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" You saw, John, was talking to Charlie Evans.'
'I am surprised, Ann! do you know that is a very bad, deceitful boy-never let me find you talking to him again, do
hear ?' • But I don't believe he did it, John, pleaded Ann. • Не says very likely James Knowle took it himself.'
* That shews what he is then; Fred and Harry both know James didn't go to the house again ; Charles, I see, is false as well as dishonest. I hope you pay attention to what I say, and see now that he must have done it?'
"I don't think he did, John,' said Ann, beginning to cry.
You are a very obstinate little girl, I am afraid ; remember, as long as you are in this temper, I shall not allow you to see any fireworks, if we do have any. Are you sorry for your obstinacy?'
“Yes, John; but I don't believe Charlie ever took it.' • You had better go to bed, Ann, I think.'
Good-night, John,' said the little girl ; father's supper is in that saucepan ; please to have it warm, and don't let it grue : you'd better keep stirring it, please, and one of the plates must be put in the oven to warmnot the best, because it might crack; but'
Go to bed-go to bed !' said John, with more emphasis than before.
Where's little Ann?' said Mr Archer, when he came home from work. • Why don't she bring me my
She has not been good, and I sent her to bed,' said John, rather confusedly, partly on Ann's account, and partly because he was not quite easy in his mind as to
• Not good ?' said his father; ' that's something new for her, then. Don't you go sending her off again, that's all; nothing comes of it, as I see, but grued broth.'
[Write from dictation] The innocent may look bewildered and excited when accused, and feel so deeply aggrieved as to refuse consolation until they are triumphantly acquitted. They wait impatiently for the day on which their innocence will be proved, spite of the obstinacy and ill-will of their accusers.
CHAPTER III. GIVING AWAY THE PRIZES.
[Spell and write] distribution, commendation, resolute, impossible, accusation, derisive, inadmissible, embarrassed, announcement.
The next day was Sunday, and it was not a very happy one to any of the circle we have been reading about, John Archer felt the break between himself and Richard Evans very deeply. Little Ann had seen that Charlie was neither at church nor at school in the morning, and was afraid he was ill, and dare not run up to Mrs Evans to ask. Fred and Harry were both disconsolate, partly because they expected no fireworks, after all they had saved, and partly on account of Charlie's trouble. Perhaps James Knowle was the most comfortable of all. As for Charlie, he was very wretched indeed, and plained so of his head when he got up, and looked so pale and tired from his fretting, that his mother let him sit by the fire all morning. At night, he went with her to church, and there little Ann's words did not seem so strange and unreal as they had sounded in the street. The passionate, careless little boy was broken
and softened by his trouble, and he prayed God to help him to bear it, and bring good out of it for him. Be quite sure God heard him and helped him. Outside the church Fred ran up to him, and said : “Here, stop á bit, Daily ; I'll call for you to-morrow night, and see you safe in to school.'
Oh, Freddie, lad, I shan't come !' Don't be simple—not come and have your prize, after all! Why, Mr Morton knows nothing about it, nor needn't; the prize is yours—that's sure; nobody shall touch you. Oh, did you see me thrash Georgie Vyse ?'
Well, Fred, I'll come ; mother and Dick will be vexed if I don't get the prize. I'll come, and thank you.'
There was a very full school on Monday night; the prizes, nicely-bound books, were piled on a little table by the master's desk. As soon as Mr Morton came in, he began the distribution. Each boy, reported first by his monitor, went up to the desk and received his book, accompanied by a few words of commendation from the master.
* Third class ?' said Mr Morton.
First boy, Charles Evans, sir,' answered the monitor, '107 marks; second boy, James Knowle, 80 marks.'
* That is a great difference,' said the teacher. “Evans and Knowle, step forward.'
The boys went up to the desk.
Charles Evans,' began Mr Morton, you have distanced
your class-mates by a high number of marks, and so have fairly won this prize, and I am only sorry to fear that I shall not be able to give it you;
have been accused of falsehood and dishonesty. Now, it is impossible that I should give a prize to a thief, and let him take a place of higher honour in the school. I hope,
therefore, that you will have something to say for yourself. John Archer, step forward.'
John came, looking sorry, but resolute. • Be so good as to repeat what you
the other night.'
John went through the story again. The master turned to James.
"You say you saw Charles enter the house, and take something from the table?'
Now, James felt getting very uneasy in his mind-he had said so in his hurry to make good his accusation before Fred and Harry; but it was not the truth—he had only seen Charles come out of the entry, and he by no means liked to have to repeat his accusation before the school. After a moment's thought, however, he fancied there could be no harm done by it; he felt certain that Charles had taken the money, so it could not matter. He answered boldly, therefore : Yes, sir, I did.'
Well, Evans, and what were you doing there!'
'I wanted to speak to Freddie Brown, sir; he and Harry kept on asking me to join their subscription; and I couldn't, because my new boots weren't paid for; sixpence a week was to be paid on 'em, and Dick said I ought to see to that first, and I didn't like to own that they weren't paid for.'
• That is a strange story,' said the master; 'you had plenty of time to speak to Brown, I think. Was no one in the house, John, when Evans went to it?'
Little Ann might have been in, sir; but I think she had run out the back-way with the baby.'
suppose she wouldn't have taken it?' John's pride had no time to take offence; the idea seemed so absolutely inadmissible to all the boys, that
a derisive murmur ran round the room in a second, and Freddie Brown broke out_Oh, goodness ! - little Ann ! I should just think not; besides she was gonewe saw her, Harry and me did.'
“As the matter stands,' said Mr Morton, James Knowle will take the prize, and go into the second class. I am exceedingly sorry that this has happened.'
Charlie walked back to his old place, and no interfered or said a sharp word, as with hands trembling from excitement he picked up his slate and books, and turning neither to the right nor left, walked out of the schoolroom, while James took his seat in the second class, where he met with no very free welcome.
'Archer,' said Mr Morton, “ I have forgotten this letter; please to put it in the nearest post for me; you will not be long, and I will see to the class while you are away'
John had just stepped out of the school-yard, when he came into violent contact with little Ann, who was running her quickest. After a moment's pause to get breath, she gasped out-Oh, John, Charlie never did ! I've found all the money, and I've got the thief !'
John turned suddenly white; he had felt more since the accusation against little Evans than he had chosen to say.
"Run off!' he cried; “I'll go and bring Charlie ; run off home, and bring the thief, Ann.'
• The thief ?' said Ann; ' but'
If you can't, go in next door; Jones's lads will help you. But be quick !' and John flew off towards Evans.
• Bring the thief !' said little Ann, opening her eyes to their roundest stretch-Jones's lads? Oh, goodness me! what shall I do?'
In a short time John stood before the Evans's door,