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MISSY

By Dana Gatlin

TO VIOLA ROSEBORO'

CONTENTS

I THE FLAME DIVINE

II "YOUR TRUE FRIEND, MELISSA M"

III LIKE A SINGING BIRD

IV MISSY TACKLES ROMANCE

V IN THE MANNER OF THE DUCHESS

VI INFLUENCING ARTHUR

VII BUSINESS OF BLUSHING

VIII A HAPPY DOWNFALL

IX DOBSON SAVES THE DAY

X MISSY CANS THE COSMOS

CHAPTER I. THE FLAME DIVINE

Melissa came home from Sunday school with a feeling she had never had before. To be sure she was frequently discovering, these days, feelings she had never had before. That was the marvellous reward of having grown to be so old; she was ten, now, an advanced age almost grown up! She could look back, across the eons which separated her from seven years old, and dimly re vision, as a stranger, the little girl who cried her first day in the Primary Grade. How absurd seemed that bashful, timid, ignorant little silly! She knew nothing at all. She still thought there was a Santa Claus! would you believe that? And, even at eight, she had lingering fancies of fairies dancing on the flower beds by moonlight, and talking in some mysterious language with the flowers!

Now she was much wiser. She knew that fairies lived only in books and pictures; that flowers could not actually converse. Well... she almost knew. Sometimes, when she was all alone out in the summerhouse on a drowsy afternoon, or in the glimmering twilight when that one very bright and knowing star peered in at her, solitary, on the side porch, or when, later, the moonshine stole through the window and onto her pillow, so thick and white she could almost feel it with her fingers at such times vague fancies would get tangled up with the facts of reality, and disturb her new, assured sense of wisdom. Suddenly she'd find herself all mixed up, confused as to what actually was and wasn't.

But she never worried long over that. Life was too complex to permit much time for worry over anything; too full and compelling in every minute of the long, long hours which yet seemed not long enough to hold the new experiences and emotions which ceaselessly flooded in upon her.

The emotion she felt this Sunday was utterly new. It was not contentment nor enjoyment merely, nor just happiness. For, in the morning as mother dressed her in her embroidered white "best" dress, and as she walked through the June sunshine to the Presbyterian church, trying to remember not to skip, she had been quite happy. And she had still felt happy during the Sunday school lesson, while Miss Simpson explained how our Lord multiplied the loaves and fishes so as to feed the multitude. How wonderful it must have been to be alive when our Lord walked and talked among men!

Her feeling of peaceful contentment intensified a little when they all stood up to sing,

"Let me be a little sunbeam for Jesus " and she seemed, then, to feel a subtle sort of glow, as from an actual sunbeam, warming her whole being.

But the marvellous new feeling did not definitely begin till after Sunday school was over, when she was helping Miss Simpson collect the song books. Not the big, thick hymn books used for the church service, but smaller ones, with pasteboard backs and different tunes. Melissa would have preferred the Sunday school to use the big, cloth covered hymnals. Somehow they looked more religious; just as their tunes, with slow, long drawn cadences, somehow sounded more religious than the Sunday school's cheerful tunes. Why this should be so Melissa didn't know; there were many things she didn't yet understand about religion. But she asked no questions; experience had taught her that the most serious questions may be strangely turned into food for laughter by grown ups.

It was when she carried the song books into the choir room to stack them on some chairs, that she noticed the choir had come in and was beginning to practise a real hymn. She loitered. It was an especially religious hymn, very slow and mournful... Continue reading book >>




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