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self felt no change, and began to wonder what it was all about. He ventured to ask Dr. Kenton on one occasion, and to say that he did not feel as though his strange bed and tight bandages were doing him any good; but he was told that all was going on well, but that a considerable time must elapse before any decided change appeared. “ We must give everything its own proper time," said the surgeon, “and people aren't cured in a day; but I hope you'll be able to walk as well as ever you did."
At this piece of news Eddy Graham seemed as though he would plunge out of his bandages; as it was, he wriggled about so much that Dr. Kenton warned him to keep still, and told him that stillness above everything else was essential to his recovery. “My great desire," said he, " is to avoid an operation if I can; but very much will depend upon yourself."
This intimation succeeded in quieting Eddy, and in bringing him through many an after hour of weariness, when he scarcely felt as though he could bear the confinement in one position much longer.
To be made well! that was more than Eddy Graham had expected; and to be made well without an operation that was better still. He promised to be very quiet, and he kept his word.
WHEN Mary Graham left her brother's room, and took her departure with the coalheaver, she felt very sad indeed. She was going amongst strangers, and it required all Tim Dobbin's powers of pleasing to make her brighten up at all. Mary was, however, a sensible girl, and her protector soon persuaded her that she had done for the best. On arriving at the worthy man's home she soon had practical proof of this; everything was so clean and Mrs. Dobbin herself was so kind, that she soon felt as happy as could be expected under the circumstances. The coalheaver's abode was in a mews, one range of which he had entirely to himself; it was not a very extensive place, but was much better than such places usually are. The under portion was used for the horses, the upper was divided between a hay-loft and the coalheaver's dwelling. Here Mary arrived, and her protector having, as he said, “tidied himself," i. e. washed in a bucket, and put everything to rights, the evening meal was served up.
The party at table consisted of the coal
heaver and his wife, Samuel the crippled boy, and little Poll: and a happy party they were. True, the coalheaver's employment was a dirty one; but he always cleaned himself when he got home; and he had a kind and honest, and what is better still, a pious heart. True! he had not much money; but what he received was always brought home to his wife, and she was a prudent, thrifty woman, who knew how to make a little go a great way. Tim Dobbin always called his wife a treasure, and good right he had to do so; he never heard of her gadding and gossiping with the neighbours ; she never entered the door of the flaring ginshop at the corner of the mews; she never misspent the money entrusted by her husband to her care. Sam the cripple and little Poll were always clean and tidy; the good man himself was never allowed to want a comfortable meal. Tim Dobbin's home was no doubt very humble, but it was respectable ; his family were poor, but they were happy also.
" I've brought thee home a little playmate," said the coalheaver to his little Poll, when he first came in ; "she was near a beating, but I saved her from it; thee'll share thee bed with her to-night.”
Mrs. Dobbin was at that moment busily engaged in cooking the supper; and little Poll having come forth to meet her father, thus came in for the first announcement of Mary Graham's arrival. The child was not shy, but took Mary's hand at once and led her to her mother. At first Mrs. Dobbin was naturally very much surprised ; but her husband soon explained the circumstances of the case, and then she expressed her satisfaction at what he had done. As to crippled Sam, he was for emptying all the contents of his plate upon their visitor's, and his affectionate heart soon received the little girl as a sister.
That evening Mary Graham sat with the Dobbin family around their fire; and the worthy coalheaver made her give them a full account of her past life, from the very first time that she could remember. This Mary did, and never did any one tell a story to more attentive listeners. Mrs. Dobbin was very much affected, and the little cripple Sam cried more than once.
“ Well, well,” said the coalheaver, when he saw that they were all likely to cry together; “ all will turn out for the best; cheer up. God is good ; come, Sam, bring out the book, there's a good lad. Sam is a great scholar,” said his father, addressing Mary; “ he'll read afore we go to bed.”
The coalheaver's Bible was a great one, with a strong brass clasp, and had been pur
chased at the price of much self-denial. He had seen it on a bookstand for some time with admiring eyes, and had determined, if possible, to make it his own; seven-andsixpence was the price, and for several days he passed by the stall which held the book, with scarce any hope of being able to possess it. At last he made up his mind to ask the bookseller to keep it for him, offering a deposit of half-a-crown, which he had saved for the purpose. The book was kept, and in due time was fully paid for, and great joy there was in the coalheaver's household on the evening that it was brought home. This Bible had ever been a special favourite with crippled Sam; he could not run about with other children, or enjoy their games, and there were only two or three other books in the place; so he read the little stories continually, and had become, as his father said, " a great scholar.” This evening he read the history of the three children, out of the prophet Daniel ; and Tim Dobbin expressed, at the conclusion, his belief, that God was with His own people, no matter how hot the furnace into which they were cast. Crippled Sam asked whether God, who was so great, was even with very little children ? and Poll wound up, by saying, she never felt afraid of the dark; for she felt God was with her, even though she could not see an inch before