By Mabel Hale


Home and Mother

The Stricken Home

Austin and His Father

Austin Goes to His Father

Humiliation for Austin

To the Country Again

The Runaway

Wayside Friends

The Captain's Guest

With Uncle John Again

Austin Takes Care of Himself

The Revival

The Young Church-Member

Home Again

The Battle of Two Wills

Seeking New Pasture

To the Hay-Fields

Six Weeks of Haying

Indecision and Restlessness

Mother Hilman's Opinion

Like the Troubled Sea

Planning for Themselves

Austin and Amy

A Shopping-Expedition

Harry Hill

Uncle Philip's Children

The Family Circle Narrows

A Stormy Season

Austin's New Home

The Opinions of Parson Hawley and His Wife




It was the evening of a quiet day in late autumn, and the inmates of the

little farm home were gathered safely together around the supper-table. I

say the family, but they were not all there. Father's place was vacant, for

he had gone to town that afternoon and would not be home till late bedtime.

His reason for being late was the great shadow over this otherwise happy

home. The children, down to baby Doyle, three years old, knew that when he

came, he would be in no condition to be seen in the presence of his

children, and that money which was needed badly in his home would have been

spent for strong drink.

But all the others were there. Mother sat in her place at the foot of the

table, and little Doyle sat at her right hand in his high chair. The others

were ranged on both sides of the table, leaving the vacant place at the

head. There were eight children in all, the eldest a boy of sixteen, and

the youngest little Doyle. The three older children were boys, George and

Wilbur, sixteen and fifteen years old, respectively, and Austin, aged

thirteen. Then were two girls, Amy and Nell. After them came Harry, a fine

little fellow of seven, Lila, a tiny girl of five, and last of all the


Every child was robust and rosy, ready for a hearty meal and all the fun

that was to be had. Mother sat as queen, a dear, beloved queen, and the

children as they talked back and forth in happy freedom turned to her for

reference and sanction in all that was said. There was not one but bowed in

adoration at the beautiful mother's feet. And her eyes, how lovingly they

rested upon them! And how she seemed to be treasuring them in her heart!

This was indeed her kingdom, and she was happy. But of course there was a

sadness in her happiness, because her husband and the father of her

children was choosing a path that took him out of the family circle. But

since such was his choice, she was determined to make it up to her lads and

lassies to the best of her ability, and throw her teaching and daily

instruction against the influence of their father. She was making this

evening pleasant that they might forget the shadow that hung over them.

With supper over and the evening chores done, the family gathered about the

fireside, some read, the little ones played, and Mother busied with her

sewing. An atmosphere of peace rested upon them, in spite of the shadow

that hangs over every home into which the demon drink has entered.

"Doyle, Lila, it is time for little people to be in bed. Harry, you have no

lessons, you had better go to bed also," said the mother.

"So soon, Mother? May we not play a little longer?"

"Bedtime now, little man, and run along without waiting for more play."

Three little people trooped off to bed to be tucked in a little later after

the good-night kisses and evening prayers. Soon the girls went sleepily off

to bed with a good-night kiss. Just Mother and her boys were left, and now

was the time for a quiet talk with them. A gentle word from her and the

conversation was begun.

Softly she led them on till they were telling her of their doings among the

boys, and their plans and hopes. It was only a friendly visit, but into it

she put wise counsel as well as thoughtful understanding. They wondered,

afterward, if she this evening felt the other shadow which at this time was

entirely hidden from their eyes, that she should talk to them so. Perhaps

she did. We can not know. But deeper than this was her yearning for her

sons just entering manhood. She knew that only a little way at best could

she go with them, and then they must choose their own path. She wanted the

little time left to be filled with those things that would make their

pathway light.

The evening passed, and after a time all were in their beds. Only one low

light remained, and that was set to guide the father when he should return.

When the father came, if he had been in condition to notice, he would have

seen a bare little room now that the mother was out of it, with signs of

poverty everywhere. The old table and worn chairs, bare floors scarred with

the tread of little feet, the scant cupboard, the worn shoes by the fire,

all told how little the queen of the home had to work with. There was

nothing of beauty here but herself and her love.

But Henry Hill did not think any of these thoughts. He was already half

asleep, and he crawled into his bed without a word or thought for those

whom he should have loved and protected. And in the morning each one of the

family secretly thanked God that Father had lain down without disturbing


The morning brought another day of busy care for Elizabeth Hill. Her hands

were full from morning till night helping, lifting the heavy burdens, and

directing the work of the children, in all bearing the responsibility of

the family.

Was she happy? Yes, in their love, and in the anticipation of the future of

her children, especially her boys just entering manhood. Her thoughts were

always with them, and her prayers followed them in all that they did. So

much was at stake. Three lives to be made or marred. Three men to bless the

world or to curse it. And they had the blight upon them which their father

was bringing. Every woman who is a real mother knows that Elizabeth Hill's

face was often wet with tears as she contemplated what the future might

bring. And happy are the sons who are blessed with such a mother. Her value

is untold. The wealth of the world has nothing to compare with her. Yet how

often it is taken for granted that she will be as good as she is, and her

life made unhappy by the ones for whom she works and prays!

If Elizabeth Hall had known, and if her boys had known, what lay just

ahead, perhaps the days would have been made fuller yet of loving counsel

and happy association. But the veil was before their faces, and they did

not know. Possibly that was best. If the veil were lifted and we knew our

future, our hearts might faint within us. It is enough that for each day is

given grace for its toils. Elizabeth loved her boys and was giving them the

best of herself, and that is all she could have done if she had known.



Henry Hill sat before the fire with his head in his hands and his elbows

upon his knees, a picture of utter dejection and sorrow. The house was

quiet with an unearthly quietness, those who were compelled to speak using

the lowest tones, and tiptoeing about. The little ones, Doyle, Lila, and

Harry, were not at home. Amy and Nell were silently, tearfully, trying to

wash the few dishes that had been used at the almost untouched breakfast.

The boys were attending to the morning chores, with faces as solemn and

hearts as heavy as each could carry. A neighbor woman, kind, sympathetic,

and busy, but with the same sadness pictured upon her face, kept coming and

going between the bedroom and the room in which Mr. Hill sat.

Only that morning the physician had been there and had told them that she

whose life had been the light and strength of the home was lying now upon

her death-bed, that she would never again rise to take the burdens of life,

that they would have to let her go. He had felt for Henry Hill as he had

spoken, for the white horror and anguish in the man's face would have

called out sympathy from a harder heart; but he wanted to say also that had

she been given a lighter load to carry, if some of the anxiety and concern

that now stirred his heart had been expressed when his wife was well,

things might not now be as they are. But the kind doctor left these words

unsaid. Henry Hill had all he could bear without them.

The holidays, with their festivities, were over, and life had just settled

back into its every-day way, when Elizabeth Hill fell sick. She had never

been ailing before. Her children had always known her as able to take the

constant care and oversight of the family. Without her they were helpless

and distraught, for there was no one to take her place. And when after one

day's illness it became certain that her condition was critical, the

anxiety and tension became intense. He who should have lightened her burden

long ago now awoke to her need and was constantly by her side doing all

that was in his power to restore her to health. But the black cloud settled

heavier upon the home as each day saw the mother coming nearer the gates of

death. The children looked at one another with pale faces and wide,

frightened eyes as they saw the kind neighbor women come from their

mother's bed with averted faces.

Though all was done that could be done, they could not hold her, and one

night, with her weeping family around her, she loosed from her earthly

habitation and went away. She who had been the soul of that home, lay dead.

The calamity came upon the family like a shock. It left no spirit nor life

in them. They knew not which way to turn. From the father down to Baby

Doyle they were bereft. She to whom they had always looked for counsel and

guidance lay in a sublime sleep from which they could not waken her.

As Henry Hill looked upon the motionless form of the woman whose love and

confidence he had gained and who had been to him such a faithful wife in

spite of his fickleness, he wept, and vowed; but what are tears and vows

when the will has been weakened by self-indulgence? He looked about him

helplessly. What was he to do? What could he do without her? He was almost

a stranger to his children, and had no idea how to care for them. She had

always carried the burden, taken the oversight, been the one to go ahead.

He faced the future as helplessly as one of his little children.

Her boys looked upon her and knew that they had lost their best friend.

Home would have little more attraction for them. George and Wilbur took

selfish comfort in the thought that they were old and strong enough to care

for themselves, but Austin forgot himself in wondering what would become of

the children. The little ones spoke to Mama, but she did not answer, they

called to her, but she did not hear, and they went away weeping; for though

they could not tell what, they knew something dreadful had happened.

Kind friends and neighbors came in and did what has to be done at such a

time. They pitied with full hearts the afflicted family, and they wept for

their friend, for they too had loved her. They took her and laid her with

others of death's sleepers in the silent churchyard, and her orphaned

children returned with their helpless father to the lonely and broken home.

Only those who have returned home after Mother is gone know what these

children and father suffered. Kind hands had put the house in order and the

familiar furniture in its accustomed place, endeavoring to make the house

look as if all were well. But they could not bring back the one who had

made this house home, and to the children it was a dreary, lonely place.

Fearfully they crept out-of-doors, only to find it as cheerless there.

That first night around the fireside without her, what a desolate place it

was! The father sat with drooped head and heaving breast, and the children

huddled together and some of them sobbed. Just to escape their misery they

went early to bed, and little pillows were wet with tears. When they were

all in bed a gentle hand tucked them in with a kind caress. "It is what

Mother would have done," thought Austin, as he made the rounds.

In those first days of sorrow every one seemed to remember only his own

heartache: but hearts can not always lie broken; in a little while they

began to live again.

It was now, when life was dropping back into its old ways, that the

greatness of their calamity became apparent. If Henry Hill had understood

his opportunity, he might have stepped into his children's affections and

been a true father to them. But he forgot them in his own self-pity. He was

lonely, unspeakably lonely, and the house was dreary and dull without

Mother. He who had always sought first of all his own pleasure and comfort

now reached out for solace somewhere. And he found it with his old

associates in his old haunts. When he returned to his home after these

seasons he found the gloom and emptiness there more hard to bear. He hated

with a deeper hatred the feeling of responsibility and care that was thrust

upon him by the sight of his motherless children. He felt himself sinking

under the strain, and he longed to ease himself in some way. If only a

friend had been found to take the burden and bear it, how gladly would he

have relinquished his place; but there was no one who would accept it. The

neighbors were willing to help him with the children, but none of them were

willing to do his part, and they waited for him to take the place that a

father should.

George and Wilbur were restless at home since their mother was no longer

there. It had been her influence that had kept them at home and in school

for some time, and now she was not there they felt free to go when they

wished, and they were out of the home in a short while. Night after night

when the shadows crept over the fields, only Austin was at home with the

children. It was he who cooked their meals and waited upon them. He loved

them with a yearning love, thinking always of their mother and how she had

labored for them. He was a boy thoughtful beyond his age, and, looking

ahead, he saw what probably lay in store for them. To him home meant all,

and the thought of the children's being scattered, never to know the

sweetness of home association, was more than he could bear.

Added to his own feelings in the matter was the thought of his mother. If

she knew, how it would grieve her to have her babies among strangers, and

possibly to be ill-treated! Austin believed also that his father would be

glad to see the home circle broken and the children scattered. It seemed

that there was but one person to stand between the children and a broken

home, and that person was himself. Though but a boy of thirteen he

dedicated himself to them with a determination to stand by them and keep

the home together. He put out of his mind every thought of following the

example of his brothers, and settled himself to the care of the children.

When he had made this decision, it seemed to him that his mother was near

and was well pleased with what he had done. The children were quick to

recognize in him their true friend and champion, and turned to him as if he

had been their mother. So it was not long till apparently home was running

along as smoothly as ever. Of course those living there felt a terrible

void, which never could be filled.

Austin's father looked on with secret satisfaction at the course the boy

was taking, glad that some one, if only this child, was willing to carry

the responsibility of home. Day after day, as the household settled back

into order and harmony, he felt his burden slipping; but the loss of his

  • circle [´sə:kəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.圆圈 v.环绕;盘旋   (初中英语单词)
  • safely [´seifli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.安全地;平安地   (初中英语单词)
  • vacant [´veikənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.空虚的,无表情的   (初中英语单词)
  • otherwise [´ʌðəwaiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.另外 conj.否则   (初中英语单词)
  • beloved [bi´lʌvd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.为….所爱的 n.爱人   (初中英语单词)
  • ability [ə´biliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(办事)能力;才干   (初中英语单词)
  • atmosphere [´ætməsfiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大气;空气;气氛   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • doings [´du:iŋz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.行动;所作的事   (初中英语单词)
  • counsel [´kaunsəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.商议;劝告;律师   (初中英语单词)
  • hidden [´hid(ə)n] 移动到这儿单词发声  hide 的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • responsibility [ri,spɔnsə´biliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.责任(心);职责;任务   (初中英语单词)
  • wealth [welθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.财富,财产   (初中英语单词)
  • unhappy [ʌn´hæpi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不幸的;不快乐的   (初中英语单词)
  • silently [´sailəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.寂静地;沉默地   (初中英语单词)
  • solemn [´sɔləm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.严肃的;隆重的   (初中英语单词)
  • physician [fi´ziʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(内科)医生   (初中英语单词)
  • horror [´hɔrə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐怖;战栗   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathy [´simpəθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同情,怜悯   (初中英语单词)
  • anxiety [æŋ´zaiəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.挂念;渴望;焦虑的事   (初中英语单词)
  • illness [´ilnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.生病,不健康,疾病   (初中英语单词)
  • constantly [´kɔnstəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.经常地;不断地   (初中英语单词)
  • restore [ri´stɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.(使)恢复;修复   (初中英语单词)
  • faithful [´feiθfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.忠实的;可靠的   (初中英语单词)
  • dreadful [´dredful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怕的;讨厌的   (初中英语单词)
  • helpless [´helpləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无助的,无依靠的   (初中英语单词)
  • lonely [´ləunli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.孤独的;无人烟的   (初中英语单词)
  • misery [´mizəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.痛苦;悲惨;穷困   (初中英语单词)
  • apparent [ə´pærənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显然的;表面上的   (初中英语单词)
  • hatred [´heitrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.憎恨,敌意   (初中英语单词)
  • willing [´wiliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.情愿的,乐意的   (初中英语单词)
  • restless [´restləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.没有休息的   (初中英语单词)
  • grieve [gri:v] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.(使)悲痛;哀悼   (初中英语单词)
  • champion [´tʃæmpiən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.冠军 vt.拥护   (初中英语单词)
  • satisfaction [,sætis´fækʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.满意;满足   (初中英语单词)
  • harmony [´hɑ:məni] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.调合,协调,和谐   (初中英语单词)
  • stricken [´strikən] 移动到这儿单词发声  strike的过去分词   (高中英语单词)
  • parson [´pɑ:sən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.教区牧师   (高中英语单词)
  • eldest [´eldist] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.最年长的   (高中英语单词)
  • hearty [´hɑ:ti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.热忱的;强健的   (高中英语单词)
  • sanction [´sæŋkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vt.批准;认可   (高中英语单词)
  • thoughtful [´θɔ:tfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.深思的;体贴的   (高中英语单词)
  • manhood [´mænhud] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.人格;男子气概   (高中英语单词)
  • cupboard [´kʌbəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.碗柜,食橱   (高中英语单词)
  • secretly [´si:kritli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.秘密地;隐蔽地   (高中英语单词)
  • bearing [´beəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.举止;忍耐;关系   (高中英语单词)
  • loving [´lʌviŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.爱的,有爱情的   (高中英语单词)
  • sadness [´sædnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.悲哀;悲痛;凄惨   (高中英语单词)
  • anguish [´æŋgwiʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(极度的)痛苦;苦恼   (高中英语单词)
  • critical [´kritikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.批评的;关键性的   (高中英语单词)
  • intense [in´tens] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强烈的;紧张的   (高中英语单词)
  • motionless [´məuʃənləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.静止的;固定的   (高中英语单词)
  • attraction [ə´trækʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.吸引(力);引力   (高中英语单词)
  • dreary [´driəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.阴郁的;枯燥无味的   (高中英语单词)
  • desolate [´desəleit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.荒凉的;孤独的   (高中英语单词)
  • caress [kə´res] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vt.爱抚;接吻   (高中英语单词)
  • strain [strein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.拉紧 vi.拖 n.张力   (高中英语单词)
  • gladly [´glædli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.愉快地,高兴地   (高中英语单词)
  • determination [di,tə:mi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.决心;决定   (高中英语单词)
  • apparently [ə´pærəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.显然,表面上地   (高中英语单词)
  • smoothly [´smu:ðli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.光滑地;顺利地   (高中英语单词)
  • respectively [ri´spektivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.各自地;分别地   (英语四级单词)
  • anticipation [æn,tisi´peiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.预期;预料;期望   (英语四级单词)
  • blight [blait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.打击 vt.摧残   (英语四级单词)
  • blessed [´blesid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.享福的;神圣的   (英语四级单词)
  • trying [´traiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.难堪的;费劲的   (英语四级单词)
  • tension [´tenʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.紧张;压力;拉力   (英语四级单词)
  • calamity [kə´læmiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.灾害,大灾难   (英语四级单词)
  • sublime [sə´blaim] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.崇高的,伟大的   (英语四级单词)
  • churchyard [´tʃə:tʃjɑ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.教堂院子   (英语四级单词)
  • robust [rəu´bʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强建的;茁壮的   (英语六级单词)
  • sleepily [´sli:pili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.瞌睡地;懒散地   (英语六级单词)
  • untold [,ʌn´təuld] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.没有说到的;无数的   (英语六级单词)
  • untouched [ʌn´tʌtʃt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.原样的;未触动过的   (英语六级单词)
  • weeping [´wi:piŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.哭泣(的)   (英语六级单词)
  • bereft [bi´reft] 移动到这儿单词发声  bereave的过去分词   (英语六级单词)
  • helplessly [´helplisli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.无能为力地   (英语六级单词)
  • fireside [´faiəsaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.炉边;家;家庭生活   (英语六级单词)
  • solace [´sɔləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vt.安慰(物);缓和   (英语六级单词)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人的 n.捕获物   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:48:07
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