Miriam Coles Harris.

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CAPITAL NOVELS

UJrirORM WITH THIS YOLUMS

And by the same Author.

I. "RUTLEDGE," $1 50.

II." THE SUTHERLANDS, " 1 60.

III. "FRANK WARRINGTON," 1 50.

IV. "LOUIE'S LAST TERM," 1 26.



LOUIE'S LAST TERM



ST. MARY'S.



BT THE AUTHOR OF
'RUTLEDGK," "THE SUTHEBLANDS," "FBANK WABBINOTON," ITO.



NEW YORK:
Carle fon, Publisher, 413 Broadway.



ERWRBD according to Act of Congress, In the ,rer I860, ty

DERBY & JACKSON,

(a the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern
District of New York.



W. H. TOUCH, Storeotypn. Gio. Runxu. & Co., PrioUn.



A

Sfftcttonate

TRIBUTE
TO THB MEMORY OP THB LATE

*T. REV. GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE.



2034570



of



PKEFACE.



THE author trusts that it is unnecessary to say, this
little story is not intended to affect in any manner the
character of the very excellent school where the scene is
laid.

As regards the narrative itself, it is purely imaginary ;
the characters, however, have been drawn from life, and
it is hoped, are correct and faithful.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I. *>

BEGINNING WRONG, 7

CHAPTER II.
THE STUDY, 19

CHAPTER in,
CLOUDY, 80

CHAPTER IV.
THE SUN COMES OUT, 66

CHAPTER V.
COULEUR DE ROSE, 72

CHAPTER VI.
ASHES OF ROBES, . .93

CHAPTER VII.
LOUIE'S LATINITY, 105

CHAPTER VIII.
THE SKY is RED AND LOWERING, 118

CHAPTER IX.
THE BISHOP, 147



VI CONTENTS.

CHAPTER X. PAOB

THE CHAPEL, . . . . 160

CHAPTER XI.

COERUPTION AND BRIBERY, 164

CHAPTER XII.
TAG, 181

CHAPTER XIII.
FRANCKS, 196

CHAPTER XIV.

jfATHERING GLOOM, 207

CHAPTER XV.
THE EASTERN DAWN, 227

CHAPTER XVI.
Is PEACE BENEATH THE PEACEFUL SKIES, .... 286



LOUIE'S LAST TERM

AT ST. MARY'S.
CHAPTER I.

BEGINNING WRONG.

Yet never sleep the sun up ; prayer should
Dawn with the day ; there are set awful hours

'Twixt heaven and us ; the manna was not good
After sunrising : far day sullies flowers ;

Eise to prevent the sun ; sleep doth sins glut,

And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut.

VAUQHAN.

THE chapel bell had stopped ringing almost five
minutes, when Louie Atterbury, running down the
long corridor, buttoning her sleeves as she went,
paused, frightened, at the door before she dared
open it and enter. Louie was the last ; the long
rows of seats were full of girls, the organ had ceased,
Mr. Rogers, in his surplice, was beginning the ser-
vice, and Louie slipped in through the smallest pos-



8 LOUIE'S LAST TEEM.

sible crack in the door, and hurried nervously down
the aisle, looking up very red and awkward, as she
caught the wondering eyes turned upon her.

It was not often that any one was late. These
summer mornings the bell rang at five, and startled
open simultaneously a hundred and sixty pairs of
eyes that had been shut in the very sweetest sort of
sleep during the long hours of darkness, and roused
into murmur the young hive that would not settle
down into perfect quiet again until the return of
night and darkness. It was impossible to sleep
through the ringing of that chapel bell ; and even
if the first peal had not waked the girls in Louie's
dormitory, a suggestive shake from Miss Barlow's
not very gentle hand, would have accomplished it ;
and having three-quarters of an hour for dressing,
there seemed not much excuse for any one to be
behindhand when the bell rang again. A quarter
of an hour, while the bell was tolling, for their pri-
vate devotions, and then the girls in troops passed
down the stairs and into the chapel. Plainly there
was not much chance for any one to be late ; how
did it come, then, that Louie Atterbury was late
again ?

She slipped into her seat, stealing a guilty look
at Miss Barlow as she passed in, and confusedly
picked up her Prayer-book and hunted for the



BEGINNING WEONG. 9

places, doubly embarrassed while she felt her very
uncomfortable eyes upon her. She tried, I believe,
to attend to the service, and keep from thinking of
the reprimand that was awaiting her, but the effort
made her knit her brow and look frowning and un-
amiable ; and it was not altogether ill-temper that
made her press her lips so tight together, and bend
her little Player-book almost double in her nervous
hands as she rose from her knees.

Poor Louie ! It was the feeling of " everything
going wrong," it was the certainty of another mis-
begun day, another service unattended to, that was
darkening her face so. Everything, indeed, had
gone wrong this term. Whether or no the delights
of a too happy vacation had spoiled her for the re-
straints of school discipline, or whether things were
really altered there, she did not know ; but certain
it was, she seemed to be growing worse instead of
better every day, to be getting into more mischief
than ever, more out of favor with her teachers,
more quarrelsome and unamiable with her com-
panions.

" Every one's hand is against me," she thought,
bitterly, as she walked out of chapel, " and I can't
help it if mine is against every one. Oh ! how I
hate it all!"

She was too brave a girl to do what she could not
1*



10 LOUIE'S LAST TEEM.

help thinking of for the first minute, which was, to
hurry out into the grounds, or somewhere out of
sight, so as to escape Miss JBarlow for the present.
Whatever faults Louie had, and they were many,
there was nothing of the " sneak " about her, all the
girls acknowledged. So, leaning back against the
door that opened into the grounds, she stood reso-
lutely facing the hall, and in the way that Miss
Barlow must come from the chapel. Groups of
girls hurried past her into the play-grounds, where,
in the pleasant sunshine of the June morning, they
sauntered in pairs among the trees, or ran wild
races along the broad walks.

A few of the more studious had gone direct to the
school-room to snatch five minutes of study before
breakfast ; some lazy ones hung about the steps ;
the hall was quite deserted, but still Louie did not
move.

" Why, how dismal Her Serene Highness looks
this morning !" called out Adelaide McFarlane from
the bottom of the steps, where she sat idly twisting
the heads off the daisies within her reach, and
throwing them on Alice Aulay's book, a little girl
who had just seated herself there, and who was
vainly trying to conquer an alarming array of
" map questions," with Julia Alison's help. " How
dismal she is ! I wonder what made her so late for



BEGINNING WKONG. 11

chapel again this morning ? Barlow looked sweet
at you, Miss Lou, as you came down the aisle ! I
suppose you don't mind it, however. You're used
to it by this time ; and you don't mind going to the
Study, either. How many times were you sent
there last month, do you happen to remember ? I'd
like to know, 'just for the sake of science,' how
often a girl can be sent up and not be expelled."

A very red flush dawned on Louie's face.

" If I didn't mind trying your mean ways of get-
ting out of scrapes, perhaps I shouldn't go so often.
Everybody knows Addy McFarlane will keep clear
as long as there's any virtue in fibbing, and any
other shoulders to .put the blame on."

" Tout doucement /" cried Addy, with a shrug
and a little laugh ; " I shan't think of getting out
of temper with you, my dear ; for nobody minds
what a girl says when she's as mad as you are, and
as much scared, too. Why, Louie, honestly, do you
think you'll be sent to the Bishop ? Mr. .Rogers
has lectured you so often, he must be about dis-
couraged."

"If I told you honestly what I thought, you
wouldn't understand me, I'm afraid. Honesty isn't
your native language, you know."

" Listen, Julia Alison, hear how sharp she's get-
ting ! Next time I want to write a spicy cooiposi-



13 LOUIE'S LAST TEBM.

tion, I'll do something vicious and get sent to the
Study, in hope of being brightened up by the fright
as she is."

" I'm afraid it wouldn't have much effect upon
you, Addy," said Julia, quietly. " I never saw you
much frightened by anything yet, nor much bene-
fited, for that matter. One would think you might
know better than to hector a girl in that way, when
she's in disgrace."

" Wait till I'm in it 1" cried Louie, too angry to
know who were friends and who were foes. " You're
all talking as if I were sent to Mr. Rogers ; I am
no worse off than the others just now. And because
you are one of the ' good girls,' Julia, you mustn't
think that gives you license to preach. I, for one,
won't stand it."

" Hear ! hear 1" exclaimed Addy, delighted. " Ju-
lia, you see she's fierce this morning. I wouldn't
trust myself within six feet of her. If I saw Mr.
Rogers, I think I'd recommend a muzzle."

" Oh, dear !" sighed little Alice ; " they wont let
me study, Julia."

" No ; I see they won't, Ally," said Julia, rising;
" come into the school-room ; perhaps we can be
quiet there."

She passed Louie without saying another word or
raising her eyes ; but there was something in her



BEGINNING WRONG. 13

averted head and the low tone in which she had
spoken, that made Louie turn away with almost a
groan. That was her last friend alienated. Of all
the school, Julia's opinion was of the most value to
her, and though of late they had been less together
than formerly, still there had been no open quarrel,
nothing to justify such an unkind speech as this last
one of Louie's.

" I know she'll never forget it," thought Louie,
miserably. " I would give anything in the world
if I had never said it."

Louie was right ; it would be a long time before
Julia would forget the insult. She was proud,
prouder, if possible, than Louie ; and between two
such friends a hopeless wall of coldness and separa-
tion is soon built up, from no broader a foundation
than this which Louie, in her recklessness and an-
ger, had just laid. Julia was the oldest by a year ;
the steadiest and the cleverest ; and the only won-
der was, why she had ever chosen the reckless, self-
willed, harum-scarum Louie for her friend. It was
not difficult to.see why Julia had so attracted Louie,
however. Beauty has generally a good deal to do
with school penchants, and Julia was very pretty,
rather small, straight, with a firm, easy step, and a
sort of native dignity of manner that " told " vastly
among ^er companions, and attracted while it in-



14 LOUIE'S LAST TEEM.

sensibly awed them. She was too reserved to have
many intimate friends, and could not be called
popular, but she was universally admired, and as
universally looked up to. At once diffident and
proud, she only influenced by her example. This
morning's rebuke to Addy was the nearest approach
to " preaching" that Julia had ever made, and the
cruel taunt it had brought upon her, confirmed her
in her silence and reserve.

What gave this taunt its sting, was the fact that
within the last few weeks, Julia had taken the step
that in the eyes of the more thoughtless of her com-
panions placed her above and separated her from
them, but in her own, made her ten times more
fearful and humble, and ten times more sensitive to
reproach. She felt most keenly her own unworthi-
ness to be ranked among " the good ;" in her own
heart she was struggling hard to conquer her temp-
tations, and dreaded most of all bringing disgrace
upon the religion she was trying to live by : but
this struggle and this humility only made her out-
wardly colder and quieter ; and her companions,
Louie among the rest, were very quick to set it
down to a feeling of superiority and an aversion to
their society. This it was that insensibly had
estranged them. Louie at heart was longing to ask
forgiveness for her constant unkindnesses, and to



BEGINNING WRONG. 15

beg for advice and help, and to be told whether it
would ever be possible for her to get into the right
path : and Julia, hurt at her coldness and fright-
ened by her growing recklessness and self-will, was
yet fonder of her than ever, and yearned to lead her
right and to win her to the only means of self-con-
trol and happiness ; but both waited for the other
to speak first, both were too proud to make a sin-
gle advance.

Addy McFarlane laughed spitefully as she saw
the expression of pain that contracted Louie's fore-
head.

" What a pity," looking slily up at her face, " what
a pity that Julia is giving you up ! She's such a
model, she might have done you no end of good,
and kept you straight, for a while, at least."

" You'd better say, what a pity I have given her
up," said Louie, quickly. " I hate sanctified supe-
riority, and Julia knows it, and knows that I will
not endure her patronizing ways. I can see," she
went on, " by the way your eye? glisten, that you
mean to tell her every word. You're welcome to ;
and xcept that I know she won't believe anything
you say, I would tell you what else I think of her,
and let you carry that too."

" You'd better take care ; you'll be sorry for one
or two things you've said this morning," returned



16 LOUIE'S LAST TERM.

Adelaide, in a tone a shade less trifling than ordi-
nary ; but at this momeut, Miss Barlow, leaving the
group of teachers with whom she had been talking
at the chapel door, approached them and paused
before Louie.

Of all the moments that could have been chosen
to reprimand her, at least for the purpose of bene-
fiting her, this was the very worst, and perhaps a
more judicious teacher would have perceived it.
But Miss Barlow was too much irritated and too
much prejudiced to see this. She meant to humble
and discipline a refractory pupil ; she did not reflect
how far the desire to do it proceeded from a wish to
gratify her own pique, rather than from a desire to
do her duty faithfully toward one of the children
committed to her care. At that moment, any one
familiar with Louie's face could have seen that she
was suffering cruelly from wounded pride, from
mortification and remorse; that there were evil
passions enough roused in her soul already, without
summoning any more to the field, without exaspe-
rating her to the obstinacy and insubordination and
disrespect that were certain to follow a reprimand de-
livered at such a time. Besides, Adelaide McFarlane
was her acknowledged enemy and tormentor, and
sat by now, with greedy eyes, watching the encoun-
ter, and her presence, of course, was an irritation.



BEGINNING WBOSG. 17

I do not mean to make any excuses for Louie ;
there is no need for me to hold up her faults for
execration ; they punished themselves every step
she took ; no one could fail to see how miserable
she was, and there is no danger of her having any
followers, merely for the pleasure her career pro-
mised. What I wish to do is to be just ; to show
how many influences were at work to lead her so
far astray. I do not wish wholly to blame Miss
Barlow ; she meant well, and in the main did her
duty as a teacher; but toward this girl she had
allowed herself to be too easily prejudiced, and had
not taken the pains to sift her feelings and inquire
into their justice. . Miss Barlow had not brought her
own temper under entire control, so it is not to be
wondered at that she failed to control her pupil ; and
when she paused in front of her, there was an angry
gleam from her black eye, and an excited tremor in
her voice, that certainly were not calculated to soothe
a ruffled temper, or to insure complete submission.

" How do you explain your tardiness again this
morning, Louisa?" There was a moment's pause;
Louie tried to answer, but the words choked her.
She was literally too much worked up to command
her voice.

" Do yon mean to answer me 2" demanded the
teacher in a sharper tone.



18 LOUIE'S LAST TEEM.

Louie caught a glance of Adelaide's eager eye ;
she gave a sort of gasp and said quickly :

" I have no explanation to give."

" Think again before you make that decisive ; it
will be worse for you than you imagine if you con-
tinue to rebel."

" It can't be worse for me than it has been for
the last month," muttered Louie under her breath.

" Once for all," said Miss Barlow in a tone of
suppressed anger, and looking steadily at her, " do
you mean to explain to me the circumstance of
your tardiness this morning ?"

" I do not."

There was the deadest silence ; Adelaide held her
breath with excitement, the teacher with anger;
Louie alone was composed enough now. All the
wavering and timidity was gone, she had not a
thought that was not hatred and rebellion.

" Go to the Study at once," was all that Miss
Barlow could find voice to say, as she motioned
her away.

Louie bowed slightly as she left her, and with a
very firm step walked across the hall, and entered
the Study door.



CHAPTEE 1L

THE STUDY.

" Anger's a hurricane inbred ;
Meekness, a calm in heart and head ;
Revenge, of war runs all the ills ;
Forgiveness, sweets of peace instills."

BISHOP KEN.

THE precise nature of the punishment implied in
the sentence of banishment to the Study, may pos-
sibly need explanation to those whose misfortune it
has been not to have been educated at St. Mary's
Hall. When I confess that its terrors were more
imaginary than substantial, it will be understood
that I look back at it from some distance of time,
and with the disenchantment of several years be-
tween it and me. During the entire period of my
school career, however, I stood in a very salutary
awe of its thunders, and regarded the sentence with
all the dread that it was meant to inspire.

In plain fact, the Study was a very large and
commodious room, somewhat dark, perhaps, and
not altogether cheerful, filled with bookcases and

19



20 LOUIE'S LAST TEEM.

books, and having a very learned look withal, pre-
sided over by the Chaplain of the Hall, in my time
a most humane and kind gentleman, and one
against whom an act of severity or injustice had
never been recorded. He was very ready to ex-
cuse youthful faults, and decreed for all ordinary
offences, very mild and bearable punishments, re-
ferring the extremest cases to the Bishop's decision.
The result of being sent to the Study, in fine, was,
generally, fifteen minutes' interview with this
gentleman, a good deal of good advice, a little kind
expostulation on the impropriety of the fault for
which the offender was arraigned, a recommenda-
tion to the mercy of the Principal, and a "good
morning."

Notwithstanding this known result, being sent to
the Study was always a horrible and disgraceful
thing ; the stoutest hearts quaked a little at it ; it
threw the timid ones into" an agony of alarm and
apprehension, and all agreed to look with some pity
and much contempt upon the unhappy subjects of
the decree. Thus it was, that as Louie Atterbury
walked across the hall toward the Study door, she
heard with some concern the ringing of the break-
fast-bell, and the rush of feet that followed it in-
stantly. She was too proud to hurry ; the foremost
ones caught sight of her, and too proud to shut the



THE STUDY. 21

Study door after her, so the bolder ones, hearing
the rumor of her disgrace, stole on tip-toe half
across the hall and peeped in at her. She had
seated herself on a chair by the window, and when
she saw the prying faces of her tormentors, she
bit her lip ; but, forcing back the tears, gave them
a careless nod and smile.

Mr. Eogers, passing that moment on his way to
breakfast, looked in upon her ; he saw the nod and'
smile, and his face darkened. No one in authority,
however kind, can endure to see his authority
mocked at and derided.

" You may wait here till I come back," he said,
coldly.

Louie listened to the tramp of feet down the din-
ing-room stairs; how long before it ceased! then
the pause while grace was said ; then the sudden
noise of the adjustment and occupation of all that
multitude of chairs, and soon the subdued sounds
of knife and fork as the besieging army of hungry
girls applied themselves to their repast. Louie
thought of the inquiring eyes that would be turned
toward her empty place.

" There isn't a soul in school that won't know I'm
sent to the Study, before ten minutes are over," she
thought, dismally, " and, moreover, that it's the
second time this month. A pretty sort of name



22 LOUIE'S LAST TEKM.

Fm getting! Well, I can't help it; I don't
care."

And she pressed her lips tighter together, and,
leaning back in her chair, beat uneasily with her
foot upon the carpet, and muttered again with a
darkened brow, " I don't care."

Poor Louie! If she hadn't cared, she would
never have worn such a face as she wore then ; she
wouldn't have bit her pale lips so, nor have beaten
that nervous tatto upon the carpet. She did care,
and bitterly, too, about the bad name she was get-
ting ; but she did not care in the right sort of a
way, nor try the right sort of means to prevent it.
Pride and self-will had brought it upon her, and by
pride and self-will she was trying (as far as she
tried at all) to get rid of it. Alice Aulay, eight
years old, could have told her that that was not the
way ; any girl in the school could have told her that
two wrongs didn't make a right ; her own heart, if she
had listened to it, could have told her that humility
and self-denial were the opposites of pride and self-
will ; and that only by renouncing these and assuming
those, could she attain to the favor of God and man.

But she didn't listen to it. She' went blindly,
blunderingly, obstinately on, listening to the tumult
of evil thoughts that beset her to the evil sugges-
tions of her companions and the evil suggestions of



THE STUDY. 23

the devil, and the faint voice of conscience was stifled
before it reached her ear. Sometimes, in the hush
of the Chapel service, or when she saw her young
companions kneel around the altar that she hardly
dared look upon, there would come a memory of
her baptismal blessings a thought of what she had
been made, and what she ought even now to be ;
but a bitter sigh would blot it all out.

" I need not try to be good. I have tried and
failed so often. I cannot go with Julia and the
others. I am growing worse instead of better. I
must be, oh, how different before I am fit for the
Communion ! It will be long, if ever, before I am
good enough to go ; but it is not my fault. I can-
not help it if I am wicked ; I cannot help it if I am
worse than they are."

And so, trying to satisfy herself that it was not
her fault, she went on in the wrong ways that had
been thickening round her of late, unsatisfied and
very miserable, but very unrepentant.

When Mr. Eogers, accompanied by Miss Bar-
low, entered the Study half an hour later, they
found as unhopeful a subject in it as they had left.
If Mr. Rogers had been alone, Louie had made up
her mind to be submissive, and apologize and tell
him all he desired to know ; but when the door
opened and his grave face appeared, preceded by



24: LOUIE'S LAST TERM.

the face that was associated in her mind with all
the stormy scenes she had gone through in the last
year, the good resolution, founded as it was in only
another form of self-will, faded quickly, and a stub-
born rebellion took possession of her. All Mr.
Rogers' kindness was forgotten in the recollection
of Miss Barlow's injustice; she could see nothing
but tyranny, feel nothing but defiance.

I think Miss Barlow comprehended this at a
glance, for her thin lip curled slightly, and her
sharp eye emitted an angry light. " I fear you will
have to resort to harsher measures, Mr. Rogers,"
she said in a low tone.

" Harsh measures are very disagreeable to me,"
he answered aloud, "and I shall not willingly
have recourse to them ; but I suppose there is no
girl in this school so ignorant of right and justice
as to suppose that rebellion to lawful authority will
be tolerated in it Kindness and indulgence must
have a limit, or they are abused."

" Yes, sir," said Louie, quickly, " and prejudice
and persecution must have a limit, or they are
abused."

The blood started to Miss Barlow's cheek, and
she looked from Louie to the clergyman as if to
say, " You see, sir, it is as I said."

Mr. Rogers did not regard the glance, but con-



THE STUDY. 25

tinned to look sternly at the girl, sternly but
thoughtfully.

" You cannot doubt but that I am as ready to
put down persecution and oppression, as to punish
disrespect and insubordination. You have been
accused more than once of the last, and you know
it forms the present charge against you. Let us
settle that matter first, and then whatever com-
plaints you have to make of injustice and persecu-
tion, I am ready to hear and to endeavor to redress.
Now for the question in hand.

" You are aware, Louisa, that this is by no means


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Online LibraryMiriam Coles HarrisLouie's last term at St. Mary's → online text (page 1 of 12)