The search was continued in vain till nine o'clock in the evening.
Then, one of the party was sent back to the village, to collect the inhabitants for a more extensive search.
The bell rung the alarm, and the cry of fire resounded through the streets.
It was ascertained, however, that it was not fire which caused the alarm, but that the bell tolled the more solemn tidings of a lost child.
Every heart sympathized in the sorrows of the distracted parents.
Soon, multitudes of the people were seen ascending the hill, upon the declivity of which the village stood, to aid in the search.
Ere long, the rain began to fall, but no tidings came back to the village of the lost child.
Hardly an eye was that night closed in sleep, and there was not a mother who did not feel for the parents.
The night passed away, and the morning dawned, and yet no tidings came.
At last, those engaged in the search met together and held a consultation.
They made arrangements for a more minute search, and agreed that, in case the child was found, a gun should be fired, to give a signal to the rest of the party.
As the sun arose, the clouds were scattered, and the whole landscape glittered in the rays of the bright morning.
But that village was deserted and still. The stores were closed, and business was hushed.
Mothers were walking the streets, with sympathizing countenances and anxious hearts.
There was but one thought in every mind: "What has become of the lost child?"
All the affections and interest of the neighborhood were flowing in one deep and broad channel toward the little wanderer.
About nine in the morning, the signal gun was fired, which announced that the child was found;
and, for a moment, how dreadful was the suspense! Was it found a mangled corpse? or was it alive and well?