“TUMBLE up, Ben, tumble up!"

"What for, Harry? " 

"A pretty question to ask. Don't you remember that we were to go fishing this morning?"

"Oh, it is too early yet." 

"Too early? Why, just see, it is almost sunrise."

But Ben turned over and settled himself for another nap. "Benjamin Armstrong, if you are not up in one second, I'll sprinkle this basin of water over you."

"You had just better try that game, old fellow!" replied Ben, starting up in bed, his hair at sixes and sevens, and his eyes glaring with an angry expression.

"There, I've done it now! I've done it!" exclaimed Harry, stooping over, with both hands resting upon his knees, and laughing immoderately. "Turn your feet out, Ben, and then you'll be ' right side up, with care.'"

At Harry's comical words and manner, the angry look vanished from Ben's face, and he joined in the laugh.

"Well, now, Harry, since you have fairly got me up, though I can't say with much care, I'll have my clothes on in a jiffy. Have you any worms? "

"To be sure, I've lots of them!"

"Glad of it; for I detest digging for the wriggling things."

With bait and fishing-rods in hand, the boys started off to the stream, where they hoped to catch some fine bass for dinner.

"Mr. Whipple and several other gentlemen from the city are to dine with us, Ben; and father says he will pay us for all the fish we catch. Some of the gentlemen who are coming are especially fond of fish, and father wants those set before them to be as fresh as possible, better than those he usually gets in market."

"That accounts for your early rising. Why did you not tell a fellow sooner that there was a prospect of making a fortune by being up with the lark? "

"I did not think of it in time, Ben; and the basin of water, which I caught sight of, finished the job for me finely."

"I tell you what, Harry, I was real angry when you threatened to spatter it over me; but somehow your good-nature got the better of me, as it always does. Can't you tell me how to be always good-natured?"

"Oh, you are not wanting in good-nature, Ben, when it comes to the tug. But come, I know where there are some old logs reaching out into the river. It is the very place to drop our lines."

The brothers were soon seated upon the log, with lines dropped into the water. Erelong, Harry's line gave a jerk. With eyes full of excitement and an eager, yet careful hand, he gave it a gentle toss out of the water; and sure enough, there was attached to it a fine large fish. Harry was so delighted at his success that he could scarcely take his eyes off from it. Then his line was once more silently dropped into the stream .Ben, in the meantime, was trying his luck, and succeeded in capturing a fine fellow, nearly as large as Harry's. As the fish seemed so ready to bite, the boys were now all enthusiasm to catch as many as they could before breakfast. For three hours they quietly dropped their lines, Harry not even stopping to count his fish, or to watch Ben's success; but when it was time to go home, his basket did not seem quite as heavy as he thought it would be.

"Why, Ben, how strange!" he wonderingly exclaimed. "I thought I had made a pretty heavy haul, and yet I don't seem to have more than three or four fish in my basket, and not extra large ones either."

Ben made no reply; but a close observer might have noticed the blood suddenly mount to his face while his brother was speaking.

"What makes you so glum, Ben? Let's see if you have had any better success. 

Why, you have more than I, and beauties, too! Well, it's queer that I've no more. 

I really thought I had caught and unhooked ever so many. But perhaps, in my excitement, I exaggerated my good fortune."

"Are you sure you put them directly in your basket?" asked Ben, with a somewhat downcast look.

"There, that's just it ! What a careless fellow I am. I remember now, in my eagerness to throw in the line as fast as possible, I now and then laid one on the logs; and just as likely as not their fish’s hips bounced back again into their native element. Well, there is no use in crying," said the good-natured boy, and he whistled off his disappointment.

The family were descending for breakfast when the boys entered the house. Catching sight of them, Mr. Armstrong called out,

"Well, boys, what success? Must I be prepared for bankruptcy? My port-monnaie is not a very heavy one this morning."

"I think you will be fully able to meet your engagement, father. If I had managed as well as Ben, though, in keeping what I had secured, your port-monnaie might have been still lighter."

"How is that, Harry?"

In reply, Harry told his father of his great success in capturing the finny tribe, and the poor result in his basket to show for his enterprise.

"Well, my son, don't worry about it. You'll be more careful next time, I'm sure.

" I rather think I shall; but future prudence won't mend matters now. Besides, I wanted the money for an especial object."

"Ah! I am sorry for your disappointment. Now, Ben, what have you to say for yourself? Your sober looks seem to speak of disappointment too, or else sympathy for your brother in his losses."

At these kind words, Ben winced, and quietly opened his basket.

"Hurrah! We are to have a grand feast of fresh fish, after all. What beauties! I don't wonder you have kept still, Ben; for it would hardly have been either noble or kind to exult while poor Harry was feeling his loss so keenly. Now I will settle with my young fishermen; then you must wash your hands and hasten down to breakfast, for it is past eight, and your mother and sister are waiting."

To be Continued.



HARRY soon came down-stairs, whistling, and not a trace of his disappointment upon his sunny countenance.

"Where is your brother?" asked his mother.

"Up-stairs, mother. He is tired, and says he does not want any breakfast."

"Not want any breakfast? Why, that's strange! I should think his zeal as fisherman would have kept him from feeling tired yet awhile, and given him an appetite too."

"So should I, mother. Early rising, at all events, has made me as hungry as a hawk; and as these hot muffins look very inviting, I will eat his share and mine too."

"Well, eat all you want," replied Mr. Armstrong;" only be sure to be polite to your mother and sister first."

Harry ate the hot muffins, and chatted with his mother and sister of the morning's adventure, when, quite abruptly, his father said,

"Harry, are you sure your brother is well? He did not appear at all like himself when I purchased the fish from him."

"I guess he was only lazy, father. We were up at five; and Ben hates to get up early."

Mr. Armstrong's words, however, set Harry to thinking. He recalled Ben's strange, abstracted manner on their way home, and he was now more than ever perplexed by it. He lightly ran up-stairs, and softly entered their room. He found Ben lying upon the bed, his face toward the wall, or rather crushed out of sight in the pillow. Supposing he was asleep, and not wishing to disturb him, Harry took up a book, and quietly seated himself at the window. Then, fearing that his brother, who was somewhat heated, might take cold with nothing over him, he rose and laid a light spread across him. As it touched Ben's form, there was a slight quiver, then a groan.

"Why, Ben, are you awake? What is the matter, old fellow? "No answer; but Ben, to Harry's great surprise, seemed to be sobbing. His form shook, and moans escaped from his, lips.

"Are you sick? Do tell me."

"Let me alone, won't you?"

"Certainly, if you wish me to; but won't you first tell me what is the matter?"

"How can I? " And Ben gave another, deeper groan. More alarmed than ever, poor Harry stood bewildered. Suddenly Ben started up in bed, and in a wild, excited manner, flung his money at his brother.

"There, take it!" said he; "for it is just as heavy as lead, and I won't have anything to do with it."

"Why, Ben, what in the world is the matter with you? Your cheeks are flushed, and your mind is wandering. I fear you have a fever. Let me go and call mother!"

"Oh no! Don't, Harry; don't call mother! For I am ashamed to look her in the face, or you either. Do go off and leave me!"

"What is the trouble, Ben? Out with it; for I can't bear to see you look so crushed."

"I may well be crushed; for, O Harry, I can't tell what tempted me, but"

Down went the flushed face, and once more it was deeply buried in the pillow, as though Ben felt too much ashamed to either look his brother in the face, or continue his confession.

Harry now seated himself on the bed to encourage his brother. "Come, Ben, if there is anything upon your mind, you had better out with it. You won't feel just right until you have made a clean breast of it. I can't imagine though, what should so suddenly sting your conscience, for I have seen nothing amiss in you."

"Harry is so unsuspicious," thought Ben. "I have been a great fool to betray myself. I might just as well have kept my secret to myself instead of making him and all the rest of the family despise me for being a downright mean fellow. Oh dear, what shall I do?"

Poor Ben! He certainly was not used to having a guilty conscience, and so could not conceal its upbraidings. On being again urged by his brother to tell what was the matter with him, he made a full confession.

"O Harry! It was too mean! When, too, you are such a kind, generous-hearted fellow. But, Harry, the truth is, I had little or no success catching fish; and you were so careless in laying yours down upon the logs, that I thought I might as well slip them into my basket as to let them get back into the water. At first I only did it for fun, and meant to return them to you. 

Then thoughts of the money we were to get for our fish kept me silent. But when father spoke in praise of my not exulting over you, you, to whom all the fish, but one or two, belonged, it was too much, and I have had no peace of mind since. I could not face the family at the breakfast table, or have my skill as fisherman talked about."

Harry gave a surprised whistle. He was quite shocked on hearing of his brother's theft and deceit. What could he say to Ben?

"Harry, please take the money; and oh, do forgive me, if you can!"

The pleading voice, and tear-stained eyes fixed upon him, touched Harry's heart. 

He at once forgave his brother, and after a little serious talk, left him to speak to their parents, and smooth the way for Ben to make a similar confession to them of his temptation and sin.

Ben was truly penitent, and sought forgiveness of his Heavenly Father, as well as of his earthly friends. It was a long time before he recovered his usual spirits, and he never forgot the sharp stings of a guilty conscience.