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Chapter 21 Footsteps of angels

  • > Oh, that  _had_ , how sad a passage 'tis!
  • >                    SHAKSPEARE.
  • THE next day, about the middle of the afternoon, a light step crossed th_hed, and the great door opening gently, in walked Miss Alice Humphreys. Th_oom was all "redd up," and Miss Fortune and her mother sat there at work; on_icking over white beans at the table, the other in her usual seat by th_ire, and at her usual employment, which was knitting. Alice came forward, an_sked the old lady how she did.
  • "Pretty well–Oh!, pretty well!" she answered, with the look of bland good- humour her face almost always wore,–"and glad to see you, dear. Take a chair."
  • Alice did so, quite aware that the other person in the room was  _not_  gla_o see her.
  • "And how goes the world with you, Miss Fortune?"
  • "Humph! It's a queer kind of world, I think," answered that lady dryly, sweeping some of the picked beans into her pan;–"I get a'most sick of i_ometimes."
  • "Why, what's the matter?" said Alice, pleasantly; "may I ask? Has any thin_appened to trouble you?"
  • "Oh, no!" said the other somewhat impatiently; "nothing that's any matter t_ny one but myself; it's no use speaking about it."
  • "Ah, Fortune never would take the world easy," said the old woman, shaking he_ead from side to side; "never would;–I never could get her."
  • "Now do hush, mother, will you!" said the daughter, turning round upon he_ith startling sharpness of look and tone;–" 'take the world easy!' you alway_id. I am glad I ain't like you."
  • "I don't think it's a bad way after all," said Alice; "what's the use o_aking it hard, Miss Fortune?"
  • "The way one goes on!" said that lady, picking away at her beans very fast an_ot answering Alice's question,–"I'm tired of it;–toil, toil, and drive, drive,–from morning to night; and what's the end of it all?"
  • "Not much," said Alice gravely, "if our toiling looks no further than  _this_orld. When we go we shall carry nothing away with us. I should think it woul_e very wearisome to toil only for what we cannot keep nor stay long t_njoy."
  • "It's a pity you warn't a minister, Miss Alice," said Miss Fortune dryly.
  • "Oh, no, Miss Fortune," said Alice smiling, "the family would be overstocked.
  • My father is one and my brother will be another; a third would be too much.
  • You must be so good as to let me preach without taking orders."
  • "Well, I wish every minister was as good a one as you'd make," said Mis_ortune, her hard face giving way a little;–"at any rate nobody'd mind an_hing you'd say Miss Alice."
  • "That would be unlucky, in one sense," said Alice; "but I believe I know wha_ou mean. But, Miss Fortune, no one would dream the world went very hard wit_ou. I don't know any body I think lives in more independent comfort an_lenty, and has things more to her mind. I never come to the house that I a_ot struck with the fine look of the farm and all that belongs to it."
  • "Yes," said the old lady, nodding her head two or three times, "Mr. Van Brun_s a good farmer–very good–there's no doubt about that."
  • "I wonder what  _he'd_  do," said Miss Fortune, quickly and sharply as before,
  • "if there warn't a head to manage for him!–Oh, the farm's well enough, Mis_lice,–tain't that; every one knows where his own shoe pinches."
  • "I wish you'd let me into the secret then, Miss Fortune; I'm a cobbler b_rofession."
  • Miss Fortune's ill humour was giving way, but something disagreeable seeme_gain to cross her mind. Her brow darkened.
  • "I say it's a poor kind of world and I'm sick of it! One may slave and slav_ne's life out for other people, and what thanks do you get?–I'm sick of it."
  • "There's a little body up-stairs, or I'm much mistaken, who will give you ver_incere thanks for every kindness shown her."
  • Miss Fortune tossed her head, and brushing the refuse beans into her lap, sh_ushed back her chair with a jerk to go to the fire with them.
  • "Much you know about her, Miss Alice! Thanks, indeed! I haven't seen the sig_f such a thing since she's been here, for all I have worked and worked an_ad plague enough with her I am sure. Deliver me from other people's children, say I!"
  • "After all, Miss Fortune," said Alice soberly, "it is not what we  _do_  fo_eople that makes them love us,–or at least every thing depends on the wa_hings are done. A look of love, a word of kindness, goes further towar_inning the heart than years of service or benefactions mountain-high withou_hem."
  • "Does she say I am unkind to her?" asked Miss Fortune fiercely.
  • "Pardon me," said Alice, "words on her part are unnecessary; it is easy to se_rom your own that there is no love lost between you, and I am very sorry i_s so."
  • "Love, indeed!" said Miss Fortune with great indignation; "there never was an_o lose I can assure you. She plagues the very life out of me. Why, she hadn'_een here three days before she went off with that girl Nancy Vawse that I ha_old her never to go near, and was gone all night; that's the time she got i_he brook. And if you'd seen her face when I was scolding her about it!–it wa_ike seven thunder clouds. Much you know about it! I dare say she's very swee_o you; that's the way she is to every body beside me–they all think she's to_ood to live; and it just makes me mad!"
  • "She told me herself," said Alice, "of her behaving ill another time, abou_er mother's letter."
  • "Yes–that was another time. I wish you'd seen her!"
  • "I believe she saw and felt her fault in that case. Didn't she ask you_ardon? she said she would."
  • "Yes," said Miss Fortune dryly, "after a fashion."
  • "Has she had her letter yet?"
  • "No."
  • "How is she to-day?"
  • "Oh, she's well enough–she's sitting up. You can go up and see her."
  • "I will directly," said Alice. "But now, Miss Fortune, I am going to ask _avour of you,–will you do me a great pleasure?"
  • "Certainly, Miss Alice,–if I can?"
  • "If you think Ellen has been sufficiently punished for her ill behaviour–i_ou do not think it right to withhold her letter still,–will you let me hav_he pleasure of giving it to her? I should take it as a great favour t_yself."
  • Miss Fortune made no kind of reply to this, but stalked out of the room, an_n a few minutes stalked in again with the letter, which she gave to Alice, only saying shortly, "It came to me in a letter from her father."
  • "You are willing she should have it?" said Alice.
  • "Oh, yes!–do what you like with it."
  • Alice now went softly up stairs. She found Ellen's door a little ajar, an_ooking in could see Ellen seated in a rocking-chair between the door and th_ire, in her double-gown, and with her hymnbook in her hand. It happened tha_llen had spent a good part of that afternoon in crying for her lost letter; and the face that she turned to the door on hearing some slight noise outsid_as very white and thin indeed. And though it was placid too, her eye searche_he crack of the door with a keen wistfulness that went to Alice's heart. Bu_s the door was gently pushed open, and the eye caught the figure that stoo_ehind it, the sudden and entire change of expression took away all her power_f speech. Ellen's face became radiant; she rose from her chair, and as Alic_ame silently in and kneeling down to be near her took her in her arms, Elle_ut both hers round Alice's neck and laid her face there;–one was too happ_nd the other too touched to say a word.
  • "My poor child!" was Alice's first expression.
  • "No, I ain't," said Ellen, tightening the squeeze of her arms round Alice'_eck; "I am not poor at all now."
  • Alice presently rose, sat down in the rocking chair and took Ellen in her lap; and Ellen rested her head on her bosom as she had been wont to do of old time_n her mother's.
  • "I am too happy," she murmured. But she was weeping, and the current of tear_eemed to gather force as it flowed. What was little Ellen thinking of jus_hen? Oh, those times gone by!–when she had sat just so; her head pillowed o_nother as gentle a breast; kind arms wrapped round her, just as now; the sam_ittle old double-gown; the same weak helpless feeling; the same committin_erself to the strength and care of another;–how much the same, and oh! ho_uch not the same!–and Ellen knew both. Blessing as she did the breast o_hich she leaned and the arms whose pressure she felt, they yet reminded he_adly of those most loved and so very far away; and it was an odd mixture o_elief and regret, joy and sorrow, gratified and ungratified affection, tha_pened the sluices of her eyes. Tears poured.
  • "What is the matter, my love?" said Alice softly.
  • "I don't know," whispered Ellen.
  • "Are you so glad to see me? or so sorry? or what is it?"
  • "Oh, glad and sorry both, I think," said Ellen with a long breath, and sittin_p.
  • "Have you wanted me so much, my poor child?"
  • "I cannot tell you how much," said Ellen, her words cut short.
  • "And didn't you know that I have been sick too? What did you think had becom_f me? Why, Mrs. Vawse was with me a whole week, and this is the very firs_ay I have been able to go out. It is so fine to-day I was permitted to rid_harp down."
  • "Was that it?" said Ellen. "I did wonder, Miss Alice, I did wonder very muc_hy you did not come to see me, but I never liked to ask aunt Fortune, because–"
  • "Because what?"
  • "I don't know as I ought to say what I was going to;–I had a feeling she woul_e glad about what I was sorry about."
  • "Don't know  _that_  you ought to say," said Alice. "Remember, you are t_tudy English with me."
  • Ellen smiled a glad smile.
  • "And you have had a weary two weeks of it, haven't you, dear?"
  • "Oh," said Ellen, with another long-drawn sigh, "how weary! Part of that time, to be sure, I was out of my head; but I have got  _so_  tired lying here al_lone; aunt Fortune coming in and out was just as good as nobody."
  • "Poor child!" said Alice, "you have had a worse time than I."
  • "I used to lie and watch that crack in the door at the foot of my bed," sai_llen, "and I got so tired of it I hated to see it, but when I opened my eye_ couldn't help looking at it, and watching all the little ins and outs in th_rack till I was as sick of it as could be. And that button too that fasten_he door, and the little round mark the button has made, and thinking how fa_he button went round. And then if I looked toward the windows I would g_ight to counting the panes, first up and down and then across; and I didn'_ant to count them, but I couldn't help it; and watching to see through whic_ane the sky looked brightest. Oh, I got so sick of it all! There was only th_ire that I didn't get tired of looking at; I always liked to lie and look a_hat, except when it hurt my eyes. And oh, how I wanted to see you, Mis_lice! You can't think how sad I felt that you didn't come to see me. _ouldn't think what could be the matter."
  • "I should have been with you, dear, and not have left you, if I had not bee_ied at home myself."
  • "So I thought; and that made it seem so very strange. But Oh! don't yo_hink," said Ellen, her face suddenly brightening,–"don't you think Mr. Va_runt came up to see me last night? Wasn't it good of him? He even sat dow_nd read to me; only think of that. And isn't he kind? he asked if I woul_ike a rocking-chair; and of course I said yes, for these other chairs ar_readful, they break my back; and there wasn't such a thing as a rocking-chai_n aunt Fortune's house, she hates 'em, she says; and this morning, the firs_hing I knew, in walked Mr. Van Brunt with this nice rocking-chair. Just ge_p and see how nice it is;–you see the back is cushioned, and the elbows, a_ell as the seat;–it's queer-looking, ain't it? but it's very comfortable.
  • Wasn't it good of him?"
  • "It was very kind, I think. But do you know, Ellen, I am going to have _uarrel with you?"
  • "What about?" said Ellen. "I don't believe it's any thing very bad, for yo_ook pretty good-humoured, considering."
  • "Nothing  _very_  bad," said Alice, "but still enough to quarrel about. Yo_ave twice said ' _ain't_  ' since I have been here."
  • "Oh," said Ellen, laughing, "is that all?"
  • "Yes," said Alice, "and my English ears don't like it at all."
  • "Then they shan't hear it," said Ellen, kissing her. "I don't know what make_e say it; I never used to. But I've got more to tell you; I've had mor_isitors. Who do you think came to see me?–you'd never guess–Nancy Vawse?–Mr.
  • Van Brunt came in the very nick of time, when I was almost worried to deat_ith her. Only think of  _her_  coming up here! unknown to every body. And sh_tayed an age, and how she  _did_  go on. She cracked nuts on the hearth;–sh_ot every stitch of my clothes out of my trunk and scattered them over th_loor;–she tried to make me drink gruel till between us we spilled a grea_arcel on the bed; and she had begun to tickle me when Mr. Van Brunt came. Oh, wasn't I glad to see him! And when aunt Fortune came up and saw it all she wa_s angry as she could be; and she scolded and scolded, till at last I told he_t was none of my doing,–I couldn't help it at all,–and she needn't talk so t_e about it; and then she said it was my fault the whole of it! that if _adn't scraped acquaintance with Nancy when she had forbidden me all thi_ould never have happened."
  • "There is some truth in that, isn't there, Ellen?"
  • "Perhaps so; but I think it might all have happened whether or no; and at an_ate it is a little hard to talk so to me about it now when it's all over an_an't be helped. Oh, I have been so tired to-day, Miss Alice!–aunt Fortune ha_een in such a bad humour."
  • "What put her in a bad humour?"
  • "Why, all this about Nancy in the first place; and then I know she didn't lik_r. Van Brunt's bringing the rocking-chair for me; she couldn't say much, bu_ could see by her face. And then Mrs. Van Brunt's coming–I don't think sh_iked that. Oh, Mrs. Van Brunt came to see me this morning, and brought me _ustard. How many people are kind to me!–everywhere I go."
  • "I hope, dear Ellen, you don't forget whose kindness sends them all."
  • "I don't, Miss Alice; I always think of that now; and it seems you can't thin_ow pleasant to me sometimes."
  • "Then I hope you can bear unkindness from one poor woman,–who after all isn'_s happy as you are,–without feeling any ill-will toward her in return."
  • "I don't think I feel ill-will toward her," said Ellen; "I always try as har_s I can not to; but I can't  _like_  her, Miss Alice; and I do get out o_atience. It's very easy to put me out of patience, I think; it takes almos_othing sometimes."
  • "But remember, 'charity suffereth long and is kind.' "
  • "And I try all the while, dear Miss Alice, to keep down my bad feelings," sai_llen, her eyes watering as she spoke; "I try and pray to get rid of them, an_ hope I shall by and by; I believe I am very bad."
  • Alice drew her closer.
  • "I have felt very sad part of to-day," said Ellen presently; "aunt Fortune, and my being so lonely, and my poor letter, altogether;–but part of the time _elt a great deal better. I was learning that lovely hymn,–do you know it, Miss Alice?–'Poor, weak, and worthless, though I am?'–"
  • Alice went on:–
  • > "I have a rich almighty friend, > Jesus the Saviour is his name, > He freely loves, and without end."
  • "Oh, dear Ellen, whoever can say that, has no right to be unhappy. No matte_hat happens, we have enough to be glad of."
  • "And then I was thinking of those words in the Psalms,–'Blessed is th_an'–stop, I'll find it; I don't know exactly how it goes;–'Blessed is h_hose transgression is forgiven; whose sin is covered.'"
  • "Oh, yes indeed!" said Alice. "It is a shame that any trifles should worr_uch those whose sins are forgiven them and who are the children of the grea_ing. Poor Miss Fortune never knew the sweetness of those words. We ought t_e sorry for her, and pray for her, Ellen; and never, never, even in thought, return evil for evil. It is not like Christ to do so."
  • "I will not, I will not, if I can help it," said Ellen.
  • "You can help it; but there is only one way. Now, Ellen dear, I have thre_ieces of news for you that I think you will like. One concerns you, anothe_yself, and the third concerns both you and myself. Which will you hav_irst?"
  • "Three pieces of good news!" said Ellen with opening eyes;–"I think I'll hav_y part first."
  • Directing Ellen's eyes to her pocket, Alice slowly made the corner of th_etter show itself. Ellen's colour came and went quick as it was drawn forth; but when it was fairly out and she knew it again, she flung herself upon i_ith a desperate eagerness Alice had not looked for; she was startled at th_alf frantic way in which the child clasped and kissed it, weeping bitterly a_he same time. Her transport was almost hysterical. She had opened the letter, but she was not able to read a word; and quitting Alice's arms she thre_erself upon the bed sobbing in a mixture of joy and sorrow that seemed t_ake away her reason. Alice looked on surprised a moment, but only a moment, and turned away.
  • When Ellen was able to begin her letter the reading of it served to throw he_ack into fresh fits of tears. Many a word of Mrs. Montgomery's went so to he_ittle daughter's heart that its very inmost cords of love and tenderness wer_rung. It is true the letter was short and very simple; but it came from he_other's heart; it was written by her mother's hand; and the very ol_emembered handwriting had mighty power to move her. She was so wrapped up i_er own feelings that through it all she never noticed that Alice was not nea_er, that Alice did not speak to comfort her. When the letter had been rea_ime after time, and wept over again and again, and Ellen at last was foldin_t up for the present, she bethought herself of her friend and turned to loo_fter her. Alice was sitting by the window, her face hid in her hands, and a_llen drew near she was surprised to see that  _her_  tears were flowing an_er breast heaving. Ellen came quite close, and softly laid her hand o_lice's shoulder. But it drew no attention.
  • "Miss Alice," said Ellen almost fearfully,–" _dear_  Miss Alice,"–and her ow_yes filled fast again, "what is the matter?–won't you tell me?–Oh, don't d_o! please don't!"
  • "I will not," said Alice lifting her head; "I am sorry I have troubled yo_ear; I am sorry I could not help it."
  • She kissed Ellen, who stood anxious and sorrowful by her side, and brushe_way her tears. But Ellen saw she had been shedding a great many.
  • "What is the matter, dear Miss Alice? what has happened to trouble you?–won'_ou tell me?"–Ellen was almost crying herself.
  • Alice came back to the rocking-chair, and took Ellen in her arms again; bu_he did not answer her. Leaning her face against Ellen's forehead she remaine_ilent. Ellen ventured to ask no more questions; but lifting her hand once o_wice caressingly to Alice's face she was distressed to find her cheek we_till. Alice spoke at last.
  • "It isn't fair not to tell you what is the matter, dear Ellen, since I hav_et you see me sorrowing. It is nothing new, nor anything I would hav_therwise if I could. It is only that I have had a mother once, and have los_er; and you brought back the old time so strongly that I could not comman_yself."
  • Ellen felt a hot tear drop upon her forehead, and again ventured to speak fo_ympathy only by silently stroking Alice's cheek.
  • "It is all past now," said Alice; "it is all well. I would not have her bac_gain. I shall go to her I hope by and by."
  • "Oh, no! You must stay with me," said Ellen, clasping both arms around her.
  • There was a long silence, during which they remained locked in each other'_rms.
  • "Ellen dear," said Alice at length, "we are both motherless for the present a_east,–both of us almost alone; I think God has brought us together to be _omfort to each other. We will be sisters while he permits us to be so. Don'_all me Miss Alice any more. You shall be my little sister and I will be you_lder sister, and my home shall be your home as well."
  • Ellen's arms were drawn very close round her companion at this, but she sai_othing, and her face was laid in Alice's bosom. There was another very lon_ause. Then Alice spoke in a livelier tone.
  • "Come, Ellen! look up! you and I have forgotten ourselves; it isn't good fo_ick people to get down in the dumps. Look up and let me see these pal_heeks. Don't you want something to eat?"
  • "I don't know," said Ellen faintly.
  • "What would you say to a cup of chicken broth?"
  • "Oh, I should like it very much!" said Ellen with new energy.
  • "Margery made me some particularly nice, as she always does; and I took i_nto my head a little might not come amiss to you; so I resolved to stand th_hance of Sharp's jolting it all over me, and I rode down with a little pai_f it on my arm. Let me rake open these coals and you shall have som_irectly."
  • "And did you come without being spattered?" said Ellen.
  • "Not a drop. Is this what you use to warm things in? Never mind, it has ha_ruel in it; I'll set the tin pail on the fire, it won't hurt it."
  • "I am so much obliged to you," said Ellen, "for do you know I have got quit_ired of gruel, and panada I can't bear."
  • "Then I am very glad I brought it."
  • While it was warming Alice washed Ellen's gruel cup and spoon; and presentl_he had the satisfaction of seeing Ellen eating the broth with that kee_njoyment none know but those that have been sick and are getting well. Sh_miled to see her gaining strength almost in the very act of swallowing.
  • "Ellen," said she presently, "I have been considering your dressing-table. I_ooks rather doleful. I'll make you a present of some dimity, and when yo_ome to see me you shall make a cover for it that will reach down to the floo_nd hide those long legs."
  • "That wouldn't do at all," said Ellen; "aunt Fortune would go off into al_orts of fits."
  • "What about?"
  • "Why the washing, Miss Alice–to have such a great thing to wash every now an_hen. You can't think what a fuss she makes if I have more than just so man_hite clothes in the wash every week."
  • "That's too bad," said Alice. "Suppose you bring it up to me–it wouldn't b_ften–and I'll have it washed for you,–if you care enough about it to take th_rouble."
  • "Oh, indeed I do!" said Ellen; "I should like it very much, and I'll get Mr.
  • Van Brunt to–no I can't, aunt Fortune won't let me; I was going to say I woul_et him to saw off the legs and make it lower for me, and then my dressing-bo_ould stand so nicely on the top. Maybe I can yet. Oh, I never showed you m_oxes and things."
  • Ellen brought them all out and displayed their beauties. In the course o_oing over the writing-desk she came to the secret drawer and a little mone_n it.
  • "Oh, that puts me in mind!" she said. "Miss Alice, this money is to be spen_or some poor child;–now I've been thinking Nancy has behaved so to me _hould like to give her something to show her that I don't feel unkindly abou_t–what do you think will be a good thing?"
  • "I don't know, Ellen–I'll take the matter into consideration."
  • "Do you think a Bible would do?"
  • "Perhaps that would do as well as any thing;–I'll think about it."
  • "I should like to do it very much," said Ellen, "for she has vexed m_onderfully."
  • "Well, Ellen, would you like to hear my other pieces of news? or have you n_uriosity?"
  • "Oh, yes, indeed," said Ellen, "I had forgotten it entirely; what is it, Mis_lice?"
  • "You know I told you one concerns only myself, but it is great news to me. _earnt this morning that my brother will come to spend the holidays with me.
  • It is many months since I have seen him."
  • "Does he live far away?" said Ellen.
  • "Yes,–he has gone far away to pursue his studies, and cannot come home often.
  • The other piece of news is that I intend, if you have no objection, to as_iss Fortune's leave to have you spend the holidays with me too."
  • "Oh, delightful!" said Ellen, starting up and clapping her hands, and the_hrowing them round her adopted sister's neck;–"dear Alice, how good you are!"
  • "Then I suppose I may reckon upon your consent," said Alice, "and I'll spea_o Miss Fortune without delay."
  • "Oh, thank you, dear Miss Alice;–how glad I am! I shall be happy all the tim_rom now till then thinking of it. You aren't going?"
  • "I must."
  • "Ah, don't go yet! Sit down again; you know you're my sister,–don't you wan_o read mamma's letter?"
  • "If you please, Ellen, I should like it very much."
  • She sat down, and Ellen gave her the letter, and stood by while she read it, watching her with glistening eyes; and though as she saw Alice's fill her ow_verflowed again, she hung over her still to the last; going over every lin_his time with a new pleasure.
  • > " _New York, Saturday, Nov._  22, 18–.
  • >
  • > "MY DEAR ELLEN,
  • >
  • > "I meant to have written to you before, but have been scarcely able to d_o. I did make one or two efforts which came to nothing; I was obliged to giv_t up before finishing any thing that could be called a letter. To-day I fee_uch stronger than I have at any time since your departure.
  • >
  • > "I have missed you, my dear child, very much. There is not an hour in th_ay, nor a half hour, that the want of you does not come home to my heart; an_ think I have missed you in my very dreams. This separation is a very har_hing to bear. But the hand that has arranged it does nothing amiss; we mus_rust Him, my daughter, that all will be well. I feel it  _is_  well; thoug_ometimes the thought of your dear little face is almost too much for me. _ill thank God I have had such a blessing so long, and I now commit m_reasure to Him. It is an unspeakable comfort to me to do this, for nothin_ommitted to his care is ever forgotten or neglected. Oh, my daughter, neve_orget to pray; never slight it. It is almost my only refuge, now I have los_ou, and it bears me up. How often–how often,–through years gone by,–whe_eart-sick and faint,–I have fallen on my knees, and presently there have bee_s it were drops of cool water sprinkled upon my spirit's fever. Learn to lov_rayer, dear Ellen, and then you will have a cure for all the sorrows of life.
  • And keep this letter, that if ever you are like to forget it, your mother'_estimony may come to mind again.
  • >
  • > "My tea, that used to be so pleasant, has become a sad meal to me. I drin_t mechanically and set down my cup, remembering only that the dear littl_and which used to minister to my wants is near me no more. My child–m_hild!–words are poor to express the heart's yearnings,–my spirit is near yo_ll the time.
  • >
  • > "Your old gentleman has paid me several visits. The day after you went cam_ome beautiful pigeons. I sent word back that you were no longer here to enjo_is gifts, and the next day he came to see me. He has shown himself very kind.
  • And all this, dear Ellen, had for its immediate cause your proper and ladylik_ehaviour in the store. That thought has been sweeter to me than all the ol_entleman's birds and fruit. I am sorry to inform you that though I have see_im so many times I am still perfectly ignorant of his name.
  • >
  • > "We set sail Monday in the England. Your father has secured a nice state- room for me, and I have a store of comforts laid up for the voyage. So nex_eek you may imagine me out on the broad ocean, with nothing but sky an_louds and water to be seen around me; and probably much too sick to look a_hose. Never mind that; the sickness is good for me.
  • >
  • > "I will write you as soon as I can again, and send by the first conveyance.
  • >
  • > "And now my dear baby–my precious child–farewell. May the blessings of Go_e with you!
  • >
  • > "Your affectionate mother, > "E. MONTGOMERY."
  • "You ought to be a good child, Ellen," said Alice, as she dashed away som_ears. "Thank you for letting me see this; it has been a great pleasure t_e."
  • "And now, said Ellen, "you feel as if you knew mamma a little."
  • "Enough to honour and respect her very much. Now good-by, my love; I must b_t home before it is late. I will see you again before Christmas comes."