"So YOU have been to meeting," said little white-faced Susie Hubbard, who was sitting in a large cane-seat rocking chair under the apple trees in front of her home, one sultry summer afternoon, to a group of children who had paused in the shade by the door-yard fence, with pity in their young faces, to speak to "lame Susie." 

"Mamma couldn't go today," went on the little invalid, " and I was afraid I shouldn't hear anything about it. 

Please tell me something that the minister said."

"Oh, he told a real good story about a little girl who teased her papa until she got him to go to meeting with her," said Gertie Pierce," and he said, perhaps, if we tried hard, we could all get some one to go to meeting who did not go all the time as we did, and that would be doing work for Jesus."

"Yes, and he said all boys and girls could be useful in some way, and if they loved God, and tried to be good all the little deeds would prove to be for him," put in Johnny Shaw, eagerly.

"That is nice," said Susie, "but I can't do anything now since my knee was hurt. I do wish I could, and I wish I had done more for mamma and for everybody when I was well."

"We all hope you will soon be well again," said Sarah Comins, sympathetically; "don't you think you shall?"

"I'm afraid not," replied Susie, sadly, "for mamma looked very sorry after the doctor was here yesterday, and I heard him saying that I ought to go to Boston to be treated by some surgeon. Mamma can't afford that, of course, and I can't help her a single bit in any way.

"Our teacher inquired after you kindly," said Emma Dimmock. "She said she missed your voice in the singing, and that she had thought of you a good deal, how she was sure you would sing when your knee ached instead of crying, you were such a brave little thing."

"I never thought to try it," said Susie to herself, after the children had gone away; "I don't believe I could, but I will see tomorrow." The next morning while Mrs. Hubbard was washing, the baby cried a good deal, and little Belle could not quiet it. 

"Oh, dear, what shall I do?” sighed the wee bit of a girl, who was not much more than a baby herself. "I tan't do anysing wif him."

"Draw him out her," called Susie, who had been placed again in the front yard that she might breathe the pure, fresh air. "Draw him out here, and I will sing to you both."  Belle obeyed, and before her lame sister had got half through the hymn, 

"I am so glad," the hot, tired baby was soothed to sleep. Susie, now having found her voice once more, kept on singing one familiar gospel hymn after another until her mother came and looked around the corner of the small brown house, saying: "It seems good to hear your voice again, my poor child. I hung out that basketful of clothes a great deal easier from hearing you. I feel, too, as if you could not be in quite so much pain this morning.”

Susie sung very often after that. Sometimes she hummed softly to herself, and sometimes her clear, young voice rang out so loud that the words of her song could be heard away up the shady street to the great hotel among the elms and maples.

One morning a gentleman, sitting on the hotel veranda, laid down his newspaper, and said to his wife: 

Did you ever hear such singing? It is a child's wonderfully sweet, strong voice; yet there is pain in it." "I, too, have been listening to it," was the reply. "Let us walk down the street in the direction from which the voice comes, and may be we shall discover the singer."

So the two walked slowly down the grassy avenue of trees, through the leeks of yellow sunshine, more and more drawn by the musical utterances as they came nearer the humble home from whence they proceeded, until the gentleman whispered: "It must be in this yard." They both now bent forward and peered into the shrubbery through their spectacles (for they were oldish people), as one looks after a singing bird that he fears he may frighten away.

A pitiful sight indeed met their eyes. They saw a pale-faced child reclining on a sort of couch made of two old chairs and a profusion of wellworn blankets, shawls, and pillows. 

The little invalid was wringing her thin hands in an agony of pain, and the tears were pouring down her white cheeks, as her voice, with "a pain in it," indeed, rang out upon the pure air. 

They looked upon her for some time in silence, unobserved as they were. 

Then the gentleman swung back the light wooden gate, and went toward the little sufferer. The song ceased with a mournful quaver, the tears were quickly wiped away, and a pathetic, wondering smile greeted the visitors.

"You see this is all the way I can help mother when I am sick," said Susie, confidentially, in reply to the gentleman's questions; "and if she knew how my knee really ached, it would be ever so much harder for her, so I keep singing, and then she believes I am more comfortable."

"I am a doctor," said the gentleman," and I should like to see this painful limb. My wife, here, will help me remove the bandages."

It was decided, after a thorough examination and a consultation with the village physician, that the curious ulcer, which the doctors called it, on the poor child's knee could not be successfully treated at home; and the stranger doctor kindly offered to take her to the city with him in a few days. 

The hard-working young widow and Susie were both very grateful, and early the next morning the little invalid was awake and singing: 

"Precious Saviour, let me sing, only for thee! 

Tiny offe'rings I will bring, only for thee! 

Be my spirit's deep desire, only for thee! 

May my childish mind aspire, only for thee!

Only Christ who died for me,

Paid the price and made me free,

Now and through eternity,

Only for thee! "

While she was singing, Dr. Nichols, anxious to know how his little patient had rested through the night, after the new treatment he had suggested, and the dressing he had given the painful sore with his own hands, came, again accompanied by his wife, to inquire for her.

"I never heard that hymn before," 

he said, taking her thin hand.

"I changed it a little," replied Susie, " I often do to make the hymns say just what I want them to. You don't think it is wrong, I hope."

"Oh, no," said her new friend, smiling, "but do you believe all this 'gospel song' teaching, this 'atonement' talk that Christ 'paid the price,' and 'set me free,' I mean?"

"Don't you believe it?" asked Susie, with round eyes, and a bewildered look on her little pinched face.

"No, my poor little one, I don't, but if you like to believe it, I won't say a word against it. Sometime I will tell you what I do believe, and then we will see if you will not think me a good man still."

"Oh, I am so sorry," said Susie; "and I beg your pardon, I can't go away with you. I supposed, of course, you were a Christian, and I thought Jesus sent you because I was doing all I could to help mother by singing; and if you are not a Christian, I can't trust you, and I can't go to the city; and, please, I don't want you to doctor me any more; yet, I do thank you ever so much;" and Susie, sobbing, turned her face away.

Doctor Nichols was strangely affected. Although he was a very learned, skillful physician, justly celebrated for his worth as a man and a medical practitioner, he did not believe that Jesus Christ died to save sinners. He was kind-hearted, yet proud, and to be thus summarily dismissed as a physician by a poor little country girl grated upon his sensibilities. He left the pretty village that morning with his wife, and both the resident doctor and Mrs. Hubbard blamed Susie not a little for her plain talk "out of season" to her new friend whom, they told her, she would never see again.

In a little more than a week, however, he came back. "Susie's song kept singing itself into my ears," said he, "until I, too, believed, and was made free like all who receive the proffered grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and keep his commandments."

The next morning a very happy little girl accompanied the doctor to the city where, under his own roof, and at his own skillful hands, she rapidly recovered, and is now quite well and strong again. As soon as her health permitted, she began, at the good doctor's expense, to take music lessons, and will soon be able, she expects, to help her mother support their little family. 

Her teachers say she has a fortune in her voice, but Susie's sweet, simple nature still clings to the sentiment of that favorite hymn which she so often sang during that weary, weary summer, and which she now sings with more than the old marvelous sweetness, without the pain, Tiny offerings I will bring, only for Thee!

This true as well as touching little story came to my ears recently, and I have written it out for the children, that they might all learn the sweet and wholesome lesson, which it teaches.

 Mrs. Annie A. Preston.