Chapter 137549888

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1887-12-21
Page Number4
Word Count5822
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleRiverina Recorder (Balranald, Moulamein, NSW : 1887 - 1944)
Trove TitleA Christmas Angel
article text

Christmas Angel.

By Patience Staplbtox.


Somewhere in Maino thoro is a seaport town, touched by tho soa and guardod. by high bluo hills always shrouded in a kind of mist, tho brenth of the groat tido that sobs and beats against tho cold, rocky shore. Such an old town this is, fair Athens by tho Soa. Yoars and years ago, line old sea captains lived hero and built slatoly homes. Thoy' named tho town Athens — it whs originally called somo musical Indian word, poetic in itB mean

their half-forgotton romombranccs of castles and noble mansions acro33 tho soa. These ? old captains woro wealthy and proud, arrogant porhaps ; but a sea cap tniu is nlways lord of all ho survoye on bluo wator, and it was not strango that thti nir and old habit of command ro mained with him when ho cast anchor in a homo harbor until ]iis voyago of life ended. . ? Thirty years ago, in Athens, old Cap tain Pqrry was tho chiof man of tho vil lage; now tho rod glow of tho sun tints his pallid marblo monumont with a rosy light, the monument on which is carved a wonderful littlo ship that generations of young Athenians will marvel at and ro mnmber. A man that was onco so much is pitiful Binall in an earthly mound, and yet this is to como to both captaiim and ?ttilora. Old Captain Perry lired in a grand mansion, tho best in tho village Threo storied, whito, and soft-green blinds, and a high-pillared portico that mado it look like a church. Tho captain'3 grounds we»o artistically laid out ; gleaming under tho noble elms that alluded tho lawn wero beautiful statues brought from Europe ; near tho houso a big bronzo fountain tossed sparkling diamonds of wator all tho quiet Summer days. . Wlion tho captain left tho soa, fifty years hoforo, ho was fifty years old and 'rich as Crocus,' tha villagers Kaid, with a pootio romoinbranco of a simple flower, and yet an orronoous idea of tho meaning and U8oof u word. Ho had a ward, tho handsome daughter of a brother captain. Finding tho villagers began to talk about tho girl of twenty living under his roof, ho promptly and rathar masterfully urged his suit to hor, and sho married him. Sho was a faithful, obediont wife, quiet nnd passive, rot ho often hoard her sob and inoiin in hor sleop. Sho died giving birth to a child n year after hor marriage. Sho said no word of regret, nor kissed tho girl baby they laid beside hor, but only turned hor face to the wall and lay thero till tho ond. Aftor hor death tho captain found a tear-stained packbt of lottors, a portrait of a handsomo sailor, that was all ; but it mado tho captain bitter and distrustful of men and women, so ho brought his motherless daughter up liko somo captive princess.. Sho should havo no past that ho could not toll tho ' Young Princo' who would claim hor some day. The captain meant hor to-marry, but tho man ho in tended for hor husband was quito too ex alted' a powonago in character and rank ovor to'como to Athens in tho flesh: Tho captain used to talk of his daugh ter's future to John Grecnloaf, better known as ' Cap'on John.' When fc'10 littlo. Dosdomona, tho 'captain's daughtor, was born, John Greonlenf was a cabin-boy - in one of tho captain's Bbips. Groonloaf senior had boon a Bailor in tho captain's omploy, but having no ambition, was never promoted, liis ability novor rising beyond tho carrying out of iv superior's orders ; not so with John, and the captain pu.ihed the boy ahbad. He saw there was metal in him; ; : holikod John's great dark eyes, his rare bright smile, his intelligent faco, and activity ; so when Desdomona was a maiden! of soventoon, John,- 'thirty-two',' quiet nnd grave, almost stern in mannor, was captain of tho. Olhrtfa, one of the captain a best ships. Captain Porry was lit that1 timo ono of tho largest ship-owners in the Stato of Maine. All this was thirty years; ago, and 'ships woro monarchs of 1 he sea thon. Captain Perry talked of his future son iu-law. to. Captain 1' John, and the latter listened, with sad interest; lifting his quiet eyes, tluit, like duop blnckpoolB in tho forrsi, mi^'lit reveal so much when stirred, nnd glancing at tho daintygiil out by tho Ironze fountain— a golden-haired, blue oyeil maiden,' feoding the robins /that, iloekbd about her. Soinohow in' the storms at s»a, the long, lazy days, and calms in tropical oliines, she camo up boforo him — the blub of hor dress liko tho bluo of her eyes, the glint of hor yollow hair, '.tho s vift withdrawal of her sweet glance when Ii«roye3 mot his and sho dropped tho cur tain of hoi' long dark lashes. John novor now a soaslioll hilt ho thought of the trans plant pink of. her blieok. Ho thought, whilo. tho captain talked amiably about the oxpectnd Princo, of his poor homo, a in Ho froin.;tp\v_n at tho foot of tho bluo h 11s. Ik' saw tho rickety old farmhonso, tho barren Holds, tho lean cattle Ho re menibered his ;crippled father, his aged mother ; ho saw little Snniiny playing by the giito— littlo wliite-hoadod, freckled . Sammy, tho orphan child of his wild, dis sipatoil. brothel whose dobts he was pay ing—the debts that woro still so heavy and that ho boiUd lower so slowly. Captain Perry prattled on, for ho re garded -John ns a 8ort of nlavo— tho child of ono of his ignorant Bailors — a man he Jiii'l 'made. . !' But, groat guns, a smart man, arid ono that knows his place. Why, l'vb had him in iny hoimoliko— like a (tho captain paiisod)— a nophow for years. Lijuk at;my,, daughtor, indoodl' (Some one, had insinuated such a thing might occur). 'Old John, quiet, staid John Groenlottf I -why, I'd as soon think of I'etor Jones, my old cook that wont to sea with me thirty year ago, looking at Des mondy.' In the year 1850, 'when Sammy was flovon and his grandfather Bomowhoro about eighty, tho Othello was in Now York, acid, drptain John enmo homo to AthonB to spend : 'Christmas. Tho old folks, ho ' saw, wero very feoblo, tho homo poorer . than over, and tho doctor's bill for liis lather's sioknosB staggorod him. It was a dreary Christmas ; life had always boon dreary to him, poor John ; but ho was so patient, ho choorful always, that no ono guspectort his sad heart and terriblo lonoli iicbs. Ho met tho captain — such a whito bearded old giant of soventy— and tho captain, bubbling ovor with joy, informed 1 -m tho Princo had arrived. ' Met him last Summer just aftor you wont away, John. Doomondy was ailing n littlo— I took hor to Now York. Ho ' was thero— boh of an old friund — a re tired Bhip commissioner — only twenty-two — handsome young fellow — rich, too — . worships Mona. Ho's hero now— told him 'bout you — what a smart cap'en you were — no cabin-window promotion oithor, but worked your way up. HVd lik* to see you.'

'Th»nV you,' Mid Captain John, huskily: 'he'akind, but I'm so busy— 10 much to tot to — Umo'a ao ahort.' ' But Mona wants you,' said tbo cap tain, not noticing in his cheer the chill, gray look on John's faco. ' Sho's liked ye from a child — used to sit on your knoo — koops all the pimcracts you brought her. I toll lior — ha, ha — they will bo good for hor youngstors to play with when bIio is Mrs. May. Tom May's bis name.' At first Captain John determined not to go to that whito houso hidden amongat the pinos and firs, wearing their bright-green dress in the wintry blast, wlion nil tho othor treoi, tho queenly olms and stalwart oaks, wero wrapped in winding-sheets of snow ; yot innonsibly his Btcps turned thither, and i\ servant showed him into a cozy parlor, hor own littlo room, where overything wa« dainty bluo save a big, crackling wood firo. It'was a lato af tornoon when ho went, and twilight wao dropping down from tho mountains to meot tho thick gray fog from tho Boa. Tho parlcr was lighted only by tho bright firo, but ho saw her ajftinst tho background of the twilight Bhndows, sitting near tho hearth. She raised her from tho big volumo on hor knoo when aho hoard his stop, and lifted her beautiful fnco, now radiant from tho yollow light of tho blazing pino that throw fantastic lights on her golden hair and her whito gown with its soft, feathery fur. Ho gazed at her in a sort of trance — the only woman ho know besides his wrinkled mother. Ho had lived a lonoly lifo at ooa, and tho croaturos ho had known in his youngor days woro not of tho samo race as this fair, scree'; girl. ' Don't you know mo, John 1 ' slio said, going up to him and laying horlittlu whito hand in hid bronzed big one, never to him so big and rough before. Ho stam mered, and pressed the small hand tremb lingly.

snail 1 ring ior lights?' bIio said, drawing him a chair by tho fiio and ro suming hor position with tho book 011 hor knee. ' No,' he said ; ?' lot mo look at you for a moment in tho firelight and try to realize that you are the little child 1 used 1o pet, tho child that was never absent from my thoughts in all my lonoly, lonoly houra. How I UBcd to plnn things fur hor, and try to remember all her littlo wants ! Hor happy face, when I filled her apronand hurdiiup lodarmswith quaint foreign toys, was tho swootost recollec tion of my lifo.' lie spoko half to him self. 'You brought me nothing this time, John,' bIio said, half laughing, but thoro wna a tear ful shadow in her eyes. '1 dared not in trude my gifts on tho young lady,' stammored tho cap tain, awkwardly. 'Your father wrote mo tho-Frinco hail come at last — the young lovor ho used to talk to mo about —tho rich, hancl somo lover. 1 did not know but that you wero already married. How lonji, may I ask now , bo fore' tho blue-eyed child is tobn Ids', for over,. and tho Prin cess, leaving her 011 chantod homo, will go out into tho great world with thn Princo, leaving us woeful and Bad an tho faded flowers ?' 'Ah, uio,'Bi-*hcd the Princess, 'I am very, very unhappy, John.' Sho leaned hor cheek on her hand and looked up into his face. Sho noticed his firm lips tromblo under hit) dark moustache ; slio noted ho passed his linnd over his oyos as if thoy woro moist. ' Unhappy Mona? You — now ! ' he said, incredulously, leaning nearer to hor. ' Why,' ho cried, brokenly, ' how palo you

are, how sad ! and your voiou—ilu old happy ring is gone. Is it this curneil climato of cold and mist ?— must you, tho loveliest of thorn all, go liko tho rest, tho sweot-faced girls 1 havo seen grow to young womanhood 1 Ah, God 1 Mona, to think of you in thogravoyard, youv young lifo at an ond ! ' Ho roso quickly, nnd walked to tho wnv dow nnd looked out across tho harbor, where tho light of tho Hghthouso at tho entranco sont a long, yelloir stream out on the dark waves. 'I am well,' said Mona, impatiently. 'It's not consumption, it's — it's (with a littlo sob) — '? it'H hgartbroak, John.' He caino back to her thon. 'Mona,' ho snid, tremblingly, 'you used to tell old John nil tho littlo troublos of your childhood, and wo would plan a way out of thorn. Can I not help you now ?' Ho drow his chair closor to her, and took tho frail hand lying on the book in both of hia hands. She longed to lay hor chock closo to his nnd sob out hor grief as bIio did when a littlo child. 'I do not lovo the Princo,' sho gasped. ' Fathor says I must marry him, and I shall die.' 'Not lovo him!' repeatod John, 'He young, rich, handsomo — all your fathor desiroB, and you knowing no ono olso. I don't understand it, Mona.' Sho looked at him wistfully, thon quiokly drew hor hand away. ' Do you know why I was nnmed Dosdomona?' nho snid, shortly. ' Because,' said bowildored John, 'it was tho only play of Shakespoaro's your fathor ovor read ; tho sumo roiuton I bo liovoho named my Bhip tho Othcllq.' ' Ho named mo forDoadeinonabtaauis ho fait my mother deceived him,' nidi Mona, steadily. 'You ice my mother

loved a dead sailor, and married father with only a brokon heart and blighted lifo in return for his great love and kindness. Father read how Othello thought ho hud boon deceived, but grew to lovo Desdo mona becauso she was truo after all, and ho wanted mo to bo what sho was. I think ho pities Othello, boi-nuso ho might havo suffered liko Othello did if mother had livod.' ' I seo I' said the enptain, strll bewil dered. ' Imagine now,' snid Mona, quickly, a pink glow on brow and chook, ' if Dosde mona had to marry ono of tho nobles whom her father liked, and all tho time oho loved Othollo with hor wholo heart.' ' And yet ho did not try to win her j ho was too liumblo, too unworthy, ho thought, for such a fair, swoot lady,' said tho captain. ' But ho told her stories of his travels,' cried Monn, fixing her glowing oyes on tho captain's face, 'and sho know by them of his brnvory, his nobility. Sho knew sho could adoro and worship him, ho was so strong in heart, bo daring, with tho courage of a lion. A woman shut in from tho world finds her heroes in books — in book-people — and whon bIio boob a man liko the ideal slio has read about her heart goes out to him whether sho will or not.' Tho captain looked into tho fire ; his faco, half hidden by his hand, was curiously calm, and liko marblo in its pal lor. Still that wistful glnuco in hor bluo oyes. Ho felt conscious, of a swcot por futno, a delicious dreamy fooling of hnppl 11083 ; yot crushod his heart as he from a lifetime of repression know how to do. 'You used to toll mo stories, John,' said a tender, broken voico, bo closo to him that ho felt tho warmth of her brenth on bis hand. He started up nnd went once aijniu to tho window. Still darkness

oiit.sido, a taint, sui;«oation of snow on tho fields, ,7 wide, expanse of gloonjy black wator rolling under tho faint, tiny stars, and away across tho harbor tho gloaming light'. Howquiot it wasj. Only tho snap and cracklo of tho firo dying down to deep rod coals. Ho heard her soft stop ; ho was mad for a momont. Wild, fovored blood poured ftito his brain ; his hoart soemod us if it would choko him. Ho clinched hio hands. Sho camo cIobo tq him and rested her ohook on his arm, 'You aro angry. I ]|o.vo boon uii maidonly, dear John,' bIio said, pitoonsly ; ' but it was so soon— tho wodding— and you — you would bo gone.' ' God havo morcy on mo 1' ho oriod hoarsely. ' My heart \a breaking I' Ho flung hor and out of tho house, Sho turned, tremblingly, for sho hoard a woll-known stop. Hor fathor was olose bo sido her. 'I hoard it all!' ho hisaod, his voioo strangled with passion. 'Ho camo hero liko a florpont — ho stolo your lovo — ho, tho son of an Ignorant Bailor— a pauper I Ho'll go baok to liia povorty, and you — you shall inurry May to-morrow. Ho shall novor know this. I was deceived, bo shall ho bo. All women aro traitorB — aro liars atheart. Bring lights I ' lm thundered to tho soared maid at tho door ; and whon tho candles woro brought ho flung opon tho big volume. 'Soel sool I mmiod you aright 1 ' ho shouted— 11 Look to hor, Moor, if thou bast oyes to Bee, She bos decolvcd her father, and may thco, ' CHAPTER II. It was , Christmas Evo ; a cold, quiet night. YesUrdnY it had saowad steadily alldniy ; nowNatiiro, having duly madeand

fitted hor now robe, was wearing it in lovely piece. Tho kitchen afc tho Grcon leaf farc'i house was warm and snug. If the floor was bare, and tho coiling but big oakon beams, a great fireplaco piled high with blazing logs was cheery onough, and thu.apples and cider wore rather pleasing — 30 Siimmy thought. Grandpa, silent nnd sorrowful, sut on ono sido of tho firo — a bronzed old man with wiry white hairand beard. Grandma, with n neat cap over her silvory hair, knitted briskly on tho other aide ; between them was a fat dog, an old cat, and tow-headed Sammy on n stool. ' Coin' to writo all night ? ' aaidSummy, in a melancholy tono. Tho captain looked up. no was writ ing, to a ship-owner hu know, for a placo oven as second mnto. That vory morning ho had boon discharged from Captain Porry 's employ for over, besides rocoiving a cruol lottor accusing him of all mannor of basonesB and ingratitudo. ' I'll como now,' said tho captain, put ing up his writing ; then ho took Sammy on his kneo and told him stories of Christ mas-tide — how God sont hia angels down on earth to Bproad good choor and hap piness all ovor tho world to rich and poor. ' Is Santy Clans a angel ?' said Sammj', practically. ' A sort of ono,' said tho captain. ' Which is tho best, himortheaugels?' said Sammy, thoughtfully. ' The angols.' ' Woll, 1 guoss I'll pray ter tho angels, then, tor bring mo a sled,' said Sammy, with somo rolief ; ' an' I'll tell 'em tor git yor a new ship, Uncle John. I'm a pitcher, yer know,' he wont 'on gravely. ' Grandma allua says little pitchers has big onrs, when sho's tollin* what aho don't wa'it mn to know.' ' You'd bettor c° to brd now,' laughed

tno captain, and when. (:ho tow hona wna 1 quiet on a pillow and the bluo oyo.s closed ho st'ilo inlo tho littlo room off tho kitohon whero Sammy slept, and laid, with other offerings, tho Iqoko4-fpr sled at the foot of the bod. ^)hen ho wont back to his writ ing ; lator on, worn, and weary with sor row, ho sought l)is bed in th» attic, and fell into a troublod sleop. Thero was n uiightv, rakish-sort of a moon that Christmas Evo j it did not comb out at all till midnight, but it shone brightly thon, with a mollow, cheerful raiiinnco. In fact, it was so brilliant in Sammy's room, that ho plainly saw tho name un his sled, 'Tho lioss,' in largo, gilt lptfors. Sammy dreamed of tho angeh, with ooiuo vnguo memories of a Santa Olnus, but most of beautiful angols in whito, flying ovcrywhoro. Ho thought that ho mot one, sijch a lovoly one, with real gold hair, and ho nskod hor for tho sled, mid then for a shin for Undo Johu — a gront big ship. Tap — tap-^tap, Sammy turned rest lessly on his pillow, Tap — tap. '. Fob Unclo John,' ho murmured, diqwBily. Tap — tap — tap. Hesprangup, widoawako, Tho moon was shining ; at tho foot of his bed was a, iino, bluo bIocI, Tap — tap, Why, thore at bis littlo window was an angol— a real, livoaugol, with long, yol|p\y hair, and all in whito, too. Tno nngp} beckoned to him ; ho startod up, and ran to the window ; tho angol was going down tho path to tho harbor, ' I'vo got tljo sled,' thought Sammy } 'but I novor told hor that I wanted a Bhip for Unclo John. I'll run aftor hor,' ho said, talking to himsolf. (1 1 will, an1 git that skip for Unclo John's Qhris'mus, from hor.' Ho tugged his boots on ovor his baro foot, and put his ororooat on over his nightgown. He must waste no' timo, for - ? ..

Grandma might atop hia going, for fear ho would got the croup. Then Uncle John had said angols aeldom camo to big folks, but always to littlo children liko him. Sammy crept out of tho house, then away ho sped after tho whito figuro that was wandering down to tho river. Ho nn\v the angel qnito plainly now, even tho soft whito fur on her dross ; but, to his disappointment, ho could seo no wings. 'Angel I Angel;' ho panted, coming up to her ; ' I like you for tho sled, thank yer ; but Unclo John, ho wants a ship. I furgotthat.' ' Yea, yes,' said tho angol, looking at him with wide, vacant eyes J 'yes, a ship. Dear John, it was so cruol. Ho shall havo tho ship. Como 1 como ! ' sho cried, pitoously, Boizing tho child's hand. ' Hurry j boforo thoy como wo will get John tho ship ; ho will not blamo 1110 thon — not leavo mo to dio.' ' I'll go I ' panted Sammy, running through Iho soft, light snow, his bare logs almost frozon. ' It's awful cold, though. I'm nigh frozo. Why, thoro ain't no ship there ! ' ho cried, in dismay, whon they enmo to tho brink of tho bay, whoro tho sullen, black waves, with shining tips of fo^m,boatagainsttherocks. 'Seo! thore's our covo ; that's Unclo John's boat, ho rows tor town — it's a mile an' a harf I That's our old dory there ; it's loaky — Grandpa haulod her up last Summer — full or cracks. Ain't no ship I can sou hero.' Tho angol looked out on tho wild waters with tho same vncant look that was on her fnco all the way. The fierce wind coming up now agninst tho tide boded a storm Where had that wind como from so sud donly 1 Her long hnir blew about hor ; hor snow-lndou garments waved and flapped liko a aail. 'Come I come!' she cried, clutching the child's arm, ' into John's boat Seo !

1 can push it oil'!' It divncos li|c? n spa- J gull Q' the waves — it is a free, happy boat. Now I'll row ; I oan row, I can fly j I am froo now 1 We'll go there, away, away away ouj; I— never tq come back. ' Nover mnre — nevermore 1' She laughod, a strange, wild laugh, that echoed oypr tho groat, lonoly harbor. Saminy, holding tight to the gunwales of tho boat, lookod at hor with wlilo, frightened oyos. ' But tho ship— Undo John's ship I' ho repeated, miserably. ' Thoro !' sho cried, tossing the flying hnir from hor. face; 'ahoad, away out, bnynnd that yellow light ; there is the ship I' 'That's the ocean.' said Sammy, terror-stricken. ' Uncle John says there's fearful breakers thero— only quo littlo miner chnnnol where vos3Ols come in. That's ^0 lighthouse Qh, Angel, I want to go baoij, I'm bo cold, and all tho water is comin' inter tho boat I' Hia only answer wns that mad laugh, singularly swo./t, oehoing above all tho roar of tho water, and the wild moaning of tho wind. :. Oiipt.iiin Jolui wakod up from a troubled sleep. Somo ono was pounding at the door. Ho hnd thrown himsolfdrossed on his bod, so in. a socund ho waq in tho kitchon. The door hnd bepu broken open, and Captain Perry, May, and a crowd of nun wero in tho house. , 'Holms afolon my dnughtur I' yelled tho paptnin, ' Search tho houso I' A orowd of rnun rushed through tho rooms. John, trembling and dnzod, turncc] tq tho ninu (hat ho know host in tho throng, the kind qU{ villago doctor : ''For God's sako, what dqea. this meaij ?'? ho naked, ho rsloy,' , ' MiBS Mona r pantod tho doctor, who seamed to have ran all tho way from. town. 'She was taken dolidous yoB'erJay—

raved of you. I gavo hor a slcoping powder last night to calm her. Tho nurse and I left tho room a moment for modi ciues ; when wo got back— wo had left her quiet, and, wo thought, asloop — sho was gone.' ' Gono 1' cried John. 'Tho windows were opon ; sho must have climbed down the balcony ; sho was barefooted, but had thrown ovor hora whito, fur-lined clonk. We traced her hero — her baro foot-prints in the bhow — bloody ones at tho last — to that window \' (Pointing to Sammy's room.) ' Sammy ain't thero I' shrieked old Grandma Groenleaf ; 'ho's gono, an' his littlo coat an' boots ; but tho rest of bis clothes ia thero !' ' Was bIio delirious still ?' asked a by stnndor. 'I can't tell,' Baid tho doctor. 'I think so ; her escape soomed like tho cunning of insanity.' . John rushed out of the houso. Parry was close at his heels. ' For God's sake,' moaned the old man, ' tell mo whero she is — my Mona! You Bhall havo your ship again 1' : ..-: 'Fool!' cried John, a horrible fear choking him ; ' soo — see the double tracks, the child's and hers] Thoy nre goiiig to tho river — to tho river, man !' Oh, that half-mile ! It seemed ns long aa twenty miles, and each milo a mountain to climb. ' The boat's gone — gone 1' shouted John. ' They can't havo gono in that on the awful sen. My dory that was hero is gono, Captain Perry 1' Just thon a child's cry floated over tho water, and they saw, rising on tho crest of a wavo, neariug the frightful breakers, that fretted the ontrnnco to tlio harbor, a boat ; in it two figures ; then another whvj buried it from sight. While they talked and wrung their hands, and tho

crnzeu, stricKen iat her cried and pray ed, John Greonleaf worked with a sense and purpose. Somo ran around theshore totht'town for boats well knowing their raco would bo uso less. ' Two thousand pounds to the man that rescues her 1 ' cried May. -'Four thousand! ' sobbed her father. 'Don't go m that boat, John,' said the doctor, laying a restraining hand. ' For your poor old father's suke,' cried tho old man, hobbling to his son and clinging to his arm j 'you're all I'vo got in this world, John, my ' noblo son, my bravo lad. They treated ye mean — yo owe 'em nutliin'.' In his quiet way John freed himself. ' Porry will take care of you,' he said, briefly. Bo fore thoy realized, ho was off. Ho launched that frail dory on tho 'wild water, ho seized the battored oars nnd rowed out to soa. Every seam in tho treacherous boat let in a st ream of water, every wavo dashed its spray over tho sinking sides. ' Thoy never could have reached her from the town,' Slid tho doctor. ' Seo, they are not half way there. It's a fearfully icy road and tho snow is deop, and it will tako time to got a boat in town, as most are laid up for tho BeaBon. If ho reaches her beforo they are nfc that point, they're saved ; if he don't, tlie breakers will boat tho boat to atoms. ' 'Ho'll reach 'em,' said tho old man, brokenly. 'If a man can, he can God '11 holp him.' This touched Perry. He turned and pressed tho trembling haiid of his old-time' sailor, who whisporod : ' An' God help yo, Cap'en.' 'She's rowin' straight for thorn breakers.' said a

IWiurmnn. ' By Joyo, lie's a magnificent rowor, t-hough/'saidyoungMay. ' Whatstrenglh ho has, what a grtat, strong swoop I I never saw courage liko his, in that boat With tho wind and Boa ; but It's mad and useless, if it is sublime.' Perry looked at tho young man, daintily b,rcd nnd effomintytp, a child of wealth and podilion ; then ho looked out to Bea, at that black speck, hurlod onward with a forco that ho himself or this young aris tocrat hurdly realized. Tho strength of a man who has boon bred to toil, tho mighty strength of pationt labor onlistod now to roacue ind urged on by love — tho woman ho loved was in poril. Thon it was Perry remembered ho\y happy sho was whon John was wjth them ; how bright hor smile \yhon John told thorn storioa of the aon ; how silont and gravo sho became whou ho was away ; so anxious for news of the Othello whon thoro woro storms. He recalled how honorable John was when his child had tempted him as man never was tomptod boforo. 'Fool! faol that I havo boon! ' ho moaned, climbing up tho stoop cliff that walled in tho littlo cavo from tho sea. Ho saw in tho moonlight that tho boats wero near togothor, ho saw the dpry a morp lino aboyo tho wator, and know jt was almost gono. '' Ho's thrown off his coat,' cried tho doctor ; ' bop, he's swimming — swimming in that ipy watpr I' 11 Ho novor can do it,' said May, ' Up can I ' shouted tho captain, stung into fury j ' ho oan, for ho lovos my girl, Unit's \\rhy, sir. Ro will save hor!' ; Thoy watched breathlessly, sooing so. littlo, fearing much, Thoso fow moments wero an oternity, a lifetimo to tho waiting fathor. At last a fisherman, nearest to the edgo of tho cliff, shouted ;

' The boat's puttin1 back, sir— comin' this way 1' Oh 1 that joyful shout It echoed out over tho hnrbor where, drenched with icy wator, worn and half frozen, Captain John was rowing back against tho tide, battling every inch of tho way. Sho lnj^ whito nnd still liko a broken lily, in the bow of tho boat. He dared not look to soo if she woro dead, nnd shivering little Sammy screamed from the bittor cold. iJ Tho moment tho doctor hatl cecn the boat returning he rushed up to Iho house ; ho know what would bo neoded. At last tho speck' grow into outline and, shape, and then they saw the oareman rowing his tirelesB stroke with? steady norvb, with dauntless courage. Willing hands drew tho boat to land, and carried Sammy ;to tho house, but tlio 'oaramari heeded them ? not. Ho lifted liis /white burden and strode ovor the fields to his' Jioino. Ho loft hor only whon tho doctor said that sha was alive and might rocovor,; then he slagr gered to the door and fell in a dead fainr. ' It's a funny Christmus,1' said Sammy; dolefully, the h 'Xt morning; I'vo got! t-r stay . in . bud . tin' take ' inedercine. 'I hato angols.'-; ':-- .'???;? -?? .. ??.'[-.}'?;:? ;':.'. ' But here's lots of things I that Captiiin Perry sont you,' Baid the doctor, who had heard tho anger story ? from, his young patient, 'and you can get iip this aftor noon.' : -;?..'?'?.- _? ' '.:''.'?'..' ' Whoro's Uncle Joliu?'.. said Sammyi relenting a littlo ; fro wed in' that -leaky boat, ho did, an', ho told me not tor^ that it would Bink, ah' it did, but heswimmod, hodid.' 'He's with the angel 1' said the doctor, smiling. ? ..-..- '?' I've got tor see him,' said Sammy, firmly ; bo he was wrapped up nnd carried to his grandmother's room. Ho saw the angol, white and still on the bed ; near hor was hia Uncle John, looking nt hor with a faco that did not seem to belong to his Uncle Johu at all, it was so passionate, bo radiant with hope and fear. ' Captain Perry stood near tho door ;? he wavod thorn bapk, but the. angel opened hor oyos at tho noise. . ; . : ... ';: : . ? ' Father,' sho anid, softly. How still they all were ! Hor reason was coming back. ' ..-,-?? ' Is John here ?' ' ' -.':?'. ' Yoa,' answered her father ;' he is near you, close beside you.',.;.- .- ;, John went to her then and knelt bjr tho bed. She raised her golden head ta his breast. ,..:.... ' Dear John.'. .-???? 'You miiBt not talk, love,' he said, gently j ' Ho quiet and get well.' .-.. ? 'You will nover leavo, mo?' ;?'-?. ' Never, Mona,' said her father ; -' you will bo happy to hear your father say that ; John is the only man ip the world I would givo you to,\ ho,i is tho noblest and tho bravpst. The Princp didn't como, Mona ; I was blind, and, didn't ego that ho was with us all the time.' :??'????? 1 ? ; . ' Will I Uticjo John git his ship ?' put in Sammy's slhill voico. -! ?'?.'?' ' Indeed he will,' S'lid tho captain', following thorii out, 'arid all old Captain Perry has to givo.' 'I gups'j,'! a.iid Sammy, wlipn ho was retucked -.11 [bed with an ornngo and a picture-book, 'I guess sho wasn't a Chris'mus an'gel at all, an' I ,guess she's Undo John's girl, an' I guess ? ' ' You'd better not guoss any more rigllt anay,'1 laughed the doctor. ' You'll find out when she gets well sho's b&tter tjuin all thn Christmas nnguls your uncle John uould tell you about till you get to bo a man.' ' .Mobbe,' said Sammy, sloepily ; ' but I'd liko tor know who brought mo that sled, though.'