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A Sailor's Lass by Emma Leslie

With her hands full of samphire


"How could you, Dick, if you knew God was waiting to hear you?" said Tiny, lifting her serious blue eyes to his face.

"Then why ain't He waiting to hear me?" asked Dick.

The question seemed to puzzle the little girl for a minute or two; but at length she said--

"He is, Dick, I think; I'm a'most sure He's waiting for yer to begin."

"Then He's waited a good while," said Dick, bluntly; and he got up and began to pull away at the samphire, by way of working off or digesting the wonderful thought. After working away in silence for some minutes, Dick said--

"D'ye think God cares for us down here at Bermuda Point?"

Tiny paused, with her hands full of samphire.

"Why shouldn't He?" she said. "I know He cares for me. He loves me," she added, in a tone of triumph; "my mother told me so. She said He loved me just as well as she did."

"I'd like to know whether He cares about me," said Dick. "D'ye think yer could find out for us, Tiny? Yer see everybody likes you--mother, and father, and Bob; and Harry Hayes showed you his book yesterday. You see you're a gal, and I think you're pretty," added Dick, critically; "so it 'ud be a wonder if He didn't like you."

"And why shouldn't He love you, Dick?" said Tiny.

Dick looked down at the patched, ragged, nondescript garments that served him as jacket and trousers, and then at his bare, sunburnt arms and legs. "Well, I'm just Dick of the Point. I ain't a gal, and I ain't pretty." Nobody could dispute the latter fact, which Dick himself seemed to consider conclusive against any interest being taken in him, for he heaved a sigh as he returned to his work of picking the samphire.

The sigh was not lost on Tiny. "Look here, Dick," she said, "you ain't a gal, and p'r'aps you ain't pretty, but I love you;" and she threw her arms round his neck as he stooped over the basket. "I love yer, Dick, and I'll find out all about it for yer. I'm a'most sure God loves yer too."

"Oh, He can't yet, yer know," said Dick, drawing his arms across his eyes to conceal the tears that had suddenly come into them. "I don't never say no prayers nor nothing. I ain't never heerd about Him, only when dad swears, till you come and said your prayers to Him."

"Still, He might, yer know," said Tiny; "but if you'll help, I'll find out all about it."

"What can yer do?" asked Dick.

"Well, I'll tell yer why I want dad to come home soon to-night," said Tiny, resting her hands on the basket, and looking anxiously across the sea. "Mother said he'd take the samphire by boat to Fellness, and I thought perhaps he'd take me too."

"Well, s'pose he did?" said Dick, who could see no connection between a visit to the village and the attainment of the knowledge they both desired.


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