tively at work--an admirable subject therefore for the malevolence of an enemy whose constant proximity offered him endless opportunity.
Much of his boyish persecution never reached the ears of the higher powers. Nance very soon came to accept Tom's rough treatment as natural from a big fellow of fourteen to a small girl of eight, and she bore it stoically and hated him the harder.
Her mother taught her carefully to say her prayers, which included petitions for the welfare of Grannie and father and brother Tom, and for a time, with the perfunctoriness of childhood, which attaches more weight to the act than to the meaning of it, she allowed that to pass with a stickle and a slur. But very soon brother Tom was ruthlessly dropped out of the ritual, and neither threats nor persuasion could induce her to re-establish him.
Later on, and in private, she added to her acknowledged petitions an appendix, unmistakably brief and to the point--"And, O God, please kill brother Tom!"--and lived in hope.