Whenever his hair looked very rough, she would steal behind him and brush it for him herself, in a way that Tom liked so well that it was a temptation to let it go rough, just for the pleasure of having her do it.
Yet for the next three days at least, he would take special pains to keep every hair in its place, simply to please little sister.
As they grew older, Bess, in the same quiet, loving way, helped him to grow wise and manly. If she had an interesting book, she always wanted Tom to enjoy it with her. If she was going to call on any of her young friends, Tom was always invited to go with her.
“I can’t understand,” said Sister Nell, “why you should always want that boy at your elbow; he’s rough and awkward as a bear.”
“Some bears are as gentle as kittens,” declared Bess, slipping her arm through his with a loving hug, while “the bear” felt a warm glow at his heart as he walked away with Bess, and determined to be “gentle as a kitten” for her sake.
* * * * *
Why does the wind lie down at night
When all the sky is red,
Why does the moon begin to shine
When I am put to bed,
And all the little stars come out
And twinkle overhead?
I see the sun shine all the day,
I gather daisies in my play,
But oh, I truly wish that I
Could see the stars bloom in the sky!
I’d love to see the moon shine down
And silver all the roofs in town,
But always off to sleep I go
Just as the sun is getting low.
ALICE VAN LEER CARRICK.
[Illustration: Gracie’s Disorderly Room]
Gracie and Norma Wilson were sisters, aged respectively, fourteen and twelve. But I think that two sisters were never more unlike than were Gracie and Norma. Norma, who was the younger, was as orderly a little lady as one could wish to see, while Gracie was just the reverse.
Often their mother would say, in a despairing tone, “Gracie, I do wish you would care for your room and frocks as Norma cares for hers. Why, you go out with buttons loose, or entirely off your dress, or your frocks unmended, not to speak of the untidiness of your room. If only you would take an interest in such things it would gratify me so much. Without an orderly mind no girl can aspire to become a useful member of society.”
Then Gracie would try to make excuses for her shortcomings, pleading this thing or that as the real cause of her negligence. But her poor mother, at her wits’ end to devise some way by which Gracie might be aroused to a sense of her duty, would shake her head and say: “Dearest child, there is no excuse for your slighting your work, either on your clothes or in your room. You have plenty of time for both and should force yourself to perform your share of the labor that falls to you to do.”