“I wish I could stay here all day; but you know that the day after to-morrow will be Christmas, and I must hurry home now, as auntie wants me to help her prepare for it. So good-by.”
“But, Alice, you will come to see me Christmas morning, will you not?” asked Mrs. Reed.
“Yes,” replied Alice, “for a little while.” And with a kiss and another good-by, she left Mrs. Reed alone.
“What a dear good girl she is,” said Mrs. Reed to herself, as she watched Alice tripping down the street toward her home.
“She was so good to me last summer when I was ill! and here is Christmas and I have no money with which to buy her a present.
“O dear, dear! why was I left so poor! I am sure my husband had some money; what could he have done with it!”
Mrs. Reed sat down in her rocking-chair and for a full half hour looked thoughtfully into the fire. Starting up suddenly, she again exclaimed to herself:
“I do really believe that if I go up into the garret, I can find, something for a Christmas present, that will please Alice.
“I remember a curious old box that Mr. Reed had, that was sent to him from India. If I can find some bits of ribbon, and silk, I will line it and make it into a nice little work-box for Alice.”
Then Mrs. Reed climbed up the narrow stairway into the garret, and, after searching some time among the rubbish that lay around in all the nooks and corners, discovered the box.
Taking it down-stairs and finding some pieces of silk, she spent the rest of the day in making it into a work-box.
She made a pretty needle-book, a tiny pincushion, and an emery bag like a big strawberry. Then from her own scanty stock she added needles, pins, thread, and her only pair of small scissors, scoured to the last extreme of brightness.
One thing only she had to buy—a thimble; and that she bought for a penny. The thimble was of brass and so bright that it was quite as handsome as gold.
When full, the little box was very pretty. In the bottom lay a quilted lining, which had always been there, and upon which she had placed the fittings.
* * * * *
Directions for Reading.—The conversational parts of this lesson may be read as a dialogue by two pupils.
Which is the most emphatic word in the following sentence?
“O dear, dear! Why was I left so poor!”
Point out the emphatic words in the third paragraph of the lesson.
* * * * *
hand’y, convenient; ready for use.
ad join’ing, next to; neighboring.
sin cere’ly, honestly; truly.
fort’u nate, favored; lucky.
act’u al ly, really; truly.
suf fi’cient, enough; plenty.