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He was

to which she listened with startled attention. warning came.

on the beach, It was almost instantly repeated, and when and could distinctly see the perilous situation Margaret rushed out from the door of the of his little brother. He was hurrying at cottage, there came up more distinctly from his utmost speed, but the sands were soft below shout after shout, like some one call- and heavy, and he was too far distant to ing to another who might be in imminent have any chance of reaching the rocky danger.

barrier which Archy had already begun to Both the woman and her visitor ran to climb, before his figure must disappear on the high mound from whence Peggy was the other side, and what might be there accustomed to stretch her watchful gaze what depth of water, or what height of across the expanse of ocean. Close to the cliff-it was impossible for him to know. edge of this mound they could see, by Peggy Rushton, however, knew: she knew looking down, the entire sweep of the shore the nature of the coast, the steep and hollow as it bounded one of those many little bays curve of the cliff within the farther bay, and which varied the line of coast, with high how difficult-almost impossible—the rocks

— promontories and rocky points between them. were to climb on that side. For a moment Here the shouts rose louder, and now they she forgot her own troubles in the fearful apcould distinctly see the figure of a little boy prehensions which that spectacle awakened. winding leisurely along, close to the edge of Whatever hope Margaret might have enterthe surf where the rising tide was creeping tained before died out of her when she looked up amongst some projecting rocks which into the woman's face—that face so worn the boy had already reached. But the with the long dull agony of disappointment, bounds which rose so distinctly up through yet so capable still of the sharper agony of the clear still air, were unheard by the boy, terror for the life of a child that was not because of the rush of the waves, and the her own—the precious life of the son of somo hiss of the foam as it ran up around his mother who had never watched and waited feet.

as she had done. It was little Archy, the youngest of the “If it was not for my old limbs," said the three brothers, who had wandered on in woman, “I would run and fetch James search of carnelians, or other curious stones Halliday. If any man could help, it would or shells; and who, bending his head be James." thoughtfully to discover what the tide had “Where is he?" asked Margaret eagerly. left, took no notice of another tide now The woman turned, and regarded her for sweeping rapidly on, and threatening to awhile with a scrutinizing gaze. “You're lock him into the farther bay, which he was a strong bairn,” she said, as if talking to about to enter by climbing over the heap of herself; “maybe you're better at running rocks which stretched far out into the sea, than you are at preaching." but which, at their farthest point, were now "I can run very fast," said Margaret, rapidly disappearing in the midst of gather- anxious not to lose a moment. ing flood and foam.

“ Then off with you,” said the woman, George Dunlop, the eldest of the brothers, over that turnip field, and down in the could just be seen from the high cliff, but hollow there you'll see two cottages standing. he was almost too distant to hear the shouts; The last is James Halliday's, and if he's at yet even he seemed to have some appre- home—which is more than can be looked for hension of danger, for he was hastening at this time of day—but if he is at home, along a path which led round by the top of tell him all about it. Don't stop for fine the cliff, but which, owing to tho intervening words. He's a plain man is James, but a of a deep valley, was a much more lengthy rough 'un; just tell him to take the strongest way of reaching the extremity of the bay rope he can lay his hands on.

But he'll than he had probably apprehended. It | know what to do, sure enough.” was from Harry's voice that the shouts of " And if he is not at home ?" asked the


yon gate's

child, with suspended breath; for she was of this bay. What he thought or felt then, already on tiptoe to be gone.

no one could conjecture, for he was, during “Why, then the Lord help that little lad!” a part of his progress, hidden from the view said Peggy, "for there's nobody else.” of his friends on both sides of the ridge or “Not in the other cottage ?”

promontory. To those who had time to "No; she's only a poor old body like me, think, it seemed that he must then have that lives there."

opened his eyes on a frightful spectacle : Before Peggy had uttered these last words, for already the tide was swelling up within Margaret was gone.

the bay far along the beach, and climbing, “Shot like a dart," said the woman, watch- as it seemed, the rocky barrier, for there the ing from her post of observation. “I doubt waves dashed highest, as if vexed with the she goes too fast at first. She'll never hold interruption which they were determined to that pace, only its downhill soon. She does overcome. Instead of turning back, howrun, does the little lass. Oh! but o's ever, as he might at that instant have done fastened. Whew! she's over it, and away with safety, the boy clambered on amongst like a wild mountain lamb. She does run the crags, now seen for a moment, and then like a good 'un. I shouldn't be surprised lost behind some projecting mass of rock, if there's more in that bairn than I gave apparently unconscious whether the tide was her credit for when she sat preaching there advancing or going back. -preaching to me like an old parson, alto- On reaching the cottage of James Halliday, gether out of her place. But she's found it Margaret learned, to her great joy, that the now. Yes ; let the young folks run, and fisherman was not far from the spot, was the old ones tell 'em where to go; that's not gone out on one of his frequent voyages, the way

it should be. I wonder where she's but was quietly mending his nets beside got to now? Why, yonder, I declare! No; some boats on the shore. He was conseit can't be-yes, it is—why, bless the child ! quently soon found, and his services engaged If her heart was as true as her step is swift on behalf of the helpless boy. But while and sure she would make a brave woman everybody put faith in James Halliday as yet, though she does preach to people that the one efficient resource in any crisis of are older and wiser than herself.”

imminent danger, he himself appeared on By the time Peggy had finished her soli- the present occasion to be labouring under loquy, Margaret had disappeared beyond the serious apprehension as to whether he could brow of the hill, and was rapidly pursuing save the boy or not. her way down into the valley towards the A little boy, you say?” he asked incottage of James Halliday, a well-known quiringly of Margaret. character in that neighbourhood, who was " Quite a little boy,” she replied, thinking held in high repute for daring exploits both that the very pitifulness of the case would by sea and land. The idea of finding a man strengthen her appeal—such a nice little of his occupations in his quiet home in the fellow, so kind and good, and we love him middle of a bright summer's day, was almost

so much.' beyond the range of hope. But youth-such “That's not it,” said the fisherman, with a youth as Margaret's-makes little account of gesture of impatience. “No matter whether probability, and she flew onward, the more he's nice or not. If he was a prince, tho rapidly that her course now lay directly son of Queen Victoria herself, that would downwards into a little valley or dell open- not save him if he had not strength enough ing out into the bay, towards which, when to hold by this rope, and was not man Archy was last seen, his steps were tending. enough to grasp it like a man: I tell you

It was evident to all who saw him that there's no power on earth could save him in the real nature of his situation had never

that case.

It is not me, you see my little struck the boy up to the time when he turned girl, hin hat has to be looked to for the point which formed the outer extremity holding on."


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“I understand,” said Margaret: “though on the opposite side to that where his brother he is short, he is a sturdy fellow. They are had seen him on the ridge or promontory; a family well brought up, and very brave." and now, in all probability, he was for the first

“Well brought up!” said the fisherman, time aware of his danger-he must indeed with the same tone of contempt he had used be aware of it, for the water was deep on before, and which seemed to be familiar to this side, and the waves lashed fiercely up him. “Well brought up!” he repeated among the scattered fragments of earth and

. suppose that means well fed, and dressed stone which had fallen from the huge cliffs in fine clothes. I tell you that's not worth above. so much as the breath that blows away a bit Margaret knew now that the little boy of thistle-down, when the wind roars and did see his danger to some extent. She the sea rages. But come you on, and follow watched him intently, and saw that he looked me, my little lass. I like the looks o' ye, around as if taking in the full horror of his though you do talk nonsense, like the rest situation at one glance; and then she saw o fine folk, about bringing up."

him throw up his arms in an attitude of “I don't mean,” said Margaret, following terror-perhaps, as she thought, uttering very meekly in the steps of the great powerful some wild cry which the sea-birds alone man, and not able to keep up with him ex- could hear. cept by now and then making a little run,- It was impossible for Margaret not to cry “I don't mean that they are brought up too, but her words were those of encouragedelicately, but bravely-sensibly, as boys ment, if they could but have reached him. that are to be useful men should be brought Yes, Margaret saw and knew that he was

suffering agonies of terror and distress; and “Well, that is something," said the fisher- she now ran on to the place whence the man, who seemed to Margaret to be going fisherman had disappeared, in order that far too leisurely to work, as if his object she might wave her handkerchief, or in might be to catch a herring, not to save a some way attract his attention, and so make human life. "That is something," he re- him aware that help was at hand; or, if peated. “Folks like you don't often talk indeed he was beyond all human help, that about being brave. I fancy they leave that he might know and feel that he was not left for the most part to us poor fishermen, and there to die alone, without any effort being to all that live by hard service both on sea made to save him. and land. But, mercy on us, child! what "Archy! dear little Archy!” cried Marare we doing? Yonder he is--the poor little garet, until the tears choked her utterance; dot of a fellow, and all yon big sea running and then she prayed fervently to her up like fury! I must be off, or he'll be heavenly Father, and his, that He would swept away before any rope can reach him. stretch out His arm of power, and help and He can never stand that for long."

save the boy. She had scarcely sought this So saying, the fisherman ran off at full relief before she discovered by the look and speed, leaving Margaret to take care of attitude of the poor child that he also was herself. Happily for her, she never once praying, for his clasped hands were raised, thought about herself, or she might have and his knees bent upon the rock, and so he been terror-stricken by the nature of her remained for what seemed to Margaret a situation altogether, for she was entirely long time; for the water was still rising, alone in a strange, wild, solitary place, and she could not see the fisherman at all, without any protector or friend to take her and for Archy to climb the rocks above him by the hand, or to say to her a soothing was impossible. word under the agony of apprehension which Well, indeed, was it for both children, in she was enduring. For before her, full in that moment of agony, that they had been view, as the fisherman had said, was the early taught to pray; that an appeal to their little "dot of a fellow," clinging to the rocks Father in Heaven was no new language to

their lips; and especially that they, young on the other side of the ridge of rocks, had as they were, could pray believing that they joined the fisherman, and was helping him should be heard for the sake of that Saviour to steady and ease the rope, and all the in whom they had early learned to trust. while shouting words of encouragement, Little Archy was perhaps naturally less which his brother was now just able to brave than his brothers; but they all re- hear. garded him as having more faith; perhaps Margaret never knew exactly how the boy he was more reliant in his own disposition ; was saved. It seemed to her then, and inbut especially they regarded him as loving deed ever afterwards, like a miracle; but so more devoutly Him to whom he was now it was, that Harry, at length losing patience, crying from his rocky prison, while half-descended a short distance by hold of the encircled by the raging waves.

rope, and caught his little brother in his But hark! There is a sound. A manly arms just as his last effort was failing. The voice breaks through the roar of the surging boy had struggled hard for life, and by the billows. Margaret sees that the boy has help of the rope had been able to clamber heard, and is looking up towards the cliff. over many difficult points of rugged ascent By a circuitous way the fisherman has which would otherwise have been wholly gained a standing place above, and yet not impracticable to him ; but by the time his very distant from the spot where little brother appeared on the scene, his strength Archy remains, having discovered, to his was rapidly expiring, and had he not been horror, that to proceed is impossible. caught in those affectionate arms, it is more

Margaret heard the shouting, and she than probable he would have fallen back saw at length that Archy had discovered into the now foaming gulf, from which no from whence it came—that he had seen the human


could have saved him. man, and was beginning to understand There was still both danger and difficulty something by his gesticulations. But how to be encountered. With his almost insencould a rope thrown to that little dot of a sible burden, Harry had enough to do to fellow ever help him out of the mouth of keep his own footing, though the steepest that raging gulf? It was worth trying, portion of the cliff was passed, and he had the however, and it was evident that James steady hand and encouraging directions of Halliday thought so, for he kept repeatedly the fisherman to help him. His own activo throwing the rope, to the end of which he and adventurous habits were here of great had made a noose, until at last it caught service to him, as, indeed, had been the case upon a point of rock immediately beside the with little Archy; for had his bringing-up boy, who had the presence of mind to seize been as tender as his general appearance and grasp it firmly. Having done so, he might have led a stranger to suppose, he looked up again at the man, who showed by would scarcely have had the resolution to gestures what he was to do. He was to make the first attempt to reach a place of slip the noose over his head, and let it re- safety by seizing the rope and adjusting it main securely drawn round his waist. Then to his person. It was now absolute physical he was to begin his perilous ascent along a exhaustion under which he sank; and when line of rocks which the fisherman pointed at last the summit of the cliff was gained, out. Impossible! it looked to Margaret; | Harry placed his burden gently on the and once having seen the boy slip, and fall ground, scarcely knowing whether the last back a short way, she covered her eyes with spark of life was not actually gone. her hands, and absolutely dared not look Margaret had hastened to the spot, and again-not, indeed, until she heard what was there on the top of the cliff ready to sounded like another voice. Then she receive little Archy into her kind caressing looked up and beheld two figures on the arms; for although one year younger than cliff. It was Harry Dunlop, who by some her charge, she eagerly undertook the office means, having clambered up from the shore of nurse and comforter, inspired only by




that womanly instinct which many a little We are often called upon to admire the girl, even younger than Margaret, has ex- provisions made by an all-wise Creator in hibited in the form of matronly kindness, completing and sustaining the works of His while herself but a child.

own hand; and a glorious call for rejoicing Almost for the first time in her life Mar- thankfulness it is when science brings to garet had found herself of use this day, and light some new manifestation of the wisdom that conviction came upon her like the dawn and the goodness of God, as shown in the of a new existence. She did not see her- natural structure of our world. But there self differently, because, as already said, she is another world within the human heart-a was not thinking of herself; but above and world in which provision has been made for around her all things expanded and grew, all our social, relative, and individual wants, and ways seemed to open


direc- which does not the less excite our wonder tion, while a certain power of action rushed and gratitude. It is a great thing that the through her whole frame, making life-even reindeer is supplied through the icy solithat troubled life of the last few hours-a tudes of his long winter with the moss which kind of ecstacy, it was so full of purpose, sustains his life; that the swift and graceful energy, and hope, and now so rich in ful- wing of the swallow is strong enough to filment.

bear its autumnal flight over sea and land Yes, there was something very much like in search of some sunnier shore where the happiness beaming from Margaret's earnest storms of our climate are unknown. But I face, along with this consciousness of having think it is a greater thing, because it is a been of use, which she could enjoy to its provision more exquisitely adapted to our full extent without attributing the least necessities, that a gentle brooding love like merit to herself; for what had she done? that of a mother should be found in every And now she was indeed happy, for the woman's breast, whether young or old, colour was beginning to come back into whether solitary or planted in families; and Archy's pale cheeks; while, seated on the that this bountiful provision needs only the ground, she held him closely in her arms, cry of pain, the look of agony, the spectacle with his head resting on her shoulder, of suffering, to call it into active usefulness. chafing his purple hands, and trying to warm We speak often of this love with tender his cold feet, Harry at the same time bending and admiring reverence, where, implanted over him with intense anxiety. His large by nature, it is manifested by a parent toblue eyes at length opened, he gave one look wards her own offspring. But have we not of grateful recognition, and for a moment all seen it yet even more wonderfully dissmiled upon

them with his accustomed ex- played where there has been no natural pression of guileless and cordial affection. claim to call it forth-where it has arisen as

The little woman held him in her arms it were spontaneously, and grown into active with caressing tenderness. The motherly life during the exigency of some calamitous ways of the young girl often made Harry moment, answering promptly and willingly smile afterwards when he recalled the where there was no other requirement than

Yet somehow he liked to bring the that of urgent need, and still more wonderpicture up again before his mind. He liked fully persisting in its kindly offices where to see Margaret in that attitude of anxious there was no earthly reward ? and loving care.

She had had neither Wo grow accustomed to the natural exerbrother nor sister of her own. She had cise of motherly affection, because the little scarcely known what it was to be herself birds feel this when they spread their wings the object of a mother's tenderness. Yet over their unfledged young--the sheep when here was nature working in her heart, and it answers to the bleating of its own lamb actually directing her what to do in one of among a thousand—the lioness when she the most trying emergencies of human ex- defends the cave in which her nurslings are porience.

asleep. But when a woman who is no


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