THE MARKET DAY.
Mrs. Ford had three little children--Lily, Hetty, and a dear little
babe. As she was now going to market, she told Lily, her oldest
daughter, to take good care of the baby. Lily promised to do so. It
was a very cold day. For a time the children got along very well; but
soon the wood was all burned, not a stick or chip remained; as their
father had gone away in the morning without splitting any, so they
were obliged to
o the best they could. The baby began to look as if
it was cold, and Lily said:
"Come, Hetty, we will go out and see if together we cannot roll in one
of those great logs."
Hetty was eleven years old. Lily put the baby in the cradle and then
went out with Hetty to roll in the log. They rolled it up to the step,
and got it part way into the door, but, alas! they could not get it
further. There it stuck in the doorway, and the door was wide open;
the wind and snow beat in from without, and the fire gradually settled
away in its embers.
Something must now be done. Hetty put on her cloak and hood and set
out for her mother; for she told them if anything happened to be sure
and come for her. Hetty soon found her mother at the village store,
and without stopping to warm herself, she said:
"O mother, come home, for little Eddy is sick, and Lily says it is the
croup, and that he is dying. The fire is all out, and the room is full
of snow, because the big log we tried to roll in stuck fast in the
Hetty and her mother hastened home; and as they were crossing the
street there was her husband just entering the tavern. She told him
about little Eddy, and he promised to go for a physician and to come
home immediately; and by the time they had gone half way home, Edward,
her husband, joined them.
They hurried along, and as they came near the cottage there stood two
of the cows, and under the shed was the third, the old "spotted cow,"
which Hetty thought was in the pond when she left home. To their
surprise the log was rolled away from the door, and as Mrs. Ford
opened the door with a trembling hand, fearing her baby was dead,
there was a young man sitting by a good fire, which he had made while
Hetty was gone, with little Eddy folded in his arms. The anxious
mother bent over her baby as he lay in the stranger's arms, and
seeing his eyes closed, she whispered:
"Is he dead?"
"He is not, he only sleeps," replied the stranger.
This young man came into the house in time to save the baby from the
cold chills of death. He was ever after a friend to the family--a
means of Edward's reformation, so that with some assistance the
mortgage on the farm was paid off, and the farm re-stocked. This
stranger became the husband of Lily, the eldest daughter.