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other Arab tribes to oppose the entrance of the Israelites into the heart of the Peninsula, where their own towns and pasture lands were situated. The scouts of these people must have watched from the eastern ridges the progress of the Hebrews southward, uncertain perhaps of their ultimate intentions; but when they turned inland along the Wady Feiran, the main and most accessible route to the interior, their object must have been at once understood; and an immediate muster would take place of all the available force of the Amalekites to bar their farther progress, while it appears that parties were also sent to cut off stragglers in the rear, or to make flank attacks
from the lateral wadys, so as to impede their advance, a mode of warfare suited to the character of the country, and referred to in Deut. 25, 18:-"How he met thee by the way and slew the hindmost of thee, all the feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary." This passage is thus perfectly connected with the account of the battle in Exodus.
The ground for the decisive contest was well chosen by the desert tribes, long accustomed to defend their country against the Egyptian armies; but we must describe the scene of the battle, and the subsequent march to Sinai, in a second paper.
J. W. Dawson.
"Ice and Snow, praise ye the Lord."
Он Earth, poor Earth, locked fast and bound
How shall deliverance be found
For thee? What strong hand shall unclose
Thy fetters, letting loose the sound
Of laughing waters; from the ground
How peacefully, how quietly
Thou waitest undaunted, undismayed!
Oh heart, poor heart, whose frozen springs
But lie in icy folded rings
Pulseless and voiceless every one,—
Learn this great patience, and abide
Though still thy Summer should delay.
And in the deepest snow-drifts hide
The blossoms of a coming May.
"SAY, now, marm! Lemme in. I aint half so smart's I look to be. I kin do more 'n four things to help ye, and I'm kinder onlucky jess now. Mother's dead, ye see, 'nd
Here the simple creature blubbered honestly, and drew his ragged sleeve across his eyes. Mrs. Ellery relented. "Well, who be ye, anyhow? Where d'ye come from?"
"Ho, Jemimy! Where d'ye come from?
Flat fish 'n flounders! where d'ye come from?'
I'm Jericho Jim; come from Jericho straight, a Tuesday mornin'. No place for Jim there. Dad broke his neck last winter; drunk as David, 'nd slipped up, 'n the sled fixed him out a goin' over him; mother she cried some, but he was dead, anyhow;" and with a sort of furtive grin on his thin, sallow face, and a spark in the hitherto vacant gray eye, Jericho Jim sent his stick spinning in air and caught it again dextrously.
"Where be ye a goin' to?" inquired the old lady again, resting on her broom-handle, and looking over her spectacles at the queer creature before her.
"I'm goin' here, marm. They said suthin' 'bout the poor-house, down to Jericho; so I quit. Poor-houses aint clean;" and he gave a sidelong glance into the kitchen, neat as a lady's parlor, not passing over the clean calico gown and stainless cap of good Mrs. Ellery.
"That's so; they're dirty holes. Well, you come in and set down. I'll give ye some vittles, and ye can stay till husband comes home; he'll see to ye."
So Jericho Jim was set down to an abundant supper of beans, biscuit, pie and gingerbread, and plenty of hot tea, and proved beyond a doubt that he was hungry.
When Deacon Ellery came home he growled a little at the new inmate of his family, more because it was his way to growl than because he meant it; for his keen eye for business discerned in Jim an inexpensive helper whom his increasing years and rheumatism made welcome if not needful. Somebody was once overheard by
"Why doos Dea
this worthy man to ask: con Ellery allers go grumblin' round like an old gobbler?" and the Deacon saw fit to answer for himself, to the great confusion of the inquirer, who had not seen him coming : 'Why, ye see, I have ter; so's to everage things. Wife's orful smoothly; comf'table as a punkin in a corn lot; allers a smilin' and chirpin'; 'nd it stands to reason all m'lasses aint good for this world; 's got to be some grind, so I do the grindin'." With which exposition of his unconscious heathenism, the Deacon gave a grunt and walked away. He was better than his words, however, for his heart was warm and his head clear; and poor Jericho Jim soon found that his new home was a haven of rest for his weary body, and did his very best to reward the sheltering goodness that fed and clothed him, and beamed on him like sunshine in kind looks and words.
"I declare for't," grumbled Deacon Ellery, "it beats all to see that are feller work; I dono whether he's a fool or not. See him a pitchin' into the wood-pile, mother? Well, ye'd say there warnt no better feller to pile wood betwixt here'n Danbury; but yesterday, when he was a sawin', all of a sudden he stopped short 'n jumped the fence 'n lay down in the sunshine 'nd kicked his heels. Jim,' says I, 'what be ye stoppin' for?' 'So's to grow,' ses he, cooler'n a cucumber. 'Grow?' says I. 'Yes,' ses he. 'It's a reel growin' day; the' aint a heap sech days; sun a shinin', birds a singin', wind a blowin' real soft: mostly we're friz to death in this world; kinder stunted, Deacon; I want to grow whilst I can; there's more'n forty days in the wilderness to work, ye know.' Well, if I didn't let him be! 'Taint no use a talkin' to him when he gets a curus notion like that holt on him."
"There's somethin' to most o' his notions, that's a fact," replied the old lady. "I kinder wonder whether or no he aint got the right on't, Mr. Ellery. Mebbe ef we'd took more sunshine into us along back, you an' me wouldn't ha' been so dreadful rheumaticky."
"He's a queer genius anyhow," muttered the Deacon, walking off; but it was to be observed after this that the old man sat in the south doorway more than he ever had done; and that his wife let in all the sunshine into her bed-room and kitchen that the small green-paned windows allowed. If they were too old to be cured of rheumatism, at least the rooms grew cheery and the air sweet, and spectacles did them more good than usual.
They would neither have read or remembered a hygienic treatise on the benefits of sun and air, but they had sense enough to accept the homely wisdom of Jericho Jim, and brains enough not to let carpets stand between them and comfort.
Before many months Jim became a sort of neighborhood courier; he peddled milk for the Deacon, and dispensed with his quarts and pints all the news of the village. Many a good woman waited eagerly for his coming, and ran out with her apron over her head, not merely for the pitcher of fresh, sweet, rich fluid, but to hear about "Mis'" Alien's sick baby, or Jones's grandmother who broke her leg last week, or Sary Penny's company from York; and it was strange enough to see how quaintly and. deftly Jim fitted his story to the hearer. With the curious instinct that sometimes dwells in the souls of those we conceitedly call half-witted, he seemed to comprehend the characters he met, to understand their wants and their ways; and many was the word in season carelessly dropped from his lips that did a blessed errand, all the more because it was uttered by "the foolishness of man."
"Did ye stop to Harris's to-day? in quired the Deacon, as Jim rode up to the gate one frosty morning, with clattering empty cans.
"Well, I expect I did."
cherk. Then he larfed rough as bark. 'Give us a quart,' sez he; 'I haint got no change to-day.' 'Well,' sez I, 'it aint no matter's long's ye're to hum; Deacon's willin' to trust folks 't stay to hum.' He looked orful beat 'n mad, 'nd I see the doctor larfin'; but he took the milk, 'nd I whipped up, I tell ye."
Jericho Jim never knew that Tim Harris staid at home through his wife's long illness, simply to be sure, since he had no money to buy it with, that the delicate baby, sole survivor of six, should have its regular food; for drunkard and idler as he was, he had a passionate, reasonless fondness for his children; and when one after another they died he sought fresh consolation at the whiskey shop. But this one lived, thanks to its sudden weaning from its heart-broken, wornout mother, whose bitter troubles and meager food had poisoned even the draught of life for her babies, and sent them to untimely graves. While she lay helpless and raving with fever for nine long weeks, Tim staid at home, nursed her as well as he could, tended and fed the baby, who learned to cry for him, instead of crying at the sight of him as all the others had, and getting fat and rosy on the yellow milk that Jim brought daily in a little pail from the Deacon's Alderney, wound itself round the father's heart, kept him with bands stronger than iron from his evil haunts, taught him to live without his stimulant, at least for so long; and established a hold on him never lost. It was little Rosy Harris who in after years coaxed her father into good habits, and made her mother's last days bright and calm; but it was Jericho Jim who began the good work with his unauthorized statement of the Deacon's willingness to trust a man who "stayed to hum."
Curious enough, too, were Jim's peacemaking propensities. These clouded or
"Lef' the quart, I s'pose, 'n didn't git straying minds sometimes take a certain nothin' for't?"
"No, sir! I give 'em somethin' to boot. Ole Harris came to the door for't; she's done up. Doctor's gig was a stannin' there, an' he was clus up to the winder a mixin' a mess, 'n ole Harris sez: 'Be you Ellery's fool?' 'Yes, I be, you bet,' sez I, pooty
elfish delight in mischief, but his desire and delight was peace. Miss Nancy Vance was a thin and somewhat little old maid, yet gifted with a good deal of sense, and tolerably reasonable; about half a mile from her little brown house, where she lived with a bed-ridden mother, and did tailoring, lived
the Widow Pyne, a noisy, good-natured, hightempered woman; quick to resent or to fancy an injury, but equally quick to forgive. Between her and Miss Nancy raged a feud of such strength and bitterness as is only to be found in a little country village between people whose minds are narrowed by their limited horizon and slight experience. They were both church members, but they would neither look at each other across the meeting-house, nor recognize each other in the porch. Miss Nancy always called Mrs. Pyne "that pesky widow," and was styled in return with more vigor than reticence, "that darned old maid."
Jericho Jim was aware of this, and many a time shrunk as if from a pin-prick or a blow when one began to vituperate the other, and openly evaded the subject.
"I spose old Nance Vance takes half a pint o' milk on ye, don't she?" inquired Mrs. Pyne, with a sniff.
"Land o' glory! what splendid red apples them be!" ejaculated Jim, his ears shut to the question, but his eyes very wide open to an Astrachan apple-tree in the corner of the yard.
Now this apple-tree was widow Pyne's glory; nobody in Sawyer had such a tree; and she petted it like a baby, dug about it with her own hands, manured it every fall, and gave it copious libations of dish-water all through the summer. No tent worms ever found lodgment in its thrifty branches; and in May it was always pink with blossoms, for a tree so coddled had no "off year," but bloomed and bore in every returning season.
It was 66 a sight to behold," as its gratified owner remarked, and Jim's admiration was so fervent, Mrs. Pyne could not do less than reward him with a pocket full of the glowing fruit. Jim was duly gratified, and jogged on his way revolving a scheme in his simple mind which fructified, literally, as he found himself at Miss Vance's door. Miss Nancy came out for her pint of milk looking unusually benign; some of the small items that make up lonely women's life had been gracious that morning; perhaps her bread had risen just right, or her hens had done their duty in the matter of eggs; but how
ever that might be, she had a kindly word for Jim; and he poured her full pint with a beaming grin. Stop a minnit, won't ye; he called after her "Won't ye jest set down that are milk, an' hold up your apern; here's some o' Miss Pyne's amazin' apples."
"Widder Pyne's apples!" ejaculated the amazed spinster, as she received the crimson spheres into her check apron.
"Yes! them's the fellers; she sent 'em along o' me. Good-day!" With which ambiguous statement, Jim whipped up the old horse and went along before Miss Nancy had time to think.
"Well here's nigh onto a merracle!" she exclaimed to herself. "Widder Pyne's apples! I've heered she sot by 'em dreadfully, and now she's been an' sent 'em to me. Well! well! well! I'd oughter be ashamed o' myself, that's a fact; 'tis shameful for church-members to keep up a querrel the way we've did; but she's got the start of me, that's a fact. I must kinder show my feelins now, surely."
So the next day Jim was invited to stop on the way back, and carry Widow Pyne a basket of fresh eggs, for eggs were Miss Nancy's specialty. Imagine Jim's secret joy and Mrs. Pyne's noisy surprise.
"Sent me them eggs? Land o' Goshen! she ain't weak in her mind, is she, Jim? Must be a leetle touched; or else I be: I guess she's a good cretur, after all. I dono what on airth hes ailed us two to be allers a fightin', and now she's begun it, I guess I kin be as neighborly as other folks. Don't ye go by here to-morrow without getting a pocket-full o' apples for Nancy Vance, Jim. Let's see. I'll put 'em in the basket." But the second supply of apples never reached Miss Nancy. Jim had a queer sense of justice, and a squirrel's love for nuts and fruit. He had done a good work with the other apples, and lost them, as far as his own delectation was concerned; these others he would keep for his own eating; and his very simpleness made up for wisdom, for a second supply of fruit would certainly have led to awkward explanations, while as it was, when the two ladies met on the church steps next Sunday, smiling and beaming to make their
mutual acknowledgments, there were no questions to ask or answer, and they parted in friendliest fashion, to remain firm allies thereafter.
Not far from the Ellery farm there lived a bad-tempered, cross-grained old fellow, John Dekin by name, who had driven his boys away from home long ago by dint of being everything a father ought not to be: and whose wife staid with him simply because she was his wife; a fact which is of some virtue to a good woman. Now this man was a great stickler for his rights: he had a right to do as he liked in his own house, no doubt; and the neighbors agreed that they had an equal right to keep away from it! All but good Mrs. Ellery, whose great kind heart could not see a woman suffer as she knew Mrs. Dekin must, and not try to alleviate her sufferings. She would go there persistently, though she trembled before the big dog, and quivered at the sound of his master's voice; for it was one of John Dekin's "rights" to keep the fiercest dog and the crossest bull any where about Sawyer. Jericho Jim volunteered to go with Mrs. Ellery when she paid her visits to the Dekin farm, and as there never was a dog who could withstand Jim's way with the brute creation, he and Tige soon became the best of friends.
"Hullo!" said the farmer one day as he came suddenly round the corner of the house, and found Jim, who had just escorted Mrs. Ellery to the door, sitting on the step and fondling the great bull-dog, who with watery eyes and slobbering jaws, rested his muzzle on Jim's knee, and looked up into the thin, kind face above him. "Hullo you feller! look out for that crittur; he'll be into ye 'nd chaw ye up, 'fore you can wink."
66 I guess not," said Jim, with one of his half silly, gentle smiles. "He knows real well I don' want to hurt him none; so he don' keer to hurt me; no more he will, will ye, Tige?"
cently, "why I thought folks knew more 'n dogs!"
There was no answer to this: John Dekin walked away; and there ran through his mind, oddly enough, a scrap of a text he had heard somewhere; perhaps his mother read it to him; may be he had heard it at meeting, though he generally went to sleep there :-"Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?" It clung to him with that curious persistence peculiar to texts, which defies philosophical explanation; and more than once thereafter modified some currish act, or silenced some growl, before he fully recognized the invisible restraint upon him. Not long after, that violent bull of Mr. Dekin's broke into Deacon Ellery's lot of winter wheat, just about two inches high, and made a general mess of the whole field, already soaked by a wet autumn. Jim discovered the creature in full tide of devastation, browsing on the tallest spires, and trampling down the rest into undistinguishable mud. He sat down a moment and considered; then filled his pockets with potatoes, left in the next lot after digging as too small to save, and carefully tossed one over the fence just before the old bull's nose; the bait was too tempting, the creature nipped it up at once, another fell about a foot in front of him, then another still further off, and following the fence, which tended toward the barn-yard, Master Taurus before he really understood the snare was beguiled into his own quarters, and the gate shut fast behind him. Then Jim hunted up the farmer.
"Say, Mr. Dekin; hed you just as lives keep that are splendid ole bull o' your'n in the barn a spell, till I git our folkses fence sot up?"
"Why, what harm's he ben a doin'? Hain't I a right to keep a bull in my own lot, I want to know?"
"Sartinly, sartinly! but ye see the poor cretur wanted a fresh bite, an' he kinder
The dog's stump of a tail wagged affection- pushed down the fence like, and got into
"Well, mebbe it'll do with dogs; you seem to kinder get round that one; but it ain't folkses ways," growled the farmer. "Ain't it?" said Jim, looking up inno
some winter wheat; so I guessed I'd git him out on't fust—”
"How in thunder did ye get him out? that's the pint."
"Well, I coaxed him a leetle; sorter tolled