Ebooks - Fiction, Non-Fiction 1000s of Them - Tons of Free Stories to Read ~ Main Page

 

 

 
The Pearl of Love by Madeline Leslie


[Illustration: MRS. LESLIE'S BIBLE PEARLS.]

The Pearl of Love:

OR,

JOSEY'S GIFT.

BY MRS. MADELINE LESLIE.

“Love is the fulfilling of the law.”—ROM. 13:10.

BOSTON:

PUBLISHED BY A. F. GRAVES,

20 CORNHILL.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by

REV. A. B. BAKER,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

 

CHAPTER I. JOSEY'S RIDE.
CHAPTER II. THE TWO NURSES.
CHAPTER III. THE WRONG BABY.
CHAPTER IV. JOSEY'S TEMPER.
CHAPTER V. JOSEY'S CHRISTMAS.
CHAPTER VI. THE BURNED BABY.
CHAPTER VII. JOSEY'S SORROW.
CHAPTER VIII. JOSEY'S GIFT.

To

FRANK RANDALL, RUTH, MAY, RANDOLPH MORGAN, AND JAMES WALDINGFIELD,

CHILDREN OF

D. F. APPLETON, Esq., New York,

THESE “BIBLE PEARLS” ARE AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR.

The Pearl of Love.

 

CHAPTER I. JOSEY'S RIDE.

“Please mamma, may I go to ride with you?” asked little red-cheeked Josey Codman.

Mamma was tying on baby's silk hood, and did not answer for a minute.

“I would let him go,” urged Aunt Fanny. “He can sit between us; and he wont be a bit of trouble.”

Josey clapped his hands.

“I'm going, mamma, isn't I?”

“Can Nurse get him ready quick enough?”

“Yes, indeed! Run, Josey, for your new hat. Nurse bring his sack from the hall. It's fortunate I curled his hair before dinner. It's all dry now; come, pet, stand still while I baste in a clean ruffle.”

Baby Emma didn't like so many wrappings around her neck, and began to throw back her head in an alarming manner. Mamma gave her to Nurse to carry about, while she put on her bonnet. Then the carriage drove to the door. Papa had to be called from his study. Nurse scrabbled on her hat and shawl, and at last they were all seated in the back, and the driver cracked his whip, calling out to his horses,—

“Go on!”

“Why!” said papa, “I didn't know Josey was going.”

“But I am. Isn't I, mamma?” cried the boy, his eyes dancing.

“I should think so,” answered mamma, laughing. “I don't know as it was best, we shall be out late.”

“Oh, we'll manage somehow,” said Aunt Fanny, “Josey is such a good boy!”

“Nurse,” began mamma, “you must be careful what Josey eats for supper; only bread and butter, with a cup of milk.”

“Yes, ma'am.”

“And if he grows sleepy before service is through, take off his jacket and let him go to sleep. You will be in Mrs. Reed's nursery.”

“Yes, ma'am, where we were before.”

“Baby's asleep, so soon,” said Aunt Fanny, watching the infant's head nodding over Nurse's shoulder. “Lay her down. She'll sleep all the way, and be as good as a kitten.”

“Don't let her soil her new cloak, Nurse,” said mamma. “Fanny, the cloak looks beautifully! handsomer than I thought it would.”

“I always liked that color,” answered Aunt Fanny, “it's real bird of paradise. Untie baby's hood; now Nurse, she'll sleep easy.”

Mamma and aunty were on the back seat, with Josey tucked in between them; papa and Nurse, opposite. Papa turned from one to another as they spoke; but he did not listen to a word that was said. There was to be a great meeting in the Tabernacle Church that evening, and he was to preach. As they rode along, his mind was fixed on what he was going to say.

Mr. and Mrs. Codman did not always live near the great city where they were now going. Their home was more than a thousand miles away; but they had come here to reside for a year or two, and had rented a pretty cottage nearly ten miles from town.

On three sides of the cottage, there was a piazza, with pillars all covered with woodbine and honeysuckle. In the barn at the end of the garden, was a horse which the clergymen used for his daily ride to the Post Office. When they went to town, they always hired a hack from the stable.

Mr. Codman was a very learned man, as well as a faithful, devout minister. Everybody loved him, for he loved everybody, but especially little children. If he were riding through the village, he always liked to watch the boys at their play, or the little girls trundling their hoops. Whenever there was a cry of distress he was off from his horse in a minute, ready to assist the child who had fallen, or to relieve any one of their troubles.

The children of course loved him. Many a time in the early spring, as he came out of his gate in the morning, he would find a group of them standing there to say “good morning!” or to offer him a bunch of violets.

Sometimes papa took Josey on the saddle before him; and then how the children would shout with glee, and press up to speak a word to the pretty boy.

Mr. Codman was not the minister of the village, though he sometimes preached for the clergyman; but he always improved every opportunity to tell those around him of the love of God, who sent his only Son into the world to save sinners.

[Illustration: JESSEY LEARNING TO RIDE. VOL. I.]

CHAPTER II. THE TWO NURSES.

At seven o'clock Mr. and Mrs. Codman and Fanny started for church. Dr. and Mrs. Reed went, too; and another clergyman with his wife, by the name of Matthews. Mrs. Matthews had been invited to tea, and had brought her baby, a little girl, nearly the same age as Mrs. Codman's.

Soon after they were gone, Ann perceived that Josey was sleepy, and easily persuaded him to lie down on the bed. Then the two nurses, having had their supper, began to chat, while they tended the babies.

“Look now!” said Ann, dancing Miss Emma on her lap, “the two of them look as much alike as a pair of kittens.”

“Except,” answered Martin, “that your Miss has black eyes; and mine, blue.”

“That's true for ye, but then their mouths are the same, and sure enough I thought before, that no baby could equal ours for a small mouth.”

In the mean time Emma and Rose cooed and coquetted with each other in the very best of spirits, until a late hour, when they both went quietly to sleep.

“Feth and a pretty sight they're making,” suggested Ann, pointing with some pride to the bed; the two little ones lying side by side, and Master Josey across the foot, with his rosy cheek resting on his hand.

“It looks for all the world like a baby asylum,” was Martin's laughing reply.

“I wonder what Mr. Codman is preaching about,” she added; “I would like to be within sound of his voice, it's a treat to hear him.”

“I heard Miss Fanny saying to her sister that the text was to be from Ephesians 4:32. 'Be ye kind one to another.' You know it's before the 'Young Men's Society,' he's preaching to-night.”

“And fine words they are to put before any society. I'll ask Mistress to tell me about it to-morrow. Sure, I've read in some good book, that kindness to every one would just turn this wicked world into a heaven, like where the angels live.”

“I believe it would,” replied Ann, “for if everybody loved, sure there'd be no stealing, nor lying, nor any such wickedness. And then, why, there would be no prisons, nor jails. Indeed, Martin, I think it must be the finest text in the whole Bible.”

“Because,” added Martin, in an approving tone, “the greatest kindness of all was, when the Lord of glory himself loved us poor sinners so well that he couldn't bear to see us ruined forever, and so he gave himself to die on the cross in our stead.”

“Would we have had to die there, if he hadn't?” asked Ann, with a look of awe.

“Not just there, maybe; but we would have had no hope of being happy, because there was God with a sword over our heads; and he couldn't take it away, till somebody, equal to the whole world of people, suffered the penalty in our stead.”

“I see it now, I've heard Master explain, that Jesus being the Son of God, his blood was more precious than the blood of all the human race; and if all the sins of all the people were washed in it, there still would be enough to save millions on millions more.”

“Well,” murmured Martin, after a pause, “we can't be kind enough to people after such an example as the Lord has set us.”

The great clock on a neighboring church struck nine.

“They'll soon be home now,” she added, springing to her feet, “I'll just bring my baby's cloak and hood from the closet, and have them ready.”

“It's a fine night for a ride,” said Ann, bringing Josey's coat and cap, and laying them on a chair. “Baby slept all the way into town, and I expect she'll sleep going home.”

“You have to go nearly twice as far as we do. It's scarce six miles to Easton Parsonage; but then Mr. Matthews is a very careful driver; Mistress would like to ride faster than he drives; I wish we were going the same way!”

Every moment footsteps were listened for; but not till half-past nine did a carriage drive to the door. Then Aunt Fanny and Mrs. Reed ran up in a great hurry.

“Come, Ann,” said Miss Fanny, hurriedly, “we're late and must be off in a minute. You put on your sack, and I'll dress Josey. Mrs. Reed has offered to put on baby's cloak and hood; and, Martin, you had better get on your bonnet, for the other carriage, with Mrs. Matthews and Mrs. Codman in it, will be here directly.”

The two nurses ran to the back room, where they had taken off their outer garments, and in less than five minutes, Miss Fanny appeared with Josey asleep on her shoulder, and Nurse behind her with baby Emma, closely wrapped in her cloak and hood.

Mr. Codman cut short his wife's “good byes,” by saying,—

“It will be midnight, wife, before we reach home;” so, with hasty adieux, they jumped into the carriage and drove off.

Mr. and Mrs. Matthews followed directly, turning down the opposite street, Martin screening her baby's face from the night air by a thin veil.

It was a bright, beautiful evening, but rather cool. Mr. Codman held Josey close to his breast; and his wife, with a warning to Ann to keep Emma well covered, began to talk earnestly about the sermon.

CHAPTER III. THE WRONG BABY.

In this way they rode on for four miles. “Almost half way,” Fanny observed, as they passed the five corners; “I suppose Mr. and Mrs. Matthews are home by this time.”

Just then, Josey awoke with a start and cry of alarm, which roused his sister, and made her open her eyes. Fanny, who sat opposite, pulled back her hood to quiet her, when, with a shriek, mamma cried out,—

“We've got the wrong baby! Oh, Nurse, you made a mistake! This is Mrs. Matthews' Rose. Husband, stop the driver, quick!”

“Are you sure?” asked papa, who had been taking a short nap.

“Sure? Can't I tell my own baby? Emma has black eyes; and, look for yourself, is this my baby's dress?”

“I see no difference, my dear.”

“But, Frederick, it's awful, and every minute we're going farther away from our little darling.”

“Well, my dear, if you are positive, we must turn back, but it is a great pity such a mistake was made.”

“Mrs. Reed dressed both the babies,” explained Aunt Fanny, trying to recover her senses, after the fright.

“And I only carried down the one she gave me,” argued Ann, choking back a sob. “I saw it was our baby's cloak, and I never mistrusted the right one wasn't inside of it.”

It was a difficult matter to make the driver comprehend that he was expected to go eight or ten extra miles to change babies.

“Why isn't one as good as t'other?” he asked, grumbling. “The horses 'll never go through with it, and at this time of night it's no use.”

But Mr. Codman, who was now wide awake, and well understood the distress which agitated his wife, without the squeeze she was giving his hand, and her continual “Oh dear! Oh, my poor baby!” now said, firmly,—

“We wont waste words about it. We must go to Easton parsonage as quickly as possible.”

“I'll take the short cut, then, across the moor. The moon is so bright I can keep out of the ruts.”

“But then we lose the chance of seeing them. They may have found out the mistake earlier, and be on the way to meet us. Drive on!”

But driver still demurred, muttering that it was a bad job, and he couldn't be going over the ground four times without good pay.

“How much do you want for yourself?” asked the gentleman. “I hire the carriage by the month.”

“A couple of dollars is little enough.”

“I'll give you three; now drive on.”

The carriage door shut with a snap, and they started off, driver lashing his horses with the whip.

“We must look out that they don't pass us,” said the clergyman.

“I'll keep watch,” responded Aunt Fanny, decidedly. “I wonder what Josey would say if he were awake?”

“If our driver had been a father,” exclaimed Mrs. Codman, “he wouldn't have asked why one wouldn't do as well as t'other.”

“Hem!” exclaimed Aunt Fanny, indignantly. “'Twouldn't have hurt the man to have heard your sermon to-night, brother. I don't think he's very kind, any way.”

“He was probably at the ale-house, and had taken enough to make him cross.”

“Had he heard you describe how God rewards our love to others by peace in our own hearts, he would have been more kind.”

“Well, Fanny, be as tender in your thoughts as you can. It is hard for the man to lose three or four hours of his sleep.”

“O, you always are ready to find excuses!” she answered, laughing.

“I ought to practise what I preach, oughtn't I?” He looked archly in her face.

“I hope Emma wont wake,” said mamma, anxiously. “Little Rosa sleeps as quietly as a kitten. How strange that none of us noticed the change.”

“It's no joke,” said Fanny, though she could not help laughing.

They were going over a rough part of the road, and Josey, after growing restless, suddenly started up.

“Are we most home?” he asked in a sleepy tone.

“We'll get there by and by,” answered his father, cheerfully.

“I'm afraid we shall have to go all the way to Mr. Matthews',” said mamma. “Next time, I'll dress baby myself.'

“Miss Fanny sent me to put on my bonnet,” urged nurse. “She said you were in a hurry.”

“No one is to blame, nurse,” said her kind master. “It is simply unfortunate.”

Mile after mile they drove on, only meeting an occasional carriage, until they came in sight of Easton Parsonage. Here the lights were all out, except one in the chamber; and there persons could be seen moving about.

A vigorous knock soon brought Mr. Matthews to the door. “I heard wheels,” he said, “and more than half suspected who it was. We made a sad mistake.”

Martin came down, her face very red, bringing baby Emma, and Ann gladly gave up her charge.

Mrs. Matthews soon appeared with marks of tears.

“Wasn't it dreadful!” she exclaimed, with a fresh burst of grief. “I wanted to go right back. We were only two miles from the city when we found out we had brought away the wrong baby; but Mr. Matthews said no, we must keep her till morning. He thought it very careless of us, but”—

“There was no carelessness about it,” urged Fanny, indignantly. “Mrs. Reed wanted to help; and she put on the wrong cloaks, that was all. There was never a thought with us of not coming back. Brother wouldn't have hesitated if it had been twice as far. We knew you'd want your baby, and we wanted ours.”

“I thought you would understand that we should keep your little Miss till morning,” explained Mr. Matthews.

“But mothers have such tender hearts,” added Mr. Codman, “and we ought to thank God for it. Come, wife, we must be off. We have fourteen miles to go, and it's almost twelve o'clock.”

“There's a difference in ministers as in other folks,” whispered Martin aside to Ann. “Mr. Matthews scolded well, and wouldn't hear of going back; but your master did as he would be done by.”

“Just like his text,” returned Ann. “'Be ye kind one to another.'”

CHAPTER IV. JOSEY'S TEMPER.

It was a little past two when the weary family alighted at their own door. For the last few miles, the moon had been clouded; the horses were tired; and they had to drive with care.

“Tell Cook we'll have a late breakfast,” said mamma, taking her babe with a kiss. “Now, Nurse, go and get all the sleep you can.”

The following morning, Josey couldn't remember coming home at all. He opened his large hazel eyes very wide, as Aunt Fanny told him what had happened.

“I'm glad we found her; isn't you?” he asked, again and again.

Baby Emma received a great many extra kisses that day, and the next, and whenever mamma thought about the mistake. But one week after another passed on, Mr. Codman preaching once in a while, until Spring came again.

When Emma was a year and a half old, she was full of mischief; and Josey, who was now five, sometimes got out of patience. He was just learning to read, and liked nothing better than to sit on Aunt Fanny's knee and hear her tell stories. Sometimes Emma, finding no one watching, would get to mamma's basket and overturn all the spools, or tangle the thread, and then Aunt Fanny had to start up and attend to her, and stop the stories very short.

Or baby would climb on a chair to her brother's shelf and pull his nice books to the floor. Once, indeed, he came in from a walk, and found mamma busy with a caller, and Emma, who had been left there while Nurse went an errand, doing a great deal of mischief. She had a new book in her hand, and just as he found her she was tearing out three or four leaves, laughing and shouting with delight. Josey ran to take his book away; but it was too late. His Christmas present was spoiled. Poor boy! he cried as if his heart would break, and was very angry with his sister, more so than his mamma had ever seen him. He struck her little fat hand, exclaiming,—

“You are naughty! naughty! and I don't love you any more.”

The visitor rose to go, and Mrs. Codman did not detain her. She was so grieved at her little boy's actions, she could scarcely command her voice to say “good-bye.” She rung the bell for Ann, and then, taking Josey by the hand, led him away to his own chamber.

He glanced up into his mamma's face and saw it was very white, and he began to be sorry for his bad temper.

“Oh, Josey!” she commenced at last, seating him on her knee, “do you know how you've grieved mamma?” and then the tears began to roll down her cheeks.

“Emma tore my best book,” he said, softly.

“Emma is only a baby, Joseph, and didn't know any better. If you hadn't struck her, papa would have bought you another one. But, Josey, you gave way to your anger, and told your darling little sister that you didn't love her.”

“I think she's too big to tear my pictures out,” he said, sighing.

“She must be taught to let your things alone,” answered mamma, “and you must remember to put them out of her way; but all the pictures in the world wouldn't excuse you for treating her so unkindly. Don't you remember that pretty verse you learned last Sunday? 'Be kindly affectioned one to another, in honor preferring one another.' Papa explained to you what it Meant.”

“I'm sorry, mamma; but I want my pretty book.”

“I'm sorry, too.”

She said these words in such a sad tone that Joseph softened at once. He threw his arms around her neck, exclaiming,—

“Mamma, I'm going to be good and love God like little Samuel in the temple.”

She held him close to her breast, whispering, “'He who loveth God, loveth his brother also.' This is what St. John tells us. 'If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar.'”

“Oh, mamma! I'm real sorry.”

“And he says, too, 'My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.'”

“What does that mean, mamma, to love in deed?”

“It means that it does no good merely to say 'I love you, I love God;' but we must show it by our actions.”

“How could I show Emma, mamma, when she was tearing my book?”

“Think for yourself, Josey.”

He looked very serious, his cheeks growing more and more red, but at last he said, softly,—

“I might have taken the book away, and put it up high; and I might think, 'She is so little, she don't know any better;' and after I said, 'naughty, naughty!' as you and papa do, then I could kiss her.”

“Yes, my own darling, that would have been Christ-like, loving, kind, and forgiving; and your heart, instead of burning with anger toward your precious sister, would have been filled with the sweetest emotion, such as is implied by the words, 'Be kindly affectioned one to another.'”

“May I go and kiss Emma now, mamma?”

“Yes, darling; and I hope you will learn how pleasant love is, especially between brothers and sisters.”

CHAPTER V. JOSEY'S CHRISTMAS.

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, had come and gone; and now Josey was seven years old, and Emma was baby no longer. There was a tiny girl in the cradle who was named Grace. The family had returned to their own home; Mr. Codman preached to his old people.

Aunt Fanny was still with them, though she had agreed to go on a mission to India with a gentleman now studying for the ministry. She was the same ardent girl as before, loving her brother's family, and devoted to their comfort.

Joseph had from his birth been much in her care and was a prime favorite. She had grieved with his parents at the unkindness and impatience he had sometimes shown his sister; and she rejoiced with them that he was becoming so kind and affectionate.

Though Joseph was so young, yet his parents hoped he had become a lamb of the Good Shepherd. He had faults, as all children have; but he tried to correct them. His face sometimes flushed when Emma teased him or meddled with his books, of which he was very careful; but he never struck her now, and seldom was angry but a minute.

“I try to think,” he said to his mamma, “that she don't know better, and that she's almost always good; and if I wait a minute and remember about Christ forgiving me, then I feel happy right away.”

Josey showed in one way that he was a Christian child. He loved everybody, and tried to be good to all.

Among the poor people belonging to his father's church, no one was more welcome to their humble cottages than little Josey. He always had a pleasant word for each, and often spent hours of his play-time in reading to the old women of the parish.

At Christmas, his greatest treat, and one that he spent weeks in preparing for, was to take his box sled (the one he drew his sister in,) and fill it with the presents he had prepared for his friends.

“Though they are poor,” he said, over and over, “I love them dearly, and I want to have them know it.” So he spent all his pocket-money in buying what mamma and Aunt Fanny thought would be useful.

A pair of mittens for one poor orphan, a flannel shirt for a rheumatic old man, a pair of glasses for another, and plenty of pies, which he had hired cook to make. He hired her, because he wanted to feel that the gifts were his and not his mother's.

Do you wonder every body, rich and poor, loved him, and that, wherever he went, blessings were showered on his head?

I don't mean those worthless words that so many beggars use without meaning: “A thousand blessings on your head, Miss.”

Oh, no! But real, heart-felt prayers that God would be his Father and Friend forever.

Do you suppose Josey was a cross, sulky boy? Can you imagine him wearing a frown? or with his lips in an ugly pout?

No, indeed! It is not possible for one who cultivates such love for all around him; for one who tries in this way to imitate the example of his blessed Saviour to be unhappy or cross. Those children who think only of themselves, who are selfish and greedy, who never heed the blessed words, “Be ye kind one to another,” are the persons to wear sour faces and pouting lips.

Don't you remember what the good Book says, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.” That means Wisdom's ways, and one of these paths is love; love to God and love to those around us.

You can well imagine that Josey's father and mother, and aunt and nurse, were delighted in seeing him growing up to be a good boy; and each of them were ready to assist him in correcting his faults.

He was neat and orderly; keeping his little treasures arranged nicely in the drawers mamma gave him, and his clothes each on their own hooks in his closet. But Joseph was not always prompt in attention to his duties. He liked so much to hear the talk at table or at the fireside, that it was a real trial to him to leave the pleasant company, and the delightful things that were being said; and he often lingered when he ought to have been on his way to school.

Aunt Fanny used sometimes, by an anxious glance toward the clock, to remind him of his duty, for she hated to have her favorite reproved; or his mamma would say gently, “You'll be late again, Josey.” If the conversation was very interesting, he would only push back his chair a little and wait for papa to say,—

“My son, go this moment.”

One day his mamma had a long talk with him on the subject of procrastination, after which he did much better.

She explained to him that the meaning of the command, “Honor thy father and thy mother,” was not only that a child must obey when told to “go” or “stay;” but he must strive in every thing to act as would please them. He must honor them by anticipating their wishes, by acting when they were absent as he knew they would approve if they were present.

She told him that he could please the Lord Jesus by a dutiful attention to their desires, such as, always to be in season for school, or punctual to any engagement, just as much as by being honest and truthful. The dear Saviour would look into his heart and know he was trying to do right out of love for him.

CHAPTER VI. THE BURNED BABY.

The winter after Josey was eight years old, his parents received a visit from their dear friends Mr. and Mrs. Matthews and little Rose. Two infant brothers had died since they last met, and Rose was still their only daughter.

Emma was now in her fifth year, and Rose only a few weeks younger.

Many a time during the visit, did the mothers and Aunt Fanny talk over the mistake made by Mrs. Reed, at which no one was more sorry than Mrs. Reed herself. Many a time they laughed over the question of the cross driver:

“Why wont one do as well as t'other?”

The man had married afterward, and when a tiny babe was put into his arms, and he was told it was his own, he understood well why every father and mother love their own children best.

Aunt Fanny was soon going to leave the country. They had all been busy for months in getting her clothes ready for the voyage, and a missionary society in the village were making shirts, etc., for her friend, Mr. Barnard.

One afternoon, she walked to the village to give some directions that had been requested, and took the opportunity to make her last calls on some of her poor families.

The tea hour passed, and she did not return. Her brother did not know where she was gone, so they were obliged to wait patiently for her return, though Josey grew every moment more anxious.

At last it was within half an hour of his bedtime,—Emma and Rose had long before gone to their cribs,—when Aunt Fanny's welcome voice was heard.

She looked very pale, and all knew at once that something must have happened. She motioned Josey to her side, and laid her head on his shoulder as he stood by. Presently she exclaimed,—

“I have seen a dreadful sight! Oh, I never can get it out of my mind! The screams and shrieks, I hear them yet!”

“What is it? do tell us,” urged her sister.

“You know little Juley Lane, what a passionate child she has always been. I told Mrs. Lane the last time I was there, it wasn't safe to leave her with the baby. She didn't seem to have any love for him. Now she's killed him.”

Josey gave a start and sob of horror, while Mrs. Codman exclaimed,—

“Shocking! terrible! how did it happen?”

“I was making calls,” added Fanny, with a groan, “and I met Mrs. Lane. She was hurrying with a basket of clean clothes, and told me she'd been obliged to leave Juley with her old mother and the baby. I told her I was going to call, which relieved her anxiety, and she said she'd be home in a short time.

“Long before I reached the house I heard awful groans, and on opening the door, what a sight was before me.

“Mrs. Lane, thinking the baby would be safer, had tied him into the high chair, and set him in front of the stove. Julia had one of her fits of anger and pushed him over. His poor hands and face fell upon the hot iron and burned to a crisp. When I went in, the old woman had crawled on her hands and feet, to the place, and was trying, with her poor deformed fingers, to release him. Juley stood by, frightened and crying, but not able to do anything.

“I flew to untie him from his chair, which was in a bright blaze, and then rushed to the door to send for a doctor. Then the mother came. Oh, dear! I wouldn't go through such a scene again for a kingdom. I don't believe the poor child was conscious; the doctor thought not; but such a sight! You wouldn't know him from a piece of burnt wood; and there he lay, only showing he was alive by a feeble groan.

“Mrs. Lane shrieked and tore her hair, and when Juley pulled her dress, I was afraid she'd kill her, too. So I got a neighbor to carry her off, screaming and fighting. The old woman hasn't been across the room before by herself for a year, and now lies speechless on the bed; I don't believe she'll live till morning.”

Mr. Codman put on his hat directly and hurried away to the distressed family, while his wife took off Fanny's hat, and brought her a cup of tea, begging her to try and eat a piece of toast.

“You'll be sick, dear, if you don't,” she urged. “The shock has been too much for you.”

“I can't hold the cup;” sobbed Fanny, giving way at last; and then she held up her poor burned hands and arms.

“Oh! oh dear!” screamed her sister.

“My poor, poor girl!” exclaimed Mrs. Matthews; and then they and Josey and Nurse all cried together.

In less than half an hour Mr. Codman returned, and the doctor with him.

The old woman had breathed her last. Fanny had saved her from burning to death, by tearing off her blazing clothes at the risk of her own life. The neighbors all said Miss Fanny was an angel. If it had not been for her presence of mind, the house would have been burned, and the widow have lost everything.

The doctor bound up the poor, blistered hands and arms, talking cheerfully as he did so, but, his eyes grew moist as he told them afterward what she had done.

CHAPTER VII. JOSEY'S SORROW.

In the hurry and excitement, no one thought of little Josey. It was not till Aunt Fanny was sinking to sleep from the effects of the doctor's medicine that his mother found him sobbing by himself in the corner.

“What will become of Juley, mamma? will she have to be put into prison?”

“Don't think about Juley to-night, dear,” she answered, soothingly. “You'll cry yourself sick. We must all thank God, who saved our dear Aunt Fanny's life. She was so good and thoughtful, and did not once stop on account of the pain in her hands, but threw water on the flames, and almost lifted the old woman into bed.”

“Oh, mamma! I am glad about that; but I can't help thinking, if you hadn't taught me to love my sister, and not give way to temper, I might have—I mean, dear, darling Emma might have been burned to death. Do you think God has forgiven me, mamma, for striking her as I used to?”

“Yes, Josey, I am sure He has. You're a kind, affectionate brother now, teaching your sister to be patient and obliging.”

She saw the shock had been too much for him. He trembled excessively as he tried to unbutton his jacket.

“I'll talk with you all about it to-morrow,” she said; “try to say your prayers now, and go to sleep.”

“But, mamma, are you sure Aunt Fanny will get well? She did groan so, when the doctor touched her arm.”

“Oh, yes! I hope she'll be better in a few days. Burns are always very painful at first.”

“Well, Aunt Fanny is a good missionary. Isn't she? She was kind one to another.”

“Yes, indeed! she always is that; just like your father, you know.”

Mr. Codman wrote Mr. Barnard the same evening, and he came the day but one after the poor baby was burned, just as Mr. and Mrs. Codman were starting to attend the funeral of the old lady and child.

Fanny was dressed and sitting in an easy chair, both arms bandaged to the elbows and laid out on a pillow. She looked very white, except where a fever spot burned on each cheek. Mrs. Matthews sat by, talking in a cheerful tone, while Rose and Emma played with their dolls in the corner of the chamber.

With a gentle knock Mrs. Codman peeped in, asking, in a mysterious voice,—

“Are you ready for visitors?” Then, without waiting for an answer, she beckoned the young missionary to come forward.

He flew to her side, and, not daring to trust his voice, instantly kissed her cheek.

“This is Mrs. Matthews,” Mrs. Codman said. “She will be happy to tell you what a heroine your Fanny has been. I must run away, or I shall be late.”

Mrs. Matthews repeated some of the particulars of the dreadful accident, and then, seeing how hard it was for the young man to control his feelings, rose, and calling the children, left the room with them.

“My own Fanny,” he said, putting his hand softly on her head, “I wish I could bear this dreadful pain for you. How could you expose your precious life? What should I have done if you too”—

He stopped suddenly, and walked to the window, but soon returned at the sound of her voice, saying,—

“James, you are making quite too much of what I did. Any one would have done the same. I could never look you in the face if I had not tried to relieve such terrible suffering. But Oh, it was dreadful! I cannot forget it.”

Tears filled her eyes, and he tenderly wiped them away.

“I cannot sleep,” she went on, “except under the influence of anodynes. The shrieks and groans ring in my ears.”

“Your nervous system has had a shock, and it will take time to recover. You know I have been studying a little medicine, and I shall take you for my first patient. I prescribe perfect rest, and that you see no one but me.”

Fanny laughed. “Josey will have something to say to that,” she began. “He has been the most unwearied little nurse, and his face has grown very sad.”

“Dear little fellow! I shall love him better than ever.”

Mr. Barnard staid two days, and then Fanny was obliged to insist that he should leave her, as there were not quite two months before they were to sail, and she knew that every moment of his time was filled with engagements.

Her burns were less painful, and it would still be weeks before she could help herself at all; but she was surrounded with friends who delighted in doing anything for her comfort.

She bade him good-bye, with a tear and a smile, not expecting to see him again till a day or two before their marriage.

He looked back to watch her sitting so white and patient, without one murmuring word, and thanked God that she was so soon to be his own loving, faithful wife.

Josey rejoiced that now he could return to his labor of love and feed his beloved aunt; for she insisted that he did it more skilfully than any of them.

Those were precious hours to the dear boy, when, with the tray before him and a spoon in his hand, he ministered to her wants, meantime telling her all the thoughts of his little heart. Years after he remembered the words she had said, and tried to improve by them.

He was now fully determined to be a missionary and go out to tell the heathen about Christ, as his aunt Fanny was going. He began at once to gather all the tracts and primers he could find, and packed them in an old valise.

His mother found them there some months later; and explained to him that the poor Hindoos could not read English.

CHAPTER VIII. JOSEY'S GIFT.

Aunt Fanny's burns were now nearly healed. For a week she had been without the bandages, though the wounds were still tender. Her trunks were mostly packed, and many tokens of love placed there by beloved friends.

When with her brother's family the young missionary always wore a cheerful smile; but there were hours when she wept at the thought of parting from those who were so dear. Yet not for one instant did she regret the choice of her life. She was going to tell the poor benighted heathen of the love of Jesus,—to try and persuade them to throw away their idols, and worship the living and true God.

As she thought of all this, and realized what a privilege it was to save souls from eternal death, her whole heart glowed with a desire to be among those for whom she was to labor.

Mr. and Mrs. Matthews had been travelling for some weeks, but had now returned to be in season for the wedding.

On the Sabbath night previous, the family were seated in the library, when mamma noticed that Josey was not present. She could not account for this, because, when out of school, he was scarcely a moment away from his aunt's side. She went through several rooms in search of him, and at last found him in a closet by himself, sobbing as if his heart would break.

“Why must Aunt Fanny go?” he sobbed, “I can't bear it,—I can't bear not to see her any longer!”

“My darling,” said mamma, taking his hand, and leading him to her own chamber, “do you know what Aunt Fanny is going for?”

“Yes, mamma, but couldn't somebody else do it?” She stopped a moment and then said,—

“Josey, there was a time, thousands of years ago, when man had sinned, and there was no hope nor joy for him in the world; there was only the certainty that his soul must be miserable forever. Then our blessed Saviour said, 'I pity these poor people and shall try to save them.' He left his glorious throne, by the side of his Father, and came here to give himself to death.

“The love and pity of God the Father was so great, that he sent his beloved Son, that whosoever believeth on him shall have everlasting life.

“The poor Hindoos know nothing of the true God. They have not the precious Bible, as we have, to tell them that they need not throw their babies to the crocodiles,—they need not tear and wound their own flesh, nor throw themselves under the wheels of the cruel Juggernaut. Your aunt Fanny and uncle James are going to tell them, they need do nothing of all this. They desire to say to those poor, ignorant men and women and children, that Christ's love for them is so great that if they will but come and accept of his salvation, it shall be freely theirs. She wants to tell the poor, weary pilgrims, who have been walking hundreds of miles with stones in their shoes, that the blessed Jesus will accept them without money, without price, without any of these painful journeys,—that they have only to lay their load of sin upon him, and he will carry it for them.”

Josey's tears ceased to flow, and he listened with almost breathless interest.

“Do you want to keep Aunt Fanny from telling them this?” mamma asked. “Do you want them to go on worshipping those senseless idols, which can neither see, nor hear, nor understand?”

With a great sob Josey answered,

“No, mamma, I love her dearly, dearly; but I'll let Jesus have her. He'll know then how I love him.”

With a gush of tears, she folded him to her heart. When they were more calm, she urged him to return to the parlor.

“Pretty soon I will,” he said softly, “And oh, mamma, if you'll please let me sit up an hour later every night till she—I mean, till we're all alone. Now I'm going to write her a letter.”

My little reader, would you like to read it, and see how our dear Josey showed his love to his Saviour? how he tried to obey the rule, “My little children let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth?” It was this:

     “My dear, darling Aunt Fanny:

     “I've been thinking a great deal about you, and once I said
     I couldn't let you go away; but I'm willing now. I know I
     shall miss you dreadfully. And it makes me cry to think how
     I shall want to hear you pray by my bed, every night; but
     I'll tell you why I'm willing. You know I'm trying to be a
     Christian child, and I do hope the dear Saviour has pardoned
     my sins; so I want to show Him that I really thank Him for
     it, and to-night, I said to myself, 'I have nothing to give
     Jesus, to show him my love, but my dear, dear aunty. I do
     hope it will show the heathen a little, that I love them,
     and want to be kind to them. When you get there, will you
     please tell them a little boy gave his aunt to the Saviour,
     so that they may learn the way to heaven.

     “When I am a man, I hope I shall be a missionary, too; and
     perhaps then God will let me see you and Uncle James again.

                     “Your little nephew,

                     “JOSEY CODMAN.”

MRS. LESLIE'S

BIBLE PEARLS.

Series for Boys.

    VOL. I. THE PEARL OF LOVE.

     “ II. “ ” ” CHARITY.

     “ III. “ ” ” OBEDIENCE.

     “ IV. “ ” ” PENITENCE.

     “ V. “ ” ” HOPE.

     “ VI. “ ” ” PATIENCE.

Series for Girls.

    VOL. I. THE PEARL OF FAITH.

     “ II. “ ” ” DILIGENCE.

     “ III. “ ” ” MEEKNESS.

     “ IV. “ ” ” FORGIVENESS.

     “ V. “ ” ” HOPE.

     “ VI. “ ” ” CONTENTMENT.