FOR many long weeks Clinton Holkins had been saving up every penny he could get to celebrate the Fourth. Nothing else had been talked of at Elm-tree Corners for a while.

It was usually a very quiet, sleepy little place, where there was little going on, but this year the young men had decided to have a brass band, and a procession, with a company of soldiers in uniform, flags flying, drums beating, a speech from the platform of the village hotel, with rockets and other fireworks in the evening. The boys, for their part of the frolic, had resolved to set off as many packs of fire-crackers as they could possibly obtain, and each one had pledged himself to buy all that he could.

Pennies did not abound in Clinton's pocket, nor in his mother's house. 

She had been obliged to work very hard to bring up her family, since the summer, four years ago, when her husband had been taken from her, dying, though so long after it, from the effects of hardship and exposure endured during the war. Besides Clinton, who was her eldest child, she had three others, of whom two were little girls at school, and one was a helpless invalid, sick with a spinal malady.

Clinton earned a penny here, and a penny there, by carrying baskets home from the train, holding horses, going to the mill, and running on errands for the summer boarders at the hotel. 

The day before the Fourth, he counted the money in his little box, and it amounted to twenty-five cents, which he considered a fortune.  Elsie's cot was drawn close to the window. She was very pale, and her sister Blanche was fanning her.

"If you could only eat something, dear," said her mother, "you would feel better. Can you think of nothing you would like?"

"I could eat a saucer of strawberries if I had them," said the little girl, languidly.

But strawberries ripened very late in that hill-country. It would be a month, at least, before they were plentiful. Mrs. Holkins sighed, and went on with her work. She could get no berries for Elsie, she was sure.

Clinton heard the question and answer as he went whistling out of the house. He knew where he could buy some berries. The rich lady staying at the hotel had ordered some, and she would sell him a few, if well, if, he could go without firecrackers, and spend his money in giving his sister a treat.

It was a real struggle, which the boy fought out as he stood before the window of the store, but it was ended nobly and soon. He purchased the berries, giving their owner no hint of the sacrifice he was making, and only saying that he wanted them for a sick sister. Elsie enjoyed them; and his mother gave him such a tender kiss that, though he had no crackers, he celebrated the Fourth very happily indeed. Standing by the bars that evening, as he watched the rockets soaring up to the sky, he did not regret that he had been self-denying. 

The flower called heart's-ease was blooming in his bosom. 

Child's World.