The Vineyard On
the German by
Sophie A. Miller
and Agnes M.
II. The Faithful
III. The Fond
IV. The Errand
V. The Old Man
VI. The Legacy
VII. The Journey
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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."
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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."
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
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
[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
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
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.