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´╗┐Title: A Sunny Little Lass
Author: Raymond, Evelyn, 1843-1910
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Sunny Little Lass" ***

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A SUNNY LITTLE LASS

by

EVELYN RAYMOND



New York
Hurst & Company
Publishers

Copyright, 1906, by
George W. Jacobs & Company

Published August, 1906

All rights reserved

Printed in U. S. A.



CONTENTS
  CHAPTER                                             PAGE
       I.  The One Room House                            9
      II.  After the Colonel's Visit                    25
     III.  In Elbow Lane                                47
      IV.  Beside Old Trinity                           59
       V.  A Desolate Awakening                         77
      VI.  The Beginning of the Search                  93
     VII.  A Guardian Angel                            111
    VIII.  With Bonny as Guide                         125
      IX.  In the Ferry-House                          143
       X.  Another Stage of the Journey                155
      XI.  A Haven of Refuge                           177
     XII.  News from the Lane                          201
    XIII.  The Wonderful Ending                        217



CHAPTER I

The One Room House


It was in "the littlest house in Ne' York" that Glory lived, with
grandpa and Bo'sn, the dog, so she, and its owner, often boasted; and
whether this were actually true or not, it certainly was so small that
no other sort of tenant than the blind captain could have bestowed
himself, his grandchild, and their few belongings in it.

A piece-of-pie shaped room, built to utilize a scant, triangular space
between two big warehouses, only a few feet wide at the front and no
width at all at the rear. Its ceiling was also its roof and from it
dangled whatever could be hung thus, while the remaining bits of
furniture swung from hooks in the walls. Whenever out of use, even the
little gas-stove was set upon a shelf in the inner angle, thereby giving
floor space sufficient for two camp-stools and a three-cornered scrap of
a table at which they ate and worked, with Bo'sn curled beneath.

This mite of a house stood at the crook of Elbow Lane, down by the
approaches to the big bridge over East River, in a street so narrow that
the sun never could shine into it; yet held so strong an odor of salt
water and a near-by fish-market, that the old sailor half fancied
himself still afloat. He couldn't see the dirt and rubbish of the Lane,
nor the pinched faces of the other dwellers in it, for a few tenements
were still left standing among the crowding warehouses, and these were
filled with people. Glory, who acted as eyes for the old man, never told
him of unpleasant things, and, indeed, scarcely saw them herself. To
her, everything was beautiful and everybody kind, and in their own tiny
home, at least, everything was scrupulously clean and shipshape.

When they had hung their hammocks back upon the wall, for such were the
only beds they had room for, and had had their breakfast of porridge,
the captain would ask: "Decks scrubbed well, mate?"

"Aye, aye, sir!" came the cheery answer, and Glory's hands, fresh from
the suds, would touch the questioner's cheek.

"Brasses polished, hawsers coiled, rations dealt?"

"Aye, aye, cap'n!" again called the child.

"Eight bells! Every man to his post!" ordered the master, and from the
ceiling a bell struck out the half-hours in the only way the sailor
would permit time to be told aboard his "ship." Then Glory whisked out
her needle and thread, found grandpa his knife and bit of wood, and the
pair fell to their tasks. His was the carving of picture frames, so
delicately and deftly that one could hardly believe him sightless; hers
the mending of old garments for her neighbors, and her labor was almost
as capable as his. It had earned for her the nickname of
"Take-a-Stitch," for, in the Lane, people were better known by their
employments than their surnames. Grandpa was "Cap'n Carver" when at his
morning work, but after midday, "Captain Singer," since then, led by his
dog Bo'sn, he sang upon the streets to earn his livelihood. In the later
hours the little girl, also, wore another title--"Goober Glory"--because
she was one of the children employed by Antonio Salvatore, the peanut
man, to sell his wares on commission.

But grandpa, Glory, and Bo'sn had the long delightful mornings at home
and together; and this day, as usual, their talk turned upon the dream
of their lives--"Sailors' Snug Harbor."

"Now, grandpa, talk. Tell how 'tis. Do it fast an' picturey-like, 'less
I never can guess how to make this piece do. It's such a little patch
an' such a awful big hole! Posy Jane gets carelesser an' carelesser all
the time. This very last week that ever was she tore this jacket again.
An' I told her, I said: 'Jane, if you don't look out you'll never wear
this coat all next winter nohow.' An' she up an' laughed, just like she
didn't mind a thing like that. An' she paid me ten whole centses, she
did. But I love her. Jane's so good to everybody, to every single body.
Ain't she, grandpa?"

"Aye, aye, deary. I cal'late she done it a purpose. She makes her money
easy, Jane does. Just sets there on the bridge-end and sells second-hand
flowers to whoever'll buy. If she had to walk the streets----"

Glory was so surprised by this last sentence that she snapped her thread
off in the wrong place and wasted a whole needleful. Until yesterday,
she had never heard her grandfather speak in any but the most contented
spirit about his lot in life. Then he had twice lamented that he "didn't
know whatever was to become o' two poor creatur's like them," and now,
again, this gay morning, he was complaining--almost complaining. Glory
didn't feel, in the least, like a "poor creatur'." She felt as "chirpy
as a sparrow bird," over in City Hall park; and, if the sun didn't shine
in the Lane, she knew it was shining in the street beyond, so what
mattered?

Vaguely disturbed, the child laid her hand on his arm and asked, "Be you
sick, grandpa?"

He answered promptly and testily, "Sick? No, nor never was in my life.
Nothin' but blind an' that's a trifle compared to sickness. What you
askin' for? Didn't I eat my breakfast clean up?"

"Ye-es, but--but afterward you--you kicked Bo'sn, an' sayin' that about
'walkin' the street' just a singin'; why, I thought you liked it. I know
the folks like to hear you. You do roll out that about the 'briny wave'
just grand. I wish you'd sing it to Bo'sn an' me right now, grandpa,
dear."

Wholly mollified and ashamed of his own ill-temper, the captain tried
the familiar tune but it died in his throat. Music was far beyond him
just then, yet he stroked the child's head tenderly, and said, "Some
other time, mate, some other time. I'm a little hoarse, maybe, or
somethin'."

"Well, then, never mind. Let's talk 'Snug Harbor.' You begin. You tell
an' I'll put in what I'm mind to; or I'll say what I guess it's like an'
you set me straight if I get crooked. 'Cause you've seen it, grandpa,
an' I never have. Not once; not yet. Bime-by---- Oh, shall I begin,
shall I, grandpa?"

The sailor sighed fit to shake the whole small tenement and nodded in
consent; so, observing nothing of his reluctance to their once favorite
subject, Glory launched forth:

"'Sailors' Snug Harbor' is the most beautifulest spot in the whole
world! It's all flowery an' grassy an' treesy. It's got fountains an'
birds an' orchestry-music forever an' ever. 'Tain't never cloudy there,
nor rainy, nor freezy, nor snowy, nor nothin' mean. Eh, grandpa? Am I
straight or crooked?"

The captain, roused as from a reverie, replied absently, "It's a
beautiful place, mate; I know that. Nobody wants for nothin' there, an'
once a man casts anchor there he's in safe haven for the rest of his
days. Oh, I ain't denyin' none of its comforts, but I wish the whole
concern'd burn to the ground or sink in the bay. I wish the man first
thought of it had died before he did."

In his anger, the blind man clasped his knife till its blade cut his
hand and Glory cried out in dismay. But he would not have her bathe the
wound and resumed his carving in silence. The little girl waited awhile,
once more fitting the small patch into the big hole of Posy Jane's
jacket; then she went on as if nothing had occurred:

"When we go there to live, me an' you, we'll have a room as big an' nice
as this an' you won't have to do a hand's turn for yourself. You an'
Bo'sn'll just set round in rockin'-chairs--I've seen 'em in the
stores--with welwet cushings on your laps--I mean you two a settin' on
the cushings, a dressed up to beat. Maybe, they'll let you order the
whole crew, yourself, into white ducks for muster at six bells, or
somethin'.

"An'," Glory continued, "there'll be me a wearin' a white frock, all new
an' never mended, an' my hair growed long an' lovely, an' me just as
purty as I wish I was, an' as everybody has to be that lives to the
'Harbor.' An' bime-by, of a Sunday, maybe, when they can spare the time,
Posy Jane an' Billy Buttons, an' Nick, the Parson, 'll come walkin' up
to the beautiful gate, an' the captain what keeps it'll write their
names in a book an' say, 'Walk right in, ladies an' gentlemens, walk
right in. You'll find Captain Simon Beck an' Miss Glorietta
Beck'--'cause I'm goin' to put that long tail to my plain 'Glory' when I
go to live there, grandpa.

"Lemme see. Where was I?" the little girl went on. "Oh, yes. The Elbow
folks had just come, an' was showed in. They was told, 'Walk right in.
You'll find your friends settin' in the front parlor on them welwet
cushings readin' stories out o' books an' chewin' candy all day long.'
An' then they'll scurce know us, Billy an' them, an' not till I laugh
an' show my teeth an' you get up an' salute will they suspicion us. An'
you'll have on gold specs an' dress-uniform an' that'll make you look
just like you could see same's other folks. Why, grandpa, darlin', I've
just thought, just this very minute that ever was, maybe, to the
'Harbor' you won't be blind any more; for true, maybe not. In such a
splendid place, with doctors settin' round doin' nothin', an' hospitals
an' all, likely they'll put somethin' in your eyes will make you see
again. O grandpa---- If!"

The old man listened silently.

"An' when--when do you think would be the soonest we might go? 'Twon't
cost much to take me an' you an' Bo'sn on the boat to Staten Island. I
know the way. Onct I went clear down to the ferry where they start from
just a purpose to see, an' we could 'most any time. Will we go 'fore
next winter, grandpa? An' yet I hate, I do hate, to leave this dear
Lane. We live so lovely in our hull house an' the folks'd miss us so an'
we'd miss the folks. Anyway, I should. You wouldn't, course, havin' so
many other old sailors all around you. An'---- Why, here's that same man
again!"

Even in Elbow Lane, where the shadows lie all day long, other and darker
shadows may fall; and such a shade now touched Glory's shoulder as she
pictured in words the charm of that blessed asylum to which the captain
and she would one day repair. He had always fixed the time to be "when
he got too old and worthless to earn his living." But that morning she
had swiftly reasoned that since he had grown cross--a new thing in her
experience--he must also have suddenly become aged and that the day of
their departure might be near at hand.

The shadow of the stranger pausing at their door cut short her rhapsody
and sent her, the table, and Bo'sn, promptly out of doors, because when
any of the sailor's old cronies called to see him, there wasn't room in
"the littlest house" for all. So, from the narrow sidewalk beyond the
door, the child listened to the talk within, not much of it being loud
enough for her to hear, and fancied, from grandpa's short, sharp replies
to his guest's questions, that he was crosser, therefore, more ill, than
ever.

Bo'sn, too, sat on his haunches beside her, closely attentive and, at
times, uttering a low, protesting growl. Both child and dog had taken a
dislike to this unknown, who was so unlike the usual visitors to the
Lane.

Glory sometimes wandered as far as Fifth Avenue, with her peanut basket,
and now confided to Bo'sn:

"He's just like them dressed-up folks on th' avenue, what goes by with
their noses in th' air, same's if they couldn't abide the smell o'
goobers, whilst all the time they're just longing to eat 'em. Big shiny
hat, clothes 'most as shiny, canes an' fixin's, an' gloves, doggie;
gloves this hot day, when a body just wants to keep their hands under
the spigot, to cool 'em.

"An'," continued Glory, "he ain't like the rest, Cap'n Gray, an' Cap'n
Wiggins, what makes grandpa laugh till he cries, swoppin' yarns. This
one 'most makes him cry without the laughin' an'---- Why, Bo'sn, Bo'sn!"

In the midst of her own chatter to the terrier, Glory had overheard a
sentence of the "shiny gentleman" which sent her to her feet, and the
table, work, and stool into the gutter, while her rosy face paled and
her wide mouth opened still more widely. The stranger was saying:

"_Of course, they'll never take in the child._ You can go to the
'Harbor' to-day, if you will, and you ought. She--oh, there are plenty
of Homes and Orphanages where they will give her shelter. She'd be far
better off than she is here, in this slum, with only a blind old man to
look after her. You come of good stock, Beck, and, with a proper chance,
the little girl might make a nice woman. Here--whew, I really can't
endure the stench of this alley any longer. We'll make it this
afternoon, captain. At three o'clock I'll send a man to take you over,
and I'll get my sister, who knows about such things, to find a place for
your grandchild. Eh? I didn't quite catch your words."

Grandpa was murmuring something under his breath about: "Slum! I knew it
was small but 'slum'--my little Glory--why, why----"

Colonel Bonnicastle interrupted without ceremony. He had put himself out
to do an old employee a service and was vexed that his efforts were so
ungratefully received. However, he was a man who always had his way and
intended to do so now; so he remarked, as if the captain had not
objected to so sudden a removal, "The man will be here at three
precisely. Have whatever traps you value put together ready. You'll not
know yourself in your new quarters. Good-morning."

With that the visitor turned to depart but Bo'sn darted between his
feet, causing him either to step about in a peculiar fashion or crush
the dog; and, with equal want of courtesy, Glory pushed him aside to
fling herself on grandpa's neck, and to shriek to the guest, "Go 'way!
Go 'way! Don't you come back to Elbow Lane! I hate you--oh, I do hate
you!"

The great man was glad to go, nor did he notice her rudeness. His
carriage was waiting in the street outside the alley, and even his
sister Laura, who spent her days working to help the poor and who had
sent him here, could expect no more of him than he had done. Neither his
visit of yesterday nor to-day seemed appreciated by that old captain who
had once so faithfully commanded the colonel's own ship.

Miss Laura had chanced to hear of the seaman's blindness and poverty,
and promptly tried to help him by having him placed in "Sailors' Snug
Harbor," of which her brother was a trustee. Nobody had told her about
Glory, nor that the "Harbor" was the subject oftenest discussed within
the "littlest house."

But other old sailors had told the captain of it, and pictured its
delights, and once a crony had even taken him to visit it. After that,
to him and his grandchild, the asylum had seemed like a wonderful
fairyland where life was one happy holiday. When at their work, they
talked of this safe "Harbor" and the little girl's imagination endowed
the place with marvelous beauties. In all their dreaming they had still
been together, without thought of possible separation, till Colonel
Bonnicastle's sentence fell with a shock upon their ears, "_They will
never take in the child_."



CHAPTER II

After the Colonel's Visit


"Don't you go an' leave me, grandpa. Grandpa, don't you dast to go!"
wailed Glory, her arms clasped so tightly about the captain's neck that
they choked him. When he loosened them, he drew her to his knee and laid
her curly head against his cheek, answering, in a broken voice, "Leave
you, deary? Not while I live. Not while you will stay with the old blind
man, who can't even see to what sort of a home he has brought his pet."

"Why, to the nicest home ever was. Can't be a nicer nowhere, not any
single where. Not even on that big avenue where such shiny people as him
live. Why, we've got a hull house to ourselves, haven't we?"

"Child, stop. Tell me exact, as you never told before. Is Elbow Lane a
'slum'?"

"'Deed I don't know, 'cause I never heard tell of a 'slum' 'fore. It's
the cutest little street ever was. Why, you can 'most reach acrost from
one side to the other. Me an' Billy has often tried. It's got the
loveliest crook in it, right here where we be; an' one side runs out one
way an' t'other toward the river. Why, grandpa, Posy Jane says
onct--onct, 'fore anybody here was livin', the Lane was a cow-path an'
the cows was drove down it to the river to drink. Maybe she's lyin'.
'Seems if she must be, 'cause now there ain't no cows nor nothin' but
milk-carts an' cans in corner stores, an' buildin's where onct she says
was grass--grass, grandpa, do you hear?"

"Yes, I hear, mate. But the folks, the neighbors. A slum, deary, I guess
a slum is only where wicked people live. I don't know, really, for we
had no such places on the broad high sea. Are our folks in the Lane
wicked, daughter?"

"Grandpa!" she cried, indignantly. "When there's such a good, good
woman, Jane's sister Meg-Laundress, what washes for us just 'cause I
mend her things. An' tailor-Jake who showed me to do a buttonhole an'
him all doubled up with coughin'; an' Billy Buttons who gives us a paper
sometimes, only neither of us can read it; an' Nick, the parson, who
helps me sort my goobers; an' Posy Jane, that's a kind o' mother to
everybody goin'. Don't the hull kerboodle of 'em treat you like you was
a prince in a storybook, as I've heard Billy tell about? Huh! Nice
folks? I should think they was. Couldn't be any nicer in the hull city.
Couldn't, for sure, an' I say so, I, Glory Beck."

"And all very poor, mate, terrible, desperate poor; an' ragged an' dirty
an' swearers, an' not fit for my pet to mix with. Never go to church nor
Sunday-school, nor----Eh, little mate?" persisted the old man,
determined to get at the facts of the case at last.

Glory was troubled. In what words could she best defend her friends and
convince her strangely anxious guardian that Elbow folks were wholly
what they should be? Since she could remember she had known no other
people, and if all were not good as she had fancied them, at least all
were good to her. With all her honest loyal heart she loved them, and
saw virtues in them which others, maybe, would not have seen. With a
gesture of perplexity, she tossed her head and clasped her hands,
demanding:

"An' what's poor? Why, I've heard you say that we're poor, too, lots o'
times. But is any of us beggars? No, siree. Is any of us thievers? No,
Grandpa Beck, not a one. An' if some is ragged or dirty, that's 'cause
they don't have clothes an' spigots handy, an' some's afraid o' takin'
cold, like the tailor man. Some of us lives two er three families in a
room, but--but that's them. Me an' you don't. We have a hull house. Why,
me an' you is sort of rich, seems if, and----It's that big shiny-hatted
man makes you talk so queer, grandpa darlin', an' I hate him. I wish
he'd stayed to his house an' not come near the Lane."

"No, no, mate, hate nobody, nobody. He meant it kind. He didn't know how
kindness might hurt us, deary. He is Colonel Bonnicastle, who owned the
ship I mastered, an' many another that sails the sea this day. He's got
a lot to do with the 'Harbor' an' never dreamed how't we'd known about
it long ago. A good ship it was an' many a voyage she made, with me
layin' dollars away out of my wage, till the sudden blindness struck me
an' I crept down here where nobody knew me to get over it. That's a long
while since, deary, and the dollars have gone, I always hopin' to get
sight again and believin' I'd done a fine thing for my orphan
grandchild, keepin' so snug a place over her head. So far, I've paid the
rent reg'lar, and we've had our rations, too. Now, mate, fetch me the
bag and count what's in it."

The little canvas bag which Glory took from the tiny wall-cupboard
seemed very light and empty, and when she had untied the string and held
it upside down not a coin fell from it. The old man listened for the
clink of silver but there was none to hear and he sighed deeply as he
asked, "Empty, Glory?"

"Empty, grandpa. Never mind, we'll soon put somethin' back in it. You
must get your throat cleared and go out early an' sing your loudest.
I'll get Toni to let me have a fifty-bagger, an' I'll sell every single
one. You might make as much as a hull quarter, you might, an' me--I'll
have a nickel. A nickel buys lots o' meal, an' we can do without milk on
our porridge quite a spell. That way we can put by somethin' toward the
rent, an' we'll be all right.

"Maybe," little Glory went on, "that old colonel don't have all to say
'bout the 'Harbor.' Maybe he don't like little girls an' that's why.
I'll get Cap'n Gray to find out an' tell. He likes 'em. He always gives
me a cent to put in the bag--if he has one. He's poor, too, though, but
he's got a daughter growed up 'at keeps him. When I get growed I'll
earn. Why, darlin' grandpa, I'll earn such a lot we can have everything
we want. I will so and I'll give you all I get. If--if so be, we don't
go to the 'Harbor' after all."

The captain stroked his darling's head and felt himself cheered by her
hopefulness. Though they were penniless just now, they would not be for
long if both set their minds to money getting; and, as for going to
"Snug Harbor" without Glory, he would never do that, never.

"Well, well, mate, we're our own masters still; and, when the colonel
sends his man for me, I'll tell him 'no,' so plain he'll understand.
'Less I may be off on my rounds, singin' to beat a premer donner. Hark!
mess-time already. There goes eight bells. What's for us, cook?"

As he spoke, the little bell, which hung from the ceiling, struck eight
tinkling notes and Glory's face clouded. There was nothing in the tiny
cupboard on the wall save a remnant of porridge from breakfast, that had
cooled and stiffened, and the empty money-bag.

"O grandpa! So soon? Why, I ought to have finished Jane's jacket and
took it to her. She'd have paid me an' I'd ha' got the loveliest chop
from the store 'round the corner. But now, you dear, you'll just have to
eat what is an' make the best of it. Next time it'll be better an'
here's your plate."

Humming a tune and making a great flourish of plate and spoon, she
placed the porridge before the captain and watched his face anxiously,
her heart sinking as she saw the distaste apparent at his first
mouthful. He was such a hungry old dear always, and so was she hungry,
though she didn't find it convenient to eat upon all such occasions.
When there happened to be enough food for but one, she was almost glad
of the sailor's blindness. If he smelled one chop cooking on the little
stove, how should he guess there weren't two? And if she made a great
clatter with knife and plate, how could he imagine she was not eating?

Up till now, Glory could always console herself with dreams of the "Snug
Harbor" and the feasts some day to be enjoyed there. Alas! The colonel's
words had changed all that. For her there would be no "Harbor," ever;
but for him, her beloved grandpa, it was still possible. A great fear
suddenly possessed her. What if the captain should get so very, very
hungry, that he would be tempted beyond resistance, and forsake her
after all! She felt the suspicion unworthy, yet it had come, and as the
blind man pushed his plate aside, unable to swallow the unpalatable
porridge, she resolved upon her first debt. Laying her hand on his she
begged, "Wait a minute, grandpa! I forgot--I mean I didn't get the milk.
I'll run round an' be back with it in a jiffy!"

"Got the pay, mate?" he called after her, but, if she heard him, she,
for once, withheld an answer.

"O Mister Grocer!" she cried, darting into the dairy shop, like a stray
blue and golden butterfly, "could you possibly lend me a cent's worth o'
milk for grandpa's dinner? I'll pay you to-night, when I get home from
peddlin', if I can. If I can't then, why the next time----"

"Say no more, Take-a-Stitch, I've a whole can turnin' sour on me an'
you're welcome to a pint on't if you'll take it. My respects to the
captain, and here's good luck to the Queen of Elbow Lane!"

Glory swept him a curtsy, flashed a radiant smile upon him and was
tempted to hug him; but she refrained from this, not knowing how such a
caress might be received. Then she thanked and thanked him till he bade
her stop, and with her tin cup in her hand sped homeward again, crying:

"Here am I, grandpa! More milk 'an you can shake a stick at, with the
store-man's respeckses an' all. A hull pint! Think o' that! An' only
just a teeny, tiny mite sour. Isn't he the nicest one to give it to us
just for nothin'? An' he's another sort of Elbow folks, though he's off
a bit around the block. Oh, this is just the loveliest world there is!
An' who'd want to go to that old 'Snug Harbor' an' leave such dear, dear
people, I sh'd like to know? Not me nor you, Cap'n Simon Beck, an' you
know it!"

Glory sat down and watched her grandsire make the best dinner he could
upon cold porridge and sour milk, her face radiant with pleasure that
she had been able so well to supply him, and almost forgetting that
horrid, all-gone feeling in her own small stomach. Never mind, a peanut
or so might come her way, if Toni Salvatore, the little Italian with the
long name, should happen to be in a good humor and fling them to her,
for well he knew that of the stock he trusted to her, not a single
goober would be extracted for her personal enjoyment; and this was why
he oftener bestowed upon her a tiny bag of the dainties than upon any
other of his small sales people.

The captain finished his meal and did not distress his darling by
admitting that it was still distasteful, then rose, slung his basket of
frames over his shoulder, took Bo'sn's leading-string, and passed out to
his afternoon's peddling and singing. But, though he had kissed her
good-bye, Glory dashed after him, begging still another and another
caress, and feeling the greatest reluctance to letting him go, yet
equally unwilling to have him stay.

"If he stays here that man will come and maybe get him, whether or no;
an' if he goes, the shiny colonel may meet him outside and take him
anyhow. If only he'd sing alongside o' my peddlin' route! But he won't.
He never will. He hates to hear me holler. He says 'little maids
shouldn't do it'; only I have to, to buy my sewin' things with;
an'----My, I clean forgot Posy Jane's jacket! I must hurry an' finish
it, then off to peanuttin'," pondered the child, and watched the blind
man making his way, so surely and safely, around the corner into the
next street, with Bo'sn walking proudly ahead, what tail he had pointing
skyward and his one good ear pricked forward, intent and listening.

The old captain in the faded uniform he still wore, and the faithful
little terrier, who guided his sightless master through the dangers of
the city streets with almost a human intelligence were to Goober Glory
the two dearest objects in the world, and for them she would do anything
and everything.

"Funny how just them few words that shiny man said has changed our hull
feelin's 'bout the 'Harbor.' Only this mornin', 'fore he come, we was
a-plannin' how lovely 'twas; an' now--now I just hate it! I'm glad
they's water 'twixt us an' that old Staten Island, an' I'm glad we
haven't ferry money nor nothin'," cried the little girl, aloud, shaking
a small fist defiantly southward toward the land of her lost dreams.
Then, singing to make herself forget how hungry she was, she hurried
into the littlest house and--shall it be told?--caught up her grandpa's
plate and licked the crumbs from it, then inverted the tin cup and let
the few drops still left in it trickle slowly down her throat; and such
was Glory's dinner.

Afterward she took out needle and thread and heigho! How the neat
stitches fairly flew into place, although to make the small patch fill
the big hole, there had to be a little pucker here and there. Never
mind, a pucker more or less wouldn't trouble happy-go-lucky Jane, who
believed little Glory to be the very cleverest child in the whole world
and a perfect marvel of neatness; for, in that particular, she had been
well trained. The old sea captain would allow no dirt anywhere, being as
well able to discover its presence by his touch as he had once been by
sight; and, oddly enough, he was as deft with his needle as with his
knife.

So, the jacket finished, Glory hurried away up the steep stairs to the
great bridge-end, received from the friendly flower-seller unstinted
praise and a ripe banana and felt her last anxiety vanish.

"A hull banana just for myself an' not for pay, dear, dear Jane? Oh, how
good you are! But you listen to me, 'cause I want to tell you somethin'.
Me an' grandpa ain't never goin' to that old 'Snug Harbor,' never,
nohow. We wouldn't be hired to. So there."

"Why--why, Take-a-Stitch! Why, be I hearin' or dreamin', I should like
to know. Not go there, when I thought you could scarce wait for the time
to come? What's up?"

"A shiny rich man from the avenue where such as him lives and what owns
the ship grandpa used to master, an' a lot more like it has so much to
do with the 'Harbor' 'at he can get anybody in it or out of it just as
he pleases. He's been twice to see grandpa an' made him all solemn an'
poor-feelin', like he ain't used to bein'. Why, he's even been cross,
truly cross, if you'll believe it!"

"Can't, hardly. Old cap'n's the jolliest soul ashore, I believe," said
Jane.

"An' if grandpa maybe goes alone, 'cause they don't take little girls,
nohow, then that colonel'd have me sent off to one o' them Homeses or
'Sylums for childern that hasn't got no real pas nor mas. Huh, needn't
tell me. I've seen 'em, time an' again, walkin' in processions, with
Sisters of Charity in wide white flappin' caps all the time scoldin'
them poor little girls for laughin' too loud or gettin' off the line or
somethin' like that. An' them with long-tailed frocks an' choky kind of
aperns an' big sunbonnets, lookin' right at my basket o' peanuts an'
never tastin' a single one. Oh, jest catch me! I'll be a newspaper boy,
first, but--but, Jane dear, do you s'pose anything--any single thing,
such as bein' terrible hungry, or not gettin' paid for frames or
singin'--could that make my grandpa go and leave me?"

For at her own breathless vivid picture of the orphanage children, as
she had seen them, the doubt concerning the captain's future actions
returned to torment her afresh.

"He might be sick, honey, or somethin' like that, but not o' free will.
Old Simon Beck'll never forsake the 'light o' his eyes,' as I've heard
him call you, time an' again."

"Don't you fret, child," continued Posy Jane. "Ain't you the 'Queen of
Elbow Lane'? Ain't all of us, round about, fond of you an' proud of you,
same's if you was a real queen, indeed? Who'd look after Mis' McGinty's
seven babies, when she goes a scrubbin' the station floors, if you
wasn't here? Who'd help the tailor with his job when the fits of
coughin' get so bad? 'Twas only a spell ago he was showin' me how't
you'd sewed in the linin' to a coat he was too sick to finish an' a
praisin' the stitches beautiful. What'd the boys do without you to sew
their rags up decent an' tend to their hurt fingers an' share your
dinner with 'em when--when you have one an' they don't?

"An' you so masterful like," went on the flower-seller, "a makin'
everybody do as you say, whether or no. If it's a scrap in a tenement,
is my Glory afraid? not a mite. In she walks, walks she, as bold as
bold, an' lays her hand on this one's shoulder an' that one's arm an'
makes 'em quit fightin'. Many's the job you've saved the police, Glory
Beck, an' that very officer yonder was sayin' only yesterday how't he'd
rather have you on his beat than another cop, no matter how smart he
might be. He says, says he, 'That little girl can do more to keep the
peace in the Lane 'an the best man on the force,' says he. 'It's prime
wonderful how she manages it.' An' I up an' tells him nothin' wonderful
'bout it at all.' It's 'cause everybody loves you, little Glory, an' is
ashamed not to be just as good as they know you think they be.

"Don't you fret, child," Jane went on, "Elbow folks won't let you go,
nor'll the cap'n leave you, and if bad come to worst them asylums are
fine. The Sisters is all good an' sweet, givin' their lives to them 'at
needs. Don't you get notions, Glory Beck, an' judge folks 'fore you know
'em. If them orphans gets scolded now an' then it does 'em good. They
ought to be. So'd you ought, if you don't get off to your peddlin'. It's
long past your time. Here's a nickel for the jacket an' you put it safe
by 'fore you start out. May as well let me pin one o' these carnations
on you, too. They ain't sellin' so fast an' 'twould look purty on your
blue frock. Blue an' white an' yeller--frock an' flower an' curly
head--they compare right good."

Ere Jane's long gossip was ended, her favorite's fears were wholly
banished. With a hug for thanks and farewell, Glory was off and away,
and the tired eyes of the toilers in the Lane brightened as she flitted
past their dingy windows, waving a hand to this one and that and smiling
upon all. To put her earnings away in the canvas bag and catch up her
flat, well-mended basket, took but a minute, and, singing as she went,
the busy child sped around to that block where Antonio had his stand.

That day the trade in goobers had been slack and other of his small
employees had found the peanut-man a trifle cross; but, when Glory's
shining head and merry face came into view, his own face cleared and he
gave her a friendly welcome.

"A fifty-bagger this time, dear Toni! I've got to get a heap of money
after this for grandpa!"

"Alla-right, I fill him," returned the vender; and, having carefully
packed the fifty small packets in the shallow basket, he helped her to
poise it on her head, as he had long since taught her his own
countrywomen did. This was a fine thing for the growing child and gave
her a firm erectness not common to young wage-earners. She was very
proud of this accomplishment, as was her teacher, Antonio, and had more
than once outstripped Billy Buttons in a race, still supporting her
burden.

"Sell every bag, little one, and come back to me. I, Antonio Salvatore
have secret, mystery. That will I tell when basket empty. Secret bring
us both to riches, indeed!"

Crafty Antonio! Well he knew that the little girl's curiosity was great,
and had led her into more than one scrape, and that his promise to
impart a secret would make her more eager to sell her stock than the
small money payment she would earn by doing so.

Glory clasped her hands and opened her brown eyes more widely,
entreating, "Now, Toni, dear Tonio, tell first and sell afterward.
Please, please."

"No, not so, little one. Sell first, then I tell. If you sell not----"
Antonio shrugged his shoulders in a way that meant no sale, no secret.
So, already much belated, Goober Glory--as she had now become--was
forced to depart to her task, though she turned about once or twice to
wave farewell to her employer and to smile upon him, but she meant to
make the greatest haste, for, of all delightful things, a secret was
best.



CHAPTER III

In Elbow Lane


"Pea--nuts! Cent-a-b-a-a-g!"

This cry shrilled, almost yelled from the sidewalk upon which she was
descending from her carriage so startled Miss Bonnicastle that she
tripped and fell. In falling, she landed plump in a basket of the nuts
and scattered them broadcast.

"Look out there! What you doin'?" indignantly demanded Glory, while a
crowd of street urchins gathered to enjoy a feast.

"Help me up, little girl; never mind the nuts," begged the lady,
extending her gloved hand.

"You don't mind 'em, 'course. They ain't yours!" retorted the dismayed
child, yet seizing the hand with such vigor that she split the glove and
brought its owner to an upright position with more precision than grace.
Then, paying no further heed to the stranger, she began a boy-to-boy
assault upon the purloiners of her wares; and this, in turn, started
such an uproar of shrieks and gibes and laughter that poor Miss Laura's
nerves gave way entirely. Clutching Glory's shoulder, she commanded,
"Stop it, little girl, stop it, right away! You deafen me."

The effect was instant. In astonished silence, the lads ceased
struggling and stared at this unknown lady who had dared lay hands on
the little "Queen of Elbow Lane." Wild and rough though they were, they
rarely interfered with the child, and there was more amazement than
anger in Glory's own gaze as it swept Miss Bonnicastle from head to
foot. The keen scrutiny made the lady a trifle uncomfortable and,
realizing that she had done an unusual thing, she hastened to apologize,
saying, "Beg pardon, little girl, I should not have done that, only the
noise was so frightful and----"

"Ho, that?" interrupted the peanut vender, with fine scorn. "Guess you
ain't used to Elbow boys. That was nothin'. They was only funnin', they
was. If they'd been fightin' reg'lar--my, s'pose you'd a fell down
again, s'pose."

Wasting no further time upon the stranger, Glory picked up the basket
and examined it, her expression becoming very downcast; and, seeing
this, the boy who had been fiercest in the scramble stepped closer and
asked, "Is it clean smashed, Glory?"

"Clean," she answered, sadly.

"How much'll he dock yer?" asked another lad, taking the damaged article
into his own hands. "Pshaw, hadn't no handle, nohow. Half the bottom was
tore an' patched with a rag. One side's all lopped over, too. Say, if he
docks yer a cent, he's a mean old Dago!"

"Well, ain't he a Dago, Billy Buttons? An' I put in that patch myself. I
sewed it a hour, with strings out the garbage boxes, a hull hour. Hi,
there! you leave them goobers be!" cried the girl, swooping down upon
the few youngsters who had returned to pilfer the scattered nuts and, at
once, the two larger boys came to her aid.

"We'll help yer, Glory. An' me an' Nick'll give ye a nickel a-piece, fer
new bags, won't we, Nick?" comforted Billy. But, receiving no reply from
his partner in the news trade, he looked up to learn the reason. Nick
was busily picking up nuts and replacing them in such bags as remained
unbroken but he wasn't eager to part with his money. Nickels were not
plentiful after one's food was paid for, and though lodgings cost
nothing, being any odd corner of floor or pavement adjoining the
press-rooms whence he obtained his papers, there were other things he
craved. It would have been easy to promise but there was a code in Elbow
Lane which enforced the keeping of promises. If one broke one's word
one's head was, also, promptly broken. There was danger of this even now
and there, because Billy's foot came swiftly up to encourage his mate's
generosity.

However, the kick was dexterously intercepted by Glory; Master Buttons
was thrown upon his back, and Nick escaped both hurt and promise. With a
burst of laughter all three fell to work gathering up the nuts and the
small peddler's face was as gay as ever, as she cried:

"Say, boys, 'tain't nigh so bad. Ain't more'n half of 'em busted. I
guess the grocer-man'll trust me to that many--he's real good-natured
to-day. His jumper's tore, too, so maybe he'll let me work it out."
Then, perceiving a peculiar action on the part of the too helpful Billy,
she sternly demanded, "What you doin' there, puttin' in them shells
that's been all chewed?"

"Huh! That's all right. I jams 'em down in the bottom. They don't show
an' fills up faster'n th' others. Gotter make yer losin's good, hain't
yer?"

"Yes, Billy Buttons, I have, but I ain't goin' to make 'em cheatin'
anybody. What'd grandpa think or say to that? Now you can just empty out
every single goober shell you've put in an' fill up square. I'll save
them shells by theirselves, so's to have 'em ready next time you
yourself want to buy off me."

The beautiful justice of this promise so impressed the newsboy that he
turned a somersault, whereby more peanuts were crushed and he earned a
fresh reproof.

Miss Bonnicastle had remained an amused observer of the whole scene,
though the actors in it had apparently forgotten her presence. To remind
them of this, she inquired, "Children, will you please tell me how much
your peanuts were worth?"

"Cent a bag!" promptly returned Glory, selecting the best looking packet
and holding it toward this possible customer.

"All of them, I mean. I wish to pay you for all of them," explained the
lady, opening her purse.

Too surprised to speak for herself, Nick answered for the vender, "They
was fifty bags, that's fifty cents, an' five fer commish. If it'd been a
hunderd, 'twould ha' been a dime. Glory, she's the best seller Toni
Salvatore's got, an' he often chucks her in a bag fer herself, besides.
Fifty-five'd be fair, eh, Take-a-Stitch?"

Glancing at Glory's sunny face, Miss Laura did not wonder at the child's
success. Almost anybody would buy from her for the sake of bringing
forth one of those flashing smiles, but the girl had now found her own
voice and indignantly cried:

"Oh, parson, if you ain't the cheat, I never! Chargin' money for goobers
what's smashed! Think you'll get a lot for yourself, don't you? Well,
you won't an' you needn't look to, so there."

Thus having rebuked her too zealous champion Glory explained to Miss
Bonnicastle that "they couldn't be more'n twenty-five good bags left.
They belongs to Antonio Salvatore, the peanut man. I was goin' to buy
needles an' thread with part, needin' needles most, but no matter.
Better luck next time. Do you really want a bag, lady?"

Again the tiny packet was extended persuasively, the small peddler being
most anxious to make a sale although her honesty forbade her accepting
payment for goods unsold.

But Miss Laura scarcely saw the paper bag, for she was looking with so
much interest upon the child's own face. Such a gay, helpful, hopeful
small face it was! Beneath a tangle of yellow curls, the brown eyes
looked forth so trustfully, and the wide mouth parted in almost
continual laughter over white and well-kept teeth. Then the white
carnation pinned to the faded, but clean, blue frock, gave a touch of
daintiness. Altogether, this seemed a charming little person to be found
in such a locality, where, commonly, the people were poor and ill-fed,
and looked sad rather than glad. The lady's surprise was expressed in
her question, "Little girl, where do you live? How came you in this
neighborhood?"

"Why--I belong here, 'course. Me an' grandpa live in the littlest house
in Ne' York. Me an' him we live together, all by our two selves, an' we
have the nicest times there is. But--but, did you want a bag?" she
finished, pleadingly. Time was passing and she was too busy to waste
more. She wondered, too, why anybody so rich as to ride in a carriage
should tarry thus long in Elbow Lane, though, sometimes, people did get
astray and turn into the Lane on their way to cross the big bridge.

"Yes, little Glory, as I heard them call you, I meant just what I said.
I wish to buy all your stock as well as pay for a new basket. Will you
please invite your friends to share the feast with you? I'm sorry I
caused you so much trouble and here, the little boy suggested fifty-five
cents, suppose we make it a dollar? Will that be wholly satisfactory?"

The face of Take-a-Stitch was again a study in its perplexity. The
temptation to take the proffered money was great, but a sense of
justice was even greater. After a pause, she said with complete
decision, "It must be this way; you give me the fifty cents for Toni
Salvatore--that'll be hisn. You take the goobers an' give 'em to who you
want. I won't take no pay for the basket, 'cause I can mend it again;
nor for myself, 'cause I hain't earned it. I hain't hollered scarce any
to sell such a lot. That's fair. Will I put 'em in your carriage, lady?"

"No, no! Oh, dear! No, indeed. Call your mates and divide among them as
you choose. Then--I wonder why my man doesn't come back. The coachman
can't leave the horses, and the footman seems to have lost himself
looking for a number it should be easy to find."

The children had gathered about Glory who was now beaming with delight
at the chance to bestow a treat upon her mates as well as enjoy one
herself. Indeed, her hunger made her begin to crack the goobers with her
strong white teeth and to swallow the kernels, skins and all. But again
Miss Bonnicastle touched her shoulder, though this time most gently,
asking:

"If this is Elbow Lane, and you live in or near it, can you show me the
way to the house of Captain Simon Beck, an old blind man?"

Glory gasped and dropped her basket. All the rosy color forsook her face
and fear usurped its gaiety. For a time, she stared at the handsome old
lady in terror, then demanded, brokenly, "Be--you--from--'Snug Harbor'?"

It was now the stranger's turn to stare. Wondering why the child had
asked such a question and seemed so startled, she answered, "In a way,
both yes and no. I am interested in 'Snug Harbor,' and have come to find
an old, blind sea captain whom my brother employed, in order to take
him, myself, to that comfortable home. Why do you ask?"

Then Glory fled, but she turned once to shake a warning fist toward Nick
and Billy, who instantly understood her silent message and glared
defiantly upon the lady who had just given them an unexpected feast.



CHAPTER IV

Beside Old Trinity


"Why, what is the matter? Why did she run away?" asked the astonished
stranger.

Billy giggled and punched Nick who was now apportioning the peanuts
among the children he had whistled to his side, but neither lad replied.

This vexed Miss Bonnicastle who had come to the Lane in small hope of
influencing the old captain to do as her brother had wished him to do
and to remove, at once, to the comfortable "Harbor" across the bay. She
had undertaken the task at her brother's request; and also at his
desire, had driven thither in the carriage, in order to carry the blind
man away with her, without the difficulty of getting him in and out of
street cars and ferry boat. It would greatly simplify matters if he
would just step into the vehicle at his own humble door and step out of
it again at the entrance to his new home.

But the Lane had proved even narrower and dirtier than she had expected.
She was afraid that having once driven into it the coachman would not be
able to drive out again, and the odors of river and market, which the
blind seaman found so delightful, made her ill. She had deprived herself
of her accustomed afternoon nap; she had sprained her ankle in falling;
her footman had been gone much longer than she expected, searching for
the captain's house; and though she had been amused by the little scene
among the alley children which had been abruptly ended by Glory's
flight, she was now extremely anxious to finish her errand and be gone.

In order to rest her aching ankle, she stepped back into the carriage
and from thence called to Billy, at the same time holding up to view a
quarter dollar.

Master Buttons did not hesitate. He was glad that Nick happened to be
looking another way and did not see the shining coin which he meant to
have for himself, if he could get it without disloyalty to Glory.
Hurrying forward, he pulled off his ragged cap and inquired, "Did you
want me, ma'am?"

"Yes, little boy. What is your name?"

"Billy."

"What else? Your surname?" continued the questioner.

"Eh? What? Oh--I guess 'Buttons,' 'cause onct I was a messenger boy.
That's what gimme these clo'es, but I quit."

He began to fear there was no money in this job, after all, for the hand
which had displayed the silver piece now rested in the lady's lap; and,
watching the peanut feasters, he felt himself defrauded of his own
rightful share. He stood first upon one bare foot then upon the other,
and, with affectation of great haste, pulled a damaged little watch from
his blouse and examined it critically. The watch had been found in a
refuse heap, and even in its best days had been incapable of keeping
time, yet its possession by Billy Buttons made him the envy of his
mates.

He did not see the amused smile with which the lady regarded him, and
though disappointed by her next question it was, after all, the very one
he had anticipated.

"Billy Buttons, will you earn a quarter by showing me the way to where
Captain Beck lives? that is, if you know it."

"Oh, I knows it all right, but I can't show it."

"Can't? Why not? Is it too far?"

Billy thought he had never heard anybody ask so many questions in so
short a time and was on the point of saying so, impertinently, yet found
it not worth while. Instead, he remarked, "I ain't sayin' if it's fur er
near, but I guess I better be goin' down to th' office now an' see if
they's a extry out. Might be a fire, er murder, er somethin' doin'."

With that courtesy which even the gamins of the streets unconsciously
acquire from their betters, Billy pulled off his cap again and moved
away. But he was not to escape so easily. Miss Laura's hand clasped his
soiled sleeve and forth came another question, "Billy, is that little
girl your sister?"

"Hey? No such luck fer Buttons. She ain't nobody's sister, she ain't.
She just belongs to the hull Lane, Glory does. Huh! Take-a-Stitch my
sister? Wished she was. She's only cap'n---- Shucks!" Having so nearly
betrayed himself, Billy broke from the restraining hand and disappeared.

Miss Bonnicastle sighed and leaned back upon her cushions, feeling that
something evil must have befallen her faithful footman to keep him so
long away, and almost deciding to give up this apparently hopeless
quest. Then she discovered that Nick had drawn near. Possibly, he would
act as her guide, even if his mate had refused. She again held up the
quarter and beckoned the lad.

He responded promptly, his eyes glittering with greed as they fixed upon
the coin--not to be removed from it till it was in his own possession,
no matter how many questions were asked. These began at once, in a
crisp, imperative tone.

"Little boy, tell me your name."

"Nick, the parson."

"Indeed? Nick Parsons, I suppose. Is it?"

"No'm. I'm Nicky Dodd. I got a father. He's Dodd. So be I, 'course. But
the fellers stuck it onto me 'cause--'cause onct I went to a
Sunday-school."

"Don't you go now, Nick Dodd?"

"No, indeedy! Ketch me!" laughed the boy, watching the gleam of the
money his questioner held so lightly between her gloved fingers. What if
she should drop it! If some other child should see it fall and seize it
before he could! "Was--was you a-wantin' somethin' of me, lady?"

"Yes, I was. Will you show me the way to Captain Beck's house?"

Now Nick loved Glory as well as Billy did and he had as fully understood
from her warning gesture that he was to give this stranger no
information concerning her or her grandfather, but, alas! he also loved
money, and he so rarely had it. Just then, too, the "Biggest Show On
Earth" was up at Madison Square Garden and, if Nick had not remembered
that enticing circus, he might not have betrayed his friend. Yet those
wonderful trained animals----Ah!

"Fer that quarter? Ye-es, ma'am, I--I--will," stammered the lad.

So Miss Laura again left her carriage and walked the narrow, dirty
length of the Lane, past the sharp bend which gave it its name of
"Elbow," far down among the warehouses and wharves crowding the approach
to the bridge. As she walked, she still asked questions and found that
all the dwellers in the Lane were better known by their employments than
their real names, how that Glory's deftness with a needle had made her
"Take-a-Stitch," and anybody might guess why Jane was called "Posy" or
Captain Beck had become the "Singer." Besides, she discovered that this
ragged newsboy was as fond and proud of his "Lane" as she was of her
avenue, and that if she had any pity to bestow, she needn't waste it on
him or his mates and that----

"There 'tis! The littlest house in Ne' York," concluded Nick, proudly
pointing forward, seizing the coin she held so carelessly, and
vanishing.

"Well! have I become a scarecrow that all these children desert me so
suddenly!" exclaimed Miss Laura, looking helplessly about and lifting
her skirts the higher to avoid the dirty suds which somebody was
emptying into the gutter.

"Ma'am?" asked the woman with the tub, dropping it and with arms akimbo
staring amazedly at the stranger. How had such a fine madam come there?
"Was you a-lookin' for somebody, ma'am?"

Miss Laura turned her sweet old face toward the other, Meg-Laundress,
and answered, "Yes, for one, Captain Simon Beck. A boy told me this tiny
place was where he lives--though it doesn't seem possible any one could
really live in so small a room--and it's empty now, anyway. Do you know
where he is?"

"Off a-singin' likely. He mostly is, this time o' day."

"Oh, I'm so sorry. I have come----" Miss Bonnicastle checked herself,
unwilling to disclose to this rough stranger affairs in which she had no
concern. "I was told he had a grandchild living with him. Is she
anywhere about?"

"Glory? She's off peddlin' her goobers, I s'pose. I can give 'em any
word that's left," said Meg, with friendly interest.

"Glory? Is her name Glory? Is it she I saw with a basket of peanuts, a
yellow haired, bright-faced little girl, in a blue frock?" cried the
lady, eagerly, and recalling the child's inquiry about "Snug Harbor"
felt that she should have guessed as much even then.

"Sure. The purtiest little creatur' goin'; or, if not so purty, so
good-natured an' lovin'. Why, she's all the sunlight we gets in the
Lane, Glory is, an', havin' her, some on us don't 'pear to need no more.
Makes all on us do her say-so but always fer our own betterment. In an'
out, up an' down, lendin' a hand or settin' a stitch or tendin' a baby,
all in the day's work, an' queenin' it over the hull lot, that's our
'Goober Glory,' bless her! And evil to anybody would harm the child, say
I! Though who'd do ill to her? Is't a bit of word you'd be after
leavin', ma'am?" said Meg, with both kindness and curiosity.

"Thank you. If you see either of them, will you say that Miss
Bonnicastle, Colonel Bonnicastle's sister, will be here again in the
morning, unless it storms, upon important business? Ask them to wait
here for me, please. I should not like to make a second useless trip.
Good-afternoon."

As the gentlewoman turned and made her way back along the alley toward
her distant carriage, which could come no nearer to her because the Lane
was so narrow, Meg watched and admired her, reflecting with some pride:

"She's the real stuff, that old lady is. Treated me polite 's if I was
the same sort she is. I wonder what's doin' 'twixt her an' the Becks?
Well, I'll find out afore I sleep, or my name ain't Meg-Laundress, an' I
say it. Guess Jane'll open her eyes when I up an' tells her how one them
grand folks she sees crossin' the bridge so constant has got astray in
the Lane an' come a visitin', actilly a visitin', one our own folks. But
then, I always knowed, we Elbowers was a touch above some, an' now
she'll know it, too.

"I do wish the cap'n would come in," continued Meg. "But 'twill be a
long spell yet afore he does. An', my land! I must sure remind him to
put on his other shirt in the mornin'. He don't never get no sile on
him, the cap'n don't, yet when grand carriage folks comes a callin',
it's a time for the best or nothin'."

By a roundabout way, Glory had hurried, breathlessly, to her tiny home,
fearing that by some mischance grandpa might have returned to it, and
that this fresh advocate of the "Harbor" would find him there. She was
such a pretty old lady, she had such a different manner from that of the
Lane women, she might persuade the gallant old captain to accompany her
to the asylum, whether or no. If he were at home, Glory meant to coax
him elsewhere; or, if he would not go, then she would remain and use her
own influence against that of this dangerous stranger.

One glance showed her that all was yet safe. The tiny room was empty and
neither "Grandpa!" nor "Bo'sn!" answered to her call.

"I hain't got no goobers to sell now an' them boys won't show her a step
of the way an' she couldn't get here so quick all herself without bein'
showed so I may as well rest a minute," said Glory to herself, and sat
down on the narrow threshold to get cool and to decide upon what she
should do.

But she could not sit still. A terrible feeling that these strangers
were determined to separate her from her grandfather made her too
restless. It was natural, she thought, that they should wish to do him a
kindness, such as providing him with a fine home for life. He was a
grown-up man and a very clever one, while she was only a little girl, of
no account whatever. They didn't care about her, 'course, but him----

"I must go find him! I must keep him away, clear, clear away from the
Lane till it gets as dark as dark. Then we can come home an' sleep. Such
as them don't come here o' nights," cried Glory, springing up. "An' I'm
glad grandpa is blind. If he went right close by them two he couldn't
see 'em, an' she, she, anyway, don't know him. I wonder where best to
look first. I s'pose Broadway, 'cause that's where he gets the most
money. They's such a heap of folks on that wide street an' it's so nice
to look at."

Having decided her route, Glory was off and away. She dared not think
about Toni Salvatore and his anger. She did not see how she would ever
be able to repay him for his loss and she could remember nothing at all
about the money Miss Bonnicastle had offered her. If Billy or Nick had
taken it, they would give it to her, of course; but if not--well, that
was a small matter compared to the spiriting away of her grandfather and
she must find him and hold him fast.

"Grandpa don't go above the City Hall, 'cause Bo'sn don't know the way
so well. Up fur's there an' down to Trinity; that's the 'tack he sails'
an' there I'll seek him. I wish one them boys was here to help me look,
though if he was a-singin' I shouldn't need nobody."

So thinking and peering anxiously into the midst of every crowd and
listening with keen intentness, the little girl threaded her way to the
northern limit of the captain's accustomed "beat." But there was no sign
nor sound of him upon the eastern side of the thoroughfare, and,
crossing to the more crowded western side, she crept southward, step by
step, scanning every face she passed and looking into every doorway, for
in such places the blind singer sometimes took his station, to avoid the
jostling of the passers-by.

"Maybe I'll have to go 'way down to the Battery, 'cause he does, often.
Though 'seems he couldn't hardly got there yet."

Now Glory was but a little girl, and, in watching the shifting scenes of
the busy street, she soon forgot her first anxiety and became absorbed
in what was around her. And when she had walked as far southward as old
Trinity, there were the lovely chimes ringing and, as always, a mighty
crowd had paused to listen to them. Glory loved the chimes, and so did
grandpa; and it was their habit on every festival when they were to be
rung to come and hear them. Always the child was so moved by these
exquisite peals that when they ceased she felt as if she had been in
another world, and it was so now. To hear every tone better, she had
clasped her hands and closed her eyes and uplifted her rapt face; and so
standing upon the very curb, she was rudely roused by a commotion in the
crowd about her.

There was the tramping of horses' feet, the shouts of the police, the
"Ahs!" and "Ohs!" of pity which betokened some accident.

"Out the way, child! You'll be crushed in this jam! Keep back there,
people! Keep back!"

Glory made herself as small as she could and shrank aside. Then
curiosity sent her forward again to see and listen.

"An old man!"

"Looks as if he were blind!"

"Back those horses! Make way--the ambulance--make way!"

"All over with that poor fellow! A pity, a pity!"

These exclamations of the onlookers and the orders of the policemen
mingled in one harsh clamor, yet leaving distinct upon Glory's hearing
the words, "An old blind man."

"Oh, how sorry grandpa will be to know that!" thought the child, and,
with eagerness to learn every detail of the sad affair, stooped and
wormed her way beneath elbows and between legs till she had come to the
very roadbed down which an ambulance was dashing at highest speed, its
clanging bell warning everything from its path. Right before the curb
where she stood it paused, uniformed men sprang to the pavement and,
with haste that was still reverent and tender, laid the injured man upon
the stretcher; then off and away again, and the little girl had caught
but the faintest glimpse of a gray head and faded blue garments, yet
thought:

"Might be another old captain, it might. Won't grandpa be sorry--if I
tell him. Maybe I shan't, though I must hurry up an' find him, 'cause
seein' that makes me feel dreadful lonesome, 'seems if. Oh! I do wish
nobody ever need get hurted or terrible poor, or anything not nice!
And--oh, oh, there's that very lady I run away from, what come to the
Lane! Drivin' down in her very carriage and if----She mustn't see me!
She must not--'less she's got him in there with her a'ready! What if!"

Miss Bonnicastle's laudau was, indeed, being carefully driven through
the jam of wagons which had stopped to give the ambulance room and she
was anxiously watching the inch-by-inch progress of her own conveyance.
Yet with an expression of far keener anxiety, Goober Glory recklessly
darted into the very tangle of wheels and animals, crying aloud:

"She's goin' straight down toward that 'Harbor' ferry! Like's not she's
heard him singin' somewhere an' coaxed him to get in there with her. He
might be th' other side--where I can't see--an' I must find out--I must!
For----_What if!_"

She reached the carriage steps, sprang upon them, by one glance
satisfying herself that the lady was alone, turned to retreat, but felt
herself falling.



CHAPTER V

A Desolate Awakening


"You little dunce! Don't you know better than do that?"

An indignant shake accompanied these words, with which the big policeman
set Glory down upon the sidewalk after having rescued her from imminent
death.

In the instant of her slipping from the carriage step, the child had
realized her own peril and would most certainly have been trampled under
the crowding, iron-shod hoofs, had not the officer been on the very
spot, trying to prevent accidents, and to keep clear from each other the
two lines of vehicles, one moving north, the other south.

Glory was so rejoiced to find herself free and unhurt that she minded
neither the shaking nor the term "dunce," but instantly caught the
rescuer's hand and kissed it rapturously, crying, "Oh, thank you, thank
you! Grandpa would have felt so bad if I'd been hurt like that poor
blind man. Oh, I wish I could do somethin' for you, you dear, splendid
p'liceman!"

"Well, you can. You can remember that a young one's place is at home,
not in the middle of the street. There, that will do. Be off with you
and never cut up such a caper again, long's you live. It would have been
'all day' with you, if I hadn't been just where I was, and two accidents
within five minutes is more'n I bargain for. Be off!"

Releasing his hand, he returned to his task among the wagons but carried
with him a pleasant memory of a smile that was so grateful and so gay;
while Glory, subdued by what she had gone through, slowly resumed her
search for her missing grandfather. Away down to the South ferry she
paced, looking and listening everywhere. Then back again on the other
side of the long street till she had reached the point nearest to Elbow
Lane and still no sign of a blue-coated old man or a little dog with a
stub of a tail and but one good ear.

"Well, it's nigh night now, an' he'll be comin' home. Most the folks
what gives him pennies or buys his frames has left Broadway so I might
as well go myself. Come to think, I guess I better not tell grandpa
'bout that poor hurted man. Might make him 'fraid to go round himself
with nobody 'cept Bo'sn to take care of him an' him a dog. An' oh, dear!
Whatever shall I do for sewin' things, now I didn't get no goober money?
Well, anyway, there's that nickel o' Jane's will buy a chop for his
supper an' I best hurry get it ready. He's always so terrible hungry
when he comes off his 'beat.' An' me--why, I b'lieve I hain't eat a
thing to-day, save my breakfast porridge an' Jane's banana, an' two er
three goobers. Never mind, likely grandpa'll bring in somethin' an' I
can eat to-morrow."

Back to the littlest house she ran, singing to forget her appetite, and
whisked out the key of the tiny door from its hiding-place beneath the
worn threshold, yet wondering a little that grandpa should not already
have arrived.

"Never mind, I'll have everything done 'fore. Then when he does get here
all he'll have to do'll be to eat an' go to bed," she said to herself.
Glory was such a little chatterbox that when she had no other listener
she made one of herself.

The corner-grocer was just taking his own supper of bread and herrings
on the rear end of his small counter when she entered, demanding, "The
very best an' biggest chop you've got for a nickel, Mister Grocer; or if
you could make it a four-center an' leave me a cent's worth o' bread to
go along it, 't would be tastier for grandpa."

"Sure enough, queeny, sure enough. 'Pears like I brought myself fortune
when I give you that pint o' milk. I've had a reg'lar string o'
customers sence, I have. An' here, what you lookin' so sharp at that one
chop for? Didn't you know I was goin' to make it two, an' loaf
accordin'?"

Glory swallowed fast. This was almost too tempting for resistance, but
she had been trained to a horror of debt and had resolved upon that
slight one, earlier in the day, only because she could not see her
grandfather distressed. Her own distress----Huh! That was an indifferent
matter.

The corner groceries of the poor are also their meat markets, bakeries,
and dairies, and there was so much in the crowded little shop that was
alluring that the child forced herself to look diligently out of the
door into the alley lest she should be untrue to her training. In a
brief time the shopman called, "All ready, Take-a-Stitch! Here's your
parcel."

Glory faced about and gasped. That was such a very big parcel toward
which he pointed that she felt he had made a mistake and so reminded
him, "Guess that ain't mine, that ain't. One chop an' a small roll
'twas. That must be Mis' Dodd's, 'cause she's got nine mouths to feed,
savin' Nick's 'at he feeds himself."

"Not so, neighbor. It's yourn. The hull o' it. They's only a loaf, a
trifle stale--one them three-centers, kind of mouldy on the corners
where't can be cut off--an' two the finest chops you ever set your
little white teeth into. They're all yourn."

The grocer enjoyed doing this kindness as heartily as she enjoyed
receiving it, although he was so thrifty that he made his own meal from
equally stale bread and some unsalable dried fish. But, after a
momentary rapture at the prospect of such delicious food, Glory's too
active conscience interfered, making her say, with a regret almost
beyond expression, "I mustn't, I mustn't. Grandpa wouldn't like it,
'cause he says 'always pay's you go or else don't go,' an' that nickel's
all I've got."

"No, 'tisn't. Not by a reckonin'. You've got the nimblest pair o' hands
I know an' I've got the shabbiest coat. I'm fair ashamed to wear it to
market, yet I ain't a man 'shamed of trifles. If you'll put them hands
of yourn and that coat o' mine together, I'd be like to credit you a
quarter, an' you find the patches."

"A quarter! A hull, endurin' quarter of a dollar! You darlin' old
grocer-man. 'Course I will, only I--I'm nigh out o' thread, but I've got
a power o' patches. I've picked 'em out the ash-boxes an' washed 'em
beautiful. An' they're hung right on our own ceiling in the cutest
little bundle ever was--an'--I love you, I love you; Give me the coat,
quick, right now, so's I can run an' patch it, an' you see if I don't do
the best job ever!"

"Out of thread, be you? Well, here, take this fine spool o' black linen
an' a needle to fit. A workman has to have his tools, don't he? I
couldn't keep store if I didn't have things to sell, could I? Now, be
off with you, an' my good word to the cap'n."

There wasn't a happier child in all the great city than little
Take-a-Stitch as she fairly flew homeward to prepare the most delicious
supper there had been in the littlest house for many a day. Down came
the tiny gas stove from its shelf, out popped a small frying pan from
some hidden cubby and into it went a dash of salt and the two big chops.
Oh, how delightful was their odor, and how Glory's mouth did water at
thought of tasting! But that was not to be till grandpa came. She hoped
that would be at once, before they cooled; for the burning of gas, their
only fuel, was managed with strictest economy. It would seem a wasteful
sin to light the stove again to reheat the chops, as she would have to
do if the captain was not on hand soon.

Alas! they were cooked to the utmost limit of that brown crispness which
the seaman liked, and poor Glory had turned faint at the delayed
enjoyment of her own supper, when she felt she must turn out the blaze
or ruin all. Covering the pan to keep its contents hot as long as might
be, she sat down on the threshold to wait; and, presently, was asleep.

It had grown quite dark before the touch of a cold wet nose upon the
palm of her hand aroused her, and there was Bo'sn, rubbing his side
against her knee and uttering a dismal sort of sound that was neither
bark nor howl, but a cross between both and full of painful meaning.

"Bo'sn! You? Then grandpa--oh, grandpa, darlin', darlin', why didn't you
wake me? I've got the nicest supper----Smell?"

With that she sprang up and darted within, over the few feet of space
there was, but nobody was in sight; then out again, to call the captain
from some spot where he had doubtless paused to exchange a bit of
neighborly gossip. To him the night was the same as the day, the child
remembered, and though it wasn't often he overstayed his regular hour,
or forgot his meal-time, he might have done so now. Oh, yes, he might
easily have done so, she assured herself. But why should Bo'sn forsake
his master and come home alone? He had never done that before, never.
And why, oh, why, did he make that strange wailing noise? He frightened
her and must stop it.

"Quiet, boy, quiet!" she ordered, clasping the animal's head so that he
was forced to look up into her face. "Quiet, and tell me--where is
grandpa? Where did you leave grandpa?"

Of course, he could not answer, save by ceasing to whine and by gazing
at her with his loving brown eyes as if they must tell for him that
which he had seen.

Then, seized by an overwhelming anxiety, which she would not permit
herself to put into a definite fear, she shook the dog impatiently and
started down the Lane. It was full of shadows now, which the one gas
street lamp deepened rather than dispersed, and she did not see a woman
approaching until she had run against her. Then she looked up and
exclaimed, "Oh, Posy Jane! You just gettin' home? Have you seen my
grandpa?"

"The cap'n? Bless you, child, how should I, seein' he don't sing on the
bridge. Ain't he come in yet?"

"No, and oh, Jane, dear Jane, I'm afraid somethin' 's happened to him.
He never, never stayed away so late before an' Bo'sn came alone. What
s'pose?"

The flower-seller had slipped an arm about the child's shoulders and
felt them trembling, and though an instant alarm had filled her own
heart, she made light of the matter to give her favorite comfort.

"What do I s'pose? Well, then, I s'pose he's stayin' away lest them rich
folks what runs the 'Harbor' comes again an' catches him unbeknownst.
Don't you go fret, honey. Had your supper?"

"No, Jane, an' it's such a splendid one. That lovely grocer man----"

"Ugh!" interrupted the woman, with a derisive shrug of her shoulders.
"You're the beatin'est child for seein' handsomeness where 'tain't."

"Oh, I 'member you don't like him much, 'cause onct he give short
measure o' flour, or somethin', but he is good an' I didn't mean purty,
an' just listen!"

Jane did listen intently to the story of the grocer's unusual
generosity, and she hearkened, also, for the sound of a familiar,
hesitating footstep and the thump of a heavy cane, such as would reveal
the captain's approach long before he might be seen, but the Lane was
very silent. It was later than Glory suspected and almost all the
toilers were in their beds. It was late, even for the flower-seller, who
had been up-town to visit an ailing friend and had tarried there for
supper.

Jane had always felt it dangerous for a blind man, like the old seaman,
to go about the city, attended only by a dog, but she knew, too, that
necessity has no choice. The Becks must live and only by their united
industry had they been able to keep even their tiny roof over their
heads thus far. If harm had come to him--what would become of Glory?
Well, time enough to think of that when the harm had really happened.
The present fact was that the little girl was famishing with hunger yet
had a fine supper awaiting her. She must be made to eat it without
further delay.

"Come, deary, we'll step along an' you eat your own chop, savin' hisn
till he sees fit to come get it. A man 'at has sailed the ocean
hitherty-yender, like Cap'n Simon Beck has, ain't likely to get lost in
the town where he was born an' raised. Reckon some them other old crony
cap'ns o' hisn has met an' invited him to eat along o' them. That Cap'n
Gray, maybe, or somebody. First you know, we'll hear him stumpin' down
the Lane, singin' 'A life on the ocean wa-a-ave,' fit to rouse the
entire neighborhood. You eat your supper an' go to bed, where children
ought to be long 'fore this time."

Posy Jane's tone was so confident and cheerful that Glory forgot her
anxiety and remembered only that chop which was awaiting her. The pair
hurried back to the littlest house which the flower-seller seemed
entirely to fill with her big person, but she managed to get about
sufficiently to relight the little stove, place Glory in her own
farthest corner, and afterward watch the child enjoy her greatly needed
food.

When Glory had finished, she grew still more happy, for physical comfort
was added to that of her friend's words; nor did Jane's kindness stop
there. She herself carefully covered the pan with the captain's portion
in it, and bade Glory undress and climb into her little hammock that
swung from the side of the room opposite the seaman's. This she also let
down and put into it the pillow and blanket.

"So he can go right straight to sleep himself without botherin' you,
honey. Come, Bo'sn, you've polished that bone till it shines an' you
quit. Lie right down on the door-sill, doggie, an' watch 'at nobody
takes a thing out the place, though I don't know who would, that belongs
to the Lane, sure enough. But a stranger might happen by an' see
somethin' temptin' 'mongst the cap'n's belongings. An' so good-night to
you, little Take-a-Stitch, an' pleasant dreams."

Then Posy Jane, having done all she could for the child she loved betook
herself to her room in Meg-Laundress's small tenement, though she would
gladly have watched in the littlest house for the return of its master,
a return which she continually felt was more and more doubtful. And
Glory slept peacefully the whole night through. Nor did Bo'sn's own
uneasy slumbers disturb her once. Not till it was broad daylight and
much later than her accustomed hour for waking, did she open her eyes
and glance across to that other hammock where should have rested a dear
gray head.

It was still empty, and the fact banished all her drowsiness. With a
bound she was on her feet and at the door, looking out, all up and down
the Lane. Alas! He was nowhere in sight and, turning back into the tiny
room, she saw his supper still untasted in the pan where Jane had left
it. Then with a terrible conviction, which turned her faint, she dropped
down on the floor beside Bo'sn, who was dolefully whining again, and
hugged him to her breast, crying bitterly, "They have got him! They have
got him! He'll never come again!"



CHAPTER VI

The Beginning of the Search


"O Bo'sn, Bo'sn! Where did you leave him? You never left him
before--never, not once! Oh, if you could only talk!" cried poor Glory,
at last lifting her head and releasing the dog whom she had hugged till
he choked.

His brown eyes looked back into her own pleading ones as if he, too,
longed for the gift of speech and he licked her cheek as if he would
comfort her. Then he threw back his own head, howled dismally, and
dejectedly curled himself down beneath the captain's hammock.

Little Take-a-Stitch pondered a moment what she had best do in order to
find her grandfather and, having decided, made haste to dress. The cold
water from the spigot in the corner refreshed her and seemed to clear
her thoughts, but she did not stop to eat anything, though she offered a
crust of the dry loaf to the dog. He, also, refused the food and the
little girl understood why. Patting him on the head she exclaimed:

"We both of us can't eat till he comes, can we, Bo'sn dear? Well, smart
doggie, put on your sharpest smeller an' help to track him whichever way
he went. You smell an' I'll look, an' 'twixt us we'll hunt him
quick's-a-wink. Goin' to find grandpa, Bo'sn Beck! Come along an' find
grandpa!"

Up sprang the terrier, all his dejection gone, and leaped and barked as
joyfully as if he fully understood what she had said. Then, waiting just
long enough to lock the tiny door and hide the key in its accustomed
place, so that if the captain came home before she did he could let
himself in, she started down the Lane, running at highest speed with
Bo'sn keeping pace. So running, she passed the basement window where
Meg-Laundress was rubbing away at her tub full of clothes and tossed
that good woman a merry kiss.

"Guess the old cap'n's back, 'less Glory never 'd look that gay,"
thought Meg, and promptly reported her thought to Posy Jane who was just
setting out for her day's business. She was already over-late and was
glad to accept Meg's statement as fact and thus save the time it would
have taken to visit the littlest house and learn there how matters
really stood. It thus happened that neither of Glory's best friends knew
the truth of the case nor that the child had set off on a hopeless
quest, without food or money or anything save her own strong love and
will to help her.

"But we're goin' to find grandpa, Bo'sn, an' we don't mind a thing else.
Don't take so very long to get to that old 'Harbor,' an' maybe he might
have a bite o' somethin' saved up 'at he could give us, though we don't
neither of us want to eat 'fore we get him back, do we, doggie?" cried
the child as they sped along and trying not to notice that empty feeling
in her stomach.

But they had gone no further than the end of the Lane before they
collided with Nick, the parson, just entering it. He had finished his
morning's sale of papers and was feeling hungry for his own breakfast
and, as Take-a-Stitch ran against him, demanded rather angrily, "What
you mean, Goober Glory, knockin' a feller down that way?"

"O Nick! Have you seen grandpa?"

"Seen the cap'n? How should I? Ain't this his time o' workin' on his
frames?"

Glory swiftly told her trouble and Nick's face clouded in sympathy.
Finally he suggested, "They was a old blind feller got run over on
Broadway yest'day. Likely 'twas him an' that's why. 'Twas in the paper
all right, 'cause I heard a man say how't somethin' must be done to stop
such accidentses. Didn't hear no name but, 'course, 'twas the cap'n.
Posy Jane always thought he'd get killed, runnin' round loose, like he
did, without nobody but a dog takin' care."

Glory had clutched Nick's shoulder and was now shaking him with what
little strength seemed left to her after hearing his dreadful words. As
soon as she could recover from that queer feeling in her throat, and was
able to speak, she indignantly denied the possibility of this terrible
thing being true.

"'Tis no such thing, Nick Dodd, an' you know it! Wasn't I there, right
alongside, when't happened? Wasn't I a-listenin' to them very chimes
a-ringin' what he listens to every time he gets a chanst? Don't you
s'pose I'd know my own grandpa when I saw him? Huh!"

"_Did_--you see him, Glory Beck? How'd come them amberlance fellers
let a kid like you get nigh enough to see a thing? Hey?"

Glory gasped as the remembrance came that she had not really seen the
injured man but that the slight glimpse of his clothing and his white
hair had been, indeed, very like her grandfather's. Still, this awful
thing could not, should not be true! Better far that dreaded place, Snug
Harbor, where, at least, he would be alive and well cared for.

"Oh, I got nigh. I got nigh enough to get knocked down my own self, an'
be picked up by one them 'finest' p'licemens, what marches on Broadway.
He shook me fit to beat an' set me on the sidewalk an' scolded me hard,
but I didn't care, 'cause I was so glad to keep alive an' not be tooken
off to a hospital, like that old man was. Huh! You needn't go thinkin'
nor sayin' that was Grandpa Simon Beck, 'cause I know better. I shan't
have it that 'twas, so there."

Glory's argument but half-convinced herself and only strengthened Nick's
opinion. However, his own mind was troubled. He felt very guilty for
having guided Miss Bonnicastle to the littlest house, and the
quarter-dollar earned by that treacherous deed seemed to burn through
his pocket into his very flesh. Besides that coin, he had others in
store, having had a successful morning, and the feeling of his affluence
added to another feeling slowly awakening within him. This struggling
emotion may have been generosity and it may have been remorse. Whatever
it was, it prompted him to say, "Look-a-here, Glory, I'll help ye. I've
got to go get somethin' t'eat, first off. Then, listen, you hain't got
no money, have ye?"

"What o' that? I've got eyes, an' I've got Bo'sn. I'm goin' to the ferry
an' I'm goin' tell the ferry man just how 'tis. That I must--I must be
let go over to that Staten Island on that boat, whether or no. Me an' a
dog won't take up much room, an', if he won't let me, I'll wait round
till I get some sort o' job an' earn the money to pay. You needn't
think, Nick Parson, that a teeny thing like a few centses will keep me
from grandpa. I'd go to Toni an' ask him only--only--I don't know a
thing what come o' that fifty-five cents the lady paid for the goobers,
an' so I s'pose he'd be mad an' wouldn't trust me. Besides, grandpa
always said to 'Pay as you go,' an' now I seem--I seem--to want to do
what he told more'n ever. O Nick Dodd! What if--what if--he shouldn't
never--never come--no--more!"

Poor Glory's courage gave way at last and, without ado, she flung
herself upon Nick as she had done upon Bo'sn and clung to him as
chokingly.

"Now, this is a purty fix, now ain't it?" thought the victim of her
embrace, casting a wary eye up and down the Lane, lest any mate should
see and gibe at him, and call him a "softy." Besides, for Glory to
become sentimental--if this was sentiment--was as novel as for him to be
generous. So, to relieve the situation, the newsboy put these two new
things together and wrenched himself free, saying, "Quit it, Glory Beck!
I got to breathe same's another, ain't I? You look a-here. See that
cash? Well, I'll tell ye, I'll go fetch my grub----Had any yerself,
Glory Beck?"

The question was spoken like an accusation and Glory resented it,
answering quickly, "I don't know as that's anythin' to you, Nick
Parson!"

"'Course. But I'll fetch enough fer two an' I'll tell ye, I'll go to
that 'Snug Harbor' my own self, a payin' my own way, I will. I can
afford it an' you can't. If so be the cap'n 's there, I'll fetch him out
lickety-cut. If he ain't, why then, 'twas him was killed. See?"

"No, I don't see. Maybe they wouldn't let a boy in, anyhow."

"Pooh! They're sure to. Ain't I on the papers? Don't newsboys go
anywhere they want, same's other press folks? Hey?"

Glory admitted that they did. She had often seen them jumping on and off
of street cars at the risk of their lives and without hindrance from the
officials. Also, the lad's offer to share his breakfast with her was too
tempting to be declined. As he hurried away toward his poor home, she
sat down on the threshold of the warehouse before which they had talked
to wait, calling after him, "Don't forget a bite for Bo'sn, Nick!"

"All right!" he returned, and disappeared within his own cellar doorway.

Already Glory's heart was happier. She would not allow herself to think
it possible that her grandfather was hurt, and Nick's willingness to
help was a comfort. Maybe he would even take her with him, though she
doubted it. However, she put the question to him as he reappeared with
some old scraps in a torn newspaper, but while they were enjoying these
as best they could and sharing the food with Bo'sn, Nick unfolded a
better plan.

"Ye see, Take-a-Stitch, it's this way--no use wastin' eight cents on a
old ferry when four'll do. You look all over Broadway again. Then, if he
ain't anywheres 'round there, go straight to them other crony captains
o' hisn an' see. Bein's he can't tell difference 'twixt night an' day,
how'd he know when to come back to the Lane, anyway?"

"He always come 'fore," answered Glory, sorrowfully.

It was a new thing for Nick to take the lead in anything which concerned
the little girl, who was the recognized leader of all the Lane children,
and it made him both proud and more generous. Yielding to a wild impulse
that now seized him, with a gesture of patronage, he drew from his
pocket Miss Bonnicastle's quarter and dropped it in Glory's lap.

She stared at it, then almost gasped the question, "What--what's it for,
Nick Dodd?"

"Fer--you!" cried the boy. He might have added that it was "conscience
money," and that the unpleasant burning in his pocket had entirely
ceased the instant he had rid himself of the ill-gotten coin, because at
the time he had guided Miss Laura to the littlest house he had not
tarried to learn how fruitless her visit was; else he might have felt
less like a traitor. As it was, he tossed his head and answered loftily,
"Don't do fer girls to go trav'lin' round 'ithout cash. You ain't
workin' to-day an'--an' ye may need it. Newspaper men--well, we can
scrape along 'most anyhow. Hello, here's Buttons!"

A cheery whistle announced the arrival of the third member of this
intimate trio, and presently Billy came in sight around the Elbow, his
freckled face as gay as the morning despite the facts that he still
carried some unsold papers under his arm and that he had just emerged
from a street fight, rather the worse for that event.

Glory's fastidiousness was shocked, and, forgetting her own trouble in
disgust at his carelessness, she exclaimed, "You bad Billy Buttons!
There you've gone lost two more your buttons what I sewed with my
strongest thread this very last day ever was! An' your jacket----What
you been doin' with yourself, Billy Buttons?"

The newcomer seated himself between his friends, though in so doing he
crowded Nick from the door-sill to the sidewalk, and composedly helped
himself to what was left of their scanty breakfast. Better than nothing
he found it and answered, as he ate, Glory's repeated inquiry, "What
doin'? Why, scrappin', 'course. Say, parson, you hear me? They's a new
feller come on our beat an' you chuck him, soon's ye see him. I jest
punched him to beat, but owe him 'nother, 'long o' this tear. Sew it,
Take-a-Stitch?"

"Can't, Billy. I've got to hunt grandpa. Oh, Billy, Billy, he hain't
never come home!"

The newsboy paused in the munching of a crust and whistled, but this
time in dismay rather than good cheer. Then he demanded, "What ye givin'
us?"

The others explained, both talking at once, though Master Buttons soon
silenced his partner in trade that he might better hear the girl's own
story. When she had finished, and now with a fresh burst of tears, he
whistled again; then ordered:

"Quit snivelin', Glory Beck! A man ain't dead till he dies, is he?
More'n likely 'twas the old cap'n got hurt but that ain't nothin'. Why,
them hospitals is all chuck full o' smash-up folks, an' it's jest meat
fer them doctor-fellers to mend 'em again. He ain't dead, an' don't you
believe it; but dead or alive we'll find him 'fore dark.

"Fer onct," continued Billy, "the parson's showed some sense. He might's
well do the 'Harbor,' 'cause that's only one place an' he can't blunder
much--seems if. You take the streets, same's he said; and I--if you'll
put a needle an' thread through me, bime-by, after he's found, I'll go
find him an' call it square. I'll begin to the lowest down end the city
hospitals they is an' I'll interview 'em, one by one, clean up to the
Bronx. If Cap'n Beck is in any one, I'll fetch him out, judge, an' don't
you forget it."

This division of the search pleased Glory and, springing up, the trio
separated at once, nor did they meet again till nightfall. Alas! when
reassembled then in the littlest house none had good news to tell.

"They ain't been no new old cap'ns tooken in to that 'Harbor' this hull
week. Th' sailor what keeps the gate said so an' was real decent. Said
he'd heard o' Cap'n Beck, he had, an' if he'd a-come he'd a-knowed. Told
me better call ag'in, might get there yet, an' I'll go," reported Nick,
putting a cheerful tone into his words for pity of Glory's downcast
face.

"Didn't do a quarter th' hospitals they is, but he ain't in none them I
have," said Billy. "But I'll tell ye. They's a man on our force reports
all the accidentses an' I'll see him to-night, when I go for my papers,
an' get him to hunt, too. He's worth while an' me an' him's sort o'
pardners. I give him p'ints an' he 'lows I'll be a reporter myself, when
I'm bigger. An' say, I sold a pape' to a man couldn't stop fer change
an' I've got three cream-puffs in this bag. That's fer our suppers, an'
me an' Nick's goin' to stay right here all night an' take care of ye,
Take-a-Stitch, an' leave the door open, so cap'n can come straight in if
he happens 'long 'fore mornin'."

"An' I've been to every single place he ever sung at, every single. An'
to all the captains, an'--an'--every, everywhere! An' he ain't! But I
will find him. I will!" cried Glory, resolutely. "An' you're
dear, dear darlin' boys to help me so, an' I love you, I love you!"

"All right, but needn't bother to hug me!" protested Buttons.

"Ner me!" cried Nick, retreating as far from the grateful child as the
limited space would permit. "An' now choose corners. This is mine."

Down he dropped in the inner point of the triangular floor and almost
before his head had made itself a pillow of his arm he was sound asleep.
Billy flung himself beside his mate and, also, slept; and though Glory
intended to keep her eyes wide open "till grandpa comes," she placed
herself near them and rested her own tired head on Billy's shoulder,
and, presently, followed their example.

Half an hour later, the Lane policeman sauntered by, glanced into the
dim interior, and saw the group of indistinct forms huddled together in
dreamless slumber on their bed of bare boards. Then he softly closed the
door upon them, murmuring in pity, "Poor little chummies! Life's goin'
to be as hard for 'em as the floor they lie on. But the Lane'd seem
darker 'n 'tis if they wasn't in it."



CHAPTER VII

A Guardian Angel


City newsboys are early astir, and the shadows had but begun to lift
themselves from Elbow Lane when Billy punched Nick in the ribs to rouse
him and, with finger on lip, pointed to Glory still asleep.

The very poor pity the poor, and with a chivalric kindness which would
have done credit to better reared lads, these two waifs of the streets
stole softly from the littlest house without waking its small mistress.

When they were out upon the sidewalk, Billy shook his head and
whispered, as if even there he might disturb her, "Poor little kid! He
ain't never comin' back, sure! An' me an' you 's got the job o' lookin'
after her, same 's he'd a liked. He was good to me, the cap'n was. An'
I'm thinkin' Meg-Laundress's 'll be the best place to stow her. Hey?"

"Meg can't. She's chuck full. They ain't a corner o' her room but what's
slep' in, an' you know it," responded Nick, hitching his buttonless
knickers a trifle higher beneath the string-waistband which kept them in
place.

"Where then, pard?"

Nick hesitated. On the day before he had developed a generosity which
had surprised himself quite as much as it had Glory; but, if allowed
room, generosity is a plant of rapid growth, so that now the once
niggardly boy was ready with a plan that was even more astonishing. His
thin face flushed and he pretended to pick a sliver from his foot as he
answered:

"Let's me an' you hire the littles' house an' pay the rent ourselves an'
Goober Glory do our cookin' an' sewin' an'--an'--quit yer foolin', Billy
Buttons! This ain't no make-b'lieve, this ain't. I plumb mean it."

For, the instant of its suggestion, this wild scheme had sent the
partner of Nick Dodd's fortunes to turning somersaults which would have
befitted an acrobat. To put his head where his feet should be was
Billy's only way of relieving his emotion and he brought his gymnastics
to an end, some distance down the Lane, by assuming a military
uprightness and bowing profoundly to Nick, who joined him.

"That's the ticket, pard! We'll do it! We'll do it! Wish to goodness I'd
been the one to hatch it out, but does ye proud, parson. An' how 'bout
it? S'pose we two could sleep in his hammick?" asked Billy, his
eagerness already outstripping Nick's, as his liberality had always been
greater.

Nick shook his head. Launched upon a course of reckless extravagance, he
now hesitated at nothing.

"Nope. Nothin'. What's the matter buyin' 'nother? An', say, we can sling
'em one top th' other, like them berths in a sleepin' car, an' take
turns which 'd be upper, which lower. 'Fore winter we'd get in a blanket
an' piller, though wouldn't care much for 'em, in such a snug place,
an'----"

"An'," interrupted Billy, "we'd go snooks on the grub. Glory'd do her
part chuckin' in, 'sides the housekeep. My! 'Twould be a home, a reg'lar
home, 'at I hain't never had! Cracky! I--I 'most hope he never does come
now, though fer Take-a-Stitch--maybe----"

"He won't never. Don't ye scare on it, never. Say! Let's hurry through
our sellin' an' get it fixed. An' we're late, a'ready."

"All right!" and with visions of a delightful importance, that made them
feel as if they were grown men, the little fellows scampered away
through the morning twilight to obtain their day's supply of newspapers,
still damp from the press, for they had long ago learned that 'tis the
early newsboy who catches the nickels and of these they must now have
many. Neither realized that a property owner, even of a "littlest
house," would not be apt to trust it to a pair of youngsters like
themselves, though to their credit it was that had their dream become
reality, they would have done their utmost to follow the example of the
former tenant to "pay as you go."

They had long been shrilling themselves hoarse with their cries of "Sun'
'Eral'Jour'Wor--rul'! Pape's!" before Glory woke and found herself
alone. By the light in the room and the hunger she felt, she knew that
it must again be very late; and a feeling that her grandfather would be
displeased with her indolence sent her to her feet with such speed that
she awoke Bo'sn, till then slumbering soundly.

Bo'sn was no longer young and, stiff from an all day's tramp--for he had
faithfully followed the little girl's tireless search of yesterday--he
rose slowly and stretched himself painfully, with a growl at his own
aching joints. Then he sniffed suspiciously at the floor where the
newsboys had slept and, nosing his master's hammock, howled dismally.

Having slept without undressing, Glory's toilet was soon made and though
a dash of cold water banished drowsiness from her eyes it made them see
more clearly how empty and desolate the "littlest house" had now become,
so desolate that she could not stay in it and running to Meg-Laundress's
crowded apartment, she burst in, demanding, "Has he come? Has anybody in
the Lane seen my grandpa?"

Meg desisted from spanking the "baddest o' them twins" and set the small
miscreant upon the sudsy floor before she answered, cheerfully, "Not
yet, honey. 'Tain't scurce time to be lookin' fer him, I reckon. When
them old sailors gets swappin' yarns needn't----"

"But, Meg dear, he ain't at any one of their houses. I've been to the
hull lot--two er three times to each one, a-yest'day--an' he wasn't. An'
they think--I dastn't think what they think! An' I thought maybe--he
always liked you, Meg-Laundress, an' said you done his shirts to beat.
Oh, Meg, Meg, what shall I do? Whatever shall I do?"

The warm-hearted washerwoman thrilled with pity for the forsaken child
yet she put on her most brilliant surface-smile and answered promptly:

"Do? Why, do jest what Jane an' me laid out to have ye do. An' that is,
eat a grand breakfast. We ain't such old friends o' the cap'n's an' yet
go let his folks starve. Me an' Jane, we done it together, an' the
grocer-man threw in the rolls. There's a cunnin' little piece o'
porterhouse's ever ye see, an' 'taties--biled to the queen's taste with
their brown jackets on. Two of 'em, an' no scantin', nuther. No, you
small rapscallions, ye clear out! 'Tain't none your breakfasts, ye hear?
It's Goober Glory's an'--you all, the half-dozen on ye, best clear out
way beyant th' Elbow an' watch out fer the banan' man! If he comes to
the Lane, ma's got a good wash on hand, an'--_who knows?_"

Away scampered Meg's brood of children, assorted sizes, yet one and all
with a longing for "banan' cheap!" and sure that no amount of coaxing
would give them a share in the savory breakfast which the two toiling
women had provided for Glory.

Left comfortably free from crowding, Meg bustled about, removing from
the small oven the belated "steak an' 'taties" which had long been
drying there. In this removal, she clumsily tilted the boiler in which
her "wash" was bubbling and flavored the meal with a dash of soapsuds,
but Glory was more hungry than critical, and far more grateful than
either. Smiles and tears both came as she caught Meg's wet hand and
kissed it ecstatically, which action brought a suspicious moisture to
Meg's own eyes and caused her to exclaim, with playful reproof:

"If you ain't the beatin'est one fer huggin' an' kissin'! Well, then,
set to; an' hear me tell: this is what me an' Jane has settled, how the
very minute the cap'n heaves in sight down the Lane, on I claps the very
pattron o' that same stuff ye're eatin' for him, an' calls it breakfast,
dinner, er supper, as the case is. When folks have been off visitin',
like he has, they can't 'spect to find things ready to hand to their own
houses, same's if they'd been round all the time. Now, eat, an' 'let
your victuals stop yer mouth'!"

This was luxurious food for one accustomed to an oatmeal diet and Glory
heartily enjoyed it, although she wished she could have given it to her
grandfather instead, but she wasn't one to borrow trouble and relied
upon Meg's word that a similar repast should be forthcoming when the
seaman required it. She did not know that the very odor of the food set
the washerwoman's own mouth to watering and that she had to swallow fast
and often, to convince herself that her own breakfast of warmed-over
coffee and second-hand rolls was wholly sufficient. In any case, both
she and Posy Jane had delighted in their self-sacrifice for the little
"Queen of the Lane," in their hearts believing that the child was now
orphaned, indeed.

It is amazing how, when one is extremely hungry, even two whole potatoes
will disappear, and very speedily Glory found that the cracked plate
from which she had eaten was entirely empty, but, also, that the
uncomfortable hunger had disappeared with its vanished contents. She
sprang up, ran to the spigot, washed and wiped the plate, and restored
it to its place on Meg's scanty cupboard, then announced:

"I shall tell my grandpa how good all you dear, dear folks has been to
me while he--he was off a-visitin'. An' he'll do somethin' nice for you,
too, he will. My grandfather says 'giff-gaff makes good friends,' an'
'one kind turn 'serves another.' He knows a lot, grandpa does; an' me
an' him both thanks you, Meg-Laundress--you darlin'!"

Away around the big neck of the woman at the tub went Glory's slender
arms, and when the patient toiler released herself from this
inconvenient embrace, there was something besides soapsuds glistening
on her hot cheek.

"Bless ye an' save ye, honey sweetness, an' may yer guardian angel keep
ye in close sight, the hull endurin' time!" cried the laundress, wiping
her eyes with a wet towel to disguise that other moisture which had
gathered in them. "An' now, be off with ye to the little Eyetalian with
the high-soundin' name. Sure, 'twas Nick, the parson, hisself, what seen
them fifty-five centses was in the right hands, an' not scattered by
that power o' young ones as was hangin' round when the lady give 'em."

"Did he take them? Oh, I'm so glad an' it's queer he should ha' forgot
to tell me last night. Never mind, though. I ain't goin' to peddle
to-day. I shan't peddle no more till I find grandpa. I couldn't. I
couldn't holler even, worth listenin'. An' who'd buy off a girl what
can't holler?"

"Hmm. I don' know. Hollerin's the life o' your trade, same's
rub-a-dub-dubbin' 's the life o' mine, er puttin' the freshest flower to
the front the bunch is o' Jane's. But, land, 'Queenie,' you best not
wait fer the cap'n. Best keep a doin', an' onct you're at it again, the
holler'll come all right. Like myself--jest let me stan' up afore this
here tub an' the wash begins to do itself, unbeknownst like. Don't you
idle. Keep peddlin' er patchin', though peddlin's the least lonesome,
an' the time'll fly like lightnin'. It's them 'at don't do nothin' 'at
don't know what to do. Ain't many them sort in the Lane, though, thank
the dear Lord. Hey? What?"

For Glory still lingered in the doorway and her face showed that she had
no intention of following the laundress's most sensible advice. So when
that loquacious woman paused so long that the little girl "could get a
word in edgewise," she firmly stated:

"No Meg, dear Meg, I shan't peddle a single goober till I've found my
grandpa. Every minute of every hour I'm awake I shall keep a-lookin'. He
hain't got nobody but me left an' I hain't got nobody but him. What
belongs, I mean. 'Course, they's all you dear Lane folks an' I love you,
every one. But me an' him--I--I must, _must_ find him. I'm goin' to
start right away now, an'--thank you, thank you an' dear Posy
Jane--an'--good-bye!"

This time it was Meg who caught the other in her arms and under pretense
of smoothing tumbled curls, hugged the child in motherly yearning over
her; then she gave her a very clean-smelling, sudsy kiss and pushed her
toward the door, crying rather huskily:

"Well, run away now, any gate. If to peddlin' 'twould be best; if to
s'archin' fer one old blind man in this big Ne' York what's full of 'em
as haymows o' needles, so be it, an' good luck to ye. But what am I to
be preachin' work an' practicin' play? Off with ye an' hender me no
more!"

So to the tune of a vigorous rub-a-dub-dub, Glory vanished from her good
friend's sight, though the hearts of both would have ached could they
have foreseen how long delayed would be their next meeting.

Comforted and now wholly hopeful that her determined search would have a
speedy, happy ending, Take-a-Stitch hurried back to the littlest house
whose narrow door stood open to its widest, yet she paused on the
threshold, amazed, incredulous, not daring to enter and scarcely daring
to breathe, lest she disturb the wonderful vision which confronted her.

For the desolate home was no longer desolate. There was one within who
seemed to fill its dim interior with a radiance and beauty beyond
anything the child of the Lane had ever dreamed. Meg's words and wish
returned to her and, clasping her hands, she cried in rapture, "Oh! it's
come! My Guardian Angel!"



CHAPTER VIII

With Bonny as Guide


Glory was truthful and loving, and her grandfather had taught her to be
clean, honest, and industrious, but, beyond this, she had had little
training. She knew that Meg-Laundress and Posy Jane both firmly believed
in "Guardian Angels" who hovered about human beings to protect and
prosper them. She had inferred that these "Angels" were very beautiful
but had never asked if they were ever visible or, if so, what form they
took.

Glory felt now that she would never need to ask about the "Angels" for
the small creature before her answered all these unspoken inquiries; a
mite of a thing, in silken white, with glistening golden curls and the
roundest, loveliest of big blue eyes, who sat on the floor smiling and
gurgling in an unknown language, yet gravely regarding Bo'sn who, firm
upon his haunches, as gravely regarded this astonishing intruder. The
tiny visitor was so unlike any crony captain or ragged newsboy that the
dog was perplexed, yet as evidently pleased, for his eyes were shining,
his mouth "laughing" and his stump of a tail doing its utmost to wag. As
Glory appeared in the doorway, he cast one welcoming glance over his
shoulder, then with the same intensity, returned to his contemplation of
the child.

After all, it was not an "Angel" from a spiritual world, but a
wonderfully fair and winning little human being. From whence she had
come and why, she was too young to explain and Glory was too delighted
to care. Here she was, gay, shining, and wholly undisturbed, and, as the
little goober girl appeared, the baby lifted her face, laughing, and
lisping: "Bonny come!"

"Angels" could use human speech then; and now her awe of the visitant
vanished and down went Take-a-Stitch beside Bo'sn and clasped the little
one close and kissed and caressed it to her heart's content, which meant
much to Glory, because even grandpa had objected to overmuch caressing,
though this newcomer appeared to take kissing as a matter of course and
to like it.

"Oh! you darlin', darlin', sweetest 'Angel'! Have you truly come to live
with me?"

"Bonny come!" answered the other, thrusting her tiny hands into Glory's
own curls and pressing her dewy lips to Glory's cheek.

"Oh, you precious, precious, sweetest, darlin'est one. Oh, won't grandpa
be pleased! An' you'll help--that's what you come for, ain't it?--you'll
help to find him. Why, if you're a truly 'Angel,' you know this minute
't ever is just where to search, an' so 'twon't be more'n a bit of a
while 'fore me an' you an' him is all back here together in this
splendid littlest house, a 'livin' in peace an' dyin' in grease an'
bein' buried under a pot o' taller,' like Nick's stories end; only I
guess we'll do without the grease an' taller, 'cause I hate dirt an'
'Angels' do, 'course. Oh, let's start right away! Why--why--we might be
home again, lickety-cut, if we did. Shall we go to find grandpa,
'Angel'?"

The stranger toddled to her feet, Bo'sn watching the operation with
keenest interest, but once upon them, there ensued delay, for, whoever
this unknown might be, Glory herself was a very human little girl. She
could not keep her fingers from feeling and examining the exquisite
garments which clothed her visitor's form, and at each fresh discovery
of daintiness, from the silken coat to the snowy shoes, her exclamations
of wonder and admiration grew more intense. Before she had finished, she
felt a reflex grandeur from her richly attired guest and unconsciously
gave her own scanty skirt an airy flirt, as if it had suddenly become of
proper length and color.

Giving the "Angel" a fresh embrace, she clasped its pink fingers and
started to follow wherever it might lead, with Bo'sn close behind.

So intent was she upon her small "Guardian," that she did not observe a
man entering the lane from the further end, else she would have
recognized him for the owner of the littlest house, come in person to
inspect his property and to learn if his rent would be forthcoming when
due; also, to prepare the captain for possible removal, in case a
certain deal, then in progress, should transfer the three-cornered
building to other hands and purposes.

But the gentleman saw Glory and wondered how she had come to have in
charge, in such a neighborhood, a little child so unsuited to it. By
just the one minute's time which would have brought him to the littlest
house ere Glory left it, she missed some further enlightenment on the
subject of "Guardian Angels," and the sad news that she had not only
lost grandparent but home as well; for, seeing the place open, at the
mercy of any Elbow tramp who might enter and despoil it, the landlord at
once decided that, sale or no sale, he would get rid of so careless a
tenant. Crossing to the basement of Meg-Laundress, he made some
inquiries concerning the Becks and was told all which that talkative
woman knew or suspected.

"An' none of us in the Lane ever looks to see him back, sir, an' that's
the fact. But whatever's to become o' his little girl, when she finds
out, land knows," she concluded.

"Oh, plenty of institutions to take in just such as she and she'd be a
deal better off than living from hand to mouth as she has always done.
The captain must have been a fine man once and so far--so far--has had
his rent money ready when it was due; but I made it too small, a great
deal too small. I was a fool for sympathy and let my heart run away with
my head.

"Know anybody would take in the old man's few traps and take care of
them till something develops?" continued the landlord. "He is dead, of
course. Must have been him was run over that time; but they might sell
for a trifle for the child's benefit. I wouldn't mind having that
time-keeping arrangement of bells myself. Was really quite ingenious. I
might as well take it, I reckon, on account of loss of occupancy. Yes, I
_will_ take it. And if he should return--but he won't--you tell
him, my good woman, how it was and he can look to me to settle. Know
anybody has room for his things?"

"No, I don't. An' if I did, I wouldn't tell ye," answered Meg, testily,
and as a relief to her indignation cuffed her youngest born in lieu of
him upon whom she wished she dared bestow the correction.

But the corner grocery-man was more obliging and better supplied with
accommodations for Captain Beck's belongings. In truth, seeing that the
landlord was determined, whether or no, to remove them from the littlest
house, he felt that he must take them in and preserve them from harm
against their owner's claiming them. He thought, with Meg, that harm had
certainly befallen the blind seaman and that they would see him no more,
but he also felt that Glory's rights should be protected to the utmost.
With this idea in mind, he stoutly objected to parting with the
bell-timepiece, and even offered to make up any arrears of rent which
the other could rightly claim.

"Oh! that's all right," said the landlord, huffishly. "That can rest,
but I wish you'd call a cart and get the traps out now, while I'm here
to superintend."

"I'm with you!" cried the grocer, with equal spirit; and so fully fell
in with the other's wishes that, before Glory had been an hour absent
from the only home she could remember, it had been emptied of its few,
but well loved, furnishings and the key had been turned upon its
solitude. Thus ended, too, Nick's brief brilliant dream of household
proprietorship.

However, all this fresh trouble was unknown. Whither her "Angel" led,
she was to follow; and this proved to be in wholly a different direction
from that dark end of the Lane toward the bridge.

For a time the small, unconscious guide toddled along, making slow
progress toward the sound of a hand-organ which her ear had caught yet
which was still out of sight. Arrived, they joined the group of children
gathered about the grinder and his monkey, and created a profound
sensation among the gutter audience.

"Where'd you get her? Whose she belongs?" demanded one big girl who knew
Glory and found this white-clad stranger more interesting than even a
monkey.

"Belongs to me. She's mine; she was sent," returned Take-a-Stitch, with
an inimitable gesture of pride.

"Huh! Talk's cheap. Nobody sent silk-dressed young ones to the Lane to
be took care of, Glory Beck. I don't care, though. Keep her, if ye want
to," returned the offended questioner.

"Sure I shall," laughed Glory, gaily. "But needn't get mad, Nancy Smith.
Maybe you can get one, too. She's my 'Guardian Angel' an' her name's
'Bonny'; she said so. She don't talk much, only that 'Bonny come.' Did
you know 'Angels' was so perfeckly lovely, Nancy?"

Clasping her hands, this proud proprietor of an "Angel" smiled
beatifically on all around. Even the organ-grinder came in for a portion
of that smile, though hitherto, Glory had rather disliked him because
she fancied him unkind to Jocko.

This organ-grinder was Luigi Salvatore, brother to Tonio, and as well
known in that locality. His amazement at seeing the child in the goober
seller's care caused him to stop grinding; whereupon the music also
stopped and the monkey left off holding his cap to the children, begging
their pennies, to hop upon his master's shoulder. From thence he grinned
so maliciously that the "Angel" was frightened and hid her face in
Glory's skirt, whereupon that proud girl realized that "Angels," if
young, were exactly like human young things and needed comforting. Many
an Elbow baby had learned to flee for help to Glory's arms, and now this
stranger was lifted in them and clasped closer than any other had ever
been.

"Oh, you sweetest, dearest Bonny Angel! Don't you be afraid. Glory'll
take care of ye. Don't they have monkeys where you lived, honey? S'pose
not, less you'd ha' knowed they wouldn't hurt. Well, now, on we go.
Which way is to grandpa, Bonny Angel?"

The tiny face burrowing under Glory's chin was partially turned and the
babyish hand pointed outward in a very imperative way. Glory construed
that she must travel in the direction indicated and, also, that even
"Angels" liked their commands to be immediately obeyed. For when she
lingered a moment to exchange compliments with Nancy, on the subject of
"stuck-up-ness" and general "top-loftiness," Miss Bonny brought these
amenities to a sudden close by a smart slap on Glory's lips and a lusty
kick in the direction she wished to be carried.

Fortunately, Take-a-Stitch had never thought how "Angels" should behave,
else she might have been disappointed. As it was, the child at once
became dearer and more her girlish proprietor's "very own" because in
just this manner might Meg's youngest have kicked and slapped.

"Huh! Call that a 'Angel' do ye, Glory Beck? 'Tis no such thing. It's
only somebody's baby what's got lost. Angels are folks what live in
heaven, an' they never kick ner scratch ner ask to be carried. They
don't need. All they have to do is to set still an' sing an' flap their
wings. Huh! I know."

Nancy spoke with the conviction of an eyewitness, and for a time her
playmate was silenced. Then, as Bonny had now grown quiet and gave her
an opportunity, Glory demanded:

"How _can_ you know? You hain't never been there. Nobody hasn't.
An' you go ask Meg-Laundress. Good-bye. Don't be mad. I'll be home
bime-by, an' Bonny Angel with me. She's come to stay. She belongs,
same's all of us. She's a reg'lar Elbower, 'now an' forevermore,' like
we say in the ring-game; an' some time, maybe, if she wants, I'll let
her 'Guardian' you somewhere. Now we're off to grandpa, but we'll be
back after a while. Good-bye. Maybe Toni'll let you peddle goobers in my
place the rest the day. Good-bye."

Bonny Angel, as she was from that time to be called by her new friend,
was again gurgling and smiling and gaily radiant; and for some distance
Glory sped along, equally radiant and wholly engrossed in watching the
little face so near her own. It was, indeed, perfect in its infantile
beauty and more than one passer-by paused to take a second glance at
this odd pair, so unlike, and yet so well content.

After a short while, the aching of her arms made Glory realize that even
infant "Angels" may become intolerably heavy, when clothed in healthy
human form and carried indefinitely, so she set the little one down on
its own small feet, though they seemed too dainty to rest upon the
smirched stones of the pavement which just there was even more begrimed
than that of the Lane itself.

Then she saw that they had halted beside a coal-yard in an unfamiliar
part of the city, but there were throngs of people hurrying past them
toward some point beyond, and though many observed, none paused to
address the children. Bonny was now rested and active and merrily
started in the same direction, across the gangplank to the floor of a
crowded ferry-boat. The ferry-men supposed them to belong to some older
passengers and let them pass unchallenged; nor did Bonny Angel cease her
resolute urging forward till they had come to the very edge of the
further deck and stood looking down into the river.

Almost at once, the boat began to move and Glory was as delighted as
Bonny by the rush of the wind on her face and by the novel sights of the
water. After all, this search for grandpa was proving the pleasantest of
outings, for, though the goober-seller had often peddled her nuts at the
landings of other ferries, she had never before crossed any. She gave
the baby a fresh deluge of kisses, exclaiming, "Oh, you dear knowin'
darlin'! He has gone this way an' you're leadin' me!"

"Bonny come!" cried the "Angel," with a seraphic smile.

Glory smiled back, all anxiety at rest. She was going to grandpa, with
this tiny "Guardian" an unerring guide. Why should one fear aught while
the sun shone so brightly, and over on the further shore she could see
trees waving and green terraces rising one above the other? Surely,
grandpa had done well to leave the dingy Lane for such a beautiful
place, and she was glad, yes, certainly she was glad that she had come.

But the boat trip came to an end all too soon, and, because they were so
near the landing side, they were crowded off the broad deck before Glory
was quite ready and, in the onrush of hurrying passengers, Bonny Angel's
hand was wrested from her grasp.

"Oh, take care there, my Angel! I mustn't lose her!" cried
Take-a-Stitch, distraught at seeing her treasure swept off her tiny feet
in the crush.

"In course you mustn't, sissy!" cried a hearty, kindly voice, as a
timely deck-hand caught up the child and restored her to Glory's arms.
"'Course not; though there's many a one would snap at such a beauty, if
you give 'em a chance. Tight-hold her, sissy, for such posies as her
don't grow on every bush!"

With that, the man in blue shirt and overalls not only gave Bonny a
besmirching pat on her snowy shoulder, but safely handed Glory herself
across the swaying plank to the quay beyond.

There Bonny Angel composedly seated herself upon a pile of dirty ropes
and, rather than cross her desires, Glory also sat down. Both were much
interested in the scene about them, though "Angel" soon forgot all else
save Bo'sn who had followed, and who lay at her feet to rest his nose on
his tired paws while he steadfastly gazed at this new charge. Already he
seemed to have decided in his canine mind that she was to be guided and
guarded as he had guided and guarded his lost master, and with an equal
faithfulness.

Soon the rush and bustle of the boat's return trip gave way to a
corresponding quiet, and Goober Glory dreamily watched the wide deck,
where she had stood, slip back and back between the water-worn piles out
upon the murky river. The space between them widened and widened,
continually, till the boat lessened in size to a mere point and,
finally, became lost in the crowding craft of the Hudson's mouth. As she
saw it disappear, a sudden homesickness seized her and, springing to her
feet, she stretched her arms longingly toward that further side which
held all that she had ever known and loved, and cried aloud:

"Oh, I want to go back! It's there I belong, and he isn't here--I know
he isn't here!"

Then she felt a small hand clutch her skirt and turned about to see
Bonny Angel's face clouding with grief and her dainty under lip
beginning to quiver piteously. A world of reproach seemed to dwell in
her pleading, "Bonny come!" and Glory's own cheerfulness instantly
returned. Lifting the child again, she poised her on her own shoulder
and started valiantly forward across the ferry-slip and past the various
stands of the small merchants which lined the waiting-room walls. Thus
elevated, Bonny Angel was just upon a level with one tempting display of
cakes and candies, and the sight of them reminded her that it was time
to eat. She took her arm from Glory's neck, to which she had clung, made
an unexpected dash for a heap of red confections, lost her balance, and
fell head long in the midst.



CHAPTER IX

In the Ferry-House


Then up rose the old woman behind the stand, ready with tongue and fist
to punish this destroyer of her stock; for the truth was that Miss Bonny
was not an "Angel" at all, but what Nancy Smith had so common-sensibly
judged her to be--a lost child. Such a plump and substantial child, as
well, that her downfall crushed to a crimson flood the red "drops" she
would have seized and utterly demolished another pile of perishable
cakes.

"Save us and help us! You clumsy girl! What you mean, hurlin' that young
one onto my stand, that way? Well, you've spoiled a power of stuff an' I
only hope you can pay for it on the spot!"

With that, the irate vendor snatched Bonny from the stand and dropped
her upon the floor beyond it; where, terrified both by her fall and this
rough treatment, she set up such a wail that further scolding was
prevented. More than that, instead of being properly abashed by her own
carelessness, Glory was far more concerned that Bonny's beautiful coat
was stained and ruined and its owner's heart so grieved. Down she
dropped beside her "Guardian," showering kisses upon her, and comforting
her so tenderly that the baby forgot her fear and began to lick the
sticky fluid, which had filled the "drops," from her sleeve that it had
smeared.

This restored quiet so that the vender could demand payment for the
damage she had swiftly estimated, and she thrust her hand toward the
pair on the floor, saying, "Hand me over a dollar, and be quick about
it! Ought to be more, seein's it'll take me half a day to straighten up
and----"

"A dollar! Why--why, I never had so much in my hull life! an' not a
single cent now. Yes--they's a quarter to home, 't I forgot an' left in
the bag, that Nick Dodd give me--but--a dollar!" gasped poor Glory, as
frightened as surprised. Just then, too, a wharf policeman drew near and
stopped to learn what was amiss. He did not look like the jolly officer
of Elbow Lane and the stand-woman seemed sure of his sympathy as she
rapidly related her side of the story.

He listened in silence, and visions of patrol wagons, and the police
stations where arrested persons were confined, rose before poor Glory's
fancy, while with frantic tenderness she hugged Bonny Angel so close
that the little one protested and wriggled herself free. But no sooner
was she upon her feet than the child became her own best plea for
pardon. Reaching her arms upward to be lifted, she began a delighted
examination of the brass buttons on the man's blue coat; and, because he
had babies of his own, it seemed the natural thing for him to do to take
her up as she desired.

"Oh, but you mustn't, you dastn't carry her away! She hain't done a
thing, only tumbled off my shoulder! 'Twas _me_ done it, not
holdin' her tight enough! An' she can't be 'rested, she can't! How can
she, when she's a 'Guardian Angel'? Give her back--give her back!"

In her distress, Take-a-Stitch herself laid violent hands upon the blue
sleeves which so strongly enfolded her darling and would have wrested
them apart had strength sufficed. As it was, the helmeted officer looked
calmly down upon her anguished face and quietly whistled.

"Keep cool, sissy, keep cool. Wait till I hear your side the business
before you talk of arrests. Besides, this baby! Why, she's the prettiest
little innocent I've seen in a week's beat," said the rough voice, and
now regarding the lips through which it issued, the young "Elbower"
perceived that they were no longer stern but actually smiling.

Then she did talk; not only of this last adventure but, encouraged by
his close attention, of all the events of her past life. Out it came,
the whole story; Glory's love of the Lane and its people, her
grandfather's disappearance, the coming of Bonny Angel, "sent to take
his place an' help to find him," her present search and her honest
regret for the injury to this old woman's wares.

"'Cause I know how 'tis myself. Onct a lady fell into my goober basket
an' smashed 'em so 't I was heart-broke. An' if ever--ever in this world
I can earn a hull dollar I'll come right straight back here an' pay it.
Sure, sure, sure."

Now, during all this relation, though the policeman's face seemed to
soften and grow more like that of his brother-officer of Elbow Lane, it
did not grow less grave. Indeed, a great perplexity came into his eyes
and he appeared to be far more interested in the fate of Bonny Angel
than in the voluble interruptions of Apple Kate. When Glory paused, out
of breath and with no more to tell, he set the little one down and took
out his note-book. Having made some entries there, he exchanged a few
low-spoken words with the vender and these appeared to quiet her wrath
and silence her demands. Indeed, their influence was so powerful that
she selected a pile of the broken cakes, put them into a paper bag, and
offered them to Take-a-Stitch, saying:

"There, girl, it's all right, or will be, soon's officer finds that
young one's folks. It's past noon, nigh on toward night, an' likely she
was hungry, too little to know any better, and you can have part
yourself. You just do what he tells ye, an' you'll soon see that baby
back in its mother's arms. Laws, how heart-broke she must be a-losin' it
so."

Goober Glory heard and felt that her own heart was surely breaking.
Bonny Angel's "folks"! She had some, then, since this policeman said
so--policemen knew everything--and she wasn't a heaven-sent "Guardian,"
at all. And, furthermore, if this was a "lost child," she knew exactly
what would be done.

It would be the station house, after all, though not by way of arrest.
Meg-Laundress's assorted children had been "lost" on the city streets
more than once and Meg hadn't fretted a bit. She knew well, that when
her day's toil was over, she had but to visit the nearest station to
reclaim her missing offspring; or if not at the nearest, why then at
some other similar place in the great town, whence a telephone message
would promptly summon the child. But Bonny Angel? Station house matrons
were kind enough, and their temporary care of her brood had been a
relief to overworked Meg-Laundress; but for this beautiful "Guardian,"
they were all unfit. Only tenderest love should ever come near so
angelic a little creature and of such love Glory's own heart was full.

She reasoned swiftly. The baby was hers, by right, till that sad day of
which she had not dreamed when she must restore it to its "folks,"
whoever and wherever they were. She would so restore it, though it break
her heart; yet better her own heart breaking than that mother-heart of
which the vender spoke. To her search for grandpa, in which Bonny Angel
was guide, was now added a search for these unknown "folks" to whom she
must give the little one up. That was all. It was very simple and very
hard to do, till one thought came to cheer her courage. By the time she
found these unknown people she would, also, have found Captain Simon
Beck! She had been supremely happy with him, always, and she would be
happy again; yet how dear, how dear this little comrade of a day had
become!

Glory's decisions never wavered. Once made, she acted upon them without
hesitation. She now turned to the policeman, who had written some
further items in his book and was now putting it into his pocket, and
said, "You needn't bother, Mister P'liceman, to find 'em. I'll take
Bonny Angel home my own self."

"Hey? What? Do know where she belongs, after all? You been fooling me
with your talk?" he asked quickly, and now with face becoming very stern
indeed. He was sadly used to dealing with deceit but hated to find it in
one so young as Goober Glory.

"No, sir. I never. But I will. I'd rather an' I must--I must! Oh, I
can't let her go to that terr'ble station house where thievers an' bad
folks go, an' she so white an' pure an' little an' sweet! I can't. She
mustn't. She shan't! So there."

At her own enumeration of Bonny Angel's charms, the girl's heart
thrilled afresh with love and admiration, and, catching her again into
her close embrace, she fell to rapturously kissing the small face that
was now "sweet" in truth, from the sticky drops the child had licked.

"Nonsense! If you don't know where she belongs, nor have any money to
spend in finding out, the station's the only place. It's the first
place, too, she'll be looked for, and she'll be well cared for till
claimed. You can go along with her, maybe, since you appear to be lost,
too," remarked the officer. "But I'm wasting time. You stop right here
by Apple Kate's stand, while I step yonder and telephone headquarters. A
man'll come over next boat and take you both back."

The chance of going "back" to the city whose very paving stones now
seemed dear to her did, for an instant, stagger Glory's decision. But
only for an instant. Bonny Angel was still the guide. It was Bonny Angel
who had brought them to this further shore where, beyond this great,
noisy ferry-house were those green terraces and waving trees. It was
here, separated by the wide river from all familiar scenes, that her
search must go on.

A customer came to the stand and occupied Apple Kate's attention, at the
same time the wharf policeman walked away to send his message concerning
little Bonny. That moment was Glory's opportunity, and she improved it,
thinking with good reason:

"If onct he gets a-hold on us he won't leave us go. He'd think it
wouldn't be right, for a p'liceman. Well, then, he shan't get a-hold!"

A few minutes later, when her patron had passed on, Apple Kate looked
around and missed the children, but supposed they had followed the
officer. Yet when he came back to the stand, he denied that they had
done so and angrily inquired "why she couldn't keep an eye on them and
oblige a man, while he just rung up headquarters?"

To which she as crisply replied, "Huh! My eyes has had all sight o' them
they want, and they'll trouble you nor me no more. They've skipped, so
you might 's well trot back and ring down whatever you've rung up.
They've skipped."



CHAPTER X

Another Stage of the Journey


The ferry-house where the policeman had found Glory and her "Angel" was
also the terminus of a great railway. Beyond the waiting-room were iron
gates, always swinging to and fro, for the passage of countless
travelers; and from the gates stretched rows of shining tracks. Puffing
engines moved in and out upon these, drawing mighty carriages that
rumbled after with a deafening noise. Gatemen shouted the names of the
outgoing trains, whistles blew, trunk-vans rattled, and on every side
excited people called to one another some confusing direction.

Glory, with Bonny Angel in her arms, had hurried up to one of these iron
gates, feeling that if she could but dash through and place that barrier
between herself and the too-faithful policeman, she would be free at
last. But the chance of so doing was long delayed. That particular
gateman appeared to prevent anybody passing him who did not show a bit
of printed cardboard, as he called, "Tickets! have your tickets ready!"

And, oh, in what a glorious voice he so directed them!

"My heart! If I could holler goobers like he does them car-trains,
folks'd jest have to buy, whether er no!" thought the little peddler, so
rapt in listening that she forgot everything else; till, at one louder
yell than all, the child in her arms shrieked in terror. At which the
gateman whirled round, leaving a space behind him, and Glory darted
through.

Neither the official nor she knew that she was doing a prohibited thing;
for he supposed she was hurrying to overtake some older party of
travelers and she knew nothing of station rules. Once past this gate,
she found herself in dangerous nearness to the many trains and could
walk neither this way nor that without some guard shouting after her,
"Take care, there!"

She dared not put Bonny Angel down even if the child would have
consented, and, continually, the rumblings and whistlings grew more
confusing. In comparison with this great shed, Elbow Lane, that Miss
Bonnicastle had found so noisy, seemed a haven of quietude and Glory
heartily wished herself back in it.

There must be a way out of this dreadful place, and the bewildered
little girl tried to find it. Yet there behind her rose a high brick
wall in which there was no doorway, on the left were the waiting or
moving trains and their shouting guards, and on the right that iron
fence with its rolling gates and opposing gatemen, and, also, that
policeman who would have taken Bonny Angel from her. Before her rose the
north-side wall of the building, that, at first glance, seemed as
unbroken a barrier as its counterpart on the south; but closer
inspection discovered a low, open archway through which men occasionally
passed.

"Whatever's beyond here can't be no worse," thought Take-a-Stitch, and
hurried through the opening. But once beyond it, she could only exclaim,
"Why, Bonny Angel, it's just the same, all tracks an' cars, though
'tain't got no roof over! My, I don't know how to go--an' I wish they
would keep still a minute an' let a body think!"

Even older people would have been confused in such a place, with
detached engines here and there, snorting and puffing back and forth in
a seemingly senseless way, its many tracks, and its wider outdoor
resemblance to the great shed she had left.

"Guess this is what Posy Jane 'd call 'hoppin' out the fryin'-pan inter
the fire,' Bonny Angel. It's worse an' more of it, an' I want to get
quit of it soon's I can. 'Tain't no ways likely grandpa's hereabouts,
an'----My, but you're a hefty little darlin'! If I wasn't afraid to let
you, I'd have ye walk a spell. But you might get runned over by some
them ingines what won't stay still no place an' I dastn't, you dear,
precious sweetness, you! I shan't put you down till I drop, 'less we get
out o' this sudden."

But even as she clasped her beloved burden the closer, Bonny Angel set
this decision at naught by kicking herself free from the girl too small
and weary to prevent; and once upon the ground, off she set along a
particularly shining track, cooing and shrieking her delight at her own
mischievousness.

"Oh! oh! oh!" screamed Glory, and started in pursuit. Of course, she
could run much faster than her "Guardian," but that tiny person had a
way of darting sidewise, here and there, and thus eluding capture just
as it seemed certain.

Fortunately, the direction she had chosen led outward and away from the
maze of steel lines, and, finding no harm come of it and the child so
happy, Glory gave up trying to catch and simply followed her. Just then,
too, there came into view the sight of green tree-tops and a glimpse of
the river, and these encouraged her to proceed. Indeed, she was now more
afraid to go back than to go forward, and Bonny Angel's strange
contentment in the care of a stranger, like herself, renewed a belief
that she was other than mere mortal, and so above the common needs of
babies.

Reasoned this "Little Mother" of Elbow Lane, "If she was just plain baby
an' not no 'Angel,' she'd a-cried fer her ma, an' she hain't never, not
onct. She hain't cried fer crusts, neither, like Meg-Laundress's twins
is always doin'. 'Course, them cakes what th' Apple Kate give her was
sweet an' a lot of 'em. The crumbs I et when Bonny Angel fired the bag
away was jest like sugar. My, prime! Some day, when I get rich, an' they
ain't nobody else a-wantin' 'em, I'll buy myself some cakes ezackly like
them was. I will so--if they ain't nobody else. But, there, Glory Beck,
you quit thinkin' 'bout eatin' 'less first you know, you'll be hungry
an' your stummick'll get that horrid feel again. Hi, I b'lieve it's
comin' a'ready an' yet I had that splendid breakfast!"

Somehow, the idea of food occurred to this trio of travelers at one and
the same time. Bo'sn crept up to his mistress and rubbed his sides
against her legs, dumbly pleading for rest and refreshment. He was very
tired, for a dog, and as confused as Take-a-Stitch by these strange
surroundings, and acted as if unwilling to go further afield. At every
possible chance now, he would lie down on the ground and remain there
until his companions were so far in advance that he feared to be lost
himself. Surely he felt that this long road was the wrong road, where he
would listen in vain for the tap-tap of his master's cane and the scent
of his master's footsteps.

As for Bonny Angel, she suddenly paused in the midst of her mischievous
gaiety, put up her lip and began to howl as loudly and dismally as any
common Lane baby could have done. Then when her new nurse hurried to
her, distressed and self-reproachful for not having carried her all the
way, down the little one flung herself prone in the dirt and rolled and
kicked most lustily.

Glory did her utmost, but she could neither quiet nor lift the
struggling "Angel," and finally she ceased her efforts and, with arms
akimbo and the wisdom of experience coolly addressed her charge:

"See here, Bonny Angel! You're the sweetest thing in the world, but
that's jest spunk, that is. You're homesick, I s'pose, an' tired an'
hungry, an' want your ma, an' all them bad things together makes you
feel ye don't know how! I feel that-a-way myself, a-times, but I don't
go rollin' in mud puddles an' sp'ilin' my nice silk coats, I don't. I
wouldn't besmutch myself so not fer nothin'. My, but you be a sight! An'
only this mornin' 't ever was you was that lovely!"

When Take-a-Stitch treated Bonny Angel as she would have treated any
other infant, the result proved her wisdom. As soon as comforting
ceased, the child's rebellion to it also ceased; and when, shocked by
its condition, the girl stooped to examine the once dainty coat, its
small wearer scrambled to her feet, lifted her tear-stained face to be
kissed, smiled dazzlingly, and cried merrily, "Bonny come!"

"Oh, you surely are an 'Angel,' you beautifullest thing!" said Glory,
again raising the child in her arms and starting onward once more. She
had no idea whither they were going and Bonny Angel had ceased to point
the way with her tiny forefinger, but she cuddled her curly head on her
nurse's shoulder and presently fell asleep.

The tracks diminished in number as they proceeded till they came to a
point where but few remained. Some ran straight on along the river bank,
though this was hidden by outlying small buildings; and some branched
westward around the bluff whereon grew those green trees and sloped the
terraces seen from the boat. Here, after a halt of admiration, Glory
found it growing exceedingly dark, and wondered if it had already become
nightfall.

"It seems forever an' ever since we started, but I didn't think 'twas
nigh bedtime. An', oh, my! Where will we sleep, an' shall I ever, ever
find my grandpa!"

It was, indeed, nearing the end of the day but it was a mass of heavy
clouds which had so suddenly darkened the world, clouds so black and
threatening that the workmen scattered along the tracks, busy with pick
and shovel, began to throw down their tools and make for the nearest
shelter. One man, with a coat over his head to protect him from the
already falling drops hurried past Glory, where she stood holding Bonny
Angel, and advised:

"Best not tarry, children, but scud for home. There's a terrible storm
coming." But he did not stop to see that they followed his advice nor
inquire if any home they had.

Poor Glory's heart sank. She was not afraid of any storm for herself
though she had never heard wind roar and wail as this did now, but how
could she bear to have her "Guardian" suffer. Even Meg's healthy
youngsters sometimes had croup and frightened their mother "outen her
seventy senses," and the croup usually followed a prolonged playing in
flooded gutters during a rain storm.

"I must find a place! Oh, there must be a place somewhere! She mustn't
get the croup an' die on me--she mustn't. Ain't I got to take her to her
ma, an' how could I tell her I let the baby die? Oh, where?"

With an agonized glance in every direction and a closer enfolding of the
sleeping child--over whose head she promptly threw her own abbreviated
skirt--she discovered, at last, a haven of refuge.

"My heart! That's littler 'an the littlest house, but it's big enough
fer us, you sweetest honey darlin', an' it must ha' growed a-purpose,
all in a minute, just fer us, like them fairy-lamp-an'-Aladdin yarns
what grandpa used to tell me! An' now I know fer true she is a surely
'Guardian Angel,' an' is tooken care of every time, 'cause a minute ago
that littler than the littlest wasn't there at all, for I never saw it
an' I should. An' now 'tis, an' we're in it an'----Oh, how glad I am!"

While these thoughts were passing through her mind Glory had been
staggering forward as swiftly as the wind and the burden she carried
would allow and she reached the shelter none too soon. The very instant
she passed within, the rain came down in torrents and the tiny structure
swayed dizzily in the gale.

"Littler than the littlest" it was, indeed; only a railway switchman's
"box," erected to shelter him in just such emergencies and from the cold
of winter nights. It had tiny windows and a narrow door; and, placing
Bonny Angel on the corner bench--its only furnishing--Take-a-Stitch
hastened to make all secure. The lightning flashed and the thunder
rolled, but still and happily the worn-out "Guardian" slept; so that,
herself overcome by fatigue and the closeness of the atmosphere the now
vagrant "Queen of Elbow Lane" dropped in a heap on the floor and also
slept.

This switch-box was one but seldom used and nobody came near it till
morning. Then a passing road-hand, on his way to work, fancied it a good
place wherein to eat his breakfast and opened the door. His cry of
surprise at sight of its strange occupants roused them both, and sent
Glory to her feet with an answering cry; while Bonny Angel merely opened
her eyes, stared sleepily around, and smilingly announced: "Bonny come!"

"Bless us, me honey, so you did! But it's meself'd like to be knowin'
where from an' how long sence the pair of ye got your job on the
railroad?"

There was nothing to fear about this man, as Goober Glory saw at once.
His homely face was gay with good health and good nature and the
sunshiny morning after the storm seemed not more sunshiny than he. But
his curiosity was great and he did not rest till it was satisfied by a
full recital of all that had happened to the straying children and their
plans for the future were explained.

The man's face grew grave and he shook his head with misgiving: "Lookin'
for a lot of lost people, is it, then? Hmm. An', that may be more'n of a
job than straightenin' crooked rails what the storm washed away, as I
must be doin' to onct. Too big a job to be tacklin' on empty stummicks,
betoken; so here, the two of yez, fall in an' taste this bread an' meat
an' couple o' cold spuds, an' let me get on to me own affairs."

Opening his tin pail, he made a cup of its inverted top, into which he
poured a lot of cold tea and offered it to Glory, who in turn, promptly
presented it to the now clamorous Bonny, and had the pleasure of seeing
the little one drink deeply before she discovered for herself that it
was not her accustomed milk, and rejected the remainder. Both the
workman and Take-a-Stitch laughed at the little one's wry face, while
having divided the bread and meat into three fair portions, all fell to
with a will, so that soon not a crumb was left.

"Ah, that was prime!" cried Glory, smacking her lips; "and you're the
primest sort of man to give it to us. I hope I'll have something to give
you some time," she finished a little wistfully, and keenly regarding
various rents in his clothes. "If I had my needle an' thread I might
work it out, maybe. You need mendin' dreadful."

"Betoken! So I do. An' be ye a colleen 'at's handy with them sort o'
tools?"

"Indeed, I can sew!" cried Glory, triumphantly. "It's 'cause of that the
Elbowers call me 'Mend-a-Hole,' or 'Take-a-Stitch,' whichever happens.
Why--why--I earn money--real money--sewin' the Lane folks up!"

"An' yet bein' that mite of a thing ye are!" returned this new friend,
admiringly. "Well then, 'tis out to me sister's husband's cousin's house
I'm wishin' ye was this instant. For of all the folks needs the mendin'
an' patchin', 'tis she, with her seven own childer, an' her ten boardin'
'hands,' an' her own man, that was gardener to some great folks beyant,
laid up with the chills an' not able to do a hand's turn for himself,
barrin' eatin' an' drinkin' fair, when the victuals is ready. He can
play a good knife an' fork, still, thanks be, an' it's hopin' he'll soon
be playin' his shovel an' spade just as lively, but that's no more here
nor yet there. There's miles betwixt this an' yon, an'----Hello! Aye,
hello-a-oa!"

The sudden break in Timothy Dowd's chatter was caused by the hailing of
some fellow workmen who had rumbled up to them a hand-car over a near-by
track and had signaled him to join them.

"For it's not down track but up you're to go, Tim, the washouts bein'
worst beyond. Step aboard, we've to hustle."

Timothy picked up his tools and started to comply, when his glance fell
once more upon the eager face of Goober Glory and pity for her made him
hesitate. Then a bright idea flashed through his brain and he demanded
of the man who had accosted him, "How fur be ye goin'?"

"To the trestle beyond Simpson's. Hurry up. Step on."

For only answer, Timothy immediately swung Glory up to the little
platform car, depositing Bonny Angel beside her with equal speed, then
made room for himself among the surprised trackmen already grouped
there. Yet beyond another astonished "Hello!" no comment was made and
the hand-car bumped forward again toward its destination.

However, it wasn't Timothy Dowd's habit to be silent when he could find
anything to say, so he was presently explaining in his loud-voiced,
jolly way that here was a "pair o' angels that he'd found floating round
in the mud and was goin' to bestow 'em where they'd do the most good.
An' that's to Mary Fogarty's, indeed. Her of the sharp tongue an' warm
heart an' houseful of creatures, every blessed one of that same rippin'
off buttons that constant, an' her livin' the very pattern of handiness
to Simpson's trestle an' couldn't have been planned no better not
if----Hi, baby, how goes it?"

This to Bonny Angel, whose eyes had shone with delight when first the
car had rolled forward, but who now grew frightened and began to whimper
dismally, which set Glory's own heart beating sorrowfully and spoiled
her pleasure in this novel ride. Springing up she would have taken Bonny
Angel from Timothy's arms into her own had he not rudely pushed her down
again, commanding sternly:

"Try that no more, colleen, lest ye'd be after murderin' the pair of us!
Sit flat, sit flat, girl, an' cut no monkey-shines with nobody, a-ridin'
on a hand-car."

Glory had not thought of danger, though her new friend had not
over-rated it. In obedience to this unexpected sternness, she crouched
motionless beside him, though she firmly clutched at Bonny's skirts and
began to think this her hardest experience yet, till after a time, at
sight of a gamboling squirrel, the little one forgot her fear and
laughed out gleefully. Then Glory laughed, too, for already her tiny
"Guardian" could influence every mood, so dearly had she grown to love
the child thus thrown upon her care.

How the fences and the fields raced by! How the birds sang and the
flowers bloomed! And how very, very soon the queer little car stopped
short at a skeleton bridge over a noisy creek! There all the workmen
leaped to the ground and hastily prepared for labor. Even Timothy had no
further time to talk but coolly setting the children upon a bank pointed
to a house across the fields and ordered Glory, "Go there an' tell your
story, an' tell Mary Fogarty I sent ye."

Then he fell to his own tasks and Take-a-Stitch had no choice save
obedience.

For a little distance, there was fascination in the meadow for both
small wanderers; but soon Bonny Angel's feet lagged and she put up her
arms with that mute pleading to be carried which Glory could not resist,
yet the little creature soon grew intolerably heavy, and her face buried
beneath her nurse's chin seemed to burn into the flesh, the blue eyes
closed, the whole plump little body settled limp and inert, and a swift
alarm shot through the other's heart.

"Oh, oh, I believe she's sick! Do 'Angels' ever get sick? But she isn't
a truly 'Angel,' I know now. She's just somebody's lost baby. Queer!
Grandpa so old an' she so young should both of 'em get lost to onct, an'
only me to look out for 'em! Yet, maybe, that Mary Fogarty woman'll help
us out. I hope she'll be like Meg-Laundress, or darlin' Posy Jane.
Strange, how long these fields are. Longer'n the longest avenue there is
an' not one single house the hull length. Why ain't there houses, I
wonder. Wake up, Bonny precious! We're almost there."

But when they reached the door of the Queen Anne cottage, which was
intended to be picturesque and had succeeded in being merely extremely
dirty, and out of which swarmed a horde of youngsters each more soiled
than the other, Glory's heart sank. For the big woman who followed the
horde was not in the least like either old friend of Elbow Lane. Her
voice was harsh and forbidding as she demanded, "Well, an' who are you;
an' what are you wantin' here?"

"Timothy sent us," answered Glory, meekly.

"Huh! He did, did he? Well, he never had sense. Now, into the house with
ye, every born child of ye!" she rejoined, indifferently, and "shooed"
her own brood, like a flock of chickens, back into the cottage, then
slammed its door in the visitor's face.



CHAPTER XI

A Haven of Refuge


Glory's walk and heavy burden had exhausted her and, almost
unconsciously, she let Bonny Angel slip from her arms to the door-step
where she stood. There the child lay, flushed and motionless, in a sleep
which nothing disturbed, though hitherto she had wakened at any call.
Now, though in remorse at her own carelessness, Take-a-Stitch bent over
the little one and begged her pardon most earnestly, the baby gave no
sign of hearing and slumbered on with her face growing a deeper red and
her breath beginning to come in a way that recalled the old captain's
snores.

"What shall I do now?" cried poor Glory, aloud, looking around over the
wide country, so unlike the crowded Lane, and seeing no shelter anywhere
at which she dared again apply. Some buildings there were, behind and
removed from the cottage; but they were so like that inhospitable
structure in color and design that she felt their indwellers would also
be the same.

"Oh, I wish I hadn't come all that way over the grass," said poor Glory.
"If we'd stayed by them car-rails, likely we'd have come somewhere that
there was houses--different. And, Bonny Angel, sweetest, preciousest,
darlingest one, do please, please, wake up and walk yourself just a
little, teeny, tiny bit. Then, when I get rested a mite, I'll carry you
again, 'cause we've got to go, you see. That Timothy was mistook an' his
sister's husband's cousin won't let us in."

Yet even while her back was toward it, as she contemplated the landscape
pondering which way lay her road, the door again suddenly opened and
Mary Fogarty announced, shrilly, but not unkindly:

"There's the wagon-house. You can rest there a spell, seein' you was
simple enough to lug that hefty young one clear across the meadder. It's
that third one, where the big door stands open an' the stone-boat is."

Glory faced about, her face at once radiant with gratitude, and its
effect upon the cottage mistress was to further soften her asperity, so
that though she again ejaculated that contemptuous "Huh!" it was in a
milder tone; and, with something like interest she demanded, "How long
's that baby been that feverish she is now? She looks 's if she was
comin' down with somethin' catchin'. Best get her home, soon 's you can,
sissy. She ain't fit to be runnin' round loose."

Poor little Bonny Angel didn't look much like "running loose" at
present, and as for "home," the word brought an intolerable feeling to
Glory's heart, making the sunny fields before her to seem like prison
walls that yet had a curious sort of wobble to them, as if they were
dancing up and down in a wild way. But that was because she regarded
them now through a mist of tears she could not repress, while visions of
a shadowy Lane, whose very gloom would have been precious to her on that
hot day, obtruded themselves upon the scene.

With a desperate desire for guidance, Glory burst out her whole story
and Mary Fogarty was forced to listen, whether or no. To that good
woman's credit it was that as she listened her really warm heart, upon
which Timothy Dowd had counted, got the better of her impatience and,
once more closing the door upon her peeping children, she said,

"Why, you poor, brave little creatur'! Come this way. I'll show you
where, though you must carry the baby yourself, if so be she won't carry
herself. I've got seven o' my own an' I wouldn't have nothin' catchin'
get amongst them, not for a fortune. I wouldn't dare. I've had 'em down,
four er five to a time, with whooping-cough an' measles an' scarletina
an' what not; an' now sence the twinses come, I don't want no more of it
I can tell you. Don't lag."

Mary strode along, "like a horse," as her husband frequently
complimented her, walking as fast as she was talking and, with Bonny
Angel in her arms, Goober Glory did her best to keep a similar pace. But
this was impossible. Not only were her feet heavy beneath the burden she
bore, but her heart ached with foreboding. With Bonny Angel ill, how was
the search for grandpa to go on? How to look for the little one's own
people? Yet how terrible that they must be left in their grief while she
could do nothing to comfort them.

"Oh, if they only knew! She's so safe with me, I love her so. If I could
only tell them! I wonder--I wonder who they are and where they are and
shall I ever, ever find them!" she exclaimed in her anxiety as, coming
to the wagon-house door, she found Mistress Fogarty awaiting her.

That lady answered with her own cheerful exclamation, "'Course you will.
Everything comes right, everywhere, give it time enough. Now step right
up into this loft. There's a bed here that the extry man sleeps on when
there is an extry. None now. Real gardenin' comes to a standstill when
Dennis has the chills. You can put the baby down there an' let her sleep
her sleep out. You might 's well lie down yourself and take a snooze,
bein' you're that petered out a luggin'.

"I must get back an' start up dinner," continued Mary. "It's a big job,
even with Dennis round to peel and watch the fryin'. Seven youngsters of
my own, with him an' me, and ten boarders----My, it takes a pile of
bread to keep all them mouths full, let alone pies an' fixin's. It's
vegetable soup to-day, and as the gang's working right nigh, they'll all
be in prompt. I won't forget ye, an' I'll send something out to ye by
somebody--but don't you pay me back by giving one of my children
anything catchin'!"

Before Glory could assure the anxious mother that she would do her
utmost for their safety, Mary had run down the rude stairs, shaking the
shed-like building as she ran, and was within the red cottage ere the
visitor realized it.

Glory exclaimed, as she gazed about, "Here we are, at last, in a regular
house! And my, isn't it big? Why, ever an' ever so much bigger than the
'littlest house in Ne' York!' That bed's wide enough for all Meg's
children to onct, and--my, how Bonny Angel does sleep. I'm sleepy, too,
now I see such a prime place. The woman told me to sleep and I guess I'd
better mind."

So, presently, having removed Bonny's draggled coat from the still
drowsy child, Glory placed her charge at the extreme back of the bed and
lay down herself.

"Wake up, sissy! Come down an' get your basin of soup. Enough in it for
the pair of ye, with strawberry shortcake to match!"

It was this summons which aroused Glory from a delightful slumber and
she sprang to her feet, not comprehending, at first, what she heard or
where she was. Then she returned, laughing as she spoke, "'Course I'll
come, you splendid Mary Fogarty! And I'm more obliged 'an I can say, but
I'll work it out, I truly will try to work it out, if you'll hunt up
your jobs. That dear Timothy said you needed mendin', dreadful!"

But she was unaware that this same Timothy was also close at hand.

"Oh! he did, did he? Well, he said the true word for once, but bad
manners in him all the same," answered Mrs. Fogarty; and, as Glory
joined them at the foot of the stairs, there were the two engaged in a
sort of scuffle which had more mirth than malice in it.

When Take-a-Stitch appeared, they regarded her with a look of compassion
which she did not understand; because at the dinner, now comfortably
over, the child and her hopeless search had been discussed and the ten
boarders, the seven children, with their parents, had all reached one
and the same conclusion, namely, that the only safe place for such
innocent and ignorant vagrants was in some "Asylum." Who was to announce
this decision and convey the little ones to their place of refuge had
not, as yet, been settled. Nobody was inclined to take up that piece of
work and the ten boarders sauntered back to their more congenial labor
on the railroad, leaving the matter in Mary Fogarty's hands.

However, it was a matter destined for nobody to settle, because when
Glory had carefully conveyed the basin of soup, the pitcher of milk and
the generous slices of shortcake back to the loft, she was frightened
out of all hunger by the appearance of Bonny Angel. It was almost the
first time in her life that the little "Queen of Elbow Lane" had had a
dinner set before her of such proper quantity and quality, yet she was
not to taste it.

Bonny was tossing to and fro, sometimes moaning with pain, sometimes
shrieking in terror, but always in such a state as to banish every
thought save of herself from Glory's mind. And then began a week of the
greatest anxiety and distress which even the little caretaker of Elbow
Lane, with her self-imposed charge of its many children, had ever known.

"If she should die before I find her folks! If it's 'cause I haven't
done the best I could for her----Oh, what shall I do!" wailed
Take-a-Stitch, herself grown haggard with watching and grief, so that
she looked like any other than the winsome child who had flashed upon
Miss Bonnicastle's vision at that memorable visit of hers to that
crooked little alley where they had met.

And Timothy Dowd, the only one of the big household near, whom Mary
Fogarty permitted to enter the wagon-house-hospital, sighed as he
answered with an affected cheerfulness: "Sure, it's nobody dies around
these parts; not a body since I was put to work on this section the
road. So, why more her nor another an' she the youngest o' the lot?
Younger, betoken, nor the twinses theirselves.

"An' it's naught but that crotchetty woman, yon," continued Tim, "that's
cousin to me own sister's husband, 'd have took such fool notions into
her head. Forbiddin' me, even me, her own relation by marriage, to set
foot inside her door till she says the word, an' somebody tellin' her we
should be smoked out with sulphur an' brimstone, like rats in a hole,
ere ever we can mix with decent folks again. An' some of the boys, even,
takin' that nonsense from herself, an' not likin' to dig in the same
ditch along with the contagious Tim. Sure, it's contagious an'
cantankerous and all them other big things we'll be, when we get out o'
this an' find the old captain, your grandpa, an' the biggest kind of a
celebration 'twill be, or never saw I the blue skies of old Ireland!
Bless the sod!"

But in his heart, faithful Timothy did not look for Bonny Angel's
recovery. Nobody knew what ailed her, since physician had not been
called. Against such professional advice, Mary Fogarty had set her big
foot with an unmovable firmness. Doctors had never interfered in her
household save once, when Dennis, misguided man, had consulted one. And
witness, everybody, hadn't he been sick and useless ever since?

So, from a safe distance, she assumed charge of the case; sending Glory
a pair of shears with which to shave Bonny's sunny head, directing that
all windows should be closed, lest the little patient "take cold," and
preparing food suitable for the hardest working "boarder," rather than
the delicate stomach of a sick child.

However, had they known it, there was nothing whatever infectious about
little Bonny's illness, which was simply the result of unaccustomed
exposure and unwholesome food; nor did good Mary's unwise directions
cause any great harm, because, though a delicate child, the baby was a
healthy one. She had no desire for the coarse food that was offered her
but drank frequently of the milk that accompanied it; and as for the
matter of fresh air, although Glory had to keep the windows closed,
there was plenty of ventilation from the wide apertures under the eaves
of the shed.

At the end of the week, the devoted young nurse had the delight of
hearing her "Angel" laugh outright, for the first time in so many days,
and to feel her darling's arms about her own neck while the pale little
lips cried out once more the familiar, "Bonny come! Bonny come!"

To catch her tiny "Guardian" up and run with her to the cottage-door
took but a minute, but there Glory's enthusiasm was promptly dashed by
Mary's appearance. Shaking her arms vigorously, she "shooed" the pair
away, as she "shooed" everything objectionable out of her path.

"Stand back! Stand back, the two of ye! Don't dast to come anigh, sence
the time of gettin' over things is the very worst time to give 'em.
Hurry back to the wagon-house, quick, quick! And once you're safe
inside, I'll fetch you some other clothes that you must both put on.
Every stitch you've wore, ary one, and the bedclothes, has got to be
burnt. Tim's to burn 'em this noonin'. I've got no girl your size, but
that don't matter. I've cut off an old skirt o' my own, for your
outside, an' little Joe's your very pattern for shape, so his shirt an'
blouse 'll do amazin' well. As for the baby, she can put on a suit of
the twinses' till so be we can do better. Now hurry up!"

Glory could not help lingering for a moment to ask, "Must it be burned?
Do you really, truly, mean to burn Bonny Angel's lovely white silk coat,
an' her pretty dress all lace an' trimmin'? An' my blue frock--why, I
haven't wore it but two years, that an' the other one to home. It's as
good as good, only lettin' out tucks now and then an'----"

"Huh! S'pose you, a little girl, know more about what's right than I do,
a big growed up woman? I've took you in an' done for ye all this time
an' the least you can do is to do as you're told," replied Mrs. Fogarty,
in her sharpest manner.

Thus reprimanded, Glory retreated to the wagon-house, whence, after a
time, she reappeared so altered by her new attire that she scarcely knew
herself. Much less, did she think, that any old friend of Elbow Lane
would recognize her. She was next directed to carry all the discarded
clothing and bedding to a certain spot in the barnyard, where Timothy
would make a bonfire of it as soon as he appeared; and her heart ached
to part with the silken coat which had enwrapped her precious
"Guardian," even though it were now soiled and most disreputable.

However, these were minor troubles. The joyful fact remained that Bonny
Angel had not died but was already recovered and seemed more like her
own gay little self with every passing moment. Clothes didn't matter,
even if they were those of a boy. They needed considerable hitching up
and pinning, for they were as minus of buttons as all the garments
seemed to be which had to pass through Mary Fogarty's hands and washtub;
but a few strings would help and maybe Timothy Dowd could supply those;
and if once Take-a-Stitch could get her fingers upon a needle and
thread--my, how she would alter everything!

Summoned back to the cottage, after she had fulfilled her hostess's last
demand, Glory's spirits rose to the highest. It was the first time she
had entered the ranks of the seven other children which filled it to
overflowing, and who were "shooed" into or out of it, according to their
mother's whim.

It happened to be out, just then, and with the throng Glory, fast
holding Bonny in her arms, chanced to pass close beside the shivering
Dennis in his seat by the stove. He looked at her curiously but kindly,
and his gaze moved from her now happy face to that of the child in her
clasp, where it rested with such a fixed yet startled expression that
Glory exclaimed, "Oh, sir, what is it? Do you see anything wrong with my
precious?"

Now it was the fact that Dennis Fogarty spoke as seldom as his wife did
often; and that when he was most profoundly moved he spoke not at all.
So then, though his eyes kept their astonished, perplexed expression,
his lips closed firmly and to Glory's anxious inquiry, he made no reply.

Therefore, waiting but a moment longer, she hurried after the other
children and in five minutes was leading them at their games just as she
had always led the Elbow children in theirs. But Bonny was still too
weak and too small to keep up very long with the boisterous play of
these new mates, and seeing this, Take-a-Stitch presently made the seven
group themselves around her on the grass while she told them tales.

Glory thought of all the fairy stories with which the old blind captain
had beguiled their darkened evenings in that "littlest house" where gas
or lamplight could not be afforded; then she went on to real stories of
the Elbow children themselves; of Meg-Laundress and Posy Jane; and most
of all of Nick and Billy, her chosen comrades and almost brothers. One
and all the young Fogartys listened open-mouthed and delighted; but,
when pressed to talk more about that "grandpa you're lookin' for," poor
Glory grew silent.

It was one of the loveliest spots in the world where Glory sat that
morning, with its view of field and mountain and the wonderful river
winding placidly between; but the outcast child would have exchanged it
all for just one glimpse of a squalid alley, and a tiny familiar
doorway, wherein an old seaman should be sitting carving a bit of wood.

Thinking of him, though not talking, she became less interesting company
to the Fogartys, who withdrew one by one, attracted by the odor of
dinner preparing, and hungry for the scraps which would be tossed among
them by their indulgent mother.

Bonny Angel went to sleep; and, holding her snugly, Glory herself leaned
back against the tree trunk where she was sitting and closed her own
eyes. She did this the better to mature her plans for the search she
meant to resume that very day, if possible, and certainly by the morrow
at the latest. Now that Bonny was so nearly well, she must go on; and as
her head whirled with the thoughts which swarmed it, it seemed to her
that she had "grown as old as old since grandpa went away."

Glory at last decided that she had best stop thinking and planning
altogether, just for a moment, and go to sleep as Bonny Angel had done.
She remembered that grandpa had often said that a nap of "forty winks"
would clear his own head and set him up lively for the rest of the day.
Whatever Captain Simon Beck, in his great wisdom said was right, must be
so; and though it seemed very lazy for a big girl such as she to take
"forty winks" on her own account and in the daytime, she did take them
and with so many repetitions of the "forty" that the boarders had all
come home across the fields before she roused again to know what was
going on about her.

There was a hum of voices on the other side of the tree; and though they
were low, as if not intended for her ear, they were also very earnest
and in evident dispute over some subject which she gradually learned was
none other than herself.

She had been going to call out to them, cheerily, but what she heard
made her sit up and listen closely. Not very honorable, it may be, yet
wholly natural, since Mistress Mary was insisting:

"There's no use talkin', Timothy Dowd, them two must pack to the first
'Asylum' will take 'em in. The sooner the better and this very day the
best of all. 'Twas yourself brought 'em or sent 'em, and 'tis yourself
must do the job. You can knock off work this half-day and get it
settled."

"Oh, but Mary, me cousin, by marriage that is. I hate it. I hate it
worse nor ever was. Sure, it was bad enough touchin' a match to them
neat little clothes o' theirs but forcin' themselves away----Ah! Mary,
mother o' seven, think! What if 'twas one o' your own, now?" wheedled
Tim.

But Mary was not to be moved. Indeed, she dared not be. As Glory had
already learned, Dennis Fogarty was the now useless gardener of the rich
family which lived in the great house on the hill beyond, and to whom
the abused Queen Anne cottage and all the other red outbuildings visible
belonged.

The rich people were very particular to have all things on their estate
kept in perfect order; and though they had no fault to find with Dennis
himself, whenever he was well enough to work, they did find much fault
with his shiftless or careless wife, while the brood of noisy children
was a constant annoyance to them, whenever they occupied Broadacres.

It was for this reason that during the family's stay at the great house,
Mary so seldom allowed her children out of the house; nor had Dennis
ever permitted her to visit the place in person when there was any
chance of her being seen by his employers. He felt that he held his own
position merely by their generosity; nor did he approve of her boarding
the workmen of the near-by railway. Still, he knew that his children must
be fed, and, without the money she earned, how could they be?

Mary's argument, then, against taking into her home two more children,
to make bad matters worse, was a good one, and Timothy could find no
real word to say against it. Yet he was all in sympathy with Glory's
search for the missing seaman, and how could he be the instrument of
shutting her up in any institution, no matter how good, where she could
not continue that search?

Having heard thus much, and recalling even then Posy Jane's saying about
"listeners hearin' no good o' theirselves," Take-a-Stitch quietly rose
and went around the tree till she stood before her troubled friends.

"Why, I thought you was asleep!" cried poor Timothy, rather awkwardly
and very red in the face.

"So I was, part of the time. Part I wasn't and I listened. I shouldn't
ought, I know, an' grandpa would say so, but I'm glad I did, 'cause you
needn't worry no more 'bout Bonny Angel an' me. I will start right off.
I was going to, to-morrow, anyway, if she didn't get sick again; an'
Mis' Fogarty will have to leave us these clothes till--till--I can some
time--some day--maybe earn some for myself. Then I'll get 'em sent back,
somehow, an'----"

By this time, Mary was also upon her feet, tearful and compassionate and
fain to turn her eyes away from the sad, brave little face that
confronted her. Yet not even her pity could fathom the longing of this
vagrant "Queen" for her dirty Lane and her loyal subjects; nor how she
shrank in terror from the lonely search she knew she must yet continue,
thinking, "'Cause grandpa would never have give me up if I was lost and
I never will him, never, never, never! But if only Billy, er Nick,
er----"

Mrs. Fogarty interrupted the little girl's thoughts with the remark,
"Now them 'Asylums' is just beautiful, honey darlin'--an' you'll be as
happy as the day is long. You'll----"

It was Glory's turn to interrupt the cooing voice, which, indeed, she
had scarcely heard, because of another sound which had come to her ear;
and it was now a countenance glorified in truth by unlooked-for
happiness that they saw, as with uplifted hand and parted lips, she
strove to catch the distant strains of music which seemed sent to check
her grief.

"Hark! Hark! Listen! Sh-h-h!" cried the girl.

"Bless us, colleen! Have ye lost your seventy senses, laughin' an'
cryin' to onct, like a daft creatur'?" demanded Timothy, amazed.

She did not stop to answer him but gently placing Bonny Angel in his
arms, sped away down the road, crying ecstatically, "Luigi! Luigi!"



CHAPTER XII

News From The Lane


"Hmm, hmm, indeed! An' what is 'Loo-ee-gy' anyhow? An' what is the noise
I hear save one them wore-out hurdy-gurdies, that do be roamin' the
country over, soon's ever the town gets too hot to hold 'em? Wouldn't
'pear that a nice spoken little girl as yon would be takin' up with no
Eyetalian organ-grinder," grumbled Timothy, a trifle jealously. Already
he felt a sort of proprietorship in Glory and the "Angel" and had
revolved in his mind for several nights--that is when he could keep
awake--what he could do to help her. He was as reluctant to place her in
any institution against her will as she was to have him, but he had not
known what else to propose to Mary's common sense suggestion.

Both Timothy and Mrs. Fogarty watched the open gateway, through which
Take-a-Stitch had vanished, for her to reappear, since the brick wall at
the foot of the slope fully hid the road beyond.

The music had soon ceased, but not until all the seven had swarmed out
of the house, excited over even so trifling a "show" to break the
monotony of their lives. All seven now began to exercise themselves in
the wildest antics, leaping over one another's shoulders, turning
somersaults, each fisticuffing his neighbor, and finally emitting a
series of deafening whoops as Glory actually turned back into the
grounds, her hands clinging to the arm of a swarthy little man, who
carried a hand-organ on his back and a monkey on his shoulder. The
hand-organ was of the poorest type and the monkey looked as though he
had been "upon the road" for many, many years--so ancient and wrinkled
was his visage. His jaunty red coat had faded from its original tint to
a dirty brown; and the funny little cap which he pulled from his head
was full of holes, so that it was a wonder he did not lose from it the
few cents he was able to collect in it for his master.

But the vagrant pair might have been some wonderful grandees, so proudly
did Goober Glory convey them up the slope to the very tree where Mary
and her brood awaited them, crying joyfully:

"'Tis Luigi! Luigi Salvatore, Antonio's brother! He knows me, he knows
us all and he's come straight from Elbow Lane. I mean, quite straight,
'cause he was there after I was. Wasn't you, Luigi?"

Luigi stood bareheaded now, resting his organ-pole upon the ground and
glancing from Glory's eager face to the curious faces of these others.
He understood but little of "United States language," having come to
that country but a short time before, and having hitherto relied upon
his brother Toni to interpret for him when necessary. He was waiting
permission to grind out his next tune, and not as surprised as Timothy
was that the little girl should have recognized his organ from a
multitude of others, which to the railroader sounded exactly the same.

Take-a-Stitch nodded her head, also freshly cropped like Bonny's, and he
began. For a time all went well. The seven young Fogartys were in
ecstasies, and even their elders beamed with delight, forgetting that
the one would be "docked" for his wasted time and the other that the cat
and her kittens were at that moment helping to "clear the table" she had
left standing. Even Bonny Angel gravely nodded approval from her perch
in Timothy's arms, save when the too solicitous monkey held his cap to
her. Then she frowned and buried her pretty face on Timothy's shoulder
and raised it only when Jocko had hopped another way.

But suddenly out of his selections, Luigi began that ancient tune, "A
Life on the Ocean Wave, A Home on the Rolling Deep"--and then disaster!

Almost as distinctly as if he stood there before her in the flesh,
forsaken Glory saw her grandfather's beloved form; clad in his well-kept
old uniform, buttons shining, head thrown back, gilt-trimmed cap held
easily in his wrinkled hand, with Bos'n sitting gravely upright beside
him. There he stood, in her fancy; and the vision well-nigh broke her
heart. Then down upon the grass she flung herself and all her brave
self-repression gave way before the flood of homesick longing which
besieged her.

Nobody quite understood what ailed her, though from having heard the
captain sing that melody he had just ground out, Luigi dimly guessed.
But the effect upon all was that there had been quite music enough for
the time being, and Mary showed her wisdom by drawing the company away,
counseling:

"Let her have her cry out. She's kep' in brave an' 'twill do her good.
More good'n a lickin'!" she finished, with a lunge at her eldest son,
who was fast changing his playful cuffs of a twin into blows which were
not playful; and all because between Jocko and that twin was already
developing considerable interest, which the bigger boy wished to fix
upon himself.

"Well now, ma! What for? 'Tain't every day a monkey comes a visitin'
here an' he's had him long enough. My turn next, an' that's fair,"
protested Dennis, junior, namesake of the gardener.

"No more it isn't, an' me forgettin' my manners after the fine music
he's give us. Look up, Glory, an' ask the gentleman, Looeegy yon, would
he like a bite to eat."

The girl raised her face, already ashamed of crying before other people,
and instantly eager to do something for this visitor from "home"; and
when she had repeated Mary's invitation to Luigi the smiles came back to
her own face at the smiles which lightened his.

Alas! It wasn't very much of the good dinner was left, after the cat and
her kittens had done with it, but such as remained was most welcome to
the poor Italian. Accustomed to a dry loaf of bread washed down with
water from the roadside, even the remnants of Mary Fogarty's food seemed
a feast to him; and he enjoyed it upon the door-step with Glory at his
feet and Jocko coming in for whatever portion his master thought best to
spare.

Afterward, comforted and rested, he would have repaid his hostess by
another round of his melodies; but this, much to the disgust of seven
small lads, Take-a-Stitch prevented.

Leading the organ-grinder from the threshold of the cottage to the tree
beyond it, Glory made Luigi sit down again and answer every question she
put to him; and though he did not always comprehend her words, he did
her gestures, so that, soon, she had learned all he knew of the Lane
since she had left it until the previous day when he had done so.

First, because to him it seemed of the greater importance, Luigi dwelt
upon Toni's disappointment, and divulged the great "secret" which had
matured in the peanut-merchant's brain, and was to have been made known
to Goober Glory, had she not "runned the way." The secret was a scheme
for the betterment of everybody concerned and of Antonio Salvatore in
especial; and to the effect that the blind captain and Goober Glory
should form a partnership. She was to be given charge of Antonio's own
big stand; while comfortable upon a high stool, beside it, the captain
was to sit and sing. This would have attracted many customers, Toni
thought, by its novelty; and, incidentally, the seaman might sell some
of his own frames. As for the proprietor himself, he was to have taken
and greatly enlarged the "outside business"; Luigi assisting him
whenever the organ failed to pay.

"Money, little one! Oh, mucha money for all! But you stole the baby and
runned away," ended this part of the stroller's tale, as she interpreted
it.

"I never! Never, never, never! She was sent! She belongs. Hear me!"
cried Glory, indignantly, and forthwith poured into Luigi's puzzled ear
all her own story. Then she demanded that he should answer over again
her first question when she had met him; hoping a different reply.

"Has my grandpa come back?"

But Luigi only shook his head. Even through his dim understanding, there
had filtered the knowledge that the fine old captain never would so
come. He had been killed, crushed, put out of this sunny world by a
cruel accident. So Antonio had told him; but so, in pity, for her he
would not repeat. Rather he would make light of the matter, and did so,
shrugging his shoulders in his foreign fashion and elevating his
eyebrows indifferently; then conveyed to her in his broken English that
the seaman must have "moved," because the landlord had come and sent all
the furnishings of the "littlest house" to the grocer's for safe
keeping; and there she would find them when she wished.

As for Billy Buttons and Nick, his chum, they were as bad as ever; and
Posy Jane had never a penny for his music, never; though Meg-Laundress
would sometimes toss him one if he would play for a long, long time and
so keep her children amused and out of mischief. She, too, had even gone
so far as to bid him look out all along the road he should travel for
Goober Glory herself; and if he found her and brought her back, why she
would make him a fine present. Goober Glory had been the most
inexpensive and faithful of nurses to Meg's children and she could
afford to do the handsome thing by any one who would restore her
services.

"And here I find you, already," said Luigi, accepting the wonderful fact
as if it were the simplest thing in the world, whereas, out of the many
roads by which he might have journeyed from the city, this was the one
least likely to attract his wandering footsteps. And this strange thing
was, afterward, to confirm good Meg-Laundress in her faith in "Guardian
Angels."

But when he proposed that they return at once to the Lane lest Meg's
promise should be forgotten and he defrauded of his present, Glory
firmly objected:

"No, no, Luigi. I must find grandpa. I must find this baby's folks. Then
we will go back, you and me and all of us but her; 'cause then I'll have
to give her up, I reckon--the darlin', preciousest thing!"

Luigi glanced at the sun, at the landscape, at the group of watchful
Fogartys, and reflected that there was no money to be made there. The
hand-organ belonged to Tonio, his brother, and the monkey likewise.
Tonio loved money better than anything; and Luigi, the organ, and the
monkey had been sent forth to collect it, not to loiter by the way; and
if he was not to return at once and secure Meg's present, that would
have been appropriated by Antonio, as a matter of course, he must be
about his business. When he had slowly arrived at this decision, he
rose, shouldered the hurdy-gurdy, signaled Jocko to his wrist, pulled
his cap in respect to his hostess, and set off.

"Wait, wait, Luigi! just one little minute! I must bid them good-bye,
'cause they've been so good to me, and I'm going with you! Just one
little bit or minute!" cried Glory, clasping his arm, imploringly.

The organ-grinder would be glad of her company, of any company, in fact;
so he waited unquestioningly, while Glory explained, insisted, and
finally overcame the expostulations of Timothy and Mary.

"Yes, she must go. Not until she had looked forever and ever could she
be shut up in a ''sylum' where she could look no further. When she found
him, they would come back, he and she, and show them how right she was
to keep on and how splendid he was. She thanked them--my, how she did
thank them for their kindness, and, besides, there was Bonny Angel. If
she'd dared to give up lookin' for grandpa, as he wouldn't have give up
lookin' for her, she must, she must, find the Angel's folks. She
couldn't rest--nohow, never. Think o' all them broken hearts, who'd lost
such a beau-tiful darlin' as her!"

Then she added, with many a loving look over the whole group, "But I
mustn't keep poor Luigi. He belongs to Toni, seems if, an' Toni
Salvatore can make it lively for them 'at don't please him. So,
good-bye, good-bye--everybody. Every single dear good body!"

Turning, with Bonny Angel once more in her own arms, walking backward to
have the very last glimpse possible of these new friends, with eyes fast
filling again, and stumbling over her long skirt that had lost its last
hook, Glory Beck resumed her seemingly hopeless search.

However, she was not to depart just yet nor thus. To the surprise of
all, Dennis himself now appeared in the doorway and held up his hand to
detain her. Until then, he had showed but slight interest in her, and
his strange staring at Bonny had been unnoticed by his wife. Now his
face wore a puzzled expression and he passed his hand across his eyes as
if he wished to clear his sight. He gazed with intensity upon Glory's
"Guardian" once more, and at last remarked:

"Pease in a pod. 'Tother had yellow curls. Awful trouble for them,
plenty as kids are the country over. Pease in a pod. Might try it;" and
turning sidewise he pointed toward the distant great house on the hill.
Then he retreated to his fireside again, and Mary was left to interpret.
She did so, saying:

"He's sayin' the 'family' 's in some sort o' trouble, though I hadn't
heard it. Though, 'course, they've been home only a few days an'
whatever any the other hands what's been down to see him sence has told
him he hain't told me. But I make out 't he thinks Looeegy's playin' up
there on the terrace might do noh arm an'll likely cheer 'em up a mite.
That's what I make out Dennis means. You an' the organ-man'd best make
your first stop along the road up to the big house. If they won't pay
anything to hear him play, likely they will to have him go away, bein's
they're dreadful scared of tramps an' such. Good-bye. Come an' see us
when you can!"



CHAPTER XIII

The Wonderful Ending


"Sure, and it's not meself can tackle the road, the day. As well be
'docked' for the end as the beginnin', an' I'm minded to keep that lot
company a piece," remarked Timothy Dowd, to his sister's husband's
cousin. "That monkey is most interestin', most interestin' an'
improvin'; an' 'tisn't often a lad from old Ireland has the chance to
get acquaintance of the sort, leave alone that Glory girl, what's took
up quarters in me heart an' won't be boosted thence, whatever. The poor
little colleen! A-lookin' for one lost old man out of a world full!
Bless her innocent soul! Yes. I've a mind to company them a bit. What
say, Mary, woman?"

"What need to say a word, sence when a man's bent to do a thing he does
it? But keep an open ear, Timothy, boy. I'm curious to know what sort o'
trouble 'tis, Dennis hints at, as comin' to them old people yon. And
he'd never say, considerin' as he does, that what goes on in the big
house is no consarn o' the cottage, an' fearin' to remind 'em even't
we're alive, lest they pack us off an' fetch in folks with no childer to
bless an' bother 'em. Yes, go, Timothy; and wait; here's one them handy
catch-pins, that Glory might tighten her skirt a bit."

Timothy's usually merry face had been sadly overclouded as he watched
the departure of Glory and her companions, but it lightened instantly
when Mary favored his suggestion to follow and learn their fortune. With
his hat on the back of his head, his stick over his shoulder, and his
unlighted pipe in his mouth--which still managed to whistle a gay tune
despite this impediment--he sauntered along the road in the direction
the others had taken, though at some distance behind them. But when they
passed boldly through the great iron gates and followed the driveway
winding over the beautiful lawn, his bashfulness overcame him, and he
sat down on the bank-wall to await their return, which must be, he
fancied, by that same route; soliloquizing thus:

"Sure, Tim, me boy, if it's tramps they object to, what for 's the use
o' turnin' your honest self into such? Them on ahead has business to
tend to; the business o' makin' sweet music where music there is none;
an' may the pennies roll out thick an' plenteous an' may the Eyetalian
have the good sense in him to share them same with my sweet colleen.
It's thinkin' I am that all is spent on such as her is money well
invested. So I'll enjoy the soft side this well-cut top-stone, till so
be me friends comes along all in a surprise to see me here."

His own whistling had ceased, and though he listened closely he could
not hear Luigi's organ or any sound whatever. The truth was that the way
seemed endless from the entrance to the house upon the terrace; and that
having reached it at last, both Luigi and Glory were dismayed by the
magnitude of the mansion and confused by its apparently countless
doorways. Before which they should take their stand, required time to
decide; but unobserved, they finally settled this point. Luigi rested
his instrument upon its pole, loosed Jocko to his gambols, and tuned up.

The strains which most ears would have found harsh and discordant
sounded pleasantly enough to the listening Timothy, who nodded his head
complacently, wishing and thinking:

"Now he's off! May he keep at it till he wheedles not only the pence but
the dollars out the pockets o' them that hears! 'Twill take dollars
more'n one to keep Glory on her long road, safe and fed, and----Bless
us! What's that?"

What, indeed, but the wildest sort of uproar, in which angry voices, the
barking of dogs, the screams of frightened women drowning the feeble
tones of "Oft in the Stilly Night," sent Timothy to his feet and his
feet to speeding, not over the graveled driveway, but straight across
the shaven lawn, where passage was forbidden. But no "Keep off the
grass" signs deterred him, as he remembered now, too late, all that he
had heard of the ferocity of the Broadacre dogs which its master kept
for just such occasions as this.

"Bloodhounds! And they've loosed them! Oh, me darlin' colleen! Ill to me
that I let ye go wanderin' thus with that miserable Eyetalian! But I'm
comin'! Tim's comin'!" he yelled, adding his own part to the wild chorus
above.

He reached the broad paved space before the great door none too soon,
and though, ordinarily, he would have given the yelping hounds a very
wide berth, he did not hesitate now. Huddled together in a group, with
the frantic animals bounding and barking all around them, though as yet
not touching them, stood the terrified Luigi and his friends; realizing
what vagrancy means in this "land of the free," and how even to earn an
honest living one should never dare to "trespass."

But even as Timothy forced his stalwart frame between the children and
the dogs, the great door opened and a white-haired gentleman came
hurrying out. Thrusting a silver whistle to his lips he blew upon it
shrilly, and almost instantly the uproar ceased, and the three hounds
sprang to his side, fawning upon him, eager for his commendation.
Instead of praise, however, they were given the word of command and
crouched beside him, licking their jaws and expectant, seemingly, of a
further order to pounce upon the intruders.

"Who loosed the dogs?" demanded the gentleman, in a clear-ringing,
indignant tone.

Now that he seemed displeased by their too solicitous obedience, none of
the gathering servants laid claim to it; and while all stood waiting,
arrested in their attitudes of fear or defense, a curious thing
happened. Glory Beck threw off the protecting arms of Timothy Dowd and,
with Bonny Angel clasped close in her own, swiftly advanced to the
granite step where the white-haired gentleman stood. Her face that had
paled in fear now flushed in excitement as with a voice unlike her own
she cried:

"You, sir! You, sir! What have you done with my grandfather?"

The gentleman stared at her, thinking her fright had turned her brain;
but saying kindly, as soon as he could command his voice:

"There, child. It's all right. The dogs won't touch you now."

"The dogs!" retorted the child, in infinite scorn. "What do I care for
the dogs? It's you I want. You, that 'Snug-Harbor'-Bonnicastle-man who
coaxed my grandpa Simon Beck away from his own home an' never let him
come back any more!"

Then her anger subsiding into an intensity of longing, she threw herself
at his feet, clasping his knees and imploring, piteously:

"Oh! take me to him. Tell me, tell me where he is. I've looked so long
and I don't know where and--please, please, please."

For a moment nobody spoke; not even Colonel Bonnicastle, for it was he,
indeed, though he silently motioned to a trustworthy man who had drawn
near to take the dogs away; and who, in obedience, whistling
imperatively, gathered their chains in his hands and led them back to
their kennel.

When the dogs had disappeared, the master of Broadacres sank into a
near-by chair, wiping his brow and pityingly regarded the little girl
who still knelt, imploringly. He was trying to comprehend what had
happened, what she meant, and if he had ever seen her before. Captain
Simon Beck! That was a familiar name, surely, but of that ungrateful
seaman, who wouldn't be given a "Snug Harbor" whether or no, of him he
had never heard nor even thought since his one memorable uncomfortable
visit to Elbow Lane.

"Simon Beck--Simon Beck," he began, musingly. "Yes, I know a Simon Beck,
worthy seaman, and would befriend him if I could. Is he your
grandfather, child, and what has happened to him that you speak to me
so--so--well, let us say--rudely?"

Then he added, in that commanding tone which few who knew him ever
disobeyed:

"Get up at once, child. Your kneeling to me is absurd, nor do I know in
what way I can help you, though you think I can do so--apparently. Why!
How strange--how like--"

He had stooped and raised Glory, gently forcing her to her feet, and as
he did so, Bonny Angel turned her own face around from the girl's breast
where she had buried it in her terror of the dogs.

Wasted and shorn of her beautiful hair, clothed in the discarded rags of
a Fogarty twin, it would have taken keen eyes indeed to recognize in the
little outcast the radiant "Guardian Angel" who had flashed upon Glory's
amazed sight that day in Elbow Lane; yet something about it there was
which made the near-sighted colonel grope hastily for his eyeglasses and
in his haste overlook them, so that he muttered angrily at his own
awkwardness.

Into the blue eyes of the little one herself crept a puzzled wondering
look, that fixed itself upon the perplexed gentleman with a slowly
growing comprehension.

Just then, too, when forgetting her own anxiety, Glory looked from the
baby to the man and back again, startled and wondering, a lady came to
the doorway and exclaimed:

"Why, brother, whatever is the matter! Such an uproar----"

But her sentence was never finished. Bonny's gaze, distracted from the
colonel to his sister, glued itself to the lady's face, while the
perplexity in the blue eyes changed to delight. With a seraphic smile
upon her dainty lips, a smile that would have made her recognizable
anywhere, under any disguise, the little creature propelled herself from
Glory's arms to the outstretched arms of Miss Laura, shrilling her
familiar announcement:

"Bonny come! Bonny come!"

How can the scene be best explained, how best described? Maybe in words
of honest Timothy Dowd himself; who, somewhat later, returning to the
Queen Anne cottage, called the entire Fogarty family about him and
announced to the assembled household:

"Well, sirs! Ye could knock me down with a feather!" after which he sank
into profound silence.

"Huh! And is that what ye're wantin' of us, is it? Well, you never had
sense," remarked Mary, turning away indignantly.

Thus roused, the railroader repeated:

"Sure, an' ye could. A feather'd do it, an' easy. But sit down, woman.
Sit down as I bid ye, an' hear the most wonderful, marvelous tale a body
ever heard this side old Ireland. Faith, I wish my tongue was twicet as
long, an' I knew better how to choose the beginnin' from the end of me
story, or the middle from any one. But sit down, sit down, lass, an' bid
your seven onruly gossoons to keep the peace for onct, while I tell ye a
story beats all the fairy ones ever dreamed. But--where to begin!"

"Huh! I'll give you a start," answered Mrs. Fogarty, impatiently. "You
went from here: now go on with your tale."

"I went from here," began Timothy, obediently, and glad of even this
small aid in his task. "I went from here an' I follyed the three of 'em,
monkey an' man an' girl----"

"And the baby. That's four," corrected Dennis, junior, winking at a
brother.

"Hist, boy! Childer should speak when they're spoke to," returned
Timothy, severely, then continued, at length: "I went from here. And I
follyed----"

Here he became so lost in retrospection that Mary tapped him on the
shoulder, when he resumed as if no break had occurred:

"Them four to the gate. But havin' no business of me own on the place, I
stayed behind, a listenin'. An', purty soon up pipes the beautiful
music; an' right atop o' that comes--bedlam! All the dogs a barkin', the
women servants screeching, the old gentleman commandin', and me colleen
huggin' the Angel tight an' saying never a say, though the poor Dago
Eyetalian was trembling himself into his grave, till all a sudden like,
up flies Glory, heedin' dogs nor no dogs, an' flings herself at
Broadacres' feet, demanding her grandpa! Fact, 'twas the same old
gentleman she'd been blamin' for spiritin' away the blind man; and now
comes true he knows no more the sailor's whereabouts than them two
twinses yon. But I've me cart afore me horse, as usual. For all along o'
this, out comes from that elegant mansion another old person, the lady,
Miss Laura Bonnicastle, by your leave. An' she looks at the Angel in me
colleen's arms an' the Angel looks at her; an', whisht! afore you could
wink, out flies the knowin' baby from the one to the other! An' then,
bless us! The time there was! An' you could hear a pin drop, an' in a
minute you couldn't, along of them questions an' answers, firing around,
from one person to another, hit-or-miss-like, an' all talkin' to onct,
or sayin' never a word, any one. An' so this is the trouble, Mary
Fogarty, that Dennis wouldn't mention. The Angel is their own child, and
Dennis Fogarty's the clever chap suspicioned it himself."

"Huh! Now you're fairy-talein', indeed. 'Tis old bachelor and old maid
the pair of them is. I know that much if I don't know more," returned
the house-mistress, reprovingly.

Timothy was undisturbed and ignored her reproof, as he went on with his
story:

"Their child was left for them to care for. The only child of their
nevvy an' niece, who's over seas at the minute, a takin' a vacation,
with hearts broke because of word comin' the baby was lost. Lost she was
the very day them Bonnicastles set for leaving the city house an' comin'
to Broadacres; an' intrustin' the little creatur' by the care of a
nursemaid--bad luck to her--to be took across the big bridge, over to
that Brooklyn where did reside a friend of the whole family with whom
the baby would be safe till called for; meanin' such time as them
Bonnicastles had done with the movin' business an' could take care of it
theirselves, proper. Little dreamin' they, poor souls, how that that
same nursemaid would stop to chatter with a friend of her own, right at
the bridge-end and leave the child out of her arms just for the minute,
who, set on the ground by herself, runs off in high glee an' no more to
that story, till she finds herself in the 'littlest house,' where me
colleen lived; an' what come after ye know. But ye don't know how the
nursemaid went near daft with the fear, and wasted good days a searchin'
an' searchin' on her own account; the Bonnicastles' friend-lady over in
Brooklyn not expecting no such visit an' not knowin' aught; 'cause the
maid carried the note sayin' so in her own pocket. All them rich folks
bein' so intimate-like, preparin' 'em wasn't needful. And then, when the
truth out, all the police in the city set to the hunt, and word sent
across the ocean to the ravin'-distracted young parents, an'--now, all's
right! Such joy, such thanksgivin', such cryin' an' laughin'--bless us!
I couldn't mention it."

"But that poor little Glory! Hard on her to find the Angel's folks an'
not her own!" said Mary, gently.

"Not hard a bit! She's that onselfish like, 'twould have done you proud
to see her clappin' her hands an' smilin', though the tears yet in her
eyes, 'cause she an' Bonny must part. And 'How's that?' asks Miss Laura,
catching the girl to her heart and kissin' her ill-cropped head, 'do you
think we will not stand by you in your search and help you with money
and time and every service, you who have been so faithful to our
darlin'?' And then the pair o' them huggin' each other, like they'd
loved each other sence the day they was born."

Here, for sheer want of breath, Timothy's narrative ended, but Mary
having a vivid imagination, allowed it full play then and prophesied,
sagely and happily:

"Well, then, all of ye listen, till I tell ye how 'twill be. That old
man was run over in the street was Captain Simon Beck; and though he was
hurted bad, he wasn't killed; and though them clever little newsboys
couldn't find him, the folks Colonel Bonnicastle sets searchin' will.
An' when he's found, he'll be nigh well; an' he'll be brought out here
an' kep' in a little cottage somewhere on Broadacres property, with
Glory to tend him an' to live happy ever afterward. An' that'll be the
only 'Snug Harbor' any one'll ever need. An' we shan't have lost our
Glory but got her for good."

"But them Billy Button and Nick Parson boys, what of them?" demanded
Dennis, junior, his own sympathy running toward the clever gamins.

"They'll come too, if they want to. They'll come, all the same, now and
again, just for vari'ty like," comfortably assented his mother. "An'
your father'll get well, an' we'll move into that other house down yon,
further from the big one; an' them Bonnicastles'll fix this up prime an'
Glory'll live here."

"So it ought to be, an' that we all should live happy forever an' a
day!" cried Timothy, enjoying her finish of his tale more than he had
his own part in it.

And so, in truth it all happened, and Mary's cheerful prophecy was
fulfilled in due time.


      *      *      *      *      *      *


MOTOR CYCLE SERIES

Splendid Motor Cycle Stories

By LIEUT. HOWARD PAYSON. Author of "Boy Scout Series." Cloth Bound.
Illustrated. Price, 50c. per vol., postpaid

THE MOTOR CYCLE CHUMS AROUND THE WORLD.

Could Jules Verne have dreamed of encircling the globe with a motor
cycle for emergencies he would have deemed it an achievement greater
than any he describes in his account of the amusing travels of Philias
Fogg. This, however, is the purpose successfully carried out by the
Motor Cycle Chums, and the tale of their mishaps, hindrances and delays
is one of intense interest, secret amusement, and incidental information
to the reader.

THE MOTOR CYCLE CHUMS OF THE NORTHWEST PATROL.

The Great Northwest is a section of vast possibilities and in it the
Motor Cycle Chums meet adventures even more unusual and exciting than
many of their experiences on their tour around the world. There is not a
dull page in this lively narrative of clever boys and their attendant
"Chinee."

THE MOTOR CYCLE CHUMS IN THE GOLD FIELDS.

The gold fever which ran its rapid course through the veins of the
historic "forty-niners" recurs at certain intervals, and seizes its
victims with almost irresistible power. The search for gold is so
fascinating to the seekers that hardship, danger and failure are
obstacles that scarcely dampen their ardour. How the Motor Cycle Chums
were caught by the lure of the gold and into what difficulties and novel
experiences they were led, makes a tale of thrilling interest.

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GIRL AVIATORS SERIES

Clean Aviation Stories

By MARGARET BURNHAM.

Cloth Bound. Illustrated. Price, 50c. per vol., postpaid

THE GIRL AVIATORS AND THE PHANTOM AIRSHIP.

Roy Prescott was fortunate in having a sister so clever and devoted to
him and his interests that they could share work and play with mutual
pleasure and to mutual advantage. This proved especially true in
relation to the manufacture and manipulation of their aeroplane, and
Peggy won well deserved fame for her skill and good sense as an aviator.
There were many stumbling-blocks in their terrestrial path, but they
soared above them all to ultimate success.

THE GIRL AVIATORS ON GOLDEN WINGS.

That there is a peculiar fascination about aviation that wins and holds
girl enthusiasts as well as boys is proved by this tale. On golden wings
the girl aviators rose for many an exciting flight, and met strange and
unexpected experiences.

THE GIRL AVIATORS' SKY CRUISE.

To most girls a coaching or yachting trip is an adventure. How much more
perilous an adventure a "sky cruise" might be is suggested by the title
and proved by the story itself.

THE GIRL AVIATORS' MOTOR BUTTERFLY.

The delicacy of flight suggested by the word "butterfly," the mechanical
power implied by "motor," the ability to control assured in the title
"aviator," all combined with the personality and enthusiasm of girls
themselves, make this story one for any girl or other reader "to go
crazy over."

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MOTOR MAIDS SERIES

Wholesome Stories of Adventure

By KATHERINE STOKES.

Cloth Bound. Illustrated. Price, 50c. per vol., postpaid

THE MOTOR MAIDS' SCHOOL DAYS.

Billie Campbell was just the type of a straightforward, athletic girl to
be successful as a practical Motor Maid. She took her car, as she did
her class-mates, to her heart, and many a grand good time did they have
all together. The road over which she ran her red machine had many an
unexpected turning,--now it led her into peculiar danger; now into
contact with strange travelers; and again into experiences by fire and
water. But, best of all, "The Comet" never failed its brave girl owner.

THE MOTOR MAIDS BY PALM AND PINE.

Wherever the Motor Maids went there were lively times, for these were
companionable girls who looked upon the world as a vastly interesting
place full of unique adventures--and so, of course, they found them.

THE MOTOR MAIDS ACROSS THE CONTINENT.

It is always interesting to travel, and it is wonderfully entertaining
to see old scenes through fresh eyes. It is that privilege, therefore,
that makes it worth while to join the Motor Maids in their first
'cross-country run.

THE MOTOR MAIDS BY ROSE, SHAMROCK AND HEATHER.

South and West had the Motor Maids motored, nor could their education by
travel have been more wisely begun. But now a speaking acquaintance with
their own country enriched their anticipation of an introduction to the
British Isles. How they made their polite American bow and how they were
received on the other side is a tale of interest and inspiration.

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BOY INVENTORS SERIES

Stories of Skill and Ingenuity

By RICHARD BONNER

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THE BOY INVENTORS' WIRELESS TELEGRAPH.

Blest with natural curiosity,--sometimes called the instinct of
investigation,--favored with golden opportunity, and gifted with
creative ability, the Boy Inventors meet emergencies and contrive
mechanical wonders that interest and convince the reader because they
always "work" when put to the test.

THE BOY INVENTORS' VANISHING GUN.

A thought, a belief, an experiment; discouragement, hope, effort and
final success--this is the history of many an invention; a history in
which excitement, competition, danger, despair and persistence figure.
This merely suggests the circumstances which draw the daring Boy
Inventors into strange experiences and startling adventures, and which
demonstrate the practical use of their vanishing gun.

THE BOY INVENTORS' DIVING TORPEDO BOAT.

As in the previous stories of the Boy Inventors, new and interesting
triumphs of mechanism are produced which become immediately valuable,
and the stage for their proving and testing is again the water. On the
surface and below it, the boys have jolly, contagious fun, and the story
of their serious, purposeful inventions challenge the reader's deepest
attention.

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BORDER BOYS SERIES

Mexican and Canadian Frontier Series

By FREMONT B. DEERING.

Cloth Bound. Illustrated. Price, 50c. per vol., postpaid

THE BORDER BOYS ON THE TRAIL.

What it meant to make an enemy of Black Ramon De Barios--that is the
problem that Jack Merrill and his friends, including Coyote Pete, face
in this exciting tale.

THE BORDER BOYS ACROSS THE FRONTIER.

Read of the Haunted Mesa and its mysteries, of the Subterranean River
and its strange uses, of the value of gasolene and steam "in running the
gauntlet," and you will feel that not even the ancient splendors of the
Old World can furnish a better setting for romantic action than the
Border of the New.

THE BORDER BOYS WITH THE MEXICAN RANGERS.

As every day is making history--faster, it is said, than ever before--so
books that keep pace with the changes are full of rapid action and
accurate facts. This book deals with lively times on the Mexican border.

THE BORDER BOYS WITH THE TEXAS RANGERS.

The Border Boys have already had much excitement and adventure in their
lives, but all this has served to prepare them for the experiences
related in this volume. They are stronger, braver and more resourceful
than ever, and the exigencies of their life in connection with the Texas
Rangers demand all their trained ability.

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DREADNOUGHT BOYS SERIES

Tales of the New Navy

By CAPT. WILBUR LAWTON

Author of "BOY AVIATORS SERIES."

Cloth Bound. Illustrated. Price, 50c. per vol., postpaid

THE DREADNOUGHT BOYS ON BATTLE PRACTICE.

Especially interesting and timely is this book which introduces the
reader with its heroes, Ned and Herc, to the great ships of modern
warfare and to the intimate life and surprising adventures of Uncle
Sam's sailors.

THE DREADNOUGHT BOYS ABOARD A DESTROYER.

In this story real dangers threaten and the boys' patriotism is tested
in a peculiar international tangle. The scene is laid on the South
American coast.

THE DREADNOUGHT BOYS ON A SUBMARINE.

To the inventive genius--trade-school boy or mechanic--this story has
special charm, perhaps, but to every reader its mystery and clever
action are fascinating.

THE DREADNOUGHT BOYS ON AERO SERVICE.

Among the volunteers accepted for Aero Service are Ned and Herc. Their
perilous adventures are not confined to the air, however, although they
make daring and notable flights in the name of the Government; nor are
they always able to fly beyond the reach of their old "enemies," who are
also airmen.

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MOTOR RANGERS SERIES

HIGH SPEED MOTOR STORIES

By MARVIN WEST.

Cloth Bound. Illustrated. Price, 50c. per vol., postpaid

THE MOTOR RANGERS' LOST MINE.

This is an absorbing story of the continuous adventures of a motor car
in the hands of Nat Trevor and his friends. It does seemingly
impossible "stunts," and yet everything happens "in the nick of time."

THE MOTOR RANGERS THROUGH THE SIERRAS.

Enemies in ambush, the peril of fire, and the guarding of treasure make
exciting times for the Motor Rangers--yet there is a strong flavor of
fun and freedom, with a typical Western mountaineer for spice.

THE MOTOR RANGERS ON BLUE WATER; or, The Secret of the Derelict.

The strange adventures of the sturdy craft "Nomad" and the stranger
experiences of the Rangers themselves with Morello's schooner and a
mysterious derelict form the basis of this well-spun yarn of the sea.

THE MOTOR RANGERS' CLOUD CRUISER.

From the "Nomad" to the "Discoverer," from the sea to the sky, the scene
changes in which the Motor Rangers figure. They have experiences "that
never were on land or sea," in heat and cold and storm, over mountain
peak and lost city, with savages and reptiles; their ship of the air is
attacked by huge birds of the air; they survive explosion and
earthquake; they even live to tell the tale!

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BUNGALOW BOYS SERIES

LIVE STORIES OF OUTDOOR LIFE

By DEXTER J. FORRESTER.

Cloth Bound. Illustrated. Price, 50c. per vol., postpaid

THE BUNGALOW BOYS.

How the Bungalow Boys received their title and how they retained the
right to it in spite of much opposition makes a lively narrative for
lively boys.

THE BUNGALOW BOYS MAROONED IN THE TROPICS.

A real treasure hunt of the most thrilling kind, with a sunken Spanish
galleon as its object, makes a subject of intense interest at any time,
but add to that a band of desperate men, a dark plot and a devil fish,
and you have the combination that brings strange adventures into the
lives of the Bungalow Boys.

THE BUNGALOW BOYS IN THE GREAT NORTH WEST.

The clever assistance of a young detective saves the boys from the
clutches of Chinese smugglers, of whose nefarious trade they know too
much. How the Professor's invention relieves a critical situation is
also an exciting incident of this book.

THE BUNGALOW BOYS ON THE GREAT LAKES.

The Bungalow Boys start out for a quiet cruise on the Great Lakes and a
visit to an island. A storm and a band of wreckers interfere with the
serenity of their trip, and a submarine adds zest and adventure to it.

Any volume sent postpaid upon receipt of price.

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