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well-nigh grown girls, all neatly clad, and with smiling, contented faces, if we except one grave countenance, which might have been remarked by the close observer. The weekly visiting committee consisted of four of the lady managers, but to-day the number was swelled to six. A glance at the inspectors sufficed to inform Beulah that something of more than ordinary interest had convened them on the present occasion, and she was passing on to her accustomed place, when her eyes fell upon a familiar face, partially concealed by a straw bonnet. It was her Sabbathschool teacher; a sudden glad light flashed over the girl's countenance, and the pale lips disclosed a set of faultlessly beautiful teeth, as she smiled and hastened to her friend.

"How do you do, Mrs. Mason? I am so glad to see you!" "Thank you, Beulah, I have been promising myself this pleasure a great while. I saw Eugene this morning, and told him I was coming out. He sent you a book and a message. Here is the book. You are to mark the passages you like particularly, and study them well until he comes. When did you see him last?"

Mrs. Mason put the volume in her hand as she spoke. "It has been more than a week since he was here, and I was afraid he was sick. He is very kind and good to remember the book he promised me, and I thank you very much, Mrs. Mason, for bringing it." The face was radiant with new-born joy, but it all died out when Miss Dorothea White (little Claudia's particular aversion) fixed her pale blue eyes upon her, and asked, in a sharp, discontented tone :

"What ails that girl, Mrs. Williams? she does not work enough, or she would have some blood in her cheeks. Has she been sick?"

"No, madam, she has not been sick exactly, but somehow she never looks strong and hearty like the others. She works well enough. There is not a better or more industrious girl in the asylum, but I rather think she studies too much. She will sit up and read of nights, when the others are all sound asleep; and

very often, when Kate and I put out the hall lamp, we find her with her book alone in the cold. I can't get my consent to forbid her reading, especially as it never interferes with her regular work, and she is so fond of it." As the kind-hearted matron uttered these words she glanced at the child and sighed involuntarily.

"You are too indulgent, Mrs. Williams; we cannot afford to feed and clothe girls of her age, to wear themselves out reading trash all night. We are very much in arrears at best, and I think some plan should be adopted to make these large girls, who have been on hand so long, more useful. What do you say, ladies?" Miss Dorothea looked around for some encouragement and support in her move.

"Well, for my part, Miss White, I think that child is not strong enough to do much hard work; she always has looked delicate and pale," said Mrs. Taylor, an amiable looking woman, who had taken one of the youngest orphans on her knee.

"My dear friend that is the very reason: she does not exercise sufficiently to make her robust. Just look at her face and hands, as bloodless as a turnip."

"Beulah, do ask her to give you some of her beautiful color; she looks exactly like a cake of tallow, with two glass beads in the middle,"

"Hush!" and Beulah's hand was pressed firmly over Claudia's crimson lips, lest the whisper of the indignant little brunette should reach ears for which it was not intended.

As no one essayed to answer Miss White, the matron ventured to suggest a darling scheme of her own.

"I have always hoped the managers would conclude to educate her for a teacher. She is so studious, I know she would learn very rapidly."

"My dear madam, you do not in the least understand what you are talking about. It would require at least five years' careful training to fit her to teach, and our finances do not admit of any such expenditure. As the best thing for her, I should move to

bind her out to a mantua-maker or milliner, but she could not stand the confinement. She would go off with consumption in less than a year. There is the trouble with these delicate children."

"How is the babe that was brought here last week?" asked Mrs. Taylor.

"Oh, he is doing beautifully. Bring him round the table, Susan," and the rosy, smiling infant was handed about for closer inspection. A few general inquiries followed, and then Beulah was not surprised to hear the order given for the children to retire, as the managers had some especial business with their matron. The orphan band defiled into the hall, and dispersed to their various occupations, but Beulah approached the matron, and whispered something, to which the reply was:

"No if you have finished that other apron, you shall sew no more to-day. You can pump a fresh bucket of water, and then run out into the yard for some air."

She performed the duty assigned to her, and then hastened to the dormitory, whither Lillian and Claudia had preceded her. The latter was standing on a chair, mimicking Miss Dorothea, and haranguing her sole auditor, in a nasal twang, which she contrived to force from her beautiful curling lips. At sight of Beulah, she sprang toward her, exclaiming :

"You shall be a teacher if you want to, shan't you, Beulah ?"

"I am afraid not, Claudy. But don't say any more about her; she is not as kind as our dear matron, or some of the managers, but she thinks she is right. Remember, she made these pretty blue curtains round your and Lilly's bed."

"I don't care if she did. All the ladies were making them, and she did no more than the rest. Never mind: I shall be a young lady some of these days; our matron says I will be beautiful enough to marry the President, and then I will see whether Miss Dorothy Red-head comes meddling and bothering you any more." The brilliant eyes dilated with pleasure, at the

thought of the protection which the future lady-President would afford her protégée.

Beulah smiled, and asked almost gaily:

"Claudy, how much will you pay me a month, to dress you, and keep your hair in order, when you get into the White House at Washington ?"

"Oh, you dear darling! you shall have everything you want, and do nothing but read." The impulsive child threw her arms around Beulah's neck, and kissed her repeatedly, while the latter bent down over her basket.

"Lilly, here are some chincapins for you and Claudy. I am going out into the yard, and you may both go and play hullgull."

In the debating room of the visiting committee, Miss White again had the floor. She was no less important a personage than vice-president of the board of managers, and felt authorized to investigate closely, and redress all grievances.

"Who did you say sent that book here, Mrs. Mason ?"

Eugene Rutland, who was once a member of Mrs. Williams' orphan charge in this asylum. Mr. Graham adopted him, and he is now known as Eugene Graham. He is very much attached to Beulah, though I believe they are not at all related."

"He left the asylum before I entered the board. What sort of boy is he? I have seen him several times, and do not particularly fancy him."

"Oh, madam, he is a noble boy! It was a great trial to me to part with him three years ago. He is much older than Beulah, and loves her as well as if she were his sister," said the matron, more hastily than was her custom, when answering any of the managers.

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"" I suppose he has put this notion of being a teacher into her head; well, she must get it out, that is all. I know of an excellent situation, where a lady is willing to pay six dollars a month for a girl of her age to attend to an infant, and I think we must secure it for her."

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"Oh, Miss White! she is not able to carry a heavy child always in her arms," expostulated Mrs. Williams.

"Yes she is. I will venture to say she looks all the better for it at the month's end."

The last sentence, fraught with interest to herself, fell upon Beulah's ear, as she passed through the hall, and an unerring intuition told her "you are the one." She put her hands over her ears to shut out Miss Dorothea's sharp tones, and hurried away, with a dim foreboding of coming evil, which pressed heavily upon her young heart.

CHAPTER II.

THE following day, in obedience to the proclamation of the mayor of the city, was celebrated as a season of special thanksgiving, and the inmates of the asylum were taken to church to morning service. After an early dinner, the matron gave them permission to amuse themselves the remainder of the day as their various inclinations prompted. There was an immediate dispersion of the assemblage, and only Beulah lingered beside the matron's chair.

"Mrs. Williams, may I take Lilly with me, and go out into the woods at the back of the Asylum ?"

"I want you at home this evening, but I dislike very much to refuse you."

"Oh! never mind, if you wish me to do anything," answered the girl cheerfully.

Tears rolled over the matron's face, and hastily averting her head, she wiped them away with the corner of her apron.

"Can I do anything to help you? What is the matter?"
"Never mind, Beulah; do you get your bonnet and go to the

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