Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us.

CHAPTER III.

Daylight breaks, and the dwellers upon a thousand hills rejoice in the first rays of the morning sun.

“Didst thou ever hear that promise, ‘God will provide’? inquired a pale, yet beautiful girl, as she bent over the form of a feverish woman, in a small, yet neatly-furnished room.

“Yes,” was the reply; “and he who allows not a sparrow to fall unnoticed, shall he not much more care for us?  Yes, Julia, God will provide.  My soul, trust thou in God!”

It was Mrs. Lang.  The good lady who had befriended her was suddenly taken ill, and as suddenly died.  Mrs. Lang, with her daughter, left the house, and, hiring a small room at an exorbitant rent, endeavored, by the use of her needle, to live.  She labored hard; the morning’s first light found her at her task, and midnight’s silent hour often found her there.  The daughter too was there; together they labored, and together shared the joys and sorrows of a worse than widowed and orphaned state.  Naturally of a feeble constitution, Mrs. Lang could not long bear up under that labor, and fell.  Then that daughter was as a ministering angel, attending and watching over her, and anticipating her every want.  Long was she obliged to labor to provide the necessaries of life; often working hard, and receiving but ten to fifteen cents a day for that which, if paid for as it should be, would have brought her a dollar.  It was after receiving her small pittance and having returned to her home, that the words at the commencement of this chapter fell from her lips.  Her mother, with deep solicitude, inquired her success.

“He says he can get those duck trousers made for three cents, and that, if I will not make them for that, he can give me no more work.  You know, mother, that I work eighteen hours of the twenty-four, and can but just make two pair,—­that would be but six cents a day.”

“My child,” said the mother, rising with unusual strength, “refuse such a slavish offer.  Let him not, in order to enrich himself, by degrees take your life.  Death’s arrows have now near reached you.  Do not thus wear out your life.  Let us die!”

She would have said more; but, exhausted by the effort, she sank back upon her pillow.  Then came the inquiry, “Didst thou ever hear that promise, ’God will provide’?”

The question had been put, and the answer given, when a slight rap at the door was heard.  Julia opened it; a small package was hastily thrust into her hand, and the bearer of it hasted away.  It was a white packet, bound with white ribbon, and with these words, “Julia Lang,” legibly written upon it.  She opened it; a note fell upon the floor; she picked it up, and read as follows: 

Enclosed you will find four five-dollar bills.  You are in want; use them, and, when gone, the same unknown hand will grant you more.

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Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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