Kitty had constructed a new swing for her doll's entertainment; but it proved unsatisfactory, for the wooden lady slipped from her perch and landed with considerable violence upon the table, overturning an inkstand upon a picture which Walter was copying. In an instant Walter sprang to his feet, snatched up the doll, threw it into the fire, and marched out of the room, leaving Kitty in tears and the table in confusion.

In about an hour he returned, gay and sunny as ever, bringing a handsome doll to replace Kitty's loss. She was easily comforted, and was more sure than ever that Walter was the best brother in the world.  "If a fellow is quick-tempered, why, he is; I suppose that's all there is of it," said Walter, more carelessly than penitently. 

"I do get angry in a jiffy, but it's all over in a minute or two."

"Are you sure of that?" asked his grandfather gravely.

"Oh, yes; I'm not one of the sort to go sulking about over anything. I flash up quick enough, but I never bear malice."

"But the consequences can you be sure that they 'are all over in a minute or two?'  I never hear any one speak carelessly of that fault without recalling one scene in my own boyhood. I, too, was quick-tempered, Walter, and, as you say, quick over it flying into a rage one minute, and ready to laugh at my own tempest of passion the next. I held a high place in my classes, and one day spoke rather boastingly of my position and how long I had kept it; but that very afternoon, through some carelessness, I failed, and gave an answer so absurd that it was received with a burst of laughter. 

Mortified by my blunder, and vexed at having lost my place, I passed an uncomfortable afternoon; and when school closed, I walked out moodily, inclined to speak to no one, and pretending to be busily whittling.

"'Here comes the infallible! Here's the fellow that never misses!' called the teasing voice of a schoolmate; and then he mockingly repeated my absurd answer.

"With all the force of a sudden fury I threw my open knife at him. It just missed his head, and in an instant it was quivering in the tree beside him. The sight of it and of his white, startled face recalled me to my senses, and I sank down upon the ground, covering my face with my hands. The boys gathered about me kindly even Charlie, the one at whom I had aimed the blow, saying that the fault was more his own than mine. But I knew that only God's mercy had saved me from seeing my schoolmate dead at my feet, and my whole life darkened with the stain of murder.

"For weeks afterward I lived it over in horrible dreams; and to this day, Walter, ungoverned temper can never seem a light thing to me. Anger that is 'over in a minute,' may be like a spark of fire on powder, and give you cause for shame and sorrow all your days." 

S. S. Visitor