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Harper's Young People, January 13, 1880   By:

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[Illustration: HARPER'S




Tuesday, January 13, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.




It was early winter evening at Castle Garden, the scores of gas jets that light the vast rotunda dimly showing the great hall deserted by all the bustling throngs of the morning, save the few women and children clustered around the glowing stove, and closely watched by the keen eyed officials who smoked and chatted within the railings near them.

Sitting apart from these, taking no notice of the gambols of the children, was a wee lassie of perhaps eight summers, her round, childish face drawn with trouble, and her great blue eyes brimful of tears. She was evidently expecting somebody, for her gaze was fixed on the door beyond, which seemed never to open.

It was little Jeanie Lowrie waiting for her grandfather's return. Old Sandy Lowrie, thinking to take advantage of their stay overnight in New York to visit his foster son, who had left Scotland for America when a lad, had gone out in the afternoon into the great city, bidding Jeanie carefully guard their small luggage a few treasures tied up in a silken kerchief, and Granny's precious umbrella, which was a sort of heirloom in the family.

While the great crowd surged to and fro, and the winter sunlight flooded the room, Jeanie had been content to watch and wait, half pleased and half frightened at the shouts and noises that fill the place on steamer day; but when the men, women, and children all went away, by twos and threes, save a few, and silence came with the increasing darkness, and the dim gas jets were lighted overhead, her heart, oppressed by a thousand fears, sunk within her, and she fell to sobbing bitterly.

Now there were not wanting kind hearts in the little groups around the stove; for there was Mary Dennett, with her five laddies, going to join her husband at the mines in Maryland; and Janet Brown, her neighbor, with her three rosy lassies; and Jessie Lawson, with her wee Davie; and not one of these three would see a child suffering without offering consolation. Kind Janet soon had her folded in motherly arms in spite of the bundle and the great umbrella, which the lassie stoutly refused to part with for a moment; and Mary Dennett, crossing over to the counter on the far side of the room, bought her cakes and apples; while the children, not to be outdone, made shy endeavors to beguile her into their innocent play.

But to each and all of these Jeanie turned a deaf ear, moaning constantly: "I want my ain, ain gran'daddie; he hae gaun awa', an' left me alane. Oh, gran'daddie, cam back to your Jeanie!"

The evening wore on into night, and still no Sandy came to comfort Jeanie; but there came that great consoler, sleep. Soon she slumbered in Janet's arms, and the kind soul, fearing to waken her, held her there till the beds for the little company were spread on the floor; then she laid Jeanie tenderly down, with her treasures still clasped in her arms, and covering her, stooped to print a warm kiss on the round tear stained cheek, not forgetting to breathe a prayer for the missing Sandy's safe return.

The snow glistened on the walks and grass plats of the park without; the wind roared down the streets and whistled among the bare branches of the trees, and rushing along, heaped up the waters in huge billows, dashing them against the great stone pier; men passed to and fro, but Sandy came not, for far off in the great city he had lost his way.

In vain he had asked every one to tell him where his foster son Alec Deans lived. Meeting only laughter or rebuffs, he tried in the growing darkness to find his way back to Castle Garden, but could not. No one seemed to understand him, or cared to; so at last, worn out in mind and body, he sunk down on the stone steps of a house, unable to proceed a step further... Continue reading book >>

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