“Come, Hetty, we will go out and see if together we cannot roll in one of those great logs.”
Hetty was eleven years old. Lily put the baby in the cradle and then went out with Hetty to roll in the log. They rolled it up to the step, and got it part way into the door, but, alas! they could not get it further. There it stuck in the doorway, and the door was wide open; the wind and snow beat in from without, and the fire gradually settled away in its embers.
Something must now be done. Hetty put on her cloak and hood and set out for her mother; for she told them if anything happened to be sure and come for her. Hetty soon found her mother at the village store, and without stopping to warm herself, she said:
“O mother, come home, for little Eddy is sick, and Lily says it is the croup, and that he is dying. The fire is all out, and the room is full of snow, because the big log we tried to roll in stuck fast in the doorway.”
Hetty and her mother hastened home: and as they were crossing the street, there was her husband just entering the tavern. She told him about little Eddy, and he promised to go for a physician, and to come home immediately; and by the time they had gone half way home, Edward, her husband, joined them.
They hurried along, and as they came near the cottage there stood two of the cows, and under the shed was the third, the old “spotted cow,” which Hetty thought was in the pond when she left home. To their surprise the log was rolled away from the door, and as Mrs. Ford opened the door with a trembling hand, fearing her baby was dead, there was a young man sitting by a good fire, which he had made while Hetty was gone, with little Eddy folded in his arms. The anxious mother bent over her baby as he lay in the stranger’s arms, and seeing his eyes closed, she whispered:
“Is he dead?”
“He is not, he only sleeps,” replied the stranger.
This young man came into the house in time to save the baby from the cold chills of death. He was ever after a friend to the family—a means of Edward’s reformation, so that with some assistance the mortgage on the farm was paid off, and the farm re-stocked. This stranger became the husband of Lily, the eldest daughter.
For Henry and Edward.
’Tis strange to talk
of two mammas!
Well, come and sit by me,
And I will try to tell you how
So strange a thing can be.
Years since you had a dear
So gentle, good and mild,
Her Father God looked down from heaven,
And loved his humble child.
Thy first mamma died on board of the vessel which took her from Burmah. At parting—
her little boys
With white and quivering lip;
And while the tears were falling fast,
They bore her to the ship.