“Oh, Geordie, I can’t bear it. Why did you no let Blackie get hold o’ me? Oh, Geordie, Geordie!” Elsie sobbed, as she crept round within sight of the boy, and knelt beside him with clasped hands and lines of agony on her face, that made the fair child look like a suffering woman.
Geordie turned his dying eyes upon her with a look of mingled love and sorrow, which none who saw it could ever forget; and stretching out both his hands, he said, “Oh, Elsie, will ye no give me one kiss afore I dee?”
And Elsie lifted up her fair face, which had been covered with her hands, and bending down, kissed the dying lips. Then, with a look of unutterable gladness and contentment, Geordie closed his eyes as if he was going to sleep.
Walter Campbell turned away for a moment, for, as he afterwards told one of his shipmates, “It was more than a fellow could stand, and he didn’t mind confessing that he hadn’t stood it.” Presently he hurriedly joined the little group again, determined that Geordie must yet hear before he went away how his faithful words had, through God’s grace burnt themselves into a wayward heart, and set a dead soul on fire. But he found that another Voice was falling on Geordie’s ear, which was closed to all earthly sounds now; even that greeting to faithful ones which bids them enter into the joy of their Lord.
And so the poor bruised body did lie in Mistress Gowrie’s woodruff-scented best bedroom, and among her snowy linen, that night after all, but Geordie was not there; his home was henceforth in the many mansions of the Father’s house.
AN OLD FRIEND WITH A NEW NAME
“Now, children, here we are at Kirklands, at last,” said a lady with a pleasant voice, to an eager-looking group of boys and girls, who were clustering round her, in a large open travelling carriage, which had just drawn up in front of an old gateway, and waited for admittance.
“Kirklands at last,” was re-echoed among the little party. The two boys seated beside the coachman glanced round at the occupants of the inside seats, feeling sure that, their higher position secured them superior information, and shouted in chorus, “Mamma, mamma, Kirklands at last.”
“As if we didn’t know that as well as you do,” shouted back Willie, a curly-headed little fellow, seated beside his mother, who had a secret hankering after the higher place of his elder brothers, along with a desire to prove to them that their position was in no way superior to his own.