A NEW HOME

WE have now to request our readers to follow Dick to a very different
scene to that of Roan’s Court. His parents were glad he had found
such grand friends, and were quite willing to part with him. They
were not improving in their habits, but rather the reverse. Walters
did as Sir John had requested, and bought the boy suitable clothes
and other necessaries for his new position in life. He looked so
different when dressed in a cloth suit, with a white collar and black
necktie, that he could scarcely be recognised for the same boy who
had worn the old garments out of the blue clothes bag. The children
in Roan’s Court gathered round him when he first appeared in his new
attire on the day he was to leave altogether, and stared at their old
playmate with astonishment. A few of the elder ones, amongst whom was
Larkins (who had never got over the hot dinner disappointment),
derided him, called after him “Gentleman Dick,” and other nicknames.
He was not sorry when he was fairly out of hearing, and on his way to
Walters, who had promised to go with him to Grosvenor Square, and say
good-bye there. An omnibus was standing at the door when they
arrived, which was to take the servants to the station. It was being
loaded under the eye of a manservant. When he saw Walters and Dick,
he directed them to go down into the kitchen, where all was bustle
and confusion from the hurry of departure. Amongst the servants going
away was Susan, who had been so terrified lest Dick should prove an
accomplice of burglars. She looked at him with very complacent
feelings now, for Sir John had told the story of the bright farthing,
and explained that he had spoken truth when he said he wanted to give
the gentleman some money and not to beg of him. With his usual kind
thoughtfulness, the baronet had been anxious that the servants should
feel an interest in their young fellow-traveller, who would naturally
be strange and shy amongst them all.

At length all was ready, and Dick was told to take his place in the
omnibus with the others. He was very sorry to say farewell to his
dear old friend, who, in his turn, felt as if his home would be
lonely without the bright, merry face he was so accustomed to see
popping in constantly.

“God bless you, my lad,” he said. “Never forget your prayers.
Remember, those are my parting words to you.”

Then came the rumbling of the omnibus, and the arrival at the
station; and after that the puffing of the steam-engine, and for the
first time Dick saw houses and churches rushing away from them, as it
seemed to him. Soon, great, busy London was left behind, and houses
and churches only came at intervals, but green fields and trees took
their place, and they were in the country, which was far more
beautiful than Dick’s wildest dreams had ever pictured it. He was
quite surprised that all the servants talked away to each other, and
scarcely ever turned their heads to look out of the window. Susan was
the only one who seemed to understand his admiration. She was very
kind, and gave him her place in the corner that he might see better;
and she pointed out things to him, and told him the names of the
places they passed through, for she had been so often backwards and
forwards that the road was quite familiar to her and her
fellow-servants.

Towards evening they arrived at a station, where they stopped. Here
an open carriage was waiting, large enough to hold them all, and the
luggage followed in a cart. Dick had a delightful place on the box
between the driver and the footman, from which he could see the
hedges and trees, etc., to perfection as they drove rapidly past
them. After a drive of about a mile, they came in sight of a large
mansion standing on a rising ground in the midst of beautiful
gardens, which glowed with flowers of every colour. The carriage
stopped at a lodge, and now Dick was told he was to get down, as here
he was to live with the gardener and his wife. A pleasant,
motherly-looking woman appeared at the door, who was addressed as Mrs
Naylor. She gave the servants a kindly greeting, and as the carriage
drove on, took hold of Dick’s hand, and said she was sure he must be
tired and hungry, and had better have some tea directly. She took him
into a nice pleasant kitchen, where a table was spread with a
substantial tea. Her little lads came running in to look at the new
boy, and to do justice to the viands. They were followed by Mr
Naylor, the gardener–a tall, fine-looking man, with a rather grave
face.

He spoke kindly to Dick, and said he had heard all about him from Sir
John, and he hoped he would be a good boy, and then he should be glad
to have him to lodge in his house.

Dick thought he had never been so hungry or tasted such good food.
After tea, Mrs Naylor showed him a room in which he was to sleep. It
was very small, little more than a large closet, but there was in it
everything he could want, and it had a window looking into a garden
full of flowers. He was so thoroughly tired with his journey and with
the day’s excitement, that Mrs Naylor proposed he should go to bed,
and he was thankful to do so. Probably no little boy in England slept
a sounder sleep or had a happier heart than our young hero that
night.