Little Rebecca Ann

How frail and wan was the dear oung mother lying in the bed. How white was her face. How lart.ze and mournful were her eves. One hand lay on the outside of the covers. but under the covers on tlw other arm la v a tins bah y. The mother would every few minutes lift the cover and look down 101 inoy at the little nestling bundle. Then she would lift her eves and try to smile at the strange silent man who sat over by the window.

This man was not bad to look upon, not at all. He had abundance of light brown curle? hair, soft as silk. His eyes were blue. He was clean shaved, very fair complexion, a tvpicle Scotchman. There was a look, howexer, about the mouth not pleasant to see. it looked hard, bitter, and sarcastic. He scarcely ever returned the smile his wife gave him, and tears would fill her eyes.

The room was not at all comfortable. It would seem bare indeed to us now. The floor was bare and scrubbed as %%bite as could he. The stove was polished till one could see their face in it. The windows were uncurtained save for the shades, hut the window glass was shining and spotless. The bed ‘‘ as of old fashion type, rope woven back and forth for springs. A huge feather bed was very comfortable and large pillows in spotlessh white cases. Home woven wool were the blankets. These were creamy white. The comforters were pieced of gay colored home spun materials, lined with gray and filled with carded wool.

No, this was not a home of poverty or want for the necessaties of life, hut it seems happiness had long ago taken t%ings.

Now the little one cries and the frail, really ill mamma tries vainly to hush it. Alexander gets up from his place, comes to the bed side, takes the little one and with a goodly degree of’ tenderness attends to its wants. The wife looks ‘ainly for a look of love for herself, but there is none.

So passes a few das and nights. Finally one night the man is awakened by the cries of Ilw little One, goes to it. Ile is stoprised that the mamma lies so still, lays his hand on her fare, to find she is dead. Died, so all her friends and relath es said, of a- I;, liken heart.

Vainly now does he rub her hands. Vainly does he call her name. Vainly now does lw shower kisses on her lips, her closed eyes, on her hair. All in vain do his tears flow

The lovely, true, devoted wife has gone on the journey from which no traveler ever returns. Susan Osterhouse was a beautiful girl and a christian. She was from one of the  most highlx respected and prosperous families in the neighborhood. But ‘melt, chrishan girls can he quite headstrong some times.

Nothing reallx bad was know n about Alexander Frasier only that he was not a christian. That is reallx plenty isn’t it! lie was a hard xx (irking young man and was getting himself a home. Ile would not even go 10 church, but Susan thought when the? %veil married he ?x ould go \\ith her to the house of the Lord and w.ould become a christian.

Old grandfather’ Osterhouse was a staunch old Calvinistic Presbyterian, and xx hen Susan insisted upon marrying the rather gav xvorldly Alexander, her father all but dism`hed her. Alexander never forgave her relatives for the stand they took against him, and forbade her to visit her people even should they meek e her.

She had brothers who adored her and came to see her whether welcome or not by her husband. She had sisters who also came though really forbidden to do so.

The young husband became indeed cruel, and came in time to seem to hate her because she lox ed Ow house of the Lord and xvould go to church w hen she possibly could And also because she continued to lox e her father and mother and brothers and sisters. He simply crushed the loving heart and she had no strength or really any desire to rah after tht hirth of her little girl. Little Rebecca Ann, yes poor little Rebecca Ann.

The now really grief stricken husband finds he must have help in this sad hour. He takes the tins bah from her mother’s rapidly stiffening cold arm. He wraps her in a shawl. He puts pillows in the rocker and places the motherless little one there. covering her snugh. He fixes a bottle of warm milk. Now leaving her and also their first born, a box at this time four Years old, he hastens out in the night for help. Does he even at this tint, apt e:t father Osterhouse for help! Or to William a or to Agnes or Mary? No, oh no. tie will not seek help from them men in this terrible hour.

But he does rush for a near neighbor who comes, and w ho unbeknown to .Alex sends someone to tell Susan’s loved ones. They come. The offer to take little Rebecca \on. They take William in their arms and want to comfort and care for him, but no, the lather w ill not allow it.

The funeral is over, and Alexander returns to his home. He has made arrangements tor a neighbor to care for the baby in the dax time. He keeps William by his side night and da‘. Ever ? night after his work is clone, he goes for Rebecca Ann. He carries her in his arms past the home of Grandfather Osterhouse and cares for her in some way himself through the night. In morning he 11TapS her up and takes her again down the road to the neighbor.

There are loving hearts and waiting arms longing to take Susan Osterhouse Frasier-‘s baby and love and care for her, but Alex is determined not to permit it. However, it is quite likely the little one is ill and uncomfortable and cries much, disturbing his rest. In six weeks he so far surrenders that he gathers up all her tiny garments made by Susan. 1 hose garments (ix er which very likel? she both smiled and wept. He gathers them all and puts them in 4,satchel, lie wraps the crying little one and hastens down the road, poor little William tugging along at his side. He sets down his satchel and opens the gate leading to the children’s Aunt Mary’s home. She meets him at the door and stretches forth her arms for little Rebecca Ann. He hands her over. Now Aunt Mary reaches for William and pleads, “Oh please, Alex, let me have them both.” But he grasps William and drags the screaming child away demanding, “Stop this at once or I’ll tan the Osterhouse blood out of your veins.” Poor little William. Poor little Rebecca Ann, but rather fortunate baby just now after all, for rapidly does Aunt Marx prepare a bath. Hastih does she select some of the tiny garments so lovingly prepared by the dear sister:. Quickly as possible is the little one washed and dressed and oiled and fed.

Yes, fortunate little Rebecca Ann. But in less than a year again is the baby berieved. Death claims Aunt Mary and Rebecca Ann is taken to the home where once her own mamma was a baby. Grandfather Osterhouse claims her now. But alas Grandmother Osterhouse has gone to he with Jesus and Aunt Agnes fills the place as housekeeper.

Aunt Agnes had a wonderful idea what was right and what was vsTong and rigidly did what she thought was right. But she had been embittered by a sorrow in her life and while she professed to love God, she showed no love for anyone, doing only for others in a rigid way, what she turned to be her duty. Hence, little Rebecca Ann grew from day to day lacking the love that seems to be so much the right of babyhood to have. She was dressed tidy, neat and comfortable. She was fed and tolerated. Only Grandfather loved her or ever caressed her. Poor little Rebecca Ann. Note: I notice after looking in fathers and mothers old family Bible that I have been mispelling my great grandfather’s name. It was spelled Osterhort. I notice also that Mother’s marriage certificate gives as witness David V. Osterhort. Now I know his name was David Vermillion, but he made his home with Grandfather Osterhort, hence likely went by that name. Mother’s name was Frasier but she was also called Osterhort being in Grandfather’s home.