much less teach him as she would have liked to do.
Still on Sundays she always, till her last illness,
managed to take him to church, and in her simple way
tried to explain to him something of what he then
heard. But he was only eight years old when she
died, and, though he had not forgotten her
the memory of her words had grown confused and misty.
For, in the four years since then, he had had no companions
but tramps and gipsies—till the day when
Duke and Pamela were decoyed away by Mick, he had
never exchanged more than a passing word or two with
any one of a better class. And somehow the sight
of their sweet innocent faces, the sound of their
gentle little voices had at once gained his heart.
Never had he thought so much of his mother, of his
tiny brother and sister, who, he fancied, would have
been about the size of the little strangers, as since
he had been with them. And when he saw them looking
shocked and frightened at the rough words and tones
of the gipsies,—when Pamela burst out sobbing
to see how dirty her face and hands were, and Duke
grew scarlet with fury at the boys for throwing stones
at the poor dogs,—most of all, perhaps,
when the two little creatures knelt together in a
corner of the van to say their prayers night and morning—prayers
which now always ended in a sobbing entreaty “to
be taken home again to dear Grandpapa and Grandmamma,”—a
strange feeling rose in Tim’s throat and seemed
as if it would choke him. And he lay awake night
after night trying to recall what his mother had taught
him, wishing he knew what it meant to be “good,”
wondering if the Grandpapa and Grandmamma of whom
the children so constantly spoke would perhaps take
pity on him and put him in the way of a better sort
of life, if he could succeed in helping the little
master and missy to escape from the gipsies and get
safe back to their own home.
For every day, now that he had seen more of the children,
he understood better how dreadful it would be for
them if wicked Mick’s intentions were to succeed.
But hitherto no opportunity of running away had offered—the
children were far too closely watched. And Tim
dared not take any one, not even Diana, into his confidence!
TOBY AND BARBARA.
“Missing or lost, last
The chance for which Tim was hoping seemed slow of
coming. He was always on the look-out for it;
and, indeed, had he not been so Duke would have kept
him up to his promise, for whenever he saw Tim alone
for a moment he was sure to whisper to him, “How
soon do you think us can run away?” And it was
now the seventh day since the children had been carried