They raised Rollo up, and his father took him in his arms to carry him away. He saw that there had been some serious difficulty with the bad boys, but he did not ask Rollo any thing about it, then; for he knew that he could not talk intelligibly till he had done crying. Rollo laid his head down on his father’s shoulder, as he walked along, and sobbed bitterly.
A TEST OF PENITENCE.
His father carried him back to where his mother and uncle were, who were coming towards him looking anxiously.
They presently got pretty near them, Rollo still continuing to cry. His father then said to him,
“Rollo, be still a moment. I want to speak to you.”
When he first took Rollo up, he did not command him to be still, for he knew that it would do no good. He was then so overwhelmed with pain and terror, that he could not help crying; and his father never commanded impossibilities. By this time, however, the pain, and the immediate terror, had so far subsided, that his father knew he could now control himself, and Rollo knew that he must obey. He accordingly stopped crying aloud, and tried to listen to his father.
“Rollo,” said his father, “I pity you very much. I warned you against this bad company, and now I perceive you have got into some difficulty with them; but I cannot hear your story about it till we get home. It is your own fault that has brought you into trouble; and now you must not extend your trouble over all our party, and spoil our happiness, as you have your own. I must go and put you by yourself, until you get entirely composed and pleasant, and then you may join us again.”
“But, father,” said Rollo, beginning to cry afresh at the thoughts of the boys’ treatment of him, “they came up to me, and—and—”
“Stop, Rollo,” said his father. “Be still. You cannot tell the story intelligibly now, and if you could, I should not be willing to listen to it. You must not say any thing about it, unless you are questioned, until we get home.”
By this time they came up pretty near the place where the rest of the party were; but his father did not take him there. He turned aside, and, putting Rollo down, he led him along to a smooth log, which lay among some old trees, close by, and told him to sit there, until he was entirely composed and pleasant again, and then to come to him, or to go to picking berries again, just as he pleased.
Rollo sat on the log, for some time, with his empty basket by his side, mourning over his sorrows. Lucy came to him, and endeavored to console him. She begged him not to cry; and she poured out half of her own berries into his basket, and told him that they could soon fill it full again, if he would come with her to a good thick place she had found. Rollo became gradually quiet and composed, and walked along with Lucy.
Lucy had indeed found a place where the berries were very thick and large, and Rollo determined to be as industrious as possible. They worked away very busily for half an hour, and Rollo gradually recovered his spirits.