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Cornelli sang everything as lightly and freely as a bird, and with such a clear and resonant voice that everybody got pleasure from it. There was no other voice in the whole school which was as sure and as full as Cornelli's. Even the teacher said so, and during the singing lesson he placed her right in front of him, because she was the best leader of the chorus. In the middle of winter Mr.

Halm from time to time: "The child has her mother's voice, except that her mother's voice was still fuller and softer." Mrs. Halm's face would beam, too, as she would say: "Just have a little patience, Director. You are sure some day to hear Cornelli's voice when there will be nothing more to desire in it. Her teacher's highest wish is to train her voice."

Halm had seriously told the children not to make any remarks about Cornelli's hair in case she should come. She had told them not to show any surprise if Cornelli wore her hair in a rather strange fashion and not to notice it further; that was the way the mother wished it to be. Little Mux was very much pleased at having a new companion.

Maelinger arrived, for it was time for Cornelli's lessons. Most of the time the teacher sat beside his pupil shaking his head. He really needed all his patience to endure the total indifference she showed in all her tasks. To-day it was again the same. The two hours passed, and the carriage which was bringing home her father had just driven up in front of the house. Mr.

"No, not any more," replied Cornelli, entering Martha's little chamber and sitting down on the stool which her old friend had put for her in the usual place. Cornelli's words did not come rapidly and angrily any more, as they had done before. With a deep sigh she added: "I only wish I had never learned to read." "What! But child, what an idea," exclaimed Martha, "what a foolish wish!

You only know this boy and you do not hesitate about it and are not even shy about appearing in your present condition." "Dino knows me well and knows that I would come to see him alone. He will arrange everything for me so that I won't have to see his mother or his sisters. He knows everything," was Cornelli's explanation.

"Nonsense, Esther," he returned; "children do not die from obstinacy." The master of the house had tried to speak harshly, but he did not quite succeed. He ran straight upstairs to Cornelli's room and saw the child on her knees in front of the bed. Her head was pressed into the pillows and she cried as if her heart was breaking.

Matthew was the gardener who looked after the horses, and had also to superintend all the work done by his assistant in the garden and the stable. He was Cornelli's special friend, whom she had known ever since she could remember, for he had served her grandfather. He now came from the stable and mysteriously beckoned to her: "Come here quickly, run fast!" he said.

"But I hope not all the teachers, too, Mux," said Dino, "for then one would have to tell an even worse tale about you than you were telling about Agnes." The door between Cornelli's and the sisters' room was always open now, for they all had wished it. There was not a single evening on which they did not make use of the last moment for talking to each other about their mutual interests.

Then Cornelli would go into the pantry, where Miss Mina was fixing fruit on the crystal platters. Here many a raisin and almond would drop beside the plate, and from there find its way into Cornelli's pocket. It was pleasant to have a supply whenever she felt like eating. The housekeeper dropped many nuts on purpose, for she did not want to be less sought after than her rival in the kitchen.