The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.
as was my custom, a chapter in my Bible, and commending myself to the care of Heaven, I sought my pillow; but hour after hour passed away and sleep refused to visit my eyes.  Again and again I mentally asked myself what had I done to merit the coldness which Mrs. Leighton had shown in her manner to me?  It was not my fault that Willie had sought me, and in a kind and gentlemanly manner escorted me home; and I only attributed his attention to that respect which the real gentleman ever accords to a lady, be she rich or poor.  I, however, decided that in future I should receive no attentions from Willie.  The Leightons were kind, but extremely proud, and I feared that the pleasure Willie had lately evinced in my society had displeased them, although his attentions had been nothing more than a person socially inclined might be expected to show to one dwelling beneath the same roof.  Again did the remark made by Mrs. Kingsley occur to my mind, and I firmly decided that, if Mrs. Leighton was displeased, she should have no further cause for displeasure, for I too was possessed of a proud spirit.  The dawn of the new day glimmered in the east ’ere sleep closed my eyes, and then my slumbers were disturbed by unpleasant dreams.  One dream, in particular, I still remember.  I seemed, in my dream, to be a homeless wanderer I know not whither.  I had left the limits of the city and was walking in the open country, on a road that seemed strange and unfamiliar to me.  At length such a feeling of loneliness and misery overpowered me that I felt unable to proceed further.  Seating myself by the roadside, I burst into tears.  Raising my eyes, I observed a female figure approaching me, which I soon recognized as my mother.  She drew near, and, laying her hands upon my head, as if in blessing, said,—­

“Fear not, my beloved daughter, only continue in the path of duty and all will yet be well.”

With a cry of joy, I sprang forward to embrace her, and awoke to find the sun shining dimly through the partially closed blinds of my window.  I felt fatigued and nervous, after passing such a restless night.  I was startled by the pale and haggard countenance which my mirror reflected that morning.  I had scarcely finished my toilet when the breakfast bell rang, and I hastened down stairs, where the family were already assembled around the breakfast table.

Whatever of displeasure Mrs. Leighton might have felt the previous evening seemed to have vanished with the light of morning.  Perhaps, thought I, her displeasure existed only in my own imagination, after all.  Noticing my pale countenance, she enquired if I was ill?  I replied that I had a slight headache, owing to my not having slept well.  She kindly offered to excuse me from attending to my pupils that morning, but I told her that I felt quite able to attend to my usual duties.  In the course of the day I mentioned to her the case of the poor woman who had called the day previous.  She replied that,

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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