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Page 2 of Aikenside / by Mary J. Holmes.

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AIKENSIDE Mr. Hodges, who pitched so high that few could follow him; while Mrs. Captain Simpson-whose daughter, the organist, had been snubbed at the last choir meeting by Mr. Hodges' daughter, the alto singer-rolled up her eyes at her next neigh- bor, or fanned herself furiously in token of her disgust. Latterly, however, there had come up a new cause of quarrel, before which every other cause sank into insignificance. Now, though the vil- lage of Devonshire could boast but one public schoolhouse, said house being divided into two departments, the upper and lower divisions, there were in the town several district schools; and for the last few years a committee of three had been annually appointed to examine and decide upon the merits of the various candidates for teaching, giving to each, if the decision were favorable, a little slip of paper certifying their qualifications to teach a common school. Strange that over such an office so fierce a feud should have arisen; but when Mr. Tiverton, Squire Lamb, and Law- yer Whittemore, in the full conviction that they were doing right, refused a certificate of scholar- ship to Laura Tisdale, niece of Mrs. Judge Tis- dale, and awarded it to one whose earnings in a factory had procured for her a thorough English education, the villagers, to use a vulgar phrase, were at once set by the ears, the aristocracy abus- ing, and the democracy upholding the dismayed 2