Wag

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Material Information

Title:
Wag a tale for children
Physical Description:
47 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Martineau, Mary Ellen
Frederick Warne and Co ( Publisher )
Scribner, Welford, and Co ( Publisher )
Camden Press ( Printer )
Publisher:
Frederick Warne and Co.
Scribner, Welford, and Co.
Place of Publication:
London
New York
Manufacturer:
Camden Press
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Charity -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Dogs -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Theft -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Parent and child -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1871
Genre:
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
Mary Ellen Martineau ; with coloured frontispiece.
General Note:
Date from inscription.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002233924
notis - ALH4341
oclc - 57510282
System ID:
UF00025355:00001

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PALMM Version

Full Text
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WAG.WAG.


WAG:BYMARY ELLEN MARTINEAU.WITH COLOURED FRONTISPIECE.LONDON:PREDERICK WARNE AND CO.,BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.NEW YORK: SCRIBNER, WELFORD, AND CO.


CAmDZN Pf.Sa, LONDOx, N.W.


WAG:A TALE FOR CHILDREN."MW, Mary Jane, thou canna see bythat light," said James Bolton tohis wife, who was sitting by thewindow, trying'to mend her children's socks bythe light of the lam in the court outside, therebeing no candle in the room. "Thou'It justspoil thy eyes, woman,-let's look at them."And as the laihplight fell on her face as shelooked up, her husband saw that her eyes werefull of tears, and her face looked so pale and1-2


4 Wag: a Tale for Children.careworn that he started, though he had watchedher day by day, and had seen with bitter pain,though he tried to hide it from himself, how thinand pale her-face was growing, and how herstrength was fading away. " Now, just put thatdown, and get thee to bed, Mary Jane. Howcold thou art! and 't isn't much warmer in bed,now the blankets is all gone: wrap thy flannelpetticoat well about thee, do.""Oh, Jem, it's gone to-day! Thou 'It sayit's madness, and I know it is, but where wasthe porridge to come from ?""Oh, Lord! " groaned James; "but thatwon't do: I'll pawn my Sunday suit ratherthan that! To think of it! Thou 'It have itback directly. 'T is as much as thy life's worth,and -the baby's too." And in spite of all hiswife could say against it, he looked up from the.family chest his Sunday coat and waistcoat, andtook them to the pawn-shop at the corner ofthe street, bringing back the thick warmn petti-


Out of Work. 5coat so necessary to his wife, and a little moneybesides.On his refurn he found his poor tired wife inbed and asleep, spite of cold and discomfort. Hewas too anxious to rest yet, and walked aboutthe dark, cold, cheerless room, thinking whatwas to be done next, and murmuring to himself," Oh, Lord, it is hard To think the likeso' me should have to come on the parish, or oncharity, if they wouldn't see wife and childerclem before their eyes! and I, a strong manand a sober 'un, as would do any kind of honestwork! My word, to see Mary Jane like that!I'd sooner sweep the streets among them nastypaupers! Never was such a time as this, in allmy days, for mill hands: here are we all livingon our Lizzie, and she on half-time. I neverthought to have touched her wages; but whatwas a man to do ? Thank God Jem's away atsea and knows nothing of all this. He'd betternot come home yet a bit, poor lad! he'd be


6 Wag: a Tale for Children.like to break his heart. If Tom weren't such alittle weakly chap, I'd send him off too, but he'snot fit for a sailor. Well, I'11 make a last trialbefore I go to the parish: I '11 go to the railwayand the foundry and the canal, and see if there'sno chance left for me-though I'm weary oftrying it for no good. Lord help us all "James Bolton said part of this half aloud ashe walked about the dreary room, not thinkingthere was any listening ear for it to fall upon;but he was mistaken, for his boy Tom was awake,though he lay quite still, curled up at the foot ofhis parents' bed, covered over with his own Sun-day clothes, to keep a little warmth in him; andclose beside him nestled his little dog Wag, arough grey terrier, very knowing, the playmateand pet of all the family, and of Tom in par-ticular. Tom listened with eagerness to hisfather's sad words, and thought over and overfor the hundredth time what he, Tom, couldpossibly do to get some money,-till a thought


Tom's Resolution. 7struck him. "Shall I sell Wag ?-No! " heanswered, quite angry with himself, at the sametime giving Wag a good hug; "how could I ?I 'd clem first! " But then he remembered thatWag would clem too, and he thought of hispoor parents, and the three little ones youngerthan he, and how they were all to live; and hewondered how much money he could get forWag, and whether he could buy him back againsoon if he got work to do. By degrees he gotused to the thought, and made up his mind thathe would sell Wag, and would ask fifteen shil-lings for him: his friend Ben Langley had gotfifteen shillings for a little dog something likeWag, and Tom was sure Wag was worth quiteas much. But he would tell nobody; he wassure he should not dare to do it if anybodyknew; so he lay awake thinking and planningabout it till at last he-fell asleep. He neverwoke till his mother called him, later than usual,for she had dressed all the little ones first; Lizzie


8 Wag: a Tale for Children.had been gone to her work two hours, for shehad to be at the mill at six o'clock, so she hadto leave all the children to her mother.But before going on with my story, I must ex-plain to my readers how the Boltons came to beso poor at the time I speak of. They lived inthe town of A- in North Lancashire, a townof cotton-mills, with their tall smoky chimneysrising up among the green hills and valleys ofthat pleasant country. There were rows onrows of small decent cottages, such as the Bol-tons lived in, the homes of the mill hands, asthey-call the work-people; and there were goodshops, and- churches, chapels and schools-every-thing telling of plenty of people and plenty ofwork and activity of every kind. But at the tim?of my story, November, 1862, a sad change hadtaken place in this town as in all the cotton-spinning towns of Lancashire. In A- the tallchimneys had almost all ceased to smoke, andthe clatter of machinery had ceased in almost all


The Boltons. 9those great ugly mills, so that hundreds, and eventhousands, of industrious people-men and wo-" men, boys and girls-were thrown out of work.Among these was James Bolton, an engineer inone of the mills; a clever, steady man, who hadalways earned good wages and been respected byall who knew him. He had been a careful mantoo, and had saved a good deal of money, havinglaid by all he could during many years; but nowhis savings had all been spent. His wife was anexcellent woman and a capital manager. Beforeher marriage she had been housemaid first andthen cook in a gentleman's family, and hadlearned much that helped her afterwards to makeher husband a nice comfortable home; indeed,Shad it not been for her skill in making much outof little, the family would have starved or goneon the parish long before now, for James Boltonhad had no regular work for a year or so, owingto the stopping of the mills. His daughterLizzie, of seventeen, was working half-time in


10 Wag: a Tale for Children.one of the few mills that still kept going at all,and her five shillings a week were all that thefamily had left to depend on. Till lately Lizzie'swages had been all her own; it was her father'spride to take them for her regularly to the savings-bank, all but what she wanted for herself: shekept herself in clothes, and did it well too. Howhandsome she looked on Sundays! So, at least,thought her father, when he walked with her tothe Sunday-school where they both taught everySunday. There they still went, Sunday afterSunday, through this sad time; and hithertothey had managed to keep their Sunday clothes,whatever else they had to part with; so it wasa bitter thing to James Bolton now to take hisown best clothes, for the first time in his life, to*the pawn-shop."There " he thought, " it's out now-I can'thide it no longer; I must wear my old workingclothes next Sunday, or stop at home; and whatwill Lizzie say? Well, she's a good wench,


Bad Times. 1bless her! I'm not afeard of what she'll say;but I canna bide to see her growing so thin andworried-looking, my bonny Lizzie!"It was James Bolton's pride that he had neverasked and never accepted charity in any form;so even now nothing short of actual starvationwould drive him to apply either to the parish orthe relief committee, and the decent appearancethat he and all his family still kept up had hithertocaused them to escape visits and inquiries; hischaracter as a saving and well-to-do man wassuch that none yet suspected his poverty. Evennow he could not bear to ask for help, though hefelt it must soon come to that.As for Tom, he had never thought of such apossibility, having never heard his father speakof such a thing, till he let fall the words "parish,"and "charity" in his misery that night; and sell-ing Wag was the only thing Tom could thinkof that he could do, for Wag was his own, andthe only thing he had to sell. It did seem to


12 Wag: a Tale for Children.him downright wicked towards Wag; but, then,if it saved all their lives, Wag's as well as the rest,surely it could not be wicked. When Tom saidhis prayer that morning, he asked God to takecare of Wag, and give him a good master, whowould love him and feed him well; but Tomcould not help crying a little to think that noone could love Wag as well as he did, and thatperhaps he should never see him again. But hemust not let anybody seehis tears, so he brushedthem away, and played with his little sisters whilehis mother stirred the porridge for breakfast.They always had porridge for breakfast now, asit was the cheapest thing, and they had verylittle milk with it this morning, instead of eachchild having a good basin-full, as they used -tohave in better times.Tom ate his porridge quickly, in silence, andthen tucked Wag under his arm, and went outwithout a word. He ran out of the court intothe street, and down the street into another court,


Wag's Bath/. 13where he put Wag under the pump, and washedhim well; he had taken care to bring a bit ofsoap with him for the purpose. It was well forTom, and for Wag too, that it was a thaw thatmorning; the roofs were still all over snow, butthe ice was fast melting off the ground, and thepumps were free. The water did not feel quiteso icy cold as it had been of late, nor was- theair so bitter; still, it was shivery work for Tomin his shirt-sleeves and thin old trousers, and forWag too; he was not used to such a cold wash-ing, for Tom washed him every Saturday nightin warm water, and he did not understand thispump-washing at all, and struggled almost outof Tom's arms. Tom coaxed and petted him,and slapped him, and then made up for it by tentimes more hugging and petting, till at last thebusiness was got through somehow. But now,how was Wag to be dried ? Tom had never"thought of that: there was nothing for it but tolet him sit by the fire at home and dry himself;


14 Wag: a Tale for Children.and then Tom's mother would wonder whatmade him so wet, and Tom too, for Tom wasalmost as wet as Wag."Never mind," thought Tom, "I can't help it,for I must go home to put on my Sunday clothesbefore I can take Wag through the town." Sohe ran off home with Wag under his arm.His mother was making the beds, and happilydid not see how wet boy and dog were, and askedTom no questions till she saw him putting onhis best clothes; then she said,"Why, Tom, d' ye think it's Sunday ?""No, mother," said he, "but I 'm going outto-day; I'll not spoil them, you'll see.""It's like to be long before you get anymore," said his mother, "so you'd better takecare of these. But what's my lad after to-day,I wonder?"Tom could not answer, and his mother didhot press him, for he was always a good lad toher, and she was sure she might trust him.


Tom and Wag. 15When Tom was dressed, there was still onething more to be done before Wag was ready:there he was, sitting shivering on the hearth be-fore the little tiny bit of fire, looking all wet, andhis hair quite stringy. Tom stooped down whilehis mother was busy in the other room, and gaveWag a good brushing and combing all over,which the poor dog seemed to enjoy immensely,as; it helped to dry him and make him comfort-able. Then, quite afraid of being stopped byanything else, Tom snatched his hat, and wasjust darting -off with Wag, when his mothercalled out to him," Stay, Tom! have you fetched the water andfilled the kettle? "Tom did this every, morning after breakfastfor his mother, but this morning he had forgot-ten it. He felt vexed, and said, "Bother! " buta look, of gentle reproach from his mother madehim blush with shame; he took the pail andkettle directly to the pump in the court, fetched


16 Wag: a Tale for Children.in the water, and then asked his mother if shewanted him to do anything else for her. Hewas right glad to hear her answer, "No, thankyou, Tom," and darted off at once with Wagunder his arm.He hugged his little pet, and kissed him overand over, as he ran down the court. He thoughtWag had never looked so pretty in his life, withall his long grey hair so soft and silky-looking,so beautifully clean, down to his little toes; andWag seemed particularly proud of himself, forhe set his ears up in the most knowing, con-ceited way at every dog he saw, and would havejumped out of Tom's arms many times if Tomhad not held him very tight. Tom told himover and over again what was going to happento him, and why, and tried to comfort him aboutit; for Wag's great brown eyes looked sadly atTom as he talked to him, and Tom almostthought he understood all about it, he looked sovery wise.


The Market-place. 17Tom carried him to the pavement in front ofthe town hall, in the market-place, where he hadoften seen men stand with dogs to sell, so he sup-posed it was the proper place. -There were twomen there now with dogs, and Tom lookedanxiously at them, but satisfied himself thattheirs were very common ugly dogs compared4with Wag. He waited a long time, walking upand down, and showing Wag to all the gentle-men and ladies who passed; but though somelooked as if they could not help admiring him,Tom thought, still no one offered to buy him forthree whole hours. Tom got very cold and tiredand hungry, and felt it more and more hard topart with Wag. At last came two tall youngmen, walking so fast that Tom was afraid to offerWag to them, thinking they wouldn't stop foranything, when suddenly one of them turnedround and said,"I say, that's a nice dog!"Tom took the hint, and ran up to them, and2


18 Wag: a Tale for Children.showed off Wag, and told them how clever hewas and what wonderful tricks he could do."What is he worth, Thompson ?" said theyounger of the two to his companion."Oh, not much, he's only a half-breed; thelad will be glad to get twelve shillings for him,no doubt." 0"No," said Tom proudly; "I know he'sworth at least fifteen shillings, and I'll not takeless for him.""Well, you shall have it, my lad," said theyoung gentleman, and put into Tom's hand ahalf-sovereign and two half-crowns; sucha sumas Tom had never had for his own before; andin the joy of having so much money, he forgotfor a moment the pain of losing his pet Wag:it was not till he had given him up, and theyoung men were out of sight, that he remem-bered his loss; then it was too much for him.He could not go home straight without Wag,so he ran on, past their own street, till he came


Tom's Grief. 19to a place where there were some new housesbuilding, or rather waiting to be built, for therewas no building going on now, and these houseshad stood for months in just the same state.There, out of the way of passers-by, Tom satdown upon a step; tied-up his money in a cornerof his pocket-handkerchief-one of his smartSunday handkerchiefs, with the " Duke of Wel-lington" line-of-battle ship very large in themiddle of it.And now he was all alone, his grief at losingWag was more than he could bear, and he gavewaytoa passion of tears. Perhaps he should neversee Wag again, and then what should he do?and how could he go home now and tell themall what he had done? So poor Tom cried tillhe fairly cried himself to sleep on the steps there,I suppose; for the next thing he knew was thatsome one was tugging at his handkerchief: atfirst he thought it was Wag, but when he rousedhimself to look up he saw a dirty ill-looking boy,2-2


20 Wag: a Tale for Children.much bigger than himself, who had got tighthold of the handkerchief. Tom was instantlyon his feet, clutching the precious handkerchiefwith both hands, and crying out,"Let go, I say! I'11 call the police!""Will you ?," said the lad, laughing; " takethat first 1" giving Tom a heavy kicl with hisclogged foot.Then followed a fight with clogs. Tom kickedfuriously, all the time clutching the handker-chief with hands and teeth, and calling out"Police!" and getting terribly kicked by theother lad: but in this out-of-the-way place noone was within hearing just then, and after abrave struggle poor Tom was kicked down bythe big lad, and though he still kept his hold ofthe handkerchief, it gave way, and tore in two,leaving a piece in Tom's hand, while the boyran off with the piece that contained the money.Tom darted after him as soon as he could pickhimself up, and followed him at a mad pace,


The Children's Hospital. 21down street after street, too breathless to callout any more for help, and never lost sight ofhim till in an unlucky moment Tom's footslipped over something he .did not see in hishaste, and down he fell with his head againstsome railings.He hardly knew even this much about his fall,and knew no more of what happened to himtill he found himself in a clean comfortable bedin a large room with many other beds, andfound a strange woman sitting by him, and awet cloth tied round his head. Some time musthave passed, for it was now quite dark exceptfor the fire-light, which showed him the room,and the nurse sitting by his bed." Who brought me here ?" asked Tom, " andwhose house is this ?"" It's the Children's Hospital," said the nurse,"and I don't know who brought you here-thepolice, I dare say."" How long have I been here ?"


22 Wag: & Tale for Children."Oh, bless you! not long; you've come tovery quick: only an hour or two since you wereput to bed."" Where are my clothes?" cried Tom, startingup; "I must get up and go home to motherdirectly."" Now, don't you fuss about mother, but liedown again like a good lad, and go to sleep:you 'll not walk yet a bit."And indeed Tom had to obey, for besides avery bad headache that came on when he startedup, he felt one foot give way when he tried fora moment to stand, and it gave him violent pain."What's the matter with me?" asked he;"I forget how I got hurt."" Oh, don't fret about it, lad : you '11 get wellnicely here, and have all you want.""But I wish some one could go and tellfather and mother I'm here,-they'11 think I'mlost, killed, or something, I know they will,"said Tom.


The Children's Hospital. 23" Well, where do they live ?" asked the nurse.Tom told her, and she promised to go andtell them herself, on her way home that evening,for she was a day-nurse, and went home for thenight.So Tom was satisfied, and went to sleep againtill his supper was brought in, and then foundhe was very hungry, and no wonder, for hehad had no dinner at all, and a most excitingday.By degrees he remembered all the events ofthe day, as far as the loss of his money, his chaseafter the thief, and his fall; he knew nothingafter that. Looking round him, he saw therewere other boys in some of the other beds in thelarge room: one of them had a broken leg, thenurse said, and others other injuries; but theywere all doing well, and some of them werechatting and joking together very merrily, thoughthe nurse did not let them move about much ormake much noise. Tom did not know any of


24 Wag: a Tale for Children.them, and did not feel inclined to join in theirchat and play: it amused him for a little while,but soon he got very tired of hearing it, wishedthey would be quiet, and at last went to sleepin spite of it.It was a long, queer night to Tom, full oftroubled dreams about Wag and about thieves;and Tom thought he must have talked in hissleep, because when he woke, the nurse almostalways spoke to him, telling him not to troublehimself, or something of that kind, though hedid not know he had spoken. However, morn-ing came at last, and Tom woke up from a realdeep sleep, feeling much refreshed and ready forhis breakfast. Soon it came, and how good itwas! Tom had been but poorly fed for a longtime past, and the hospital food seemed to himwonderfully good. He felt very comfortable,and only wished he could see his mother and tellher all about it. Just as he was wishing so, inshe came, with the baby in her arms! Tom


The Mother's Visit. 25nearly jumped out of bed in his joyful surprise;but his bad ankle gave him such pain that hehad to lie still again. His mother was quitepleased to see him so comfortable, and gettingbetter so nicely, for she had been quite frightenedto hear about his accident. And now Tom hadto tell her all about Wag, and about the boystealing his money: it was some comfort to himto tell his mother all about it, though he couldnot tell it without crying. His mother did notlet him talk much about it just then, and shesoothed and comforted him till he felt quitehappy, and fell asleep with his head on her lap;she then gently laid him down on his pillow againand kissed him, and went away much comfortedabout her poor boy.Tom lay some weeks in the hospital, for thoughthe bruise on his head soon healed, the ankle tooka long time, being badly sprained; he was notallowed to leave his bed for a fortnight, and thenhe might only walk about the room on crutches


26 Wag: a Tale for Children.for some time after that. On certain days, whenvisitors were allowed, his father or his mothereame to see him. Tom reckoned eagerly on theircoming, and was always quite proud to showthem how much better he was than the last time.Then they told him how they were all going onat home; and though his father seemed hardlywilling to tell him, it gladdened Tom's heart tohear that a district visitor from the relief com.mittee had found them out at last, and giventhem some help in money and clothes. Tomclapped his hands for joy, and thought with lessbitterness of his lost fifteen shillings."Aren't you glad, father ?" asked he, seeingthat his father hardly seemed to share in his burstof joy."Why, yes, lad, I hope I'm not ungrateful.I thank 'em from my heart, God knows, forthey've maybe saved your poor mother's life,and baby's; and if a man won't be thankful forthat, he won't for nothing in this world."


Honest Pride. 27"Then why do you speak as if it was some-thing dreadful ?" said Tom."Why, lad, you see, it's charity, that's whatit is, and we've never been on charity in ourlives till now."Tom thought a moment, and then burst out,"Never mind, father 'tisn't your fault-no onecan say it is; and if people as have plenty giveus a bit when we're just clemming, why mayn'twe take it? Isn't it summat like the goodSamaritan? The poor man didn't send himaway and say, 'I'11 have no charity, I'd ratherdie! '""Well, lad, I've been thinking of that myself.I think you're right, Tom, and we shouldn't, beashamed of it, but thank God for it. And nowI must go home, and I hope you '11 soon be wellenough to come back to us."One day, soon after this, Tom had anothervisitor, very unexpectedly. He was lying downon his bed after his dinner, to rest his lame leg,


28 Wag: a Tale for Children.as he was ordered to do every day at present,when he heard a little patter of feet, then onesharp bark, and in an instant Wag was on hisbed, twirling round, rolling over upon him,,lick-his face and hands, shaking and quivering allover with excitement, and wagging his tail as ifit could never stop! Tom, overcome with joyand surprise, hugged and kissed his little friend,and laughed till he almost cried, and thenshowered on Wag all his most petting names,and endless questions as to where he had beenall this time. The other boys in the room lookedon amazed, and asked Tom many questions, buthe did not answer-he hardly heard them, hewas so taken up with Wag. But it was notmany minutes before a young man came in andasked if his dog was there, and called, "Wag,Wag I" Still Wag did not move, but sat trem-bling, nestled close to Tom, while Tom kept hisarm round him, hugging him as if he could neverlet him go again. But when Tom looked up at


Wag's New Master. 29the young man, he remembered him, and all hisjoy was gone: he was the same young man whohad bought Wag, so Tom had no right to keepWag from him."Here he is, sir," said Tom with a greateffort. "He's yours; take him.""Yes, he's mine," said the young man; "Ilost him out of the lecture-room, and have beenlooking all over the house for him. But youdon't seem willing to let him go.""Don't you know me, sir?" asked Tom." Oh, ah, I see, you're the lad that sold himto me. Then he was yours, was he? I thoughtto be sure you'd picked him up-lost or stolen-such a well-bred little chap he is."" No, sir," said Tom 'with an angry blush overhis whole face; "he was mine 1""And how came you here, my lad ? and whathave you done with your fifteen shillings ?"So Tom had to tell his story, and the youngman was quite interested, and asked to look at


30 Wag: a Tale for Children.his ankle, saying, " I 'm a doctor-that is, I shallbe in a year or so-so I've a right to look. Oh,ah-a bad sprain; but you'11 do now, you'll beturned out within a week. And so you'd like tohave Wag back, would you ? and it's rather hardyou shouldn't, now you've lost dog and moneyboth; but-well, you shall have him, you shallhave him."" Oh, sir!" said Tom, "d' ye think I couldtake him back from you? I lost the money,not you; but if I get it back anyhow, or getfifteen shillings of my own some time, may Ibuy him back again ? for it was so hard to sellhim I wouldn't have'done it if I could have gotmoney anyhow else, that I wouldn't.""Very well, my lad, you shall have him assoon as you can pay for him. Here's my cardwith my name and address; and now good bye;I '11 come and see you again on Wednesday."When he was gone, Tom examined the card,and read, " Mr. Richard Lawrence, 16 Blackburn


Tom's Hoipes. 31Street." Then he fell into deep thought abouthow he could possibly earn money, a great dealof money, and lay by a little at a time, till hehad saved fifteen shillings; and then he fanciedhimself going to Mr. Richard Lawrence and buy.ig Wag back again. Oh, joyful thought! Tomcould hardly help shouting and clapping hishands at the thought; but he remembered theother boys in the room, and stopped himself;then he recollected that it was all fancy-he hadno ideabhow he could really earn so much money,still less how he could save it, while they wereall nearly starving at home, and his father hadno prospect of any work. Still, Tom did not lethis bright dream fade quite away. He thoughtover all the ways for a boy like him to earnmoney: he could be an errand-boy in a shop, ifonly his ankle would get well and strong; or hecould take newspapers out, all about the town,for a news-agent-that was as likely as anything;or he might learn shoemaking, but that would


32 Wag: a Tale for Children.be very tiresome, for he could not hope to earnanything for a long time, and besides, he did notknow any shoemaker who would take him fornothing. He thought of another thing: he couldgo to clean boots and knives every morning forsome gentleman's family, and run errands; buthe did not know how to get such a place. Thenanother thought struck him: could not he be apupil-teacher? But, alas he was too young-he was only eleven, and he could not be made apupil-teacher under thirteen. How Tom wishedhe were two years older! for he was fond of hisschool, was a clever boy, and thought he wouldrather be a schoolmaster than a workman or amill hand. But all Tom's plans only came tothis, that he determined, as soon as he was strongenough, to go about to all the shops till he found,if possible, one that would take him as an errand-boy. And then he grew impatient to get out ofthe hospital, and he walked about the room with-out his crutches to try his ankle, thinking at first


Tom's Friend. 33it felt almost well, but soon finding it grow soweak and painful that he had to sit down again.A few days after this, Mr. Richard Lawrencecame again to see Tom. This. time he did notbring Wag, as Tom had hoped he would; per.haps he thought it would be no kindness to Tomto bring his little pet, only to take him awayagain."Well, Tom," said he, "you look much better;you can walk pretty well now, I see, and I hearyou are to go out to-morrow.""Yes," said Tom, "I 'm very glad; and doyou think I shall be able to work next week ? '"What sort of work do you do?" asked Mr.Lawrence."Well," said Tom, "I can't say, for I'venever done any yet; but I want to begin directly,if I can get something to do. Father wanted tokeep me at school two years more at least; butthings are so bad now, I must work if I can getwork; I wish I knew how!"8


34 Wag: a Tale for Children.Mr. Lawrence thought a little, and then said,"I'm sure your ankle won't be strong enoughfor two or three weeks yet; but I '11 see if Ican hear of an errand-boy's place for you bythat time. I have an uncle who has a druggist'sshop in Market Street, and he sometimes wantsa boy; I '1 ask him if he has a place, and let youknow. In the meantime you must not walkmuch, but get on bitby bit; and perhaps thiswill help you;" and he slipped half a crowninto Tom's hand, and with a cheerful "goodbye" was gone before Tom could say a word.Tom felt half ashamed to pocket the half-"crown; he was not used to receive money pre-sents, arid he blushed to think that he had made'Mr. Lawrence give it him, by talking aboutwanting money so much; for Tom was almostas proud as his father, and could not bear any-thing like begging. However, he had not begged,and Mr. Lawrence had given him the money ofhis own accord, so he thought he might enjoy


Home Again. 35it; he pocketed it safely, and began to thinkwhat he should buy with it. How many things,he thought of! and yet he determined at last togive it to his mother-she would make the bestuse.of it.The next day Tom's father came to fetch himhome. Tom was right glad to go, though hehad been so comfortable in the hospital; andhe looked so much the better for the good andplentiful food and the fresher air, that his fathersaid,"Why, Tom, lad, it's worth while to sprainan ankle, I declare! Let's feel your weight,"and lifting the boy up, he declared Tom weighedtwice as much as before his accident.Tom's return made that day a very happy onein his home; poverty and distress seemed to beall forgotten for the moment, all the family wereso glad to have their bright merry boy at homeagain.3-2


36 Wag: a Tale for Children.Time passed on; Tom limped about, went toschool, and in his spare time made little boats andother toys with his knife, out of bits of wood thathe was allowed to pick up in the joiner's shopnear the school; these toys he sold on market daysin the market-place, and thus earned a few pence.Soon he limped less, and in about a fortnight hethought his ankle quite well, and grew impatientto go to work; but he had heard nothing yet fromMr. Lawrence. He did not like to go to him,as Mr. Lawrence had promised to let him know-the result of his inquiries; so he was very muchdelighted to meet Mr. Lawrence one day in thestreet, and to hear that there was a place forhim.Mr. Lawrence's uncle had just dismissed anerrand-boy for idleness, and wanted another, sohe was willing to try Tom.So Tom went to work the next week withright good will, and proved himself an active,useful boy,-finding little odd jobs to do in the


Better Times. 37shop when he was not out on errands. His wages,though very small at first, were a real help to hispoor parents. Tom felt quite proud as he tookhis money home every Saturday, and gave it tohis mother; how pleased he was when shesmiled, and called him her good lad, and kissedhim!Months passed on-months of struggle andpoverty, then spring came, and at last JamesBolton succeeded in getting work on the rail-way. Now came better times for his family:they got good food, and by degrees got clothesto replace what they had pawned. And nowTom's wages were all his own, for his fatherwould not touch them, and advised Tom to saveup. He did so, putting his money into the Sun-day school savings-bank every week for a longtime, till one Sunday he rather surprised thesuperintendent by saying, "Please, sir, I shalltake all my money out next Sunday.""What? all!" asked he; "why, you have


38 Wag: a Tale for Children.nearly fifteen shillings in. If I were you, Iwouldn't take it all out at once.""But I want it, sir, particularly," said Tom."Do you? I'm sorry for that; but if youreally want it, of course you shall have it," an-swered the superintendent.Tom did not explain what he wanted it for,but he looked so beaming and happy that thesuperintendent thought there could not be anygreat distress in his home, and supposed the ladhad some plan of his own about his money.- What a long week that seemed to Tom! andhow he thought of Wag, and of all he shoulddo with him when he got him back again Andwhen Sunday came at last, how carefully he puthis fifteen shillings in the little purse Lizzie hadgiven him to hold his weekly wages! It hadnever been so full before. What a sum to haveearned all himself After school he ran straightoff to Mr. Richard Lawrence's, and asked to seehim. The servant asked him so many questions


A Meeting. 39that Tom was afraid she would never let himcome in, nor tell that he was there; but luckilyWag heard his voice, and came rushing out tohim, and then there was such a petting and kiss-ing and jumping as quite astonished the servant,and made her go in to tell her young master howhis dog was behaving with the strange boy."Well, Tom," said Mr. Lawrence, coming-out to him; "come in, my lad. I'm glad tosee you again. You're grown a head taller, Ithink., Well, it's more than a year since I sawyou in the hospital. I've heard of you now andthen from my uncle, and he gives me a goodaccount of you. I suppose we shall see you flou-rishing away some day with a big druggist's shop,when I'm a poor struggling little doctor, and Ishall tell everybody I had the making of you "Tom laughed, and felt rather bewildered. Howshould he begin about Wag? Happily Wagsettled the question for Tom by jumping uphigher and higher till he got fairly into his


40 Wag: a Tale for Children.arms, and nestled there as he always used todo."Well," said Mr. Lawrence, "Wag hasn'tforgotten his old master yet; he seems deter-mined you shall carry him off.""Well, sir, that's what I'm come for," saidTom. " I 've saved fifteen shillings for him, hereit is;" and he opened his purse, and laid themoney on the table. "I wish to thank you, sir,for finding me such a good place, and for sayingI should have Wag back as soon as I could payfor him."Tom's face turned very red as he made thislittle speech, and he looked eagerly at Mr Law.rence for an answer."Well, Tom, I am surprised," said he; "Ididn't think you could have saved all thatmoney.""Then you didn't mean to part with Wag,sir ?" asked Tom timidly."Oh, yes, of course," answered Mr. Law-


A Surprise. 41rence; "if you brought the money, why, I pro-mised you that, you know; do you think I'mgoing to swindle you ? I don't like parting withthe dog, I own; he's ajolly little chap, and veryfond of me when you aren't here; but he's fairlyyours again now, and I wish you joy of him; andremember, if ever you want to sell him again, I 'myour man."" Thank you, sir," said Tom; " I hope I shallnever sell him again; but if I did, I should liketo sell him to you. Good bye, sir, and I 'm verymuch obliged to you;" and Tom bowed and ranoff with Wag in his arms, hugging him tighterthan ever, and chattering merrily to him all theway home.Great was the surprise and delight of all thefamily when Tom rushed in with Wag at hisheels; for Tom had kept his purpose a profoundsecret, so as to give them a complete surprise.How they all petted and played with Wag, andhow happy he was among them! He seemed


42 Wag: a rTac' for Children.to understand all about it as well as any ofthem; ahd he was so handsome! fatter than heused to be, and his hair so'silky and soft andbeautiful !A few months after this, Tom was busy onemorning polishing the brass name-plate on thedruggist's shop window, when he noticed a gen-tleman pass with a corner of his fine silk hand-kerchief hanging out 'of his coat-pocket; helooked again a moment after, and it was gone,and a big boy was rushing across the street as ifrunning away. ,In an instant Tom was afterhim at full speed, crying out, "Thief, thief!"Wag (who always would go with Tom to hiswork) joined in the pursuit, and at last caughtthe thief by the trousers; a man then seizedhold of him, then Tom came up, and they heldhim till a policeman came. The handkerchiefwas found in .the boy's pocket, and he was takenoff to the police-statidn. The next day Tom


The Thief 43was sent for to give his evidence in the police-court. He knew'very well who the thief was;the moment he saw him running away he wassure it was the same boy who had robbed him ofhis fifteen shillings, nearly two years ago. Whenthey met in the court, the lad recognized Tom,and scowled at him with a very defiant look;but that was of no use now; he was in Tom'spower. Tom had to answer a great many ques-tions, and in the course of the examination thestory of the robbery of his money came out. Themagistrate asked Tom if he would bring a chargeagainst JoshuaJenkins (that was the thief's name)for stealing his money. Tom said he would, soafter Jenkins had been sentenced to a fine forstealing the gentleman's handkerchief, he had toanswer to this more serious charge. The case tooksome time, and had to come on again anotherday, for many witnesses had to be called; amongthMm Mr. Richard Lawrence, and the house-surgeon of the hospital; and a policeman who


44 Wag: a Tale for Children.had picked Tom up, and taken him to thehospital.This policeman had kept the torn piece ofhandkerchief that had been left in Tom's hand,and this helped to show the truth of Tom's story;but, of course, the other piece, which had con-tained the money, could not be produced, forJenkins had taken good care'to burn it directly.So, though it was proved that Tom had beenkicked and robbed, it was not proved that Jen-kins was the thief; Tom was the only personwho recognized him; till at last, when it seemedprobable he would be acquitted, a woman camein, and told one of the policemen she had some-thing to say about the case as a witness. Shewas called up, and made this statement:"On Thursday, Nov. 20th, 1862, about half-past two in the afternoon, I was walking alongNew Street, and as I crossed the road where thenew row of houses was, I saw two lads a littleway off, kicking and fighting; one fell down and


A Witness. 45the other ran off: it was this chap here as ranoff," pointing to Jenkins; " I know him, for heran past me like to knock me down, and lookedas black as thunder at me for being in his road.He had a rag like a handkerchief in his hand,and then came the little lad tearing after him,with one just like it in his hand, and I was surehe couldn't catch him, though he ran like mad.I never knew a bit of what it was about, so Ithought no more of it till I heard what was goingon in the court to-day, and when they told meabout the torn handkerchief, why, then, 'that'sit,' says I, 'that's what them lads were a-fightingabout, long ago, for they each had a piece intheir hands as they ran away.' "The woman was then told to look round the"court among all the people for the boy who hadrun after the thief. Tom was purposely keptin the backgrouna, among a crowd of peoplewho had come in to hear the case: she lookedcarefully round among the people, and then


46 Wag: a Tale for Children.singled out Tom, saying, "I think that's the lad,though he's grown much bigger, and looks a dealstronger."This woman's evidence, added to all the rest,satisfied the magistrate, and Jenkins was foundguilty, and sentenced to go to prison with hardlabour for some months, and pay back the fifteenshillings to Tom. He was known to the policeas a regular thief, and a very clever one, whogenerally managed to escape them, so it was verywell he was caught this time. They found outwhere he was living, and found plenty of moneyhidden away among his clothes-all stolenmoney, no doubt. So Tom got his fifteen shil-lings back at last, and went home happy, exceptthat he could not quite forget the wicked boy'sface with its savage frown, nor help thinking howdifferent that and the court and the prison werefrom his own happy home. Till then, he hadhardly thought what a home he had, and hadnever thought of thanking God for that; but


Tom's Prayer. 47now, when he said his prayer that night, he didearnestly thank God for giving him such a goodhappy home, such a dear good father and motherand sisters and little brother, and such a dear,faithful little dog as Wag.


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16 Wag: a Tale for Children. in the water, and then asked his mother if she wanted him to do anything else for her. He was right glad to hear her answer, "No, thank you, Tom," and darted off at once with Wag under his arm. He hugged his little pet, and kissed him over and over, as he ran down the court. He thought Wag had never looked so pretty in his life, with all his long grey hair so soft and silky-looking, so beautifully clean, down to his little toes; and Wag seemed particularly proud of himself, for he set his ears up in the most knowing, conceited way at every dog he saw, and would have jumped out of Tom's arms many times if Tom had not held him very tight. Tom told him over and over again what was going to happen to him, and why, and tried to comfort him about it; for Wag's great brown eyes looked sadly at Tom as he talked to him, and Tom almost thought he understood all about it, he looked so very wise.



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The Market-place. 17 Tom carried him to the pavement in front of the town hall, in the market-place, where he had often seen men stand with dogs to sell, so he supposed it was the proper place. -There were two men there now with dogs, and Tom looked anxiously at them, but satisfied himself that theirs were very common ugly dogs compared 4with Wag. He waited a long time, walking up and down, and showing Wag to all the gentlemen and ladies who passed; but though some looked as if they could not help admiring him, Tom thought, still no one offered to buy him for three whole hours. Tom got very cold and tired and hungry, and felt it more and more hard to part with Wag. At last came two tall young men, walking so fast that Tom was afraid to offer Wag to them, thinking they wouldn't stop for anything, when suddenly one of them turned round and said, "I say, that's a nice dog!" Tom took the hint, and ran up to them, and 2



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14 Wag: a Tale for Children. and then Tom's mother would wonder what made him so wet, and Tom too, for Tom was almost as wet as Wag. "Never mind," thought Tom, "I can't help it, for I must go home to put on my Sunday clothes before I can take Wag through the town." So he ran off home with Wag under his arm. His mother was making the beds, and happily did not see how wet boy and dog were, and asked Tom no questions till she saw him putting on his best clothes; then she said, "Why, Tom, d' ye think it's Sunday ?" "No, mother," said he, "but I 'm going out to-day; I'll not spoil them, you'll see." "It's like to be long before you get any more," said his mother, "so you'd better take care of these. But what's my lad after to-day, I wonder?" Tom could not answer, and his mother did hot press him, for he was always a good lad to her, and she was sure she might trust him.



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Tom's Grief. 19 to a place where there were some new houses building, or rather waiting to be built, for there was no building going on now, and these houses had stood for months in just the same state. There, out of the way of passers-by, Tom sat down upon a step; tied-up his money in a corner of his pocket-handkerchief-one of his smart Sunday handkerchiefs, with the Duke of Wellington" line-of-battle ship very large in the middle of it. And now he was all alone, his grief at losing Wag was more than he could bear, and he gave waytoa passion of tears. Perhaps he should never see Wag again, and then what should he do? and how could he go home now and tell them all what he had done? So poor Tom cried till he fairly cried himself to sleep on the steps there, I suppose; for the next thing he knew was that some one was tugging at his handkerchief: at first he thought it was Wag, but when he roused himself to look up he saw a dirty ill-looking boy, 2-2





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Tom's Resolution. 7 struck him. "Shall I sell Wag ?-No! he answered, quite angry with himself, at the same time giving Wag a good hug; "how could I ? I 'd clem first! But then he remembered that Wag would clem too, and he thought of his poor parents, and the three little ones younger than he, and how they were all to live; and he wondered how much money he could get for Wag, and whether he could buy him back again soon if he got work to do. By degrees he got used to the thought, and made up his mind that he would sell Wag, and would ask fifteen shillings for him: his friend Ben Langley had got fifteen shillings for a little dog something like Wag, and Tom was sure Wag was worth quite as much. But he would tell nobody; he was sure he should not dare to do it if anybody knew; so he lay awake thinking and planning about it till at last he-fell asleep. He never woke till his mother called him, later than usual, for she had dressed all the little ones first; Lizzie



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WAG: A TALE FOR CHILDREN. "MW, Mary Jane, thou canna see by that light," said James Bolton to his wife, who was sitting by the window, trying'to mend her children's socks by the light of the lam in the court outside, there being no candle in the room. "Thou'It just spoil thy eyes, woman,-let's look at them." And as the laihplight fell on her face as she looked up, her husband saw that her eyes were full of tears, and her face looked so pale and 1-2



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Wag's Bath/. 13 where he put Wag under the pump, and washed him well; he had taken care to bring a bit of soap with him for the purpose. It was well for Tom, and for Wag too, that it was a thaw that morning; the roofs were still all over snow, but the ice was fast melting off the ground, and the pumps were free. The water did not feel quite so icy cold as it had been of late, nor wasthe air so bitter; still, it was shivery work for Tom in his shirt-sleeves and thin old trousers, and for Wag too; he was not used to such a cold washing, for Tom washed him every Saturday night in warm water, and he did not understand this pump-washing at all, and struggled almost out of Tom's arms. Tom coaxed and petted him, and slapped him, and then made up for it by ten times more hugging and petting, till at last the business was got through somehow. But now, how was Wag to be dried ? Tom had never "thought of that: there was nothing for it but to let him sit by the fire at home and dry himself;



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28 Wag: a Tale for Children. as he was ordered to do every day at present, when he heard a little patter of feet, then one sharp bark, and in an instant Wag was on his bed, twirling round, rolling over upon him,,lickhis face and hands, shaking and quivering all over with excitement, and wagging his tail as if it could never stop! Tom, overcome with joy and surprise, hugged and kissed his little friend, and laughed till he almost cried, and then showered on Wag all his most petting names, and endless questions as to where he had been all this time. The other boys in the room looked on amazed, and asked Tom many questions, but he did not answer-he hardly heard them, he was so taken up with Wag. But it was not many minutes before a young man came in and asked if his dog was there, and called, "Wag, Wag I" Still Wag did not move, but sat trembling, nestled close to Tom, while Tom kept his arm round him, hugging him as if he could never let him go again. But when Tom looked up at



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20 Wag: a Tale for Children. much bigger than himself, who had got tight hold of the handkerchief. Tom was instantly on his feet, clutching the precious handkerchief with both hands, and crying out, "Let go, I say! I'11 call the police!" "Will you ?," said the lad, laughing; take that first 1" giving Tom a heavy kicl with his clogged foot. Then followed a fight with clogs. Tom kicked furiously, all the time clutching the handkerchief with hands and teeth, and calling out "Police!" and getting terribly kicked by the other lad: but in this out-of-the-way place no one was within hearing just then, and after a brave struggle poor Tom was kicked down by the big lad, and though he still kept his hold of the handkerchief, it gave way, and tore in two, leaving a piece in Tom's hand, while the boy ran off with the piece that contained the money. Tom darted after him as soon as he could pick himself up, and followed him at a mad pace,



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The Thief 43 was sent for to give his evidence in the policecourt. He knew'very well who the thief was; the moment he saw him running away he was sure it was the same boy who had robbed him of his fifteen shillings, nearly two years ago. When they met in the court, the lad recognized Tom, and scowled at him with a very defiant look; but that was of no use now; he was in Tom's power. Tom had to answer a great many questions, and in the course of the examination the story of the robbery of his money came out. The magistrate asked Tom if he would bring a charge against JoshuaJenkins (that was the thief's name) for stealing his money. Tom said he would, so after Jenkins had been sentenced to a fine for stealing the gentleman's handkerchief, he had to answer to this more serious charge. The case took some time, and had to come on again another day, for many witnesses had to be called; among thMm Mr. Richard Lawrence, and the housesurgeon of the hospital; and a policeman who



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The Boltons. 9 those great ugly mills, so that hundreds, and even thousands, of industrious people-men and wo" men, boys and girls-were thrown out of work. Among these was James Bolton, an engineer in one of the mills; a clever, steady man, who had always earned good wages and been respected by all who knew him. He had been a careful man too, and had saved a good deal of money, having laid by all he could during many years; but now his savings had all been spent. His wife was an excellent woman and a capital manager. Before her marriage she had been housemaid first and then cook in a gentleman's family, and had learned much that helped her afterwards to make her husband a nice comfortable home; indeed, Shad it not been for her skill in making much out of little, the family would have starved or gone on the parish long before now, for James Bolton had had no regular work for a year or so, owing to the stopping of the mills. His daughter Lizzie, of seventeen, was working half-time in



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CAmDZN Pf.Sa, LONDOx, N.W.



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Tom's Hoipes. 31 Street." Then he fell into deep thought about how he could possibly earn money, a great deal of money, and lay by a little at a time, till he had saved fifteen shillings; and then he fancied himself going to Mr. Richard Lawrence and buy. ig Wag back again. Oh, joyful thought! Tom could hardly help shouting and clapping his hands at the thought; but he remembered the other boys in the room, and stopped himself; then he recollected that it was all fancy-he had no ideabhow he could really earn so much money, still less how he could save it, while they were all nearly starving at home, and his father had no prospect of any work. Still, Tom did not let his bright dream fade quite away. He thought over all the ways for a boy like him to earn money: he could be an errand-boy in a shop, if only his ankle would get well and strong; or he could take newspapers out, all about the town, for a news-agent-that was as likely as anything; or he might learn shoemaking, but that would



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4 Wag: a Tale for Children. careworn that he started, though he had watched her day by day, and had seen with bitter pain, though he tried to hide it from himself, how thin and pale her-face was growing, and how her strength was fading away. Now, just put that down, and get thee to bed, Mary Jane. How cold thou art! and 't isn't much warmer in bed, now the blankets is all gone: wrap thy flannel petticoat well about thee, do." "Oh, Jem, it's gone to-day! Thou 'It say it's madness, and I know it is, but where was the porridge to come from ?" "Oh, Lord! groaned James; "but that won't do: I'll pawn my Sunday suit rather than that! To think of it! Thou 'It have it back directly. 'T is as much as thy life's worth, and -the baby's too." And in spite of all his wife could say against it, he looked up from the .family chest his Sunday coat and waistcoat, and took them to the pawn-shop at the corner of the street, bringing back the thick warmn petti-



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Out of Work. 5 coat so necessary to his wife, and a little money besides. On his refurn he found his poor tired wife in bed and asleep, spite of cold and discomfort. He was too anxious to rest yet, and walked about the dark, cold, cheerless room, thinking what was to be done next, and murmuring to himself, Oh, Lord, it is hard To think the likes o' me should have to come on the parish, or on charity, if they wouldn't see wife and childer clem before their eyes! and I, a strong man and a sober 'un, as would do any kind of honest work! My word, to see Mary Jane like that! I'd sooner sweep the streets among them nasty paupers! Never was such a time as this, in all my days, for mill hands: here are we all living on our Lizzie, and she on half-time. I never thought to have touched her wages; but what was a man to do ? Thank God Jem's away at sea and knows nothing of all this. He'd better not come home yet a bit, poor lad! he'd be



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32 Wag: a Tale for Children. be very tiresome, for he could not hope to earn anything for a long time, and besides, he did not know any shoemaker who would take him for nothing. He thought of another thing: he could go to clean boots and knives every morning for some gentleman's family, and run errands; but he did not know how to get such a place. Then another thought struck him: could not he be a pupil-teacher? But, alas he was too younghe was only eleven, and he could not be made a pupil-teacher under thirteen. How Tom wished he were two years older! for he was fond of his school, was a clever boy, and thought he would rather be a schoolmaster than a workman or a mill hand. But all Tom's plans only came to this, that he determined, as soon as he was strong enough, to go about to all the shops till he found, if possible, one that would take him as an errandboy. And then he grew impatient to get out of the hospital, and he walked about the room without his crutches to try his ankle, thinking at first



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40 Wag: a Tale for Children. arms, and nestled there as he always used to do. "Well," said Mr. Lawrence, "Wag hasn't forgotten his old master yet; he seems determined you shall carry him off." "Well, sir, that's what I'm come for," said Tom. I 've saved fifteen shillings for him, here it is;" and he opened his purse, and laid the money on the table. "I wish to thank you, sir, for finding me such a good place, and for saying I should have Wag back as soon as I could pay for him." Tom's face turned very red as he made this little speech, and he looked eagerly at Mr Law. rence for an answer. "Well, Tom, I am surprised," said he; "I didn't think you could have saved all that money." "Then you didn't mean to part with Wag, sir ?" asked Tom timidly. "Oh, yes, of course," answered Mr. Law-



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42 Wag: a rTac' for Children. to understand all about it as well as any of them; ahd he was so handsome! fatter than he used to be, and his hair so'silky and soft and beautiful A few months after this, Tom was busy one morning polishing the brass name-plate on the druggist's shop window, when he noticed a gentleman pass with a corner of his fine silk handkerchief hanging out 'of his coat-pocket; he looked again a moment after, and it was gone, and a big boy was rushing across the street as if running away. ,In an instant Tom was after him at full speed, crying out, "Thief, thief!" Wag (who always would go with Tom to his work) joined in the pursuit, and at last caught the thief by the trousers; a man then seized hold of him, then Tom came up, and they held him till a policeman came. The handkerchief was found in .the boy's pocket, and he was taken off to the police-statidn. The next day Tom



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The Children's Hospital. 21 down street after street, too breathless to call out any more for help, and never lost sight of him till in an unlucky moment Tom's foot slipped over something he .did not see in his haste, and down he fell with his head against some railings. He hardly knew even this much about his fall, and knew no more of what happened to him till he found himself in a clean comfortable bed in a large room with many other beds, and found a strange woman sitting by him, and a wet cloth tied round his head. Some time must have passed, for it was now quite dark except for the fire-light, which showed him the room, and the nurse sitting by his bed. Who brought me here ?" asked Tom, and whose house is this ?" It's the Children's Hospital," said the nurse, "and I don't know who brought you here-the police, I dare say." How long have I been here ?"



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38 Wag: a Tale for Children. nearly fifteen shillings in. If I were you, I wouldn't take it all out at once." "But I want it, sir, particularly," said Tom. "Do you? I'm sorry for that; but if you really want it, of course you shall have it," answered the superintendent. Tom did not explain what he wanted it for, but he looked so beaming and happy that the superintendent thought there could not be any great distress in his home, and supposed the lad had some plan of his own about his money. -What a long week that seemed to Tom! and how he thought of Wag, and of all he should do with him when he got him back again And when Sunday came at last, how carefully he put his fifteen shillings in the little purse Lizzie had given him to hold his weekly wages! It had never been so full before. What a sum to have earned all himself After school he ran straight off to Mr. Richard Lawrence's, and asked to see him. The servant asked him so many questions



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Tom's Prayer. 47 now, when he said his prayer that night, he did earnestly thank God for giving him such a good happy home, such a dear good father and mother and sisters and little brother, and such a dear, faithful little dog as Wag.



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44 Wag: a Tale for Children. had picked Tom up, and taken him to the hospital. This policeman had kept the torn piece of handkerchief that had been left in Tom's hand, and this helped to show the truth of Tom's story; but, of course, the other piece, which had contained the money, could not be produced, for Jenkins had taken good care'to burn it directly. So, though it was proved that Tom had been kicked and robbed, it was not proved that Jenkins was the thief; Tom was the only person who recognized him; till at last, when it seemed probable he would be acquitted, a woman came in, and told one of the policemen she had something to say about the case as a witness. She was called up, and made this statement: "On Thursday, Nov. 20th, 1862, about halfpast two in the afternoon, I was walking along New Street, and as I crossed the road where the new row of houses was, I saw two lads a little way off, kicking and fighting; one fell down and



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18 Wag: a Tale for Children. showed off Wag, and told them how clever he was and what wonderful tricks he could do. "What is he worth, Thompson ?" said the younger of the two to his companion. "Oh, not much, he's only a half-breed; the lad will be glad to get twelve shillings for him, no doubt." 0 "No," said Tom proudly; "I know he's worth at least fifteen shillings, and I'll not take less for him." "Well, you shall have it, my lad," said the young gentleman, and put into Tom's hand a half-sovereign and two half-crowns; sucha sum as Tom had never had for his own before; and in the joy of having so much money, he forgot for a moment the pain of losing his pet Wag: it was not till he had given him up, and the young men were out of sight, that he remembered his loss; then it was too much for him. He could not go home straight without Wag, so he ran on, past their own street, till he came



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The Mother's Visit. 25 nearly jumped out of bed in his joyful surprise; but his bad ankle gave him such pain that he had to lie still again. His mother was quite pleased to see him so comfortable, and getting better so nicely, for she had been quite frightened to hear about his accident. And now Tom had to tell her all about Wag, and about the boy stealing his money: it was some comfort to him to tell his mother all about it, though he could not tell it without crying. His mother did not let him talk much about it just then, and she soothed and comforted him till he felt quite happy, and fell asleep with his head on her lap; she then gently laid him down on his pillow again and kissed him, and went away much comforted about her poor boy. Tom lay some weeks in the hospital, for though the bruise on his head soon healed, the ankle took a long time, being badly sprained; he was not allowed to leave his bed for a fortnight, and then he might only walk about the room on crutches



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Home Again. 35 it; he pocketed it safely, and began to think what he should buy with it. How many things ,he thought of! and yet he determined at last to give it to his mother-she would make the best use.of it. The next day Tom's father came to fetch him home. Tom was right glad to go, though he had been so comfortable in the hospital; and he looked so much the better for the good and plentiful food and the fresher air, that his father said, "Why, Tom, lad, it's worth while to sprain an ankle, I declare! Let's feel your weight," and lifting the boy up, he declared Tom weighed twice as much as before his accident. Tom's return made that day a very happy one in his home; poverty and distress seemed to be all forgotten for the moment, all the family were so glad to have their bright merry boy at home again. 3-2



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34 Wag: a Tale for Children. Mr. Lawrence thought a little, and then said, "I'm sure your ankle won't be strong enough for two or three weeks yet; but I '11 see if I can hear of an errand-boy's place for you by that time. I have an uncle who has a druggist's shop in Market Street, and he sometimes wants a boy; I '1 ask him if he has a place, and let you know. In the meantime you must not walk much, but get on bitby bit; and perhaps this will help you;" and he slipped half a crown into Tom's hand, and with a cheerful "good bye" was gone before Tom could say a word. Tom felt half ashamed to pocket the half"crown; he was not used to receive money presents, arid he blushed to think that he had made 'Mr. Lawrence give it him, by talking about wanting money so much; for Tom was almost as proud as his father, and could not bear anything like begging. However, he had not begged, and Mr. Lawrence had given him the money of his own accord, so he thought he might enjoy



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Tom and Wag. 15 When Tom was dressed, there was still one thing more to be done before Wag was ready: there he was, sitting shivering on the hearth before the little tiny bit of fire, looking all wet, and his hair quite stringy. Tom stooped down while his mother was busy in the other room, and gave Wag a good brushing and combing all over, which the poor dog seemed to enjoy immensely, as; it helped to dry him and make him comfortable. Then, quite afraid of being stopped by anything else, Tom snatched his hat, and was just darting off with Wag, when his mother called out to him, Stay, Tom! have you fetched the water and filled the kettle?" Tom did this every, morning after breakfast for his mother, but this morning he had forgotten it. He felt vexed, and said, "Bother!" but a look of gentle reproach from his mother made him blush with shame; he took the pail and kettle directly to the pump in the court, fetched



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46 Wag: a Tale for Children. singled out Tom, saying, "I think that's the lad, though he's grown much bigger, and looks a deal stronger." This woman's evidence, added to all the rest, satisfied the magistrate, and Jenkins was found guilty, and sentenced to go to prison with hard labour for some months, and pay back the fifteen shillings to Tom. He was known to the police as a regular thief, and a very clever one, who generally managed to escape them, so it was very well he was caught this time. They found out where he was living, and found plenty of money hidden away among his clothes-all stolen money, no doubt. So Tom got his fifteen shillings back at last, and went home happy, except that he could not quite forget the wicked boy's face with its savage frown, nor help thinking how different that and the court and the prison were from his own happy home. Till then, he had hardly thought what a home he had, and had never thought of thanking God for that; but



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36 Wag: a Tale for Children. Time passed on; Tom limped about, went to school, and in his spare time made little boats and other toys with his knife, out of bits of wood that he was allowed to pick up in the joiner's shop near the school; these toys he sold on market days in the market-place, and thus earned a few pence. Soon he limped less, and in about a fortnight he thought his ankle quite well, and grew impatient to go to work; but he had heard nothing yet from Mr. Lawrence. He did not like to go to him, as Mr. Lawrence had promised to let him knowthe result of his inquiries; so he was very much delighted to meet Mr. Lawrence one day in the street, and to hear that there was a place for him. Mr. Lawrence's uncle had just dismissed an errand-boy for idleness, and wanted another, so he was willing to try Tom. So Tom went to work the next week with right good will, and proved himself an active, useful boy,-finding little odd jobs to do in the



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Honest Pride. 27 "Then why do you speak as if it was something dreadful ?" said Tom. "Why, lad, you see, it's charity, that's what it is, and we've never been on charity in our lives till now." Tom thought a moment, and then burst out, "Never mind, father 'tisn't your fault-no one can say it is; and if people as have plenty give us a bit when we're just clemming, why mayn't we take it? Isn't it summat like the good Samaritan? The poor man didn't send him away and say, 'I'11 have no charity, I'd rather die! '" "Well, lad, I've been thinking of that myself. I think you're right, Tom, and we shouldn't, be ashamed of it, but thank God for it. And now I must go home, and I hope you '11 soon be well enough to come back to us." One day, soon after this, Tom had another visitor, very unexpectedly. He was lying down on his bed after his dinner, to rest his lame leg,



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WAG: BY MARY ELLEN MARTINEAU. WITH COLOURED FRONTISPIECE. LONDON: PREDERICK WARNE AND CO., BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN. NEW YORK: SCRIBNER, WELFORD, AND CO.





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26 Wag: a Tale for Children. for some time after that. On certain days, when visitors were allowed, his father or his mother eame to see him. Tom reckoned eagerly on their coming, and was always quite proud to show them how much better he was than the last time. Then they told him how they were all going on at home; and though his father seemed hardly willing to tell him, it gladdened Tom's heart to hear that a district visitor from the relief com. mittee had found them out at last, and given them some help in money and clothes. Tom clapped his hands for joy, and thought with less bitterness of his lost fifteen shillings. "Aren't you glad, father ?" asked he, seeing that his father hardly seemed to share in his burst of joy. "Why, yes, lad, I hope I'm not ungrateful. I thank 'em from my heart, God knows, for they've maybe saved your poor mother's life, and baby's; and if a man won't be thankful for that, he won't for nothing in this world."



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10 Wag: a Tale for Children. one of the few mills that still kept going at all, and her five shillings a week were all that the family had left to depend on. Till lately Lizzie's wages had been all her own; it was her father's pride to take them for her regularly to the savingsbank, all but what she wanted for herself: she kept herself in clothes, and did it well too. How handsome she looked on Sundays! So, at least, thought her father, when he walked with her to the Sunday-school where they both taught every Sunday. There they still went, Sunday after Sunday, through this sad time; and hitherto they had managed to keep their Sunday clothes, whatever else they had to part with; so it was a bitter thing to James Bolton now to take his own best clothes, for the first time in his life, to* the pawn-shop. "There he thought, it's out now-I can't hide it no longer; I must wear my old working clothes next Sunday, or stop at home; and what will Lizzie say? Well, she's a good wench,





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Tom's Friend. 33 it felt almost well, but soon finding it grow so weak and painful that he had to sit down again. A few days after this, Mr. Richard Lawrence came again to see Tom. This. time he did not bring Wag, as Tom had hoped he would; per. haps he thought it would be no kindness to Tom to bring his little pet, only to take him away again. "Well, Tom," said he, "you look much better; you can walk pretty well now, I see, and I hear you are to go out to-morrow." "Yes," said Tom, "I 'm very glad; and do you think I shall be able to work next week ? "What sort of work do you do?" asked Mr. Lawrence. "Well," said Tom, "I can't say, for I've never done any yet; but I want to begin directly, if I can get something to do. Father wanted to keep me at school two years more at least; but things are so bad now, I must work if I can get work; I wish I knew how!" 8



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Bad Times. 1 bless her! I'm not afeard of what she'll say; but I canna bide to see her growing so thin and worried-looking, my bonny Lizzie!" It was James Bolton's pride that he had never asked and never accepted charity in any form; so even now nothing short of actual starvation would drive him to apply either to the parish or the relief committee, and the decent appearance that he and all his family still kept up had hitherto caused them to escape visits and inquiries; his character as a saving and well-to-do man was such that none yet suspected his poverty. Even now he could not bear to ask for help, though he felt it must soon come to that. As for Tom, he had never thought of such a possibility, having never heard his father speak of such a thing, till he let fall the words "parish," and "charity" in his misery that night; and selling Wag was the only thing Tom could think of that he could do, for Wag was his own, and the only thing he had to sell. It did seem to



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30 Wag: a Tale for Children. his ankle, saying, I 'm a doctor-that is, I shall be in a year or so-so I've a right to look. Oh, ah-a bad sprain; but you'11 do now, you'll be turned out within a week. And so you'd like to have Wag back, would you ? and it's rather hard you shouldn't, now you've lost dog and money both; but-well, you shall have him, you shall have him." Oh, sir!" said Tom, "d' ye think I could take him back from you? I lost the money, not you; but if I get it back anyhow, or get fifteen shillings of my own some time, may I buy him back again ? for it was so hard to sell him I wouldn't have'done it if I could have got money anyhow else, that I wouldn't." "Very well, my lad, you shall have him as soon as you can pay for him. Here's my card with my name and address; and now good bye; I '11 come and see you again on Wednesday." When he was gone, Tom examined the card, and read, Mr. Richard Lawrence, 16 Blackburn



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17ALEE FOR CHILDIREN



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Better Times. 37 shop when he was not out on errands. His wages, though very small at first, were a real help to his poor parents. Tom felt quite proud as he took his money home every Saturday, and gave it to his mother; -how pleased he was when she smiled, and called him her good lad, and kissed him! Months passed on-months of struggle and poverty, then spring came, and at last James Bolton succeeded in getting work on the railway. Now came better times for his family: they got good food, and by degrees got clothes to replace what they had pawned. And now Tom's wages were all his own, for his father would not touch them, and advised Tom to save up. He did so, putting his money into the Sunday school savings-bank every week for a long time, till one Sunday he rather surprised the superintendent by saying, "Please, sir, I shall take all my money out next Sunday." "What? all!" asked he; "why, you have



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A Meeting. 39 that Tom was afraid she would never let him come in, nor tell that he was there; but luckily Wag heard his voice, and came rushing out to him, and then there was such a petting and kissing and jumping as quite astonished the servant, and made her go in to tell her young master how his dog was behaving with the strange boy. "Well, Tom," said Mr. Lawrence, coming -out to him; "come in, my lad. I'm glad to see you again. You're grown a head taller, I think., Well, it's more than a year since I saw you in the hospital. I've heard of you now and then from my uncle, and he gives me a good account of you. I suppose we shall see you flourishing away some day with a big druggist's shop, when I'm a poor struggling little doctor, and I shall tell everybody I had the making of you Tom laughed, and felt rather bewildered. How should he begin about Wag? Happily Wag settled the question for Tom by jumping up higher and higher till he got fairly into his



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A Surprise. 41 rence; "if you brought the money, why, I promised you that, you know; do you think I'm going to swindle you ? I don't like parting with the dog, I own; he's ajolly little chap, and very fond of me when you aren't here; but he's fairly yours again now, and I wish you joy of him; and remember, if ever you want to sell him again, I 'm your man." Thank you, sir," said Tom; I hope I shall never sell him again; but if I did, I should like to sell him to you. Good bye, sir, and I 'm very much obliged to you;" and Tom bowed and ran off with Wag in his arms, hugging him tighter than ever, and chattering merrily to him all the way home. Great was the surprise and delight of all the family when Tom rushed in with Wag at his heels; for Tom had kept his purpose a profound secret, so as to give them a complete surprise. How they all petted and played with Wag, and how happy he was among them! He seemed



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24 Wag: a Tale for Children. them, and did not feel inclined to join in their chat and play: it amused him for a little while, but soon he got very tired of hearing it, wished they would be quiet, and at last went to sleep in spite of it. It was a long, queer night to Tom, full of troubled dreams about Wag and about thieves; and Tom thought he must have talked in his sleep, because when he woke, the nurse almost always spoke to him, telling him not to trouble himself, or something of that kind, though he did not know he had spoken. However, morning came at last, and Tom woke up from a real deep sleep, feeling much refreshed and ready for his breakfast. Soon it came, and how good it was! Tom had been but poorly fed for a long time past, and the hospital food seemed to him wonderfully good. He felt very comfortable, and only wished he could see his mother and tell her all about it. Just as he was wishing so, in she came, with the baby in her arms! Tom



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6 Wag: a Tale for Children. like to break his heart. If Tom weren't such a little weakly chap, I'd send him off too, but he's not fit for a sailor. Well, I'11 make a last trial before I go to the parish: I '11 go to the railway and the foundry and the canal, and see if there's no chance left for me-though I'm weary of trying it for no good. Lord help us all James Bolton said part of this half aloud as he walked about the dreary room, not thinking there was any listening ear for it to fall upon; but he was mistaken, for his boy Tom was awake, though he lay quite still, curled up at the foot of his parents' bed, covered over with his own Sunday clothes, to keep a little warmth in him; and close beside him nestled his little dog Wag, a rough grey terrier, very knowing, the playmate and pet of all the family, and of Tom in particular. Tom listened with eagerness to his father's sad words, and thought over and over for the hundredth time what he, Tom, could possibly do to get some money,-till a thought



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12 Wag: a Tale for Children. him downright wicked towards Wag; but, then, if it saved all their lives, Wag's as well as the rest, surely it could not be wicked. When Tom said his prayer that morning, he asked God to take care of Wag, and give him a good master, who would love him and feed him well; but Tom could not help crying a little to think that no one could love Wag as well as he did, and that perhaps he should never see him again. But he must not let anybody seehis tears, so he brushed them away, and played with his little sisters while his mother stirred the porridge for breakfast. They always had porridge for breakfast now, as it was the cheapest thing, and they had very little milk with it this morning, instead of each child having a good basin-full, as they used -to have in better times. Tom ate his porridge quickly, in silence, and then tucked Wag under his arm, and went out without a word. He ran out of the court into the street, and down the street into another court,



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The Children's Hospital. 23 Well, where do they live ?" asked the nurse. Tom told her, and she promised to go and tell them herself, on her way home that evening, for she was a day-nurse, and went home for the night. So Tom was satisfied, and went to sleep again till his supper was brought in, and then found he was very hungry, and no wonder, for he had had no dinner at all, and a most exciting day. By degrees he remembered all the events of the day, as far as the loss of his money, his chase after the thief, and his fall; he knew nothing after that. Looking round him, he saw there were other boys in some of the other beds in the large room: one of them had a broken leg, the nurse said, and others other injuries; but they were all doing well, and some of them were chatting and joking together very merrily, though the nurse did not let them move about much or make much noise. Tom did not know any of



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WAG. WAG.



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8 Wag: a Tale for Children. had been gone to her work two hours, for she had to be at the mill at six o'clock, so she had to leave all the children to her mother. But before going on with my story, I must explain to my readers how the Boltons came to be so poor at the time I speak of. They lived in the town of Ain North Lancashire, a town of cotton-mills, with their tall smoky chimneys rising up among the green hills and valleys of that pleasant country. There were rows on rows of small decent cottages, such as the Boltons lived in, the homes of the mill hands, as they-call the work-people; and there were good shops, andchurches, chapels and schools-everything telling of plenty of people and plenty of work and activity of every kind. But at the tim? of my story, November, 1862, a sad change had taken place in this town as in all the cottonspinning towns of Lancashire. In Athe tall chimneys had almost all ceased to smoke, and the clatter of machinery had ceased in almost all



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A Witness. 45 the other ran off: it was this chap here as ran off," pointing to Jenkins; I know him, for he ran past me like to knock me down, and looked as black as thunder at me for being in his road. He had a rag like a handkerchief in his hand, and then came the little lad tearing after him, with one just like it in his hand, and I was sure he couldn't catch him, though he ran like mad. I never knew a bit of what it was about, so I thought no more of it till I heard what was going on in the court to-day, and when they told me about the torn handkerchief, why, then, 'that's it,' says I, 'that's what them lads were a-fighting about, long ago, for they each had a piece in their hands as they ran away.' The woman was then told to look round the "court among all the people for the boy who had run after the thief. Tom was purposely kept in the backgrouna, among a crowd of people who had come in to hear the case: she looked carefully round among the people, and then





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22 Wag: & Tale for Children. "Oh, bless you! not long; you've come to very quick: only an hour or two since you were put to bed." Where are my clothes?" cried Tom, starting up; "I must get up and go home to mother directly." Now, don't you fuss about mother, but lie down again like a good lad, and go to sleep: you 'll not walk yet a bit." And indeed Tom had to obey, for besides a very bad headache that came on when he started up, he felt one foot give way when he tried for a moment to stand, and it gave him violent pain. "What's the matter with me?" asked he; "I forget how I got hurt." Oh, don't fret about it, lad : you '11 get well nicely here, and have all you want." "But I wish some one could go and tell father and mother I'm here,-they'11 think I'm lost, killed, or something, I know they will," said Tom.



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Wag's New Master. 29 the young man, he remembered him, and all his joy was gone: he was the same young man who had bought Wag, so Tom had no right to keep Wag from him. "Here he is, sir," said Tom with a great effort. "He's yours; take him." "Yes, he's mine," said the young man; "I lost him out of the lecture-room, and have been looking all over the house for him. But you don't seem willing to let him go." "Don't you know me, sir?" asked Tom. Oh, ah, I see, you're the lad that sold him to me. Then he was yours, was he? I thought to be sure you'd picked him up-lost or stolen -such a well-bred little chap he is." No, sir," said Tom 'with an angry blush over his whole face; "he was mine 1" "And how came you here, my lad ? and what have you done with your fifteen shillings ?" So Tom had to tell his story, and the young man was quite interested, and asked to look at



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its 1+1 t-i. *e a~ t .7 \s t j .-;i 4 At:~i