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Katie Robertson A Girls Story of Factory Life   By:

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By MARGARET E. WINSLOW Author of "Miss Malcolm's Ten," "Three Years at Glenwood," etc.


Copyright, 1885, By Congregational Sunday School and Publishing Society.

To the many boys and girls who are in early years earning an honorable support for themselves, or else assisting their parents by working in factories; to the multitudes of young church members, who may be glad of some practically helpful suggestions in surmounting the difficulties and resisting the temptations incident to their new lives; to mill owners, who feel their solemn responsibility, as in the sight of God, for the intellectual and spiritual welfare of their operatives; and chiefly to the young Christian manufacturer who has been the model from which the picture of "Mr. James" has been copied, this story, whose incidents are mostly true ones, is dedicated.

That the Holy Spirit may make use of it to inculcate in young hearts a sense of honorable independence, a conviction of the dignity of faithfully performed work, and, above all, an earnest and irrevocable choice of God's blessed service and an entire committal of their ways to him, is the sincere prayer of


SAUGERTIES, July 1, 1885.




"But, mother, it isn't as if I were going away from home, like the Lloyd girls; you might have a right to cry if that were the case."

"I know, dear; it's all right, and I ought to be very thankful; but I'm a foolish woman. I can't bear to think of my little girl, whom I have guarded so tenderly, going among all those girls and men, and fighting her way in life."

"I don't think I shall be much of a fighter," laughed Katie, looking at her diminutive hands; "and why is it any worse to go among the boys and girls in the factory than among the boys and girls in school? You never minded that."

"That was different you weren't doing it for money. O me! what would I have thought when I married your father if any one had told me that his child, his girl child, would ever have to earn her bread!"

"Well, mother, I won't go," said the girl, her bright looks fading away, "if you don't want me to; but I don't know what Mr. Sanderson will think, he tried so hard to get me into the mill, and it was such a favor from Mr. Mountjoy. You said you were very thankful."

"So I was, so I am; but but you don't understand, and perhaps it's better you should not. I'll try not to grumble."

This was promising more than Mrs. Robertson was able to perform perhaps, for she was a chronic and inveterate grumbler. But she had some excuse in the present circumstances, for Katie was, as she said, her baby, and the "apple of her eye." Married when quite young to the handsome and intelligent young village doctor, she certainly had not expected ever to be placed in a position where her children, her girls at least, would need to earn their own bread. But in a few short years the doctor died of a contagious disease he had taken from one of his patients, and as he had not yet begun to accumulate anything, his young widow was left with her three children to struggle along as best she could. How she had done it God and herself only knew. The little house was her own, the sole patrimony left by her own father. The horse and buggy, the medical library and valuable professional instruments, medicines, etc., were sold at a fair valuation; and the money thus secured, deposited in the bank, had served as a last resource whenever the barrel of meal failed or the cruse of oil ran dry. For the rest, Mrs. Robertson was employed by her neighbors to help turn and put down carpets, cover furniture, etc... Continue reading book >>

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