Imatges de pÓgina

he never heard that without remembering ample fortune, who much preferred living the old tradition, which tells us that it was in the city, in which her most brilliant sung by three holy men while they walked days had been spent, to returning to the uubarmed through the fiery furnace, prais- little town where all her relatives were. ing God.

Therefore, she made them only rare brief “ Try to innagine that while you sing," visits. In society she took a leading place he said, “and it will put praise in your among the worldly and fashionable, while voices."

in private life she was so full of whims and And when he bad selected an anthem, caprices that scarcely any one had patience he told them the history of the man who to bear with her. She was Jean's own had set its subliine words to music, and aunt, and had married Clementina's uncle, then he played it through upon the organ, which was why the girls playfully called with loving lingering touch, asking them themselves cousins. if they could not detect in the notes the “I never know quite how to get along experience of the composer's soul.

with Ann," said Mrs. Argyle, referring to The sexton's little son, who blew the or- her sister. “She always used to order me gan, went home that night and told his about when we were children, and I am mother it was as good as a story to hear the

afraid of her even yet." new man talk. And so the choir thought, “I'm sure I can't understand how Jane," also; but when Sunday came, his words said Mrs. Drew, referring to Mrs. Argyle, were only half remembered.

can possibly go on living such a vapid Service being over, the girls lingered a colorless life, and be such a washed-out little, while the congregation passed out

faded woman! I want to take her and give below. Mrs. Marlowe looked up at them

her a shaking !" with a cordial little nod, and Mr. Siebert,

And to the girl Jean, full of visions and when he rose at last from the organ and

longing for a change, home-life did seem a closed his score-book, said:

little tiresome and colorless, while her “You have done fairly well, my chil- Aunt Drew, with her splendid silks, and dren, and now we will always try to do our

jewels, and wonderful descriptions of gay best, and to make that best better."

city life, appeared to her inexperienced eyes like one whose cup held the richest

wine of life. Jean, like too many young CHAPTER II.

girls, had not yet learned to appreciate the

tender beauty of her mother's worn face, COME home to dinner with me,” said and the pathos of her tired eyes and gentle Jean Argyle to Clementina, as they de- smile. It seemed to her that life would be scended the narrow stairs from the choir- a great deal easier and pleasanter where loft; "then you will see Aunt Drew. She the children could not come fretting and came last night and took us all by sur- disturbing her, and where she would not prise."

always be called off to some bit of hard "Aunt Drew! I haven't seen her since work just as she was composing herself for I was a child,” said Clementina, “and a quiet hour of reading, or just as she was then she gave me a great gold locket. making great resolutions about a noble Lives in St. Louis, don't she? I have al- future. For Jean was really groping about ways had a fancy that she would come to for a clue to the higher ends of existence, our rescue sometime, like Cinderella's god- and she thought she could make her life mother. We're eighteen, Jean; it's time like a knight's life, noble, loyal and devoted for something to happen to us.”

to grand purposes, if she only were not alJean was silent. She was thinking how ways interrupted by something disagreeable Au'it Drew bad hinted pretty plainly that just as she was beginning. she should like to take some one young and “Aud in Aunt Drew's beautiful house," bright home with her to pass the winter. she thought, “I could have so much quiet Jean wished that she could go. Aunt and leisure, with nothing to jar. I could Drew-St. Lonis! the mere words seemed be refined and gentle, and see the world, to stand for gayety, and luxury, and so and have a good influence. O, I do hope much that was inviting.

she will take me hone with her!" Aunt Drew was a childless widow, with Aunt Dre called the two girls up to her


room when she heard them coming in from Sit down here by me till you have finished church that Sunday noon. She was dress

your pretty stories about yourselves, and sing for dinner, and her trunk was half un- then, as I have a little headache, I will lie packed, its contents lying strewn over the down on that comfortable lounge, while bed and chairs. Cleni's quick eye did not you, Jean, shall read me to sleep as you fail to notice the dainty texture of the did last night. Never mind Sunday school laces, the stiff richness of the silks, the to-day. Indeed, you are too old to go." subdued gorgeousness of the India shawl, “V) auntie, I'll read to you when I come and the pretty French caps, handkerchiefs back!” said Jean, eagerly. “But this is and ornaments, that lay about in full sight. our Bible-class that Dr. Rawley has just Aunt Drew siniled inwardly as she noted formed, and he is very anxious for us all to the effect.

be there. You don't know how good he “Two remarkably pretty girls my nieces are,” she thought to herself. “I must “Much better than I ain, I don't doubt," certainly take one of them and bring her said her aunt, coldly. Very well, Jean, cut.” And then she said, aloud, “Here, take your choice." girls, do help me, or I shall be late. Clem- “) auntie, it isn't like a ch

ce!"' exentina, will you pour some eau de heliotrope claimed poor Jean, reddening and speaking on this lace handkerchief? And, Jean, I rapidly; "but we promised him we would want you to arrange my hair a little; these be there, and he spoke so beautifully to us puffs on the side, I mean."

about it, I feel as if I wouldn't break my Jean had just taken the tortoise-shell prowise for the world. And I will be back coinb in her hand, when her mother's voice in two hours, and read to you all the rest called at the foot of the stairs :

of the day.” “ Jean dear, I want you a minute.”

“I am vot so exacting,” said Aunt Drew. “I must go,” said Jean, a little regret. “Go, by all means, Jean. How is it with fully. “Maybe I can come back in a min- you, Clementina ? Are you, too, so very ute, auntie; but if I can't, Clemmie can pious that you cannot spare a little time to arrange the puffs."

your poor old aunt?”' “) yes, let me!” said Clem, quickly. “O, I'd just as soon stay here with you I know just how you want them, aunt." as not,” answered Clementina, quickly. And having really a great kpack at hair- “I don't mind missing Bible-class just for dressing, she went to work like a French once." maid, while Aunt Drew surveyed her own So she nestled down comfortably on an head in the mirror with satisfaction.

ottoman by Aunt Drew's side, while Jean, You have done it beautifully, child,” feeling embarrassed and almost hurt, hurshe said at last; " and there is the dinner riedly put on her things, seized her Bible, bell this minute. You may lay that shawl and started. over my shoulders, and we will go down “She might know I would like to stay together."

with her," thought Jean, tearfully, as she After dinner Aunt Drew took the girls sped along; “but I couldn't bear to disapup into ber room again with her, and good point dear old Dr. Rawley, when he talks naturedly allowed them to examine her so kindly to me, too, and is helping me to trinkets, bestowing a ring upon Jean, and try to be good.” a pretty pin upon Clementina. Meanwhile The Sunday school was so large that Dr. she questioned them about their home and Rawley had been obliged to take his class school life, their likes and dislikes, their into the robing-room. Jean arrived just at hopes and wishes, and the girls chatted the last moment before the introductory away with perfect unreserve.

service, and lent her sweet clear voice to All at once the clear sound of the church the singing of the hymns. Then came the bell was heard, and Jean started.

lesson, the sacred beatitudes, and the “0, it is time to go to Sunday school!" good old rector dwelt with fervor on the she exclaimed. “We shall have to hurry, promised blessings. Cleinmie."

“ I wouder what he will say about “the “Sunday school!” said Aunt Drew, meek,' thought Jean. “I can understand shrugging her shoulders. “But I have a a little about the other blessings, but I very different plan from that, my dears. never could see how the meek are to 'inherit the earth,' unless it is after the end of

CHAPTER III. the world."

AUNT DREW went to Clementina's early “Blessed are the meek, for they shall Monday, but in the evening they both came inherit the earth.” Dr. Rawley spoke of round to the Argyles to say good-by, the beauty of meekness, and how pleasing Clementina as radiant as the sun, for her it is in the sight of God. And then he re- aunt had invited her to go to St. Louis memembered a passage which had delight- with her to pass the winter. ed him once in one of old Isaac Walton's “O, it's splendid !" she whispered to books. Walton said that in bis quiet Jean. “And she has given me a lovely morving walk to the river each day, he was Roman sash, and she is going to take me accustomed to pass through the garden, just as I am, and get new dresses for me in park and woodland of a wealthy neighbor. St. Louis. We are going to-morrow mornHe told with what intense enjoyment he ing early in the train.” heard, as he walked, the singing of the “Yes," said Aunt Drew, speaking to birds, the whispering of the leaves, the

Mrs. Argyle; “ you know I said I wanted plash of the brook; how he lingered where some bright young person with me this the sunsbine sifted down through the tree- winter, and Clementina is just the one to tops and made pretty dappled carpets of suit me perfectly. I want some one I can the moss; how he caught the gleam of the

depenil upon to be with me at all times dew on the grass-blades, and the whole- whenever I wish." And here she threw a some smell of the fresh earth. He had no

meaning look at Jean. vaulting ambition por sordid cares to fret Jeau's heart sank. Such a great chance his soul; he felt no enmity towards any, to have come so near, and she to have nothing came between him and these beau

missed it! But she controlled her voice to tiful works of God. The owner of park its usual pleasant tones as she congratuand woodland, a man burdened with wealth lated Clem, and wished them both a bappy and ambition, was in the city, in Parlia

winter. ment, now here, now there, and rarely

“Have you done anything to displease spent more than a few days each year on

your aunt, Jean ?” asked Mrs. Argyle, this estate. Thinkiug of these things, it when their visitors had gone. And then occurred to Walton that he himself, a bum

Jean told her mother of what bad passed ble quiet man, was more in possession of Sunday afternoon. these beautiful grounds thau their proud I am sorry for you, dear, but, never owner, and so there dawned on him the

mind," said her mother, with a little sigh. comprehension of one way, at least, in “I should have liked you to have the which the meek may inherit the earth. change, and to see more of life; but it is

"How lovely!" thought Jean. “I can all for the best, no doubt, and we could really catch a little idea out of that to live

hardly have spared you.

Hark! there's by. It makes me feel almost rich.”

Robbie crying up stairs. Can you go to She sped homeward after the class sep him, dear?”' arated, feeling bright and happy, and rich- Jean went up rather slowly. It was hard ly repaid for going. Mr. Siebert walked

to stay at home to quiet the children inwith her for a few rods.

stead of spending the winter in St. Louis. * It was beautiful,” he said; “it was She found Robbie awake in his little bed, like a pastoral symphony.

and crying because he was afraid of the Jeau's tirst thought on reaching home dark. She sat down by him to soothe him, was to read to Aunt Drew; but that lady but her mind wandered, and Robbie detecttold her Clemeutina had entertained her ed it with indignation. so well that she did not care to hear read- “You aint half good, Jeanie!” he said, ing just then, and as she was rather tired restlessly. “I'm 'fraid of you, too." she believed she would take a nap, so the Jean laughed, and some of her old lightgirls might draw the curtains and leave her. heartedness came back with the laugh.

“And remember, Clementina,” she said, She took the child in her arms to the as they were going, “ tell your mother I window. will come to her house to morrow and finishi “ () Robbie,” she said, “how could you my visit with her, for I shall return to St. feel lonesome or think it was dark when Louis on Tuesday."

you had such bright company up in the sky? See how all the stars are winking at Clementina's going had left a vacancy in you. There's a great hunter up there look- the choir which Mrs. Marlowe now filled ing at you."

with her well-trained voice, saying, pleasWhat's his name?" demanded Robbie. antly, that her day was almost over, but “ His name is Orion. See those three they might have the gleanings of it, till stars in a row; they are his belt, and the some fresh young prima na was found little cluster at one end is his sword. He to delight them. She followed Mr. Siehas gone out to hunt a great wild bull." bert's lead zealously, and knew so many How big a bull?”

beautiful anthems and rare old composi“He weighis seven thousand tons. See tions in sacred music, fragments of which that pretty triangle of stars; they are the she would give them sometimes after rebull's head. And following after Orion is hearsal, Mr. Siebert accompanying her his faithful dog; there he is right back of with the organ, that the rest were roused Orion's feet, and his naine is Big Canis. to enthusiasm, too, and it was noticed that And the dog had a little brother dog that the singing at St. James constantly imhe left at lionie named Little Canis; but proved. Little Canis wanted to go to the hunt, too, What do you hear from Miss Clemso he called the lorse out of the stable and entina ?" Charlie Thrale asked Jean one wjumped on his back, and there they go as evening. fast as they can after all the rest. Lullaby! “I haven't heard for some time, but she lullaby! Why, Rob, you're asleep!” is baving a very gay winter, I believe,"

She laid the little fellow back in his said Jean. “What does she write to you warm bed, and then went to the window about it, Orrin ?” again, for there was comfort there for her, O, Clem never writes to me at all," too. The bright, white, steadfast stars said Orrin, bluntly. "Mother had a letter seemned to look down into her very soul. last week, and she said she was well and

How peace-compelling they are!” she enjoying herself. Jean, it's raining, and thought, almost wishing it could be forever you haven't any umbrella. I'll take you starlight. But to-morrow would come with home under mine, if you like." its cares, and the children who looked so “I'm going to start off myself pretty sweet, and rogy, and innocent 110w on their soon,” remarked Orrin, in his brusk way, pillows, would be having no end of childish as they walked along. “It's time I was troubles, and the chimney would smoke, getting into business somewhere. I want and it would be ironing-day, and while she to be an engineer or a mechanic." was getting hot and tired, there would be “I suppose you're destined for something Clementina, all in her Sunday best, speed- of that sort,” said Jean, laughing. “Don't ing away in the cars with Aunt Drew to you remember when we were children, you St. Louis.

were always making little miniature saw“He telleth the number of the stars, and mills, and cog-wheels, and tiny steamcalleth them all by their names."

boats ?" Jean thought of this as she still stood “Yes; and I should like to be an inlooking up into the sky, and with it she re- ventor,

too." membered that other passage wherein we "Then you don't feel any desire for a are told that “ He keedeth even the spar- profession?" asked Jean, half wonderrow's fall."

ingly. “I feel like a poor little sparrow myself," “No; I'm just the fellow for hard work, she said, with half a smile and half a sigh, with muscle as well as brain. I feel at as she iurned to go down stairs.

home among workmen and machinery more Aunt Drew and Clementina went as than anywhere else. And I've been talkagreed upon. The days and weeks slipped ing with Dr. Rawley; maybe you'll wonder quietly along into the very heart of winter. at that, Jean, but he is good old man, Joan found herself very busy with homo and he made me feel as if I ought to be out duties, and one or two studies she was try- in the world doing my part." ing to keep up. “ This is inere drilling," O, I am so glad you have talked with she said to herself, not knowing she was him!” said Jean, earnestly; "and I am already in the edge of the battle. Her sure I wish you success with all my heart. treats were rehearsal nights and Sundays. Why, here we are at the door! Thank




you, Orrin, for your company, and good. Clementina Drew, her "beloved niece," night.”

fifty thousand dollars, without condition, Very shortly after that Orrin went out and the house she owned in St. Louis. into the busy world to seek his fortune, Then followed this singular clause: and so another vacancy was made in the " To iny niece Jean Argyle I do not leave choir, which Mr. Siebert supplied with one any property in her own right, but, as I of his own countrymen, a stolid-looking have reason to believe this will please her. German basso, who sang as naturally as he more, I give to her in trust the sum of fifty breathed.

thousand dollars, to be expended by her “This is a real pleasant winter, after exclusively for church purposes, this exall,” said Jean, as she stood one day at the penditure to be complete within the terin table fluting the ruffles on her baby sister's of three years from the time of her enterdress. “I know I shall always love to re- ing upon said trust." member it, it has been so peaceful and When Jean heard this portion of the will satisfying. I wonder if life will keep go- her heart thrilled with a fine excitement, ing on the same way? ???

for here at last was a high duty to perform, “I never knew it to," said Mrs. Argyle. a lofty mission to fulfil. But glancing

It did not then. When Mr. Argyle came around she noticed her mother's sad pa- , home that evening, he brought the tidings tient face, and the disappointment in her of Aunt Drew's death. She had died sud- father's eyes, and slowly the latent malice denly at her homne in St. Louis, from the in Aunt Drew's legacy smote upon her. effects, it was supposed, of an over-dose of “I think it is downright shameful!” opium, self-administered during severe whispered Clem, sympathetically. neuralgia pain. Her body was to be How Jean could have relieved her carebrought among her relatives for burial, and burdened father, her self-denying mother; would probably arrive the next day, Clem- how she could have educated Robbie and entina coming also. This news

set him up in business; what advantages shock to them all. Mrs. Argyle wept for she could have given her little sisters, if the sister who had loved her but little, and that inoney bad only been bestowed upon Jean went suberly about the house, realiz- her free of condition, to dispose of as she ing, for almost the first time in her life, pleased! But instead here was this onerhow near death may be to every one of us. ous burden laid upon her, and all because

"I wonder if your sister left a will ?” she had not stayed at home with Aunt said Mr. Argyle to his wife that night. Drew that Sunday afternoon. "I don't know,” she replied, a little

There was a decided discontent among anxiously. "Ann was very eccentric, you the Argyles, and no wonder. Clein and know, and may have made some strauge her mother were well enough satisfied, for disposition of her property.”

their parts, and departed at once for St. Mr. Argyle relapsed into grave thought. Louis, there to make their permanent resiHe was a poor bookkeeper, with a small dence. The terms of the will became salary, working day in and day out, and it generally known, and there was a great is not to he wondered at if it occurred to deal of gossip all through the town about him what a help some of Aunt Drew's Jean Argyle and her “estate in trust." wealth would be.

As for Jean, she sought good old Dr. Rawley for sympathy and advice. What

was she to do? What steps should she CHAPTER IV.

take, and where should she bestow the AUXT DREW's will? Yes, she had made money? She felt impulsively that it would a will, and its contents inade quite a com- be better to have done with it at once, and motion. It was dated within a week after to settle quietly down into the old home her return to So Louis.

routine again, forgetting as far as possible First, she bad directed that her plate and Aunt Drew's legacy. clothing should be divided between lier But Dr. Rawley did not counsel liaste. sister and sister-in-law. Then she left a He remiuded Jean that, whatever the cirlarge bequest to a widow's

home. There cumstances that had apparently brought were legacies of more or less value to vari- this, burden upun ber, there was a divine ous friends, and tinally she bequeathed power behind and above it all, shaping a

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