Chapter 195881827

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Chapter NumberXIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1886-11-26
Page Number1
Word Count5612
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitlePort Adelaide News and Lefevre's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1883 - 1897)
Trove TitleDora Dunbar. An Australian Story
article text


ft B O R A DUNBAR.". an Australian story.

CHAPTER XIV.—(Continued.)


Katinza, Ag's old cat, took a fit this morning and cleared the family oat in no time. Ag made for the hall table, the chief disappeared in the den in half a jiffey, and Susan dropped the armfnl of dishes she was carrying ont, with a "wurra, worra, Misther Tie! what ails the crajthur, sorr?" I laughed like fnn to see them scatter as puss shot up the dining-room wall like & streak of lightning. It was as good as a play. How far are yon from the sea there, Doll ? Yon onghtto make for Portland Christmas time, and come roand home by Melbourne. No more news, so I'll wind np. Drop as a line soon. Your affectionate brother, Vio. Mamma's letter consists cf alternate paragraphs of advice to me and gratitude to the Arcroft's for their kindness to her stray chick. Not content with giving me multitudinous messages, she writes to Mrs. Arcroft by the same mail, thanking her profusely, so I gather from that lady's remarks, for I do not see the contents of the letter, and making me over to her charge, as I am informed. " So, Dot," laughingly ooneludes my new guardian," if Mr. Fowler comes to thaconciusiozy as he seems to be doing, that the widow and her gold weighed in the balance with some one we know woald be fonnd wanting, refer him to me." " Providing of course that I say ' yes' " I promise,jestingly, "I will." "Don't say 'yes,' Dot, unless yon can say it from your heart," with unusual gravity. "Ipity the woman who marries Norton Fowler without love to lend lies patience to

endure his ill-temper and egotism." "What a character to give him." "It's a tree one. Doubtless hs has many good qualities, but those are his two great failings." And on Saturday night I feel inclined to agree with her, as I survey his moody face, and note two or three morbidly-selfish remarks he makes, daring oar after-dinner conversation. Whether the inability to gain an opportunity of asking for the answer I had promised him annoys him, or his dinner has proved indigestible, I know not. Certain it is, that before and during the repast, he had been pleasant enough to satiety the most exacting. Mr. and Mrs. Arcroft seem not to notice his curt replies and forcsS smiles, bnt chat pleasantly on, interesting and amusing him against his wiD. Seated at the table a little in the back ground, I take it all in, and long to lecture him on looking so evil and discontented. Hardly a word does he vouchsafe me, to my mingled amusement and disgust, and at length my patience give? way. i .Taking a white rose and sprig of rosemary from s bouquet on tbe table before me, I tie them together, and pencilling on a sheet of paper lying near, the following lines, I twiat them round the flowers, and watching my opportunity, pass them to Mm. Here e white rose—that's for silence, But silence why?—to me, Must I with friends forsaken Wear sad anemone? Ah so I to plead remembrance Here's fragrant rosemary. If vain its plea, let cypress In silence breathe despair; If treated with acceptance, Glad hope will hawthorn bear; Bat oh 1 to thy indifference, Thy hate I should prefer. For a moment or two he trifles carelessly with the Sowers, then, dipping them out of ^ the paper, tranters them to his button-hole, \ and it to his pocket, only to withdraw it a )- a little later, when Mrs. Arcroft leaves us to \ order supper, and her spouse indulges, or (pretends to indulge, in a stolen forty winks. Smoothing the paper and his frowning ; brow at the same time, he peruses the former, \ and, as he does eo, to my surprise, flushes a \ deep, dark red, right up into the roots of his ; hair. Eaisiiig his head on reading them, his eyes, \ flashing like sted, meet mine for a moment, ,' then, with a sound between a sigh and a sob, | he hastily rises and quits the room, leaving \ me completely mystified. I " Where's Fowler, eh?" cries Mr. Arcroft, \ as his wife shakes him batik into his waking eenses on her ratarn. " Gone to bed," she informs, him and me ) at the same time, "Imet him just now in j the hall, and he asked me to excuse him and i beg yon and Dot to do so, as he Mt far from / well. He looked it too, poor fellow 1 he was ! white as a sheet." \ Thereupon her husband fusses off to see what is wrong, but soon returns shaking his 1 head. , "He won't take anything or let me do anything for him, says he'll be right as noon as he gets a Bleep, but he's the first snan lever came across that could sleep ipeeing to and iro at the rate I heard him .going at as I left his door." -9 . "Better leave him alone," advises his wife, •» he may j, have some mental trouble we oan- «ot ease, and only add to by interference,

However well meant," and she looks half '.rqniringl; at me, but I have nothing to .Oti'Oil'. las ratze I ee6k my rocm, and slowly prepare for bed. Why had my verses bad ihc opposite effect to that I expected, and -ceant them to have? I had thought to please, even flatter him a little, and lol tbe result i I had only upset and put him to flight. Would Le ask for his answer on the morrow? I wondered, and if be did what was it to be? I was as much undecided as ever. True, a feeling'I eouid not analyze . forbade n>y sending him away. Was it love or enly infatuation? I asked myself. Should I obey its promptings and cast my cherished Scheme cf repaying fcim in his own coin to the wind. While sitting debating tbe matter, I fall asleep, and sleep dreamleEely till late in the morning, when I am awakened by Mr. Arcroft's stentorian tones and thunderous raps at my door. Am I aware that it is breakfast-time, or very near it? he demands imperiously, striving in vain to infuse a little displeasure into his voice. _ " I am now—why didn't you sing out sooner?'' I retort lazily, loth to leave;my snug quarters. "Sooner," he echoes in an injured tone, " that's my thanks for bawling myself hoarse the last half hour in my endeavours to do you & good turn and oblige Martha at the same time. She gave you np in despair, said the'd econer try to waken the Seven Sleepers." " Never mind him, Dot," ones Mrs. Arcroft, bustling oat cf her room opposite, "be quick, though, or breakfast will be late." As it is. I find them all in their places when I enter the dining-room. Mr. Fowler, looking miserable, though he denies feeling so, and exerts himself to talk amiably through ;fae msal. After breakfast I pilot him round the esrden in accordance with Mis. Arcroft's, " Now, Mr. Fowler, I prescribe a dose of fresh air, taken in Dot'e company, for your fii o! the blues, that's what sils you,BO put on your hats and be ofl for a turn or two round the garden." Thence we wander along the carnage drive to the large ornamental entrance gates, Tr icis we Etand looking idly through the bars, both gj^nt, and myself, at least, lincomforta Not one word has he said bearing on the 'natter {hat haa brought him to Sunnyeide.&ad I naturally feel a little hurt and indignant. Suddenly without looking at me, he speaks in a strange harsh voice. •'Did you mean what you wrote last night»" he asks. "I wrote several lattsra last night," I return evasively, " which do you refer to ?' " The last two lines I mean, but it doesn't matter," he say3 impatiently. Then, suddenly confronting me and seizing my hand in his, be reminds ms, "You haven't given me my answer." "You haven't asked me for it," I retort petulantly. " Well, I ask you now," almost roughly ne reici^s. " As you might ask for a dose of painpaint or a mustard plaster—indeed, with rather less pleasantness," I tdl him, -wrathf silly. " Dora, for Heaven's sake don't keep me in suspense!" he cries hoarsely, snatching me to him with a passion fierce in its vehemence. '«Tell me do you love me ?" Like one under a spell, I syllable the one word " yes," my revenge forgotten; but, to my dismay, instead of my answer fillinghim with lively joy, he receives it with a groan, that is smothered at its birth by an endearing epithet, and partly obliterated from my memory by a rain of kisses. " Yon do love me, Dora, you are not mistaking liking for love?" he asks, anxiously next. "PerhapsI am," I smile up saucily. "I know so little about love." " Enough to tell that," he says, clasping me closer. " And I—if I live to be a hundred, Bhall love you to the last hour of my life,

as I think no woman was ever loved before. I used to laugh at love once, as poets and novelists describe it, but I have ceased to do so eince a glance of your eyes and the sonnd of your voice taught my heart to beat qoioker and my pulses—" " Oh stop 1 one would think you were one of tbe novelists you scorned, Mr. Fowler." I interrupt, laughing and blushing. "Norton—not Mr. Fowler. Let me hear you say it." " Norton—not Mr. Fowler." I repeat demurely.' "Little torment 1" he crieB, half-provoked, "I must punish you for that. I shall fine you." "No use—I'm penniless till next payday." "You can pay me in better coin than £. e. d," he says suggestively; but I am dense. " Eiss me," he whispers, commandingly, and I, Dora Dunbar, the matter-of-fact, ftrong minded ecciner of all sentissent, meekly obey. " There!" he laughs bitterly, with a sudden return to his former strange mood, " if the cuter darkness must be my portion, I can, at least carry with me the remembrance of ah hour in Paradise 1" and he almost tliruEta me from him. "Norton 1" I cry in alarm, locking all that I cannot find voice to ask. " What does it mean ?" he asks, in reckless reply to my look, " It means that I am at once the greatest scoundrel and the mcBt miserable, luckless wretch Victoria holds today 1 It means that though I love you with all my soul, and have wrung from you the confession that yon return my love, I cannot make you my wife 1 It means that I, Norton Fowler, whom men placard 'Proud as Lucifer,' am a penniless pauper—that I have lost my position, and, preferring speculation to toil, have bartered my youth and good looks for a weak woman's gold 1 It means, in short, that being informed by my employers that at the end of this quarter they can dispense with my services, I have, in my selfish cowardioe, preferred gilded slavery to povertystricken freedom and ' love in a cottage'!" Dumb, motionless, breathless almost, I stand before him, hearing all he ssys. but scarcely comprehending it. " Nemesis," whispers conscience in my ear; and truly it is & righteous retribution! 1 had taken vengeance into my own. hands, and my presumption has met its reward. I do not blame him, nay, I rather pity him; but I can find no pity, no excuse for myself. To humiliate him had been my intention,and how has my own pride been brought to the dust. Oh no 1 I have .no anger to vent npon him; only with mingled pity and contempt do I regard him, as, in tantalizing contrast to his words, I recall long-forgotten ones of Mr, Cotton's. " Marry me and you shall never repent it for I will slave day and night to assure your happiness and comfort 1" It reminds me of the "Dog and the Shadow," and I smile bitterly as I think how surely I have let go the substauca for its reflection. " Dora—Miss Dunbar 1 speak, upbraid me if you will, I deserve the hardest you can say. Do anything but look at me like that 1' cries my companion, alarmed, I think, by my stony silence. With an effort I shake off my abstraction and turn slowly towards the houEe, essaying in vain to findmy voice. "For God's sake don't leave me without a word 1" mf ex-lover cries, barring my way.

«Say at least you will try to forgive me in time." A shake of the head is the only response, and he misinterprets it. " You cannot," he mutters despondently. " How came I to expecl that you could T' " You mistake," I manage to say," I have nothing to forgive—nothing, at any rate, compared to what I want forgiveness for.' He opais his Hps to speak again, but I sii«i".c3 him. "Don't- say any more, please, and forget all that has passed. Wo will go back now." Slowly and silently we retrace our steps, and, like one in a dream, I move at his side, wondering vaguely whether it is only an hour or so since I travelled this path before. I feel years older. Oace I glance at the dark, handsome, face beside me, pale and distorted somewhat now, and marvel at the weak selfish nature it veils. With my bane, Norton Fowler has given me my antidote. He has poisoned present joys, bat saved me from worse than death in the future—a lifelong companionship with an unprincipled and cowardly nature. As we near tbe house, I force myself to •itier a few ? ".nrmBon-plaoee, more because of -.he fac9S I see at the drawing-room windows than cat of politeness or interest.^ Drawing nearer, I discover with no little wonder tiiat one of' the said faces is Mr. Cotton's—a grave, pale face it looks too. Composedly I shake hands, and ask him what his visit means, but instead of answering me, he glances confusedly at Mrs. Arcroft. " Mt Cotton is killing two birds with one stone, Dot—paying us a promised visifc and s&ving the mail-boy a trip at the same time. He brought out some letters that came by tbe last mail," ehe tells me. " Are there any far ma among them?" I ask, carelessly, not expecting any. "No," she says, then reluctantly adds, " there's a telegram though, Dot." " A telegram 1" I echo stupidly, my heart standing still at the simple announcement, for a telegram is an event in my experience, snd suggests all sorts of awful possibilities. Silently she hands it to me, and with shaking fingers I tear it open. One glance at its contents confirms my won* ioara. Brutal in their brevity, tbe fsw wards barn into my brain—" Cams at once, Mimma is dangerously ill." The fatal paper flutters from my hold, my imba give way beneath me, and sinking on my knees beside the couch near n;e, I bury my faas in its cushions, and, for tue first time in ray life,I faiiit dead away. CHAPJEE XV. " Dot, my poor child, what can we do for you ?" cries Mrs. Arcroft, tears rainiag down ber luce, as on coming to myself I eunggle out of her supporting arms, keenly alive at once to the terrible lews. "Da? Nothing, thanks, oi>ly Bend me home at once," I answer calmly enough. Then, weak and unstrung by the day'seventh, I buret into a storm of sobs, regardless of everyone and everything. "Eh? who? Dot, what's the matter?" cries Mr. Arcroft, entering suddenly; and I can hear Mr. Cotton's deep voice in explanation. "Dear, dear!" chimes in Mr. Arcroft's voice, " that's bad—bad 1 but not so bad as yon fear perhaps. Bless me, Dot, my dear, don't take on BO, you'll make yourself ill. Come, cheer up, this won't do. Be your own brave self, and let us settle what we are to do." He could not have hit on a better method of calming me. At once I enter eagerly into the ways and means of getting home quickest. " I'll drive you over to Hamilton myself, to-night, and then you can go on by the first train in the morning," says my cheery host, ' and Martha must come and look after you, or you'll knock yourself up, you poor little mite!'' in suspiciously husky tones.

" That's the best plan," assents his wife, " If we start soon after dinner, we eh all reach Hamilton in good time, and, in the meantime, you must rest a little ; you look worn out. I'll pack the few things you want. What about the school ? ' " I don't know I'm sure,",I say, weakly, " I should send a note to tbe correspondent, I suppose." "Drummond, isn't it?" asks Mr. Cotton. " I'll call on him first thing to-morrow, and explain, so you needn't bother writing." " And you can drop a line to the Department as soon as you get home," advises Mr, Aroroft. " We'll send word to the children to-morrow." I strive chokingly to thank them all, deeply touched by their kindness, but strive in vain. "Tat! tutl" cries Mr. Arcroft, "thst'il do, go and lie down now and get back your rosea. I hope you may find you have been frighteniag yourself over nothing." They all echo his wish, but I shake my head, feeling intuitively that it is not eo. I lie down, but I cannot rest, I can only think, think, till "Thinking grows pain," and count the minutes that pass ohl eo slowly. But at length' the time for us to go comes, and, with trembling fingers, I fasten my cloak, and draw on my gloves, taking, meanwhile, a last look round the room that has grown so dear to me. Am I to see it again ? I wonder. Standing on the verandah waiting for the baggy to oome round, I drink in a deep draught of the beauty around me,—a last one it may be. There Norton Fowler joins me, with suoh a remorseful face, that I feel sorry forhim. "Miss Dunbar will you, can you believe that you have my deepest sympathy ? if you think the sympathy of one who has proved himEelf such a contemptible villain is worth having," he concludes in bitter tones. "Thank you," I falter, miserably, and those are the last words Norton Fowler and Dora Dunbar exchange. « What time will you get home ?" asks Mr. Cotton, coming out to us. " About twelve to-morrow night, I think," I answer, as itne buggy dashes up to the steps. Silently I offer my hand to Norton Fowler, and without a word he takes it, wringing it hard. Mr. Cotton's sympathetic pressure, and earnest, low, " God comfort you, my poor little love," bring the tears to my eyes in a blinding mist,and compels me to feel my way to my seat besides Mrs. Arcroft at the back. Then we dash ofi, amid a waving of hands and handkerchiefs, the latter the property of the kindly-hearted Btation girls, who crowd out of the dining-room door for a last goodby, though we had said it five minutes before. Never shall I forget the long dreary drive to Hamilton—dreary despite the efforts of my kind friends to cheer the way. Till the lastmoment the train starts with me among its passengers they seek to lighten my load, to ensure my oomfort. " You will he sure to let us hear from you as soon as possible, Dot," eays Mr. Arcroft, as the train moves slowly off. "I will," I promise, "be sure and tell Nance how sorry I was to have to go without seeing her. Good-byl" " Good-by, and God bless you," cries Mr. Aroroft, and that is the last I he^r.

Then throwing mys6lf back in a corner of ths carriage,—its sole occupant—I find relief in a good cry, thankful that I can do so unnoticed. In my anxiety, the train seems to creep along, and the moments seem leadenwicgad. I dare not think what may have happened i since tbe telegram was dispatched. The thought-flashing into my mind once, brings me to my knees in the most heart-felt en- ' treaty I have ever sent on high. " Not that I Not that, O Godl" I moan in my misery, "anything but that!" Into my mind comes a well-known verse> whose truth I fully realize now. Over my heart in the days that are gone No love like mother-love ever has chone; No other devotion abides and endures Faithful, unseifish and patient like yours. The few minutes we have to wait at Ararat seem an age, and when, on arrivitag in Ballarat, I learn that there is no train for S— till the next morning, the news almost maddens me. All I can do is to send a telegram bidding them expect me by the early train, and asking for intelligence, the receipt of which I dread. Calm, through very desperation, I tear open the answer when it comes, and gain a grain of comfort from it. " Slightly better, easier and quite conscious, stay at Avalon." Avalon is the name of Mrs. Moore's residence, and thither I hasten obediently. The compassion that fills ber face on seeing me tells me that ehe has heard the news. Mrs. Sutherland, she tolls me, had sent her word, and requested her to meat me that evening, not thinking I would come by tbe first train. " Mrs. Moore!" I cry in agony " must I wait till tbe morning?—so much may happen? Can't I get some one to drive me home to-night." " It is so far and the roads so bad that you would get heme no sooner, my dear, and even ii yon coald, I don't think you are fit to try—you look like death now. Have you eeten anything to day ?'' " No," I confess. Mrs. Arcroft had put some sandwiches in my bsg, and made me promise to get a cup of tea at Ararat, _ but neither cxcld I force myself to swallow. "Then you must take food and rest at once," insists Mrs. Moore, " you will went all your strength to nurse your mother back to health—I daresay, Agnes has done her Ehare." She enmpals me to eata fawinonthialaand take a g'nes c£ wine, and whether the :;dministers a aed&tive with it, I knew act, but drowsiness overpowers me soon after, anil I sleep soundly till nearly trsin time nexu morning. f Waking with & anil, heavy sense of oppreaion at my heart, I lie a moment wondering what ii is, and where I &m. Bsmembrimcs returns but too Enon, sad. springing up, I hastily prepare to continue my journey. Mrs. Moore, bearing me moving, comes in with kindly inquiries and assistance, bnt, notwithstanding, her tinilness, I am glad when we steam ofi, leaving her on the platform. Soma more hours of snail-like travelling, aiid then, familiar scenes dawn upon me. Is it really only three or four months since I left them? I wonder,—is might bavs been three or four years, measuring time by their teminatisg terror sad trouble. As we enter the station, I lean from the wiadew, looking in vain for a home face. Familiar faces—many, I see in the crowd, and, is it my fancy, or do they regard me with mingled curiosity nnd pity ? With a horrible dread at my heart, I dash through them into the nearest cab, and, in a strangely altered voice, beg the driver—an old man I know well—to take me home fast. I have not the courage to ask him a question, or even to look at his face, lest I should learn too much, and as we rattle round corners, and along familiar streets, I sit with closed eyes and throbbing heart, dreading the first view of home. All too ecoa the cab sleekens,—stops, and

slowly I descend—backwards, in my awful [ear of what that first view may reveal. "Dora, my dear 1" It is the chief's voice at my elbow, and it tells me nothiDg; but one glance at the lowered blinds, at Ag's face on the steps, is enough. Darkness comes over me, and, with faltering feci sad groping bauds, I move towards Ag's outstritshed arms,—that await me— with that saddest of earth's sad moans. " Too late !Too late—too late!" Too late for a last word from the dear Hps wherecn death has set his eternal seal 1 Too lata for a last lock from the loving eyes —a last presanre oi the beloved handl Too late for a last kiss to sanctify my sorrow and soothe my alter yeaw 1 Too late to lend her, at the last, loving comfort of the least degree —to linger near ber, yielding the many little ministrations that make love's last offering. Tcc late— O God preserve mo from a second experience of the agony, the anguish of soul crowded into the meaning of those two words 1 § Too late! too late 1 they ring in my ears and rend my heart for hours after, maddening me. mocking me in my misery. Too late 1 ticks the old clock in the hall. Too late! too late! chirps Ag's canary from its csgs. Too late! purrs poor old puss rubbing me in welcome. Too late I too late! 0 heaven will it drive me mad ? " Take me to her, Ag," I cry, at last, and at once she leads me to her side. " Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." Comfort-laden the words come to me as I look down cponthe worn face so sweet and peaceful in its last sleep, on tha restful figure so suggestive of the "rest that remaineth," for the beloved of God, on the thin hands that lie so reposefully on her breast. I would not, if I might, bring her back; but oh 1 it is hard to let ber go. Sinking on my knees, I press myh'psto hers, so cold and still, and unresponsive. I kiss the cold hand that never more may'toy with my tangled locks as it loved to do, and the full sense of my desolation steals over me. "O mother, mother, mother 1" the words die unnttered on my lips as the chief enters the room. A strong, strange reluctance to eee him here possesses ise. Strange, yet not strange, for had he not marred her life. Eising to my feet, swiftly Ietva the room, encountering Vio in the hall. Poor Vic! my heart aches for him as I take in the utter dejection of his pale face, swollen eyes, and heavy step. •• Doll, O Doll!" he cries, then" bites hie lips to keep baok the sobs that rack his breast. Gently slipping my arm through his, I draw him into the dining-room, and try to to soothe him, to comfort him a little. Then Ag joins us presently, oalm and pale, her old sweet unselfish self, and gives me full details of the last few days. " She Beemed BO much better when we sent you the second telegram that we were full of hope," she concludes falteringly. "Did she suSer much at the last?" I ask. " No, she went so quietly that, had it cot been for Mrs. Sutherland saying' she is gone,' I should not have kxown it. 1 ' " When was it, Ag ?" "About three o'clock this morning," stifling a sob. Were you rU with her?"

' AU jfeut Vic—poor Vicl" and ehe lays her arm-tenderly about his neck. "Did she ask for me ?" ia my next question. I'Biany; times—the last thing she said was •HaarDoria come yet?'" It comforts me a little to bear it was so, although tbe tears rush afresh to my eyes, and prevents my seeing the entrance of Mrs. Sutherland. "TSna is a sad home-coming, my dear," she says, taking me into her motherly arms, " bhi we must remember she is taken away from the evil to come." Allheet prophetic her words seem later on, but there is email solace in them now. . Slowly the day drags on, bringing many to look their last upo i her face, and whisper words of condolence to those she leaves behind. ; In tbe dusk of evening I kneel beside her flower-strewn couch, praying for patience to endure, and a portion of the great peace that wraps her seems to communicate itself to me, mod Subdues and chastens me. A step disturbs me. and, looking up, I recognize the chief's figure—I cannot see hi$lace. The curtains ehroud ms from view, and I do net epeak. Motionless, with folded arms, he efcanrts' there for. a brief spaes, then bowing his head uppn her pillow, gives utterance to such a heart-wrung remorseful groan that it melts, me, and taking his haod in mine I whisper," Papa, she is better cff.' "Ay l" be groans bitterly, "God forgive me." Drawing me to him he adds, " I need my children^ forgiveness too, it is too late to ask their mother's!" and he weeps like a child. Awed, and helf-frightened, I murmur something I know not what, and it is with feelings • of relief I hear voices at the door. <: He hastily quits the room by another door as! Mrs. Sutherland and Ag enters, the latter bearing a beautiful white wreath, the gift !of-Will Stephens, she tells me. The flowing morning I send a few lines to Mrs..Arcroft, and a brisf explanation to the Department, after that every spare moment i3 passed, with Ag and Vio, beside our beloved dead. Deeply as we feel our loss, we do not realize it fully till after the funeral. Ah me! what a blank is in our lives then! .- How we miss the low voice, the sweet laugh, the gentle presence, word3 cannot tell • (To be continued.) A SCHOOLGIRL'S RSMAHCE. I suppose normal schoolgirls of the pre* Bent generation are not radically different from those of my day. Human nature is the same all tbe world over, and normal schoolgirls are not exempt from pride of dress, o! wealth, jof superior beauty and of high social position. Sometimes they too plainly show their - contempt for those less favorably situated. These reflections bring to mind a pale, delicate looking girl, in one of the lower classes, .who was always shabbily dressed. Many of the girls looked down cpon her, and ' in their forced intercourse greeted her coldly and almost- discourteously. She was not a very bright scholar, and evidently maintained her position, which was always near the bottom of the class, by persistent and dogged effort. -One day, in responee to the daily rojl call, "absent" was registered opposite her name, and it was several days before, inquiry being made as to tbe cauae, her history became known. She was fatherless, and her poor, consumptive mother pinched and planned and worked and saved to keep her at school long enough to be graduated and obtain a teacher's certificate. The mother's feeble strength was insufficient to entirely provide for their maintenance, but 6he struggled on bravely, and the girl assisted her to bear life's heavy burden. They worked at shirt makings and every minute that could possibly be spared out of sohool hours was devoted to unremitting toil. This was the cause of be insufficiently prepared lessons. The double strain waB too much for her, however, and a virulent fever laid her low. When the truth became

known there was a reaction in the class. The better and kindlier feelings of the girls were aroused and quickened into life, and when, paler and frailer than ever before, the object of their Sometime pity and contempt returned to school, she received a greeting that brought the tears of grateful joy to her eyes. It is cot strange that, cheered, strengthened and encouraged by the love and friendship of her classmates, the thorny path of learning had more -61 roses in it for her. She was neve brilliant, "but by patient and persistent study she was at last enabled to graduate. Her ambitious plans did not end here, however, and ipbn the death of her mother, about a year after, 1 she obtained a position in the public sohool. She began, little by little, to save but of h6r scanty salary encugh to take a eourae in medicine. She graduated with honor,' and on. the occasion of my last visit to a thriving New England town I met her— 'this pale, patient girl—now become a woman, honored, respected, and in the posseseion of a lucrative practice. Here is no isolated case. It is true that the same combination of circumstances may not have occurred to any other pupil, but a large precentage of the graduates earned their dipIomaB. by strict economy, hard work and patient eelf-denial on the part either of themselves or their parents.