Rising, she opened a drawer and, taking a locket therefrom, she placed it in my hand, saying,—
“You may, if you wish, Clara, look upon a picture of George Almont, taken when he was twenty-five years of age.”
Opening the locket, I looked upon the picture of what must have been a very fine looking young man. I never beheld a more prepossessing countenance. No one who looked upon that picture would have dreamed of the sad story attached to the life of the original. Closing the locket, I gave it back to Miss Simmonds, who replaced it in the drawer without once looking upon the picture it contained. In conclusion, Miss Simmonds said,—
“I hope you are not wearied with an old woman’s story.”
I assured her that it had deeply interested me, although I feared the recital had been painful to her.
A NEW JOY.
I returned to my school, after having enjoyed a very pleasant visit with Miss Simmonds. I thought much of the story she had related to me. I endeavoured to learn a useful lesson from the cheerful resignation which Miss Simmonds evinced by her daily life.
Obadiah still pursued his studies with much zeal; and, upon my return home, each succeeding week, I gave him all the assistance in my power. The amount of knowledge he had derived, by devoting his leisure hours to study, was indeed wonderful. Awkward as he at first appeared to me, I found, as he progressed in his studies, that he possessed a powerful intellect, which only required proper culture to enable him to become a talented and useful man.
I now pass, with a few words, over a period of two years. During all this time I had continued the labors of my school at Mill Town, still considering my uncle’s house as my home. Obadiah had, by the advice of my uncle, gone to pursue his studies in Massachusetts, having decided to obtain a thorough education. He intended fitting himself for college, and had saved money sufficient to defray his expenses while so doing, Miss Simmonds still resided in her home at Littleton, and the longer I enjoyed her friendship the more did I love and respect her. I had received several letters from Aunt Patience during the past two years. She had repeatedly urged me to visit her, but, for various reasons, I had been unable to do so; but at this time, I determined to pay her a visit. Accordingly, I prepared for my journey to Woodville a small village in Massachusetts, where she resided. She was very much pleased to see me. She was much changed since I had last seen her. Her once vigorous and active form was beginning to bow beneath the weight of years. She seemed to be very comfortably situated with her relatives; for, having but a small family, they were able to give her a quiet home. I enquired of her if she felt happy in her home?