‘Put shoes on, boy,’ she said, holding out her little bare toes.
I put on her shoes and stockings, and then Mrs. Millar came in and dressed her.
It was a lovely afternoon; the storm had ceased whilst we had been asleep, and the sun was shining brightly. I got the dinner ready, and the child watched me, and ran backwards and forwards, up and down the kitchen. She seemed quite at home now and very happy.
My grandfather was still asleep, so I did not wake him. Mrs. Millar brought in some broth she had made for the child, and we dined together. I wanted to feed her, as I had done the night before, but she said,—
’Timpey have ‘poon, please!’ and took the spoon from me, and fed herself so prettily, I could not help watching her.
‘God bless her, poor little thing!’ said Mrs. Millar.
’God bless ‘ou,’ said the child. The words were evidently familiar to her.
‘She must have heard her mother say so,’ said Mrs. Millar, in a choking voice.
When we had finished dinner, the child slipped down from her stool, and ran to the sofa. Here she found my grandfather’s hat, which she put on her head, and my scarf, which she hung round her neck. Then she marched to the door, and said, ‘Tatta, tatta; Timpey go tatta.’
‘Take her out a bit, Alick,’ said Mrs. Millar. ’Stop a minute, though; I’ll fetch her Polly’s hood.’ So, to her great delight, we dressed her in Polly’s hood, and put a warm shawl round her, and I took her out.
Oh! how she ran, and jumped, and played in the garden. I never saw such a merry little thing. Now she was picking up stones, now she was gathering daisies (’day days, she called them), now she was running down the path and calling to me to catch her. She was never still a single instant!
[Illustration: After the storm.]
But every now and then, as I was playing with her, I looked across the sea to Ainslie Crag. The sea had not gone down much, though the wind had ceased, and I saw the waves still dashing wildly upon the rocks.
And I thought of what lay beneath them, of the shattered ship, and of the child’s mother. Oh! if she only knew, I thought, as I listened to her merry laugh, which made me more ready to cry than her tears had done.
THE UNCLAIMED SUNBEAM.
My grandfather and Jem Millar were sitting over the fire in the little watchroom in the lighthouse tower, and I sat beside them with the child on my knee. I had found an old picture-book for her, and she was turning over the leaves, and making her funny little remarks on the pictures.
‘Well, Sandy,’ said Millar, ‘what shall we do with her?’
‘Do with her?’ said my grandfather stroking her little fair head. ‘We’ll keep her! Won’t we, little lassie?’
‘Yes,’ said the child, looking up and nodding her head, as if she understood all about it.