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The Vineyard On the Hillside
Translated from the German by Sophie A. Miller and Agnes M. Dunne


Chapter
I. Missing
II. The Faithful Dog
III. The Fond Foster-Parents
IV. The Errand
V. The Old Man
VI. The Legacy
VII. The Journey

 

CHAPTER I

MISSING

Many years ago, in a quaint little village bordering the bank of the Rhine River, there lived a hard-working farmer, named Joseph Swift, and his industrious wife, Caroline.

Their neat little white cottage stood very near the edge of the water, where on the bright, sunny days it was beautifully reflected. On one side of the cottage, there jutted out into the river a little hill, overgrown with grapevines which Joseph had planted, and which as a result of training and watchfulness yielded him abundant fruit. South of the house there stretched a field, bordered on all sides by leafy shrubbery. This plot of ground was used by Mrs. Swift as a bleachery, and through her industry and carefulness she succeeded in making her linen snow-white, so that all the housewives of that village and neighboring town brought her their linens to bleach.

In this way Joseph Swift and his good little wife earned their daily bread and a little more to lay by for time of need.

A big brown dog guarded the bleachery during the spring and summer months; but in the early fall, when the grapes were ripening, he transferred his attention to the vineyard. During the entire year, and particularly in the long winter months, the house was his particular care.

The little family lived happily and contentedly in simplicity and love. These good people found their greatest joy and richest treasure upon earth in their five little children. The youngest was a baby, less than a year old. They trained them with the greatest care, and taught them to work and pray. The children had a living example of goodness and uprightness in their parents. This happy household, however, was soon to experience a great change.

A cold, hard winter had set in and covered the fields and house-tops with many blankets of snow. The river had frozen; and the people feared that when the ice-floes and the immense quantity of snow began to melt, the river would overflow its banks.

Weeks passed and at last a thaw set in. The ice and snow began to melt.
The brooks and rivulets swiftly carried the water to the great river.

Joseph Swift and his family retired early one night, and lay wrapped in deep sleep. About midnight, the father's slumbers were broken by the tones of the village clock. As he became more and more awake, he heard a great splashing of water.

Hastily jumping out of his bed, he seized his clothing and rushed to find out the cause of the disturbance. But so much water had filled the hall that for a moment it seemed as if he could go no further. He managed, however, to push along. As he opened the door of the house, the water rushed in with such force and volume that it almost tore him from his footing. He sprang back into the bed-room and cried: "Oh, Caroline, Caroline, help me save our children!"

Caroline, half awake, tumbled out of bed and wrapped a garment around each child. Then both parents made strides to reach the vineyard on the hill.

The water rushed against them with such violence that they nearly sank with their load. The night was dark, for the moon had long since gone under and heavy clouds obscured the stars. The rain was falling in torrents and a dreadful wind raged about them. The water so filled the streets and by-ways that the Swifts thought each moment would be their last. The children, half asleep, were crying loudly. From each house still louder cries reached their ears.

In the distance, lamps began to flash their lights. Hundreds of people could be seen striving with all their might to reach the hill. On all sides difficulties and dangers confronted them.

Near the low window of a little hut, there stood a weeping mother with her children. She passed them, one after the other, to her husband, who stood in water up to his waist and could scarcely keep an upright position.

In another place, grown sons were carrying an invalid mother, fleeing with difficulty on account of their heavy burden. Some brave, humane men hurried along with boats and brought them safely to the hill.

Mrs. Swift, with a child on each arm, was overthrown. Her husband, equally burdened with two other children, could render her no assistance. Two stalwart men rushed toward her, however, and brought mother, children, and father to the neighboring hill.

Some men gathered sticks, and after many futile attempts at last started a fire on the hill, so that the drenched people might dry themselves.

As Mrs. Swift, breathless and in a half-dazed condition, reached the hill top, she looked at her children and uttered a loud cry: "Where is my baby, where is my Edward?" The child—the baby—who had lain in a cradle at the mother's bedside, was missing.

The water had rushed into the house in such volume that the cradle had begun to move, and was carried along gradually by the force of the water, till it passed out unnoticed through the open door. The mother had tried to reach the cradle in the darkness; but, not finding it, she had concluded that the father had taken the cradle and the baby to a place of safety, and so she had given all her attention to the other children. But now, discovering her mistake, she wrung her hands in grief and cried pitifully. She started to return to her home to seize her child from so dreadful a fate, but the father held her in his strong arms.

"Stay," said he, "you could never reach our house safely. The water is rising too quickly and is too powerful. I will go and rescue our child. Our helpful neighbors will go with me."

"Yes, willingly," said the two men who had just helped Mrs. Swift.

Armed with long poles which they could thrust into the ground and with which they could steady themselves, they started forth by the light of a lantern.

All the people on the hill watched those three men tremblingly. At last the light died away in the distance. Still they looked, although they could distinguish nothing. They only heard the dreadful rushing of the waters, the sighing of the winds, and from time to time the crash of a falling house.

Mrs. Swift waited with bated breath for the return of her husband and his faithful assistants. An hour had passed and nothing could be heard or seen of them. Her fears increased each moment. At last the father returned, with saddened countenance. One of his assistants said: "It was impossible to reach your house, my good woman; the water was too deep. We were in water up to our necks and were almost drowned."

Then the other man spoke up and said: "But don't give up hope, for many brave men have been helping, all along the way. Before the water got the upper hand, they went about with lanterns, rousing the people. Perhaps they have cared for the baby in its cradle."

Many people, laden with household goods, reached the hill from time to time, but the cradle never appeared and no one knew the whereabouts of the baby.

After the dreadful night, the dawn at last broke forth; rain and storm subsided; the clouds rolled away and the morning sun streaked the horizon in flaming red.

From the people gathered about the fire, there arose a dreadful cry of dismay. By the morning light, they saw that half of their village had been submerged.

Mr. Swift's house, with many others, had been swept away by the flood. Many a house stood roofless and in a state of threatened collapse. People cried for the loss of their homes, but Mrs. Swift cried for the loss of her babe. "Though everything be gone," said she, "I should care not, had I but my child." Poor Mr. Swift, too, was more concerned about his baby than about his other losses, and it was with a great effort that he controlled his feelings.

The children lamented the loss of their brother as well as that of their big pet dog, Rover.

Meanwhile, from the neighboring towns, many people had come in boats, brought the homeless ones provisions and clothing, and offered them shelter in their own homes. This was a great comfort for the unfortunates.

Mr. Swift accepted their hospitality for that night. "To-morrow morning," said he, "I will try to reach my brother's home, where I know I can be housed with my family until the spring. Then I will rebuild my home and help my neighbors build theirs. Let us not forget that if we faithfully do our best, God will not forsake us. Perhaps this calamity may in time bring us some blessing."

CHAPTER II

THE FAITHFUL DOG

Shortly after the Swifts fled, on the night of the flood, the walls of their house had fallen with a thud, and only the strong beams remained standing. By the time the house collapsed, the baby in its cradle had drifted many miles down the river, along the banks of which much damage had been wrought. The cradle passed a village which had been built on an eminence and had consequently escaped.

The villagers who had gathered near the shore saw various household goods floating down the river; there a table, here a chair, yonder a trunk, and in one place even the entire roof of a house.

Two daring boys ventured to stand as near the water's edge as possible, in order to see things a little better. All of a sudden one of the boys cried: "Oh, see, there is a cradle afloat in mid-stream!" The other boy, whose sight was keener, shouted: "See, a dog is swimming after it and is trying to push it toward the shore!"

Several strong men standing near-by had long hooked poles, and were busily engaged dragging things out of the river. One of them, a young fisherman, saw the cradle and cried: "A baby must be in that cradle, because the dog would not bother about an empty cradle. Up, brothers, up, let us try to save the child. Let not the fidelity and bravery of a dog put us to shame."

Notwithstanding the threatening danger of being crushed to death by the rushing ice-floes, the men launched a boat and jumped into it. They reached the cradle and discovered the child in it. They placed cradle and babe in their boat and brought them safely to land.

The people rushed forward and crowded around the cradle to look at the infant. Among the spectators were a gentleman and his wife, named Trent.

"Oh, what a beautiful child," cried Mrs. Trent, as she bent over the baby. "See how peacefully it sleeps, not knowing through what dangers it has passed, not dreaming it has been saved."

Mrs. Trent had lately lost a dear little baby, so she approached her husband and said: "Do see how this babe resembles our lost Isabel; and it seems to be of the same age. Let me take this child, and if its parents cannot be found, I will be a mother to it."

Mr. Trent smiled pleasantly, nodded his head and said: "Well, well, take it. Let us not be less sympathetic than these three men, and that pitying dog."

By this time the poor dog had reached the shore, and stood shaking the water from his coat; so that the bystanders had to rush aside to escape a good wetting. Then he began to bark with joy and wag his tail, springing first at this one, then at that one, as if to express his thanks for the baby's rescue.

Mr. Trent noticed this, and said: "See how thankful this dog is, and human beings should never be less thankful." He took some gold coins out of his pocket, and handed two to each of the three fishermen. They hesitated, not wishing to take the money. "What we have done was purely out of love for humanity and without any thought of reward," said they.

Mr. Trent was pleased with them, and said: "Yes, I understand and realize how very noble it is of you to refuse a reward for your self-sacrificing services, but I must insist that you take it."

"Well, then," said the younger fisherman, "we will accept the money and help our poor brothers in the neighboring villages who have suffered so many losses during this flood."

The dog had now passed through the crowd. His loud barks of joy had awakened the babe, and it started to cry. Mrs. Trent raised the child in her arms and kissed it. It looked about as if it were seeking something.

"You are looking for your mother," said she, "but little do we know where she is. Cry not, my dear, I will be your mother."

She then carried it into her house, while the two fishermen followed with the cradle. The faithful dog did not wait for an invitation, but followed of his own accord.

CHAPTER III

THE FOND FOSTER-PARENTS

Mrs. Trent hastily heated some milk, and with a small spoon she fed the foster-child. Then she dressed it in fine clothes which had belonged to Isabel, and brought it to Mr. Trent, saying: "See what a beautiful babe this is, with its golden, curly hair, blue eyes and red cheeks. How fresh and healthy it looks. But now we have a weighty matter to decide. We do not know the baby's name and we must call it something. Let us take your name."

"Very well," said Mr. Trent, "we will adopt him and call him Daniel Trent. That is a very nice name. As God saved Daniel out of the lion's den, so He saved this child from a dreadful calamity. Let us hope that this boy will grow to be as sensible, with as much faith in God, and as obedient to God's will, as young Daniel was."

"Let us hope it may be so," said his wife, as she cast admiring glances upon the babe.

The faithful dog who had accompanied her now rested for awhile, as he saw the babe in comfort and safety. After he had been fed and had stretched himself awhile before the fire, he suddenly arose, shook himself well, and rushed out of the house. As soon as he reached the water's edge, he swam across the river, ran hastily up on the opposite shore and was soon lost to view.

"Have a care, my dear," said her husband, "I fear you will soon lose your babe. I am sure the dog has gone in quest of the child's parents and will return here with them."

Mrs. Trent sighed. "Oh," said she, "I understand how pained those people must be. For that reason, I would willingly restore the lost babe to its parents. Although it would be very hard for me to part with it."

After an absence of three days, just as Mr. and Mrs. Trent were seated at the fireside, the good, faithful dog rushed into their presence and greeted them by barking and joyfully wagging his tail. But in a few moments he hung his head, dropped his tail, and looked very sad; and from that moment on he showed no desire to leave the house.

"From the dog's manner," said Mr. Trent, "I surmise that he was not successful in finding the baby's parents, who were undoubtedly lost in the flood. Let us take good care of him, for he has so faithfully fulfilled his duty. We, too, have a duty to perform, for we must train and educate this child whom we have taken into our family."

Though the child's position in life was now on a higher plane, yet his training was no different from that which his own parents would have given him. His new parents worked hand in hand. Daniel soon felt a childish reverence for his foster-father, and toward his foster-mother he showed a trusting love. He grew to be a handsome boy, displaying many splendid talents. He was a diligent scholar and stood highest among his classmates. He did everything in his power to give pleasure to his foster-parents. He regarded them as his true parents, for no one had told him otherwise. It had happened that when Daniel was two years old his foster-parents bought a house in another section of the country and moved into it. The new neighbors looked upon Daniel as the real son of Mr. and Mrs. Trent.

CHAPTER IV

THE ERRAND

When Daniel Trent had reached his fourteenth year, he was able to assist his foster-father in his business. He wrote a fine hand, did much of his "father's" clerical work, and carried out all orders with exactness.

One evening he was sent out on an errand to a little village on the Rhine, not far from where they now resided. Daniel was pleased at the prospect of a long walk in the cool evening air. His good dog, who was still living and in fairly good condition for his age, accompanied him.

Just as Daniel's business had been transacted, a ship came into port. The passengers crowded the gang plank and the wharf. Several boys and young men pressed forward and offered to show the travellers the way and to carry their baggage.

At last a little boy addressed a refined, though shabbily dressed old man, and asked if he could direct him to a hotel.

"Oh, no," said the old man, "I will remain on shipboard over night; I couldn't pay the price of a room in a hotel. My meal will be a sandwich that I have in this bag; and as for a drink, a glass of fresh water will appease my thirst."

Daniel listened with sympathy to the old man, who had an honest kind look. Timidly moving a little closer to him, he said, while his face grew red: "If you would not feel offended, I should like to give you a little money, out of my allowance."

"My dear young man," said the traveller, "true it is that I have never accepted charity, but I must admit, you have offered it to me in such a friendly, well-meaning manner that I would gladly accept it, if I could; I thank you heartily for it. May your kind thoughtfulness be rewarded."

The dog, who in the meantime had hurried to the water's edge to quench his thirst, hastily returned, just as Daniel was about to continue his way. The next minute, he was leaping and springing and barking, as loudly as he could, and showing unbounded joy. The traveller cried out in astonishment: "My dog, you are my Rover. Do I find you again, after so many years? How did you get here?"

Daniel looked surprised and said: "It seems that the dog knows you very well. Did he ever belong to you?"

"Yes, truly," said the man, "but I thought he was drowned thirteen years ago, when the Rhine overflowed and carried my house with it. I never expected to see my dog again.—But," said he, as he dried his eyes, "I sustained at that time a greater loss than could ever be retrieved."

"What was that?" asked Daniel.

Then the old man told the tale of the flood and said that, in the darkness of the night, and in the great hurry and excitement, his youngest child, a babe, had been left lying in its cradle. Perhaps it had been crushed to death by the collapsing walls of his house and been buried in the waters of the river.

Daniel was deeply moved by the sad fate of this babe. Little did he dream that he was the child whom he was pitying. He tried to comfort the old man over the loss of the infant.

The old man then said, "I have learned to accept my grief, as having been sent from God. In the end He will prove to each life that what is sent is for the best."

Daniel agreed with him, and offered him his hand in friendship. Then he bade him good-bye, saying that the lateness of the hour was the cause of his haste.

Daniel walked on and called his dog. The faithful Rover did not wish to forsake his long-lost and newly-found master, but neither did he wish to lose Daniel. He would hurry ahead and stand in front of Daniel, barring the way, as if he wished to stay him, and then he would run back to the old man.

Daniel at last stood still. The dog lay down between them and looked appealingly, first at one and then at the other, as if he wished to beg them to remain together. Again Daniel started, but the dog went through the same antics. A half hour passed in this way. At last Daniel said: "I really don't know what to do. I love this dog, but I would like you to have him, too; but I can't let you take him, for he belongs to my father. Come with me, and let him decide who shall have the dog."

They walked together along the lamp-lighted streets, and the happy dog, with leaps and barks, gave evidence of his great joy.

CHAPTER V

THE OLD MAN

Mr. Trent and his wife had delayed the evening meal, awaiting Daniel's return. Daniel led the strange man into the dining-room, where the table was spread with a beautiful white cloth, relieved by polished silver and food temptingly arranged. It was a welcome sight to the travel-weary old man.

Mr. Trent was about to reprimand his son for his belated return, but he hesitated at the sight of the stranger. Daniel related the incidents of the evening, and they amply served to excuse him for his tardiness. Mr. Trent then asked the old man what he knew about the dog.

Mr. Swift related at length the same story that he had told Daniel; and added that his losses were great, but that the loss of his baby boy had given him the greatest pain in his life.

Mr. Trent and his wife both came to the conclusion, in a flash, that the babe which they had adopted was most assuredly this man's son. Mr. Trent, a clever, as well as a careful man, wished to probe the matter to his entire satisfaction, so he dismissed Daniel on some errand. Then he questioned the stranger, as to his name, his place of residence, the year and the month and all circumstances surrounding that dreadful night, in minutest detail.

"Tell me," said he, "did your dog wear a collar?"

"O yes," said the old man, "it was made of red leather, and engraved on a metal plate was his name Rover, and the letters J. M. S., which stand for my name, Joseph Martin Swift."

"Now," said Mrs. Trent, "will you describe the cradle?"

"Very well," said the man, "it was made of pine wood. The body was painted blue and it had a red canopy."

Mr. and Mrs. Trent looked deeply into the old man's eyes, and found in his face, looking through the wrinkles which deep sorrow and care had chiseled there, a remarkable resemblance to their adopted son.

"I have no further doubt," said Mr. Trent, "that the son who thirteen years ago, as a tender babe, floated in its cradle down the Rhine, was saved from the flood, and lives today."

"How, what?" cried the man in joyful astonishment. "Oh, where is he?
Where is he? Lead me to him at once."

"You have already seen him," said Mr. Trent. "The young man who brought you here is your son."

"What?" cried the old man, "that handsome young lad. Could it he possible? Oh, how miraculous!" He folded his hands and stood in silence, till his overwrought feelings broke forth in a torrent of tears. At last he said: "How was he saved? How did he reach this house and these good circumstances?"

Mr. Trent related everything in a few words: how the faithfulness of the dog had been the first means toward the rescue of the infant. "We took your child, adopted him and brought him up. He always behaved well and has given us great joy. As we did not know his name, we had him renamed Daniel. We never let him know that he was not our own child. We must now disclose this fact to him. I hear him coming and will ask you to withdraw to the next room until you recover yourself."

"Thank you," said the highly elated father, "I should like to be alone for a few moments, that I may offer my thanks for this great goodness."

By this time Daniel had reached the dining-room. As he missed the stranger, but still saw the dog, he asked: "Well, my dear father, did you satisfy the old man?"

"My dear boy, come seat yourself beside me, for I have something to say to you. We, whom you have always considered as father and mother, are not your parents."

Daniel was greatly disturbed by this news and could scarcely speak. At last he said: "Oh, my dear parents, what great good you have always rendered me. How deep has been your love to me. All the rest of my life I will thank you. But, how is it that you only now divulge this great secret? You do not intend to cast me out, I hope?"

"Certainly not, my dear Daniel," said Mr. Trent, "but listen further. You are the child that was rescued from the river, and the stranger whom you brought here is your father."

"This man!" cried Daniel in astonishment; "yet he appears to me to be a good, honest man."

Then Mr. Trent continued, in order to test Daniel, and said: "That may be! But he is so poor, while you are now so rich. You don't need him. Besides, in his poor clothes, he would not be any credit to you. So I thought I would give him a sum of money, and send him back to his village."

"Oh, no," cried Daniel, springing from his chair. "I hope you have not already sent him to the ship. If so, let me hurry after him. I must see my father's face again and embrace him. I trust you did not mean what you said. Were my father the poorest and most unfortunate man in the whole world, I would not be ashamed of him, for he is my father. Everything that I have, I would share with him."

Daniel's own father had heard these words, in the adjoining room. He stepped forward, rushed upon Daniel, and cried: "My son!" and Daniel cried: "My father!" They embraced each other and their tears fell freely.

CHAPTER VI

THE LEGACY

Mrs. Trent now invited all to partake of the evening meal. The conversation became animated, and Mr. Trent was happy to find that his guest was such a sensible, honest man. He then asked him how he happened to take such a long trip.

Joseph Swift said that a legacy had been bequeathed to him, and that he was on his way to a distant city to claim it. He had stopped at the near-by port in order to break the monotony of the journey. "Before the disaster that befell me," continued he, "I lived in comparative comfort, but ever since I have been struggling. I was obliged to begin all over again and build a new house and start a new business. You can easily understand that I soon fell behind in money matters. The news of this legacy was very welcome, for every little helps. Some difficulty, however, has arisen, so I decided to go personally; and whether I shall get the money or not, remains to be seen."

"I trust you have all the necessary papers and credentials with you."

"O yes," said Joseph, drawing out a wallet containing the papers, in order to prove his words.

Mr. Trent looked them over and found them correct, but conjectured that the outcome would be somewhat doubtful. Besides, when he took into consideration the cost of the journey, living expenses, the cost of the trial, he found that very little would remain of the legacy after all.

Mr. Trent, who was as noble as he was rich, said: "Do you know what I think, my dear friend? The rest of this journey would be very tiresome for you; and besides, you would have to remain there for some time before you could claim the money. I will give you the sum stated, and you can give me a power of attorney so that I can get the money. I can then instruct my business manager in that city to look after this matter for me."

Joseph Swift was delighted with the proposition, and took the proffered money with the heartiest thanks; although he did not realize to its full extent the thoughtfulness of this act.

Mrs. Trent, who was as kind-hearted as her husband, inquired after the other members of Mr. Swift's family, and then said: "Now that you have been spared the weariness of the rest of the journey, I beg you to spend a week with us. Then Daniel may escort you home, and remain a few days with you, and have the pleasure of meeting his mother and sisters and brothers face to face."

Joseph declared that he had never met such good people, in all his life and Daniel was overjoyed in the anticipation of seeing his mother.

"I feel I must give my mother and my sisters each a gift," said he. "How pleased I am that I saved my money. Now I can use it for a good purpose."

Early the next morning, Mrs. Trent and Daniel went forth to purchase the gifts, and many a beautiful present did they bring back. Turning to Mr. Swift, she said: "Here is a handsome gold watch which Daniel bought for you, and also the material for a new suit of clothes. I have ordered the tailor to come and take your measurements, and he promised to deliver the suit in a week."

Poor Mr. Swift could hardly find words to express the thanks that filled his heart.

But Mr. Trent, noticing his deep emotion, said: "Never mind, Mr. Swift, let it be so. Why would God give some people more than they need, unless he intended they should give some of it to those who didn't have enough? Sharing with others, brings us happiness."

CHAPTER VII

THE JOURNEY

Early the following week Daniel and his father started on their journey. The dog accompanied them and sat on the front seat of the carriage, next to the driver.

As Mr. Swift neared his home, the linen lying in the bleachery was plainly discernible, and the dog, recognizing the locality, leaped out of the carriage. Mrs. Swift and her daughters were wetting the linens and the two boys were busy in the vineyard. The dog ran up to his old mistress, sprang at her joyously, and then ran to her daughters. They were much surprised to see the dog that they had thought dead. The sons joined the group, and while they stood discussing the dog's return, they heard the toot of the tally-ho horn. Suddenly the horses galloped up to the door and halted.

Said Mrs. Swift, "What can this mean? The driver must have made a mistake." But in an instant Mr. Swift alighted and greeted his family warmly.

Mrs. Swift's expression was very grave as she said: "What ever possessed you to return in such a carriage; and now that I look at you, I see you are dressed in new clothes from head to foot. Even the dog, for which I suppose you paid a good price, has a new collar. I always looked upon you as a better business man than that, I fear now that nothing remains of the legacy. Most likely you lost your senses when you saw so much money. If you begin by spending it so lavishly it will soon be gone."

Mr. Swift laughingly replied: "Don't be so sure, my dear. Let me unpack the things. You will see that not a penny of the legacy is missing." He opened the trunk which the coachman had just brought in, took out a bag, and shook the golden contents upon the table.

"Oh, my," cried his wife in glee, "so much money! I never saw that much in all my life. It dazzles me. It seems as if I were dreaming—But, tell me, where did you get the clothing?"

"O, never mind, just yet; I haven't shown you all, for I have brought material for new suits for you and all the children." He laid out the goods, the velvets, and the laces upon the table, which was scarcely big enough to hold them all.

"This is too much. My reason actually refuses to take it in. Do tell me, how did you get these costly things?" continued his wife.

"All these things, my dear wife, have been presented to you by my fellow-passenger," pointing his finger at Daniel, who had kept somewhat aloof.

[Illustration: "As I notice it now you are dressed in new clothes from head to foot."]

Mother and children had scarcely noticed him in their happiness, but all the while Daniel had been enjoying their rapture.

The mother looked sharply at Daniel and said: "This young man brings us all these things! Well, who is he?"

Mr. Swift bent his head and folded his hands; then he spoke with devout earnestness: "This friendly young man is your son, our child, whom we mourned as dead. A rich merchant and his good wife took him into their home and heart."

Daniel could no longer restrain himself. He fell on the neck of his new-found mother and embraced her tenderly. Then he greeted his brothers and sisters heartily. The ecstacy of moments like these is indescribable.

At first, a little shyness existed between the brothers and sisters and this long-lost brother. But as he was entirely without vanity and modest and friendly, he soon won their confidence and respect, and they conversed with him as naturally as if they had been with him always.

One morning the family mounted the hill to show Daniel the spot where they had spent the night of terror.

"Yes," said the father, "in the morning light, we found that our house had been swept away. In the face of all that disaster, I remember saying: 'This dreadful calamity will yet bring us some blessing,' and so it has happened. The people in the whole country around became more industrious than they had been in the time of their prosperity. Many who had been haughty and extravagant became humble, thrifty and moderate. God awoke many people to the performance of good deeds. Many a family quarrel was terminated; all the people became peace loving; each helped the other in the hour of need.

"Who would have believed that we would again see our beloved child? Who would have thought it possible that we, who once spent on this hill the worst night of our lives, would live to spend upon it the happiest day. Let us learn not to give up hope, no matter how bad the prospect may seem, for better times will come—God will make all things right at last."

In the course of time, when Mr. Trent knew to a certainty of Mr. Swift's honesty, he gave him the position of treasurer in his large business enterprises. This position was accepted, and Mr. Swift transferred his bleachery and vineyard to the care of his eldest son. With his wife and the other members of his family he then moved to a house adjacent to the Trents.

Daniel became his foster-father's assistant, and proved himself worthy of all the care which had been bestowed upon him; and he remained a good, true, helpful son to his own and his foster-parents.