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"No," said the grave-digger, "you needn't be frightened ; you won't have to go just yet. Why, you're ever such a little mite of a thing !"
“Please, Mr. Solemn, when you die, who'll have to dig your grave, please ?"
"I don't know,” said Solomon, uneasily; “ they'll have to get a new digger, I suppose.”
“Maybe you'd better dig one ready when you've a bit of time, Mr. Solemn.”
But though Solomon was very fond of digging other people's graves—for he was so much used to it that it had become quite a pleasure to him, he had no wish to dig his own, nor did he like thinking about it, though Dot seemed as if she would not let him forget it.
Another day, when he was working in a distant part of the cemetery, she asked him
“Whereabouts will they bury you, Mr. Solemn ??
And when they were standing over a newly-made grave, and Solomon was admiring his work, she said,
“I hope they'll make your grave neat, Mr. Solemn.”
But though these questions and remarks made old Whitaker very uneasy-for he had a sort of uncomfortable feeling in his heart when he thought of the day when his grave-digging would come to an end--still, for all that, he liked little Dot, and he would have missed the child much if anything had kept her from his side. She took such an interest in his graves, too, and watched them growing deeper and deeper with as much pleasure as he did himself. And, whether we be rich or poor, high or low, interest in our work generally wins our hearts. And by-and-by Dot found herself a way, as she thought, of helping old Solomon to make his graves look nice.
He was working one day at the bottom of a grave, and Dot was sitting on the grass at a little distance. He thought she was busy with her doll, for she had not been talking to him for a long time, and he gave a jump, as he suddenly felt something pattering on his head, and heard Dot's merry Then she ran away to another part She had filled her old Solomon shaded his eyes with
.22 upon him as he out of sight.
said the old man, CHAPTER 11.-DOT
i his head. Dot's mother had lived all her “it'll make it white Yorkshire moors, far away fro kind of school. But her husba .; and from that time up in a town, and country li' scatter at the bottom of when Dot was about five yer ..ok upon it as a necessary place, and took one of the ught Dot was like a daisy order that his little girl was; he wondered at himself on which to run about, he loved her. For his own flowers.
many years, and it was so long The cemetery was old wife's grave, that Solomon mother, having had to love. He had had no one think it at all necess he had cared for no one. go to school, and it into his old heart unawares. spend most of he was very well ple
111.—THE LITTLE GRAVE. stones, and clim Jigging a grave one day in a very quiet the robins hopi etery. Dot was with him, as usual, But Dot's
pretty childish way. She went aboarave, is this,” remarked the old man, as he another, and sides with his spade; “nice and dry, too; it'll a great int watched b ry little one,” said Dot. he called s like to be little when it's for a little girl ; you grave-diwant a very big grave, Dot.” puzzle said Dot; "but you would want a good big one, wante you, Mr. Solemn?"
mention of his own grave always made Solomon go
of his “reverdies.” But he was recalled by Dot's
said the old man ; " maybe about your size, Dot. came about the grave. I was in the office when he called, and said he, ‘I want a nice quiet little corner, for it's for my little girl.””
“ Did he look sorry?” said Dot.
“Yes,” answered Solomon ; "folks mostly do look sorry when they come about graves.”
Dot had never watched the digging of a grave with so much interest as she did that of this little girl. She never left Solomon's side, not even to play with her doll. She was very quiet, too, as she stood with her large eyes wide open, watching all his movements. He wondered what had come over her, and he looked up several times rather anxiously as he threw up the spadefuls of earth.
“Mr. Solemn,” she said, when he had finished, “when will they put the little girl in ?”
“ To-morrow morning," said the old man, “somewhere about eleven, I suppose.”
Dot nodded her head, and made up her mind she would be in this corner of the cemetery at cleven o'clock.
When Solomon came back from his dinner, and went to take a last look at the little grave, he found the bottom of it covered with the white daisies which Dot had thrown in.
“She has made it pretty, bless her !" he murmured.
Dot crept behind the bushes near the chapel the next day, to watch the little girl's funeral arrive. She saw the small coffin taken from the hearse, and carried on in front. Then she watched the people get out of the carriages, and a lady and gentleman, whom she felt sure were the little girl's father and mother, walked on first. The lady had her handkerchief to her eyes, and Dot could see that she was crying. After her walked two little girls, and they were crying also.
There were a few other people at the funeral, but Dot did not care to look at them; she wanted to see what became of the little girl's coffin, which had just been carried into the chapel. She waited patiently till they brought it out, and then she followed the mournful procession at a little distance, till they reached the corner of the cemetery where Solomon had dug the grave.
Solomon was there, standing by the grave, when the bearers came up with the coffin. Dot could see him quite well, and she could see the minister standing at the end of the grave, and all the people in a circle round it. She did not like to go very near, but she could hear the minister reading something in a very solemn voice, and then the coffin was let down into the grave. The little girl's mamma cried very much, and Dot cried, too, she felt so sorry for her.
When the service was over they all looked into the grave, and then they walked away. Dot ran up as soon as they were gone, and, taking hold of Solomon's hand, she peeped into the grave. The little coffin was at the bottom, and some of Dot's daisies were lying round it.
“Is the little girl inside there?” said Dot, in an awe-struck voice.
“ Yes,” said Solomon, "yes, Dot, she's in there, poor thing; I shall have to fill it up now.”
“ Isn't it very dark ?” said Dot. “Isn't what dark ?"
“In there,” said little Dot; "isn't it very dark and cold for the poor little girl ?”
“Oh, I don't know that,” said Solomon. “I don't suppose folks feels cold when they're dead; anyhow, we must cover her up warm.”
But poor Dot's heart was very full, and, sitting on the grass beside the little girl's grave, she began to cry and sob as if her heart would break.
“Don't cry, Dot,” said the old man; “maybe the little girl knows nothing about it-maybe she's asleep like.”
But Dot's tears only flowed the faster. For she felt sure if the little girl were asleep, and knew nothing about it, as old Solomon said, she would be waking up some day, and then how dreadful it would be for her! “Come, Dot,” said Solomon, at last, “I must fill it up." Then Dot jumped up hastily.
“Please, Mr. Solemn, wait one minute,” she cried, as she disappeared amongst the bushes.
“Whatever is she up to now ?" said he.
She soon came back with her pinafore full of daisies. She had been gathering them all the morning, and had hid them in a shady place under the trees. Then, with a little sob, she threw them into the deep grave, and watched them fall on the little coffin.
After this she watched Solomon finish his work, and did not go home till the little girl's grave was made, as old Solomon said, “all right and comfortable.”
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
“ Evil for Evil;" OR, JIM GRANT'S TEMPTATION. ou'll pay her out, you see if I don't ; trust me, she
shall suffer for it!"
Such were the words that reached my ears as I
entered the gate of a cottage garden. The speaker, when she appeared, was plainly in an angry mood, as she held in one hand a long branch of a cucumber vine that was broken off, and in the other a fine large cucumber.
“What is the matter, Mrs. Grant ?" I asked ; " have you had an accident ?"
“No accident, sir, I am sorry to say," was her reply. “I wish it had been an accident. Done in malice and spite, sir! But it shall be a bad piece of work for somebody.”
“ What! do you think that this has been broken off on purpose ?” said I, pointing to the cucumber.
“I do, sir,” said Mrs. Grant; “but they shan't have done it for nothing."
“ 'Tis a downright 'shame, that it is,” said a neighbour, looking over the hedge; “for you were growing them for the show, weren't you, Mrs. Grant? and you were sure of the first prize, too !"