The Baldwin Library
nm ^n University
A LIST OF THE ELSIE BOOKS.
Arranged in the order of their
ELSIE'S HOLIDAY YS A T ROSELANDS.
ELSIE' S MOTHERHOOD.
ELSIE'S NEW RELA TIONS.
ELSIE A T iNANTUCKET.
THE TWO ELSIES.
ELSIE'S KITH AND KIN.
ELSIE'S FRIENDS A T WOODBURN.
CHRISTMAS WITH GRANDMA ELSIE.
ELSIE AND THE RA YMONDS,
ELSIE YA CH TING WITH THE RA YMONDS.
ELSIE'S VA CA TION.
ELSIE A T VIA MEDE.
ELSIE A T ION.
ELSIE A T THE WORLD'S FAIR.
ELSIE'S JOURNEY ON INLA ND WA TERS.
and Elsie's Holidays
AuTHOr OF ELxSI DINSMORE," OLD-FAsHIONXo Boyt"
u Wa2XTD A PIDIGURBBI" Ta., BTO.
Oh I time of promise, hope, and innocence,
Of trust, and love, and happy ignorance
Whose every dream is heaven, in whose fair joy,
Experience yet has thrown no black alloy."
THOUGHTS Or A Riow2e
DODD, MEAD & COMPANY,
VOPMIGHT, 1872, 33 DODD, Mz.D & COXrAX',
SOMB years have now elapsed since my dtte
heroine "ELSIE DINSMOn made her debut into
the great world. She was sent out with many an
anxious thought regarding the reception that might
await her there. But she was kindly welcomed,
and such has been the favor shown her ever since
that Publishers and Author have felt encouraged to
prepare a new volume in which will be found the
story of those years that have carried Elsie on from
childhood to womanhood-the years in which her
character was developing, and mind and body were
growing and strengthening for the real work and
battle of life.
May my readers who have admired and loved
her as a child find her still more charming in hex
fresh young girlhood; may she prove to all a
pleasant companion and friend; and to those of
them now treading the same portion of life's path.
way a useful example also, particularly in Ler filial
love and obedience.
Qr apittr $zrst
SIt fs a busy talking world."
I THINK I shall enjoy the fortnight we are
to spend here, papa ; it seems such a very pleas-
ant place," Elsie remarked, in a tone of great
I am glad you are pleased with it, daugh.
ter," returned Mr. Dinsmore, opening the morn-
ing paper, which John had just brought up.
They-Mr. Dinsmore and Elsie, Rose and
Edward Allison-were occupying very comfort-
able quarters in a large hotel at one of our fash-
ionable watering-places. A bedroom for each,
and a private parlor for the joint use of the party
had been secured in advance, and late the night
before they had arrived and taken possession.
It was now early in the morning, Elsie and
her papa were in his room, which was in the
second story and opened upon a veranda, shaded
by tall trees, and overlooking a large grassy
yard at the side of the building. Beyond were
green fields, woods and hills.
4 ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD
Papa," said Elsie, gazing longingly upon
them, as she stood by the open window,' can't
we take a walk ?"
"When Miss Rose is ready to go with us."
May I run to her door and ask if she is ?-
and if she isn't, may I wait for her out here on
the veranda ?"
She skipped away, but was back again almost
immediately. "Papa, what do you think ? It's
just too bad M"
"What is too bad, daughter? I think I
Lever before saw so cross a look on my little
girl's face," he said, peering at her over the top
of his newspaper. Come here, and tell me what
it is all about."
She obeyed, hanging her head and blushing.
"I think I have some reason to be cross, papa,"
she said; I thought we were going to have such
a delightful time here, and now it is all spoiled.
You could never guess who has the rooms just
opposite ours; on the other side of the hall."
Miss Stevens ? "
"Why, papa; did you know she was here ?
I knew she was in the house, because I saw
her name in the hotel book last night when I
went to register ours."
"And 't just spoils all our pleasure."
"I hope not, daughter. I think she will
hardly annoy you when you are close at my
ELSIES 'S GIRLHOOD 5
side; and that is pretty much all the time, isn't
it ? "
Yes, papa, and I'll stick closer than ever to
you if that will make her let me alone," she cried
with a merry laugh, putting her arm round hlu
neck and kissing him two or three times.
S Ah, now I have my own little girl again,"
he said, drawing her to his knee and returning
her caresses with interest. "But there, I hear
Miss Rose's step in the hall. Run tc mammy
and have your hat put on."
Miss Stevens' presence proved scarcely less
annoying to Elsie than the child had anticipated.
She tried to keep out of the lady's way, but it
was quite impossible. She could scarcely step
out on the veranda, go into the parlor, or take
a turn in the garden by herself, but in a moment
Miss Stevens was at her side fawning upon and
flattering her-telling her how sweet and pretty
and amiable she was, how dearly she loved her,
and how much she thought of her papa too: he
was so handsome and so good; everybody ad-
mired him and thought him such a fine-looking
gentleman, so polished in his manners, so agree-
able and entertaining in conversation.
Then she would press all sorts of dainties
upon the little girl in such a way that it was
next to impossible to decline them, and occasion.
ally even went so far as to suggest improve*
ments, or rather alterations, in her dress, which
sae said was entirely too plain.
You ought to have more flounces on youl
skirts, my dear,' she remarked one day. Skirts
flounced to the waist are so very pretty and
dressy, and you would look sweetly in them, but
I notice you don't wear them at all. Do-ask
your papa to let you get a new dress and have
it made so; I am sure he would consent, for any
one can see that he is very fond of you. He
doesn't think of it; we can't expect gentlemen
to notice such little matters ; you ought to have
a mamma to attend to such things for you.
Ah! if you were my child, I would dress you
sweetly, you dear little thing "
Thank you, ma'am, I daresay you mean to
be very kind," replied Elsie, trying not to look
annoyed, but I don't want a mamma, since my
own dear mother has gone to heaven; papa is
enough for me, and I like the way he dresses me.
He always buys my dresses himself and says how
they are to be made. The dressmaker wanted to
put more flounces on, but papa didn't want them
and neither did I. He says he doesn't like to
see little girls loaded with finery, and that my
clothes shall be of the best material and nicely
made, but neat and simple."
Oh, yes; I know your dress is not cheap ; I
didn't mean that at all: it is quite expeninve
enough, and some of your white dresses are
beautifully worked; but I would like a little
more ornament. You wear so little jewelry, and
FLSIE 'S GIRLf OOD. ?
your father could afford to cover you with it if
he chose. A pair of gold bracelets, like mine
for instance, would fe very pretty, and look
charming on your lovely white arms: those
pearl ones you wear sometimes are very hand.
-ome-any one could tell that they are the real
thing-but you ought to have gold ones too, with
clasps set with diamonds. Couldn't you per-
suade your papa to buy some for you? "
Indeed, Miss Stevens, I don't want them!
I don't want anything but what papa chooses to
buy for me of his own accord. Ah! there is
Miss Rose looking for me, I must go," and the
little girl, glad of an excuse to get away, ran
joyfully to her friend who had come to the ver-
anda, where she and Miss Stevens had been stand-
ing, to tell her that they were going out to walk,
and her papa wished to take her along.
Elsie went in to get her hat, and Miss Stevens
came towards Rose, saying, "I think I heard
you say you were going to walk; and I believe,
if you don't forbid me, I shall do myself the
pleasure of accompanying you. I have just been
waiting for pleasant company. I will be ready
:i one moment." And before Roseoould recover
from her astonishment sufficiently to reply sht
had disappeared through the hall door.
Elsie was out again in a moment, just as the
gentlemen had joined Rose, who excited their
surprise and disgust by a repetition of Miss
Stevens' speech to her.
s ELSIE'S GIRLHOOd.
Mr. Dinsmore looked excessively annoyed,
and Edward 'pshawed, and wished her at the
bottom of the sea."
"No, brother," said Rose, smiling, "you don't
rish any such thing ; on the contrary, you would
be the very first to fly to the rescue if you saw
her in langer of drowning."
But before there was time for anything more
to be said Miss Stevens had returned, and walk.
ing straight up to Mr. Dinsmore, she put her
arm through his, saying with a little laugh, and
what was meant for a very arch expression, You
see I don't stand upon ceremony with old friends,
Mr. Dinsmore. It isn't my way."
No, Miss Stevens, I think it never was," he
replied, offering the other arm to Rose.
She was going to decline it on the plea that
the path was too narrow for three, but something
in his look made her change her mind and accept;
and they moved on, while Elsie, almost ready to
cry with vexation, fell behind with Edward Alli-
son for an escort.
Edward tried to entertain his young company.
ion, but was too much provoked at the turn
things had taken to make himself very agreeable
to any one ; and altogether it was quite an un-
uomfortable walk: no one seeming to enjoy it
but Miss Stevens, who laughed and talked incefs
santly; addressing nearly all her conversation to
Mr. Dinsmore, he answering her with studied
politeness, but nothing more.
ELSIE1 'S GIRLHOOD. 9
Miss Stevens had, from the first, conceal red a
great antipathy to Rose, whom she considered a
dangerous rival, and generally avoided, excepting
when Mr. Dinsmore was with her; but she al-
ways interrupted a tete-a-tete between them when
it was in her power to do so without being guilty
of very great rudeness. This, and the covert
sneers with which she often addressed Miss Alli-
son had not escaped Mr. Dinsmore's notice, and
it frequently cost him quite an effort to treat
Miss Stevens with the respectful politeness which
he considered due to her sex, and to the daugh-
ter of his father's old friend.
Was it not too provoking, papa ? exclaimed
Elsie, as she followed him into his room on their
return from their walk.
What, my dear ? "
SWhy, papa, I thought we were going to
have such a nice time, and she just spoiled it alL"
"She ? who daughter ?"
"Why, papa, surely you know I mean Miss
"Then why did you not mention her name,
instead of speaking of her as she? That does
not sound respectful in a child of your age, and
I wish my little girl always to be respectful to
those older than herself I thought I hear you
the other day mention some gentleman's name
without the prefix of Mr., and I intended to re-
prove you far it at the time. Don't do it again."
E RSIE'S GIRLHOOD
No sir, I wont," Elsie answered with a
blush. "But, papa," she added the next moment,
U Miss Stevens does that constantly."
That makes no difference, my daughter," he
said gravely. "Miss Stevens is the very last
person I would have you take for your model
the less you resemble her in dress, manners, or
anything else, the better. If you wish to copy
any one let it be Miss Allison, for she is a perfect
lady in every respect."
Elsie looked very much pleased. "Yes in-
deed, papa," she said, "I should be glad if I
could be just like Miss Rose, she is always kind
and gentle to everybody; even the servants,
whom Miss Stevens orders about so crossly."
"What, papa? she asked, blushing again,
for his tone was reproving.
"Come here and sit on my knee; I want to
talk to you. I am afraid my little daughter is
growing censorious," he said, with a very grave
took as he drew her to his side. You forget
that we ought not to speak of other people's
I will try not to do it any more, papa," she
rIDied, the tears springing to her eyes; "but
you don't know how very annoying Miss Stevens
8,. I have been near telling her several times
'hat I did wish she would let me alone."
"No, daughter, don't do that. You mut
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 1
behave in a lady-like manner whether she does or
not. We must expect annoyances in this world,
my child; and must try to bear them with paw
tience, remembering that God sends the little
trials as well as the great, and that He has som
minded us to 'let patience have her perfect work.
I fear it is a ,ack of the spirit of forgiveness that
makes it so difficult for us to bear these trifling
vexations with equanimity. And you must re-
member too, dear, that the Bible bids us be
courteous, and teaches us to treat others as we
ourselves would wish to be treated."
I think you always remember the command
to be courteous, papa," she said, looking affec-
tionately into his face. I was wondering all the
time how you could be so very polite to Miss
Stevens; for I was quite sure you would rather
not have had her along. And then, what right
had she to take your arm without being asked ?"
and Elsie's face flushed with indignation.
Her father laughed a little. "And thus de-
prive my little girl of her rights," he said, softly
kissing the glowing cheek. Ah! I doubt if
you would have been angry had it been Miss
Rose," he added, a little mischievously.
"Oh, papa, you know Miss Rose would never
have done such a thing i" exclaimed the little
Ah well dear," he said in a soothing tone
Swe won't talk any more about it. I acknowl
12 L SI ES GIRLHOOJt
edge that I do not find Miss Stevens the most
agreeable company in the world, but I must treat
her politely, and show her a little attention some
times; botlh because she is a lady and because
her father once saved my father's life ; for which
I owe a del of gratitude to him and his child.
Did he, papa ? I am sure it was very good
of him, ani I will try to like Miss Stevens for
that. But won't you tell me about it ?"
It was when they were both quite young
men," said Mr. Dinsmore, "before either of them
was married: they were skating together and
your grandfather broke through the ice, and
would have been drowned, but for the courage
and presence of mind of Mr. Stevens, who saved
him only by very great exertion, and at the risk
of his own life."
A few days after this, Elsie was playing on
the veranda, with several other little girls. "< Do
you think you shall like your new mamma,
Elsie ? asked one of them in a careless tone, as
she tied on an apron she had just been making
for her doll, and turned it around to see ow it
My new mamma! exclaimed Elsie, with
anfeigned astonishment, dropping the scissors
with which she had been cutting paper dolls for
some of the little ones. What can you mean,
Annie? I am not going to have any new
EL IE'S GIRLHOOD. 1
Yes, indeed, but you are though," asserted
Annie, positively; for I heard my mother say
so only yesterday; and it must be so, for she
said Miss Stevens told it herself."
Miss Stevens! and what does she knoe
about it ? what has she to do with my papa'6
affairs ?" asked Elsie indignantly, the loro
rushing over face, neck and arms.
Well I should think she might know, when
she is going to marry him," returned the other,
with a laugh.
She isn't I it's false my"-- but Elsie check
ed herself and shut her teeth hard to keep down
the emotion that was swelling in her breast.
It's true, you may depend upon it," replied
Annie ; everybody in the house knows it, and
they are all talking about what a splendid matce
Miss Stevens is going to make; and mamma
was wondering if you knew it, and how you
would like her; and papa said he thought Mr.
Dinsmore wouldn't think much of her if he
knew how she flirted and danced until he came,
and now pretends not to approve of balls, just
because he doesn't."
Elsie made no reply, but dropping scissors
paper and everything, sprang up and ran swiftly
along the veranda, through the hall, up stairs ,
and without pausing to take breath, rushed into
her father's room where he sat quietly reading.
Why Elsie, daughter, what is the matter ?'
EELSIE 'S GIRLHOOAL
ie asked in a tone of surprise and concern, as
he caught sight of her flushed and agitated face.
"Oh papa, it's that hateful Miss StevensI
I can't bear her !" she cried, throwing herself
upon his breast, and bursting into a fit of pas
Mr. Dinsmore said nothing for a moment;
but thinking tears would prove the best relief to
her over-wrought feelings, contented himself
with simply stroking her hair in a soothing way,
and once or twice pressing his lips gently to her
You feel better now, dearest, do you not ?"
he asked presently, as she raised her head to
wipe away her tears.
"Now tell me what it was all about."
"Miss Stevens does say such hateful things.
He laid his finger upon her lips. Don't use
i ar wCreC amn. It does not sound at all like
i uueayll gent~i sweet-tempered little girl."
"I went, papa," she murmured, blushing and
hanging her head Then hiding her face on his
breast, she lay the e for several minutes, perfectly
i1ent and still
SWhat is my Cttle girl thinking of?" he
aed at length.
"How everybocxr talks about you, papa
ns~ sein- g I wa: out on the veranda and 1
EL SIDE'S GIRLHOOD. 15
heard John and Miss Stevens' maid, Phillis, talk
ing together. It was moonlight, you know,
papa," she went on, turning her face toward him
again : and they were out under the trees and
John had his arm round her, and he was kissing
her, and telling her how pretty she was; and
there they began talking about Miss Stevens and
you, and John told Phillis that he reckoned you
were going to marry her "-
Who ? Phillis ? asked Mr. Dinsmore, look-
ing excessively amused.
"Oh, papa! no; you know I mean Miss
Stevens," Elsie answered in a tone of annoyance.
"Well dear, and what of it all ?" he asked,
soothingly. "I don't think the silly nonsense of
the servants need trouble you. John is a sad fel-
low, I know; he courts all the pretty colored
girls wherever he goes. I shall have to read
him a serious lecture on the subject. But it is
very kind of you to be so concerned for Phillis."
Oh papa, don't!" she said, turning away
her face. Please don't tease me so. You know
I don't care for Phillis or John; but that isn't
all." And then she repeated what had passed
between Annie and herself.
He looked a good deal provoked as she went
ot with her story ; then very grave indeed. He
was quite silent for a moment after she had done.
Then drawing her closer to him he said tenderly,
a My poor little girl, I am sorry you should be
16 ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD.
so annoyed; but you know it is not true, daugh-
ter, and why need you care what other people
thmk and say ?"
I don't like them to talk so, papa I can't
ear to have them say such things abor t you "
she exclaimed indignantly.
He was silent again for a little ; then said
kindly, "I think I had better take you away
from these troublesome talkers. What do you
say to going home?"
"Oh, yes papa, do take me home," she an-
swered eagerly. "I wish we were there now.
I think it is the pleasantest- place in the world
and it seems such a long, long while since we
came away. Let us start to-morrow, papa, can't
But you know you will have to leave Miss
Ah I forgot that," she said a little sadly;
but brightening again, she asked: "Couldn't
you invite her to go home with us and spend the
winter ? Ah papa, do it would be so pleasant
to have her."
a No, my dear, it wouldn't do," he replied
with a grave shake of the head.
Why, papa ?" she asked with a look of keez
"You are too young to understand why,"
he said in the same grave tone, and then relapsed
into silence sitting there for some time stroking
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD. 1 7
her hair in an absent way, with his eyes on the
At last he said, Elsie I" in a soft, low tone
that quite made the little girl start and look ul
into his face; for she, too, had been in a deer
What, papa ?" she asked, and she wondered
to see how the color had spread all over his face,
and how bright his eyes looked.
"I have been thinking," he said, in a half
hesitating way, that though it would not do to
invite Miss Rose to spend the winter with us,
it might do very nicely to ask her to come an,-
live at the Oaks."
Elsie looked at him for a moment with a be
wildered expression ; then suddenly comprehend-
ing, her face lighted up.
Would you like it, dearest ?" he asked;
"or would you prefer for to go on living just as
we have been, you and I together ? I would con-
sult your happiness before my own, for it lies very
near my heart, my precious one. I can never
forgive myself for all I have made you suffer and
when you were restored to me almost from the
grave, I made a vow to do all in my power to
make your future life bright and happy."
His tones were full of deep feeling, and as he
spoke he drew her closer and closer to him and
kissed her tenderly again and again.
"Speak, daughter, and tell me what you
wish," he said, as she still remained silent.
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD.
At last she spoke, and he bent down to catch
the words. "Dear papa," she whispered,
" would it make you happy? and do you
think mamma knows, and that she would like
Your mamma loves us both too well not to
be pleased with anything that would add to our
happiness," he replied gently.
"Dear papa, you won't be angry if I ask an-
other question ? "
"No, darling ; ask as many as you wish."
"Then, papa, will I have to call her mamma ?
and do you think my own mamma would like
"If Miss Allison consents to take a mother's
place to you, I am sure your own mamma, if she
could speak to you, would tell you she deserved
to have the title; and it would hurt us both
very much if you refused to give it. Indeed, my
daughter, I cannot ask her to come to us unless
you will promise to do so, and to love and obey
her just as you do me. Will you ?"
"I will try to obey her, papa; and I shall
love her very dearly, for I do already ; but I can
not love anybody quite so much as I do you, my
awn dear, dear father! she said, throwing her
uJms around Iis neck.
He returned her caress, saying tenderly,
" That is all I can ask, dearest; I must reserve
the first place in your heart for myself."
ALS IE'S GIRLHOOD.
"Do you think she will come papa?" she
"1 don't know, daughter; I have not asked
her yet. But shall I tell her that it will add to
your happiness if she will be your mamma ?"
Yes, sir ; and that I will call her mamma,
and obey her and love her dearly. Oh papa, ask
her very soon, won't you? "
"Perhaps ; but don't set your heart too much
on it, for she may not be quite so willing to take
such a troublesome charge as Miss Stevens
seems to be," he said, returning to his playful
Elsie looked troubled and anxious.
"I hope she will, papa," she said ; I think
she might be very glad to come and live with
you; and in such a beautiful home, too."
Ah I but every one does not appreciate my
society as highly as you do," he replied, laughing
and pinching her cheek; and besides, you forget
about the troublesome little girl. I have heard
ladies say they would not marry a man who had
But Miss Rose loves me, papa; I am sure
she does," she said, flushing, and the tears starting
So her eves.
Yes, darling, I know she does," he answered
-wothingly. "I am only afraid she loves you
better than she does me."
large party of equestrians were setting out
from the hotel that evening soon after ,ea, and
Elsie, in company with several other little girls,
went out upon the veranda to watch them mount
and ride away. She was absent but a few mo
ments from the parlor, where she had left het
father, but when she returned to it he was not
there. Miss Rose, too, was gone, she found upon
farther search, and though she had not much
difficulty in conjecturing why she had thus, for
the first time, been left behind, she could not
help feeling rather lonely and desolate.
She felt no disposition to renew the after-
noon's conversation with Annie Hart, so she went
quietly up-stairs to their private parlor and sat
down to amuse herself with a book until Chloe
came in from eating her supper. Then the little
girl brought a stool, and seating herself in the
old posture with her head in her nurse's lap, she
drew her mother's miniature from her bosom, and
fixing her eyes lovingly upon it, said, as she had
done hundreds of times before: Now, mammy,
please tell me all about my dear, dear mamma."
The soft eyes were full of tears ; for with all
her joy at the thought of Rose, mingled a strange
sad feeling that she was getting farther away
from that dear, precious, unknown mother, whose
image had been, since her earliest recollection,
enshrined in her very heart of hearts
0 lady t there be many things
That seem right fair above;'
But sure not one among them al
Is half so sweet as love;-
Let us not pay our vows alone,
But join two altars into one."
O. W. HOLM.
Here still is the smile that no cloud can o'ercast,
And the heart, and the hand, all thy own to the last."
MB. HoRACE DInsMsORE was quite remark-
able for his conversational powers, and Rose,
who had always heretofore found him a most
entertaining companion, wondered greatly at his
silence on this particular evening. She waited
in vain for him to start some topic of conversa-
tion, but as he did not seem disposed to do so,
she at length made the attempt herself, and tried
one subject after another. Finding, however,
that she was answered only in monosyllables, she
too grew silent and embarrassed, and heartily
wished for the relief of Elsie's presence.
She had proposed summoning the child to
company them as usual, but Mr. Dinsmore
replied that she had already had sufficient exer
eise, and he would prefer having her remain at
They had walked some distance, and coming
to a rustic seat where they had often rested, they
sat down. The moon was shining softly down
upon them, and all nature seemed hushed and
still. For some moments neither of them spoke,
but at length Mr. Dinsmore broke the silence.
"Miss Allison," he said, in his deep, rich
tones, "I would like to tell you a story, if you
will do me the favor to listen."
It would have been quite impossible for Rose
to tell why her heart beat so fast at this very
commonplace remark, but so it was; and she
could scarcely steady her voice to reply, "I1
always find your stories interesting, Mr. Dins-
He began at once.
"Somewhere between ten and eleven years
ago, a wild, reckless boy of seventeen, very much
spoiled by the indulgence of a fond, dating
father, who loved and petted him as the only
son of his departed mother, was spending a few
months in one of our large southern cities, where
he met, ar.d soon fell desperately in love with, a
beautiful orphan heiress, some two years his
"The boy was of too ardent a temperament,
and too madly in love to brook for a moment the
thought of waiting until parents and guardian
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 23
should consider them of suitable age to marry,
in addition to which he had good reason to fear
that his father, with whom family pride was a
ruling passion, would entirely refuse his consent
apon learning that the father of the young lady
had begun life as a poor, uneducated boy, and
worked his way up to wealth and position by
dint of hard labor and incessant application to
The boy, it is true, was almost as proud him
self, but it was not until the arrows of the boy-
god had entered into his heart too deeply to be
extracted, that he learned the story of his charm-
er's antecedents. Yet I doubt if the result would
have been different had he been abundantly fore-
warned; for oh, Miss Rose, if ever an angel
walked the earth in human form it was she !-
so gentle, so good, so beautiful !"
He heaved a deep sigh, paused a moment,
and then went on:
"Well, Miss Rose, as you have probably
surmised, they were privately married. If that
sweet girl had a fault, it was that she was too
yielding to those she loved, and she did love her
young husband with all the warmth of her
young guileless heart; for she had neither par-
ants nor kinsfolk, and he was the one object
around which her affections might cling. They
were all the world to each other, and for a few
sh ot months they were very happy.
ELSIE A GIRLHOOD.
"But it could not last; the marriage was
discovered-her guardian and the young man's
father were both furious, and they were torn
asunder; she carried away to a distant planta-
tion, and he sent North to attend college.
'"They were well nigh distracted, but cher-
ished the hope that when they should reach their
majority and come into possession of their prop-
erty, which was now unfortunately entirely in
the hands of their guardians, they would be
"But-it is the old story-their letters were
intercepted, and the first news the young hus-
band received of his wife was that she had died
a few days after giving birth to a little daugh-
Again Mr. Dinsmore paused, then continued:
It was a terrible stroke For months, reason
seemed almost ready to desert her throne; but
time does wonders, and in the course of years it
did much to heal his wounds. You would perk
haps suppose that he would at once-or at least
as soon as he was his own master-have sought
out his child, and lavished upon it the wealth of
his affections: but no; he had conceived almost
an aversion to it; for he looked upon it as the
cause-innocent it is true-but still the cause of
his wife's death. He did not know till long
years afterwards that her heart was broken by
the false story of his desertion and subsequent
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD
death. Her guardian was a hard, cruel man.
though faithful in his care of her property.
With him the hbild remained until she was
about four years old when a change was made
necessary by his death, and she, with her faithful
nurse, was received into her paternal grand
Nther's family until her father, who had then
gone abroad, should return. But my story is
growing very long, and you will be weary of
listening. I will try to be as brief as possible.
"The little girl, under the care of her nurse
and the faithful instructions of a pious old
Scotchwoman-who had come over with the
child's maternal grandparents, and followed the
fortunes of the daughter and granddaughter,
always living as housekeeper in the families
where they resided-had grown to be a sweet,
engaging child, inheriting her mother's beauty
and gentleness. She had also her mother's crav-
ing for affection, and was constantly looking and
longing for the return of her unknown father,
which was delayed from time to time until she
was nearly eight years of age.
"At last he came; but ah, what a bitter die.
appointment awaited the poor child I His mind
had been poisoned against her, and instead of the
love and tenderness she had a right to expect, he
met her with coldness-almost with aversion.
Poor little one I she was nearly heartbroken, and
for a time scarcely dared venture into her father's
presence. She was gentle, submissive, and pa
tient; he cold, haughty, and stern. But she
would love him, in spite of his sternness, and at
length she succeeded in winning her way to his
affections, and he learned to love her with pas*
Still her troubles were not over. She was
sincerely pious, and conscientiously strict in
many things which her father deemed of little
importance; especially was this the case in
regard to the observance of the Sabbath. He
was a man of iron will, and she, though perfectly
submissive in other respects, had the firmness of
a martyr in resisting any interference with her
"Well, their wills came in collision. He
required her to do what she considered a viola-
tion of God's law, although he could see no harm
in it, and therefore considered her stubborn and
disobedient. He was firm, but so was she. He
tried persuasions, threats, punishments-all with-
out effect. He banished her from his arms, from
the family circle, deprived her of amusements,
denied her to visitors, broke off her correspond-
ence with a valued friend, sent away her nurse;
and finding all these acts of severity ineffectual,
he at length left her, telling her he would return
only when she submitted; and even refusing her
a parting caress, which she pleaded for with
ELSIE 'S GIRLHOOD. 2
Mr, Dinsmore's voice trembled with emotion,
but recovering himself he went on:
Don't think, Miss Allison, that all this time
the father's heart was not bleeding; it was, at
every pore; but he was determined to conquer,
and mistook the child's motives and the source
of her strength to resist his will.
"He had bought a beautiful estate; he
caused the house to be handsomely fitted up and
furnished, especially lavishing trouble and expense
upon a suite of rooms for his little girl, and when
%ll was completed, he wrote to her, bidding her
go and see the lovely home he had prepared for
her reception as soon as she would submit,-and
presenting, as the only alternative, banishment to
a boarding-school or convent until her education
was finished. This was the one drop which
made the cup overflow. The poor suffering
child was prostrated by a brain fever which
brought her to the very gates of death. Then
the father's eyes were opened; he saw his folly
and his sin, and repented in sackcloth and ashes ;
and God, in His great mercy, was pleased to
spare him the terrible crushing blow which
seemed to have already fallen ;-for at one time
lhey told him his child was dead. Oh, never,
nerer can he forget the unutterable anguish of
Mr. Dinsmore paused, unable to proceed
Rose had bNen weeping for some time. She well
knew to whose story she was listening, and her
gentle, loving heart was filled with pity for both
him and for his child.
"I have but little more to tell," he reEumed;
the child has at length entirely recovered her
health; she is dearer to her father's heart than
words can express, and is very happy in the
knowledge that it is so, and that henceforward
he will strive to assist her to walk in the narrow
way, instead of endeavoring to lead her from it.
Their home has been a very happy one ; but
it lacks one thing-the wife and mother's place
is vacant; she who filled it once is gone-never
to return!--but there is a sweet, gentle lady
who has won the hearts of both father and
daughter, and whom they would fain persuade
to fill the void in their affections and their
"Miss Rose, dare I hope that you would ven-
ture to trust your happiness in the hands of a
man who has proved himself capable of such
cruelty ? "
Rose did not speak, and he seemed to read in
ner silence and her averted face a rejection of
"Ah, you cannot love or trust me I" he
exclaimed bitterly. "I was indeed a fool to
hope it Forgive me for troubling you ; forgive
my presumption in imagining for a moment that
I might be able to win you. But oh, Rosee
eLI2A P GIRLHO OD.
could you but guess how I love you-better
than aught else apon earth save my precious
child! atd even as I love her better than life.
I said that our home had been a happy one, but
tc me it can be so no longer if you lefise to
share it with me! "
She turned her blushing face towards him for
a single instant, and timidly placed her hand in
his. The touch sent a thrill through her whole
"And you will dare trust me ? he said in a
low tone of intense joy. "0 Rose, I have not
deserved such happiness as this I I am not
worthy of one so pure and good. But I will do
all that man can do to make your life bright and
"Ah! Mr. Dinsmore, I am very unfit for tho
place you have asked me to fill," she murmured.
"I am not old enough, or wise enough to be a
mother to your little girl."
"I know you are young, dear Rose, but you
are far from foolish," he said tenderly, and my
tittle girl is quite prepared to yield you a daugh-
ter's love and obedience; but I do not think she
will be a care or trouble to you; I do not intend
that she shall, but expect to take all that upon
myself. Indeed Rose, dearest, you shall never
know any care cr trouble that I can save you
from. No words can tell how dear you are to
me, and were it in my power I would shield yoe
30 ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD.
from ev ery annoyance, and give you every joy
that the human heart can know. I have loved
you from the first day we met!-ah, I loved you
even before that, for all your love and kindness
to my darling child ; but I scarcely dared hope
that you could return my affection, or feel willing
to tiust your happiness to the keeping of one
who had shown himself such a monster of cruelty
in hns treatment of his little gentle daughter.
Are you not afraid of me, Rose ?"
His arm was around her waist, and he was
bending over her, gazing down into her face, and
eagerly awaiting her answer.
Presently it came, in calm, gentle tones.
"No, Horace; 'perfect love casteth out fear,'
and I cannot judge you hardly for what may
have been only a mistaken sense of duty, and
has been so bitterly repented."
Heaven bless you, dearest, for these words,"
he answered with emotion, they have made me
the happiest of men."
Horace Dinsmore wore upon his little finger
a splendid diamond ring, which had attracted a
good deal of attention, especially among the
ladies, who admired it extremely, and of which
Miss Stevens had hoped to be one day the l.lppy
and envied possessor. Taking Rose's small
white hand in his again, he placed it upon her
"This seals our compact, and makes you
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD 31
mine forever," he said, pressing the hand to his
With the consent of my parents," murw
mured Rose, a soft blush mantling her cheek.
Elsie was still in her papa's private parlor,
for though it was long past her usual hour for
retiring, she had not yet done so; her father hav-
ing left a message with Chloe to the effect that
she might, if she chose, stay up until his return.
Chloe had dropped asleep in her chair, and
the little girl was trying to while away the time
with a book. But she did not seem much inter-
ested in it, for every now and then she laid it
down to run to the door and listen. Then sigh-
ing to herself, They are not coming yet," she
would go back and take it up again. But at
last she started from her seat with an exclama-
tion of delight that awoke Chloe; for this time
there could be no doubt; she had heard his well-
known step upon the stairs.
She moved quickly towards the door-stopped
-hesitated, and stood still in the middle of the
But the door opened, and her father entered
with Miss Rose upon his arm. One look at hie
radiant countenance, and Rose's blushing, happy
face told the whole glad story. He held out his
hand with a beaming smile, and Elxe sprang
My darling," he said, stooping to give her
a kiss, "I have brought you a mother."
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD.
Then taking Rose's hand, and placing one of
Elsie's in it, while he held the other in a close,
loving grasp, he added: "Rose, she is your
daughter also, I give you a share in my choio-
Rose threw her arm around the little girl
and kissed her tenderly, whispering: "Will you
love me, Elsie dearest ? you know how dearly I
"Indeed I will; I do love you very much,
and I am very glad, dear, darling Miss Rose,"
Elsie replied, returning her caress.
Mr. Dinsmore was watching them with a
heart swelling with joy and gratitude. He led
Rose to a sofa, and seating himself by her side,
drew Elsie in between his knees, and put an arm
round each. "My two treasures," he said, look-
ing affectionately from one to the other. "Rose,
I feel myself the richest man in the Union."
Rose smiled, and Elsie laid her head on her
father's shoulder with a happy sigh.
They sat a few moments thus, when Rose
made a movement to go, remarking that it must
be growing late. She felt a secret desire to be
safe within the shelter of her own room before
the return of the riding party should expose her
to Miss Stevens' prying curiosity.
"It is not quite ten yet," said Mr. Dinsmore,
looking at his watch.
"Late enough though, is it not?" she
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 38
answered with a smile. "I think I mast go.
Good night, dear little Elsie." She rose, and
Mr. Dinsmore, gently drawing her hand within
this arm, led her to her room, bidding her good
night at the door, and adding a whispered
request that she would wait for him to conduct
her down to the breakfast-room in the morning,
"Must I go to bed now, papa ?" asked Elsie,
as he returned to the parlor again.
Not yet," he said; "I want you." And, sit-
ting down, he took her in his arms. "My dar-
ling, my dear little daughter he said; "were
you very lonely this evening ? "
"No, papa; not very, though I missed you
and Miss Rose."
He was gazing down into her face; some-
thing in its expression seemed to strike him, and
he suddenly turned her towards the light, and
looking keenly at her, said, "You have been cry.
ing; what was the matter ?"
Elsie's face flushed crimson, and the tears
started to her eyes again. Dear papa, don't be
angry with me," she pleaded. "I couldn't help
it ; indeed I could not."
"I am not angry, darling; only pained that
wy little girl is not so happy as I expected& I
hoped that your joy would be unclouded to
night, as mine has been; but will you not tell
your father what troubles you, dearest?"
"I was looking at this, papa," she said, draw.
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD.
ing het mother's miniature from her bosom, and
putting it into his hand; "and mammy was tell.
.ng me all about my own mamma again; and,
papS you know I love Miss Rose, and I am very
glad she is coming to us, but it seems as if -as
if "- She burst into a flood of tears, and hiding
her face on his breast, sobbed out, "0 papa, I
can't help feeling as though mamma-my owa
dear mamma-is farther away from us now; as
if she is going to be forgotten."
There were tears in his eyes, too; but gently
raising her head, he pushed back the curls from
her forehead, and kissing her tenderly, said, in
low, soothing tones, "No, darling, it is only a
feeling, and will soon pass away. Your own
dear mother-my early love-can never be for-
gotten by either of us. Nor would Rose wish it.
There is room in my heart for both of them, and
I do not love the memory of Elsie less because I
have given a place in it to Rose."
There was a momentary silence; then she
looked up, asking timidly, "You are not vexed
with me, papa ?"
"No, dearest ; not at all; and I am very glad
you have told me your feelings so freely," he
sai i, folding her closer and closer to his heart,
u I hope you will always come to me with your
sorrows, and you need never fear that you will
not find sympathy, and help too, as far as it is
in my power to give it. Elsie, do you know
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD
that you are very like your mother ?--the resem
Stance grows stronger every day; and it would
be quite impossible for me to forget her with
this living image always before me."
Am I like her, papa? I am so glad I"
exclaimed the little girl eagerly, her faoe lightV
ing up with a joyous smile.
It seemed as though Mr. Dinsmore could
hardly bear to part with his child that night;
he held her a long time in his arms, but at last,
with another tender caress, and a fervent bless
ing, he bade her good night and sent her away.
** She twin'd--and her mother's gaze brought oDak
Each hue of her childhood's faded track.
Oh I hush the song, and let her tears
Flow to the dream of her early years I
Holy and pure are the drops that fall,
When the young bride goes from her father's haJ;
She goes unto love yet untried and new-
She parts from love which hath still been true."
Mas. HAwB's POEMS.
"How did it happen that Mr. Dinsmore was
not of your party last night, Miss Stevens?"
inquired one of the lady boarders the next morn-
ing at the breakfast-table.
"He had been riding all the morning with
his little girl, and I presume was too much
fatigued to go again in the evening," Miss Ste.
vens coolly replied, as she broke an egg into her
cup, and proceeded very deliberately to season
"It seems he was not too much fatigued to
walk," returned the other, a little maliciously;
Sor to take a lady upon his arm."
Miss Stevens started, and looked up hastily.
"I would advise you to be on your guard, and
play your cards well, or that quiet Miss Allison
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD. 37
may prove a serious rival," the lady continued.
K lie certainly pays her a good deal of attention."
"It is easy to account for that," remarked
Miss Stevens, with a scornful toss of the head;
9'he is very fond of his little girl, and takes her
out walking or riding every day, and this Miss
Allison-who is, I presume, a kind of governess
-indeed it is evident that hhe is, from the care
she takes of the child-goes along as a matter of
course ; but if you think Horace Dinsmore would
look at a governess, you are greatly mistaken, for
he is as proud as Lucifer, as well as the rest of
his family, though he does set up to be so very
"Excuse me, madam," observed a gentleman
sitting near, but you must be laboring under a
misapprehension. I am well acquainted with
the Allison family, and can assure you that the
father is one of the wealthiest merchants of Phil-
At this moment Mr. Dinsmore entered with
Rose upon his arm, and leading Elsie with the
other hand. They drew near the table; he
handed Miss Allison to a seat and took his place
A slight murmur of surprise ran round the
table, and all eyes were turned upon Rose, who,
feeling uncomfortably conscious of the fact, cast
down her own in modest embarrassment, while
EIpb, with a face all smiles and dimples, sent a
ELSIE 'S GIRLHOOD.
triumphant glance across the table at Annie
Hart, who was whispering to her mother, "See
aiamma, she has Mr. Dinsmore's ring "
That lady immediately called Miss Stevens'
attention to it, which was quite unnecessary, aa
she was already burning with rage at the sigAt.
"They walked out alone last evening, and
that ring explains what they were about," said
Mrs. Hart, in an undertone. "I am really sorry
for you, Miss Stevens; for your prize has cer-
tainly slipped through your fingers."
"I am much obliged to you," she replied,
with a toss of her head ; "but there are as good
fish in the sea as ever were caught."
The next moment she rose and left the table,
Mrs. Hart following her into the public parlor,
and continuing the conversation by remarking,
I would sue him for breach of promise if I were
you, Miss Stevens. I understood you were
engaged to him."
"I never said so; so what right had you to
suppose it ? returned Miss Stevens, snappishly.
And upon reflecting a moment, Mrs. Hart
could not remember that she.had ever said so in
plain terms, although she had hinted it many
times-talking a great deal of Mr. Dinsmore's
splendid establishment, and frequently speaking
of the changes she thought would be desirable
in Elsie's dress, just as though she expected
some day to have it under her control. Theo,
ELSIE S GIRLIOOD. 89
too, she had always treated Mr. Dinsmore with
so much familiarity that it was perfectly natural
strangers should suppose they were engaged,
ev en though he never reciprocated it; for that
might be only because he was naturally reserved
and undemonstrative ; as indeed Miss Stevens fre-
quently averred, seeming to regret it very deeply
Presently she burst out, "I don't know why
people are always so ready to talk! I don't care
for Horace Dinsmore, and never did! There
was never anything serious between us, though I
must say he has paid me marked attentions, and
given me every reason to suppose he meant
something by them. I never gave him any
encouragement, however; and so he has been
taken in by that artful creature. I thought he
had more sense, and could see through her ma
ncauvres--coaxing and petting up the child to
curry favor with the father I I thank my stare
that I am above such mean tricks! I presume
she thinks, now, she is making a splendid match
but if she doesn't repent of her bargain before
she has been married a year, I miss my guess
Ske'll never have her own way-not a bit of it-
I can tell her that. Everybody that knows hin
will tell you that he is high-tempered and tyran-
nical, and as obstinate as a mule."
"The grapes are very sour, I think," whisk
pered Mrs. Hart to her next neighbor who nod
ded and laughed.
SThere is Elsie out on the veranda, now,"
sail Annie. "I mean to go and ask her what
Miss Allison had her father's ring for; may I,
Yes, go child, if you want to ; I should likw
to hear what she will say; though, of course,
everybody understands that there must be an
"Well, Elsie, what made you run away in
such a hurry yesterday ?" asked Annie, running
up to our little friend. "Did you ask your papa
about the new mamma ?"
"I told him what you said, Annie, and it
wasn't true," Elsie answered, with a glad look of
joy. I am going to have a newmother though,
and papa said I might tell you ; but it is Miss
Allison instead of Miss Stevens, and I am very
glad, because I love her dearly."
Is she your governess ?"
"No, indeed what made you ask ?"
"Miss Stevens said so," replied Annie, laugh-
ing and running away. And just then Elsie's
papa called her, and bade her go up-stairs and have
her hat put on, as they were going out to walk.
Edward Allison had been talking with his
writer in her room, and they came down together
to the veranda, where Mr. Dinsmore and Elsie
were waiting for them. Edward was looking
very proud and happy, but Rose's face was half
hidden by her veil She took Mr. Dinsmore's
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 41
%ffeled arm, and Elsie asked, Aren't you going
with us, Mr. Edward ? "
Not this time," he answered, smiling. "I
nave an engagement tc play a game of chess
with one of the ladies in the parlor yonder."
"Then I shall have papa's other hand," she
said, taking possession of it.
She was very merry and talkative, but neither
of her companions seemed much disposed to
answer her remarks. They were following the
same path they had taken the night before, and
the thoughts of both were very busy with the
past and the future.
At length they reached the rustic seat where
they had sat while Mr. Dinsmore told his story,
and he inquired of Rose if she would like to stop
She assented, recognizing the place with a
smile and a blush, and they sat down.
Papa," said Elsie, "I am not tired, mayn't
I run on to the top of that hill yonder ?"
Yes, if you will not go out of sight or hear
ing, so that I can see that you are safe, and
within call when I want you; he replied, and
she bounded away.
Rose was sitting thoughtfully, with her eyes
apon the ground, while those of her companion
were following the graceful figure of his little
girl, as she tripped lightly along the read.
Mr. Dinsmore," Rose began.
ELSIE 'S GIRLHOOD,
"I beg pardon, but were you speaking to
me ?" he asked, turning to her with a half
"Certainly," she replied, smiling in return;
there is no one else here."
"Well then, Rose, dear, please to remembEl
that I don't answer to that name from your lips ,
at least not when we are alone. I am not Mr.
Dinsmore to you, unless you mean to be Miss
Allison to me," he added, taking her hand and
gazing tenderly into her blushing face.
Oh! no, no; I woulc not have you call me
Well then, dear Rose, I want you to cal'
me Horace. I would almost as soon think of
being Mr. Dinsmore to Elsie, as to you. And
now, what were you going to say to me ?"
Only that I wish to set out on my home-
ward way to-night, with Edward. I think it
would be best, more especially as mamma has
written complaining of our long absence, and
urging a speedy return."
Of course your mother's wishes are the first
to be consulted, until you have given me a prior
right," he said, in a playful tore; and so I sup
ose Elsie and I will be obliged to continue our
journey by ourselves. But when may I claim
you for my own indeed ? Let it be as soon as
possible, dearest, for I feel that I ought to return
to my home ere long, and I am not willing to do
so without my wife."
ELSIBE'S GIRLHOOD. 43
I must have a few weeis to prepare; you
know a lady's wardrobe cannot be got ready m
a day; What would you say to six weeks ? I
am afraid mamma would think it entirely too
"Six weeks, dear Rose. why that would
bring us to the middle of Novomber. Surely a
month will be long enough to keep me waiting
for my happiness, and give the dressmakers suf-
ficient time for their work. Let us say one
month from to-day."
Rose raised one objection after another, but
he overruled them all and pleaded his cause so
earnestly that he gained his point at last, and
the wedding was fixed for that day month, pro-
vided the consent of her parents, to so sudden a
parting with their daughter, could be obtained.
While Rose was at home making her prepar-
ations, Mr. Dinsmore and his daughter were vis-
iting the great lakes, and travelling through
Canada. He heard frequently from her, and
there were always a few lines to Elsie, which
her father allowed her to answer in a little note
enclosed in his; and sometimes he read her a
little of his own, or of Miss Rose's letter, which
she always considered a very great treat.
New York city was their last halting place
on their route, and there they spent nearly two
weeks in shopping and sight-seeing. Mr. Dins.
more purchased an elegant set of furniture for
44 ELSIE'S GIPLALOOD.
his wife's boudoir, and sent it on to his home
with his orders to Mrs. Murray concerning its
arrangement. To this he added a splendid set
of diamonds as his wedding gift to his bride,
while Elsie selected a pair of very costly brace
lets as hers.
They arrived in Philadelphia or Tuesday
afternoon, the next morning being the time
appointed for the wedding. Mr. Dinsmore him-
self went to his hotel, but sent Elsie and her
nurse to Mr. Allison's, as he had been urgently
requested to do, the family being now in occupa-
tion of their town residence.
Elsie found the whole house in a bustle of
preparation. Sophy met her at the door and
carried her off at once to her own room, eager to
display what she called "her wedding dress."
She was quite satisfied with the admiration
Elsie expressed. "But I suppose you bought
ever so many new dresses, and lots of other
pretty things, in New York ? she said, inquir-
"Yes ; papa and I together. And don't you
tkmk, Sophy, he let me help him chpose some of
his clothes, and he says he thinks I have very
good taste in ladies' and gentlemen's dress too.*
That was right kind of him, but isn't it odd,
rnd real nice too, that he and Rose are going to
get married? I was so surprised. Do you like
it. Elsie ? and shall you call her mamma ? "
SLSIE' S GIRL oOA 4
SOh yes, of course. I should be quite
wretched if papa were going to marry any one
else; but I love Miss Rose dearly, and I am very
glad she is coming to us. I think it is very
good of her, and papa thinks so too."
"Yes," replied Sophy, honestly, "and so do
r; for I am sure I shouldn't like to leave papa
and mamma and go away off there to live,
though I do like you very much, Elsie, and
your papa too. Only think! he is going to be
my brother; and then wont you be some sort
of relation too ? I guess I'll be your aunt, wont
"I don't know; I haven't thought about it,"
said Elsie ; while at the same instant Harold
put his head in at the half-open door, saying,
" Of course you will; and I'll be her uncle."
The little girls were quite startled at first, but
seeing who it was, Elsie ran towards him, hold-
ing out her hand.
How do you do, Harold ? she said; "I am
glad to see you."
He had his satchel of books on his arm
"Thank you, how are you ? I am rejoiced to
see you looking so well, but, as for me, I am
quite sick--of lessons," he replied in a melan-
tholy tone, and putting on a comically doleful
Elsie laughed and shook her head. "I
thought you were v good boy and quite fond of
Commonly, I believe I am, but itt in these
wedding times. It's quite too bad of your
father, Elsie, to be carrying off Rose, when he
won't let as have you. But never mind, I'll be
even with him some of these days;" and he
gave her a meaning look.
Come in, Harold, and put your books down,"
said Sophy; "you can afford to spend a few
minutes talking to Elsie, can't you?"
"I think I will he replied, accepting her
They chatted for some time, and then Ade-
laide came in. Elsie had heard that she was
coming on to be first bridesmaid. Elsie, dear,
how glad I am to see you! and how well and
happy you are looking she exclaimed, folding
her little niece ii her arms, and kissing her
fondly. But comr," she added, taking her by
the hand and leading her into the next room,
Miss Rose came in from her shopping only a
few minutes ago, and she wants to see you."
Rose was standing by the toilet-table, gazing
intently, with a blush and a smile, at something
she held in her hand. She laid it down as they
came in, and embracing the little girl affection-
ately, said how very glad she was to see her.
Then, turning to the table again, she took up
what she had been looking at-which proved to
be a miniature of Mr. Dinsmore-and handed it
to Adelaide, saying Is it not excellent ? and so
ki nd and tho rightful of him to give it to me.
I It is indeed a most perfect likeness," Ade-
laide replied. "Horace is very thoughtful about
these little matters. I hope he will make you
very happy, dear Rose. I cannot te.l you how
glad I was when I heard you were to be my si*
You have seemed like a sister to me ever
since the winter I spent with you," said Rose
And then she began questioning Elsie about hei
journey, and asking if she were not fatigued,
and would not like to lie down and rest a little
No thank you," Elsie said; you know it is
only a short trip from New York, and I am not
a, all tired."
Just then the tea-bell rang, and Rose laughed
and said it was well Elsie had not accepted br
On going down to tea they found Mr. Dins-
more and Mr. Travilla there. Elsie was delight-
ed to meet her old friend, and it was evident
that he had already made himself a favorite with
all the children, from Harold down to little
The wedding was a really brilliant affan,
The bride and her attendants were beautifully
dressed, and, as every one remarked, looked very
charming. At an early hour in the morning
carriages were in waiting to convey the bridal
party and the family to the church where the
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD.
ceremony was to be performed. When it was
over they returned to the house, where an ele-
gant breakfast was provided for a large number!
of guests; after which there was a grand recep
tion for several hours. Then, when the last guesi
had departed, Rose retired to her own room
appearing shortly afterwards at the family din
ner-table in her pretty travelling dress, looking
very sweet and engaging, but sober and thought
ful, as were also her father and brothers; while
Mrs. Alligon's eyes were constantly filling witt
tears at the thought of losing her daughter.
There was very little eating done, and the
conversation flagged several times in spite of the
efforts of the gentlemen to keep it up. At length
all rose from the table, and gathered in the par-
lor for a few moments. Then came the parting,
and they were gone; and Mrs. Allison, feeling
almost as if she had buried her daughter, tried to
forget her loss by setting herself vigorously to
work overseeing the business of putting her house
Rose's feelings were mingled. She wept for a
time, but the soothing tenderness of her husband's
manner, and Elsie's winning caresses, soon restored
her to herself, and smiles chased away the tears.
They had a very pleasant journey, without
accident or detention, and arrived in due time at
their own home, where they were welcomed with
every demonstration of delight.
ELSIE' S GIRLIIOOD. 49
Rose was charmed with the Oaks, thought it
even more lovely than either Roselands or Elin-
grove, and Mr. Dinsmore and Elsie intensely en
joyed her pleasure and admiration.
Then came a round of parties, which Elsit
thought extremely tiresome, as she could have
no share in them, and was thus deprived of the
company of her papa and mamma almost every
evening for several weeks. But at last that too
was over, and they settled down into a quiet,
home life, that suited them all much better, for
neither Mr. Dinsmore nor Rose was very fond of
And now Elsie resumed her studies regularly,
reciting as before to her father; while Rose
undertook to instruct her in the more feminine
branches of housekeeping and needlework, and a
master came from the city several times a week
to give her lessons in music and drawing. She
had been so long without regular employment
that she found it very difficult at first to give her
mind to her studies, as she had done in former
days; but her father, though kind and considers
ate, was very firm with her, and she soon fell in-o
the traces and worked as diligently as ever.
Elsie did not find that her father's marriage
brought any uncomfortable change to her. There
was no lessening of his love or care; she saw as
much of him as before, had full possession of
her seat upon his knee, and was caressed ard
fondled quite as often and as tenderly as ever
ELSIL 'S GIRLHOOD.
And added to all this were Rose's love and
sweet companionship, which were ever grateful
to the little girl, whether they were alone or with
her father. Elsie loved her new mamma dearly
and was as respectful and obedient to her as to
her father, though Rose never assumed any au
thority ; which, however, was entirely unneces-
sary, as a wish or request from her was sure to
he attended to as if it had been a command.
And Rose was very happy in her new home.
Mr. Dinsmore's family were pleased with the
match, and treated her most kindly, while he was
always affectionate, thoughtful and attentive;
not less devoted as a husband than as a father.
They were well suited in taste and disposition;
seldom had the slightest disagreement on any
subject, and neither had ever cause to regret the
step they had taken, for each day they lived
together seemed but to increase their love for
each other, and for their little daughter, as Mr.
I)insmore delighted to call her, always giving
fcee a share in the ownership,
raptc r jourtl
"Of all the joys that brighten suffering earth,
What joy is welcomed like a new-born child."
Massa wants you for to come right along to
him in de study, darlin', jis as soon as your ole
mammy kin get you dressed," said Chloe, one
morning to her nursling.
"What for, mammy ?" Elsie asked curiously,
for she noticed an odd expression in her nurse's
"Massa didn't tPll me nuffin 'bout what he
wanted, an' I aspects you'll have to ax hisself,"
replied Chloe, evasively.
Elsie's curiosity was excited, and she hastened
to the study as soon as possible. Her father
laid down his paper as she entered, and held out
his hand with a smile as he bade her good morn-
ing, and it struck her that there was an odd
twinkle in his eye also, while she was certain
that she could not be mistaken in the unusually
joyous expression of his countenance.
"Good morning, papa. But where is
mamma ?" she asked, glancing about the room
iu search of her,
ELSIE 'S GIRLHOOD.
"She is not up yet, but do you sit down here
in your little rocking chair. I have something
lie left the room as he spoke, returning again
in a moment, carrying what Elsie thought was a
strange looking bundle.
"There! hold out your arms," he said; and
placing it in them, he gently raised one corner
of the blanket, displaying to her astonished view
a tiny little face.
"A baby I Oh, the dear little thing !" she
exclaimed in tones of rapturous delight. Then
looking up into his face, Did you say I might.
have it, papa ? whose baby is it ?"
"Ours; your mamma's and my son, and
your brother," he answered, gazing down with
intense pleasure at her bright, happy face, spark-
ling all over with delight.
"My little brother! my darling little
brother," she murmured, looking down at it
again, and venturing to press her lips gently to
its soft velvet cheek. "0 papa, I am so glad, so
glad II have so wanted a little brother or sister.
Is not God very good to give him to us, papa ?"
And happy, grateful tears were trembling in the
soft eyes as she raised them to his face again.
Yes," he said, bending down and kissing
frst her cheek, and then the babe's, "I feel that
God has indeed been very good to me in bestow
ing upon me two such treasures as thbse."
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD.
What is his name, papa ? she aoked.
He has none yet, my dear."
"Then papa do let him be name. Horace, foi
you; wont you if mamma is willing ? And tnen
1 hope he will grow up to be just like you; as
handsome and as good."
I should like him to be a great deal better,
daughter," he answered with a grave smile;
"and about the name-I don't know yet; I
should prefer some other, but your mamma
teems to want that, and I suppose she has the
best right to name him ; but we will see about it."
"Better give little master to me now, Miss
Elsie," remarked his nurse stepping up, "I reckon
your little arms begin to feel tired." And tak-
ng the babe she carried him from the room.
Nothing could have better pleased Mr. Dins.
more than Elsie's joyous welcome to her little
brother; though it was scarcely more than he
My own darling child my dear, dear little
daughter," he said, taking her in his arms and
kissing her again and again. Elsie, dearest,
you are very precious to your father's heart."
Yes, papa, I know it," she replied, twining
her arms about his neck, and laying her cheek to
his; "I know you love me dearly, and it make
me so very happy."
"( May I go in to see mamma?" ahe askod
No, darling, not yet ; she is not able to see
you ; but she sends her love, and hopes she may
be well enough to receive a visit from you to-
Poor mamma! I am sorry she is ill," she
said, sorrowfully; but I will try to keep every.
thing very quiet that she may not be dis-
That evening, after tea, Elsie was told that
she would be allowed to speak to her mamma
for a moment if she chose, and she gladly availed
herself of the privilege.
"Dear Elsie," Rose whispered, drawing her
down to kiss her cheek, "I am so glad you are
pleased with your little brother."
"0 mamma, he is such a dear little fellow !"
Elsie answered eagerly; and now, if you will
only get well we will be happier than ever."
Rose smiled and said she hoped soon to be
quite well again, and then Mr. Dinsmore led Elsie
from the room.
Rose was soon about again and in the enjoy.
ment of her usual health and strength. Elsie's
delight knew no bounds the first time her mamma
was able to leave her room, and take her place
at the table with her father and herself. She
doted on her little brother, and, if allowed,
would have had him in her arms more than half
the time; but he was a plump little fellow, and
soon grew so large and heavy that her father
ELSIE 'S GIRLHOOD.
forbade her carrying him lest she should nju re
herself; but she would romp and play with him
by the hour while he was in the nurse's arms, oT
seated on the bed; and when any of her little
friends called, she could not be satisfied to .et
them go away without seeing che baby.
The first time Mr. Travilla called, after little
Horace's arrival, she exhibited her treasure to
him with a great deal of pride, asking if he did
not envy her papa.
"Yes," he said, looking admiringly at her,
and then turning away with a half sigh.
A few minutes afterwards he caught hold of
her, set her on his knee, and giving her a kiss,
said, "I wish you were ten years older, Elsie, or
I ten years younger."
Why, Mr. Travilla ? she asked rather won-
Oh, because we would then be nearer of an
age, and maybe you would like me better."
No, I wouldn't, not a bit," she said putting
her arm round his neck, "for I like you now just
as well as I could like any gentleman but papa."
The elder Mr. Dinsmore was very proud of
his little grandson and made a great pet of him,
coming to the Oaks much more frequently after
his birth than before.
Once he spoke of him as his first grandchild.
SYou forget Elsie, father," said Horace, put,
ting his arm round his little girl, who happened
ELSIA S GIRLHOOD.
to be standing by his side, and giving her a
tender, loving look.
He greatly feared that the marked difference
his father made between the two would wound
Elsie's sensitive spirit, and perhaps even arouse
a feeling of jealousy towards her little brother;
therefore, when his father was present, he was
even more than usually affectionate in his man-
ner towards her, if that were possible.
But Elsie had no feeling of the kind; she
had long ceased to expect any manifestation of
affection from her grandfather towards herself,
but was very glad indeed that he could love her
dear little brother.
"Ah! yes, to be sure, I did forget Elsie,"
replied the old gentleman carelessly; "she is the
first grandchild of course; but this fellow is the
first grandson, and quite proud of him I am. He
is a pretty boy, and is going to be the very
image of his father."
"I hope he will, father," said Rose, looking
proudly at her husband. And then she added,
with an affectionate glance at Elsie: "If he is
only as good and obedient as his sister, I shall be
quite satisfied with him. We could not ask a
better child than our dear little daughter, nor
tove one more than we do her; she is a great
comfort and blessing to us both."
The color mounted to Elsie's check, and her
eyes beamed with pleasure. Mr. Dinsmore
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 57
too, looked very much gratified, and the old genm
tleman could not fail to perceive that the dif-
ference he made between the children was quite
distasteful to both parents.
"A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded,
A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded."
ELsIE was nearly twelve when her little
brother was born. During the next three years
she led a life of quiet happiness, unmarked by
any striking event. There were no changes in the
little family at the Oaks but such as time must
bring to all. Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore perhaps
looked a trifle older than when they married,
Elsie was budding into womanhood as fair and
sweet a flower as ever was seen, and the baby had
grown into a healthy romping boy.
At Roselands, on the contrary, there had
been many and important changes. Louise and
Lora were both married ; the former to a resident
of another state, who had taken her to his distant
home; the latter to Edward Howard, an older
brother of Elsie's friend Carrie. They had not
left the neighborhood, but were residing with his
For the last two or three years Arthur Dins
more had spent his vacation's at home; he was
doing so now, having just completed his freshman
EL SIE 'S GIRLHOOD. 5
year at Princeton. On his return Walter was to
company him and begin his college career.
Miss Day left soon after Lora's marriage ant
no eflbrt had been made to fill her place, Adoe
laide having undertaken to act as governess to
Enna, now the only remaining occupant of the
Taking advantage of an unusually cool breezy
afternoon, Elsie rode over to Tinesgrove, Mr.
Howards plantation-to make a call. She found
the family at home and was urged to stay to
tea; but declined saying she could not without
permission, and had not asked it.
You will at least take off your hat," said
No, thank you," Elsie answered, "it is not
worth while, as I must go so soon. If you will
excuse me, I can talk quite as well with it on."
They had not met for several weeks and found
a good deal to say to each other. At length
Elsie drew out her watch.
"Ah she exclaimed, "I have overstayed my
time I I had no idea it was so late-you have
been so entertaining ; but I must go now" And
she rose hastily to take leave.
"Nonsense I" said her Aunt Lora, n whose
boudoir they were sitting, "there is no such
great hurry I am sure. You'll get home long
"Yes, and might just as well stay another
60 ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD.
five or ten minutes. I wish you would; foi I
have ever so much to say to you," urged
"It would be very pleasant, thank you, but
indeed I must not. See how the shadows are
lengthening, and papa does not at all like to
have me out after sunset unless he is with me."
He always was over careful of you erring
on the right side, I suppose, if that be an allow-
able expression," laughed Lora, as she and Carrie
followed Elsie to the door to see her mount her
The adieus were quickly spoken and the
young girl, just touching the whip to the sleek
side of her poney, set off at a gallop closely fol-
lowed by her faithful attendant Jim.
Several miles of rather a lonely road lay be-
tween them and home, and no time was to be
lost, if they would reach the Oaks while the sun
was still above the horizon.
They were hardly more than half a mile from
the entrance to the grounds, when Elsie caught
sight of a well-known form slowly moving down
the road a few paces ahead of them. It was
Arthur, and she soon perceived that it was hia
intention to intercept her; he stopped, turning his
face toward her, sprang forward as she came up,
and seized her bridle.
"Stay a moment, Elsie," he said, "I want to
speak to you."
" Then come on to the Oaks, and
please do, for I am in a hurry."
N' No, I prefer to say my say where I am. I'll
not detain you long. You keep ox:t of earshot
Jim. I want to borrow a little money, Elsie, a
trifle of fifty dollars or so.
Can you accommodate
" Not without papa's knowledge Arthur.
I hope you
" I do.
I see no reason why he should
all about my private
that much without applying to him ?
allowance very large now ? "
dollars a month, Arthur, bi
to the same conditions as of old.
I must account
to papa for every cent."
SHaven't you more than that in hand now ?"
Yes, but what do you want it for ?"
your business nor his ;
it for two weeks, I'll
pay it back
then, and in the meantime he need know nothing
have any concealment
from papa, and I must give in my account in lest
than a week."
you are and always
disobliging creature alive returned
" Oh, Arthur, how
can you say such
62 L SI 'S GIRLHOOD.
word ." she said, recoiling from him with a
shudder. "And you quite misjudge me. I
wculd be glad to do any thing for you that is
right, if you will let me tell papa your wish, and
ie gi ves consent, you shall have the money at
once. Now please let me go. The sun has set
and I shall be so late that papa will be anxious
and much displeased."
Who cares if he is! he answered roughly,
still retaining his hold upon her bridle, and com-
pelling her to listen while he continued to urge
his request; enforcing it with arguments and
They were alike vain, s1ie steadfastly refused
to grant it except op the conditions she had
named, and which he determinately rejected-
and insisted being left free to pursue her home-
He grew furious, and at length with a shock
ing oath released her bridle, but at the same
instant, struck her pony a severe blow upon
his haunches, with a stout stick he held in his
The terrified animal smarting with the pain
started aside, reared and plunged in a way that
would have unseated a less skilful rider, and had
nearly thrown Elsie from the saddle : then dart,
ed off at the top of its speed; but fortunately
turned in at tLe gate held open by Jim, who
had ridden on ahead and dismounted for that
Whoa, you Glossy whoa dere !" he cr.ed,
springing to the head of the excited animal, and
catching its bridle in his powerful grasp.
"Just lead her for a little, Jim," said Elsie
" There, there my poor pretty Glossy, be quiet
now. It was too cruel to serve you so; but it
shan't happen again if your mistress can help
it," she added in a voice tremulous with sympa-
thy and indignation, patting and stroking her
pony caressingly as she spoke.
Jim obeyed, walking on at a brisk pace, lead-
ing Glossy with his right hand, and keeping the
bridle of the other horse over his left arm.
"I'll walk the rest of the way, Jim," said
Elsie, presently, "just stop her and let me get
down. There," springing lightly to the ground,
" you may lead them both to the stable now."
She hurried forward along the broad, grav-
elled winning carriage road that led to the
house. The next turn brought her face to face
with ~r father.
What, Elsie, alone and on foot at this late
hour ? he said in a tone of mingled surprise and
"I have been riding, papa, and only a mo-
ment since dismounted and let Jim led the
acres down the other road to the stables."
Ah, but how did you come to be so late ?'
he asked, drawing her hand within hiq arm and
leading her onward.
ELSIE 'S GIRLHOOD.
"I have been to Tinegrove, sir, and Aunt
Lora, Carrie and I found so much to say to each
other, that the time slipped away before I knew
"It mast not happen again, Elsie."
"I do not mean it shall, papa, and I am very
Then I excuse you this once, daughter; it
is not often you give me occasion to reprove
"Thank you, papa," she said with a grateful
loving look. "Did you come out in search of
Yes, your mamma and I had begun to grow
anxious lest some accident had befallen you.
Our little daughter is such a precious treasure
that we must needs watch over her very care-
fully," he added in a tone that was half playful,
half tender, while he pressed the little gloved
hand in his, and his eyes rested upon the sweet
fair face with an expression of proud fatherly
Her answering look was full of filial reverence
and love. "Dear papa, it is so nice to be so
loved and cared for; so sweet to hear such words
from your lips. I do believe I'm the very hap
priest girl in the land." She had already almost
forgotten Arthur and his rudeness and brutal.
t I the happiest father," he sa with
And I the happiest father," he said with a
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 6*
pleased smile. Ah, here comes mamma to
meet us with little Horace."
The child ran forward with a glad shout to
meet his sister, Rose met her with loving words
and a fond caress; one might have thought from
their joyous welcome, that she was returning
after an absence of weeks or months instead of
hours. Letting go her father's arm as they step.
ped upon the piazza Elsie began a romping play
with her little brother, but at a gentle reminder
from her mamma that the tea bell would soon
ring, ran away to her own apartments to have
her riding habit changed for something more
suitable for the drawing-room.
Chloe was in waiting and her skilful hands
made rapid work putting the last touches to her
nurdling's dre:- jcu as the summons to the sup-
per table was given.
Mr. Dinsmore was quite as fastidious as in
former days in regard to the neatness and
tastefulness of Elsie's attire.
Will I do, papa ? she asked, presenting
herself before him, looking very sweet and fail
in a simple white dress with blue sash and rib
Yes," he said with a satisfied smile, "I see
nothing amiss with dress, hair or face."
Nor do I," said Rose, leading the way to
the supper room, Aunt Chloe is an accomplish.
ed tirewoman. But come let us sit down to out
meal and have it over."
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD.
On the'r return to the drawing-room they
found Mr. Travilla, comfortably esconced in an
easy chair reading the evening paper. He was
an almost daily visitor at the Oaks, and seldom
3ame without some little gift for one or both of
his friend's children. It was for Elsie to-night.
When the usual greetings had been exchanged,
ne turned to her saying, I have brought you a
treat. Can you guess what it is ?"
SA book "
"Ah, there must be something of the Yankee
about you," he answered, laughing. "Yes, it is
a book in two volumes; just published and a
most delightful, charming story," he went on,
drawing them from his pockets, and handing
them to her as he spoke.
Oh, thank you, sir she cried with eager
gratitude, "I'm so glad, if-if only papa will
allow me to read it, may I, papa ?"
"I can tell better wh(i I have examined it,
my child," Mr. Dinsmore an wered taking one
of the volumes from her haind- and looking at
the title on the back. "'The Wide, Wide
World What sort of a book is it, Travilla ?"
A very good sort, I think. J ist glance
through it or read a few pages, and I'm pretty
sure it will be sufficient to satisfy you of, not ony
its harmlessness, but that its perusal would be a
benefit to almost any one."
Mr. Dinsmore did so, Elsie standing beside
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 67
him, her hand upon his arm, and her eyes on his
face-anxiously watching its changes of express
sion as he read. They grew more and more sat
isfactory; the book was evidently approving
itself to his taste and judgment, and presently he
returned it to her, saying, with a kind fatherly
smile, "Yes, my child you may read it, I have
no doubt it deserves all the praise Mr. Travilla
has given it."
"Oh thank you, papa, I'm very glad," she
answered joyously, "I'm just hungry for a nic~
story." And seating herself near the light, sho
was soon lost to every thing about her in thb
deep interest with which she was following Ellem
Montgomery through her troubles and trials.
She was loth to lay the book aside when a
the usual honr a quarter before nine-the bea
rang for prayers. She hardly heeded the sun
mons till her papa laid his hand on her should.
saying, "Come, daughter, you must not be leit
She started up then, hastily closing the book,
and followed the others to the dining room,
where the servants were already assembled to
take part in the family devotions.
Mr. Travilla went away immediately after
and now it was Elsie's bed-time. Her father
reminded her of it as on coming back from see
ing his friend to the door, he found her again
poring over the book.
EL SIE' S GIRLHO OD.
Oh papa, it is so interesting !
me finish this chapter?" she asked
I suppose I could if
effort;" he answered la
may, for once, but don
allowed to do so."
could you let
id with a very
his face as he stood at
I should make a great
always to be
" No sir, oh no.
Thank you, sir.
, have you come to a good stopping-
he asked, as she presently closed the
book and put it aside with a slight sigh.
No, sir, it is just as bad a one as the other.
Papa, I wish I was grown up enough to read
another hour before going to bed."
"I don't," he said, drawing her to a seat
upon his knee, and
his arm about her
waist, I'm not ready to part with
L 'IT 1 It
--voulant a nne young
just as good or better?" she
No, not now, some of
lady daughter be
asked, giving him
" But mayn't
I stay up and read till ten to-
" No, not even till quarter past.
that now," he added, consulting his
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 69
You must say good night and go. Early
houvs and plenty of sleep for my little girl, that
dhe may grow up to healthful, vigorous woman-
hood, capable of enjoying life and being very
useful in the church and the world." He kissed
her with grave tenderness as he spoke.
Good night then, you dear father,' she said
returning the caress. "I know you would
indulge me if you thought it for my good."
"Indeed I would pet. Would it help to rec-
oncile you to the denial of your wish to know
that I shall be reading the book, and probably
enjoying it as much as you would? "
"Ah yes indeed, papa! it is a real pleasure
vo resign it to you," she answered with a look
of delight. "It's just the nicest story! at least
as far as I've read. Road it aloud to mamma,
won't you ? "
"Yes, if she wishes to hear it. Now away
with you to your room and your bed."
"Only waiting to bid her mamma an affeeo
Aionate good night, Elsie obeyed, leaving the
room with a light step, and a cheerful, happy
"Dear unselfish child I her father said, look-
ing after her.
She is that indeed," said Rose, "How happ3
shall I be if Horace grows up to be as good and
,Elsie was a fearless horsewoman, accustomed
70 Ei SIE'S GIRLHOOD.
to the saddle from her very early years. Thus
Arthur's wanton attack upon her pony had failed
to give her nerves the severe shock it might
have caused to those of most young girls of her
age. Her feeling was more of excitement, and
of indignation at the uncalled for cruelty to a
dumb animal, especially her own pet horse, than
of fright at the danger to herself. But she well
knew that the latter was what her father would
think of first, and that he would be very angry
with Arthur; therefore she had tried, and suc-
cessfully, to control herself and suppress all
signs of agitation on meeting him upon her
She felt glad now as the affair recurred to
her recollection while preparing for the night's
rest, that she had been able to do so. For a
moment she questioned with herself whether she
was quite right to have this concealment from
her father, but quickly decided that she was.
Had the wrong doing been her own-that would
have made it altogether another matter.
She was shocked at Arthur's wickedness,
troubled and anxious about his future, but freely
forgave his crime against her pony and herself
and mingled with her nightly petitions an ear,
nest player for his conversion, and his welfare
temporal and spiritual.
0 love I thou sternly dost thy power maintain,
And wuit not bear a rival in thy reign."
IT was the middle of the forenoon, and Elsie
in her own pretty little sitting-room was busied
with her books ; so deep in study indeed, that
she never noticed a slight girlish figure as it
glided in at the glass doors opening upon the
lawn, to-day set wide to admit the air coming
fresh and cool with a faint odor of the far ofl
sea, pleasantly mingling with that of the flowers
in the garden, on the other side of the house.
Buried alive in her books Dear me what
a perfect paragon of industry you are," cried the
intruder in a lively tone. I wish you would
imbue me with some of your love of study."
Why, Lucy Carrington how did you get
here ? and Elsie pushed her books away, rose
hastily and greeted her friend with an affection-
How? I came in through yonder door,
Miss; after riding my pony from Ashlands to
the front entrance of this mansion," replied
Lucy, curtsviun lcw in mock reverence. I hope
7T2 LSIE'S GIRLHOOD.
your ladyship will excuse the liberty I have
taken in venturing uninvited into your sano-
"Provided your repentance is leep and sin-
cere," returned Elsie, in the same jesting tone.
"Certainly, I solemnly pledge myself never
to do it again till the next time."
"Sit down, wont you?" and Elsie pushed
forward a low rocking-chair. "It's so pleasant
to see you. But if I had thought about it at all
I should have supposed you were at home, and as
busy over books and lessons as I."
"No ; my respected governess, Miss Warren,
not feeling very well, has taken a week's holi-
day, and left me to do the same. Fancy my
afflicted state at the thought of laying aside my
beloved books for seven or eight whole days."
You poor creature how I pity you," said
Elsie, laughing; "suppose you stay here and
share the instructions of my tutor ; I have no
doubt I could persuade him to receive you as a
Horrors! I'm much obliged, very mucA,
but I should die of fright the first time I had to
recite There, I declare I'm growing poetical,
talking in rhyme all the time."
Let mamma take your hat and sca f," said
Elsie. You'll stay and spend the day with me,
wont you 2"
"Thank you, no ; I came to carry you off to
Asldands to send a week. Will you come ?"
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD.
I should like to, dearly well, if papa gi res
Well, run and ask him."
"I can't; unfortunately he is out, and not
trpected to return till tea-time."
"Oh pshaw how provoking! But can't
your mamma give permission just as well ? "
If it were only for a day she might, but I
know she would say the question of a longer visit
must be referred to papa."
Dear me I wouldn't be you for something.
Why, I never ask leave of anybody when I want
to pay a visit anywhere in the neighborhood. I
tell mamma I'm going, and that's all-sufficient.
I don't see how you stand being ordered about
and controlled so."
If you'll believe me," said Elsie, laugh
ing a gay, sweet, silvery laugh, I really enjoy
being controlled by papa. It saves me a deal of
trouble and responsibility in the way of deci-
ding for myself; and then I love him so dearly
that I almost always feel it my greatest pleasure
to do whatever pleases him."
"And he always was so strict with you."
Yes, he is strict; but oh, so kind."
SBut that's just because you're so good; he'd
have an awful time ruling me. I'd be in a
chronic state of disgrace and punishment ; nd
he obliged to be so constantly reproving me and
frowning sternly upon my delinquencies, that he'd
never be able to don a smile of approval or slip
in a word of praise edgewise."
"Indeed you're not half so bad as you I re
tend," said Elsie, laughing again; nor I half so
good as you seem determined to believe me."
"No, I've no doubt that you're an arch
Lypocrite, and we shall find out one of these
days that you are really worse than any of the
rest of us. But now I must finish my Errand
and go, for I know you're longing to be at those
books. Do you get a ferruling every time you
miss a word ?-and enjoy the pain because it
pleases papa to inflict it ? "
S "0 Lucy, how can you be so ridiculous?"
and a quick, vivid blush mounted to Elsie's very
"I beg your pardon, Elsie dear, I had no
business to say such a thing," cried Lucy, spring-
ing up to throw her arms round her friend and
kiss her warmly ; but of course it was nothing
but the merest nonsense. I know well enough
your papa never does anything of the kind."
"No, if my lessons are not well prepared
they have to be learned over again, that is all
and if I see that papa is displeased with me,
assure you it is punishment enough."
Do you think he'll let you accept my invi
station ? "
"I don't know, indeed, Lucy. I think he
will hardly like to have me give up my studies
ELSIE GIRLHOC D.
for that length of time, and in fact I hardly like
to do so myself."
Oh, you must come. You can practise or.
my piano every day for an hour or two, if y ou
hke. We'll learn some duets. And you can
bring your sketch-book and carry it along when
we walk or ride, as we shall every day. And we
might read some improving books together,-
you and Herbert, and I. He is worse again,
poor fellow so that some days he hardly leaves
his couch even to limp across the room, and it's
partly to cheer him up that we want you to
come. There's nothing puts him into better
spirits than a sight of your face."
You don't expect other company ?"
No, except on our birthday; but then we're
going to have a little party, just of our own set,-
we boys and girls that have grown up-or are
growing up-together, as one may say. Oh,
yes, I want to have Carrie Howard, Mary Leslie
and Enna stay a day or two after the party.
Now coax your papa hard, for we must have
you," she added, rising to go.
"That would be a sure way to make him say
no," said Elsie, smiling; he never allows me to
coax or tease; at least, not after he has once
answered my request."
"Then don't think of it. Good bye. No,
don't waste time in coming to see me of but go
back to your books like a good child. I mean
g ESLMSIE'S GIRLHOOD.
to have a little chat with your mamma before I
Elsie returned to her lessons with redouble
energy. She was longing to become more inti-
mately acquainted with Ellen Montgomery, but
resolutely denied herself even so much as a
peep at the pages of the fascinating story-book
until her allotted tasks should be faithfully per-
These, with her regular daily exercise in the
open air, filled up the morning; there was a
half hour before, and another after dinner, which
she could call her own; then two hours for
needlework, music and drawing, and she was
free to employ herself as she would till bed-time.
That was very apt to be in reading, and if
the weather was fine she usually carried her
book to an arbor at some distance from the
house. It was reached by a long shaded walk
that led to it from the lawn, on which the glass
doors of her pretty boudoir opened. It was a
cool, breezy, quiet spot, on a terraced hillside,
commanding a lovely view of vale, river and
woodland, and from being so constantly fre-
quented by our heroine, had come to be called
by her name,-" Elsie's Arbor." Arthur, well
acquainted with these tastes and habits, sought
and found her here on the afternoon of this day-
found her so deeply absorbed in Miss Warner's
sweet story, that she was not aware of his
ALSIE S GIRLHOOD. 77
approach --so full of sympathy for little Ellen
that her tears were dropping upon the page as
What, crying, eh ? he said with a sneer,
as he seated himself by her side, and rudely
pulled one of her curls, very much as he had
been used to do years ago. "Well, I needn't be
surprised, for you always were the greatest
baby I ever saw"
"Please let my hair alone, Arthur; you are
not very polite in either speech or action," she
answered, brushing away her tears and moving
a little farther from him.
It's not worth while to waste politeness on
you. What's that you're reading ? "
"A new book Mr. Travilla gave me."
Has no name, eh ? "
Yes, 'Wide, Wide World.'"
Some namby-pamby girl's story, I s'pose,
nice you're allowed to read it; or are you doing
on the sly ?"
"No, I never do such things, and hope I
never shall ; papa gave me permission."
"Oh! ah! then I haven't gtt you in my
power : wish I had."
Why ? "
Because I might turn it to good account.
I know you are as afraid as death of Horace."
No, I am not cried Elsie indignantly, tbh
ch color rushing all over her fair face and
78 ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD.
neck ; for I know that he loves me dearly, and
if I had been disobeying or deceiving him 1
w? uld far sooner throw myself (af his mercy than
You would, eh? How mad you are; yceu
ace is as red as a beet. A pretty sort of
kChristian you are, aren't you ?"
"I am not perfect, Arthur; but you mustn't
judge of religion by me."
"I shall, though. Don't you wish I'd go
away ?" he added, teasingly, again snatching at
But she eluded his grasp, and rising, stooa
before him with an air of gentle dignity. Yes,"
she said, since you ask me, I'll own that I dc
I don't know why it is that, though your man*
ners are polished when you choose to make them
so, you are always rude and ungentlemanly to
me when you find me alone. So I shall be very
glad if you'll just go away and leave me to soli-
tude and the enjoyment of my book."
"I'll do so when I get ready; not a minute
sooner. But you can get rid of me just as soon
as you Ake. I see you take. Yes, I want that
money I asked you for yesterday, and I am Dound
tc have it."
"Arthur, my answer must be just the aram
that it was then; I can give you no other."
You're the meanest girl aJve To my cer
tain knowledge you are worth at least a millioD
and a half, and yet you refuse to lend me the pitt
iful sum of fifty dollars."
"Arthur, you know I have no choice in Lhe
matter. Papa has forbidden me to lend you
money without his knowledge and consent, and
I cannot disobey him."
When did he forbid you ?"
A long while ago; and though he has said
nothing about it lately, he has told me again and
again that his commands are always binding
until he revokes them."
Fifteen years old, and not allowed to do as
you please even with your pocket money I he
said contemptuously. Do you expect to be in
reading-strings all your life ?"
"I shall of course have control of my own
money matters on coming of age ; but I expect
to obey my father as long as we both live," she
answered, with gentle but firm decision.
Do you have to show your balance in hand
when you give in your account ?"
No; do you suppose papa cannot trust my
word ?" she answered, somewhat indignantly.
Then you could manage it just as
easily as not. There's no occasion for him to
know whether your balance in hand is at that
moment in your possession or mine ; as I told you
before, I only want to borrow it for two weeks.
Come, let me have it. If you don't, the day will
come when you'll wish you had."
ELSIE S GIRLHOOD.
She repeated her refusal; he grew very
angry and abusive, and at length went so far
as to strike her.
A quick step sounded on the gravel walk, a
strong grasp was laid on Arthur's arm, he felt
himself suddenly jerked aside and flung upon his
knees, while a perfect rain of stinging, smarting
blows descended rapidly upon his back and
"There, you unmitigated scoundrel, you mean,
miserable caitiff; lay your hand upon her again
if you dare !" cried Mr. Travilla, finishing the
castigation by applying the toe of his boot to
Arthur's nether parts with a force that sent him
reeling some distance down the walk, to fall with
a heavy thud upon the ground.
The lad rose, white with rage, and shook his
fist at his antagonist. I1ll strike her when I
please," he said with an oath, and not be called
to account by you for it either; she's my neice,
and nothing to you."
I'll defend her nevertheless, and see to it
that you come to grief if you attempt to harm
her in any way whatever. Did he hurt you
much, my child?" And Mr. Travilla's tone
changed to one of tender concern as he burned
and addressed Elsie, who had sunk pale and
trembling upon the rustic seat where Arthur had
"No, sir, but I fear you have hurt him a good
deal, in your kind zeal for my defence," she an-
swered, looking after Arthur, as he limped away
down the path.
I have broken my cane, that is the wcrst
f it," said her protector coolly, looking regret-
fully down at the fragment he still held in his
You must have struck very hard, and oh,
Mr. Travilla, what if he should take it into his
head to challenge you ?" and Elsie turned pale
Never fear; he is too arrant a coward for
that; he knows I am a good shot, and that, as the
challenged party, I would have the right to the
choice of weapons."
But you wouldn't fight, Mr. Travilla? you
do not approve of duelling ?"
No, no indeed, Elsie; both the laws of
God and of the land are against it, and I oould
not engage in it either as a good citizen or s
Oh I am so glad of that, and that you came
,) my rescue; for I was really growing fright-
ened, Arthur seemed in such a fury with me."
What was it about ? "
Elsie explained, then asked how he had hap
opened to come to her aid.
I had learned from the servants, that your
father and mother were both out, so came here
in search of you," he said. "As I drew near I
EL SIE 'S GIRLHO 1OD.
saq that Arthur was with you, and not wishing
to overhear your talk, I waited at a little distance
up there on the bank, watching you through the
trees. I perceived at once that he was in a tow,
ering passion, and fearing he would ill-treat you
in some way, I held myself in readiness to come
to your rescue ; and when I saw him strike you,
such a fury suddenly came over me that I could
not possibly refrain from thrashing him for it."
Mr. Travilla, you will not tell papa ? she
My child, I am inclined to think he ought to
hear of it."
Oh, why need he ? It would make him very
atcrry with Arthur."
Which Arthur richly deserves. I think
year father should know, in order that he may
take measures for your protection. Still, if you
promise not to ride or walk out alone until
Arthur has left the neighborhood, it shall be as
you wish. But you must try to recover your
composure, or your papa will be sure to ask the
cause of your agitation. You are trembling
very much, and the color has quite forsaken your
I'll try," she said, making a great effort to
control herself, and I give you the promise."
This is a very pleasant place to sit with
book or work," he remarked, "but I would ad.
vise yoL not even to come here alone again till
Arxthu has gone."
ELSIE 'S GIRLHOOD.
Thank you, sir, I think I shall follow ycur
advice. It will be only a few weeks now till .ae
and Walter both go North to college."
I see you have your book with you," he
said, taking it up from the seat where it lay.
" How do you like it ?"
Oh, so much How I pity poor Ellen for
having such a father, so different from my dear
papa; and because she had to be separated from
her mamma, whom she loved so dearly. I can't
read about her troubles without crying, Mr.
Shall I tell you a secret," he said, smiling;
"I shed some tears over it myself." Then he
went on talking with her about the different
characters of the story, thus helping her to re-
cover her composure by turning her thoughts
from herself and Arthur.
When, half an hour later, a servant came to
summon her to the house, with the announce-
ment that her father had returned and was ready
to hear her recitations, all signs of agitation had
disappeared; she had ceased to tremble, and
her fair face was as sweet, bright and rosy as its
She rose instantly on hearing the summons,
uYou'll excuse me, I krow, Mr. Travillk. But
wi'1 you not go in with me? We are always
glad to have you with us. I have no need to tell
you that, I am sure.'
EL SIE 'S GIRLHOOD
Thank you," he said, 'but I must return tc
IoL now. I shall walk to the house with you
though, if you will permit me," he added, think-
ing that Arthur might be still lurking somewhere
within the grounds.
She answered gayly that she would be very
glad of his company. She had lost none of her
old liking for her father's friend, and was wont
to treat him with the easy and affectionate famil-
iarity she might have used had he been her
They continued their talk till they had reach-
ed the lawn at the side of the house on which
her apartments were; then he turned to bid her
"I'm much obliged I" she said, taking his
offered hand, and looking up brightly into his
"Welcome, fair lady; but am I to be dis-
missed without any reward for my poor services ?"
I have none to offer, sir knight, but you
may help yourself if you choose," she said, laugh-
ing and blushing, for she knew very well what
He stooped and snatched a kiss from her ruby
hps, then walked away sighing softly to himself
* Ah, little Elsie, if I were but ten years younger!"
She tripped across the lawn, and entering
the open door of her boudoir, found herself in
her father's arms iTe had witnessed the little
EI SIE S WtRLHOO)W.
scene just enacted between Mr. Travilla and her-
self, had noticed something in his friend's look
and manner that had never struck him before.
He folded his child close to his heart for an
instant, then held her off a little, gazing fondly
into her face.
"You are mine; you belong to me; no other
earthly creature has the least shadow of a right
or title in you ; do you know that?"
Yes, papa, and rejoice to know it," she mur-
mured, putting her arms about his neck and lay-
ing her head against his breast.
"Ahl" he said, sighing, "you will not
always be able to say that, I fear. One of these
days you will"- He broke off abruptly, with-
out finishing his sentence.
She looked up inquiringly into his face.
He answered her look with a smile and a
tender caress. I had better not put the non-
sense into your head: it will get there soon
enough without my help. Come now, let us have
the lessons. I expect to find them well prepared,
"I hope so, papa," she answered, bringing
her books and seating herself on a stool at his
feet, he having taken possession of an easy
The recitations seemed a source of kees
enjoyment to both; the one loving to impart
and the other to receive, knowledge.
ELSIE 'S GIRLHIOOE.
Mr. Dinsmore gave the deserved meed of
warm praise for the faithful preparation of each
allotted task, prescribed those for the coming
day, and the books were laid aside.
Come here, daughter," he said, as she closed
her desk upon them, I have something to say
What is it, papa ?" she asked, seating her-
self upon his knee. How very grave you look."
But there was not a touch of the old fear in her
face or voice, as there had been none in his of
the old sternness.
Yes, for I am about to speak of a serious
matter," he answered, gently smoothing back
the clustering curls from her fair brow, wnile he
looked earnestly into the soft brown eyes.
"You have not been lending money to Arthur,
The abrupt, unexpected question startled her,
and a crimson tide rushed over her face and
neck; but she returned her father's gaze stead-
ily: No, papa; how could you think I would
disobey you so ?"
"I did not, darling, and yet I felt that I
must ask the question and repeat my warning,
my command to you-never to do so without my
Knowledge and consent. Your grandfather and
I are much troubled about the boy."
"I am so sorry, papa; I hope he has not been
doing anything very bad"
ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD. 8S
He seems to have sufficient cunning to hide
many of his evil deeds," Mr. Dinsmore said, with
a sigh; "yet enough has come to light to con-
vince us that he is very likely to become a shame
and disgrace to his family. We know that he is
profane, and to some extent, at least, intemperate
and a gambler. A sad, sad beginning for a boy
of seventeen. And to furnish him with money,
Elsie, would be only to assist him in his down-
"Yes, papa, I see that. Poor grandpa, I'm so
sorry for him! But, papa, God can change
Arthur's heart, and make him all we could
"Yes, daughter, and we will agree together
to ask Him to do this great work, so impossible
to any human power; shall we not ? "
Yes, papa." They were silent a moment ;
then she turned to him again, told of Lucy Car.
rington's call and its object, and asked if she
might accept the invitation.
lIe considered a moment. "Yes," he said
kindly, 'you may if you wish. You quite de-
serve a holiday, and I think perhaps would really
be the better of a week's rest from study. Go
and enjoy yourself as much as you can, my dar-
Thank you, you dearest, kindest, and best
of papas," she said, giving him a hug and kiss.
SBut I think you look a little bit sorry. You
88 ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD.
would rather I should stay at home, if I could
content myself to do so, and it would be a strange
thing if I could not."
No, my pet, I shall miss you, I know ; the
house always seems lonely without you; but I
can spare you for a week, and would rather have
you go, because I think the change will do you
good. Besides, I am willing to lend my treasure
for a few days to our friends at Ashlands. I
would gladly do more than that, if I could, for
that poor suffering Herbert."
"HBo many pleasant faces shed their light on every elde."
REMEMBER it is for only one week; you must
be back again next Wednesday by ten o'clock; I
can't spare you an hour longer," Mr. Dinsmore
said, as the next morning, shortly after breakfast,
he assisted his daughter to mount her pony.
"Ten o'olock at night, papa ? asked Elsie in
a gay, jesting tone, as she settled herself in the
saddle, and took a little gold-mounted riding
whip from his hand.
"No, ten A. M., precisely."
"But what if it should be storming, sir ?
"Then come as soon as the storm is over."
"Yes sir; and may I come sooner if I get
Just as soon as you please. Now good-bye,
my darling. Don't go into any danger. I know
I need not remind you to do nothing your father
"I hope not, papa," she said, with a loving
look into the eyes that were gazing so fondly
ELSIE'S GIRLIIO OD.
upon her Then kissing her hand to him and
her mamma and little Horace, who stood on the
veranda to see her off, she turned her horse's
head and cantered merrily away, taking the
road to Ashlands on passing out at the gate.
It was a bright, breezy morning, and her
heart felt so light and gay that a snatch of glad
song rose to her lips. She warbled a few bird-
like notes, then fell to humming softly to her-
At a little distance down the road a light
wagon was rumbling along, driven by one of the
man-servants from the Oaks, and carrying Aunt
Chloe and her young mistress' trunks.
"Come Jim," said Elsie, glancing over her
shoulder at her attendant satellite, "we must
pass them. Glossy and I are in haste to-day.
Ah, mammy, are you enjoying your ride ?" she
called to her old nurse as she cantered swiftly
Yes, dat I is, honey!" returned the old
woman. Then sending a loving, admiring look
after the retreating form so full of symmetry and
grace, "My bressed chile!" she murmured,
"you's beautiful as de morning your ole mammy
tinks, an' sweet as de finest rose in de garden;
bright an' happy as de day am long, too."
"D)e beautifullest in all de country, an de
finest," chimed in her charioteer.
The young people at Ashlands were all out