At precisely ten minutes before four Norma was waiting on the porch. At exactly four Mrs. Jackson’s automobile came dashing round the corner, Flora and Tommy in the rear seat and their mother in front beside the chauffeur. Room for Norma and Gracie was in the big back seat beside Flora and Tommy.
[Illustration: The Automobile Ride]
“All ready?” called out Mrs. Jackson.
Just as Norma was about to offer some excuse for her tardy sister, her mother came upon the porch, and, after chatting in a cordial manner for a few moments with Mrs. Jackson, she told Norma to take her basket and go to the automobile. “It is Gracie’s own fault that she is delayed this way, and she’ll have a lesson to-day that she will profit by. I am quite sure she’ll never miss another picnic through her own idleness.”
Then, while Norma was getting into the automobile, Mrs. Wilson spoke in low tones to Mrs. Jackson, explaining why Gracie would not be able to go on the outing that day. Although all expressed regrets that Gracie was to be left behind, they knew it was for the best that she be taught a lesson through disappointment.
As the big auto rolled off down the road toward Blake Island, carrying the happy picnic party, Gracie, with tears in her eyes, stood looking from the window after them. And in her heart she knew that her disappointment was due to her own shortcomings. And she vowed to turn over a new leaf from that day.
[Illustration: “Are you going to whip Eunice, sir?”]
This is the term applied to such punishment as that which Christ bore when he suffered on the cross, the just for the unjust. You do not quite know what it means, do you? I think I hear you say, “Oh, we do not want to know what such long words mean.”
But stop a moment, I have a story to tell.
It was a warm summer afternoon; a lazy breeze stole through the windows of a little district schoolhouse, lifting the curtains, and rustling the leaves of the copy-books that lay open on all the desks.
Thirty or forty scholars of all ages were bending over their writing, quiet and busy; the voice of the master, as he passed about among the writers, was the only sound.
Perhaps you might not have thought it possible, but I assure you, that this hot little schoolroom has its heroes and heroines as certainly as many another place which might have seemed far more pretending.
The bell rang for the writing to be laid by; and now came the last exercise of the day, the spelling, in which nearly all the school joined. At the head of the class was a delicate little girl, whose bright eyes and attentive air showed that she prized her place, and meant to keep it.
Presently a word which had passed all the lower end of the class, came to Eunice. The word was privilege. “P-r-i-v, priv—i, privi—l-e-g-e, lege, privilege,” spelt Eunice. But the teacher, vexed with the mistakes of the other end of the class, misunderstood and passed it. The little girl looked amazed, the bright color came into her cheeks, and she listened eagerly to the next person, who spelt it again as she had done.