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His face was lighted by a half smile, and I saw him literally in a frame, as I had first seen the picture to which he had alluded. In a moment I became oblivious to everything around me except Henry's face. The portrait was there again before my eyes. Every lineament and even the peculiar pose of the head were recalled to me.
“Did you or did you not tell me the story about the portrait, Arthur ?”
“ Yes,” I responded, “and it looked just like you. Oh! it did, it did, it did! There — turn your head a little more that way It was a perfect picture of you, Henry. You never could imagine such a likeness."
“ You are a little blower, you are,” volunteered Jack Linton, from a corner.
66 Order! order ! order !”
Looking around upon the boys, and realizing what had been done and what was in progress, I went into a fit of hearty crying, that distressed them quite as much as my previous mood had done. At this moment a strange silence seized the assembly. All eyes were directed toward the door upon which my back was turned. I wheeled around to find the cause of the interruption. There, in the doorway, towering above us all, and looking questioningly down upon the little assembly, stood Mr. Bird.
“ What does this mean?” inquired the master.
I flew to his side and took his hand. The officer who had presided explained that they had been trying to break Arthur Bonnicastle of lying and they were about to order him to report to the master for confession and correction.
Then Mr. Bird took a chair and patiently heard the whole story. Without a reproach further than saying that he thought me much too young for experiments of the kind they had instituted in the case, he explained to them and to me the nature of my misdemeanors.
“The boy has a great deal of imagination,” he said, “ and a strong love of approbation. Somebody has flattered his power of invention, probably, and to secure admiration he has exercised it until he has acquired the habit of exaggeration. I am glad if he has learned, even by the severe means which have been used, that if he wishes to be loved and admired he must always tell the exact truth, neither more nor less. If
had come to me, I could have told you all about the lad, and instituted a better mode of dealing with him. But I venture to say that he is cured. Aren't
Aren't you, Arthur ? ” And he stooped and lifted me to his face and locked into my eyes.
“I don't think I shall do it any more," I said.
Bidding the boys disperse, he carried me downstairs into his own room, and charged me with kindly counsel. I went out from the interview humbled and without a revengeful thought in my heart toward the boys who had brought me to my trial.
. I saw that they were my friends, and I was deterinined to prove myself worthy of their friendship.
J. G. HOLLAND.
From “ Arthur Bonnicastle," published by
Charles Scribner's Sons.
MOSES GOES TO THE FAIR
As we were now to hold up our heads a little higher in the world, my wife suggested that it would be proper
to sell the colt, which was grown old, at a neighboring fair, and buy us a horse that would carry single or double upon an occasion, and make a pretty appearance at church or upon a visit. This at first I opposed stoutly; but it was as stoutly defended. However, as I weakened, my antagonist gained strength, till at last we agreed to part with him.
As the fair happened on the following day, I had intentions of going myself ; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a cold, and nothing could prevail upon her to permit me from home. No, my dear," said she, “ our son Moses is a discreet boy, and can buy and sell to very good advantage. You know all our great bargains are of his purchasing. He always stands out and higgles, and actually tires them till he gets a bargain."
As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I was willing enough to intrust him with this commission; and the next morning I perceived his sisters mighty busy in fitting out Moses for the fair; trimming his hair, brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins. The business of the toilet being over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeing him mounted upon the colt, with a deal box before him to bring home groceries in.
He had on a coat made of that cloth they call thunder and lightning, which, though grown too short, was much too good to be thrown away. His waistcoat was of gosling-green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a broad black ribbon. We all followed him several paces from the door, bawling after him, “ Good luck! good luck !” till we could see him no longer. ...
As it was now almost nightfall, I began to wonder what could keep our son so long at the fair. “Never mind our son,” cried my wife ; “ depend upon it, he knows what he is about. I'll warrant we'll never see him sell his hen on a rainy day. I have seen him buy such bargains as would amaze one. a good story about that, that will make you split your
I'll tell you
sides with laughing — But as I live, yonder comes Moses without a horse, and the box at his back.”
As she spoke, Moses came slowly on foot, and sweating under the deal box, which he had strapped round his shoulders like a peddler.
“ Welcome, welcome, Moses ! Well, my boy, what have you brought us from the fair ?”
“I have brought you myself,” said Moses, with a sly look, and resting the box on the dresser.
“Ay, Moses,” cried my wife, “ that we know; but where is the horse ?"
“I have sold him,” replied Moses, “ for three pounds five shillings and twopence.”
“ Well done, my good boy,” returned she; “I knew you would touch them off.
Between ourselves, three pounds five shillings and twopence is no bad day's work. Come, let us have it then.”
“I have brought back no money,” cried Moses again: “I have laid it all out in a bargain, — and here it is,” pulling out a bundle from his breast : “ here they are, — a gross of green spectacles, with silver rims and shagreen cases.” "A gross
green spectacles !” repeated my wife, in a faint voice. “ And you have parted with the colt, and brought us back nothing but a gross of green paltry spectacles !”
“Dear mother,” cried the boy, “why won't you
VIII. — 3