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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about Walter Harland.
the little girls pulled at the ribbons on her cap, picked at her cuff-buttons, and one of them made a sudden snatch at her brooch, my cherished gift; the mother ran to the rescue, but not till the pin attached to the brooch was first bent, then broken.  “What shall I do with these children,” said the mother.  Provoked by the injury to her much valued brooch, my aunt replied, hastily:  “I know what I would do, I would whip them till they’d learn to keep their hands off what they’ve no business with.”  But when she saw how grieved the woman seemed to be, she felt sorry she had spoken so hastily.  My aunt said it seemed as though night would never come, when I was to drive over to take her home, for there was not, she said, a minute’s peace in the house during the whole afternoon, and glad enough was she to return at night to her own quiet home.  It was a severe trial to one of my aunt’s orderly habits, to be daily subjected to the visits of the noisy mischievous children of her cousin, and although she bore it with more patience than might have been expected, it was a serious annoyance.  More than all, she dreaded the eldest son Ephraim.  From the first there had existed a kind of feud between them.  The boy was quick to notice the love of order so observable in my aunt, and took a malicious pleasure in studying up ways and means to annoy her in this respect.  Articles of daily use were misplaced, and many an accident occurred in the household which could be traced in an indirect way to Ephraim; but the fellow was shrewd as well as mischievous, and took good care that not a scrap of direct evidence could be brought against him.

His father was for a time to assist Uncle Nathan upon the farm; and under pretence of performing some of the lighter work Ephraim usually came to the farm with him, but it was very little work which his father or any one else got out of him; but it seemed an understood thing that Cousin Silas and his family were to be borne with, and they endeavored to bear the infliction with as good a grace as possible.  My aunt was put out of all patience, by finding one day, upon going to the clothes’ yard to hang out her weekly washing, the clothes-lines cut in pieces and scattered about the yard.  She knew at once that this was some of Ephraim’s handiwork, and when the men came home to dinner she taxed him with the crime in no very gentle tones.  As usual he declared himself innocent, even saying that he did not know there was a line in the yard.  Then, as if a sudden thought had struck his mind, he said with the most innocent manner imaginable, “I just now remember that when we went out from breakfast this morning, I saw Tom Green coming out of the yard with a jack-knife in his hand, and it must have been him who cut up the lines.”  This was rather too glaring a lie, and Ephraim must have forgotten for the moment that Tom Green had been absent from home for several days; and cunning as he was, for once he had, as the saying

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