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The old habits of the elder woman stirred a little; but she answered, vaguely, * * No.” “We must look through dear papa's papers,” said Anne, her voice breaking as she spoke the name. “He received few letters, none at all lately; whatever he had, then, must be here.” Miss Lois assented, still silently, and the two began their task. Anne, with a quivering lip, unlocked her father's desk. William Douglas had not been a relicloving man. He had lived, he had loved; but memory was sufficient for him; he needed no tokens. So, amid a hundred mementos of nature, they found nothing personal, not even a likeness of Anne's mother, or lock of her curling brown hair. And amid a mass of miscellaneous papers, writings on every philosophic and imaginative subject, they found but one relating to money—some figures jotted down, with a date affixed, the sum far from large, the date three years before. Below, a later line was added, as if (for the whole was vague) so much had gone, and this was the remainder; the date of this last line was eight months back. “Perhaps this is it,” said Anne; “perhaps this is what he had.” “I’m sure I don't know,” said Miss Lois, mechanically. They went on with the search, and at last came to a package tied in brown paper, which contained money; opening it, they counted the contents. “Three hundred and ten dollars and eighty-five cents,” said Anne. Miss Lois took"a pen and made a calculation, still with the manner of a machine. “That is about what would be left by this time, at the rate of the sums you have had, supposing the memorandum is what you think it is,” she said, rubbing her forehead with a shadowy imitation of her old habit. “It is a large sum,” said Anne. Nothing more was found. It appeared, therefore, that the five children of William Douglas were left alone in the world with exactly three hundred and ten dollars and eighty-five cents. Dr. Gaston and Père Michaux learned the result that day; the story spread through the village and up to the fort. “I never heard anything so extraordinary in my life,” said Mrs. Cromer. “That a man like Dr. Douglas should have gone on for the last four or five years deliber

ately living on his capital, seeing it go dollar by dollar, without making one effort to save it, or to earn an income—a father with children! I shall always believe, after this, that the villagers were right, and that his mind was affected.” The chaplain stopped these comments gruffly, and the fort ladies forgave him on account of the tremor in his voice. He left them, and went across to his little book-clogged cottage with the first indications of age showing in his gait. “It is a blow to him; he is very fond of Anne, and hoped everything for her,” said Mrs. Bryden. “I presume he would adopt her if he could; but there are the other children.” “They might go to their mother's relatives, I should think,” said Mrs. Rankin. “They could, but Anne will not allow it. You will see.” “I suppose our good chaplain has nothing to bequeath, even if he should adopt Anne 7" “No, he has no property, and has saved nothing from his little salary; it has all gone into books,” answered the colonel's wife. Another week passed. By that time Dr. Gaston and Père Michaux together had brought the reality clearly before Anne's eyes; for the girl had heretofore held such small sums of money in her hands at any one time that the amount found in the desk had seemed to her large. Père Michaux began the small list of resources by proposing that the four children should go at once to their uncle, their mother's brother, who was willing to receive them and give them a home, such as it was, among his own brood of black-eyed little ones. Anne decidedly refused. Dr. Gaston then asked her to come to him, and be his dear daughter as long as he lived. “I must not come with them, and I can not come without them,” was Anne's reply. There remained Miss Lois. But she seemed entirely unconscious of any pressing necessity for haste in regard to the affairs of the little household, coming and going as usual, but without words; while people around her, with that virtuous readiness as to the duties of their neighbors which is so helpful in a wicked world, said loudly and frequently that she was the nearest friend, and ought to do— Here followed a variety of suggestions, which amounted in the aggregate to everything. At last, as often happens, it was an outside voice that brought the truth before her. “And what are you thinking of doing, dear Miss Lois, for the five poor orphans ?” asked the second Miss Macdougall while paying a visit of general condolence at the church-house. “Why, what should I do *" said Miss Lois, with a faint remembrance of her old vigilant pride. “They want nothing.” “They want nothing! And not one hundred dollars apiece for them in the wide world!” exclaimed Miss Jean. “Surely you're joking, my dear. Here's Dr. Gaston wishing to take Anne, as is most kind and natural; but she will not leave those children. Although why they should not go back to the stratum from which they came is a mystery to me. She can never make anything of them: mark my words.” Miss Jean paused; but whether Miss Lois marked her words or not, she made no response, but sat gazing straight at the wall. Miss Jean, however, knew her duty, and did it like a heroine of old. “We thought, perhaps, dear Miss Lois, that you would like to take them for a time,” she said, “seeing that Anne has proved herself so obstinate as to the other arrangements proposed. The village has thought so generally, and I am not the one to hide it from you, having been taught by my lamented parent to honor and abide by veracity the most precise. We could all help you a little in clothing them for the present, and we will contribute to their support a fish now and then, a bag of meal, a barrel of potatoes, which we would do gladly—right gladly, I do assure you. For no one likes to think of Dr. Douglas's children being on the town.” The homely phrase roused Miss Lois at last. “What in the world are you talking about, Jean Macdougall?” she exclaimed, in wrath. “On the town Are you clean daft On the town, indeed! Clear out of my house this moment, you lying, evil-speaking woman l’’ The second Miss Macdougall rose in majesty, and drew her black silk visite around her. “Of whom ye are speaking, Miss Hinsdale, I knaw not,” she said, growing Scotch in her anger; “but I believe ye hae lost your wits. I tak’ my departure freely, and not as sent by one who has strangely forgotten the demeanor of a leddy.”

With hands folded, she swept toward the door, all the flowers on her dignified bonnet swaying perceptibly. Pausing on the threshold, she added, “As a gude Christian, and a keeper of my word, I still say, Miss Hinsdale, in spite of insults, that in the matter of a fish or two, or a barrel of potatoes now and then, ye can count upon the Macdougalls.” Left alone, Miss Lois put on her shawl and bonnet with feverish haste, and went over to the Agency. Anne was in the sitting-room, and the children were with her. “Anne, of course you and the children are coming to live with me whenever you think it best to leave this house,” said Miss Lois, appearing on the threshold like an excited ghost in spectacles. “You never thought or planned anything else, I hope ž" “No,” said Anne, frankly, “I did not— at least for the present. I knew you would help us, Miss Lois, although you did not speak.” “Speak! was there any need of speaking to said the elder woman, bursting into a few dry, harsh sobs. “You are all I have in the world, Anne. How could you mistrust me?” “I did not,” said Anne. And then the two women kissed each other, and it was all understood without further words. And thus, through the intervention of the second Miss Macdougall (who found herself ill rewarded for her pains), Lois Hinsdale came out from the watch-chamber of her dead to real life again, took up her burden, and went on. Anne now unfolded her plans, for she had been obliged to invent plans: necessity forced her forward. “We must all come to you for a time, dear Miss Lois; but I am young and strong, and I can work. I wish to educate the boys as father would have wished them educated. Do you ask what I can do 2 I think— that is, I hope—that I can teach.” Then, in a lower voice, she added, “I promised father that I would do all I could for the children, and I shall keep my promise.” Miss Lois's eyes filled with tears. But the effect of the loving emotion was only to redden the lids, and make the orbs beneath look smaller and more unbeautiful than before. For to be born into life with small, inexpressive eyes is like being born dumb. One may have a heart full of feeling, but the world will not believe it. Pass on, then, Martha, with your pale little orbs; leave the feeling to Beatrice with her deep brown glance, to Agnes with her pure blue gaze, to Isabel with hers of passionate splendor. The world does not believe you have any especial feelings, poor Martha. “I have been thinking deeply,” continued Anne, ‘‘and I have consulted Dr. Gaston. He says that I have a good education, but probably an old-fashioned one; at least the fort ladies told him that it would be so considered. It seems that what I need is a “polish of modern accomplishments.' That is what he called it. Now, to obtain a teacher's place, I must have this, and I can not obtain it here.” She paused; and then, like one who rides forward on a solitary charge, added, “I am going to write to Miss Vanhorn.” “A dragon!” said Miss Lois, knitting fiercely. Then added, after a moment, “A positive demon of pride.” Then, after another silence, she said, sternly, “She broke your mother's heart, Anne Douglas, and she will break yours.” “I hope not,” said the girl, her voice trembling a little ; for her sorrow was still very near the surface. “She is old now, and perhaps more gentle. At any rate, she is my only living relative, and to her I must appeal.” “How do you know she is alive 2 The world would be well rid of such a wicked fiend,” pursued Miss Lois, quoting unconsciously from Anne's forest Juliet. “She was living last year, for father spoke of her.” “I did not know he ever spoke of her.” “Only in answer to my questions; for I had found her address, written in mother's handwriting, in an old note-book. She brought up my mother, you know, and was once very fond of her.” “So fond of her that she killed her. If poor Alida had not had that strain upon her, she might have been alive at this day,” said Miss Lois. Anne's self-control left her now, and she began to sob like a child. “Do not make it harder for me than it is,” she said, amid her tears. “I must ask her; and if she should consent to help me, it will be grief enough to leave you all, without these cruel memories added. She is old: who knows but that she may be longing to repair the harm she did {"

“Can the leopard change his spots o' said Miss Lois, sternly. “But what do you mean by leaving us all ! What do you intend to do?” “I intend to ask her either to use her influence in obtaining a teacher's place for me immediately, or if I am not, in her opinion, qualified, to give me the proper masters for one year. I would study very hard; she would not be burdened with me long.” “And the proper masters are not here, of course 2" “No; at the East.” Miss Lois stopped in the middle of a round, took off her spectacles, rolled up her knitting-work slowly and tightly as though it was never to be unrolled again, and pinned it together with decision; she was pinning in also a vast resolution. Then she looked at Anne in silence for several minutes, saw the tear-dimmed eyes and tired, anxious face, the appealing glance of William Douglas's child. “I have not one word to say against it,” she remarked at last, breaking the silence ; and then she walked out of the house and went homeward. It was a hard battle for her. She was to be left with the four brown-skinned children, for whom she had always felt unconquerable aversion, while the one child whom she loved—Anne—was to go far away. It was a revival of the bitter old feeling against Angélique Lafontaine, the artful minx who had entrapped William Douglas to his ruin. In truth, however, there had been very little art about Angélique; nor was Douglas by any means a rich prey. But women always attribute wonderful powers of strategy to a successful rival, even although by the same ratio they reduce the bridegroom to a condition approaching idiocy; for anything is better than the supposition that he was a free agent, and sought his fate from the love of it. The thought of Anne's going was dreadful to Miss Lois; yet her long-headed New England thrift and calculation saw chances in that future which Anne did not see. “The old wretch has money, and no near heirs,” she said to herself: “why should she not take a fancy to this grandniece 2 Anne has no such idea, but her friends should, therefore, have it for her.” Still, the tears would rise and dim her spectacles as she thought of the parting. She took off the gold-rimmed glasses and rubbed them vigorously. “One thing is certain,” she added, to herself, as a sort of comfort, ‘‘Tita will have to do her mummeries in the garden after this.” Poor old Lois in these petty annoyances and heavy cares her great grief was to be pressed down into a subdued undercurrent, no longer to be indulged or made much of even by herself. Anne knew but little of her grandaunt. William Douglas would not speak of what was the most bitter memory of his life. The address in the old note-book, in her mother's unformed girlish handwriting, was her only guide. She knew that Miss Vanhorn was obstinate and ill-tempered; she knew that she had discarded her mother on account of her disobedient marriage, and had remained harsh and unforgiving to the last. And this was all she knew. But she had no choice. Hoping, praying for the best, she wrote her letter, and sent it on its way. Then they all waited. For Père Michaux had been taken into the conference also, and had given hearty approval to Anne's idea—so hearty, indeed, that both the chaplain and Miss Lois looked upon him with disfavor. What did he mean? He did not say what he meant, but returned to his hermitage cheerfully. Dr. Gaston, not so cheerfully, brought out his hardest chess problems, and tried to pass away the time in mathematical combinations of the deepest kind. Miss Lois, however, had combinations at hand of another sort. No sooner was the letter gone than she advanced a series of conjectures which did honor even to her New England origin. The first was that Miss Vanhorn had gone abroad: those old New-Yorkers were “capable of wishing to ride on camels, even”; she added, from habit, “through the eye of a needle.” The next day she decided that paralysis would be the trouble: those old New-Yorkers were “often stricken down in that way, owing to their high living and desperate wine-bibbing.” Anne need give no more thought to her letter; Miss Vanhorn would not be able even to read it. The third day, Miss Vanhorn would read the letter, but would immediately throw it on the floor and stamp on it: those old New-Yorkers “had terrible tempers,” and were “known to swear like troopers even on the slightest provocation.” The fourth day, Miss Vanhorn was mad; the fifth day, she was married: the sixth, she was dead: those old New

Yorkers having tendencies toward insanity, matrimony, and death which, Miss Lois averred, were known to all the world, and indisputable. That she herself had never been in New York in her life made no difference in her certainties: women like Miss Lois are always sure they know all about New York. Anne, weary and anxious, and forced to hear all these probabilities, began at last to picture her grandaunt as a sort of human kaleidoscope, falling into new and more fantastic combinations at a moment's notice. They had allowed two weeks for the letter to reach the island, always supposing that Miss Vanhorn was not on a camel, paralyzed, obstinate, mad, married, or dead. But on the tenth day the letter came. Anne took it with a hand that trembled. Doctor Gaston was present, and Miss Lois, but neither of them comprehended her feelings. She felt that she was now to be confronted by an assent which would strain her heart-strings almost to snapping, yet be ultimately for the best, or by a refusal which would fill her poor heart with joy, although at the same time pressing down upon her shoulders a heavy, almost hopeless weight of care. The two could not enter into her feelings, because in the depths of their hearts they both resented her willingness to leave them. They never said this to each other, they never said it to themselves; yet they both felt it with the unconscious selfishness of those who are growing old, especially when their world is narrowed down to one or two loving young hearts. They did not realize that it was as hard for her to go as it was for them to let her go; they did not realize what a supreme effort of courage it required to make this young girl go out alone into the wide world, and face its vastness and its strangeness; they did not realize how she loved them, and how every tree, every rock of the island, also, was dear to her strongly loving, concentrated heart. After her father's death Anne had been for a time passive, swept away by grief as a dead leaf on the wind. But cold necessity came and stood by her bedside silently and stonily, and looked at her until, recalling her promise, she rose, choked back her sorrow, and returned to common life and duty with an aching but resolute heart. In the effort she made to speak at all it was no wonder that she spoke quietly, almost coldly; having, after sleepless nights of sorrow, nerved her. self to bear the great change in her lot, should it come to her, could she trust herself to say thaf she was sorry to go Sorry —when her whole heart was one pain! The letter was as follows:

“GRANDNIECE ANNE,--I did not know that you were in existence. I have read

your letter, and have now to say the fol

lowing. Your mother wilfully disobeyed me, and died. I, meanwhile, an old woman, remain as strong as ever. “While I recognize no legal claim upon me (I having long since attended to the future disposal of all my property according to my own wishes), I am willing to help you to a certain extent, as I would help any industrious young girl asking for assistance. If what you say of your education is true, you need only what are called modern accomplishments (of which I personally have small opinion, a grimacing in French and a squalling in Italian being not to my taste) to make you a fairly well qualified teacher in an average country boarding-school, which is all you can expect. You may, therefore, come to New York at my expense, and enter Madame Moreau's establishment, where, as I understand, the extreme of everything called ‘accomplishment' is taught, and much nonsense learned in the latest style. You may remain one year; not longer. And I advise you to improve the time, as nothing more will be done for you by me. You will bring your own clothes, but I will pay for your books. I send no money now, but will refund your travelling expenses (of which you will keep strict account, without extras) upon your arrival in the city, which must not be later than the last of October. Go directly to Madame Moreau's (the address is inclosed), and remember that you are simply Anne Douglas, and not a relative of your obedient servant, KATHARINE VANHORN.”

Anne, who had read the letter aloud in a low voice, now laid it down, and looked palely at her two old friends.

“A hard letter,” said the chaplain, indignantly. “My child, remain with us. We will think of some other plan for you. Let the proud, cold-hearted old woman go.”

“I told you how it would be,” said Miss Lois, a bright spot of red on each cheekbone. “She was cruel to your mother before you, and she will be cruel to you. You must give it up.” “No,” said Anne, slowly, raising the letter and replacing it in its envelope; “it is a matter in which I have no choice. She gives me the year at school, as you see, and—there are the children. I promised father, and I must keep the promise. Do not make me falter, dear friends, for—I must go.” And unable longer to keep back the tears, she hurriedly left the room. Dr. Gaston, without a word, took his old felt hat and went home. Miss Lois sat staring vaguely at the window-pane, until she became conscious that some one was coming up the path, and that ‘‘some one” Père Michaux. She too then went hurriedly homeward, by the back way, in order to avoid him. The old priest, coming in, found the house deserted. Anne was on her knees in her own room, sobbing as if her heart would break; but the walls were thick, and he could not hear her. Then Tita came in. “Annet is going away,” she said, softly; “she is going to school. The letter came to-day.” “So Miss Vanhorn consents, does she 3 Excellent! excellent!” said Père Michaux, rubbing his hands, his eyes expressing a hearty satisfaction. “When will you say ‘Excellent! excellent!’ about me?” said Tita, jealously. “Before long, I hope,” said the priest, patting her small head. “But are you sure, mon père f" “Well, yes,” said Père Michaux, the whole, I am.” He smiled, and the child smiled also: but with a deep quiet triumph remarkable in one so young.

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THE FIRE-FLY.

W THEN I first knew Margret Sinclair

she was not quite sixteen : a petted child in a happy home—one of those children, advancing toward womanhood, to whom the feelings constitute all of life; alternating from smiles to tears, the smiles having much the better part of it, she danced her way along. The “Fire-Fly,” we called her in school, and it is as the Fire-Fly I love to think of her. There was nothing particularly attractive about her at first sight. She was small, she was

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