MENTAL ACROBATICS. 43.
mind was traversing the whole field of human thought, and his hands were busy with distracting recreations. Mary took his book to hear him recite, and he tried to find his way through the fog:
" Blessed are the—a—a— "
"Yes—poor; blessed are the poor—a—a—"
" In spirit— °
" In spirit; blessed are the poor in spirit, for they—they— "
" Theirs— "
" For theirs. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven-Blessed are they that mourn, for they—they— "
" For they—a— *
" S, H, A— "
" For Ihey S, H—Oh I don't know what it is! "
MOh, shall7 for they shall—for they shall—a—a—shall mourn—a—a—blessed are they that shall—they that—a—they that shall mourn, for they shall—a—shall what} Why don't you tell me Mary?—what do you want to be so mean for? ".
"Oh, Tom, you poor thick-headed thing, I'm not teasing you, I wouldn't do that. You must go and learn it again. Don't you be discounted, Tom, you'll manage it—and if you do, I'll give you something ever so nice. There, now,'. that's a good boy."
"All right! What is it, Mary, tell me what it is."
" Never you mind, Tom. You know if I say it's nice, it is nice."
" You bet you that's so, Mary. All right, I'll tackle it again."
And he did " tackle it again "—and under the double pressure of curiosity and prospective gain, he did it with such spirit that he accomplished a shining success. Mary gave him a bran-new " Barlow " knife worth twelve and a half cents; and the convulsion of delight that swept his system shook him to his foundations. True, the knife would not cut anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and there was inconceivable grandeur in that—though where the western boys ever