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Heart of Gold   By: (1881-)

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First Page:

HEART OF GOLD

by

RUTH ALBERTA BROWN

Author of "At the Little Brown House," "The Lilac Lady," "Tabitha at Ivy Hall," "Tabitha's Vacation," "Tabitha's Glory," Etc.

[Illustration: "Peace, Peace! Come down. You'll fall! You'll fall!"]

The Saalfield Publishing Company Chicago Akron, Ohio New York

Made in U. S. A.

Copyright, MCMXV by The Saalfield Publishing Company

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. THE GIRL WHO TOOK A DARE CHAPTER II. THE SCRAP BOOK BRIGADE CHAPTER III. GUSSIE'S NEW PLAY CHAPTER IV. PEACE LEARNS THE BITTER TRUTH CHAPTER V. THE LILAC LADY'S MESSAGE CHAPTER VI. THE PARSONAGE TWINS CHAPTER VII. AN ENDLESS CHAIN OF LETTERS CHAPTER VIII. ALLEE'S ALBUM CHAPTER IX. PEACE INTERVIEWS THE BISHOP CHAPTER X. THE NEW PASTOR OF SOUTH AVENUE CHURCH CHAPTER XI. DOCTOR DICK CHAPTER XII. MISS WAYNE CHAPTER XIII. THE LITTLE AUTHOR LADY CHAPTER XIV. KETURAH AND BILLY BOLEE CHAPTER XV. THE RING THAT BUILT A HOSPITAL CHAPTER XVI. PEACE DISCOVERS SOME SECRETS CHAPTER XVII. A HOSPITAL WEDDING CHAPTER XVIII. THE SEVEN MCGEES CHAPTER XIX. WONDERFUL TIDINGS

Heart of Gold

CHAPTER I

THE GIRL WHO TOOK A DARE

"Attention, children! Close copy books and pass them to the right. Monitors, collect."

Tired Miss Phelps laid down her crayon, with one sweep of her arm erased the letter exercises she had so laboriously traced on the blackboard for her fifty pupils to copy, wiped the clinging chalk from her dry, chapped hands, and sank wearily into her chair beside the littered desk, as she issued her commands in sharp, almost impatient tones. Her head ached fiercely, her brain seemed on fire, the subdued scratching of scores of pens in unskilled fingers set her nerves on edge, and she was ready to collapse with the strain of the day. Yet another hour remained before the afternoon session would draw to a close. How was she ever to hear the stupid geography recitation, or listen to the halting, singsong voices stumble through pages of a Reader too old for their understanding?

Again she glanced at the clock. A full hour of torture, and she was simply longing for bed! A sudden determination seized her. She would read to her scholars instead of listening to the lessons they had prepared to recite! So, selecting a book from the row on her desk, she waited until the blotted, inky copy books had been gleefully whisked shut by their owners, passed across the aisle and gathered in neat piles by the monitors, who creaked solemnly up to the corner table and laid them beside the day's written exercises for the teacher's inspection later. Then they clattered back to their seats and waited with expectant eyes fixed upon Miss Phelps for the next command.

"Take rest position!"

There was a brisk scraping of feet, a rustling of dresses, and fifty active bodies sat stiffly erect with hands clasped on the desk tops in front of them. No, not fifty. One child, a brown eyed girl with short, riotous curls tumbling about her round, animated face, sat heedless of her surroundings, staring out of the window near her into the bright Spring sunshine, and from her rapt expression it was evident that her thoughts were far away from school and lessons.

Miss Phelps waited an instant, but the child was lost in her dreams and did not feel the unusual silence of the room. Following the gaze of the intent brown eyes, the teacher glanced out of the window and saw a flock of pigeons disporting themselves on the barn roof across the road; and as they fluttered and strutted, scolded and cooed, the little watcher at her desk unconsciously imitated their movements, thrusting out her chest, cocking her head pertly on one side and nodding and pecking at imaginary birds, just as her pretty feathered friends were doing as they basked in the warm sunshine. Involuntarily the woman smiled. Then, as the girl continued to mimic the doves, she tapped her foot impatiently on the floor and repeated emphatically, "Children, take rest position!"

Stealthily the other pupils let their eyes rove about the room in search of the guilty member, for it was very plain from the teacher's manner that someone was out of order... Continue reading book >>




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