“Look at this, Susan!” he said, handing it to her. “How could you be so careless, child? What have you been thinking about to let a bill like that go to the Abbey? Luckily, I met the messenger and asked to see how much it was. Look at it.”
Susan looked and blushed. Instead of “loaves” she had written “lambs.” She altered the mistake and handed the bill to her father. He, meantime, was looking at the papers lying on the table.
“What are all these, child?” he asked.
“Some of them were wrong, and I wrote them out again.”
“Some of them! All of them as far as I can see,” said her father rather angrily, pointing to the papers.
Susan read the bills. Most of them were for lambs instead of for loaves or rolls. Her thoughts had indeed been running upon the pet she was to part with so soon.
Once more she wrote the bills, and her father, who was struck by the patient way she set to work, said he would himself collect the money. He would be proud to be able to say to the neighbors that it was all earned by his own little daughter. Susan heard him sigh as he passed the knapsack she had packed for him, but she thought she would keep the pleasure of telling him of his week’s leave until he came home. He had said he would have supper in her mother’s room. She would tell the good news then. “How delighted he will be when he hears,” she said to herself, “but I know he will be sorry too for poor Daisy.”
Susan thought she would now have time to run down to the meadow by the river-side to see her favorite, but just as she had tied on her straw hat the clock struck four. This was the hour at which she always went to fetch her brothers from the school near the village. So, as she knew that the little boys would be sorry if she were late, she put off her visit to the lamb and went at once to meet them.
THE BLIND HARPER
The dame-school, which was about a mile from the village, was a long, low house with a thatched roof. It was sheltered by a few old oaks, under which the grandparents and great-grandparents of the children now at school had played long ago. The play-green sloped down from the front of the school, and was enclosed by a rough paling. The children obeyed and loved the dame who taught them, for she was ever quick to praise them when they did well, and to give them all the pleasure she could. Susan had been taught by her, and the dame often told her little pupils that they must try to be like her, wise and modest, gentle and kind. As she now opened the gate, she heard the merry voices of the little ones, and saw them streaming out of the narrow door and scattering over the green.
“Oh, there’s Susan!” cried her two little brothers, running, leaping and bounding up to her; and many of the other rosy boys and girls crowded round her to tell of their games.