HOW LILIAN HELPED HER BROTHER
by Julia H. Johnston
"May we go, mamma ? Oh, do say yes. Please say yes."
Lilian and her brother Earl were invited to a children's lawn party, and, as they were not different from most other children, they were very anxious to attend.
"Lilian may go, but I am afraid to trust Earl," said mamma. "There will certainly be ice cream and berries, cake and lemonade, and you know what the doctor said, Earl. You think you are well, but you are not strong after your illness and you are not to eat or drink anything ice-cold for some time to come."
"But I needn't eat things because they are there," said Earl, "and I promise you, mamma, that I won't."
"I'm sure he won't." Lilian added. "I don't care to go unless Earl can, and I'll promise for him, too, that he'll be good."
"That means that you will be his security," said mamma, smiling. "You will be a surety for him, as they call it, and give your own pledge that Earl will do his duty. Well, then, if you both promise, I will let you go. You must learn to do right, even if there is temptation to do wrong."
So the loving brother and sister, who wished to go together, as brothers and sisters should, went merrily off at the appointed time, and enjoyed themselves with their playmates upon the lovely lawn.
As they went in together, Lilian said, "Now, remember, Earl, that when we have things to eat, you must not take ice cream and lemonade."
"I'll remember," said Earl, and then, as it was a large party, the two were soon separated. Lilian trusted her brother so fully that she did not think it needful to speak to him again, and when refreshments were served, she did not think of looking for him. As it happened, they were far apart.
Earl was very warm. His mother had told him to be careful about playing too hard, but when interested in a game, the boy did not realize how fast and far he ran. When the tempting ice cream, with berries, cake and lemonade were passed, he allowed himself to be helped with the rest, thinking only how hot he was and how good the cold things would taste. He had eaten half his cream and half emptied his glass before he really thought of his promise. Then he stopped suddenly, feeling sorry and distressed.
"But what could I do ?" he reasoned. "It would not be polite to ask for just berries alone."
This was Earl's second mistake. The first was forgetting his promise, the second in thinking true obedience could ever be impolite.
"I might as well finish now, for if it's going to hurt me it has already, and the rest won't do any more harm."
Mistake number three. Why should any wrongdoing be finished? Suppose a driver should say about a horse, "He has a pretty big load now and so I might as well pile on as much more as I can," would it be no worse for the horse ? Earl was entirely wrong.
Of course he suffered for it. The doctor had to be sent for in the night, and the next day, though better, he was ill and weak, and had to stay in bed, something no boy was ever known to enjoy.
He had hoped that the simple remedies mamma gave him as soon as he confessed what he had done, and began to feel ill, would undo the mischief, but they did not. Earl had to bear the full consequences of his broken promise.
"Dear Earl, I am so sorry you are sick," cried Lilian, when she came in to see him the next morning.
Kneeling by the bed she put one arm under his aching head and threw the other over his shoulder, while Earl put one arm lovingly about his sister.
"I'm sorry, too," he said, "but really, Lilian, I'm sorrier that I did wrong. Mamma is so sorry she trusted me, and she says maybe she ought not to have let me go into temptation. She said that when we both promised she felt sure, and so let us go. Isn't it mean not to keep a promise when you're trusted ?"
"I was mean not to help you keep yours, when I promised to," Lilian said, not wishing to scold Earl when he was ill in bed. "Mamma says," she went on, "that when I went security for you it meant that I must help you to keep your word as well as to say that I felt sure you would, so I didn't do my part as I should, you see."
"You told me to remember," said Earl.
"But not at the right time," said wise Lilian. "I ought to have looked to see if you remembered, when the time came. If I go your security after this, and promise that you'll not forget, I'll watch and tell you at the time."
"Do," said Earl. "You can think of things easier," which was true, Lilian being older and more thoughtful.
So the sister promised to make it as sure as she could that her brother would keep his promises after this. True, she sometimes forgot, herself, and Earl was not always willing to do right, even when reminded, but both were in earnest, and Lilian grew to be more and more of a help, feeling the responsibility of being her brother's security. Who will follow her example ?
by Ruby Holmes Martyn
When Roy saw that Uncle Henry was in the shop getting the troughs and pails ready for the spring sap running, he made up his mind to ask if he couldn't go to the maple orchard with the men. He had heard them tell so much about the happy days among the big maples that he had wanted to go for a long while, and it seemed to Roy that he must be large enough this year to take his turn at the sap gathering. He asked Uncle Henry about it first.
"Can't I go to the sugar camp this year ?"
Uncle Henry looked up from the buckets he was counting.
"Maybe you can! I'm ready enough to take you along for a week. But I want to tell you right here how it isn't all fun up there in the sugar camp. You hear us talking about the best side of those days, and we don't say anything about the backaches and such as that !"
Roy was a little surprised to hear Uncle Henry speak like that, but he was too brave to change his mind about going.
"There must be a lot of fun," he said, "and it's manly to do hard things."
Uncle Henry nodded.
"So 'tis ! That's more real fun than playing at easy ones! If your folks are willing, get ready to start for the sugaring with me to-morrow morning. The yoke your father used when he was a boy is hanging up in the shop, and I guess your shoulders have grown broad enough to hold it on !" laughed Uncle Henry.
The very next morning they started for the sugar camp far up on the side of the mountain, and long before noontime they had built a fire in the log shack, and Roy was out in the woods helping Uncle Henry tap the maple trees.
Every minute after that was a busy one. The nights were crisp with frost, and the days were full of spring sunshine. For hours and hours each day Roy trudged through the snow wearing on his shoulders the yoke which had a pail hanging from either end, and after each trip into the woods he would turn two brimming pails of sap into the big kettle boiling over the fire.
Sometimes his legs ached, and he got tired tramping through the snow, and one pair of mittens grew quite useless for the holes worn in them. But he did not give up one bit of his share of the work.
For a whole week the sap ran freely, and then came the time for Roy to leave the men and go home.
"I'm going to miss you a whole lot !" declared Uncle Henry.
Roy laughed happily. He was going down the mountain on the ox team which was piled high with barrels of rich brown syrup.
"I'd like to stay !" he said. "I've learned about what you said before I came: that it's more real fun doing hard things than 'tis to play at easy ones !"
O SANNA SAN
by Adele E. Thompson
O Sanna San was a little Japanese girl whose home was among the mountains of North Japan. Now because Japan is called the Flowery Kingdom we are apt to think of it as a country where the sun always shines and flowers are always in blossom. But in the northern part, where O Sanna San lived, they have winter, and cold, and in January and February the snow is three and four feet deep; the rivers and canals are frozen over, the people wear wadded clothes, and many of them go about on snowshoes.
But O Sanna San would not go about, for she had fallen and hurt her back so badly that she could not walk at all. Her father and mother were Christians, and one day when a missionary came to their house he told them about the hospital in the city, some thirty miles away, and that if they would take O Sanna San there she might be cured.
So it was that as O Sanna San looked out one snowy morning she saw her father coming over the snow with a sleigh, which was like a little house on runners, with a roof, a window and a door. Her mother told her it was to take her to the hospital to see if she could be made well again.
Then they wrapped O Sanna San warm, and laid her in the sleigh, and her father put the ropes from the runners over his shoulders, took the pole in his hand, and away they went. In many places in Japan when one travels one must be either pulled or pushed by a man.
All day he drew her over the snow, till they came to the city and hospital. Forlorn enough O Sanna San felt when her father left her among strangers, kind though they were. And when they laid her on one of the hospital beds she was dreadfully frightened, because she had never even seen a bed before, but had always slept on a mat on the floor, and she did not dare to move for fear she would fall off.
The days that came after were still worse, for the doctor put her in a plaster cast, so she had to lie straight and stiff like a wooden doll, and she was so homesick she could hardly speak, and her big black eyes were full of tears most of the time. But one day a little girl came down between the white beds and stopped at hers. O Sanna San had never seen anyone like her before; for her eyes were blue, her hair yellow, and her skin was not brown, but pink and white.
"I am Frances," she said, "my papa is the doctor. He told me about you, so I have brought you my doll and a picture book."
"I shall love the doll," said O Sanna San, "but I cannot read, there is no school in our village."
"Never mind," Frances smiled, "I am coming to see you every day, and I will teach you to read. My papa says you will soon be able to walk again, then you shall go with me to the Plum Blossom school for girls."
O Sanna San's eyes were shining. "Oh, I shall not be homesick any more."