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them from the rapidly-rising tide. He came in the very nick of time. Although the coast was within a stone's-throw of them, they could scarcely all three have reached it safely without his help.
Assured of Teda's safety, Uwen's strength and courage redoubled; the mortal anguish that had seized him for a moment was changed into exuberant joy. Still carrying Freda with her arms clasped around his neck, he cared naught for the waves that drove him onwards; he even laughed if one dashed half over his head. The girl had lost all fear, and laughed with him. At last they had reached their own shore, which still glistened in the rays of the setting sun. Roeluf Hemmen had already set down his burden, and, as soon as he was sure that the two others were safely following, had sauntered on along the beach. The last comers hurried towards Teda, and Uwen exclaimed:
'That was a fine joke, yet it might have turned out badly for us.' “Yes, I might have been drowned, but for Roeluf.
I Teda said this in a tone that clearly expressed reproach and displeasure. The boy confusedly stammered:
But I could not help you both, and Datya-Freda, I mean—had sunk.' In an excited tone Teda exclaimed:
Why do you call her Datya ?' And then, turning to the latter, she went on : ‘Aren't you ashamed of standing there like that? Make haste and run home, and get yourself dressed.'
Freda looked at her in surprise, and said :
'I could never have got through with my things on; besides, we had been running about without them before.'
'Indeed I had not!' replied Teda, sharply denying the fact, and apparently in good faith.
Freda could not understand this singular denial, and asked : * Have you forgotten that we pretended to be in Paradise ?'
But Teda persisted in her angry denial, until Freda could not help exclaiming :
Mother says we ought never to tell lies ; why, then, do you do so?'
Trembling with excitement, Teda burst out:
'It is you who are telling lies, for you have not got a mother.'
Freda did not understand this either, and replied :
* Because Walmot is no mother of yours, nor is Roeluf your father ; you were washed up here by the sea, and you have neither father nor mother. If you don't believe me, ask my father whether it is the truth or not.'
She had learned this but a short time before through a chance remark of her father's, and had jumped to the conclusion that Freda herself was ignorant of the fact, and that it was meant she should remain so, as neither she nor Walmot had ever referred to it. Disconcerted, though incredulous, the child looked up into the speaker's face. A gleam of triumph sparkled in Teda's eyes as they met hers; Freda's suddenly overflowed with tears. She could not utter another word, but ran sobbing over the downs towards the cottage, and rushing into the room, exclaimed:
Mother, is it true, mother?'
Why, whatever has my Datya been doing. Where are your clothes, my child ?'
But Freda clasped her tightly round the neck, and repeated amidst her tears what Teda had said to her. A shade passed over Walmot's face. She was silent awhile, then she replied :
'I have never told Datya, because it really does not matter; for, after all, I am your mother, and you are my child, because we love each other so dearly, don't we? Would Datya wish me to be really her mother, and to love her less? I care for nothing in the world but for Datya's love. If Datya loves me, then I am quite happy.'
It was impossible to comfort a weeping child with more soothing words and tenderer tones than those that Walmot used. The little one, however, scarcely understood the full meaning of the words she had heard, only a sudden dread had overpowered her when she thought that she, too, was motherless like Uwen. But was not her mother holding her in her arms, and kissing the tears from her cheeks? So, after all, if Teda had said the truth, it was no such great misfortune. Freda's sobs subsided; she cheered up once more, and related what in her distress had been well-nigh forgotten, namely, why she had returned home without her clothes. Walmot shuddered as she thought of the danger her darling had incurred. Words of blame-of reproof for the child's thoughtlessness—hovered upon her lips, but with great self-control she kept them firmly closed, and only pressed the child more closely to her heart. Without knowing it, she had lost her child, and found her again. Her heart was full of thankfulness, and it was not the moment to trouble her own and Freda's joy by any discordant word. She laughed and consoled the child for the loss of her clothes, fetched her some others out of the press, and helped her to put them on. Warnings and representations of what might have been, she left for a more convenient season.
Walmot then went outside the cottage, and her face wore a very severe look. She cast a glance around ; the twilight was gradually coming on. Some hundred steps away stood the two other children still in their wet clothes. Their eyes were fixed upon hers, and in Teda's was an unmistakable expression of fear. Walmot went up to her and said :
• How came you to tell Datya that I am not her mother.'
Walmot's face assumed a still sterner look. Here she could and would reprove. Grasping Teda's arm, she continued :
• But you knew, didn't you, that it would make Datya very unhappy?'
Teda's face showed very plainly that she knew it well enough, and her lips dared not deny the fact. She stood a moment, silent and pale as death.
Walmot repeated her question, insisting upon an answer: "Why did you do it ?'
Then, with a cry of anguish, burst from the girl's lips the words, 'I could not help it ! as she threw herself on the ground, and convulsively buried her face in the sand.
The sight was more than unexpected—there was something terrible in it. It was a passionate outburst of the child, who was not yet eight years old, and it sounded like a cry for help, like a struggle with her innermost self. Uwen had never before seen Teda like this. Full of distress, he stooped down hastily to raise her. Walmot, too, lent a helping hand, for she was dismayed by this sudden outburst. She asked : •Whatever is the matter with you, child ?
Don't cry; I didn't mean to scold you. Come with me; Datya is all right again.' She took Teda's unresisting hand, led her along into
the cottage, and said in friendly tones : 'Here she is, Datya. She did not mean to be unkind; she just spoke without thinking. I meant to-day to have told you myself how it was that you came to be with me, so now make it up, and we will dry Uwen and Teda's clothes by the fire, so that they may not catch cold, or frighten their friends at home.'
She undressed the children, wrapped them in some rugs, and then sat down with them before the blazing fire. Every word she uttered tended to make them forget the quarrel that had arisen. In reply to her questions, Uwen had to give a full account of their afternoon ramble over the sea-gull isle.
Teda, as she sat there, shivered at first more than once in spite of the heated room ; then Freda asked anxiously, 'Are you cold?' and she drew the rug more closely round her playmate's neck. . It was a soft little childish hand that did this, but in the act it was very like the time-wrinkled hand of Walmot.
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT.
WORDS fail to convey any adequate impression of the stillness that pervaded this little island, lying as it did far away from the world, and more and more forgotten by it as the years passed on.
Summer and winter succeeded each other with unvaried sameness, the approach of the latter being ever announced by its faithful herald, the wildly roaring sea. But of the still more stormy times on the mainland scarcely the faintest echo reached its shores. The Directory of France had quitted the stage which they had dyed with blood, only to turn a still deeper flood of the crimson tide over the whole of Europe.
The battles of Marengo and Hohenlinden had been fought; a brief peace followed the war, a longer war followed the peace. General Bonaparte placed on his own head a new French Imperial crown, whilst Francis II. had to lay aside that of Germany, consecrated by the associations of a thousand years. The battle of Austerlitz was followed by those of
Auerstädt and Jena, the German Empire lay dismembered, and Paris was the only capital of the western half of Continental Europe. New kingdoms sprang up like mushrooms at the command of the sole ruler, Napoleon, Emperor of the French, 'by the grace of God.' So, at least, he styled himself, and justly in the minds of all those who believed in the overruling hand of Providence. They said that without the permission of the Almighty the Corsican upstart could never have obtained this mastery over the half of Europe. His success must have been in accordance with the decrees of the Most High.
The shouts of victory, the cannon's roar, the death-rattle and streams of blood, convulsed and dyed the Continent; but the island saw and heard nothing of all this. There the same uniformity reigned as from the beginning, sea and sand, wind and wave, sunshine and storm, ever following each other with unvaried regularity. The Prussian authorities on the East Frisian mainland were probably anticipating, with mortal dread, some near and overwhelming calamity, and therefore let the little sand-isles slip more completely than ever from their memory. Those whom they forgot never noticed the neglect, and a world's destruction would not have affected them. They possessed neither power nor glory, they had no treasures, either of fruitful land or money, to tempt a conqueror to seize their homes; and they had no books or journals to tell them what was taking place beyond the limit of their horizon. Just as the rook returns at eventide from his distant flight to seek his woodland haunt, and perches for a moment on some branch at the entrance of the forest glade, giving forth a few short croaks ere he flutters further amid the foliage and drops into his nest, so might the sail of some cruiser, or the labouring oar of some boat, now and then make the long and toilsome passage between Dollart and the island; and then the returning fisherman would bring to his village comrades some sparse news from Emden, Leer, or Norden, of what was going on in the unknown districts of Southern Germany. He told the news without concern; the listeners heard with equal indifference, and then the speaker sauntered home to stretch at ease his weary limbs after the toils of the past day. What did it matter to them that great events were passing over there? It was no more than the sound of a cymbal, that might have come from the moon. Which way the wind would blow on