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his little ones safely disposed about her, obtained, and that they would probably strode up and down, from car to car, with be started on their way during the next a gloom of disappointment on his face forenoon. These messengers also brought that was almost ferocious. “Too bad ! "
a small supply of provisions and a numhe muttered, “too bad! too bad! too ber of packs of cards, with the latter of bad !”
which many of the passengers were soon One o'clock came, and the snow held busy. They now resigned themselves to up! At first the passengers noticed that another night in the drift. the flakes fell less thickly. Then, grad- But at half after three occurred an inually and ever slowly decreasing, they cident that restored hope of a more speedy finally ceased falling altogether. The deliverance to a few of the captives. clouds drifted from before the face of Through the low pine-lands to the right the heavens, and the sun came out. It ran a road which was very thoroughly shone over a broad surface of glistening protected from drifting snow by the oversnow, with here and there a fence-post hanging trees, and along this road there obtruding into notice, but otherwhere a now appeared two pair of oxen. In front cold, blank expanse of whiteness. One or of the oxen were five men armed with two remote farm-houses, with blue smoke wooden snow-shovels, with which they rising in thin, straight columns from their beat down and scattered the snow. Bechimneys, a wide stretch of woodland to hind all was a small, square box on runthe right, distant hills bounding all the ners. It was very small and contained onprospect, and everywhere snow. No ly one board seat. Three persons could fences, no roads, no paths, — but only sit and three stand in it: no more. snow!
Upon the appearance of this squad of The passengers gazed out of the win- road-breakers with their team, three hearty dows or stood upon the platforms,— drawn cheers went up from the train. They thither by the warmth of the sun, - with were immediately answered by the apfeelings almost akin to despair. Present- proach of the apparent leader of the exly it was proposed to make for the farm- pedition. He was a small, active, spare houses, and fifteen of the more adventur- old fellow, so incrusted with frozen snow, ous started. A few struggled through and which hung all over him in tiny white pelarrived in something over an hour at the lets, as to resemble more an active, but nearest house, wet to the skin with melt- rather diminutive white bear, than any
and too much fatigued to think thing else known to Natural History. He of returning, — but most of them gave scrambled and puffed through the snow out at the end of the first half-mile, and till he found a mounting-place upon an came back to the train.
unseen fence, when he arose two or three So the prisoners sat down and whiled feet above the surrounding surface, and away the time as best they might, in the spoke, relation of anecdotes, telling stories, and “ There's five on us, an' two yoke.” grumbling. A few slept, and a large number tried to do so, without success.
“ Two yoke yender, an' five on us." The slow hand of Time, moving more “Well I supposing there is ?” from slowly for them than they remembered it the train. to bave ever moved before, crept on to “Five mile to town," continued the three o'clock, and still there was no pros- White Bear, “an' been sence nine this pect of relief and no incident of note mornin' gittin' here. Five times five is save the arrival through the snow of a twenty-five, but, seein' it 's you, I 'll call dozen men sent by the conductor. They it twelve 'n' 'arf.” brought word that help was approach- “ Call what 'twelve 'n' 'arf, Sheeping from the nearest station where a suf- Shanks ?” from the train. ficiently powerful locomotive could be " That man don't ride, nohow! I 've
marked him ! I don't cal'late to take Old Woollen retired, discomfited, and no sarse this trip! Take any six or eight was seen no more. for twelve dollars an' fifty cents right From this point the bidding ran up straight to the tahvern! Who bids ?” rapidly till it reached twenty-five dollars,
"I'll give you fifteen dollars, my where it stopped, Samson Newell being friend, to take myself, my wife, and three the successful bidder. children to the village.”
It was a study to watch the man, now It was Samson Newell who spoke. that his chance for reaching home that
“ 'M offered fifteen,” cried the White day brightened. Instead of being elate, Bear, pricking up his ears; “ goin' to his spirits seemed to fall as he made his the tahvern at fifteen; who says fifteen arrival at the village certain. 'n''arf?”
“ Ab!” he thought, “ are my father “I do!” from a pursy passenger with and mother yet living? How will my a double chin and a heavy fob-chain. brothers and sisters welcome me home ? "
He glanced round a little savagely, How, indeed ? having made his bid, as who should say, " And I should like to see the man who In the village where dwelt Jacob Newwill raise it ! ”
ell and his wife, an old man, lame and 46 'N’’arf! ’n’’arf! 'n' 'arf! ’n’’arf!” totally blind, had been for over thirty cried the White Bear, growing much ex- years employed by the town to ring the cited, — " an’ who says sixteen ?” meetinghouse-bell at noon, and at nine Samson Newell nodded.
o'clock in the evening. For this service, “ Sixteen dollars! sixteen! sixteen! the salary fixed generations before was We can't tarry, gentlemen!”
five dollars, and summer and winter, The White Bear proved the truth of rain or shine, he was always at his post this latter assertion by suddenly disap- at the instant. pearing beneath the snow.
When the old man rang the eveningpeared in an instant and resumed his bell on the Thanksgiving-Day whereof outcry.
I write, he aroused Jacob and his wife “I see the gentleman's sixteen,” quoth from deep reverie. the man who had called the White Bear “ Oh, Jacob!” said the latter, “ such a Sheep-Shanks,"
," "and go fifty cents bet- waking dream as I have had! I thought ter!”
they all stood before me,- all, - every “I see you,” replied the auctioneer, one, none missing! And they were lit" an' don't take your bid! Who says tle children again, and had come to say sixteen 'n' 'arf ? "
their prayers before going to bed! They "I do!” quoth the Double Chin; and were all there, and I could not drive it he glowered upon his fellow-passengers from my heart that I loved Samson best!” wrathfully.
His name had hardly been mentioned At this instant appeared Old Wool- between them for fifteen years. len on the scene. In one hand he bore Jacob Newell, with a strange look, as his pocket-book ; in the other, a paper though he were gazing at some dimly decovered with calculations. The latter he fined object afar off, slowly spoke, – studied intently for a moment, then, - “I have thought sometimes that I
" I'll give you sixteen dollars an’ sixty- should like to know where he lies, if he two 'n' a half cents; an' if you ever come is dead, -or how he lives, if he be living. round our way”
Shall we meet him ? Shall we meet The jubilant auctioneer, fairly dancing him? Five goodly spirits await us in upon the fence in the energy of his de- heaven ; will he be there, also ? Oh, light, broke in here,
no! he was a bad, bad, bad son, and be “ Can't take no bids, gentlemen, short broke his father's heart !” of a half-dollar rise, each time !"
“ He was a bad son, Jacob, giddy and
light-headed, but not wholly bad. Oh, room with a strange anxiety, as though he was so strong, so handsome, so bright it sought in vain for what should assuredand brave! If he is living, I pray God ly have been found there. that he may come back to see us for a lit- " Good evening, Sir,” said Jacob Newtle, before we follow our other lost ones!” ell.
“ If he should come back,” said Jacob, The stranger made no reply, but still turning very white, but speaking clearly stood clinging to the door, with a strange and distinctly, “I would drive him from and horrible expression of mingled wonmy door, and tell him to be gone forever! der and awe in his face. A wine-bibber, dissolute, passionate, head- “ 'T is a lunatic!” whispered Ruth to strong, having no reverence for God or her husband. man, no love for his mother, no sense of "Sir,” said Jacob,“ what do you want duty towards his father; I have disowned here to-night ? ” him, once and forever, and utterly cast The stranger found voice at length, but him out! Let him beware and not come it was weak and timorous as that of a back to tempt me to curse him!” frightened child.
Still from the distance, overpowering “We were on the train, my wife and and drowning the headlong rush of pas- I, with our three little ones, - on the train sion, came the soft booming of the even- snowed in five miles back,- and we ask, ing-bell.
if you will give it, a night's lodging, it “I hear the church-bell, Jacob : being necessary that we should reach have not long to hear it. Let us not die home without paying for our keeping at cursing our son in our hearts. God gave the hotel. My wife and children are outhim to us; and if Satan led him astray, side the door, and nearly frozen, I assure we know not how strong the temptation you." may have been, nor how he may have Then Ruth's warm heart showed itself. fought against it."
“ Come in,” she said. “Keep you ? – Jacob Newell had nought to say in an- of course we can. Come in and warm swer to this, but, from the passion in his yourselves.” heart, and from that egotism that many A sweet woman, with one child in her good men have whose religious education arms, and two shivering beside her, glided has taught them to make their personal by the man into the room. They were godliness a matter to vaunt over, he spoke, immediately the recipients of the good foolishly and little to the point,
old lady's hospitality; she dragged them “Ruth, did Satan ever lead me astray ?” at once, one and all, to the warmest spot “ God knows !” she replied.
beside the hearth. There came a rap at the door.
Still the man stood, aimless and uncerThe melody of the church-bell was fast tain, clutching the door and swaying to dying away. The last cadences of sound, and fro. the last quiver in the air, when the ring- “Why do you stand there at the door? er had ceased to ring and the hammer Why not come in ?” said Jacob Newell. struck the bell no more, lingered still, as “ You must be cold and hungry. Ruth a timid and uncertain tapping fell upon - that 's my wife, Sir — will get you and the door.
your family some supper.” “ Come in !” said Jacob Newell.
Then the man came in and walked The door was slowly opened.
with an unsteady step to a chair placed Then there stood within it a tall, mus- for him near the fire. After he had seatcular man, a stranger in those parts, with ed himself he shook like one in an ague-fit. a ruddy face, and a full, brown beard. He “ I fear you are cold,” said Ruth. stood grasping the door with all his might, “ Oh, no!” he said. and leaning against it as for support. His voice struggled to his lips with difMeanwhile his gaze wandered about the ficulty and came forth painfully.
The old lady went to a corner cup- foolishly thought that I should raise them board, and, after a moment's search, all, have them clustering around me in brought forth a black bottle, from which
age, die before any of them, and she poured something into a glass. It so know no bereavements! Today I stand smelt like Jamaica rum. With this she here a solitary old man, sinking rapidly advanced towards the stranger, but she into the grave, and without a relation of was bluntly stopped by Jacob, - any kind, that I know of, on the face of
“ I am afraid the gentleman has had the earth! Think that such a fate may too much of that already!”
yet be yours! But the bitterness of life For an instant, like a red flash of light- you will not fully know, unless one of ning, a flush of anger passed across his your boys — as one of mine did — turns features before the stranger meekly made out profligate and drunken, leaves your answer that he had tasted no liquor that fireside to associate with the dissolute, day. Ruth handed him the glass and he and finally deserts his home and all, fordrained it at a gulp. In a moment more he sat quietly upright and proceeded “ If that son of yours be yet alive, and gravely to divest himself of his heavy were ever to return, - suddenly and withshawl and overcoat, after which he as- out warning, as I have broken in upon sisted in warming and comforting the you to-night, - if he should come to you children, who were growing sleepy and and say, · Father, I have sinned against cross.
Heaven, and before thee, and am no more Ruth bustled about with her prepara- worthy to be called thy son !' what should tions for giving the strangers a comfort
you say to him ?” able supper, and Jacob and his unexpect- “ I should say, · For fifteen years you ed guest entered into conversation. have deserted me without giving mark
“ I used to be acquainted hereabout," or token that you were in the body; now the stranger began, “and I feel almost you have come to see me die, and you like getting among friends, whenever I may stay to bury me!' I should say that, visit the place. I rode over with old Gus I think, though I swore to Ruth but now Parker to-day, from where the train lies that I would curse him, if ever he returnbedded near the five-mile cut, but I was ed, - curse him and drive him from my too busy keeping the children warm to door!” ask him any questions. I came here be- “ But if he came back penitent indeed cause your son Mark Newell and I were for past follies and offences, and only anx. old cronies at school together. I-I don't ious to do well in the future, - if your see him here to-night," — the stranger's son should come in that way, convincing voice trembled now, .“ where is he?" you with tears of his sincerity, you surely
“ Where we must all follow him, sooner would be more gentle to him than that! or later, - in the grave !"
You would put away wrath, would you “ But he had brothers, I've heard him not ? I ask you,” the stranger continued, say," the stranger continued, with an anx- with emotion, “ because I find myself in iety in his tone that he could by no means the position we suppose your son to be conceal; “I believe he had — let me see placed in. I am going home after an ab- three brothers and two sisters. Where sence of years, during all which time I are they?”
have held no communication with my fam“All gone !” cried Jacob Newell, ris- ily. I have sojourned in foreign lands, and ing and pacing the room. Then sudden- now I come to make my father and my ly facing his singular guest, he continued, mother happy, if it be not too late for speaking rapidly and bitterly, “ You have that! I come half hoping and balf fearthree children,- I had six! Yours are ing; tell me what I am to expect? Place alive and hearty; but so were mine; and yourself in my father's position and read when I was a young man, like you, I me my fate !"
While he spoke, his wife, sitting silent Why, Samson,'” the child said, by the fire, bent low over the child she " that 's what you call papa !” held, and a few quiet tears fell upon Then Ruth, who stood by the table little one's frock.
with a pitcher of water in her hand, stagRuth Newell, moving back and forth, gered backwards like one stricken a vioin the preparation of the stranger's sup- lent and sudden blow!-- staggered backper, wore an unquiet and troubled as- wards, dropping the pitcher with a heavy pect, while the old farmer himself was crash as she retreated, and crossing her agitated in a manner painful to see. It hands upon her bosom with quick, short was some seconds before he broke the catchings of the breath! Then crying, silence. When he spoke, his voice was “My son! my son!” she threw herself, thick and husky.
with one long, long sob, upon the stran“If I had a son like you,- if those lit
ger's neck! tle children were my grandchildren, if the sweet lady there was my son's The story is told. What lay in his wife, - ah, then ! —But it is too late ! power was done by the returned prodiWhy do you come here to put turbulent, gal, who did not come back empty-handraging regrets into my heart, that but for ed to the paternal roof. His wife and you would be beating calmly as it did yes- children fostered and petted the old peoterday, and the day before, and has for ple, till, after the passage of two or three years ? Ah! if my son were indeed here ! more Thanksgiving-Days, they became If Samson were indeed here ! ”
as cheerful as of old, and they are now The stranger half arose, as though to considered one of the happiest couples in spring forward, then sank back into his the county. Do not, on that account, O seat again.
too easily influenced youth, think that But the little child sitting in her moth- happiness for one's self and others is usuer's lap by the fire clapped her hands ally secured by dissolute habits in early and laughed a childish, happy laugh. life, or by running away from home.
“ What pleases my little girl ?” asked Half the occupants of our jails and almsthe mother.
houses can tell vou to the contrary.
SONG IN A DREAM.
WINTER rose-leaves, silver-white,
Drifting o'er our darling's bed,
All his little prayers are said,
Winter rose-leaves, falling still,
Go and waken his sad eyes,
He shall start with glad surprise,