BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


Cheerily, cheerily

by Sarah Schoomaker (Tuthill Baker

Excerpt:

Dearly as Mrs. Hallett loved her noisy boys, very welcome to her was this still evening hour, when she might take out the book she loved best, and pore over its pages without fear of interruption from a "Mother, may I?" or some other pertinent question from the restless subjects of her little kingdom.

Mrs. Hallett's Bible was on the table before her, but it was as yet unopened. Her head rested on her hand, and she was lost in meditation—which was half planning, half prayer. She was dwelling, one by one, on her children, and lingering with a mother's love over their excellences, at the same time that she claimed the Divine aid in her struggle with the individual faults which were as clearly present to her mind. A rustling near her suddenly attracted her attention. She looked up quickly; a small white figure stood in the doorway. "Was Easy walking in her sleep?" This was her first thought, as she recognized her daughter's face looking anxiously towards her.

"Mother, may I talk to you a little while?" said Easy.

"What is the matter, darling? You will take cold, my child."

Mrs. Hallett threw a large shawl round Easy as she spoke, and drew her towards the grate. "What troubles you, my dear?" she repeated.

Although Easy felt her mother's arms about her, and had the very opportunity for a private talk that she had sought, she seemed slow to begin the conversation. Her mother did not urge her, nor did she blame her for the strange freak that might expose her health on that cold night. Mrs. Hallett well knew that her daughter loved her own comfort too well to forsake her snug bed without some compelling reason, and to hear that reason she patiently and silently waited, sure that motherly tenderness would sooner open the lips of the child than any questioning.

At length Easy looked up pitifully into her mother's face, and said, "Are we getting to be very poor, mother? I could not sleep for thinking about it, and so I thought I would come down and ask you. I could not speak before the boys; I knew they would only laugh; and besides, they do n't seem to suspect it, and I did not want them to know."

"Poor!" said the mother with surprise. "Why, Easy, darling, our cup is full of blessings. Poor, in this nice comfortable home! No, child; it would be very ungrateful for us to call ourselves poor."

"But we don't do as we did in the city. You work so hard, and the boys are to black their own boots, and Biddy is to be our only servant, and—and—" said Easy hesitatingly.

"And we must be very thankful and industrious," said the mother cheerfully. "We have less, much less than ever before; but we have enough to live very comfortably, if we are all careful and economical."

"I don't know how to be careful and economical," said Easy, still dolorously.

"In the first place, you must be careful of these little feet, and not have them pattering at night along the cold entries," said. the mother, with such a loving smile that Easy could not help responding to it, "and then you and I will learn ever so many good ways of being economical. We will help each other. Such a notable industrious pair as we will be. Don't worry about being poor, darling. That

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would not be right, even if we were differently situated, and did not know where we were to get our food from day to day; we must ask the Lord for our 'daily bread,' and we shall receive it."

Mrs. Hallett opened her Bible at the twelfth chapter of Luke, and read those sweet, comforting assurances to those who are anxious about this world's treasures, ending with the words, "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."


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