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The Pearl of Charity.


"WHAT are you looking for, Frank?" called out Lionel Trask to his school companion.

"I thought I dropped my slate-pencil," answered Frank, hesitating and growing very red.

"Looking for a slate-pencil in that high grass! That's a good joke! Come on, now; I'm going to the Common for a game of base ball."

"I wish I could," muttered Frank, speaking to himself, "but I can't, no," he added, in a louder voice. "I haven't the time." And away he ran without giving himself opportunity to be tempted.

"Hurrah, boys! That's cool," exclaimed Lionel.

But as there were no boys near to answer, he satisfied himself by a long whistle to the tune of "Dan Tucker."

Frank darted off down the street, and presently leaped a wall without touching it, and hurried across a well-trodden path to a cottage on the opposite corner of the field.

Frank Jocelyn was an active, handsome lad of thirteen summers. He was tall of his age, and expert at all the games that boys love. The side he was on was sure to beat at ball, and his kite always flew higher than that of any of his companions. Though the youngest in the "Orford Boys," the name of the Orford boat-club, yet he was accounted one of their best rowers.

But Frank had a great fault. He was proud, not exactly of his personal appearance, though he received praise enough for that to spoil him; but proud of being Frank Jocelyn, the smartest boy in Orford; proud of being the first scholar in his classes, and always at their head in spelling.

Two years before this time, Frank's father was considered to be in as good circumstances as anybody in town except Squire Rawson, who owned the large farm beyond Cedar Hill. But most unfortunately, he endorsed his name on a note to oblige a neighbor. When the time for payment came, the neighbor was missing, and, of course, Mr. Jocelyn had to foot the bill.

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