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would carry him. Before, however, his deserted partner in guilt could rise from his knees, he was seized, and held in custody by the dark-haired young lady who had endeavoured to make friends with me.

It was my turn to laugh at him now, for the poor little fellow presented a most ludicrous appearance on being led ignominiously forward to make his bow to company. Terrified at his position, and half inclined to cry, he still seemed on the verge of going off into a fit of laughter; a combination which gave to his freckled face and merry blue eyes an expression difficult to describe, but exceedingly absurd to behold.

"Here is one of the culprits, Mother," said Miss Royce, loosening her grasp on his coat collar, and running her hand through the masses of brown hair growing in a profusion of short curls upon her captive's head. "What is to be done with him ?"

"I will leave him entirely to replied Mrs. Royce, smiling. she proceeded with her inquiries about me and mine.

your tender mercy, my dear," Then, turning again to Susan,

"Oh! please miss, I couldn't help it-indeed I couldn't: Johnnie Harris pushed me;" and the little boy lifted to his teacher's face two eyes dim with half-formed tears. But the words were accompanied by a peculiar twitching in the corners of the lips, and a look of amusement through the tear-dimmed eyes, which seemed to say, "I know you too well to be afraid of you. You're laughing at me all the time, I believe, only you won't show it."

"Well, I will let you off this once. But, mind, if you are caught eaves dropping again—” and Miss Royce allowed a suggestive silence to supply the remainder of the sentence; and then continued, "You are the very boy I wanted. Here is such a nice little fellow come to school, and I want you and him to be ever such good friends, for you will be the two youngest and smallest, you know. Though I scarcely know which is the shorter of you two."

“Oh, he is—much!" put in my new friend, in a tone of injured dignity, quite forgetting his recent discomfiture in his anxiety to prove his assertion. "Just see," he added, placing his back against mine, and feeling the respective levels of our heads, "why, I am nearly half a head taller than he is."

"Yes, you certainly are taller. You won't be the 'little one' any longer, now."

"All the better!" stoutly replied the boy; adding naively, as though it were a sudden afterthought, "only you'll let me carry the clothes upstairs on Saturday nights still, won't you?"

"We shall see. But now take your little friend round, and give him a swing, before the others are out of school. Mind you are kind, and don't swing him any higher than he wishes."

For a moment I thought I would not leave Susan, to go away with a stranger; but he put out his hand so reassuringly, and said in so kind and winning a tone, "Come along with me, then," that my scruples vanished, and away I went.

When we were alone, the restraint of shyness soon wore off, and before long we were talking as volubly as seven-yearold children generally do.

"I say, though, what's your name?" inquired my patron suddenly, stopping, and looking me fully in the face with an air of great impressiveness, "'cause, you know, one ought to know who one is talking to."

"Bernard Ayres," I replied, "and yours is Harry somethingor-other, isn't it?"

"Yes, Harry Morland. But every one calls me 'Harry;' because, you know, there isn't any other. Now there are two or three 'Johnnies;' there's Johnnie Harris-he's the one that nearly got me into a row just now-and Johnnie Freeman, and Smedley too. Then there's Sam Camp-we all call him 'the Scamp' 'cause that is his name, don't you see? And, oh my!

he is a onner, too. He and I have no end of fun on 'tubnights.' You heard me asking Miss Royce about it, didn't you? We're all 'tubbed' in the kitchen on Saturdays, and then the youngest, and one of the first-class chaps, always carry the clothes up into the bedrooms, and run up to fetch the dressinggowns down, after each fellow has used it to go upstairs in. When it is the Scamp's turn, we do have fine sprees along those lobbies, I can tell you!"

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So he rattled on, whilst I listened, and tried hard to take in the substance of his meaning, but with only partial success. Wondering as to what sort of person S. Camp the 'onner must be, I sat myself in the swing, and soon forgot everything in the pleasure of the passing moments.

Distant shouts, however, proclaimed the approach of a number of noisy-voiced boys, and just as my companion called out, "Hullo! the fellows are out of school!" the leader of the rush appeared round the corner, almost running against the swing in his anxiety to be the first to reach it.

Evidently he was not expecting to find it already occupied, and for one moment he stood irresolute, with his hand upon the rope. By this time, the other boys, quieted for the moment by the sight of a stranger, had gathered round in silence.

"It's the new boy !" said a boy in a loud whisper to his neighbour.

"Is it?" replied the other. he is!"

"What a little mite of a fellow

"How on earth did you get here, Harry ?" asked Willie Knowles, who stood with his back against the wall, tilting his hat over his eyes to shade them from the noonday glare of the


"Why, Miss Royce sent me out to give Bernard Ayres a swing," replied my friend, proud to be able to inform his audience that he alone was possessed of the knowledge of my name.

"Well, whoever he is, he'll have to turn out of it now, for I 'bagged' the swing before any one else this morning, and I mean to have it too. So out you go, young 'un!"

Saying which, the boy who had seized the rope caught hold of the seat, and with one quick turn of his hand sent me sprawling out upon the ground.

It was not far to fall. So low, indeed, was the seat fixed, that the usurper had to bend almost double in order to readjust it.

Doubtless the rude shock to my feelings, more than the actual physical hurt, would have resulted in an overflow of tears, had not the strange proceedings of Harry Morland diverted my attention as I rose slowly from the ground.

With his freckled face aglow, and his tongue between his teeth, he rushed upon the unsuspecting object of his wrath, and with a "Take that, you great bully, Rogers! and that!and that!" he brought his doubled-up fist down three times upon the other's back, with a vehemence which showed how much in earnest he really was.

Rogers raised himself with an angry exclamation, and started off in pursuit of the attacking party. But, fearful of losing his swing after all, he pulled up before he had gone many feet, contenting himself by bawling savagely across the yard,

"By Jove! young 'un, I will give you a tanning for that, byand-by!"




SOME of the boys had cried, "Shame!" at Rogers' unkind conduct, whilst others had applauded my avenger with sundry cries of, "Well done, Harry boy!"-"Bravo, youngster!" and a chuckling laugh of approval; but all in a covert, halfhearted way, as though the incident had led them into an expression of opinion, which, though universally shared, was seldom openly pronounced.

Harry, having so publicly proclaimed himself my champion, now returned to my side, and calling to Johnnie Harris to join us, led me away for further explorations.

"That fellow Rogers is a horrid bully. No one likes him, do they, Jack?"

"I should say not-I hate him!" returned Johnnie Harris, warmly.

"Swinging is all the rage just now," continued Harry, explanatorily. "There always are 'rages' for certain things, at different times, in every school, you know,-oh, no! you don't though, 'cause you've never been to school before, you said: and then if one chap says, 'I bag' something, before any one else, he has to have it the first, do you see?"

"And the one who says, 'I bag second,' gets the next turn,” chimed in Jack, who evidently understood and followed up the train of thought suggested by, rather than expressed in, Harry's

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