Lynde Palmer.

Helps over hard places : stories for boys online

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be morning ? It is the very longest night I
ever knew."

"So I think," cried Robert. "I've been
awake half a dozen times, and now I mean
to get up."

" Oh, no," pleaded Franz. Let us tell sto-
ries till daylight." So Therese, Robert and
Franz each told a long story; and just as
they finished, Karine, waking up, cried loudly
for her breakfast.

"I don't wonder that she is hungry," said


Franz, "for I am half starved, and cold

"Ah," sighed Therese, " if we only had a
light." But they could not find any, for theii
father kept all such things in a little cup-
board in the wall, and had taken the key
with him.

So Therese searched until she found some
milk for Karine, and some black bread, which
she gave to her brothers.

Then, as they could no longer sleep, they
all dressed as well as they could in the dark.

"I will go out," said Robert, "and see if I
can discover any signs of morning."

So he took down the heavy bar, when, to
his surprise, the door flew open, and he found
himself upon the floor, half buried in some
cold substance.

"Oh, Therese! Franz!" cried Robert,
"come help me."

"What can it be?" exclaimed all three, as
they helped him upon his feet.

""Why, this is snow," cried little Franz,
putting a handful to his mouth.

"Uow can that be," exclaimed Therese,
u when it was so pleasant a few hours ago ? "

Foi a few moments there was a profound


silence ; then Robert gave a quick, sharp

" Oli, Thcrcse ! Could it be an avalanche?"

"No, no," said Therese, in a trembling
voice. "That can not be, or the roof would
have fallen in, and we all have been crushed
to death."

" No," said Robert. " I have heard father
say that small ones sometimes fall so lightly
that sleeping families have never been dis-
turbed. But then I remember a noise in the

"And I," said Therese.

" And I," echoed frightened little Franz.

"What can we do?" asked Therese, as
firmly as she could.

"Will not father dig us out?" sobbed

"I'm afraid he can not find us."

"Well," said Robert, "I will try and dig
through to the light;" and finding an old
shovel, he hurried to the door, and began to
work manfully. But it was all in the dark,
and the snow fell over him till he was half
dead with cold and fatigue. Several times
he tried again ; but as soon as he dug a little
away, the snow was sure to fall down and fill


it up; so at last he came in, saying, despair*
ingly, " Well, Therese, if father does not find
us, we must die down here in the dark."

" If I could only see you, sister," said
Franz, in a choking voice, " I should not
mind it so much."

"Let us hold each other's hands," proposed
Therese, and they all huddled together by
little Karine.

At first they were quite cheerful, and said
often, " Oh, father will certainly find us."
But the long hours dragged on, and all was
still as the grave. Poor Karine cried very
hard, for she could not understand why it
was so dark, and she could not see the sweet
smile of her little sister-mother.

But you would be very tired if I should
tell you all these little children said and did
through this long night. How often they
prayed to the King of Heaven for help, how
kind and gentle they tried to be, and how
they denied themselves food that little Karine
might not be hungry. But at last there was
nothing left to eat. Karine was too tired and
weak to cry any more, and only once in a
while made a little grieving moan. Robert
had not spoken for a long time, not since h

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Online LibraryLynde PalmerHelps over hard places : stories for boys → online text (page 7 of 10)