At St. Petersburgh, the birth day of any of the royal family is

observed as a time of great festivity, by all kinds of diversions.

When the vessel in which John Read shipped arrived, he was allowed to

go on shore to see the sport on that occasion. In one of the sleighs

was a lady, who at the moment of passing him lost a bracelet from her

arm, which fell on the snow. John hastened forward to pick it up, at

the same time
calling after the lady, who was beyond the sound of his

voice. He then put the bracelet into his pocket, and when he had seen

enough of the sport, went back to the ship.

John told the captain all about it, showing him the prize which he had


"Well, Jack," said the captain "you are fortunate enough--these are

all diamonds of great value--when we get to the next port I will sell

it for you." "But," said John, "It's not mine, it belongs to the lady,

and I cannot sell it." The captain replied, "O, you cannot find the

lady, and you picked it up. It is your own." But John persisted it was

not his. "Nonsense, my boy," said the captain, "it belongs to you."

John then replied "But if we have another storm in the Baltic," (see

story preceding.) "Ah, me," said the Captain, "I forgot all about

that, Jack. I will go on shore with you to-morrow and try to find the

owner." They did so; and after much trouble, found it belonged to a

nobleman's lady, and as a reward for the boy's honesty, she gave him

eighty pounds English money. John's next difficulty was what to do

with it. The captain advised him to lay it out in hides, which would

be valuable in England. He did so, and on arriving at Hull, they

brought one hundred and fifty pounds.

John had not forgotten his mother. The captain gave him leave of

absence for a time, and taking a portion of his money with him, he

started for his native village. When he arrived there, he made his way

to her house with a beating heart. Each object told him it was home,

and brought bygone days to his mind. On coming to the house he saw it

was closed. He thought she might be dead; and as he slowly opened the

gate and walked up the path and looked about, his heart was ready to

break. A neighbor seeing him, said, "Ah, John, is that you?" and

quickly told him that his mother still lived--but as she had no means

of support, she had gone to the poor-house. John went to the place,

found his mother, and soon made her comfortable in her own cottage.

The sailor boy afterwards became mate of the same vessel in which he

first left the quay at Yarmouth.