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- Sara, a Princess - 1/43 -


SARA, A PRINCESS

THE STORY OF A NOBLE GIRL

BY FANNIE E. NEWBERRY

A Princess she, though not by birth: Her title's from above, Her heritage the right of worth, Her empire that of love.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. OMENS, GOOD AND ILL

II. STORM AND TROUBLE

III. A SEARCH AND ITS ENDING

IV. UNCLE ADAM AND MORTON

V. MADAME AND "THE PRINCESS"

VI. HAPPY DAYS

VII. A TEA-PARTY

VIII. NEWS FROM THE NAUTILUS

IX. REBELLION

X. ROBERT GLENDENNING

XI. BETTY'S QUILTING-BEE

XII. NEW FORTUNES

XIII. FROM KILLAMET TO DARTMOOR

XIV. NEW FRIENDS, NEW DUTIES, AND A NEW LOSS

XV. MORTON HAS A PICNIC

XVI. THE PRINCESS HOLDS A "DRAWING-ROOM"

XVII. MOLLY GIVES A PARTY

XVIII. A VISIT FROM MISS PRUE

XIX. BERTHA GILLETTE

XX. WEAKNESS

XXI. THE PRINCE COMETH

XXII. GOOD-BY TO KILLAMET

[Illustration: 'You must have had a big haul father, to make such a rent!' said Sara as she drew the fish net toward her.]

SARA, A PRINCESS

CHAPTER I.

OMENS, GOOD AND ILL.

"Sairay! Sairay!"

The high, petulant voice rose shrilly through the steep, narrow stairway, and seemed to pierce the ears of the young girl who sat under the low, sloping roof, nearly bent double over the book in her lap.

She involuntarily raised both hands to her ears, as if the noise distressed her, then dropped them, straightened herself resolutely, and answered in a pleasant contralto, whose rich notes betokened power and repression,--

"Well, mother?"

"Your fayther's got to hev them nets mended right away, he says, an' my han's is in the dough. Be you at them books agin?"

"Yes," said Sara; "but I'll come," rising with a sigh, and carefully slipping a bit of paper between the leaves of her book, before she laid it on the rough board shelf at one side of the little garret room.

As she passed directly from the stairway into the kitchen, or living- room, her father turned from the hopeless-seeming tangle of soiled and torn netting on the floor before him, and looked at her half wistfully from under the glazed brim of his wide hat.

"Was you studyin', Sairay? Ye see, I've got into a bad sort o' mess here, an' we may git our orders fur the long fish any day."

"That's all right, father! No, baby, sister can't take you now," as the little fellow on the floor crept to her feet and set up a wail; but her smile, and a replaced toy, silenced the cry, and brought back comfort and complaisance to the puckered little face.

Sara then stepped to her father's side, and drew the large soiled fish- net towards her, looking with dismay on the broken meshes; but her voice was still bright, as she said,--

"You must have had a big haul, father, to make such a rent!"

"Waal, 'twas partly thet, but more the ice. Ye see, it's jest breakin' up now, and it's monstrous jagged-like; 'twas thet did it, I reckon. Kin ye fix it, Sairay?"

"Yes, father."

She was soon seated, the dirty mass across her knee, and the large bone shuttle in her hand flying rapidly in and out. But while her young stepmother went and came, talking a good deal, and the baby pulled and scrambled about her knees, her thoughts were far away, in the large schoolroom at Weskisset.

For one short, happy year she had been an inmate of the seminary there, and in her thoughts this year was the Round Top of her life! All events dated from before or since her "school-time." All paths with her led to Weskisset, as with the ancients all roads led to Rome: it was her Athens, her Mecca, almost her Jerusalem.

Sara's own mother, though born inland, had come as schoolmistress, some twenty years since, to the little fishing-village of Killamet (now Sara's home), where she was wooed and won by the handsome, honest, daring young fisherman, Reuben Olmstead.

Sara was their first child, and upon her the young mother lavished untold tenderness. When, at the birth of the twins, nearly seven years later,--two infants having died between,--she yielded up her own gentle life, her last words had been,--

"Don't forget, Reuben, that Sara is to have an education. I can see already that she is going to care for books, and she'll need it more than ever, now--promise me, husband!" and the good man would sooner have cut off his weather-beaten spear-hand than break his promise to that dying wife.

In fulfilment of it he had struggled with what, to his fellow-villagers, seemed most foolish persistence, in order to give his oldest child immense and needless advantages, though it had been difficult enough to find the ways and means for these. Even after the usual annual three months of the "deestric" for several years, he had felt that his solemn promise still bound him to allow her at least one year at the seminary.

Nor did the loss of his aged mother, who had been housekeeper since his wife's death, weaken this resolution; and it was, perhaps, partly to make it possible for Sara to leave home, that he had married the young woman of the shrill voice, two years ago. She could look after the house and children while "Sairay got her finishin' off," as he expressed it.

But Sara, like many another scholar, found that her one poor little year was but a taste of wisdom, but one sip from the inexhaustible stream of learning, and, back once more in her childhood's home, was constantly returning to those living waters, with an unquenchable thirst.

It was her stepmother's pet grievance that "Sairay was allers at them books," which was hardly true; for the girl took all the care of her younger brother and sister, and much of the baby, while not a few of the household duties devolved upon her. But she undoubtedly was apt to hurry through her tasks, and disappear within the little attic room above the kitchen in cold weather, or under a certain shady cove down by the sea in summer, as soon as these were finished.

She had been netting but a short time when Morton and Mary came tumbling in, two lively youngsters nearing eleven years, whose bronzed and rosy cheeks betokened plenty of sunshine and fresh air.

"Say, pa!" they cried in a breath, almost stumbling over the baby in their excitement, Mary, as usual, in advance, "is it true you're going out for the long fish to-morrow? Jap Norris told us so on our way home from school."

The father's kindly eyes rested upon them with an indulgent twinkle in their depths.

"Waal, naow, if there's a bit o' news in this hull taown thet you


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