"Cleanse thou me from secret faults." COME, Win, hurry! You won't be back before noon!" 

Win tied on the faded blue bonnet over her brown hair, picked up her basket, and started. She was going black-berrying; and unless she found the berries plenty, they would have nothing for dessert at dinner that day. 

Win liked desserts, pies, and puddings, as well as you do; but money was scarce in her home, and the blackberries grew all along the wayside, 

"without money or price,"—"just grew," as Robbie, her brother, said; but it always seemed to Win as if God furnished them for poor people who could not afford desserts, just as he did manna to the Israelites in the desert. 

Win was a thoughtful child. She noticed everything as she walked along. The whole outside world seemed as much hers as if there was no one else alive: the pretty birds, flying so close over her head; the trees, with their shining leaves stirring with every breath; the beautiful blue sky, bearing the great, fleecy, white clouds upon its bosom; the very air she breathed, sweet, and, pure and clear, as if it had just come from God's hand; and the soft meadows, starred with white daisies and yellow buttercups and pink clover, with dainty sheep feeding here and there. 

"This is such a beautiful world," said Win aloud, as she sauntered along. "I wonder how Heaven can be any nicer. I don't believe ‘tis!" 

Sin, which so often spoils this lovely world, seemed very far away as Win spoke. But she was passing the blackberry bushes with every moment, and had not yet picked one. Was Win doing right? 

She sat down under the shade of a big tree, with wide-spreading branches, in the very midst of great, golden-hearted daisies, and lay back among them, saying :— 

"O you pretty, pretty things! How good God must be to make so many of you! Only to look pretty, and for nothing else!" 

Then she pulled off the white petals from the biggest within her reach, and said over the little rhyme,— 

"One I love, two I love," etc., so dear to the heart of schoolgirls. Then she rose, and strolled on, passing the little schoolhouse where she had spent so many hours, leaning up against its friendly side, and looking off across the hills toward home. 

"Why, it's getting late!" she said, coming at last to her senses, and looking down into her empty basket. 

"Real late, and not one picked yet! How does it happen?" And, hurrying along, she set down her basket, and began to pick with both hands at once. The sun was high over her head when she began, and the cruel thorns scratched her brown hands; for she could not stop to move the bushes gently aside. 

One caught her dress as she was hurrying away, and tore a ragged hole in it. The big basket filled slowly, for the season was growing late; and she should have culled the best from every bush as she passed. 

"Oh, dear, dear" she cried, snatching her dress away, and making the ugly rent worse as she spoke. "I wish there were more berries, or none at all!" 

Somehow, the beauty of the world and the sense of God's goodness had passed away from Win. 

She hurried homeward at last with her basket only a quarter full, to find it was long past the dinner hour. 

"No dessert today, Win, and your father was so disappointed!" said her mother, reproachfully. 

"What hindered you, child?" 

Win 'gave an evasive answer, something about the berries being scarce, and then sat down to her cold dinner, feeling out of sorts with herself and every one else. Win found out that day that the world seems better, and everything in it happier and brighter, when we are in the way of duty. 

— Well-Spring.