“You, John Fisher, will you?”
“Yes, I have taken a drop now and then, but I’ll sign and stand with you. I don’t want to get into the—”
“Dock, where I was?” asked Tim.
“No, I am sure I don’t.”
“And that’s the very place where drop-people may fetch up. I was a drop-taker once. I will sign, and God help me!”
“O he will,” said Aunt Stanshy, encouragingly. Charlie now saw that her eyes were redder than ever.
After the name of Timothy Tyler came the name of John Fisher.
“Now you will make those at home happy,” said Will.
But only those with whom Tim made his home really knew how happy it made them. How great was the change there! Young Tim speedily began to rally, sitting up that very day, while Ann went round the house singing.
Charlie came up the next day with a delicacy from Aunt Stanshy for the patient.
“Tell Aunt Stanshy to wipe out every thing, and we will start once more,” was the message that Ann sent off by Charlie.
“It is all wiped out,” was Aunt Stanshy’s answer, and the two soon came together and joined hands.
The barn-door toward the dock was now open, and, in a humble way, the firm of “Tyler & Fisher” began business, drying their fish on the flakes adjoining Aunt Stanshy’s barn, while in the barn itself they stored their possessions, as might be necessary.
A note from Mr. Walton arrived about that time. It was written in his frank, simple, hearty way, congratulating both the men on the stand they had taken. Referring to Tim’s desire for fellowship in his new effort, of which Mr. Walton had heard, he added, “There is another who will stand by you, the Great Brother who came as a babe at Bethlehem, and Christmas will soon remind us of it. Feeling for us and loving us, he at last died for us. Ask him to stand with you. He came to help just such poor weak fellows as we all are.”
That touched the “firm,” and the next Sunday they both sat in a back seat near the stove by the church-door. As Tim Tyler sat there in old St. John’s and heard the dreary wind roaring without, he thought of the fishing-boats that scud before such winds anxious to make port and reach home.
“That’s me, I hope, trying to get home,” he thought, “and find harbor in God’s Church, will hold us all.”
A NEW DEPARTURE.
Again the club was only a memory. It was like a walking-stick that, when the mountain-tramp is over, the vacationist puts on the wall as a memento.
“How is your club getting along, Charlie?” asked Miss Bertha Barry, one day, when she was calling at Aunt Stanshy’s.
“We—we—don’t meet,” said Charlie, mournfully. Juggie was there, also, calling on a once brother knight, and he, too, looked sad.
“Now I have an idea,” said the teacher. “You know I like a good time as well as any body, but I think if we have clubs, it is a good idea to make them as useful as possible. If you meet again, remember, your name is ‘Up-the-Ladder Club,’ always to be climbing up, always to be advancing. Now you can advance in this way; you can combine the literary element.”