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some poor child in the village, or a bare-footed beggar who comes hobbling to the gate. It is impossible to say which, for each and all of these persons, at one time or other, derive comfort from Mrs. Moss's nimbleness of finger and warmth of heart. But let us proceed with Janet's early history, all the while fancying that we are seated on an oaken settle in the old porch, with the scent of flowers wafted in about us, and the mellow tones of “the mother's" voice in our ears; with an occasional cackle or crow from the farmyard, a whinny from the stable, or an angry gobble from a turkey, to make a little variety. Fancy, if you will, that we are some of her grandchildren, and with eyes fixed upon the tender, expressive face, listen

"The snow lay thick upon the ground, and the weather was so bitterly cold that all our live stock was penned in. • The father' had gone out with his dog and lantern to see for himself that the beasts were properly fed and folded for the night. Compared with what it is now, our farm was a shaky, tumble-down old place; and as I had sat in the afternoon watching the pure, white snow-flakes fall thick and fast on the cowhouse and stables, and had heard the wind howling and whistling around the house, my heart felt a sharp pang for the poor beasties; and when I

spoke of it to the father,' it turned out that he had been thinking of them too, and that he had been looking up sacks and other things to stop up some of the wide chinks in the walls and the slits under the doors; so, altogether, it was a rather busy evening with him.

"I was upstairs with a baby-girl only a fortnight old. She was a sickly darling; the doctor told me she could not live. But, somehow, I hoped on, and tried with all my strength to rear her. I was seated by the fire in an easy chair, with her in the cradle beside me. My nurse had gone out for an hour or two, but I had one maidservant downstairs, or, at least, she should have been within call, though it afterwards turned out that she was not.

“I watched the baby's restless movements, and the convulsive twitching of her tiny hands till my heart ached. It seemed to me that she must be suffering greatly, and, after all, I began to think that if God pleased to take her to Himself I could give her back to Him without murmuring, because her pain would be over for ever. Then my mind was sadly burdened with other troubles. We had had several bad seasons one after the other, and a troublesome disease had, shortly before, attacked our cattle.

These things had brought us into difficulties, out of which I could not see the way, except by giving up the farm. And that would have been a great trial, for our home was as bright and pleasant as it is now, only it was not our own property then as now. Altogether I was just in the mind to have a good cry; and I did cry in good earnest. You see, there was no one near, or I should not have given way.

“All at once, as I sat there brooding over our troubles, a sudden startling shriek from a railway whistle reached my ears.

In a moment I was at the window trying to peer across to the line, but could see nothing except the dazzling sheet of snow. Another terrible whistle sounded; then I saw a light moving along the line. It must have been either a torch or a porter's lantern. I tried to open my window, but the fastening was too stiff for my strength. I laid my ear against the glass and listened intently. There was a confused murmur of voices; and now and then, a sudden cry seemed to rise out of the commotion. The place was not built upon then, as it is now; ours was the nearest house to the line—and, thought I, with a sharp pang at my heart, 'Perhaps I am the only person who hears these signs of distress : it may be so!'

“ With that I darted to the room door to call my servant, and in my haste, touched the cradle with my foot, and woke my baby in a fright.

She began to scream; I turned and took her up, rolled her in her blanket, and shouted aloud at the door of my room.

No one was in the house, however; that was evident, for no reply came. Never shall I forget my agony of mind at that time; every minute seemed an hour. I could bear it no longer. It seemed to my imagination as though dozens of human lives were depending upon me alone at that moment. So, weak as I was, I held my screaming little one tightly, and tottered downstairs.

“Just as I reached the foot, the house door opened, and in walked my husband without a coat. A strange, puzzled feeling came over me at sight of him out of doors in his shirt-sleeves on such a bitter evening

Then I saw that he had it in his arms, and I thought he had something rolled up in it. But I had not time to say a word, for the moment he saw me he called out sharply, telling me to go upstairs. "The father' never spoke like that to me, either before or since. I felt that I had done wrong in coming down, and that he was very much vexed to see me there; and without a word I turned and made my way back toward my room. I was weak in body and troubled in mind; and as I crept along with tears in my eyes, and the wailing little one in my arms, I turned sick and faint. Then I have a dreamy sort of recollection of staggering, and of a blow on my head. But beyond that I knew nothing till I found myself in bed, after what seemed to me a long, troubled sleep.

"There was a bright fire in the grate, and I noticed that a dark blind had been put up over the window. It was drawn closely down, and I began to wonder whether it was evening time or broad daylight. Then my thoughts went back to my baby, and I moved my hand to feel if she was beside me. Yes, there, sure enough, was a warm little bundle, and I could hear the soft breathing of the sleeping infant. The next moment nurse was bending over me.

She had been in the room all the time, and was aroused by my slight movement. I think I smiled at her, but said nothing then she went out quickly and called 'the father.'

“ They came in together, and they both moved so softly, and looked down upon me so anxiously that I was puzzled. Then, like a flash, came the sudden recollection of that dreadful affair on the line. I remembered even the tones of

my

husband's voice when he bade me go upstairs; and I put out my hand to him. I scarcely felt able to speak. He took it without a word. Then I felt that his hand trembled, and saw that he had tears in his eyes. No one spoke but nurse, and all that she said was - Thank God, master! thank God !' Then she

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