Lynde Palmer.

Helps over hard places : stories for boys online

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little run. It's too bad you're hurt. I'm so
sorry; — won't you forgive me?"

"Yes," said Milly, swallowing a lump in
her throat. "I'll try. Two? she sighed,
softly, to herself.

At school, Frank was still very aggravat-
ing, and Milly had great temptation to forget
her verse. He borrowed her slate-pencil, and
lost it, and once, when she went up to her
class, his feet grew suddenly very long, and
Milly, stumbMng over them, fell, to her great
mortification, amid the laughter of the school.
But Frank was so sorry. How could he help
his feet being so big ? He tried very hard to
keep them under the desk, but there was only
room there for one. He was so sorry ; and
patient Milly had to forgive him. There
were one or two other grievances in the
morning which I haven't time to relate. We
will pass on to the time when school was out,
and Milly found, to her great dismay, that
there had been a sudden change in the
weather, and the rain was pouring in tor-
rents. But chivalrous Frank borrowed an
unibre'b, and, tucking Milly's plump hand


under his arm, started off as valiant as Great

" Look out ! " cried Milly. " You swing the
umbrella so, that half the time it drips on my

"A little water won't hurt you, will it?"
cried careless Frank. But wiien they reached
home, poor Milly found that the coloring-mat-
ter had run from the umbrella, and long, dingy
streams disfigured the cherry lining of her
pretty hood.

" Well, now, that is too bad, 1 ' cried Frank,
observing her blank look of dismay. "I de-
clare, ' Dot,' I'd change caps in a minute with
you, if you would like it."

Neat little Milly looked at Frank's battered
thatching, and mournfully shook her head.

"Well, Milly, you know I didn't mean to.
I'm sure you'd forgive me if you knew how
sorry I felt."

"I do forgive you," said Milly, with an
effort, and she counted something on her fin-
gers. "Seven" said she to herself, with a great
sigh of relief.

"What have you been counting all day,
Milly?" asked Frank, curiously.

Milly did not answer ; but, as sho ran in to


dinner, a very self-satisfied smile was on her
face, and she repeated to herself, "Seven times.
Well, I hope God has been pleased, for it hag
been very hard ; and I'm so glad it's over,
for I don't think I could hold out any longer."

It rained so hard in the afternoon, that
Milly and Frank were allowed to stay at
home and study in the playroom.

" Oh dear," said Frank, with a yawn. "Be-
fore I begin this ' rule of three which puzzles
me,' let's have one little tune out of that
music-box Uncle Charley gave you."

Milly's eyes brightened. She could not
resist the temptation, and, running from the
room, she soon returned with the treasure.
Carefully she put in the little golden key,
and turned it with the greatest caution ; but
mischievous Frank slipped in a little wooden
wedge in the delicate works, and when she
paused and listened, with smiling lips, and
head turned on one side, the wonderful box
was mute.

" What is it ? " cried she, turning quite pale.

" Oh," said Frank, magnificently, " don't be
alarmed. I'm a great magician. Just let me
put my finger in the box one second, and all
will be right."


Milly entrusted it to him with trembling
hands. In went Frank's confident fingers,
but they pulled out the wedge a little too
roughly. Snap! went some delicate spring;
there was a dreary noise, as if the whole box
were going to fly in pieces, and then all was
still. Frank examined the box with a dis-
mayed face. "Milly," said he, at length, with
an effort, " it's broken — spoiled ! Can you
ever forgive me?"

" No ! " said little Milly, stamping her foot
and bursting into vehement tears. " I can't,
and I needn't, either. It's the eighth time !
My dear, darling music-box ! You did it on
purpose ! You're very bad to me ! I'll run
right to your room, and tear your kite, and
spoil every thing I can find!"

Poor, remorseful Frank offered no opposi-
tion, and across the hall she ran, with stream-
ing eyes and burning cheeks, and stumbled
right into Uncle Charley's arms.

" Kity tity ! what's the matter now ? " But
before the words were out of his mouth, Milly
was pouring forth her story.

Uncle Charley looked grave when she fin-
ished. "And so you think it is right to be
an^rv now?"


" Yes,'' said little Milly, impetuously. " It
is quite right. I've forgiven him seven times.
This makes eight"

"But didn't you know," said Uncle Char-
ley, "that there is another verse where Jesus
tells Peter not only to forgive his brother
seven times, but ' until seventy times seven f ' "

" Seventy times seven ! " cried Milly, look-
ing quite bewildered. " Oh, I'm sorry I ever
began. I shall have to give up trying to
please God that way."

"I hope not," said Uncle Charley.

"But you don't know how hard it is to
keep forgiving and forgiving," wept Milly.

"Yes, I think I do," said Uncle Charley,
smiling. " And I shouldn't wonder if the dis-
ciples knew it, too," said he, half to himself,
" when, as soon as the command was given,
they cried, with one accord, 'Lord, increase
our faith.' Yes, little Milly," he continued,
aloud, "it certainly is hard, but we must
always keep trying, and not count the times,
either ; for I think ' seventy times seven '
means that we should always forgive."

" Oh, I can't do it," sobbed Milly, turning
determinedly away from poor Frank, who
stood in the doorway, the image of despair.


"I'll give you my new book of travels,
Milly, and save all my money till I can buy
you another box," cried Frank, in doleful
tones. But Milly would not listen.

"Very well," said Uncle Charley, "I would
advise you not to say 'Our Father' for a day
or two."

"Why?" said Milly, in great surprise.

" Why, just think how very sad it would
be to have to pray, — 'And forgive us our
trespasses as we forgive Frank who has tres-
passed against us.' "

Milly's cheeks grew burning red. She hes-
itated a moment, and then crying, "I can't
give up ' Our Father,' " she ran to the sorrow-
ful figure in the door, threw her arms around
his neck, and had a "good cry" on the left
pocket of his brown roundabout.

Good-hearted, blundering Frank has grown
much more tender and careful of his little
sister since then; and as for her, if you should
ask Frank, — "How often does Milly forgive
now? — till seven times?" you would see his
honest eyes fill with affectionate tears, as he
nnswers, softly, — " Milly is too good to count,
and I don't dare to ; but I'm quite sure till
''seventy times seven?"



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Online LibraryLynde PalmerHelps over hard places : stories for boys → online text (page 10 of 10)