Group Title: Golden ladder series
Title: Little sunbeams
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027877/00001
 Material Information
Title: Little sunbeams
Series Title: Golden ladder series
Physical Description: vii, 551, 16 p., 6 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mathews, Joanna H ( Joanna Hooe ), 1849-1901
Evans, Edmund, 1826-1905 ( Engraver )
James Nisbet and Co. (London, England) ( Publisher )
Murray and Gibb ( Printer )
Publisher: James Nisbet and Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Murray and Gibbs
Publication Date: 1874
 Subjects
Subject: Girls -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1874   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1874   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1874
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Joanna H. Matthews.
General Note: Plates printed in colors and engraved by E. Evans.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027877
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002233965
notis - ALH4382
oclc - 60551816

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LITTLE SUNBEAMS








BY


JOANNA H. MATTHEWS,
AUTHOR OF MAGGIE AND BESSIE,' BESSIE AT SCHOOL,' 'BESSIE
IN TOWN,' VIOLET'S IDOL, ETC. ETC. ETC.












LONDON:
JAMES NISBET AND CO., 21, BERNERS STREET.
1874.











































MURRAY AND GIBB, EDINBURGH,
PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.


















CONTENTS.





BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

PAGE
I. BELLE AND HER PAPA, 1
II. AN EXCITEMENT, 10
III. AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE, 19
IV. SUNLIGHT, 29
V. A DAY WITH MAGGIE AND BESSIE, 38
VI. PROVERB-PICTURES, 47
VII. MABEL'S NEW WHIM, 56
VIII. THE LOCKET, 64
IX. BELLE'S MISFORTUNE, 72
X. A TERRIBLE LOSS, 81
XI. BELLE'S GRIEF, 89
XII. CONFESSION AND REPENTANCE, 99
XIII. MABEL'S GENEROSITY, 108
XIV. FOUND, 121


---*--


DORA'S MOTTO.

I. TWO LITTLE SISTERS, 137
II. TRIFLES, 147







vi CONTENTS.


PAGE
III. DORA'S GIFT, 156
IV. THE SECRET SOCIETY, 163
V. POLITERS AND ANTI-POLITERS, 171
VI. WHITE AND BLACK, 180
VII. EXAMPLE, 191
VIII. MRS. ASHTON'S LESSON, 197
IX. THE NEW BOOK, 206
X. FAMILY JARS AND FAMILY COURTESIES, 216
XI. MRS. ASHTON AND BELLE, 226
XII. A SLEIGH RIDE, 236
XIII. A DAY AT GRANDPAPA'S, 245
XIV, 'REAL HARM,' 254
XV. JENNIE'S REMORSE, 263

--^---r--


LILY NORRIS' ENEMY.


I. THE QUAKER LADY, 273
II. A MONKEY, A PUPPY, AND A BEGGAR, 284
III. THE SILVER INKSTAND, 296
IV. LILY'S PROVERB-PICTURE, 308
V. PROMISING, 317
VI. BUT OT PERFORMING, 27
VII. WHAT CAME OF THAT, 339
VIII. A LITTLE TALK, 352
IX. SATURDAY MORNING'S WORK, 361
X. SATURDAY AFTERNOON'S PLAY, 373
XI. A SAD ACCIDENT, 385
XII. LILY'S NEW RESOLVE, 398






CONTENTS. Vll


JESSIE'S PARROT.
PAGE
I. THE NEW SCHOLAR, 413
II. AN EXCURSION, 426
TII. JESSIE AND HER GRANDFATHER, 438
IV. THE PARROT, 448
V. GRANDMAMMA HOWARD, 460
VI. JEALOUSY, 472
"VII. A MISFORTUNE, 483
VIII. 'THE SPIDER AND THE FLY,' 494
IX. A GUILTY CONSCIENCE, 506
X. A GAME OF CHARACTERS, 518
XI. CONFESSION, 528
XII. THE FAIR, 539









BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.



I.

BELLE AND HER PAPA.

DEAR little Belle!
There she sat upon a low stool, doll and picture-book
lying unheeded at her feet, as she watched the slanting
beams of light which streamed in between the crimson
curtains, and poured life and gladness over all within
the pleasant room. There she sat, watching them
thoughtfully, yet with a half-smile upon her lips, as
they travelled slowly and steadily from spot to spot,
now over the carpet, now up the tablecloth, now touch-
ing the gilded mirror-frame, and making it flash with
added brightness, and now falling softly on a vase of
lovely flowers, and bringing out their brilliant colours
in new and more perfect beauty. And now, in their
noiseless but busy march, they fell upon her own little
self, the brightest and sunniest thing in all the room to
the loving eyes which watched her.
'What is my darling thinking of .' asked Mr. Powers,
breaking the stillness.
In an instant Belle was upon his knee and nestling
close to him; but she did not answer his question till it
was repeated.
'What were you thinking of, my daughter V' he asked
A







3 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

again, laying his hand fondly on the little round head,
with its short, dark rings of hair.
'About sunbeams, papa,' answered the child, turning
her eyes again upon the bar of light, which was now
quivering and shimmering among and over the prisms
of the chandelier above their heads.
'Ay, they are very pretty,' said her father.
'But it was not about those sunbeams, papa, though
they did make the thinking come into my head. It
was about being a sunbeam. I would like to be a little
sunbeam, papa.'
'And so you may, and so you are, my darling,' said
the father. 'You are papa's little sunbeam, the brightest
sunbeam he has on earth; and his way would be very
dark and sad without you.'
'Yes, papa,' said Belle; 'you mean I am your com-
fort; and you are my sunbeam, papa, because you are my
comfort. But I was thinking I would like to be a sun-
beam to other people too. I wonder if I could! Maggie
Bradford says I could.'
'I am sure you could, darling.'
'Maggie does say such nice things, papa; and so does
Bessie; and sometimes, when a thing does not seem very
pleasant, or as if I would like to do it, they talk about it
so that it seems very nice indeed, and so very right, that
I feel in a great hurry to do it,-that is, if I do not feel
naughty. For do you know, papa,'-and Belle's voice
took a mournful tone,-' do you know, sometimes I am
so very naughty that I feel like doing a thing just because
I know I oughtn't. Papa, could you have believed that
of me '
'Yes,' said Mr. Powers, smiling; I could believe that
of any one, Belle.'





BELLE AND HER PAPA. 3

'Could you, papa ?' said Belle solemnly. 'Well, that
does make me a great relief; for when I used to get,
good again after I had been so naughty as that, I used
to think I must be almost the wickedest child that ever
lived. But one day, when I told Maggie and Bessie
about it, Maggie said sometimes she felt that way too;
and then we made each other promise to keep it a great
secret, and never tell anybody.'
'And so you keep your promise by telling me V' said
her father.
'Oh, papa! we didn't mean our fathers and mothers.
We don't think you're anybody.'
'Thank you,' replied her father, taking the compli-
ment as it was meant, though somewhat amused at her
way of putting it. 'That is right, dear. It is better for
little children not to mean their fathers and mothers
when they promise not to "tell anybody."'
'Yes, papa. And then, you see, you have nobody but
me to tell you secrets, so I would feel too badly not to
do it. But I want to know about being a sunbeam,
papa,-how I can be a sunbeam to almost everybody, or
to a good many people.'
'What did Maggie Bradford say about it 1' asked Mr.
Powers; 'let me hear that.'
Why, it was yesterday, when I was spending the day
with Maggie and Bessie,' answered Belle; 'and it was
cloudy, and the sun came out from the clouds, and Maggie
said- Papa, Maggie is the smartest child. And do you
know what I heard Mrs. Norris say about her ? She said
Maggie had quite a-quite a-a-talent-that was the
word-quite a talent for poetry. Are you not very glad,
papa, that my in-sep-ara-ble has a talent for poetry? Don't
you think that is a pretty nice thing for a child to have V'







4 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'Very nice; and I am indeed.happy that my Belle has
such a talented friend,' said Mr. Powers, who knew that
he could not please his little daughter more than by join-
ing in the praise and admiration she showered upon her
young friends and playmates, Maggie and Bessie Brad-
ford. 'Very nice indeed. But still I do not hear what
Maggie said about the sunbeams.'
'Well, such a beautiful sunbeam came out of the cloud,
papa And it made everything look so bright and plea-
sant, even though the clouds were there yet; and I said
if I wasn't myself, I would like to be a sunbeam, because
every one was so glad to see it, and it seemed to make
things so bright and happy; and then Maggie said we
could be ourselves and sunbeams too. Not really, true
sunbeams, you know; but like sunbeams, to make all
bright and glad about us. And she said we did that
when we helped each other, or when we tried to make
sorry people feel glad, and comforted them, or did a kind
thing that made some one feel nice and happy. And
Bessie and I were very proud of her for saying such a
nice thing as that, papa; and we begged her to make
some poetry about it, and she -made one verse. And then
Bessie said she believed we could be sunbeams for Jesus
if we chose; and she coaxed Maggie to make another
verse about that, and we learned it. Shall I say them
to you, papa V
'Certainly,' said her father; and Belle repeated the
following simple lines, which she evidently thought very
beautiful:
SI wish I was a sunbeam,
To sparkle all the day,
And make all glad and happy
Who came across my way.





BELLE AND HER PAPA. 5

SI'd like to shine for Jesus,
And show to every one
That all my light and brightness
Did come from Him, my Sun.'

'There, what do you think of that, papa ?' she asked
in a tone of triumph, which showed her own delight and
pride in her little friend's composition.
'I think it very fair for a nine-years-old girl,' answered
her father.
'I think it is beautiful,' said Belle. Maggie writes
lots and lots of poetry, and she copies it all. Some of it
is religious poetry, and she puts that in one book, called
"Bradford's Divine Songs," and she puts the unreligious
in another, called "Bradford's Moral Poems," and Bessie
and I learn a great deal of them. They're capital, and
she is such a clever child. Bessie says she is.'
If Bessie said a thing, it must be so, according to
Belle's thinking, and her father did not dispute the fact.
Belle went on-
'And that is the kind of a sunbeam I would like to be,
papa, because I suppose that is the best kind,--to have
the light and brightness come from Jesus; and it would
make me nicer and pleasanter to every one.'
'Yes, my darling !'
'But I don't 'see how I am to be much of a sunbeam
to any one but you, papa. Maggie and Bessie seem to
know how, without any one telling them; but I don't
know so very well. They are my sunbeams, next to
you, I know that. Are they not, papa ?'
"Yes, indeed, my daughter. God bless them!' said
her father, speaking from his heart, as he remembered
all that these two dear little girls had been to his mother-
less child,-what true 'sunbeams' they had proved to
iI






6 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

her, cheering and brightening the young life which had
been so early darkened by her great loss. Gay, bright,
and happy themselves, they were not only willing, but
anxious, to pour some of the sunshine of their own joy-
ous hearts into those of others who had not so many
blessings.
All this, and more than this, had her young friends
done for the lonely little Belle,-not only bringing back
the light to her saddened eye, and the smiles to her once
pitiful face, but also giving her a new interest, by awaken-
ing in her the wish to shed some happy rays on the lot
of others, and leading her, by the shining of their own
example, to become more obedient, gentle, and unselfish
than she had ever been before.
'Daphne told me I shall have a great quantity of
money when I am a great lady, continued Belle; 'and
then I should think I could be a sunbeam to ever so
many people, and do ever so much to make them glad
and happy. I'll build a room-oh, ever so big!-and
bring into it all the lame, and deaf, and blind, and poor
people, and make them have such a nice time-the
good ones, I mean. I won't have any naughty people,
that do bad things. I shan't be a sunbeam to them, or
have them in my sunbeam home. No, nor the disagree-
able ones either, who don't have nice manners or be
pleasant. I'll take ugly people, because they can't help
it. But everybody can be pleasant and polite if they
choose, and I shan't help the old things who are not.'
But that is not the way Jesus wants us to feel, dear.
When He was here on earth, He taught us that we must
try to do good to all, that we might be the children of
our Father in Heaven, who, He tells us, "makes His
sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain





BELLE AND HER PAPA. 7

on the just and the unjust." Do you know what that
means '
'Yes, papa, I believe so,' answered Belle, half unwill-
ingly; 'I suppose it means I ought to try to be a sun-
beam to disagreeable people, just the same as if they
were pleasant.'
'Belle,' said Mr. Powers, do you remember the story
Mrs. Rush told you of Lem and Dolly, those naughty,
unkind children who treated your little friends so badly,
and who were so disagreeable and rude in every way,
both in looks and behaviour V'
Oh yes, indeed!' answered' Belle, in quite a differ-
ent tone from that she had last used. 'I never could
forget that story; and now I do see what you mean,
papa. Maggie and Bessie were sunbeams to poor Lem
and Dolly, for all they were so very naughty to them.'
'Yes, dear; and they lighted the path to Jesus, so
that Dolly found the way to Him before she was taken
from this world. And by all that we hear, it may be that
some ray of light has fallen across poor Lem's way too.'
'Yes,' said Belle eagerly; and the other day Maggie
and Bessie's papa had a letter from the captain of the
ship in which Lem is a sailor, and he said he was a reaiiy
good boy, and tried to do rightly all he could. But,
papa, you see I don't know any very dirty, ragged,
horrid children to be a sunbeam to; so what shall I do ?
I suppose when I say my prayers I could ask God to let
there be some for me. I'll ask Him to-night to let there
be six dirty beggars, three boys and three girls, that I
can be good and kind to, and show the way to Him.
Wouldn't that be a good plan, papa ?'
Well, I think I would hardly do that,' said her father,
smiling. 'There is quite enough of misery in the world






8 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

without asking for more only that we may cure it; and
some of it is pretty sure to come in your way. But any
little child may in her daily life shed light and brightness
around her, even though it does not happen to her to
find any such special work as was given to your Maggie
and Bessie; and with the will and heart to do it, I think
my Belle will be a sunbeam indeed to all with whom she
has to do.'
Now, as you may not know the story of which Belle
and her father were speaking, you may like to hear some-
thing about it, and you shall have it in a few words.
These two little girls, Maggie and Bessie Bradford, the
young friends of whom Belle thought so much, went one
summer to spend the season among the mountains; and,
while there, fell in with two poor, neglected, and wicked
children, named Lem and Dolly Owen. From these
children, who seemed to love mischief and wickedness
for their own sake, and to feel a spite toward all who
were better off than themselves, Maggie and Bessie, and
indeed all their family, had much to bear. Every petty
annoyance and vexation which they could invent was
tried by Lem and Dolly to trouble and grieve those who
had never injured them. But although it did cost them
a hard struggle, the two dear little girls had forgiven all
this, and so won upon the miserable outcasts, by the
sweet, forgiving kindness they had shown, that the latter
were at last brought to look upon them as friends, and
to feel sorry for all the evil they had done to them. Nor
was this all. For by their simple teachings and bright
example they had pointed out to poor sick Dolly the
way to Jesus; and before she died she was led to His
feet, and knew that He could save her and take her to
dwell with Him. So, happy and trusting, she had gone





BELLE AND HER PAPA. 9

from a world where she had known little but misery, to
that other and better home where sin and suffering never
come; while Lem, softened partly by his sister's death,
had been put under the care of kind Mr. Porter for a
while, and was now, as you have learned from Belle's
words, gone as a sailor boy, with a prospect and promise
of doing well.
All this, and much more which it is not necessary to
repeat,-since, if you choose, you may learn all about it
in a little book called Bessie among the Mountains,-had
been told to Belle by some of Maggie's and Bessie's older
friends, and had, if possible, increased her love and admi-
ration for them. She had received such tenderness and
affection from them herself, this motherless little one,
and their friendship had brought her such new happiness
and comfort, that it was not surprising that she did in-
deed look upon them as her sunbeams next to papa,'
and love them with her whole heart.
Whether Belle and her papa would have talked much
more cannot be told, for now they were interrupted by
a knock at the door; and when Mr. Powers said, Come
in,' a waiter obeyed, bringing a note directed to-
Miss BELLE POWERS,
Care of her Papa,
In the hotel,
U. S. of America,
New York.'
Happily this note had not gone by post, but had been
brought by one servant-man who knew for whom it was
intended, and had given it to another, who brought it
directly to the young lady whose name it bore. Other-
wise I think it just possible that it might never have
reached her.






10 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.




II.

AN EXCITEMENT.

"THAT is Maggie's writing,' said Belle, seizing eagerly
upon the note as the man handed it to her. I suppose
it is about something nice-Maggie's notes always are-
Bessie's too. Please read it to me, papa.'
Mr. Powers did as he was asked; and when Belle had
opened the envelope, which was a part of the business
she must of course attend to for herself, read aloud these
words, written in Maggie Bradford's large, round hand :
'OH, MY DEAR, DARLING BELLE,-We are so glad-
Bessie and I are-that your papa has made up his mind
not to take you away to your home in the south this
winter. And not to have you go in that horrid steamer,
and sail with monsters of the deep, and be sea-sick, which
is such a horrible fate that I could not wish it of my
worst enemy, of which I hope I have none in this world
or that which is to come. And because we are so glad
about it we wanted to have a public rejoicing, and mamma
says we may; and if you don't know what a public rejoic-
ing is, it means when people are very glad about some-
thing, and want other people to be glad too, and so they
make a great fuss, and have something very nice. Aid
so in the present case mamma says you can come and
make the public rejoicing with us to-morrow afternoon,
and Lilly Norris is coming too, and Nellie and Carrie
Ransom. And mamma is going to let us have a very nice
supper and some mottoes, of which she knows you are





AN EXCITEMENT. 11
-4
fond, as I suppose are all mankind, or ought to be if they
have any sense, and we think she is the very dearest
mamma that ever lived, and I hope I shall be her grateful
child, as I am yours till death, and Bessie the same.
MAGGIE STANTON BRADFORD.'

'Oh yes, I'll go of course I will,' said Belle, clapping
her hands as her father finished reading the note, and
too much accustomed to going and coming to-and from
Mrs. Bradford's house as she pleased, to think it neces-
sary to ask permission. 'Of course I'll go. And, papa,
isn't this a lovely note ? and isn't Maggie a very clever
child to write so nicely ? I think she writes just as good
notes and letters as great people; yes, I think hers are a
good deal more interesting than great people's. And she
makes me understand everything too. I'm glad she told
me what a public rejoicing was, because I didn't know
before. And isn't that nice and pretty about not going
away and monsters of the deep ?'
But you must send your answer. Patrick is waiting,'
said Mr. Powers.
'Oh, to be sure,' said Belle. 'Please write it for me,
papa;' and accordingly her father wrote as she dic-
tated :-

DEAR MAGGIE AND BESSIE,-I think I will; and I
thank you very much for making a public rejoicing, and
mottoes and all. Your mamma is so good; and I love
her and you, and hope I'll be a sunbeam to everybody.
Good-bye.-Your own dear
BELLE.'

On the afternoon of the next day Belle was taken to






12 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

the home of her young playmates by Daphne, the old
coloured nurse who took care of her. She was in very
good time, you may be sure; for she insisted on going
immediately after her own early dinner, and Daphne
was too much accustomed to giving her her own way in
all things to dream of disputing her wish.
The preparations for the 'public rejoicing' were not
quite finished, as might have been expected. But that
did not much matter where Belle was concerned, for she
was so much with the little Bradfords that they looked
upon her almost as one of their own family; and she was
at once called upon by Maggie to 'help with the arrange-
ments,' which she was quite ready to do.
'Mamma hasn't had time to buy the mottoes yet,' said
Maggie, 'because she couldn't go out this morning; but
she is going now, and says we are to go with her.
Don't you want to come too, Belle ?'
Belle was only too glad; and as soon as Mrs. Bradford
was ready, the three little girls, Maggie, Bessie, and Belle,
set forth with her to make the important purchase.
As they were on their way to the store, Maggie, who
had skipped ahead to a corner they had to turn, came
running back with face all aglow, and eyes full of excite-
ment.
Oh, mamma !' she said, there's such a fuss round the
corner, and I'm afraid we'll have to pass it.'
'What is the trouble .' asked Mrs. Bradford.
'I don't know. But there's a crowd, and I saw a car-
riage and a policeman; and there's such a fuss !'
'Well,' said Bessie, who put the most unbounded faith
in policemen, 'if there's a policeman, I suppose he'll
settle it all rightly, won't he ?'
'But you see we'll have to pass it to reach the sweet-





AN EXCITEMENT. 13

stuff shop,' said Maggie. 'And maybe it's a drunken
man, or a horse, or an animal escaped out of the
menagerie, or a mad dog, or some other dreadful ex-
citement;' and she looked quite distressed as she finished
the list of horrors she had imagined.
'I think I can take care of you,' said her mother;
'and if there should be any danger, we will stop in at
grandmamma's till it is over.'
Thus consoled, but still clinging tight, to her mother's
hand, Maggie thought they might venture to go on; but
as soon as the corner was turned, it became quite plain
that there was no danger for them, though there was
indeed what she called a 'fuss.'
In the middle of the street was a marriage about which
a crowd had gathered, one of the horses having stumbled,
fallen, and broken his leg. On the side-walk stood a lady
in deep mourning, with a nurse, and a child about Bessie's
age, the latter screaming at the top of her voice, and
dancing up and down, seemingly partly in fear, partly in
anger, for she would not listen to her mother and nurse
when they tried to soothe her, but struck out her hands
passionately at the woman when she tried to draw her
away from her mother's side, so that the lady might find
opportunity to speak to those about her.
Oh, the poor little girl! just see how frightened she
is,' said Bessie.
I am afraid she is a little naughty too,' said her
mother, as the child gave another furious scream, and
stamped wildly with both her feet upon the pavement;
while the lady, who was plainly weak and nervous, drew
her hand across her forehead, as if the uproar her little
daughter was making was almost too much for her.
'But I must speak to the lady, and see if I can do any-






14 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

thing for her,' continued Mrs.- Bradford; and stepping
up to her, as she stood a little withdrawn from the
crowd, she said kindly, 'Can I be of any assistance to
you '
'No, thank you,' said the lady; 'I am not ill, only
startled. And-if Mabel would but be quiet and let me
speak and think.'
Mabel seemed inclined to do this now that she had
caught sight of the other children; for, ceasing her loud
screams, and standing still, she stared open-mouthed at
them.
'My house is but a few steps farther on. Will you
not come in and rest, and compose yourself .' asked Mrs.
Bradford of the stranger.
'No, thank you,' she answered again. 'I believe we
have but little farther to go. Is not the Hotel
near here ?'
'Only a street or two off,' replied Mrs. Bradford.
'Then we will walk on,' said the lady; and directing
the nurse to bring some shawls from the carriage, she
thanked Mrs. Bradford for her kindness, and taking the
hand of her little girl, would have gone on.
But this did. not please the child, who now, drawing
back sharply from her mother, said pettishly-
"No; I wan't to go to that lady's house and play with
those nice little girls.'
'But we're not going home. We are going to the
sweet-stuff shop to buy some mottoes,' said Belle.
When Mabel heard this, she said she wanted to go to
the sweet-stuff shop and buy mottoes too; and her
mother, who, it was plainly to be seen, gave way to her
in everything, said she might do so.
'But if I go and buy you mottoes, will you be a good






AN EXCITEMENT. 15

girl, and come with me-to find your uncle and little
cousin ?' asked the stranger lady.
Mabel promised, anxious now only to secure the
mottoes; and she and her mother and nurse followed
Mrs. Bradford and our little friends to the sweet-stuff shop.
Mrs. Bradford politely waited, and let the shopwoman
attend to the stranger first, for she.saw there would be
small chance of peace till the spoiled child had all she
desired.
All she desired! There seemed no end to that. Not
only Maggie and Bessie, but Belle also, who was accus-
tomed to the most unbounded indulgence, and to have
every wish gratified, stood amazed at the number and
quantity of dainties which Mabel demanded, and which
she was allowed to have. Parcel after parcel was put up
for her, till not only her own hands and those of her
already well-laden nurse were filled to overflowing, but
those of her mother also.
'Now do come, dear,' said the latter, when it was im-
possible that any one of the three could carry another
thing; let us go and see the little cousin, and she shall
share them with you.'
'No, she shan't,' whined Mabel. 'I don't want little
cousin, and I shan't have her now.'
'Well, never mind, then. She is such a nervous child,'
said her mother, turning to Mrs. Bradford. 'She shall
not tease you if you do not choose. Come, darling,
won't you, with poor mamma?'
But it took so much more promising and coaxing be-
fore the unruly child could be persuaded by her weary
but foolish mother to go on, that Mrs. Bradford made
her purchases, and quitted the store with her own little
flock, leaving Mabel still whining and fretting, and at the






16 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

last moment insisting upon having a sugar 'Temple of
Liberty,' which the shopwoman told her was not for sale,
but only put there for show.
'That's the most spoilt child I ever saw,' said Belle,
as they turned homewards, each little girl by her own
desire laden with a parcel.
'Yes,' said Maggie, 'she's just the kind of a child to
cry for the moon, and get it too, if she could; but she
couldn't. I'm glad,' she added, with an air of deep
wisdom, 'that our parents saw the error of their ways,
and didn't train us up that way. What are you laugh-
ing at, mamma '
But mamma made no answer; the reason of which
Maggie took to be that just at that moment she bowed
to a gentleman who was passing, and before she could
repeat her question Bessie spoke.
'I'm glad enough I'm not her little cousin she is going
to see. I'm sorry for her cousin.'
So am I,' said Belle. I wouldn't have such a cousin
as Mabel for anything. She's too horrible.'
You have a cousin named Mabel, though, haven't
you ?' asked Maggie.
'Yes, so I have; but then she's not one bit like that
Mabel, you know,' answered Belle.
'You never saw her, did you ?' asked Bessie.
'No, because she lives about a million thousand of
miles off, in Boston; but she is coming to see me some
time,' said Belle.
'But if you never saw her, how can you tell she is not
one bit like that child ?' asked Bessie.
'Why, how could she be demanded Belle, indig-
nantly. 'Her mamma is my papa's own sister, and he'd
never have such a foolish lady as that for his sister. I





AN EXCITEMENT. 17

think he wouldn't;' and Belle shook her head in a
manner which seemed to say that such an idea was to be
put out of the question at once.
'Yes; you know birds of a feather flock together,"'
said Maggie.
What does that mean ?' asked Bessie.
'Why,' answered Maggie slowly, as she considered
how she might make one of her favourite proverbs fit
the occasion, 'it means-well-it means-that. a foolish
mother is apt to have a foolish child, and things of that
kind. Do you understand, Bessie .'
'Oh yes,' said Bessie, looking at her sister with admir-
ing pride; 'you always make everything plain to under-
stand, Maggie. Doesn't she, Belle ?'
'Yes,' said Belle; 'she's an excellent interpreter.
And, Maggie, do you know I told papa what nice
things you said about being sunbeams, and told him
those verses you made; and oh! didn't he think it was
splendid !'
I don't believe Mabel is much of a sunbeam to her
people,' said Bessie. 'I'm afraid her mother doesn't
teach her to be.'
'No, indeed, I think she is not,' said Belle; and I
shouldn't want to be a sunbeam to her.'
But our Father in heaven makes His sun to shine on
the evil and on the good,' said' Mrs. Bradford softly..
'Does not my little Belle want to copy Him ?'
Just the words her father had used yesterday when
she was talking with him on this very subject. They
set Belle thinking; and she walked more quietly on
towards the house, trying to make up her mind if she
could be a sunbeam' to such a disagreeable child as the
one she had just seen.
B







18 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET

She had not quite decided when they reached Mrs.
Bradford's door, and there for the time her thoughts
were taken up with her play and playmates.
But Mrs. Bradford was rather amused when, one of
the dolls being supposed to have behaved badly, Belle
was overheard to say-
This child must be punished severely, she is so very
nervous.

I






AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE. 19





III.

AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE.

THE public rejoicing' had not nearly come to an end,
when, at a much earlier hour than she was accustomed
to go home, Belle saw Daphne entering the play-room.
Daphne's turbaned head was thrown back, and her lips
pursed up in a manner which showed Belle that she was
not pleased with something or some one. But whatever
might be the cause of the old nurse's displeasure, Belle
knew well enough that it wotld never be visited on her;
and Daphne's appearance just at the moment when she
was so delightfully engaged did not suit her at all.
'You haven't come to take me home already she
said.
'But I has, honey; more's de shame,' said Daphne,
with a look of mingled pity and affection at her little
mistress, while a chorus of exclamations arose from all
the children.
'I shan't go now! It's too early,' said Belle. 'Why,
it isn't near dark, Daphne. Did papa send you ?'
'S'pose he tinks he did,' replied Daphne; 'but I specs
dere's a new missis come to han', what tinks she's going
to turn de worl' upside down. 'Pears like it.'
'What'?' said Belle, not understanding such mys-
terious hints, yet seeing something was wrong; and Mrs.
Bradford asked, 'What are you talking about, Daphne .'
'I'se been bidden to hol' my tongue, and I neber talks






20 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

if I ain't got leave,' answered Daphne, with another toss
of her turban and several displeased sniffs.
'But you're talking now, only we don't know what it's
about,' said Bessie.
To this Daphne made no answer, except by closing
her eyes in a resigned manner, and giving a sigh which
seemed to come from her very shoes.
'I shan't go home, anyhow,' said Belle; 'the party
isn't near out.'
'Not when papa wants you, dear ?' said Mrs. Bradford
gently.
Belle gave a sigh, which sounded like the echo of
Daphne's; but she made no further objection when
her nurse brought her hat and prepared to put it on.
Daphne clapped on the hat, giving a snap to the elastic
which fastened it that really hurt the child, though she
was far from intending to do so. Then she seized her in
both arms and gave her a loud, sounding kiss.
'You just 'member you allus got yer ole mammy,
whatever else you loses, my honey,' she said. By this
time not only little Belle and the other children, but
Mrs. Bradford also, thought something dreadful must
have happened; although the latter did know that
Daphne was sometimes foolish, and very apt to make
a mountain out of a molehill.
'What's the matter? Where's my papa said Belle
in a frightened tone. 'Is he lost ?'
'He's safe in de hotel, dear,' said Daphne. She never
condescended to say home. 'Home' was far away, down
on the dear old Georgia plantation. 'He's safe in de
hotel; that is, if somebody ain't worrit de eyes out his
head or de head off his shoulders. You come along,
Miss Belle, 'fore all yer tings is gone to rack an' ruin.'





AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE. 21

'What is the matter, Daphne said Mrs. Brad
ford.
'I telled yer, missis, I ain't got leave for talk; an'
I neber breaks orders, no way. But I'se been for-
getten. Dere's a letter what Massa Powers send you;'
and diving into the depths of her enormous pocket,
Daphne produced a note, which she handed to Mrs.
Bradford. The lady opened and read it; while Belle
watched her, fearing some evil. But Mrs. Bradford
smiled and looked rather pleased, and said to Belle-
'It is all right, darling. Run home now; papa has a
great pleasure for you.'
It would be impossible to express the length and depth
of the sniff with which Daphne heard this; but Belle did
not notice it, and was now rather in haste to say good-
bye and to go to her papa.
'I wouldn't say anything more if I were you, Daphne,
said Mrs. Bradford, following them out to the head of the
stairs.
'Dear! I ain't said nothing missis,' said Daphne.
Didn't her pa forbid it 7 on'y some folks is so blin'.'
'Who's blind ? Not papa ?' said Belle.
'It am a kin' of spirit blin'ness I'se speaking' ob,
honey,' said Daphne. 'Talk ob spilin' chillen, indeed!
Dere's some what's so bad by natur', you couldn't make
'em no wuss if you tried all de days ob yer life.'
With which she disappeared, banging the front door
after.Belle and herself with a force which told that she
was anxious for some object on which she might safely
vent her displeasure.
Belle talked and questioned all the way home, but
received for answer only the same mysterious and alarm-
ing hints; till the child hardly knew whether to believe






22 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

that something dreadful had taken place, or that she was
going home to the promised pleasure.
'Now, Miss Belle,' said the foolish old woman, as they
crossed the hall on which Mr. Powers' rooms opened,
'you min' I ain't goin' for let you be snubbed and kep'
under. You come and tell yer ole mammy ebery ting;
an' I'll fight yer battles, if de French nusses is got sich
fly-away caps on der heads.'
So she opened the door of their own parlour; and
Belle, feeling a little worried and a little cross at the
interruption to her afternoon's pleasure, passed in.
What did she see 3
Upon the sofa, beside her papa, sat a lady dressed in
deep mourning; and upon his knee-was it possible 3-
yes, upon papa's knee, in her own proper place, was a
little girl, quite at her ease, and sitting as if she had a
right and belonged there. And-could it be ?-Belle
took a second look-it really was the child who had
been so naughty and shown herself so spoiled. She
stood for a moment near the door, utterly *amazed, and
speechless with displeasure.
Now Belle was what is called a generous child,-that
is, she would readily give away or share what she had
with others; but she was-jealous of the affection of those
she loved, especially of her papa's. He was her own, her
very own. All his tenderness and petting must be for
her. She could hardly bear that he should caress even
her beloved Maggie and Bessie; and if it chanced that
he did so, she would immediately claim a double portion
for herself. She was quick and bright too; and now she
saw in a moment the cause of all Daphne's mysterious
hints and melancholy, and they helped to increase the
angry, jealous feeling in her own heart. Daphne had






AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE. 23

feared that this naughty, contrary child was coming to
interfere with her; and Belle feared it now herself. In-
deed, was it not plain enough already ? There she was
on papa's knee, the seat to which no one but herself had
a right; and papa's arm was about her. 4
'Come here, my darling. Come and speak to your
aunt and little cousin,' said Mr. Powers.
And now Belle spoke, indeed, but without moving one
step forward, and with a very different tone and manner
from those which her father expected.
Come off from there!' she said, in a low, deep tone
of intense passion. 'Come off from there! That's my
place; he's my papa. You shan't have him, and I shan't
have you. You're not my cousin; I won't have you,
bad, bad girl!'
She said this with her face perfectly white with rage,
her eyes flashing; and she stood bolt upright, her two
little hands clenched and stretched downwards on either
side. Then the colour came fast and deep, rising to the
very roots of her hair; her lips were drawn, and hei
little bosom heaved.
Mr. Powers knew what this meant. Putting Mabel
hastily from his knee, he rose and walked over to Belle.
When Belle was a baby, and little more than a baby, she
had the naughty habit, when anything displeased her,
of holding her breath until she was almost choked and
purple in the face. Other children have this ugly way,
which is not only naughty, but dangerous. But Belle's
mamma had broken her off this when she was very young;
and it was a long, long time since her father had seen
her do it.
But it was coming now, and must be stopped at
once.






24 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'Belle !' he said sharply, and almost sternly, laying his
hand on her shoulder,-' Belle!'
It did seem hard, but it was necessary, and was, Mr.
Powers knew, the only way to bring his angry little child
to her senses. It was enough. She caught her breath
hard, then gave one or two deep sobs, and burst into a
passion. of tears, at the same time turning and trying to
run away.
Poor child! It seemed to her that this was proof of
her jealous fears. Papa had never spoken so to her
before, and it was all because of that strange child who
was coming in her place. So she thought, and only
wanted to run away out of sight and hearing.
But her father caught her, took her up in his arms,
and now spoke to her in the tenderest tones, covering
her wet face with kisses, and trying to soothe her.
Belle knew that she had been naughty-oh! very
naughty-but she still felt very much injured; and
although after a time her sobs became less violent, she
clung tightly to her papa, and kept her face hidden on
his bosom, shedding there the tears which brought no
healing with them, because they came from anger and
jealousy, and obstinately refusing to look up or speak to
her aunt and cousin.
And yet, if Belle had been told but yesterday that she
was soon to see this little cousin, she would have been
delighted. They had never met before, for Mrs. Walton,
Mabel's mother, had been living abroad for many years;
the little Mabel had been born there, and there several
brothers and sisters had died. Perhaps this last was one
reason, though it was certainly no good excuse, that
Mabel had been so much indulged.
For some months there had been talk of their coming






AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE. 25

home, but their appearance just at this time was quite
unexpected. Young readers will not be interested in
knowing wliat brought them; it is enough to say that
here they were, the steamer having brought them to
Boston, whence Mr. Walton had sent on his wife and
child, he staying behind to attend to some business.
Mrs. Walton had thought to- give her brother an
agreeable surprise; and so she had, for he had been
longing to see her, and to have her help in the training
of his motherless little Belle. But Mrs. Walton and
Mabel had not been with him half an hour before he
began to think that Belle would do quite as well without
the training which Mabel received.
The child had been clamorous to see her young cousin
from the first moment of her arrival; but Daphne, un-
willing to call her darling from her afternoon's pleasure,
had invented one excuse after another, till Mr. Powers
had insisted that she should bring Belle.
The jealousy of the old coloured nurse, who was
already put out at Mabel's wilful, pettish behaviour,
and the way in which she was allowed to handle and
pull about all Belle's toys and treasures, was immediately
aroused at the idea that her nursling should be made to
yield to the new-comer; and she had shown this in the
manner which had awakened a like feeling in Belle the
moment the child discovered the cause.
Mrs. Walton was vexed, as indeed she might well be,
at the reception which Belle had given to herself and
Mabel; but the weak and foolish mother readily excused
or overlooked in her own child those very faults which
she saw so plainly in her little niece.
At first Mabel had been too much astonished at Belle's
outbreak to do more than stand and look at her. But






26 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

when her cousin's cries were quieted, and she lay still
with her face hidden on her father's shoulder, giving
long, heaving sobs, she began to whine and fret, and to
insist that Belle should be made to come and playwith
her, and show her a set of carved animals, one of Belle's
choicest treasures, which Mr. Powers had rescued from
her destructive little fingers.
'My dear brother,' said Mrs. Walton, 'it is indeed
time that your child was put under other female manage-
ment than that of servants. She is quite spoiled, I see.'
Here a prolonged sniff, ending in something very like
a groan, came from near the door where Daphne still
stood; while Belle, feeling that both she and her de-
voted nurse had been insulted, kicked out indignantly
with her little feet.
But her father's hand was on the nestling head; and he
said very quietly, pouring oil on the wounded spirits-
'My Belle and her Daphne could not well do without
one another; and Belle is much less spoiled than she
used to be. She is a pretty good girl now, thanks to
the kind teachings she has had, and her own wish to
profit by them. Mrs. Bradford, the mother of her little
friends Maggie and Bessie, has been very good to her;
so has her teacher, Miss Ashton, and several other lady
friends;--so that she has not been left lately without
proper training, even if her papa and old nurse do in-
dulge and pet her perhaps a little too much. Belle and
I are all in all to one another now, and she ^knows I
want her to be a good girl. It is a long, long time since
she has had such a naughty turn as this, and I know she
is sorry and ashamed.'
Ashamed Belle certainly was; but I am afraid she was
not sorry-at least; not truly sorry-for she was quite






AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE. 27
/
determined not to look up or speak to her aunt and
cousin; and she nursed the angry feelings in her little
heart, and made up her mind that they were both quite
unbearable.
She was the more sure of this when they all went
together into the dining-room. Belle was accustomed to
go there with her father, and to eat her simple supper
while he dined; and indulged though she was, she never
thought of fretting or asking for that which he said was
not proper for her. But Mabel called for everything
that she fancied, and was allowed to have all manner of
rich dainties, her mother answering when Mr. Powers
interfered-
It don't do to refuse her anything, she is so nervous
and excitable. I have to manage her the best way I
can.'
Probably Mr. Powers thought the management which
fell to the share of his motherless little Belle was better
and more profitable than that bestowed upon Mabel,
whose mother was always with her.
It was the same thing when they went up-stairs again.
Mabel wanted to stand in the gallery above, and look
down into the great hall below, where were lights, and
numbers of people coming and going; and all the plead-
ings and promises of her tired mother could not persuade
her to go on to their room, where the nurse was engaged
unpacking.
But her uncle, who was tired of all this wilfulness,
soon put a stop to it, by unclasping the little hands which
held so obstinately to the banisters, lifting and carrying
her to her mamma's room, where he set her down with-
out a word.
Mabel was so unused to such firm interference with







28 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

her wishes, and was so astonished at it, that she quite
forgot to scream or struggle till he had gone away and
the door was shut upon her. Then she made up for lost
time; but we will leave her and go with Belle.
Her father saw that she was in no mood for advice or
reproof,-just now either would only add to her' sudden
and violent jealousy of her cousin; so he determined to
pass over her naughtiness for to-night, and hoped that
she would be more reasonable in the morning. She her-
self said not a single word about what had passed, or
about her aunt and cousin,-at least, not to her papa;
but when Daphne was putting her to bed, both the little
one and the old woman found enough to say to one
another: Belle telling her nurse how she had met Mabel
that day, and how the.latter had behaved; while Daphne
encouraged her to say as many unkind things as she
would, and made the most of all Mabel's spoiled, trouble-
some ways.
Poor little Belle! She could hardly say her prayers
that night, and went to bed feeling more unhappy than
she had done for many a long day.




I6






SUNLIGHT. 29




IV.

SUNLIGHT.

THINGS were no better the next morning.
Mrs. Walton did not come down to breakfast, but
Mabel chose to go with her uncle and cousin. She was
in a better humour than she had been the night before,
and would willingly have made friends with Belle if the
latter would have allowed her to do so. She was less
unruly and wilful at the table also; for after the way in
which her uncle had compelled her to obey last night,
she was a little afraid of him, and had an idea that he
would not allow her to have her own way in the manner
her papa and mamma did. She did not like him the less
fdr that, though; and when she asked for one or two
things which he did not think proper for her, submitted
quietly to his refusal, and took what he offered instead.
As for Belle, she not only would not speak to her cousin
beyond the unwilling 'good morning' which she uttered
by her father's orders, but she would not appear to be
conscious of her presence at all, never lifting her eyes to
her, and if she was forced to turn her face that way,
making a pretence of looking over Mabel's head or be-
yond her. And when they returned to their own parlour,
where Mrs. Walton now sat, Belle gathered every toy,
book, or other trifle that belonged to her, put them in a
closet given for her use, and with some difficulty turned
the key and took it out; then planted herself with her
back against the door, as if she thought the lock not






30 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

enough to keep Mabel's hands from her treasures, stand-
ing there with a look of the most determined obstinacy
and sullenness.
Such behaviour was not at all like Belle, and her papa
scarcely knew what to make of it. Even in her most
wilful days she had never shown herself selfish or sulky;
and knowing that she now felt herself aggrieved and
injured by Mabel's presence, and fearing to excite fresh
jealousy, he did not know how to deal with her.
As for the little girl herself,-no matter how much of
all this had been caused by old Daphne,-Belle knew
well that she was very naughty, but she determined to
persist in that naughtiness so long as Mabel should be
there.
To describe Daphne's high-mightiness, not only with
Mabel and the French nurse, but also with Mrs. Walton,
would be impossible. She carried her turban so straight,
and moved and spoke so stiffly, that she almost awed
even her little mistress; and Mabel was quite afraid of
her. Nor would she give any help or information to the
French woman, pretending not to understand her Eng-
lish, which, although broken, was plain enough.
'Dere ain't no use yer talking' to me,' she said. 'I
don't unnerstan' yer, nor I ain't goin' to. I'se allus been
fetched up 'mong de Peytons,-Miss Belle's mamma she
was a Peyton,-an' I'se used to fust-rate English; an'
me an' Miss Belle we allus uses it, and neber can unner-
stan' no low talk. 'Sides, I'm deaf as a post dis morning ,
and can't hear no way.'
Daphne was troubled with a convenient kind of deaf-
ness, which always came on when she did not wish to
hear a thing.
So Mr. Powers, knowing that both Belle and Daphne






SUNLIGHT. 31

must be brought to their senses and to better behaviour,
but not seeing exactly the way to do it without making
matters worse, betook himself to his good friend Mrs.
Bradford to ask advice.
'What am I to do V' he said, when he had finished his
story. 'If I punish Belle or reprove Daphne, they are
in such a state of mind that it will give fresh food for
jealousy and bad feeling to both; and yet I cannot let
this go on.'
Certainly not,' said Mrs. Bradford. 'But before we
try punishment or reproof, let us see what a little man-
agement and kindness will do. Suppose you send Belle,
and, if Mrs. Walton will allow it, Mabel with her, to
spend the day with my children.'
'My sister will allow anything the child fancies, I
fear,' the gentleman answered with a sigh. 'But you do
not know what you are undertaking. A more ungovern-
able and ungoverned child than my little niece would be
hard to find; and I fear that neither you nor your
children would pass a pleasant day with Belle and
Mabel here, especially if Belle continues in her present
mood.'
'I do not fear that she will,' said Mrs. Bradford.
'Maggie and Bessie being of her own age, and having
a great sympathy for her, may be able to do more in
their simple way to charm the evil spirit than we older
people can. As for Mabel, if she will come, she will be
under some restraint here, as we are all strangers to her.'
'Ah! you do not know her,' said Mr. Powers. 'I
was a stranger to her until yesterday, and yet'- His
look and the shrug of his shoulders spoke as strongly as
the unfinished sentence could have done.
'Never mind. Send her,' said the lady. I will not






32 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

let her annoy the other children or me too much, and I
may do her some good.'
'Yes,' said he gratefully; 'I know that you and yours
never shrink from doing good to others because the task
may not be an agreeable one. But do you mean to keep
a house of correction, or, I should say, of good influences,
for all incorrigibly spoiled children ?'
'Not exactly,' said Mrs. Bradford, returning his smile.
'And I believe I have our little Belle more than Mabel
in my mind just now. But let them both come, and we
will see if we cannot send them back to you this evening
in better and happier moods.'
Repeating his thanks, Mr. Powers bade her good-bye
and went home, where he found that Belle had quitted
her stand" at the closet-door, Mabel having gone out.
For when the latter found that she was not to be allowed
to have her cousin's toys, she raised such an uproar as
soon as her uncle was out of the way, that her mother
promised her everything and anything she chose, and
had sent her out with the maid to purchase all manner
of playthings.
Belle was glad to hear that she was to go to the
Bradfords'; and even when she learned that Mabel was
to accompany her, she still felt a satisfaction in it, be-
cause she was sure that the children would sympathize
with her, and be as' offended' with Mabel as she was
herself. She was wild to go at once, without waiting
for her cousin; and her papa consented that she should
do so, hoping that Mrs. Bradford and the children would
bring her to a better state of feeling before Mabel made
her appearance.
Somewhat to Belle's surprise, she found Bessie rather
more ready than Maggie to resent her supposed injuries.






SUNLIGHT. 33

Bessie did not, it is true, encourage her in her naughty
feelings, or in returning evil for evil; but she had been
so shocked by Mabel's behaviour on the day before,
that she could not wonder at Belle's dislike. More-
over, Bessie was a little inclined to jealousy herself;
and although she struggled hard with this feeling, and
showed it but seldom, she was now ready to excuse it,
and find just cause for it in Belle.
But Maggie was disposed to look at things in a more
reasonable light, and to make the best of them.
'Why, Belle,' she said cheerily,' I should think you'd
be glad, because now you can be a sunbeam to your
cousin, and try to do her good.'
'I think I shan't be a sunbeam to her,' said Belle.
'I'll be nothing but an ugly old black cloud, that blows
a great deal, and has thunder and lightning out of it;
and it's just good enough for her.'
And at that moment, indeed, little Belle looked much
more like a thunder-cloud than like a sunbeam.
'I can't bear her. I believe I hate her, and I'm going
to do it too,' she continued.
'But that is naughty,' said Bessie.
'I don't care; it is true,' said Belle. 'I can say the
truth, can't I .'
'Well, yes,' answered Bessie,' when it's the good truth;
but if it's a naughty truth, it's better to keep it in.'
'What did Mabel do to you to make you so mad ?'
asked Maggie.
'Why, she-she'- and Belle hesitated a little, rather
ashamed of herself now, as she found hbw small cause
of complaint she really had-' why, she took my things
when I didn't say she might. She wanted my carved
animals too, that Uncle Ruthven gave me; but papa
C






34 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

didn't let her have them, and I wouldn't either. I put
them away, and wouldn't let her look at them,-no, not
one tiny little thing.'
'But, Belle, dear, you don't be selfish with your things
generally,' said Bessie. Why won't you even let Mabel
see them ?'
Because she's too much spoiled,' said Belle; and I
believe she'd go and break them all up. I don't know
that she would, but I believe she would.'
But we oughtn't to believe bad things about people if
we don't know them,' persisted Bessie.
'I shan't let her have my things anyhow,' replied
Belle; and I'm going to try and have her sent out 'of
the country too.'
How can you ?' said Maggie. 'They have a right to
stay here if they want to.'
'I'll coax papa to write a letter to the President, and
ask him to turn out Mabel and her mamma,' said Belle;
" and I'm going to be very excitable and nervous, so he'll
do anything I want him to.'
Maggie had her doubts as to the President's power in
such a matter, but she did not make them known, think-
ing it better to try and soothe Belle's angry feelings, like
the wise little peacemaker that she was.
'But I think that we ought to be sorry for your aunt
and Mabel, and to have very excusable feelings towards
them,' she said. 'You know they have not had so many
advantages as we have, because they have lived abroad
for a good many years, and probably they have been cor-
rupted by the fashionable world of Paris.'
This was an uncommonly fine speech even for Maggie;
and Bessie and Belle were struck quite dumb by it, and
for a moment could do nothing but exchange looks and





SUNLIGHT. 35

nods of admiration and wonder; while Maggie, conscious
that she deserved their approval, not only for the senti-
ment, but also for the manner in which it had been
expressed, sat gazing serenely out of the window as she
received the honours which were due to her.
'Yes, I think so,' said Bessie, with a long breath, as
she recovered a little.
I think so too,' repeated Belle, in a more amiable tone
than she had yet used.
'You see,' continued Maggie, thinking it well to
strengthen the good impression she had made, and
speaking with all the solemn gravity which befitted
one who had just uttered such sublime words,-' you
see we ought not to be too hard on Mabel, because she
is so very saucy and disobedient to her mother, that I
expect she is one of those to whom the ravens of the
valley shall pick out the eye, and the young eagles eat it.
And, children, it is plainly to be seen that it is partly her
mother's fault, which is a sad thing, and I fear she will
have to bear the consequences. So, don't you think we
ought to be kind to Mabel, and try if we cannot do her
some good ?
'Yes,' said Bessie, putting her arm about Belle's neck;
and, Belle, may be when Jesus heard us say we wanted
to be sunbeams for Him, He sent this very disagreeable
child to be your trial, so He could see if you were quite
in earnest about saying it.
This was quite a new view of the subject, and some-
how, Belle scarcely knew how, she began to feel more
kindly towards her aunt and cousin, and even to have a
feeling of pity for them. But the imaginary 'six dirty
beggars' had taken such strong hold of her mind, that
she could scarcely resolve all at once to take in their






3G BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

place this well-dressed, well-cared-for, but very naughty
little cousin. Mabel could be good and happy if she
chose, and Belle did not see why she should be at any
trouble to make her so, since nothing but her'own wilful
tempers stood in the way. Still Maggie's words and
those of Bessie had already had some influence upon
her, and when she next spoke it was in a still milder
tone.
Why, Bessie,' she said, 'do you really think Jesus
had Mabel and her mamma come here just so I could be
a sunbeam to them and try to do them good ? I don't
believe He did.'
'Well, may be He didn't send them here just for that,'
answered Bessie; 'but when He did send them, I think
He'd like you to make a little sunshine for them.'
'And then,' said fanciful Maggie, always ready to
catch at what she thought a poetical idea,--' and then,
you know, when the sunshine comes, the clouds almost
always go away; so, if we try to be very patient and
kind with Mabel, may be the clouds of her crossness and
obstinacy will roll away and be seen no more.'
It was impossible to hold out against such words of
wisdom As came from Maggie's lips; and Belle began to
feel that here, after all, might be the very opportunity
she had wanted.
'And then that would make your aunt glad,' persuaded
Bessie; 'and we are sorry for her.'
'Well, I don't know about that,' said Belle. 'My'
aunt said a thing about me,-a very disagreeable thing.'
SWhat was it V'
'She said I wanted some kind of management-I
forget what kind-I don't know what word she called
it, but it meant something horrid, I know; and she





SUNLIGHT. 37

oughtn't to say I was spoiled when she spoils her own
child.'
'No,' said Maggie, 'people who live in glass houses
oughtn't to throw stones. But I fear they generally do,
for all.'
What does that mean ?' asked Bessie.
'It means, when we do a thing a good deal ourselves,
we oughtn't to speak about other people who do it; but
we are apt to.'
'Well, then,' said Belle, taking the maxim to herself,
though Maggie had not meant it for her, 'I suppose if I
used to be spoilt myself, I oughtn't to talk so much about
my cousin, who is.'
'But you were never like that,' said Bessie.
'I used to be pretty spoilt sometimes, and yesterday I
was-I was horrid,' answered Belle, a sense of her own
past naughtiness coming over her.
'What did you do asked Bessie.
'I screamed and hollered-and-and I kicked. I
shouldn't be surprised if my aunt thought I was as
naughty as Mabel.'
She that repents ought to make haste to show her
repentance,' said Maggie. 'That is a new proverb I
made up on purpose for you, Belle, because I thought it
suited you.'
'Oh, thank you, Maggie,' said Belle; 'then I'll do it.'
And so our three little girls resolved that they would
at least meet Mabel kindly and politely, and, as far as
possible, put the remembrance of her past ill-behaviour
from their minds.






"38 BELLE POWERS' 'LOCKET.




V

-A DAY WITH MAGGIE AND BESSIE.

MABEL herself had some doubts as to the reception she
should meet with if she went to Mrs. Bradford's, and,
when her mother first proposed it, refused to go. Daphne,
who had heard the story from Belle, had not failed to let
Mabel know that this lady and her little girls were the
friends with whom she had met her cousin yesterday, and
had also drawn a very vivid picture of the disgust and
dislike with which such behaviour as hers was always
regarded in their family.
So, as I have said, Mabel at first refused to go near
them. But finding it dull in the hotel with only the
two nurses for company,-as her mamma and uncle had
gone' out,-she changed her mind, and declared that she
would go to Mrs. Bradford's 'to see what it is like, and
only stay just as long as I've a mind to.'
'And yer needn't think you'll disappint nobody but
yerself if yer come away, little miss,' said Daphne spite-
fully; for Mabel's new whim did not please her at all,
and she would much rather she should have kept to her
first decision, and not have bestowed her company where
the old woman thought it little desired.
However, she did not dare, much as she would have
liked to do so, to refuse to show Mabel and her nurse
the way to Mrs. Bradford's house; but she revenged her-
self by leading them by the longest road and least plea-
sant way. But this, however much it pleased Daphne,





A DAY WITH MAGGIE AND BESSIE. 39

did no hurt to Mabel, since she enjoyed the walk, and
had no idea of Daphne's object.
'I'se brought you a Tartar,' was the old coloured
woman's whispered introduction to Mrs. Bradford's
nurse when they entered the nursery; and mammy,
too, looked askance at the stranger, who immediately
perceived that she was not too welcome.
But before she had time to turn about again and say
that she would not stay, Maggie came running from the
play-room; and putting all shyness and prejudice out of
mind, she went up to Mabel, took her by the hand, and
said kindly-
'We have to feel a little acquainted with you before
we know you, because you are Belle's cousin; and she is
our inseparable. Come into the play-room. You came
so late it is almost time for our dinner, but we will have
a good play afterwards.'
Such a long, friendly speech to any stranger, even one
of her own age, was a great effort for Maggie; but for
Belle's sake she wanted to make Mabel comfortable, and
put her on her good behaviour at once. And she suc-
ceeded; for the pout passed from Mabel's lip and the
frown from her brow, as she said-
'Yes, we will. And see what a big box of sugar-plums
I have brought: We'll eat them all up.'
'If mamma gives us leave; but I am quite sure she
will not,' said Maggie to herself, and then said aloud-
' We might play with them, and you shall be the store-
woman if you like.'
'Yes, so we will,' said Mabel. 'Didn't Belle try to
make you mad at me ? She's as mad as anything at me
herself, and won't speak to me, when I never did a thing
to her.'






40 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'Oh! she's all over that now,' said Maggie, wisely
noticing only the last part of Mabel's speech. 'She and
Bessie are putting on the dolls' best suits for you. Come
and see them.'
And, half-ashamed, half-defiant, Mabel followed her
little hostess into the play-room to greet Bessie and
Belle.
If Mabel was a little shamefaced, Belle was still more
so; for she was not accustomed to behave in the way
she had done that morning, and her conscience was more
tender than Mabel's. But now that she had resolved to
do better, she would not let shame stand in her way; and
going right up to Mabel, she said--
'Let's kiss and make it up, Mabel. I am sorry I was
so cross this morning.'
'And will you let me have your playthings ?' asked
Mabel, as she accepted Belle's offered kiss.
'To look at and play with, but not to keep,' answered
Belle. 'I'll even let you have my carved animals,-if
you will be careful,' she added, determined not to stop
half way in her effort to make peace.
And now came mamma, rather expecting to find the
little ones awkward and uncomfortable together after
all that had passed; but lo! all was peace and sunshine.
Her Bessie, it is true, watched the young stranger with
serious eyes, and had on her disapproving look ; for Bessie
had been more shocked than it would be easy to tell by
Mabel's misbehaviour of the day before, and found it
hard work to forget it. If Mabel had been some poor,
ragged, neglected child, with no one to care for her, and
many a temptation in her way, Bessie would have been
the first one to make excuses for her, and to say that
nothing better could be expected from her; but that any





A DAY WITH MAGGIE AND BESSIE. 41

little girl, who had loving friends and all manner of com-
forts and pleasures about her, should be so perverse and
troublesome, seemed to her out of all reason and hardly
to be forgiven.
Still, though she wore her demure little manner, she
was very polite to Mabel, and as ready as Maggie to
show all her dolls and other treasures. Mabel too, being
pleased and amused, was on her good behaviour, and all
was going smoothly.
Before long the children were called to their dinner.
Mabel looked disdainfully at the nice but simple food
which was set before them, and refused this, that, and,
the. other thing, saying she did 'not like it.'
'But you will be hungry before you go home if you do
not eat now, my dear,' said Mrs. Bradford.
I'n waiting for something better,' said Mabel; at
which piece of rudeness all the other children, including
even little Frankie, opened their eyes in wonder.
'You will have nothing else, except some plain dessert,'
said Mrs. Bradford.
Mabel pouted, pushed her plate from her, and kicked
with her feet upon the legs of her chair; but the lady
took no notice, although the three little girls could not
help exchanging looks and biting their lips, to express to
one another their disapproval of such conduct.
But to Frankie, who was blessed with an uncom-
monly fine appetite, this refusal to partake of a good
meal seemed a most extraordinary and unheard-of thing;
so, after staring at her with a pitying look for some
moments, and vainly offering her every dainty within
his reach, even to 'de nice brown stin off my sweet
potato,' he seemed convinced that she was only naughty,
and set about correcting her.






42 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'Did oo ever see Willum that is in "Slovenly Peter"
boot he aske.d.
The only answer he received was a pettish shrug of
Mabel's shoulders and a fresh kick upon the chair.
"Tause he was like oo, and wouldn't eat his soup,' said
Master Frankie, with an air of stern reproof; 'an' oo will
be lite him, an' "when de fif day tame, alas! dey laid oo
in de dround."'
Which proved too much for the gravity of his little
sisters and Belle, who thought this extremely funny,
and, in spite of Mabel's scowl, went off into peals of
merry laughter.
Mabel hoped and expected that Mrs. Bradford, seeing
she would not eat what was set before her, would send
for some daintier and richer food; but she soon found
this was not to be, and that the lady did not even appear
to trouble herself about her not eating. This was some-
thing quite new to Mabel, who was surprised as well as
displeased at Mrs. Bradford's unconcern.
,When the dessert was put upon the table, there
was a plain rice-pudding and a small dish of bright
clear jelly.
'I'll take jelly,' said Mabel, not waiting till she was
asked, as a polite child would have done.
Mrs. Bradford quietly helped each, child, to a portion
of the pudding and some jelly, leaving but little of the
latter in the dish.
Mabel eat up her jelly as fast as possible, keeping her
eye all the while on what remained in the dish; and as
soon as she had finished her own, thrust out her plate,
saying
'More, please.
Mrs. Bradford gave it to her without a word; but






A DAY WITH MAGGIE AND BESSIE. 43

Frankie, encouraged by the applause with which his first
reproof had been received, thought himself called upon
for another.
Frankie pinned his faith on 'Slovenly Peter;' knew
it all by heart, quoted from it on all occasions, and drew
from it lessons and examples suitable to himself and
others.
Dere's anoder boy named Jatob in Slovenly Peter,"'
he said severely; he was so dweedy dat he brote hisself
in two. I s'pose you'll be lite him,' he added, not at all
disturbed by the want of similarity between the two
unhappy fates he had predicted for Mabel.
And Mabel felt somewhat abashed when she saw how
her greediness had struck this little boy, who, she could
not but see, behaved far better than herself.
'Mamma,' said Bessie, 'would you rather I should not
eat the raisins in my pudding .'
'Well, yes, darling, I think you had better not, as you
were not very well this morning,' said her mother.
Again Mabel was surprised. She knew very well that
she would have rebelled against such an order, and had
her own way too; but here was this little girl not only
submitting quietly and cheerfully to what Mabel looked
upon as a hardship, but actually asking if it was her
mother's wish. It was something quite new to Mabel.
Had Bessie talked to her for an hour about her greedy,
wilful ways, it would not have done one half the good
that the example of her own simple regard to her mother's
wishes did. And Mabel looked at Bessie, then down upon
her plate, then raised her eyes to Bessie's again, with
some admiration mingled with the wonder in them;
and little Belle, who was watching her cousin, said to
herself-






44 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'Now, I believe Bessie is a sunbeam, showing Mabel
the right, best way to mind her mother; bat Bessie
doesn't know she did it.'
Quite right, little Belle And it was not the first ray
of light which had fallen that day upon Mabel's wilful
and selfish but not hardened young spirit. Already was
she beginning to wonder what these children, so obedient
and docile, must think of her, and to feel ashamed of her
conduct before them.
For some time past a favourite practice of the three
little girls -Maggie, Bessie, and Belle-had been to draw
what they called 'proverb-pictures.'
This was an invention of Maggie's, and was considered
by the children an unfailing source not only of amuse-
ment, but also of profit. For all manner of useful hints,
and gentle moral lessons, were supposed to be conveyed
in these pictures. And if one noticed anything in the
conduct or speech of another which did not seem exactly
proper, she would make a proverb-picture, and kindly
present it to the short-comer.
At first a proverb had always been taken as a founda-
tion for these pictures, and Maggie manufactured a good
many for the purpose. Hence their name. But after a
while they were sometimes drawn without reference to
any particular maxim or saying, and suited only to'the
need of the moment.
And I am bound to say that they answered their
intended purpose. Such hints, if needed, were always
taken in good part, and seldom neglected. Indeed, it
was considered rather a treat to receive one, especially
from Maggie; and each little girl treasured up those
which were given to her with great care, and frequently
studied them over.





-A DAY WITH MAGGIE AND BESSIE. 45

Nor were they considered only as a means of mild
reproof or gentle persuasion to do right, but many a
little incident and scene of their daily lives were repre-
sented; and all these formed, to their thinking, a very
interesting collection.
It is true that the pictures generally needed consider-
able explanation, not only to other friends who might
be treated to a sight of them, but also to one another.
But this was really a part of the pleasure, and afforded
great satisfaction to the young artists,-that is, to Belle
and Bessie. Maggie was rather shy about doing this,
and preferred to label her pictures, or to write a short
explanation beneath.
There could be no doubt that, of the three, Belle made
the best pictures. Indeed, they were not bad for a child
of her age; and Maggie and Bessie took much pride in
what they considered her great talent, and encouraged
her to make the most of it, and put it in constant prac-
tice.
So now Maggie bethought herself that it would -be well
for Belle to try to do her cousin some good by means
of these 'proverb-pictures.' She did not feel intimate
enough with her as yet to try to do so herself, but she
thought that Belle, being such a near relation, might
very well do it without giving offence.
When they left the table, she drew Belle aside and
whispered to her-
Belle, wouldn't it be a good plan to try Mabel with
some proverb-pictures, and see if they will improve her ?
You know it's a much agreeabler way of having a good
lesson than being scolded, or having people mad with
you.'
'Yes,' said Belle, 'let's do it now.'






46 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'No,' said Maggie, 'because it would be stupid for her
while we made the pictures. Besides, I don't think
Bessie and I know her well enough yet. But you might
do it when you go home. I composed two proverbs that
may do her some good, if you like to take them.'
Yes,' said Belle; tell me them, Maggie.'
'One is-" The greedy pig doesn't get much, after
all,"' said Maggie.
'Oh yes,' said Belle, seeing the beauty of the applica-
tion at once, and much struck with its force.
'And the other,' said Maggie, 'is-" Everybody shuns
a disagreeable child."'
'What is shun 7' asked Belle.
'To run away,' answered Maggie.
'Yes,' said Belle thoughtfully; they will make very
nice pictures, Maggie. I'll take them. Say them again,
for fear I forget;' and she repeated the new 'proverbs'
over several times after Maggie, and for the remainder of
the afternoon her mind was much occupied with plans
for making fine drawings of them for her cousin's benefit.





PROVERB-PICTURES 47




VI.

PROVERB-PICTURES.

FOR the .rest of the day Mabel behaved better, on the
whole, than the other children had expected. It is true
that she was well amused, and also that, being a stranger,
and company, the other little girls gave way to her, and
let her do pretty much as she pleased. She showed her-
self rather selfish, however, taking all their kindness as a
matter of course, and always seizing upon the best and
prettiest things for her own use.
But when it was time to go home, and the nurses came
for Belle and Mabel, there was much such a scene as had
taken place on the day when Mabel had first been met by
the other children. She positively refused to go home;
and when Mrs. Bradford insisted that she should obey,
was led shrieking and screaming from the house, fighting
with her long-suffering nurse in a manner which made
poor Belle feel 'too ashamed on any account to go into
the street with such disrespectable behaviour,' and caused
Daphne to declare that she and Miss Belle had 'never
been so degraced in all our born days.'
This determined Belle to carry out her plan of the
'proverb-pictures' as soon as possible. And when her
hat was taken off, she immediately begged her papa for
a sheet of foolscap paper and a pencil,, and fell to work.
When Mabel saw what she was about, she wanted to
draw also; and her uncle furnished her with paper and
pencil.






48 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'What are you doing ?' asked Mabel.
'I'll tell you by and by, when it's all done,' said Belle
severely. 'It's not ready for you to understand just yet;
but it's going to be a very good lesson for you.'
However, she suffered Mabel to look over her paper,
and even to copy the figures which grew beneath her
busy fingers, Mabel little thinking all the while that she
herself was the subject of the pictures. Meantime Mr.
Powers and Mrs. Walton, pleased to see the children so
quiet, and apparently agreeing so well, talked quietly
together.
But this proved too good to last.
'Now they're all done, and I'll tell you about them;
and we'll see if they'll improve you,' said Belle, when she
had completed two pictures. Do you see these animals '
and she pointed with her pencil to a curious collection of
four-legged objects, with every possible variety of tail
among them.
'Yes,' said Mabel. 'What are they-bugs ?'
'No,' answered Belle indignantly, 'they are pigs.
This is a "proverb-picture." Proverbs are meant to do
people good, or give them a lesson; but Maggie, and
Bessie, and I, think pictures make them plainer. This
is a proverb that Maggie made up. Here is a man pour-
ing milk into a trough that the pigs eat out of, and this
pig,'-directing Mabel's attention to a creature without
any legs, those four members which were supposed to
belong to him lying scattered in all directions over the
picture, while long streaks, intended to represent floods
of tears, poured from his eyes,-' and this pig was so
greedy, that he ran as fast as he could to the end of the
trough where he thought the man was going to pour out
the milk. But the man thought he'd serve him out, and





PROVERB-PICTURES. 49

so he went to the other end and poured the milk in
there. And when the pig tried to run there, his legs
were so tired they all fell off, so he couldn't get any
milk; and he cried so much he almost drowned himself.
And the proverb of the picture is--"The greedy pig
doesn't get much, after all." When pigs or other people
are greedy, their legs generally come off, or other acci-
dents happen; and if they don't, people think they're
very horrid, any way. Do you know who the greedy
pig is meant for ?'
Mabel had a pretty clear idea, and was not pleased,
which was not at all strange; but her curiosity was
excited respecting the other picture, and she determined
to satisfy it before she made any disturbance.
'What is this picture ?' she asked, pouting, but taking
no further notice of Belle's question.
In the second sketch a number of square and triangular
bodies, with little round heads, and long, sprawling legs
and arms, were grouped together in the wildest confusion
at the two ends of the picture, which extended the whole
length of the sheet. In the middle was an object sup-
posed to represent a carriage, the like whereof was never
contrived by any coachmaker upon the face of the earth;
while a horse, in the same condition as the pig before
mentioned,-namely, with all his legs broken off,-lay
upon the ground; his mate, looking much like a chair
turned upside down, standing by, disconsolate. But the
chief interest of the picture was intended to lie in the
central figure, in which a small child, with very short
skirts and very long limbs, was represented as dancing
wildly about, with-not rivers, as in the case of the pig
-but cataracts of tears spouting from her eyes. Two
circles, one within the other, stood for her head,-the
D






50 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

inner one, nearly as large as the outer, being her mouth,
stretched to its utmost extent. And lest there should
be any mistake as to the likeness, below this figure was
printed, in large, crooked letters--
MA BUR L.
'That,' said Belle, more sternly than before, 'is a
picture about another proverb that Maggie made up on
purpose to be of use to you. The name of it is-" All
scamper away as fast as they can go from a spoilt child;"
at least, that was what she meant. Here is the spoilt
child, squealing and hollering; there is a poor horse that
broke his leg; and here are all the people in the street
running away from her. These four are policemen, and
they were going to take her up; but even the policemen
would not stand her, and ran away too. Even her
mother became disgusted at her at last, and left her; so
she had not a single person left with her. And she had
no one to give her something to eat, and no one to put
her to bed; so she had to sleep in the gutter, and be
starved, and in the morning she was dead, and all dirty
in the gutter.'
'She wasn't either,' said Mabel.
'Yes, she was,' contradicted Belle.
Mabel made a snatch at the picture, which Belle as
quickly drew from her, so that between them it was torn
in two; and Mabel at the same moment set up the shriek
she always gave when she was displeased.
Mr. Powers and Mrs. Walton, their conversation thus
suddenly brought to an end, turned hastily to see what
was the matter.
It was a sorry sight that met their eyes. Belle stood
looking at her cousin with a face which, to do her justice,





PROVERB-PICTURES. 51

was only intended as the expression of outraged and
offended virtue; while Mabel, shrieking with passion,
was frantically tearing to bits the half of the sheet she,
had secured.
What is it, children ? What are you quarrelling about
now 1' asked both the parents at once.
Mabel did not, perhaps could not, answer; but Belle
spoke up boldly-
'I'm not quarrelling, papa,' she said. 'I was just try-
ing to give Mabel a lesson of what might happen to her
if she didn't behave herself, and she was mad about it;
and she tore my picture-my nice, pretty proverb-picture
-that I would have given her if she had been good and
improved herself by it. I know Maggie and Bessie would
think it very interesting if they saw it, and now I can't
show it to them;' and Belle held up the torn sheet with
a very aggrieved air. 'It was only good intentions, papa;
and she wouldn't have them,' she added, feeling herself
almost equal to Maggie Bradford as she made this great
speech.
Even Mrs. Walton could not help smiling in the midst
of her efforts to quiet the screaming Mabel and lead her
from the room.
"When they were gone, Mr. Powers took his little
daughter on his knee; but Belle was not satisfied to see
that he looked very grave. For a moment or two neither
spoke, Belle not knowing exactly what to say, although
she did wish to excuse herself; while her father seemed
to be thinking.
At last he said-
'My little girl, how long is this to go on '
'What, papa ?' asked Belle, though she had a pretty
clear idea what he meant.






52 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'This constant quarrelling between you and your cousin.
Your aunt and I are very glad to see one another again;
but all our comfort is destroyed because you and Mabel
disagree all the time.'
Belle looked rather hurt.
'I'm sure, papa,' she said, 'I have tried to be good to-
day, ever since I went to Maggie's and Bessie's; and she
was a little good too, but greedy and selfish. And then
she was in such a passion when we had to come home, I
thought I'd better try to correct her. And I'm sure I
thought proverb-pictures was a good way to do it, but
they drove her mad. I suppose I might have known it,'
she added, with a sigh. 'She is so very bad and spoilt,
that things that do other children good only make her
worse. See, papa, if this wasn't a nice lesson for her.'
And spreading out the half of the sheet which she held,
Belle explained to her papa the portion of her picture
which still remained.
Certainly Mr. Powers did not find the likeness to
Mabel very flattering, or think it calculated to put her
in a good humour with herself or the little artist. Never-
theless he smiled a little, which encouraged Belle, and
she went on-
'I know that child must come to a bad end,' she said;
'and I shall never try again to be friends with her, or to
do her good-no, never, never!'
'Where is the little girl that wanted to be a sunbeam
and shine for Jesus, and show others the way to Him ?'
asked her father.
Belle hung her head.
'But, papa,' she said presently, 'you see it's no use
with her. I believe she's the most wicked girl that
ever lived, and I don't believe there's anything bad she





PROVERB-PICTURES. 53

wouldn't do if she had a chance. She took baby Annie's
chair to-day; and when baby didn't know any better,
and cried for it, Mabel wouldn't give it to her. I think
I'll make up my mind to let her be all the rest of her
life, and make believe she isn't my cousin. I wish she
had stayed at Boston, or else in Europe.'
'For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the
good,' said Mr. Powers softly.
Belle gave another long, despairing sigh, and laid her
head back against her father's shoulder; but she made
no more attempt to excuse herself or to blame her cousin,
'I will not say that you had not some thought of
doing good to Mabel,' said Mr. Powers; 'but you began
wrong, Belle. I think you did not have very kind feel-
ings in your heart, and that you looked only at what was
naughty and perverse in her; and so your picture was
not pleasant, and only made her angry. You and Maggie
and Bessie understand and love one another, and so you
take it pleasantly and patiently when -one among you
tries this way of helping another in what is right. But
I hardly think that any one of you three, good friends
as you are, would have been very much pleased to have
had such a picture made of you.'
Belle sat thoughtful a moment, and then answered-
'Well, no, papa, I don't believe I should have liked it
if Maggie or Bessie had made a proverb-picture about me
slapping Daphne, or being in a passion, or doing any of
those very naughty things I used to do so much. But,
papa, don't you think my patience about Mabel must be
almost tired out ?'
'See here,' said Mr. Powers, drawing toward him a
large Bible which lay near, and turning over the leaves
till he found the words he wanted,-' see here, dear,






54 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

listen to these words: Charity suffereth long and is
kind, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, beareth
all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things." I am
afraid my little Belle has not that kind of charity towards
her cousin.'
'Charity, papa said Belle; 'charity means giving
money and things to beggars and poor people, doesn't it V'
'Charity here means love,' said Mr. Powers,-' love to
God and to man;-that love which makes us want to
work for Jesus by being gentle and patient with the faults
of others; which will not let us be made angry by little
things; which is not ready to think harm of our friends
and playmates ;-love which believes and hopes that even
those who are very wrong and naughty may be made
better, and which teaches us to take the pleasantest
way of doing this,-not showing others their faults in a
manner to pain or anger them, but trying to show them
the better way by an example of kindness and gentle-
ness.'
'No, papa,' said Belle thoughtfully, when her father
ceased speaking; 'I don't think I have much of that kind
of love-charity to Mabel,-no, I don't believe I have.'
I fear not,' said her papa; 'but will you not try for
it, my darling ?'
'Yes,' she answered; 'but you couldn't expect it
would come very quickly, papa. You see I don't know
Mabel very well yet, and I think I don't care about
knowing her any more than I do now. She's so very,
very spoilt, and I believe she'll never be any better.'
Charity believeth all things, hopeth all things,"'
said Mr. Powers.
'Is that in the Bible Proverbs ?' asked Belle.
'No, it is not in Proverbs; but I can give you a verse
\k





PROVERB-PICTURES. 55

from Proverbs which may help you: "A soft answer
turneth away wrath." Wrath means anger.'
'Oh yes,' said Belle, 'I found that out; because to-
day, when Mabel spoke very angry and cross, Bessie
answered her very pleasantly and nicely, and Mabel
looked at her as if she didn't know what to make of her.
And then she spoke nicely too, and quite behaved her-
self. I suppose Bessie has love-charity for Mabel. Tell
me those words again, papa. I'll learn a little bit of
them every day till I know them all, and try to do them
too.'
Her father did as she asked, and then-for it was
growing late-sent her away to bed, satisfied that his
lesson was taking root, and that Belle was sorry, though
she did not say so, that she had offended Mabel by her
"proverb-picture.'
He would have been still more sure of this, and well
pleased too, had he heard his little girl, when Daphne
was undressing her, and as usual began to talk of Mabel
in a very uncomplimentary way-
'Daffy,' said Belle, 'I think we'll have some charity
for Mabel,-not beggar-charity, but love-charity, that be-
lieveth all things, hopeth all things," and makes up its
mind that perhaps she will learn better, and be good,
after all.'






56 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET




VII.

MABEL'S NEW WHIM.

'PLEASE give me my puf-folio, Daphne,' were Belle's
first words in the morning before she was up. 'Puf-
folio' stood for portfolio in Belle's English; and the one
in question was greatly prized by her, as were also the
contents. It had been given to her by Harry Bradford,
who had also presented one to each of his little sisters,
and was formed of large sheets of pasteboard, bound and
tied together with bright-coloured ribbons,-Belle's with
red, Bessie's with blue, and Maggie's with purple. To
be sure the binding and sewing had all been done by
Aunt Annie; but the materials had been furnished from
Harry's pocket-money, and the portfolios were regarded
as the most princely gifts, and treasured with great care.
Within were 'proverb-pictures' of every variety and
in great number; also many a scrap of paper, and-
treasure beyond price !-whole sheets of foolscap for
future use.
One of these last Belle drew forth, and sitting up in
her bed, began to compose another picture. She was
busy with it till Daphne took her up; and even while
the old woman was dressing her, she kept making little
rushes at it, putting in a touch here and there till she
had it finished to her satisfaction.
Mabel did not come to breakfast with her uncle and
cousin that morning, but chose to take it with her
mamma in her own room.





MABEL'S NEW WHIM. 57

So little Belle, when the meal was over, asked her
papa if she might go to her cousin.
'No, dear, I think not,' said her father. You and
Mabel are better apart.'
Oh no, papa!' said Belle; for I am going to have
love-charity for Mabel, and ask her to have some for me,
because, perhaps, I need a little too. I want to make it
up with her. And here's a new picture for her that I
believe she will like better than that old, naughty one I
oughtn't to have made last night. Can't I go and be
friends with her ?'
Her father examined the picture, to make sure that it
could give no cause for new offence; and, satisfied with
her explanation, allowed her to go with it to Mrs. Wal-
ton's room.
Belle knocked, and being told to come in, obeyed.
Her aunt was on the couch, Mabel beside her playing
with a doll, and the scowl and pout with which the latter
greeted her cousin were not very encouraging.
But Belle, feeling that she had been wrong herself,
was determined to persevere in 'making it up' with
Mabel; and she said, though rather timidly-
have made you another proverb-picture, Mabel,
and'-
No, no,' said Mrs. Walton, before she had time to finish
her speech; 'we have had trouble enough with your "pro-
verb-pictures," Belle. You and Mabel cannot agree, it
seems, and you had better each keep to your own rooms.'
Belle was very much hurt, although she felt this was
partly her own fault, and she turned to go with the tears
in her eyes.
When Mrs. Walton saw she was grieved, she was sorry
for what she had said, and she called to the child-






58 BtELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

'Come here then, Belle. I want to speak to you.'
Belle hesitated a moment, holding the door-knob,
and twisting it back and forth; but at last she ran over
to Mrs. Walton's side, and put her hand in that which
was held out to her.
'I'm sorry I teased Mabel, Aunt Fanny,' she said;
"and I didn't make this picture for a lesson to her, but
for a lesson to myself, and to let her see I did want to
make it up. It's almost all about my doing things I
ought to Mabel; and I'm going to try to have love-
charity, and do them.'
'Let's see,' said Mabel, slipping off the couch and
coming. to her cousin's side, curiosity getting the better
of her resentment.
Belle spread out her picture, and explained all its
beauties to Mabel.
That's me, with ugly, naughty lips like I had yester-
day, doing you,' she said. 'And I oughtn't to do it,
when I am often very much spoilt myself.'
No,' said Mabel, gazing with rapt interest upon the
drawing, and already considerably softened by finding
that Belle put her own failings also in her 'proverb-
pictures.'
'But I don't mean to do it any more, Mabel; but to
try to make you be good, and love me by living good my
own self. And now, there's you and me,-me letting
you have my carved animals, and not being mad even if
you broke one a little bit. But you wouldn't, if you
could help it, would you ?'
'No indeed, I wouldn't,' said Mabel very graciously.
"Let's be friends again, Belle.'
So the quarrel was once again made up, and this time
with more goodwill on both sides.





MABEL'S NEW WHIM. 59

'You are a dear child,' said Mrs. Walton; and she
looked thoughtfully and lovingly at the warm-hearted
little girl, who, when she knew she had been wrong, was
ready to acknowledge it, and to try to make amends.
'And Mabel and I should have been more patient with
you in the beginning. Poor child It was a sad thing
for you to lose your mother so early.'
'Oh! I didn't lose her,' said Belle, looking up in her
aunt's face with eyes of innocent surprise.
'How, dear! What do you mean asked Mrs.
Walton, wondering in her turn. Your mamma has gone
away from you ?'
"Yes, but she went to Jesus,' answered the child
simply. You don't lose something when you know it
is in a very safe, happy place with some one very dear
and good to take care of it, even if you can't see it any
more. Do you, Aunt Fanny ?'
'No, I suppose not,' said Mrs. Walton.
'Well, you know mamma has gone to heaven to stay
with Jesus, and He's taking care of her. And by and
by papa and I will go there too, and then we'll see her
again. So we didn't lose her, you know. But then I
have to be very good, and try to please Jesus, and mind
what He, says; and so I know He wants me to have
love-charity for Mabel, and try not to care very much
if she does things I don't like. And mamma will be
glad too. Oh no, Aunt Fanny! I didn't lose my dear
mamma. I know where she is, all safe.'
Mrs. Walton drew her to her and kissed her, while
Mabel, wondering at the new softness and sweetness in
Belle's face and voice, had forgotten the picture, and
stood looking at her.
'All safe!'






60 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

Five little graves lay side by side in an English church-
yard far away; and of those who rested beneath, the
mother had always spoken as her lost darlings.' She
never called them so again; for were they not all safe?'
Others had told her the same. Others had tried to
bring comfort to her grieving and rebellious heart; but
from none had it come with such simple, unquestioning
faith as from the innocent lips of the unconscious little
one before her. Her own loved ones, as well as Belle's
dear mother, were not lost, but all safe.'
She kissed the child again, this time with tears in her
eyes.
'You see,' continued Belle, encouraged to fresh con-
fidence by the new kindness of her aunt's manner,-' you
see, Aunt Fanny, that makes another reason for me to
try to be good. I have a good many reasons to please
Jesus,-because, dear mamma in heaven would want me
to be good, and I would like to do what she wants me
to, even more when she is away than if she was here;
and because I have to be papa's little comfort. That's
what he always says I am, and he says I am his sunbeam
too.'
'I think I must call you that too, darling. You have
brought a little ray of sunshine here this morning.'
'Maggie says when we're good, it's always like sun-
shine; but when we're naughty, it's like ugly, dark clouds,'
said Belle. 'I'm sorry I was a cloud yesterday and the
other day, Aunt Fanny. But I believe it's time for me
to go to school now.'
'Do you like school ?' asked Mrs. Walton.
'Oh, I think I do!' said Belle. 'Why, you don't
know what nice times we have and Miss Ashton is so
kind !'





MABEL'S NEW WHIM. 61

'I want to go to school too,' said Mabel.
Not this morning, dear,' said her mother.
'Yes, I shall-I shall go too, now! If Belle goes, I
will. I shan't stay here with nobody to play with me.'
Mrs. Walton coaxed and promised, but all to no pur-
pose. Mabel was determined to see for herself the 'nice
times' which Belle described. School suddenly put on
great attractions for her, and nothing would do but that
she must go at once. So, taking her by the hand, Mrs.
Walton followed Belle to Mr. Powers' parlour, and asked
him what he thought of Mabel's new whim.
Now, to tell the truth, Mr. Powers had believed that
the best possible thing for Mabel would be to go to
school, and be under the firm but gentle tule of Miss
Ashton; but he had not yet proposed it to her mother,
knowing that the mere mention of it from another person
would be quite enough to make the froward child de-
clare she would never go. Therefore he thought well of
Mabel's wish, although he was not prepared to take Miss
Ashton by surprise on this very morning.
But he knew there was one vacancy in her little school,
and that she would probably consent to let Mabel fill it;
and he thought it was best to take advantage of the little
girl's sudden fancy, or, as Maggie Bradford would have
said, to 'strike while the iron was hot.'
Accordingly he told his sister that he would himself
walk to school with the two children, and learn what
Miss Ashton had to say on the matter; and Mabel, being
made ready with all speed, set forth with her uncle and
cousin.
Miss Ashton agreed to take the new-comer; and
Mabel was at once put into the seat formerly occupied
by Bessie Bradford. Maggie and Bessie had belonged






62 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

to Miss Ashton's class, but their mother taught them at
home now.
Belle could not help a little sigh and one or two long-
ing thoughts as she remembered her dear Bessie who
had formerly sat beside her there, but she did not say a
word of her regret to Mabel.
Mabel behaved as well as possible during the whole of
school-time. Whether it was that she was well amused,
or that she was somewhat awed by the novelty of the
scene and all the new faces about her, certainly neither
Miss Ashton nor Belle had the least cause of complaint
against her' when the time came for school to be dis-
missed.
And this good mood continued all that day, with one
or two little exceptions. It is true that on more than one
of these occasions there might have been serious trouble
between the little cousins, but for Belle's persevering
good temper and patience; and she would have thought
herself 'very naughty' if she had behaved as Mabel did.
But she excused her and bore with her, because it was
Mabel for whom she was to have that charity which
'suffereth long and is kind.'
It was 'hard work too for little Belle; for, though
naturally more generous and amiable than her cousin,
she was pretty much accustomed to having her own way
in all things reasonable. At home her every wish was
law with her papa 'and nurse; Maggie and Bessie Brad-
ford could not do enough to show their love and sym-
pathy; and all her young playfellows and schoolmates
followed their example, and petted aEnd gave way to her,
'because she had no mother.' So 'giving up' was rather
a new thing for Belle,-not because she was selfish, but
because she was seldom called upon to do it.





MABEL'S NEW WHIM. 63

However, she had her reward; for, thanks to her own
sweetness and good temper, there were peace and sunshine
throughout the day. She saw that her father and aunt
were pleased with her; and once even Mabel, seeming
touched and ashamed when Belle had quietly yielded her
own rights, turned round in a sudden and unwonted fit
of penitence, and said-
'There, take it, Belle, you had the best right; and I
won't be mean to you again, because you're really good
to me.'
'My darling has been such a good girl to-day !' said
Mr. Powers, as he took her on his knee when they were
alone, and she came for the little talk they generally had
before her bed-time. 'She has been trying to practise
the lesson she learned last night, and so has made all
about her happy.'
'And been a little sunbeam, papa, have I I'
SYes, indeed, love,-a true sunbeam.'
'And did I make you pleased, papa 1'
'Very much pleased, and truly happy, dear.'
'And mamma will be pleased too, papa; and mamma's
Jesus; and it makes Him my Jesus when I try to be His
sunbeam and shine for Him, don't it ? I think everybody
would be a sunbeam if they always had "love-charity."
Tell it me over again, papa, so that I shall remember it
very well, and explain a little more of it to me.'






64 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.




VIII.

THE LOCKET.

AND this really proved the beginning of better things for
Mabel. Not that she improved so much all at once; or
that she was not often selfish, perverse, and disobedient;
or that she did not often try little Belle very much, and
rpake it hard for her to keep her resolution of being kind
and patient. Nor must it be supposed that Belle always
kept to this resolution, or that she and Mabel did not
now and then have some pretty sharp quarrels;- still, on
the whole, they agreed better than had seemed probable
on their first meeting.
And perhaps it was good for Belle, as well as for
Mabel, that she should sometimes be obliged to give up
her own will to another; and there was no fear, while
her papa and old Daphne were there to watch over her
interests, that she would be suffered to be too much im-
posed upon.
But there could be no doubt that Mabel .was less
unruly and exacting. It might be that she was really
happier with a companion of her own age, or that she
was shamed by Belle's example and kindness to her, or
perhaps it was both these causes; but day by day Belle
found it easier to be on good terms with her, and the
two children were really growing fond of one another.
Other things which had a good effect on Mabel were
going to school, and being now and then with Maggie and
Bessie. She could not but see how much happier and





THE LOCKET. 65

lovelier were those children who were obedient, gentle,
and kind; and she learned much that was good without
any direct teaching. And even the 'proverb-pictures'
became to her what they were intended to be to all, a
source of improvement; for Maggie understood better
than. Belle the art of 'giving a lesson' without wounding
the feelings; and many a gentle reproof or wise hint was
conveyed to Mabel by means of these moral sketches, in
which she really took a great interest.
After the first novelty of school had worn off, Mabel
tired of the restraint and declared that she would go no
more; but in the meantime her father had arrived, and
he- insisted that she should keep on.
For some days after this she gave Miss Ashton a great
deal of trouble, and set at defiance many of her rules
and regulations; but, she soon found that this did her
no good, for Miss Ashton, gentle as she was, would be
obeyed; and Mabel did not find the solitude of the cloak-
room agreeable when she was punished by being,sent
there, and determined that, 'after all, she had the best
time when she was good.'
She was not at all a favourite with her school-mates-
this fractious and self-willed little child; and Belle had
to 'take her part' and coax a good deal before she
could persuade them to regard her with any patience,
or to feel willing to accept her as a member of their
circle.
'What have you there?' asked Mabel one day, coming
into Belle's nursery and finding her looking lovingly at
some small object she held in her hand.
'It's my locket-my new locket that papa gave me a
few minutes ago,' answered Belle.
'Let's see it,' said Mabel, making a grasp at it; but
E






66 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

Belle was too quick for her, and would not suffer her
to seize her treasure.
'You can't have it in your own hands,' she said; 'for
it was my own mamma's, and I don't want any one to
touch it, except they loved her. Only Maggie and Bessie,'
she added, remembering that they had never known her
mother, but that she would by no means keep the choicest
of her treasures from their hands, feeling sure as she did
that they would guard what was precious to her with as
much care as she would herself.
'I'll show it to you, Mabel. Isn't it pretty and
Belle held up a small locket on a slight gold chain.
It was a little, old-fashioned thing, heart-shaped, and
made of fretted gold with a forget-me-not of turquoises
in the centre. It was very pretty,-in Belle's eyes, of
the most perfect beauty; but its great value lay in that
it had belonged, as she told Mabel, to her own mamma
when she was a girl.
It was one of Belle's greatest pleasures to sit upon her
papa's knee and turn over with loving fingers the various
articles of jewellery which had once been her mother's,
and which were to be hers when she should be of a proper
age to have them and take care of them. Mamma's
.pretty things' were a source of great enjoyment to her;
and although Belle loved dress as much as any little girl
of her age, it was with no thought of decking herself in
them, but simply for their own beauty and the sake of
the dear one who had once worn them, that they were
so prized. And now and then, when her' papa gave her
some trifle suitable for her, she seldom wore it, so fearful
would she be of losing it, or lest other harm should come
to it. So now, as things were apt to come to harm in
Mabel's destructive fingers, she was very much afraid of
%





THE LOCKET. 67

trusting the precious locket within them; and stoutly,
though not crossly, refused to let her have it.
Mabel begged and promised, whined and fretted; but
the locket was still held beyond her reach, till at last she
made a snatch and had nearly got it from Belle's hold.
But Daphne's eye was upon her, and Daphne's hand
pulled her back as the old woman said-
Hi! dere none ob dat, Miss Mabel. I ain't goin fur
see my ole missus' tings took from my young missus, and
me by to help it. I ain't goin fur stan' dat, no way;' and
Daphne's grasp was rougher than it need to have been as
she held back the angry, struggling Mabel.
The child was in a great passion: she struck wildly at
the nurse, and screamed aloud, so that her mother came
running to see what was the matter.
'There then, never mind,' said Mrs. Walton, as Mabel, re-
leased from Daphne's hold, rushed to her and complained
that Belle would not let her touch her new locket,-'never
mind, I will give you something pretty to look at.'
'I want a locket like Belle's to keep for my own,' said
Mabel; and then I'll never let her see it.'
'Pooh! I wouldn't look at it,' said Belle, forgetting
all her good resolves, 'if you showed it to me. I'd close
my eyes tight and never open them till you took it away.
And I don't believe the jeweller has any like this.'
But Mabel had hardly left the room with her mother
before Belle was sorry, as usual, for the anger she had
shown, and said remorsefully to Daphne-
'There now, I went and forgot the Bible proverb papa
gave me, and didn't give "a soft answer" to turn away
Mabel's wrath, but spoke as cross as anything, and was
really naughty. I'll run after her, and let her touch my
locket very carefully with her own hands.'






68 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

And away she went, ready to make peace, even by
doing that which was not pleasant to her; but the dear
little thing was only partly successful, for as Maggie
afterwards said, when Belle told her the story, 'Mabel
was of that kind of nature that if you gave her an inch,
she took an ell;' and no sooner did Belle let her have
the locket in her own hands than she wanted to have it
about her neck and wear it. This was too much, even
for the little peace-maker: she could not make up her
mind to give way in this, nor, indeed, could she have
been expected to do so; and quiet was not restored till
Mabel's mother was worried into taking her out at once
in search of such a locket as Belle's.
But the search proved quite fruitless, for no locket
exactly like Belle's could be found, and Mabel would not
be satisfied with one that was different. In vain did she
and her mother go from jeweller's to jeweller's; in vain
did Mrs. Walton offer the spoilt child lockets far more
showy and costly than the one on which she had set her
heart; in vain did the shopman assure her that such as
she desired were quite out of the fashion,' an argument
which generally went a good way with Mabel. One just
like Belle's she would have.
Then we will have one made,' said Mrs. Walton,
and inquired when it could be finished. But when
the jeweller said it would take a week or more, neither
would this satisfy the naughty child, who was in a mood
that was uncommonly perverse and obstinate, even for her.
'I shall have one to-day,' she repeated; and was so
very troublesome that even the patience, of her mistaken
and spoiling mother at last gave way, and the jeweller
heartily wished himself rid of such a noisy, ill-behaved
customer.






THE LOCKET. 69

However, Mrs. Walton gave the order, and promised
to bring Belle's locket for the jeweller to see the pattern
on Monday, this being Saturday, and then returned
home with her naughty child.
Belle had gone out,-gone to Mrs. Bradford's to spend
the day with Maggie and Bessie, as she always did on
Saturday; and Mabel was left to whine and fret by her
self till evening.
This gave her fresh cause of displeasure. She was
vexed at her cousin for leaving her alone; and when
Belle returned, she was greeted with-
Mamma is going to take your locket away from you
on Monday, and take it to the jeweller to make me one
just like it.'
'No,' said Belle, backing from Mabel to her father's
knee, and holding fast with one hand clasped over the
other upon the beloved locket, as if she feared it was to
be snatched from her at once.
You'll let me take it to the jeweller for a pattern,
dear, won't you ?' said her aunt. 'Mabel wants one just
like it.'
Belle shook her head.
No, Aunt Fanny,' she answered, I couldn't. It was
my own mamma's, and I couldn't let it go from me.
And I don'twant anybody to have one just like it.'
She did not speak unkindly or pettishly, but with a
quiet determination in her tone, such as she sometimes
showed, and which, in some cases, might seem to be
obstinacy. But it was not so now; and it was evident
that the child had some deep and earnest reason for her
refusal,-a feeling that the little treasure which had be-
longed to her mamma had something so dear and sacred
about it, that it could not be suffered to pass into strange






70 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

hands, even for a time. Nor could she bear to have it
copied.
'The jeweller didn't know my own mamma. Aunt
Fanny,' she answered again to her aunt's persuasions.
'Perhaps he wouldn't be so very gentle with it. I
couldn't,--I really couldn't.'
Tears gathered in the eyes of the sensitive little one
as she spoke, and there was a piteous tremble of her lip
which forbade her aunt to urge her further. But Mabel
was not to be so put off.
You cannot have it, Mabel,' said Mr. Powers. 'I
will not have Belle troubled in this matter.'
'What is it .' asked Mr. Walton, looking up from his
evening paper, to which he had until now given all his
attention, too much accustomed to the fretful tones of
his little daughter's voice to pay heed to them when he
could avoid it.
The trouble was soon explained; and Mr. Walton, who
had lately awakened to the fact that his Mabel had be-
come a most troublesome and disagreeable child, and that
it was time for her to learn that she must sometimes
give up her own will and consider others, told her that
she must think no more of this new whim; and that if
she could not be contented with such a locket as he
might choose for her on Monday, she should have none
at all.
'Then I won't have any at all,' said Mabel, passion-
ately. 'And I won't eat any breakfast, or dinner, or
supper, not for many days.'
'Just as you like,' said Mr. Walton, coolly taking up
his paper, and beginning to read again; while his wife
looked pleadingly at him, but to no purpose; and Belle
sat gazing in amazement at the child who dared to speak






THE LOCKET. 71

in such a way to her father. Indulgent as Mr. Powers
always was to his motherless little girl, she knew very
well that he never would have overlooked such disrespect
as that, nor could she have believed it possible that she
should ever be guilty of it.
Astonishment and indignation at this novel mode of
treatment held Mabel speechless and quiet for a moment.
Then she set up a roar which would have been surprising,
as coming from so small a pair of lungs, to any one who
had not known her powers in that particular.
But here again Mr. Walton, who, as Belle afterwards
told'her papa, seemed to be disposed to 'turn over a new
leaf about training up Mabel in the .way she should go,'
interfered, and bade her go from the room, or be quiet.
She chose neither. And the matter ended by her
father himself carrying her away, and giving orders that
she should be put to bed.
Belle was very sorry for all this, and could not help
feeling as if she somehow was to blame, although the
matter of the locket was one too near her little heart to
be given up. But she went to her uncle when her own
bedtime came, and begged that she might go and wish
Mabel good-night, and be friends with her once more.
But Mr. Walton thought it better, as did Belle's own
papa, that the wilful child should be left to herself till
the next day. And he dismissed Belle with a kind kiss,
saying-
'Mabel will feel better in the morning, dear, and then
she will be ready to make friends with you; but just
now T am afraid she is still too naughty to meet you
pleasantly.'
D






7 2 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.





IX.

BELLE'S MISFORTUNE.

MR. WALTON was sadly mistaken when he thought that
his little girl would have forgotten her ill-temper, and be
ready to be pleasant and good-humoured in the morning.
Mabel awoke sulky and pouting, quite determined to be-
lieve that Belle had grievously injured her, and obsti-
nately refusing to be reconciled unless she would consent
to give up the locket.
Had Belle been willing to do this, her papa and uncle
would not have permitted it. But, though Mabel was
in a state of displeasure with the world in general that
morning, she chose to consider Belle as chief offender,
and treated her accordingly.
But it's Sunday,' said Belle, when she refused to kiss
her for good morning.
'Don't I know that ?' snapped Mabel.
'But I don't like to be cross with any one on Sunday,'
pleaded Belle.
'You're cross to me, and so I'll be cross with you,-
Sunday and Monday, and every day,' said the disagree-
able child. 'Now let me be.'
And Belle, seeing that Mabel was not to be persuaded
into a better temper, was forced to do as she said, and
let her alone.
And all day, Sunday though it was, Mabel was even
more peevish, exacting, and troublesome than usual, till





BELLE'S MISFORTUNE. 73

she was a burden and torment to herself and every one
about her.
When Monday morning came she was rather more
reasonable, but still persisted in being 'offended' with
Belle, and even refused to walk on the same side of the
street with her when they were going to school.
'Will you wear your new locket, Miss Belle ?' asked
Daphne, when she was making her little mistress ready
for school.
'No, I think not,' said Belle. 'Something might
happen to it, and perhaps it's too good.'
I reckon it's not too fancy,' said Daphne, holding up
the locket, and looking at it admiringly. 'You may
wear it if you like, and mebbe Miss Ashton would like,
to see it.'
Now the locket was perhaps not quite a proper thing
for Belle to wear to school; and had her father been there,
he might have advised her to keep to her first decision.
But Daphne always liked to deck out her little lady in
all the finery she could lay her hands on; and, had she
not been held in check by wiser heads, would often have
sent her forth to school in very improper guise. And as
Mabel was always very well dressed, it chafed Daphne
sorely to contrast the simple but more suitable garments
of her little Miss Belle with the showy ones worn by her
cousin.
So now she persuaded Belle to wear the locket, saying,
not to the child, but to herself,,that it 'was time folks
foun' out her folks was wort something an' had plenty of
pretty things if they on'y chose to show 'em;' and, rather
against the child's own better judgment, she suffered the
nurse to put the locket about her neck.
It was well for Belle, and for those who had the guid-






74 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

ing of her, that she was such a docile little girl, generally
willing and anxious to do that which she believed to be
right, or she might have been sadly injured by the spoil-
ing of her devoted but foolish old nurse. As it was, it
did not do her much harm, and Daphne often felt herself
put to shame by the little-one's uprightness and good
sense.
However, on this morning Daphne had her way; and,
as. I have said, the locket was put on.
As might have been supposed, the new ornament
immediately attracted the attention of all Belle's class-
mates. And they crowded about her before school
opened, to examine and admire, with many an 'oh !' and
'ah !' 'how lovely !'and how pretty !'
'Mabel, have you one too?' asked Dora Johnson.
For the children had found out by this time that if Belle
had a pretty thing, Mabel was sure to have one also.
'I'm going to,' said Mabel, one just like it. You see
if I don't; even if that cross-patch won't let the man
have it for a pattern. She thinks herself so great,
nobody can have a locket like hers:.'
'Belle's not a cross-patch,' said Lily Norris. 'And,
Mabel, if you talk that way about her, we won't be
friends with you, not any of the class. Belle's old in the
class, and you're new, and we don't think so very much
of you. So you'd better look out.'
Mabel and Lily were always at daggers drawn. For
Lily was saucy and outspoken, very fond of Belle, and
always upholding her rights, or what she' considered
such.
'Belle's downright selfish,' muttered Mabel; 'and you
shan't talk to me that way, Lily.'
God gave me my tongue for my own, and I keep it for






BELLE'S MISFORTUNE. 75

just what words I choose to say,' said Lily, losing both
temper and grammar in her indignation; 'and Belle's
not selfish, but you; and almost always, when people are
selfish themselves, they think others are that aren't.
That's the kind that you're of, Mabel.'
'Now don't let's quarrel,' said Nellie Ransom, the
prudent; else Miss Ashton will come, and send us to
our seats.'
'But, Belle dear,' said Dora, what's the reason you
don't want Mabel to have a locket like yours ?'
Belle told her story; and very naturally the sym-
pathies of all her class-mates went with her, and Mabel
was speedily made to see that she was thought to be
altogether in the wrong, which did not tend to restore
her to good humour.
'I shall take it to the jeweller for a pattern,' she said
angrily; 'you see if I don't. I'll get it.'
'No, you won't,' said Lily. Belle knows you. She'll
take good enough care of it; and just you try to snatch
it now.'
What would follow if she did, Lily plainly expressed
in the threatening shake of the head with which she
accompanied her words.
Further quarrelling or unkind threats were prevented
by the entrance of Miss Ashton, who called her little
class to order, and school was opened.
Miss Ashton had more trouble with Mabel that
morning than she had had any day since she first came
to school. She was pettish and fretful beyond all reason,
elbowed and crowded the other children, pouted over
her lessons, and was disrespectful to her teacher; and
once broke into such a roar, that Mrs. Ashton hastily
opened the doors between the two rooms and inquired into






76 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

the cause of the trouble. This soon hushed Mabel's
screams; for the elder lady's looks were rather stern and
severe, and she, at least, was one person of whom the
wilful child stood in wholesome dread.
But though quiet was restored for a 'time, it was not
to last long; and this seemed destined to be a day of
trouble, all through Mabel's naughtiness. Miss Ashton
called up the arithmetic class; and as they stood about
her desk, she saw Mabel and Lily elbowing one another
with all their might,-the former cross and scowling, the
latter looking defiant and provoking, and still half-good-
humoured too.
'Children Lily and Mabel What are you doing ?'
Sshe asked.
'Can't Mabel keep her elbow out of my way, Miss
Ashton ?' said Lily.
'For shame !' said the lady; 'two little girls quarrel-
ling about such a trifle as that.'
'But, Miss Ashton,' pleaded Lily,' she sticks me so!
She oughtn't to take up'any more room than that;' and
she measured with her hand the portion of empty space
which, according to her ideas, rightfully belonged to
Mabel; while the latter, conscious that she had been
wilfully trespassing, had nothing to say.
'I am sorry that my little scholars cannot agree,' said
Miss Ashton. 'Mabel, stand back a little, and keep
your elbows down, my dear. If you cannot behave
better, I shall be forced to send you into the other room
to my mother; and all the young ladies there will know
you have been naughty.'
To be sent into Mrs. Ashton in disgrace was thought
a terrible punishment, and Miss Ashton had never yet
had to put it in practice; the mere mention of it was






BELLE'S MISFORTUNE. 77

generally enough to bring the naughtiest child to good
behaviour, and it was a threat she seldom used. But
she knew that the solitude of the cloak-room had quite
lost its effect on Mabel, and felt that some stronger
measures must be taken if there was to be any peace
that day.
Mabel obeyed; but, in spite of the threatened punish-
ment, her temper so far got the better of her that she
could not resist giving Lily a parting thrust with her
elbow,-a thrust so hard that Lily's slate was knocked
from her hand and fell upon the floor, where it broke
into three or four pieces.
Now, indeed, Mabel was frightened; and the other
children stood almost breathless, waiting for what Miss
Ashton would say and do.
She said nothing; what she did was to rise quickly,
take Mabel by the hand, and turn to lead her to the
other room.
Dreading she hardly knew what, Mabel was still too
thoroughly terrified at the prospect before her to rebel
any further, or to do more than gasp out-
'Oh Miss Ashton I won't do so any more I didn't
mean to I will be good !'
Miss Ashton did not answer, but drew her on; when
Belle, dropping her own slate beside Lily's, sprang for-
ward and laid her hand on her teacher, looking up with
eyes as appealing as Mabel's.
'Please excuse her this time, Miss Ashton,' she ex-
claimed. 'I don't think she did mean to break Lily's
slate. She only meant to jog her, and the slate fell out
of her hand; but I don't believe she meant to do it.
Try her just this once, dear Miss Ashton; may be she
will be good.'






78 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

Miss Ashton looked down at the little pleader andt
hesitated. Truth to tell, she had not known how ter-
rible a bugbear her mother was to her young flock: she
was sorry now that she saw they had such a dread of
her, and perhaps was ready to seize upon an excuse to
relent and withdraw her threat.
Ohl! I will, I will be good! I'll never do so any
more !' sobbed Mabel.
Miss Ashton turned about, and, taking her seat, placed
Mabel in front of her.
'Very well,' she said. I will excuse you this once;
not because you do not deserve .punishment, Mabel, but
because Belle begs for you. But remember it is for this
one time. If you behave again as you have done this
morning, I shall certainly punish you. And you must
stand there now and say your lesson apart from the other
children.'
Relieved from the dread of going to Mrs. Ashton,
Mabel did not so very much mind that, or the cold, dis-
pleased glances of the rest of the class; but as she took
her place, she cast a grateful look over at Belle, to whom
she truly felt she owed her escape; and Belle felt quite
repaid for the' love-charity' which had helped her to
forget and forgive Mabel's unkind behaviour to herself
and to plead for her.
But the troubles which arose from Mabel's misconduct
"had by no means come to an end. Belle's place in the
class was just at Miss Ashton's left hand; and when she
dropped her slate, it fell at the foot of the lady's chair.
It had escaped the fate of Lily's, not being even cracked
by the fall; but as poor little Belle stooped to pick it up,
a far worse misfortune than the loss of her slate befell
her. As she raised her head, the slight chain about her





BELLE'S MISFORTUNE. 79

neck caught on the arm of the chair, and the strain
snapped it in two.
The sudden check and drag hurt Belle, and left an
angry red mark about her neck, but she did not heed the
sting as she saw chain and locket fall at her feet.
She did not say a word, only snatched it up with a
quick, long-drawn breath, and stood for a moment looking
at it with the utmost dismay and grief in her counte-
nance; while a chorus of sympathizing exclamations arose
from the other children. The mischief done was not so
very great, and could easily be repaired; but in Belle's
eyes it seemed very dreadful, and as though her treasure
was very nearly, if not quite destroyed. Great tears
rose to her eyes and rolled slowly down her cheeks ; and
she turned to Miss Ashton, piteously holding out the
locket in her hand.
Miss Ashton hastened to bring comfort.
Never mind, dear,' she said cheerfully; 'it can easily
be mended. Tell papa it was an accident, and he will
have it done for you, I am sure.'
'But now the jeweller will have to take it,' said Lily,
indignantly; and Belle didn't want to have it go away
from her, and it's all just for the way Mabel behaved. I
should think a broken locket and a broken slate were
about too much consequence of any one's naughtiness and
hatefulness for one day.'
'Be quiet, Lily,' said Miss Ashton.
'But it's true, Miss, Ashton; it all came of that old
Mabel's badness,' persisted Lily.
'Lily, will you be quiet ?' repeated her teacher.
Lily dared say no more; but borrowing a slate for the
purpose from the child who stood next her, she held it
closely before her face, and from behind that shelter






80 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

made two or three grimaces at Mabel, which, whatever
relief they might afford her own feelings, did neither
harm nor good to any one else, as they were not seen.
Still Lily's words were felt by Belle and all the rest
of the class to be true. Belle's misfortune was certainly
the result of-Mabel's ill-behaviour; and it was very hard
for the poor little girl to keep down the angry feelings,
which seemed as if they would rise up to accuse her
cousin.
And Lily's speech or speeches, and the knowledge. that
she was blamed' by all her class-mates, vexed Mabel
again, and crushed down the better feelings which had
arisen towards Belle, so that she put on an appearance
of complete indifference to her distress, and muttered
sulkily-
'I don't care.'
'Put the locket carefully away in your desk, dear,'
said Miss Ashton to Belle, and do not fret about it.
Your papa will have it fixed for'you, and it will be as
good as ever.'
Belle obeyed, putting the locket carefully in one corner
of her desk, with a rampart of books raised about it;
and then returned to her place, still rather disconsolate,
and feeling that she was fully entitled to all the pitying
and sympathizing looks bestowed upon her.
After this the business of the class went on without
further interruption, and the arithmetic lesson came to
an end.





A TERRIBLE LOSS. 81




X.

A TERRIBLE LOSS.

WHEN Miss Ashton dismissed the rest of her little class
for the recess which they took in the course of the morn-
ing, she told Mabel to come with her; and taking her
apart into a room by herself, she talked gravely but
kindly to her.
'Would you like it, my dear,' she said, 'if I sent you
home with a note to your mamma, saying I could no
longer have you in the school ?'
Mabel hesitated a moment, half-inclined to say that it
was just what she would like; but calling to mind the
nice plays she often had with her young school-mates,
the pretty picture-cards she sometimes received from
Miss Ashton when she had been particularly good or
recited her lessons well, and several other pleasures
which school afforded, she thought better of it, and said
she would not like it at all; adding to herself, what she
dared not say aloud to Miss Ashton, that she would
carry no such note home, but throw it away in the street
if it was given to her.
'And I should be very sorry to do it,' said the young
lady; 'but, Mabel, unless you do better, I cannot have
you in my school. Why, my dear, since you have been
here, there has been more quarrelling and disturbance
than during all the rest of the time I have had the class.
This must not go on; for you cannot stay with us if you
will behave so as to destroy all our peace and comfort.'
F






82 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

Mabel hung her head, but she took the reproof better
than she generally received any fault-finding; and after
Miss Ashton had talked a little more, setting her
naughtiness and its sad consequences plainly before her,
and urging her to be good and amiable for her own sake
as well as because it was right, she had permission to go,
and left her teacher, half-repentant, but still not quite
determined to take her advice and warnings and make
up her mind to be a better child.
In this perverse mood, she did not feel as if she should
like to join the other children, who were playing on the
piazza and out in the garden, but wandered back to the
school-room by herself. She sat here a moment or two
in her own seat, which was next to Belle's, knocking her
feet idly against the floor, and wishing for something to
amuse herself with, but still too proud or too sulky to go
and play with the others. But presently she bethought
herself once more of the locket, and the temptation came
to her to open Belle's desk and look at it. Then Con-
science whispered,' Shame shame! Belle was so kind
to you, and begged you off when Miss Ashton would
have punished you.'
The still, small voice made itself heard so plainly that
she could not refuse to listen at first, but she tried to
hush it, and at last succeeded.
'I'm not going to do any harm,' she said; only just
to look at the locket, and that can't hurt it. Belle won't
know it, and she won't be wild.'
She opened Belle's desk and peeped in.
There lay the pretty trifle she coveted, in the snug
corner where the little owner's hands had so carefully
placed it. Mabel looked and looked, and from looking
she went to touching it; first with only one finger, feel-





A TERRIBLE LOSS. 83

ing guilty and ashamed all the time; for with all her
faults, Mabel was not generally deceitful or meddling.
Presently growing bolder, she took it up, shut down the
lid of the desk, and sat turning the locket over and over,
wishing that the jeweller were there, so that she might
show it to him while Belle knew nothing about it.
Suddenly she heard a quick, running step in the hall
without; and before she had time to open Belle's desk
and put the locket in its place, Dora Johnson came in.
Mabel dropped the locket in her lap, and threw her
pocket-handkerchief over it. Dora saw nothing wrong,
only Mabel sitting there with a very red face, which she
supposed to arise from shame, as indeed it* partly did,
though it came from a cause which Dora never suspected.
It's beginning to rain, and we all have to come in,'
said Dora; and the next moment the whole troop of chil-
dren running in proved the truth of her Words. They
did not all come into the school-room; but Dora and one
or two more were there, so that Mabel did not dare to
lift the lid of Belle's desk again and put back the locket.
She was very much frightened, and would have been
content, glad indeed, to give up the hope of any locket
at all, to have had Belle's safely back where she had left
it. She knew that her school-mates would all cry out
shame upon her if they saw that she had meddled with
the locket, and she knew that she deserved this; but she
shrank from the looks and words of scorn and displeasure
which she knew would fall upon her, when they dis-
covered the treachery she had been guilty of towards her
dear little cousin.
So she felt and thought as she sat there with the
locket hidden on her lap; and at last feeling that she
must rid herself of it by some means, and fearing that






84 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

Miss Ashton would return to call them to order before
she did so, she rose and wandered out of the room, hold-
ing the locket fast within her handkerchief.
Most of the children were in the hall, and she went
on into the cloak-room. There was no one there; and
as she looked about her, wondering what she should do
with the locket, the bell rang to call the class back to
their places.
With no time to think, with no plan in her head, not
meaning to keep the locket from Belle, nor yet seeing
her way clearly to the means of getting it back, Mabel
hastily dropped it in a corner upon the floor, snatched
down her own hat and bag and threw them over it; then
ran back to the school-room with beating heart and crim-
son cheeks. No one noticed her guilty looks ; or, if they
did, attributed them to the same cause that Dora John-
son had done, and did not speak of them.
The class in reading was now called up; and as Mabel
took her stand about the middle of the row, she gave her
attention, not to the task before her, but to the locket
lying hidden in the cloak-room, and tried to contrive a
way out of her difficulty.
Suddenly a thought struck her, and she gave a great
sigh of relief. This was the day on which Belle took her
music-lesson after school was dismissed : it might be that
she would not discover that the locket had been taken
out of her desk till she came to go home; and she,
'Mabel, would have time to put it back after the other
children had left.
Miss Ashton's voice roused her, calling back her
thoughts to her lesson, and reminding her that it was her
turn to read; but she did not know where the place was,
and when it was pointed out to her by Belle, she stum-





A TERRIBLE LOSS. 85

bled and blundered over words that she knew quite well,
and read most disgracefully, finishing her performance
with a new burst of crying.
Miss Ashton did not find fault with her, believing
perhaps that she really could not help it, but passed on
to the next. Would she have taken it so quietly if she
had known the true cause of Mabel's excitement ? The
child could not help 'asking herself this question, or
wondering what punishment she would be called on to
bear if her teacher knew all. Not for twenty lockets
such as Belle's would she have borne the miserable feel-
ings from which she was suffering now.
So the time dragged on, heavily, heavily, till it was
the hour for dismissal; and the little ones prepared to
go home.
Mabel watched Belle's every motion, scarcely daring
to hope that she would not discover her loss before she
went down-stairs to her music-lesson; but Belle, never
dreaming but that her treasure lay safely hidden in the
far corner where she had left it, put books and slate back
into her desk in haste, and at last followed Miss Ashton
from the room.
Then Mabel hurried into the cloak-room, a new fear
taking hold of her, as fears without number or reason
ever will of the guilty. Suppose any of the other children
had lifted her cloak and found the locket beneath it!
No: it lay upon the floor still,-not just as she had left
it, it seemed to her fearful, suspicious eyes. But no one
turned upon her with accusing words or looks; and she
believed herself safe, if she could but manage to 4be the
last child to go.
Nanette, her nurse, who was waiting for her, was too
well used- to her freaks to be much surprised when she






86 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

declared she was not going home just yet; and stood by,
with what patience she might, to await the pleasure of
her hard young task-mistress, who plumped herself down
on the floor upon her cloak with a look of dogged deter-
mination, which Nanette knew well would change to'one
of furious passion if she were crossed.
As Lily Norris left the room, she could not refrain from
a parting shot at Mabel.
'Mabel,' she said, 'in the "Nonsense Book" there is a
picture of a sulky girl sitting on a carpet, and the read-
ing about her begins,
"There was a young lady of Turkey,
Whose temper was exceedingly murky ;"
and I just believe the man that drew her portrait, and
made the poetry about her, meant you;' with which,
mindful of the fact that Mabel's hand was swift and
heavy when she was provoked, she flew from the room,
chuckling over her own joke, and joined in her daughter
by those who followed her, Lily being considered a great
wit.
So much had Mabel set all her young school-mates
against her, that there was scarcely one who did not
enjoy a laugh at her expense. But just now Mabel was
too much troubled about another matter to vex herself
concerning Lily's tantalizing words; and she was only
too thankful to see all the children leave the cloak-room
one after another.
The moment the last one had disappeared, she ordered
her nurse to go out and stand in the entry; sprang to
her feet and snatched up the cloak, intending to run
with the locket and pop it into Belle's desk without loss
of time.





A TERRIBLE LOSS. 87

But-there was no locket there !
She shook out her cloak and turned it over and over,
looked in her hat, searched all about the corner, and then
threw her eyes hastily around the room; all in vain.
The locket was certainly gone; and the next moment
a cry, half of rage, half of alarm and despair, brought
Nanette back to the room.
'What is it ?' she asked, seeing by the child's face that
it was no ordinary fit of temper that ailed Mabel.
'It's gone! Oh, it's gone !' sobbed Mabel, wringing
her hands and looking the very picture of distress.
'But what is gone? What have you lost asked the
maid.
Then Mabel recollected herself, and cried less loudly:
she would not have even Nanette know how naughty she
had been, how meanly she had acted towards the dear
little cousin who had been so kind to her; for, mingled
with her own fears for herself, there was a feeling of deep
remorse for the trouble she had brought upon Belle.
What would the latter say when she should discover
her loss ?
And, oh dear! oh dear! what was she to do herself?
Even her own indulgent and all-excusing mother could
hardly overlook such a thing as this.
She ceased her loud cries and tried to choke back the
sobs, but in vain did she wipe her eyes again and again:
the tears gathered and rolled down her cheeks as fast as
she dried them away; and presently Miss Ashton, who
had heard the cries, came running up-stairs, followed by
Belle, to see what was the matter.
But the moment she saw them, Mabel turned sullen,
pouted out her lips, and would not speak; nor could
Nanette give any explanation of the cause of the commo-






88 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

tion she had made. And Miss Ashton, much displeased
at this new disturbance, bade the nurse put on Mabel's
things and take her home at once.
Mabel was glad enough to obey, and she suffered
Nanette to lead her home as quietly as a lamb, though
she could not help a tear and a sigh now and then; and
Nanette wondered much what secret trouble should have
brought about this distress.
Nor was Mabel's mamma more successful in discover-
ing the cause, when she noticed the traces of tears and
observed the child's evident unhappiness. Mabel would
not speak, or confess what she had done; and she shrank
from her mother's caresses and coaxings, and hung about
in sullen, miserable silence, waiting till Belle should come
home grieved to the heart, as she knew she would be, by
the loss of her much-prized locket.










I





BELLE'S GRIEF. 89




XI.

BELLE'S GRIEF.

AND meanwhile how was it with little Belle ?
Daphne went for her young mistress at the appointed
hour, and as soon as the music-lesson was finished took
her up-stairs to make her ready.
'An' whar's yer locket, honey ?' she asked, immediately
missing the ornament from about the child's neck.
In my desk: it did run a danger, Daphne. I broke
the chain and had to put it away. I'm going to bring it,
and give it to you to carry home very carefully, so that
it won't be lost.'
"And how did it come broke, dearth' questioned the
old woman.
'The chain caught on Miss Ashton's chair and came
right in two,' said Belle, refraining from blaming her
cousin, upon whom she knew Daphne looked with such
an unfavourable eye.
And away she ran into the school-room, Daphne follow-
ing, and opened her desk.
'What!' she exclaimed, seeing the locket was not
where she had left it; and then hastily fell to turning
her books over and looking beneath them.
'What is it, dear heart? Whar am it gone' said
Daphne, seeing no locket, and observing the disturbance
of her little charge.
'I don't know; I left it here,-right here in this
corner. Oh! Daffy, I know I did; and I never touched






90 BELLE POWERS' LOCKET.

it again. Miss Ashton told me not, not till I went home;
and I did mind her, oh! I did; but it isn't there. Oh!
Daffy, you look, quick. Oh! my locket, mamma's own
locket!'
Daphne turned over each book as hurriedly as Belle
had done; then took them all out and shook them,
peered within the empty desk, and swept her hand
around it again and again; looked on the floor beneath:
but all in vain. The locket was certainly not there, and
Belle's face grew each moment more and more troubled.
'You's forgot, and took it out again, honey,' said the
old woman at last.
Oh! I didn't. How could I forget ? And I don't
disobey Miss Ashton when she tells me not to do a
thing; I don't, Daphne. And I couldn't forget about
my mamma's locket;' and the poor little thing burst into
tears. Such tears!
If any of you have ever lost something which to you
was very dear and sacred, which you looked upon as a
treasure past all price, and which you would not have
exchanged for a hundred pretty things, each one of far
more value, you may know how Belle felt at this un-
looked-for, and, to her, mysterious disappearance of her
locket.
Now, don't yer, honey-pot,-don't yer,' said Daphne,
vainly trying to soothe her. 'Twill be foun', I reckon.
But if you ain't took it out, some one else has, for sar-
tain. It ain't walked out ob yer desk widout han's, for
sartain sure.'
Oh! but, Daffy, who would take it ? Who would be
so bad to me ? They knew I loved it so. I don't be-
lieve anybody could tease me so, when they knew it was
my own dead mamma's locket,' sobbed the little one.





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