Beulah (Chapter 10, page 2 of 15)


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Chapter 10

The girl's face flushed and paled alternately, as she received the
note and broke the seal with trembling fingers. Glancing over the
contents, her countenance became irradiated, and she exclaimed
joyfully: "Good news! The 'Morning Star' has arrived at Amsterdam. Eugene is
safe in Germany."

Beulah's head went down on her desk, and just audible were the
words: "My Father in Heaven, I thank thee!"

Only Clara and Cornelia heard the broken accents, and they looked
curiously at the bowed figure, quivering with joy.

"Ah! I understand; this is the asylum Beulah I have often heard him
speak of. I had almost forgotten the circumstance. You knew him very
well, I suppose?" said Cornelia, addressing herself to the orphan,
and crumpling the note between her fingers, while her eyes ran with
haughty scrutiny over the dress and features before her.

"Yes, I knew him very well." Beulah felt the blood come into her
cheeks, and she ill brooked the cold, searching look bent upon her.

"You are the same girl that he asked my father to send to the public
school. How came you here?"

A pair of dark gray eyes met Cornelia's gaze, and seemed to answer
defiantly, "What is it to you?"

"Has Dr. Hartwell adopted you? Pauline said so, but she is so
heedless that I scarcely believed her, particularly when it seemed
so very improbable."

"Hush, Cornelia! Why, you need Pauline's tuition about as much as
Fred Vincent, I am disposed to think. Don't be so inquisitive; it
pains her," remonstrated Clara, laying her arm around Beulah's
shoulder as she spoke.

"Nonsense! She is not so fastidious, I will warrant. At least, she
might answer civil questions."

"I always do," said Beulah.

Cornelia smiled derisively, and turned off, with the parting taunt: "It is a mystery to me what Eugene can see in such a homely,
unpolished specimen. He pities her, I suppose."

Clara felt a long shiver creep over the slight form, and saw the
ashen hue that settled on her face, as if some painful wound had
been inflicted. Stooping down, she whispered: "Don't let it trouble you. Cornelia is hasty, but she is generous,
too, and will repent her rudeness. She did not intend to pain you;
it is only her abrupt way of expressing herself."

Beulah raised her head, and, putting back the locks of hair that had
fallen over her brow, replied coldly: "It is nothing new; I am accustomed to such treatment. Only
professing to love Eugene I did not expect her to insult one whom he
had commissioned her to assist, or at least sympathize with."

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