Sandy Joe

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Material Information

Title:
Sandy Joe
Physical Description:
208 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Waggaman, Mary T ( Mary Theresa ), 1846-1931
Benziger Brothers
Publisher:
Benziger Bros.
Place of Publication:
New York etc
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Priests -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1916   ( rbgenr )
Genre:
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Mary T. Waggaman ...
General Note:
"Standard Catholic Books published by Benziger Brothers," p. 1-15, following text.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 45253974
ocm45253974
System ID:
AA00011408:00001


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"\VhP -why, they're-the.'re bab. clothe-, Jackie!
Page 35.





SANDY


JOE


BY
MARY T. WAGGAMAN
Author of "Strong-Arm of Avalon," "The Play-
water Plot," "Captain Ted," etc.














NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO
BENZIGER BROTHERS
PUBLISHERS OP BENZIGER'S MAGAZINE
1916


























COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY BENZIGER BROTHERS










CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
PAGE
JOE AND JACKIE .. 7

CHAPTER II
JACKIE'S HOME . 20

CHAPTER III
GRAN ..... ... 32

CHAPTER IV
A TERRIBLE NIGHT 44

CHAPTER V
A HOME AND A NEW LIFE ... 56

CHAPTER VI
UNDER THE MEMORIAL WINDOW .. 71

CHAPTER VII
LARCHMONT . .. 86

CHAPTER VIII
A TRYING DAY .......... 99

CHAPTER IX
TRIED AND TRVE . 114
5





6 CONTENTS

CHAPTER X
PAGE
IN THE ROMAINE . 127

CHAPTER XI
IN THE HOSPITAL ... 140

CHAPTER XII
FATHER MORE'S VISITORS 154

CHAPTER XIII
DARKENED WAYS . 167

CHAPTER XIV
AT THE OLD LIGHT . 18o

CHAPTER XV
AT LAST . ...* *. 195







SANDY JOE


CHAPTER I
JOE AND JACKIE

6"DAPERs,-here's your evening papers, peep-
I ers, pipers!"
It was one of Sandy Joe's jokes to ring these
changes in his vowels, while the merry twinkle
in his eyes made selling newspapers on a bleak
wintry comer seem capital fun; though just
where the fun came in it would be hard for any
"grown-up," looking at the gaunt, ragged boy
with the shiv ing little girl clinging to his side,
to see. But andy Joe, whose nickname had
been won as much by his cheery pluck as by his
curly red hair, could catch gleams of light in
|he darkest and wintriest sky.
"Only ten more to sell, Jackie," he said to
the little girl by his side, "and then we're off





JOE AND JACKIE


home with two piping hot sausages and a good
square loaf of bread. Only ten! Slip your
hand in my pocket to keep it warm."
"Oh, it'spo cold, Joe!" said the small girl,
whose wan face peeped out from the folds of
an old red shawl that enveloped her from head
to feet. "I'm so cold and tired and hungry,
Joe!",
, "P-llmake it three sausages, then, Jackie-
three sausages and a sugar-topped bun. You
see, you will come out here to meet me, and
business is business and must be done."
"Gran was so cross!" sighed Jackie, with a
shiver. "And the fire was out and there wasn't
any wood."
"Well, it was the sort of mix-up to cut loose
from, I must say," laughed Joe. "Never
mind! We'll have a rip-roaring blaze when I
get home, and a pinch of tea for the old lady's
pot that will put her into near as good humor
as she can come; and then she will nod off to
sleep, and we'll tell stories, Jackie-the kind o]
stories you like-about fairy princesses and all
that sort of swell stuff that suits little girls like





JOE AND JACKIE


you. I ain't much in that line myself. I like
things a bit tougher-Indians and pirates and
cow-punchers. But now I've got just the thing
for you, that I found in an old.aper down in
my pocket. Paper, sir?" crier Joe, briskly
returning to business as a gentleman hurried
by.
"No!" snapped the sour-faced personage
sharply.
"Paper, miss?" the young merchant turned
unabashed to a pretty shop-girl, who shook her
head with an answering smile.
Half a dozen more pedestrians hurried by,
regardless of Joe's cheerful offers. It looked
as if business was bad this afternoon, and the
sugar-topped bun a luxury beyond Jackie's
reach. And, oh, how the January wind whis-
tled around the bleak corner! How the old
ragged red shawl waved and fluttered, and
Jackie's poor little frame shivered in the icy
blast!
"Oh, Joe, Joe!" she whimpered. "I'm so
cold, Joe! Please let's go home! You won't
sell any more to-day, I know."





10 JOE AND JACKIE
"Can 'ive up yet,. Jackie," Joe replied,
with a resolute shake of his sandy head.
"Why, if I gave up like that, this here beat
wouldn't be worth shoe-leather to stand in.
Not that yours or mine counts for very much,"
added Joe, with a glance at the ragged boots of
the pair. "Gee whiz, you poor little midget,
if-yours ain't busted clean through! That's a
shame, sure. But never mind! Just let me
get these papers off, Jackie, and I'll carry you
home, and we'll put a patch on those shoes to-
night that will make them good as new. Old
Tim the cobbler showed me how to do it, with a
skein of waxed thread and an old boot-leg.
Papers, sir? Evening papers?" Joe burst
forth again, as a closed carriage dashed up to
the curb, and stopped so close that Jackie's
fluttering red shawl was caught in the wheels.
"Oh, poor child!" cried a sweet voice, and
the loveliest lady Jackie had ever seen looked
out of the window into the little girl's fright-
ened face. "Have we hurt you, dear?"
"Dear!" It was an altogether new word
in poor little Jackie's vocabulary. "Dear!"





JOE AND JACKIE 11
Joe, it is true, had pet names for het; -but no
one in all Jackie's brief years of remembrance
had ever looked or spoken like this. She could
only lift her soft brown eyes to the speaker's
face in bewildered amazement.
"No, ma'am,-no," said Joe, deftly loosen,
ing the shawl. "She isn't hurt a bit. Papers,
sir'?" to the handsome gentleman muffled in a
fur-lined overcoat, who held out his hand to
him.
"Yes-quick, boy-quick! I'm in a hurry
to catch the train. Can you change a dollar?"
"Sorry, sir." Joe dived ruefully into his
ragged pocket, and then his face broke out in
his usual smile. "Just-just banked all my
cash," he said, with a twinkle in his blue eyes.
"But never mind! Take the paper, sir, if
you're in a hurry. You'll find me here any
afternoon. It's all right." And Joe lifted his
cap with a grace that many a luckier boy could
not have managed, as the carriage drove away.
"Oh, Phil, no, no!" said the lady, as her hus-
band sank back in his seat with his paper.
"Give the boy the dollar, Phil."




JOE AND JACKIE


"Eh, what, dear'?"
"Let us turn back. and give that poor boy the
dollar." The lady's sweet voice trembled in
its eagerness.
"Turn back!" echoed her husband. "My
dear Nell, it's an even chance if we catch our
train now. We haven't a second to lose. I'll
see the little chap the next time I'm in town and
give him his money with interest. He can't
miss two cents, poor little beggar!"
"Oh, but he can and he may, Phil! You
men that have been rich all your lives don't
know what two cents sometimes mean. And
he wasn't a beggar either. He treated you
more like a gentleman-than you treated him."
"You are right, my dear!" her husband
laughed good-naturedly. "I did come in sec-
ond-rate on that business transaction, I must
confess. But I was in such a hurry, Nell!
Don't take it so to heart, pet! I'll make it five
dollars to the little chap, if it will co ort your
tender heart. What!-you're not-crying about
it, Nell!" And Mr. Phil Harper dropped his
paper in genuine dismay as he caught sight of





JOE AND JACKIE


the tears standing in his wife's eyes. "Well,
we'll turn back. I'd rather miss a dozen trains
than have you feel like this, sweetheart!"
"Oh, no, Phil,-no! Don't mind me."
And she slipped her little gloved hand in his.
"I'm foolish, I know; but it was all so pitiful,
so pathetic! Did you see the little girl with the
ragged red shawl and the brown eyes-such
beautiful, wondering, sorrowful eyes, Phil?
The look went straight to my heart-rmy aching
mother's heart. And she was cold and ragged
and perhaps hungry; and when I think of all we
had-to give-ours---"
"Nell, dear Nell, I'd like to take you some
place where you would never see a child," said
the gentleman, desperately.
"It wouldn't do any good, Phil," was the low,
sad answer. "The picture would be always
there-in my heart. Oh, I ought not to grieve
you with my weakness, I know! But-
but--" .
"It is my grief too, Nell," he said gravely;
"only to me you are more than anything else,
and beside you all the babies in the world don't





14 JOE AND JACKIE


count. And--and, well, I have tried so hard to
make it up to you, Nell!"
"Ah, you have-you have, I know !" and the
sweet voice was like the coo of a dove. "You
have been the best, the dearest, the tenderest of
husbands, Phil; and I am a weak, selfish woman
to let you see-"
"Oh, you can't help it," said the gentleman,
putting his arm about her tenderly. "You
can't help letting me see how your heart is ach-
ing and breaking. I'm a dull fellow, I know,
but you can't shut my eyes to that. If you
only had something else to think about! But
women like you don't have to think."
"Oh, don't say that, Phil!" she said eagerly.
"I know, pet, you've gone in for a lot of
things-clubs and charities and hospitals.
And you're an all-round angel of mercy, as
every one knows."
"And I've been very-very gay this winter,
as you know, Phil." And the soft eyes looked
up wistfully into her husband's handsome face.
"Oh, confoundedly gay!" he answered
grimly.






Pages
Missing
or
Unavailable





JOE AND JACKIE


lovely picture that she drew attention even in
the noisy, busy throng of a great railroad sta-
tion.
"What a very beautiful woman!" said a
gentleman to the friend who lifted his hat as
Mrs. Harper passed on to the Pullman palace
car.
"Yes," answered the other; "but a very sad
one, as you can see by her face. I suppose Phil
Harper has more money than he knows what to
do with; but money can't stave off trouble, and
they had a big knockdown several.years ago.
Country house took fire in their absence, and
their only child, a baby about two years old,
was burned to death-baby and nurse both.
Mrs. Harper was very ill at the time in a pri-
vate hospital, and it was weeks before they dared
to tell her what had happened;. and when they
did-well, at first they thought she would lose
her mind. But women like her-the true-blue,
you know---can stand a lot; though she has
never fully recovered from \the shock. No
mother could. My wife, who knows her well,
says, though she tries to keep up, her heart is




JOE AND JACKIE


broken, and she is dying slowly but surely. It's
tough on Harper, poor fellow; he fairly adores
her."
As the two gentlemen moved away to the
ticket-office, a woman who had been seated on
the benches behind the ,speakers lifted her bent
head and looked around with a quick, fright-
ened glance. She was a neat little woman,
even in her shabby dress and hat; and she had
bright, restless eyes like a bird's. She drew a
long, fluttering sigh, as if she had been hold-
ing her breath; and then turned to her com-
panion, a brown, lean, foxy-faced man.
"Oh, did you hear?" she whispered tremu-
lously.
"Yes, I heard," he answered gruffly.
"And-and see?" she questioned. "0
Pierre, I nearly fainted as she passed!"
"Pouf you are a fool," said the man, ray.
"I thought she would forget," continued the
woman quickly-"that, being so rich and beau-
tiful and happy, she could forget; and he said
she was dying, Pierre-dying slowly but surely.





JOE AND JACKIE 19

Pierre, God will never forgive us-unless-un-
less we tell all."
The man turned on her with a fierce, mut-
tered oath in French.
"Tell!" he echoed-"tell! Idiot, fool,
crackbrain! What is it you say? Tell, and I
will kill you-do you hear?-kill you! Come
on!" And he jerked her rudely by the arm in
a way that made her black eyes flash. "Our
train is in: come on.
She arose, pale-faced And trembling, and fol-
lowed him.







CHAPTER II


JACKIE'S HOME

JOE had in the meantime disposed of his last
paper, and he and Jackie were making their
way homeward through the darkening streets.
"When we get out of this here swell neigh-
borhood, I'll hoist you on my shoulder, Jackie,
and ease up them. poor little frozen feet," he
said cheerily. "We don't want to do r any
'stunts' around here to draw meddlers. Might
think you were sick or lame and whisk you off
to the asylum or hospital."
"Oh, I don't want to go to the asylum, Joe!
Grand says they tie little girls up in rows and
give them cat-meat," said Jackie, shuddering
c l!' to her companion.
"They might do worse than that," laughed
Joe. "I guess there's many of us eating cat-
meat and don't know it. Why cats are any
worse than frogs and mud-turtles, I don't see;
and Parley Voo at the market corner sells them
20





rJACKIE'S HOME


at twenty cents a plate. Swells come there to
eat them, too."
"What are 'swells,' Joe ?" asked Jackie. "I
thought they were hurts that come on your
hands and feet."
"They are," laughed Joe, with the superior
wisdom of his fourteen years. "But that's not
the kind of swells I mean, Jackie. Swells are
rich, grand, fine folks, with good clothes and
pockets full of money, and big dinners every
day."
"You and me and Gran ain't swells, then,"
said Jackie wistfully, as she limped on
little broken shoes at Joe's side.
"Whew! no, I should rather say not! .
there's no telling where we may work up,
Jackie," continued Joe, cheerfully. "There
was a picture in the paper the other day of a boy
like me that used to sell papers on the street
comer, where he now owns everything in sight,
skyscrapers and all. I may be driving you
around in a cushioned carriage yet, like the
lovely lady we saw a while ago. Gee! she'was
a beauty, wasn't she, Jackie? Talk about
J





JACKIE'S HOME


swells! They were the real sort. Why, when
she looked out of the carriage window she just
scattered summer-time out in the street!"
"Yes," said Jackie. "I smelt the flowers.
0 Joe, I'd like to be a swell like that! And
she talked so-so nice," added Jackie, with a
little sigh. "I never heard anybody talk so
nice before. She said 'dear.' I like that word,
don't you, Joe?" And the girl repeated it
softly.
"Well, not always," answered Joe, cau-
tiously. "When it means a nice little girl like
you, Jackie, it's all very well; but when it
means bread and meat and sausages, it ain't a
good word at all. You and me don't want any-
thing 'dear' about them. And here's old
Qutchy's shop now. We'll see what ten cents
will get." And Joe led Jackie into the little
corner grocery, and began to bargain in a shrewd
business way that argued well for the sky-
scrapers to come.
"A stale loaf, Dutchy. I'm not paying two
cents extra for your soft baked stuff. Three
of them sausages. Not that one you're 'taklhg





JACKIE'S HOME


down,-no, siree! I can see the mould on it
from here. You're not going to poison this
family with your 'left-overs.' One of them
buns." The purchaser looked critically in the
glass case that held these luxuries. "And see
you shake plenty of sugar on it, Dutchy. Fine
tea-none of your blackberry leaves, but the
real thing out of that black box with the Chinese
pigtails curly-cuing over it," continued this
critical customer, pointing to a tea chest.
"You couldn't vant a bottle of wine maybe,
and some of dese grapes and oranges thrown
in?" asked Dutchy, with what was meant to be
a sarcastic grin.
"Oh, yes!" said little Jackie, eagerly. "Joe,
get grapes and oranges too, please-real sucky
oranges like you brought when I was sick, Joe."
"Not to-night," said Joe, regretfully but
resolutely. "You see, we ain't struck the mil-
lionaire line yet, Jackie, as this dunderhead
Dutchy well knows. Oranges is only for sick
girls, Jackie, that can't eat things like-like the
sausages ind buns we've got here. Oranges?
Pooh! They would be no good for supper at





JACKIE'S HOME


all. So come along. Just climb up on that
barrel and then on my shoulder. You can
ride pickaback home now. It is too dark for
any one to see."
And in her glee at this proposition, Jackie
quite forgot her longed-for oranges; and, climb-
ing on Joe's sturdy shoulder, was trotted "picka-
back" through the darkening streets -that
stretched bare and bleak, by commons and waste
places, where dim lights were blinking in the
windows of little cabins and shanties that stood
here and there by the way.
Here most of the people built their own
houses of old boards and boxes, or anything that
came handy; for "Squatter Town" did not be-
long to any one in particular. The heirs of the
wealthy people who had lived in the great
house on the hill had been quarrelling over the
land for nearly twenty years; and no lawyer--
though at least a dozen had grown rich over it-
had been able to settle the dispute yet. Meaqq
time the goats and pigs and chickens and chil-
dren roved and roosted and scratched and fought
at will; and Squatter Town was "hoie" to





JACKIE'S HOME


a score or more families, whom no one troubled
for taxes or water rates or rent. It had been
"home" to Joe and Jackie for the last four
years. So when Jackie's "horsy" pranced up
a steep bank to-night, and tumbled her off at a
rickety old shanty with a stovepipe sticking out
of the roof for a chimney, and the broken win-
dows stuffed with rags of various hues, there was
only one fear to mar her content.
"Oh, I'm afraid Gran will beat me for run-
ning away, Joe!" she said, with a piteous little
shiver.
"Don't you fret about that," said Joe. "I'm
here to stand by you, Jackie. The old lady
knows Sandy Joe."
He pushed open the door as he spoke (locks
and bolts were needless appurtenances in Squat-
ter Town), and the two children stumbled for-
ward into the room, where there was no sign of
light or life.
."Gran!" called Joe cautiously. "Gran, are
you here?" He took a match from the box in
his pocket, and, striking it into flame, held it up
aid looked around. "Gran!" he called again.




JACKIE'S HOME


"Gee whiz, this is luck, Jackie! She is out."
"And she will come home too sleepy to scold,
won't she, Joe?" said Jackie, nestling down on
a ragged old couch in the corner; while Joe lit
a tin lamp that flung a sickly light over the dis-
ordered room, where pots, pans, and dishes were
scattered in reckless confusion.
"It looks as if she might," answered Joe, who
understood better than poor little Jackie what
Gran's "sleepiness" meant. "But just now it's
up to us to get to housekeeping, midget. You
keep that shawl around you while I scare up
some wood for a fire."
And while Jackie drew up her little frozen
feet under the coverlet, Joe stepped to the old
"lean-to" back of the house'and wrenched off
half a dozen boards of the rotten walls. In a
few minutes a fire was crackling cheerfully in
the stove; the smoking lamp was trimmed into
cheery glow; the room was whisked into some
sort of order; and poor little Jackie's chilled,
fearful heart stirred into childish light and life.
She flung away the old shawl and hopped from
the couch-a pretty little figure in spite of her





JACKIE'S HOME


rags and tatters, with the soft waves of dark
hair falling to her slender waist, and her brown
eyes dancing gladly under their arching
brows.
"Now I'll set the table, Joe, while you cook
supper."
"Set the table!" grinned Joe. "Gee, we are
getting grand! Where did you ever see a table
set, Jackie?"
"Over at Molly Bryan's," answered Jackie,
as she fluttered round, picking up bits of broken
chinaware. "They've got the house at the cor-
ner. It used to be the stable, but Mrs. Bryan
pays rent for it-Molly says four dollars >'`
month-so she can have room to dry her
clothes. She's got it fixed up fine, with beds
and chairs and tables. And she's got a goat
that gives milk, and chickens, and a dog that
doesn't bite. And Molly took me in to supper
one evening, and there was a white cloth on the
table, and cups with red flowers, and bread all
cut smooth on a plate; and we had hot mush
with molasses on it. It was very nice. I wish
Gran would set a table too, Joe. I'll show you





JACKIE'S HOME


how nice it looks," continued Jackie, as she
dragged an old rickety little stand to the fire,
covered it with a clean newspaper, and put
some cracked plates and two broken teacups
carefully in place. "Now, there's a plate for
the sausage and a saucer for the bun."
"Why, that's what I call a real swell layout,"
said Joe, his eyes twinkling. "It almost comes
up to our newsboys' Christmas dinner, Jackie.
Just wait till I give these sausages a little
frizzle, and we'll pitch in."
"Oh, but you mustn't say 'pitch in,' Joe,"
corrected Jackie. "Molly Bryan says 'grace.' "
"She does!" exclaimed Joe, staring. "Gee!
they had a preacher to do that at the newsboys'
dinner."
"Molly does it too," said Jackie, with con-
scious pride in her new friend. "Her mother
said: 'Wait now until Molly says grace.'
And they all sat still, even the baby; and Molly
said it fine. She learned how at Sunday-school.
She said she'd take me there some day, if I could
get something to wear besides Gran's old shawl.
The girls would laugh if I came in that."





JACKIE'S HOME


"I'd like to catch any boys laughing!" said
Joe, his brow darkening. "I'd settle them
mighty quick. The trouble is with girls you
can't fight it out. But here's the sausage done
to a turn, midget; and you can cut the bread
smooth now, and Iwe'll have a real swell time."
"Can't I say grace first, like Molly does?"
asked Jackie, anxious to have the "set" table
complete.
"Go ahead!" replied Joe grimly, as he dished
the smoking sausage.
And Jackie, who had never been taught bless-
ing or prayer, folded her tiny hands and tried
to repeat Molly's grace:
"Bless us-bless us-O Lord, and-and-O
Joe, I can't remember the rest!"
"Well, I reckon that's enough for a spread
like this," said Joe. "Start off on the sausage
now while it's hot. It looks fine."
And they drew up two old broken chairs to
Jackie's "set" table, and feasted as happily as
the little brown sparrows picking their scant
fare in the wintry wastes without.
"Oh, I wish Gran would go out like this every





JACKIE'S HOME


night, don't you, Joe?" said Jackie, as she lin-
gered delightfully over the sugar-topped bun,
which Joe would not hear of dividing. "Grans
are not like mothers, are they, Joe? Little
Nell Bryan cries if her mother goes out at night
to church. Did I ever have a mother, Joe?"
"Gee, yes! Everybody has a mother."
"A real mother, Joe, like Mrs. Bryan?"
queried Jackie, pausing midway through her
sugar-topped bun.
"I can't say what she was like," replied Joe,
doubtfully; "but you had one sure."
"Gran says I'm a foundling, and, if I'm not
good, she will put me in the asylum where I be-
long," continued Jackie. "Oh, I don't want to
go to the asylum ever, Joe!"
"And you shan't while my money is' running
this family," said Joe, decidedly. "Foundling
or not, you are going to be my little sister al-
ways and forever, Jackie; and, if Gran don't
look out, I'll clip off with you and give you to
some nice woman that will take care of you
right. I can pay for it. I'm making three
dollars a week now, and can pay all cash down.




JACKIE'S HOME


So don't you worry about no asylum, Jackie.
I'll look out for that-hello!" as Jackie
dropped her treasured bun and made a sudden
spring from her rickety chair to his side.
"What's the matter, midget?"
"0 Joe, didn't--didn't you hear?" she said
tremulously.
"No. What-where?" he asked, pitting his
strong arm around the terrified child.
"Out-out there at the window-the door-
oh, I don't know where it is!" sobbed Jackie.
"Listen, Joe !" And she clung to him wildly,
as a long, low, piteous moan came faintly from
the darkness without. "Oh, don't open the
door, Joe!" cried poor little Jackie in terror.
"Don't let it in, please!"
"I must, Jackie," said Joe, though his ruddy
young face paled as the sound again swelled
forth through the silence. "That-why, that's
something human-crying for help."







CHAPTER III


GRAN

JOE flung open the door as he spoke, and
peered out into the darkness, trying to lo-
cate the sound which had startled Jackie. The
low moan came again almost at his feet; and
there, just near the broken doorstep, lay a
huddled figure.
"Gran!" said Joe, as he bent closer to it.
"Don't be afraid, Jackie. It's only Gran.
She's been drinking again. Here, old woman!"
He shook the bent shoulder gently. "Gran,
you mustn't lie down here, or you'll get your
death. Gran, I say, get up!"
Another long, low moan was the only answer.
Jackie burst into a childish wail. In all, her
lifelong experience-and it had not been a
pleasant one-she had never seen Gran like
this.
"Get up," repeated Joe, with a little rougher
shake. "Wake up and get up, Gran!" Still
32




GRAN


no answer. "I'll have to get her in somehow,
or she'll freeze to death," said Joe, desperately.
"I'll run round and get Ned Bryan to help
you, Joe," said Jackie, tremulously.
"No, don't you," answered Joe, firmly.
"We don't want to give the old lady away
to respectable neighbors that are nice to you,
Jackie. Just lift her feet a bit, and I'll try to
get her in."
And Jackie, still shaking with cold and ter-
ror, lifted Gran's feet as best she could; while
Joe, who did not have his square shoulders and
strong arms for nothing, managed to haul the
old woman over the low step and across the
threshold into the lamp-lit room, where he got
her safe on the ragged couch. The black cloak
she had wrapped around her head and shoulders
had fallen off, and the light showed a hard, old,
wrinkled face, without a good or tender line.
It showed something more to Sandy Joe's quick
eye.
"My! her hair is all full of blood!" he said,
in a startled voice. "She must have struck the
edge of the step, I guess."





GRAN


"0 Joe, maybe she's killed like my poor
dear Kitty!" whispered Jackie, whose one pet
had met a tragic fate a few months before in
an encounter with a tinker's dog.
"Pooh, no!" said Joe, lightly, "though if it
wasn't for you I'd call some of the Bryans.
They might not want their girls to be so
friendly with you if they saw Gran like this.
It don't matter much about boys,' but a little
girl has to be as respectable as she can; so I'll
just let the old lady sleep it off, as she has done
many a time before. But first I reckon we
ought to tie up that cut on her head," added
Joe, who had not done business at a street cor-
ner for eighteen months without learning some-
thing about "first aid" to the injured in any
kind of fray. "Look around, Jackie, and see
if you can find me a nice, soft rag."
Jackie looked around hopelessly. Nice, soft
things were not much in Gran's household line.
"There's nice rags in that old trunk there,
Joe," she whispered; "but Gran said if I ever
touched them she would skin me alive."
"I'll risk the skinning," replied Joe, turn-




GRAN


ing to an old haircloth-covered trunk that stood
in a corner of the room, its lid lightly fastened
down by a rusty nail.
The would-be surgeon opened it with a jerk.
It held queer odds and ends of every kind.gath-
ered in Gran's long and varied career; but a soft
white roll in the comer caught Joe's eye. He
seized upon it at once, and, breaking the string
that confined it, shook out the contents. Here
were soft white rags indeed, but rags frilled and
laced and fashioned into dainty shapes that
made Sandy Joe stare.
"Why-why, they're-they're baby clothes,
Jackie!"
The little girl bent forward, her long soft
hair falling over the dainty frock.
"0 Joe, yes, dear, lovely little baby clothes!
Look at the frills and the lace and the teeny-
weeny buttons! Mrs. Bryan's baby hasn't
anything so pretty! And there's a little white
coat, too. 0 Joe, you're not going to tear up
those?"
"No, I'm not," answered Joe, who was still
staring at the dainty little garments he held in





GRAN


his outstretched hand. "And, my, if there ain't
gold pins in them too, Jackie!" He turned the
little frock he held to the light, and showed
three delicate little fasteners connected with a
slender chain. "And daere's letters on them!"
he continued, peering at the tiny monogram on
the gold pins, "letters all twisted together. It.
looks like a J and a T or an H. Golly! I
wonder where Gran got hold of swell fixings
like these?"
"And, oh, how soft and nice the little coat
is!" said Jackie, rapturously. "Just let me
hold it for a minute, Joe!" And she took the
little silken-lined thing and laid her cheek on
its soft warm folds. "Oh, I wish I could keep
it, Joe!"
"You're just hard up for a pet, Jackie. I'll
try to find another kitten for you to-morrow;
for we'll have to put these things back before
Gran opens her eyes and sees us rummaging in
her trunk."
"Oh, yes, yes, put them back quick!" whis-
pered Jackie in alarm. "Don't tie up her head
at all, Joe. Let her stay asleep."





GRAN


"Guess we might as well," replied Joe; "for
we are short on hospital supplies sure. And
while the old woman seems pretty easy, I'll get
out my thread and mend that shoe of yours,
Jackie. Take it off and snuggle down there
by the fire, and I'll show you what a cobbler I
am. Pve got an old boot, that I picked up on
an ash pile yesterday, that is just what we
need."
And while Jackie snuggled up to the fire,
with her little foot tucked under her ragged
skirt, Joe got the old boot he had stowed away
in a corner; and, diving into his pocket, ex-
tracted from a varied emergency collection of
rusty nails, twine, buttons, and so forth, a
coarse needle stuck in a skein of black thread.
"Tell me a story while you mend my shoe,
won't you, Joe?" coaxed the little girl, as her
companion, with the aid of a jackknife, pro-
ceeded to cut his patch.
"Sure! I almost forgot the story," said Joe.
"The paper is in my pocket, and I sort of
spelled it out while I was waiting at the office
this morning. It's a picture paper Tim Mona-





GRAN


ghan gave me. You can look at it, and I'll
try to tell you what it is all about."
Joe made a dive into another pocket and
brought out a badly torn and crumpled pic-
torial page. Jackie smoothed it out with eager
hands.
"The fairy story is on the other side," said
Joe. "Turn over, Jackie."
"Oh, but-but ain't these fairies, too?"
asked Jackie, pointing to a winged group in the
picture.
"No," replied Joe: "those are angels."
"They look like fairies," said Jackie, doubt-
fully.
"Oh, but they ain't the same at all!" said
Joe, as he laboriously drew his rusty needle
through the shoe-leather. "Angels are a great
deal better than fairies, Jackie. They don't
fool away their time monkeying and dancing
and swinging on cobwebs, but are real use-
ful."
"Then tell me a story about angels, Joe,"
pleaded Jackie, softly.
"I can't say that I know any stories about





GRAN


them," said Joe, reflectively. "You see-
angels-angels are true, Jackie."
"Oh, are they? And did you ever see one,
Joe?" asked Jackie, with wide-stretched eyes.
"No, but I've heard about them-lots of
things," replied Joe, stitching industriously as
he spoke. "Jim Monaghan was sick Christ-
mas, and Tim gave me his ticket and took me
in to the Christmas Tree at his church. It was
fine! There were all sorts of good things, and
nice gloves and scarfs and warm socks for pres-
ents. I didn't want to take anything, but the
preacher-or priest they called him-said that
it was all right even if I wasn't no church mem-
ber, and he handed me out a pair of gloves with
the rest. And then he told us about angels-
how they lived up in heaven, and God sent them
on messages; and how on Christmas night they
just filled the skies with singing and music,
a-telling folks how God had come a little baby
to live on earth. And then," said Joe, pausing
to rethread his needle-"then he told us some-
thing I never heard before, though I've been
round to Methodists' and Baptists' Christmas




GRAN


Trees. He said that every child had an angel
to look after it, and stay at its side night and
day, and keep it from harm. Guardian angels
he called them. And I tell you they've got a
job watching some of the boys I know. I
should think they'd give up and go back to the
sky. But with little girls" (Joe turned his
eyes on Jackie) "it's different, as I told Tim
when we come out. I don't ask no guardian
angels myself, but I'd like to think there was
one watching over you when I'm not around.
And then I began to think how you had skipped
out safe when the stove turned over last winter,
and the ash cart rolled over you without giving
you a scratch, and you tumbled off a twenty-
foot bank and landed in a soft snowdrift in-
stead of breaking your back or your neck. It
looks as if some one was taking care of you sure.
There now!" Joe dexterously bit off his thread
with his sharp white teeth. "Your shoe is
done, and almost as good as new. Gee whiz!
poor little midge! She is sound asleep!"
And, with a gentleness that many a more for-
tunate big brother might have copied, Joe lifted





GRAN


the light little figure from the floor, where
Jackie had nodded of in perilous neighborhood
to the rickety stove, and placed her on the little
pallet in the corner, covering her up with a
ragged patchwork quilt several times folded,
and then returned to keep watch over the fire
and Gran; for more than once the stove had
been upset by the old woman after an "evening
out."

Sandy Joe had come into Gran's care about
five year ago. His father, another Joe Darn-
ley, a wild, reckless young fellow, had been the
old woman's only son and the idol of her fierce,
jealous heart. She had been furious at his
marriage, and would have nothing to do with
the young wife, who, she declared, had stolen
her boy. So Joe's early days had been spent
in a little seaport town, where his father found
and lost jobs with painful regularity, spent the
intervals at saloons and comer groceries, leav-
ing the real struggle of life to the quiet little
pale-faced mother, who, never very strong, had
given way under the double strain and slipped





GRAN


hopeless and broken-hearted into an early grave.
Then, the gentle obstacle between them being
removed, Mr. Darnley renewed friendly rela-
tions with his old mother, dropped nine-year-old
Joe in her care, with promises of generous re-
mittances for his support, shipped before the
mast, and was heard of no more.
Joe had found two-year-old Jackie, with
four or five little ones of the same age, toddling
about the poor but decent cottage where Gran
was making a modest if somewhat precarious
livelihood by nursing "in" instead of "out."
But after the disappearance of her son, Gran
had fallen into evil ways. One by one the
children were removed from her care, until only
Joe and little brown-eyed Jackie remained to
follow the down grade of the old woman's for-
tunes, which had landed them at last in the
shanty where Joe was keeping his anxious vigil
to-night.
The cares of life usually sat very lightly upon
Joe. He had been used to poverty and want
from his cradle, so that he scarcely felt their
sharp pinch. But to-night, as he thrust an-





GRAN


other rotten board into the old stove, and leaned
back in the broken chair before the fire, the
young face framed by the sandy curls was un-
usually thoughtful. Perhaps it was the heavy
breathing of the old woman behind him; per-
haps it was the sight of Jackie's "set table" and
broken little shoe; but Joe felt his responsi-
bility as head of the house unusually weighty
to-night.
"That poor little midget there does have a
tough time sure; and she is so cute and pretty
and-and-" (Joe paused in his reflections for
the right word) "sort of ladyfied, it seems a
shame she can't be kept nice and right. Gran
is no more fit to raise a little girl than an old
crow to raise a canary bird; and she's getting
worse and worse every day. If, as that
preacher said, Jackie's got an angel watching
her, I'd surely like him to give me a tip some-
how what to do for her myself."
It was a queer sort of a prayer, but it came
straight from Joe's honest heart, and surely
the watching angel heard.






CHAPTER IV


A TERRIBLE NIGHT

A SUDDEN sound made Joe turn with a start.
Gran was sitting up on her ragged couch,
with flushed face and wild, staring eyes.
"Jackie!" she called sharply. "Jackie,
where are you, you little beggar? They've
come for you at last-at last! They've come!"
At the sound of Gran's voice suddenly call-
ing for Jackie, Joe sprang up and looked
around, exclaiming:
"Who has come?"
But the door was tight shut. There was no
stranger near. Gran, seated straight up on the
couch, was staring wildly at the blank wall be-
fore her.
"It will be a thousand dollars down," she
went on shrilly,-"a thousand dollars! She
has cost me a deal, to say naught of the work
and the worry.. A thousand dollars down!
44





A TERRIBLE NIGHT


I've been waiting for it long, and I'll take never
a cent less. A thousand dollars down, and
then I can make a man of Joe's boy."
"What are you talking about, Gran?" asked
Joe, drawing near the old woman.
"You keep out of this!" she replied fiercely.
"I don't want. none of your meddling. It's
none of your business from first to last-d'ye
hear? It's mine-all mine.-A thousand dol-
lars down, and then you can have the child to
do what you will."
"Gee whiz!" exclaimed Joe, appalled. "If
she ain't a dreaming of selling Jackie out and
out!-Gran, Gran, I say, wake up-wake up!
There ain't anybody here but me."
But Gran kept on in her shrill colloquy with
her invisible visitor on the blank wall.
"No, I ain't starved her, I ain't beat her. If
she's ragged and dirty, why didn't you send
money to buy clothes? Where could I get her
dresses and shoes to wear all these years? I'd
have sent her to the asylum years ago only I
was a-waiting for this. I have kept the frock
and the coat and the gold pins, when I might




46 A TERRIBLE NIGHT


have sold them for food and drink. I've got
them safe. You can see them if you want to
when you've paid me for the child. It's a thou-
sand dollars down!"
"Oh, stop, Gran!" said Joe, for he was
roused into righteous wrath at this cold-blooded
bargaining fdr his little playmate, even if it
were only bargaining in a dream. "You don't
know what you are talking about. You ain't
going to sell Jackie for one thousand dollars
while I'm around-no, nor for ten thousand
neither, Gran."
"Turning against me, are you?" said the
old woman, showing her long yellow teeth.
"Turning against me, just like your father did!
You just go away, and leave me alone. This
here is my business, you ungrateful boy! This
is my affair, that I've been waiting to settle
this many a year. It was of you that I have
been thinking-how I'd send you to school and
make a gentleman of you. And now it's
keeping me out of my money you'd be, you
young fool! Listen! She with the black eyes
can pay. I knew she was playing some dark




A TERRIBLE NIGHT


trick with the child. I could see it in her face
-aye, aye, old Madge Darnley could see!
Little she cared whether it lived or died, and her
husband cared less. They'd leave it while they
went to France for a year, and paid me three
hundred dollars down; and the fear and fright
all the while in their faces, and the lies on their
trembling tongues; and the child, half dead
with the dope they had given it, couldn't cry!
Aye, you know it well-you know it well!"
continued Gran, her voice rising sharply as she
again addressed her imaginary visitor. "It
was all lies you told me about the child, and you
know it well."
Joe was listening in bewilderment, with blue
eyes wide open, and sharp ears that did not
miss a word. It was Jackie's story Gran was
telling. It was Jackie who had worn the
pretty frilled dress and the soft coat and the
gold pins, and who had been left in Gran's
care by a black-eyed lady, who had doped her
so she couldn't cry. Poor Jackie!
As Joe thought of her his heart seemed to
swell so big with pity and tenderness and hot





48 A TERRIBLE NIGHT
boyish wrath that it fairly rose in his throat.
To leave a tiny little girl, in a pretty frock
with gold pins, to Gran !
"What's her name, Gran?" he asked eagerly,
humoring the old woman's raving. "I'll get
her for you if you tell me her name."
"Her name?" echoed the old woman. "It
was no true name she gave me, I know. It was
Bonny the baby called her; it was all she could
say-Bonny, I remember well. Eh, Mrs.
Bonny, I've been looking for you long. No,
you'll have to pay, I tell you-you'll have to
pay!" Gran's shrill voice broke and she began
to gasp for breath.
"Jackie!" shouted Joe in alarm, as the old
woman fell back on her pillow, struggling and
choking. "Wake up, wake up !"
The little girl, half asleep, started up from
her pallet at the call.
"Jackie, run right in to Mrs. Bryan's and
tell somebody to come here quick! Gran's got
a fit. Quick, Jackie, quick!"
Jackie gave one wild look of terror at the
couch, and was out of the house at a bound.





A TERRIBLE NIGHT


The rest of the night seemed like a strange, con-
fused dream to Joe. Good Mrs. Bryan, a stout,
motherly woman, came hurrying in; one or two
other neighbors followed. There was a be-
wildering buzz and clatter of tongues, until the
"poor" doctor arrived on the scene, and gave
brief but imperative orders. Gran must be
taken to the hospital at once. There was some
fracture of the skull.
And, though it was the dead of a winter
night, all Squatter Town was up and out when
the big white ambulance drove up to the side
of the road; and Gran, wrapped in every quilt
and blanket she owned, was carried by four
stout men down the steep bank, placed on the
mattress within the vehicle, and borne away.
"They're taking her to her death, poor crea-
ture !" said the sympathetic Mrs. Bryan, with a
nod. "She'll never get over it. The doctor
said as much. She's going to her death, and
it's small loss she'll be-God forgive me for
saying so!" murmured the good woman, as she
turned back into Gran's house to straighten
things up a bit before she went to her own do-




50 A TERRIBLE NIGHT


main. "Of all the dens I've ever seen this is
the worst. Ah, Joe, is that you?" Mrs.
Bryan's tone changed cheerily as she caught
sight of the boyish figure sitting in silence by
the rusty stove. "Keep up your heart, Joe
dear!" And the speaker laid a motherly hand
on Joe's shoulder. "It may not be so bad with
the poor old woman, after all."
"Yes, it is, Mrs. Bryan," said Joe, in a
choked voice; for deep if needless remorse was
rending his boyish heart. "I-I was such a
stupid dumbhead, Mrs. Bryan, not to tie up her
head or call anybody to help her."
"And-and why didn't you, Joe?" asked
Mrs. Bryan, a little startled at this confession.
"I was ashamed," said Joe, with grim
honesty. "I thought she had been drinking,
and I didn't like to have other folks see her so
down and out. Didn't care for myself, but-
but-" Joe swallowed the big lump rising in
his throat-"I was afraid you might all 'cut'
poor little Jackie if you saw Gran drunk."
"Oh, you poor child!" said the good woman,





A TERRIBLE NIGHT


with all the warmth of a mother confessor.
"Sure I'd never be thinking the likes of that!
Gran isn't the only old woman I've seen take a
drop or two too much, Joe. When one is old
and cold it's a sore temptation, lad. As for
Jackie-God bless her !-there isn't a prettier
little darling in the town. My Molly loves
her as if she were her sister."
"Then take her-take her for Molly's sister,
Mrs. Bryan." There was a queer little catch in
Joe's voice, and all the pity and tenderness and
anxiety roused by this dark night looked out
from his pleading eyes. "Take her, please, for
your little girl, too-won't you, Mrs. Bryan?"
"Is it I, Joe dear?" exclaimed the good
woman. "You see, I have four of my own,
and it's all a poor widow can do, washing and
ironing, to keep the roof over them now."
"I'll pay for her," replied Joe, eagerly.
"You poor lad! And do you think I'd take
the bit and sup out of your own mouth, child?
No, I wouldn't. Now listen to me. The
home for poor little Jackie is neither with you





52 A TERRIBLE NIGHT
nor with me, but with the good Sisters at St.
Vincent's. There she'll be fed and clothed,
poor lamb, and taken care of, in the good God's
name, as she never was taken care of before."
"The asylum!" said Joe in a choked voice.
"Oh, not the asylum, Mrs. Bryan!"
"And why not?" asked Mrs. Bryan.
"There isn't a better place in all the world for
the motherless orphan, Joe. Haven't you seen
them walking out in their nice warm coats and
hats, and the Sisters watching and caring for
them?"
"I know-I know! But, Mrs. Bryan, it
would break her heart-poor little Jackie's
heart. She's scared of the asylum. Gran has
threatened her with it ever since she could walk;
and it was only this evening Jackie was talking
about it, and telling me how afraid she was of
being put there. I told her I'd never let her
go, and I won't," said Joe, his young face set-
tling into strangely resolute lines. "I can pay
for her. I know a place where I can get three
dollars a week and grub, and sleep under the
counter. And if you won't take Jackie for





A TERRIBLE NIGHT


that, I'll find some one else. It won't cost
three dollars a week to feed Jackie, I am sure."
"No, it wouldn't, nor half that, the darling!"
said the good woman, pitifully. "And she
could sleep with Molly and Nora, where I've
go.t her warm and snug now. And I wouldn't
like to have the little creature given up to some
lazy good-for-nothing that you might pick up.
So we'll let Jackie stay for a while, anyway,
lad."
And so it was settled; and, after a bit more
straightening, the good another went home to
find her latest nursling tucked safely in bed be-
tween Molly and Nora, her arms twined around
Molly's neck, her little face, even in sleep,
wearing a happy, trustful smile.
"The poor darling!" said the good mother.
"Sure I'm foolish to listen to the lad, I know;
but I'll keep her for a while at least, with God's
help."
And Joe, with the help of the watching angel
he had invoked, having done his best for Jackie,
turned into his own room, which was little more
than a shed whose gaping boards he had lined





54 A TERRIBLE NIGHT
with papers to keep out the wind, and where a
sack of straw covered with an old army blanket
served as a bed. But shed and straw and
blanket were clean and sweet; his few clothes
hung neatly on nails on the wall; the tin basin
and broken-nosed pitcher were in place for his
morning toilet. Joe could do nothing with
Gran's domain, but his own was kept accord-
ing to the teaching of his gentle mother to her
nine-year-old boy long ago. Much more she
must have taught even in those early days
to have made our Sandy Joe the brave, bold,
tender-hearted fellow he was. Too brave and
tender-hearted to sleep to-night, he lay awake in
the darkness, thinking and planning as he had
never had to think and plan before.
He would go to old "Parley Voo's" eating-
house to-morrow. The grizzly old French-
man had offered him a job two months ago,
but then he had Gran and Jackie to look out
for at night. Now-now a queer lump rose
in Joe's throat as he thought of his broken-up
family. Well, he could help with the queer
messes of frogs and turtles; he could eat the old





A TERRIBLE NIGHT 55
Frenchman's scraps; he could sleep under the
counter; and he could earn three dollars a week
for little Jackie-Jackie, whose strange story
he had heard to-night.






CHAPTER V


A HOME AND A NEW LIFE

S ANDY JOE had secured his new job with
difficulty. He had appeared at the queer
little shop at the market comer at an unlucky
moment. Old "Parley Voo"-or Monsieur
Paravue, as he was more politely called by his
compatriots-was in a state of "desolation"
beyond English speech. The tenth of a series
of young "diables Americains," whom he had
employed as garcons, had disappeared the night
before with a huge basket of bonnes bouches
intended for an elegant reception, and the un-
fortunate Monsieur was hearing from the dis-
appointed hostess in no very pleasant terms.
"But, Madame, Madame, it was not my
fault. I make the terrapin with my own
hands. I kill him, I pick him, I stew him, I
smother him well with all things good and
fine, Madame. I assure you it was one fine
56





A HOME AND A NEW LIFE 57
dish. And then I trust it to that villain, thief,
rascal; and he-he-what you call it?-elope
with it, Madame-elope with it, to Madame's
disappointment, to my dishonor, disgrace-
but not to my fault," concluded the old man,
bowing his head and stretching out his hands
pathetically,-"not to my fault!"
"It is your fault, when you trust to dishon-
est and unreliable help," said the lady, sharply.
"Your carelessness spoiled my entertainment,
and you may be sure you will receive no orders
from me again." And the speaker swept out of
the shop indignantly.
"I am ruined, I am lost!" said the old man,
clapping his hands to his head excitedly.
"This will destroy me forever-forever !"
"Pooh, no!" interposed a cheery voice at his
side; for Sandy Joe, waiting at the comer, had
been a witness to the interview. "She can't
hurt you, Parley Voo. Old hens don't do any-
thing but cackle. First time she wants frog
meat she'll forget all about what she just said,
and come back to you. Boy skipped, you say?
Well, I'm looking for a job right now."





58 A HOME AND A NEW LIFE
"You-you!" panted the old man, staring
angrily at the speaker. "You will be thief,
rascal, devil, like all the rest. Un, deux, cinq,
six, huit, dix, have I had,-all robbing, ruin-
ing me. Vas-tu-leave! Go-allez,-begone
away! I will have none of you no more-
none, none!"
"But you'll have to, you know," said Sandy
Joe, good-humoredly. "I'll wait until you cool
off, and can talk business; for I want the job.
Three dollars a week and grub-anything
you've got round except frogs and mud-turtles.
I'll not bother them, you can bet! Sleep there
under the counter, and be on the jump when-
ever you call. And I'm no thief either, though
I don't suppose you are taking my 'say so' for
that. It ain't no cinch, as you know, Parley
Voo; but I'm willing to try it, if you want to
give me. the chance."
And something in Sandy Joe's twinkling eyes
and cheery voice seemed to strike through the
clouds of old Parley Voo's despair; and, after
a great deal of excited discussion in very broken
English, he was given the chance "to rob and





A HOME AND A NEW LIFE 59
ruin," as the old Frenchman direfully prophe-
sied, with the ten "diables Americains" that had
preceded him.
It was not much of a cinch, as Joe had fore-
seen. Although the little shop at the corner
"put the best foot foremost" to the outside
world, and the counter was covered with spot-
less oilcloth, paper napkins in plenty, and the
flowered dishes were gaily garnished with pars-
ley and cress, there were dark depths behind,
in which it would not have been wise for pa-
trons to penetrate. There was a small stuffy
kitchen, where old Parley Voo, in a white paper
cap and apron, did wonderful things with bits
and scraps that an American cook would not
have looked at twice; there was a tumble-down
shed beyond, with tanks and tubs where frogs,
turtles and terrapins awaited their. doom;
there was a ragged-looking parrot that swung
in a rusty cage and said bad words in French;
and, last and worst ?of all, there was "La
Vielle."
Whether La Vielle was wife, mother, grand-
mother, or great-grandmother to Parley Voo,





60 A -IQME AND A NEW LIFE
Joe was ne r able to tell. She was so old
and wither and brown that fifty years more
or less wou~ not seem to count. She lived up
a crooked pair of stairs, that 'led to an aparte-
ment where Joe was never allowed to penetrate;
and once a day she came hobbling down, lean-
ing on a cane, to quarrel fiercely with old Par-
ley Voo in shrill French, and to gather up all
the loose change in sight. But she saw that
the little cot under the counter had a warm
blanket, and m'dre than once she nodded her
queer old bewigged head and threw a nickel
to Joe as she clambered up the crooked steps.
"She is one vat you call veetch," said old
Parley Voo to Joe, after one of those daily vis-
its. "La Vielle will nevare, nevare die. She
is one veetch."
And,, though not wise in "witch" ways, Joe
felt that perhaps Parley Voo was not far wrong.

Meanwhile Gran lingered on in dull uncon-
sciousness in the free ward of the great hos-
pital; and little Jackie, happily ddinesticated
in the Bryan household, was fairly reveling in




A HOME AND A NEW LIFE 61
delights she had never experienced in her brief
years of remembrance. True, the Bryan es-
tablishment consisted of only three rooms, and
a shed in which the mother did the washing
that supported her fatherless brood. But, after
Gran's manage, what vistas of comfort and
beauty those three rooms were to Jackie's eager
eyes! There were real beds, snowy and spot-
less, with an iron crib for Baby Ann; there were
chairs with legs and seats; there was a table
which, when not set in proper fashion for meals,
was covered with a fringed red cloth; there was
a clock that ticked cheerily day and night.
Most wonderful of all, there were pictures on
the walls-pictures bought on instalment at
sacrifices only God's good angels knew: the
Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, St. Patrick, Christ
blessing little children-too gorgeous in hue,
perhaps, for artistic tastes, but teaching lessons
of faith, hope, and love, that many a master-
piece fails to impart.
What with all these attractions, with a
friendly cat purring on the hearth rug, with
rosy, rollicking Baby Ann to cuddle and





62 A HOME AND A NEW LIFE
squeeze, and Molly and Nora and little Pat,
the three days since the night of Gran's acci-
dent had been one long delight to Jackie-a
delight she felt with a tremulous fear must
soon have an end; it was altogether too good
to last. There was only one shadow in this
sunshine. Joe, big, cheery, tender Joe, was not
here to share it-to enjoy the bright fire and
the set table, the hot mugh and milk, the cat,
the goat, the baby-all the wonderful joys of
this new life.
She was thinking of Joe this morning as she
sat on the rag rug before the stove that was
glowing with ruddy light; for Mrs. Bryan was
in the midst of her ironing. The room was a
very grove of sweet-smelling linen, that hung
airing on lines stretched from wall to wall-
linen frilled and laced and embroidered; for
the good laundress' custom was of the best.
Bright winter sunshine streamed through the
four windows. The pictures shone out in all
their glory. The clock ticked merrily. Molly
and Nora were at school; 'little Pat, bundled
up warm against the winter cold, was out coast-





A HOME AND A NEW LIFE 68

ing with the young Monaghans; Baby Ann
had just rolled over on the rug in her morn-
ing nap, and had been comfortably ensconced
in her crib. It was a time for reflection; and
Jackie, with her little patched toes curled up
under her ragged frock, whose glaring deficien-
cies were concealed for the present by the loan
of Nora's best ruffled apron, was thinking rather
more seriously than the usual glad riot in the
Bryan household permitted.
"Gran will come back soon now; won't she,
Mrs. Bryan?" she asked gravely.
"Sure if it's God's holy will, darling!" an-
swered the good woman, evasively.
"God's holy will,"-it was the keynote of
this humble household, to which all its simple
music was attuned. Jackie had heard a great
deal about God's will during the last three days,
and there was a puzzled look in the soft brown
eyes lifted to her kind friend's face.
"Who is God, Mrs. Bryan?" she asked
softly.
Mrs. Bryan's iron poised, to the imminent
danger of the dainty fabric beneath.





64 A HOME AND A NEW LIFE
"The Lord save us!" she gasped. "Jackie
darling, did you never hear talk of God?"
"Sometimeswhen Gran was mad," answered
Jackie. "But I didn't think He was real or
true till I came here."
"You poor darling innocent!" said Mrs.
Bryan, tenderly. "And how could you know
anything good or holy with such an old repro-
bate-" The speaker remembered charity,
and checked her indignant speech. "And, like
as not," she continued, "you never had the
blessed water of baptism poured over you,
Jackie; and you're a little haythen with all the
rest. Well, with God's help, Mary Bryan will
3ee to that this day. You'll not get out of my
hands till you have a Christian soul-aye, and
i Christian name, too. 'Jackie' indeed! It's
easily seen that old savage had no more regard
for you than to call you like a dumb beast.
Who ever heard of a decent child with a name
Like that-? This very evening, when the chil-
Iren come home, I'll take you up to St. Mar-
:in's to see Father More."
And, as good Mary Bryan never dallied on





A HOME AND A NEW LIFE 65
the path of duty, a new and wonderful ex-
perience came to our little Jackie that after-
noon. With Nora's best coat enveloping her
small figure, and Nora's blue worsted hood tied
over her brown hair, she was led to a great
house, where, in a big room lined with books,
there was the nicest gentleman she ever remem-
bered to have seen-a tall, pleasant-faced gen-
tleman, with half-grey hair, who shook hands
with Mrs. Bryan and patted Jackie's head
kindly, while he listened to the brief, sad story
the good woman told of the little girl's life.
"And you know nothing more than this-
nothing of the child's parentage ?"
"Nothing, Father, except the poor darling
has had no more care than a dumb beast; sure
not as much as some of the beasts I have seen.
It was a foundling that was left in her hands,
the old woman used to say; and she was keep-
ing her, expecting she might be called for. It
was the old reprobate she was out and out,
God forgive me! And if she gets over the
trouble that's on her now, she'll take the child
back again. But while Jackie is in my house





66 A HOME AND A NEW LIFE
I must do the best I can for her; so I brought
her to you, Father, to ask you to baptize the
poor innocent, and give her a Christian name,
and a chance for heaven if the Lord sees fit to
take her; for she's a delicate bit of a creature,
as you can see."
Father More put his hand under Jackie's chin
and lifted the shy, pretty little face so that the
brown eyes met his own.
"A delicate little creature indeed," he said
gently, "wonderfully delicate for such a life."
And then he bade Mrs. Bryan sit down; and,
taking his place in his own big chair, he drew
Jackie to his side and talked to her in a way
no one had ever talked to her before-wisely,
kindly, simply enough to reach the little seven-
year-old heart and mind. And when he had fin-
ished, Jackie had learned beautiful, wonderful
things about the good God, her Father in
heaven who loved her so tenderly.
"You would like to be God's child, my dear
little girl-the child of that good Father in
heaven" ,
"Oh, yes, yes !" said Jackie softly, lifting





A HOME AND ANEW I E%
her shining eyes to the priest's face. "But'I
can't-I can't. Nobody wants me. .Gran
says I am only-only a bother. Maybe God
don't want me." And she shook her pretty lit-
tle head in a hopeless way that went to Father
More's big heart.
"My poor, dear little girl! Yes, God wants
you-indeed He does." And then, after an-
other little talk, so tender and beautiful that
Mrs. Bryan was reduced to sympathetic tears, it
was decided that Jackie was to be brought to
the church the very next day to receive condi-
tional baptism.
"And sure you'll give her a Christian name,
Father'?" asked Mrs. Bryan anxiously. "Sure
you couldn't be baptizing her with such a name
as Jackie!"
"Well, scarcely," said Father More, with a
smile. "Choose her. name yourself, my friend.
It will be a good and holy one, I am sure.
That is your privilege as godmother."
Great was the excitement in the Bryan house-
hold" that night whgi the coming event be-
came known. Baby baptisms were happy and





68, A HOME AND A NEW LIFE
familiar affairs; but to have a walking, talk-
ing, little girl led to the blessed font was a thing
altogether unheard of and unrecorded in the
family history. Jackie became an object of
the most affectionate and breathless interest.
Nora's one white dress was brought out from
its careful paper wrappings, and washed and
ironed afresh for the great occasion. Nora's
shoes were borrowed and blacked to a shine.
Molly's white sash, the pride of her life, pur-
chased by six weeks' nursing of the tempestu-
ous baby Monaghan, was offered to the little
neophyte without a pang of hesitation. Then,
when all these minor details were happily set-
tled, Mrs. Bryan took down from the shelf,
where it lay carefully protected from dust by
three layers of tissue-paper, the great, gilt-
clasped "Ursuline Manual" that had been her
husband's wedding gift, and proceeded to study
the calendar for a fitting name, while the chil-
"dren crowded around in delighted interest.
"Oh, I'd choose Regina Cecilia!" said Molly.
"It sounds so grand."
"Katharine Loretto is much prettier," de-




A HOME AND A NEW LIFE .69
cared Nora; "and it's holier, too; isn't it,
mother'?"
"Sure it's not for us to judge betwixt the
holy saints," said the good mother, reprovingly.
"You ought to have the instruction to know
that, Nora. I'm thinking of Monica myself.
It was my poor own mother's name, and that
of, a great saint, besides. How would you
like to be called Monica, Jackie dear?"
"0 Jackie, yes! Monica is a lovely name,"
put in Molly, enthusiastically. "Mother, why
didn't you give me a fine name like that, instead
of plain Mary Ann'?"
"Whisht! I'm surprised and shocked at you,
Molly Bryan! Where could I find you a
sweeter or a holier name than that of the Queen
of heaven and earth' And Jackie shall have
that, too, if she wants it. We'll call her
Monica Mary. Arid here comes Joe to settle
the matter. We'll ask him."
And Joe, who just at that moment came in
to look after his family, having an evening off
from the frogs and turtles, stared in bewilder-
ment at the chorus of information that greeted





70 A HOME AND A NEW LIFE
him. Jackie was to be baptized on the mor-
row at the great marble church, with the tower
and the bells; Jackie was to wear a beautiful
white dress Mrs. Bryan had just ironed, the
white silk sash that Molly proudly .displayed,
the new shoes with shining patent-leather toes;
and Jackie must no longer be "Jackie," like a
dog or a monkey, but must have a beautiful
name.
"I'm thinking of Monica Mary," said Mrs.
Bryan; "but it's for you to say the word, Joe.
How do you like that name.?"
"Great!" said Joe breathlessly, feeling that
here was "respectability" far beyond his wild-
est hopes. "I never heard a finer name. I
ain't saying I won't forget it sometimes myself,
and call her Jackie; but she'll be Monica Mary
to every one else, or I'll know the reason why."






CHAPTER VI


UNDER THE MEMORIAL WINDOW

IT had been a busy day with Mr. Phil Har-
per. The cares of his great fortune usually
sat very lightly upon him; forhe had been born
to wealth and an honored name, so the mere
matter of bonds and stocks and railroad shares
had been disposed of with practised ease. But
he had other business to settle to-day,-busi-
ness he had shirked for years, as one shrinks
from a rude touch on an open wound. He was
obliged to discuss it now; and, seated in his
lawyer's office, was listening to the gentleman's
cool-headed professional advice. 4
"My dear Harper, would it not be best to
sell the place connected with so tragic an event
and have done with it? I had an offer of
twenty thousand dollars for it yesterday. It
seemed madness to refuse, and so I sent for you
to talk the matter over. Twenty thousand dol-





72 THE MEMORIAL WINDOW
lars! What possible good can it be to hold pos-
session of Larchmont in its present condition
any longer?"
"None," answered Mr. Harper, briefly. "I
suppose. you are right, Benton; and I ought to
have sold and had the blackened ruins of my
lost Eden razed to the ground long ago."
"Frankly, I think you ought," observed Mr.
Benton. "I was out there last week; the place
is an eyesore in a beautiful and otherwise im-
proving neighborhood. A perfect tangle of
growth has closed around it. Shrubs, roses,
vines, have all run wild; and, what is still
worse, like all places with a tragic history, there
is the usual foolish rumor that the ruin is
haunted. It ought to be cleared away at once.
Let me accept this twenty-thousan -dollar of-
fer and be done with it."
"What does the purchaser propose to do with
the property?" asked Mr. Harper, slowly.
"Make it again-a home?"
"Well, no, not exactly a home," was the re-
luctant answer. "As I understand, he is the
agent of the proposed trolley line, who wants





THE MEMORIAL WINDOW 78
it as a sort of summer garden or pleasure park."
A fierce oath burst from Harper's pale lips.
"Summer garden! Pleasure park! Turn the
ground made holy to me by my child's ashes
into a tramping place for beer-swillers and idle
fools! Never while I live, Benton! I don't
see how you could think for one moment I
would listen to such a proposition. Larch-
mont a beer garden! Not if I were offered a
million for it."
"My dear Harper, I did not say beer gar-
den," interposed the little lawyer, apologeti-
cally. "A pleasure park for innocent recreation
did not strike me as amiss. Still, as you feel
this way, I will not urge the matter further.
But I must add, in justice to other property
holders in the neighborhood, something should
be done with Larchmont."
"And something shall be done at once," said
Mr. Harper resolutely, as he rose from his chair.
"I have been a weakling, a coward in the mat-
ter, I must confess, Benton. I simply could
not find the courage, the strength, after that
first awful visit to look at the place again; but





74 THE MEMORIAL WINDOW
I will take the matter in hand myself now. Of
one thing you can rest assured: Larchmont is
not, and never will be, for sale. This offer has
warned me that if I would keep it sacred ground
it must be given into holy keeping forever."
And, his strong man's voice still shaken with
the emotion that mastered him, Philip Harper
passed hurriedly out of the office without
further adieux.
"Very foolish sentiment,-exceedingly fool-
ish," commented the little lawyer with a shrug,
as his wealthiest client disappeared. "But I
suppose Mr. Philip Harper can afford senti-
ment. I never could. It is altogether too ex-
pensive a luxury." And Mr. Benton turned
back to his desk, while his late visitor kept on
down the street, heedless for the moment
whither, so fierce was the storm of feeling
roused by the little lawyer's words.
Larchmont sold for a beer garden-a beer
garden! Nay, even a pleasure park! The
place-made holy to him by so much happiness,
such anguish, such blissful, torturing memories!
"Confound that old man Benton!" muttered





THE MEMORIAL WINDOW 75
the gentleman, savagely. "He has no more
heart or soul than an Egyptian mummy. Sell
Larchmont with the chance of such profana-
tion as he suggests! Sell the ground that holds
the ashes of Nell's child! Great Heavens!
I'll see Father More to-morrow about putting
something there that Nell would like: a church,
a hospital, an orphanage or something.
George! that reminds me I came very near for-
getting those two little ragamuffins. I must
look them up at once."
And, stirred altogether out of his easy good-
nature, the gentleman hurriedly retraced his
steps to the neighborhood where he had bought
his newspaper four days ago. The streets were
filled with eager crowds hurrying homeward
after the busy day; shrill-voiced newsboys were
darting hither and thither, shouting vocifer-
ously.
Mr. Harper, who retained only vague recol-
lections of his late transaction with the young
paper-seller, looked around him in bewilder-
ment and was immediately besieged by eager
vendors.





76 THE MEMORIAL WINDOW
"Paper, sir, paper? Evening Times, sir?
Here's your Evening Journal. Herald?
World?"
"Wait a bit, boys," said the gentleman, after
purchasing from a half dozen or so, and real-
izing that any or all of them, as far as he re-
membered, might be the one he sought. "I'm
looking for a chap that I owe for a paper bought
last Monday."
"'Twas me, sir! Me, me, me!" cried an
eager chorus.
"Oh, no!" said Mr. Harper, good-hu-
moredly. "No such wholesale business as that,
my boys; I haven't any bee in my bonnet as you
may think. Let me see: the fellow I want was
about twelve or thereabouts, with reddish hair
and a little sister."
"That was Sandy Joe," piped up a small
chap of ten from the background.
"Shut up there! It warn't; it was me." A
big, red-headed boy with shifty blue eyes
jerked the little speaker aside and pushed his
way to Mr. Harper. "It's me you mean, sir.
I sold you the paper-me and my little sis-





THE MEMORIAL WINDOW 77
ter, Julia Ann-a purty little girl, sir, with
curls."
"Almost seven years old," said Mr. Harper,
trying to recall his wife's description fukly.
"That's her, just seven last birthday. She's
home to-day, sir, and sick-sick with the
measles."
"Too bad, too bad!" said the gentleman, who
was in the mood to soften to all seven-year-old
woes, and felt that measles was an added re-
sponsibility to his evening's duty. "I hope you
have a good doctor for the poor little girl."
"Doctor, sir! No, we don't have no doctor
just for measles," was the answer.
"Oh, but you should,, you must!" said the
gentleman, determined to fulfil his signed and
sealed contract even beyond the letter. "My
wife took a fancy to the little girl, and asked
me to stop this afternoon, and not only pay
you the money I owe you with due interest"
(and the speaker dropped a silver piece in Julia
Ann's brother's outstretched hand), "but I give
you this ten dollars to buy needed clothes for
yourself and your little sister-something





78 THE MEMORIAL WINDOW
warm and comfortable for you both; and, since
she is sick, you must take this, too, and get her
a doctor." And Mr. Harper added another
note to.his donation, to the speechless bewilder-
ment of the onlookers crowding around.
"Thank you, sir !" gasped Julia Ann's brother
as soon as he could get wits and voice. "Thank
you! I'll-I'll do it; I'll do what you say.
Thank you kindly, sir; I'll get the doctor and
the clothes and all. Bless the kind lady's heart
for her goodness!"
"It's a divvy-a divvy, Bill!" cried half a
dozen breathless mates, crowding around Julia
Ann's brother as soon as Mr. Harper moved
away. "We stood by and didn't snitch. "We
all stood by you. How much?"
"Fifteen," was the triumphant answer, as
Bill sidled up against the wall to count his un-
looked-for gains. "Fifteen whole plunks and
this 'ere shiner. I'll give you one around, boys
-all except Micky Fay. He don't get noth-
in'." And Bill scowled darkly at the small
truth-teller.
"You're a mean, lying cheat!" panted





THE MEMORIAL WINDOW 79
Micky, wrathfully. "You ain't got no sister
Julia Ann, Bill Butler. You ain't got no sis-
ter at all. And you didn't sell that gentleman
no paper neither. You know you didn't. All
that money was meant for Sandy Joe."
"Oh, was it?" said the bully, leaning over
and catching the daring little speaker by the
ear. "Say that again, and I'll make you sorry
for it. I'll lay round the comer for you to-
night and learn you what it is to snitch on Bill
Butler."
"Ow-ow!" shrieked Micky, as his ear was
wrung pitilessly by a cruel hand.
"Pe'rlice, perlice, yer granny!" cried Bill
scornfully, releasing his hold, while his crowd
of toadies laughed approvingly. "Skip off,
you little cock sparrow, and meddle with my
business again if you dare. Come, boys, I'll
stand treat. We'll have an all-round good
time to-night on this."

"Well, that's settled," .thought Mr. Harper
with a sense of relief, as he called a cab at
the next comer and was whirled away to his





80 THE MEMORIAL WINDOW
hotel. "On closer acquaintance, I don't think
much of Nell's little gentleman. A coarse,
rough-looking chap that can't look a man hon-
estly in the eye. Ah, well! what can one ex-
pect of a poor boy pitched into the fight for
life at thirteen? I can go back with a clear
conscience to Nell, and hope her tender heart
will be at rest about these little beggars. If I
could only soothe all other pain as easily! But
the wound is too deep, too deep for all my love
to heal. Great Heaven! if she had heard Ben-
ton to-day I believe it would have killed her
outright. I'll see Father More about doing
something with Larchmont the first thing to-
morrow."
And so it happened that about ten o'clock
next morning the gentleman presented himself
at the pastoral residence attached to St. Mar-
tin's Church, and sent up his card to Father
More. In a few minutes the good priest ap-
peared and greeted his. visitor cordially.
Though not a Catholic himself, all Mr. Har-
per's sympathies and interest were in the great
Church to which his idolized wife belonged.





THE MEMORIAL WINDOW 81
And Father More, who had married the young
couple eight years ago and knew the sorrow that
had darkened their lives, felt a truly paternal
pity for them both.
"My d ar friend, good-morning, good-morn-
ing! WAat lucky fate brings you to St. Mar-
tin's to-day? And how is your good wife?
Better, I hope; stronger, happier!?"
"Well, no, Father, I fear not," was the sad
answer. "But-but angelic in her patience
and pain, as you know."
"Ah, yes, yes!" said Father More, softly.
"We must wait. Help will come in God's
good time-help and healing. You came to
see me about her, perhaps?"
"No, Father: about another matter this
morning." And the gentleman turned at once
to the purpose of his visit.
The priest listened sympathetically.
"Good, very good," he said. "To conse-
crate this ruined home of yours to God's serv-
ice is truly a Christian act. It' shows the faith
is dawning in your soul, in your heart, my
friend. I must talk it over at length with you





82 THE MEMORIAL WINDOW
later. Just now" (Father More glanced at his
watch) "I have a duty at church: a little child
to baptize at eleven. It will not take half an
hour. Can you wait for me? There are some
interesting pamphlets on the table; r perhaps
you might like to look in at the church. I don't
think you have seen the memorial window, that
was your good wife's Christmas offering to St.
Martin's, since it has been put in place. It is
much admired."
"No, I have not seen it. I will go with you
and look at it," said Mr. Harper with interest.
And he followed Father More, who passed
through a long corridor to a side door that
led into the church. Good, honest gentleman
that he was, Mr. Phil Harper was not much of
a churchgoer; but this morning he paused in
the centre aisle of St. Martin's, struck with the
solemn beauty of the church as it stretched be-
fore him in noonday silence, flooded with col-
ored light from the six great windows, the
breath of incense from a morning Benediction
lingering under its Gothic arches, the sanctuary
lamp burning before the high altar with undy-





THE MEMORIAL WINDOW 83
ing ray. He was conscious of a strange, sweet
thrill in his heart-as if, indeed, some blessing
from an unseen Presence had fallen upon him
-as he followed Father More, who, having put
on his surplice and stole, proceeded to the bap-
tismal font in the little side chapel where the
sunbeams, streaming through the beautiful win-
dow that had been Mrs. Harper's gift, fell -on
the little group awaiting the priest's coming.
Good Mrs. Bryan, in her "widow's mourn-
ing" bonnet, brightened, as befitted the passing
years, with a nodding cluster of purple flowers,
and with Baby Ann in her maternal arms, was
marshalling her domestic forces into the order
demanded by the occasion.
"Stand back there, Pat! Sure don't you
know it's God's holy house you are in? Hold
to his hand, Nora, and keep him easy. Whisht
now, all of you! And take Baby Ann, Molly
darling; for here comes his reverence, and I
must stand up with Jackie-I mean Monica
Mary."
Father More advanced to the group; and Mr.
Harper, who had stood aside under the shadow





84 THE MEMORIAL WINDOW
of a pillar, looking up at the window that por-
trayed Jesus blessing the little ones, suddenly
caught his breath with amazement at sight of
the little figure that, dropping its coarse en-
wrapping coat, stood in white-robed beauty be-
fore the font. With Nora's dress bound by the
silken sash to her graceful little figure, with her
brown hair falling in soft waves to her slen-
der waist, her starry-eyes lifted in sweet half-
comprehension and childish reverence, Jackie
was a vision of loveliness that seemed a part of
the shining picture above-one of the little ones
standing in the light and love of the Living
Lord.
With the same strange, sweet thrill he had
felt before the altar, Philip Harper stood
watching the sacred rite go on; he heard the
words of conditional baptism spoken, saw the
water poured on the little bowed head, caught
the name given to the little neophyte, Monica
Mary; but no thought of connecting this white-
robed vision with the little beggar of the windy
comer entered his mind.
The baptism was over. Monica Mary stood





THE MEMORIAL WINDOW 85
for a moment with the shining light, the symbol
of faith, in her little trembling hand, then the
coarse long coat enwrapped her again.
"Be off with you all now!" said Mrs. Bryan,
catching up the wailing Baby Ann; and the
vision that had thrilled Philip Harper's soul to
new, strange depths vanished.







CHAPTER VII


LARCHMONT

P ESENTLY Mr. Harper rejoined Father
More in the study.
"Well, what did you think of the window?"
asked the priest.
"Beautiful!" was the answer--"though I
must confess that my view of it was not a crit-
ical one. I was too distracted by the picture
beneath-that lovely little child. Who and
what is she?"
"One of the city's waifs that has happened
to fall into the hands of a good washerwoman,
who brought her to me for conditional baptism.
What a pretty little thing she is!"
"Then she does not belong to the people who
were with her?" asked the gentleman, with in-
terest.
"No," answered Father More. "The old
86





LARCHMONT


woman who claims her is, I understand, in the
hospital seriously ill; and good Mrs. Bryan is
caring for the child, as you see, most zealously.
Ah, the beautiful charity of the poor, my
friend! It is like the charity of the good God
-unstinting, unquestioning. But to return to
the business that brought you here this morn-
ing. What would you prefer to make of
Larchmont'?"
"I-I really had not thought," replied Mr.
Harper. "But your little waif of this morn-
ing suggests a purpose to me-some sort of a
home for friendless little ones, where they can,
have fresh air and freedom and childhood's
natural joys-little children who need tender-
ness and care and mother-love; not an asylum
or a school or a hospital, but a home."
"I understand," syjlFather More. "It
would be a great and blessed charity."
"Then we'll start things at once," said Mr.
Harper. "I will go out to Larchmont this after-
noon and see about clearing the'ground. It has
not been touched since-since--" The speak-
er's voice broke, and then he added with sudden





LARCHMONT


passion "My God, Father, when I think of
what those ashes hold!"
"I know-I know," said Father More, sym-
tl'kically. "My dear friend, it will be too
hard-too painful for you. Let me go in your
place."
"If you could-if you would, Father!" was
the relieved reply. "I am weak, cowardly per-
haps; but it would spare me pain, beyond
words."
"You can trust me," said the priest, simply.
"I will keep the place 'holy ground,' as you
wish. I will go out there, if possible, at once,
and take possession. That will keep off all in-
truders."
And so it happened that about four o'clock
that afternoon Father More was making his
way from the little wayside station of Clifton,
along a white snowy road that, shadowed by
arching pines, led up to the range of hills where,
ten years ago, Philip Harper's wealth had
made an earthly paradise for his beautiful
bride. The house itself had been a modest rus-
tic cottage, beautiful in its simplicity; but





LARCHMONT


around it had stretched lawns and gardens and
groves rich with almost tropic beauty and
bloom; while, sweeping pure and fresh through
all, came the breath from the sea that laved
the white-beached shore not half a mile
away.
Father More kept on his way, past a dozen
or more Queen Anne cottages that, in all the
glory of new paint and porticos, stood out at
intervals along the road. Then all signs of
life suddenly ended; the road grew rougher and
wilder until it terminated at a- stone wall that,
broken only by an iron gateway guarded by a
rustic lodge, stretched away on either side into
forbidding distance.
"You can't get in, mister," piped a shrill
voice, as Father More struggled with the rusty
bolt and bars; and a small boy peered up from
the thicket where he had been setting traps for
the snowbirds. "You can't get in unless you
shinny over the wall."
"I'm afraid my shinnying days are over,"
laughed the priest, good-humoredly.
"Old Jeff has got a key," continued Father





LARCHMONT


More's informer; "but he won't give it to no-
body."
"Well, I must have it," said Father More,
decidedly. "I come from Mr. Harper. Who
and where is old Jeff? I'll give you a quarter
to take me to him."
"Come on, then," said the boy, willingly.
"'Tain't far, but he won't give it to no one-
I bet you that!"
He led on through the underbrush that had
grown into a thicket about the wall, until he
struck another path that wound about the hill-
side to a little clearing, where a low-roofed
cabin stood behind a snow-wreathed fence.
A grizzled old negro shuffled to the door at
Father More's summons, and listened doubt-
fully to his demands.
"You say you's a pahson, sah?" he asked,
blinking up curiously at his visitor.
"No: a priest-the priest who married Mr.
and Mrs. Harper, and their special friend. I
am here at his request to see Larchmont; so give
me the key, my good man."
"Yes, sah-yes, pahson-yes," answered





LARCHMONT 91
old Jeff. "I can't, so to say, gib up de key,
sah; but I'll take you, sah-I take you ober de
place. You see, pahson, de debbil goes round
like a roaring lion, and I'm responsible fur dat
key 'gin all his roaring. He bin a roaring and
a roaring round Larchmont fur years."
"Oh, he has?" laughed Father More, as old
Jeff took a rusty key from its nail and, putting
on his hat, proceeded to act as guide to the
ruined home. "We will soon put an end to
that, my friendd"
"You kin lay sperits, pahson?" asked old
Jeff, eagerly. "I've heern dat some of your
kind kin. You're wanted round here, den,
shuah. My ole woman hez seen dem-she hez
de gift; and she seen dem plain.-You kite
along da !" said the old man to the small boy,
who was listening with popping eyes. "Kite
along dar to your bird-traps, Neddy Green!
Dis talk ain't fur chillun like you."
"There's your quarter, my boy," said Father
More, feeling that it would be just as well for
Neddy to miss further details of Jeff's narra-
tive.





LARCHMONT


"Jest lemme hear what Aunt Nance seen,"
said Neddy, eagerly. "Was it the burned
baby, Jeff?"
"No, it wasn't," answered the old man, in-
dignantly. "Do you s'pose de good Masr is
a-gwine to let innocents like dat go straying out
ob de golden streets, chile? Dat dar baby is
safe and shuah wif de Lord. When I tinks
ob dat dar baby being cinders and ashes, pahson,
it stirs me up, shuah!"
"You worked at Larchmont then?" asked
Father More; while Neddy, finding no interest-
ing information was forthcoming, sped away
back to his traps.
"Round de flower-beds and de garden
paths," said old Jeff, with a nod. "Jest a keep-
ing 'em nice, and free from de weeds and de
bugs; fur dis 'ere rheumatism don't let me do
much more. And Nance, she was laundress-
not fur de heavy work, but de little baby clothes
and frills and laces. We didn't lib dar, sah,
having our own little place dar in the bushes;
but we was a working dar most ob de days.
And dey was good to us-Mr. Harper and





LARCHMONT o 98
Missus Nellie. Pahson" (Jeff shifted the stick
demanded by his rheumatic leg to the other
hand, anclooked at his companion reflectively),
"why de Lord sent de fires of tribbilation on
good white folks like dat I can't see."
"None of us can see, my friend," said
Father More. "We must only believe and
trust."
"Dat's so, pahson, dat's so. Dar shuah am
no use a digging and scraping in de ways ob de
Lord. But dat fire dat struck Larchmont was
shuah torment let loose. It was de fall of de
year and eberyt'ing was dry as chips, ez de
bad luck dat was looking round for work would
hev it. I was down wif dis rheumatism bad,
couldn't lift my leg; and ole Nance was mouty
porely too, wif the three days' ague. She come
home dat night mouty cross and snappish.
What wif de doings at de big house, and Missus
Nellie being sick at de hospital, and Mr. Har-
per a looking arter her, de servants was a boss-
ing like low-down white trash will.
"'I don't go dar no more till Missus Nellie
comes back,' Nance sez; and den she bust out




LARCHMONT


agin de French nuss. 'Dat ar Lisette hez got
a beau, and her fool head is turned,' sez Nance.
'I seen her a walking off wid him under de
cedars when she orter been minding de baby.
Missus Nellie will be sorry yet she trusted a
black-eyed, frizzle-headed snake in the gras wif
dat chile.'
"And dat bierty night, pahson, dem words of
Nance come true, shuah. Jest nigh about two
o'clock Nance woke me up; she was shaking
from head to foot, and a pointing to de win-
dow dat was so red and bright I thought it
was day. Lord! Lord! Dar never warn't
any day like that!
'It's de judgment!' Nance began to shout.
'It's de jedgment light a burning, ole man.
It's de fiery chariot swinging down from de
skies. I hear Gabriel's horn a blowing! It's
de judgment come!'
"But I pushes her off and hobbles to de win-
dow. 'Dat ain't no judgment!' I busts out.
'Dat's Larchmont ablaze from roof to ground.'
And I was dat laid up wid rheumatism I
couldn't stir a foot to help or save."






LARCHMONT 95
"But some of the servants were saved?"
asked Father More.
"De cook and de two maids; but they slept
over the kitchen. The hull front of the house
was ablaze before any one seen it. And de
coachman and de grooms, dat libbed ober de
stable, couldn't do nothing to stop it. And,
in de shouting and de fussing, dey said all de
women folks was out, and de baby wif 'em,
down to de lodge. Jim Casey, de stable boy,
said arterwards he could have sworn he had
seen dat nuss a running wif de chile in her
arms. But he didn't; for dey was both burned
to cinders dat night, ez every one knows. And
poor Missus Nellie never looked on the place
since. Lord! Lord!" muttered old Jeff, as
he reached the gate and proceeded to fumble
with the rusty lock, "sech nice white folks ez
dey was, too, to hev de fires of tribbilation strike
'em like dat!"
And, with a hopeless shake of his grizzled
head, Uncle Jeff led on through the opened gate
into the ruined paradise beyond.
The Maze, as the winding walk had been





96 LARCHMONT
called was now a wild tangle of snow-wreathed
shrub and vine. Stone benches had -been
placed here and there, inviting visitors to loiter
in especially charming nooks, where the view
widened into glimpses of shore and sea. Tak-
ing a sudden turn around the base of a granite
fountain, the path opened on a picture that held
Father More spellbound for a time with pity
and horror, and fatherly sympathy for the woe
of which it told. Great charred oaks lifted
their bare boughs against the wintry sky, like
grim battle-scarred sentinels guarding the deso-
lation below, where, half veiled by the shroud-
ing snow, lay the fire-swept wreck of Philip
Harper's paradise. The huge chimney, that
had been the heart and hearth of the happy
home, stood alone, blackened and battered
among the ruins. All around, beyond,
stretched shining vistas of sea and shore, whose
brightness and beauty seemed to mock the deso-
late scene. And as Father More thought of all
the tender love and hope that lay buried under
these ashes, his eyes filled with tears of tender
pity.





LARCHMONT


"Thank God I came here in poor Harper's
place! I do not wonder that he shrank from
facing this. Ah, well, with Heaven's help we
will change, bless, sanctify it-turn all this
desolation into light and life! We must get
to work at once," he said aloud. "How would
you like to take the job of clearing this ground,
old man'? You could get help, you know."
"Me, sah, me clear dis here place'?" Uncle
Jeff's dim eyes rounded at the thought. "I-
I couldn't, sah, I couldn't, pahson. My ole
Nance wouldn't let me meddle-not-not un-
less you could lay her first."
"Lay who-what?" asked Father More.
"Her, sah," answered the old man in a cau-
tious voice,-"her dat is a roaming round here
-dat dar French nuss dat was burned up and
ain't got no grave fur to rest in."
"Tut! tut! That's all nonsense," said the
priest, cheerily.
"No, sah-no, pahson!" and old Jeff shook
his head solemnly. "'Tain't nonsense. My
ole Nance hez seen her twice-seen her plain,
pahson. I dussent meddle wif dem ashes





98 LARCHMONT

while she's a walking-I dussent, sah, indeed.
You'll hev to get white folks ef you want to stir
dese dead ashes here."
And against the final solemn shake of Uncle
Jeff's. grizzled head Father More felt there was
no appeal.
S"Well, if you won't, you won't, I suppose,"
he said good-humoredly; "so I will have to
raise Larchmont from its ashes without you.
And, with God's help, it will rise with the flow-
ers of spring."
And, strong in this happy determination, Fa-
ther More took his way back to town.






CHAPTER VIII


A TRYING DAY

SANDY JOE had found the day a trying one
indeed. The gay season was at its height,
and frogs and turtles and terrapin were in con-
stant demand. Business was so brisk that La
Vielle, her head tied up in a yellow handker-
chief, came down to help, and stewed and
stirred and scolded and snapped as only she
could.
But, oh, the wonderful things those crooked
old fingers concocted over the little charcoal
stove! Parley Voo was "not in it" when La
Vielle took a hand. Such ragouts, such pates,
such frilled and curlycued marvels of pastry as
Joe bore off in his covered basket for luncheons
and suppers at homes, where the honest Irish
cooks vowed they would not touch the wouldd
Frenchman's varmints."
"It's the boy, ma'am, with the snake pies,"





A TRYING DAY


announced one of these newly-arrived maids,
as Joe appeared with his basket; and all the
lady's laughing explanations could not change
this opinion. La Vielle's wonderful pastry was
really "snake pie."
On this particular day "snake pie" had been
in great demand. There had been four
luncheons in different parts of the town, at
which the crisp, delicate pastry shells, with their
rich, delicious filling, had delighted the guests.
Cheery and strong as Joe was, he was tramp-
ing back from his last errand a little tired
and discouraged. Poor and wretched as Gran's
hovel had been, the loss of it had left him home-
less; he missed Jackie and her pretty prattle;
he missed even the fierce old woman who had
been so long a part of his young life.
It had taken all his first week's wages to pay
Mrs. Bryan for Jackie's needs.
"Sure it's not for myself I'm wanting the
money, Joe; but the poor darling's feet are
bare, and she hasn't a warm, decent rag to her
back. It's with the good Sisters she ought to


100




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