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back to the house and get cordials and blankets. Give me the lantern Rachel, you will come with me.”
They turned back, and were soon by the house again, when Becky went in, but Mrs. Olds would stay by her husband. He carried the lantern, and they went out to the barn.
“Rachel," said he, as she clung to his arm, " it could not be that our children should suffer any
harm on Christmas. I'm not superstitious, but it's Christmas, you know.” Just then the clock struck twelve in the clear air, and at once, too, the bells were merrily rung, to usher in Christmas Day.
“ () Jacob,” said she, bitterly, “what right have we to expect God will take care of our children? Hark!" and she seized his arm convulsively. They stood dumb upon the threshold of the door.
They found a babe". It was little Jacob who had suddenly waked at the sound of bells, and had sung the words that were last on his lips. It was their father's barn to which they had come back in their wanderings. He sang both verses clearly.
“Rachel," said Mr. Olds, “ I dare not go in," and he sank down on the floor. But at that moment, the other children waking, began
talking and crying together, and Mrs. Olds, opening the door, cried, as she looked into the darkness,
“My children, my children!” “Here we are, mamma," spoke up little Jacob.
0, I thought perhaps the babe had come. Do you really think he will come to-night? Nurse told us about him, but it was a secret. There was One who was found just so, when the angels sang to the shepherds, and He was good to people, and He died.”
“ And Johnny was Parson Dawes," broke in Peter, who was crying, and was very sleepy.
“Why didn't you hear us when we sang ?” said John. “We sang real loud, and I pounded with my stick. This is the way we did,” and the children, now wide awake, and standing on the barn-floor, sang once again their Christmas carol. And Becky, who had come out, said nothing, and could not even sing with them in her old cracked voice.
The next day was Sunday and Christmas. The three wise little boys did not know much about the King of the Jews whom they went to worship. But they went, nevertheless, and they carried, though they did not know it, some very precious offerings.
TOM AND JOM.
THERE were two horses that drew a street car over rails in the city. They looked exactly alike, except that one had a white spot over his tail, and this was the only way that the stablemen and driver could tell him from the other, and yet they were quite different. The name of the one distinguished by the white mark was Tom; the name of the other was John. So the driver and the stable-men called him ; but he was rather deaf, and, like deaf people, apt to seem a little dull. He thought his name was Jom, and that the driver, and stablemen, and Tom, who was always next to him, called him by that name.
They had travelled together, Tom and Jom, as long as either could remember, and were getting to be somewhat old; still they jogged on in the same track with a rattling car at their heels, day after day. They went down one street and up another, and into a third for a very long way; and after stopping a short
while, started off again, and soon were in the first street again; and down that they went, and up the other, and so round and round, only at noon stopping for a lunch, and at night stopping for rest; the next day they started out and got into the middle of the track, and the car was hung on to them, and off they jogged again, rain or shine, hot or cold, down the street and up the next, and into the third.
As Tom and Jom moved along, they wagged their heads, and shook their tails a little; but they could not see each other very well, since they wore old-fashioned blinders.
So they looked ahead. Yet they could talk to one another for all that. Tom liked talking best in the evening, when it was quiet about them, and he did not have to raise his voice so much; but Jom liked rather to talk in the day-time, when carts were rattling about them, because, like other deaf people, he could hear better then. So it was that one day when they had started out on their regular journey, they fell into conversation.
“Well,” said Jom, “we seem to be going again - eh, Tom?"
“O don't talk yet," complained Tom. “Do wait till evening. It's so noisy. Besides, I feel so stupid always in the morning."
“Yes,” said Jom, who was a little apt to repeat himself, — “yes, we seem to be going again. We've got a good long day before us, a good long day.”
“ Just hear him,” groaned Tom. “I say, John!” he shouted.
6 Well ?” said Jom.
“ You needn't speak so loud. I hear well enough in the day-time. Why, do you think we shall get there then - eh, Tom? It looks like it. We've been going so long now, we must be 'most there. Let me see: yesterday and day before, and then day before that, and then the day those men were trying to get up those two long black things, that always seem to be going just ahead of us. 0, no doubt we are almost there!” and he waggled his head sagely.
“I never did see such a - !” cried Tom. “ You don't suppose it will be any different to. morrow, do you?”
“ Why yes, if we get there.” “But we sha'n't get there."
“I don't know about that; we've been agoing now pretty long."
“But that's just it, John. Do we get ahead