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He was employed to help a neighbour in his fishing, and though 'twas but a poor living he could earn with all his efforts, yet we managed to get on somehow. Mother was stronger then, and did a little washing and charing at times, and Tom and I worked in our little garden and went into the fields whenever we could get anything to do, for I was twelve, and a strong, healthy girl. Will not only worked hard and lived poorly without complaining, and did his duty like a good son, but he struggled with his faults of temper, and grew more gentle, more thoughtful for others in acts and words ; till slowly and painfully, but ever supported by the help and blessing of God, the passionate, headstrong boy grew into a manly, gentle lad, his mother's stay and comfort. As for Tom, he was of a different make; not bold and outspoken like his brother, but timid and secret: he never did much amiss that we knew of, and was mostly fond of lying on the beach poring over any books he could lay hands on, but he was so strange in his ways and made so many mysteries that we were never quite sure that all was going on well. He was sixteen this autumn of which I am writing, and helped Will in his fishing; but though he seldom complained he never looked happy, and we knew his heart was not in his work; but mother had no means of putting him to anything else. It was evening, the day had been hot and sultry, and low dark clouds hung on the horizon. Will had said to me as he pushed his boat off in the morning, “ 'Twill be squally before night, Mary, I think; but, please God, I'll be home at sunset. Don't say aught to mother, she'd be fearful for us, and there's nought to fear for hours yet.”

Many a time that day did I stop in my gleaning to look out to sea; it was all covered with little white-crested waves, but blue sky was still to be seen, and many of our boats were out. I fancied I could make out Willy's. I had always a far sight. When the sun set stormy and red, and thick autumn mists began to cover the sea and drift to land, I was on the beach, thankful enough to hear the plash of oars and Willy's voice calling to Tom to pull the boat ashore. I was soon by their side belping them to unload; they had a good catch, and we were in high spirits—at least Tom and I were. I hadn't often seen Tom so noisy or so full of jokes; though I fancied once or twice that when he didn't think any one was looking at

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him his face fell, and he looked gloomy enough. Will was very quiet and grave, and when the boat had been emptied and hoisted high and dry on the beach, I said to him,

Why, Will, you look as if you'd brought home four or five herrings instead of a boat-load of prime fish. What's the matter with you?”

Nothing, Mary, but this, that I don't like so many of our boats being out on a night like this ; there may be more on these sands to-morrow than we'll like to see, if

my fears prove true.”

Nay, Will,” said I, “ I've seen the boats ride safely enough through many nights like these.”

Maybe, maybe,” he answered, and said no more; and by-and-by we all went home, and I was soon lying by mother's side asleep tired out with my day's harvesting. About one o'clock I woke : few could sleep through such a storm as was then raging. I opened the casement window, and clearly heard through the roar of thunder and the sound of the winds and waves the signal-guns of a ship in distress. I was at Will's door in a moment, but he and Tom were both gone, down to the beach doubtless. I came back to mother, who lay with her hands clasped, praying for the poor people in danger.

“Where are your brothers ?she said. “Gone to the beach, I suppose. May I go too, mother ?” “Yes, lass, go. I don't fear for Will, but look after Tom.” “He can't come to harm on the beach, mother." “ No, lass, no; but I'd rather you were there.”.

So I dressed. I was used to storms, and, wrapped in my winter cloak, thought nothing of running down the narrow cliff path to the beach. Almost all the village was there, and the old fishermen stood together in knots anxiously questioning what should be done.

" Wait till morning,” said one.

“ She'll be on the rocks before morning, and not a soul left alive in her,” said another. “ Haul out the life-boat."

“ What's the use ? she can't live in such a sea; 'twould be throwing our own lives after the others.”

I could not see either Tom or Will as I passed from group to group, hearing from each such remarks as these. At last I saw that the life-boat was being dragged down, and as she passed close to me I heard Will's voice giving time to the rest who were bringing her along. I caught his sleeve.

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“Oh, Will, what are you going to do?"

“ Never fear for me; it's my duty,” he said. “ Can I let these poor fellows go down almost at our feet, and never try to help them ?"

“ Think of mother," I gasped out, holding him fast.

“ I do think; if she were here she would give me her blessing and bid me go. Did she not teach me that

Here his voice broke, but soon be spoke again. Low and clear I heard his words through all the storm and the strife. I seem to hear them now.

Lass,” he said, He hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand. I am not going away from His care. Should I be safer to stay here when it is my duty to go to the ship? God will be with me; and Tom and you must care for mother if aught happens to me.

One word more, Mary," he said, as I loosened my hold: “I ought to tell you that without I went the boat couldn't go; there are only just enough willing to man her. Now pray for us ;" and he went. I never thought of anything but Will out among the waves and the rocks, and I prayed as I never prayed before. I forgot even mother alone at home, even Tom. I thought but of the danger and the help. That is a wonderful hour in the life of each one of us when God first teaches us the true meaning of prayer, in which for the first time we seem, as it were, to lay hold on the hem of his garment, and feel that we will not let him go. From a child I had been taught to pray Night and

, morning I kneeled by my little bed and said neither thoughtlessly nor insincerely the words my mother had taught me, but that night I thought that all prayer would henceforth be different to me; for I had felt that God was near, I had known what it was to lay hold of his strength, and I believed that for the sake of Christ my prayer would be heard. I don't know how long I had knelt when I felt some one touch me on the shoulder. I looked up and saw Tom standing by me with a face deadly white and drawn.

“ Will is out there,” he said, pointing to the sea and the wreck, which was now full in sight.

“I know it," I said.

“ He will be drowned, I know he will be drowned," gasped Tom.

" I think not, Tom. He told me that he believed God would take care of him. We must pray for him."



“ Don't talk like that. I can't pray.” “ Why not ?"

Oh, Mary,” said Tom, “ if I hadn't been so wicked I might be with him now; but I didn't dare go, for I had no right to think that God would take care of me.”

" Whatever do you mean?”

“ I can't tell you all now; but, Mary, you don't know how I've hated my life, and the fishing, and the sea, and all. I wanted to be a scholar and a great man, and so as mother had no money, I–I thought I must get it somehow; and, Mary, if I'm not a thief it's through no good in

I meant to steal the money this very night.” I hardly know what I said to my poor brother, but byand-by I persuaded him to go home to mother and tell her I'd come as soon as there was news of Will. I had not long to wait; I heard a cry from one of the sailors who held a glass : “He has done it; it's all right!”

“ What is it?" I said.

“ Yon lad has heaved the rope to the ship, the boat is alongside now. Please God, they'll all be saved."

” But they were not all saved, for when Will came on shore he carried in his arms a little girl about five years old, and he told me that her father and mother had been swept from the deck in the course of the night by a terrible

wave, and that she was left alone. He took her home. Mother," said he, as he went in, “ I've been gleaning, and here is my sheaf;" and he held out the little white thing to her. Mother took the child to her breast and cherished her and fed her with warm bread and milk till a little colour came back to her cheeks, and then she laid her in her own bed while we all knelt to thank God for all his great mercies, and pray that, having been brought through so great a peril, we might never forget him nor be less thankful for his mercies. Poor Tom had told my mother all, and bitterly he sobbed as he knelt by her. Annie White, as the little girl called herself, was a sweet, loving child, and soon dear to us all, though she clung most to Will, as was perhaps natural. Her parents must, we thought, have been rich, judging from her look and dress, but we were forced to clothe her in a coarse frock made out of one of mine, and to put her on a pinafore that Tom wore ten years ago.

And thus just like one of us she ran about the cottage or went into the fields with me. At the end of a week a gentleman from London came to


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make inquiries about her; he was her uncle, the nearest friend she had left, and a good, kind gentleman he was. I can't tell all that passed, but I know he wanted much to give Will something in reward for his courage in saving the little girl. But Will would not hear of it.

“ No, sir; I did naught but my duty, and I couldn't touch the money:

“ Is there nothing I may do for you, not as pay, but to show my gratitude? Think again," said the gentleman.

Will looked thoughtful; at last he said, “ There is one thing, sir, and if you can do it I'll be overpaid and grateful to you for ever more."

Just then mother called me; but by-and-by I learnt that Tom was to go to London to be educated there at some institution for lads who wanted, as he did, to be scholars.

“ 'Tis your chance in life, lad,” said Will; “ don't throw it away."

“ Please God, I won't. If nought else would move me, I'm not likely to forget how the chance was bought for me.”

“ And Mary,” said Will to me the same day, gentleman offers to take you as purse to little Annie. You would live in a nice house, and be well fed and clothed ; and he says if he were pleased with you you would soon get large wages. 'Tis a good chance for you.”

I said nothing, but went out into the fields to think. To go to London. It sounded very pleasant and fine. I had dreamed of it many a time, though I never hoped such a lot would really be mine. Yes, I'll go,” I said to myself. “I'll send all my wages home to mother, except what I keep for presents for her and Will; and when I come home dressed like a lady every one will make so much of me. Why should Tom learn and get on, and I be a poor fisherman's daughter all my days?” As I went home to tell mother and Will of my choice I passed through the cleared fields, and stopped without thinking to glean some stray ears. that moment I seemed to hear my mother reading to me the story of Ruth. I heard her repeat, “ Entreat me not to leave thee, nor to return from following after thee; for where thou goest I will go, where thou lodgest I will lodge; tby people shall be my people and thy God my God.' And I, her own daughter, would have left her I thought-Gud forgive me; and my mother is feeble and needing care every day and hour.

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