Imatges de pÓgina

opened and his father entered, with any- 'You may look at them as long as you thing but a placid countenance.

like,” she said, “but I could not give you “What is all this noise ?" he demanded. any of them now. They belonged to. "Can't I get an afternoon nap in peace ? But Fred was not listening. He was This is the third afternoon, sir, that I have making a hasty exit through his mother's tried to sleep and you have awakened me chamber door, with the apparent purpose with your abominable noise."

of carrying his threat into execution and "She hurts me," sobbed Fred.

throwing himself down stairs. His hair's so stucked up, sir,” Bridget “ Fred !” cried his mother, putting down began, apologetically.

her jewel box and hastening after him. Mr. Markham viewed Fred's head, and a No Fred met her view, but a sound of ray of compassion illuminated his cloudy something falling, falling down the stairs brow as he tossed liim a piece of silver, greeted her terrified ears. She tottered a saying:

few steps forward, and fell fainting on the “Keep as quiet as you can till your hair floor, as Fred rushed from behind the is brushed, then go and buy yourself some screen where he was hiding with a loud candy."

huzzah. Fred picked up the silver as his father “'Twas the sofa-pillow !” he cried; then left the room, and only kicked quietly paused, sobered and uncertain, as he bethrough the remainder of the combing pro- held his mother lying cold and senseless at cess. When it was ended and Bridget

his feet. pronounced him presentable, he turned He knelt beside her, speechless for a upon her with “Now give me another!" moment, then he implored her to waken Bridget looked perplexed.

and speak to him. Her voice did not an“Another five cents,” said Fred. “Come, swer. Her cold hand refused to return the you've got it, you know you have.”

pressure of his own. Bridget denied the owning of a penny “I've killed my mother!” he cried, in a even, but Fred stole her pocket-book out of voice of terror. “O dear, o dear, o dear! her pocket, and pillaged the contents. What shall I do, what shall I do, what There wasn't much money, but a lock of shall I do?" hair tied with a bit of blue ribbon, that If Bridget heard him, she thought it Fred persisted in keeping despite Bridget's only his usual sound of lamentation, for woeful entreaties that he should return it she went on quietly with her sewing until to her.

Fred appeared, looking so like a phantom "Fred,” called a mild voice outside the of himself that she uttered an involuntary door, “l'ın going up stairs, and if you are scream, and demanded, with a host of ready I want you to come.”

startling epithets, what ailed him. “I don't want ter,” said Fred.

“Come,” he moaned, beckoning her to “Do not say “ter,' Freddy. Come, and follow bim, come quick, quick, quick!" I will show you my diamonds."

Bridget hastened in a state of alarm “Give me one ?” asked Fred.

nearly as great as Fred's to where Mrs. "Come and see which one you

like the Markham lay, and perceiving that she had

fainted took iminediate means to restore “Here, pick it up!" said Fred, throwing her. the pocket-book back at Bridget.

Meanwhile, Fred's loud lamentations "You ought not to plague Bridget,” his brought his father to the spot, a physician mother said, reprovingly, as he accompa

was speedily summoned, and before morn

ing Fred became possessed of a little " If you give me the biggest diamond, I

brother. The little one, having entered wont, only when she pulls my hair,” said

too soon into life, staid but a moment, Fred.

closing his eyes to earth before the dew of Notwithstanding this promise and others

heaven had been brushed from off his similar to it, Fred's mother did not seem

heaven-born soul. inclined to give him even the smallest dia

“Don't cry,” said Fred to his mother. mond in her casket, at which Fred declared “ Haven't you got me, all growed up and bis intention of throwing himself down ready?

Yes, I have you, my darling," Mrs.


nied her up stairs.


Markham said, taking the great boy into bit him so that he screamed with the sufher lap and covering him with kisses. fering inflicted. , Mrs. Markham hastened

But she considered now, more than ever, from an adjoining room, and hastily sephe would become a selfish spoiled child, arated the children. and in the course of time she began to “Fred, Leila," she exclaimed, “what do talk of adopting a companion for him. you mean?” And she took Leila not over Fred objected to a little brother, but the gently by the arm. prospect of a little sister was more pleasing “Why did you bite him ?" she demanded. to him.

Leila bid her face in her apron, making “If she has long curls, and red cheeks, no reply. and black eyes, sbiny ones like the pretty “I pounded her," said Fred, “and I little girl we saw in the shop window, I like her better for biting me back again.” don't care if I do have a little sister," he “You are both naughty children, and I said.

think I must speak of this to your father, That was only a wax little girl," his Fred." motber said; "a real live sister would be

O no!" implored Fred; for then he a great deal nicer and prettier."

would send Leila away. Let us both go “Well, if you can find a little sister for

without our suppers and we'll be awful me that I shall like, you may get one,” good to-morrow, wont we, Leila ??? Fred said.

Yes,” sobbed Leila. “O Fred, I'm so

sorry! CHAPTER II.

“ I aint; I'm glad," said Fred. I like

you spunky." YOUTHFUL TYRANNY.

Mrs. Markham acted upon Fred's sugMRS. MARKHAM succeeded at last in gestion, and sent both the children to bed finding a little girl whom she determined without supper, and the next day, true to to adopt; a child who had but one living their promise, they were very good children. relative, a brother a number of years older But Fred had not been in the habit of than herself. They had lived with an old tyrannizing and tormenting all his life to woman who was quite willing to part with get over it at once and entirely, because he the girl, whose pretty face and well-worn had met with an antagonist worthy of him. tambourine did not earn her a livelihood. He soon began his old practices upon Leila,

“Lelia,” as Mrs. Markham decided to and this with more vehemence, because call her, had a dark but delicate complex. they met with resistance. He pulled her ion, an oval face and perfect features. hair till Leila, in sheer self-defence, stole Her eyes were large, and of that dark pur- a pair of scissors and cut off her curls, for plish blue that borders upon black. Her which she was severely reprimanded. Then expression was one of wistfulness, irresist- Fred told her she was a homely little thing, ibly charming. Her form was slight and and he could not bear to look at her, and perfect, and her motions very graceful. he was going to tell his father to send her Fred was greatly delighted with her, and away. Leila's eyes filled with tears. lifted with admiration her pretty brown I'll go away myself," she said, “and curls, which afterward it gave him great you shan't look at me. I'd rather go than pleasure to touch less tenderly.

stay." Despite Bridget's predictions, however, “Go, then," said Fred. And he brought he did not put out Leila's eyes; at least, at Leila's hat and cloak, and said he woulu ibe end of three weeks she still retained help her put them on, a process more agreethem, although she might have had doubts able to him apparently than to Lelia. of calling them her own. Fred thought Mrs. Markham happily came in whilst them beautiful eyes, but nevertheless en- Fred was tying her hat strings a little too tertained himself by accidentally running tightly round Leila's neck. his fingers into them whenever opportunity “She says she's going, and I say she offered.

may, and I'm helping her,” he said. Leila endured his persecutions with true “Going?” said Mrs. Markham, pushing martyr-like spirit, until one day, provoked Fred aside. “Why, my child, what is the beyond endurance, she turned upon him, matter? Your hands and head are hot as and catching his hand between her teeth, they can be.”'

“My head aches," moaned Leila, as she ungainly boy, who paused a moment in 30bbed on Mrs. Markham's shoulder.

front of them, exclaiming: “ Fred, you ought to be ashamed," said “Halloo, sis! whar's yer tambourine " Mrs. Markham; “Leila is really sick." · Before Leila recovered from the conster

Summoning John she sent for Dr. Croy, nation into which this speech bad thrown and Fred was sent ignominiously to bed. her, Fred had flung aside the music-book

in his hand, collared the boy and kicked

him soundly. The boy slunk away, Fred CHAPTER III.

drew Leila's hand within his arm, and

marched home with a policeman after him. “I DO LOVE YOU, LELIA."

“You're following the wrong boy,” said DR. CROY pronounced Leila threatened Fred, turning round upon him. “I couldn't with a fever, and advised that she should stand by and see a lady insulted, could I?” be taken at once into the country. But The policeman glanced at Leila, and Fred's treatment had so far assisted the thought not. fever that it arrived too soon for the pro

"Another time leave the kicking to me,” posed change, and Mrs. Markham, secretly he said, and passed on. blaming herself for not having observed Despite Fred's comforting, this incident the little girl's illness sooner, tended her was a very trying one for Leila. night and day, and acquired for her the I cannot walk in the street again," she true tenderness of a mother.

sobbed, “ for fear of that awful boy." Although somewhat jealous of his moth- Mr. Markhan assured her that that er's attachment for Leila, Fred endured it awful boy" should never trouble her with a good grace, for him, and joined in again. Fred himself was tlie next to taunt the general rejoicing when Leila showed his adopted sister with her early occupasigns of recovery, and the physician pro- tion. He was fond of defending Leila and pounced her out of danger.

of admiring her himself, but he was not "Now we'll all go to the country, and fond of having others defend her against keep Leila well again,” he said.

him, or of having them admire her. He As this was Fred's desire, to the country was often very jealous on his own account they went as soon as Leila could be moved at the superior notice Leila was sure to atthere.

tract wherever they were together, A happy summer out of doors made One evening they were at a party, Leila another being of pretty Leila, and Mrs. was bewitching in white muslin and roseMarkham added pride to her love, and is buds, and Fred bad admired her extensiveshe had once succeeded in spoiling Fred, ly before they started froin home, and had she was equally impartial toward her little kissed her on either cheek, and called her adopted daughter, with this difference: his “dear, beautiful sister Lelia,” and had where Fred had grown willful and over- whispered in her ear that he loved her bearing, Leila grew charming, dependent better than anybody else in the world. and winning. It was dificult to deny the Leila had blushed, well pleased with Fred's child any request, and, not slow in discov- praise, for it was often difficult to win. ering this, she was, in her way, quite as Yet, at the party, where everybody else contrary as the less persuasive Fred. De- was sounding Leila's praises, Fred became veloping a taste for music, she was at once dissatisfied. provided with the best of masters, and, in- “Seems to me you don't dance very well cited by her example, Fred also made the to-night,” he said. most of bis talent in this direction. Both “I've danced so much," said Leila, be and Leila were sent to dancing-school, "perhaps I'm tired.” and became proficients in the art there "Perhaps ! Don't you know ?” asked taught.

Fred, crossly. “If you're tired we'd better Mr. and Mrs. Markham had every worldly reason to be proud of their children, and “O, don't speak of going home," said proud of them they were. Rarely, if ever, Lelia, " when we're having such a beautiwas Leila reminded of her early life. But ful timne!" on one occasion, when Fred and Leila were “ Beautiful time! Who's having a beauwalking in the street, they met an awkward tiful time?” he demanded.

go home.”

Leila put her tiny fan over his mouth When Leila heard him approaching, she and shook her head.

sprang up and ran to her own room. “ You mustn't talk so loud," she said. “Leil! he called, faintly, after her; “If you want to dance some more, I'll try but as she made him no reply, “ Bother it and dance good with you."

all !” he said; “I never saw anybody get. Fred replied with an impatient shrug of angry at nothing, as she does." his shoulders, and some one coming to Mrs. Markham tried to discover the cause claim Leila for the dance she lost sight of of variance, but could not, either from Fred him, and although she sought for him, did or Lelia. Fred confessed to having said not see him again until it was time for something that he was sorry for. “But I them to go home, and he went to look for didn't think Leil would be such a goosey her in the dressing-room.

as to mind it." “O Fred," she exclaimed, “I'm so glad Leila, however, choose to be a 'goosey" to see you! I was afraid you had gone for several days, keeping by herself as home."

much as possible, and not allowing herself Fred paid no attention to this, but look- to speak to Fred. ing round, said, somewhat ungraciously, to My dear," said Mrs. Markbam,“ what a pretty blue-eyed miss:

did he say to you ?” “You can go along with us if you want “I would rather not repeat it,said to, Susie."

Lelia. “It was something very unkind, " “ Thank you," said Susie. “If Lelia and that I never can forgive." don't mind I should like to, for brother “But Fred is very sorry," urged Mrs. hasn't come.”

Markham, “and I think you ought to try “0," said Fred, “you needn't mind and forgive him, Lelia." Tambourine!"

Lelia shook her head. Leila's lip quivered, and she treated Fred “He will say it again, and I cannot forto a scornful glance out of her beautiful give him." eyes, as she said:

“I am sure he will not say it again," “I'd rather you'd go than not, Susie, "if Mrs. Markham said ; "and indeed, Leila, you think you can endure Fred's rudeness." I desire you to make up with Fred, for he

Susie looked uncomfortable, and said feeling very unhappy." she had not noticed that Fred was rude. “So am I," said Lelia.

.“ It takes Tambourine' to discover However, she was too truly fond of Mrs. that,” said Fred.

Markham to distress her by continuing the “Fred!" said Lelia, softly and reproach- quarrel further. The next time she met fully.

Fred she did not avoid him, and answered “Come along,” he continued, offering when he spoke to her, though in very few his arm to Susie, “and don't forget your

words and with downcast eyes. tambourine."

“Come, Lelia, I'm sorry,” said Fred; Leila pushed past them both, and before “I'm sorry and ashamed of what I said to Fred was aware of her purpose, she was you. What can a fellow say inore? Let's out in the street walking home alone. make it up."

Fred put Susie, much against her will, Leila wiped a tear from her eye, and into the carriage that awaited himself and turned away her face from him. Lelia, and followed the last on foot.

“ Leila!" She reached home before him, and Mrs. He took hold of her hand and drew her Markham was much surprised to see her toward him. She resisted him. enter the house alone.

If you said you were sorry, I would " Where's Fred ?" she asked.

forgive you,” said Fred. Leila's only reply was a sob and a flood “I would not say such unkind things to of tears.

you," said Lelia, now fairly sobbing. "O Lelia, tell me what has happened to Fred, feeling extremely bad, did not my boy!”

know what to say, and took tighter hold of “Nothing," said Lelia, stifling her sobs; Leila's hand, as if in that way to express nothing has happened to Fred."

his sorrow. Which assertion Fred made good by en- "O Fred," she exclaimed, suddenly, “I tering the house, whistling to keep his thought you loved me!" fpirits up.

“I do! cried Fred; “I do love you, Leila."

"And you are not ashamed to have me for a sister ?"

"Ashamed, Lelia ? I'm so proud of you that it makes me jealous when I boast of you to the boys to have them praise you, too."

Leila began to smile through her tears.

“Yes," said Fred, “I'm as jealous as if, as if I did not love you as a sister."

"As if you did not love me as a sister ?!": repeated Leila.

“Yes," said Fred, as if I loved you better than a sister; and, on my life, I do, Leila."

“ Then if you really do love me so much," said Lelia, “I'll forgive you for calling me—"

Fred placed his hand over her mouth.

“Yes, I really do love you so much, Leila dear,” he whispered ; "and, by-andhy, Leila, when we're both a good deal older, will you promise"

Le put his lips close to her ear, and spoke so low that nobody but Leila could hear what he said.

“I'm your sister," answered Leila, laughing and blushing, with both her little white hands over her face.


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It was Saturday afternoon, and Nan and way; but he's always here, just as 'twere Jack were in high spirits on their half his father's, 'sted of mine." holiday.

“Yes," said Nan; “and he's a very bad “I wish 'twas always Saturday after- boy. I'm afraid he'll steal the little birds. noon!' said Jack; “'specially in summer. He hasn't got any more conchings than O my! wouldn't it be splendid if Saturday that. Hannah says so." Conscience she would reach over into Monday? Going to meant. church is worse than going to school!" Jack searched around a long time with

Nan heaved a deep-drawn sigh, but ven- out success, but at last, under a little roof tured no other response to this very unor- of drooping lady-ferns and half-opened red thodox sentiment. It was a June day, and honeysuckles, he found one of the shy litthe skies were as blue as skies ever were;

tle domiciles. The mother bird was away, there was just enough wind to keep the and there were four puny little birds, daisies and buttercups from going to sleep, stretching their mouths to the widest exand to ruffle the brooks into dimples and tent. Nan uttered a scream of delight, laughter. The birds were making their and Jack began a hurried search for worms merriest music, and the field was so full of and bugs to drop into those gaping yellow sunshine that there was hardly room for a throats; and if the careful little brown shadow to tuck itself in anywhere.

mother had not returned just as she did, I “I wonder if the honeysuckles are blos- would not have answered for the lives of somed yet, and if the cowslips are all the nestlings. When she discovered the gone, so I can't make any cowslip-balls 7"! children, she began to fly backward and said Nan.

forward in the most excited manner; but Jack made no reply; honeysuckles and they quickly retreated, and with a contentcowslip-balls were of small account to him; ed little coo, she settled down in her nest. woodcbuck's holes, berries, and wood for “O my goodness !” said Nan, stooping bows and arrows, engaged his mind. And to pick a foxglove at her feet; “these are in spite of Nan's remonstrances, be carried what the fairies wear for caps. Pat says a great trap under his arm. He was going so. He brought one home to me from the to set it for woodchucks.

woods ove day. His mother saw a fairy “I know where there's two birds' pests," once, and she wore one right on the top of said he," and if you wont tell, I'll show her head. Pat says where they grow in 'etu to you. I don't know as I can find Ireland there are always fairies round; but 'em, though. I didn't dare to stick up any Hannah says they're nothing but foxgloves, stakes, for fear Tom Jones would find and she's seen heaps of them in the them. He's no business in this field, any.


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