76 A MOTHER OF FIVE.

called t0 San Francisco to meet an aunt who had just arrived from “the States.” It was a vacant Sunday to “the boys,” a very hol- low, unsanctified Sunday, somehow, without that little figure. But the next Sunday, and the next, were still worse, and then it was known that the dreadful aunt was mak- ing much of Mary, and Was sending her to a grand school——a convent at Santa Clara —where it was rumored girls were turned out so accomplished that their own parents did not know them. But we knew that was impossible to our Mary; and a letter which came from her at the end of the month, and before the convent had closed upon the blue pinafore, satisfied us, and was balm to our anxious hearts. It was characteristic of Mary; it was addressed to nobody in par- ticular, and would —-but for the prudence of the aunt——have been entrusted to the Post Office open and undirected. It was a single sheet, handed to us without a word by her father; but, as we passed it from hand to hand, we understood it as if we had heard our lost playfellow’s voice.

“Ther ’s more houses in ’Friseo than you kin shake a stick at and wimmens till you kant rest, but mules and jakasses ain’t get