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wicker gate that led to the front door, out of which ran one of the sweetest little girls Odora had ever
“Oh, papa, you have got home, you have got home.”
Mr. Willard, as he took her in his arms, kissed her, and turning to assist Mrs. Willard to alight, said kindly to Odora and Alpheus, “Well, my children, we have got home.” Mr. Willard walked
up the piazza, opening the front door into a large pleasant hall, out of which they stepped into a well furnished parlor, larger than the one they had left in Roselle. Alba was soon in Mrs. Willard's lap and kissed her repeatedly.
“ You are my dear mamma, papa
“ Yes, I am your mamma, and you are my dear little girl, and I have
the steps to
says you are."
brought you dear sister and dear brother, will
love them ?"
“Yes, mamma, I love them now, will they love me?"
Alpheus and Odora approached the child, assuring her that they loved her, by an affectionate kiss, each taking one of the little hands, and led her to the piazza.
“ Isn't she beautiful, brother ?"
“Yes, she is beautiful,” was his reply; "she is prettier than you ever
“I am glad of that, Alpheus, I hope she is a great deal better."
“There is a fair chance for that," retorted Alpheus.
“Isn't this a pleasant place ?" inquired Odora of her brother.
“ Yes, it is very pleasant, but I have seen one thing already that was not very pleasant.
“ You are apt to see unpleasant things; why is it so, brother ?
“I do not know, unless it is because unpleasant things are set before me.”
# What have you seen that is so unpleasant ?”
“I saw on the other side of the drawing room a large cupboard with glass doors, and in that cupboard a full set of china."
“And that was an unpleasant sight,
“No, the china does not look unpleasant to me at all.”
“Well, Alpheus, tell me what you saw."
“I saw more than a dozen of decanters filled with wine and brandy ;' with his color deepening he continued, “I believe Mr. Willard makes a daily use of it."
Odora looked sad, and said, “I have too much confidence in our mother to
think that she would marry a man that used alcohol as a beverage.”
The ringing of the dinner bell broke up the unpleasant tête-à-tête of the brother and sister. Alba was seated beside her new sister, apparently as well acquainted as if they had always known each other. Odora fancied her mother did not look quite as happy as she did before they stopped, and thought that her forebodings were in unison with her own. Mr. Willard looked with pride on what he then called his "prizes" that he had brought to Champlain. The dinner passed pleasantly, after which he asked Alpheus to take a walk.
Odora and her mother, with Alba between them, were seated on the sofa in the parlor. Odora looking wishfully into her mother's face and said, “ Are you happy, dear mamma ?”
Yes, I am quite happy, are you?"
“Yes, mamma, only I feel rather strange; but, I wish George was here; when do you expect him ?”
“ He will be at home about Christmas, and that will be only five weeks."
Mamma, is Mr. Willard a Christian ?"
“No, Odora, he has never made a public profession of religion, but believes there is divina reality in the religion of Jesus Christ; his theology is correct with the doctrines of the Bible.”
“Mamma, is Mr. Willard a member of a temperance society ?”
“I should think not, Odora, from the looks of those decanters in the other room, but he was recommended to me as strictly temperate, and I think, if he is not, he will be an easy convert to our temperance principles ; we must make him the special object of our prayers.