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THE CHILD AND HE GORBE.
his wife with their new baby; it improved wonderfully with tender care and nursing,
it smiled and even crowed: there was no A Adap gathering field-flowers beheld one sunny
talk now of what to do with it, it was the The glittering mountain-gorse bloom. At once she
treasure and darling of the house. The violet and primrose fresh gather'd, fair and sweet,
There was no clue to its belongings, but And cast them by the wayside to be trampled under feet. But hear! a cry of anguish from the disappointed child, from its poor clothes when found it was Who clutch'd too eagerly the flowers whose golden light
supposed to belong to some one in humble beguiled; The prickly gorse was thickly set with sharp and cruel life who would never want to claim it.
thorn, And the bleeding fingers of the child with smarting
But this last conjecture was a mistake. wounds were torn.
Not a month after the arrival of the Children of larger growth, do not too much this folly
baby, when Gerard and Regie had gone blame;
back to school, there came a letter from a Think, with your secret well at heart, how much ye err the same.
hospital in London to say that a little girl How many let the simple flowers of God neglected fall,
of twelve years old lay dying there; she And, clutching Earth's false glittering flowers, lose hopes beyond recall
had had brain-fever, and now, since she Grasping with eager avarice, with blinded heart and
recovered her senses, was always asking for brain, The gleams of gold their folly dreams must be life's her baby. Inquiries had been made, and highest gain.
from the account given by the girl it was Think ye your hands shall pass unscath'd the thorps such flowers beset? —
supposed to be this identical child. Learn of the child who plucked the gorse and lost the
The Lorimers went up to London, nurse, violet.
ROWLAND BROWN. and baby, and all; and with some distress
of mind, lest she should lose her new treaMRS. LORIMER'S BABY. sure, Mrs. Lorimer went to the hospital. (Continued from p. 167.)
There lay a pale little girl, who looked
at her wistfully, and asked, “Have you my E can find it a place in the baby? Did you take it out of the work
bank, when it grows up, house ? Oh, thank you, kind lady.'
her to speak. So he smiled back at The doctor and some of the nurses came his wife when he found her smiling over a near, and they propped her up and got pen pale little thing which she had dressed and paper and copied down what she said, most tenderly in 'baby's' clothes; and to for Mrs. Lorimer wanted to know all about show her he took an interest in it, he told her new baby. her about the bank plan.
I'm Anna Lowndes,' said the little girl
. It is a girl, dear,' said his wife.
We came to London to get work, father Mr. Lorimer was disconcerted, but Mrs. and mother and baby and I; father was a Lorimer never saw it; she was too happy printer. We were in lodgings, work was with the child. But not a week had
scarce, and father took ill of fever, so did elapsed before he was as much pleased as mother, and they both died. Mother gave
the woman we lodged with all her clothes • Did you want to know its name? father and things, and she promised to look after chose it, it is Margaret.' us. But she was cruel, and when I fell And then little Anna's eyelids fell, and ill, too, I heard her say she should keep she began to murmur something about the me if I got better, as I could be useful, but cold and the workhouse, and every now and she should send baby to the workhouse. then she clasped her hands and seemed to This put me, out dreadfully, as mother be praying for something: her mind was had made me promise always to stay by wandering, and she fancied that she and the baby and look after it; so the first day I baby were running away from the cruel wofelt a bit stronger I got out of bed and man at the lodging-house. dressed while the woman was out, and took For the few days that Anna lived Mrs. baby with me. I meant to go far and far Lorimer constantly visited the hospital, away, and beg kind people to take us in at bringing little Margaret with her. The night. I soon got tired though, and then poor girl had plainly been a good sisterI saw a sheltered wall where they were mother to the baby, and was building a new house, and I crept in there dying from ber efforts to do by it as her to rest with baby; but she cried and was dead mother wished. hungry, so I rolled her up as warm as I * Pray God don't let it go to the workcould and left her there, meaning to go house,' was her sad little cry, when her and beg for a bit of bread and come back mind wandered; and then some kind nurse, to her. But I got giddy in the street and or Mrs. Lorimer, if near, would try to tell fell down, and I can't remember any more,
poor child that baby was safe in a new and they say you have my baby.'
home, and would never more feel want or This was little Anna Lowndes' story, hunger as far as they could prevent it. fully borne out by the account of the Little Anna's mind was quite clear at policeman who found her, and the situation the last, and she died thanking Mrs. Loriof the spot where the baby was discovered. mer for her kindness.
The doctor called Mrs. Lorimer to a dis- • I shall tell mother about you,' she said ; tance, ‘My little patient will not recover, and I shall see your baby too, up there.' he said; exposure brought on a second For Mrs. Lorimer had told Anna about attack of fever, from which she cannot her little one in Heaven, and how baby rally: so if you wish to gain any more in- Margaret was to fill its place. formation about the infant in your charge, Mrs. Lorimer has taken Margaret you had better ask her now.'
Lowndes quite for her own now; it is even Just then little Anpa roused herself to called Margaret Lorimer; and Mr. Lorimer ask, “ May I see my baby?'
is very glad it is a girl, and need never It was sent for, and lay smiling on the leave them, for she is growing up a most bed beside its dying sister.
loving little maiden, the pet of the house, * It has got beautiful clothes, and looks and the darling of every one who sees her. quite happy,' said poor Anna; “mother Gerard and Regie exclaim every holiwould be pleased, she did so pray that it day at the beauty and cleverness of their mightn't go to the workhouse. I don't tiny cousin,' and Mrs. Lorimer thanks mind dying now, since you are so good to Gerard every time for reading aloud that it,' she added, looking up at Mrs. Lorimer. paragraph in the Times.
It's just like a story,' said Regie. treasure. I seldom think now with any
It's just like a play,' said Gerard. How pain of my lost baby-boy at St. Margaret's, lucky I saw the paragraph !'
but my little Margaret with her sunny It's just a chance,' said Regie.
face cheers me, and makes me feel the * Dear boys, it was neither chance nor wickedness of repining. As for your uncle, luck,' said their aunt; “it was just a piece I don't know what he would do without his of God's goodness to me when I was sor- little maid. Thank God again for her.' rowing for my own baby, and I thank Him And this is the story of Mrs. Lorimer's from my heart for giving me this dear | baby.
H. A. F.