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and too eager to feel awkward or embarrassed, dashed into the kitchen. Richard, who was holding his little brother on his knee, looked up in angry surprise, and Mrs Evans broke out : “I thought we wasn't to see you no more, master; what have you got against us now?'

"Oh, Dick! oh, Mrs Evans,' said John, with a tremble in his voice ; 'don't, please ; I was all wrong, and I'm come to take Charlie back to his prize ; little Ann has got the thief, and it's all set right.'

Without waiting for an answer, John put Charles's cap on, threw his arm round him, and drew him out.

Come, Dick,' he cried, "let's come and see him done right by,' and they hurried out of the house. The effect of John's sudden entrance and startling announcement, followed by the profound silence in which Mrs Evans found herself left, was afterwards compared by her to a 'bucket of water dashed in a body's face when they were gaping.' She sat stunned for a few minutes, looking at the open door; and it was only when the

: night air threatened to blow out her candle, that she rose and shut it, picked up Charlie's cloak, that had been dropped, and said meekly: 'Well, well, them rattles o’ boys!'

[Write from dictation] Commendation generally accompanies the announcement and distribution of prizes. Charlie seemed not to deserve commendation, and the prize was accordingly refused.

A derisive murmur shewed that the accusation of Ann was inadmissible, and the accuser was embarrassed by his own suggestion.

[graphic]

CHAPTER IV.- THE BONFIRE.

[Spell and write] difficult, expectant, ejaculations, sympathy, proceeded, alternately,

bewilderment, conscience, mercilessly.

Charles was half-led, half-carried along by his conductors, in a state of bewilderment difficult to describe. The boys looked up in amaze, as the three burst into the room ; Richard and John eager and triumphant-Charlie shrinking from the noise, and the bright gas that flashed mercilessly on his poor little face, still white and tearstained. There was a breathless silence as they made straight for the master's desk.

• What is it?' said Mr Morton. “I hope nothing is wrong at home, John; your sister is here, wanting to speak to you, she says.'

For answer, John glanced rapidly round, till his eye fell on little Ann, who, nursing the baby, stood against the wall, expectant and ready.

'I thought I told you to bring the thief !' said John sharply.

"Oh, goodness ! so I did—why it was Toddlekins !'

If she had said the Emperor of Russia, the silence and surprise could not have been more profound.

· Hurrah !' shouted Freddie Brown, and a mingled hubbub of ejaculations and delight filled the room.

•Silence !' cried Mr Morton. Here, Ann Archer, you seem the only one who can say anything besides "Well, I never!” step forward and explain what you can.' Far too excited and glad to be in the least shy, she stepped before the desk with the rosy chuckling thief in her arms.

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It was Toddlekins, sir, as took it,' repeated little Ann; ‘it was in her shoe; she's always kicking them off, first one, and then the other, and she must have took it off the table, John, while you was having your tea, and put it in-you saw her try to poke a spoon in; it fell into a crack under the adle; Harry overturned the cradle as he ran out, and when I came back I could only find one shoe, and I should have got it long before, but the woman as helps me to clean, was ill on Saturday, and didn't come, so I thought I'd try and do it all myself to-night, and that's what I found,' holding up the once pretty pink shoe, now black and grimy, but heavy with its ill-gotten gains ; and oh! I said, as Charlie never took it.'

There was one person in the room who by no means shared the general sympathy and joy. James Knowle had felt suddenly uneasy when Charlie had re-appeared with his big brother at his side, and had clutched his prize nervously; and as little Ann began and proceeded with her story, he became alternately cold and hot with terror; and before she had ended, felt he would be much more comfortable outside the school, and had slipped out unseen by any one. Mr Morton's face was very serious when Ann had finished. James Knowle,' he said sternly; but there was no

• Monitor, send Knowle forward.' 'I can't see him, sir; he's not here—he's gone.'

* His bad conscience has driven him away,' said the master. Scratch his name out of the class-book. Charlie, we have done you a wrong; but I am glad it is not too late to set it right. You will, of course, go into the second class. Monitor, where is Knowle's prize ?'

• Here, sir, on the floor; he must have dropped it.'

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It was put into Charles's hands, and his new class-mates crowded round him with greetings and congratulations.

•Silence for the hymn, boys !' said Mr Morton.

Several voices trembled a little as they sang ; Charles, with his face hidden in his brother's coat, cried outright; and many, while praising Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,' felt as if God were indeed nearer to them than they often thought.

As soon as they were in the street, 'Oh, didn't I tell you, dear lad ?' cried Fred. "You 'll come to the bonfire anyhow now; and if we catch James Knowle, we'll roast him !'

Let him be,' said Charlie; don't let's hurt nobody; it's bad enough to have enemies instead of friends, I know now, Don't let's bear no malice nor hatred-I don't.'

You see little Ann's sermon was not quite forgotten, though Charles did not think of her in the least as he spoke.

· Yes, Dick, will you come ?' said John Archer warmly; 'you don't know how bad I felt at breaking with you even for a day.'

This was a good deal for John to say; and Richard, as quick to forgive as to take offence, held out his hand, and promised to come.

And wasn't there a bonfire after all ! and rockets, and serpents, and wheels, and a dish of snapdragon, and a hot supper cooking in the back-kitchen, watched over, not by little Ann this time, but by Mr Archer and Mrs Evans, who preferred to sit indoors, and see the fireworks through the window. It was a very pretty sight, when they had let off all the fireworks, and sat round the huge fire :

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Fred and Harry busy roasting chestnuts, and Charlie handing round the snapdragon dish to the others.

Oh, you image !' cried Freddie, addressing Toddlekins, who leaped and crowed at the flames in wild delight; what a character you are ! Let's give her a cheer !'

And a general 'Hurrah !' for the innocent little thief rose up as near the stars as the boys' lungs could send it.

But who was the happiest of all the happy group? Not baby even, I think; not John and Richard, reconciled and united as they were; not Charlie, caressed and petted by all; certainly not Fred and Harry, with all their merry thoughtlessness. I think the happiest heart must have been the humblest and most loving there; and that, beyond all doubt, was little Ann's. You remember how she had been scolded and forbidden to come? Well, no one had thought it worth while to own that she had been right after all, and to ask her to join them. I think if you or I had been in her place, we should have kept aloof till we were fetched, and have found some way to have our dignity soothed, before we would by any means have looked over half the slights little Ann had received. She, however, as you see, was there, nursing her sister and waiting on the boys as unnoticed and contented as

I should like to hope that the Blessed Jesus would think of us with the love and favour He has for little Ann.

All who were so happy together that night must have been widely scattered as they grew up and followed their different courses of life, but none ever forgot the story of the stolen money; and those who live in the same town will tell you now, that there may have been Fifths of November and bonfires since then, but there never was

ever.

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