Copyright 1891




IT was a chilly December afternoon. The sharp wind whistling around the street corners lifted from the ground the light snow that had fallen the night before, and whirled it exultingly over the forms of men and women, who were hurrying from work to their homes, anxious for the sight of a cheerful fire, by which they might warm their benumbed fingers and toes.

Before a store window stood Dick, white with snow, looking longingly at some glasses of jelly in the window.

" How grandpa would relish a taste of that," said he to himself, with his hands deep in his pockets for warmth. " He is so sick, and there's no one to bring him anything nice, and he cannot eat the coarse food the landlady gives him. I have just money enough in my pocket-book to buy one with, and I will. But Daisy and I will have nothing but bread for supper to-morrow night. It will not be the first time though, and I am afraid it will not be the last, so what does it matter." And walking into the store, he purchased one of the glasses of jelly.

His heart was light as he started for home, thinking how pleased the old musician would be ; but upon entering the house he paused in wonder on beholding the group in the entry.

There was grandfather Milly, whom he had left sick in bed that morning, dressed, and ready to go out; there was Daisy, with tears streaming from her eyes; and there stood the landlady, leaning against the stairs, with a defiant look on her face.

'' Why, grandfather, what is the meaning of this ? Are you crazy ? "

" No, Dick, I am not crazy, but I am going away."

"Going away?" repeated Dick, bewildered.

" Yes, he's going away," answered the landlady. " Have you anything to say against it?"

" I certainly have. 'T would be the death of him to go out such a day as this, when he is so sick."

" Don't you fear. 'T is but a step to the station-house, and after he gets there they can tote him off to the poor-house or somewheres. I don't care where, so long as he's off my hands. I have not had a cent's rent out of him for nearly a month, and there's no likelihoods of my ever getting any. I can tell you I'm too poor to be cheated out of my rights that way. And, besides, there was a real gentleman here this morning, - one who can afford to pay his rent ; and he wanted this man's room ; so I told him he could have it to-morrow. Therefore, your friend has got to go."

" How much do you ask a week for the room?" inquired Dick.

" A dollar and a half."

A dollar and a half. 0, how he wished that he was able to pay that amount every week, that his old friend might not be turned out-of-doors. He thought of the little he had in the bank, but knew it would not last many weeks, and after it was gone they would be worse off than ever.

" 0, Dick, do not let him go," said Daisy, dropping the old man's hand, which she had been clinging to, to prevent his going, and springing to her brother's side. " He must feel dreadfully, Dick, to think of going to the poor-house, and we shall be so lonesome without him. Say, Dick, can't you pay for his room until he is able to work and pay for it himself? "

" I wish. I could, Daisy, but I know it is impossible."

" Thank you, Dick, and you too, Daisy. You have always been very kind to me, but I should never let you go so far as to pay my rent. I have but a few more years on this earth, and what matters it if I pass them in the poor-house ? Good-by. God bless you both ! " And the old man tottered towards the door.

" Grandfather Milly, I shall not let you go out to-day," said Dick, placing himself before the old man, and grasping his shoulder to steady him.

" 'T would be sure death. You can scarcely walk. 'T is true, I cannot pay your rent, but I can pay my own ; and so long as I have two rooms, you shall not want for a home. Come into my rooms, and you shall have Daisy's bed."

" 0 no, no ! Let me go ! I am strong, - see ; I can go out into the streets to-morrow and play, and perhaps earn money enough to hire another room," said he, trying to stand erect to prove his strength.

" You shall not go. You gave me the right to call you grandfather, and I have a grandchild's right to care for you. Run ahead, Daisy, and open the door. I will lead him in."

The old man saw that further resistance was useless, and allowed himself to be led into the cheerful room that he thought he had parted from forever. For well he knew that death alone awaited him in the streets.

"Out of darkness into daylight," he thought, as he entered the cosey kitchen, where a bright fire was burning, and a shining tin teakettle on the stove was sending forth a cheerful song ; while in the middle of the floor stood the little table, covered with a clean white cloth, upon which was a frugal meal.

" Ah, children, Heaven will bless you for your kindness to a poor old man - a stranger ! " cried he, as he sank exhausted upon the lounge.

" A stranger ! Come, now, that's too bad," replied Dick. " You are as dear to us as any true grandfather could be, and it's not at all likely that we would see you turned into the streets, when we have room enough, and some to spare. Are you able to sit up to the table, and eat some supper with us?"

" No, no, Dick, don't make him get up. We can move the table to him."

" You are right, Daisy, so we can," replied Dick, as he shoved the table gently before the old man.

" Thank you, thank you, children, but I do not feel hungry. Truly, I cannot eat."

"O yes, you can. You don't know what I have got for you yet, to tempt your appetite. See this glass of beautiful jelly, it is as clear as crystal, and I bought it on purpose for you, so you must not refuse to eat it. I wish I could give you a cup of tea; but that is a luxury we do not indulge in. Here is plenty of nice new milk, and Daisy will toast some bread such a dainty brown., that you can't refuse it, after seeing it."

So much kindness brought the tears to the old musician's eyes. It had been many years since any one had shown him so much loving attention, and, tottering to his feet, with clasped hands raised, he breathed a prayer to God, that many blessings might fall upon the heads of the two orphans.

A beautiful prayer it was from that white-haired old man; and had the children heard his words, they would have wept in sympathy. But Dick only half guessed their meaning; and Daisy, with her little hands clasped before her on the table, wondered what made him so long " saying grace."

The prayer was ended at last, and, sinking again upon the lounge, he ate heartily of the dainties that had been prepared for him, - much to the satisfaction of Dick, who was trying by cheerful conversation to turn the musician's thoughts away from his troubles.

" Now, grandfather," said he, after the meal had been finished, " if you will let me, I will assist you to your bed, for I think it would do you no good to sit up any longer."

" Can't I sleep here on the lounge, Dick ? I do not want to take Daisy's bed away from her."

" O, never fear for Daisy. I can make her a nice bed on the lounge."

" And you ? "

"I can sleep on the floor, and think it's good fun."

" Do you hear, Daisy ? This brother of yours is going to give your bed to a stranger ; have you nothing to say against it ? "

"He is not going to give my bed to a stranger, he is going to give it to my sick grandfather, who has no bed of his own."

" And you have no objections ? "

" Of course not ; but I am very, very glad that we have a good bed to give you."

" I am afraid I shall never be able to reward you for your kindness to me."

" Come, come, grandfather, I am afraid you are getting delirious, when I hear you talk so ; and I must get you to bed as soon as possible, so that you can have a good long sleep. I intend to have you on your feet again, as strong as ever, before the week is out."



" CHRISTMAS a week from to-day. What can we get for grandfather Milly ? "

These were the words the old musician heard as he lay upon his bed, wondering how long it would be before he would again be able to take his violin, and with it, in the streets, earn money enough to support himself.

" Ah, those children, those children," murmured he to himself. " They have given the old man a home; they have given up their bed. that his poor sick body might be more comfortable. They spend their money for delicacies to tempt his appetite, and nurse him with the kindest care ; and that is not enough, but now they must talk of spending more money to buy him a Christmas present. They must not do it. I must prevent it some way, but how ? If I tell them I have heard their conversation, and forbid their buying anything for me, they will only laugh, and buy something better than they had intended to buy. There is only one way to stop it, and that is so hard, so hard. I must make them hate me. Yes till after Christmas they must hate me. I will order them angrily and without reason. I will scold and snarl at their most loving efforts to make me comfortable. Do anything, everything, to prevent their buying me a Christmas present. I will act the fiend for a week, then I will be my own self again, and worship them more than ever,- bless them. A few short months ago I cared not if I never had justice done me on this earth. Those who had defrauded me were welcome to their ill-gotten booty ; but now if Heaven will restore my health, it will be the one work of my life to regain my own, that I may reward these blessed children, who have befriended me without a thought that they might gain by it. Ah, they still talk of what they shall get me. I must begin my part. Daisy, Daisy! "

" Yes, grandpa, I am coming ! "

" It seems to me that you might step quicker, when you know that I am sick, and cannot step for myself."

" I did come quickly, grandpa. What can I do for you?"

" Do ? There 's enough that you might do without waiting to be told."

"I thought that I had done everything that I could, grandpa. Tell me what you want."

" Don't grandpa me. This room is cold enough to freeze one. Why can't you have a better fire. or else leave the kitchen door open for the warmth to come through ? But you do not care. I might lie here, and freeze to death, and what would you care?"

" O, grandpa, don't talk so. I am so sorry you are cold. I thought the room was warm enough, or I should have left the door open."

" Of course, of course ; it 's easy to say that ; but you might come in once in a while, and see if it is warm enough, I should think. And this pillow is as hard as marble. How do you think I can sleep with such a thing as that under my head?" said he, twisting his fist deep into the pillow.

" Poor grandpa, I am afraid you are not so well."

"Of course I am not so well; and it's all owing to your shiftlessness. Do you think if I were better, I would stay here another hour ? "

"O, Dick! " cried Daisy, rushing into the kitchen. "I am afraid grandpa is very sick. You must go for a doctor, quick! "

" What's that ? What 's that ? Dick ! "

"Yes, sir, I am here."

" You are not to go for a doctor, do you understand that! "

" I must, grandpa, for I fear you are a great deal worse. I shall not be gone long."

" I say you shall not go. Who is going to settle a doctor's bill, I should like to know ? "

" I will find a way to, grandpa, never fear. Only let me see you well again."

" I am better, Dick. I shall soon be well. Give me a drink of my tea, that was what I wanted. You will not get a doctor, will you ? "

" Why, do you not want one ? You are quite feverish, and I am afraid you will be worse."

" No, I shall not. Wait until to-morrow, then if I am worse you may get one. Will you do that?"

"Yes, if you wish it," replied Dick, smoothing out and trying to make light the offending pillow.

"Thank you; now leave me to myself, please, for I feel sleepy and would like to rest."

" To think they would have gone for a doctor," mused he, after Dick had left the room. " And I thought they would begin to dislike me for my ingratitude. I began too fiercely, and can do nothing now. They will buy the present in spite of me."

Grandfather Milly did not grow worse that night, nor that week, neither did his health improve.

Every evening when the children thought he was asleep, he was listening to their conversation about the important question, " What shall we get him?" Once they nearly decided upon buying; him a new coat, his was so old and seedy, but that idea was dropped when they thought of the cost. Then a hat, gloves, and a roll of new music, were each brought up for discussion, and rejected. And at last they decided upon getting him a pair of new shoes, and a set of violin strings. The shoes were to come from Dick, the strings from Daisy.

"We will go out now and buy them, and place them beside his bed on the stand, where he can see them when he wakes up in the morning," said Dick to Daisy, Christmas eve ; and dressing themselves warmly, they left the house noiselessly, so that they might not disturb the supposed sleeper.

" They must not be the only ones to give presents," said the old musician to himself, after they had gone. Where is my violin ? The sound of it will give me energy. I will see if there is not some life in me yet. They will be gone for an hour at least, and in that time I must get money enough to buy each a present. O, for strength enough to last me an hour ! I will cause my old violin to send forth music that will make crowds pause in wonder. Then the cents will shower down, - yes, shower down, - for pockets will be open Christmas time for an old man like me.

Then I can buy presents too. Let me hurry-- let me hurry while this strength lasts." And hastily dressing himself, he tied over his white hair an old fur cap that had done service many winters, and after throwing over his shoulders a thick shawl, he took down his violin and tuned it quickly, but nicely; then went out into the street.

Excitement had given him so much strength that his steps were nearly as firm and steady as when in health he went through the same streets to a busy part of the city. Even before he began to play he attracted much attention. People could, not help looking twice at the strange old man, with his pale face, wild eyes, and long white beard spread to twice its size by the December wind.

Pausing before a large store, where crowds of people were flocking in and out buying presents for the holidays, he raised his violin and began to play a sad, weird piece that seemed to breathe his own sad history : but the happy people hurrying by could catch but a few of the long-drawn notes before their quick steps would carry them beyond the sound of the violin. So a very unprofitable quarter of an hour passed away.

"Ah, this will never do," murmured he to himself. " Why did I not know better than to play such a tune as that Christmas Eve, when all hearts seem to be light but mine. I must play something lively to attract their attention." So saying, he struck up a thrilling, spirited piece that caused the many boys who had gathered around him to start a scuffle with their feet on the icy ground, keeping time.

" That's the kind ! Give us another of the same sort! " were the cries, as he paused to see if that tune would prove more profitable than the first. It did, beyond his expectations; which caused the third tune to be still more brilliant; and before the hour was out, he had the satisfaction of holding more money than he had hoped to earn in so short a time.

" Now for the presents," said he to himself, as he hid his violin under his shawl, and walked off.

"What can I get them? Ah! Daisy would like that, I know," continued he, as his eyes fell upon a pretty red and white hood in a shop window, - " I must get that for her, and as Dick is going to buy me a pair of shoes, I will return the compliment and get him as good a pair as can be bought with the rest of the money. Ha, ha ! how I will surprise them. They will hardly believe that I have been playing in the streets to-night, when they left me in bed sick, and they thought asleep. They have petted me too much, I am afraid, and made me think myself sicker than I really am. I feel strong now, but must hurry home, for fear my strength will not last."

After buying the presents, he started for home, and reached there before the children had returned. Hiding his purchases under the lounge in the kitchen, he then undressed quickly, and went to bed.

" I don't think I shall be any the worse for this little adventure, and perhaps it may benefit me," said he to himself, as he nestled down between the warm sheets.



" MERRY Christmas, grandpa ! Did you see what Santa Claus brought you last night ? "

" Yes, Daisy. I have been looking at my handsome presents, and am very thankful for them. What did Santa Claus bring you?"

"He didn't bring me anything this year, but Dick bought me a pretty apron, already made, and some oranges, and I bought him a nice scarf with the money he gave me. So you see we did very well without Santa Clans' help."

"I dreamed a strange dream last night, Daisy. I thought Santa Claus came here with some presents for you and Dick ; and I could see him hiding them under the lounge."

" Ha, ha, grandpa, what a funny dream ! And you told it before breakfast, too. Old Mrs. Wentworth in the country used to say, if you told a good dream before breakfast 't would surely come true. What a pity yours can't come true this time."

" Perhaps it may. Why don't you look under the lounge ? "

" As though there would be anything there. Santa Claus is nothing but a name, you know, and how could a name bring presents for Dick and me, and hide them under the lounge ? "

" Santa Claus had a body in my dream, Daisy, and a long white beard, that swept the floor, as he stooped to hide the things. I am almost sure, if you look under the lounge, you will find something."

"O, grandpa, what a funny man you are ! If you were not looking so well, I should be afraid you were getting as crazy as you were that day when you gave me such a scolding, and pounded the pillow. Shall I bring in your breakfast ? "

" No, Daisy. I will breakfast with you, out in the kitchen, to-day."

"O, grandpa, don't. Wait a day or two until you get wholly well ; it will not take long, I know, now. But if you should take cold now, when you are almost well, you would be sicker than ever."

" I shall not take cold, Daisy, in that nice warm kitchen ; and I am tired of this bed. Run, now, and put a plate for me on the table. It will seem like old times to eat with you again."

"O, Dick," said Daisy, a few minutes later, to her brother, who had just returned from buying bread and milk for their breakfast; " what do you think ? Grandpa is well enough to eat breakfast with us this morning."

" Is he ? " said her brother, in surprise.

" I will answer that myself," said the old musician, as he walked into the room. " Don't I look as though I were ? "

"O, grandpa, I am so glad! This will be a merry Christmas for us," exclaimed Dick, as he shook the old man's hand and led him to a chair, over the high back of which Daisy had spread his thick shawl to make him more comfortable.

"You ought to hear grandpa's dream, Dick," said she, as she stood beside the table, cutting the bread in slices, and placing them evenly upon a plate. " He dreamed that Santa Claus had brought lots of presents for you and me, and he wanted me to look under the lounge for them. But I know you, grandpa," continued she, with a knowing toss of her head. "You wanted to have a good laugh at my expense, when I should have looked, and found nothing."

" I can't convince her, Dick, that Santa Claus was here last night, and left some presents for you two. Suppose you just peep under the lounge, and prove it."

"All right," laughingly replied Dick, as he dropped upon one knee, aside of the lounge, and lifted the patch drapery.

"Why - as true as the world there is a bundle .' "

"Is there truly, Dick?" said Daisy, going to his side in wonder, still holding in her hands the knife with which she had been cutting the bread.

" Yes, truly. See ! " And Dick pulled out the parcel that had been hidden there the night before by the old musician, and, hastily breaking the string, brought to light the new shoes and hood.

" O, how pretty ! " exclaimed Daisy, dropping her knife in her eagerness to take the hood in her hands. "This is for me, I know! Who could have given it to me ? "

"And those are mine," said Dick, looking with pleasure at the new shoes. " I am truly grateful to some one, but I can't say who. Grandpa Milly, if you were not sick abed last night, and without money, I should think this was some of your work."

" Whose work do you think it is?"

" I have no idea. I didn't know that I had a friend in the city besides you and my employer, and he is not the one to give presents in such a manner."

"O, Dick, grandpa did do it, I am sure now. Look at his eyes ; they will tell," exclaimed Daisy, who had been watching the old man curiously.

" Impossible ! " replied Dick. " You did not go out last evening, did you, grandpa ? "

For an answer the old musician only smiled.

" O, he did, Dick! he did! " exclaimed Daisy.

" But you had no money, grandpa," said Dick, still doubting.

" 'T was easy earning it last night," replied Mr. Milly, smiling.

"O, grandpa, you did not play in the streets last evening to buy us these presents ? "

"Why not?"

" Why not? It might have caused your death, when you were so sick."

" I was not so sick as you made me out to be. The exercise did me good. I walked home so fast, for fear my strength might fail me, that when I reached here I was all of a perspiration, and that did me more good than lying in bed for a month would have done. In two or three days, at the most, I shall be able to work in earnest ; then, if the landlady has a vacant room, I will hire it of her, so that Daisy can have her bed again. But you have not told me how you like your presents ? " continued he, changing the subject.

" They are very handsome, grandpa, and we like them very much, and are very grateful for them. But if I had mistrusted that you were going out last evening on such an errand, I don't believe you would have gone."

" Ha ! ha ! so you would have kept the old man at home."

"I should surely have done so."

" Come, breakfast is all ready," said busy little Daisy, who had taken advantage of their conversation to scrape some chocolate that she kept for particular occasions, and put it to boil with milk upon the stove, until it was just right.

" Come, grandpa, a doctor would not object to your drinking a nice cup of chocolate, would he ? "

" If ten doctors objected to it, I don't think I should heed them, it looks so delicious," he replied, laughingly, seating himself at the table.

After breakfast, while Daisy was tidying up the room, grandpa Milly took down his violin to test his new strings. Many weeks had passed since the children had heard his skilful playing, and now they were so delighted that Dick forgot to ask Daisy if he could help her, as he usually did when at home ; and Daisy, in the middle of her sweeping, seated herself in a chair, with the broom across her lap, to listen. They were so much entertained that they heard not the door-bell ring, and the landlady's loud voice in the entry telling some one to " knock at that door." So when the knock came, they thought the landlady was at the door with some message, for they never had callers. Then, judge of their surprise, when, at Dick's cordial " Come in," the door opened, and in walked Mr. Williams, their country friend.

" Merry Christmas, Dick ! Merry Christmas, Daisy ! You did n't expect to see me to-day, did you, or you would have had Merry Christmas bottled up, to pop at me the moment I opened the door."

" O, it 's Mr. Williams ! " cried Daisy, in consternation, as she saw the broom in her lap, and the little pile of dirt upon the floor. " What kind of a house-keeper will he think I am?" thought she, as she cast a quick glance around the room to see if it looked so very bad.

" Yes, it 's Mr. Williams. You did not forget my name, did you ? " said he, smiling and rubbing his hands briskly together.

" We shall never do that," replied Dick. "But I almost thought you had forgotten us. Here, take this chair by the fire ; you are cold. This is my friend Mr. Milly, Mr. Williams."

" I am happy to meet your friend," replied the farmer, shaking the old man's hand cordially. " And I'll be positive he is not the only friend you have made since you came to Boston. I won't sit down just yet. I have left my horse and pung outside, and I want your help just a minute to bring in some things that are in the pung. Put on your hat, quick, for that old horse is not to be trusted, and he might start for home without me." So saying, the talkative farmer trotted out of the room, followed by Dick. And Daisy, making the most of the opportunity, grasped the dust-pan and broom, and in a twinkle had the dirt that was on the floor in the stove.

Dick soon returned with a large basket in each hand, and behind him came the farmer puffing under the weight of a barrel full of something.

"There ! " said he, placing the barrel on the floor. " I am going now to put my horse up in the stable that I saw as I turned the corner of the street, and give him some dinner. Then I will return, and have a good talk with you."

As soon as he had gone, Daisy tied on her new apron, brushed her hair, and put some finishing touches to the room to improve its appearance, before sitting down to await his return.

Her curiosity was great to know what was in the basket and barrel, but she knew that her brother would condemn so mean an action as to peep in, so she contented herself with saying, " I wonder what is in them, Dick?"

" I guess some things that Mr. Williams bought to take home with him, and he did not like to trust them in the pung, in a strange stable, so he left them here. Is n't he a pleasant man, grandpa ? " continued he, turning to the musician.

"Yes, he is pleasant, and, I should judge, good too," was the reply.

Just then the door-bell sounded, and Dick hurried to the door, to let in the farmer, who had returned.

" Well, Dick," said he, drawing off his thick gloves, and shoving them deep into the pockets of his overcoat, and throwing the latter with his hat across the back of a chair. " Well, Dick, how do you like Boston ? "

" Very well indeed, sir. I do not think I could do as well in any other city as I am doing here."

" You have a good situation, then ? "

" A capital one, and lots of time to myself to earn extra money in."

" I am glad of that. I had no idea you would be as comfortable as you are," said the farmer, looking around the tidy room. " And Daisy is chief house-keeper. I must say she is a smart little one, for everything looks as neat as a pin, and she looks still neater, if that is possible. I shall have to tell Jenny, when I go home, what a smart girl you are."

" Is Jenny well ? " asked Daisy, blushing rosy red with pleasure at the compliment.

"She is quite well, and sends you some Christmas presents, which I will show you after I have shown you what I have for you. I wanted to give you some kind of a present, and I thought this would be the most acceptable, as you are keeping house," continued he, going to the barrel and removing the cover, exposing some large rosy-cheeked apples.

The children could not repress a cry of pleasure, as their eyes fell on the luscious fruit.

" The barrel is half full of the best apples, and the other half full of the best potatoes I have raised on my farm this year."

" O, sir, you are so kind ! " at last Dick found voice to say.

" Humbug ! " replied the good-natured farmer.

" What is that handful to me? I might have given you more, if I could have brought it so far. Now I will show you what Mrs. Williams sent you. She has the impression that you are both too young to know how to cook, and she thought you would relish some of her cooking ; so she has put enough in this basket to make you both sick for a month. Ha ! ha ! ha ! " laughed the farmer. as he took from the basinet and laid upon the table three pies, a large loaf of cake, a loaf of homemade bread, and two roasted chickens. " Ha ! ha ! you can live high till these are gone, then you can fall back on baked apples and mashed potatoes.

"There, there, no thanks. I shall not listen to them. Now let me show you what the children sent you. I bought Frank a jumping-jack a little while ago, and he was so pleased with it that he made me buy one just like it for you, Dick. Ha ! ha! here it is,-a thin fellow with a red face. Here 's amusement for you on a winter's evening, to pull the string and see his legs fly ; ha ! ha! ha!" And the merry farmer held up the jumping-jack, much to the amusement of the three lookers on. " That's Frank's present to Dick ; now let us see what he sent to Daisy. He was sorely puzzled to know what to get for her; so his mother took pity on him, and gave him something that I know she will like. I hope it did not get touched with the frost, coming here. I tried to pack it so that it would not." So saying, the farmer took from the basket a tin pail, inside of which was a smaller one, the space between the two being closely stuffed with cotton. Taking out the second pail, he took from it a flower-pot, containing a beautiful little scarlet geranium, all in blossom.

" Oh, is n't it lovely! " cried Daisy, who was very fond of flowers, thinking how well it would look on the sunny window-seat, under the little running plant Dick had bought for her.

" You must not forget to water it every day, and to put it somewheres nights, where it will not freeze," said the farmer, putting it into her hands.

" O, sir, I shall take the best of care of it, and I am very much obliged," was the reply.

" Here are Jenny's presents. She is old enough to choose something useful. Here is a nice pair of mittens for Dick, and two pretty handkerchiefs for Daisy. There ! you can't say that you have n't had some Christmas presents, if they are not very expensive ones."

" They could not be better," replied Dick.

" When I awoke this morning I had no idea of receiving a present, and grandfather Milly began it by giving me a nice pair of shoes."

" He is your grandfather, then ; I thought you had no relatives living."

" He is not our real grandfather, but he lets us call him that. O, Mr. Williams, I almost forgot to ask you how Bruno is ? "

" He is tip-top, and the children play with him from morning till night. They could not do without him anyway now. Why, Jenny would as soon think of going out without her hood this cold weather, as without him."

" I knew you would all like him, just as soon as you became well acquainted with him. He is a splendid dog."

" He is that, and we all prize him very highly.

"But, there, I shall have to bid you good-by now, for I have many miles to ride, and I would get home before dark." So saying, the farmer arose and drew on his thick coat.

Dick and Daisy both expressed regret that his visit must be so short, and urged him to bring the children with him the next time he came.

" If you would only bring them in some holiday," said Dick, " I should have all my time to myself, to show them the sights to be seen in Boston. They would have enough to talk about for a month." The farmer promised ; and after one more round of " good-bys," he departed, having made three hearts very happy; for the old musician was as pleased that his young friends had been so kindly thought of, as they were at Mr. Williams' generosity.

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