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"brother Benjamin's Daughter."

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"Oh!" said Miss Naomi Bórax, sourly. "So you're Brother Benjamin s daughter, are you?" The time was fivc o'clock, of a dreary afternoon, tho hills írostod ovor with a lieht fall of snow, like so many Twelfth Night cakes, the sky dappled with gray cloílds, and a sharp wind howhng amono' the cedars and tamaracks oi the loneljspot. The place was a corofortable-looking red brick house at the "Cross Roads," with a pleasant refiection of firclight behind its curlains, and the smell of fried potatoes and ham ïssuino- forth, after si most genial fashion. The dramatis persoaoe were Miss Naomi Bórax, a niddle-aged lady of a sharp and acidulated appcarance, who stood on the doorstep, blocking up tho portals, and Aveline, her niece, a fair, drooping maiden of sixteen, with soft hazel-brown eyes, and a color softer than anv balsam. "Yes,"" Aveline answered, glancmg timidly up, "I am to come hore. For a month." MissNaomi Borax' s countenancegrew tarter than ever. "It's the first I've heard of it," said she, without cvincing any particular degree of pleasurc. , "Didn't you get niv cousm Clanssa s letter?" said Aveline", with a startled look. 'Tve got no letter," said Miss Borax "Nor no telegram. Nor no nothin' else!" " I am tocóme to you," reiterated Aveline. "For a month. Pleaso let me go into the house, Aunt Naomi. I am so cold and tired. 1 have walked all the way from the railroad station! O, Aunt Naomi, are you not glad to see me?" Grudgingly enough, Miss Borax made wayfoAhe slight, shivering figure to pa3S. "Benjamin's daughter, indeed,' she muttered, under her breath. That's the way! The minute tne city reiauum geu tired of her they pack her off upon me. But they needn't suppose I'm going to putup with it!" And she added, aloud, "Why, to teil the truth, Aveline, it ain't exactly conrenient for me to have company just now. I've got six boarders- the minister, the school teacher and four factory girls. And-" "Oh, but I conld help you with the houswork, Aunt Naomi." said Aveline, lifting herpleading eyes to the spinster' s hard face. "And I don't care where I sleep." "I can't afford to keep no help." said Naomi, to whom Thrift was the end and aim of existence. "And perhaps, Niece Aveline, it's just as well that we should come to an understanding at once. Set down by the fire. How old re you?" "Past sixteen, Aunt Naomi," said enne, secreuy wonuermg mi waa coming next. "Then," said Miss Borax, "you're quite old cnough to earn your own living. And you must do it, if you come here." "Oh, Aunt Naonii, don't speak so crossly to me!" said poor Aveline, her hazel brown eyes filling with tears. "Cousin Clarissa was always kind. "I dare say," said Naonïi. "A limp, easy-going cree tur, as was always behindhand with her butoher and baker. I don't manage after that fashion myBelf. And Claiissa owes me a coffeecupful of meal and two smoked mackerel to this day, as she borrowed of me slx years ago, "when we lived neighbors on Blue Mountain Road. Somc folks forgetseasy. I don't. And as to speak in' crossly," faets is facts! Brother Benjamin never took no thonght for the future. He was one of your happy-golucky people too. And here is üis daughter depending on charity!" Avelino, meek though she was, could scareely endure this heartless taunt. "Aunt Naomi," she cried. "you must tint. Küv snrth ornel thinp's!" "Hóity-toity!" said Miss Borax. "If you spiiak so loud you'll have all my boarders down to see what the matter is. What I mean to say is that 1 can't support other people's children. It's all I can do to take care of myself. But p'raps the minister knows of some place you can get. Or may be Mr. Archdale, the schoólmaster, caa recommend you to a position. He's as poor as Job's cat himself but ho knows a lot of nice peopleupijthe state of Massachusetts. And maybe the f actory girls can put you up to a place at sewing buttons on cards or some such business." We'vo all got to work in this world. N ow you can set and warm yourself until supper is ready." Supper was a scant affair enough. A johnny cake, - a little dry toast, some blueberry jam, and a cup of weak and sage-flavored tea, was all that Miss Borax set before her bonrders. The minister was a tall, lank young man with yellow hair and a close-shaven face, who took refuge in an almost unbroken silence; the school-teacher was apleasant, modest-looking man, who did bis best to make poor Aveline feel at home, and the f our f aetory girls stared , giggled, and whisnered by turns. Miss Naomi grini poured the tea, and looked surprise!, when any one wantod a second helping of blueberry jam. while a starved cat went around picking up the crumbs under the table. And Aveline cried herself to sleep in the little garret bedroom where, as her Aunt Naomi kindly informed her, Gran dfather Borax had died at the age of eighty years! "On that very bed," saidMiss Naomi. 'Good night, Brother Ben's daughter. I hope you'll sleep well." Poor Aveline! ïhe next day the question of work came up. The four factory girls declared that they were already overnrowded with hands at the works. ïhe clergyman knew nothing at all. (Avline Borax, who was not without hor sharo of humor, began to believo that that was his normal state!) Mr. Archdale deolared, kindly, that he would make iuquiries. And in the meantime Miss Naomi brought down a ponderólas into narrow strips, which strips were. thereafter sewed and wound into endless balls, which seemed to grow, under Aveline's lingera, like nightrnares! "I'm calculatin' to have a new rag carpet!" said she. "And I can't f eed and keep yon, unless you do something to earn your board! It's a great ovcrsight that your folks havent had you taught a decent trade. Would you like to be bound out to a tailornss?" "A tailoress!" Aveline blvished vividly. "Oh, AuntNaomi, no!" "Now Aveline, don't be a fooi," said Miss Naomi, angrily. "I ain't goingto support you in idleness. Why, a great girl like you will eat and drink fifty cents' worth a day. And I don't keep free tavern for all my pauper relations, that I'dhave you to understand." Which remark so stung Avelina that she took counsel of Mr. Archdale that very evening, while he was correcting Lis boys' Latin excrcises at the desk in corner of the sitting-room. "Isn'tthere anything I could do? said sho. "1 didn't know I was sopoor. But Aunt Naomi tells me that 1 am a pauper!" "Don't bo discouraged, said the young man, kindly. "If the worst comes to the worst," Miss Borax can't turn you out of doors." "But it is so dreadful to be told of one's own poverty and deaolation, pleaded Aveline. "I will write to my cousins in Boston, said Archdale. They are sure to know of some good situation for you." "I would be a housemaid," cned eager Aveline, "sooner than to endure Aunt Naomi's taunts." "Look here, Archdale," saul the clergyman, when Avelinc had gone up to the room where Grandfather Borax died, "take care!" "Of what?" said Archdale in amazement. "That girl has intentions on you! "Nonsènse!" exclaimed the teacher. "She has, though." said Mr. Hymnall. 'evidently enough! Don't allow yourself to be ensnared." "Upon my word, Hymnall," said Mr. Arehdale, scarcely knowing whether to laugli or be vexel, "I think you orazyt" . "I only warn you ia time, said Air. Hymnall, dryly. "But at the end of a month, Avelme was more reconciled to her lot. "Ifc won't be for long," sho said cheeríully. "I told you how ít wouid be,' sad Mr. Hymnalltohisfriend. "Hereyou've been and thrown yoursclf away on a penniless girl like that, when Squire Fallmouth's daughters aro rcturning here from Europe. "You look at matters altogother m a wrong light," said Archdale. "Say rather, here I have been lucky enough in all the world, who would be fully worthy to wear a dlical coronel" "You'll be poorer than poverty," said the clergyman, with a sigh. "Welf we shall not be rich," admitted Mr. Archdale. ' 'But we dont want to bo Rothschilds. And, at all events, we shall be happy. Won't that be enough?" Mr. Hymnall shnigged his shoulders. Ho had preached a sermón on "The Vanity of Riches," only the Sunday before. But his private opinión was quite a different thing. Only the next day, however, Cousm Clarissa Borax made her appearance in a a-reat flurry. -'Wel!, 1 declare," said she. "Things do happen strangely! Here's the very letter, Cousin Naomi, that I thought I had mailed to you the day before I sent Cousin Benjamin's-daughter out here, and whtre should it be but in the bottom of my shopping reticule all this time, with a receipt for eup-cake Dr. Weasand's congh prescription, and a paper of bismuth-and-soda! Andyounever heard IL, ilJLLCl .IA. "Never heard wliat?" said Naomi Borax. "That Aveline was an heiress!" said Cousin Clarissa, "That Brother Ben's money in that Western Raihvay has quintupled itself- that the land he bought along the line is selling at a hundred dollars a lot! And the doctor said she was looking delicate, and I must send her into the country for o change. So I sent her here. And 1 fully s'posed you'd got my letter, and I couldn't hardly b' lieve in my own senses, when 1 gol your scoldin', writ on four pages of foolscap, all about beggars and paupers, and that sort of thing!" "Does she know?" said Miss Naomi. "About her fortune? No!" said sin Clarissa, "not yet! ano ain t to know it - by the terms oí Cousin Benjamin's will- until she is married to some youag man took her íor herself alone!" "Then she'llknowit prettysoon," said Miss Naomi. "For she and the school teacher- Adam Archdale his name is- liave been engaged for three days." The domestic atmosphere of the Borax household ckanged with a rapidity. which no Signal Service officer would be able to explain. Miss Naomi declared that she had bcgun to love Aveline as her own child. The clergymaii thawed out like an icicle in the April sunskine- -the four factory girls proffered to her little gifts of Ser.side novéis, chewing gum, chocolate caramels, and needle-books. And no sunflower in full blossom ever beamed as did good Cou sin Clarissa. Of course Aveline found out the whole mystery befo re she was married! ïïow "And I love you, oh, so much, daring," she said to Adam Archdale, "because you believed you were engaged yourself to a poor girl!" "I believed then - andlbelievenow," Mr. Archdale promptly replied, "thafe I was engaging myself to an - angel!" Which, although illogical, was loverlike. John Howard Payne's eldest sister, Eloise, lies buried in an old cemetery at Lancaster, Mass., beneath a largo white marble tablet supported by six stone pillars, which stand upon a red sandstone base. The monument was ereeted by John G. Palfrey, who was her schoolmate, and it bears beside her name and age (31) these inscriptions: "She will be talked of but alittle while, and, forgotten by society, will survive only in a few hearts, where the memory of such a being is immortal. - "binK into dust, fraii covering of a purified spirit! Parent earth, receive thineown! God in heaven, take her soul to Thee!"


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Ann Arbor Democrat