ON a wild spot on the coast of Cornwall, I first saw Will Treherne. He was as sound an "old salt" as ever manned a life-boat, or went aloft in a gale of wind. He was getting to be an old man when I used to see him sitting on the beach after his day's work was done, gazing thoughtfully at the sky, and especially at the evening star. He told us boys such stirring stories of sea-life and adventure that we could not put him down as "sentimental," yet the steady gaze he kept on the star inspired us with feelings of mystery.

One evening, when the sky was clouded, the wind rising, and the sea hoarsely breaking over the rocks, I ventured to say to him, "Mr. Treherne, you can't see your old friend tonight."

"What old friend, my boy?" he asked.

"The evening star; you seem so fond of it, I am sure you 'must miss it."

"Well, my lad, it is the truth that I do miss it. You are too young to understand what that star is to me. If I thought—"

"Now, Mr. Treherne," I broke in, "I know there is a story connected with that star; do tell it to me."

The sailor was silent for a few minutes; then he said, with great reverence, "I have to thank that star and the God who made it, for saving my life and saving my soul."

"Do tell me the story, Mr. Treherne," I said eagerly; "I am sure it will be the best you ever told."

"I am not so sure of that," he answered; "for somehow we cannot always do our best with what we feel most. But I will tell you the story.

"Thirty years ago, in just such a night as this, the wind whistling as it does now, with the sea rising, and with as crazy a craft as seamen ever sailed in, I found myself drifting along a dangerous coast. Our captain was an experienced one, and when he saw what weather we were threatened with, he took his place at the wheel, and did his best to keep our courage up. He was in terribly poor health, but his spirit rose above his bodily weakness, and he gave his orders with a pluck and decision that made men of every one of us.

"'Will Treherne,' he cried, stand by me if you can be spared; my strength is going. Do you see that star right ahead?'

"'Yes, sir.'

"'If my strength should fail, steer right ahead for that, and you are safe. And oh, remember, Will, that there is another star you must always keep in view if you are to get safe into port at last.'

"I knew what he meant; he was pointing me to the Lord Jesus Christ; for he was as good a Christian as he was a captain, and he never lost a chance of saying a word that might steady us youngsters, and make us religious. I have heard many a sermon since that night in the storm when he told me to keep the star ahead, but none took more hold on me than that one on that night when I lost my truest and best friend."

"Did you lose him that night?" I asked.

"Yes, my lad," the sailor answered sadly.

"His hour was come. When he could stand the gale no longer, he shouted as loudly as he could, 'Keep the star in sight, my lads! Keep the star in sight!' Then he was helped down to the cabin, and I never saw him alive again. I was lashed to the wheel, and though the spray well-nigh blinded me, I yet managed to keep the star in sight, as the first officer gave his orders for the working of the ship.

"After two hours of steering through a narrow and treacherous channel, we found ourselves in a friendly sea. The star had guided us aright.

"When the ship was in safety, and my turn of work was over, I went down to the captain's cabin. A flag was thrown over his body, but his manly, resolute face, which even death had not much altered, was visible. I knelt down there, and prayed God to guide me through the storms of life;

and I believe I can say that from that night I have kept the star in sight.

"Now you will know why I am such a star-gazer; and if I may give you a bit of counsel, my lad, let me advise you to begin and steer your course by the Star of Bethlehem. Keep your eye on the Star, and you will come safely through the dangers of life into the port of peace at last."

Then, buttoning up his jacket, and turning the collar up around his neck, he clasped his hands over his knees; and, settling himself again comfortably on the bank, he turned his eyes to the evening star, which shone out now and then between the cloud-rifts.