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George And Alick
by [?]

He seemed pleased to see Georgie, and gladly accepted his offer to sit for a little with him and read to him. Georgie read aloud very well, and with great spirit, and Alick was delighted with an amusement which was quite new to him. The hour Georgie was allowed to give him passed most delightfully, and when Georgie rose to go away, he was eagerly asked to come back the next day.

The next, and the next, and many succeeding afternoons, Georgie spent by Alick’s bedside, reading or chatting to him; and when he was able to use his arms, playing with him at chess, draughts, or any such game that Alick liked. That tender pity which God had put into Georgie’s heart for the poor wicked boy, he kept fresh and warm from day to day; and Georgie never grudged the time or trouble which he gave to Alick,–never lost patience with him, however fretful and unreasonable he might be, but was ever ready to do what Alick wished, whether he himself liked it or not.

One afternoon they had played for a long time at a favourite game of Alick’s, but one which Georgie thought very tiresome.

“Well, that is one of the nicest games in the world,” said Alick, stretching himself back upon his pillows when the game was done. “Isn’t it? Don’t you like it?”

“No,” said Georgie, looking up with an amused smile; “I don’t like it much.”

“Why then did you play so long without saying that you did not like it?” Alick asked, much surprised.

“Because you like it. I wanted you to have what you like,” Georgie answered simply; and having put away all the things, he stooped over Alick and asked him very kindly, nay, I may say very lovingly, if he thought he should have a better night, if he thought his pain was less than it had been.

“Yes,–no,–I don’t know,” Alick said, looking earnestly up into Georgie’s eyes. “But, Georgie, I say, why do you care so much?”

“Because I am so very sorry for you,” burst from Georgie’s very heart.

“You well may,” muttered poor Alick, glancing down at his useless, shrunken limbs. But this time there was no anger in his thoughts.

“It is not for that, not at all for that,” Georgie cried eagerly, as if guessing that pity for his infirmities might be painful.

“For what then?” Alick asked, looking at him keenly.

“Because you do not know, you do not love God,” Georgie answered with deep feeling. “O Alick, how heartless, how dreary it must be!” and the tears rose to his eyes, and ran down his cheeks without his knowing it.

His words, spoken in that tone of intense pity, thrilled Alick to the heart. This was the meaning of all those looks of tender, yearning compassion which Georgie so continually cast upon him. And was it then such a terrible thing not to know God?

Georgie’s “how heartless, how dreary!” sounded again in his ears, and seemed to answer the question. He said nothing to Georgie nor to any one; but all night long these words came back and back to his mind. He could not get rid of them. They were pressed down into his heart by the recollection of all that exceeding tender pity which Georgie’s eyes had so long expressed for him, and of Georgie’s loving, patient kindness, during his illness. And ever deeper and stronger grew the sense that his life was in truth, and ever had been, more heartless and dreary than Georgie could imagine.

Next day, when Georgie came to his bedside, Alick looked him full in the face and said:–

“Georgie, can you teach me to know God?”

You may imagine how Georgie’s heart leaped with joy at the question. Often had he longed to speak to Alick of his God and Saviour, but hitherto he had been afraid to do it; not afraid of what Alick might say to or of him, but afraid to hear him speak against the Lord whom he had so often blasphemed. Now his mouth was opened, and in simple, boyish speech, he poured out his heart to Alick, and told him all he knew of Christ’s love in taking upon himself the sins of those who were his enemies. And God’s Spirit going with the words he taught Georgie to speak, Alick’s heart was touched, and the poor boy was brought to take Christ as his Lord and his God.