Part 3 out of 6
Glory in your view."
"Spirited!" whispered Gary.
"I almost think it is a Swedish war song," said the Captain. "I am not
"Miss Daisy!"--said June--"the gentlemen--"
Daisy started up. The intruders came near. On the ground beside her lay
an open map of Europe; in the sand before her she had drawn the same
outlines on a larger scale. The shore generally was rough and pebbly;
just in this little cove there was a space of very fine sand, left
wetted and adhesive by the last tide. Here the battle of Inkermann had
been fought, and here Daisy's geography was going on. Capt. Drummond,
who alone had the clue to all this, sat down on a convenient stone to
examine the work. The lines were pretty fairly drawn, and Daisy had gone
on to excavate to some depth the whole area of the Mediterranean and
Black Seas, and the region of the Atlantic to some extent; with the
course of the larger rivers deeply indented.
"What is all this gouging for, Daisy?" he said. "You want water here
now, to fill up."
"I thought when the tide came, Capt. Drummond, I could let it flow in
here, and see how it would look."
"It's a poor rule that don't work both ways," said the Captain. "I
always heard that 'time and tide wait for no man;' and we won't wait for
the tide. Here Gary--make yourself useful--fetch some water here; enough
to fill two seas and a portion of the Atlantic Ocean."
"What shall I bring it in, if you please?"
"Anything!--your hands, or your hat, man. Do impossibilities for once.
It is easy to see you are not a soldier."
"The fates preserve me from being a soldier under you!" said Gary--"if
that's your idea of military duty. What are _you_ going to do while I
play Neptune in a bucket?"
"I am going to build cities and raise up mountains. Daisy, suppose we
lay in a supply of these little white stones, and some black ones----"
While this was done, and Daisy looked delighted, Mr. McFarlane seized
upon a tin dipper which June had brought, and filled it at the river.
Capt. Drummond carefully poured out the water into the Mediterranean,
and opened a channel through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, which were
very full of sand, into the Black Sea. Then he sent Gary off again for
more, and began placing the pebbles.
"What is that for, Capt. Drummond?" asked Daisy.
"These are the Alps--white, as they should be, for the snow always lies
"Is it so cold there?"
"No,--but the mountains are so high. Their tops are always cold, but
flowers grow down in the valleys. These are very great mountains,
"And what are those black ones, Capt. Drummond?"
"This range is the Pyrenees--between France and Spain;--they are great
too, and beautiful. And here go the Carpathians--and here the Ural
mountains,--and these must stand for the Apennines."
"Are they beautiful too?"
"I suppose so--but I can't say, never having been there. Now what shall
we do for the cities? As they are centres of wealth, I think a
three-cent piece must mark them. Hand over, Gary; I have not thrips
enough. There is St. Petersburg--here is Constantinople--here is
Rome--now here is Paris. Hallo! we've no England! can't leave London
out. Give me that spoon, Daisy--" and the Captain, as he expressed it,
went to work in the trenches. England was duly marked out, the channel
filled, and a bit of silver planted for the metropolis of the world.
"Upon my word!" said Gary,--"I never knew geography before. I shall
carry away some ideas."
"Keep all you can get," said the Captain. "Now there's Europe."
"And here were the battles,"--said Daisy, touching the little spot of
wet sand which stood for the Crimea.
"_The_ battles!" said Gary. "What battles?"
"Why, where the English and French fought the Russians."
"_The_ battles! Shades of all the heroes! Why Daisy, Europe has done
nothing but fight for a hundred thousand years. There isn't a half inch
of it that hasn't had a battle. See, _there_ was one,--and there was
another--tremendous;--and there,--and there,--and there,--and
there,--and all over! This little strip here that is getting swallowed
up in the Mediterranean--there has been blood enough shed on it to make
it red from one end to the other, a foot deep. That's because it has had
so many great men belonging to it."
Daisy looked at Capt. Drummond.
"It's pretty much so, Daisy," he said; "all over the south of Europe, at
"Why over the south and not the north?"
"People in the north haven't anything to fight for," said Gary. "Nobody
wants a possession of ice and snow--more than will cool his butter."
"A good deal so, Daisy," said Capt. Drummond, taking the silent appeal
of her eyes.
"Besides," continued Gary, "great men don't grow in the north. Daisy, I
want to know which is the battle-field _you_ are going to die on."
Daisy sat back from the map of Europe and looked at Gary with
"Well?" said Gary. "I mean it."
"I don't know what you mean."
"I hear you are going to die on the field of battle--and I want to be
there that I may throw myself after you, as Douglas did after the
Bruce's locket; saying 'Go thou first, brave heart, as thou art wont,
and I will follow thee!'"
"Daisy," said the Captain, "you were singing a battle-song as we came
down the hill--that is what he means."
"Oh!--" said Daisy, her face changing from its amazed look. But her
colour rose too a little.
"What was it?"
"That?" said Daisy. "O that was a hymn."
"A hymn!" shouted Gary. "Good! A hymn! That's glorious! Where did you
get it, Daisy? Have you got a collection of Swedish war-songs? _They_
used to sing and fight together, I am told. They are the only people I
ever heard of that did--except North American Indians. Where did you get
"I got it from June."
"June! what, by inspiration? June is a fine month, I know--for
strawberries--but I had no idea----"
"No, no," said Daisy, half laughing,--"I mean my June--there she is; I
got it from her."
"Hollo!" cried Gary. "Come here, my good woman--Powers of Darkness! Is
your name June?"
"Yes sir, if you please," the woman said, in her low voice, dropping a
"Well, nobody offers more attractions--in a name," said Gary;--"I'll say
that for you. Where did you get that song your little mistress was
singing when we came down the hill? Can you sing it?"
June's reply was unintelligible.
"Speak louder, my friend. _What_ did you say?"
June made an effort. "If you please, sir, I can't sing," she was
understood to say. "They sings it in camp meeting."
"In camp meeting!" said Gary. "I should think so! What's that! You see I
have never been there, and don't understand."
"If you please, sir--the gentleman knows"--June said, retreating
backwards as she spoke, and so fast that she soon got out of their
neighbourhood. The shrinking, gliding action accorded perfectly with the
smothered tones and subdued face of the woman.
"Don't _she_ know!" said Gary. "Isn't that a character now? But, Daisy,
are you turning Puritan?"
"I don't know what that is," said Daisy.
"Upon my word you look like it! It's a dreadful disease,
Daisy;--generally takes the form of--I declare I don't know!--fever, I
believe, and delirium; and singing is one of the symptoms."
"You don't want to stop her singing?" said Capt. Drummond.
"That sort? yes I do. It wouldn't be healthy, up at the house. Daisy,
sing that gipsy song from 'The Camp in Silesia,' that I heard you
singing a day or two ago."
"'The Camp in Silesia?'" said Capt. Drummond. "Daisy, can you sing
"Whistles it off like a gipsy herself," said Gary. "Daisy, sing it."
"I like the other best," said Daisy.
But neither teasing nor coaxing could make her sing again, either the
one or the other.
It was bright morning, the pony chaise at the door, and Daisy in it;
standing to arrange matters.
"Now, Daisy, have you got all in there? I don't believe it."
"Why don't you believe it?"
"How much will that concern hold?"
"A great deal more than you want. There's a big box under all the seat."
"What have you got in it?"
Daisy went off into a laugh, such a laugh of glee as did her father's
heart good. Mr. Randolph was standing in the doorway to see the
expedition set forward.
"What's the matter, Daisy?" he said.
"Papa, he don't think anybody is a person of forethought but himself."
It was Preston's turn to laugh, and Mr. Randolph joined him.
"Shews he don't know you, Daisy, as well as I do. When do you expect to
be home again?"
Mr. Randolph had come down to the side of the chaise and was looking
with a very pleased face at what was in it. Daisy said she supposed they
would stay till Preston had caught as many fish as he wanted.
"And won't you be tired before that?"
"O no, papa! I am going to fish too."
"I'll have all you catch, Daisy,--for my own eating!"
He bent his head down as he spoke, to kiss the little fisherwoman; but
Daisy, answering some unusual tenderness of face or manner, sprung up
and threw her arms round his neck, and only released him after a very
"She is in a fair way to be cured of her morbid seriousness"--Mr.
Randolph thought as he saw the cavalcade set forth; and well pleased he
went in to breakfast. Daisy and Preston had breakfasted already, before
the family; and now were off to the hills just as other people were
stirring sugar into cups of coffee.
Preston led the way on a fine bay of his uncle's; taking good gallops
now and then to ease his own and his horse's spirits, and returning to
go quietly for a space by the side of the pony-chaise. Loupe never went
into anything more exciting than his waddling trot; though Daisy made
him keep that up briskly.
"What a thing it is, to have such short legs!" said Preston, watching
the movements of the pony.
"_You_ go over the road without seeing it," said Daisy.
"I don't want to see it. What I want to see is Hillsdale."
"So do I; but I want to see _everything_."
Preston smiled, he could not help it, at the very happy and busy little
face and spirit down in the pony chaise.
"What do you see, Daisy, that you have not seen a hundred times before?"
"That makes no difference," said Daisy. "I have seen _you_ a hundred
Preston laughed, set spurs to his horse, and went off for another
Daisy enjoyed her morning's drive. The light was clear and the air was
fresh; Preston gallopping before and Sana jogging on behind; everything
was fine! Then it was quite true that she liked to see everything; those
grey eyes of hers were extremely busy. All the work going on in the
fields had interest for her, and all the passers-by on the road. A
strange interest, often, for Daisy was very apt to be wondering whether
any of them knew and loved the name she loved best; wondering who among
all those rough-looking, unknown people, might be her fellow-servants.
And with that a thought which, if Mr. Randolph had known it, would have
checked his self-congratulations. He had not guessed what made the clasp
of Daisy's arms round his neck so close that morning.
Till they passed through Crum Elbow everything had been, as Preston
said, seen a hundred times before. A little way beyond that everything
became new. Mrs. Randolph's carriage never came that road. The country
grew more rough and broken, and the hills in their woody dress shewed
more and more near.
"Do you see that break in the woods?" said Preston, pointing with his
whip; "that is where the brook comes out,--that is where we are going."
"What time is it, Preston?"
"Time?--it is half past nine. What about it?"
"I'm hungry--that's all. I wanted to know what time it was."
"Hungry! O what a fisher you will make, Daisy! Can't stand fasting for
two hours and a half."
"No, but Preston, I didn't eat much breakfast. And I've had all this
ride since. I am going to stand fasting; but I am going to be hungry
"No you aren't," said Preston. "Just let Loupe take you up to that
little gate, will you? I'll see if we can leave the horses here.
Sam!--take this fellow!"
Preston jumped down from the saddle and went into the house, to the
front yard of which the little gate opened. Daisy looked after him. It
was a yard full of grass and weeds, among which a few poppies and
hollyhocks and balsams grew straggling up where they could. Nothing kept
them out of the path but the foot-tread of the people that went over it;
hoe and rake were never known there Since the walk was first made. The
house was a little, low, red-front house, with one small window on each
side the door.
"All right!" said Preston, coming back. "Sam, take the horses round to
the barn; and bring the baskets out of the chaise-box and wait at this
gate for us."
"Why is he to wait? where are we going?"
"Going in to get some breakfast."
"_Here_, Preston?--O I can't."
"What's the matter?"
"I can't eat anything in there. I can wait."
"Why it looks clean," said Preston; "room and table and woman and
all."--But Daisy still shook her head and was not to be persuaded; and
Preston laughing went back to the house. But presently he came out again
bearing a tray in his hand, and brought it to Daisy. On the tray was
very nice looking brown and white bread, and milk and cheese and a
platter of strawberries. Preston got into the chaise and set the tray on
his knees. After him had come from the house a woman in a fly-away cap
and short-gown. She stood just inside the gate leaning her arms on it.
If she had not been there, perhaps Daisy would still have refused to
touch the food; but she was afraid of offending or hurting the woman's
feelings; so first she tried a strawberry, and found it of rare flavour;
for it was a wild one; then she broke a morsel of bread, and that was
excellent. Daisy discovered that breakfast in a pony chaise, out in the
air, was a very fine thing. So did Preston.
"So you're agoin' afishin'?" said the woman at the gate.
"Yes, ma'am," Preston said.
"And that little one too?"
"I declare! I never see nobody so little and gauzy as was willin' to do
such indelicate work! But I shouldn't wonder, now, if she was to catch
some. Fishes--and all things--is curious creeturs, and goes by
"Hope they won't to-day!" said Preston, who was eating strawberries and
bread and milk at a great rate.
"Where's the rest of your party?" the woman went on.
"We're all here, ma'am," said Preston.
"Well, I see a horse there that haint nobody on top of him?"
"I was on top of him a little while ago," said Preston.
"Well, I expect that little creetur haint druv herself?"
"Drove the pony, anyhow," said Preston. "Now, ma'am, what do we owe you,
besides thanks, for your excellent hospitality?"
"I reckon you don't owe me much," said the woman, as Preston got out of
the chaise. "You can set the tray in there on the table, if you're a
mind to. We always calculate to set a good meal, and we're allowed to;
but we don't never calculate to live by it and we've no dispensary.
There's only my husband and me, and there's a plenty for more than us."
Preston had handed the tray to Sam to carry in, and as soon as he could
get a chance bade good morning, and went forward with Daisy. On foot now
they took their way to the woods, and presently plunged into them. It
was very pleasant under the deep shade, for the sun had grown warm, and
there was hardly air enough to flutter the leaves in the high branches.
But Daisy and Preston pushed on briskly, and soon the gurgle of the
brook gave its sweet sound to their ears. They followed up the stream
then, over stones and rocks, and crossing from side to side on trunks of
trees that had fallen across the water; till a part of the brook was
reached far enough back among the hills to be wild and lonely; where the
trout might be supposed to be having a good time.
"Now, Daisy," said Preston, "I think this will do. Can't have a better
place. I'll try and get you to work here."
"And now, how must I manage, Preston?" said Daisy anxiously.
"I'll shew you."
Daisy watched while Preston took out and put together the light rod
which she was to use, and fixed a fly for the bait.
"Do you see that little waterfall, Daisy?"
"And you see where the water curls round just under the fall?"
"That is where you must cast your fly. I should think there must be some
speckled fellows there. What glory, Daisy, if you should catch one!"
"Well, what must I do, Preston?"
"Throw your fly over, so that it may light just there, and then watch;
and if a fish jumps up and catches it, you pull your line away and catch
"But I can't throw it from here? I must go nearer."
"No, you mustn't--you're near enough; stand just here. Try if you can't
throw your fly there. If you went nearer, you would frighten the fish.
They are just about as shy as if they were Daisies. Now I will go a
little further off and see what I can do. You'll catch the first fish!"
"No, I shall not," said Daisy, gravely.
She tried with a beating heart to throw her line; she tried very hard.
The first time it landed on the opposite side of the brook. The next
time it landed on a big stone this side of the waterfall. The third
trial fastened the hook firmly in Daisy's hat. In vain Daisy gently
sought to release it; she was obliged at last to ask help of Sam.
"That ar's no good, Miss Daisy," said Sam, as he got the fly out of its
"If I could only throw it in----" said Daisy. And this time with a very
great effort she did succeed in swinging the bait by a gentle motion to
the very spot. No statue was more motionless than Daisy then. She had
eyes and ears for nothing but the trout in the brook. Minutes went by.
The brook leaped and sang on its way the air brought the sweet odours of
mosses and ferns; the leaves flapped idly overhead; you could hear every
little sound. For there sat Daisy and there stood Sam, as still as the
stones. Time went by. At last a sigh came from Daisy's weary little
body, which she had not dared to move an inch for half an hour.
"Tain't no good, Miss Daisy," whispered Sam.
"I can't keep it still," said Daisy under her breath, as if the fishes
would hear and understand her.
"Suppos'n you try t'other bait, Miss Daisy."
"O t'other kind, Miss Daisy. Will I put it on for you to try?"
Daisy sat awhile longer however, in silence and watching, until every
joint was weary and her patience too. Then she left the rod in Sam's
hands and went up to see what Preston was doing. He was some distance
higher up the stream. Slowly and carefully Daisy crept near, till she
could see his basket, and find out how much he had in it. That view
loosed her tongue.
"Not one yet, Preston!" she exclaimed.
"Not a bite," said Preston.
"I hadn't either."
"I don't believe that there are any fish," said Preston.
"O but Sam said he saw lots of them."
"Lots of them! It's the flies then. Sam!--Hollo, Sam!--Sam!--"
"Here, sir," said Sam, coming up the brook.
"Just find me some worms, will you?--and be spry. I can't get a bite."
Daisy sat down to look about her, while Preston drew in his line and
threw the fly away. It was a pretty place! The brook spread just there
into a round pool several feet across, deep and still; and above it the
great trees towered up as if they would hide the sun. Sam came presently
with the bait. Preston dressed his hook, and gave his line a swing, to
cast the bait into the pool; rather incautiously, seeing that the trees
stood so thick and so near. Accordingly the line lodged in the high
branches of an oak on the opposite side of the pool. Neither was there
any coaxing it down.
"What a pity!" said Daisy.
"Not at all," said Preston. "Here, Sam--just go up that tree and clear
the line--will you?"
Sam looked at the straight high stem of the oak, which had shot up high
before it put forth a single branch, and he did not like the job. His
slow motions said so.
"Come!" said Preston,--"be alive and do it quick, will you?"
"He can't--" said Daisy.
"Yes he can," said Preston. "If he can't he isn't worth his bread and
salt. That's it, Sam--hand over hand, and you'll be there directly."
Sam shewed what he _could_ do, if he did not like it; for he worked
himself up the tall tree like a monkey. It was not so large but he could
clasp it; so after a little rough work on his part and anxious watching
on Daisy's, he got to the branches. But now the line was caught in the
small forks at the leafy end of the branch. Sam lay out upon it as far
as he dared; he could not reach the line.
"O he'll fall!" cried Daisy softly. "O Preston, let him come down!--he
can't get it."
"He'll come to no harm," said Preston coolly. "A little further,
Sam--it's oak wood, it will hold you; a little further, and you will
have it--a little further!--"
And Daisy saw that Sam had gone too far. The bough swayed,--Sam made a
lunge after the line, lost his hold, and the next minute his dark body
was falling through the air and splashed into the pool. The water flew
all over the two fishers who stood by its side; Preston awe-struck for
the moment, Daisy white as death. But before either of them could speak
or move, Sam's head reappeared above water.
"O get him out! get him out, Preston!" was Daisy's distressed cry.
Preston spoke nothing, but he snatched a long stick that lay near and
held it out to Sam; and so in a few minutes drew him to the shore and
helped him out. Sam went to a little distance and stood dripping with
water from head to foot; he did not shake himself as a Newfoundland dog
would have done.
"Are you hurt, Sam?" said Preston.
"No, sir--" Sam answered, in a tone as if he felt very wet.
"Well, you've cleared the line for me at last," said Preston. "All's
well that ends well. Hollo!--here's my hook gone,--broken off, float and
all. Where's that basket, Sam?"
"It's below, sir."
"Below? where? just fetch it here, will you? _This_ misfortune can be
Sam moved off, dripping from every inch of him. "O Preston," said Daisy,
"he's all wet as he can be--do let him go right down to that house and
dry himself! We can get the basket."
"Do him good to move about," said Preston. "Nonsense, Daisy!--a ducking
like that won't do anybody any harm in a summer's day."
"I don't think _you'd_ like it," said Daisy; "and all his clothes are
full of water, and the sun don't come down here. Tell him to go and get
"I will, as soon as I've done with him. Here, Sam--just bend on this
hook for me, while I see how the brook is further up. I've no time to
lose,--and then you can go sun yourself somewhere."
Preston bounded off; Sam stood with the tackle in hand, silently at
work. Daisy sat still on a stone near by, looking at him.
"Were you hurt, Sam?" she asked tenderly.
"No, Miss Daisy." This answer was not discontented but stoical.
"As soon as you have done that, Sam, run down to Mrs. Dipper's, and
maybe she can give you something dry to put on while your clothes can be
Silence on Sam's part.
"Have you almost finished that?"
"Then run off, Sam! Make haste to Mrs. Dipper's and get yourself
dry--and don't come back till you are quite dry, Sam."
Sam finished his piece of work, flung down the line, and with a grateful
"Thank you, Miss Daisy!" set off at a bound. Daisy watched him running
at full speed down the brook till he was out of sight.
"Has he done it?" said Preston returning. "The rascal hasn't put any
bait on. However, Daisy, it's no use coaxing the trout in _this_ place
at present--and I haven't found any other good spots for some distance
up;--suppose we have our lunch and try again?"
"O yes!" said Daisy. "The other basket is down by my fishing-place--it's
just as pleasant there, Preston."
They went back to the basket, and a very convenient huge rock was found
on the edge of the brook, which would serve for table and seats too, it
was so large and smooth. Preston took his place upon it, and Daisy at
the other end with the basket began to unpack.
"Napkins?" said Preston--"you have no right to be so luxurious on a
"Why because a fisher is a kind of a Spartan animal, while he is about
"What kind of an animal is that?" said Daisy, looking up from her
arrangements. She had set out a plate of delicate rolls, and another
with bread and butter folded in, a napkin; and still she paused with her
hand in the basket.
"Go on, Daisy. I want to see what comes next."
"I don't know," said Daisy. "Why, Joanna has made us a lemon pie!"
"Capital!" said Preston. "And what have you got in that dish?"
"I know," said Daisy. "Joanna has put in some jelly for me. What sort of
an animal is that, Preston?"
"It is a sort I shall not be to-day--with jelly and lemon pie. But what
has Joanna put in for me? nothing but bread?"
"Why there are sandwiches."
"Why there! Those rolls are stuffed with meat, Preston."
"Splendid!" said Preston, falling foul of the rolls immediately. "What
sort of an animal is a Spartan? My dear little Daisy, don't you know?"
"I don't believe I know anything," said Daisy humbly.
"Don't you want to?"
"O yes, Preston! if I had anybody to help me,--I do."
"Well--we'll see. How perfect these sandwiches are! when one's hungry."
"I am hungry too," said Daisy. "I think the sound of the water makes me
hungry. O I wish I had given Sam some!--I never thought of it. How
hungry he must be!"
"He'll get along," said Preston, helping himself to another roll.
"But how could I forget!" said Daisy. "And _he_ did not have a second
breakfast either. I am so sorry!" Daisy's hands fell from her own
"There is nothing here fit for him," said Preston. "I dare say he has
his own pockets full."
"They were full of water, the last thing," said Daisy, quaintly.
Preston could not help laughing. "My dear Daisy," he said, "I hope you
are not getting soft-hearted on the subject of servants?"
"Don't;--because it is foolish."
"But Preston," said Daisy, looking earnestly at his handsome pleasant
face which she liked very much,--"don't you know what the Bible says?"
It says, "The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of
"Well," said Preston, "that don't mean that he made them all alike."
"Then if they are not made alike, what is the difference?"
"Good gracious!" said Preston; "do you often ask such questions, Daisy?
I hope you are not going to turn out a Mrs. Child, or a philanthropist,
or anything of that sort?"
"I am not going to be a Mrs. Anybody," said Daisy; "but why don't you
"Where did you get hold of those words?"
"Those words that you quoted to me about rich and poor."
"I was reading them this morning."
"Why, in the Bible of course," said Daisy, with a little check upon her
"This morning! Before we started! How came you to be reading the Bible
so early in the morning?"
"I like to read it."
"Well, I'd take proper times for reading it," said Preston. "Who set you
to reading it at five o'clock in the morning?"
"Nobody. O Preston, it was a great deal after five o'clock. What are
proper times for reading it?"
"Are you going to cut that lemon pie?--or shall I? Daisy, I thought you
were hungry. What is the use of jelly, if you don't eat it? You'll never
catch fish at that rate. Fishers must eat."
"But Preston, what do you mean by proper times for reading the Bible?"
"Daisy, eat some lemon pie. It's capital. It melts in your mouth. Joanna
Underwood is an excellent woman!"
"But Preston, what do you mean?"
"I don't mean you shall be religious Daisy, if I can help it."
"What do you mean by being religious?"
"I declare!" said Preston, laughing at her grave little face, "I believe
you've begun already. I am come in good time. I won't let you be
anything but just what you ought to be, Daisy. Come--eat some jelly, or
some pie, or something."
"But tell me then, Preston!" Daisy persisted.
"It is something ridiculous,--and you would not wish to be ridiculous."
"I do not think I have ever seen ridiculous religious people," said
Daisy steadily; "and they couldn't be ridiculous _because_ they were
"Couldn't they?" said Preston. "Look out well, Daisy--I shall watch you.
But they won't like it much down at Melbourne House, Daisy. If I were
you, I would stop before you begin."
Daisy was silent. One thing was clear, she and Preston were at issue;
and the value she set upon his favour was very high. She would not risk
it by contending. Another thing was as clear, that Preston's last words
were truth. Among her opposers Daisy must reckon her father and mother,
if she laid herself open at all to the charge of being "religious." And
what opposition that would be, Daisy did not let herself think. She
shrunk from it. The lunch was finished, and she set her attention to
pack the remainder of the things back into the basket. Suddenly she
"Preston, I wish you to consider my words confidential."
"Perfectly!" said Preston.
"You are honourable"--said Daisy.
"O Daisy, Daisy! you ought to have lived hundreds of years ago! You have
me under command. Come," said he, kissing her grave little face, "are
all these things to go in here? Let me help--and then we will go up
He helped her with a delicate kind of observance which was not like most
boys of sixteen, and which Daisy fully relished. It met her notions.
Then she went to get her fishing-rod which lay fallen into the water.
"O Preston!" she exclaimed, "there is something on it!--it's
heavy!--it's a fish!"
"It _is_ a fish!" repeated Preston, as a jerk of Daisy's line threw it
out high and dry on the shore--"and what's more, it's a splendid one.
Daisy, you've done it now!"
"And papa will have it for breakfast! Preston, put it in a pail of water
till we come back. There's that tin pail--we don't want it for
anything--won't you? O I have caught one!"
It was done; and Daisy and Preston set off on a charming walk up the
brook; but though they tried the virtue of their bait in various places,
however it was, that trout was the only one caught. Daisy thought it was
a fine day's fishing.
They found Sam, sound and dry, mounting guard over the tin pail when
they came back to it. And I think Daisy held to her own understanding of
the text that had been in debate; for there was a fine portion of lemon
pie, jelly and sandwiches, laid by for him in the basket, and by Sam
devoured with great appreciation.
June came the next morning to dress her young mistress as usual. Daisy
was not soon done with that business on this particular day; she would
break off, half dressed, and go to lean out of her window. There was a
honeysuckle below the window; its dewy sweet smell came up to her, and
the breath of the morning was sweet beside in all the trees and leaves
around; the sun shone on the short turf by glimpses, where the trees
would let it. Daisy leaned out of her window. June stood as often
before, with comb and brush in hand.
"Miss Daisy--it's late."
"June," said Daisy,--"it's Sunday."
"It'll be hot too," Daisy went on. "June, are you glad when Sunday
"Yes ma'am," said June, shifting her position a little.
"I am," said Daisy. "Jesus is King to-day. To be sure, he is King
always; but to-day _everything_ is his."
"Miss Daisy, you won't be dressed."
Daisy drew her head in from the window and sat down to submit it to
June's brush; but she went on talking.
"What part of the Bible do you like best to read, June?"
"Miss Daisy, will you wear your white muslin, to-day--or the one with
"White. But tell me, June--which part of the Bible do you like best?"
"I like where it tells about all they had to go through"--June answered,
"The people, Miss Daisy--Christians, I s'pose."
"What did they have to go through?"
"Things, ma'am," said June very confusedly. "Miss Daisy, please don't
turn your head round."
"But what things? and what for? Where is it, June?"
"I can't tell--I can find it for you, Miss Daisy. But you won't be
June however had to risk that and find the chapter; and then Daisy read
perseveringly all through the rest of her dressing, till it was
finished. All the while June was fastening her frock, and tying her
sash, and lacing her boots, Daisy stood or sat with the Bible in her
hands and her eyes on the eleventh of Hebrews.
"June, I wonder when all this happened?"
"A great while ago, it's likely, Miss Daisy--but it's good to read
now"--June added but half distinctly, as it was her manner often to
speak. Daisy was accustomed to her, and heard it. She did not answer
except by breaking out into the chorus she had learnt from June--
"'Die in the field of battle,
Die in the field of battle,
Die in the field of battle,
Glory in your view!'"
"Miss Daisy--I wouldn't sing that in the house," June ventured. For the
child's voice, clear and full, raised the sweet notes to a pitch that
might have been heard at least through several of the large rooms. Daisy
hushed her song.
The trout was to be for breakfast, and Daisy when she was quite ready
went gaily down to see if it would be approved. Her father was engaged
to eat it all, and he held to his promise; only allowing Daisy herself
to share with him; and on the whole Daisy and he had a very gay
"It is too hot to do anything," said Mrs. Randolph, as the trout was
very nearly reduced to a skeleton. "I shall not go to church this
A shade passed over Daisy's face, but she did not look towards her
"If you do not, I can't see why I should," said Mr. Randolph. "The
burden of setting a good example lies upon you."
"Why?" said his wife quickly.
"Nobody will know whether I am there or not."
"Nobody will know that _I_ am there at any rate," the lady rejoined.
"The heat will be insufferable." Mrs. Gary declared herself of the same
An hour after Daisy came into her mother's room.
"Mamma, may I go to church with Joanna?"
"It's too hot, Daisy."
"No, mamma--I don't mind it. I would like to go."
"Children don't mind anything! Please yourself. But how are you going?"
"On foot, mamma; under the shade of the trees. It is nice and shady, all
"It is enough to kill you! But go."
So Daisy's great flat set off alongside of Miss Underwood's Sunday gown
to walk to church. They set out all right, on the way to the church by
the evergreens. Preston Gary was a good deal surprised to find them some
time later in another part of the grounds and going in a different
"Where are you bound, Daisy?" he asked.
"To church, Preston."
"Church is the other way."
"Yes, but Mr. Pyne is sick and the church is closed, and we are going
over to that little church on the other side of the road."
"Why that is a dissenting chapel, isn't it?"
"There's no more dissent amongst 'em than there is among other folks!"
broke in Miss Underwood with a good deal of expression. "I wish all
other folks and churches was as peaceable and kept as close to their
business! Anyhow, it's a church, and the other one won't let us in."
Preston smiled and stepped back, and to Daisy's satisfaction they met
with no further stay. They got to the little church and took their
places in the very front; that place was empty, and Joanna said it was
the only one that she could see. The house was full. It was a plain
little church, very neat, but very plain compared with what Daisy was
accustomed to. So were the people. These were not rich people, not any
of them, she thought. At least there were no costly bonnets nor
exquisite lace shawls nor embroidered muslin dresses among them; and
many persons that she saw looked absolutely poor. Daisy however did not
see this at first; for the service began almost as soon as they entered.
Daisy was very fond of the prayers always in church, but she seldom
could make much of the sermon. It was not so to-day. In the first place,
when the prayers and hymns were over, and what Daisy called "the good
part" of the service was done, her astonishment and delight were about
equal to see Mr. Dinwiddie come forward to speak. It is impossible to
tell how glad Daisy was; even a sermon she thought she could relish from
his lips; but when he began, she forgot all about it's being a sermon.
Mr. Dinwiddie was talking to her and to the rest of the people; that was
all she knew; he was not looking down at his book, he was looking at
them; his eyes were going right through hers. And he did not speak as if
he was preaching; his voice sounded exactly as it did every day out of
church. It was delightful. Daisy forgot all about it's being a sermon,
and only drank in the words with her ears and her heart, and never took
her eyes from those bright ones that every now and then looked down at
her. For Mr. Dinwiddie was telling of Him "who though he was rich yet
for our sakes became poor." He told how rich he was, in the glories and
happiness of heaven, where everything is perfect and all is his. And
then he told how Jesus made himself poor; how he left all that glory and
everything that pleased him; came where everything displeased him; lived
among sin and sinners; was poor, and despised, and rejected, and treated
with every shame, and at last shamefully put to death and his dead body
laid in the grave. All this because he loved us; all this because he
wanted to make us rich, and without his death to buy our forgiveness
there was no other way. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that
he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
Daisy forgot even Mr. Dinwiddie in thinking of that wonderful One. She
thought she had never seen before how good he is, or how beautiful; she
had never felt how loving and tender Jesus is in his mercy to those that
seek him, and whom _he_ came to seek first; she never saw "the kindness
and love of God our Saviour" before. As the story went on, again and
again Daisy would see a cloud or mist of tears come over the brightness
of those brilliant eyes; and saw the lips tremble; and Daisy's own eyes
filled and ran over and her cheeks were wet with tears, and she never
But when Mr. Dinwiddie stopped she was so full of gladness in her little
heart,--gladness that this beautiful Saviour loved her and that she
loved him, that although if she _could_ have been sorry, she would have
been very sorry that the sermon was over, she was not; she could be
nothing but glad.
She thought they were going home then, after the hymn was sung; but in
her thoughts she had missed some words not spoken by Mr. Dinwiddie. And
now she perceived that not only it was sacrament day, which she had
seen before; but further, that the people who would not share in that
service were going, and that Miss Underwood was staying, and by
consequence she must stay too. Daisy was pleased. She had never in her
life, as it happened, seen the observance of this ordinance; and she
had, besides a child's curiosity, a deep, deep interest in all that
Christians are accustomed to do. Was she not one?
Mr. Dinwiddie had spoken about the service and the purpose of it; he
explained how the servants of Christ at his command take the bread and
wine in remembrance of him and what he has done for them; and as a sign
to all the world that they believe in him and love him, and wait for him
to come again. Now some prayers were made, and there were spoken some
grave words of counsel and warning, which sounded sweet and awful in
Daisy's ears; and then the people came forward, a part of them, and
knelt around a low railing which was before the pulpit. As they did
this, some voices began to sing a hymn, in a wonderfully sweet and
touching music. Daisy was exceedingly fond of every melody and harmony
that was worthy the name; and this--plaintive, slow, simple--seemed to
go not only through her ears, but down to the very bottom of her heart.
They sang but a verse and a chorus; and then after an interval, when
those around the railings rose and gave place to others, they sang a
verse and a chorus again; and this is the chorus that they sang. It
dwelt in Daisy's heart for many a day; but I can never tell you the
sweetness of it.
"O the Lamb! the loving Lamb!
The Lamb on Calvary;
The Lamb that was slain, but lives again,
To intercede for me."
It seemed to Daisy a sort of paradise while they were singing. Again and
again after a pause the notes measuredly rose and fell; and little Daisy
who could take no other open part in what was going on, responded to
them with her tears. Nobody was looking, she thought; nobody would see.
At last it was all done; the last verses were sung; the last prayers
spoken; the little crowd turned to go. Daisy standing behind Joanna in
the front place was obliged to wait till the aisle was clear. She had
turned too when everybody else did, and so was standing with her back to
the pulpit, when a hand was laid on her shoulder. The next minute
Daisy's little fingers were in Mr. Dinwiddie's clasp, and her face was
looking joyfully into his.
"Daisy--I am glad to see you."
Another look, and a slight clasp of her little fingers, answered him.
"I wish you had been with us just now."
"I am too little--" was Daisy's humble and regretful reply.
"Nobody is too little, who is old enough to know what Jesus has done and
to love him for it, and to be his servant. Do you love him, Daisy?"
"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie."
A very soft but a very clear answer; and so was the answer of the eyes
raised to his. To Daisy's great joy, he did not let go her hand when
they got out of the church. Instead of that, keeping it fast, he allowed
Miss Underwood to go on a little before them, and then he lingered with
Daisy along the shady, overarched walks of Melbourne grounds, into which
they presently turned. Mr. Dinwiddie lingered purposely, and let Joanna
get out of hearing. Then he spoke again.
"If you love Jesus, you want to obey him, Daisy."
"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie!"
He felt the breathless manner of her answer.
"What will you do, little one, when you find that to obey him, you may
have a great deal of hard fighting to go through?"
"I'll die on the field of battle, Mr. Dinwiddie."
He looked at her a little curiously. It was no child's boast. Her face
was quiet, her eye steady; so had her tone been. It was most unlike
Daisy to make protestations of feeling; just now she was speaking to the
one person in the world who could help her, whom in this matter she
trusted; speaking to him maybe for the last time, she knew; and moreover
Daisy's heart was full. She spoke as she might live years and not do
again, when she said, "I'll die on the field of battle."
"That is as the Lord pleases," returned Mr. Dinwiddie; "but how will you
_fight_, Daisy? you are a weak little child. The fight must be won, in
the first place."
"Please tell me, Mr. Dinwiddie."
He sat down on a bank and drew Daisy down beside him.
"In the first place, you must remember that you are the Lord's and that
everything you have belongs to him; so that his will is the only thing
to be considered in every case. Is it so, Daisy?"
"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie! But tell me what you mean, by 'everything I have.'
That is what I wanted to know."
"I will tell you presently. In the next place--whenever you know the
Lord's will, don't be afraid, but trust him to help you to do it. He
always will, he always can. Only trust him, and don't be afraid."
"Yes, Mr. Dinwiddie!" Daisy said; but with a gleam on her face which
even then reflected the light of those words.
"That's all, Daisy."
"Then Mr. Dinwiddie, please tell me what you mean by 'everything?'"
"If you love the Lord, Daisy, you will find out."
"But I am afraid I don't know, Mr. Dinwiddie, what all my talents are."
"He is a wise man that does. But if you love the Lord Jesus with all
your heart, you will find that in everything you do you can somehow
please him, and that he is first to be pleased."
They looked into each other again, those two faces, with perfect
understanding; grateful content in the child's eyes, watchful tenderness
in those of Mr. Dinwiddie, through all their keenness and brightness.
Then, he rose up and offered his hand to Daisy; just said "good bye,"
and was gone, he turned off another way, Daisy followed Miss Underwood's
steps. But Joanna had got to the house long before she reached it; and
Daisy thought herself very happy that nobody saw her come home alone.
She got to her own room in safety.
Daisy's heart was full of content. That day was the King's, to be sure;
the very air seemed to speak of the love of Jesus, and the birds and the
sunshine and the honeysuckle repeated the song of "The Lamb on Calvary."
There was no going to church a second time; after luncheon, which was
Daisy's dinner, she had the time all to herself. She sat by her own
window, or sometimes she lay down--for Daisy was not very strong
yet--but sitting or lying and whatever she was doing, the thought that
that King was hers, and that Jesus loved her, made her happy; and the
hours of the day rolled away as bright as its own sunshine.
"Well, mouse." said her mother when Daisy came down to tea,--"where have
you been? What a mouse you are!"
"Intelligent--for a lower order of quadrupeds," said Mr. McFarlane.
"The day has been insufferable!" said Mrs. Randolph. "Have you been
"You were lying down?"
Daisy had drawn up close to her mother who had thrown an arm round her.
The family were gathered in the library; the windows open, the fresh
air coming faintly in; the light fading, but no lamps needed yet.
"I am glad the day is over!" said Mrs. Gary. "This morning I did not
know how I was going to live through it. There is a little freshness
now. Why is it always so much hotter on Sundays than on any other day?"
"Because you think about it," said Mr. Randolph, who was moving from
window to window setting the glass doors wider open.
"There is nothing else to think about," said Mrs. Randolph with a yawn.
"Gary, do bring me a cup of tea."
"You ought to think about your evil deeds," said Mr. McFarlane obeying
the command. "Then you would have enough."
"_You_ would, you mean."
"I know it. I speak from experience. I tried it once, for a whole
afternoon; and you've no idea how good tea-time was when it came!"
"What _could_ set you about such a piece of work, Gary?" said his
"Conscience, my dear," said her sister. "I am not at all surprised. I
wonder if anybody has been to church to-day?"
"I am sorry for the clergyman, if anybody has," remarked Gary.
Mrs. Randolph's arm had slipped from Daisy, and Daisy slipped away from
her mother's sofa to the table; where she dipped sponge biscuits in milk
and wondered at other people's Sundays. A weight seemed settling down on
her heart. She could not bear to hear the talk; she eat her supper and
then sat down on the threshold of one of the glass doors that looked
towards the west, and watched the beautiful colours on the clouds over
the mountains; and softly sung to herself the tune she had heard in
church in the morning. So the colours faded away, and the light, and the
dusk grew on, and still Daisy sat in the window door humming to
herself. She did not know that Gary McFarlane had stolen up close behind
her and gone away again.
He went away just as company came in; some gay neighbours who found the
evening tempting, and came for a little diversion. Lamps were lit and
talking and laughing went round, till Mrs. Randolph asked where Daisy
"In the window, singing to the stars," Gary McFarlane whispered. "Do you
know, Mrs. Randolph, how she can sing?"
"No,--how? She has a child's voice."
"But not a child's taste or ear," said Gary. "I heard her the other day
warbling the gypsy song in 'The Camp in Silesia,' and she did it to
captivation. Do, Mrs. Randolph, ask her to sing it. I was astonished."
"Do!" said Capt. Drummond; and the request spread and became general.
"Daisy--" said Mrs. Randolph. Daisy did not hear; but the call being
repeated she came from her window, and after speaking to the strangers,
whom she knew, she turned to her mother. The room was all light and
bright and full of gay talkers.
"Daisy," said her mother, "I want you to sing that gypsy song from the
'Camp in Silesia.' Gary says you know it--so he is responsible. _Can_
you sing it?"
"Then sing it. Never mind whether you succeed or not; that is of no
"Mamma----," began Daisy.
Daisy was in great confusion. What to say to her mother she did not
"No matter how you get along with it," repeated Mrs. Randolph. "That is
"It isn't that, mamma,--but--"
"Then sing. No more words, Daisy; sing."
"Mamma, please don't ask me!"
"I _have_ asked you. Come Daisy--don't be silly."
"Mamma," whispered Daisy trembling, "I will sing it any other night but
"To-night? what's to-night?"
"To-night is Sunday."
"And is that the reason?"
Daisy stood silent, very much agitated.
"I'll have no nonsense of the kind, Daisy. Sing immediately!" But Daisy
"Do you refuse me?"
"Mamma--" said Daisy pleadingly.
"Go and fetch me a card from the table."
Daisy obeyed. Mrs. Randolph rapidly wrote a word or two on it with a
"But where is the gypsy?" cried Gary McFarlane.
"She has not found her voice yet. Take that to your father, Daisy."
Daisy's knees literally shook under her as she moved across the room to
obey this order. Mr. Randolph was sitting at some distance talking with
one of the gentlemen. He broke off when Daisy came up with the card.
"What is it your mother wishes you to sing?" he inquired, looking from
the writing to the little bearer. Daisy answered very low.
"A gypsy song from an opera."
"Can you sing it?"
"Then do so at once, Daisy."
The tone was quiet but imperative. Daisy stood with eyes cast down, the
blood all leaving her face to reinforce some attacked region. She grew
white from second to second.
"It is the charge of the Light Brigade," said Capt. Drummond to himself.
He had heard and watched the whole proceeding and had the key to it. He
thought good-naturedly to suggest to Daisy an escape from her
difficulty, by substituting for the opera song something else that she
_could_ sing. Rising and walking slowly up and down the room, he hummed
near enough for her to hear and catch it, the air of "Die in the field
of battle." Daisy heard and caught it, but not his suggestion. It was
the thought of the _words_ that went to her heart,--not the thought of
the tune. She stood as before, only clasped her little hands close upon
her breast. Capt. Drummond watched her. So did her father, who could
make nothing of her.
"Do you understand me, Daisy?"
"Obey me first, and then talk about it."
Daisy was in no condition to talk; she could hardly breathe that one
word. She knew the tone of great displeasure in her father's voice. He
saw her condition.
"You are not able to sing at this minute," said he. "Go to your room--I
will give you ten minutes to recover yourself. Then, Daisy, come here
and sing--if you like to be at peace with me."
But Daisy did not move; she stood there with her two hands clasped on
"Do you mean that you will not?" said Mr. Randolph.
"If it wasn't Sunday, papa--" came from Daisy's parted lips.
"Sunday?" said Mr. Randolph--"is that it? Now we know where we are.
Daisy--do you hear me?--turn about and sing your song. Do not give me
But Daisy stood, growing paler and paler, till the whiteness reached her
lips, and her father saw that in another minute she would fall. He
snatched her from the floor and placed her upon his knee with his arm
round her; but though conscious that she was held against his breast,
Daisy was conscious too that there was no relenting in it; she knew her
father; and her deadly paleness continued. Mr. Randolph saw that there
would be no singing that night, and that the conflict between Daisy and
him must be put off to another day. Making excuse to those near, that
she was not well, he took his little daughter in his arms and carried
her up stairs to her own room. There he laid her on the bed and rang for
June, and staid by her till he saw her colour returning. Then without a
word he left her.
Meanwhile Capt. Drummond, down stairs, had taken a quiet seat in a
corner; his talking mood having deserted him.
"Did I ever walk up to the cannon's mouth like that?" he said to
Daisy kept herself quite still while her father and June were present.
When Mr. Randolph had gone down stairs, and June seeing her charge
better, ventured to leave her to get some brandy and water, then Daisy
seized that minute of being alone to allow herself a few secret tears.
Once opened, the fountain of tears gushed out a river; and when June
came back Daisy was in an agony which prevented her knowing that anybody
was with her. In amaze June set down the brandy and water and looked on.
She had never in her life seen Daisy so. It distressed her; but though
June might be called dull, her poor wits were quick to read some signs;
and troubled as she was, she called neither Daisy's father nor her
mother. The child's state would have warranted such an appeal. She never
heard June's tremulous "Don't, Miss Daisy!" She was shaken with the
sense of the terrible contest she had brought on herself; and grieved to
the very depths of her tender little heart that she must bear the
displeasure of her father and her mother. She struggled with tears and
agitation until she was exhausted, and then lay quiet, panting and pale,
because she had no strength to weep longer.
"Miss Daisy," said June, "drink this."
"What is it?"
"It is brandy and water. It is good for you."
"I am not faint. I don't like it."
"Miss Daisy, please! You want something. It will make you feel better
and put you to sleep."
Disregarding the tumbler which June offered, Daisy slowly crawled off
the bed and went and kneeled down before her open window, crossing her
arms on the sill. June followed her, with a sort of submissive
"Miss Daisy, you want to take some of this, and lie down and go to
"I don't want to go to sleep."
"Miss Daisy, you're weak--won't you take, a little of this, to
strengthen you a bit?"
"I don't want it, June."
"You'll be sick to-morrow."
"June," said Daisy, "I wish a chariot of fire would come for me!"
"Why, Miss Daisy?"
"To take me right up. But I shall not be sick. You needn't be afraid.
You needn't stay."
June was too much awed to speak, and dared not disobey. She withdrew;
and in her own premises stood as Daisy was doing, looking at the
moonlight; much wondering that storms should pass over her little white
mistress such as had often shaken her own black breast. It was
Daisy did not wish to go to sleep; and it was for fear she should, that
she had crawled off the bed, trembling in every limb. For the same
reason she would not touch the brandy and water. Once asleep, the next
thing would be morning and waking up; she was not ready for that. So she
knelt by the window and felt the calm glitter of the moonlight, and
tried to pray. It was long, long since Daisy had withstood her father or
mother in anything. She remembered the last time; she knew now they
_would_ have her submit to them, and now she thought she must not. Daisy
dared not face the coming day. She would have liked to sit up all night;
but her power of keeping even upon her knees was giving way when June
stole in behind her, too uneasy to wait for Daisy's ring.
"Miss Daisy, you'll be surely sick to-morrow, and Mis' Randolph will
think I ought to be killed."
"June, didn't the minister say this morning--"
"O it wasn't you,--it was Joanna. Where is Joanna? I want to see her."
"Most likely she's going to bed, Miss Daisy."
"No matter--I want to see her. Go and tell her, June--no matter if she
is in her night-gown,--tell her I want to speak to her one minute."
June went, and Daisy once more burst into tears. But she brushed them,
aside when Joanna came back with June a few minutes after.
"Joanna--didn't the minister say this morning, that when we are doing
what Jesus tells us, he will help us through?"
"It's true," said Joanna, looking startled and troubled at the pale
little tear-stained face lifted to her;--"but I don't just know as that
minister said it this morning."
"Why it's true, Miss Daisy; for I've heard other ministers say it; but
that one this morning was preaching about something else--don't you
"Was he? Didn't he say that?"
"Why no, Miss Daisy; he was preaching about how rich----"
"O I know!" said Daisy--"I remember; yes, it wasn't then--it was
afterwards. Yes, he said it--I knew it--but it wasn't in his sermon.
Thank you, Joanna--that's all; I don't want you any more."
"What ails her?" whispered Joanna, when June followed her out with a
But June knew her business better than to tell her little mistress's
secrets; and her face shewed no more of them, than it shewed of her own.
When she returned, Daisy was on her knees, with her face hidden in her
hands, at the foot of the bed.
June stopped; and the little white figure there looked so slight, the
attitude of the bended head was so childlike and pitiful, that the
mulatto woman's face twinkled and twitched in a way most unwonted to its
usual stony lines. She never stirred till Daisy rose up and submissively
allowed herself to be put to bed; and then waited on her with most
So she did next morning. But Daisy was very pale, and trembled
frequently, June noticed; and when she was dressed sat down patiently by
the window. She was not going down, to breakfast, she told June; and
June went away to her own breakfast, very ill satisfied.
Breakfast was brought up to Daisy, as she expected; and then she waited
for her summons. She could not eat much. The tears were very ready to
start, but Daisy kept them back. It did not suit her to go weeping into
her father and mother's presence, and she had self command enough to
prevent it. She could not read; yet she turned over the pages of her
Bible to find some comfort. She did not know or could not remember just
where to look for it; and at last turned to the eleventh of Hebrews, and
with her eye running over the record there of what had been done and
borne for Christ's sake, felt her own little heart beating hard in its
June came at length to call her to her mother's room.
Mrs. Randolph was half lying on a couch, a favourite position; and her
eye was full on Daisy as she came in. Daisy stopped at a little
distance; and June took care to leave the door ajar.
"Daisy," said Mrs. Randolph, "I want in the first place an explanation
of last night's behaviour."
"Mamma, I am very sorry to have offended you!" said Daisy, pressing both
hands together upon her breast to keep herself quiet.
"Looks like it," said Mrs. Randolph; and yet she did see and feel the
effect of the night's work upon the child. "Go on;--tell me why you
disobeyed me last night."
"It was Sunday--" said Daisy softly.
"Sunday!--well, what of that? what of Sunday?"
"That song--wasn't a Sunday song."
"What do you mean by a Sunday song?"
"I mean"--Daisy was on dangerous ground, and she knew it,--"I mean, one
of those songs that God likes to hear people sing on his day."
"Who is to be judge?" said Mrs. Randolph,--"you or I?"
"Mamma," said Daisy, "I will do everything else in the world you tell
"You will have to do everything else and this too. Isn't there a
commandment about children obeying their mothers?"
"That is the very first commandment I mean you shall obey," said Mrs.
Randolph, rousing herself enough to bring one foot to the floor. "You
have no business to think whether a thing is right or wrong, that I
order you to do; if I order it, that makes it right; and anybody but a
fool would tell you so. You will sing that song from the 'Camp in
Silesia' for me next Sunday evening, or I will whip you, Daisy--you may
depend upon it. I have done it before, and I will again; and you know I
do not make believe. Now go to your father."
"Where is he, mamma?" said Daisy, with a perceptible added paleness in
"I don't know. In the library, I suppose."
To the library Daisy went, with trembling steps, in great uncertainty
what she was to expect from her father. It was likely enough that he
would say the same as her mother, and insist on the act of submission to
be gone through next Sunday; but Daisy had an inward consciousness that
her father was likely to come to a point with her sooner than that. It
came even sooner than she expected.
Mr. Randolph was pacing up and down the library when Daisy slowly opened
the door. No one else was there. He stopped when she came in, and stood
looking at her as she advanced towards him.
"Daisy, you disobeyed me last night."
"I have but one answer for that sort of thing," said Mr. Randolph,
taking a narrow ruler from the library table. "Give me your hand!"
Daisy gave it, with a very vague apprehension of what he was about to
do. The sharp, stinging stroke of the ruler the next moment upon her
open palm, made her understand very thoroughly. It drew from her one cry
of mixed pain and terror; but after that first forced exclamation Daisy
covered her face with her other hand and did not speak again. Tears,
that she could not help, came plentifully; for the punishment was
sufficiently severe, and it broke her heart that her father should
inflict it; but she stood perfectly still, only for the involuntary
wincing that was beyond her control, till her hand was released and the
ruler was thrown down. Heart and head bowed together then, and Daisy
crouched down on the floor where she stood, unable either to stand or to
move a step away.
"There! That account's settled!" said Mr. Randolph as he flung down his
ruler. And the next moment his hands came softly about Daisy and lifted
her from the floor and placed her on his knee; and his arms were wrapped
tenderly round her. Daisy almost wished he had let her alone; it seemed
to her that her sorrow was more than she could bear.
"Is your heart almost broken?" said Mr. Randolph softly, as he felt
rather than heard the heavy sobs so close to him. But to speak was an
impossibility, and so he knew, and did not repeat his question; only he
held Daisy fast, and it was in his arms that she wept out the first
overcharged fulness of her heart. It was a long time before she could
quiet those heavy sobs; and Mr. Randolph sat quite still holding her.
"Is your heart quite broken?" he whispered again, when he judged that
she could speak. Daisy did not speak, however. She turned, and rising
upon her knees, threw her arms round her father's neck and hid her soft
little head there. If tears came Mr. Randolph could not tell; he thought
his neck was wet with them. He let her alone for a little while.
"Can you talk to me?"
Daisy sank back into her former position. Her father put his lips down
to hers for a long kiss.
"That account is settled," said he; "do you understand? Now Daisy, tell
me what was the matter last night."
"Papa, it was Sunday night."
"And that song--that mamma wanted me to sing"--Daisy spoke very
low,--"was out of an opera; and it was good for any other day, but not
Daisy hesitated, and at last said, "It had nothing to do with Sunday,
"But obedience is not out of place on Sunday, is it?"
"Well, except what?"
"Papa, if God tells me to do one thing, and you tell me another, what
shall I do?" Daisy had hid her face in her father's breast.
"What counter command have you to plead in this case?"
"Papa, may I shew it to you?"
She got down off his lap, twinkling away a tear hastily, and went to the
bookcase for the big Bible aforesaid. Mr. Randolph seeing what she was
after and that she could not lift it, went to her help and brought it to
the library table. Daisy turned over the leaves with fingers that
trembled yet, hastily, hurriedly; and paused and pointed to the words
that her father read.
"Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day."
Mr. Randolph read them and the words following and the words that went
before; then he turned from them and drew Daisy to her place in his arms
"Daisy, there is another commandment there. 'Honour thy father and thy
mother.' Is there not?"
"Is not one command as good as the other?"
"Papa, I think not," said Daisy. "One command tells me to obey you,--the
other tells me to obey God."
Childish as the answer was, there was truth in it; and Mr. Randolph
shifted his ground.
"Your mother will not be satisfied without your obeying the lesser
command--nor shall I!"
"She will expect you to do next Sunday evening what you refused to do
Still silence, but a shiver ran over Daisy's frame.
"Do you know it?" said Mr. Randolph, noticing also that Daisy's cheek
had grown a shade paler than it was.
"Papa--I wish I could die!" was the answer of the child's agony.
"Do you mean that you will not obey her, Daisy?"
"How can I, papa? how can I!" exclaimed Daisy.
"Do you think that song is so very bad, Daisy?"
"No. papa, it is very good for other days; but it is not _holy_." Her
accent struck strangely upon Mr. Randolph's ear; and sudden contrasts
rushed together oddly in his mind.
"Daisy, do you know that you are making yourself a judge of right and
wrong? Over your mother and over me?"
Daisy hid her face again in his breast; what could she answer? Mr.
Randolph unfolded the little palm swollen and blistered from the marks
of his ruler.
"Why did you offend me, Daisy?" he said gravely.
"Oh papa!" said Daisy beside herself,--"I didn't--I couldn't--I
wouldn't, for anything in the world! But I couldn't offend the Lord
She was weeping again bitterly.
"That will not do," said Mr. Randolph. "You must find a way to reconcile
both duties. I shall not take an alternative." But after that he said no
more and only applied himself to soothing Daisy; till she sat drooping
in his arms, but still and calm. She started when the sound of steps and
voices came upon the verandah.
"Papa, may I go?"
He let her go, and watched her measured steps through the long room, to
the door, and heard the bound they made as soon as she was outside of
it. He rang the bell and ordered June to be called.
"June," said Mr. Randolph, "I think Daisy wants to be taken care of
to-day--I wish you would not lose sight of her."
June courtesied her obedience.
A few minutes afterwards her noiseless steps entered Daisy's room.
June's footfall was never heard about the house. As noiseless as a
shadow she came into a room; as stealthily as a dark shadow she went
out. Her movements were always slow; and whether from policy or caution
originally, her tread would not waken a sleeping mouse. So she came into
her little mistress's chamber now. Daisy was there, at her bureau,
before an open drawer; as June advanced, she saw that a great stock of
little pairs of gloves was displayed there, of all sorts, new and old;
and Daisy was trying to find among them one that would do for her
purpose. One after another was tried on the fingers of her right hand,
and thrown aside; and tears were running over the child's cheeks and
dropping into the drawer all the time. June came near, with a sort of
anxious look on her yellow face. It was strangely full of wrinkles and
lines, that generally never stirred to express or reveal anything.
Suddenly she exclaimed, but June's very exclamations were in a smothered
"O Miss Daisy! what have you done to your hand?"
"I haven't done anything to it," said Daisy, trying furtively to get rid
of her tears,--"but I want a glove to put on, June, and they are all too
small. Is Cecilia at work here to-day?"
"Yes, Miss Daisy; but let me look at your hand!--let me put some
"No, I don't want it," said Daisy; and June saw the suppressed sob that
was not allowed to come out into open hearing;--"but June, just rip that
glove, will you, here in the side seam; and then ask Cecilia to make a
strip of lace-work there--so that I can get it on." Daisy drew a fur
glove over the wounded hand as she spoke; it was the only one large
enough; and put on her flat hat.
"Miss Daisy, Mr. Randolph said I was to go with you anywhere you
went--to take care of you."
"Then come down to the beach, June; I'll be there."
Daisy stole down stairs and slipped out of the first door she came to.
What she wanted was to get away from seeing anybody; she did not wish to
see her mother, or Preston, or Capt. Drummond, or Ransom; and she meant
even if possible to wander off and not be at home for dinner. She could
not bear the thought of the dinner-table with all the faces round it.
She stole out under the shrubbery, which soon hid her from view of the
It was a very warm day, the sun beating hot wherever it could touch at
all. Daisy went languidly along under cover of the trees, wishing to go
faster, but not able, till she reached the bank. There she waited for
June to join her, and together they went down to the river shore. Safe
there from pursuit, on such a day, Daisy curled herself down in the
shade with her back against a stone, and then began to think. She felt
very miserable; not merely for what had passed, but for a long stretch
of trouble that she saw lying before her. Indeed where or how it was to
end, Daisy had no idea. Her father indeed, she felt pretty sure would
not willingly allow his orders to come in conflict with what she thought
her duty; though if he happened to do it unconsciously,--Daisy would not
follow that train of thought. But here she was now, at this moment,
engaged in a trial of strength with her mother; very unequal, for Daisy
felt no power at all for the struggle,--and yet she could not yield!
Where was it to end? and how many other like occasions of difference
might arise, even after this one should somehow have been settled? Had
the joy of being a servant of Jesus so soon brought trouble with it?
Daisy had put the trunk of a large tree between her and June; but the
mulatto woman where she sat heard the stifled sobs of the child. June's
items of intelligence picked up by eye and ear, had given her by this
time an almost reverent feeling towards Daisy; she regarded her as
hardly earthly; nevertheless this sort of distress must not be suffered
to go on, and she was appointed to prevent it.
"Miss Daisy--it is luncheon time," she said without moving. Daisy gave
no response. June waited and then came before her and repeated her
"I am not going in."
"But you want your dinner, Miss Daisy."
"No, I don't, June. I don't want to go in."
June looked at her a minute. "I'll get you your luncheon out here, Miss
Daisy. You'll be faint for want of something to eat. Will you have it
"You needn't say where I am, June."
June went off, and Daisy was left alone. Very weary and exhausted, she
sat leaning her head against the stone at her side, in a sort of
despairing quiet. The little ripple of the water on the pebbly shore
struck her ear; it was the first thing eye or ear had perceived to be
pleasant that day. Daisy's thoughts went to the hand that had made the
glittering river, with all its beauties and wonders; then they went to
what Mr. Dinwiddie had said, that God will help his people when they are
trying to do any difficult work for him; he will take care of them; he
will not forsake them. Suddenly it filled Daisy's soul like a flood,
the thought that Jesus _loves_ his people; that she was his little child
and that he loved her; and all his wisdom and power and tenderness were
round her and would keep her. Her trouble seemed to be gone, or it was
like a cloud with sunlight shining all over it. The very air was full of
music, to Daisy's feeling, not her sense. There never was such sunlight,
or such music either, as this feeling of the love of Jesus. Daisy
kneeled down by the rock and rested her forehead against it, to pray for
She was there still, when June came back and stopped and looked at her,
a vague expression of care sitting in her black eyes, into which now an
unwonted moisture stole. June had a basket, and as soon as Daisy sat
down again, she came up and began to take things out of it. She had
brought everything for Daisy's dinner. There was a nice piece of
beefsteak, just off the gridiron; and rice and potatoes; and a fine bowl
of strawberries for dessert. June had left nothing; there was the roll
and the salt, and a tumbler and a carafe of water. She set the other
things about Daisy, on the ground and on the rock, and gave the plate of
beefsteak into her hand.
"Miss Daisy, what will you do for a table?"
"It's nicer here than a table. How good you are, June. I didn't know I
"I know you do, Miss Daisy."
And she went to her sewing, and sewed perseveringly, while Daisy eat her
"June, what o'clock is it?"
"It's after one, ma'am."
"You haven't had your own dinner?"
June mumbled something, of which nothing could be understood except that
it was a general abnegation of all desire or necessity for dinner on her
"But you have not had it?" said Daisy.
"No, ma'am. They've done dinner by this time."
"June, I have eaten up all the beefsteak--there is nothing left but some
potato and rice and strawberries; but you shall have some strawberries."
June in vain protested. Daisy divided the strawberries into two parts,
sugared them both, broke the remaining roll in two, and obliged June to
take her share. When this was over, Daisy seated herself near June and
laid her head against her knee. She could hardly hold it up.
"June,"--she said presently, "I think those people in the eleventh
chapter of Hebrews--you know?"
"Yes, Miss Daisy."
"I think they were very happy, because they knew that Jesus loved them."
June made no audible answer; she mumbled something; and Daisy sat still.
Presently her soft breathing made June look over at her; Daisy was
asleep. In her hand, in her lap, lay a book. June looked yet further, to
see what book it was. It was Mr. Dinwiddie's Bible. June sat up and went
on with her work, but her face twitched.
Daisy was at the dinner-table. After having a good sleep on June's knee,
she had come home and dressed as usual, and she was in her place when
the dessert was brought on. Mr. Randolph from his distant end of the
table watched her a little; he saw that she behaved just as usual; she
did not shun anybody, though her mother shunned her. A glove covered her
right hand, yet Daisy persisted in using that hand rather than attract
notice, though from the slowness of her movements it was plain it cost
her some trouble. Gary McFarlane asked why she had a glove on, and Mr.
Randolph heard Daisy's perfectly quiet and true answer, that "her hand
was wounded, and had to wear a glove,"--given without any confusion or
evasion. He called his little daughter to him, and giving her a chair by
his side, spent the rest of _his_ time in cracking nuts and preparing a
banana for her; doing it carelessly, not as if she needed but as if it
pleased him to give her his attention.
After dinner Daisy sought Preston, who was out on the lawn, as he said,
to cool himself; in the brightness of the setting sun to be sure, but
also in a sweet light air which was stirring.
"Phew! it's hot. And you, Daisy, don't look as if the sun and you had
been on the same side of the earth to-day. What do you want now?"
"I want a good talk with you, Preston."
"I was going to say 'fire up,'" said Preston, "but no, don't do
anything of that sort! If there is any sort of talking that has a chilly
effect, I wish you'd use it."
"I have read of such talk, but I don't think I know how to do it," said
Daisy. "I read the other day of somebody's being 'frozen with a look.'"
Preston went off into a fit of laughter and rolled himself over on the
grass, declaring that it was a splendid idea; then he sat up and asked
Daisy again what she wanted? Daisy cast a glance of her eye to see that
nobody was too near.
"Preston, you know you were going to teach me."
"O, ay!--about the Spartans."
"I want to learn everything," said Daisy. "I don't know much."
Preston looked at the pale, delicate child, whose doubtful health he
knew had kept her parents from letting her "know much"; and it was no
wonder that when he spoke again, he used a look and manner that were
caressing, and even tender.
"What do you want to know, Daisy?"
"I want to know everything," whispered Daisy; "but I don't know what to
"No!" said Preston,--"'everything' seems as big as the world, and as
hard to get hold of."
"I want to know geography," said Daisy.
"Yes. Well--you shall. And you shall not study for it neither; which you
"Yes I can."
"No you can't. You are no more fit for it, little Daisy--but look here!
I wish you would be a red daisy."
"Then what else, Preston?"
"Nothing else. Geography is enough at once."
"O no, it isn't. Preston, I can't do the least little bit of a sum in
"Can't you? Well--I don't see that that is of any very great
consequence. What sums do _you_ want to do?"
"But I want to know how."
"Why Preston, you know I _ought_ to know how. It might be very useful,
and I ought to know."
"I hope it will never be of any use to you," said Preston; "but you can
learn the multiplication table if you like."
"Then will you shew it to me?"
"Yes; but what has put you in such a fever of study, little Daisy? It
excites me, this hot weather."
"Then won't you come in and shew me the multiplication table now,
In came Preston laughing, and found an arithmetic for Daisy; and Daisy,
not laughing, but with a steady seriousness, sat down on the verandah in
the last beams of the setting sun to learn that "twice two is four."
The same sort of sweet seriousness hung about all her movements this
week. To those who knew what it meant, there was something extremely
touching in the gentle gravity with which she did everything, and the
grace of tenderness which she had for everybody. Daisy was going through
great trouble. Not only the trouble of what was past, but the ordeal of
what was to come. It hung over her like a black cloud, and her fears
were like muttering thunder. But the sense of right, the love of the
Master in whose service she was suffering, the trust in his guiding
hand, made Daisy walk with that strange, quiet dignity between the one
Sunday and the other. Mr. Randolph fancied sometimes when she was
looking down, that he saw the signs of sadness about her mouth; but
whenever she looked up again, he met such quiet, steady eyes, that he
wondered. He was puzzled; but it was no puzzle that Daisy's cheeks grew
every day paler, and her appetite less.
"I do not wish to flatter you"--said Mrs. Gary one evening--"but that
child has very elegant manners! Really, I think they are very nearly
perfect. I don't believe there is an English court beauty who could
"The English beauty would like to be a little more robust in her
graces," remarked Gary McFarlane.