The river was scarcely free from ice-floes when Chrissy was summoned to the bedside of her mother, who had been hovering between life and death for several weeks. Weary and worn with nervous apprehension and the strain of the long and perilous journey, she entered the sick-room. The flickering light from the hearth fell upon the white face of the mother whom she loved as only a mother could be loved. She was sleeping soundly. Bending over her she laid her cool hand on the fevered brow, when the poor sufferer opened her eyes, but was too weak to speak. She smiled faintly, and again fell into a deep sleep. Through the long watches of the night, and oft through the day, she sat gazing at the sleeping form, inwardly praying that she might not be taken from them, that their home might not be left desolate.