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The Cameo

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'Felicie ! Felicie Brevard ! Come directly !" The soft French name had a queer sound, coming from Mis. Mouson's tliin Ups and acid voioe. Felicie ciime slowly up the stairs to wliere Mis. MonKH) stood talking volubly witli her lodger, Mr. Thornton. "Felicie, walk a little faster!" said Mrs. Monson, sharply. "lïere is Mr. Tliornton, that liasmisscd oh ïinest carneo. Yon were iu his room dustinjr, yenterday. At the first mentioii of the cárneo, Felicie put lier hand in her pocket, she turued deathly palé, and a half ciy escaped her. "Have you got it?" cried Mrs. Jlnnsoii, shrilly. " If you have, out of these doors you sliall pack. Trouble enougli I have had witli you already- and all ot your relations." She selzed her by the shoulders, and attempted to put lier hand into her pocket. Felicie resisted desperately. She was as white as a ghost. "Come, come, Mrs. Monson ! The carneo is not worth all that," said ilr. Thornton. It was really worth enoughto havo ï Felicie open her innocent eyes wider than they had ever opened beton. Mr. Thornton had often noticed Felicie. He believed her to be honest, and be uw that she was terrilkd atura. Monton'a violeuce. ['But I mean to get at the bottom of it," said Mrs. Monson. Thornton caught her by the wrist and forced herto unjoose KuliJie. He gave her a look before whieh the ïbrewishness vanishcil like siimke. "You had better go down stairs." said he, quietly, "I will settle this with Felicie." Mrs. Mouson walked submissively down stairs, and left Thornton and the frighteued girl alone. "Now,'1 said, Thornton, kïndly, b'u w in, deterruination in his voice, tclline liowall this happened?" Felicie put her hand ia her pocket, aud handed out the carneo. "I know you wou't believe me," she said, bursting intotears; "hut I did not steal it." '1 believe you," éatd Thornton. k"Go on." "I was doBtfng in your room. I put my handkerchief on the mantelpieoe. When I took it up I did not uotice that I took any thing with it. Whcn I j;ot down stairs 'l feit it in my pocket. I was hurryingto ]ut it back when I fouud you and Mrs. Monson here." She was very pretty when slio cried. She had a delicate beauty very ditlerent lrom Mrs, Monson's buxom daughtere. He wóndered how types so dirtercnt could be produced in the sanie family. "Are you Mrs. Monsous's nieter' he asked. "No," she answered, with a ring of indijrnation. " My mother was Mr. Monson's sister, and a lady. My father was French." "And how came you here?" "My father and mother died, and I had nowhere else to %o.'' She beg-an to cry agafn. Thornton had never feRso sorry for any human bing in his life. "And you have never been educated?" he inquired, alter a pause. "I eau read and write, and I can speak French. IVly father was a French teacher, and he used to say to me, when I was a little thing: 'Felicie, you must study bard some of tliese days, and you must play and sing ;' but I cannot play, and r have no hcart to sing." Thornton lookodit her in silence forsome time. "1 have never benefittcd otlicrs much, but this is a chance I will not let slip. Felicie how would you like to go to school, .nul then learn some husiuoss that would niake you independent - .sucii as llower-niuking?" "Or dress-making," responded the practical Felicie. "Very well," said Thornton. I known of a respectabe place where yon can live, Let me see - you are about fitteen ?" "Nearly eighteen," said Felicie. Thorton stan'd. She was then quite a woman, and an un3oinmonly pretty one, too, he said to hiinself. "You are sure yon will not repent? Hut ]erhap8 I au) wrcuig in taking you away frum your natural guarilians in this niannor." "You may take me away Qr not," said Felloie, coolly. "Uut if souie one does not take uie away 1 shiill take myself away. 1 am goinjj now to rct everything I have, and nothing will induce me to sleep auother niglit nniler this roof." That settled it. Thornton took a card and wrote an addrcssou It, and in less thau au hourFelicicpreseutcd hereeliat her new fricniFs with a buHket containiní all of her worldly possessions. Mrs. Jlonson caine home to find Felicie gone, and nu Electo lier, wiille Felieiewas ueing snugly eii8(Mneed ia a little suuny room at Miss Sliopard'i. Miss Bhepard had been an humble friend and dependent of Ruisell Thornton's mother, and wasonly tooilad tohave itinher power to do anytUing ior " Mr. Knssoll." Thornton tppeared n the evening, and flxed upon a plan for Felieie's future arrangements. 'You sluill have a certain amount a month, ' said lie, "beyond your board," aiul with that you may do as yon piense. You may goto school, or learn dress-makine or anything else you like. I leave for New ) ork to-morrow evening, in a week I sail tor London. I shall be in Europe OWtalnly tiree years, and at the end of that time I shall look you up and see what you have made of yourself." Felicie looked at liim with her pretty dark eyèa brimming over with tears. olie liad learned to dread and fear strangers. These two- ltussell Thornton and Miss Shepard - wure the only wo who had ever been kind to her In all her lite. "I will try- I will try !" was all she could say. Thornton rose to gay good bye. "When I come back I expect to be dazzled with your aoquirements.1' He shook hands with her as he spoke, and then with Miss Shepard, and the next moment shesaw hisgraceful figure dteappar in the darkuess. öhe the turned to Miss Shepard - "Will hcever- do you think he will ever come back ? " she asked with quiveiing " Of course. Three years will slip by easily." It seemed an eternity to look forward to, in Pénele a imagination. The next day she said to Mi&s Shepard: ' 'Do vou know what I am going to do with what Mr. Thornton gives me ? I intend to leani to sing I" "Learn to sing!" said Miss Shepard. in the same tone as if she had said, "Learn to fly !' "Yes," said Felicie- "to sing like the great opera singere. SIv mother sang beautitully, and I mean to sing like her." Mi-- Sliepard interposed no objection, and sh' sooii kwrned to oppose nothing that Felicie said. She rat so biight. and tul ! Miss Shcp-inVs dull Hule house had never known any youtliful inerrimenr, aud 'twarmèd the poot old soul's heart to feel Fel icie's active aud magnetic presente ahout her. Slie stinneil herself, as it were, in FeliClei yoiilli and bemty; and Felieiu found herself boom to be tlie very apple of Miss Shcpard's eye. She had begtill her singiug lessons the wek after Thornton left, and might be Qeard trilling and carroling down in Miss SlicjKinl's stuöy little parlor, and toiiching llght cords on Miss Shepard's wheezy old piano, al! day lonr. .r iti slie forget to learn some other timing besides. She never knew lierselt'to be fond of books. Her life had been so hard and colorless that she really dld not know WBat she liked except Inging. Uut she remi with a steady purpose of improvement that worked wonders. She bought copy books and changed her unformed childiah luuul wrltiuK for one full of vigor. She h;id a natural quickness in learning everythlng th:it belonged to domestic affairs and two years slipped away in a happlneat and content that poor Felicie had never dreáihed of. About this time, when Felieiewas twenty, slio s:iw :m ulvertisemunt for a liist solirano in one of the great city church choirs. She determtned to apply for It, and wlthont saying a word to Miss Shepaid, she slipped óff, and went tothe vestryroom where the candidates were beiiifi exainined. Wbea slie found herself before so mnny persons, and saw thestrange professor who presided at the organ. her heart sank; but when at last "Miss Brevard'' was called forward, and she saw the familiar notes, her voice rcturned to her. She had never lelt more mistress of herself. She sang with insiir:i1 ion. Her voice was so puro and ricli and beautiful in tone and compass that she knew alinost intuitively that she would nooeed. And, indeed, about a week afterwaru she received a letter froin the choir (¦(ininiiltee, who "hating made inquirie about her, and finding she was a witable person, would be glad to have her gaccept the place of tirst soprano. The salary would te live hundred dollars, with the privilege ut taking lessons from any professor she might select in the city, not to cost more than - etc.'' Felicie rushedup stairs to show it to Miss Shepanl. "Justthink! Five hundred dollars! And only to Biugfor it? And lessons from Barilli !"' What I have longed for and could uot aft'ord !" rs Shepard looked at her in delitrhted surprise "Oh, Felicie, dear ! what will Mr. Kussell say ?" "Don't vou think he will like it? " said Felicia, stopping sliort. "( )f oourse he will, my darling." "Then it'.s all right," said Felieie, skipping olf to answer lier letter. In a little while Felieie began to think tliat she took a wicked pleasure in her volee. Slie could not but be proud of lt. Siimlay beenme a day of triumph to her. SIk: feit tliat when she sang her solos, her every note was listened to with dellghted attention ; but then she kept down her innocent, girlish vanity by saying to herself: "Wlien Mr. Thornton comes home he will have heard so many flne roices that mine will be nothingto him; and if he sees that I am vain ot it, he will be utterly disgusted with me." Sh had been singing in the choir one whole winter, it was the afternoon of Eaater Sunday, and thechurch was paeked to hciir Misa Iírevard sing. She had never suug so gloriously; she feit a rielicious sense of impending happincss. At last the service was over; the people had uil flocked out ; the sexton would he around In half au hour to lock up everything for the night. Feilde rcmalned. When every one had left thechurch she stole to the organ and began pluylng. Then she began to sing a simple little hymn tliat Mi" bhepard had toW lier as the favorite of Russell Thornton'i mother. " I never heard anybndy but her sing t," she of ten said, as she heard Felieie sing it. She thoughtshe was entirely nlone in the mot, dark church, while the twilight shadows slowly crept In at the stained glass Windows ; but there was some one else. A gfiitlciiian sat in the corner of the church, who turned around so as to face the choir. It was over in a fewj minutes. Felieie rose and made her way down the rickety Steps that led froin the cboirgallery. When shegotto thechurch door the gentleman carne forward out ot the dusk, and caught her two hands n bil. 'Frlicii!" was all hesaid. "I thought that you were not coming back for hum years; and now- I am so staitlcd ! " "Aro you sorry Fellcie?" "No," said Felieie, boldly. Thejr wiilkcd togcthtT toward Felicie's home in the soft spring evening. "How gloriously you siug, Felieie!" said Thornton. "But do you know that little hymn you sang last was my mother's hymn y" I knew it," said Felieie. "Miss Shepard tnhl me so, and taught it to me; and I have often thought I would learn to sing- ninch bettèr than I do now- aud sing it to you." They lingeretl on the way home, so that Miss She parel was quite miserable when they oame in. "ï knew something pleasant was going to happen," Felieie said, "for I feit a bird s i 1 1 r i 1 1 k in my heait all day." In a week people were sayiug: "Do you know Kussell Thornton is going to marry that pretty girl, with the French name, who sing in St. l'eter's rlimvh?" The report was true. "Do brides ever select tlieir wedding presente?" askecl Felicie, just before they marrted. "I don't kuow," taid Russell, laiifrliin"; "bul yon may." ''riicn uivc me tlmt liead of Apollo. Oh, whal ii locky thing it was tlmt I uucousciously stole it."


Ann Arbor Courier
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