Beulah (Chapter 3, page 2 of 5)


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Chapter 3

"Take him, Beulah," said the mother.

She stooped to comply, and was surprised that the little fellow
testified no fear of her. She raised him in her arms, and kissed his
rosy cheeks, as he looked wonderingly at her.

"Ma, is that Johnny's new nurse? What is her name?" said the
youngest girl, laying down her doll and carefully surveying the
stranger.

"Yes, Annie; and her name is Beulah," replied the mother, adjusting
her bonnet.

"Beulah--it's about as pretty as her face. Yes, just about,"
continued Annie, in an audible whisper to her sister. The latter
gave Beulah a condescending stare, curled her lips disdainfully,
and, with a polite "Mind your own business, Annie," returned to her
embroidery.

"Keep the baby by the fire; and if he frets you must feed him.
Laura, show her where to find his cup of arrowroot, and you and
Annie stay here till I come home."

"No, indeed, ma, I can't; for I must go down and practice my music
lesson," answered the eldest daughter decisively.

"Well, then, Annie, stay in my room."

"I am going to make some sugar-candy, ma. She"--pointing to Beulah--
"can take care of Johnny. I thought that was what you hired her
for."

"You will make no sugar-candy till I come home, Miss Annie; do you
hear that? Now, mind what I said to you."

Mrs. Martin rustled out of the room, leaving Annie to scowl
ominously at the new nurse, and vent her spleen by boxing her doll,
because the inanimate little lady would not keep her blue-bead eyes
open. Beulah loved children, and Johnny forcibly reminded her of
earlier days, when she had carried Lilly about in her arms. For some
time after the departure of Mrs. Martin and Laura, the little fellow
seemed perfectly satisfied, but finally grew fretful, and Beulah
surmised he might be hungry.

"Will you please give me the baby's arrowroot?"

"I don't know anything about it; ask Harrison."

"Who is Harrison?"

"Why, the cook."

Glancing around the room, she found the arrowroot; the boy was fed,
and soon fell asleep. Beulah sat in a low rocking-chair, by the
hearth, holding the infant, and watching the little figure opposite.
Annie was trying to fit a new silk waist to her doll, but it was too
broad one way and too narrow another. She twisted and jerked it
divers ways, but all in vain; and at last, disgusted by the
experiment, she tore it off and aimed it at the fire, with an
impatient cry.

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