**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The New-Year’s Gift
by [?]

The evening before New Year’s, the deadly disease seemed to be progressing more rapidly than ever; and when the doctor came for his evening call, he found all the family gathered in mournful stillness around the little crib.

“I suppose,” said the father, with an effort to speak calmly, “that this may be her last night with us.”

The doctor made no answer, and the whole circle of brothers and sisters broke out into bitter weeping.

“It is just possible that she may live till to-morrow,” said the doctor.

“To-morrow–her birthday!” said the mother. “O Ally, Ally!”

Wearily passed the watches of that night. Each brother and sister had kissed the pale little cheek, to bid farewell, and gone to their rooms, to sob themselves to sleep; and the father and mother and doctor alone watched around the bed. O, what a watch is that which despairing love keeps, waiting for death! Poor Rover, the companion of Ally’s gayer hours, resolutely refused to be excluded from the sick chamber. Stretched under the little crib, he watched with unsleeping eyes every motion of the attendants, and as often as they rose to administer medicine, or change the pillow, or bathe the head, he would rise also, and look anxiously over the side of the crib, as if he understood all that was passing.

About an hour past midnight, the child began to change; her moans became fainter and fainter, her restless movements ceased, and a deep and heavy sleep settled upon her.

The parents looked wistfully on the doctor. “It is the last change,” he said; “she will probably pass away before the daybreak.”

Heavier and deeper grew that sleep, and to the eye of the anxious watchers the little face grew paler and paler; yet by degrees the breathing became regular and easy, and a gentle moisture began to diffuse itself over the whole surface. A new hope began to dawn on the minds of the parents, as they pointed out these symptoms to the doctor.

“All things are possible with God,” said he, in answer to the inquiring looks he met, “and it may be that she will yet live.”

An hour more passed, and the rosy glow of the New Year’s morning began to blush over the snowy whiteness of the landscape. Far off from the window could be seen the kindling glow of a glorious sunrise, looking all the brighter for the dark pines that half veiled it from view; and now a straight and glittering beam shot from the east into the still chamber. It fell on the golden hair and pale brow of the child, lighting it up as if an angel had smiled on it; and slowly the large blue eyes unclosed, and gazed dreamily around.

“Ally, Ally,” said the father, bending over her, trembling with excitement.

“You are going to have a New ‘Ear’s pesent,” whispered the little one, faintly smiling.

“I believe from my heart that you are, sir!” said the doctor, who stood with his fingers on her pulse; “she has passed through the crisis of the disease, and we may hope.”

A few hours turned this hope to glad certainty; for with the elastic rapidity of infant life, the signs of returning vigor began to multiply, and ere evening the little one was lying in her father’s arms, answering with languid smiles to the overflowing proofs of tenderness which every member of the family was showering upon her.

“See, my children,” said the father gently, ” this dear one is our New Year’s present. What can we render to God in return?”