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THIS was how I found it out. Lettie and
I were sitting in the window at our work
it was some mourning we were making for
our rector's familyand it had to be sent
home the next day early. She said, "Jane,
it seems as if the sun had given up shining;
how dull everything looks! don't you
think so?"

I did not notice it; there was still an
hour's daylight. She put up her hand to her
forehead as if it pained her, so I bade her
go out for a turn in the garden; we had sat
close to our sewing all the day, and the
young thing was tired: even I was, and my
eyes ached wearily. She went along by
the flower-bed, and gathered a few roses
we were in the middle of July thenand
gave them to me through the window, saying
that she would go down into the town for
some trimmings we wanted to finish the
dresses. I would rather she had stayed
at home, and replied that the shops would be
shut; but she was not listening, and went
away down the path as I spoke. It was
dusk when she came back; I had just shut
the window, and was lighting my candle; she
said, "I could not get the fringe, Jane," and
then laying her bonnet on the dresser, took
up her work. After she had sewed perhaps
five minutes she dropped her hands on her
knees, and such a strange, hopeless expression
came into her face, that I was quite shocked
and frightened.

"What ails you, Lettie? what can have
happened?" I asked, suspecting I scarcely
knew what.

She looked at me drearily in silence for
some moments, and then said hastily, "I
might as well tell you at once, Jane,—I'm
going blind."

My work fell to the ground, and I uttered
a startled cry.

"Don't take on about it, Jane; it can't be
helped," she added.

"It is only a fancy of yours, Lettie; I shall
have you to Doctor Nash in the morning.
What has made you take such a notion
into your head all at once," said I, for I
thought this was another nervous whim.
Lettie had been a good deal indulged by our
mother before she died, and had shown herself
not a little headstrong sometimes, as
well as fanciful.

"It is of no use, Jane; I have been to Doctor
Nash myself, and he said plainly that I was
going blind. I have been to him twice before:
I knew what was coming. Oh, Janey! what
shall we do? what shall we do?" and having
borne up thus far she broke down, and sobbed
aloud, with her face on her arms on the

"We shall do very well. In the first
place, I don't believe Doctor Nash knows
anything about it; and, in the next, I
shall have you up to London to a great
doctor, and hear what he says before I give
in to thinking that you are to be blind all
your days."

She was a little cheered by this.

"To London, Janey! but where is the
money to come from?" she asked.

"Leave that to me. I'll arrange somehow."
It was very puzzling to me to settle
how just then, but I have a firm conviction
that where there is a will to do anything,
a way may generally be found, and I
meant to find it.

She took up her work, but I bade her
leave it. "You will not set another stitch,
Lettie," I said; "you may just play on the
old piano and sing your bits of songs, and get
out into the fresh airyou have been kept
too close, and are pale to what you were.
Go to bed now like a good little lassie; I'll
do by myself."

"But there is so much to finish, Janey."

"Not a stitch that you'll touch, Lettie; so
kiss me good-night, and get away."

"And you don't think much of what Doctor
Nash said?" she asked very wistfully.

"No! I've no opinion of him at all." And
hearing me speak up in my natural way
(though my heart was doubting all the time),
she went away comforted, and in better hope.
I had put it off before her, because she
would have given way to fretting, if I had
seemed to believe what the doctor said; but,
as I drew my needle through and through
my work till three hours past midnight, I
had often to stop to wipe the tears from my

There were only two of usLettie and myself
and we had neither father nor mother,
nor indeed any relatives whom we knew.