"WHAT a looking room!" exclaimed Olive Kendall, as she came in from school and added to the confusion of the sitting room by throwing her satchel on the lounge. "Why doesn't somebody fix it up?" But no one answered. Only Leila and Nora were there to answer, and both their heads were bent over a geographical puzzle. 

Olive threw herself into an easy chair and looked out of the large bay-window. It was pleasanter to turn her head that way than to look around the disordered room. She only wished she could turn her thoughts away from the room as easily, but she could not, so long as that voice kept saying, 

"You know that Bridget is out with the twins, and that Kate is busy getting dinner, and that there is no one but yourself to put the room in order you and your little sisters. Why not go to work and have a surprise for mamma when she comes in?" 

"Leila and Nora, we really ought to fix up the room," said Olive, with a half-yawn. "The twins have scattered their things. Won't you help?" 

"In a minute," answered Nora. "We only want a little crooked piece to go right in there." 

"Yes," responded Leila, "it's Finland." 

Olive looked about the room in a hopeless, helpless sort of way. "With Leila and Nora both in Finland," she _thought, "I may as well give up expecting their help. If it were only a game " 

She stood a moment in thought. Her face suddenly brightened. She went to mamma's desk and cut six slips of paper, then wrote a word on each. 

"Are you getting some strips ready for Consequences?" asked Leila, a new interest in her face, as she looked up from the pieces of map. 

"No, but you've guessed pretty well," admitted Olive, "for it's a game—a new one." 

"A game? A new one?" echoed the little sisters, not only losing interest in Finland, but letting 

the whole of Europe fall apart. "Let's play it! I'm tired of this map-puzzle." 

"Yes, Olive, tell us how," pleaded Leila, "and then we'll help with the room. We truly will." 

"I don't think you'll like the game," said Olive, "but I'm sure that mamma will." 

"Then we shall, of course," said Nora, very decidedly. "Let's begin it now." 

So Olive laid the slips on the table—the written side downward. Then she said, "Now, we are to draw in turn, the youngest first. Come, Nora!" 

Nora looked at the different pieces of paper, put her finger on the last, and then suddenly changed her mind, and took the one nearest her. 

"Don't look at it yet, Nora," said Olive. 

"Oh, I shall certainly look, if Leila doesn't hurry," said Nora, excitedly, shutting her eyes very tight, but soon opening them to ask, "Is there a prize, Olive?" and jumping up and down as Olive nodded. 

After Leila had settled upon one of the slips, she and Nora made Olive shut her eyes while they changed about all the papers that were left, for fear that Olive, having made them, might choose a better one than they. At last they all had slips. 

"Now read!" signaled Olive. 

"Table," said Nora, consulting her paper. 

"Chairs," read Leila, from hers. 

"Carpet," announced Olive. 

"Now what?" asked Nora. "Do I pass mine on to Leila?" But Olive was on her knees, picking up a lot of playthings. 

"Mine was carpet," she said, as she hastily put a handful of toys into a little cart belonging to the twins, "so I'm to take everything off the carpet that doesn't belong there. You are to put in order whatever your paper tells you, and the game is to do it as well and as quickly as you can." 

Nora flew to the table. She ran into the hall with Teddy's hat, and into the nursery with Freddy's whip. Then she got a brush and prepared to sweep off the table cover. To do this she piled some books on one of the chairs. 

"My paper says chairs," cried Leila, "and there are eight of them! If you put those books there, 

I'll never get through." 

"The other table is yours also, Nora," said Olive, as she straightened the rug in front of the fire. "Look on your paper." 

Sure enough, there was an "s" that Nora had overlooked! So the books found a place on the little stand while the big table was brushed, and then were piled nicely up, and the magazines and papers laid together, after which Nora stood off and viewed the effect with such satisfaction as almost to forget the smaller table. 

She was reminded of it, however, by Leila, who was flourishing a duster about as she went from one chair to another, fastening a tidy here and shaking up a cushion there, until she was ready to say, "The whole eight are done." 

"I've finished, too," said Olive, as she brushed the hearth and hung the little broom at, one side 

of the open fire 'place. "Now, we all draw again." 

Nora chose quickly this time, and went right at work when she saw the word "Mantel," hardly 

hearing Leila say "Desk," and Olive, "Lounge." 

"Well, what do you think of the game?" asked Olive, a while after, as, having left the room to put away her school-satchel, she returned and found Leila and Nora putting the finishing touches to their tasks, and rejoicing over the finding of Finland in mamma's desk. 

"Why, we think it a great success—don't we, Nora? And we see now why you didn't know the name," added Leila, laughingly. 

"Here comes mamma up the walk," announced Nora from the bay window. 

"Well, don't say anything, and see if she notices the room," suggested Leila. Mamma came to the sitting-room door, and looked in. No wonder she smiled at the picture,—the room a model of neatness, the winter's sun streaming in at the window, the fire crackling on the hearth, and three 

faces upturned for a kiss. 

"So Bridget is home," said mamma, in a tone of relief, as she glanced about the room. "I left her getting rubbers for the twins, and feared she wouldn't return till dinner-time." 

"She isn't home, mamma," said Olive, while Nora and Leila exchanged happy glances, and Nora couldn't keep from saying (though she said afterward she tried hard not to tell),— 

"We fixed it, mamma. It's Olive's game!" 

Then of course mamma had to hear all about it, and papa, too, when he came to dinner. Otherwise he might not have brought up those slips of red card-board that he did that evening, nor have seated himself in the midst of them all, and said, "Now, I propose we make a set of cards in fine style," as he proceeded to write on each the word that Olive or Leila or Nora would tell him. 

"And now, what shall we call the game?" asked papa, with pen ready to put the name on the other side of the six bright cards. 

"How would the Game of Usefulness' do?" suggested Olive. 

"Or “Daily Duty?" put in Leila; "for we've promised to play it every day." 

"Wouldn't 'Helping Hands' sound well?"  asked mamma. And they probably agreed upon that, for, when Nora went up to bed, one of her plump hands held the new cards, and the name that mamma had proposed was written on each. 

"I wonder what the prize was?" she asked Leila the last thing that night. 

"I guess it must have been mamma's smile when she looked in," said Leila. 

And was not that a prize worth trying for?  


St. Nicholas.