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The Two Elsies by Martha Finley

Part 2 out of 5

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"Mamma's old nurse, who had the care of her from her birth--indeed, and
of her mother also--and has nursed each one of us in turn. Of course, we
are all devotedly attached to her and she to us. Aunt Chloe is what she
is called by those who are not her nurslings."

"She must be very, very old, I should think," observed Evelyn.

"She is," said Elsie, and very infirm. No one knows her exact age, but
she cannot be much, if any younger than Aunt Wealthy, who has just passed
her hundredth birthday; and I believe her to be, in fact, somewhat

"How I should like to see her!" exclaimed Evelyn.

"I hope to give you that pleasure to-day," responded Elsie. "Until very
recently she always accompanied mamma--no, I mistake; she staid behind
once; it was when Lilly was taken North as a last hope of saving her dear
life. Papa and mamma thought best to take me and the baby along, and to
leave mammy behind in charge of the other children.

"This summer she was too feeble to leave Ion; so we shall find her there.
In deep sorrow too, no doubt; for her old husband, Uncle Joe, died a few
weeks since."

"Eva must hear their story one of these days," remarked Mr. Leland; "it
is very interesting."

"Yes; and some of it very sad; that which occurred before mamma's visit
to Viamede, after she had attained her majority. That visit was the dawn
of brighter days to them. I will tell you the whole story, Eva, some time
when we are sitting quietly together at our needlework, if you will
remind me."

"For what hour will you have the carriage ordered, my dear?" Lester
asked, as they left the table. "Ten, if you please," she answered. "I
hope you will go with us?"

"I shall do so with pleasure," he said. "It is a lovely morning for a
drive; the rain has laid the dust and the air is just cool enough to be

Evelyn was on the veranda, gazing about her with a thoughtful air.

"Well, lassie, what think you of Fairview?" asked her uncle, coming to
her side.

"I like it," she answered emphatically. "Didn't something happen here,
uncle, in the time of the Ku-Klux raids? I seem to have heard there did."

"Yes; a coffin, with a threatening notice attached, was laid at the gate
yonder one night. My uncle owned, and lived on, the place at that time,
and by reason of his northern birth and Republican sentiments, was
obnoxious to the members of the klan."

"And it was he they were threatening?"

"Yes. They afterward attacked the place, wounded and drove him into the
woods, but were held at bay and finally driven off by the gallant defence
of her home made by my aunt, assisted by her son, then quite a young boy.

"But get Elsie to tell you the story; she can do it far better than I;
especially as she was living at Ion at that time, and though a mere
child, has still a vivid recollection of all the circumstances."

"Yes," Elsie said, "including the attacks upon Ion--first the quarter,
when they burnt the schoolhouse, and afterward the mansion--and several
sad scenes connected with them."

"How interesting to hear all about them from an eye-witness," exclaimed
Evelyn. "I am eager to have you begin, Aunt Elsie."

"Perhaps I may be able to do so this evening," returned her aunt; "but
now I must give my orders for the day, and then it will be time for our

"What does your mamma say?" asked Lester of Evelyn, when Elsie had left
them alone together.

"Not very much that I care for, uncle," sighed the little girl. "She's in
good health, but very tired of foreign cookery; wishes she could have
such a breakfast every morning as she has been accustomed to at home.
Still she enjoys the sights, and thinks it may be a year, or longer,
before she gets back. She describes some of the places, and paintings and
statuary she has seen; but that part of the letter I have not read yet."

"Do you wish you were with her, Eva?" he asked, smoothing her hair as she
stood by his side, and gazing down affectionately into her eyes.

"No, uncle; I should like to see mamma, of course, but at present I like
this quiet home far better than going about among crowds of strange

He looked pleased. "I am glad you are content," he said.

Elsie was full of life and gayety as they set out upon their drive. Her
husband remarked it with pleasure.

"Yes," she said lightly, "it is so nice to be going back to my old,
childhood's home after so long an absence; to see mammy, too--dear old
mammy! And yet it will hardly seem like home either, without mamma."

"No," he responded; "and it is quite delightful to look forward to having
her there again in a week or two."

They had turned in at the great gates leading into the avenue, and
presently Elsie, glancing eagerly toward the house, exclaimed with
delight, "Ah, there is mammy on the veranda! watching for our coming, no
doubt. She knew we were expected at Fairview yesterday, and that I would
not be long in finding my way to Ion."

Evelyn, looking out also, perceived a bent and shriveled form, seated in
an arm-chair, leaning forward, its two dusky hands clasping a stout cane,
and its chin resting on the top.

As the carriage drew up before the entrance, the figure rose slowly and
stiffly, and with the aid of the cane hobbled across the veranda to meet

"Bress de Lawd!" it cried, in accents tremulous with age and excitement,
"it's one ob my chillens, sho' nuff; it's Miss Elsie!"

"Yes, mammy, it is I; and very glad I am to see you," responded Mrs.
Leland, hurrying up the veranda steps and throwing Her arms about the
feeble, trembling form.

"Poor old mammy," she said, tenderly; "you are not so strong as you used
to be."

"No, darlin', yo' ole mammy's mos' at de brink ob de riber; de cold
watahs ob Jordan soon be creepin' up roun' her ole feet."

"But you are not afraid, mammy?" Elsie said, tears trembling in her
sweet, soft eyes, so like her mother's.

"No, chile, no; for Ise got fas' hold ob de Master's hand, and He holds
me tight; de waves can't go ober my head, kase He bought me wid his own
precious blood and I b'longs to Him; and He always takes care ob his own

"Yes, Aunt Chloe," Lester said, taking one withered hand in his, as Elsie
withdrew herself from her embrace, and turned aside to wipe away a tear,
"His purchased ones are safe for time and for eternity.

"'The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory.'"

"Dat's so, sah; grace to lib by, an' grace to die by, den glory wid Him
in heaben! Ole Uncle Joe done 'speriencin' dat now; an' byme-by dis chile
be wid him dar."

"Who dis?" she asked, catching sight of Evelyn standing by her side and
regarding her with tearful eyes.

"My niece, Evelyn Leland, Aunt Chloe," answered Lester. "She has heard of
you, and wanted to see you."

"God bless you, honey," Chloe said, taking the little girl's hand in
her's, and regarding her with a look of kindly interest.

But the other servants had come flocking to the veranda as the news of
the arrival passed from lip to lip; and now they crowded about Lester and
Elsie eager to shake their hands and bid them welcome home again,
mingling with their rejoicings and congratulations many inquiries about
their loved mistress--her mother--and the other absent members of the

And here, as at Fairview, Evelyn received her full share of pleased

Elsie delivered her mother's messages and directions, and taking Evelyn
with her, went through the house to see that all was in order for the
reception of her brother and his wife, then sat down in the veranda for a
chat with "mammy" before returning to Fairview.

"Mammy, dear," she said interrogatively, "you are not grieving very much
for Uncle Joe?"

"No, chile, no; he's in dat bressed land whar dah no mo' misery in de
back, in de head, in any part ob de body; an' no mo' sin, no mo' sorrow,
no mo' dyin', no mo' tears fallin' down the cheeks, no mo' trouble any

"But don't you miss him very much, Aunt Chloe?" asked Evelyn softly, her
voice tremulous with the thought of her own beloved dead, and how sorely
she felt his absence.

"Yes, chile, sho I does, but 'twont be for long; Ise so ole and weak, dat
I knows Ise mos' dar, mos' dar!"

The black, wrinkled face uplifted to the sky, almost shone with glad
expectancy, and the dim, sunken eyes grew bright for an instant with hope
and joy.

Then turning them upon Evelyn, and, for the first time, taking note of
her deep mourning, "Po' chile," she said, in tender, pitying tones, "yo's
loss somebody dat yo' near kin?"

Evelyn nodded, her heart too full for speech, and Elsie said softly, "Her
dear father has gone to be forever with the Lord, in the blessed, happy
land you have been speaking of, mammy."

"Bressed, happy man!" ejaculated the aged saint, again lifting her face
heavenward, "an' bressed happy chile dat has de great an' mighty God for
her father; kase de good book say, He is de father of de fatherless."

A momentary hush fell upon the little group. Then Mr. Leland, who had
been looking into the condition of field and garden, as his wife into
that of the house, joined them and suggested that this would be a good
time and place for the telling of the story Eva had been asking for;
especially as, in Aunt Chloe, they had a second eye-witness.

Elsie explained to her what was wanted.

"Ah, chillens, dat was a terrible time," returned the old woman, sighing
and shaking her head.

"Yes, mammy," assented Elsie; "you remember it well?"

"Deed I does, chile;" and rousing with the recollection into almost
youthful excitement and energy, she plunged into the story, telling it in
a graphic way that enchained her listeners, though to two of them it was
not new, and one occasionally assisted her memory or supplied a missing
link in the chain of circumstances.[A]

[Footnote A: For the details of this story, see "Elsie's Motherhood."]


"Next stood hypocrisy, with holy leer,
Soft smiling and demurely looking down,
But hid the dagger underneath the gown."


While old mammy told her story to her three listeners in the veranda at
Ion, a train was speeding southward, bearing Edward and Zoe on their
homeward way.

Zoe, in charmingly becoming and elegant traveling attire, her fond young
husband by her side, ready to anticipate every wish and gratify it if in
his power, was extremely comfortable, and found great enjoyment, now in
chatting gaily with him, now sitting silent by his side watching the
flying panorama of forest and prairie, hill, valley, rock, river and

At length her attention was attracted to something going on within the

"Tickets!" cried the conductor, passing down the aisle, "Tickets!"

Edward handed out his own and his wife's. They were duly punched and
given back.

The conductor moved on, repeating his call, "Tickets?"

Up to this moment Zoe had scarcely noticed who occupied the seat
immediately behind herself and Edward, but now turning her head, she saw
there two young women of pleasing appearance, evidently foreigners. Both
were looking anxiously up at the conductor who held their tickets in his

"You are on the wrong road," he was saying; "these are through-tickets
for Utah."

"What does he say? something is wrong?" asked the younger of the two
girls, addressing her companion in Danish.

"I do not understand, Alma," replied the other, speaking in the same
tongue. "Ah, did we but know English! I do not understand, sir; I do not
know one word you say," she repeated with a hopeless shake of the head,
addressing the conductor.

"Do you know what she says, sir?" asked the man, turning to Edward.

"From her looks and gestures it is evident that she does not understand
English," replied Edward, "and I think that is what she says. Suppose you
try her with German."

"Can't, sir; speak no language but my mother tongue. Perhaps you will do
me the favor to act as interpreter?"

"With pleasure;" and addressing the young woman, Edward asked in German
if she spoke that language.

She answered with an eager affirmative; and he went on to explain that
the ticket she had offered the conductor would not pay her fare on that
road; then asked where she wished to go.

"To Utah, sir," she said. "Is not this the road to take us there?"

"No, we are traveling south, and Utah lies toward the northwest; very far

"O sir, what shall we do?" she exclaimed in distress. "Will they stop the
cars and let us out?"

"Not just here; the conductor says you can get off at the next station
and wait there for a train going back to Cincinnati; it seems it must
have been there you made the mistake and left your proper route, and
there you can recover it."

She sat silent, looking sadly bewildered and distressed.

"I feel very sorry for you," said Zoe kindly, speaking in German; "we
would be glad to help you, and if you like to tell us your story, my
husband may be able to advise you what to do."

"I am sure you are kind and good, dear lady, both you and the gentleman,
and I will gladly tell you all," was the reply, after a moment's
hesitation; and in a few rapid sentences she explained that she and Alma,
her younger sister, had been left orphaned and destitute in Norway, their
native land, and after a hard struggle of several months had fallen in
with a Mormon missionary, who gave them glowing accounts of Utah, telling
them it was the paradise of the poor; that if they would go with him and
become members of the Mormon Church, land would be given them, their
poverty and hard toil would become a thing of the past, and they would
live in blissful enjoyment among the Latter-day Saints, where rich and
poor were treated alike--as neighbors and friends.

She said that at first they could scarce endure the thought of leaving
their dear, native land; but so bright was the picture drawn by the
Mormon, that at length they decided to go with him.

They gathered up their few possessions, bade a tearful farewell to old
neighbors and friends, and set sail for America in company with between
two and three hundred other Mormon converts.

Their expectation was to travel all the way to Salt Lake City in the
company; but, as they neared the end of the voyage, Alma fell ill, and
when they landed was so entirely unfit for travel that they were
compelled to remain behind for several weeks, and at an expense that so
rapidly diminished their small store of money that when, at last, they
set out on their long journey across the country, they were almost
literally penniless.

They had, however, the through-ticket to Utah--which the Mormon
missionary had made them buy before leaving them, and knowing no choice,
and believing all his wily misrepresentations, they rejoiced in its
possession as the passport to an earthly paradise.

"But we have lost our way," concluded Christine, with a look of distress,
"and how are we to find it? how make sure of not again straying from the
right path? Kind sir, can you, will you, give us some advice? Could I in
any way earn the money to pay for our travel on this road? I know how to
work, and I am strong and willing."

Edward mused a moment, then said, "We will consider that question
presently; but let us first have a little more talk.

"Ah, what can be the matter?" he exclaimed in English, starting up to
glance from the window; for the train had come to a sudden standstill in
a bit of woods where there seemed no occasion for stopping. "What is
wrong?" he asked of a man hurrying by toward the engine.

"A wreck ahead, sir," was the reply.

Every man in the car had risen from his seat, and was hastening to alight
and view the scene of the disaster.

"Oh, Ned, is there any danger?" asked Zoe.

"No, dear, I think not. You won't mind if I leave you for a moment to
learn how long we are likely to be detained here?"

"No, I won't, if you promise to be careful not to get into danger," she
said, with some hesitation; and he hurried after the others.

Alma and Christine, looking pale and anxious, asked Zoe what was the

She explained that there had been an accident--collision of cars--and
that the broken fragments were lying on the track, and would have to be
cleared away before their train could go on.

Then Edward came back with the news that there would be a detention of an
hour or more.

Zoe uttered a slight exclamation of impatience.

"Let us not grumble, little wife," he said, cheerily, "but be thankful
that things are no worse. And, do you know, I trust it will prove to have
been a good providence; inasmuch as it gives us an opportunity to make an
effort to rescue these poor dupes from the Mormon net."

"Oh, yes," she said, her countenance brightening; "I do hope so! Let us
tell them all about it, and try to persuade them not to go to Utah."

"I shall do my best," he said; then addressing Christine again--in German
as before--you tell me what are the teachings of Mormonism, according to
your missionary?"

"They believe the Bible," she answered; "they preach the gospel of Christ
as the Bible teaches it; else how could I have listened to him? how
consented to go with him? for I know the Bible is God's word, and that
there can be no salvation out of Christ."

"Did he not tell you that they teach and practice polygamy?"

"No, sir; no indeed! It surely cannot be true?"

"I am sorry to say it is only too true," said Edward, "that the Mormon
priesthood do both teach and practice it. One of them, Orson Pratt, in a
sermon preached August 29, 1852, said: 'The Latter-day Saints have
embraced the doctrine of a plurality of wives as a part of their
religious faith. It is incorporated as a part of our religion, and
necessary for our exaltation to the fullness of the Lord's glory in the
eternal world.'"

Christine looked inexpressibly shocked. "Oh, sir, are you quite sure of
it?" she cried. "Not a word of such a doctrine was spoken to us. Had it
been we would never have set out for Utah."

"It is a well-established fact," replied Edward; "and it is well known
also that they conceal this doctrine from those whom they wish to catch
in their net; to them they exalt the Bible and Christ; but when the poor
dupes reach their promised paradise, and are unable to escape, they find
the Bible kicked into a corner, the book of Mormon substituted for it,
and Joe Smith exalted above the Lord Jesus Christ."

"Dreadful!" exclaimed Christine.

Alma too looked greatly shocked.

"But women may remain single if they choose?" she said, inquiringly.

"No, indeed!" replied Edward; "Mormon theology teaches that those who are
faithful Mormons, living up to their privileges, and having a plurality
of wives will be kings in the celestial world, and their wives queens;
while those who have but one wife--though they will reach heaven, if they
are faithful to the priesthood and in paying tithes--will not have a
place of honor there; and those who are not married at all will be slaves
to the polygamists.

"For this reason, among others, they desire to have many wives, and will
have them, willing or unwilling.

"They send their missionaries abroad to recruit the Mormon ranks and
supply wives for those who want them.

"The missionaries procure photographs of the single women whom they have
persuaded to embrace Mormonism, and these are sent on in advance of the
parties of emigrants. The Mormon men who want wives are then invited to
look at the photographs and select for themselves.

"They do so, and when the train comes in, bringing the originals of the
pictures, they are there to meet it; each man seizes the girl he has
chosen by photograph, and drags her away, often shrieking for help, which
no one gives. I have this on the testimony of an eyewitness, a minister
of the Presbyterian Church, who has lived for years in Utah."

Alma grasped her sister's arm, her cheek paling, her eyes wild with

"Oh, Christine! you know he has our likenesses; you know we gave them to
him, suspecting no harm. Oh, what shall we do?"

"Be calm, sister; God has preserved us from that dreadful fate," said
Christine, with quivering lips. "I know not what is to become of us,
penniless in a strange land, but we will never go there; no not if we
starve to death."

"You need not do that," exclaimed Zoe; "no one who is willing to work
need starve in this good land; and my husband and I will befriend you,
and find you employment."

"Oh, thanks, dear lady!" cried the sisters in a breath; "it is all we
ask; we are able and willing to work."

"What can you do?" asked Edward; "what were you expecting to do in Utah?"

"We were to have some land," said Christine; that was the promise, and we
thought to raise vegetables and fruits; fowls, too, and perhaps bees; but
we can cook, wash the clothes, keep the house clean, spin, and weave, and

"Oh," said Zoe, "if you know how to do all those things well, there will
be no trouble in finding employment for you."

"But where, dear lady?" Christine asked with hesitation. "We have no
money to pay our way to travel far; we must find the work near at hand,
or not at all."

Zoe gave her husband a look, half inquiring half entreating; but he
seemed lost in thought, and did not see it.

He was anxious to help these poor strangers, yet without wounding the
pride of independence, which he perceived and respected. Presently he

"My wife and I live at some distance from here; we are not acquainted in
this vicinity, but know there is plenty of such work as you want in our
own. If you like, I will advance your travelling expenses, and engage to
find employment for you; and you can repay the advance when it suits

The generous offer was accepted with deep gratitude.

The detention of their train lasted some time longer, and presently the
talk about Mormonism was renewed.

It was Alma who began it, by asking if a Mormon's first wife was always
willing that he should take a second.

"Oh, no, no!" Zoe exclaimed; "how could she be?"

"No," said Edward; "but she is considered very wicked if she refuses her
consent, or even ventures upon a remonstrance.

"One day a Mormon and his family, consisting of one wife and several
children, were seated about their table taking a meal, when the husband
remarked that he thought of taking a second wife.

"His lawful wife--the mother of his children sitting there--objected.
Upon that he rose from his seat, went to her, and, holding her head,
deliberately cut her throat from ear to ear."

"And was executed for it?" asked Christine, while she shuddered with

"No," said Edward; "he was promoted by the Mormon priesthood to a higher
place in the church, as one who had done a praiseworthy deed."

"Murder a praiseworthy deed!" they cried in astonishment and indignation.
"How could that be?"

"They have a doctrine that they call 'blood-atonement,'" replied Edward.
"Daring to teach, contrary to the express declarations of Scripture, that
the blood of Christ is insufficient to atone for all sin, they assert
that for some sins the blood of the sinner himself must be shed or he
will never attain to eternal life, and that therefore it is a worthy deed
to slay him.

"That terrible, wicked doctrine has been made the excuse for many
assassinations, and was the ground for not only excusing the horrible
crime of which I have just told you, but for also rewarding the wretched

"Polygamy is bad enough--especially as instances are not wanting of a man
being married at the same time to a mother and her daughters, or several
sisters, and in at least one instance to mother, daughter, and
granddaughter; and Mormon theology teaches, too, that a man may lawfully
marry his own sister. Yet it is not the worst of their crimes; we have it
upon the testimony of credible witnesses--Christian citizens of Salt Lake
City--that their temples and tithing-houses are 'built up by extortion
and cemented with the blood of men, women, and children whose only
offence was that they were not in sympathy with the unrighteous decrees
of this usurping priesthood.' And 'that all manner of social abominations
and domestic horrors, and mutilations, and blood-atonings, and
assassinations and massacres have been perpetrated in the name and by the
authority of the Mormon priesthood.'"

"Oh, sir, how very dreadful!" exclaimed Christine. "Are they not afraid
of the judgments of God against such fearfully wicked deeds?"

"It seems not," said Edward. "The Bible speaks of some whose consciences
are seared as with a hot iron."

"But why is such terrible wickedness and oppression allowed by your

"There you have asked a question that many of our own people are asking,
and which is difficult to answer without bringing a heavy charge against
our law-makers at Washington; a charge of gross neglect, whether induced
by bribery or not I do not pretend to decide."

"But it makes us blush for the honor of the land we love!" cried Zoe,
with heightened color and flashing eyes.


"Heaven gives us friends."

The train moved on, and Zoe settled herself back in her seat with a
contented sigh; it was so nice to think of soon being at home again after
months of absence. She had grown to love Ion very much, and she was
charmed with the idea of being mistress of the household for the week or
two that was to elapse before the return of the rest of the family.

But she was greatly interested in the Norwegian girls, and presently
began to occupy herself with plans for their benefit.

Edward watched her furtively, quite amused at the unwonted gravity of her

"What, may I ask, is the subject of your meditations, little woman?" he
inquired, with a laughing look into her face, as the train came to a
momentary standstill at a country station. One might suppose, from your
exceeding grave and preoccupied air, that you were engaged in settling
the affairs of the nation."

"No, no, my load of care is somewhat lighter than that, Mr. Travilla,"
she returned with mock seriousness. "It is those poor girls I am thinking
of, and what employment can be found for them."

"Well, what is the conclusion arrived at? or is there none as yet?"

"I think--I am nearly sure, indeed--that if they are really expert
needlewomen, we can find plenty for them to do in our own family
connection; five families of us, you know."


"Yes: Ion, Fairview, The Laurels, The Oaks, and Roselands."

"Ah, yes; and it must take an immense amount of sewing to provide all the
changes of raiment desired by the ladies and children," he remarked
laughingly. "So that matter may be considered arranged, and my little
wife freed from care."

"No, I have yet to consider how they are to be conveyed from the city to
Ion, and what I am to do with them when I get them there. Mamma will not
be there to direct, you know."

"The first question is easily settled; I shall hire a hack for their
use. As to the other, why not let them have their meals served in the
sewing-room and occupy the bedroom opening into it?"

"Why, to be sure! that will do nicely," she said, "if you think mamma
would not object."

"I am quite certain she will find no fault, even if she should make a
different arrangement on returning home. And you wouldn't mind that,
would you?"

"Oh no, indeed! Are we not going very fast?"

"Yes; trying to make up lost time."

"I hope they will succeed, that our supper may not be spoiled with
waiting. Do you think there will be any one but the servants at Ion to
watch for our coming, Ned?"

"Yes; I expect to find the Fairview family there, and have some hope of
seeing delegations from the other three. Mamma wrote Elsie when to look
for us, and probably she has let the others know; all of them who have
been absent from home this summer returned some days or weeks ago."

"And Lester and Elsie brought that orphan niece of his home with them, I
suppose. I am inclined to be a warm friend to her, Ned; for I know how to
feel for a fatherless child."

"As we all do, I trust. We are all fatherless, and may well have a
fellow-feeling for her. We will do what we can to make life pleasant to
her, and I think from my sister's report that we shall find her an
agreeable addition to the Fairview family."

Elsie had given to Evelyn quite as agreeable a portraiture of Edward and
Zoe as that she had furnished them of her, and the little girl was in
some haste to make their acquaintance.

It was as Edward expected. The five families were very sociable; when all
were at home there was a constant interchange of informal visits, and
when some of their number returned after a lengthened absence, the others
were ready to hail their coming with cordiality and delight: both of
which were intensified on this occasion by the relief from the fear that
some accident had happened to Edward and Zoe, inasmuch as they were
several hours behind time in reaching home.

On their arrival they found the Lelands, the Lacys, the Dinsmores, and
the Conlys gathered in the drawing-room and supper waiting.

"Two hours behind time! I really am afraid there has been an accident,"
Mrs. Lacy was saying, when the welcome sound of wheels called forth a
general exclamation, "There they are at last!" and there was a
simultaneous exit from the drawing-room into the hall, followed by
numerous embraces, welcomes, congratulations, inquiries after health and
the causes of detention.

They made a jovial party about the supper-table: all but Evelyn, who sat
silently listening to the exchange of information in regard to the way in
which each had passed the summer, and Edward's and Zoe's description of
the celebration of their Aunt Wealthy's one hundredth birthday; all
mingled with jest, laughter, and merry badinage.

As the child looked and listened, she was, half unconsciously, studying
countenances, voices, words, and forming estimates of character.

She had been doing so all the evening; had already decided that the Lacys
and Dinsmores were nice people who made her feel happy and at home with
them; that she liked Mr. Calhoun Conly and his brother, Dr. Arthur, very
much, but detested Ralph; thought Ella silly, proud, and haughty, and
that with no excuse for either pride or arrogance. So now her principal
attention was given to the latest arrivals--Edward and Zoe.

She liked them both; thinking it lovely to see their devotion to each
other, and how unconsciously it betrayed itself in looks and tones, now
and again, as the talk went on.

At length, as the flow of conversation slacked, Zoe turned to Evelyn,
remarking with a winning smile, "What a quiet little mouse you are! I
have been wanting to make your acquaintance, and I hope you will come
often to Ion."

"Thank you; I shall enjoy doing so very much indeed," returned Evelyn,
blushing with pleasure.

Edward seconded the invitation.

"And don't forget that the doors are wide open to you at the Laurels,"
said Mr. Lacy.

"At the Oaks also," said Mr. Dinsmore. And Calhoun Conly added, "And at
Roselands; we shall expect frequent visits, and do our best for your
entertainment; though unfortunately we have no little folks to be your

Evelyn acknowledged each invitation gracefully and in suitable words.
Then, the meal having come to a conclusion, all rose from the table and
returned to the drawing-room; but presently, as it was growing late and
the travelers were supposed to be wearied with their journey, one family
after another bade good-by and departed.

"Well, Eva, what do you think of Mrs. Zoe?" asked Mr. Leland when they
had turned out of the avenue into the road leading to Fairview. "I
understood you were quite anxious to make her acquaintance."

"I think I shall like her very much, uncle," Eva answered; "she seems so
bright, pleasant, and cordial. And she loves her husband so dearly."

Mr. Leland laughed at the concluding words. "And you think that an
additional reason for liking her?"

"Yes, indeed! I think husbands and wives should be very unselfishly
affectionate toward each other; as I have observed that you and Aunt
Elsie always are."

Both laughed in a pleased way, her uncle saying, "So you have been
watching us?"

"I never set myself at it," she said, "but I couldn't help seeing what
was so very evident."

"And no harm if you did. To change the subject--I am greatly interested
in those Norwegians. I hope, my dear, you can give them some employment."

"Yes, and shall do so gladly, if they are competent; for I, too, feel a
deep interest in them."

"So do I," said Evelyn; "I wanted to see them."

"We will call at Ion to-morrow, and I think you will then get a sight of
them, and I learn something of their ability in the sewing line," said
her aunt.

Edward and Zoe had arrived at home a little in advance of their two
protegees, and given orders in regard to their reception; and when the
girls reached Ion they were received by Aunt Dicey, the housekeeper, at a
side entrance, kindly welcomed and conducted to the apartments assigned
them, where they found a tempting meal spread for their refreshment and
every comfort provided.

"Dis am de sewin'-room--an' fo' de present yo' dinin'-room also," she
announced as she ushered them in; "an' dat am de bedroom whar Mr. Ed'ard
an' Miss Zoe tole me you uns is to sleep. Dar's watah dar an' soap an'
towels, s'posin' you likes fo' to wash off de dust ob trabel befo' you
sits down to de table. 'Bout de time you gits done dat de hot cakes and
toast and tea'll be fotched up from de kitchen."

With that she turned and left the room.

The sisters stood for a moment gazing in a bewildered way each into the
other's face. Not one word had they understood; but the gestures had been
more intelligible. Aunt Dicey had pointed toward the open door of the
adjoining room, and they comprehended that it was intended for their

"What a dark-skinned woman, sister," said Alma at last. "What did she
say? What language does she speak?"

Christine shook her head. "Could it be English? I do not know; it did not
sound like the English the gentleman and lady speak when talking to each
other. But she brought us here, and from the motions she made while
talking I think she said these two rooms were for us to use."

"These rooms for us? these beautiful rooms?" exclaimed Alma in
astonishment and delight, glancing about upon the neat, tasteful, even
elegant appointments of the one in which they were, then hastening into
the other to find it in no way inferior to the first. "Ah, how lovely!"
she cried; "see the pretty furniture, the white curtains trimmed with
lace, the bed all white and looking, oh, so comfortable! everything so
clean, so fair and sweet!"

"Yes, yes," said Christine, tears trembling in her eyes; "so far better
than we ever dreamed. But it may be only for to-night; to-morrow,
perhaps, we may be consigned to lodgings not half so good. Ah, I hear
steps on the stairs; they will be bringing our supper. Let us wash the
dust from hands and face that we may be ready to eat."

Presently, seated at the table, they found abundant appetite for the food
set before them, and remarked to each other again and again, how very
good it was, the best they had tasted in many, many days.

"We have fallen in with the best of friends, Christine," said Alma, "have
we not? Oh, what a fortunate mistake was that that put us on the wrong

"It was by the good guidance of our God, Alma," said Christine; "and oh,
how shortsighted and mistaken were we in mourning as we did over the
sickness that separated us from the rest of our company and left us to
travel alone in a strange land; alone and penniless!"

"We will have more faith in future," said Alma; "we will trust the Lord,
even when all is dark and we cannot see one step before us."

"God helping us," added Christine, devoutly; "but, alas! we are prone to
unbelief; when all is bright and the path lies straight before us, we
feel strong in faith; when clouds and darkness cover it from sight, our
faith is apt to fail and our hearts to faint within us."

When the last of their guests of the evening had gone, Edward and Zoe
bethought them of their protegees, and went to the sewing-room to inquire
how they were, and if they had been provided with everything necessary to
their comfort.

They found Christine seated in an arm-chair by the table, with the lamp
drawn near her, and reading from a pocket Testament. She closed and laid
it aside on their entrance, rising to give them a respectful greeting.

"Where is your sister?" asked Zoe, glancing round the room in search of

Christine explained that, not having entirely recovered her strength
since her illness, Alma was much fatigued with her journey and had
already retired to rest.

"Quite right," said Edward; "I think you should follow her example very
soon, for you are looking tired. I hope the servants have attended to all
your wants?"

"Oh, sir, and dear lady," she exclaimed, "how good, how kind you are to
us! what more could we possibly ask than has been provided us by your

"Our orders were that you should be well cared for," Edward said, "but we
feared that for lack of an interpreter you might not be able to make your
wants known."

"Indeed, sir, every want was anticipated," she answered, with grateful
look and tone.

"That is well," he responded. "And now we will leave you to take your
rest. Good-night."

"Good-night, sir," she said; then turning to Zoe, "And you, dear lady,
will let me do some work for you to-morrow?"

"Yes, if you are quite rested by that time," was the smiling reply.
"Don't be uneasy; work and good wages will be found in abundance if you
prove capable."

So Christine went to bed with a heart singing for joy and thankfulness.

Elsie and Evelyn drove over to Ion next morning and found Zoe attending
to her housekeeping cares with a pretty matronly air that became her
well; Aunt Dicey receiving her orders with the look and manner of one who
is humoring a child, for such she considered the youthful lady.

"There, Aunt Dicey, I believe that is all for to-day," said Zoe; and
turning from her to her callers, "Sister Elsie, how good in you to come
over so early! And you too, little maid," to Evelyn: "I'm delighted to
see you both."

"Thank you," returned Elsie, brightly. "How do you like housekeeping?"

"Very much so far, and my efforts seem to amuse Ned immensely," laughed
Zoe. "It's too absurd that he will persist in looking upon me still as a
mere child. Just think of it! when I've been married more than a year;
yes, a year and a half."

"Ah, my dear little sister, don't be in too great a hurry to grow old,"
said Elsie, "or you may be wanting to turn about and travel back again
one of these days. How do you like your new helpers, or rather their
work? But I suppose you have hardly tried them yet."

"Yes; they are busy now in the sewing-room. I wanted them to take a few
days to rest; but their pride of independence rose up so against it that
I was fairly forced to give them something to do, and I find they do sew
beautifully. Suppose you come and examine their work for yourself. You
are included in the invitation, Evelyn," she added, as she rose and led
the way.

In the cheerful, sunny sewing-room, beside a window that looked out upon
the beautiful grounds, now gay with autumn flowers, Christine and Alma
sat busily plying their needles and talking together thankfully of the
present, hopefully of the future, when the door opened and the two ladies
and little girl entered.

"How very industrious!" said Zoe. "I have brought my sister, Mrs. Leland,
to see what competent needlewomen you are."

"They are that indeed," Elsie said, examining the work. "I shall be glad
to engage you both to sew for me when you are no longer needed here," she
added with a kindly glance and smile.

Then taking a chair which Zoe had drawn forward for her, she entered into
conversation with the strangers, asking of their past history and their
plans, hopes, and wishes for the future, and completely winning their
confidence by her sweetly sympathizing tones and manner.

They were delighted with her, and she much pleased with them. Christine
had a good, strong face, plain, rugged features, but a countenance that
indicated so much good sense, probity, and kindliness of heart that it
was attractive in spite of its lack of comeliness.

Alma seemed to lean very much upon this older sister. Hers was a more
delicate organization; she was timid and shrinking, and with her fair
complexion, deep blue eyes, golden hair, and look of refinement, was
really quite pretty and ladylike in appearance.


"Who knows the joys of friendship--The
trust, security, and mutual tenderness,
The double joys, where each is glad for both?"


Max Raymond was racing about Miss Stanhope's grounds with the dog that
had given his sister Lulu so great a fright the first night of their stay
in Lansdale. Up one walk and down another they went, the boy whistling,
laughing, capering about, the dog bounding after, catching up with his
playfellow and leaping upon him, now on this side and now on that; then
presently finding himself shaken off and distanced in the race; but only
for a moment; the next he was at the boy's side again or close at his

"Max! Max!" called an eager child's voice, and Lulu came running down the
path leading directly from the house.

"Well, what is it, Lu?" asked the lad, standing still to look and listen.
"Down, Nero, down! be quiet, sir!"

"Oh, I have something to tell you," replied Lulu, half breathlessly, as
she hurried toward him. "That letter you brought Grandma Elsie from the
post-office this morning was from Aunt Elsie; and they are at home by
this time--she wrote just as they were ready to start--and Evelyn Leland
is with them; she's to make her home at Fairview."

"Well, and what of it? what do _I_ care about it? or you either?"

"Dear me, Max, you might care! I hope she may prove a nice friend for me;
not a bit like Rosie, who has always despised and disliked me."

"I don't think Rosie does anything of the kind, Lulu," said Max, patting
Nero's head; "she may not be very fond of you, and certainly does not
admire your behavior at times, but I don't believe it amounts to

"I do, then," returned Lulu, a touch of anger in her tones. "Anyhow, I'd
dearly love to have a real friend near my own age; and Aunt Elsie says
Evelyn is only a little older than I am."

"Well, I hope you won't be disappointed. If she was a boy I'd be as glad
of her coming, or his coming, as you are."

"Oh, Maxie, I wish, for your sake, she was a boy!" cried Lulu in her
impulsive way, stepping closer and putting her arm about his neck. "How
selfish in me to forget that you have no companion at all at Ion!"

"I have," returned Max; "I have you, you know, and you're right good
company when you are in a good humor."

"And I'm not often in any other with you, Maxie; now am I?" she said

"No, sis, that's true enough, and I do believe I couldn't get
along half so well without you. I'm glad for your sake that
this--what's-her-name?--is coming."

"Her name is Evelyn. Oh, Max, I feel so sorry for her!"


"Because her father's dead, and they were so very, very fond of each
other; so Aunt Elsie wrote."

"Rosie's father's dead too; and she and all of them were very fond of

"Yes; but it's a good while now since he died, and she's had time to get
over it so far that she seems hardly ever to think of him; while it is
only a few weeks since Evelyn lost hers; and Rosie has her nice, kind
mother with her, while Evelyn's is away in Europe, and like enough isn't
half so nice as Grandma Elsie anyhow. Oh, Max, I feel most heart-broken
every time papa goes away, even though I expect to see him back again
some day; and think how dreadful to have your father gone never to come

"Yes, it would be awful!" said Max. "I'd rather lose ten years off my own
life. But, Lu, if you really love papa so dearly, how can you behave
toward him as you do sometimes--causing him so much distress of mind?
I've seen such a grieved, troubled look on his face, when he thought
nobody was watching him, and you were in one of your naughty moods."

"Oh, Max, don't!" Lulu said in a choking voice, as she turned and walked
away, hot tears in her eyes.

Max ran after her. "Come, Lu, don't take it so hard; I didn't mean to be

"But you were! Go away! you've got me into one of my moods, as you call
it, and I'd better be let alone," she returned almost fiercely, jerking
herself loose--for he had caught a fold of her dress in his hand--and
rushing away to the farther end of the grounds, where she threw herself
on a rustic seat panting with excitement and the rapidity of her flight.

But the gust of passion died down almost as speedily as it had arisen;
she could never be angry very long with Max, her dear, only brother; and
now her thoughts turned remorsefully upon the conduct he had condemned.
It was no news to her that she had more than once caused her father much
anxiety and grief of heart, nor was it a new thing for her to be
repentant and remorseful on account of her unfilial behavior.

"Oh, why can't I be as good as Max and Gracie?" she said to herself,
covering her face with her hands and sighing heavily. "I wish papa was
here so I could tell him again how sorry I am, and how dearly I do love
him though I am so often naughty. I am glad I did tell him, and that he
forgave me and told me he loved me just as well as any other of his
children. How good in him to say that! I wonder if Evelyn Leland ever
behaved badly to her father. If she ever was naughty to him, how sorry
she must feel about it now!"

During the remainder of the short visit at Lansdale, and all through the
homeward journey, Lulu's thoughts often turned upon Evelyn, and she had
scarcely alighted from the carriage on their arrival at Ion before she
sent a sweeping glance around the welcoming group on the veranda, in
eager search of the young stranger.

Yes, there she was, a little slender girl in deep mourning, standing
slightly apart from the embracing, rejoicing relatives. She was not
decidedly pretty, but graceful and refined in appearance, with an
earnest, intelligent countenance and very fine eyes. She seemed quite
free from self-consciousness and wholly taken up with the interest of the
scenes being enacted before her.

"How many of them there are! and how they love one another! how nice it
is!" she was thinking within herself, when the two Elsies, releasing each
other from a long, tender embrace, turned toward her, the older one
saying, half inquiringly, "And this is Evelyn?"

"Yes, mamma. Eva, this is my dear mother," said Mrs. Leland.

Mrs. Travilla took the little girl in her arms, kissed her
affectionately, and bade her welcome to Ion, adding, "And if you like you
may call me Grandma Elsie, as the others do."

"Thank you, ma'am," Evelyn answered, coloring with pleasure; "but it
seems hardly appropriate, for you look not very much older than Aunt
Elsie; and she is young to be my aunt."

"That's right, Eva," Mrs. Leland said, with a pleased laugh; "I for one
have never approved of mamma being called so by any one older than my

Mrs. Travilla's attention was claimed by some one else at that moment,
and Lester, taking Evelyn by the hand, led her up to Mr. and Mrs.
Dinsmore. She was introduced to the others in turn, every one greeting
her with the utmost kindness. Rosie gave her a hasty kiss, but Lulu
embraced her with warmth, saying, "I am sure I shall love you, and I hope
you will love me a little in return."

"I'll try; it wouldn't be fair to let it be all on one side," Evelyn
answered with a shy, sweet smile, as she returned the hug and kiss as
heartily as they were given.

Lulu was delighted.

After supper, while the older people were chatting busily among
themselves, she drew Evelyn into a distant corner and told her how glad
she was of her coming, because she wanted a girl-friend near her own age
and found Rosie uncongenial and indifferent toward her.

"She will probably be the same to me," said Evelyn; "she has so many of
her very own dear ones about her, you know, that it cannot be expected
that she will feel much interest in strangers like you and me. But,"
frankly, "I think I should love you best anyhow."

"How nice in you!" said Lulu, her eyes sparkling; "but I'm afraid you
won't when you know me better, for I'm not a bit good; I get into
terrible passions when anybody imposes on me or my brother or sister; and
I sometimes disobey and break rules."

"You are very honest, at all events," remarked Evelyn pleasantly; "and
perhaps I shall not like you any the less for having some faults. You
see, if you were perfect, the contrast between you and myself would be
most unpleasant to me."

"How correctly and like a grown-up person you speak!" said Lulu,
regarding her new friend with affectionate admiration.

Evelyn's eyes filled. "It is because papa made me his constant companion
and took the greatest pains with me," she said, in tones tremulous with
emotion. "We were almost always alone together, for I never had a brother
or sister to share the love he lavished upon me."

"I'm so, so sorry for you!" said Lulu, slipping an arm round Evelyn's
waist. "I think I know a little how you feel, for my papa is with us only
once in a while for a few days or weeks, and when he goes away again it
nearly breaks my heart."

"But you can hope he may come back again."

"Yes; and I have Max and Gracie; so I am much better off than you."

"And such a sweet, pretty mamma," supplemented Evelyn, sending an
admiring glance across the room to where Violet sat chatting with her
sister Elsie.

"But you have your own mother, and that's a great deal better," returned
Lulu. "Mamma Vi is very beautiful and sweet, and very kind to Max and
Gracie and me, but a step-mother can't be like your own."

"I suppose not quite," Evelyn said with a sigh; "but I have no idea when
I shall see mine again."

"We are situated a good deal alike," remarked Lulu, reflectively. "My
father and your mother are far away in this world, and your father and my
mother are gone to heaven."

"Yes. Oh, don't you sometimes want to go to them there?"

"I'm not good enough--not fit in any way; and I believe I'd rather stay
here--at least while papa does," Lulu said, with some hesitation.

"I hope he may be spared to you for many, many years," said Evelyn,
gently; "at least till you are quite grown up, and perhaps have a family
of children of your own."

"Were you ever so naughty that your father told you you gave him a great
deal of trouble and heartache?" asked Lulu in a tremulous voice and with
starting tears.

"Oh no; no, indeed!" exclaimed Eva, in surprise. "How could I, or any
one, with such a father as mine?"

"No father could be better or kinder than mine," said Lulu, twinkling
away a tear; "and yet I have been so passionate and disobedient that he
has told me that several times."

"Oh, don't ever be so again; for if you do your poor heart will ache so
terribly over it when he is taken away from you," Evelyn said with
emotion, and pressing Lulu's hand affectionately in hers. "Oh, I can
never be thankful enough," she went on, "that the day my dear father was
called home he said to me, 'My darling, you have been nothing but a
blessing and comfort to me since the day you were born.'"

"My father can never say that to me; I have already put it out of his
power," thought Lulu to herself, with a great pain at her heart; and as
soon as she found herself alone in her own room that night she wrote a
little penitent note to him all blistered with tears.

Shortly after breakfast the next morning she went to "Grandma Elsie" with
a request for permission to walk over to Fairview and spend an hour with

"You may, my dear, if you can get Max or some older person to walk with
you," was Elsie's kind reply; "otherwise I will send you in the carriage,
because it is not safe for you to walk that distance alone. I think you
and Evelyn are going to be friends, and I am very glad of it," she added
with a pleasant smile. "If she will come, you may bring her back with you
to spend the day at Ion."

"Oh, thank you, Grandma Elsie; that will be so nice!" cried Lulu,
joyously; then bounded away in search of her brother.

Max, having nothing else to do just then, readily consented to be her
escort, and they set out at once.

"A brother is of some use sometimes, isn't he?" queried Max,
complacently, as they walked briskly down the avenue together.

"Yes; and isn't a sister, too?" asked Lulu.

"Yes, indeed," he said; "you are almost always ready to do me a good
turn, Lu. But, in fact, I'm taking this walk quite as much to please
myself as you. It's a very pleasant one on a morning like this, and Uncle
Lester and Aunt Elsie are pleasant folks to visit."

"I think they are," returned Lulu; "but I am going more to see Evelyn
than anybody else. Oh, Max, I do hope, I do believe, it's going to be as
I told you I wished."


"That we'll be intimate friends and very fond of each other. Weren't you
pleased with her, Max? I was."

"She's nice-looking," he replied; "but that's all I can say till we've
had time to get acquainted."

"I feel quite well acquainted with her now; we had such a nice long talk
together last night," said Lulu.

Evelyn was strolling about the grounds at Fairview, and came to the gate
to meet them. She shook hands with Max, kissed Lulu affectionately, and
invited them into the house.

They settled themselves in the veranda, where Mrs. Leland presently
joined them. Then Lulu gave "Grandma Elsie's" invitation.

"May I go, Aunt Elsie?" asked Evelyn.

"Certainly, dear, if you wish to," Mrs. Leland answered kindly. "Your
uncle and I will drive over early in the evening and bring you home."

"By moonlight!" Evelyn said; "that will be very nice. Auntie, you and
uncle are very good to me."

"Indeed, child," returned Elsie, smiling, "you may well believe it is no
hardship for us to go to Ion on any errand; or with none save the desire
to see mamma and the rest."

Evelyn and Lulu passed the greater part of the day alone together, every
one else seemingly lacking either leisure or inclination to join them,
and the friendship grew rapidly, as is usually the case when two little
girls are thus thrown together.

Each gave a detailed history of her past life and found the other deeply
interested in it. Then they talked of the present and of the near future.

"Are you to go to school?" asked Lulu.

"No," Evelyn said with a contented smile, "I am to study at home and come
here to recite with you."

"Oh, how nice!" cried Lulu, her eyes sparkling with pleasure.

"Yes, I think it very kind in Aunt Elsie's mother and grandfather to
offer to let me do so," said Evelyn. "I shall try very hard to be
studious and well-behaved and give them no trouble."

Lulu's cheek flushed at that remark, and for a moment she sat silent and
with downcast eyes; then she burst out in her impetuous way, "I wish I
were like you, Eva--so good and grateful. I'm afraid you wouldn't care
for me at all if you knew what a bad, ungrateful thing I am. I've given
ever so much trouble to Grandpa Dinsmore and Grandma Elsie, though they
have done more for me--for Max and Gracie too--than they are going to do
for you."

"I don't believe you're half so bad as you make yourself out to be,"
returned Eva, in a surprised tone. "And I'm sure you are sorry and will
be ever so good and grateful in the future."

"I want to, but--there does seem to be no use in my trying to be
sweet-tempered and all that," said Lulu, dejectedly; "I've got such a
dreadful temper."

"Papa used to tell me God, our heavenly Father, would help me to conquer
my faults, if I asked Him with all my heart," said Evelyn, softly; "that,
in His great love and condescension, He noticed even a little child and
its efforts to please Him and do His will."

"Yes, I know; my papa has told me the same thing ever so often; but most
always the temptation comes so suddenly I don't seem to have time to ask
for help, and"--hesitatingly--"sometimes I don't want it."


"O blessed, happy child, to find
The God of heaven so near and kind!"

It was Sabbath afternoon. In the large dining-room at Ion a Bible-reading
was being held, Mr. Dinsmore leading, every member of the household, down
to the servants, who occupied the lower end of the apartment, bearing a
share in the exercises; as also Lester, Elsie, and Evelyn from Fairview,
and representatives from the other three families belonging to the
connection, and the Keith cousins, who had arrived at Ion a few days

The portion of Scripture under consideration was the interview of
Nicodemus with the Master when he came to Him by night (St. John iii.),
the subject, of course, the necessity of the new birth, God's appointed
way of salvation, and the exceeding greatness of His love in giving His
only-begotten Son to die "that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life."

Each one able to read had an open Bible, and even Gracie and little
Walter listened with understanding and interest.

She whom the one called mamma, the other Grandma Elsie, had talked with
them that morning on the same subject, and tenderly urged upon them--as
often before--the duty of coming to Christ, telling them of His love to
little children, and that they were not too young to give themselves to
Him; and Mr. Dinsmore addressed a few closing words to them in the same

They fell into Gracie's heart as seed sown in good ground. When the
reading had come to an end and she felt herself unobserved, she slipped
quietly away to her mamma's dressing-room, where she was not likely to be
disturbed, and sat down to think more profoundly and seriously than ever
before in her short life.

She went over "the old, old story," and tears stole down her cheeks as
she whispered to herself, "And it was for me He died that dreadful death;
for me just as truly as if it hadn't been for anybody else; and yet I've
lived all this long while without loving Him, or trying to do right for
the sake of pleasing Him.

"And how often I've been invited to come! Papa has told me about it over
and over again; mamma too, and Grandma Elsie; and I haven't minded what
they said at all. Oh, how patient and kind Jesus has been to wait so long
for me to come! And He is still waiting and inviting me to come; just as
kindly and lovingly as if it was the very first time, and I hadn't been
turning away from Him.

"He is right here, looking at me, and listening for what I will say in
answer to His call. Oh, I won't keep Him waiting any longer, lest He
should go away and never invite me again; and because I do love Him for
dying for me, and for being so good and kind to me all my life--giving me
every blessing I have--and keeping on inviting me, over and over, when I
wouldn't even listen to His voice.

"I'll go to Him now. Grandma Elsie said just to kneel down and feel that
I am kneeling at His feet, and tell Him all about my sins, and how sorry
I am, exactly as if I could see Him, and ask Him to forgive my sins and
wash them all away in His precious blood, and take me for His very own
child to be His forever, and serve Him always--in this world, and in
heaven when he takes me there. Yes, I will do it now."

With the resolve she rose from the chair where she had been sitting, and
kneeling before it with clasped hands and closed eyes, from which
penitent tears stole down her cheeks, said, in low, reverent tones, "Dear
Lord Jesus, I'm only a little girl and very full of sin; I've done a
great many bad things in my life, and haven't done the good things I knew
I ought to do; and I have a very bad heart that doesn't want to do right.
Oh, please make it good; oh, please take away all the wickedness that is
in me; wash me in Thy precious blood, so that I shall be clean and pure
in Thy sight. Forgive me for living so long without loving Thee, when
I've known all the time about Thy great love to me. Help me to love Thee
now and forever more; I give myself to Thee to be all thine forever and
forever. Amen."

Her prayer was ended, yet she did not at once rise from her kneeling
posture; it was so sweet to linger there at the Master's feet; she
remembered and trusted His promise, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no
wise cast out," and almost she could hear His dear voice saying in
tenderest tones, "Daughter, thy sins, which are many, are forgiven thee."

"I love them that love Me, and those that seek Me early shall find Me."

She seemed to feel the touch of His hand laid in blessing on her head,
and her heart sang for joy.

Meanwhile the older children had gathered about Aunt Chloe, now seated in
a back veranda--the weather being still warm enough for the outer air to
be very pleasant at that time of day--and Rosie, as spokesman of the
party, begged coaxingly for stories of mamma when she was a little girl.

"It's de Lawd's day, chillens," answered the old woman in a doubtful

"Yes, mammy," acknowledged Rosie, "but you can easily make your story fit
for Sunday; mamma was so good--a real Christian child, as you have often
told me."

"So she was, chile, so she was; I's sho' she lub de Lawd, from de bery
day her ole mammy fus' tole her how He lub her. Yes, you right, Miss
Rosie; I kin tole you 'bout her, and 'twon't break de Sabbath day. Is yo'
all hyar now?" she asked, glancing inquiringly about.

"All but Gracie," said Rosie, glancing round the little circle in her
turn. "I wonder where she is. Betty," to a little negro maid standing in
the rear, "go and find Miss Gracie, and ask if she doesn't want to hear
the stories mammy is going to tell us."

"Yes, Miss Rosie, whar you s'pose Miss Gracie done gone?" drawled the
little maid, standing quite still and pulling at one of the short woolly
braids scattered here and there over her head.

"I don't know. Go and look for her," returned Rosie, somewhat
imperiously. "Now hurry," she added, "or there won't be time for all
mammy has to tell."

"Wisht I know whar Miss Gracie done gone," sighed Betty, reluctantly

"I saw her going upstairs," said Lulu; "so it's likely you'll find her in
Mamma Vi's rooms."

At that Betty quickened her pace, and the next moment was at Violet's
dressing-room door, peeping in and asking, "You dar, Miss Gracie?"

"Yes," Grace answered, turning toward her a face so full of gladness that
Betty's eyes opened wide in astonishment, and stepping in she asked
wonderingly, "What--what de mattah, Miss Gracie? yo' look like yo' done
gone foun' a gol' mine, or jes' sumfin' mos' like dat."

"Better still, Betty: I've found the Lord Jesus; I love Him and He loves
me," Gracie said, her eyes shining, "and oh, I am so glad, so happy!"

"Whar yo' fin' Him, Miss Gracie?" queried Betty in increasing wonder and
astonishment, and glancing searchingly round the room. "Is He hyar?"

"Yes; for He is God and is everywhere."

"Oh, dat de way He hyar? Yes, I knows 'bout dat; Miss Elsie tole me lots
ob times. How yo' know He lub yo', Miss Gracie?"

"Because He says so, Betty.

"'Jesus loves me; this I know,
For the Bible tell me so.'"

"Yo's wanted down stairs, Miss Gracie," said Betty, bethinking herself of
her errand. "Ole Aunt Chloe gwine tell 'bout old times when missus bery
little and lib way off down Souf. Bettah come right 'long; kase Miss
Rosie she in pow'ful big hurry fo' Aunt Chloe begin dat story."

"Oh yes; I never get tired hearing mammy tell that; Grandma Elsie was
such a dear little girl," Grace said, making haste to obey the summons.

The others had already gathered closely about Aunt Chloe, but the circle
promptly widened to receive Grace, and the moment she had taken her seat
the story began, opening with the birth of its subject.

There were many little reminiscences of her infancy and early childhood,
very interesting to all the listeners. The narrator dwelt at length upon
the evidences of early piety shown in the child's life, and Aunt Chloe
remarked, "Yo' needn't be 'fraid, chillens, ob bein' too good to lib: my
darlin' was de bes' chile eber I see, and yo' know she has lib to see her
chillen and her gran'chillens."

"I'm not at all afraid of it," remarked Rosie. "People who are certainly
don't know or don't believe what the Bible teaches on that point; for it
says, 'My son, forget not My law; but let thine heart keep My
commandments; for length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add
to thee.'"

"And there's a promise of long life and prosperity to all who keep the
fifth commandment," said Max.

"'So far as it shall serve for God's glory and their own good,'" added
Evelyn, softly.

"Dat's so, chillens," said Aunt Chloe; "an' yo' ole mammy hopes ebery one
ob yo's gwine try it all de days ob yo' life."

"Yes, we're goin' to, mammy; so now tell us some more," said Walter,
coaxingly; "tell about the time when the poor little girl that's my mamma
now had to go away and leave her pretty home."

"Yaas, chile, dat wur a sad time," said the old woman, reflectively; "it
mos' broke de little chile heart to hab to leab dat home whar she been
borned, an' all de darkies dat lub her like dar life."

She went on to describe the parting, then to tell of the journey, and was
just beginning with the life at Roselands, when the summons came to the

"We'll come back to hear the rest after tea, mammy, if you're not too
tired," Rosie said as she turned to go.

But on coming back they found no one on the veranda but Betty, who, in
answer to their inquiries, said, "Aunt Chloe hab entired fo' de night;
she hab de misery in de back and in de head, and she cayn't tell no mo'
stories fo' mawning."

"Poor old soul!" said Evelyn, compassionately; "I'm afraid we've tired
her out."

"Oh no, not at all," answered Rosie; "she likes nothing better than
talking about mamma. You never saw anything like her devotion; I verily
believe she'd die for mamma without a moment's hesitation."

Most of the house-servants at Ion occupied cabins of their own at no
great distance from the mansion, but Aunt Chloe, the faithful nurse of
three generations, was domiciled in a most comfortable apartment not far
from those of the mistress to whom she was so dear; and Elsie never laid
her own head upon its pillow till she had paid a visit to mammy's room to
see that she wanted for nothing that could contribute to ease of body or

This night, stealing softly in, she found her lying with closed eyes and
hands meekly folded across her breast, and, thinking she slept, would
have gone away again as quietly as she came; but the loved voice recalled

"Dat yo', honey? Don' go; yo' ole mammy's got somefin to say; and de time
is short, 'kase the chariot-wheels dey's rollin' fas', fas' dis way to
carry yo' ole mammy home to glory."

"Dear mammy," Elsie said with emotion, laying her hand tenderly on the
sable brow, "are you feeling weaker or in any way worse than usual?"

"Dunno, honey, but I hear de Master callin', an' I's ready to follow
whereber He leads; eben down into de valley ob de shadow ob death. I's
close to de riber; Is hear de soun' ob de wattahs ripplin' pas'; but de
eberlastin' arms is underneath, an' I sho' to git safe ober to de oder

"Yes, dear mammy, I know you will," Elsie answered in moved tones. "I
know you will come off more than conqueror through Him who loved you with
an everlasting love."

"'Peat dat verse to yo' ole mammy, honey," entreated the trembling,
feeble voice.

"What verse, mammy dear? 'Who shall separate us'?"

"Yes, darlin', dat's it! an' de res' dat comes after, whar de 'postle say
he 'suaded dat deff nor nuffin else cayn't separate God's chillen from de
love ob Christ."

Elsie complied, adding at the close of the quotation, "Such precious
words! How often you and I have rejoiced over them together, mammy!"

"'Deed we hab, honey; an' we's gwine rejoice in dem togeder beside de
great white throne. Now yo' go an' take yo' res', darlin', an' de Lawd
gib yo' sweet sleep."

"I can't leave you, mammy if you are suffering; you must let me sit
beside you and do what is in my power to relieve or help you to forget
your pain."

"No, chile, no; de miseries am all gone an' I's mighty comfor'able, bery
happy, too, hearin' de soun' ob de chariot-wheels and tinking I's soon be
in de bressed lan' whar de miseries an' de sins am all done gone foreber;
an' whar ole Uncle Joe an' de bressed Master is waitin' to 'ceive me wid
songs ob joy and gladness."

Thus reassured, and perceiving no symptom of approaching dissolution,
Elsie returned to her own apartments and was soon in bed and asleep.

In accordance with an Ion rule which Lulu particularly disliked, the
children had gone to their rooms an hour or more in advance of the older

Grace still slept with her mamma in her father's absence, but often made
her preparations for bed in her sister's room, that they might chat
freely together of whatever was uppermost in their minds.

To-night they were no sooner shut in there, away from other eyes and
ears, than Grace put her arms round Lulu's neck, saying, while her face
shone with gladness, "Oh, Lu, I have something to tell you!"

"Have you?" Lulu answered. "Then it must be something good; for in all
your life I never saw you look so very, very happy. Oh, is it news from
papa? Is he coming home on another visit?" she cried with a sudden, eager
lighting up of her face.

The brightness of Grace's dimmed a trifle as she replied, "No, not that;
they would never let him come again so soon. Oh, how I wish he was here!
for he would be so glad of it too; almost as glad as I am, I think."

"Glad of what?" asked Lulu.

"That I've given my heart to Jesus. Oh, Lulu, won't you do it too? it is
so easy if you only just try."

"Tell me about it; how did you do it?" Lulu asked gravely, her eyes cast
down, a slight frown upon her brow.

"I did just as Grandma Elsie told us this morning. You know, Lu?"

"Yes, I remember. But how do you know that you were heard and accepted?"

"Why, Lulu!" was the surprised reply, "the Bible tells us God is the
hearer and answerer of prayer--it's in one of the verses I've learned to
say to Grandma Elsie since I came here. And Jesus says: 'Him that cometh
unto Me I will in nowise cast out;' so of course He received me. How
could I help knowing it?"

"You've got far ahead of me," Lulu said, with petulance born of an uneasy
conscience, as she released herself from Grace's arms and began
undressing with great energy and despatch.

"You needn't feel that way, Lu," Grace said pleadingly; "Jesus is just as
willing to take you for His child as me."

"I don't believe it!" cried Lulu, with almost fierce impatience; "you've
always been good, and I've always been bad. I don't see why I wasn't made
patient and sweet-tempered too; it's no trouble to you to behave and keep
rules and all that, but I can't; try as hard as I will."

"Oh, Lulu, Jesus will help you to be good if you ask Him and try as hard
as you can, too," Grace said in tender, pleading tones.

"But suppose I don't want to be good?"

Grace's eyes opened wide in grieved surprise, then filled with tears.
"Oh, Lulu!" she said; "but I'm sure you do want to be good sometimes. And
can't Jesus help you to want to always? won't He if you ask Him?"

"I'm tired of the subject, and it's time for you to go to bed," was the
ungracious rejoinder.

Usually so unkind a rebuff from her sister would have caused Grace a fit
of crying, but she was too happy for that to-night. She slipped quietly
away into her mamma's rooms, and when ready for bed came to the door
again with a pleasant "Good-night, Lulu, and happy dreams!"

Lulu, already repentant, sprang to meet her with outstretched arms.
"Good-night, you dear little thing!" she exclaimed with a hug and kiss.
"I wish you had a better sort of a sister. Perhaps you will some day,--in
little Elsie."

"I love you dearly, dearly, Lu!" was the affectionate rejoinder,
accompanied by a hearty return of the embrace.

"I wish mamma would come up, for I want to tell her; 'cause I know it
will make her glad too," Grace said to herself as she got into bed. "I
mean to stay awake till she comes."

But scarcely had the little curly head touched the pillow ere its owner
was fast asleep, and so the communication was deferred till morning.

When Violet came into the room she stepped softly to the bedside, and
bending over the sleeping child gazed with tender scrutiny into the fair
young face.

"The darling!" she murmured, "what a passing sweet and peaceful
expression she wears! I noticed it several times during the evening; a
look as if some great good had come to her."

A very gentle kiss was laid on the child's forehead, and Violet passed on
into Lulu's room, moved by a motherly solicitude to see that all was well
with this one of her husband's children also.

The face that rested on the pillow was round and rosy with youth and
health, the brow was unruffled, yet the countenance lacked the exceeding
sweet expression of her sister's.

Violet kissed her also, and Lulu, half opening her sleepy eyes, murmured,
"Mamma Vi you're very good and kind," and with the last word was fast
asleep again.

Mrs. Elsie Travilla rose earlier the next morning than her wont,--a vague
uneasiness oppressing her in regard to her aged nurse,--and waiting
only to don dressing-gown and slippers went softly to Aunt Chloe's
bedside; but finding her sleeping peacefully, she returned as quietly
as she had come, thinking to pay another visit before descending to the

Only a few minutes had passed, however, when the little maid Betty came
rushing unceremoniously in, her eyes wild with affright. "Missus,
missus," she cried, "suffin de mattah wid ole Aunt Chloe; she--"

Elsie waited to hear no more, but pushing past the child, flew to the

But one glance at the aged face told her that no human help could avail;
the seal of death was on it.

A great wave of sorrow swept over her at the sight, but she was outwardly
calm and composed as, taking the cold hand in hers, she asked, "Dear
mammy, is it peace?"

"Yes, chile, yes," came in feeble yet assured accents from the dying
lips; "an' I's almos' dar; a po' ole sinnah saved by grace. Good-by,
honey; we's meet again at de Master's feet, neber to part mo mo'!"

One or two long-drawn gasping breaths followed and the aged pilgrim had
entered into rest.

At the same instant a strong arm was passed round Elsie's waist, while a
manly voice said tenderly, "We will not grieve for her, dear daughter,
for all her pains, all her troubles are over, and she has been gathered
home like a shock of corn fully ripe."

"Yes, dear father, but let me weep a little; not for her, but for
myself," Elsie said, suffering him to draw her head to a resting-place
upon his breast.

In the mean while Violet and Grace had wakened from sleep, and the little
girl had told of her new-found happiness, meeting with the joyful
sympathy which she had expected.

"Dear Gracie," Violet said, taking the little girl in her arms and
kissing her tenderly, "you are a blessed, happy child in having so early
chosen the better part which shall never be taken away from you. Jesus
will be your friend all your life, be it long or short; a friend that
sticketh closer than a brother; who will never leave nor forsake you, but
will love you with an everlasting love, tenderer than a mother's, and be
always near and mighty to help and save in every time of trouble and

"Oh, mamma," said Grace, "how good and kind He is to let me love Him! I
wish I could do something to please Him; what could I do, mamma?"

"He said to His disciples, 'If ye love Me, keep My commandments;' and He
says the same to you and me, Gracie, dear," Violet answered.

"I will try, mamma; and won't you help me?"

"All I can, dear. Now it is time for us to rise."

They had nearly completed their toilet when a tap at the door was
followed by the entrance of Violet's mother, looking grave and sad, and
with traces of tears about her eyes.

"Mamma, what is it?" Violet asked anxiously.

"Our dear old mammy is gone, daughter," Elsie answered, the tears
beginning to fall again; "gone home to glory. I do not weep for her, but
for myself. You know what she was to me."

"Yes, mamma, dearest, I am very sorry for you; but for her it should be
all joy, should it not? Life can have been little but a burden, to her
for some years past, and now she is at God's right hand where there are
pleasures forever more."

Elsie assented; and sitting down, gave a full account of what had passed
between Aunt Chloe and herself the previous night, and of the death-scene
this morning.

"What a long, long journey hers has been!" remarked Violet; "but she has
reached home at last. And here, mamma," drawing Grace forward, "is a
little pilgrim who has but just passed through the wicket-gate, and begun
to travel the strait and narrow way."

"Is it so, Gracie? It makes my heart glad to hear it," Elsie said, taking
the child in her arms in a tender, motherly fashion. "You are none too
young to begin to love and serve the Lord Jesus; and it's a blessed
service. I found it such when I was a child like you, and such I have
found it all the way that I have traveled since."



Several weeks had passed since the events recorded in the last chapter,
during which life had moved on in its accustomed way at Fairview and Ion.

Evelyn was as happy in her new home as she could have been anywhere
without her father and mother--perhaps happier than she would have been
anywhere _with_ the latter--and enjoyed her studies under Mr. Dinsmore's
tuition; for, being very steady, respectful, studious, and in every way a
well-behaved child, and also an interested pupil, she found favor with
him, was never subjected to reproof or punishment, but smiled upon and
constantly commended, and in consequence her opinion of him differed
widely from that of Lulu, whose quick, wilful temper was continually
getting her into trouble with him.

She was the only one of his scholars who caused him any serious
annoyance, but he had grown very weary of contending with her, and one
day when she had failed in her recitation and answered impertinently his
well-merited reproof, he said to her, "Lucilla, you may leave the room
and consider yourself banished from it for a week. At the end of that
time I shall probably be able to decide whether I will ever again listen
to a recitation from you."

Lulu, with cheeks aflame and eyes flashing, hardly waited for the
conclusion of the sentence ere she rose and rushed from the room,
shutting the door behind her with a loud slam.

Mr. Dinsmore stepped to it and called her back.

"I desire you to come in here again and then leave us in a proper and
ladylike manner, closing the door quietly," he said.

For a single instant Lulu hesitated, strongly tempted to refuse
obedience; but even she stood in some awe of Mr. Dinsmore, and seeing his
stern, determined look, she retraced her steps, with head erect and eyes
that carefully avoided the faces of all present; went quietly out again,
closed the door gently, then hurried through the hall, down the stairs,
and into her own room; there she hastily donned hat and sacque, then
rapidly descended to the ground-floor, and the next instant might have
been seen fairly flying down the avenue.

Her passion had slightly cooled by the time she reached the gate, and
giving up her first intention of passing through into the road beyond,
she turned into an alley bordered by evergreens which would screen her
from view from the house, and there paced back and forth, muttering
angrily to herself between her shut teeth,

"I hate him, so I do! the old tyrant! He's no business to give me such
long, hard lessons and then scold because I don't recite perfectly."

Here conscience reminded her that she could easily have mastered her task
if her time had not been wasted over a story-book.

"It's a pity if I can't have the pleasure of reading a story once in a
while," she said in reply; "and I'm not going to give up doing it either
for him or anybody else. He reads stories himself; and if it's bad, it's
worse for grown folks than for children. Oh, how I do wish I was grown up
and could do just as I please!"

Then came to mind her father's assurance that even grown people could not
always follow their own inclinations; also his expressions of deep
gratitude to Mr. Dinsmore and Grandma Elsie for giving his children a
home with them and taking the trouble to teach and train them up for
useful and happy lives. Lulu well knew that Mr. Dinsmore received no
compensation for his labors in behalf of her brother and sister and
herself, and that few people would be at such pains for no other reward
than the consciousness of doing good; and reflecting upon all this, she
at length began to feel really ashamed of her bad behavior.

Yet pride prevented her from fully acknowledging it even to her own
heart. But recalling the doubt he had expressed as to whether he would
ever again hear a recitation from her, she began to feel very uneasy as
to what might be the consequence to her of such a refusal on his part.

Her education must go on; that she knew; but who would be her teacher if
Mr. Dinsmore refused? In all probability she would be sent away to the
much-dreaded boarding-school. Indeed she felt quite certain of it in case
the question should be referred to her father; for had he not warned her
that if she were troublesome or disobedient to Mr. Dinsmore, such would
be her fate?

A fervent wish arose that he might not be appealed to--might forever be
left in ignorance of this her latest act of insubordination. She would,
it was true, have to make a report to him of the day's conduct, but she
could refrain from telling the whole story; could smooth the matter over
so that he would not understand how extremely impertinent and passionate
she had been.

Everything that had passed between Mr. Dinsmore and herself had been seen
and heard by all her fellow-pupils, and the thought of that did not tend
to lessen Lulu's mortification and dread of consequences.

"Rosie will treat me more than ever like the Pharisee did the publican,"
she said bitterly to herself, "Max and Gracie will be ashamed of their
sister, Walter will look at me as if he thought me the worst girl alive,
and perhaps Evelyn won't be my friend any more. Mr. Dinsmore will act as
if he didn't see me at all, I suppose, and Grandma Elsie and Aunt Elsie
and Mamma Vi will be grave and sad. Oh dear, I 'most think I'm willing to
go to boarding-school to get away from it all!"

Evelyn had been greatly shocked and surprised at Lulu's outburst of
temper, for she had become strongly attached to her, and had not known
her to be capable of such an exhibition of passion.

During the scene in the school-room, Rosie sent angry glances at Lulu,
but Evelyn sat silent with eyes cast down, unwilling to witness her
friend's disgrace. Max hid his face with his book, Gracie wept, and
little Walter looked on in silent astonishment.

"She is the most ill-tempered piece I ever saw!" remarked Rosie, aloud,
as the door closed upon Lulu for the second time.

"Rosie," said her grandfather, sternly, "let me hear no more such
observations from your lips. They are entirely uncalled for and extremely

Rosie reddened and did not venture to speak again, or even to so much as
raise her eyes from her book for some time.

The out-door air was quite keen and cold; Lulu was beginning to feel
chilled, and debating in her own mind whether to return at once to the
house spite of the danger of meeting some one who knew of her disgrace,
and was therefore likely to look at her askance, when a light, quick step
approached her from behind and two arms were suddenly thrown around her

"Oh, Lu, dear Lu," said Evelyn's soft voice, "I am so, so sorry!"

"Eva! I did not think you would come to find me; do you really care for
me still?" asked Lulu, in subdued tones, and half averting her face.

"Of course I do. Did you suppose I was not a true friend that would stand
by you in trouble and disgrace, as well as when all goes prosperously
with you?"

"But it was my own fault for not learning my lesson better, in the first
place, and then for answering Grandpa Dinsmore as I did when he reproved
me," said Lulu, hanging her head. "I know papa would say so if he were
here, and punish me severely too."

"Still I'm sorry for you," Eva repeated. "I'm not, by any means, always
good myself; I might have neglected my lessons under the same temptation,
and if my temper were naturally as hot as yours I don't know that I
should have been any more meek and respectful than you were under so
sharp a rebuke."

"It's very good in you to say it; you're not a bit of a Pharisee; but I
think Rosie is very much like the one the Bible tells about; the one who
thought himself so much better than the poor publican."

"Isn't it just possible you may be a little hard on Rosie?" suggested
Eva, with some hesitation, fearing to rouse the ungovernable temper

But Lulu did not show any anger. "I don't think I am," she replied, quite
calmly. "What did she say after I left the room?"

Eva was very averse to tale-bearing, so merely answered the query with
another. "Why do you suppose she said anything?"

"Because I know her of old; she dislikes and despises me, and is always
ready to express her sentiments whenever the slightest occasion offers."

"That reminds me," said Evelyn, "that just before dismissing us Grandpa
Dinsmore requested us to refrain from mentioning what had passed, unless
it should become quite necessary to do so."

"You may be sure Rosie will find it necessary," Lulu said; "she will tell
her mamma all about it--Mamma Vi, too--and it will presently be known all
over the house; even by the Keiths. I wish they weren't here,"

"Don't you like them? I do."

"Yes; Aunt Marcia and Aunt Annis--as we children all call them--are kind
and pleasant as can be; but I'd rather they wouldn't hear about this;
though I don't care so very much either," she added, half defiantly.
"What difference does it make what people think of you?"

"Some difference, surely," said Evelyn, gently; "for the Bible says, 'A
good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor
rather than silver and gold.' Papa used to tell me that to deserve a good
name, and to have it, was one of the greatest blessings of life. I must
go now," she added, pulling out a pretty little watch, one of the last
gifts of that loved father; "Aunt Elsie will be expecting me."

"I wish I could go with you," said Lulu, sighing.

"Oh, that would be nice!" exclaimed Evelyn. "Can't you?"

Lulu shook her head. "Not without leave, and I don't want to ask it now.
Oh, Eva, I do wish I hadn't to obey these people who are no relation to

"But they are very kind; and Aunt Violet is your father's wife, and loves
you for his sake, I am sure."

"But she's too young to be a real mother to me, and the rest are no
relation at all. I begged papa not to say I must obey them, but he would
say it."

"Then, loving him so dearly, as I am sure you do, I should think you
would be quite willing to obey them, because it is his will that you

"I don't see that that follows," grumbled Lulu; "and--now you will think
me very bad, I know--I have sometimes even refused to obey papa himself."

"Oh, how sorry you will be for it if ever he is taken away from you!" Eva
said, with emotion. "But did he let you have your own way?"

"No, indeed; he is as strict in exacting obedience from his children as
Grandpa Dinsmore himself. I'm dreadfully afraid Grandpa Dinsmore or
somebody will write to him about to-day; I do hope they won't, for he
said if I should be disobedient and troublesome he would take me away
from here and put me in a boarding-school."

"And you wouldn't like that?"

"No, indeed! for how could I bear to be separated from Gracie and Max?"

"I hope you won't have to go; I should be sorry enough on my own account
as well as yours," Evelyn said, with an affectionate kiss. "I must really
go now; so good-by, dear, till to-morrow."

Evelyn had hardly gone when Max joined his sister. "Lulu, why can't you
behave?" he exclaimed in a tone of impatience and chagrin. "You make
Gracie and me both ashamed of your ingratitude to Grandpa Dinsmore."

"I don't choose to be lectured by you, Max," returned Lulu, with a toss
of her head.

"No; but what do you suppose papa would say to this morning's behavior?"

"Suppose you write and tell him all about it, and see what he says," she
returned scornfully.

"You know I would not do such a thing," said Max; "but I should think you
would feel bound to do it."

"I intend to some day," she answered, almost humbly; "but I don't think I
need just now; 'tisn't likely he'd get the story anyhow for weeks or

"Well, you'll do your own way, of course, but if it was my case I'd
rather confess, and have it off my mind."

So saying, Max turned and walked toward the house, Lulu slowing

Though determined not to show it, she quite dreaded meeting any one
belonging to the family; but she was already too thoroughly chilled to
think of staying out another moment. Besides, the more she reflected upon
the matter, the more plainly she saw that her misconduct could not be
hidden from the family; they would notice that she did not go into the
schoolroom as usual; they would see by Mr. Dinsmore's manner toward her
that she was in disgrace with him, and would know it was not without
cause; therefore to remain longer out in the cold was only delaying for a
very little while the ordeal which she must face sooner or later. Still
she deemed it cause for rejoicing that she succeeded in gaining her own
room without meeting any one.

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