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THE WEST BRANCH FARMER.
BY 0. N; WOEDEN.
THE RAVEN....BJ Edgar A. Poe, dee'd.
1 Oore upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, wrak end weary,'
Over many a quaiut and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddeoly (here came a tapping,
As of onie one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
" Tie aome visiter," I mutt-red, "tapping at my chamJer door
Only this, and nothing more."
ft Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
. And each separate dying ember wrought its ghot upou the floor,
lieivrly I wished the morrow ; vainly 1 had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow sorro fur the lost Lenore
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Leaore
Nameless here for evermore.
f And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me filled me with fuuiastic terrors never felt before J
So that oow to still the beating of my heart I stood repeating,
Tie some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door
This it is, and nothing more."
4 Present! my soul grew stronger ; hesitating then no longer.
Sir." said 1, " or Madam, truly your forgiveness 1 implore ;
But the fad is I was napping, and so geutly you came rapping.
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door.
That I scarce was sure I heard vou" here I opened wide the dour
Da rliBt-si there, nnd nothing more.
3 Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing.
Doubting, dreaming dreams do mortal ever dared to dream before :
Hut the sileuce was unbroken, and the stillness give no token.
And the only word there spoken was the whispered wofJ "Ignore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word "Lenore!"
Merely this, and nothing more.
Baek into my chamber turning all my soul within me burning,
Soon again 1 hesrd a tapping somewhat louder than before. p
Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice ;
' Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore;
Tis the wind, and nothing more !
f Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flatter.
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore :
Not the least obeisance made he ; not a minute stopped or stayed he t
Hut with mien of lord or lady perched above my chamber door
1'crcht d upou a bust of Pallas juvl above my chamber door
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
8 Tbn this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
Hy the grave and sttro decorum of the countenance it wore,
" Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," said, "art sure no craven.
Ghastly, grim, and ancient Rtvea wandering from the Nightly shore
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore?"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
8' Much I marveled, this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly.
Though its answer little meaning luile relevancy bore ;
For we can not help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet wsa blessed with setting bird above his chamber door
Bird or beast upou the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as Nevermore."
!0 B jt the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
. That one word, as if his soul he did in that ou'pour.
Nothing further then he muttered not a feather then he filtered
Till I scarcely more than uttered ' O her friends have flown before'
Oo the morrow he will leave me, as my friend have flowo before."
Then he said, Nevermore."
11 Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
Doubtless," said I, " what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some un nappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster until bis soul one burden bore
Till the dirges of bis Hope that melancholy burden bore
Ot Never nevermore. "
12 Rut the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling.
Straight 1 wheeled a cushioned seal in Iront of bird, and bust, and door,
Then upon the velvet sinking, 1 betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy thinking what this ominous bird of yore
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yors
Meant by croaking " Nevermore."
T9 Thus 1 sst engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose hvry eves now burned within my bosom's core ;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining.
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore !
ft Then, meihought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swuiij: by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tutted floor.
"Wretch!" 1 cried, " thy God hath lent thet -by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite respite and nepenthe Irom thv memories of Lenore!
Qua!', O quatf this kind nepenthe, and lorget the loft Lenore!"
Quoth the Riven, " Nevermore !"
IS " Prophet!" said h "thing of evil prophet still, if bird or devil f
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore;
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted
On this horse by Horror hacnted tell me truly, 1 implore
Is there. i$ there ba'm in Gilead tell me tell me. I implore !"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!'
1 Prophet .'" said I, " thing of evil prophet still, if bird or devil !
By that heaven that bends above us -by that G id we both adore
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if within the distant Aidden
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore f
Q i-jtb the Raven, "Nevermore.
f 7 "Re that word-our sign of parting, bird or fiend !" I shrieked, upstarting
" Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore 1
Leave no black- plume as a token of that lie thou hast spoken !
Leave my loneliness unbrokeu ! quit the bust above my door !
Take Ihy beak Irom out my heart, and take thy form from off my doof P'
Quoth the Raven, " Nevermore!"
IT And the Riven; never flitting, stiH is sitting, tlill is silting
Oa the pull id bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;'
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him-streaming throws his shadow on the floor !
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted nevermore !
Why is the great Russian Bear, Nicho- I
'sts, like a half-starved fox ? Because he's J
gt Nung(a)ry, and wants Turkey.
Apples are not only palatable and cheap
bat also nuTHious and heakby J rare I
The Commissioners to determine the
Southern boundary line of Pennsy lvania,
have discovered old landmarks which show
,h" eeral valuable farina, heretofore
supposed to belong to Delaware, arc in
fact the territory of Pennsylvania.
flapec bcuotcu to
V JACOB ABBOTT.
George stood at the window too.lookinjr
out at one of the lower panes. They watch
ed Fergus as he waded along, pikestaff in
hand, tie went slowly on titl he passed
out of lb yard, and apprjtehed the apple
tree,where he was to turn off iutoi the road,
out of his parents' si-iht. He turned around,
waved his pil.es'.uff with a parting smile,
and then disappeared. George turned away
in silence to the cradle, and began gently
to rock it, saying to himself 'How possi
ble it is that we shnll never see him smile
again I" Mary went away intsjSJtie other
room, and knelt at the bedside, and prayed
that as they had now done what seemed
to the.n best, God would take the result in
to bis own hands, and give them hearts of
quiet submission to his will. She pressed
her handkerchief upon her eyes, with both
her hecde',as her head reclined upon them,
hut the pishing would come, while she
offered the petition.
H it we will follow Fcrg'j. (lis rond led
!.!n down into a valley, in which it crossed
Va brook where he had played in the stim-
p mer days many an afternwn. He reached
the brook without muoh diiTiaulty, and as
the wind had blown the snow rncstlffalVpm
the bridge he walked over it freely.Vng
his pikesTtfi upon the"wks, and looking
with a kind of eati jc(tou At his clothes.
whitened with the .snow higher tbanJw
knees. He looked over the ratlin? of rte
bridge, and was surprised f' Nr much
the brook had disappeared, a been
frozen over, and was conipnneiy covered
with snow, and even thebed of the stream
was so filled in with drifts that all indica
tions of a brook were entirely gone. Still,
when he listened, he could hear a low
gurgling, as if under ground.
Fergus did not stop long at the bridge
the wind and falling snow drove him on.
His road here turned down the valley, but
at the turn a large drift, which was too deep
tor him, extended across the road. He
waded into it as far as he could, and then
thrust his pikestaff down into it, on before.
It was almost over his head, and the snow
was falling so thick around him, and blew
with such violence in'o his face and eyes,
that he could not see. He sank down oo
the soft bed beneath him to rest a moment.
turning his hick towards the wind.
" I wonder," said he to himself, "what
makes it always blow the hardest just as I
am in the middle of the deepest drifts! I'll
keep still till it is tired."
As he sat or rather reclined thus, almost
buried in the drift, his face turned toward
j the side of the road, he saw that along on
the other side of the fence was a sort of an
eddy where the snow had almost entirely
blown away. He could see with difficulty,
for the air was thick, and his eyelids ere
frosted over. He perceived, however, by
the little tufts ol grass, (hit the ground was
birely covered there, near the fence. So,
after renting a moment, and letting his lace
get warm by keeping it sheltered from the
wind, he plongVd his way out ol the drift,
climbed over the fence, and walked along
under its Ice.
It was an open rail fence, and Fergus
could not understand how it could have so
much effect iu sheltering the ground be
yond it ; but wiser philosophers than Fer-
igus hsve been puzzled in attempting to
account for the distribution of the drifts in
a snow storm. He went along quite easily
till he came to the woods, where ihe fence
turned off in snother direction, nnd then he
came into the road again. These woods
continued uninterrupted down to the pond,
an J consequently for the rest of ihe way
the wind ceased, and the surface of snow
vtfas level. It was pretty deep, but then it
was light, and Fergus broke his way in it
without much difficulty, tho he proceeded
sbwly. He, in fact, enjoyed going thro'
the woods. The calmness of the air, and
the gentleness with which the snow fell, led
him, as it has often dene more experienced
travelers, to imagine that the violence of
the storm was abating. The air actually
felt mild and bland to bis cheek.and Fergus
thought his troubles were over. The noise
ol the blast still sweeping heavily along the
tops of the trees, might' Rave undeceived
him, but Fergus attended only (o the
pleasanter indications" that were near.
After walking thus a quarter of a mile
through the woods, he came out upon the
shore of the pond, at the lahding.where he
emerged suddenly into a tempest of wind
and driving snow. A great drift lay in
his way. He struggled into it. but it was
too deep for him to get through, and the
snow whirled around bim, and drove into
his face so that ho could not see or scarcely
bieatho. He turned hi back to it sga'ii,
and paused in the snow to r t.
His eyes fell on a daik object diwn by
the shore of the pond Now any dark object
always attracts tl.e foe-steps ol a trawler
when forcing b-s sy through deep snows.
It seems to belong to t!;e solid ground, an:i
promises an easier paih by the side of it.
Fergus turned in tht direction, nnd soon
reached it. It was he eo'ge of the boat, in
whk-h he had often crossed in summer,
and which hud been hau'e l up there.frozen
in, and a 'most buried. Fergus could not
help wishing it was a summer evening, wuh
green fielils.and blue sky, and a soft breeze
among the leaves so that he might
launch the boat and psdJIo himself to the
He paused thus for a moment to contrast
the summer with the winter scene.and then
turned his fice towards the smooth and
level surfHco of the pond before him- The
air was so lull of driving snow that he
could not see but a very little way, but
then some traces of the road across the
ice were visible, nnd he pushed on. The
snow was level upon the pond, as it had
been in the woods, but it was more conso
lidated, and his progress through it more
laborious. The wind, too, which came
roaring down from old Hoary head, in the
north-east, over the broad, open surface of
the pond; made it hard for him to struggle
on. He succeeded, however, at length, in
fairly gaining the opposite shore, without
actually losing his track, and then after a
short walk in a sheltered valley, he turned
nut of the road into the Doctor's yard, and
waded up to his door.
And now, since he is safely there, we
will return to his parents. ,George went to
his shop to finish his work, promising to
return and take care of Renny while Mary
prepared supper. He accordingly came in
again after half an hour, looking up anx
iously as he crossed the yard at the signs of
increasing violence in (he storm. As he
entered, Mary was rocking i-enoy, and he
took her place, in a low chair he ha I ovide
expressly for the purpose. "Benny," said
he, holding out his hands to the little suff
erer. " Benny ! want to come and rock
Benny made an effort to reach out his
hnnds, but from wenkness they dropped
again, at his side. George took him up
gently, and laying the child's face upon
his shoulder. murmured words of sympathy
and coiidolenci-Jn his ear.
M iry went to the window. " Oh, my
George," said she, "what a storm ! Poor
Fergus he nrter will get across the pond.
How could we let him go!"
" We d:d the be-t we could, Mary, nnd
now you must not make yourself aud me
anxious and unhappy about it."
"Why how can I help feeling an.iious
my poor boy out on a lone road, in such a
storm as this, and night coming on !"
'Wo can h'-io feeling anxious in a mea
sure," replied Oeoigo, " we cau try to
think of something else, and il an anxious
thought comes into yur mind, do n't say
it out speaking it only makes it stronger.
The child is in God's hands, and we have
now nothing to do for him."
Mary could not reply to this, and went
about her work, preparing supper. But ber
mind was ill at ease. Sim could not deny
George's position that their boy Was entirely
out of their hands, and that God by making
it plainly their duty to send him (at least
as it appeared to them,) had1 takeu the re
sponsibilityof his s-tfeiy into Hi own hands
but after all her heart was not submissive.
George,too,fell an instinctive parental soli-
citude,which made him follow in imagina
tion every step ol Fergus' way, nut his heart
was subdued, and submissive to the will of
God, in regard to the result ; so that he was
calm and peicel'ul in spirit, tho' the swelling
emotions of his heart repea'edly filled his
eyes. He hummed in Benny's ear.in words
too imperfectly ariiculaled to be heard, the
good old hymn,
"Upwarifo I lift mine eyes.
From God is all my-sid."
And they who know by experience what it
is really to resign everything into God's
hands in the hour of serious danger or
trouble, will not think it stmngel that he
spent a half hour in a slate of very pure
and heart-felt enjoyment.
In the meantime, Mary wna'btrsy in her
preparations for supper, and particularly in
making a little apple turn-over' for Fergus,
against he came back." An apple turn
over was Fergus' Highest idea of luxury,
and Mary by her interest in making" rt got
over another half hour very well. TIm! time
however soon rrived' thirt UtoMmtmi to'
Politics Vgrtcultnre, 6rience and iHorolitn.
l,e doctor's sleigh-bells. It was a quart.-r viotK-o of il.e moral sense that such a
of an hour before they should rea-o:.ab:y lee: v.r.i rebellion against God in one tr.
fcetxpected, bul this 'quarter of an hour wh-jrr, Ud hd always been s kind and
gilded awav very soon, and davlitfhi lgsnW'n-V. a prottcor, w guilty b the ex
sensibly to decline. She repeatedly 'ef, j 'ten e.whether she could he'p it or i-t.and
for work to gaze anxiously from the wiu-it thu fruitless!.-, cf her atte.np's t
dow. At last h asked lieorb-e il it wu.'lrol H, only showed ht.w deeply it was
n..t time for them to rome ? s"'eJ- Th a" her slJ 13 End
" Why, no," said (t.-r-rge. heating. ' Ij f-' 8 cf contending emotioas.
should hsrdlv expect then, v.t. j mnn time Reuny had been re-
"l is two hour an. more, aWv, and Mn-d to his cradle, and he gradually
it is urowi,,,; d.rk." M-ry brought her face! unk into a kin! of lethargy. Geoiee sat '
cloe to the gluss.sha.li.ii her eyes from the
i light in the room by pulling her hands on
Ipach side erf them, and straining her sight to
j look down the road ; but the snow which
filled the air.drove 3g:iinst the w indow.and
trickled down on the outside.nid prevented
her seeina much. I do not believe it is
possible for the poor little fellow to get
across the pond in such a niht as this."
Well Mary, we hive nothing to do but
to wait quietly for the end, now. There is
nothing ue can do, and it is wrong to be
restless and anxious about it."
"O dear!" s;iid Mary, sitting down and
gazing into tl.e Are with a look of j;rni
distress. "How sorry 1 n. we let him g!
mirrht hsve iors and now he will i-eri,!.
- o - .
in the scow, and I shall never heve another
moment's peace, as long as I live.
"But consider.Marv ," sa'd Georgr, "wo
have done the best we could ; and I e is ia
God's hands. You are not willing to leave
"Oh George,' said she, ''it is too dread
ful." She arose and walked back and forth
across the room with a hurried and restUsa!
The truth was that the strong impulses
ol maternal anxiety, had gained an entire
triumph over her feelings of Christian re
signation to Ihe divine will. George had
ieft the case in the hands of God. and was
quietly awaiting the result. Not coldly
and with unconcern for his heart was
full of the deepest and trnderest imeiest in
j the fa,e r hi ,itt,e son ' bul uhi!
fections and sympathies were all deeply in
terested in the case, his will stood aside,
and entered into oo enn'est with God in
respect to the issue. Mary however c uM
not cive up the ense to (, icf. ii-r uiinu
and will struuiled for tho con'rol u' it, and
as she was utterly uh;i:t -: r, her soul
was in a state of indevvibj l lu tumult and
agita'ion. Nothing n.ulvCs such commo
tions in the soul, as a will struggling for
dominion, while yet it is powerless. Ii
rages like a maniac, chained, but unsub
dued. Two reasons made the duty of submiss
ion, in this case, far more easy furGeorue.
than for Mary. First, he was not the
mother- There was a semi-animal instinct
of parental love in her ! s m, whi.-h was'
altogether weaker in his. Then ogiin from
difference in their habits of mind, he wa
accustomed to see more of the bright side,
and she more of the dark. I lis natural
association of thought were rh's-r.V; Mi
ry's were sad. So that when any rode
blast ol unusual fury shook the windows
it was lollowed in M iry'smind by tiieidea
of Fergus perishing under in the snow-
while to George, it suggested ihe probabil
ity that the wind it elf might be a g'ide to
Fergus, to the poin's of the compass, if h
should get lost or that it would llowfT
the snow from the ice, or some other en
couraging idea. Thus submission was a
far more easy duty to George than to M i
ry, still it was no less a duly to both.
The tumult in Mary's mind ihcren-ed u
tfe next hour passed away without bring
ing any tidings ol her boy. Her agitation
and her sufferings were increased loo, b
the conviction that her feelings were w roni i
and that her plain unwillingness to subom
to the decision of God was entirely inci.n
sistent with her Christian vows. But u.
leel right is a very d.lTorent thing from
struggling against feeling wrVing. She saw
clearly how unreasonable it was for her to
be unwilling that God should decide, nnd
how foolish it was.cven in heart,to nt'empt
to resists! him ; then by a kind of desper
ate struggle, she would resolve to give uo
the contest, and resin n the case entirely
into God's hands ; bul it was of little avail.
She found that the root of iubmision
lay loo deep. Resolutions and determin
ations somehow or other, did not reach i'.
After the most energetic exercise of the
will to feel right which seemed possi
ble, she would find in a few minutes her
heart rising-again-in restless insubmission
Tlien would succeed a feeling of despair
at the hopelessness of her efforts ; then
selfreprdaciT for this sinful rising against
God;- then' the suggestion that she could
not be to Wame for what it was plain she
ffffilnv a then- t!i naiicuve
m " cr.a.r ny me corner,rg me
craaie ana resume a imci uj i.ic i-giu u.
the tire. The lea kettle hummed a mono -
tonous song close beforo the fire, and by
the side of it wis a plate, whose contents
were covered and cocceeli'd by a bov. l re
versed over it. It was Fergus lurn-over.
An hour more passed away. It w;:s al
ter 4ine o'clock, Mary declared she could
' br he anxiety and suspenss no longer,
:rd that she wouIJ o out herself and seej
what had become of her boy. George trunJ
to dissuade ht-r, but with little success. Ik
represented to her that she could do noth
on such a night, in such a wild unfre-
j quentea ron, tr.at s-ne ccuiu noi see u
i . , . l I , .L .
! or eve ''n0 ntt wnv
" I know it is bad,'' said she, " Lut ooor
Fergus must be perishing in this sturm ani
I tan not stay h' re
" No,'' said George, " we can't be sure
of that, by any means. Perhaps the doc
tor kept him ihert. to wait till morning
or perhaps he was not at home or per-
b.tns some one my ha.e met w
ith Fer -
m to go
Sus 00 w--v- nd d him
home with him till the storm is over. At
any rate it will not Jo any good for you
to go out. Then besides," said he, "look
at poor Benny thtT' ; if anything happens!
to you, wjial will become of him V' J
Mary sew tb; hcpclessmss of any efforts
she could make, but a feeling which she.
cou'd not resist, seeing to impel her on in
her preparations, though s!ie was evidently
undi eided am) perp'exed. Twice she took
off her bonnet and laid it down, and then,
ai"er picing back and forth across the
room, took it again, saying," mutt go."
At length she openad the door and went
out, though she assured George ihat she
was only Eoini; a ft w steps down tl.e road.
The snow was so drifted in the yard
that it lay in great heaps and ridges, but j its greeting better, though it was only a si
she contrived to work her way slowly j lent smi'e. He found that Lora was bring
a!an; u the shallow places between them, j tng a ehair for him, liltiug U laboriously
The wiud blew the snow, however, so vi-1 w th both hands. He took it as silently a
olently into her face, that she was altiosi ( it was trVred, and put his aching feet low
blind, and sometimeshad to titro 'rottni to; aids th Sre.
get b.-eath. She at length made he.- wsy 1 " I como far your father. Lorn, to go'
down the yard, and out to the turn uf the
road. She noticed- tlte traces ol Fergus'
fool-steps thus far. but h-re c' hlj-h c:e-ttd
ndte ran ob'iiucfv crs the rind, in
which all traces of bis palh Lad been bur-1
, and which effectually prevented her
from making any fl.'her progress. She
stood here tt moment in despair. Shj
caueu tereun: with ;l the streogri ol
voice she could raise, and then paused. hoi.
ding her brea;hf to es'ch a reply. Bj! it
was in vain to attempt to listen. The
sweeping sound of the sun.? flying 'round
her the flapping of her cloak, and above
nl! the awful howling of ihe wind among
the branches and tops of the lorest trees,
woul'd have been mere than than mifhVient
lo have drowned the crv of a pershing
ehild, had such' a cry been uttered near
her and Mary turned away, pale anJ al
most fainting with anxious fear.nnd toiled
her way back to the house. Her heart
was in a State rf utter rebellion against the
supremacy of God.
There is a point, both in mental and bo
Ay suffering, where the power of endur
ance iisell seems at length to be exhausted,
hi I the words that arie sre, ' can nut
leuT lis any longer." Tney who watch
wiih ihe sick, observe this point, as the pa
tient passes it in the progress of pain the
succumbing and sinking of the spirit, when
the load becomes at lusi intolerable. M i
ry was very near this point, as she re
turned to the house.
But we must next see Fergus. We
left him going up safely to the door of the
doctor's snug Utile farm house. It was in
it na'r'rbvglen, sheltered towards the north
by high cliffs. A noisy stream at a small
distance from the house formed in summei
a beautilul brook, now nearly concealed
by icu and snow. When Fergus reached
the house, it appeared deserted. The snow
lav piled up about the doors and windows,
and he saw no track.
"What," said he lo himself, "nobody si
l.nmeT Then easting his eve up. he saw
a slii'hl sin'oke, blowing' off from the chim
ney top. "Ah e," said he. 1 thought
Mother Conny at least must be there."
VI., NO. 35 95.
He vaded thro' the yard and weut'ruund
into a thej which opened towards tft south
and was of course sheltered from the storm
here he could breathe Ireely. He brush d
and beat the snow from bis cloihes.and took
off his cap snJ shook it. His fingers and
feet ache.-! with the cold, but he thought
that these preparations were necessary. Sit
r.I uher Conny's ideas of tidiness seemed,
to grow more rigid as ahe grew old, and,
she was not a particularly gentle hostess
Fergus, then ascended one or two steps
which led from the shed into a small room
: attached to the kitchen. It contamec yar.
"ous tools aud utensils, arranged in order.
and a spinning wheel in one corner. The
room had a chilly, comfortless expression,
which was Increased by the sound of the
wind and snow driving against the window.
Fergus came to the door leading into the
kitchen there was no latch or handle vis
ibie, but in place of them a leather string,
with a knot at the enj of it, protruded
thro' a gin.blct ho!o. Fergus pulled this
string it raised the wooden latch on the
inside ; .the door opened, and he entered,
in a large, o'.i fashioned elbow chair
j by the sida of tl.e tire, sat Mother Conny,
knitting. Her crutches were le.inin up
agiinst the chimney by her side. A plain
round table was standing in the middle of
j the room, with cups and plates upon it.
which a beautilul little blue-eyed girl was
arranging. She looked at Fergus when he
came in, and smiled.
; "Why FergusyAild," said the old lady in .
j rather in a severe voice, 'm :i you f Well
you're in a fine case.I declare caught out
here, a mile and more from home, in this
s'orm. Run away, I dare say, and now
your poor mother is haif crazy. VtU,
said she to herself "so it is always with
children. I only wish my son was not
like all the rest of 'em.
"Why mother," said Fergus, "the snow
birds are out to day, and why should null
be, I am stouter ihan a snow bird-
"A snow bird !" said the old lady, with
a look of contempt. And ther.'ippearng
not to have anything else to went off
knitting as fast as she could.
Fergus turned 'round to look for little
Lora again. It seemed he liked fir it child-
j hood better than second at least he likei
nnd see littU Cennf ; is he at home 2"
" At home?" said the old lady "no
my John is never at home. He is always
a traveling oiT among these woods and
mountains, n;ght and day. And now ne a
goneo horseback, away round old Ifoa-
ry head and such a storm. 1 tolJ htm it
was going to be a terrible blow ; I knew
by signs. And il 's turned out true, for
there has not been such a slorm.since stor
my M mday, thirty years ag, come next
"Why Mother,'' said Feig'us" "I don't
think it is so very bad. Tne snow is not
so deep as it was in soma storm last win
ter. But is not done yef, chilJ. I tell yevi
there has not been such a storm this thirty
years, as this is, and is going to b.''
Fergus piused a moment, considering
his situation. Tnen rising, he said,
Well, then I must go home alon?, and
the sooner I'm on the pond, the better."
L ra told him he had better wait ; she
thought her father wjuld be at horn b-f .re
long, anJ she went to thj front room win
dow to sec if shj could- nit see him com
ing ; but nothing was visible bul driving'
and diifted snow.
The old lady a'" remonstrate! aijiti'.t
his going, and ured that "her John" co'jld
carry him over in tin iittrnln. Tie truth
was, her asperity was only superficial
there was a rurrent of real g wd will be
neath. Fergus however, sai 1 he mutt g
back, for his in it her would be very anx
ious about him! if he did not return.
"That is tru:," said the old lady, "anJ
I like you for that. I km ho muhers
feel. I wish my John w ui'd care a little
about hie mother. Bit, Lira, give him
om- supper first, and let him go."
l,ora bro'l a bowl of milk from live ta'iln
to the fire, put in some h isty puJJing from
a kettle in the comer, and uve to Fergus,
who ate with great satisfaction, and then
prepared to go. Mother Conny was au-'
ious and agitated she called lor her pipe,
put iu her tobacco out of a box which hf
I- r tut mi,, rtti-h iflif '
I IOOK iruiu --' . - a
into the corner for some hA ashes, where