Page images
[ocr errors]

sky, and river, and hill; now and then a twinkling light began to appear along the shores.

“ You are very tired,” said Ellen's friend to her," I see you are.

A little more patience, my child ;-we shall be at our journey's end before a very great while."

“I am almost sorry," said Ellen, “ though I am tired. We don't


in the steamboat to-morrow; do we, sir.” “No,-in the stage.” “Shall you be in the stage, sir ?"

“No, my child. But I am glad you and I have spent this day together."

“Oh, sir!” said Ellen, “I don't know what I should have done if it hadn't been for you!"

There was silence again, and the gentleman almost thought his little charge had fallen asleep, she sat so still. But she suddenly spoke again, and in a tone of voice that showed sleep was far away.

“I wish I knew where mamma is now !”

“I do not doubt, my child, from what you told me, that it is well with her wherever she is. Let that thought comfort you whenever you remember her.”

“She must want me so much,” said poor Ellen, in & scarcely audible voice.

“She has not lost her best friend, my child.”

“I know it, sir,” said Ellen, with whom grief was now getting the mastery,"but O! it's just near the time when I used to make the tea for her-who'll make it now she'll want me, oh what shall I do !" and overcame completely by this recollection, she threw herself into her friend's arms and sobbed aloud.

There was no reasoning against this. He did not attempt it; but with the utmost gentleness and tenderness endeavoured, as soon as he might, to soothe and calm her. He succeeded at last; with a sort of despairing submission, Ellen ceased her tears, and arose to her former position. But he did not rest from his kind endeavours till her mind was really eased and comforted; which, however, was not long before the lights of a city began to appear in the distance. And with them appeared & dusky figure ascending the stairs, which, upon nearer approach, proved by the voice to be Timmins.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

i "Is this Miss Montgomery ?said she ;-"I can't see, I am sure, it's so dark. Is that you, Miss Montgomery ?"

“Yes,” said Ellen, “it is I; do you want me ?"

“ If you please, miss, Mrs. Dunscombe wants you to come right down; we're almost in, she says, miss.”

"I'll come directly, Miss Timmins," said Ellen. “Don't wait for me, I won't be a minute,—I'll come directly."

Miss Timmins retired, standing still a good deal in awe of the grave personage whose protection Ellen seemed to have gained.

“I must go," said Ellen, standing up and extending her hand;-"Good-by, sir.”

She could hardly say it. He drew her towards him and kissed her cheek once or twice; it was well he did; for it sent a thrill of pleasure to Ellen's heart that she did not get over that evening, nor all the next day.

“God bless you, my child,” he said, gravely but cheerfully; "and good night !-you will feel better I trust when you have had some rest and refreshment.”

He took care of her down the stairs, and saw her safe to the

very door of the saloon, and within it; and there again took her hand and kindly bade her good-night!

Ellen entered the saloon only to sit down and cry as if her heart would break. She saw and heard nothing till Mrs. Dunscombe's voice bade her make haste and be ready, for they were going ashore in five minutes.

And in less than five minutes ashore they went.

" Which hotel, ma'am ?" asked the servant who carried her baggage,—“the Eagle, or Foster's ?"

“The Eagle," said Mrs. Dunscombe.

“ Come this way then, ma'am,” said another man, the driver of the Eagle carriage, —“Now ma'am, step in, if you

Mrs. Dunscombe put her daughter in.

“But it's full!” said she to the driver; “there isn't room for another one !"

“O yes, ma'am, there is," said the driver, holding the door open; there's plenty of room for you, ma'am, -just get in, ma'am, if you please, -we'll be there in less than two minutes.”

Timmins, you'll have to walk,” said Mrs. Dunscombe.



“ Miss Montgomery, would you rather ride, or walk with Timmins ?"

“ How far is it, ma'am ?" said Ellen.

“O bless me! how can I tell how far it is? I don't know, I am sure,—not far ;-say quick,—would you rather walk or ride ?" “I would rather walk, ma'am, if you please," said Ellen.

Very well,” said Mrs. Dunscombe, getting in ;—“Timmins, you know the way.”

And off went the coach with its load; but tired as she was, Ellen did not wish herself along.

Picking a passage-way out of the crowd, she and Timmins now began to make their way up one of the comparatively quiet streets.

It was a strange place—that she felt. She had lived long enough in the place she had left to feel at home there; but here she came to no street or crossing that she had ever seen before; nothing looked familiar; all reminded her that she was a traveller. Only one pleasant thing Ellen saw on her walk, and that was the sky; and that looked just as it did at home; and very often Ellen's gaze was fixed upon it, much to the astonishment of Miss Timmins, who had to be not a little watchful for the safety of Ellen's feet while her eyes were thus employed. She had taken a great fancy to Ellen, however, and let her do as she pleased, keeping all her wonderment to herself.

“Take care, Miss Ellen !" cried Timmins, giving her arm a great pull,—“I declare I just saved you out of that gutter! poor child! you are dreadfully tired, ain't you ?"

“Yes, I am very tired, Miss Timmins," said Ellen,“ have we much further to go ?

“Not a great deal, dear; cheer up! we are almost there. I hope Mrs. Dunscombe will want to ride one of these days herself, and can't.”

“Oh don't say so, Miss Timmins,” said Ellen,—“I don't wish

SO, indeed.” “Well, I should think you would,” said Timmins,—“I should think you'd be fit to poison her;-I should, I know, if I was in your place.”

“O no,” said Ellen, " that wouldn't be right,--that would be very wrong."


“Wrong!" said Timmins,—“why would it be wrong? she hasn't behaved good to you."

“Yes,” said Ellen," but don't you know the Bible says if we do not forgive people what they do to us, we shall not be forgiven ourselves ?"

Well, I declare!” said Miss Timmins, “you beat all! But here's the Eagle hotel at last,—and I am glad for your sake, dear.”

Ellen was shown into the ladies' parlour. She was longing for a place to rest, but she saw directly it was not to be there. The room was large, and barely furnished; and round it were scattered part of the carriage-load of people that had arrived a quarter of an hour before her. They were waiting till their rooms should be ready., Ellen silently found herself a chair and sat down to wait with the rest, as patiently as she might. Few of them had as much cause for impatience; but she was the only perfectly mute and uncomplaining one there. Her two companions however between them, fully made up her share of fretting. At length, a servant brought the welcome news that their roon was ready, and the three marched up stairs. It made El len's very heart glad when they got there, to find a good sized, cheerful-looking bedroom, comfortably furnished, with a bright fire burning, large curtains let down to the floor, and a nice warm carpet upon it. Taking off her bonnet, and only that, she sat down on a low cushion by the corner of the fireplace, and leaning her head against the jamb fell fast asleep alınost immediately. Mrs. Dunscombe set about arranging herself for the tea-table.

“ Well !” she said, -"one day of this precious journey is over!”

• Does Ellen go with us to-morrow, mamma ?" “Oh, yes !-quite to Thirlwall.” “Well, you haven't had much plague with her to-day,

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

“No I am sure I am much obliged to whoever has kept her out of my way.'

" Where is she going to sleep to-night ?" asked Miss Margaret.

“I don't know, I am sure.- I suppose I shall have to have a cot brought in here for her.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“What a plague !" said Miss Margaret. “It will lumber

up the room so ! There's no place to put it. Couldn't she sleep with Timmins ?”

“O, she could, of course—just as well as not, only people would make such a fuss about it;-it wouldn't do; we must bear it for once. I'll try and not be caught in such a scrape again.”

“ How provoking!" said Miss Margaret; “how came father to do so without asking you about it?" “O, he was bewitched, I suppose,

-men always are. Look here, Margaret, I can't go down to tea with a train of children at my heels,-I shall leave you and Ellen up here, and I'll send up your tea to you."

“O no, mamma !said Margaret eagerly; “I want to go down with you.

Look here, mamma! she's asleep and you needn't wake her up—that's excuse

gh; you can leave her to have her tea up here, and let me go down with



« Well,” said Mrs. Dunscombe, “I don't care- -but make haste to get ready, for I expect every minute when the tea-bell will ring.”.

• Timmins! Timmins !".cried Margaret,—"come here and fix me-quick!--and step softly, will you ?-or you'll wake that young one up, and then, you see, I shall have to stay up stairs."

This did not happen however. Ellen's sleep was much too deep to be easily disturbed. The tea-bell itself, loud and shrill as it was, did not even make her eyelids tremble. After Mrs. and Miss Dunscombe were gone down, Timmins employed herself a little while in putting all things about the room to rights; and then sat down to take her rest, dividing her attention between the fire and Ellen, towards whom she seemed to feel more and more kindness, as she saw that she was likely to receive it from no one else. Presently came a knock at the door;—“The tea for the young lady,” on a waiter. Miss Timmins silently took the tray from the man and shut the door. “ Well !” said she to herself,—“if that ain't a pretty supper to send up to a child that has gone two hundred miles to-day, and had no breakfast !-a cup of tea, eold 'enough I'll warrant,-bread and butter enough for a bird,--and two little slices of ham as thick as a wafer !-well,

« PreviousContinue »