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Jack

Jack image
Parent Issue
Day
5
Month
August
Year
1885
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

' I Jon't know about sending iuch a lardoBed licite cliap as lie is." "That is the kind that need to go." "But what if nobody'll take hini? " "Then ni biing Eím bnok." So said tlie superintendent of one of lie earliesl companies f children sent ut by tlie fresh-air fund, ind so lt carne liat jack joined tlie en;er little crowd rawn fiom al ley and slum of the great ity. "He is i tough onp," said the superinendent to himself, watching Jack as he lalf caielesíly tripped up one or two maller boy in the rush whicli ontne wben hey were luaviui; the ste;imboat ia order o tuke the cars. "He don'l look the right soit," said one or tWÖ Ot Ule immo. 6 "If they were the right sort tlicv vouldn't ueed our help," said a plensantáeed woman who sat in a spring wagon. "Put bira in here, please. Come iny joy, will you go home with me?" Jack climbed into the wagon, but nade little answer to the kindly atteinpts to draw liltn into conversation. llis eyes were never raised toward her as he rode along in dogged eilence, and Mis. Lynn begun to conclude that she had taken iiold of a very hard case indeed. But ít was quickly seen that there were some tliings which Jack loved. Betore nijjlit he had made Iriends with horses, cows, chickens, ducks, geese and cats, and lylng imder a tree in rapt admiration of a pert jay which chuttered above him, had almost suceeeded in eoaxing it to lightou bis linger. "Come with me and I'll show you something more," said Mrs. Lynn the next moruingafter breakfast. Hhe put a pail of 8alt into his hand, and they walked up a little glenn, then up a steep hill, when she called: "Nan, nan, nan, nan, nan, nan - come, nan, come, nan; come, my pretties; come, come, my pretties." A quiet little paUeriiif; wus heard, and down along the path which led higher up Jack saw coming a line of toft-looking white things. "What's their ñames? he cried m great interest. "Sheep. There are a great many more up over the top of the hill, but they don't know me very well, so they don't coiue We must go further." Hiüher up they went to where a sunny pasture sloped more gently down the other side, and there Were huudieds of the pretty creature nipping the short grass or lying under the the trees. They looked at the strangers with shy, gentle eyes, but gatliered near as Jlti. Lynu repealed her cali. Jack laughed and whooped and rolled on the ground In the excesa of his delight al riist frightening them away. But he was sooii amung lliem, winning them by his coaxing voice to taste the salt he held out to them. The boy's face seemed transformed as Mr. Lynn got her rirst full glance at his eyes, and wondered at them. They were large and clear and soft as he laid bis handa lovingly on the heads ot some half gtown lambe, and prtsently tenderlv liittd one which seemed a little lame. "You inay take thal one to the liouse, f you like, ' said Mr. Lymi, "and I will bind up its littl foot." He did so, and wUen be carried ic back to tlie flock he reinaiiit-il all Uay, only goiuu to tlie liouse when called to diuner by the sound of the'condi-shell. Aud every dny afterward tlie inot of tlie time was spent on the brvezy hill side, perhaps taking in tlie beauties of valley anc streain and woodland which lay below but. flndiug hls fltl of enjoymeiit in tlie sbeep. He was little seen at the house, seeminjg not to care tor any huinai SOCl ety, but he took long walks nt liis will, from which he once brotight home a birc with a broken wing, and again a stiaj staived kitteu, both of which hecarefully tended. "Hear him," said Mrs. Lynn one day when she had gone out into the meadow where her husband was at work. "I be lieve he knows every sheep there." Jaek'8 voice carne rining down the hlll. "Hiliol higho ! hihol higho-o-o-o-o ray beautlest Come, Daisy-face; come Cloud-whitc; come, my Tripsy-toes and Hippety-hop and Hobbledrlioy. Hilla hilla, ho! my Hop-anil-skip and oíd Jump-the-fencel Come with yer patter patter and yer wlggle-wnjrgle, my beau ties, oh ! Where be you, Flax and Fito dera and Foaru? Come here, my jolly boys, and kick up yer heels on tlie grass in the nic-o-o-rnlng."." "He gets up sume such a rigmarole wheneyer he goes near them," she said "and I am sure tliat every sheep kuow hira." Jack stayed for a month among ni fleecy darlings, and when the time carne for saying gool-bye to them, nobody wai near to hear him Lay it. He allowed Mrs. Lynn to shake his hand as he step ped on board the train which was to bea hiui back to his home, or rather to hi lomelessnesg, but with little response to her kind farewell. blie had tried so faitlifully to impress lim witli the idea tliat thre are plenty in liis wide world whose bearts the dear jord has filled with the tenderest pity rid love towards those whose pathsseeml leid in shadowed pl;ices, that ttte feit seenly diagHUpolBtad In fmirme she niight enUrely failed. However, she reuembered willi comfort that, just as 1 1 1 - ast car was passing the platform f mm vhich shewatched it, she had indistiuctly aught sight of a boy's face whose softncd eyes seemed tl I led with tears as he trained his eyes tomaina lust glance at ler. and she believed in her heart it was ack's face. II. "It is no use trying to get the matter ighted," said farmer Lyim to his wire, peukiug in great vexation. "This man jreen is a tricky knave. Eversince tlie uy his sheep broke Info my field and got mixed up with my tlock the tellow bas een claiming gome twenty or so of my est Atwoods and Cotswolds, and now ie is going to law tö make me give tliem up." "Well, if you're right, won't that be )est for you f " "Not with such a man as that. He'a earty to swear the shecp are hl?, and tiere's the trouble. I'm morally sure I cnow my sheep, but wheu it eoraes to )eing pinned right down to swear to each ne arueng so many, I can't do it." She shook her head. "No, you couldn't; sheep are too much like, and you would ruu the risk of ïaking a mistake. Wlien is the trial o be ? " "Next Thursday, week.'' For the next few days Mrs. Lynii went bout with a very sober face. She took wo or three rides to the village, uctually lad an interview with Mr. Lynn's lawyer, wrote several letters, and one day the enIre neiehborhood was alarmed by a messenger inquirinjj his way with a Ulegr.iih 'or Mrs. Lynn, it being the lirst tliing of uch an exciting nature that liad ever hapH'iiccl in the township. But after that everything went on very uietly until the morning of the day set or the trial. "Well," said Mr. Lynn, "I s'pose Green vi 11 beout here to Bwear my sbeepare his his alternoon. The lawyers are cominj; oo." The afternoon came and with it oame Green, the lawyers, and halt the towuhip besides. They cume, looked over the ground, aw two flacks feeding in idjoining tields, and how, the fence lire .-il i mr. they ha I become iiiingled. Then little reniüined M ÍM.UieV'-,urKV11ttrí?uW!lÍclU(!t. Lynti's mvn Hoek. But Mr. Lynn strongly protisted against the wrong beinü done, him as a iiumber of the choicest animáis were picked out and put over the fence. His lawyer was restless, and seemed anxtous to delay the proceedings, at length sayïng: "I'm looking for another wittiess, "It won't do much good, I fancv," replied Mr. Green, witb a triumphaut laugh. Mrs. Lynn drove rapidly up in her spring wagon, and her husband looked eagerly to see who was willi her. "Jack!" he exclaimed. "But what good can he do, I'd like to know?" Mr. Green's laugh took on a scornful tone as he saw the new witness. "Ho! ho ! Mr. Briglit, is that yournew witness? A heavy weight, I must say Who do you suppose is going to take the testimony of a little scapeffrace ragamuffln like him, hey? And agaiust me!'" "1 am not going to ask the boy to teslify. I am going to let the sheep testify for themselves. Now, gentlemen, Mrs. Lynn believes that these sheep know the voice of this boy and wlll come at bis cali, and it is my purpose to submit their testimony to the decisión of the court. Mr. Green's sheep have only lately been pastured here. Now, my boy, stand on this fence and let's see it the sheep will claim the honor of your acquaintance." Jack leaped upou the fence which di vided the two flelds and ran a little ways along it. For a moment there was a liujkiness in bis throat and a dimness in his eyes as he turned to the pasture in vhich he liad spent the only happy houn lis lite had ever known. He gave one ook at liis peaceful, lleeced pets, íiid turning his face the other way, his .¦iiíit rang out clear und distinct on the :risp air : 'lliho, higho, hiho, higho-o-o-o-o, rny jeauiies ! Come, Daisy-f ace, come, Jack uid Jill; come Cloud-wliite, come my l'ripsey-toef, and Hipperty-hop, and Hobjledehoy, and Clover and Butteicup. Uilla, billa, hilla, ho-o-o-o-o-o, my Hop ikip and Jump, come wlth yer paltcrin' ind yer wiggle-waggle tails, my woolyjacks! Where be you, myjolly boys, cickin' up yer heels iu the wind? Come, iiiip and Snap and Snorum, and Flax ind Flinders and Foam." At the sound of his voice a few white neads were raised among the grazing doek iu Mr. Lyun's field; then more, and hen a cominotien stirred the quiet crea;ures. Bleating they ran to tlie fence were Jack stood, and crowded around liim, almost clambering over each other in their efforts to reacli him. But little lieed was pnid to them, tor all were ivatching Mr. Green's sheep. There was % stir ainong them, too, for nlnt-teni lis of theflock, ularmed by the unknown voice uiting so skarply through the still air, liad turncd and fled, and were liU'ldlinjr In a white mass in a distant corner, while nbout twenty had bleated their raeognition of a friend, and hurrying up witli a run and a jttinp, were alsn gathvring close ibout him. And Jack sprang down Unong them, and witli arms about the neck, and face buried in the fleecy back of one of his especial favorities, was sobbing as if his hi-art were breaking. Mr. Bright danced around as if he were a schoolboy, ewung his hut, and pitched it high iu the air. "Hurrah ! hurrah ! hurrah for boys anii sheep! They are the best witnesses I ever want. Mr. Lynn's case is the souudest one that I ever cairied bofore a court." "Witnesses ! '' growled Oreen. "Are you mii'Ii idioU as to think this wil amount to anythiug In law ? " It did amount to something in law however, as Mr. Green found out whei the judge's decisión was given. As soou as the men were gone, Mrs Lynn bent over Jack who hcaJ was stil bowed." "Jack, my boy, don't cry so. Don' you know you have friends all arouni you 'Í " "Yes. Look at 'em." He looked abou witli a smile. "Ves, the shecp, and plenty more, i you'll have them. Oh, Jack, we're al your friends. The loving shepherd told you of has fc-nt us to try to do you good. He wantó you to follow him, jus is the sheep eotne at the sound of your voioe, because they love you and you ove thcm. Do you want to stay hei e tnd take care of tlieni ? " "Stay liere, wUh you nnd the shepp?" Fick's ere, beaming with joy and gratiudo. frank 1; met liers. "I tliink we've found tlie soft place at ast," s;iid Mrs. Lynn to henelf, aa she rem aome, leuvutg unn on iu sm.,,, liill-.-illf.

Article

Subjects
Ann Arbor Courier
Old News