ready. You are my baddest one, who is cross to me, and fights, and raps my head, and slaps my hands; so I thought some beads would be nice for you, and I bringed these beauties. Mr. Thomas gave 'em to me when I told him my trials."
Cicely looked angry, amused, and ashamed, as she listened to the funny yet rather pathetic little play with which the lonely child had tried to cheer herself and win the hearts of those about her. She had the grace to blush, and offer back the necklace, saying in a self-reproachful tone,—
"Keep your beads, little missionary, I'll be converted without them, and try to be kinder to you. I am a selfish wretch, but you shall play be my little sister, and not have to go to strangers for comfort in your trials any more. Come, kiss me, dear, and we'll begin now."
Rosy was in her arms at once, and clung there, saying with a face all smiles,—
"That's what I wanted! I thought I'd make a good savinge of you if I tried very hard. Please be kind to me just till Mamma comes back, and I'll be the best little sister that ever was."
"Why didn't you tell me all about it before?" asked Cicely, smoothing the tired head on her shoulder with a new gentleness; for this last innocent confession had touched her heart as well as her conscience.
"You never seemed to care about my plays, and always said, 'Don't chatter, child; run away and take care of yourself. So I did; but it was pretty dull,