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.L [ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.) STRIVE AND THRIVE. --+-- CHAPTER XXIV. FALSE AND TRUE FRIENDS. As Eda Walworth rose to go with the kind lady, the old gentleman, who had been reading a morning paper, and never seeming to look towards, or take any notice of, the colloquists, also arose and advanced "towards them. Madam," he said, 11 will you please to tell me where your boarding-house is ?" The lady started, and her face indicated the forth- coming of a very angry reply, but her expression sud- denly changed, and she said, in the most bland of voices- Oh, certainly, sir it is in Street. May I hope for the pleasure of counting you among my boarders ?" "H-m I don't know. I thought you said it was Gear here. That is a mile off." "A mile is not far in the city,youknow, sir. I shall be happy to see you. Good morning Come, my dears!" "Madam! I'm afraid—I'm—I'm afraid that you Oh, you're afraid that I'm too far off, you would say. Perhaps it would be rather too long a walk. Never mind—I will not urge you, sir. Good morning." The stately woman walked off with her new friends, leaving the old gentleman gazing after her, and looking :Ilot a little puzzled. But when he had encased his spectacles, folded his newspaper, and put them away, he walked slowly after the trio who seemed to 'have so decidely awakened his interest. They were not going very fast, and he had no 11 difficulty in keeping them in view but as they were Hearing a main thoroughfare, where they would pro- bably take a conveyance, he c< uld not expect to do so ;long. Before long, he observed them, as he had antici- pated, enter a conveyance, which was driving off. There was no time to lose, and the old gentleman lushed after it, and with much difficulty succeeded in Stopping it and getting in. Miss Walworth moved closer to her seeming pro- tectress. But the old man made no attempt to speak to her. As soon as he had recovered his voice, he changed his seat to one directly opposite the stout woman, and then leaning forward, said in a voice which was dis- tinctly heard by Eda, but which did not seem intended to reach the other passengers- "Now, madam Will you leave this lady to go her own way, or shall I expose you before all these people?" When Eda heard these words, and saw the resolute look which gave them force, the dreadful truth dawned at length upon her mind; and recoiling with horror from her pretended benefactress, she fairly sprang to 'a vacant seat on the opposite side of the conveyance, dragging her brother after her, and looking tremblingly but speechlessly back upon the discomiited woman Who had nearly entrapped her. The latter, seeing- that further persistence would 'be useless, violently jerked the strap overhead, and joft the vehicle in great wrath, no longer disguising her true character, but shaking her clenched fist at her pursuer, whom she denounced as a meddling old fool. Without further noticing her, the exulting old man turned to Eda and said— "You have had a narrow escape, young lady, and I m sorry I cannot do something more for you than to Warn you of danger. I am a poor man, as you may judge. I have no home to offer you, nor, indeed, any other assistance, which I am very much afraid that you require." Eda, with much confusion, assured the benevolent stranger that he had rendered her the greatest of services, for which she could not sufficiently thank She shook hands cordially with him as they parted, and assured him that she believed she should not Want; yet her heart failed her as she alighted and, With her little brother, made her way back to the lililliner's only to learn that business was light, and help was plenty, and that Miss Burch could not possibly give her employment. Perplexed, but not in despair, Eda at once sought out a cheap boarding-house, where she might have a safe and quiet home for a few days, while awaiting the opportunity of earning an honest living. Miss Burch's knowledge of the city enabled her to assist • IrJ ccting such a place, which she did ungra- us y ^n°ugh, and under protest to the prim, and starched Miss Sarley, that she knew nothing whatever of the applicant's character, or of her ability to pay for her board. But lodgers being scarce, and Eda having a few dollars to advance, and a large trunk at the railroad depot, which was immediately to be sent for, she was graciously accepted, and was duly installed in a small, third-story room, which her hostess said commanded a capital view of the sky. The first thing to be done was to send for her trunk, and she very soon had a porter engaged for this Purpose. c, It is close by the depot," said Eda, unsuspectingly. CI You have only to mention my name to a stout gentleman there, with big black whiskers, and fine teeth, and he'll hand it right out to you. He has a memorandum of it." Very well; I'll go, mum," said the porter but I never heerd of such a thing before. I thought every- body kept their own checks until the baggage was delivered." The man went, and while he was gone Eda and her brother breakfasted, or dined, she scarcely knew which. Of course, the porter's errand was fruitless, and after a long absence he returned to say that ho could learn nothing of the check, or of the stout gentleman Who had so kindly taken charge of it. The baggage of the morning train had all been delivered, he said; and he rather intimated that he had been the victim of a hoax. In great distress, Miss Walworth called for Miss Sarley and consulted her but the landlady looked suspicious, and exchanged glances with the porter, Who said that he had heard before of people looking for trunks that they had never lost, and that he must have pay for his time and trouble. Poor Eda gave the impudent fellow a ring to get rid of him (Miss Sarley had all her money in pledge), and said she would go herself and look for her lost property, which she believed would yet come to light. If it did not, she was utterly destitute, not having a change of garment of any kind for herself or her brother. It will be a long walk for you," said the prim lady; "and, on the whole, I think it best for you not to come back here. You will easily find another boarding-house." Oh, very well," said Eda, with difficulty restraining her tears; but you have my money." The woman handed her one of the three dollars which Miss Walworth had given her, and said Yes—I believe that will make us about square." When Eda expostulated, she replied sharply: 11 Why, you have had the best room in the house, and dinner for two. Of course we charge extra for single meals, and besides I have reason to believe that you have deceived me—that you are not what you should be—and that, in short, the character of my house will suffer by your stopping here. If you will go at once, however, and peaceably, I—I will not call a policeman." Dismayed, appalled, incredulous of her ears, and veritably wishing that the earth would open and re- ceive her in its profoundest depths, Eda Walworth fairly staggered from the door of the heartless creature, who had wounded her woman's heart more by her cruel words than all "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" could otherwise have done. Holding with nervous grasp the hand of her frightened brother, but neither hearing nor answering the many questions which he put to her, she made her way, after a weary walk, to the railway station, still hopeful of finding her lost property. But, alas a little inquiry soon convinced her that she had been cruelly defrauded. The baggage had all been taken away, and the officer who superintended its delivery Was able distinctly to remember, among the claimants a person fully answering to the description which Miss Walworth gave of the man who had taken her cheque. "Is there no remedy?" asked Eda, most mourn- fully. Not against the company, miss. We have done -our duty but I will go with you to the chief of police, =and see if anything can be done." The good-natured baggage-master accompanied ner ,to the chief's office, where her story was listened to with attention and politeness, and where she was invited into the rogue's gallery" (a collection of photographs—then an incipient institution) to see if she could find the visage of the man who had robbed her. Faille? to do so. she was informed that diligent efforts should be made for the recovery of her pro- perty, but that the prospect of success was too slight to justify any sanguine hopes. So many hours had elapsed since its loss, that the thief had undoubtedly made good his escape out of the city with his booty. It was afternoon now, and Eda knew that she must quickly decide on her course, if she would do anything but drift with the tide of disasters which seemed to be bearing her along. Where are we going now, sister ?" said Frank, plaintively. I am tired, and it is so cold." Heaven knows, my dear boy; I certainly do not." But while she pondered, the memory of one fair girl suddenly occurred to her-one whom she scarcely dared to call a friend, their acquaintance had been so slight, but of whose goodness she felt as well assured as if she had seen her name emblazoned in the Book of Life. She had seen Grace Sibbald first in the hour when grief had blanched her beautiful cheeks, and when it was Eda's privilege to administer consolation and en- couragement to the fair stranger who was so nearly her own counterpart in all the charms and graces of youth. They had subsequently exchanged calls, and the acquaintance which had thus begun between natures so congenial would, doubtless, have ripened into intimacy, but for the removal of Mr. Walworth's family from the city. Eda at once resolved to go to Grace, to tell her frankly of her destitution, and the causes which had led to it, and to accept from her the temporary shelter and assistance which she was certain would be gladly offered her. It was a great relief to her to decide upon this course, for she would thus escape the pity and contumely of her old neighbours, whose charity, if ac- corded at all, she believed would have been alloyed by censure and distrust. A walk of twenty minutes brought her in view of the well-remembered residence of theSibbalds-.a small cottage-house in a pleasant street; yet she found herself agitated with new fears as she drew neav it, and conjectured the changes which Time might have wrought in the humble fortunes of her friend. But while the tinkling of the door-bell yet vibrated on her ears, a light tripping step was heard in the hall, and the door was opened by Grace herself, who instantly recognised her friend, and manifested the most genuine delight at meeting her. Nor was this delight abated, excepting by com- miseration for Eda, when, seated at her side in the little parlour, she listened with bated breath to the story of distress and destitution which Miss Walworth hastily related, keeping back nothing of all the wrongs and indignities she had suffered. It would be difficult to say whether the tears flowed most freely down the cheeks of the narrator or of the listener to this pitiful tale but ere it was closed Eda's neck was encircled by the arm of Grace, who seemed unable to express in words the extent of her tender sympathy for the sufferer- Oh, how glad I am that you have come to us she said; and sister Sally will be so glad, too We are also poor, as you see (it had needed but a glance at the scanty and faded furniture of the one little parlour to convince Eda of this fact), but we have at least a comfortable home, and we want for none of the necessaries of life. Sister Sally is a wonderful manager she does it all, somehow, for I am still at school, which she will not hear of my leaving. But we are only two, and we have two gentlemen boarders, who take breakfast and tea with us; and now you and that dear little boy have come, oh! it will be sc pleasant, if you will but stay with us all winter. As to clothes, we will all set to work, and we will soon have you -both supplied, and then my own dresses will exactly fit you, and you can wear any of them for the present." Eda checked her enthusiastic friend by reminding her that she could not consent to be a burden upon people whose energies were already fully tasked for their own support. Oh, I know how you feel about that," was the response; but you shall not be an expense to us. Sister will find abundance of work for you and Frank both to do, and you shall fully earn your living. I can churn exclaimed Frank, proudly; I'll churn all day for you Will you, dear ?" said Grace, laughing. But we have no churning here." Well, but I can dig potatoes for you, and pick up chips, and feed the pigs Grace and Eda both laughed heartily at Franky's list of accomplishments, so valueless in city life; and Miss Sibbald said that lie was a dear, good boy, and that they would find something for him to do, and that she was sure his sister would send him to school too. Eda seemed startled by her own laughter, for it was the first genuine note of merrriment which had escaped her lips for many long weeks; but her Meed's blissful picture of rest and comfort in this quiet home had produced such a joyous reaction in her lately tortured heart, that it was impossible to resist its influence. If you will onlJ stay said Grace, as if the home- less and persecuted girl would be conferring the greatest of favours by accepting her hospitality. You may think it strange," she continued, that I take so much upon me, in the absence of my sister; but when she comes you will see that I have not gone beyond my powers, nor mistaken her wishes. I ought to have called her sooner, and will do so now." When, after many minutes, the masculine step of the elder Miss Sibbald was heard in the hall Eda felt some misgivings as to the reception which awaited her from this acknowledged head of the family," whose riper years could scarcely be expected to be marked by the same ingenuous and confiding'spirit which gleamed through all the features of the gentle Grace. But it required only a glance at the kind face of Sally, homely though it was, to reassure Miss Walworth; and her welcome was so quick and earnest, that it seemed as if she had anticipated Eda's fears, and made haste to dispel them. Grace has told me all!" she said, when she had cordially shaken hands with Eda and had kissed her; and we have had a little crying spell together over your misfortunes, but don't cry, now, dear. It was so good of you to think of us, and to come here I only wish you had come sooner. We are so lonesome here, and you will not make us the least trouble. We have plenty of room. This is our own house, you know, although it is a poor one." 'I And so Miss Sibbald rattled forth her assurances of welcome, quite forgetting to mention that their own house was mortgaged for nearly all that it was worth, and that she was slaving night and day, not with any hope of discharging the large debt, but to pay the interest and the taxes, and to earn the necessaries of life for herself and sister. Eda had not failed to notice that no mention had been made cf Thomas Sibbald; and when Grace had said, We are only two," she feared to ask about her brother, lest she should touch some chord of grief. But when, at last, she felt compelled to make some inquiry about so near a relative of her friends, the sisters exchanged glances, and the elder, with a look of pain, replied- Tom has gone to Illinois; he did not get on here, and he thought transplanting would do him good. But I am afraid he wants something besides new soil." Grace replied quickly- He says his prospects are very good out there." Yes, but he says a great deal more about the pros- pects of fishing and hunting and, in short, I think it will be about the old story. Success waits upon application and industry in the West, as well as here, I believe, and that is what Tom has not." He said we might depend upon him to payoff the mortgage on the house in a few years." Oh, yes, his will is good enough, and his hope is large but I shall be disappointed if I do not have to send him money, instead of receiving it from him." "Perhaps," said Eda, "you will be agreeably surprised, one of these days, by a different result. Very true; we will hope for the best of course," said the elder Miss Sibbald; and the subject was thereupon dismissed. (To be continued.)



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