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282
Little Women.

" I wish I knew where all these pretty things would go when Aunt March dies," she said, as she slowly- replaced the shining rosary, and shut the jewel cases one by one.

" To you and your sisters. I know it ; Madame con- fides in me ; I witnessed her will, and it is to be so," whispered Esther, smiling.

" How nice ! but I wish she'd let us have them now. Pro-cras-ti-nation is not agreeable," observed Amy, taking a last look at the diamonds.

"It is too soon yet for the young ladies to wear these things. The first one who is affianced will have the pearls — Madame has said it ; and I have a fancy that the little turquoise ring will be given to you when you go, for Madame approves your good behavior and charming manners."

" Do you think so t Oh, I'll be a lamb, if I can only have that lovely ring ! It's ever so much prettier than Kitty Bryant's. I do like Aunt March, after all ; " and Amy tried on the blue ring with a delighted face, and a firm resolve to earn it.

From that day she was a model of obedience, and the old lady complacently admired the success of her training. Esther fitted up the closet with a little table, placed a footstool before it, and over it a picture, taken from one of the shut-up rooms. She thought it was of no great value, but, being appropriate, she bor- rowed it, well knowing that Madame would never know it, nor care if she did. It was, however, a very valuable copy of one of the famous pictures of the world, and Amy's beauty-loving eyes were never tired of looking up at the sweet face of the divine mother,