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old fellow! if you can carry that letter ashore, to my sister Nancy, may be you'll save your master's life; if you can't, good bye, for you've seen your last of him!' And 1 made him a sign to go overboard."

Mr. Divine's voice faltered. Leo went to his side, and laid his huge head upon his arm, looking up at him with great, soft eyes, full of intelligent sympathy.

Mrs. Divine took off her spectacles, and wiped them with great circumspection. "Father always breaks down when he gets to that part of the story, as many times as he has told it," said she, with a somewhat hysterical laugh. "And Leo knows the story just as well as he does, every word of it. Watch him now, and see if he don't."

Mr. Divine proceeded.

"Well, Leo looked me right in the eye, too, for a moment; and if ever a dog's face said, 'Master, I'll save you, or I'll die,' Leo's face said it then. Actually, it seemed to me that there was tears in his eyes! And then, he sprang overboard, and was out of sight among the boiling waves, in a moment.

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Well, when the storm came on, and we didn't come home, you won't need to be told that my brother's wife, Nancy, began to get scared. And she kept agoing to the door and looking out, to see if she couldn't hear or see something of us; and finally, as she opened the door for another look, Leo dragged himself across the threshold, all dripping, looked up in her face, gave a mournful sort of a howl and fell over on the floor at her feet, just like a log. Nancy thought that the boat had surely capsized, and we'd all been drowned; and Leo had just made out to swim ashore, but only to die of exhaustion. You can guess what a state of mind she was in, till one of the children said, 'Mamma, what's that on Leo's collar?' So then she found brother's note. You may be sure she didn't waste much time! She sent the children one way, and went another herself; and pretty soon all the neighbors were out

after us with boats and lanterns,-for the storm was now decreasing fast. They found us, of course, or I shouldn't be here to tell the story!

"When Nancy got back home, Leo was lying just where she left him, looking a good deal more dead than alive; but she found he still breathed faintly. So she and the children pulled him up to the fire, rubbed him and wrapped him in blankets, poured warm milk and brandy down his throat, and got him so that when I came in, he could just raise himself up on his forelegs and lick my hand. But it was three or four days before he got that swim out of his bones. As nigh as we could calculate, he must have swum from eight to ten mile that night, in that heavy sea. And I've always thought that he never could. have done it, if he'd nobody but himself to think of. But he couldn't fail his master. He couldn't make up his mind to stop and rest, or give up and go under, with his errand. undone."

Never was dog's face so eloquent as Leo's while this narrative was going on. It was almost human in its expressiveness. Plainly, he comprehended every word, every detail. And when Mr. Divine paused, he reared his magnificent head and looked round upon us with the calm dignity of conscious worth.

"Well!" continued Mr. Divine, "the story was all round, next day, of course; and Mr. Fife heard it, and came to see me. He offered me seventy-five, and a hundred, and a hundred-and-fifty dollars, for Leo; and I can't say how high he'd have gone, if I hadn't cut him short by telling him that I'd about as lief sell him one of my children."

"I should think so!" burst out Mr. Taylor, véry emphatically, but with a little unsteadiness of voice.

"So," concluded Mr. Divine, "I brought Leo home with me, and sold a couple of cows instead. Poor economy, I s'pose; but when feeling gets into the accounts, it's

apt to play the mischief with the balance! Anyhow, I've never been sorry. Leo and I won't part, now, till one or t'other of us dies."

There was a moment's silence.

"Leo," yawned Phil, lazily, “just hand me another ap ple, will you?"

And Leo, with a half-sigh, as if deprecating so sudden a descent from the heroic to the commonplace, brought him the basket.

XXIV.

LIFE'S QUIET FLOW.

[graphic]

OU desire me to tell you something of my heart-life, Francesca. I know not that I have any, in your sense of the term. Except by that daily battle between Good and Evil-to which no anguish and no sorrow bring lasting truce; and of which, surely, I send you voluminous report-my heart gives little sign of life. I think it is slowly healing (or dying, I am doubtful which) down there, in the dusk and the quiet; but I resolutely refuse to make any investi gation of the process. It is sore enough still, I suspect, to the touch.

In one thing, I can discover a little improvement. My mind no longer insists upon a daily, hourly wandering through the silent Forum of my Past, mournful with the ruins of vanished glory. The duties and cares of the Present continually start up by the way, and turn it back from that dreary, unprofitable journey. Between Sewing Society interests, and night watchings, and daily lessons with Ruth and Alice, etc., etc., it finds enough of travel and of interest within its immediate sphere. The thousand little present plans and anxieties crowd in; and slowly, but surely, crowd out the heart-depressing tendency to dwell upon the recollection of past sorrow. It is the old story of Gulliver and the Liliputians, told over again and enriched with a new meaning. Though the sorrow is a giant, and not to

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be altogether expelled; yet its enemies are many, and by weaving myriads of minute chains about it, they are able to keep it down. Kind thanks to the busy little toilers! If they have not all been taken into the Divine counsels, they must in some way derive their power and efficacy from the Divine Beneficence.

But what changes come over us, as we go on our lifejourney! I remember when I thought it would be heaven to enjoy, all day, and never to work! Now I am of the opinion that a higher heaven would be to work all day, and never be tired! Yet the weariness deepens and sweet

ens the rest!

There it is, Francesca! There seems to be nothing final in opinion or in feeling. No sooner do I come to a conclusion, you see, than some little after-thought steals in to modify it. No wonder brains that try to solve life's problems unaided by those two potent affirmative signs, “God” and "Trust," get bewildered and go fearfully astray. Without these, they can never get a final answer. What they take to be one, soon turns out to be the beginning of a new term.

Since my last jotting-down, life has flowed very quietly with me. Some few of its ripples, however, deserve charac terization.

First, in order, if not in importance, the tea-drinking at Essie Volger's came off according to appointment. She lives in a large, white, maple-shadowed, open-hearted looking mansion; somewhat antiquated in point of style, but comparatively modern, in point of date; yet old enough to have made its place good in men's familiar knowledge and everyday interests. It differs from the prevailing Shiloh pattern, chiefly, in having a portico in front and in lacking a lean-to behind. Its outward expression is one of dignified, yet not ungenial, comfort and amplitude; and the sight of the interior only deepens it. The furniture is older than the house, Mr. Volger having deep-rooted prejudices in

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