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GRACE wA'3rING TIER FLOWERS. --Vol. IT. pagpe 20.
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BY AUNT HATTIE.
"He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and
thy judgment as the noon-day.-David.
HENRY A. YOUNG & CO.,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year I871, by
HENRY A. YOUNG & CO.,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
OF VOLUMES IN
THE HAPPY HOME STORIES.
VOL. I. LITTLE FLYAWAY.
VOL. II. THE SPOILED PICTURE.
VOL. III. FLEDA'S CHILDHOOD.
VOL. IV. THE SINGING GIRL,
VOL. V. MOLLY AND THE WINE GLASS.
VOL. VI. THE TWINS.
OF VOLUMES IN
THE HAPPY HOME STORIES.
I. DILIGENT DICK.
II. COUSIN WILLIE.
III. LAZY ROBERT.
IV. LITTLE FRITZ.
V. THE NEW BUGGY.
VI. BERTIE AND IIS SISTERS:
GRACE'S GUARDIAN, 9
GRACE LEAVING HOIJI, 18
GRACE AT SCHOOL,. 26
GRACE'S COMPOSITIONS . 37
THE Two PICTURES. 46
GRACE AND ALICE, 56
GRACE'S SOSoow, 64
THE TR LETTER, 75
THE GOLD MEDAL, 84
f CHAPTER X.
THE DISCLOSURE, 95
THE SPOILED PICTURE.
GRACE S GUARDIAN.
GRACE STANLEY was the youngest
pupil in Mrs. Rhoades' family-school.
She was only twelve years old; but
she had known both joy and sorrow.
For eleven bright years her life had
been all sunshine. She had a de-
lightful home,, a father and mother
who loved to make her happy, birds
and flowers, a pet kitten, and the
great Newfoundland dog, Sailor, to
amuse her leisure moments; but alas!
one day Mrs. Stanley was taken ill of
10 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
a fever, and died before the week was
out. Her father was soon attacked,
and had only time to send for a friend,
and commit his poor child, so sudden-
ly bereft of all that was dear, to his
care before he too was called away.
Grace had scarcely begun to com-
prehend that her mother, her loving
tender mamma, had gone forever
from her sight, before she was told by
her old nurse that she was not only
motherless but fatherless.
From her papa's grave she was
taken to the house of Mr. Chester,
her guardian; though she had beg-
ged with tears to go back to Nannie
her old nurse.
When night came, and. she was
sent to her chamber alone, she was
almost frantic with grief. Twice the
GRACE'S GUARDIAN. 11
chamber girl, more compassionate
than her mistress, summoned the lady
from the parlor and told her the poor
orphan was almost in convulsions.
But when Mrs. Chester entered the
chamber, Grace's cries for Mamma,
darling mamma," seemed to her so
childish, she only reproved the 'or-
phan for her want of submission to
the will of God.
At last, worn out by her sobs, she
fell asleep, her head resting against
a chair. Here Maria, the chamber-
girl, found her, and, without awaking,
laid her upon the bed.
The next morning when the loud
bell rang: in the hall for the late
breakfast, Mr. and Mrs. Chester,
their son, a young man in college,
and a lady visiting the family, assem-
12 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
bled; but Grace did not make her
Go to her chamber, Maria, and
tell her to come at once," ordered
Mrs. Chester coldly.
"I heard her sobbing till a late
hour," remarked the visitor.
We must remember, she has al-
ways been petted and indulged," ad-
ded Mr. Chester.
"And spoiled of course," laughed
Maria returned to the dining room,
her eyes stretched wide open, and
She'd gone, and without a bonnet.
Her clothes are lying just where I
put them; but she's away."
"Very well," returned Mrs. Ches-
ter. You may pass the muffins."
GRACE'S GUARDIAN. 13
"I heard a dog barking under my
window at an early hour," George
Yes," said his father, 'Twas
Mr. Stanley's old family dog. He
followed the carriage to the grave,
and then came here with the child."
"I'd give a hundred dollars for a
brute that would feel such an affec-
tion for me," said George, taking from
Maria a second slice of cold ham.
"I shall have to give over this
business to your care, my son," said
his father. Probably you will find
Grace, and the dog with her, some-
where near the house. I will try
and return early, and decide what is
best to be done with the little girl."
About an hour after breakfast the
young collegian sauntered out in
14 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
search of the missing child; but she
was nowhere to be found. At noon
Mrs. Chester began to be somewhat
alarmed, and sent the servants in
every direction. All they could learn
was that a neighbor had seen a bare-
headed child with a large dog by her
side, running toward the city.
Mr. Stanley's place was nearly five
nailes away; but after finding the
search in every other direction was
unavailing, they concluded she must
have followed old Sailor home.
Here at last they found her wan-
dering around the vacant house in
company with Nannie, who had re-
ceived directions from Mr. Chester to
pack up Grace's clothes, and have
the house ready for a tenant, as he
intended to rent it furnished.
GRACE'S GUARDIAN. 15
"Poor little, tired dear," ejaculated
the old woman when she saw the
gentleman standing before her. It
was all strange to her there; and she
wanted her old nurse to comfort her,
when her father and mother have
How did she get here ? inquired
Mr. Chester, somewhat moved by the
sight of the disconsolate figure before
"She walked, and walked till our
market man overtook her and brought
Well get her ready now, I can't
Grace threw her arms around Nan-
nie's neck, and burst into such a dis-
tressed cry, that it was in vain to try
and comfort' her.
16 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
"Leave the poor orphan with her
old nurse," plead the woman, tears
streaming down her cheeks. "She's
e'en a most heart broken, pretty dear.
Nobody can feel for her as I can."
She must leave soon; the house
as I have told you, is to be rented
Let us stay together till the new
people come. I'll have every thing
ready. For the love of heaven, let the
poor child stay in her old home till it's
wanted for those that come after."
Grace said not one word. Her face
was hidden in Nannie's neck; but she
hushed her sobs to hear her guardian's
"It's very annoying," he said. "The
whole business is likely to give me a
great deal of trouble. I can't come
GRACE'S GUARDIAN. 17
here again; but I'll leave her on con-
dition you bring her to my house
when the tenant comes in. Then she
will be sent away to a boarding school
where she will remain till her educa-
tion is complete."
I'll promise, sir. I'll have her
clothes packed, and the house ready;
and I'll try to cheer her up; but it's
hard for both of us, sir."
18 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
GRACE LEAVING HOME.
NANNIE, or Nancy Green, was a wo-
man who had lived with Mrs. Stanley's
mother, and had come to live with the
daughter when Grace was born. She
was a tried and trusted servant;
knowing this, Mr. C'o,:.. felt that his
friend's property would be safe in her
care. If there had been time to
choose another guardian, he would
have declined d the trust; but reaching
Mr. Stanley's bedside only an hour or
two before his death and softened by
the sight of his sufferings, he consent-
ed, though witl secret reluctance, and
GRACE LEAVING HOME. 19
misgiving to the wishes of his dying
Mr. Chester was a cold, selfish man
who had risen to considerable wealth
by means of his diligence and shrewd-
ness in business. He was not with-
out a certain kindness, or good tem-
per; but unfortunately for him, he
was seldom allowed to exhibit these
traits. His wife, as we have seen,
was stern and repulsive, unmoved
even by the frantic grief of an orphan
child. She seemed to those who knew
her best, to be almost without natural
affection; indeed, she considered the
display of it in others mere affecta-
When Mr. Chester returned home
without Grace, she .expressed her
pleasure at being freed from the care
20 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
of a wilful child, and urged that she
be sent at once to Mrs. Rhoades.
But he had given his word, and
the child remained week after week
in her beloved home, racing with Sai-
lor down the shady walks or on the
velvety lawn, feeding her birds, caress-
ing Flossy, her beautiful Maltese kit-
ten, and watering the flowers in her
Only a short distance from the foot
of the garden there was a little cot-
tage which Mr. Stanley had be-
queathed to Nancy Green, the legal
papers having been prepared only a
few months before his death. Here
lived Nannie's widowed sister with
one invalid daughter; and here Nan-
nie intended to remove when the new
tenant should arrive.
GRACE LEAVING IOME. 21
After Mr. Chester's visit she sent
Grace to the Rectory to request Mrs.
Farnhum to call, and with her con-
sult in regard to many articles of
value which ought to be kept for the
use of the orphan. As Grace was
the only heir to the property, it did
not seem right that the house with
the valuable silver, the statuettes,
the rare vases, pictures and other
mementoes of her parents should be
entrusted to the care of strangers.
Mrs. Farnhum agreed with Nannie,
who was a respected member of their
church, that it would be wise to pack
away all the little tokens of refine-
ment, which would be likely to be
lost or injured; and also that all Mrs.
Stanley's clothing, her jewelry and
other ornaments, together with her
22 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
father's library, should be kept sa-
credly for her child.
It was nearly two months, how-
ever, after the funeral of Mr. Stanley
before the right tenant appeared;
and in the meantime Mrs. Green with
Mrs. Farnhum's aid had arranged
everything to her own satisfaction.
At great inconvenience to herself a
room in her own cottage was devoted
to the chests and boxes brought away
from the great house. A large trunk
well packed with summer and winter
clothing stood in the hall marked
" ALLExTOWN," where Mrs. Rhoades
The very day before Nannie expect-
ed to accompany Grace to Mr. Ches-
ter's, the gentleman made his appear-
ance with Mr. Orms, who was to
GRACE LEAVING HOME. 23
have the lease of the place for five
years. He said that it was better for
the child to proceed at once to the
school. He wrote a letter to Mrs.
Rhoades, and requested Mrs. Green
to deliver it. He also gave the wo-
man a roll of bills, as the board and
tuition were to be paid in advance,
and asked her to send him a receipt.
Then considering his duty to the des-
olate orphan accomplished, he jumped
into his buggy and drove away, only
saying to the child that he hoped she
would give her teacher no trouble.
The parting at Allentown between
Grace and her last friend was not so
easy. The child clung around her
neck, hiding her swollen, eyes on the
shoulder of her dear old Nannie; and
.when Mrs. Rhoades in a kind voice:
24 .THE SPOILED PICTURE.
tried to soothe her, she burst into
"Bear with her a bit," plead Nan-
nie wiping her own eyes. "She's
had sore trouble of late; but there
never was a better, more yielding
disposition than her's. God has taken
her father and mother; but she is
under his own care. He has prom-
ised to be a father to the fatherless.
There, pet, quiet yourself; and with
Mrs. Rhoades' permission, Nannie'll
come to see you before long; and
you shall have a letter from your
own home every week. You'll like
to hear from Sailor, and Flossy, and
your pretty canaries. Mrs. Farnhum
has promised to take such good care
of the birds."
Nannie loosened the clinging arms,
GRACE LEAVING HOME. 25
saying softly; "You wont forget,
darling, to say your prayers as your
dear mamma taught you. Nannie'll
be praying for you every hour in the
day. Now be good, and let me go."
Grace obeyed, forcibly checked her
sobs, gave one last eager kiss to her
faithful friend, and then stood quiet
while Nannie took her cloak on her
arm, and got into the carriage wait-
ing to take her to the cars.
Then she followed her teacher to
the pleasant chamber where nurse
had already arranged her wardrobe
in the closets and drawers, and was
introduced to the young miss who
was to be her room-mate.
26 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
GRACE AT SCHOOL.
MRS. RHOADES was a distant rela-
tive of Mr. Stanley; and in his dying
moments he had expressed his wish
that his child might be placed under
her care. She had a pleasant family
of a dozen girls from the ages of
twelve to eighteen. Grace was an
exception, being only just past her
eleventh year at her parents' decease.
The next oldest was a child called
Dumpling, from her full round figure.
She and Grace soon became very
The house was large and well
GRACE AT SCHOOL. 27
suited to the purpose. A wide hall
ran through the centre, from which
rooms opened on either side. On the
right was a long parlor now used for
a school-room with a cabinet of appar-
atus at one end. There was a piano
in this apartment, and another in
the parlor opposite, upon which
the young misses took their lessons.
Back of Mrs. Rhoades' parlor was the
dining-room which extended into a
wing on the left, beyond which was
the kitchen and laundry. In the sec-
ond story there were seven chambers;
and in the third, five more, besides
small rooms for the servants. The
attic over the wing was not finished,.
but was used to stow away empty
trunks and to dry clothes in wet
28 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
Grace's room n'1j..i'ni- that of
Miss Cutter's, the music and drawing
teacher, and the chamber of the lat-
ter opened into a studio reserved for
the use of those who took lessons in
drawing. It had small tables scat-
tered about, and two partly finished
oil paintings resting on the easels.
We must now pass over a period of
six months. With the bouyancy nat-
ural to youth, G-ace had recovered
her spirits, though there were times
when recollections of her loving par-
ents and her happy -home almost
overwhelmed her with grief. -Gener-
ally she was cheerful, often gay; and
she was quite a favorite with teachers
and scholars. There was one young
lady in the school who was an excep-
tion. Her name was Alice Cahart.
GPACE AT SCHOOL. 29
She, had a great dislike to Grace, and
took no pains to conceal it. The rea-
son of this dislike no one knew ex-
cept the two most concerned; but I
shall take the liberty to explain it to
Alice was in the second class, and
was extremely ambitions, and had
the reputation of being a fine scholar..
Grace, being the youngest, was
obliged to recite alone in some of the
branches, and was often allowed to
take her books to her room; and study
aloud. On one occasion, she was sit-
ting with the door ajar, when she
heard a rustling sound in Miss Cut-
ter's room. This was occupied by
the teacher, and a young lady named
Wheeler, who was acknowledged to
be the best scholar in school.
30 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
Grace listened intently, then
prompted by curiosity, slipped off her
shoes and stealing along on tiptoe
was able to look into the room.
What was her surprise to see Alice
with her back to the door hastily
copying the examples in arithmetic
from Carrie Wheeler's slate.
The last figure was copied; and
Alice with flushed cheeks was restor-
ing Carrie's slate to its place, when
a low laugh startled her. Turning
quickly, she- saw the laughing face of
Grace peeping through the door.
"You little villain," she exclaimed
in a suppressed tone, I'll punish
you for playing the spy on me."
She seized a handful of Grace's long
curls, and gave them a twitch which
made the owner cry:
GPACE AT SCHOOL. 31
"Oo-w oo-w! in a piteous tone.
"Promise me this minute that you
wont tell," she exclaimed; or I'll do
something worse than pull your hair."
At this moment a servant appeared
at the end of the hall. Grace burst
out l.i:hing, and darted to her own
"Hi! Betty Martin! Tiptoe fine !
Couldn't get a husband to suit her mind! "
Alice was terribly angry. She look-
ed at Grace as she saucily peeped fromn
her own room, as if she would like to
"Aren't you afraid your face wiil ...
grow that way, Miss Cahart ? inquired
the merry child with an arch glance.
"There, don't, you hear somebody
coming? Run and hide your slate."
32 TIIE SPOILED PICTURE.
And Alice did run, and was only
just in time to save herself from being
questioned by a teacher in regard to
the unusual noise.
"Isn't Alice Cahart mean ?" Grace
exclaimed shutting herself up in her
room where the teacher presently
"What are you doing?" inquired
Miss Roby smiling at the child's atti-
tude. She was standing on one foot in
the middle of the chamber, her hands
clasped, her eyes sparkling, her cheeks
Are you practising a character,
my dear ? "
Oh, Miss Roby "
But the teacher waited in vain to
hear an explanation. She saw that
Grace was roused to indignation by
GRACE AT SCHOOL. 33
something that had occurred; but when
"What is it, dear?" the little girl
"I cannot tell, Miss Roby. My
mamma taught me never to repeat
anything against my companions.
Only I am sorry, very sorry. I did
not believe anybody would be so
As soon as Grace was alone, she shut
up her books, unlocked her writing
desk, selected a sheet of paper, and
with great pains-taking succeeded at
length in writing the following note :
" Miss CAHART :
I shall not tell any one what I saw
you do, though I think it is as bad as
stealing. I am not afraid of you; but
34 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
I don't wish to tell tales, and that is
why I did not answer Miss Roby's
questions. I should think you'd be
ashamed; and you, such a grown lady.
Poor Grace when the badly spelled
letter was finished, the hour for her to
commit her geography had passed.
Of course she failed, and was obliged
to bite her lips with shame, while
Mrs. Rhoades put down a black mark
on her monthly report. What made
it worse to bear was that Alice passed
just at the moment her teacher reprov-
ed her and laughed scornfully.
Though Grace tried to deliver her
note without being seen, she had no
opportunity to do so until the hour
for study in the evening. Then she
GRACE AT SCHOOL. 35
darted from the play-room and find-
ing Alice's history of Greece lying on
the table slipped it between the
leaves, without noticing that Miss
Roby stood near the window at the
farther end of the room.
"What can be going on ? Grace is
usually so frank,", was the teacher's
sad reflection. "I must be on the
watch. The poor child is an orphan."
During the whole evening Grace
sat bending over her book, though it
was easy for Miss Roby to see that
she was not always studying. For a
few minutes she would apply herself,
and then sit as in a dream.
When the girls rose from the ta-
ble, and began to gather in groups,
one practising her last lesson on the
piano, another seizing a half-finished
36 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
book and retiring to a corner to read,
Grace only turned in her chair and
fixed her eyes on Alice Cahart. This
young lady was standing near the
table talking with Mrs. Rhoades
about the Exhibition which was to
come off in a few weeks.
GRACE'S COMPOSITIONS. 37
THE next morning there was great
excitement among the girls. Louise
Tolman, who roomed with Alice Ca-
hart, insisted that she was awakened in
the night by hearing her door open
very softly; and then, just as the
clock on the church was striking
twelve, she saw a figure dressed in
white move silently about the cham-
ber, stand at the table, and then pass
on to the closet.
"I was so frightened I could scarce-
ly breathe," the excited girl went on.
"I pinched Alice under the bed
38 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
clothes; but I couldn't rouse her un-
til the ghost had disappeared. Then
I jumped up and lit the lamp, while
Alice and I searched the room. We
could not find that anything had been
"Pshaw, I don't believe in ghosts,"
retorted Alice. 'Twas one of the
girls dressed up to frighten us." As
she spoke she darted an angry glance
on Grace, which was noticed by Miss
Roby. "I think we ought to be al-
lowed to lock our doors at night to
prevent such intrusion."
Upon the countenance of Grace
there was not a sign of conscious
guilt. On the contrary she laughed
as she turned to her teacher saying:
"I'm not a bit afraid of gliosts. I
wish, whoever it is, it would come to
GRACE'S COMPOSITIONS. 39
my room. I would jump out of bed,
and shake hands with it. Perhaps I
could persuade it to dance a polka
O-oh o-oh, Grace Stanley ex-
claimed the younger girls in a chorus.
" I should be frightened to death."
There was one reason why Alice
believed the visitor might be Grace;
but it was not a reason she could ex-
plain to any one. She had carried
the slate containing the figures cop-
ied from Carrie Wheeler's examples
to her chamber, and placed it on
her table, hoping to find time to
look them over, and be able to ex-
plain the process. When she went
to bed, the slate still lay on her table.
In the morning the figures were al4
40 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
Mrs. Rhoades was a lady admirably
fitted to have the care of young
misses. She was a mother, and felt
for those in her charge almost a
mother's affection. She wished her's
to be in reality what it was in name,
" A Family School." Though her
rules regarding study were very strict,
yet she allowed a good deal of liberty
during play hours. She especially
encouraged her pupils to come to her
with perfect confidence either for
sympathy or advice; or when they
wished to confess a fault.
Grace Stanley being the youngest
and of a peculiarly happy disposition,
especially on account of her being
motherless, was an object of great
tenderness. To Miss Roby who was
engaged to be married to Edward
GRACE'S COMPOSITIONS. 41
Rhoades, her son, the principal had
committed the care of Grace's ward-
robe, and to her the child went with
all her childish plans, with almost the
freedom of a sister.
Once a fortnight every scholar was
required to write a composition. To
the older classes a subject was given;
but the younger girls were allowed
to 'choose their own, to write a letter,
a story, or an account of a book
which had interested them. Would
you like to hear one of Grace's com-
positions ? It was this :
There was once a little girl
named Bessie. She had no father
nor mother, nor any one to love her.
She tried to be good; but she was
sometimes naughty. Somebody had
told her about God in heaven; but
42 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
she didn't know that he could see
her all the time, and watched every-
thing she did. One night she dreamed
a beautiful dream. She thought a
man with long white beard and long
white hair came and stood by her.
He held out his arms; and she
dreamed she jumped into them. He
had kind eyes. He said; 'Little girl,
I live in heaven with God. He has
sent me to take care of you. I shall
come here every day; and you must
tell me whether you have been good
and kind to your companions. You
musn't tell lies, nor steal, nor say
wicked words. Will you remember,
little girl?' She said she would;
but once she felt very angry at some-
thing, and when the kind man came,
the pout was still on her face. He
GRACE'S COMPOSITIONS. 43
looked very sorry indeed, and a big
tear fell on her cheek from his eye;
but he did not speak. When he was
gone Bessie cried, and was sick.
When she was dying the man came
and asked her, Are you sorry, my
child?' And she said; Yes, I am.'
So he took her in his arms and kissed
her, and flew away to heaven with
her. Then she knew it was God's
son, Jesus Christ."
Another time she wrote:
"Two little dogs were brothers.
Their names were Moses and Cain.
Moses was good and Cain was bad.
He used to steal his brother's food,
and eat it up while Moses was away
with his master. One day the woman
where the dogs lived made a custard
pie ; but she forgot to put in any eggs.
44 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
She put six cents' worth of yeast into
the crust instead of butter. She was
a bad cook. Her husband didn't like
the pie. He made a face, and told
his wife she ought to know better.
She gave a piece to the servant who
spit it out. Then she gave it to a
beggar, who went a little way, and
then- threw it into the gutter. Next
she gave a piece to the dogs; Cain
found it and stuck his nose into the
middle. He begun to cough and
sneeze. Then he stood still, and
thought what he would do. Moses
shall have it all,' he said. I'm not
fond of custard pie, when there's so
much yeast in it. Moses is my broth-
er. I'll be generous, and give it to
him.' Moses came home. He was
very hungry. He was glad Cain had
GRACE'S COMPOSITIONS. 45
left the pie for him, and licked his
face to thank him. He began to eat,
and shook his head. He ate another
mouthful and coughed; but he was
so hungry, he went on till it was all
gone. In a few minutes, the yeast
began to raise him up; and he had
only time to say, 'Good-bye, brother
Cain.' Then he went up in the air
out of sight; and nobody ever saw him
again. Poor doggie !"
46 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
THE TWO PICTURES.
THERE were five pupils in Miss
Cutter's drawing class who were try-
ing for the medal. Though it was
pretty nearly certain that either Sa-
rah Stedman or Alice Cahart would
get it. These two were each painting
a landscape in oil colors; and theirs
were the pictures resting on the easels.
The medal was of gold, worth about
five dollars. There were two reasons
why Alice was resolved to win it.
One was that she disliked to have any
of her schoohnates preferred to her-
self; and another that her uncle who
TEE TWO PICTURES. 47
supported her had promised to take
her with him to Saratoga during the
summer vacation, if she would win
Sarah Stedman was a modest girl,
very quiet and very studious. It was
whispered among the girls that she
only paid half-price for tuition and oth-
er expenses. She said herself that she
was fitting for a teacher, and was
obliged to be very economical. She
was a consistent Christian who tried
to show by her life that she loved her
Saviour, and believed his favor to be
the greatest good. She had always
taken a great interest in Grace. Next
to Miss Roby, Grace declared she lov-
ed Sarah best.
All the girls watched the pictures
from day to day, wondering which
48 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
would gain the prize. There was a
dash and style about Alice's which
the younger children admired. Even
Grace confessed to herself that, the
grass was greener, and the trees
brighter in their autumn tints, than
Sarah's, though she would not confess
it to any one else.
Miss Cutter pointed out to each of
her pupils some imperfections in their
work. Sarah thanked her warmly,
and set about to remedy them.
Alice maintained a sullen silence,
and did not profit by her teacher's
I know what she wants," she ex-
claimed to Louise Tolman, when she
reached her own chamber. She
wants me to spoil my picture. She
said the grass was too green for au-
THE TWO PICTURES. 49
tumn, and that a little brown tint
would improve it; but I guess I can
judge as well as she can. I'm deter-
mined to get that medal just to vex
Weeks flew by until there were only
five days before the Exhibition. From
nine in the morning until six at night
the classes were to be thoroughly ex-
amined in the various branches. At a
quarter before eight the Exhibition was
to commence, during which the young
ladies were to read compositions, sing,
and play on the piano. At the close
of the exercises the medals were to
Every day and all day long, the
busy hum of girls reviewing and re-
'citing could be heard. The two
pianos were in use continually by
50 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
those who were practising their exhi-
One afternoon Grace had just seated
herself on the stool to practise her
lesson, when Louisa Tolman came be-
hind and rudely told her to get up.
This is my hour," said Grace
laughing as she kept her seat.
"I can't help it. I must have the
piano now. Miss Cutter is giving a
lesson on the other."
Still Grace kept on, one, two,
three; one, two, three." Presently
she looked up archly and said; "If
you had asked me with common po-
liteness, Miss Tolman, I would have
given up to you."
Miss Stanley will you have the
kindness to retire that I may practise
my piece ?" asked Alice quickly.
THE TWO PICTURES. 51
"Yes, I will, Miss Cahart; though
I'm sorry I didn't give it to Louisa."
Very polite, I must say," said
Louisa angrily turning from her room-
"I wish I hadn't made a fuss,"
whispered Grace stealing her hand
"So do I;" but she presently recov-
ered her good nature and kissing the
child, said gently; I was the one in
fault; but I am really disappointed."
Let me see," cried Grace. It's
Edith's turn next. I'll run and ask
her to let you have her hour; and
she can practise while you're reciting
Thank you. You're a dear little
Grace found a group of the young-
52 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
er children gathered in the drawing
room comparing the two pictures.
Miss Cutter had uncovered them for
Mrs. Rhoades and the little ones
pressed near to their Preceptress.
I hope Sarah will have the
medal," said the one called Dumpling.
"I think Sarah's beautiful," cried
another; "and I like Sarah tip-top."
"I can't tell you how I feel when I
look at it," remarked a young lady
just going to graduate. There is
such an air of perfect repose about it.
Those sombre autumn hues, with here
and there a brighter tint which has
escaped the frost. The brook just
visible between the trees, winding
leisurely along until it comes to the
tiny fall where it suddenly tumbles,
and bubbles, and foams. Then I
HOPE SARAH ILL HVE TE DL ., page 52.
"I HOPE SAR'H WILL HAVE THE MEDAL." Vol. I1., page 52.
THE TWO PICTURES. 53
think I should like to walk in the
quiet path, and step lightly over
that broken trunk thrown across the
stream, and wander off into the forest
to think and pray for a higher life. I
feel that such a scene would lead my
thoughts to the good Father who
created everything in such harmony."
"Thank you, Mary," faltered a
tearful voice; and Sarah who had
come in unperceived, put her arm
around Mary's waist. Thank you.
If I do not get the medal, I shall feel
well repaid by your kind appreciation.
That is the feeling I hoped to inspire,"
she added in a lower tone.
These two young ladies had been
with Mrs. Rhoades seven years,.-and
her heart ached at the thought of
losing them from her school. True
54 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
to her and to themselves their influ-
ence was always for good.
"Oh! ooh! Ringlets! You're aw-
ful wicked," exclaimed Dumpling,
turning very red.
"What has Ringlets done?" asked
Mrs. Rhoades taking Grace's hand
with a smile.
"I said I wished somebody would
spoil Alice's picture and then she
couldn't get the medal. I didn't
mean certain true, black and blue I
wished so," added the child tossing
her long curls from her forehead as
she glanced archly in her teacher's
That was a very unkind speech,
Grace. I'm quite sure you wouldn't
be glad to have Alice's work ruined.
Now say, would you? "
THE TWO PICTURES. 55
I -shouldn't cry one bit. I can't
help saying so 'cause it's the truth.
But, oh dear! I forgot about Edith.
I must find Edith right away. Louisa
wants her." Then kissing Mrs.
Rhoades' hand she darted off.
56 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
GRACE AND ALICE.
THE inext morning Grace went out
of her chamber, and sang a gay tune
as she danced down the hall. Miss
Roby had been curling her long hair
as usual, and had given her a loving
kiss which made her heart very warm.
At the foot of the stairs she met
Dumpling, and catching her round the
waist pulled her to the porch for one
good hip-a-tee-hop before breakfast.
At the first jingle of the bell they
ran in with rosy cheeks, when their
merriment was stopped by a wild
shriek from the story above.
GRACE AND ALICE.. 57
Then came a sound of many voices
"Too bad! It is dreadful! How
did it happen? I'm so sorry! Oh
what a shame "
Mrs. Rhoades! Where's Mrs.
Phoades? shrieked Alice Cahart.
"I want to see Mrs. Rhoades. I
know who did it." And Alice, half
wild with passion, flew down the wide
stairs, screaming, shrieking, "I'll show
the wicked creature she can't -"
Near the foot of the stairs stood
Grace and her companion frightened
and wondering what was the matter.
Oh there you are !" shrieked
Alice, making a dart at Grace, and
striking her blow after blow in the
face. "You mean, wicked little
wretch ; how dared you ?-"
58 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
Stop, Alice," demanded a stern
voice. "Stop this minute Miss
Roby will you attend to Grace ? Sarah,
will you order the breakfast back to
the kitchen ? Alice, you will go with
me to the parlor. Your violent con-
duct needs explanation."
Alice began to cry. If you'll go
to the drawing room, you wont need
an explanation," she sobbed. "My
picture is spoiled "
"Yes," rejoined Miss Cutter, ruin-
ed. When I went to bed last night
it was safe, now -"
Grace Stanley, wicked imp, has
done it! "
"Alice, I cannot allow such lan-
"I can never, never paint another;
and I think'she ought to be hung."
GRACE AND ALICE. 59
Mrs. Rhoades followed Alice and
Miss Cutter to the drawing room. It
was indeed so; some one had taken
a brush and daubed the colors all over
the centre of the picture. The tops of
the trees and the green grass of which
the young artist had been so proud,
The Preceptress was greatly shock-
ed. Indeed she grew quite pale; but
it was not at the loss of the picture.
It was the recollection of Grace's
words the evening before.
What makes you think Grace did
it?" she asked, trying in vain to
steady her voice.
"I know she did. I would take
my oath of it."
Alice, you are excited. You have
reason to be disappointed; but I
60' THE SPOILED PICTURE.
must know your reasons for such a
charge." Suddenly she added, "I
would like to see you alone after
breakfast. We will go to the table
"Young ladies, I ask as a favor
that you will suspend your judgment
for the present," said the Preceptress
after they were seated at the table.
The meal was nearly finished when
Miss Roby came in holding Grace by
the hand. Her face was red and
swollen; and at first she seemed un-
willing to encounter the gaze of her
companions; but she presently drew
herself up almost proudly, walked
along, and took her own seat.
"Will you have milk, my dear? "
asked Mrs. Rhoades.
"Thank you, I don't want anything,"
GRACE AND ALICE. 61
As she said this she looked straight
into the lady's eye, with such a calm,
almost proud expression, that it was
impossible to believe her guilty.
After family prayers Mrs. Rhoades
took Alice to her room and remained
shut up with her for half an hour. In
answer to the lady's questions, Alice
only repeated, "I know Grace did it.-
She's a sly, artful creature. Ever
since she came she has done all she
could to annoy me, though I have
been as kind to her as possible. I
have even written to her urging her
to tell me why she disliked me."
Tell me one particular in which
she has annoyed you ? "
Why if she knew I had my sums
worked out, she would steal to my
room, and rub her fingers over them."
62 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
That is not like Grace," murmur-
ed the Preceptress as though speak-
ing to herself, "unless indeed her
love of fun carried her too far."
When Alice was dismissed, Grace
"Does your head ache now, my
child ?" asked the lady, fixing her
eyes mournfully on the little girl's
Grace tried to laugh, but instead of
that burst into tears, and laying her
head on Mrs. Rhoades' shoulder, sob-
"Nobody ever struck me before "
"I'm sorry, my dear, more sorry
than I can tell you. Alice did very
wrong; but she was hoping to win
the prize by her picture; and now
it is spoiled."
GRACE AND ALICE. 63
"Why didn't she strike Ida as well
as me? "
Look in my face; and I will tell
you. Alice thinks you spoiled her
Grace started a little, then laughed
as she said; I know why Alice don't
like me; but I can't tell."
Has she ever written you a note ?"
"Yes, ma'am." Grace flushed with
anger at the recollection of what the
"Where is it ?"
"In my writing desk."
Get it, and show it to me."
"Must I ? plead the child, pulling
the arm caressingly round her neck.
64 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
IT was scarcely more than a minute
before Grace returned with a piece of
crumpled paper in her hand. She
blushed deeply as she held it out, and
then stood hiding her face.
Mrs. Rhoades read aloud:
You're a mean dirty little liar. I
don't believe a word you say. If I
catch you at any such tricks again,
I'll do something you'll be sorry for."
There was no name attached to
this;. but the Preceptress at once re-
cognized Alice's penmanship.
What does this mean ?" she ask-
GRACE'S SOEPOW. 65
ed, growing very pale. What had
you said or done? "
I can't tell. I wish now I hadn't
promised. I did it of my own accord,
because mamma didn't want me to
be a tell-tale; but I told her I wasn't
afraid of her."
You must explain, my child; or
how can I understand ? "
Grace stood up proudly, her eves
"I'll cut off my finger if you tell
me I must; but I can't tell a lie for
anybody. I promised Alice, and I
never will break my word."
What must I think, then ? The
picture was safe yesterday; and some-
body must have done it. Do you rec-
ollect what you said last night ?"
Grace sank to the floor with a cry :
66 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
"Oh, mamma! mamma!! come
back. No one loves me; no one
trusts me Oh, mamma, I can't live "
"Grace, Grace, don't cry so I did
not say it was you."
You thought so. I saw it in your
eye. Oh, dear! Where shall I go?"
She started up, and was about to
fly from the room; but Mrs. Rhoades
seized her hand.
Grace, come here," she said ten-
derly. "If you tell me that you did
not touch Alice's picture, and that
you knew nothing of it till she found
it ruined, I shall believe you. I never
knew you to tell a lie."
The child still hung her head, and
seemed overwhelmed with shame;
but suddenly she looked directly in
her teacher's face, and burst out:
GRACE'S SORROW. 67
"I never, never knew of it till I
heard Alice scream "
Mrs. Rhoades drew Grace to her
and kissed her, saying, "I believe
The little girl did not respond to
the caress. Tears flowed silently
down her cheeks.
I can never be happy here again,"
she said, her voice trembling. "You
thought I was a mean, spiteful girl.
Will you please ask Mr. Chester to
let me go to Nannie. She trusts me ;
nobody else, nobody else "
I do trust you, Grace. I feel sure
you have told me the truth. If you
don't feel like studying you may go
and lie down."
The child left the room slowly, and
went to her chamber. On her way
68 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
she met a number of the scholars, and
glanced at them in a shy, guilty man-
ner as though she were ashamed.
From her blushing face they all feared
she was the one who had been guilty
of a mean act. They were the more
surprised when Mrs. Ehoades, having
called the school to order, said :
Young ladies, whoever committed
the spitefLI act, I wish to say that
Grace Stanley is free from blame.
She has in the most solemn manner
denied all knowledge of the offence;
and I have perfect confidence in her
Oh, that's nice whispered
Dumpling, clapping her hands.
There i:; no young lady here,"
Mrs. Rhoades went on, glancing from
one bright face to another, whom I
GRACE'S SORROW. 69
can for a moment suspect of such
a cruel act as this. But I wish to ask
each of you as a special favor to come
to me in the order of your classes,
that I may question you on the sub-
ject. It is only fair that I should do
so when I have begun with the young-
Sarah Stedman raised her hand for
liberty to speak, and then said:
I'm very sure, Mrs. Rhoades, that
each of us are only waiting an oppor-
tunity to express our deep regret at
Miss Cahart's calamity, and that we
shall truthfully answer any question
you wish to ask."
At the end of half an hour the
pupils were once more in their seats,
and not one ray of light had been
shed on the subject. The Preceptress
70 TIE SPOILED PICTURE.
then left the room to question the
servants, who indignantly denied all
knowledge of the affair.
It was then voted by the school
that the inquiries be postponed until
the commencement of the next term,
in order that the preparations for the
examination might not be delayed.
Alice Cahart was very indignant
at this summary dismissal of her
grievances, and spoke with .such dis-
respect to the Preceptress, charging
her with wishing to shield her favor-
ite, that the lady was obliged to re-
prove her severely. Alice was quiet-
ed at last by the offer of Sarah to
withdraw her picture from exhibition,
and as there was still a part of Alice's
uninjured, the examiner would be
able to judge of its merit.
GRACE'S SORROW. 71
By afternoon the hum of voices
all over the building was resumed;
the two pianos were in full play, and
except in one quiet chamber the
events of the morning seemed to be
forgotten. There lay poor little Grace
weeping and moaning as she had not
done since the first weeks after her
When any one entered the cham-
ber she would start up with a wild
glare in her eyes, and ask :
"Have they found out anything ?"
One day Miss Roby held the child
in her arms, when Grace began to sob
. "Oh why can't I die? Is it wick-
ed, Miss Roby, for me to ask God to
let me-die ?"
"Why do you wish to die, Grace ?
72 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
What could I do without my sweet
"Nobody trusts me; nobody believes
that I'm trying to please God so that
I can go and live in heaven when I die.
Oh, what a wicked child, Mrs Rhoades
thinks me, to suppose I would do such
an awful thing!
"Grace, listen. There is One who
looks into your heart, who knows that
you are innocent. He sees every act.
He knows who arose at night to de-
stroy the work of another. Cannot
you trust him, your almighty Friend
to set it right, to bring the guilty one
to a ju:t punishment ? "
"I didn't believe Mrs. Rhoades or
you would think me so bad," moaned
the child hiding her face.
"I have never suspected you for
GRACE'S SORROW. 73
one moment. I was just as sure of
your innocence as I was of my own."
With a cry of joy Grace threw her
arms around Miss Roby's neck.
"Now I have two friends," she said
trying to smile. "I have God and
you." Yes and my dear old Nannie.
Nobody could make her believe that
I was so awful bad."
"Grace, you mustn't feel hard
toward Mrs. Rhoades. She loves you
dearly. Has she not always been
"But she did believe it?"
"She listened to the charges Alice
made with terrible pain; but only be-
cause of what you said the night be-
fore, that you wished somebody would
spoil the picture so that Sarah could
get the prize. She says for one mo-
74 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
ment, she feared you had forgotten
your dear Mamma's teachings; but it
was only for a moment. She asked
you the same question that she asked
every other scholar."
Did she, did she really ask Sarah,
and Louisa, and Dumpling, and every
"Yes, my dear Ringlets," answered
Miss Roby laughing; "and then she
asked Cook and Jerry and the two
chamber girls. I didn't know, but
she would question me, and so I an-
swered beforehand, that I knew
nothing about it."
THE TORN LETTER. 75
THE TORN LETTER.
"I'M very glad," faltered Grace
with a sigh of relief. I didn't know
she had asked anybody but me." She
released herself from Miss Roby's
arms, and took a seat by the window,
where she sat silent for some min-
"What are you thinking of?" at
last inquired her teacher.
Is Mrs. Rhoades busy ? "
"It is recess now, dear; don't you
hear the merry voices? "
Will you please ask if I may go
to her room a moment ?"
76 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
"Do you want to see me, Gracie ? "
inquired Mrs. Rhoades, coming into
The little girl's lip quivered, as she
hurried toward her teacher. Will
you please to forgive me," she plead-
ed, lifting her eyes swimming with
tears to the lady's face. I felt very
angry with you; and I thought you
only made believe love me. I'm real
sorry now, and I've asked God to for-
Are you sure I love you now ?"
tenderly inquired the Preceptress,
pressing the child to her heart; so
sure you will never doubt again?"
She kissed Grace repeatedly, murmur-
ing loving words..
I don't want to leave you now,"
cried the little girl in a hysterical
THE TORN LETTER. 77
voice; I shall feel better when I have
told you how very naughty I was.
I thought once'I'd run away and hide
from everybody, and then when you
found out I didn't do that ugly thing,
you'd be sorry and wish you hadn't
thought it was me; and I wished, too,
that you was a little girl who hadn't
any father or mother, and somebody
thought you was real, awful bad."
Oh, Grace, that was very unkind.
Are you sure you have got rid of all
those dreadful thoughts ? "
"Yes, ma'am, I'm very sure." She
caught her teacher's hand .and del-
uged it with kisses.
"And are' you willing to leave
yourself in the hands of your heaven-
ly Friend who will in his own good
time bring every secret thing to light?
78 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
Grace, I must tell you that Alice is
very bitter against you, and tries to
force her companions to believe you
spoiled her picture out of spite. She
says you have often written her im-
Oh, Mrs. Rhoades! I never wrote
but one. I wish I might tell you
about it. May-I go and ask her. to
give back my promise ? Oh, I wish
You may write your request, and
I will take it to her. I have never
had ual- thijg- so mysterious and pain-
ful occur since I had the care of young
ladies. Some human hands must
have rubbed the picture out, but who
I cannot even imagine. Every one
denies it; and so we must wait for
time to develop the rest."
THE TORN LETTER. 79
"Will this do, Mrs. Rhoades ?"
"Please, Alice, may I explain to
Mrs. Rhoades about the only note I
ever wrote you?
"I had rather she would not," was
Alice's cold, scornful answer. She
has done me mischief enough al-
"In my own name, I ask, will you
allow me to see her note," inquired
"I destroyed it at once."
"That is very unfortunate for you,
Alice. Grace is a conscientious, truth-
ful child, with a remarkably high
sense of honor. .You have made
many charges; but you bring noth-
ing to prove them. If she wrote such
80 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
a note as you describe, it was your
duty to bring it to me. Though I
love the poor orphan with almost a
mother's affection, I would not have
shielded her from punishment."
"She is sly and artful ; but she has
never deceived me, witl" all her ca-
ressing ways." Alice gazed angrily
in her teacher's face as she said this.
I pity you from my heart, my
poor girl," murmured the teacher. "I
pity you for the indulgence of such
feelings. As for Grace she is father-
less; and God has an especial care for
"It is hard to lose the medal and
have to. bear reproof beside," retorted
Alice in a bitter tone.
As for the pictures I am deter-
mined justice shall be done to every
TIIHTORt LETTER. 81
one. Both you- and Sarah have work-
ed with praiseworthy diligence at
your painting. Sarah nobly offered
to withdraw her's which would insure
to you the prize; but as it is by no
fault of her's that your's is injured, I
shall not allow her to make the sacri-
fice. I am happy to tell you that
Miss Cutter believes enough of your
landscape to be uninjured to show the
referees the style and finish of your
Alice withdrew with anger at her
heart. "I'll never come back to this
school," she said to herself; if I can
persuade my uncle to send me any-
where else. To think of Grace ask-
ing me to show her letter. Pshaw!"
She hastened to her chamber, searched
the drawer where jhc had thrown
82 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
Grace's note, and tearing the paper in
two tossed it from the window.
It so happened that Carrie Wheeler
and Dumpling were having a game
of catch for exercise, when the pieces
fluttered in the air a moment, and
then fell to the ground. Dumpling
ran and caught them.
Oh, oh! exclaimed the little
girl. It's got Grace Stanley's name
on it. I'm going right off to show it
to Mrs. Rhoades."
Thank you, Ida," said the Pre-
ceptress. This was what I wished to
see. I asked Alice for it; but she
thought she had destroyed it."
"She tore it in two, and threw it
out of the window," answered Dump-
ling. Carrie and I saw her."
Mrs. Rhoades looked very much
T TORN LETTER. 83
pained. Alice was indeed a deceitful
girl; but she presently said:
Ida, I want to trust you to keep
this to yourself for the present. Can
Oh, yes, ma'am!"
SAnd ask Carrie not to speak of
"Dear little Grace," said the lady
to herself, carefully putting the torn
pieces of the note in her desk, "I
understand now why Alice dislikes
you so bitterly; few girls of your age.
would act so nobly under such temp-
84 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
THE GOLD MEDAL.
FROM this time Grace returned to
her studies in the school-room where
every one but Alice warmly welcom-
ed her. She smiled when Dumpling
talked to her, and tried to seem inter-
ested in the Exhibition; but she had
begged to be excused from reading a
composition; and Carrie Wheeler had
consented to read it for her. Miss Roby
hoped she was trying to forget what
had given her so much pain; but
found one day that the little girl was
only making an effort to seem gay.
She went one morning, the day be-
"I WAT EVERYBODY TO KNOW THA' I LOVE
JEss." Vol. II. page 85.
THE GOLD MEDAL. 85
fore the examination, to her chamber
at recess for her pocket handkerchief.
It was not there; and she supposed
she-had left it in Gracie's room. She
had her hand on the door when she
heard a sob. The dear little girl was
on her knees behind the bed praying
to her Father in heaven:
0 God do make the one who did
it confess. I am very unhappy.
Please make Alice feel kindly to me
before she goes away. Please don't
let her think I have told lies, and
done such wicked things. I want
everybody to know that I love Jesus.
0 do bring it to light! "
When Miss Roby heard .her rise
from her knees, she entered and
caught the weeping suppliant in her
86 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
"In his own good time God will
answer your prayer, my precious one.
He has promised and he will bring it*
to pass. Get 'your Bible and I will
read it to you. This is what St. Paul
says; 'Therefore judge nothing be-
fore the time, until the Lord come,
who both will bring to light the hid-
den things of darkness, and will make
manifest the counsels of the hearts.'
And in Job is another promise, The
thing that is hid bringcth he forth to
light.' Cannot you trust your Father
who loves you, Grace."
"I do try to; but oh I wish Alice
wouldn't treat me so ? "
How does she treat you ? "
Grace pulled u. the sleeve of her
dress and exhibited the marks of fin-
Sgers, black and blue. "I don't mind
THE GOLD MEDAL. 87
the pain much," she said, winking
back a tear, "though she pulls my
hair every time she meets me; but
she says I needn't pretend to be a
Christian, when I'm uglier than Satan.
That's what makes me feel worse than
"Would you change places with
Alice, my dear ? "
"No, Miss Roby. Oh no, indeed "
God says of the innocent,. Be-
hold all they that were incensed
against thee shall be ashamed and
confounded.' 'Featr ye not the re-
proach of men, neither be afraid of
their revilings.' "
I cannot stop "to describe all the
events of the long expected day.
The Committee who were to exam-
ine the school and award the i'rize-,
88 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
assembled at an early hour; and the
parents and friends arrived with ev-
ery train of cars. The school-room
was unusually crowded, and chairs
were placed in the large hall and on
the piazza in front of the house. It
was the unanimous opinion that the
scholars all deserved praise for their
diligent attention to their lessons.
. It was over at last; all but the
medal for the best painting, and the
two pictures were before them. When
Mrs. Rhoades rose from her seat to
explain the appearance of one of
them, the silence was so intense the
dropping of a pin could have been
heard. When she took her seat, one
of the Committee who was himself an
artist, rose to examine the work. IIe
stood a long time before Sarah's land-
THE GOLD MEDAL. 89
scape, a soft smile stealing over his
face. Then with a cursory glance at
the other he said:
"I award the gold medal to Miss
Sarah Stcdman; and congratulate her
upon her remarkable success."
Sarah rose to go forward to the
stage, a modest blush suffusing her
face, when the artist threw the ribbon
attached to the medal around her
"I would like to see the young
lady who painted the other scene,"
he said as the party were breaking up.
Alice was with difficulty persuaded
to go forward. She was very angry,
and justified herself in being so.
"Will you accept a suggestion
froom me ? he asked playfully.
She only bowed.
90 .THE SPOILED PICTURE.
"Your painting proves that you
have some skill with your brush," he
went on kindly; but do you not see
that while your trees are dressed in
their gorgeous autumn hues, your
grass wears June's most vivid green.
I am sorry for your disappointment.
No doubt you will succeed better next
"I shall never try again," was the
proud reply, as Alice turned haugh-
Mr. Chester did not attend the ex-
amination; but in answer to Mrs.
Rhoades' invitation wrote that it
would be inconvenient for his family
to receive his ward, during the vaca-
tion. Whatever arrangements the
Preceptress saw fit to make for the
child would meet his approbation.
THE GOLD MEDAL. 91
Shocked at the coldness of the
guardian toward the orphan, the lady
resolved to supply as far as possible.
the place of the mother Grace had
lost. As she -could not leave Allen-
town for a few weeks, she wrote the
following invitation, the very day suc-
ceeding the close of the term.
"To MRs. NANCY GREEN:
Our dear Grace is to remain with
me during the vacation. I am quite
sure that nothing could please her
better than to have her dear Nannie,
.as she lovingly calls you with us while
we remain at home. I expect to
make a visit in New Hampshire, and
shall take Grace with me. On my
way I intend to remain in the city
near D-, for several days, when,
C2 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
if you wish, she can be with you and
revisit her old home. I hope it will
be convenient for you to come at once
and remain till the first of August.
lj i'iAND. RIJOADES."
Two days later Grace was stroll-
ing around the grounds connected
with the school, when she heard
the loud barking of a dog, and present-
ly with a bound old Sailor sprang for-
ward to greet her. IIis rough wel-
come almost knocked her down;
but she quickly threw her arms
around his neck, laid her checks
against his nose, and allowed him to
lick her hands.
So overjoyed was she at the sight
of her old friend, that she did not no-
THE GOLD MEDAL. 93
tice Nannie who was quietly approach-
ing, until the woman laughed aloud.
Oh, Nannie, dear old Nannie! how
came you here? Did you know it's
vacation? Oh, how glad I am to see
you! You didn't tell me you were com-
ing, and Sailor too. Oh, it's so nice!"
Stand still a minute, darling; and
let me look into your eyes," said Nan-
nie, when the hugging and kissing.
were over. "Iwant to see whether
you're all right. Thank God," she
added fervently, after a steady gaze
from Grace's clear, truthful orbs had
satisfied her honest heart.
"Thank God who has kept you
pure. Oh if your mamma could see
you now! she would so rejoice over
"I believe she does see me, Nannie.
94 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
I think of her so much; and I have
such beautiful dreams of her coming
to watch over me. Sometimes I look
up into the sky; and it almost seems as
though I could see her floating on the
clouds, always keeping me in sight.
Miss Roby says it isn't wicked to think
"Wicked! no indeed! Only re-
member, darling, that your Father in
heaven sees you too; and that his
heart yearns over you in love exceed-
ing even your mamma's ; and you're
Have you seen Mrs. Rhoades?
Come, Sailor, good old fellow," and the
little figure went dancing along the
walk, the picture of a gay, happy
THE DISCLOSURE. 95
ONE object, indeed a principal
one, which the Preceptress had in
delaying her journey, was her desire
to investigate the mystery of the
ruined picture. Her son Roswell
was now at home from the'Theolog-
ical School, and assisted by him and
Miss Roby, she examined the premises
to see whether any person could have
gained admission from the outside;
but this was impossible; beside there
seemed no motive worth the effort.
Nannie had heard the whole story
from Grace, who confessed her own
96 THE SPOILED PICTURE.
foolish speech the night before the
accident, and acknowledged that
she would be willing to give almost
anil, jl;.i_ if the whole truth could be
One evening Mrs. Rhoades, her son,
and Miss Roby, had gone to a party in
the neighborhood, after which there
was to be a display of fire works, so
that they were not expected home
till a late hour.
Nannie had a cot bed in the room
with Grace; and after they had amus-
ed themselves, wandering with Sailor
about the garden and gathering a
bouquet of flowers, they retired to
their chamber for the night.
"Oh dear! sighed Grace, "I
do wonder whether anybody will ever
find out about Alice's picture. She'll