It is with one of the little pieces of silver which have just rung in the till that we have to do. It had lain there for about two hours, the same scenes going on around it which we have witnessed with its owner of the morning, when a tall moustachioed young man entered the shop, which was not exclusively devoted to toys, and asked to be shown some gold pencil-cases. His choice was soon made, the money paid, and our friend the Sixpence received in change. Ah, Sixpence! what sort of hands have you fallen into now? We have undertaken to follow your fortunes for a time, and therefore, uncomfortable as our quarters may be, we must take up our abode with you in Captain Crawford’s waistcoat-pocket, and go where he pleases to lead us. Up High Street and Smith Street to Grange Road, where we mount and away from houses and streets and the fashionable world; among the fields and hedges, just decking themselves with Daisies and Celandines, and every now and then, at the top of the many little hills which the road crosses, comes a peep of the bright blue sea, from which, go where we will, we can never get very far away in Guernsey. After a short ride, Captain Crawford pulled up his horse, and giving it into the care of a boy who answered his call, he walked down an avenue to a pretty rose-covered house, which he entered, and made his way to the drawing-room.
“Well, my little one, what have you been about all the morning?” was his greeting as he opened the door to a delicate-looking girl who lay on the sofa.
“Oh, Edward!” she answered, “I was just wishing for you. I feel rather better than usual to-day, and mamma says I may take a turn in the garden. I was only waiting for your arm. Will you ring for my bonnet?”
“Look, here is a New-year’s gift for you, Ellen,” said her brother, taking the gold pencil-case out of his pocket and hanging it on her chain.
“Oh! thanks—thanks, Edward!” she said warmly, as she pulled his head down to her, and threw her arms round his neck; “My own brother, how good of you! this is just what I wanted.”
“I never yet knew you have anything which was not just what you wanted, Ellen. Is there anything in the world you wish for now?”
“No, I am very happy. You none of you give me an opportunity of wishing for anything; as soon as I wish, I have it. You all spoil me.”
“I know what I wish,” said her brother; “and that is, that I had your secret of finding everything so very comfortable. What is it, little one?”
He had seated himself by her side, and was stroking the hair back from her forehead, while she lay in quiet enjoyment of his gentle touch; but on hearing his last question she raised her large dark eyes, fixing them earnestly on his face for one moment, but without speaking. She was soon ready for her walk, and, leaning on her brother’s arm, let him half carry half lead her out.
“Let us go to the gate, Edward,” she said, when they reached the door; “the children will be coming out of school, and I may see some of my little friends.”