day. By the Rev. Julian E. Tenison Woods, F.B.G.S., 
&c., &c. 2 vols, demy 8vo. cloth, 38s. 

The Confederation of the British North AmericanProyinces; their 
past History and future Prospects ; with a map, &c. By Thosoas Bawlings. 
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Canada in 1864; a Hand-book for Settlers. By Henry T. N. 

Chesshyre. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d, 
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Colonies. By William Westgarth, Author of '* Victoria and the Gold 
Mines," &c. 8vo. with a Map, cloth, I6s. 

Tracks of McEinlay and Party across A astralia. By John Davis, 
one of the Expedition. Edited firom the MS. Journal of Mr. Davis, 
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Wills, Landsborough and others. By Wm. Westgarth. With numerous 
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The Progress and Present State of British India ; a Manual of 
Indian History, G^e<^n'*f^phy, and Finance, for ffeneral use ; based upon 
Official Documents, furnished under the authori^ of Her Majesty's 
Secretary of State for India. By Montffomery Martin, Esq., Author 
of a " History of the British Colonies," &c. In one volume, post 8vo. 
cloth, 10s. 6d. 

Colonial Essays. Translated from the Dutch, post 8vo. cloth, 6i. 

The Cotton Kingdom : a Traveller's Observations on Cotton and 
Slavery in America, based upon three former volumes of Travels and 
Explorations. By Frederick Law Olmsted. With a Map. 2 vols, post 
8vo. 11.1s. ^ 

" Mr. Olmsted gioes his readers a wealth of fad* conveyed in a long 
stream of anecdotes, the exquisite humour of many of them making parts 

; of his book as pleasant to read as a novel qfthe first cto«f ."— ^Athenteum. 



List of Publications, 1 1 

A History of the Origin, Formation, and Adoption of the Con- 
stitution of the United States of America, with Notices of its Principal 
Framers. Bf Oeorge Ticknor Curtis, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. Cloth, 1/. As. 

" Mr. Curtis writes with dignity and vigour, and his work wUl be one 
of permanent interest."— Athentevm. 

The Principles of Political Economy applied to the Condition, 
the Resources, and Institutions of the American People. By Francis 
Bowen. 8vo. Cloth, Us. 

A History of New South Wales from the Discovery of New 
Holland in 1616 to the present time. Bf the late Roderick Flanagan, 
Esq., Member of the Philosophical Society of New South Wales. 3 
▼ols. Svo. 2is. 

Canada and its Besources. Two Prize Essays, by Hogan and 
Morris. Js., or separately, is. 9d. each, and Map, 3s. 

80IEN0E AND DISCOVERY. 




Sutton, B.A., Editor of "Photograph Notes." Svo. with 
numerous Illustrations. [Shortli/, 

The Physical Geogpraphy of the Sea and its Meteorology ; or, the 
Economy of the Sea and its Adaptations,.its Salts, its Waters, its Climates, 
its Inhabitants, and whatever there may be of general interest in its Com- 
mercial Uses or Industrial Pursuits. By Commander M. F. Maury, LL.D. 
Tenth Edition, being the Second Edition of the Author's revised and 
enlarged Work. Post Svo. cloth extra, Ss. 9d. ; cheap edition, small post 
Svo. 58. 
This edition, as well as its immediate predecessor, includes all the researches 
and observations of the last three years, and is copyright in England and on 
the Continent. 

displays in a remarkable de^ee, like 
the * Advancement of Learning,' and 



the * Natural History' of Buffon, pro- 
found research and magnificent ima> 
gination." — Illustrated lAmdonNews. 



* We err greatly if Lieut. Maury's 
book will not hereafter be classed with 
the works of the great men who have 
taken the lead in extending and im- 
proving knowledge and art ; his book 

The Structure of Animal Life. By Louis Agassiz. With 46 

Diagrams. Svo. cloth, \Qs, 6d. 
The Kedge Anchor ; or. Young Sailor's Assistant, by William 

Brady. Seventy Illustrations. Svo. I65. 
Theory of the Winds, by Capt. Charles Wilkes. Svo. cl. 8«. 6rf. 

Archaia: or. Studies of the Cosmogony and Natural History of 
the Hebrew Scriptures. By Professor Dawson, Principal of McGKll 
College, Canada. Post Svo. cloth, cheaper edition, 65. 

Ichnographs, from the Sandstone of the Connecticut River, 
Massachusetts, U. S. A. By James Dean, M.D. One volume, 4to. with 
Forty-six Plates, cloth, 27s. 

The Recent Progress of Astronomy, by Elias Loomis, LL.D. 
3rd Edition. Post Svo. 7s. ed. 

An Introduction to Practical Astronomy, by the Same. Svo. 
doth. 6s. 

Manual of Mineralogy, including Observations on Mines, Rocks, 
Reduction of Ores, and the Application of the Science to the Arts, with 
260 Illustrations. Designed for the Use of Schools and Colleses. By 
James D. Dana, A.M., Author of a ** System of Mineralogy." New Edi- 
tion, revised and enlarged. 12mo. Half bound, 7«. M. 




12 Sampson Low and Cc^s 

The Ocean Telegraph Cable ; its Constructioii, &c. and Submer- 
sion Explained. By W. Bowett. Svo. cloth, 8(. 6d. 

C}xlopfediaof Mathematical Science, by Dayies and Feck. 8to. 
Sheep. ISt. 

TRADE, AGRIOUIiTURE, DOMESTIC 
ECONOMY, ETC. 

|AILWAT PRACTICE, European and American; 

comprisinff the economical generation of Steam, the adapta- 
tion of M^)od and Coke-burning Engines to Coal Boming, 
and in Permanent Way, including BMd-bed, Sleepers, Rails, 
Joint-fastenings, Street Railwajrs, &c. By Alexander L. 

Holley, Joint Author of Colbum and Honey's ** Permanoit Way," &c. 

Demy folio, with 77 Engravings, half-morocco. SI. St. 

Hunt's Merchants* Magazine (Monthly). 2s. 6<i. 

The Book of Farm Implements, and their Construction ; by John 

L. Thomas. With aOO Illustrations. 12mo. 0s. 6d 
The Practical Surveyor's Guide ; by A. Duncan. Fcp.Syo. 4s. 6<{. 

Villas and Cottaees; by Calvert Vaux, Architect. 300 Illustra- 
tions. 8to. clotn. 12s. 
Bee-Keeping. By ** The Times " Bee-master. Small post Svo. 

numerous Illustrations, cloth, 6s. 

The Bee-master has done a good work^ which oiebceiahs a cartload oj 
mistakes^ in giving an impetus to bee-keeping throughout ths couniry. 
Here is a simple and gracefui amusemenU whteh is also a profitable one. 
The keeping of bees needs no great skill and but a small outlay. The 
result, however^ besides the amusement which it affords is a store of htmey 
that in the present state of the market may make a considerable addition 
to the income of a poor cotter, and may even be worthy the ambition of an 
underpaid curate or a lieutenant on half-pay." — Times, Jan. 11, 1865. 

The English and Australian Cookery Book. Small post Svo. 
Coloured Illustrations, cloth extra, 4s. ^ 

The Bubbles of Finance : the Revelations of a City Man. Fcap. 

Svo. fancy boards, price 2s. 6c/. 

The Times of May 2lst in a leading article referring to the above work^ 
says:—" We advise our young friends to read some amusing chapters on 
• accommodation' and • borrowing* which have appeared within the last two 
months in Mr. Charles Dicken^s All the Year Round." 
Coffee : A Treatise on its Nature and Cultivation. "With some 
remarks on the management and purchase of Coffee Estates. By Arthur 
R. W. Lascelles. Post Svo. cloth, 2s. Qd. 

The Railway Freighter's Guide. Defining mutual liabilities of 
Carriers and Freighters, and explaining system of rates, accounts, 
invoices, checks, booking, and permits, and all other details pertaining 
to traffic management, as sanctioned by Acts of Parliament, Bye-la^is, 
and General Usage. By J. S. Martin. 12mo. Cloth, 2s. ed. 

THBOIaOGY. 

I^HE Land and the Book, or Biblical Illustrations drawn 
from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and the Scenery 
of the Holy Land, by W. M. Thomson, M.D., twenty-five 
years a Missionary in Syria and Palestine. With 8 Maps and 
several hundred Illustrations. 2 vols. Post Svo. cloth. 1/. Is. 
Missionary Geography for the use of Teachers and Missionary 

Collectors. Fcap. Svo. with numerous maps and illustrations, 3«. 6d. 
A Topof;raTiVi\c&\. 'CVcXwt^ oi Kxv<d«Q^ j^ruisalem \ beautifully co- 
loured. »vneteelVj»xiftfc\.,«aT^J'\«t^'s«RiM3««^ ^i..^!k. 




List of Publications. 13 

Nature and the Supernatural. By Horace Bushne]I,D.D. One 
vol. New Edition. Post 8vo. cloth, 3«. 6d. Also bj the same Author. 

Dr. BnshneH's Christian Nurture. Is. (id. 

Dr. Bushnell's Character of Jesus. Gi. 

Dr. Bushnell's New Life. 1«. 6d. 

Dr. Bushnell's Work and Play. 2s. M. 
Five Years' Prayer, with the Answers : comprising recent Nar- 
ratives and Incidents in America, Germany, Euffland, Ireland, Scotland, 
&c. By D. Samuel Irensus Prime. I2mo. cloUi, 2$. Qd. ; and a Cheap 
Edition, price Is. Also by the same Author. 

The Power of Prayer. 12mo. cloth, Is. 6rf. 

The Light of the World ; a most True Eelation of a Filgrimess 
travelling towards Eternity. Divided into Three Parts ; which deserve 
to be read, understood, and considered by all who desire to be saved. 
Reprinted fi*om the edition of 1696. Beautifully printed by Clay on 
toned paper. Crown 8vo. pp. 593, bevelled boards, 10s. 6d. 

A Short Method of Prayer ; an Analysis of a Work so entitled 
by Madame de la Mothe-Ghiyon ; by Thomas C. Upham, Professor of 
Mental and Moral Philosophy in Bowdoin College,U.8. America. Printed 
by Whittingham. 12mo. cloth. Is. 

Christian Believing and Living. By F. D. Huntington, D.D, 
Crown 8vo. cloth, 3s. 6rf. 

" For freshness of thought, power of illustration, and evangelical ear- 
nestness, these writers [Dr. Huntington and Dr. Bushnell] are not sur- 
passed by thie ablest theologians in the palmiest days of the Church." 

Caledonian Mercury. 

Life Thoughts. By the Rev. Henrv Ward Beecher. Two Series, 

complete in one volume, well printed and well bound. 2s. 6d. Superior 

edition, illustrated with ornamented borders. Sm. 4to. cloth extra. 7s. 6d. 

Dr. Beecher's Life and Correspondence; an Autobiography, 
Edited by his Son. 2 vols, post 8vo. with Illustrations, price 2Is. 

" One of the most real, interesting, and instructive pieces of religious 
biogrcmhy of the present day." — Nonconformist. 

" We have waited for the publication of the second and last volume of 
this interesting, we may well say entertaining^ biography, before intror 
during it to our readers. It is now complete, and furnishes one of the most 
various and delightful portraits of a fine, sturdy, old representative of 
antient theology and earnest piety, relieved by very sweet and engaging 
pictures of New England society in its religious circles, and the ways aim 
usages of the men and icomen who lived, and loved, and married, and had 
families, nearly a century since. . . . And now we must lay down these 
very delightful volumes. We trust we have sufficiently diaracteriz^ them, 
while there are, of course, reminiscences, pictures of places and of persons, 
we hcEoe been unable even to mention. It was an extraordinary family 
altogether; a glow of bright, affectionate interest suffuses all in charming 
sunshine. It was a life of singular purpose, usefulness, and determination ; 
and we think ministers especially, and of ministers young students espe- 
cially, might read it, and read it more than once, to advantage. . . . Without 
attempting any more words, we hope we have sufficiently indicated our very 
high appreciation of, and gratitude for, this charming and many-sided 
biography of a most robust and healthy life." — The Eclectic. 

** All that the old man urrites is clever and sagacious." — Athenaeum. 

" If the reader can imagine the Vicar of Wakefield in America, this 
memoir will give a very good idea of what he would be among Yankee sur- 
roundings. There is the same purity, sincerity, and gpodness^ heart, the 
same simplicity of manners a7id directness of purpose in Dr. Primrose and 
Dr. Beecher, though the go-ahead society in which the latter divine lived 
failed not tfi impress its character upon him. This is as instructive and 
charming a book for family reading as can betaken up for that purpose." — 
Daily News. 

"-4 hundred pleasant things tve must pass by; but readers of these 
charming volumes vnll not do so." — \Ve8leyan Times. 




14 Sampson Low and Co.^s 

Life and Experience of Madame de la Mothe Guyon. By Pro- 
fessor Uphun. Edited by an English Clergyman. Crown 8to. cloth, with 
Portrait. Third Edition, Is. M. 

By the tame Author. 
Life of Madame Catherine Adoma; 12mo. eloth. 4«. M. 
The Life of Faith, and Interior Life. 2 vols. fit. 6fl(. each. 
The Divine Union. Is. M. 

IiAW AND JX7RI8PRUDBNCE. 

^HEATON'S Elements of International Law; with a 
New Supplement to May 1803: comprising Important De- 
cisions of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, 
settling authoritatively the character of the hostilities in 
which they are involved, and the legal consequences to be 
deduced from them. Royal 8vo. cloth extra, 3S«. 

History of the Law of Nations ; by Henry Wheaton. LL.D. 
author of the " Elements of International Law." 'Boy. 8vo. cloth, Six. U. 

Clommentaries on American Law ; by Chancellor Kent. Ninth 
and entirely New Edition. 4 vols. 8vo. calf. 51. 5s. ; cloth, 4/. 10*. 

Treatise on the Law of Evidence ; by Simon Greenleaf, LL J). 

8 vols. 8vo. calf. 4/. is. 
A Treatise on the Measure of Damages ; or, An Enquiry into 

the Principles which govern the Amount of Compensation in Courts of 

Justice. By Theodore Sedgwick. Third revised Edition, enlarged 

Imperial 8vo. cloth. 31«. 6d. 

Justice Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United 
States. 2 vols. 8d«. 

Justice Story's Commentaries on the Laws, yiz. Bailments — 
Agency — Bills of Exchange — Promissory Notes — Partnership — and Con- 
flict of Laws. 6 vols. 8vo. cloth, each 28^. 

Justice Story's Equity Jurisprudence. 2 vols. 8vo. 63«.5 and 
Equity Pleadings. 1 vol. 8vo. Sis. M. 

W. W. Story's Treatise on the Law of Contracts. Fourth Edi- 
tion, greatly enlarged and revised. 2 vols. 8vo. cloth, 63s. 

MEDIOAIa. 

UMAN Physiology, Statical and Dynamical; by Dr. 

Draper. 300 Illustrations. 8vo. 25s. 

A Treatise on the Practice of Medicine ; by Dr. Greorge 
B. Wood. Fourth Edition. 2 vols. 365. 
A Treatise on Fractures, by J. F. Malgaip^ne, Chirurgien de 
I'Hdpital Saint Louis, Translated, with Notes and Additions, by John H. 
Packard, M.D. With 106 Illustrations. 8vo. sheep. 1/. Is. 
The History of Prostitution; its Extent, Causes, and Effects 
throughout the World : by William Sanger, M.D. 8vo. cloth. 16s. 

Elements of Chemical Physics; with numerous Illustrations. 
By Josiah P. Cooke. 8vo. cloth. 16s. 

" As an intro^ucxion to Chemical Physics, this is by far the most com- 
prehensive work in our language." — ^Athenieum, Nov. 17. 

A History of Medicine, from its Origin to the Nineteenth Century. 

By Dr. P. V. Renouard. 8vo. 18«. * 

Letters to a Youne Physician just entering upon Practice : by 

James Jackson, mTd. Fcp. 8vo. bs. 





List of Publications, 15 

Lectures on the Diseases of Women and Children. By Dr. G. S. 
Bedford. 4th Edition. 8vo. IBs. 

The Principles and Practice of Obstetrics. By Gunning S. 
Bedford, A.M., M.D. With Engravings. 8to. Cloth, 1/. Is. 

Principles and Practice of Dental Surgery ; by C. A. Harris. 6th 
Edition. 8vo. 2is. 

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Manipulations ; by C. and C. Morlit. 
Boyal 8to. Second Edition enlarged. 21«. 

FICTION AND MISCBIaliANBOUS. 

K. Charles Beade-s celebrated Romance, Hard Cash. 
A new and cheap Standard Edition. Price 8s. handsomely 
bound in cloth. 

" There is a freshness and reality about his young people, and 
a degree of warmth and zest in tJve love-making of these impe- 
tuositieSy which make the first chapter of his book most enjoyable reading. 
The description of the boat-race at Henley is beyond anything of the /cind 
we have ever seen in print, and the repulse of the two pirates by the old 
Agra is a perfect masterpiece of nautical painting." — Saturday Review. 

j^ew Popular Novels, to be abtained at all Libraries. 
Passing the Time. By Blanchard Jerrold. 2 vols, post 8vo. 16». 
Marian Booke. By Henry Sedley. 3 vols. 24». 
The Gayworthys. 2nd edition, 2 vols, crown 8vo. 16». 
Sir Felix Foy, Bart. By Dutton Cook. 3 vols, post 8vo. 24s. 

The Trials of the Tredgolds. By the same. 3 vols. 24s. 
A Mere Story. By the Author of " Twice Lost." 3 vols. 24». 
Selvaggio. By the Author of "Mary Powell." One vol. 8». 
Miss Biddy Frobisher. By the Author of " Selvaggio. One vol. 

8«. 
John Godfrey's Fortunes. By Bayard Taylor. 3 vols. 24«. 

Hannah Thurston. By the same Author. 3 vols. 24s. 
A Splendid Fortune. By J. Hain FrisweU. 3 vols, post 8vo. 245. 
Lion-Hearted ; a Novel. By Mrs. Grey. 2 vols, post 8vo. 16«. 
A Dangerous Secret. By Annie Thomas. 2 vols. 16». 
Lynn of the Craggs. By Charlotte Smith. 3 vols, post 8vo. 24«. 
St. Agnes Bay ; or, Love at First Sight. Post 8vo. cloth, 7s. 
The White Favour. By H. Holl. 3 vols. 24«. 
The Old House in Crosby Square. By Henry Holl. 2 vols. 16s. 

More Secrets than One. By the same Author. 3 vols. 2As. 
Footsteps Behind Him. Third Edition, By William J. Stewart. 5s. 

Picked Up at Sea. By the same Author. 3 vols. 24s. 
Strathcairn. By Charles Allston Collins. 2 vols, post 8vo. 16s. 

A Good Fight in the Battle of Life : a Prize Story founded on 
Facts. Reprinted by permission from " Cassell's Family Paper." 
Crown 8vo. cloth, 7s. 6d. 

Abel Drake's Wife : a Novel. By John Saunders. An entirely 
New Edition. With Steel Engraving, firom a Water-Colonr Drawing by 
John Tenniel. 6s. 

Female Life in Prison. By a Prison Matron. Fourth and 
cheaper edition ; with a Photograph, by permission, from the engraving 
of Mrs. Fry reading to the Prisoners in 1816. 1 vol. crown 8vo., 5s. 



16 Sampson Low and Co,*8 List of Publications. 

Myself and My Belatiyes. Second Thousand. With Frontis- 
piece on Steel firom a Drawing bf John E. Millais, A.RJL. Cr. 8vo. 6s, 
Tales for the Marines. By Walter Thombury. 2 toIs. post 

8vo. 185. 

" mio uxntld not wish to be a Marine^ if that toould secure a succession 
of tales like these f"—Athen«nm. 

Helen Fel ton's Question : a Book for Girls. By Agnes Wylde. 
Cheaper Edition, with Frontispiece. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6c/. > 

Faith Gartney's Girlhood. By the Author of " The Gav- 
worthys." Fcap. 8vo. with coloured Frontispiece, cloth, price 3*. 6rf. ; 
or. Railway Edition, boards. Is. dd. 

The Professor at the Breakfast Table. By Oliyer W. Holmes, 
Author of the *• Autocrat of the Breakfast Table." Fcap. Ss. 6d, 

The Rooks' Garden, and other Papers. By Cuthbert Bede, 
Author of " The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green.'* Choicely printed 
by Constable. Post 8vo. 7s. M. 

The White Wife ; with other stories, Supernatural, Eomantie 
and Legendary. Collected and Illustrated by Cuthbert Bede. Post Svo. 
cloth, 6s. 

Wayside Warbles. By Edward Capem, Knral Postman, Bide- 
ford, Devon. Fcap. 8vo. cloth, 5s. 

Last Gleanings. By the late Frank Fowler. Post 8vo. cloth, 
7s. 6d. 

House and Home Papers. By Mrs. H. B. Stowe. 12mo. boards, 
Is. ; cloth extra, 2s. Od. 

Little Foxes. By Mrs. H. B. Stowe. Cloth extra, 3s. 6rf. 
Popular Edition, fancy boards, Is. 

The Pearl of Orr's Island. A Story of the Coast of Maine. By 
Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Author of *• Uncle Tom's Cabin," " Minis- 
ter's Wooing." In popular form. Part I. Is. Qd.; Part II. 2s. ; or, 
complete iu one volume, with engraving on steel from water-colour by 
John Gilbert. Handsomely bound in cloth, 5s. 

The Minister's Wooing ; a Tale of New England. By the Author 
of " Uncle Tom's Cabin." Two Editions : — I. In post Svo. cloth, with 
Thirteen Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne, 6s. — 2. Popular Edition, 
crown 8vo. rloth, with a Design by the same Artist. 2s. &d. 

Nothing to Wear, and Two Millions, by William AUen Butler. 1 «. 

Kailway Editions of Popular Fiction. On good paper, well- 
printed and bound, fancy boards. 



Paul Foster's Daughter. 
2s. 6d. 

The Lost Sir Massingberd. 
2s. 6rf. 

The Bubbles of Finance. 
2s. 6d. 

The Gayworthys. Is. 6rf. 

The Autocrat of the Break- 
fast Table. Is. 



Faith Gartney's Girlhood. 

is. 6rf. 
The King's Mail. 2s. 6rf. 
My Lady Ludlow. 2s. 6rf. 
Mrs. Stowe's Little Foxes. 1 $, 
House and Home. 



LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, SON, AND MAESTON. 

MILTON HOUSE, LUDGATE HILL. 

English^ American, and Colonial Booksellers and Publishers, 



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