former interests: he felt bound to make up to her for
that loss. But how ? It was a serious question, and not
being his own master, he could not in a moment answer it.
" I wish I could stay with you all day!" he said. "But
your papa wants me in the bank. I must go."
Clare had not had a good sight of the child, and was
at a loss to think what must be her age. Her language,
both in form and utterance, was partly precise and grown-
up, and partly childish ; but her wisdom was child-like
and that is the opposite both of precise and childish. It
was the wisdom that comes of unity between thought
" Is there anything I can do for you before I go for
I must go?" said Clare.
" Who says must to you ? Nurse says must to me."
" Your papa says 'must to me."
"If you didn't say yes when papa said must, what
would come next?"
338 A ROUGH SHAKING.
" He would say, ' Go out of my house, and never come
in again. ' "
"And would you do it?"
"I must: the house is his, not mine."
" If / didn't say yes when papa said must, what would
" He would try to make you say it."
" And if I wouldn't, would he say, ' Go out of my house
and never come in again'?"
"No; you are his little girl!"
"Then I think he shouldn't say it to you. What is
" Then, Clare, if my papa sends you out of his house,
I will go with you. You wouldn't turn me out, would
you, when I was a little naughty?"
" No ; neither would your papa."
" If he turned you out, it would be all the same. Where
you go, I will go. I must, you know ! Would you mind
if he said 'Go away'?"
" I should be very sorry to leave you."
" Yes, but that's not going to be ! Why do you stay
with papa? Were you in the house always ever so long
before I saw you?"
" No; a very little while only."
"Did you come in from the street?"
"Yes; I came in from the street. Your papa pays me
to work for him."
"And if you wouldn't?"
" Then I should have no money, and nothing to eat,
and nowhere to sleep at night."
" Would that make you uncomfable?"
"It would make me die."
" Have you a papa?"
" Yes, but he's far away."
"You could go to him, couldn't you?"
" One day I shall."
" Why don't you go now, and take me?"
" Because he died."
" What's died?"
" Went away out of sight, where we can't go to look
for him till we go out of sight too."
"When will that be?"
" I don't know."
"Does anybody know?"
"Then perhaps you will never go?"
"We must go; it's only that nobody knows when."
" I think the when that nobody knows, mayn't never
come. Is that why you have to work?"
" Everybody has to work one way or another."
"I haven't to work!"
" If you don't work when you're old enough, you'll be
" Fou're not old enough."
" Oh, yes, indeed I am ! I've been working a long time
" Where? Not for papa?"
"No; not for papa."
" Why not? Why didn't you come sooner? Why didn't
you come much sooner ever so much sooner? Why did
you make me wait for you all the time?"
" Nobody ever told me you were waiting."
" Nobody ever told me you were coming, but I knew."
340 A ROUGH SHAKING.
"You had to wait for me, and you knew. I had to
wait for you, and I didn't know ! When we have time,
I will tell you all about myself, and how I've been wait-
"Waiting for me?"
"For my father and mother and somebody else, I
" That's me."
"No; I'm waiting yet. I didn't know I was coming
to you till I came, and there you were!"
The child was silent for a moment. Then she said
" You will tell me all about yourself ! That will be
nice! Can you tell stories?" she added. " Of course
you can! You can do everything!"
" Oh, no, I can't!"
"No; I can do some things not many. I can love
you, little one! Now I must go, or I shall be late, and
nobody ever ought to be late."
" Go then. I will go to my nursery and wait again."
She went down the stair without once looking behind
her. Clare followed. On the next floor she went
one way to her nursery, and he another to the back-
One of the causes and signs of Clare's manliness was,
that he never aimed at being a man. Many men con-
tinue childish because they are always trying to act like
men, instead of simply trying to do right. Such never
develop true manliness. Clare's manhood stole upon him
LOVERS' WALKS. 341
unawares. That which at once made him a man and
kept him a child, was, that he had no regard for anything
but what was real, that is, true.
All the day the thought kept coming, what could he
do for the little girl. Perhaps what stirred his feeling
for her most, was a suspicion that she was neglected
But the careless treatment of a nurse was better for her
than would have been the capricious blandishments and
neglects of a mother like Mrs. Shotover. Clare, however,
knew nothing yet about Ann's mother. He knew only,
by the solemnly still ways of the child, that she must be
much left to her own resources, and was wonderfully
developed in consequence whether healthily or not, he
could not yet tell. The practical question was how to
contrive to be her occasional companion; how to offer to
After much thinking, he concluded that he must wait:
opportunity might suggest mode; and he would rather
find than make opportunity!
HE had not long to wait. That very afternoon, going
a message for the head-clerk, he met Ann walking
with a young lady who must be Miss Shotover. Neither
sister seemed happy with the other. Ann was very white,
and so tired that she could but drag her little feet after
her. Miss Shotover, flushed with exertion, and annoyed
342 A ROUGH SHAKING.
with her part of nursemaid, held her tight and hauled
her along by the hand. She looked good-natured, but
not one of the ministering sort. Every now and then
she would give the little arm a pull, and say, though not
very crossly, "Do come along!" The child did not cry,
but it was plain she suffered. It was plain also she was
doing her best to get home, and avoid rousing her sister's
Keen-sighted, Clare had recognized Ann at some dis-
tance, and as he approached had a better opportunity
than on the dark stair of seeing what his little friend
was like. He saw that her eyes were unusually clear,
and, paces away, could distinguish the blue veins on her
forehead : she looked even more delicate than he had
thought her. The lines of her mouth were straightened
out with the painful effort she had to make to keep up
with her sister. Her nose continued insignificant, wait-
ing to learn what was expected of it.
For Miss Shotover, there was not a good feature in her
face, and even to a casual glance it might have suggested
a measure of meanness. But a bright complexion, and the
youthful charm which vanishes with youth, are pleasant
in their season. Her figure was lithe, and in general she
had a look of fun ; but at the moment heat and impatience
clouded her countenance.
Clare stopped and lifted his hat. Then first the dazed
child saw him, for she was short-sighted, and her observa-
tion was dulled by weariness. She said not a word, uttered
no sound, only drew her hand from her sister's, and held
up her arms to her friend in dumb prayer to be lifted
above the thorns of life, and borne along without pain.
He caught her up.
CLARE ASKS MISS SHOTOVER TO LET HTM CARRY ANN HOME.
LOVERS' WALKS. 343
" I beg your pardon, ma'am," he said, " but the little
one and I have met before : I live in the house, having
the honour to be the youngest of your father's clerks. If
you will allow me, I will carry the child. She looks
Miss Shotover was glad enough to be relieved of her
clog, and gave smiling consent.
" If you would be so kind as to carry her home," she
said, " I should be able to do a little shopping ! "
" You will not mind my taking her a little farther first,
ma'am ? I am on a message for Mr. Woolrige. I will
carry her all the way, and be very careful of her."
Miss Shotover was not one to cherish anxiety. She
already knew Clare both by report and by sight, and
willingly yielded. Saying, with one of her pleasant
smiles, that she would hold him accountable for her, she
sailed away, like a sloop that had been dragging her
anchor, but had now cut her cable. Clare thought what
a sweet-looking girl she was and in truth she was sweet-
looking. Then all his heart turned to the little one in
What a walk was that for both of them ! Little Ann
seemed never to have lived before: she was actually
happy! She had been long waiting for Clare, and he was
come and such as she had expected him! It was bliss
to glide thus along the busy street without the least
exertion, looking down on the heads of the people, safe
above danger and fear amid swift-moving things and the
crowding confusions of life! To be in Clare's arms was
better than being in the little house on the elephant's
back in her best picture-book! True, little one! To be
in the arms of love, be they ever so weak, is better than
344 A ROUGH SHAKING.
to ride the grandest horse in all the stables of God and
God would have you know it! Never mind your pale
little face and your puny nose! While your heart is
ready to die for love-sake, you are blessed among women !
Only remember that to die of disappointment is not to
die either of or for love!
And to Clare, after all those days upon days during
which only a dog would come to his arms, what a glory
of life it was to have a human child in them, the little
heart of the pale face beating against his side ! He was
no going to forget Abdiel. Abdiel was not a fact to be
forgotten. Abdiel was not a doll. Abdiel was not a
thing that would not come alive. Abdiel was a true
heart, a live soul, and Clare would love him for ever!
not an atom the less that now he had one out upon whom
a larger love was able to flow! All true love makes
abler to love. It is only false love, the love of those
who take their own meanest selfishness, their own pleas-
ure in being loved, for love, that shrinks and narrows
To the pale-faced, listening child, Clare talked much
about the wonderful Abdiel, and about the kind good
Miss Tempest who was keeping him to live again at
length with his old master; and Ann loved the dog she
had never seen, because the dog loved the Clare who was
come at last.
When they returned, Clare rang the house-bell, and
gave up his charge to the man who opened the door.
Without word or tone, gesture or look of objection, or
even of disinclination, the child submitted to be taken
from Clare's loving embrace, and carried to a nurse who
was neither glad nor sorry to see her.
LOVERS' WALKS. 345
He had been so long gone that Mr. Woolrige found
fault with him for it. Clare told him he had met Miss
Shotover with her sister, and the child seemed so tired he
had asked leave to carry her with him. Mr. Woolrige
was not pleased, but he said nothing; on the spot the
clerks nicknamed him Nursie; and Clare did his best to
justify the appellation- he never lost a chance of acting
up to it, and always answered when they summoned him
Before the week was ended, he sought an interview
with Miss Shotover, and asked her whether he might not
take little Ann out for a walk whenever the evening was
fine. For at five o'clock the doors of the bank were shut,
and in half an hour after he was free. Miss Shotover said
she saw no objection, and would tell the nurse to have
her ready as often as the weather was fit; whereupon
Clare left her with a gratitude far beyond any degree of
that emotion by her conceivable. The nurse, on her part,
was willing to gratify Clare, and not sorry to be rid of
the child, who was not one, indeed, to interest any ordin-
The summer came and was peculiarly fine, and almost
every evening Clare might be seen taking his pleasure
neither like bank-clerk nor like nurse-maid, for always
he had little Ann in his arms, or was leading her along
with care and entire attention: he never let her walk
except on entreaty, and not always then. To his fellow
clerks this proof of an utter lack of dignity seemed con-
sistent with his origin of which they knew nothing;
they knew only his late position. To themselves they
were fine gentlemen with cigars in their mouths, and he
was a lackey to the bone! To himself Clare was the
346 A ROUGH SHAKING.
lover of a child; and about them he did not think. Theirs
was the life of a town; Clare's was a life of the universe.
The pair came speedily to understand and communicate
like twin brother and sister. Clare, as he carried her,
always knew when Ann wanted a change of position;
Ann always knew when Clare began to grow weary
knew before Clare himself and would insist on walking.
Neither could remember how it came, but it grew a
custom that, when they walked hand in hand, Clare told
her stories of his life and adventures; when he carried
her, he told her fairy-tales, which he could spin like a
spider: she preferred the former.
So neither bank nor nursery was any longer dreary.
At length came the gray, brooding winter, causing red
fingers and aches and chilblains. But it was not un-
friendly to little Ann. True, she was not permitted to
go out in the evening any more, but Clare, with the help
of the cook, devoted to her his dinner-hour instead. It
was no hardship to eat from a basket in place of a table,
to one who never troubled himself as to the kind, quality,
or quantity of his food itself. He had learned, like a
good soldier, to endure hardness. I have heard him say
that never did he enjoy a dinner more than when, in
those homeless days of his boyhood, he tore the flakes off
a loaf fresh from the baker's oven, and ate them as he
walked along the street. The old highlanders of Scotland
were trained to think it the part of a gentleman not to
mind what he ate sign of scant civilization, no doubt,
in the eyes of some who now occupy but do not fill their
place as time will show, when the call is for men to
fight, not to eat.
THE SHOE-BLACK. 347
head-clerk, while he had not a word against him,
JL as he confessed to Mr. Shotover, yet thought Clare
would never make a man of business. When pressed
to say on what he grounded the opinion, he could only
answer that the lad did not seem to have his heart in it.
But if, to be a man of business, it is not enough to do one's
duty scrupulously, but the very heart must be in it, then
is there something wrong with business. The heart fares
as its treasure: who would be content his heart should
fare as not a few sorts of treasure must? Mr. Woolrige
passed no such judgment, however, upon certain older
young men in the bank, whose hearts certainly were not
in the business, but even worse posited.
One cold, miserable day, at once damp and frosty,
on which it was quite unfit to take Ann out, Clare,
having eaten a hasty dinner, and followed it with a walk,
was returning through the town in good time for the
recommencement of business, when he came upon a little
boy, at the corner of a street, blowing his fingers, and
stumping up and down the pavement to keep his blood
moving while he waited for a job: his brushes lay on the
top of his blacking-box on the curbstone. Clare saw that
he was both hungry and cold states of sensation with
which he was far too familiar to look on the signs of
them with indifference. To give him something to do,
and so something to eat, he went to his block and put
348 A ROUGH SHAKING.
his foot on it. The boy bustled up, snatched at his
brushes, and began operations. But, whether from the
coldness or incapacity of his hands, Clare soon saw that
his boots would not be polished that afternoon.
" You don't seem quite up to your business, my boy ! "
he said. " What's the matter ? "
The boy made no answer, but went on with his vain
attempt. A moment more, and Clare saw a tear fall on
the boot he was at work upon.
"This won't do!" said Clare. "Let me look at your
The boy stood up, wiping his eyes with the back of his
"Ah!" said Clare, "I don't wonder you can't polish my
boots, when you don't care to polish your own ! "
"Please, sir," answered the boy, "it's Jim as does it!
He's down wi' the measles, an' I ain't up to it."
"Look here, then! I'll give you a lesson," said Clare.
"Many's the boot I've blacked. Up with your foot! I'll
soon show you how the thing's done! "
" Please, sir," objected the boy, " there ain't enough boot
left to take a polish ! "
"We'll see about that!" returned Clare. "Put it up.
I've worn worse in my time."
The boy obeyed. The boot was very bad, but there
was enough leather to carry some blacking, and the skin
took the rest.
Clare was working away, growing pleasantly hot with
the quick, sharp motion, while two of his fellow clerks
were strolling up on the other side of the corner, who
had been having more with their lunch than was good
for them. Swinging round, they came upon a well
CLARE IS FOUND GIVING THE SHOEBLACK A LESSON
THE SHOE-BLACK. 349
dressed youth brushing a ragged boy's boots. It was an
odd sight, and one of them, whose name was Marway,
thought to get some fun out of the phenomenon.
" Here ! " he cried, " I want my boots brushed."
Clare rose to his feet, saying,
"Brush the gentleman's boots. I will finish yours
after, and then you shall finish mine."
"Hullo, Nursie! it's you turned boot-black, is it?
Nice thing for the office, Jack ! " remarked Marway, who
was the finest gentleman, and the lowest blackguard
among the clerks.
He put his foot on the block. The boy began his
task, but did no better with his boots than he had done
"Soul of an ass!" cried Marway, "are you going to
keep my foot there till it freezes to the block? Why
don't you do as Nursie tells you? He knows how to
brush a boot! You ain't worth your salt! You ain't fit
to black a donkey's hoofs ! "
" Give me the brushes, my boy," said Clare.
The boy rose abashed, and obeyed. After a few of
Clare's light rapid strokes, the boots looked very different.
" Bravo, Nursie ! " cried Marway. " There ain't a
flunkey of you all could do it better! "
Clare said nothing, finished the job, and stood up.
Marway, turning on the other heel as he set his foot
down, said, " Thank you, Nursie ! " and was walking off.
"Please, Mr. Marway, give the boy his penny," said
But Marway wanted to take a rise out of Clare.
"The fool did nothing for me!" he answered. "He
made my boot worse than it was."
" It was I did nothing for you, Mr. Marway," rejoined
Clare. "What I did, I did for the boy."
350 A ROUGH SHAKING.
" Then let the boy pay you!" said Marway.
The shoe-black went into a sudden rage, caught up
one of his brushes, and flung it at Marway as he
turned. It struck him on the side of the head. Mar-
way swore, stalked up to Clare and knocked him down,
then strode away with a grin.
The shoe-black sent his second brush whizzing past
his ear, but he took no notice. Clare got up, little the
worse, only bruised.
"See what comes of doing things in a passion!" he
said, as the boy came back with the brushes he had
hastened to secure. "Here's your penny! Put up your
The boy did as he was told, but kept foaming out
rage at the bloke that had refused him his penny,
and knocked down his friend. It did not occur to
him that he was himself the cause of the outrage,
and that his friend had suffered for him. Clare's head
ached a good deal, but he polished the boy's boots.
Then he made him try again on his boots, when, warmed
by his rage, he did a little better. Clare gave him
another penny, and went to the bank.
Marway was not there, nor did he show himself for
a day or two. Clare said nothing about what had
taken place, neither did the others.
A WALK WITH CONSEQUENCES.
/|LARE had been in the bank more than a year, and
\J not yet had Mr. Shotover discovered why he did
not quite trust him. Had Clare known he did not, he
A WALK WITH CONSEQUENCES. 351
would have wondered that he trusted him with such a
precious thing as his little Ann. But was his child
very precious to Mr. Shotover? When a man's heart
is in his business, that is, when he is set on making
money, some precious things are not so precious to him
as they might be among the rest, the living God and
the man's own life. He would pass Clare and the child
without even a nod to indicate approval, or a smile for
the small woman. He had, I presume, sufficient regard
for the inoffensive little thing to be content she should
be happy, therefore did not interfere with what his
clerks counted so little to the honour of the bank. But
although, as I have said, he still doubted Clare, true eyes
in whatever head must have perceived that the child
was in charge of an angel. The countenance of Clare
with Ann in his arms, was so peaceful, so radiant of
simple satisfaction, that surely there were some in that
large town who, seeing them, thought of the angels that
do alway behold the face of the Father in heaven.
One evening in the early summer, when they had
resumed their walks after five o'clock, they saw, in a
waste place, where houses had been going to be built for
the last two years, a number of caravans drawn up in order.
A rush of hope filled the heart of Clare: what if it
should be the menagerie he knew so well! And, sure
enough, there was Mr. Halliwell superintending opera-
tions! But if Glum Gunn were about, he might find it
awkward with the child in his arms! Gunn might not
respect even her ! Besides he ought to ask leave to take
her! He would carry her home first, and come again
to see his third mother and all his old friends, with
Pummy and the lion and the rest of the creatures.
Little Ann was eager to know what those curious
houses on wheels were. Clare told her they were like
352 A ROUGH SHAKING.
her Noah's ark, full of beasts, only real, live beasts, not
beasts made of bits of stick. She became at once eager
to see them the more eager that her contempt of things
like life that wouldn't come alive had been growing
stronger ever since she threw her doll out of the window.
Clare told her he could not take her without first ask-
ing leave. This puzzled her: Clare was her highest
"But if you take me?" she said.
"Your papa and mamma might not like me to take
"But I'm yours!"
"Yes, you're mine but not so much," he added with
a sigh, "as theirs!"
"Ain't I?" she rejoined, in a tone of protesting aston-
ishment mingled with grief, and began to wriggle, want-
ing to get down.
Clare set her down, and would have held her, as usual,
by the hand, but she would not let him. She stood with
her eyes on the ground, and her little gray face looking
like stone. It frightened Clare, and he remained a moment
silent, reviewing the situation.
"You see, little one," he said at length, "you were
theirs before I came! You were sent to them. You are
their own little girl, and we must mind what they would
"It was only till you came!" she argued. "They don't
care very much for me. Ask them, please, to sell me to
you. I don't think they would want much money for
me! How many shillings do you think I am worth,
Clare? Not many, I hope! Six?"
"You are worth more than all the money in your
papa's bank," answered Clare, looking down at her
A WALK WITH CONSEQUENCES. 353
The child's face fell.
"Am I?" she said. "I'm so sorry! I didn't know I
was worth so much! and not yours!" she added, with
a sigh that seemed to come from the very heart of her
being. "Then you're not able to buy me?"
"No, indeed, little one!" answered Clare. "Besides,
papas don't sell their little girls!"
"Oh, yes, they do! Gus said so to Trudie!"
Clare knew that Trudie meant her sister Gertrude.
"Who is Gus? "he asked.
"Trudie calls him Gus. I don't know more name to
him. Perhaps they call him something else in the bank."
"Oh! he's in the bank, is he?" returned Clare. "Then
I think I know him."
"He said it to her one night in my nursery. Jane
went down; I was in my crib. They talked such a long
time! I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't. I heard all
what he said to her. It wasn't half so nice as what you
talk to me!"
This was not pleasant news to Clare. Augustus Mar-
way was, if half the tales of him were true, no fit person
for his master's daughter to be intimate with ! He had
once heard Mr. Shotover speak about gambling in such