afforded no information to the traveller; for age had rendered it useless.
The boys were gazing upon him with much curiosity, when he beckoned them towards him, and inquired the way to the village of Eldenby.
The eldest, a fine intelligent lad of about twelve years of age, pointed to the path, and asked if he were going to any particular place in the village.
" No, my little lad," said the soldier ; " but it is on the high-road to Frome, and I have friends there ; but, in truth, I am very wearied, and perhaps may find in yon village some person who will befriend a poor fellow, and look to God for a reward."
" Sir," said the boy, " My father was a soldier many years ago, and he dearly loves to look upon a red coat—if you come with me, you may be sure of a welcome."
" And you can tell us stories about foreign parts," said the younger lad, a fine chubbycheeked fellow, who, with his watch-coat thrown carelessly over his shoulder, and his crook in his right hand, had been minutely examining every portion of the soldier's dress.
The boys gave instructions to their intelligent dog, who, they said, would take good care of the sheep during their absence; and in a few minutes
the soldier and his young companions reached the gate of a flourishing farm-house, which had all the external tokens of prosperity and happiness. The younger boy trotted on a few paces before, to give his parents notice that they had invited a stranger to rest beneath their hospitable roof; and the soldier had just crossed the threshold of the door when he was received by a joyful cry of recognition from his old friends, Henry Jenkins and his wife ; and he was welcomed as a brother to the dwelling of those, who, in all human probability, were indebted to him for their present enviable station.