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Lillie brightened up in a moment, and ate her bread-and-butter and strawberries with a very good grace when that view of the disaster was presented to her, though she still felt very much hurt with Fluffy, and entirely disappointed in Jip, as she had always believed them to be strictly honest and honourable kittens. Still, on the whole, she was not sorry
that she and Jack had been able to help the two little wanderers.
After tea Jack and Lillie worked very hard to complete the two other baskets of fruit, and when they brought them to Susan they each received a nice bright sixpence, and putting their heads together in a quiet corner of the porch they began to discuss again how they should spend it. bas
Suddenly Lillie looked up. "Jack, how much do you think is a pot of money?" she whispered.
"I don't know, but I should think a lot. Why do you ask?"
"More than sixpence ?"
"Yes, I think so."
Lillie looked disappointed. "I thought, Jack, that perhaps if I were. to give my sixpence to Meg she mightn't care to run away any farther and be so tired and hungry."
"Then I'll give mine to Mopsy, and then I'm sure they'll have enough," Jack cried heartily; "we don't want it so very badly, do we sis?" and having thus disposed of the strawberry shilling they went to bed and slept soundly, for they were very, very tired.
Early the next morning a tall, dark woman came to Rosedale to inquire about the children, and they both ran to her at once. She seemed very glad to see them, and when she promised they shouldnever go back to the cruel man they had run away from, but live with her always, they seemed quite overjoyed. When they were going away Lillie slipped the sixpences into Meg's hand, and whispered that now she would not have to go so far to look for the pot of money, and then ran away as quickly as she could.
Judith, the tall gipsy woman, thanked Susan for her kindness to the little girls, and promised next time she passed that way to come and see her and bring her a trifle of wickerwork as a remembrance, and something for the young lady too, who was so good!
And sure enough, there came one day, after about a month, a most beautiful doll's cradle for Lillie, and a very useful clothes-basket for Susan, who says that she has a better opinion of gipsies b than she used to have, and quite believes that an unselfish action never goes unrewarded; and I think
"JACK AND LILLIE WERE IN A STATE OF GREAT EXCITEMENT" (p. 348).
BOB, THE TAILOR'S DOG.
FOUNDED ON FACT.
F you could have seen Bob, you would never
have thought that he belonged to a poor man. He was a large Newfoundland, and he was such a handsome fellow. His coat was so sleek and glossy, and he was SO well fed and comfortable, that he looked quite aristocratic. Yet his master was a poor working tailor, and Bob lived in a little room behind a small dark shop, in a back street. He had no kennel, but he managed very well without one. He lay at night on the hearth-rug in the little sitting-room, and his master said he was never afraid of thieves, for Bob was better than five or six policemen.
"I always tell Bob when I am in trouble, ma'am," the old man said one day. "He knows all about my affairs." As he said this Bob pushed his nose into my hand, as if he were assuring me that he was worthy of the confidence reposed in him.
"Yes, he is a very sensible fellow," said I. "What a pity it is he cannot speak!"
"He can speak," said the old man, indignantly. "He can say 'Yes' and 'No' quite distinctly. You can talk, Bob, can you not, my boy?"
Bob gave a short, sharp "Bow," which was evidently taken for "Yes."
"There, you see," said the gratified master. "He can say, 'Let me out ;' 'Let me in;' 'Come out for a walk,' and, 'Good night.' When he does not speak he means more by the wag of his tail than people in general do by ever such long speeches."
"Don't you find it costs a good deal to keep him?" said I.
"Oh, no, ma'am. We never buy more than two-pennyworth of biscuits a week for him. Then he goes to the butcher's shop round the corner, and the master gives him something. Everybody knows Bob, and every one is kind to him. He never steals anything, but they save odds and ends, and when he goes in, the food is there for him."
Bob looked as if he knew quite well what we were talking about, and when there was a pause in the conversation, he wagged his tail in the most intelligent manner, as if he were expressing his appreciation of the butcher's amiable manners.
One day I entered the shop, and the old man's board was vacant. When I asked what had become of him, his daughter said
"Father's been taken ill. He was working as usual last Tuesday, and all at once he put his hand to his head and fell forward. We carried him to bed, Bob and I, and he has been there ever since. Bob is sitting with father now; he will come and tell me if anything is wanted."
"Does your father notice the dog?"
"He knows when he is there, and he is uneasy if he goes away. He was able to speak a little last night, and then he said, 'Where's my boy?' and Bob licked his hand, and then he was satisfied. Bob will not sleep on the hearth-rug now. He lies at the foot of the bed, and when father is asleep he does not so much as growl. He is so troubled that father is ill. At first he could not understand it; he wanted him to get up and dress and come downstairs; but now he sees there is something wrong, and does all he can to help."
I was very sorry that Bob's master was ill, for he was such a good, kind, patient old man. He lay helpless on his bed for many weeks, and during this time he suffered a good deal, but he never complained. His daughter did everything that she could for him, but she was not strong, and I don't know how they would have got on if it had not been for Bob. He was almost as good as a nurse. He lay by the side of the sick man's bed, and watched him unceasingly, and if he turned or moaned, Bob was downstairs in a minute. He would come up to the old man's daughter and look at her, and give a little "Bow!" Then the woman would say, "All right, Bob; I'll come," and Bob went back to his post quite contented.
After a little time, Bob's master did not need that any one should wait upon him any more. He had closed his eyes peacefully, and gone away from the trouble and pain of earth. He lay on the bed with a sweet smile on his face, and if it had not been for his silvery grey hair one could almost have fancied that he was a little child, who had been rocked to sleep by his mother, and who was resting sweetly until she came to take him into her arms again. We who knew what a struggle his life had been could not wish him to return to it. He was
not to be pitied, but his daughter was. The poor woman was nearly heart-broken. "He was all I had," she kept saying; "he was all I had, and now he is gone away.”
As for Bob, it was pitiable to see him. I was not in the least disposed now to say, "What a pity he cannot speak." If ever a look was eloquent, his was. He howled sadly when the coffin was closed, and he followed his master to the grave, as sincere a mourner as ever walked on that sorrowful road. He stood quietly by while the earth was thrown upon the coffin, looking most despairing and desolate. I was standing close to him, and I patted his head and said, "Poor Bob! poor fellow!" He looked up in acknowledgment of my sympathy, and gave one small, melancholy wag of his tail, then turned away and walked after his mistress.
Two or three days after this, I went to see how my poor friends were. After talking a little while to the woman, I said, "How is Bob? has he got over his trouble yet?"
Oh, no," she answered, "he seems quite lost; he wanders about and goes to the room where father used to lie, as if he were seeking him. He is so quiet and mopy, too, I sometimes think he never will get over his trouble."
Perhaps you think I am going to tell you that Bob died of grief for the loss of his master; but I am glad to say he did nothing of the kind.
first the poor woman was afraid she could not keep him, for he was such a large dog that he took up a great deal of room. She was obliged to break up her home and go into lodgings, and lodging-house keepers who did not understand how superior an animal .Bob was were inclined to say they could not do with a great dog about the place. However, Bob's mistress was very unwilling to part with him, and finally she arranged matters pleasantly.
The last time I saw the faithful creature he was lying on the sofa in the small room which was his mistress's new home, while she told me what a help and comfort he was to her.
"I could never get on without Bob," she said; "he keeps the room when I am away, and he would not let any one come in unless they had a right to do so for anything. When I have to take work home on dark evenings he goes with me, and takes care of me, and he won't let any one molest me. I feel as if he were looking after me for father's sake."
"He knows we are talking about him," said I, as Bob wagged his tail in an appreciative manner. "Of course he knows; he never makes a mistake."
So I patted Bob on the head once more, and went away. And as I did so I could not help wishing that we all did our work in the world as well and faithfully as he did. PHILLIS BROWNE.
LITTLE QUEEN MAB.
By L. C. SILKE,
Author of "In Mischief Again," "Nelly's Champion," &c. CHAPTER XI.-"IN A DILEMMA."
CCORDING to their aunt's directions,the children took their leave of Mademoiselle at seven o'clock. They had received her permission to go to a shop or two before they returned home, and therefore now proceeded to make their purchases.
Percy spent a shilling, which was all he had, in a confectioner's
shop: but Mabel had a little plan of another kind for the shilling which she possessed. She wanted to buy a book for Janet Hope, so the two children having made their way to the shop where she could get one, she told the bookseller of her wishes; and at length, after looking at a great many little volumes, she selected one which she thought looked interesting, and having had it carefully wrapped in paper she bore it off with her.
As neither of them had any more money to spend, the shops no longer possessed so many attractions for them. Moreover, they began to feel it must be time to be thinking of returning, and accordingly they bent their steps towards Heylands, little thinking what was to befall them by the way.
"Mabel," said Percy, as soon as they had left the town, "we won't go back by the hot dusty road. I'm sure there is a pleasanter way. As we came along I noticed a road running up from the high road, and I believe it leads through the woods and over the fall, and comes down close to the lodge at Heylands. We'll go back that way."
Having reached the road to which he referred, Percy without more reflection turned into it. Mabel ventured a remonstrance, but it was of no avail, as the boy was so confident there could be no mistake. "It was as plain as daylight," he said. "At any rate they could not lose their way, as they had the lake for a guide, and knew in which direction Heylands lay."
It certainly was, as Percy said, a much plea
santer way than the dusty high road; for it wound up the wooded slope of the hill, a grass-grown, moss-covered path, with deep cart-ruts which seemed to have been made long ago, as apparently nothing in the shape of wheels had gone over it for a long time, and everything was delightfully careless and wild-looking.
"Now don't you agree that this is far better than the straight hard road we came by?" demanded Percy of his sister.
"Yes, indeed; I should like always to come this way instead of the other. Oh! see, Percy, what a glorious patch of purple heather there is over there to the right! We must just go and gather some."
Having filled their hands with it they returned to the path and proceeded on their way, not loitering too much, as they knew they ought to be pressing on towards home, though occasionally they could not resist the temptation to linger or to make a divergence to the right or the left, attracted by some rare wild flower, bright-coloured fungus, or a floral treasure of some sort.
After a while the ascent grew steeper, until it came to be regular climbing and scrambling for some time. It was now beginning to seem quite dark under the thick shade of the trees, for the sun, which had at first brightened their gnarled trunks and branches with beautiful bits of golden light, seemed either to have set, or to have become hidden behind a cloud, for his rays no longer played amidst the arching boughs and leafy foliage of the wood.
At length the forest came to an end, and they emerged from under its shadow to find, now that they had come out upon open ground, that the weather had changed considerably since they had entered the wood down below, or else it was that by all their climbing they had reached such high ground as to be in another atmosphere. Quite a mist was resting on the ground, clinging to everything, and altogether shrouding the view, so that the lake, which Percy had counted upon for a landmark, was nowhere to be seen. And the mist seemed to be growing thicker every minute, whilst it was so chilly that both children shivered.
"We must turn to the right," Percy had said as they left the wood, and they had accordingly done so, but after a while there seemed to be no longer any regular path, or else they had wandered from it. As soon as they discovered they were not
"Well, I can't see any path to follow, and now that the mist has shut out everything there is nothing to guide us. I don't a bit know in which direction we ought to go, and so we may wander right away from home instead of getting nearer to it. The fact is, Mabel, we are lost for the present. If the fog were to clear off we might be able to find our way, though it is getting so late now it will soon be dark, which makes matters worse?"
Things did indeed begin to look serious. "Oh! how I wish the fog would clear away!
"It isn't rubbish," maintained Mabel. "I've heard of people being overtaken by a fog and having to spend the whole night on the mountain, because they were afraid to move lest they should make a false step. I mean on those high mountains that we are going up with Uncle Gwynne. A friend of Aunt Alicia's was telling the other day of an adventure she had of that kind; the whole party simply had to remain just where they were, shivering with cold, and damp from the fog, until daylight came and the sun was there to disperse the mist."
"Suppose we have to do the same thing?" remarked Percy.
"Oh! I hope not. Whatever would aunt say?"
exclaimed Mabel fervently. "What shall we do, Percy, if it doesn't?"
"Make up our minds, I suppose, to follow the example of your friends, and spend the night up here."
"Percy, how can you talk so coolly, as if it were a mere nothing to spend the night all by ourselves up a lonely mountain-side, with no shelter, and no wraps either! And it gets colder and colder ; in fact, it's dreadfully cold," said the little girl with a shiver, and a very doleful face at the bare thought and prospect of such a fate. as to Aunt Alicia," she went on, "I expect she will make herself quite ill with anxiety when she finds we don't come back. I do wish we