Beulah (Chapter 9, page 2 of 9)


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Chapter 9

"Do you want anything, Beulah?"

"No, sir; I thought you had gone. May I open the gate for you?"

"Certainly, if you wish to do something for me." His pale features
relaxed, and his whole face lighted up, like a sun-flushed cloud.

Beulah walked down the avenue, lined on either side with venerable
poplars and cedars, and opened the large gate leading into the city.
He checked his horse, and said: "Thank you, my child. Now, how are you going to spend the day?
Remember you commence with school duties next week; so make the best
of your holiday."

"I have enough to occupy me to-day. Good-by, sir."

"Good-by, for an hour or so." He smiled kindly and drove on, while
she walked slowly back to the house, wondering why smiles were such
rare things in this world, when they cost so little, and yet are so
very valuable to mourning hearts. Pauline sat on the steps with an
open book in her hand. She looked up as Beulah approached, and
exclaimed gayly: "Aren't you glad I am to have my birthday frolic?"

"Yes; I am glad on your account," answered Beulah gravely.

"Can you dance all the fancy dances? I don't like any so well as the
mazourka."

"I do not dance at all."

"Don't dance! Why, I have danced ever since I was big enough to
crawl! What have you been doing all your life, that you don't know
how to dance?"

"My feet have had other work to do," replied her companion; and, as
the recollections of her early childhood flitted before her, the
brow darkened.

"I suppose that is one reason you look so forlorn all the time. I
will ask Uncle Guy to send you to the dancing school for--"

"Pauline, it is school-time, and you don't know one word of that
Quackenbos; I would be ashamed to start from home as ignorant of my
lessons as you are." Mrs. Chilton's head was projected from the
parlor window, and the rebuke was delivered in no very gentle tone.

"Oh, I don't mind it at all; I have got used to it," answered the
daughter, tossing up the book as she spoke.

"Get ready for school this minute!"

Pauline scampered into the house for her bonnet and sachel; and,
fixing her eyes upon Beulah, Mrs. Chilton asked sternly: "What are you doing out there? What did you follow my brother to the
gate for? Answer me!"

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