Imatges de pàgina
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her goods, and the bitter parting from her beloved husband. Bolton also had been struck by the pious courage of one who had had a large share of earthly trials.

"Your clouds at least seem to be edged with silver,” he observed with a smile ; and, as he spoke, the glorious beams of the sun burst from behind the black mass of cloud, making widening streams of light up the sky, which, as Katie remarked, looked like paths up to heaven.

The vessel arrived at New York, after a rather rough voyage, and Mrs. Vale, to her great delight, found her husband ready at the port to receive her. He brought her good tidings also. A fortnight before her landing he had procured a good 'situation, and he was now able to take her and their child to & comfortable home. Past sorrows now seemed to be almost forgotten ; the Vales realized the truth of what the poet has said,

“Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take ;

The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head !

Bolton, who during a trying voyage, had shown much kindness to Mrs. Vale as well as to Katie, was invited during his stay at New York to make their house his home. He had much business to do as long as he remained in the great city, so saw little of the Vales except in the evenings, when he shared their cheerful supper, and then knelt down with them at family prayers. The mate learned much of the peace and happiness which piety brings while he dwelt under the immigrants' roof.

But ere long the day arrived when Bolton's vessel, the Albion, was to start for England. She was to weigh anchor at one, and at mid-day the mate bade good-bye to his immigrant friends.

“A pleasant journey to you, and a speedy return; we'll be glad to see you back here," said Henry Vale, as he shook the mate by the hand.

Bolton's journey was to be much shorter, and his return much more speedy, than he wished or his friends expected. He was hastening down to the port to join his vessel, when he saw hanging up in a shop window à curious basket, made of some of the various nuts of the country prettily strung together.

“That's just the thing to take my Mary's fancy,” said the mate to himself. “I've a present for every one at home but for her; it won't take two minutes to buy that basket.”

Great events often hang upon very small hooks. If Bolton had not turned back to buy the basket, he would not have been passing a house on which masons were working at the very moment when a ladder, carelessly placed against it, happened to fall with a crash. The ladder struck Bolton, and he fell on the pavement, so much stunned by the shock that he had to be carried in a senseless state into the shop of a chemist.

Happily no bones were broken, but it was nearly an hour before the mate recovered the use of his senses. He then opened his eyes, raised his head, and stared wildly around him, as if wondering to find himself in a strange place, and trying to think how he came to be there. Bolton pressed his aching forehead, seeking to recall to his memory what had happened, for he felt like one in a dream. Soon his glance fell on the clock in the chemist's shop, and at the same instant the clock struck one! Bolton started to his feet, as if the chime of the little bell had been the roar of a cannon.

“ The Albion starts at one !” cried the mate; and without so much as stopping to look for his oilskin cap, with bandaged brow and bareheaded, Bolton rushed forth into the street, and, dizzy as he felt, staggered on towards the port from which the vessel was to sail.

It was not to be expected that the sailor's course should be a very straight one, or that with all his haste he should manage to make good speed. The streets of New York seemed to be more full of traffic than usual, and twice the mate narrowly escaped being knocked down again by some vehicle rapidly driven along the road. At last, breathless and faint, and scarcely able to keep his feet, poor Bolton arrived at the wharf to which his ship had been moored but an hour before. But the Albion was there no longer—the vessel had started without the matehe could see her white sails in the distance; she was already on her way back to Old England, and she had left him behind !

This was a greater shock to poor Bolton than the blow from the falling ladder had been. He stood for several minutes gazing after the ship with a look of despair, then slowly and sadly the sailor returned to the house of the Vales.

“Nothing more unlucky could possibly have happened,” muttered the mate to himself. “Here's a pretty scrape that I shall get into with my employers; the mate of their vessel absent just at the time when he ought to have been at his post! Then I've nothing with me—nothing, save the clothes that I stand in! All my luggage is now on the waves, and a precious long time it will be before I shall see it again. But I don't care so much for the luggage; what I can't bear to think of is my wife and my children looking out eagerly for the arrival of the good ship Albion, and then, when she reaches port, finding that no Tom Bolton is

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