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An Unexpected Legacy

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(The Qulver Kor July.) The Kcr. Herbert Kvans was in groat distreis and perplexity. Tlmt could be seen at a gUnce by the way in wblch be knitted bis brows and run his Sneers restlessly ind uneasily through his hair. Before bim lay an open letter telling li í m of tbe deatli of his Cousin A unie, by whose deccase her tittle daughter was left alone In tlie world. In her last lionrs she had committed to bis charge her doubly orpbaned cliild. And be, poor man, baring just en te red upon bis tlrst curacy at tbe age of threeand-twenty with an Income of L150 a year (in a parlan full of poor people), witb a generom baart and au earnest deslre to help tbe needy In body and spirit, feit this a grlevous burden aliuost too heavy to be bor ie. What was be to do, be asked himsi-lf, In ihese dingy apartments with a little jarlrl of seven How was he to find the means to clothe and provide for her ? how to amuse and instruct her? His heart stood still at. the prufpeot. Yet, like tlie brave and (jod-fearlng iiidii that be was, be never wavered for a moment in bis resolutiou to take up this burilen thu? unexpectedly laid upon him. " Let her come," he said to himself, "and God will provide - somehow." Two days later Ivy Bevan arrived, :uid he tound her, as he had always rrmt-iiibered her, the sweetest but most .-til wilied ui" lililí' maidens. Kefore she had been a week in tlie house she was in full and satire possesion had conquered tlie beurt of craobed old Sirah, his liousekeeper, and bad estublished a certali rule over the earnest and somewhat austere youne cúrate. Tbe tlrst night, even, there had been a con;t't in whlch be had been worgted. " Cousin Herbert," she had said, tindly, "you always gave me an elephantride betore I went to bed when you came to seedear tnama; you will do so now, wn't you?" " My dear child!" he exclaimed, itgbaat. " Think one moment- 3-011 will pee tliat t is lmpossiblc fur me to do so. I ain a clergyman now, and it would look very gtrauge to te me crawling round the room as 1 used to do In those days. Besides, you are jetting too old for such a ame," he added, hoping that she inight ike to be considercd above sucli childish sport " Oh, 110!" she cried. " Besides, it will e such fun!" and she clupped her bands n glee. " S't', here is a scarlet rui; that will make a fplendid bowdah. Now you crawl three times round tbe room, and hen 1 will go to bed without a word." " But consider " " Oh, Cotisin Herbert, will you refuee ittlelvy the tir.-t thingsbe asks for? Oh, 'ou aru uukliid!" and the blue eyes hreatened to briiu over, and a dangerous out appeared on her Ups. What could he do but what be did do, Dumely, curry her three times rouud the oom on all-tours, and enjoy her merry aujfbtei ? Strangu to say, he never feit himself a whit th poorer by ibU addition to his imi-iehoUI. HU couts might be threadre, and hls clothes generally remitid one of better days; but not a cbild for milis a round was dressed more tustefully or prettily tban little Ivy Bevan. Nor was uny cblld happier or merrier. And he cúrate tound, ere long, his dull home ïad a joymisiicss for him whlcb it never )efore possessed, and of the real source ot whicb he was ouly dimly conscious. True. there were times when be feit Isconcerted at her waywardness. She bad asked him, as a great favor, lways to glve lier a look before be begun lis Saturday evetiinif lecture, and he liad iromlsfd to do so. Indeed, his eyes latuially wandered down from the pintor in to wbere Hhesat - just below - ere he iroceeded with hls address. One evenng, however, hls mind beinjf full of hoiight and care, be forgot to do so. A minute or two after, he became conscious t a tapping on the side of the platform, nd, looklng down, he met Ivy's frownng eyes and knitted brows, whilst with mr parasol sbe bad occasioned tbe unwonted noise, whicb created no sniall musemeut amongi-t soiue of tbe auience. Heproving her ufterwards for thus disurbiug bim, he was met by the sweetest miles, and a gentío, conllding voice said, ' Ah, but you dld look ; and Cousin Her)ert, I hope you will never forget your jromise iigain." Then, a moment later with a rlngins; migh and a face brlmminr over with nerrlment, the little one added, "But, oh, you do look so droll!" " Droll ! What do you mean, chlld !" " AVell.dear, you know the other day, vhfii Harrlet and Amy Seaton were tere, we wanted a little amusement, and proposed that we shnuld have a inml tea laity, like thcy had in 'Alice in Won Ierland.' Amy was tbe mad halter, and Ient Uer your high bat, on which we put a curd, ' In this style, 10 J ft Har riet was be dormousc, and I was the Murch hare. wrote on a slip of paper, 'Mtd as a kiarch hare,' I pinned it jiist under the ollar of your bost coat - and - and I quite orgot to take it off. Wel!, as 1 Imilced at you going up tbe room, I could see hi; and, oh, if you kuew how I pinched ny tinger8, trying to keep from iHQgulnr, ou would love your little cousin so uucb." "But, Ivy," he exclaimed, in dlre dlsnay, "what must the ieoDle have bougbt " "Oh, tbey couldn't read the writinir, )ou9in Herbert- It was sobadly written; ut old Mrs. Jones (who is vi-ry shortigbted, you know) said to me, -L ir, miss' arson's got a new coat at last, ttnd he's orjfotten to take off the price-ticket !' " "And my bat," he groaned. "Did you forget to take tbecaid out of that too I noticed one or two people looked at me In rather a strange manner." " I believe I did. Oh, I am so sorry! But," brifhteninjr agaln, " they know how abseut-ininded you are, and will be pure to think it was some pprson's card wbere you wanted to cali." How bappy hls home was now, bow merry Ivy's laugbter, how seldom tboe grave, melancholy visions of past days ever occupied hls mind! One eronlng wben he returned, be found to liis surprise that the house wa enipty. Neltuer Ivy nor Sarah wns to be heurd of. At last, by dint of perperverinr Inquiries, be lenrned that they bad been seen od ttieir way to Suiiths', wbose youngest t-li ild lie knew but too well had been seized witb scarlet fever. Full of alarm, be hurried on, hoping to overtake them, but as he passed the cottage window heeaw Ivy sittingby tbe bedside of the little boy, talking softly to liiui, and feeding blm witb ff rapes, which the child m enting witli feveriah satisfactiun. Hastcniug in, be met Sarah in the 1 passage. " Sarah ! " be ciïed indlgnantly, " liow could you allow her to come here?" "You may well say that, sir," said Surab, wringing her bands, " but slie'a that willful I couldn't have kept her at . borne by main forcé. Stie heard the postman say to me that Mrs. Srnith had - gone out to fetch Dick some tnedicine, iind that he bad been erying for somer thlnsr to cool bis thirst." " Ivy darling," he said, entering the i room, " how could you come here " i " Beeause- because, " she aaid, hesitatIng, "you said last Sunday that a little child niight become in reality a ministering angel, and tbough I know I can't be tiidt, yej when I heard little Dlok was all nlooe, and bot und lu'serahle, I thougbt I must eome and try to comfort Kim. And see," sbe added, mniling, '¦ üe is lookinif better, is he not f Without the loss of a single moment, Herbert Evans hurried her away home, doping and prayintf.oh, soeurnestly, tbat no liai'iu inilil have !k lallen her. Alas! nexl day her head acbed, nnd she was siekening, wllh fever, and ere a week liad pMMd slie was to8üinr restIcssly to and fro in pain, for scarlet fever h nd developed itself in all its ntensüy. How he lived tbronrb tliosc days he never kuew. liow, at last, he precelved where all hls joy and brightiiess entile from. He could not leave the bedside except in oases ot urgent ncooaiHy, for the child's liHiid al way i souglit bis, and her nioanin w;is liusbed when the k'iew he was in-ar, wliilst a hnppy sniile often stole over her face as she lookcd up aml saw liim lieside her. The crisis was at band. "Can she nuil thrmigh it?" he asked tbe doctor witli trembllng lip-, as be sw her lying almost lifeless, now that the lever had run its course. " We must hope and pray," said the doctor, kindly but soiemnly. llow serious tbe case was be then knew, umi wlth a lialf-atifled groan he Ml on bis knees and asked God to take anything tbat he possesscd, but, If it were Hls will, to be niercifiil and spare that little one to hlm, bis only jiy, tbe lijfht of bis existence. And as In; prayed a feeliilL' Of restguatton full and complete took possession of him. All must be for the best, whetber it euded in llfe or in death. And liis rayer frrew from the feverish longing to the inward peaea Whleh comes from entlre trust in the Ileavenly Father. 'l'he spiritual change in bis own mind seemed lo be retlected in tbe conditiou of the child. She took noarishment, nud best of all llgllt, alept ealmly and peacefully, whilst hope and eontideDcedawned with the morning on those who luid watched so long and anxlously. "And so, Cousin Herbert, you are really glad I am better?" she asked a tew wteks later, when they were sitting togftber. " My child, how can you ask me tbat ?'' be said, drawing her gently to lilin. " Well, you see," putting her little pale face close to bis, and kissing liis cheek uil over, " I thought when 1 carne what a terrible troubleyou must think me." " Yes, but you have wound yourself round and round my heart now, darllng, so that life would indeed be a blank without you." " No, not quite so, cousin; but I cling to you with all my strength, as the Ivy does to the tinn support whlcb gives it power to grow up." Five years h:ive passed away - hanpy, peaceful years tor Hurbert Evans and bis young charge. But now a winter of unwonted severity had set in, and it grieved his lieart sorely to know of the real distress whicli existed muongst liis beloved Hoek. True, he lubored from day to day bravely nnii devotedly, exhortlng by word and example those who had the nieans and power to givi-, to experience the blessedness which follows work done and alms given in the name of Christ; OOtnforUng the niicdy in tlieir di-tivss, eheei i::g the falnt-hearted, ever the leader and promoter of good works. And yet often liis In-art involuiitaiily stmk within iihn. and he wondcred lm the pres?ing need of his pcople could be met from day to day. The continued ttraln was beginning to teil heavily upon ti L en , and one moniiugat break fust he was looking so pale and harassed that even Ivy's lovintr tenderness could not altoyether banish care and anxiety from bis face. A letter had come for him, addressed in a handwriting he could not recall, and be npened it with sonte liftte ouriosity, to discover that it was from n old college fiiend - a soliritor - trom whom, indeed, he had last lieard It the denth of his Cousin Anuie, telling him of her latest rtquent. The letter ran as follows: - ' Dicak Wlmt a atrange world thls ta ! The lust llrae I wrote you wati, 1 believe, at my mother'M request, to teil you of tlie legacy ofuii orphaD uiilld. Now I have to communicate U you a yet strauger tale. My mul her, uk you know, win a relatlon of Mr. Kvwm'h, who had, It neums, au only brother. Kor si mi.' reason he had bccome estraaged from lier. He went out aome yeanslnceto AiiHtniiiii mul reallxed a larite fortune. Aijout a year ugo he feil lnto 1 11 health, and apparently hls cunsrleDce reproached him, aa ne wrote aaklUK fr all particular ubout hu KtHtor. My mulher coutd only teil him of her ilrath, and o( your havlng taken charge of the chlld at her reque-t. Now comea the most marvellous part of the atory . We have Just Imirnt of hu death, aud that by hla will he leavex you L.5,U0U as mine allght acknowledgment of your klndneseto hli nlece, and as to Ivy herself, I gather she wlll become an hi-lri-Hs. ThereiMalHO a special stlpulatlou that you are to act au her guardián . I am expectlng fu I Ier detalla by next mail, when I wlll, of course, wrlte further tojon. Ysuraaliu-erely, 'Ai-fbed Wil. lia mm.'" Ivy, who had been )K)Uiing out tea, happened to look tip, and saw him tuin ;i-li pule as he laid down the letter. 11 Ir there any bad news, Couéin Herbert'r"' she sked softly. "None, dear; but, it is strnnge iind wiiiiderful news, which I caiinot reallze ut iiresent.1' The be told her brietty and careftilly the pui port of the letter. " Colilla Herbiíit," she aaid iiinplr, " I hope I am not very wicked, but I cannot help rejoicing. Poor unele!"- looking grave and wriOOI - " uow sad he should not have loved deur mamma! Hut," and her face became glad and bright, "I know huw in ui' h good yon can do with thia money. Why," she continued with anlmation, " poor little Smiths who have boiM) shivering with cold can have new woolen drcsses and stron_sr boot?, and j-ou can liave your tel for the old men every week as you want." Atid so 8hecontinued wltli quite a long catalogue of churminjf possibilltles, concluding witli " And, Cousin Herbert, you can have a uew coat at last. Only.''8he added laug-hIng, "don't leave "the ticket on, or old Mrs. Jones will teil the wliole parUh about it." " And you, little helress - what shall I do wltli you?'' lic iiskcd smillng. "Teach me to be humble and greateful," slie said, steppin Ke"tly to where lie sat, and putting her arma lovingly round hls neck, "and perliaps Imayone day be like you- always think of otheig llrst and myself last."


Ann Arbor Courier
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