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"All right, come on Cloudy," and the two boys started off. "Quick youngsters, Tom; who are they? belong to our place?" "One is McLeod, the hardwareman's son; the other is Horace Morel's nephew, Dr. Blair's son. He was always a wild youngster, but since his father died he has done pretty much as he pleases; defies Morel, who tries to help his sister curb him, and laughs at his mother; as full of mischief as he can be, and obstinate as a little pig, but a better hearted boy after all you will hardly find." "I suspect your good nature prompted the last sentence," said the other with a smile.
"No, it is really the case."
The boys obtained the water, and had climbed to the top of the hill that rose from the spring with their burden. Great was the puffing and numerous the grunts with which this part of the journey was achieved, but the rest was easy,-down hill you know. They were gazing calmly, from their elevation, out over the pretty scene below them, with that peculiar feeling of satisfaction that a difficulty overcome gives, when Phil was startled from his serenity by the word "cracky," exploded from McLeod's lips with tremendous emphasis.
"What's the matter?" exclaimed Phil hastily, looking alarmed, "anything up?"
"I should think there was," replied McLeod dryly, "look there." Phil did as directed, and then gave vent to his feelings in a prolonged whistle.
It was the tall figure and familiar hat of his uncle, that induced him to become musical.
"Come on, Cloudy," and Phil caught up the pail.
"It's no use, he has seen you."
"I don't care, I'm going to cut for it; won't I get fits? Come along." Suiting the action to the word, off he started down the hill, water and all.
"Drop the bucket," said McLeod, as Phil started, but he was in too much of a hurry to hear him.
McLeod made off in another direction, while Mr. Morel hurried on after the fugitive nephew.
Phil struggled bravely on down the hill, holding fast to his load; he was just thinking of leaving it behind and making good
his escape, when his foot caught a projection and over he went helpless. The pail upset, and after giving him the full benefit of its contents, rolled away to the foot of the hill.
He regained his feet in time to face his uncle, with very much the appearance of a drowned rat. He was very wet,-which, however, did not matter much as the sun was warm, and looked exceedingly disgusted with the course of events; but it was the idea of his uncle catching him that troubled him far more than the wetting.
"Well sir, what is the meaning of this? What do you think of yourself?" said his uncle, sternly.
"I'm wet," looking up soberly.
Mr. Morel could hardly forbear a smile; "I can see that plainly, and also that you look anything but respectable."
Phil's looks indicated that the respectability of his appearance troubled him very little. "Pooh," he said, "that's nothing, if you'd seen Charley Moore the day he tumbled into the river, he was in a jolly mess, he—”
"Never mind that," interrupted his uncle, sharply. "Have you any idea of the suffering and anxiety you have caused your mother? You left your home yesterday without thinking or caring about her; she sat up all last night,- passed such hours as I hope I may be spared. How could you be so heartless!"
Phil looked sullenly on the ground when his uncle interrupted him, but his face softened when his mother's name was spoken. Mr. Morel did not notice this, and getting angry at what he conceived to be the boy's want of feeling, broke out, passionately, with "You! it is almost a pity that she should waste her love on such a contemptible object. Ah! if it were not so public I would thrash you now."
Phil's face hardened, and he looked up defiantly.
His uncle continued in a contemptuous tone, "To run away from home and for what? to become a servant for the Volunteers!"
"I am not a servant for any body;" Phil broke forth fiercely, stung by his uncle's taunt, "the Volunteers do it themselves, and they are as good as you, I—”
"Stop sir," said his uncle in a low, deep voice, that warned Phil he was on dangerous ground. "How dare you? Have you no care for your mother, who would willingly give her life for you? Just think of all she has done, and say would you willingly cause her pain ?"
The boy's eyes filled with tears; for he loved her dearly. "Oh uncle Horace," he sobbed, "I did not think of it that way; I did not indeed; I thought she would know somehow; I am very sorry, -Poor mother!" he continued, as though speaking to himself, "I didn't think, indeed I didn't."
"There Phil," said Mr. Morel, softened by the boy's evident sorrow, “don't fret now; it is all over and cannot be helped. Only in the future try and think of others, and you will save not only them but yourself many hours of pain. I will telegraph home at once and let them know I have seen you; you can amuse yourself until evening; we will go home in the half-past five o'clock train. Be at the station by quarter-past. Have you any money ?"
"A yorker," replied Phil, fishing the solitary coin from the bottom of his pocket and eyeing it lovingly.
His uncle smiled. "Here is a half dollar that will get you your dinner and something in the evening; be sure and be at the station."
Phil's eyes twinkled as he took the money; "catch him spending it, when he could get his dinner with his huge friend," he thought. "I'll be there sir," as his uncle left him.
For some time after his uncle left, Phil stood gazing vacantly before him. The events recorded had made him thoughtful for the moment-running away from home, for that was the name for it; his mother's anxiety, and the search. He was indulging in the brownest of brown studies, when the empty pail at the foot of the hill caught his eye; his disaster and its cause had almost entirely escaped his memory, but the sight of the bucket at once brought to mind his errand.
Hardly knowing what course to pursue, he mechanically made his way down the hill; the remembrance of his uncle's taunt almost determined him to clear out and leave it, his better sense prevailed, however, and, picking it up, he filled and carried it to the tent, where he explained the cause of his detention.
Mr. Morel eyed his nephew quizzically, as he found him patiently sitting in the station at the appointed time.
"You look tired," he said.
"Guess I am," both eyes blinking, "awful." "Rather sorry you came, eh?"
"No sir-ree; but I'd just as soon be home now."
"So I should judge. Where is your companion?"
Phil looked up incredulously; he would like to see another fellow's uncle try that on with him.
Further conversation was impossible, as the down train rumbled into the station; and another half hour served to take the runaway home, where, after sundry admonitions, he received the information that he was to leave home for school at once, and had all night to digest the news.
(To be continued.)
My old Welch neighbor over the way
Her grandson, playing at marbles, stopped,
From bough to bough in the apple tree.
"Nay!" said the grandmother: "have you not heard,
And how, drop by drop, this merciful bird
"He brings cool dew in his little bill,
You can see the mark on his red breast still
Of fires that scorch as he drops it in.
"My poor Bron rhuddyn! my breast-burned bird,
Is he who pities the lost like him!"
"Amen!" I said to the beautiful myth;
"Prayers of love like rain-drops fall,
Tears of pity are cooling dew,
And dear to the heart of Our Lord are all
Who suffer like him in the good they do!"
HOW COUSIN GEORGE FELL IN LOVE. BY BERTIE THORBURN.
COUSIN GEORGE was an orphan, and I was another! He
had lost his father, and I had lost my mother. These facts established a bond of sympathy between us; and, besides, he was tall and handsome, and very fond and very proud I was of him. I thought that the compliment was returned; but ah! we must all live, and learn, and weep in this sad world.
The lonely village in which resided George and his mother, and I and my father, not to mention the other inhabitants, and my auntie Fan, was called Rivermouth, for what reason I know not, as only the very slightest sort of brook flowed thereby; but grand old wooded hills encircled the spot, and many a happy stroll I have taken around their base, in the sweet company of cousin George (but there, I am growing sentimental, and letting salt tears fall into the inkstand, and over the paper.) The people of Rivermouth, without one exception, were respectable but rustic, eminently genteel but innocent and credulous to an alarming degree. This will partly account for the strange events that follow. I must tell you about our society, for perhaps the knowledge of its customs may prove of great advantage to you in after years. Our ways were simple as ourselves. Rich and poor, all ranked the same in our one circle. If the world at large would follow our example, even to the smallest extent, how much envy