Ida's new shoes

By Madeline Leslie

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Title: Ida's new shoes

Author: Madeline Leslie

Release date: March 20, 2024 [eBook #73213]

Language: English

Original publication: Boston: Henry A. Young & Co, 1867


Transcriber's note: Unusual and inconsistent spelling is as printed.


                           Ida's New Shoes.


                            _AUNT HATTIE_

                         _[MADELINE LESLIE]_


              _"He that ruleth his spirit, is better_
              _than he that taketh a city."—SOLOMON_

                         HENRY A. YOUNG & CO.
                            24 CORNHILL.

      Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by
                          REV. A. R. BAKER,
    In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of



                    CHILDREN OF MY BELOVED NEPHEW,

                  THE REV. JOHN COTTON SMITH, D.D.,


                        WITH THE EARNEST PRAYER


                         OF THE GREAT AND GOOD

                         _Shepherd of Israel._










                           IDA'S NEW SHOES.



"LOOK, aunty, see my pretty new shoes!"

Little Ida danced up and down, holding back the skirt of her dress to
display the present papa had brought her.

"Very pretty," said Aunt Mary. "I hope my little niece will never let
them carry her into mischief."

"No, indeed, aunty! I'm going to be a real good girl now. See how
softly I can step in them."

And she went on tiptoe to the door of the bedroom, where her mother was
confined with an attack of nervous headache.

Mrs. Kent's head was bandaged tightly with a wet towel, the room being
darkened, in the hope she would be able to drop to sleep.

But Ida did not think of this.

[Illustration: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"]

She wanted her mamma to see how nicely her foot looked in the new boot.
She was so quick in her motions, that before Aunt Mary knew what she
was about, she had pushed a cricket to the side of the bed, and jumped
up, boots and all.

"O Ida! What are you doing?" exclaimed the lady, with a groan. "I was
just falling asleep. Jump right off the bed, dear; you jar my head

"See my shoes, first, mamma! Berty tied 'em up for me."

"Ida Kent, come out of that room this minute!" said Aunt Mary. "Your ma
is very sick; and you'll make her worse with your noise."

"No, I won't! I'll make her better. I'm going to comb your hair, mamma.
You said I might."

Mrs. Kent groaned again. "Do take her away, Mary. I shall die with
this dreadful pain. If I could be quiet one hour, I think I should be

Aunt Mary took Ida firmly by the hand.

"I won't go! I won't!" screamed the naughty child, at the top of her
voice, clinging at the same time to the bedpost.

"Go this minute, Ida," said her mother, holding her throbbing head
between her hands. "And Mary, take off those new shoes. She mustn't
wear them till she can behave better."

The naughty girl gave a scream of passion, and was carried out of the
room by Aunt Mary, who was obliged to hold her hands to keep her from
scratching anywhere she could reach.

Mamma tried to shut her ears, but no, she could hear the loud, angry
screams, until Aunt Mary closed the doors in a distant chamber.

Even then, her head throbbed painfully, as she readily imagined the
naughty conduct of her little girl.

"What shall I do with her?" she kept saying to herself. "How can I help
her conquer her hasty temper? So affectionate one moment, so passionate
the next."

Toward night, Mrs. Kent's pain was relieved. She was able to sit up in
bed and take a cup of gruel. Nothing could exceed Ida's fond attention.
She ran softly to the entry for a shawl, then upstairs for another
pillow, and afterwards sat in a chair, her curly head resting on the
bed, her forefinger in her mouth, looking as placid and happy as if no
cries of passion had ever distorted her features.

Mrs. Kent was greatly refreshed by the gruel. She sat up in bed long
enough for Aunt Mary to smooth her tangled hair, and then lay down,

"I feel as if I could sleep."

Presently she put her hand softly on Ida's cheek. "You're a good girl
now," she said. "You're mamma's comfort."

Ida caught her mother's hand and kissed it, then went to sucking her
finger again.

By and by papa came home, and rocked his little girl in his arms until
the tea-bell rang.

"The sky seems remarkably clear to-night," he said to his sister Mary,
after a glance at Ida.

"Yes," she said, smiling; "a storm generally clears the sky; and there
has been a terrible one to-day."

"Was that what made her mother's head ache so bad?"

"No, she had gone to bed before; but of course the scream's made it

"The thunder you mean. In what direction did the storm arise?"

"In the direction of the s-h-o-e-s." Aunt Mary spelled the word so that
Ida need not understand.

"To look at her now, one would think there never could be a storm."

The little girl sat in a high chair by the side of her father,
diligently engaged in eating her bread and milk.

"I know what kind of storms you mean," said Berty, laughing.

"Yes, I suppose so," answered his father. "You are quite a man, you

"There were never such storms in his day," remarked Aunt Mary, glancing
kindly in the face of her favorite nephew.

"Please, aunty, give Ida some cake!" asked the little girl, holding out
her plate.

"Yes, dear;" and then added, "I wish her mother could see her now."

"We have a nice young lady at table this evening," remarked Mr. Kent.
"I would to have her come here to tea every night."

"I'm going to be good all the time now," said Ida, smiling in her
father's face.



IDA KENT was a very handsome child. Her face was round and fair, her
eyes deep-blue, her mouth small and rosy, and her hair rippled and
curled all over her head. This was a great affliction to Ida; for, as
it hung in ringlets over her neck, it took a long time in the morning
to comb out the snarls.

Mrs. Kent, too, used to dread the job; and was always happy when it was
completed without arousing Ida's temper. Many a time she had threatened
to cut off the curls; but her husband would not consent. He felt very
proud of them, and could not be made to believe that the child would be
better without them.

Mamma used to get a bowl of water, a towel to pin around Ida's neck,
the comb and brush all ready before she called the little girl; and
then she tried to amuse her by telling some funny stories.

A few mornings after Mrs. Kent's sickness, Ida sat in her mother's lap,
and all was going on beautifully, when an unlucky snarl caught in the
comb, giving it quite a pull.

As quick as thought, the child turned and struck her mother in the face.

"If you do that again, I'll whip you, naughty mamma!" she cried, her
face growing very red and angry.

"Stop, Ida! You mustn't talk so; it's wicked," said Mrs. Kent, holding
the child's hands. "You know mamma didn't mean to pull; but I shall
have to punish you with a rod, if you strike me, or talk so; it is very

"I won't have my hair done any more!" screamed the naughty girl,
kicking with all her might.

"Ida!" called out her father from the next room. "Stop that! Do you
know, child, whom you are talking to?"

Berty came in at this minute, and Mrs. Kent took advantage of this
opportunity while her attention was engaged to finish the curls.

In a few moments she had forgotten all about her trouble. She came up
to kiss papa, her mouth looking as sweet as a ripe cherry, and then
went dancing about the room as happy as happy could be.

When her brother had led her to the parlor, Mrs. Kent said with a sigh,
"That is the way she acts more than half the time while I am curling
her hair. I have tried whipping, and coaxing, and everything I can
think of. Her passion grows worse every day."

"I have always hoped she would outgrow it," answered Mr. Kent; "but I
see something must be done."

"If you'll tell me what, I'll thank you," murmured the mother in a
discouraged tone.

The next week a lady called to see Aunt Mary. Ida was playing quietly
with some blocks in the corner of the room, when the visitor caught a
glimpse of her.

"Oh, what a darling little girl!" she exclaimed. "Come and see me, my

Ida obeyed, walked slowly across the floor, and glanced shyly in the
lady's face from under her curls.

"You little beauty!" repeated the stranger, taking the child in her lap.

"Don't touch the lady's bonnet," said Aunt Mary, seeing that her friend
began to look annoyed at having her flowers pulled out of place.

"I will! I will!" And Ida gave a rose-bud a sudden jerk which left it
in her hand.

The lady put her upon the floor; and Aunt Mary was so mortified that
she caught her up and carried her screaming from the room.

"I am sorry, for your sake, I spoke to the child," apologized the
visitor; "but she looked so smiling I never thought of her having such
a temper."

"I never saw such a passionate girl," murmured Aunt Mary, looking as if
she were going to cry, "I always feel as if an avalanche were hanging
over my head. Sometimes she's as sweet and loving as a June rose; and,
in a moment, her temper is beyond control."

"Is she well governed?"

"It is difficult to know what to do with one of her disposition. Both
my brother and his wife are very solicitous concerning her. I wonder
often at my sister's patience. She has tried whipping and shutting her
in a room by herself; but nothing seems to have any lasting effect. I
really think half the cause of Mrs. Kent's nervous headaches may be
from anxiety about Ida. Yesterday she tried a new plan—she led the
child into her bedroom, and, without taking the least notice of her
screams and struggles, began to pray for herself and her little girl."

"And what effect did this have?"

"Very quieting. My brother feared it was only the novelty, but sister
was encouraged to try it again."



"Do you know, my love, who made you?"

"Yes, mamma; God made me and Berty and all the folks."

"And what did he make you for, Ida?"

"I don't know, mamma."

"He made you and all his creatures, to be good, and to do good."

"I'm good now, mamma; I don't kick any." And Ida looked the picture of

"Yes, dear, no one can be better than you, when you try; but I am sorry
to say you don't always try. Do you know the good God in the sky looks
down upon you then, and is very much displeased?"

"Then, what do you pray to him for?"

Mrs. Kent sighed. "Because," she answered, "I am afraid, if my little
girl does not try to correct her naughty temper, that God will punish
her. I ask him to forgive you, and help you do right; and then ask him
to give me strength to govern you according to his will."

"I won't never be naughty again, mamma; I'm going to be your good
little Ida all the time now."

"Dear child, if I could believe that, a heavy burden would be lifted
off my heart."

It was scarcely half an hour later that Berty came in from school
eating an orange which a companion had given him.

"I want an orange, mamma," cried Ida, her face flushing.

"Berty will give you a piece of his; dear."

"I would, mamma; but the juice is all sucked out. See Ida, it's nothing
but skin."

"I want an orange! I will have an orange!" began the little girl,
kicking and screaming with all her strength.

Mrs. Kent put her handkerchief to her face. The disappointment was too
bitter. Ida had seemed so penitent, she had really hoped her heart was
touched, and would not show such temper again.

"What a naughty girl!" said Berty. "See, you've made mamma cry!"

Ida stopped kicking; stood for a moment irresolute; then she ran and
laid her head in her mother's lap.

"I'm sorry, mamma; I don't want an orange now. Take away your
handkerchief. See, I'm a good girl."

Mrs. Kent gazed in the child's face. It was beaming with the new
delight of having conquered. She took Ida in her arms; pressing her to
her heart.

"You have made mamma very happy," she said, kissing her again and
again. "Now I know you do mean to try and conquer those wicked
passions. Berty, go to the store, darling, and buy the largest orange
you call find. Buy two large ones. We must have them cut up for supper;
and Ida shall sprinkle sugar on them and help us all herself from the
glass dish. I want papa and Aunt Mary and nurse to know that my dear
little girl is determined to be good; that she has begun already to
conquer herself."

I wish you could have seen Ida. She danced about the room, kissing
mamma ever so many times, and kept running to the window to see whether
Berty was coming.

Mrs. Kent looked as happy as her little girl. "Oh, if this will only
last!" she said to herself. And then she lifted her heart in prayer to
her heavenly Father, beseeching him to put good thoughts into Ida's

When tea was on the table, mamma brought forward the nice dish of
orange, and put it before Ida's plate. Then she took the bowl from the
tray and said—

"There, love, you may sprinkle on the sugar now. You have been very
patient while I cut the oranges."

Ida took the sugar-spoon and began her work. She did not smile. She
looked very solemn as if she felt the importance of the trust.

"Why, what is this?" asked papa, coming behind her on tiptoe.

"O papa!" Ida was so excited she sprang almost out of her chair. "I'm
going to help the oranges to you and everybody. I've began to be good,
and mamma won't have to pray for me any more."

"You have, indeed, arrived at a state of perfection, if that is no
longer necessary," replied Mr. Rent, with a smile; "but I want to hear
all the particulars of so important a change."

"Mamma will tell you about it. Oh, I'm so good!" and her eyes sparkled
with happiness.

"Papa would like best to hear it from his little girl," said mamma,
kissing her. "Then we will sit down to tea, and you may help us to your

The child looked somewhat confused, not knowing exactly where to begin.

"You know," said Berty, "you began to kick and scream because you
wanted my orange."

"Yes, papa; and I saw mamma crying behind her handkerchief; and I
didn't kick any more. I said right off I'd be good; and then mamma
hugged me awfully. Now may I help to the orange?"

"Wait a minute, dear, till papa has thanked the good God for helping
his little girl do right."

Papa kissed her with a tear twinkling in his eye. After he had asked
God's blessing on the food, Ida began her pleasant task, passing each
a few pieces of the fruit and laughing gayly as Aunt Mary, Berty, and
papa said, "Thank you, Miss Kent."



ONE fine morning, about a month after this, Mr. Kent drove to the door
with a carriage and span of horses. Mamma, Aunt Mary, Berty, and Ida
were all ready for him; so they jumped in at once. The horses pranced
and danced a little before they started off; but soon they grew sober
and trotted along at the rate of eight miles an hour.

I suppose you will want to know whether Ida had persevered in being
good all this time. I am glad to be able to tell you that she had
really improved. To be sure she had forgotten herself a good many
times, and began to say, "I will," or "I won't," "You shall," or "You
sha'n't," to her mamma and Aunt Mary; but they all knew that she was
trying very hard to correct her great fault, and to be a good little

They were going now to visit Grandmother Kent, who was an excellent
old lady, and who lived in the same house with one of her married
daughters, Mrs. Amanda Mason.

This lady had three children, two daughters, and a son who was near
Ida's age. None of the family had seen little Joseph since he was a
baby; but Aunt Mary knew, from her mother's letters, that he had a
temper worse, if possible, than Ida's had ever been.

It was a long ride from Mr. Kent's home to his mother's; and though
they started at seven o'clock in the morning, they did not reach the
end of their journey till night.

Grandma was expecting them, and sat, arrayed in her new cap, by the
window which overlooked the road.

Minnie and Susan ran out to meet their cousins, but Josey was bashful
and kept close to his mother's side.

"Go and kiss Ida," said Mrs. Mason, trying to push him forward. "Kiss
her. She's a pretty little girl, and I want you to be good friends."

"I won't either! She isn't a bit pretty, and I don't like her," said
Josey, his mouth drawn down into an ugly pout.

Mrs. Kent could scarcely help smiling when she saw with what a gaze
of horror Ida regarded her cousin; while Aunt Mary whispered to her

"She'll be ashamed to show any of her tantrums here when she sees how
they make Joseph look."

Supper was all ready for the weary travellers. As soon as they could
take off their outer garments and wash the dust from their faces, they
drew around the table.

Josey usually sat in a high chair; but now his mother had put a large
book into a common chair to raise him. When he saw Ida sitting in his,
he caught hold of the back and jerked it so rudely that he almost threw
her to the floor.

"Get out, you ugly girl!" he screamed, striking her in the face.

Mr. Mason caught the child and shook him till he could not stand. Then
calling the servant, in a loud, angry tone, he said—

"Take Joseph upstairs and lock him in his room."

All this time Ida was anxiously watched by her parents. They both
expected that she would resent the affront and begin to scream with
passion. But to their surprise, she seemed more grieved than angry. Her
lip quivered, and she clung to her mamma, trying to hide her eyes in
the lady's dress.

"I don't love Josey," the little girl exclaimed, as Mrs. Kent was
putting her to bed an hour later.

"Why don't you love him, dear?"

"Cause he acts so awfully."

"Did you ever see a little girl who gave way to her temper as he does?"

Ida hid her face and began to cry, not angry tears. "I won't do so any
more," she said, softly.

"No, my darling. I am so glad you are trying to improve. You saw nurse
carry off Joseph. He couldn't have the pleasure of eating supper with

"Didn't he have any supper, mamma?"

"Yes, I saw his father carry him a bowl of bread and milk. He was
pounding against the door when his father opened it. I don't suppose
Joseph imagines how ugly he looks when he is in a passion; and I'm
afraid he don't think how such conduct displeases God."

Ida sighed, and hid her face on her mother's shoulder.

"Will God punish him, mamma?"

"Yes, God certainly will unless he repents, and tries to conquer his
passion, as you are trying to do."

"I'm going to pray to help him be a good boy."

"That's right, my darling. We will pray now."



AFTER a pleasant evening spent in conversation with Grandma Kent and
Mr. and Mrs. Mason, they were just about retiring, when Mrs. Mason
said, with a sigh—

"This is the only time when I can take the least comfort. Joseph is so
hasty in temper, and when he is roused, is so furious, that I live in
constant dread of an outbreak."

Mrs. Kent glanced toward her sister Mary, as if she would say, "How
well I can sympathize with her!"

"I tell my wife," began Mr. Mason, his voice growing angry at the
thought of his unruly boy, "that his passion must be checked, or it
will render him a maniac. Whip him till he will submit."

"I doubt whether whipping is always the best remedy," suggested Mrs.
Kent, mildly.

"You would think differently if you had such a child as Joseph to
manage. Why, he's so strong in his fits of passion, that Amanda can do
nothing with him. If I'm away, she just lets him thrash about till he's

"Have you ever tried praying with him?" inquired Mary. "I've known that
to work wonders."

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" laughed Mr. Mason. "One might as well pray to the wind.
That's just like an old maid."

"Mary has had a good deal of experience with children," said Mrs. Kent,
firmly, "though she is but little past twenty years old. She has a
natural tact in getting along with them."

"Well, she has my consent to pray over Joseph as much as she pleases.
Suppose you begin to-night, while he is asleep;" and Mr. Mason laughed

Grandma had remained quiet through the whole conversation; now she
pressed Mrs. Kent's hand, as an intimation to say no more. So, with
many cordial "goodnights," they parted.

Mary occupied a bed with her mother, and took the earliest opportunity,
in the morning, to talk with her brother about it.

"There is nothing," she said, "but a board partition between her room
and that where the children sleep, so that she is kept awake, by their
quarrels, till a late hour; and then Joseph begins to snarl as soon as
it is light. I can see that the conduct of that boy is wearing her out,
though when I said a word, she only shook her head."

"Is there no other room she can have?" inquired Mr. Kent, eagerly.

"I should think so, when the whole house is hers. Before we go, I want
something to be done about it."

The visit of her children and grandchildren seemed to revive the old
lady, who had been rather feeble for a year. Especially she took
delight in talking with Berty, or hearing him read. The little fellow
loved his grandma, and embraced every opportunity to be attentive,
though his little cousins often laughed at him, and teased him to leave
her and join them in their play.

Ida, too, loved to wait on grandma, to bring her glasses, and place a
cricket for her feet. One day she greatly amused them all by gathering
a bouquet of dandelions, which she insisted were "pretty flowers," and
putting them in a tumbler by grandma's plate.

On this occasion Ida, for the first time during her visit, showed
something of her old temper. She was very sensitive to ridicule, and
when her cousins, and even their mother laughed at her bouquet, she
threw herself on the floor, kicking and screaming with passion.

Without a word Mrs. Kent arose, took Ida firmly by the hand, and led
her to her own chamber. Before they reached it, the child began to be

"I'm sorry, mamma," she said, humbly; "I didn't remember how naughty it

"My dear little daughter, do you know whom you have displeased?"

"Yes, mamma, my good Jesus."

"What ought you to do, then?"

Ida instantly kneeled down and asked God to please forgive her, and
help her not to forgot any more.

It was scarcely ten minutes from the time they left the room till they
returned, the child talking gayly about some dandelion curls her mother
had promised to show her how to make.

"I don't see how you can govern your temper so," began Mrs. Mason, when
the children had gone out to play.

"Of what use is it to try and govern our children, if we cannot control
ourselves?" asked the lady, with a smile.

"If you had Joseph to deal with, you'd find it different. Why, I should
consider it almost a miracle if he'd give up as easy as Ida did just
now. Well, everybody has their trials; I suppose having unruly children
is to be mine."

"It will be a trial, indeed, if they are not taught to control
themselves while young. Every year makes them more stubborn, and the
lesson more difficult."

"I'm not fond of children as Mary is," said the mother, sighing.
"Sometimes I think we don't manage ours right; but it's hard to know
what to do."

"Pray to the Lord for strength, my daughter," said grandma, solemnly.

"Mr. Mason, you know; isn't a praying man," she said, trying to hide
her emotion by a laugh, "and I've given up trying with Joseph long ago."



FOR two or three days, grandma had been much occupied in her room.

When the children ran in to see her, she always received them with a
smile; but Berty noticed that she threw a towel over something she had
in her lap. It was near the close of the week of their visit before he
found out what she was doing; and then it came out that she had made a
beautiful ball for him and a doll for Ida.

I think Aunt Mary had been in the secret; for Rosa, as the dolly was
called, had a full suit, which the child could take off and put on, and
a nice night-gown for her to wear to bed.


Perhaps you can imagine Ida's delight when she saw it. To be sure she
had at home a porcelain doll, with a thin gauze dress; but this was
nothing compared with Miss Rosa, who could boast a mantilla, bonnet,
and pocket handkerchief. Rosa had a tiny apron, too, with a pocket in
it; and what do you think was in the pocket?

Why, a little bit of a note, scarcely larger than a bean. In the note
was written, in grandma's own hand—

"For a little girl who is trying to please God."

For the rest of the day Ida went up and down stairs and through the
garden, carrying Miss Rosa. Everybody was pleased to see how happy she
was with grandma's present.

Did I say everybody? There was one who was not at all pleased. This was
her Cousin Joseph. He did not like it that grandma should spend so much
time in making presents for Berty and Ida, when, as he said, she had
never made him one in her life. This was not true. She had sent to the
city for a beautiful picture-book, and had taken pains to line every
leaf with linen; but the book had been torn to pieces within a week,
and the old lady was quite discouraged from making anything else.

Toward night, Mr. Mason invited his friends to walk to the end of the
garden, where he was setting out an orchard of pear-trees. They did so,
leaving the children at play in the room with grandma and Aunt Mary.

On their return, Mrs. Kent was quite alarmed at hearing loud screams of
anger and distress, above which Mary's voice rose, shouting for help.

The party hurried onward, though Mr. Mason; who had been interrupted in
his talk, said angrily—

"It's some of master Jo's work, I'll be bound."

Mrs. Kent reached the scene first, and saw Berty shielding himself
behind a door, his face pale with fright. Ida was sobbing in her
grandmother's arms, while Mary, with the assistance of the servant, was
holding Joseph in a chair by main force.

"What is it? What is the matter?" inquired Mrs. Kent, much alarmed.

"Look at Ida's face; and you will see," answered Mary, half crying. "I
believe this wicked boy would have killed her, if we hadn't held him."

"I hate her! I do! I wish she'd go home! I hate Berty, too!" screamed
Joseph, struggling to be free.

"Let mother see, darling," said Mrs. Kent, tenderly taking Ida in her

Grandma sat rocking herself to and fro, tears streaming down her pale
face, too much agitated to speak.

"O Ida!" sobbed her mother. "My poor darling."

Mr. Mason caught a glimpse of the torn face, which was still bleeding.
And, only stopping to ask—"Did Joseph do that?"—seized the boy and gave
him a blow with his fist, which sent him sprawling on the floor.

"Have you any arnica?" asked Mr. Kent, his mouth growing every moment
more stern. "Mary, won't you wet a cloth and lay on the face? I shall
send for a physician at once. I fear the eye is seriously injured."

Mrs. Kent held Ida fast in her arms, whispering, tenderly, "My poor
darling, mamma will take care of her."

She was greatly affected when the child pulled her down and whispered—

"I was naughty, too, mamma. When he pulled my dolly away, I struck him,
and called him ugly boy. I'm sorry now, mamma. Won't Jesus love me any

All were so intent on attending to Ida, and so glad to be relieved
from Joseph's noise, that for a time he lay on the floor unheeded. But
presently grandma said, sharply—

"Look! That boy is in a fit. He's foaming at the mouth."

His father took him up and carried him into the bedroom, where he lay
when the doctor drove up to the door.

He looked first at Ida, called it an ugly scratch, thought likely there
would be a scar under the eye. The under lid was torn through. For
this, he advised cold applications and a darkened room. It would take
time, he said, to heal it.

Then he followed Aunt Mary to the bedroom—Mr. Kent carrying his little
daughter to his own chamber, where he determined she should stay till
they started for home.

When he returned to the sitting-room, all was confusion. Mr. Mason was
bringing in a tub for a warm bath, while his wife held Joseph's head,
crying as if her heart would break.

"It's just what I always told you," she exclaimed, sobbing. "You've
killed him with your heavy blow. Oh, dear! I can't bear it."

"You had better be calm, Mrs. Mason," said the doctor. "There will be a
great deal to do for the sick boy."

Seeing that her wild grief rendered her unfit to be of use, Mr. Kent
led her from the room, and, assisted by Mary, undressed the boy and put
him in the bath, the doctor at the same time trying to force some drops
between his closed teeth.



IN half an hour the boy had come out of the fit, and was lying in an
unquiet sleep. Scarcely a sound was heard about the house so lately
full of life.

The children sat in the parlor, not daring to raise their voices above
a whisper.

Upstairs there was an eager consultation, and then grandma consented to
return with her son for a long visit.

They were to start early the next morning; and there was much to be
done, besides affording all the aid that was possible to the afflicted

Poor Aunt Mary was so much distracted by the patient suffering of
dear little Ida, who, she insisted on declaring, had "behaved like an
angel," that her labor of packing grandma's trunks lasted till midnight.

As the old lady was only a boarder in her own house, there was nothing
to be done, after her clothes were ready, but to turn the key in the
lock of her door. This her daughter did, after removing to the chamber
all her mother's treasures lying about the rooms.

The next morning, fortunately, was cloudy; though, as Ida's eyes were
shaded by the wet bandages, and she, seated in her mother's lap, was
shielded also by her mother's green veil, they hoped she would not
suffer from the ride.

"Only let us once get her to our quiet home," exclaimed Aunt Mary, "and
I'll be content. Oh, what a visit this has been!"

All through the night and during the early hurried breakfast, Joseph
had slept on.

Mrs. Kent crept softly to the room again and again, and bent over
the boy. She did not like the flushed face, nor the loud snore which
accompanied every breath, nor the feverish pulse.

"I wish," she said to Mrs. Mason, "that the doctor would come before we
leave. I should be so much happier to know he was better."

"I thought sleep was the best thing for him," said Mr. Mason, putting
his hand on Joseph's head; "but he's too hot. I'm afraid I did give him
a harder blow than I thought; but he's the most aggravating child I
ever saw."

"I know, brother," said Mrs. Kent, softly, "that you will excuse me if
I ask, do you think striking a child in anger, is a good way to cure
him of his passionate temper?"

The tears, were in her eyes as she glanced at the boy.

"Sister Kent," he began, eagerly, "I never thought so much about the
government of children, in all my life, as I did last night. I lay
hours pondering the subject. Four hours by the clock I walked the
floor; and I resolved then and there to begin first with the government
of myself."

"Thank God!" she murmured, pressing his hands. "Now I can prophesy a
happy future for you."

Still Joseph lay tossing restlessly in an unrefreshing slumber, and
knew not when his cousin Berty crept in and softly kissed his hand in
token of good-by; nor when Ida, carefully wrapped up, was brought down
and placed in the carriage; nor when the horses, after dancing up and
down, turned their faces willingly toward home. No, he slept through it
all; and, when the doctor came soon after, he pronounced his sickness
to be brain fever.



IT was a long and tedious journey for all.

Poor little Ida slept for several hours, her head sinking more and more
heavily on her mother's arm; but the lady would not consent to give up
her charge to Aunt Mary, who longed to relieve her.

Then grandma was feeble, and, after riding four or five hours, began to
look pale.

When Ida was awake, it required constant exertion to take her attention
from herself. From a bottle of arnica and water, Mrs. Kent often
renewed the cold applications; and every time she was sorry to see the
eye looked more inflamed. But she tried to keep up her spirits, and
told all manner of wonderful stories, which amused grandma as well as

Then papa and Aunt Mary sang a funny song they had learned in their
early home; and so the hours passed until Berty called out, joyfully—

"There's our church! We're most home now, Ida. Oh, how glad I am!"

Mr. Kent stopped a moment opposite the stable to tell the man to come
for the horses, and in a few minutes they drove through their own gate,
up the pretty avenue to the front door.

"I want to see! Let me see, mamma. Please do, dear mamma!" said Ida,
struggling to pull off her bandages.

"Not now, darling, Be patient a little longer."

The next morning, their own physician came to see the little girl. He
said the scratches would soon be well, and he hoped to prevent a scar
under the eye. He cut some tiny strips of sticking-plaster, and put on
the place where the lid was torn, talking very cheerfully to Ida about
a new pup his little boy had bought.

"In a week or two you will be well enough to come and see it," he said,
laughing, as he bid her good-by.

The next day the expressman stopped at the door; and there was a
beautiful new bedstead, which papa had bought for his little girl.
Grandma was to room with Aunt Mary, and Ida to go back to her old place
by the side of mamma.

The old lady's trunks came safely by the cars, and, soon after, a
letter from Uncle Mason, saying that Joseph had been very dangerously
ill; but there was now hope he would recover. The doctor forbade any
kind of excitement, and said the greatest care would be necessary to
preserve his reason.

   "You may think, sister Kent," he added, "that both wife and I have
something to think of during these days of sorrow. If Mary should ask
me now if I had prayed with Joseph, I could no longer say, 'no;' I have
prayed by his couch many, many, times; and I have wept bitter tears,
as I have thought of my own want of self-control. How could I expect
my son to be different from what he was, while I set him so bad an
example! Amanda and I are both resolved, with the help of God, to begin
life anew, and, if he spares us our only son, we humbly look to him for
strength and wisdom to guide him aright."

   "Next year, when you bring mother home, for we cannot spare her
longer, I know she will rejoice that we have at last begun to pray
morning and night, for the blessing of God on our habitation."

This was delightful news.

"The very best," grandma said again and again.

Now, if they could hear that Joseph was entirely out of danger, they
would feel happy.

Many a talk did Mrs. Kent and Ida have in her darkened chamber about
the sick cousin. Every night, now, the little girl joined Josey's name
with her own and Berty's, when imploring God's blessing. One day she
remained unusually quiet. At last she said—

"Mamma, I want to write a letter to Josey. I can tell a letter, and you
write it down."

Mrs. Kent, curious to know what she would say, brought her portfolio,
when Ida began—

   "DEAR JOSEY—I stay in a dark room; but I think of a good many things.
I am very sorry you are sick. I want to send you some orangeade; but
mamma says it couldn't go so far. I'm sorry I struck you, and called
you ugly boy. I've asked God a good many times to forgive me, and I
think he has. I pray for you every night. I used to be very naughty
once; but I'm trying hard to be good now; and mamma says God always
helps little children when they try to do right themselves. When you
get well, I want you and your mamma and all the family to come and see
us; and I'll show you all my playthings; and we'll have fine sport.
That's all. From—"

                           "IDA KENT."

I have only a few more words to say. When Ida got well, she sometimes
forgot herself for a moment, and would give way to her old passion; but
she was always much ashamed, and never failed to ask God to forgive
her once more, for her dear Saviour's sake. Every time she conquered
herself, it was easier to do so.

Aunt Mary was no longer afraid to introduce her pet to her friends; and
Ida, with Rosa her dolly, became a favorite with all.

In the quiet of her new home, grandma's health returned. Every day she
used to walk out about the grounds of her son's pleasant home, and it
was a privilege her granddaughter highly prized to accompany her. They
conversed together; and her grandmother related to her many incidents
of her early life, in which Ida found great delight, and about which
her childish curiosity proposed many questions.

After a time, an answer came to Ida's letter, with which I must close
my account of this little lamb.

   "DEAR COUSIN—I can't write, you know; but pa puts down what I tell
him. I am a better boy than I was before you came here. It's awful
hard though to keep from screaming when Minnie and Susan won't do as
I say; but pa helps me. Every time I conquer myself, he gives me a
pretty book, and now I have five. Sometimes I get very red, and I
would strike if I could; but pa and ma are so kind, I feel like trying
to please them. Pa says this is the way to please God."

   "I'm very, very sorry I scratched you so. Will you please to forgive
me? I think when I go to see you, we shall be nice friends. Give my
love to grandma, and Aunt Mary, and all the rest."

   "Pa has bought a magic lantern for me to send to you. He showed us
all the pictures. Pa prays with us every day in the parlor, and he's
a dear, good pa."

                                  "Your cousin,"
                                      "JOSEPH MASON."



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