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With a throbbing heart, Frank Wood saw the spires of New York rise out of the water.
The health officers came on board, and finding the Sea-gull had sailed from a port where there was no prevailing malignant disease, and had had no sickness on board, the passengers were allowed to land.
How anxiously Frank looked into every face to recognize a familiar one among the crowd. All were strangers, hurrying by, intent upon their own business. No one knew or cared for him.
He left Brandon on board the vessel until he should have seen his father and communicated to him how closely he had been connected with his friend, and how much Joseph had needed kindAs he stood at the door of his own home, he hardly dared to lay his hand upon the bell-knob. It was at last pulled so faintly that its feeble sound intimated a poor beggar-child, fearful of refusal to a solicitation of charity.
The waiter who appeared a new servant in the house — evidently expected some such appli: cation ; for he said, in a rough voice, “ Well, fellow! What 's wanted !
• My father,” faintly articulated Frank.
father has been here to consult the Doctor, he is not here now”; and the waiter was about to close the door.
But Frank, hearing the well-known voice of that beloved relative, rushed by the servant and ran up the stairs to the library, in spite of his bawling, -“Halloo, shipmate ! I tell you your father is not in this house. The boy must be raving distracted.”
Being disturbed by the noise, Dr. Wood stepped out of his library, and Frank stood before him.
For a moment they both remained motionless and speechless. The Doctor hardly believing his own eyes ; Frank amazed at his father's pale and haggard appearance.
At length Dr. Wood exclaimed, “ Great God! I thank thee!” and throwing his arms around Frank's neck, pressed him to his grateful heart.
The sailors, who left the Sally Ann in the longboat, had been picked up by a homeward-bound vessel, and had reached New York about a month before the arrival of the Sea-gull; bringing the news that the captain, and four sailors, went down with the wreck of that unfortunate vessel. Dr Wood had made inquiry of one of these sailors, and learned of him that Frank was among the lost.
His grief at the melancholy death of his only son was such as to have occasioned an illness from which he was just recovering, and which had left him with the extreme paleness that so much alarmed Frank. He received his noblehearted Frank as one restored from the dead. After an hour spent in conversation, as he looked into the bright blue eyes, sparkling with pleasure, and saw the fresh healthy countenance of Frank, his heart was overflowing with Christian gratitude.
“ Poor Brandon, I must go back to him, for he will be impatient to see me,” said Frank.
“ And who is he ? " inquired Dr. Wood.
Frank briefly related the story of Joseph's sufferings. His father told him to order the carriage and bring him home with him immediately ; adding, “Poor boys! I suppose your luggage will easily be transported."
Although Frank had prepared Joseph to expect to see in his father a perfect gentleman, he was struck with the elegance and dignity of Dr. Wood's appearance; and the cordial politeness with which he received him put him at once entirely at
After two days spent very pleasantly in New York, Brandon began to be extremely anxious to see his mother and sisters. Frank went with him to make arrangements for his journey home.
The morning came on which he was to leave. Frank had been so faithful and persevering in his kindness to Joseph, that he had become much attached to him. It is a principle in our nature to love whatever we bestow kindness upon ; affection towards his young friend. Though younger than himself, he had looked up to him for advice and example. By that example, he had corrected his erroneous opinions with regard to being a gentleman. He saw that Frank was very different from the ideal that his own mind had furnished; yet, wherever he went, he was recognized as a gentleman. He acknowledged to himself how much Frank's high moral principles had contributed to this, and he very naturally came to the conclusion that it was not best for him any longer to be a gay, dissipated fop.
“ The bird that we nurse, is the bird that we love." Joseph, on his part, felt both gratitude and
When Dr. Wood was about to part with Joseph, he put into his hand a well-filled purse, saying, “ Mr. Brandon, I will not subject you to the pain that an honorable, independent young man would feel at receiving pecuniary obligation. Whenever it shall be perfectly convenient, you can, if you like, repay me.”
“ Certainly, I shall be most happy to do so," replied Joseph ; “I am greatly obliged to you, Sir.”
" I shall be in no haste for the money, and am sure, in the course of a few years, you will have saved more than that amount from your own earnings. Keep up a constant correspondence