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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER VI. IN THE SNOW.
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 So sudden was the snowstorm when it came, so complete the blinding sense of the loss of all external objects, that the children stood stunned, not fearing, because they utterly failed to realize. Maurice, it is true, hid his pretty head in Joe's breast, and Cecile clung a little tighter to her young companion. Toby, however, again seemed the only creature who had any wits about him. Now it would be impossible to get back to Caen. There was, as far as the little party of pilgrims were concerned, no Caen to return to, and yet they must not stand there, for either the violence of the storm would throw them on their faces, or the intense cold would freeze them to death. Onward must still be their motto. But where? These, perhaps, were Toby's thoughts, for certainly no one else thought at all. He set his keen wits to work. Suddenly he remembered something. The moment the memory came to him, he was an alert and active dog; in fact, he was once more in the post he loved. He was the leader of the expedition. Again he seized Cecile's thin and ragged frock; again he pulled her violently.  
"No, no, Toby," she said in a muffled and sad tone; "there's no use now, dear Toby."
"Foller him, foiler him; he has more sense than we jest now," said Joe, rousing himself from his reverie.
Toby threw to the tall boy the first grateful look which had issued from his brown eyes. Again he pulled Cecile, and the children, obeying him, found themselves descending the path a little, and then the next moment they were in comparative peace and comfort. Wise Toby had led them to the sheltered side of an old wall. Here the snow did not beat, and though eventually it would drift in this direction, yet here for the next few hours the children might at least breathe and find standing room.
"Bravo, Toby!" said Joe, in a tone of rapture; "we none of us seen this old wall; why, it may save our lives. Now, if only the snow don't last too long, and if only we can keep awake, we may do even yet."
"Why mayn't we go to sleep?" asked Cecile; "not that I am sleepy at two o'clock in the day."
"Why mayn't we go to sleep?" echoed Joe. "Now, Missie, dear, I'm a werry hignorant boy, but I knows this much, I knows this much as true as gospel, and them as sleeps in the snow never, never wakes no more. We must none of us drop asleep, we must do hevery think but sleep—you and me, and Maurice and Toby. We must stay werry wide awake, and 'twill be hard, for they do say, as the cruel thing is, the snow does make you so desperate sleepy."
"Do you mean, Joe Barnes," asked Cecile, fixing her earnest little face on the tall boy, "that if we little children went to sleep now, that we'd die? Is that what you mean by never waking again?"
Joe nodded. "Yes, Missie, dear, that's about what I does mean," he said.
"To die, and never wake again," repeated Cecile, "then I'd see the Guide. Oh, Joe! I'd see Him, the lovely, lovely Jesus who I love so very much."
"Oh! don't think on it, Miss Cecile; you has got to stay awake—you has no call to think on no such thing, Missie."
Joe spoke with real and serious alarm. It seemed to him that Cecile in her earnest desire to see this Guide might lie down and court the sleep which would, alas! come so easily.
He was therefore surprised when she said to him in a quiet and reproachful tone, "Do you think I would lie down and go to sleep and die, Jography? I should like to die, but I must not die just yet. I'm a very, very anxious little girl, and I have a great, great deal to do; it would not be right for me even to think of dying yet. Not until I have found Lovedy, and given Lovedy the purse of gold, and told Lovedy all about her mother, then after that I should like to die."
"That's right, Missie; we won't think on no dying to-night. Now let's do all we can to keep awake; let's walk up and down this little sheltered bit under the wall; let's teach Toby to dance a bit; let's jump about a bit."
If there was one thing in all the world poor Toby hated more than another, it was these same dancing lessons. The fact was the poor dog was too old to learn, and would never be much good as a dancing dog.
Already he so much dreaded this new accomplishment which was being forced upon him, that at the very word dancing he would try and hide, and always at least tuck his tail between his legs.
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