Good old Grandma Adams rose from her seat and, walking with uncertain steps to the table were I sat, placed her hands upon my bowed head, and repeated the following words from the Psalmist: “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass.” “And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noonday.” “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him, fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” These verses from Scripture, repeated as they were by my aged grandmother had the effect to soothe my mind. It was so like what my own mother would have done under the same circumstances; and, raising my head I tried to be hopeful, and trust to time to prove my innocence. With all my resolves to be patient I found it very hard to bear up as day after day glided by and nothing took place to throw any light upon the matter. I could never have borne it, but for Mr. Oswald’s assertion that he believed me innocent. He exercised the utmost vigilance to obtain some clue to the mystery, but two weeks (which to me seemed two years) glided by and nothing was gained.
There were two boys among the pupil, named Reuben Mayfield and Thomas Pierce, they were both older than I and for a long time had evinced toward me a strong feeling of dislike. From the first Mr. Oswald had suspected these two boys of having a hand in the affair, but said nothing to any one of his suspicions; but he never for a moment gave up the idea that, sooner or later, the truth would come to light. It was nearly three weeks from the time the affair happened that these two boys entered the school-room a full half-hour before the usual time for school to open. No other pupil was present, and they felt free to indulge in a confidential conversation, which I copy for the benefit of the reader. “I wonder,” began Thomas Pierce, “what Mr. Oswald expects to gain by waiting. I know his eyes are pretty sharp, but hardly sharp enough to see to the bottom of this affair. It takes you to plan Reuben. I was as willing as you to do any thing to bring Harland down a peg or two, for he has carried his head rather high this winter, and walked into Mr. Oswald’s