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A Girl's Good Sense

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"Minnie! Minniel is my chocolate! near rcady?" It was scrupulously noat and dainty in all ita appoiutrnents, the little parlor ! where Mrs. Breighkm sat, although the [ carpet was a tissue of daros, the furniture faded, and the hearth rug skilli'ully eked out by apiece of quite another fabric inserted in the npot most worn. A few flowers, in a slender-throated vaae, i stood on the autique, claw-legged table, the fender-irons glittered like gold, and the thin muslin curtams, mended Itóre and tkere, were white as snow; and Mrs. Breighton herself looked likeCinderella's j god-mother, in her dross of ancient bro cade, best yellow lace, and the rings ! tering on her.sznall, shriveled bands. Eighty yêars 11, and a laáf ba the laat! Th at was something to be proud of. Whftt though paralysis had robbed her of all use of those daintily-slippered feet - what though the grand house she bad entered a bride was now uarrowcd down to this one room in a seoond-rate building, where two other families also set np tlieir household altara - she v:is a lady stil], iiud she conld boast tbat she oever had degradod herself to commonplace toil. " Our mcans are limited," said oíd M ra. Breighton, with the lofty air of a duohoss, "bilt the pension of my son, the Ooloael - wlio, ui yon raay probably remembor, was killed on the Florida frontier - is J Bufficiont to niaintain myself and my two ' granddaughters- and we are ladies." Minuio Breighton prosently came ha witli her Jittlc chooolfttttire on a napkinpovered taay, and .'■.n-a of toast, oxquisitely brownod and cut as thin as a wafer. 1 ' I hope you haven't been kejit waiting, grandmal" she said. " My dear" - with an air of mild resignation - "I am aeeustomed to wait." " Oh, I'm so sorry! But our live is out, and I had to run in and borrow the uso of Mrs. Tueker's stove to boil the shocolato, and - " Mrs. Breighton contraoted her ilvery brow. "The Breighton's are not a borrowing cace, Bfinnie, "Shall I getyou an egg, grandinamma?" " No, il' Üie (! re is out, tny dear." And Gbrandmamma Breighton went on with lier breakfast, wraring an injurcd air, while Minnie went back to the other room, where she Bat with her twin sister, cogitatin#. Anna Breighton was as iretty as Minain, but in a different stylé. Shc was I davk, with melting, ahnond-shaped eyes, and olive skin, and lip like a pomegranate tlowes, so perfeoÜy skapsd, so riclily red; whüe Minnie m üd! and ilender, and fair as a daisy. Anna laid down a slip oi greasy paper as Minnie entered. "It's the grooer's bill again, sister. Wliut sliall we do?" Minnie Bank inlo a ohair, "And fchfl gaa yesterday, and tho landlord not paid, and the puree in em)ty as Mother Hubbard's clipboard. What sliall we do :" " That's the question," said Anna, reflootively arohing hor jetty brows. " Ii' we can onlj keep it from gr andmamma." " Wc musí," retorted Minnie, with a i decisivo nod. " It would kill her. If we men, now, Nanny, wo oould fín out and giit a job oi' wood-sawing, or house pamting, or " " And wliy oan't we nou :" "Why! Beeaase Pat Q Ncil lias got all Mrs. Barker's wood to saw, and because we oan't olimb ladders with paint pote over mr shoulders." "Bat wc can do sometliing clso, I1 Buppose. Listen, Minnie - muncy wc must have." "If wc go out oji tin; liighways and ask it at the point of llü' Imyoiict," iuterjeoted Minnie, giavely. "There'e im poverty genteel pov orty," her Bister sighed. " But you havon't heard niy plan. Mrs. Barker, the laundress in our top story, is sick." " Whüt tl ion ? Wc have noithcr wiue nor jflly, nor yet crisp bank notes to bestow upon her." " Aml slie can't keep np to her engagomontR. Therearetwo Swiss muslin ball dreöees, fluted and pufföd . tnlly, lying in her basket waiting : be done up, at thia preaeni moment. E'ive dollars apiece alie has i'oi' tliem. "Welíi" "I liiill do 111' ui up." "Nminy! Youí" "Wcll, why not? Think what a golden Btream of pactolous ten dollars wdnl.l be in our empty ooffers! Ask jrouriiell li"'1. on earth you or I could i, ,, ten di illars an; otb waj . Aml, after al}, o Swisa oiunlin dress i:; ;i prettj poetical 3ort of fabrie fco wanh and irou; and into the bargain, poor Mm. Barkei ke pa her eustomers." " Olí, Nanny ! have yon cíiiiio to that?" " Now, you look nd talk exactly lüe dear oíd grandmanxma ! J)on't be :i goose, Minnio ! .lust you invent soma storj about my promohading in the park, iv taking lessons in wax flowcrs making, to deludo her credulous soul, while I po up Btoirs and cois monoy. " " Hut J niiiv help yon?" "By-and-by, perfiaps, if my wrists get timl. ííut now, some onc must alíij with grandmamma, "It is very 8trange,"saidMiss Georgiette Appleton, "that my dreasos haven 't come home! Positívefy, I sháll havo nothing to wear to-iiÍRlit." Hhe was lounging beforo tho sea-coa] flre, in u blue silk neglige, trimmed with Bwan down, and a little Frenoh tangle of blue ribbons and lace pinnod among hcv yi-llow tresses, with a pearl-headed javelin, while i novel ly in her lap. " What an awful case!" observed t.hc brother oarelessly. " Where'a tlio amBthyst ailk?" " Oh, I v.-ovo that to their last reception." " Aml the pink orape ?" " I look likc fin owl in pink. I was a goofio ever to buy (hal Bilfc." " The Nile green silk with white flonnces?" " Sarah Howard has one jiifit a shade lighter that shell be sure to wear, and 1 believe the spiteful thing gs)t it on j pose to kill mino. No, 1 raust have tho I Swiss niuslin with knots of bino coru flowers, and i Roman sash flgured with gold. And yon '11 go around to tho loondress, and hurry her up a little, wou't yon, George? that's a díiok of a brother! - and you kiiow perfectly well yoü've liecu yavning your jaws off (He last three-quarters of ui hotir." "Whereisit?" "Only in Mendenhall street - justa pleasant walk. And to give Mrs. fiarker a Boolding, and ask lier if she don't know bettei than to keep hor customcrs waiting - although, of oourse, I know you'll do nothing of the sort. Men havo no moral courage. There'8 the nddress on a card. lt'11 be such a relief to my mind I" Maj. Georgo Appleton was an army officer, home on a furlough, and rather at a loss to know what tn do with so much extra time. llich, which was auothcr Bonroe of perplexity ! - handsome, whioh wawn't so puzzling! And so lio sauntered along, his hands in his pookets and a eigar balanoed between lus lips, uneonsciously advancing to meet his fate. -Hap ! rap ! rap ! The Major played a tattoo with his knuckles on the door. "Dear me, what a noise .'" said a voice inside. " Come in I" - a little louder. The Major walked in to confront, not ,t wrinkled old hag of a washerwoman, in a halo of soap and steam, Imt a beautiful young lady, dark and brilliant as an Arabian dream, with jetty curls pinned back in a silken cascade at the back of her head, and a pair of fluting scissors in her hand. Maj. Appleton started back, all his wits momentarily desortiug him. It ík a ciuions f act tliat the more emborrassed one party in a tete-a-tete becomea, the greater i the composure of the other. Annie Breighton shonld have oolored :ih stnttered at being caught tlms, bnt she didn't. "What's your business, air?" she j askod, with greatest calmness. "lt's- it's about my sister'ö gown - Miss Appleton 's, ycm know!" "Ah!" said Annie. "I hope to have it ready very soon. If you'll wait ton minute yon may carry it home." And sho took a seeond pair of fluting scissors from the store, testing its heat by holding it dangeronsly near her velvet onoek. M;ij. Appleton, not being posted La etiquette and general decoran), eaw no harm in carrying home a basket l newly-laundried clothes. Ho he s;it down and waited, while honest Mrs. Baker starled from the other room, where sho lay apon her bed - a captivo to rheumatic pains. " Sho's in a hurry, you know," said the Major, twirling his thumbs, and thinking how very pretty the giii was. "Ho uu I," lid Anna, making the , Hul ing soissors glide in and out in a mowt marvelous manner among the elouds of sunny muslin. "Sho wants to wear it," added the Major. " J!ut I ,'jay you - know - you're not a regular washerwoman ■:" Anna slightly straightened herself up. " My father was a Colonel in the regular army. My grandfather was Hyde Breighton, of Breighton Manor, uu the Hudson. Bnt we are reduced now, and we Deed monoy; and I ani not ashamod ; to work. " " Jíy.Tove, yon're a trump!" said Maj. Appleton, storting up. "Muoh obllged to yon," retorted Amia, witli sparkling eyes. "Would yon miad holding the sash forme - just a second, while I finish tliis loop?" And wlu'ii Minnie camo iip to see how hor sister was getting on, dio found her aided and abetted by tlio Major of oavalry, who wa hoating the altérnate pairs ol' fluting scissors alter a most scientifie fashion. " Dear me," said Miss Appleton, when j at last her broöier made his appearanoe, " how long you have been." "Yes," said Ui" Major, rubbiag his i hands with on appearanoe of greal satis factdon, "ittook usquiteawhüe toünisL those last thirteen lotinoes." " Uk ! you don't mean lo say tli;i(. yon holped the washerwoman ï" " Yen, I did," said the Major ; "and the frooka aredon-stairs, and I'm going iij) foi a game of billiards. " And as lic went lie niiiviDured to himself, "I thougbt al! gii'ls were alike, but I believa l've vered one independent - oae at last!" "Grandmama, I'm going to be married." "Yon, Nanny? Why, you are bata ohüd!" Annie Breightoo was kneoling beside lier grandmother's ohair, and tne l'.ury godmothor was stxoking her curia willi ' one tremulouB while hand, where the ' tique jewels shone liko drops of blood and scintülating sparkles of green tire. " I ni 18, grandmamma,. "Ho yon are! iiow tañe ílios ! Eigtiteen years oldl But who's the liappy man ' We 8ee no sooiety vrorthy of onraelves, Nanny, and- "J'iü Bure yon will likc hiin, grandmainmft. He ík coming to pay h tespccte to you to-night. Hu Dame La Major ( reorge Appleton. H: is in üic - the eavalry, and ho owns a houso 011 M.iilison avenue, and- and hekrwsme, grandmamma." Nanny held her black-tressed li'al on oíd lady's ehoulder as ste spoke ih' ords. "All natural enough, my dear ; bnt do yon love hún?" " ïes, grandmamma." " And where did yon meet him ! VVlien were yon introducod 1" " I wasn't introduced at all," rctnrned N;i n i v, Avith mischievous elves of llame coming and going in her eyes. "I was fhitisg muslin up in Mrs. Bakcr's room, when ho caine in on an orrond; and oli ! nrrfl.TirlTna.mmB., you have alwaVS thoilght it so dreadful t work. But il' I hadn't been working I never shoidd havo met him. And I lovc him so much, grandmamma !" " Well, well," said the old lady rather reluctantly, "tbinga seem to be altered from what they vero wben I was v girL " "But you k'i.'iII live wil h as always, granny deur, and Jíinnie, too and wc sliall be so happy." And Anna Breighton's tearswere tears of perfect joy.


Old News
Michigan Argus