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- A Hive of Busy Bees - 13/13 -


a large sum of money to take to the foreman of a certain mill. In a wild and lonely spot, you slipped from your saddle and knelt down by some bushes and asked God to protect you. Do you remember it?'

"'As if it had been yesterday,' said the minister. 'But, my good friend-what do you know about it?'

"'Far more than you do,' said the sick man sadly. _I heard that prayer_. I was crouching among the bushes nearby, with my rifle pointed at your heart. I had planned to kill you, take the money, and ride away on your pony. But while you were praying something passed between us; I did not know what it was, but I believed that God had sent it to protect you. I sat in those bushes, too weak to pull the trigger, and watched you ride away--perfectly helpless to do any harm to you. But it has haunted me ever since--the thought of what I wanted to do, and what I should have done if God had not answered your prayer. I could not meet God without telling you all this. Can you forgive me?'

"Again William grasped the hand of the dying man, saying in a husky voice, 'My friend, as God has forgiven my sins, I freely forgive you. Ask now for God's forgiveness, and be at peace.'

"The minister stayed with the man for some time, talking and praying with him; until at last the light shone in his dark soul, and God forgave his sins.

"He died soon after that, and William Sutherland was asked to preach his funeral sermon. He chose as his text those words from the book of Proverbs: 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.'"

The children sat very still for some time, after Grandma had finished her story. "I think Bee Prayerful is the best of all," said Joyce at last. "I shall remember that story as long as I live."

"I hope you will, dear," said Grandma. "No matter where you go--no matter how busy you are--always listen to the gentle buzz of Bee Prayerful."

"We will, Grandma," said the children soberly.

"And now," said Grandma, "it is bedtime for two little folks who will have to be up bright and early in the morning. You know the train leaves at eight o'clock."

"Good-night, katydids and whippoorwills," murmured Don a little drowsily. "We shall come back to hear you sing again next summer."

With that, two tired children crept upstairs and tumbled into bed; and very soon they were in the Land of Dreams.

Home Again

[Illustration: Home Again]

The sunlight was streaming in at their bedroom windows, when Joyce and Don awoke the next morning. They dressed quickly, and ran down to watch Grandma pack their lunch for the trip home. At the breakfast table, they talked of all the nice times they had had during the past few weeks; and they promised to persuade Mother and Daddy to come with them to the farm next summer.

When everything was ready, Grandpa lifted the little trunk to his shoulder and carried it out to the car; and soon they were on their way. When they reached the station Grandpa bought the tickets, checked the little trunk, and gave the children a story book to read on the train. Dear Grandpa and Grandma! They always knew just what to do to make the children happy.

As the train whistled in the distance, Don caught Grandpa's hand and held it tight. Joyce threw her arms around Grandma and whispered, "Dear Grandma, I love you! And I've had such a happy time!"

The train pulled up, and the conductor called, "All aboard!" After Grandpa had helped them on to the train, and had gone back to the station platform, the children waved and threw kisses through the window. As the train moved away, they pressed their faces to the window and watched Grandpa and Grandma as long as they could. But they soon were left behind, the train moved faster, and the little village passed out of sight. Happy vacation days on the farm had come to an end.

For a few moments the children had to fight to keep back the tears. Then Joyce opened the book that Grandpa had given them, and soon their loneliness was forgotten.

There was a story about a little lame dog that came to a man's house one cold winter night and whined about the door. He let it in, bound up its foot, and gave it some food and a comfortable place to sleep.

The man liked the dog so well that he decided to keep it. One night, when everyone was asleep, the house caught fire; and the dog awakened the man in time to save the whole family from burning to death.

There were stories about cows and horses; and a long, long one about the interesting animals to be seen at the zoo.

One story was so funny that when Don read it, he burst out laughing; and the other passengers looked at him and smiled. It was about a mischievous monkey at the zoo. One day a gentleman who wore a wig came by, carrying his hat in his hand. The monkey reached through the bars and caught hold of the wig, pulling it off his head.

When it was time for lunch, Joyce opened the basket that Grandma had packed for them. They spread out a napkin on the seat in front of them, and ate their lunch off this "table" in the most grown-up fashion. Grandma had tucked in several surprises; and how good the cookie-men tasted!

In the middle of the afternoon they began to pass through the suburbs of the city, and soon familiar sights came into view. When the train backed into the station, there stood Mother and Daddy waiting for them.

"O Mother," cried Joyce with a bear hug, "I've had a good time, but I'm so glad to see you again!" Don, big boy that he was, had jumped into Daddy's arms. Soon the little trunk had been placed in the car, and they were driving toward home.

"What did you enjoy most of all, during your vacation?" asked Mother, as they were eating supper that evening.

"Fishing," replied Don quickly.

Joyce did not answer; she sat quite still, with a far-away look in her eyes.

"And what did my little girl like best of all?" asked Mother at last.

"O Mother," said Joyce, her eyes shining, "I was happy every minute-- even when the old turkey gobbler was chasing me around the tree. But what I liked best was to sit out on the porch in the evenings, and listen to the katydids and whippoorwills, and watch the stars come out one by one. And then it was so nice to sit close to Grandma's old rocking-chair


A Hive of Busy Bees - 13/13

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