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day it had been raining, but it held up and they used to spat it. So Miss awhile, and she see a neighbor riding Holbrook come there one day to see by, and she run out and asked him if the place, and somebody told her about he could n’t carry me over to the poor- the cushioned chair, and, if you 'll behouse. He said he could if she wanted lieve it, the very next day there was him to; so I went. I had on my cape, one come over as good again, with and it wa'n't very warm. She asked arms to it, and a cushion, and all. Miss me when I come away, if I wa’n’t sorry Holbrook sent it over to Miss Reeny. I had n't a shawl. I expect I did catch None of 'em could n't take it away.” cold. I could n't set up nor do noth- “ And is she there now ?” ing for more 'n three weeks. When I “ Yes, she can't go nowhere else. got so I could knit, my yarn was gone. One night Betty Crosfield said I I never knew what become of it; and need n't come there no more; she was one of the women used to borrow my going to take a boarder. Berry-time shoes for her little girl, and she wore was most over, so then I got a place to 'em out. So, come spring, I was just Miss Stoney's, the milliner. She agreed where I was the year before, only lone- to give me twenty-five cents a week, somer, cause Jinny was gone."
and I thought to be sure I should get Só And did you stay there?
back my shoes and yarn now. But “To the poor-house ? No; Betty one morning the teapot was cracked, Crosfield wanted a girl to come and and she asked me, and I said I did n't help her. She took in washing for do it, - and I did n't; but she said she Mr. Furniss's hands. She said I wa'n't knew I did, because there was n't nostrong enough to earn much, but she body but her and me that touched it, would pay me in clothes. She give and she should keep my wages till they me a Shaker bonnet and an old gown come to a dollar and a half, because that the soap had took the color out of, that was what a new one would cost. and she made a tack in it, so 's it did. Before the teapot was paid for I did And I had my cape.
When straw- break a glass dish. I did n't know berries come, the hands was most all’’t would hurt it to put it in hot water; gone, and she let me sleep there, and and everything else that was broke, go day-times after berries, and she to she thought I broke it, and she kept have half the pay. That 's how I got it out of my wages. I told her I did n't my red calico and my shawl.”
sec as she ought to ; and in the fall “Who made your dress, Rhoda ?” she said she could n't put up with my
“ Miss Reeny. I carried it over to sauce and my breaking no longer. see if she'd cut it out, and she said Mrs. Kittredge wanted a girl, and I she'd make it if they'd let her, and went there." they did. And I got her some green “And how did you find it there ?" tea. She used to say sometimes, she'd “I think it was about the hardest give anything for a cup of green tea, place of all. I'd as lives go back to such as her mother used to have.” the poor-house as to stay there. Sally “Who is Miss Reeny ?”
Kittredge used to tell things that wa’n't "A woman that lives over there. true about me. She told one day that Her father used to be a doctor ; but I pushed her down. I never touched he died, and she was sickly and did n't my hand to her. But Mrs. Kittredge know as she had any relations, and by got a raw hide up stairs and give it to and by she had to go there. They say me awful. I should n't wonder if it over there she ain't in her right mind, showed now; just look.” but I don't know. She was always She undid the fastening of her dress good to me. There was an old chair and slipped off the waist for me to see. with a cushion in it, and Miss Reeny The little back — she was very small — wanted it to sit in, 'cause her back was was all discolored with stripes, purple, lame; but old Mrs. Fitts wanted it too, green, and yellow. After showing me these bruises, she quietly fastened her It was now a year since Rhoda came dress again.
to us, and during this time her imNow there was that in Rhoda's provement had been steady and rapid. manner during this narration which And since she had come to dress like wrought in my mind entire conviction other girls, no one could say that she of its verity. By the time of Uncle and was ill-looking ; but, as I claimed the Aunt Bradburn's return, she was grow- merit of effecting this change in her ing in favor with every one in the exterior, it may be that I observed it house. She was gentle, patient, and more than any one else. Still, I fancy grateful.
that some others were not blind. The deftness with which she used “Where did you get those swampthose small fingers suggested to me pinks, Rhoda ?” for I detected the fine the idea of teaching her some of the azalia odor before I saw them. more delicate kinds of fancy-work. A bright color suffused the childlike But it seemed that she required no face, quite to the roots of the hair. teaching. An opportunity given of “Will Bright got them when he went looking on while one was embroideringafter the cows. You may have some crocheting, or making tatting, and the if you want them.” process was her own. Native tact “No, thank you ; it is a pity to disimparted to her at once the skill which turb them, they look so pretty just as others attain only by long practice. As they are." for her fine sewing, it was exquisite ; and in looking at it, one half regretted Troubles come to everybody. Even the advent of the sewing-machine. Will Bright, though no one had ever
The fall days grew short; the winter known him to be without cheerfulness came and went; and in the course of it enough for half a dozen, was not wholly besides doing everything that was re- exempt from ills. With all his good quired of her in the household, keeping sense, which was not a little, Will was up the reading and writing, and satis- severely incredulous of the reputed factory progress in arithmetic, Rhoda effects of poison-ivy; and one day, by had completed, at my suggestion, ten way of maintaining his position, gathof those little tatting collars, made ofered a spray of it and applied it to his fine thread, and rivalling in delicate face. He was not long in finding the beauty the loveliest fabrics of lace. vine in question an ugly customer.
Because a project was on foot for His face assumed the aspect of a horRhoda. A friend of mine going to rible mask, and the dimensions of a Boston took charge of the little pack- good-sized water-pail, with nothing left age of collars, and the result was that of the eyes but two short, straight the proprietor of a fancy-store there marks. For once, Will had to succumb engaged to receive all of them that and be well cared for. might be manufactured, at the price In this state of things a letter came of three dollars each. When my friend to him with a foreign postmark. “I returned, she brought me, as the avails will lay it away in your desk, Will," of her commission, the sum of thirty said uncle," till you can read it yourdollars.
self; that will be in a day or two." But here arose an unexpected ob- “If you don't mind the trouble, sir, I stacle. It was difficult to convince should thank you to open and read it Rhoda that the amount, which seemed for me. I get no letters that I am unto her immense, was of right her own. willing you should see.” She comprehended it, however, at last; It was to the effect that a relative in and thenceforth her skill in this and England had left him a bequest of five other departments of faricy-work ob- hundred pounds, and that the amount tained for her constant and remunera- would be made payable to his order tive employment.
wherever he should direct.
“ You will oblige me, sir, if you will I read to her from Ned's letter what say nothing about this for the present,” related to her brother. said Will, when uncle had congratulated “I 'm most afraid it's a dream,” said him.
Rhoda after a brief silence. “Over at “I hope we shall not lose sight of the poor-house I used to have such you, Will,” said uncle, who really felt a good dreams, and then I'd wake up strong liking for the young man, who out of them. After I came here I used had served him faithfully three years. to be afraid it was a dream ; but I
“I hope not, sir,” replied Will. “I did n't wake out of that. Perhaps I shall shall be glad to consult you before I see Joe again ; who knows ?” decide what use to make of this windfall. At all events, I don't want to From this time a change came over change my quarters for the present.” Rhoda. She begged as a privilege to
learn to do everything that a woman About the same time, brother Ned, in can do about a house. Oregon, sent me a letter which con- “I do declare, Miss Kate," said Dortained this passage :
othy one day, after displaying a grand “ We are partly indebted for this array of freshly baked loaves, wearing splendid stroke of business to the help the golden-brown tint that hints at of a townsman of our own; his name is such savory sweetness, “that girl, for Joseph Breck. He says he ran away a white girl, is going to make a most from Deacon Handy's, at fifteen years a splendid cook. I never touched this old, because the Deacon would not send bread, and just you see! ain't it perfinhim to school as he had agreed. Ask diculur wonderful ?” uncle if he remembers Ira Breck, who Soon after, I found Rhoda, with her lived over at Ash Swamp, near the old dress tidily pinned out of harm's way, Ingersol place. He was drowned sav. standing at a barrel, and poking vigoring timber in a freshet. He left two ously with a stick longer than herself. children, and this Joseph is the elder. “ What now, Rhoda! what are you The other was a girl, her name Rboda, doing there?” six or eight years younger than Joseph; “Come here and look at the soap, she must be now, he says, not far from Miss Kate. I made it every bit myself; sixteen or seventeen. Joe has had a ain't it going to be beautiful ? " hard row to hoe, but now that he be- “Why do you care to do such things, gins to see daylight he wants to do, Rhoda ?” something for his sister.
He is a “I'll tell you,” in a low voice; “perthoroughly honest and competent fel- haps when Joe comes home, some time low, and we are glad enough to get he 'll buy himself a little place and let hold of him. He told me the other me keep house for him; then I shall night such a story as would make your want to know how to do everything." heart ache: at all events it would make “ Rhoda, I believe you can do everyyou try to ascertain something about thing already." his sister before you write next.”
“No, I can't wring," looking pite
ously from one little hand to the othI lost no time in seeking Rhoda. er. “I can iron cute, but I can't wring.
“ Yes,” said she, in reply to my in- Dorothy says that is one thing I shall quiries, “I did have a brother once. have to give up, unless I can make my He went off and was lost. I can just hands grow. Do you suppose I could ?" remember him. I don't suppose I shall “No; you must make Joe buy you a ever see him again. Folks said likely wringer. Can you make butter ? " he was drowned.”
“O yes, when the churning is n't “ Was his name Joseph ?”
large. Likely Joe won't keep more “ It was Joe ; father used to call him than one cow." Joe.”
I looked at the eager little things.
wondering if her hope would ever be a good way above — was a dark, fine, realized. She divined my thought, and manly face, all sun-browned and beardglanced at me wistfully. “You think ed. -" Rhoda ! ” — He had stolen a this is a dream ; you think I shall wake march upon her. She turned and saw up
him. A swift look of glad surprise, “No, no," I answered; “I wonder and the brother and sister so long sepwhat Joe will think when he sees what arated had recognized each other. He a mite of a sister he has. He 'll make drew her to him and held her there you stand round, Rhoda, you may be tenderly as if she were a little child. sure of that."
“May be he is n't any larger him- So Joe bought "a little place," and self,” she responded, with a ready, I believe he would fain have had his bright smile.
sister Rhoda for its mistress. But then
it came out that Will Bright, that sly Brother Ned's next letter brought fellow, had been using every bit of perthe welcome tidings that he hoped to suasion in his power to make her promcome home the ensuing August, and ise that she would keep house for him. that Joseph Breck would probably come Nay, he had won already a conditional at the same time.
promise, the proviso being, of course, June went, and July. Rhoda grew Joe's approval. Will's is not a little restless; she was no longer constantly place, etther. With his relative's legacy at work ; she began to listen nervously he purchased the great Wellwood nurfor every train of cars. I was glad to sery; and so skilled is he in its manbelieve that the brother for whom she agement that uncle says there is not a held in readiness such lavish love was. more thriving man in the neighborhood. deserving of it. She grew prettier every And Rhoda, of whom he is wonderday. The uncouth dress was gone for- fully proud, is as content a little woman ever, the hideous bonnet burned up, as any in the land. Whenever I go to and the gay shawl made over to Miss Uncle Bradburn's, — and few summers Reeny, who admired and coveted it. pass that I do not, - I make a point of Hepsy herself was not more faultlessly reserving time for a visit to Rhoda. quiet and tasteful in her attire. I was The last time I went, I encountered sure that Joe, if he had eyes at all, must Will bringing her down stairs in his be convinced that his sister was worth arms; and she held in her arms, as coming all the way from Oregon to something too precious to be yielded to
another, what proved on inspection to At last, one pleasant afternoon, there be a tiny, blue-eyed baby. It was comwas a step in the hall that I recognized; ical to see her ready, matronly ways; it was Ned's! I reached him first, and and it was touching, when you thought felt his dear old arms close fast about of the past, to witness her quiet yet me; and then, for Louise's right was perfect enjoyment. stronger than mine, I gave him over to And I really know of no one in the her and the rest. My happiness, though world more heartily benevolent than it half blinded me, did not prevent my she. “You see,” she says, “I knew seeing a pallid little face looking ear- once what it is to need kindness; and nestly in from the back hall door. Then now I should be worse than a heathen Joe had not come! I felt a keen pang if I did not help other people when I for Rhoda.
have a chance." “Ned," said I, as soon as I could I suppose Hepsy pitied Joe for his get a word with him, “there is Joe disappointment. In any case, she has Breck's sister; where is Joe ?”
done what she could to console him for "Where is Joe?” said Ned; "why, it. On the whole, it would be difficult there he is.”
to say which is the happier wife, Hepsy Sure enough, there above Rhoda's — or Rhoda.
PASSAGES FROM HAWTHORNE'S NOTE-BOOKS.
gate of Heaven, and watch per- find yourself in a region that seems, in sons as they apply for admittance, some some sort, to reproduce the flowers and gaining it, others being thrust away. sunny beauty of the entrance, but all
perfect. These are the depths of the To point out the moral slavery of one heart, or of human nature, bright and who deems himself a free man.
peaceful. The gloom and terror may
lie deep, but deeper still this eternal A stray leaf from the Book of Fate, beauty. picked up in the street.
A man in his progress through life The streak of sunshine journeying may pick up various matters, — sin, through the prisoner's cell, — it may be care, habit, riches, - until at last he considered as something sent from staggers along under a heavy burden. Heaven to keep the soul alive and glad within him. And there is something To have a lifelong desire for a cerequivalent to this sunbeam in the dark- tain object, which shall appear to be est circumstances; as flowers, which fig- the one thing essential to happiness. uratively grew in Paradise, in the dusky At last that object is attained, but room of a poor maiden in a great city; proves to be merely incidental to a the child, with its sunny smile, is a more important affair, and that affair is cherub. God does not let us live any- the greatest evil fortune that can occur. where or anyhow on earth without For instance, all through the winter I placing something of Heaven close at had wished to sit in the dusk of evenhand, by rightly using and consider- ing, by the flickering firelight, with my ing which, the earthly darkness or wife, instead of beside a dismal stove. trouble will vanish, and all be Heaven. At last this has come to pass; but it
was owing to her illness. When the reformation of the world is complete, a fire shall be made of the Madame Calderon de la Barca (in gallows; and the hangman shall come
“ Life in Mexico ") speaks of persons and sit down by it in solitude and de- who have been inoculated with the spair.
To him shall come the last venom of rattlesnakes, by pricking them thief, the last drunkard, and other rep- in various places with the tooth. These resentatives of past crime and vice; persons are thus secured forever after and they shall hold a dismal merry against the bite of any venomous repmaking, quaffing the contents of the tile. They have the power of calling last brandy-bottle.
snakes, and feel great pleasure in play
ing with and handling them. Their The human heart to be allegorized own bite becomes poisonous to people as a cavern. At the entrance there is not inoculated in the same manner. sunshine, and flowers growing about it. Thus a part of the serpent's nature apYou step within but a short distance, pears to be transfused into them. and begin to find yourself surrounded with a terrible gloom and monsters of An auction (perhaps in Vanity Fair) divers kinds ; it seems like hell itself. of offices, honors, and all sorts of things You are bewildered, and wander long considered desirable by mankind, towithout hope. At last a light strikes gether with things eternally valuable,