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For Boys and Girls. .

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For Boys and Girls. i A SURPRISE PARTY. 5 By AMY F. HEPPLE. Wouldn't it be jolly fun for us to give a "^Prise party V'' ,i A what ?" asked all the other children in •°orus. It Was holiday time at the Vicarage. Dermot home from boarding-school, and Miss p^kwood, the governess who taught the girls, gone to her own home for a fortnight. To- the children were together' in the school- and were decidedly hard up for some *5. arnusement. Bdeen. the second girl, held up tha Canadian ter which Cousin Maud had given her to c&d. There's a lot about it in Horace's letter," ^explained. You pack up a lot of eatables, of course, tea and sugar, and go to some Jena's house and just say, Good afternoon eVe come for a surprise party.' Then the of the house sit round and watch while surprise party get the tea ready and set out jjj the cakes. After tea, there are games and of fun." w It would certainly be very nice," said j^,riorie, but mother would never let us do I Well, I agree with Eileen that it would be good fun, and 1 don't believe that mother J^ld say no," broke in Dermot. Come along my ducky, we'll ask her at once." -fie seized the six-year-old baby of the family the hand and dragged her from the room. Come along, girls," said Marjorie, "we as well go too. That silly Dermot will ,Xer make mother understand." Alother was in the drawing-room with grown- Cousin Maud. Let me speak," said Marjorie, I'm the We want to do what Cousin Horace been doing in Canada, mother dear. We *°uld like tremendously to give a surprise J>»Pty." Oh, do say yes," exclaimed the others. u" But where would you go ?" asked Cousin t Jhe children looked at one another. They n°t know. I know," shouted Dermot. i Oh, mother, may we go and 'surprise' Nurse ane Mother smiled approvingly. "It is a good Dermot. Perhaps you will cheer her up 1 little." She has just lost her baby, poor thing," explained to Maud. "Her husband is out of ^°°> iust now, and I fear the expense of p child's illness has used up all their little •avings.- C()usm Maud was rich and generous. Poor r !ng," she said. Auntie dear, may I put a *!r co*n the plum cake for her pother nodded and turned to the children. 'You may have your party, dears," she but promise you will be very careful of Jane's things, and tidy everything away l4ore you leave." )j We promise, mother," they answered de- jshtedly. And we won't tell Jane a word *°out the money in the cake what a fine sur- mise it will be for her," added Dermot. „ I shall make the tea," said Marjorie. J&ne shall just sit in her chair and watch ale." And I'll set the cups and saucers on the ^°le," said little Oonah eagerly, I'll be very tareful, Mummy you'll see." Cousin Maud came in just then with a big plum cake. 1 have cut a hole in the middle put the money there," she said. "Marjorie see that no one but Jane gets the middle •Uce." Potir o'clock found the children setting off to their surprise party. Dermot and Mar- had the hamper between them, while and Marie carried flowers for the table, Oonah walked soberly beside them, with under her little red cloak which *emed to give her a good deal of trouble. "It's secret to 'muse poor Jane," she said on being Tnestaoned. Jane was sitting in her tiny kitchen thinking her dead baby,and wondering how she and Jim were to get money for the rent. She wastooppoiKj to beg, and she greatly feared wastooppoiKj to beg, and she greatly feared that unless Jitn. got work she would have to e some of the furniture. She wiped the qu¡(,t tears away with her apron. Just then rtme a loud knocking at the door. She opened •t wearily, and Dermot's merry face appeared, With all the others close behind. Good afternoon, Jane. We're a Surprise ^artv all the way from Canada. May we have I tea here, please ?" Well I never!" said Jane, and stood meekly On one side while the children crowded into the tittle kitchen. Dermot set the hampercaretnlly on the floor, *»d Marjorie pushed the bewildered Jane into her rocking-chair. Now, Jane," she said politely, "sit still,and ?0a't bother yourself. What a good thing your *ettle is nearly boiling But I don't understand, Miss Marjorie, my 'fear," said Jane, helplessly. Of course you don't! That's the fun of it, we have the pink cups, please ?" Marjorie did not wait for permission, but Counted a chair and began to take the best "IIlna, from the cupboard. j. Mother said we might come truly she did, £ *He," whispered little Oonah, and she sent Ser love and will come for us at eight o'clock, f lease can I come on your knee I want to 5'ss you 'cause your little baby's gone to heaven." Jane bent her head down on Oonah's and all about her best cups. Presently P°Hah slipped something soft and alive into arms. It is Nigger," she whispered. "I J^Uldn't spare him to you to keep, you know, ut I had just brought him to 'muse you." 4," Bless the child said Jane, and stroked *he little puppy's soft fur. y Then she jumped up from her seat. "Better Jet me lift the kettle, Master Dermot; it is too heavy for you." f No, no, Jane, sit still. It's as light as a leather," said Dermot. By this time Eileen and Marie had arranged flowers, and Marjorie was setting out such tea as Jane had not seen on her own table for **U.ny a long day. There were sandwiches (egg ham, Oonah told her), girdle cakes, lots of ~*ead and butter,and in the centre of the table the big plum cake. There's a secret in the plum cake," pro- claimed Oonah. I know, but I mustn't tell." Be quiet. Oonah." said Eileen, hastily. I wish Jim would come from work quick, I'm. so hungry said Oonah. Jim's not working just now, dearie, because ef the strike," answered Jane with a sigh. Here he is 1" exclaimed Oonah, and ran to *he door to meet him. Jim's s ad face brightened when he saw the children. Why, Jane, lass, here's company he ex. kilned, and stooped to pat Nigger. What a tea party that was The children ate and drank, and made their 5piet host and hostess eat and drink, too. Mar- r>rie poured out tea, and Eileen had the honour of cutting the surprise plum cake. Jane first," she said, cutting right into the huddle of the cake, and handing it to Jane. Oonah was so excited that she stood on her ehair to see Jane take the piece offered her. she lifted it-, something yellow and round kU with a tinkling noise to her plate. It's yours, Jane—it's the surprise from Cousin Maud shouted Oonah. But what Jane did next sobered the merry Party, for she put her head down on the table began to cry. Oh, Jim she sobbed. We can pay the and have some left. How could I have been so faithless Now, Jane, my woman now—now 1" Jim "aid soothingly. But his voice was trembling, "Dd the children looked at each other in dis- haay. All the fun was gone from their surprise Party. It was Dermot who brought back the smiles. Here's my surprise," he said, and pro- duced a great bag of chocolate creams. Oh, Dermot, how lovely cried the chil- dren. Now, Jane, have some chocolates, and atop cryrag," coaxed Marjorie. "Cousin Maude "lidrj't mean you to cry when she sent you a Sovereign." Jane dried her eyes. I couldn't help it, His-; Marjorie you children don't know what that money means to me and Jim." When even Dermot could eat no more, Jane Mid the girls cleared the table, for Jane would hot trust them with her best chin; Then the games began, and the fun waxed faàt and furious. Jim turned into a lion and Soared so loudly that Nigger was frightened tod ran crying to Oonah for protection. Eight o'clock came all too soon for the childreji. But mother shook her head when they begged to stay just a little longer." Jao«- took:! tired, and it is past Oonah's bed- she said. So Marjorie and Eileen put the remains of tbe feast into Jane's pantry, and Dermot Packed Nigger into the empty basket, whence was rescued by Oonah. Jan* ciasp*d Cousin Maud's hand. "Y au have saved mo from despair," she said."We've .1 b:wd timeø since the child died, ma'am. I *a-s afraid the furniture would have to go, for "an't bI-.AI" to get into debt." It haa beon the jolliest party I ever was w. declared Dermot, as they tramped home- ward I vote we have another one soon."

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