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her lips, waited. It would be a long chapter, fifty verses, perhaps, which the girls. would drone responsively, about the Jews; for the morning lessons were from the Old Testament; and the Jews seemed so far away! She waited for the voice to begin to hear how such a king slew his thousands, and another his tens of thousands. Oh, how could she wait? God forgive her, she did not want to hear of the triumphs of His people; she only wanted in her own hands for a moment that pile of little white forget-me-nots, lying upon the desk.
The Professor's voice,-solemn, deep, low, made a hush to fall upon the room. "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil.”
Katey's heart stood still. This was not the Jews. She raised her head and fixed .her wistful eyes upon the reader. If there would only come some word to her! "He that committeth sin is of the devil." Not Dacre-it could not mean Dacre!
Again the words caught her ear: "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
And so she would gladly, God knew. Yes, this was for her. She bent forward, listening eagerly.
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
"And this is his commandment. That we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave us commandment.”
her for the time during so many weeks that were past. "I can wait," she was saying to herself over and over again. The answer will surely come. But if it could be soon!
And lay down our lives, if need be, thought Katey. And so she would. Should she not then have her prayer? Her heart was lighter than it had been for weeks. Even when the letters were taken up and the names read aloud slowly, though the blood sprang to her face as her heart gave a great throb, she tried to still its beating. "I can wait;" she said to herself, while the flush slowly died away as one name after another fell upon her ear. "It will come":-the answer to the prayer. The girls rose, there was confusion slowly settling into silence as those who had no letters hastened away and the others soon followed. Katey lingered. The shadow of disappointment had fallen upon her: only the shadow, not the heavy weight which had crushed
It was chilly in the school-room, and disappointment is a chill. She wrapped the little shawl close about her and let her head rest again upon the desk as it had lain in prayer-time. A movement at the further end of the room interrupted the stillness. She raised her head quickly; she had thought herself alone. It was only Professor Dyce who had not gone, it seemed. He laid the papers he had been arranging within the desk, turned the key and descended from the platform. As he did so his glance fell upon Katey, who had risen undecided by which mode of exit she should leave the room, ashamed to make use of the stairs behind her, lest she should appear to flee from him. He decided the question by walking directly down the aisle. The movement was so deliberate that she judged him to have a conscious purpose in seeking her. It was something in regard to her classes, undoubtedly, and she ran them over hurriedly in her mind to recall if possible where she had been remiss or failed in her duty. But he seemed in no haste to enter upon the subject.
"You have appropriated this corner to yourself?" he began graciously, making a slight motion with his hand for Katey to resume her seat.
"I come here to read sometimes; it is very quiet out of school-hours, when the girls are gone," she stammered, thinking what a refuge this place had been. But of that she could not speak.
"But your room-do the girls intrude upon you there?"
"They are always welcome.'
"Yes, I know," and he smiled a little sarcastically. "That is the formula one is expected to repeat. Still there is a limit to all hospitality. You come here to read;" he repeated. "You do not go to the library, then?"
O yes, every day, to look over the newspapers," she replied quickly. Then she blushed, feeling his keen eyes upon her. Did he know about Dacre?
"I should hardly think the detail of crimes and casualties with which our press is filled just now would interest you. That bank-robbery, by the way, was a bold operation. Planned and executed evidently by experienced burglars. Strange, how these
outlaws sit before the gates of society ready to spring in and commit their depredations wherever there are signs of weakness." He had removed his eyes from the bent head and trembling hands which held tight the little shawl. What can be done with this class?" he added gently-"except to fight and keep it at bay?"
The question so vital, carried the girl beyond herself. "O, what can be done?" she repeated eagerly, forgetting her caution and showing all her heart at that moment. "Believe me, nothing-by such as you," he replied earnestly-so earnestly that she could not fail to comprehend his meaning. "Association is contamination; and think of the inequality: it is one against a thousand. For they are banded together like an army."
THE Christmas holidays brought a change; many of the girls went home; Jack's wedding called Katey to Easton, where was Josie Durant's home. She was sitting in Josie's own room after the ceremony, in the midst of the confusion incident upon a wedding, a journey, and a final departure from home. The satin gown, fluffy with lace, the delicate veil and wreath of orange blossoms, prepared with such care, were thrown carelessly now upon the bed; the dainty slippers, in which the dainty little lady had stepped from familiar girl-land over the boundary into a strange and wonderful country, dropped where the little feet had left them. The bride was arrayed in her traveling costume, for the wedding breakfast was over, and the guests, with the exception of a few most familiar friends, had gone. She was putting the last touches to her toilet at this moment, settling the elegant little bonnet upon
her head, and fastening her gloves. Please, Katey," she said, holding out her wrist.
"It brings back the first time I ever saw you, to know you at all;" Katey said, taking the little hand in her own. "I buttoned your glove then, do you remember? The night of Janie Home's party."
How odd that you should have remembered such a little thing," Josie replied. "No, I don't recall it. But I remember Jack and you. Who ever would have thought then that Jack and I would grow up to marry each other?" Josie was little given to dreaming, but she fell into a reverie over this.
"It is all strange," said Katey, and there was a tone of sadness in her voice. Josie gave her a sharp, anxious glance. Are you quite well, dear?" "O yes."
"I fancied you were thinner than you used to be." She crossed the room upon some pretext. When she returned she paused behind Katey's chair, and, leaning over, clasped the little gloved hands loosely about her neck. "There is something I have wanted to speak of ever since you came. But the house has been so full of company that we have never had a moment alone.
Katey made no reply. She had looked for this, and braced herself to meet it, every day since her arrival. She had ceased to expect it now, believing the whole matter to have slipped from the mind of her friend.
"You have heard of that bank-robbery, of course," Josie went on timidly, feeling her way, as it were. "And you know what is said of Dacre?"
Tears are by no means unusual at a wedding, and Katey's wet eyes passed unnoticed. Only Jack marked them and reproached himself for having almost forgotten her in his happiness."Remember, you are to come and live with us," he said, leaning out from the carriage. "Delphine, do keep Katey; lock her in, if necessary, until we return.' Then the carriage door closed with a bang, and in a gust of slippers the wedding party disappeared.
"It is absurd," Delphine said the next morning, as they sat alone over the early breakfast, prepared in anticipation of Katey's departure by the first train. "It is positively unreasonable for you to tie yourself to that horrid school. Think, if Robert and I go abroad next month, I shall not see you again. You might, at least, go home with me for a week." But Katey felt that to be impossible. The term would commence the next day, and she must be in her place. And then, how did she know what had occurred in her absence? What if Dacre had come again, or there might be at least a letter awaiting her. O no; she must go back at once. VOL. VIII.-12
"It is, indeed," Katey was obliged to confess. "Still he had nothing to do with this, I am sure."
About that, of course, we cannot judge; but it is all so thoroughly mortifying and disagreeable that we had better try to forget it and him;" and Mrs. Estemere rose from the table.
Mrs. Durant entered the room at the same moment, fortunately for Katey, whose prudence was fast deserting her; the carriage was announced, and further conversation was out of the question.
Delphine ran down the icy steps in her pink-bowed slippers for one more last word at the carriage door. "If I shouldn't see you again before we sail, you'll write often, and you'll take care of yourself, child? Don't do anything foolish away off there. There are no young men?"
"Only one," laughed Katey, remembering Mr. Milde.
Ah, well, you are the pattern of dis
cretion." She leaned in at the carriage window to kiss her warmly, then ran away up the steps again.
The pattern of discretion! If she only knew thought Katey, lying back in the carriage as it rolled away to the station.
It was almost night when she reached La Fayette and the Female College. One of the little girls ran after her as she passed the study-hall, to put a letter into her hand. She had not been sufficiently brave to walk into the room and look upon the desk for herself; she was fairly sick with anxiety. She took the letter without glancing at it, and hastened on. But when she had run the gauntlet of teachers and scholars, and, shut into her own room, at last dared to turn it over and read its superscription, the second shock was greater than the first. It was not from Dacre at all; it was from Minna Hauser, she saw at once. Only a few lines written in haste to say they were in La Fayette for a couple of days, and hoped to see her. She looked at the date. It was three days before. She must seek them at once. It might now be too late. She hastened to retrace her steps through the house, ashamed of the indifference with which she had read Minna's announcement. But the disappointment had been bitter. She was dulled to everything save this: Where was Dacre? Why was it that she heard nothing from him? Even the warm greetings she met upon the way, as one group of girls after another was passed, brought no pleasure. She was ill, and cold, and despairing, and yet she went on to seek her friends. There is an instinct which takes the place of volition at times, and sets us in the way where we ought to walk, and makes us perform the acts expected of us, pulling the wires and holding a mask before our faces. But for this, how could the play go on?
She found the little hotel from which the letter had been written in one of the narrow streets of the town, down by the station. She was just in time; the well-worn trunks were strapped, and standing in the entrance hall. Wulf had already left the house, Christine and her father were coming down the stairs on their way to the street.
"Ah, is it possible?" cried the little old man. "We have sent twice to the school since Minna wrote, and each time they said you had not come back."
"I have but this moment returned," Katey replied, warmly kissing Christine, who seemed much brighter and stronger
than when they met last. After all it was pleasant to see them again. "I am sorry," the little old man went on, "but Christine has an errand she is obliged to do before we go, and we have no time to lose. However, Minna is here, and you will stay with her until we return.'
Ah, Katrine, is it you?" exclaimed Minna, flying down the dingy stairway to embrace her. She dragged her up the stairs to the stuffy little inn-parlor, chattering all the time, asking a hundred questions, and waiting for no one of them to be answered. And Christine?" Katey said at last, when they had exhausted every other subject of mutual interest; when Minna had described their wanderings since she wrote a month or two before, and mentioned the Shepparts incidentally, but with a vivid blush over the intelligence that Hans had won his place in the orchestra, and was coming to meet them at their next stopping-place:"O, Christine is better. Don't you think so? And the young man, of whom I told you, has been to see her. I cannot understand it," Minna said thoughtfully, "nor him. Something evidently weighed upon his mind. I overheard him once reproaching himself to her. He wished he was dead, he said, he brought only misery and wretchedness to everybody. And now he has gone away South. I don't know for what. But he has written once or twice to Christine."
"Poor Christine!" Katey thought, "she too has her troubles."
"But, O Katey," Minna exclaimed, "I had almost forgotten what I wanted particularly to tell you." She went to the door and listened, then she came back and drew an envelope from her pocket, a worn, stained envelope, which had evidently passed through the mail. "Do you know, I feel as though he had deceived us all the time as to his name."
Because I picked this up from the floor one day; it had fallen from his pocket, and it does not bear his name at all."
"Perhaps the letter was not addressed to him."
But why should he have it, then? I don't know;" and she shook her head slowly. "The handwriting is like yours," she said, suddenly rousing herself. "See!" and, leaning forward, she put the envelope into Katey's hand.
"Like mine, is it?" Katey said, with a
Can't you make it out?" Minna called from her corner by the fire. "I ought to have rung for lights; but we were going so soon."
"It can't be. There is some mistake," gasped Katey, finding her voice at last. Minna came forward slowly. "I don't know; it is very strange. But how hoarse you are! I did not notice it before. And your hands are like ice. You ought not to have come. Sit down here, and warm yourself."
But Katey began in a flurried, absent way to fasten her cloak. "No, no, I must go back." She must go while she could. Presently, when she realized it all, she should drop down where she stood. All at once she paused.
"Tell me about him. described him to me." mistaken after all. "Christine has his picture. I wish you might see it. Who knows? You may meet him somewhere, and something about him. He is tall taller than Wulf, and has a little stoop about the shoulders. His hair is dark and his face smooth. Then his eyes"Yes," Katey said faintly, "I know; now I will go home."
"But not before father and Christine come back?”
You have never Perhaps she was
Christine? Katey had forgotten her. Yes, she must get away. How could she meet her? Something like pity struggled up from the chaos in her mind, or was it an instinct of caution made her say at the very last moment, when she left Minna down at the street door, "Don't tell Christine about the letter; or not now at least. Let us think about it first. It may all come right
yet;" though she knew already that it could never come right for her. And Minna promised, and suffered her to go, sure that she was ill; but not at all suspicious as to the truth.
The wind swirled through the tortuous streets, and held her back as she went on. The lowering clouds threw stinging showers of sleet down with the darkness; but she did not heed it. She was numb to sound, and sight, and feeling. It might have been a summer night for all she knew. She had but one desire, one purpose: to get back, to hide from every prying, curious eye, and then-ah, no matter what came then. She let herself in at the door. There were voices in the school-parlor; a laugh came from across the hall. She hurried on. The lights burned dim in the deserted library; in the music-room a group of girls hung about one of the pianos. O, please come and play for us to dance," they said. To dance! She murmured something, and hastened on. The snow had fallen through the day, and drifted in upon the veranda. How cool and refreshing it was to her feet. For now she burned as with an inward fire. Some one had called after her that the door was fastened, she must go the other way; but she had not listened. The long window was unfastened. She would not go back; but, standing in the snow, made it slide up at her touch. "The long window opening upon the veranda was left unfastened last night, did you know it?" Dacre wrote once. She remembered it now as she turned the spring. The schoolroom was dark and silent. She felt her way swiftly down its length to the stairway at the end, which led up and up again to her door.
She took off her outside garments, and hung them in their place. She was strangely tired, and there was a weight upon her brain. Why did she not feel any more this which had so shocked and distressed her? She would think of it another time-in the morning; and so she crept to bed.
(To be continued.)