Read CHAPTER VI of Daybreak A Story for Girls , free online book, by Florence A. Sitwell, on

Christmas day.

“Why, my dear old Kate, you’re only half awake yet, and the little ones have been up for hours already, and Christmas Day has broken upon the world once more. There; give me a kiss, and wish me a merry Christmas in a proper manner.”

“Another Christmas,” said Kate, half dreamily, raising herself in bed. “Frances, what are you doing?”

“Finishing a frock for poor Aunt’s youngest; but oh, Kate, I have been watching the dawn too, such a lovely dawn; I shall never forget it. There, lean your head against me while I tell you about it. The light came creeping, creeping up, so slowly, and so shyly. Then suddenly the clouds parted, and a burst of glory came, making the dull snow, and even the icicles look warm in the red light. And was it stupid, do you think? I couldn’t help thinking of you and the little children in Westminster, and how you would watch the sunshine coming into so many little desolate lives.”

Frances stopped suddenly, and neither spoke for some moments. Her big blue eyes were resting on the snow scene outside. A vision crossed Kate’s mind of two little girls watching that same scene many years ago, in the cold moonlight with sorrowful hearts. She thought she knew well what Frances meant about sunshine coming into a desolate life.

Dear old Kate, how tired you will get sometimes with teaching those poor little things, who are sure to be tiresome and naughty.  But then, you know, it will be all work for Him, and so of course you will be quite glad to be tired.  And then He will not let you bear one tired feeling alone.  It will be like those verses in your favourite poem:

“But this it was that made me move,
As light as carrier-birds in air;
I loved the weight I had to bear,
Because it needed help of Love.

Nor could I weary, heart or limb,
When mighty Love would cleave in twain,
The lading of a single pain,
And part it, giving half to Him.”

“O Kate, what a life! And then to think that all these little dawnings we see in people’s lives are only pictures of the great dawn coming, when all things will be made new. Kate, doesn’t it make you unutterably glad?”

“Indeed, it does, Frances. And, please God, you and I will take our places side by side in the great army of watchers and workers.”

One glimpse more into the lives of two happy women. Only a few years later, and Frances had a love-story and a wedding. The story began in a summer holiday in the country, where she, not being very strong at the time, had gone for rest and change. He was the village doctor, and he first met her sitting by the bed-side of one of his poor patients, and her bright face haunted him. They met again in the Sunday school; and again at a great open-air parish tea, where Frances sat next him. She pitied him for being shy, and tried gently to draw him into talking about himself and his work; and her quick sympathy soon discovered a large intellect and large heart behind an uncouth manner. And then each found that the other was working out of love to an unseen Lord, and watching for the Daybreak, and the interest in each other deepened.

They met again often during those bright summer days; and when the time came for Frances to go back to her work in London, the doctor found that he could not let her go without first asking her to become his wife; and she found that she could not refuse. And now the doctor’s little wife trots with him over the snow, wherever he goes, carrying sunshine into poor cottages, and often things more substantial than sunshine, and more likely to be understood by hungry people. All his patients are her patients; and, with her nurse’s experience, she is able to show them how to carry out his orders.

She rejoices in showing kindnesses to the poor Aunt who once gave her a home. To Kate she writes that the country is looking lovely, and Kate must make haste to come and spend Christmas in the happiest home in England.

And Kate herself? In some corner of the great world she still works, with patience and tenderest sympathy, amongst uncared-for children. She has seen the first rays of light come into many a sad little life. And together she and the children watch “until the Day break and the shadows flee away.”