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HOW late the postman is this morning!”

said Lucy Graham, as, with her sister

Martha, she stood watching at the school-room window.

“Yes; tiresome fellow! I only wish he'd be quick and come; here we have been waiting ten minutes, and I really can't settle to anything till I know whether he is coming or not; I do suspense:

I shouldn't mind so much if I saw him go past."

“How fast it is snowing!”

“Yes, I'm so glad. I think it will be a real jolly Christmas.'

“Martie!”

“Yes, Miss Wheeler;" and as she spoke Martie turned towards the table where the English teacher was correcting exercises.

so hate

“I must give you a bad mark, Martie."
“Oh, Miss Wheeler! what for?
“Think a minute!”

“Oh, well, I know; I suppose it's wicked to wish one hadn't any brothers—and I'm sure I don't; but really if they will talk slang I can't help learning it from them.”

Miss Wheeler said nothing. When she had first come as teacher to Miss Martin's school, it had been told her by that lady that she must give a bad mark for every unlady-like word she heard; and so the teacher had rather a hard time of it between her fidelity to her trust and her sympathy with the girls.

There was quite a cluster of girls now at the window, all eagerly looking out; and commenting, now on the postman's tardiness, and now on the thickly falling snow. “ There he is!” cried one, as a man's form appeared in view.

“Nonsense, Mary; that's one of the railway porters."

“Oh, dear, yes; so it is.”

At another time Miss Wheeler would have advised some employment to the watchers, but it wanted only five days to the Christmas holidays, and she entered too heartily into their anxiety for home letters to interfere: besides it was ten minutes to nine, and school-work must of necessity soon begin, so she went on with her exercises.

“There he is at last, delightful old man!” exclaimed Martie.

It seemed a long time before the servants step was heard in the hall, and longer still till she entered the room and said to Miss Wheeler, “You're wanted in the library, ma'am.”

Miss Wheeler was far too good-natured to keep the girls waiting longer than necessary. They crowded round her as she re-entered the school-room, and she felt very sorry to disappoint five out of the twelve.

There was a letter for Lucy, or rather for both the Grahams, and as the elder sister sat down on the form to read it Martie leaned over her shoulder, so as to lose no time.

“PARSONAGE, LITTLE STAPLETON, December 15th. “MY DEAR CHILDREN, —

will be very sorry to hear that poor Flora is ill with scarlatina; she has been in bed since Thursday, but I am thankful to be able to tell you that it is a very mild attack, and Dr. Willis assures us there is no cause for anxiety; but, on account of the infec

“I know you

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