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him with drink for the day; and having conscientiously spent every penny, he was in the same impoverished condition as he had been the previous night. As he could not live without gin, he determined to appropriate another bird-cage. What right had Dan to them? They were his, the father's, who had kept his son in idleness, and who had clothed and sheltered him. Yet in the midst of his drunken muttering he was oppressed with a shamefaced consciousness of the villany of his logic, and it was with difficulty he obtained a light from the tinder-box. The poor little rushlight flickered when it was lighted, as if it also were oppressed with shame. Unsteadily, and with much stumbling, Mr. Taylor groped his way to Dan's room. Looking around on the walls he discovered, to his dismay and astonishment, that the birds and the cages were gone. His first surprise over, he gave way to passion. The boy had no doubt taken the cages to his bedroom for fear his father should steal them. How dared Dan suspect him ? He would teach Dan a lesson a lesson that he would not forget. Working himself into a state of maudlin indignation, he stumbled up the stairs to Dan's bedroom, and tried the door. It was locked. Here was another proof of his son's ingratitude and want of confidence. What was he to do for gin the next day? He must have gin; he could not live without it. Ellen's bedroom was next to Dan's. The drunken father turned the handle of the door, and looked in. On the floor were Ellen's boots. He saw gin marked on them, and catching them up, he clutched them to his breast, and slunk guiltily to bed.
Ellen, rising the next morning, looked about in vain for her boots. She searched for them upstairs and downstairs, wondering what had become of them. The door of her father's room was open, and she entered it; but Mr. Taylor, knowing that Ellen was an early riser, had taken care to get out of the house before she was about. When Ellen saw the empty bed, some glimmering of the truth flashed upon her. At first the poor girl sat down upon the bed and began to cry; the loss of her boots was a grievous loss indeed to her. She had no money to buy another pair with ; they were such beautiful boots, too, and fitted her so nicely! What was she to do? How it would grieve Dan to know! That thought calmed her. Dan must not know-it would hurt him too much. She might be able to get an old pair from somebody during the day; perhaps Susan had an old
pair to lend her. She dried her eyes and washed them well with cold water, and altogether managed so successfully, that breakfast was over, and she and Dan and the birds were all together in the parlour, without Dan ever suspecting what had occurred.
Those two children sitting there were fully aware that a grave crisis was approaching. Young as they were to bear the weight of serious trouble, they bore it cheerfully, and strove in their humble way to fight with the world and with the hard circumstances of their lives. Dan, cripple as he was, had much hope; and often, when he was thinking over certain schemes which had been suggested by the stern necessity of his condition, à quaint smile would play upon his lips, and a humorous light would shine in his eyes. Ellen, looking up from her work, would sometimes see that smile, which, for all its quaintness, had a shade of thoughtfulness in it; and on her lips, too, a pleasant smile would wreathe in sympathy. They were very tender towards each other; their love made them strong.
Ellen, busy with her needle, sat close to the table, so that Dan should not catch a glimpse of her shoeless feet. Dan was industriously at work
training two birds, which were to replace those in the window when they were sold.
The education of this second pair of birds was almost completed, and Dan said as much to Ellen. He had taught them different tricks, and had fitted two ladders in the cage, up and down which they hopped, keeping time, step for step.
‘But will they ever be sold ?' exclaimed Ellen almost despairingly.
It is a long time before we make a commencement,' said Dan. "There's Susan.'
When Susan entered, she examined the dress which Ellen was making, and suddenly exclaimed,
Why, Ellen, where are your boots ?'
Dan looked up quickly, and then directed his eyes to Ellen's feet. Poor Ellen stammered a good deal, and striving to hide the truth from Dan, got into a sad bewilderment of words.
Nay, but, Ellen, interposed Dan in a grave voice, 'you don't mean to say that you have been sitting all the morning without your boots ?'
? • Yes, I have,' said Ellen, compelled to confess.
• But why, my dear ?'
• When I got up this morning, I looked for them, and could not find them. Perhaps I can
find them now.' And Ellen ran out of the room; but she soon returned, shaking her head, and saying, ‘No, they're gone. Never mind; it can't be helped.'
• You really don't know what has become of them ?'
Nor this morning ?'
'I can't quite see what is to be the end of all this,' said Dan sadly. “It is almost too dreadful to think of. Father must have taken your boots, Ellen dear. The night before last he took a a bird-cage ; that was the reason I had all my birds in my bedroom last night. It is very, very dreadful. Poor dear mother! Poor dear Joshua! I
I do wish you were here now to advise us what to do !
And the three children drew closer together, and strove to comfort each other.
‘Dry your eyes, Ellen,' said Dan stoutly; • brighter days will come. Susan, have you a pair of old boots that you can lend to Ellen ?'
Susan ran out of the house and returned with