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and then to send some especially sharp or large one spinning into the grassy ditch beside the road.

"Isn't she a curious girl, Mamma? so tired after her long walk to town, yet so anxious not to leave a stone in the way," said Emily, as they watched her slow approach.

"A very interesting one to me, dear, because under that humble exterior lies a fine, strong character. It is like Becky to clear her way, even up a dusty hill where the first rain will wash out many more stones. Let us ask her why she does it. I've observed the habit before, and always meant to ask," replied Mrs. Spenser.

"Here we are! Come and rest a minute, Becky, and tell us if you mend roads as well as ever so many other things;" called Emily, beckoning with a smile, as the girl looked up and saw them.

"Oh, it's a trick of mine; I caught it of Father when I was a little thing, and do it without knowing it half the time," said Becky, sinking down upon a mossy rock, as if rest were welcome.

"Why did he do it?" asked Emily, who knew that her friend loved to talk of her father.

"Well, it's a family failing I guess, for his father did the same, only he began with his farm and let the roads alone. The land used to be pretty much all rocks up here, you know, and farmers had to clear the ground if they wanted crops. It was a hard fight, and took a sight of time and patience to grub out roots and blast rocks and pick up stones that seemed to grow faster than anything else. But they kept on, and now see!"