The Baldwin Library
2R 5 P.loda
"PATSY MINDING THE KENNETT BABY." Page4.
'PATSY MINDING THE KENNETT BABY." Page4I.
THE STORY OF PATSY
KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN
AUTHOR OF "THE BIRDS' CHRISTMAS CAROL"
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
(fhe iber 88ibe 9r, ambribge
By KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN.
All rights reserved.
The Riverside Press, Cambridge:
Electrotyped and Printed by II. 0. IIoughton and Company.
H. C. A.
IN REMEMBRANCE OF GLADNESS GIVEN TO
SORROWFUL LITTLE LIVES
SThe young lambs are bleating in the meadows,
The young birds are chirping in the nest,
The young fawns are playing with the shadows,
The young flowers are blowing toward the west -
But the young, young children, 0 my brothers,
They are weeping bitterly :
They are weeping in the playtime of the others
In the country of the free."'
THE original Story of Patsy was written and sold
some seven years ago for the benefit of the Silver
Street Free Kindergartens in San Francisco. Now
that it is for the first time placed in the hands of
publishers, I have at their request added new ma-
terial, so that the present story is more than double
the length of the original brief sketch.
K. D. W.
NEW YORK, March, 1889.
CONTENTS AND LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Patsy minding the Kennett Baby Frontispiece
I. THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN 1
II. PATSY COMES TO CALL 12
Here 's an orange I brung yer .18
III. Two 'PRENTICE HANDS AT PHILANTHROPY 24
Miss Helen. 2S
IV. BEHIND THE SCENES . 29
The boys at my side prattle together .32
Here is the hat .37
V. I SEEK PATSY, AND MEET THE DUCHESS OF ANNA STREET. 3S
The Story of Victor .. .44
VI. A LITTLE HOODLUM'S VIRTUE KINDLES AT THE TOUCH OF
Carlotty Griggs being a Butterfly 50
Paulina's good-mornings to Johnny Cass ". .56
VII. PATSY FINDS HIS THREE LOST YEARS 57
He sat silently by the window" 5. 8
Tail Piece 68
THE STORY OF PATSY.
THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN.
It makes a heaven-wide difference whether the soul of the child is re-
garded as a piece of blank paper, to be written upon, or as a living power,
to be quickened by sympathy, to be educated by truth."
T had been a long, wearisome day at the
S Free Kindergarten, and I was alone in the
silent, deserted room. Gone were all the
little heads, yellow and black, curly and smooth;
the dancing, restless, curious eyes; the too mischiev-
ous, naughty, eager hands and noisy feet; the
merry voices that had made the great room human,
but now left it quiet and empty. Eighty pairs of
tiny boots had clattered down the stairs; eighty
baby woes had been relieved; eighty little torn coats
2 THE STORY OF PATSY.
pulled on with patient hands; eighty shabby little
hats, not one with a strawberry mark to distin-
guish it from any other, had been distributed with
infinite discrimination among their possessors ; num-
berless sloppy kisses had been pressed upon a willing
cheek or hand, and another day was over. No, -
not quite over, after all. A murderous yell from
below brought me to my feet, and I flew like an anx-
ious hen to my brood. One small quarrel in the
hall; very small, but it must be inquired into on the
way to the greater one. Mercedes McGafferty had
taunted Jenny Crawhall with being Irish. The fact
that she herself had been born in Cork about three
years previous did not trouble her in the least.
Jenny, in a voice choked with sobs, and with the
stamp of a tiny foot, was announcing hotly that she
was NOT Irish, no sech a thing, she was Plesber-
terian I was not quite clear whether this was a
theological or racial controversy, but I settled it
speedily, and they ran off together hand in hand. I
hastened to the steps. The yells had come from Joe
Guinee and Mike Higgins, who were fighting for the
THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN. 3
possession of a banana; a banana, too, that should
have been fought for, if at all, many days before, -
a banana better suited, in its respectable old age,
to peaceful consumption than the fortunes of war.
My unexpected apparition had such an effect that
I might have been an avenging angel. The boys
dropped the banana simultaneously, and it fell to the
steps quite exhausted, in such a condition that who-
ever proved to be in the right would get but little
enjoyment from it.
0 my boys, my boys I exclaimed, did you
forget so soon? What shall we do? Must Miss
Kate follow you everywhere ? If that is the only
way in which you can be good, we might as well
give up trying. Must I watch you to the corner
every day, no matter how tired I am ?"
Two grimy little shirt bosoms heaved with shame
and anger two pairs of eyes hid themselves under
protecting lids; two pairs of moist and stained
hands sought the shelter of charitable pockets, -
then the cause of war was declared by Mike sulkily.
S"Joe Guinee hooked my bernanner."
4 THE STORY OF PATSY.
I never !" said Joe hotly. I swapped with him
f'r a peach, 'n he e't the peach at noon-time, 'n then
would n't gimme no bernanner."
The peach warn't no good," Mike interpolated
swiftly, seeing my expression, it warn't no good,
Miss Kate. When I come to eat it I had ter chuck
half of it away, 'nd then Joe Guinee went t' my
lunch bucket and hooked my bernanner "
I sat down on the top step, motioned the culprits
to do likewise, and then began dispensing justice
tempered with mercy for the twenty-fifth time that
day. Mike, you say Joe took your banana ? "
Yes 'm, he hooked it."
Same thing. You have your words and I have
mine, and I 've told you before that mine mean just
as much and sound a little better. But I thought
that you changed that banana for a peach, and ate
the peach ?"
Then, why was n't that banana Joe's ? -you had
taken his peach."
He had n't oughter hooked took it out o' my
THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN. 5
"No, and you ought not to have put it into your
He hooked took what warn't his."
You kept what was n't yours. How do you ex-
pect to have a good fruit store, either of you, by and
by, and have people buy your things, if you have n't
any idea of making a good square trade ? Do try
to be honest; and if you make an exchange stick to
it; fighting over a thing never makes it any better.
Look at that banana !- is it any good to either of
you now ? (Pause. The still small voice was busy,
but no sound was heard save the distant whistle of
"I could bring another one to Joe to-morrer,"
said Mike, looking at his ragged boot and scratching
it along the edge of the step.
I don't want yer to, 'f the peach was sour 'n you
had ter chuck it away," responded Joe amiably.
"Yes, I think he ought to bring the banana;
he made the trade with his eyes open, and the peach
did n't look sour, for I saw you squeezing it when
you ought to have been singing your morning
6 THE STORY OF PATSY.
hymn, I thought you would get into trouble with
it then. Now is it all right, Mike ? that 's good !
And Joe, don't go poking into other people's lunch
baskets. If you had n't done that, you silly boy,"
I philosophized whimsically for my own edification,
" you would have been a victim; but you de-
scended to the level of your adversary, and you are
now simply another little rascal."
We walked down the quiet, narrow street to the
corner, a proceeding I had intended to omit that
day, as it was always as exciting as an afternoon
tea, and I did not feel equal to the social chats that
would be pressed upon me by the neighborhood
" ladies." One of my good policemen was there as
ustal, and saluted me profoundly. He had carried
the last baby over the crossing, and guided all the
venturesome small boys through the maze of trucks
and horse-cars, a difficult and thankless task, as
they absolutely courted decapitation, it being an
unwritten law of conduct that each boy should weave
his way through the horses' legs if practicable, and
if not, should see how near he could come to grazing
THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN. 7
the wheels. Exactly at twelve o'clock, and again at
two each day, in rain or sunshine, a couple of huge
fatherly persons in brass buttons appeared on that
corner and assisted us in getting our youngsters into
streets of safety. Nobody had ever asked them to
come, their chief had not detailed them for that spe-
cial duty; and I could never have been bold enough
to suggest that a guardian of the peace with an im-
maculate uniform should carry to and fro a crowd of
small urchins with dusty boots and sticky hands.
But everybody loved that Silver Street corner,
where the quiet little street met the larger noisy one!
Not a horse-car driver but looked at his brake and
glanced up the street before he took his car across.
The truckmen all drove slowly, calling "Hi, there-! "
genially to any youngster within half a block.
And it was a pleasant scene enough to one who
had a part in it, who was able to care for simple peo-
ple, who could be glad to see them happy, sorry
to see them sad, and willing to live' among them a
part of each day, and bring a little sunshine and
hope into their lives.
8 THE STORY OF PATSY.
Good afternoon, Mr. Donohue! All safely
All safe, miss Sorry you troubled to come
down, miss. I can be depended on for this corner,
miss, an' ye niver need bother yerself about the chil-
dern after ye've once turned 'em loose, miss. An'
might I be so bold, seeing' as how I might not have a
better chance would ye be so kind as to favor me
with yer last name, miss? the truth bein' that very
one calls ye Miss Kate, an' the policemen of this
ward is getting' up rather a ch'ice thing in Christmas
cards to present to ye, come Christmas, because, if
ye 'll excuse the liberty, miss, they do regard you as
belonging' to the special police "
I laughed, thanked him for the intended honor,
which had been mentioned to me before, and gave
him my card, not without a spasm of terror lest the
entire police force should invade my dwelling.
The baker lady" across the street caught my
eye, smiled, and sent over a hot bun in a brown
paper bag. The grocery lady called over in a
clear, ringing tone, "Would you be so kind, 'm, as to
THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN. 9
step inside on your way 'ome and fetch 'Enry a bit
of work, 'm? 'Enry 'as the 'ooping cough, 'm, and
I don't know howeverr I'm goin' to keep 'im at 'ome
another day, 'm, he pines for school so "
I give a nod which means, Certainly !
Mrs. Weiss appeared at her window above the
grocery with a cloth wound about her head; ap-
peared, and then vanished mysteriously. Very well,
Mr. Weiss, you know what to expect! I gave you
fair warning last time, and I shall be as good as my
word! Good heavens Is that it can't be -
yes, it is a new McDonald baby at the saloon
door! And there was such a superfluity of the
McDonald clan before! One more wretched little
human soul precipitated without a welcome into such
a family circle as that! It set me thinking, as I
walked slowly back and toiled up the steps. "I
suppose most people would call this a hard and mo-
notonous life," I mused. "There is an eternal regu-
larity in the succession of amusing and heart-break-
ing incidents, but it is not monotonous, for I am too
close to all the problems that bother this workaday
10 THE STORY OF PATSY.
world, so close that they touch me on every side.
No missionary can come so near to these people. I
am so close that I can feel the daily throb of their
need, and they can feel the throb of my sympathy.
Oh it is work fit for a saviour of men, and what -
what can I do with it ?"
I sank into my small rocking-chair, and, clasping
my arms over my head, bent it upon the table and
closed my eyes.
The dazzling California sunshine streamed in at
the western windows, touched the gold-fish globes
with rosy glory, glittered on the brass bird-cages,
flung a splendid halo round the meek head of the
Madonna above my table, and poured a flood of
grateful heat over my shoulders. The clatter of a
tin pail outside the door, the uncertain turning of
a knob by a hand too small to grasp it: "I for-
gitted my lunch bucket, 'n had to come back five
blocks. Good-by, Miss Kate." (Kiss.) Good-by,
little man; run along." Another step, and a
curly little red head pushes itself apologetically
through the open door. "You never dave me back
my string and buzzer, Miss Kate." "Here it is;
THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN. 11
leave it at home to-morrow if you can, dear, will
Silence again, this time continued and profound.
Mrs. Weiss was evidently not coming to-day to ask
me if she should give blow for blow in her next
connubial fracas. I was thankful to be spared un-
til the morrow, when I should perhaps have greater
strength to attack Mr. Weiss, and see what I could
do for Mrs. Pulaski's dropsy, and find a mourning
bonnet and shawl for the Gabilondo's funeral and
clothes for the new Higgins twins. (Oh, Mrs. Hig-
gins, would not one have suffced you ?)
The events of the day march through my tired
brain; so tired! so tired and just a bit discouraged
and sad too. Had I been patient enough with the
children? Had I forgiven cheerfully enough the
seventy times seven sins of omission and commis-
sion ? Had I poured out the love bountiful, dis-
interested, long-suffering of which God shows us
the measure and fullness? Had I But the
sun dropped lower and lower behind the dull brown
hills, and exhausted nature found a momentary for-
getfulness in sleep.
PATSY COMES TO CALL.
"When a' either bairnies are hushed to their hame
By aunty, or cousin, or frecky grand-dame,
Wha stands last and lanely, an' naebody earin' ?
'T is the puir doited loonie, the mitherless bairn! "
UDDENLY I was awakened by a subdued
and apologetic cough. Starting from my
nap, I sat bolt upright in astonishment, for
quietly ensconced in a small red chair by my table,
and sitting still as a mouse, was the weirdest appari-
tion ever seen in human form. A boy, seeming -
how many years old shall I say ? for in some ways
he might have been a century old when he was born
- looking, in fact, as if he had never been young,
and would never grow older. He had a shrunken,
somewhat deformed body, a curious, melancholy
face, and such a head of dust-colored hair that he
PATSY COMES TO CALL. 13
might have been shocked for a door-mat. The sole
redeemers of the countenance were two big, pa-
thetic, soft dark eyes, so appealing that one could
hardly meet their glance without feeling instinc-
tively in one's pocket for a biscuit or a ten-cent
piece. But such a face He had apparently made
an attempt at a toilet without the aid of a mirror,
for there was a clean circle like a race-track round
his nose, which member reared its crest, untouched
and grimy, from the centre, like a sort of judge's
stand, while the dusky rim outside represented the
space for audience seats.
I gazed at this astonishing diagram of a counte-
nance for a minute, spellbound, thinking it resembled
nothing so much as a geological map, marked with
coal deposits. And as for his clothes, his jacket
was ragged and arbitrarily docked at the waist,
while one of his trousers-legs was slit up at the side,
and flapped hither and thither when he moved, like
a lug-sail in a calm.
Well, sir," said I at length, waking up to my
duties as hostess, did you come to see me? "
14 THE STORY OF PATSY.
"Yes, I did."
Let me think; I don't seem to remember; I am
so sleepy. Are you one of my little friends? "
No, I hain't yit, but I 'm goin' to be."
That's good, and we '11 begin right now, shall
I knowed yer fur Miss Kate the minute I seen
"How was that, eh? "
The boys said as how you was a kind o' pretty
lady, with towzly hair in front." (Shades of my
cherished curls !)
I'm very much obliged to the boys."
Kin yer take me in ?"
What? Here? Into the Kindergarten ? "
Yes; I bin waiting' this yer long whiles fur to
Why, my dear little boy," gazing dubiously at
his contradictory countenance, "you 're too big,
are n't you ? We have only tiny little people here,
you know; not six years old. You are more, are n't
PATSY COMES TO CALL. 15
"Well, I'm nine by the book; but I ain't more'n
scerce six along o' my losing them three year."
"What do you mean, child? How could you
lose three years ? cried I, more and more puzzled
by my curious visitor.
"I lost 'em on the back stairs, don't yer know.
My father he got fighting' mad when he was drunk,
and pitched me down two flights of 'em, and my
back was most clean broke in two, so I could n't git
out o' bed forever, till just now."
Why, poor child, who took care of you ? "
Mother she minded me when she wasn't out
And did she send you here to-day ?"
Well! however could she, bein' as how she's
dead ? I s'posed you knowed that. She died after
I got well; she only waited for me to git up, any-
0 God! these poor mothers they bite back the
cry of their pain, and fight death with love so long
as they have a shred of strength for the battle!
What's your name, dear boy? "
16 THE STORY OF PATSY.
"Patsy nothing' just only Patsy; that's all of
it. The boys calls me 'Humpty Dumpty' and
Rags,' but that's sassy."
But all little boys have another name, Patsy."
"Oh, I got another, if yer so dead set on it, it 's
Dinnis, but Jim says 't won't wash; 't ain't no
'count, and I would n't tell yer nothing' but a sure-
pop name, and that's Patsy. Jim says lots of other
fellers out to the 'sylum has Dinnis fur names, and
they ain't worth shucks, nuther. Dinnis he must
have had orful much boys, I guess."
Who is Jim ? "
"Him and I's brothers, kind o' brothers, not sure
'nuff brothers. Oh, I dunno how it is 'zactly, -
Jim '11 tell yer. He dunno as I be, yer know, 'n he
dunno but I be, 'n he 's afeard to leave go o' me for
fear I be. See?"
"Do you and Jim live together ?"
Yes, we live at Mis' Kennett's. Jim swipes the
grub; I build the fires 'n help cook 'n wipe dishes
PATSY COMES TO CALL. 17
for Jim when I ain't sick, 'n I mind Miss Kennett's
babies right along, she most allers has new ones,
'n she gives me my lunch for doin' it."
Is Mrs. Kennett nice and kind ? "
O-h, yes; she's orful busy, yer know, 'n won't
stand no foolin'."
"Is there a Mr. Kennett? "
"Sometimes there is, 'n most allers there ain't."
My face by this time was an animated interroga-
tion point. My need of explanation must have
been hopelessly evident, for he hastened to add foot-
notes to the original text.
"He's allers out o' work, yer know, 'n he don't
sleep ter home, 'n if yer want him yer have to hunt
him up. IHe's real busy now, though, doing'
"That's good. What does he do?"
He marches with the workingmen's percessions
'n holds banners."
"I see." The Labor Problem and the Chinese
Question were the great topics of interest in all
grades of California society just then. My mission
18 THE STORY OF PATSY.
in life was to keep the children of these marching
and banner-holding laborers from going to destruc-
"And you have n't any father, poor little man ? "
"Yer bet yer life I don't want no more father in
mine. He knocked me down them stairs, and then
he went off in a ship, and I don't go a cent on
fathers Say, is this a 'zamination ?"
I was a good deal amused and should have felt a
little rebuked, had I asked a single question from
idle curiosity. Yes, it's a sort of one, Patsy, -
all the kind we have."
And do I hev to bring any red tape ?"
"What do you mean ?"
Why, Jim said he bet 't would take an orful lot
o' red tape t' git me in."
Here he withdrew with infinite trouble from his
ragged pocket an orange, or at least the remains of
one, which seemed to have been fiercely dealt with
"Here's an orange I brung yer It's been
skwuz some, but there's more in it."
- I,' ,- '
,-~ ,, -
,*- -. ,'1' i i I
"HERE'S AN ORANGE I RUNG YER Page8
r., i1 P' ''L''^"1*^- F-;-BB1i *^
HERE'S AN ORANGE IBRUNG YER." Page 18.
PATSY COMES TO CALL. 19
Thank you, Patsy." (Forced expression of ra-
diant gratitude.) Now, let us see You want
to come to the Kindergarten, do you, and learn to
be a happy little working boy? But oh, Patsy,
I 'm like the old woman in the shoe, I have so many
children I don't know what to do."
Yes, I know. Jim knows a boy what went here
wunst. He said yer never licked the boys; and he
said, when the nifty little girls come to git in,
with their white aprons, yer said there warn't no
room; but when the dirty chaps with tored close
come, yer said yer 'd make room. Jim said as how
yer 'd never show me the door, sure." (Bless Jim's
heart!) P'raps I can't come every day, yer know,
'cos I might have fits."
Fits Good gracious, child What makes you
think that ? "
"Oh, I has 'em" composedlyy). "I kicks the
footboard clean off when I has 'em bad, all along
o' my losin' them three year! Why, yer got an
orgind, hain't yer? Where's the handle fur to
make it go ? Could n't I blow it for yer ?"
20 THE STORY OF PATSY.
"It's a piano, not an organ; it doesn't need
Oh, yes, I see one in a s'loon; I seen such an
orful pretty lady play on one. She give her silk
dress a swish to one side, so and then she cocked
her head over sideways like a bird, and then her
hands, all jinglin' over with rings, went a-whizzin'
up and down them black and white teeth just like
"You know, Patsy, I can't bear to have my little
Kindergarten boys stand around the saloon doors;
it is n't a good place, and if you want to be good
men you must learn to be good little boys first,
don't you see ?"
Well, I wanted some kind of fun. I seen a cir-
kis wunst, that was fun I seen it through a
hole; it takes four bits to git inside the tent, and
me and another feller found a big hole and went
halveys on it. First he give a peek, and then I give
a peek, and he was bigger'n me, and he took orful
long peeks, he did, 'nd when it come my turn the
ladies had just allers jumped through the hoops, or
PATSY COMES TO CALL. 21
the horses was gone out; 'nd bimeby he said mebbe
we might give the hole a stretch and make it a little
mite bigger, it would n't. do no harm, 'nd I 'd better
cut it, 'cos his fingers was lame ; 'nd I just cutted it
a little mite, 'n' a cop come up behind and h'isted
us and I never seen no more cirkis; but I went to.
Sunday-school wunst, and it warn't so much fun as
the cirkis "
I thought I would not begin moral lectures at
once, but seize a more opportune time to compare the
relative claims of Sunday-school and circus.
"You've got things fixed up mighty handy here,
have n't yer ? It's most as good as Woodward's
Gardens, fishes 'nd c'nary birds 'nd flowers
- 'nd pictures is there stories to any of 'em ? "
Stories to every single one, Patsy! We've just
turned that corner by the little girl feeding chickens,
and to-morrow we shall begin on that splendid dog
by the window."
Patsy's face was absolutely radiant with excite-
ment. Jiminy I'm glad I got in in time for
that 'nd ain't that a bear by the door thar? "
22 THE STORY OF PATSY.
Yes; that's a mother bear with cubs."
Has he got a story too ? "
"Everything has a story in this room."
"Jiminy 'ts lucky I did n't miss that one !
There's a splendid bear in a s'loon on Fourth Street,
- mebbe the man would leave him go a spell if you
told him what a nice place you hed up here. Say,
them fishes keep it up lively, don't they ? s'pose
they're playing' tag? "
I should n't wonder," I said smilingly; it looks
like it. Now, Patsy, I must be going home, but
you shall come to-morrow, at nine o'clock surely, re-
member and the children will be so glad to have
another little friend. You '1l dress yourself nice and
clean, won't you ? "
Well, I should smile but these is the best I
got. I got another part to this hat, though, and
another pocket belongs with these britches." (He
alternated the crown and rim of a hat, but was
never extravagant enough to wear them at one
time.) "Ain't I clean ? I cleaned myself by the
PATSY COMES TO CALL. 23
Here 's a glass, dear; how do you think you
Jiminy I didn't get much of a sweep on that,
did I now ? But don't you fret, I've got the lay of
it now, and I'11 just polish her off red-hot to-morrer,
'n don't you forgit it "
Patsy, here's a warm bun and a glass of milk;
let's eat and drink together, because this is the be-
ginning of our friendship; but please don't talk
street words to Miss Kate; she doesn't like them.
I'11 do everything I can to make you have a good
time, and you '11 try to do a few things to please
me, won't you ?"
Patsy looked embarrassed, ate his bit of bun in
silence, and after twirling his hat-crown for a few
seconds hitched out of the door with a backward
glance and muttered remark which must have been
intended for farewell.
TWO 'PRENTICE HANDS AT PHILANTHROPY.
"With aching hands and bleeding feet,
We dig and heap, lay stone on stone;
We bear the burden and the heat
Of the long day and wish 't were done.
Not till the hours of light return
All we have built do we discern."
ATSY had scarcely gone when the door
opened again the least bit, and a sunny face
Looked in, that of my friend and helper.
Not gone yet, Kate ? "
No, but I thought I sent you away long ago."
Yes, I know, but I 've been to see Danny Kern's
mother: there is nothing to be done; we must do
our best and leave it there. Was that a boy I met
on the stairs ? "
Yes, that is, he is a boy in the sense that he
is not a girl. Oh, Helen, such a story We must
take him! "
TWO 'PRENTICE HANDS AT PHILANTHROPY. 25
She sank helplessly on one of the children's ta-
bles. Now, my dear guide, philosopher, and friend,
did you happen to notice my babies this morning ?
They were legion Our mothers must have heard
that the Flower Mission intended giving us some
Thanksgiving dinners, for there were our five inevi-
table little cat's-paws, the identical five that ap-
plied just before the Christmas tree, disappeared in
vacation, turned up the day before we went to the
Mechanics' Fair, were lost to sight the day after,
presented themselves previous to the Woodward's
Garden expedition, and then went into retirement
till to-day. Where am I going to sit' another
child, pray ? They were two in a seat and a dozen
on the floor this morning. It isn't fair to them, in
one sense, for they don't get half enough attention."
"You are right, dear; work half done is worse
than wasted; but it is n't fair to this child to leave
him where he is."
Oh, I know. I feel Fridayish, to tell the truth.
I shall love humanity again by Monday. Have we
money for more chairs or benches ? "
26 THE STORY OF PATSY.
You '11 have to print an appeal for chairs; and
the children may wear out the floor sitting on it be-
fore the right people read it! "
Yes; and oh, Helen, a printed appeal is such
a dead thing, after all. If I could only fix on a
printed page Danny Kern's smile when he con-
quered his temper yesterday, put into type that
hand clasp of Mrs. Finnigan's that sent such a thrill
of promise to our hearts, show a subscriber Mrs.
Guinee's quivering lips when she thanked us for the
change in Joe, why, we should n't need money
That is true. What a week we have had, Kate,
- like a little piece of the millennium "
You must not be disappointed if next week is n't
as good; that could hardly be. Let's see, Mrs.
Daniels began it on Monday morning, didn't she,
by giving the caps for the boys ? "
Yes," groaned Helen dismally, "a generous but
misguided benefactress Forty-three caps precisely
alike save as to size What scenes of carnage we
TWO 'PRENTICE HANDS AT PHILANTHROPY. 27
shall witness when we distribute them three times a
We must remedy that by sewing labels into the
crowns, each marked with the child's name in indeli-
"Exactly, what a charming task! I shall have
to write my cherubs' names, I suppose, -most of
them will take a yard of tape apiece. I already
recall Paulina Strozynski, Mercedes McGafferty, and
"And I, Maria Virginia de Rejas Perkins, Half-
dan Christiansen, and Americo Vespucci Garibaldi."
"This is our greatest misfortune since the do-
nation of the thirty-seven little red plaid shawls.
Well, good-night. By the way, what's his name ?"
"Patsy Dennis. I shall take him. I '11 tell you
more on Monday. Please step into Gilbert's and
buy a comfortable little cane-seated armchair, larger
than these, and ask one of your good Samaritans
to make a soft cushion for it. We 'll give him the
table that we had made for Johnny Cass. Poor
Johnny I am sorry he has a successor so soon."
28 THE STORY OF PATSY.
In five minutes I was taking my homeward walk,
mind and heart full of my elfish visitor, with his
strange and ancient thoughts, his sharp speeches
and queer fancies. Would he ever come back, or
would one of those terrible spasms end his life be-
fore I was permitted to help and ease his crooked
body, or pour a bit of mother-love into his starved
little heart ?
BEHIND THE SCENES.
Some children are like little human scrawl-books, blotted all over with
the sins and mistakes of their ancestors.
ONDAY morning came as mornings do come,
bringing to the overworked body and mind
a certain languor difficult to shake off. As
I walked down the dirty little street, with its rows
of old-clothes shops, saloons, and second-hand-furni-
ture stores, I called several of my laggards, and gave
them a friendly warning. Quarter of nine, Mrs.
Finnigan "Bless me soul, darlin' Well, I will
hurry up my childern, that I will; but the baby was
that bad with whoopin'-cough last night that I never
got three winks meself, darlin' "
All right; never mind the apron; let Jimmy
walk on with me, and I will give him one at school."
30 THE STORY OF PATSY.
Jimmy trots proudly at my side, munching a bit of
baker's pie and carrying my basket. I drop into
Mrs. Powers' suite of apartments in Rosalie Alley,
and find Lafayette Powers still in bed. His twelve-
year-old sister and guardian, Hildegarde, has over-
slept, as usual, and breakfast is not in sight. Mrs.
Powers goes to a dingy office up town at eight
o'clock, her present mission in life being the heal-
ing of the nations by means of mental science. It
is her fourth vocation in two years, the previous ones
being tissue-paper flowers, lustre painting, and the
agency for a high-class stocking supporter. I scold
Hildegarde roundly, and she scrambles sleepily about
the room to find a note that Mrs. Powers has left
for me. I rejoin my court in the street, and open
the letter with anticipation.
DEAR MADDAM. You complane of Lafayette's
never getting to school till eleven o'clock. It is not
Smy affare as Hildegarde has full charge of him and
I never intefear, but I would sujjest that if you be-
BEHIND THE SCENES. 31
leeve in him he will do better. Your unbeleef sapps
his will powers. you have only reprooved him for
being late. why not incurrage him say by paying
him 5 cents a morning for a wile to get amung his
little maits on the streak of nine? declare for
good and good will work for you" is one of our
sayings. I have not time to street Lafayette myself
my business being so engroassing but if you would
take a few minutes each night and deny Fear along
the 5 avanues you could heel him. Say there is no
Time in the infinnit over and over before you go to
sleep. This will lift fear off of Lafayette, fear of
being late and he will get there in time.
Yours for Good,
Oh, what a naughty, ignorant, amusing, hypocrit-
ical, pathetic world it is! I tuck the note in my
pocket to brighten the day for Helen, and we pass
As we progress we gather into our train Levi,
32 THE STORY OF PATSY.
Jacob, David, Moses, Elias, and the other prophets
and patriarchs who belong to our band. We hasten
the steps of the infant Garibaldi, who is devouring
refuse fruit from his mother's store, and stop finally
to pluck a small Dennis Kearney from the coal-hod,
where he has been put for safe-keeping. The day
has really begun, and with its first service the hands
grow willing and the heart is filled with sunshine.
As the boys at my side prattle together of the
"percession and the "sojers they saw yesterday,
I wish longingly that I could be transported with my
tiny hosts to the sunny, quiet country on this clear,
I think of my own joyous childhood, spent in the
sweet companionship of fishes, brooks, and butter-
flies, birds, crickets, grasshoppers, whispering trees
and fragrant wild flowers, and the thousand and one
playfellows of Nature which the good God has placed
within reach of the happy country children. I think
of the shining eyes of my little Lucys and Bridgets
and Rachels could I turn them loose in a field of
golden buttercups and daisies, with sweet wild straw-
:. a ^ ft ^i~jlII
1 '. '., ,' ,
71 .44r7 I
I.; I I '
"THE BOYS AT MY SIDE PRATTLE TOGETHER.' Page32,
BEHIND THE SCENES. 33
berries hidden at their roots; of the merry glee of
my dear boisterous little prophets and patriots, if I
could set them catching tadpoles in a clear wayside
pool, or hunting hens' nests in the alder bushes be-
hind the barn, or pulling yellow cow lilies in the
pond, or wading for cat-o'-nine-tails, with their ragged
little trousers tucked above their knees. And oh !
hardest of all to bear, I think of our poor little in-
valids, so young to struggle with languor and pain !
Just to imagine the joy of my poor, lame boys and
my weary, pale, and peevish children, so different
from the bright-eyed, apple-cheeked darlings of well-
to-do parents, mere babies, who, from morning till
night, seldom or never know what it is to cuddle
down warmly into the natural rest of a mother's lov-
Monday morning came and went, Monday after-
noon also; it was now two o'clock, and to, my sur-
prise and disappointment Patsy had not appeared.
The new chair with its pretty red cushion stood ex-
pectant but empty. Helen had put a coat of shellac
34 THE STORY OF PATSY.
on poor Johnny Cass's table, freshened up its squared
top with new lines of red paint, and placed a little
silver vase of flowers on it. Our Lady Bountiful
had come in to pay for the chair and see the boy,
but alas there was no boy to see. The children
were all ready for him. They knew that he was a
sick boy, like Johnny Cass, tired, and not able to
run and jump, and that they must be good to him
as they had been to Johnny. This was the idea of
the majority; but I do not deny that there was a
small minority which professed no interest and
promised no virtue. Our four walls contained a
miniature world, a world with its best foot for-
ward, too, but it was not heaven.
At quarter past two I went into Helen's little
room, where she was drawing exquisite illustrations
on a blackboard for next day's "morning talk."
Helen, the children say that a family of Ken-
netts live at 32 Anna Street, and I am going to see
why Patsy did n't come. Oh yes, I know that there
are boys enough without running after them, but we
must have this particular boy, whether he wants to
BEHIND THE SCENES. 35
come or not, for he is sui generis. He shall sit on
And sew a fine seam,
And feast upon strawberries,
Sugar and cream! "
I think a taste for martyrdom is just as difficult
to eradicate from the system as a taste for blood,"
Helen remarked whimsically. Very well, run on
and I '11 'receive in your absence. I could say with
Antony, 'Lend me your ears,' for I shall need them.
Have you any conunands ?"
"Just a few. Please tell Paulina Strozynski's big
brother that he must call for her earlier, and not
leave her sitting on the steps so long. Tell Mrs.
Hickok that if she sends us another child whom she
knows to be down with the chicken-pox, we won't
take in her two youngest when they're old enough.
Don't give Mrs. Slamberg any aprons. She re-
turned the little undershirts and drawers that I sent
her by Julie, and said if it was all the same to me,
she'd rather have something that would make a lit-
tle more show !' And oh yes, do see if you can
36 THE STORY OF PATSY.
find Jacob Shubener's hat; he is crying down in the
yard, and. does n't dare go home without it."
"Very well. Four cases. Strozynski steps
- cruelty. Hickok chicken-pox ingratitude.
Slamberg aprons vanity. Shubener hat -
carelessness. Oh that I could fasten Jacob's hat
to his ear by a steel chain Has he looked in the
"Up in the pepper-tree ?"
"Then some one has 'chucked' it into the next
yard, and the janitor will have to climb the fence, -
at his age Oh, if I could eliminate the irregular
verb 'to chuck' from the vocabulary of this school,
I could make out of the broken sounds of life a
song, and out of life itself a melody,' and she flew
down-stairs like a breeze, to find the patient Mr.
Bowker. Mr. Bowker was a nice little man, who
had not all his wits about him, but whose heart was
BEHIND THE SCENES. 37
quite intact, and who swept with energy and washed
windows with assiduity. He belonged to the Salva-
tion Army, and the most striking articles of his attire,
when sweeping, were a flame-colored flannel shirt
and a shiny black hat with "Prepare to Meet Thy
God on the front in large silver letters. The com-
bination of color was indescribably pictorial, and as
lurid and suggestive as an old-fashioned Orthodox
As I went through the lower hall, I found Mr.
Bowker assisting Helen to search the coal bin.
"Don't smile," she cried. "Punch says, Sometimes
the least likeliest place is more likelier than the
most likeliest,' and sure enough, here is the hat!
I should have been named Deborah or Miriam, -
not Helen and she hurried to dry the tears of the
.' --- .v "
I SEEK PATSY, AND MEET THE DUCHESS OF ANNA
"'T is pride, rank pride and haughtiness of soul.'
MADE my way through the streets, drinking
in the glorious air, breathing the perfume
of the countless fruit stands and the fra-
grances that floated out from the open doors of the
little flower stores in every block, till I left all that
was pleasant behind me and turned into Anna Street.
I soon found Number 32, a dirty, tumble-down,
one-story hovel, the blinds tied together with selvedges
of red flannel, and a rickety bell that gave a certain
style to the door, though it had long ceased to ring.
A knock brought a black-haired, beetle-browed
person to the window.
Does Mrs. Kennett live here ? "
THE DUCHESS OF ANNA STREET. 39
No, she don't. I live here."
Oh then you are not Mrs. Kennett? "
Wall, I ruther guess not This in a tone of
such royal superiority and disdain that I saw in an
instant I had mistaken blue blood for red.
"I must have been misinformed, then. This is
Number 32 ?"
Can't yer see it on the door ?"
Yes," meekly. "I thought perhaps Anna
Street had been numbered over."
What made yer think Mis' Kennett lived here ?"
A little girl brought me her name written on a
card, Mrs. Kennett, 32 Anna Street."
There triumphantly, I might 'a knowed
that woman 'd play some common trick like that!
Now do you want ter know where Mis' Kennett re'ly
doos live ? Wall, she lives in the rear Her num-
ber's 32, 'n I vow she gits more credit o' livin' in
the front house 'n I do, 'n I pay four dollars more
rent! Ever see her? I thought not! I guess 'f
you hed you would n't think of her livin' in a house
like this! "
40 THE STORY OF PATSY.
Excuse me. I did n't expect to make any
Oh, I 've nothing' agin you, but just let me ketch
her putting' on airs 'n pertendin' to live like her bet-
ters, that's all She 's done it before, but I could n't
never ketch her at it. The idee of her keeping' up
a house like this and with a superb sniff like that
of a battle-horse, she disappeared from the front
window of her ancestral mansion and sought one at
the back which might command a view of my meet-
ing with her rival.
I slid meekly through a side gate, every picket of
which was decorated with a small child, stumbled up
a dark narrow passage, and found myself in a square
sort of court out of which rose the rear houses so
objectionable to my Duchess in the front row.
It was not plain sailing, by any means, owing to
the collection of tin cans and bottles through which
I had to pick my way, but I climbed some frail
wooden steps, and stood at length on the landing of
The door was open, and there sat Patsy "mind-
THE DUCHESS OF ANNA STREET. 41
ing" the Kennett baby, a dull little lump of human-
ity, whose brain registered impressions so slowly that
it would play all day long with an old shoe without
exhausting its possibilities.
Patsy himself was dirtier than ever, and much
more sullen and gloomy. The traces of tears on his
cheeks made my heart leap into my throat. Oh,
Patsy," I exclaimed, I am so glad to find you!
We expected you all day, and were afraid you were n't
Not a word of response.
"We have a chair all ready for you; it is stand-
ing right under one of the plant-shelves, and there
are three roses in bloom to-day! "
Still not a word.
And I had to tell the dog story without you! "
The effect of this simple statement was very dif-
ferent from what I had anticipated. I thought I
knew what a child was likely to do under every con-
ceivable set of circumstances, but Patsy was des-
tined to be more than once a revelation to me.
He dashed a book of colored advertisements that
42 THE STORY OF PATSY.
he held into the farthest corner of the room, threw
himself on the floor at full length and beat it with
his hands, while he burst into a passion of tears.
" There! there he cried between his sobs, "I
told 'em you 'd tell it I told 'em you 'd tell it I
told 'em you'd -but oh, I thought maybe you
would n't! His wails brought Mrs. Kennett from
a back piazza where she was washing.
"Are you the teacher o' the Kids Guards, 'm? "
Yes." It did not strike me at the time, in my
anxiety, what a sympathetic rendering of the Ger-
man word this was; but we afterwards found that
" Kindergarten was thus translated in Anna Street.
Patsy could n't go to-day, 'm, on account of him
hevin' no good boots, 'm, Jim not bein' paid off till
Wednesday, 'n me hevin' no notice he hed no clean
shirt, 'm, this not bein' his clean-shirt week, 'm. He
takes it awful hard about that there story, 'm. I
told him as how you'd be after tellin' another one
next week, but it seems nothing' will comfort him."
Ev'rybuddy's allers lyin' to me," he moaned;
"there warn't another dog picture like that in the
hull room! "
THE DUCHESS OF ANNA STREET. 43
Don't take no notice of him, 'm, an' he 'll git
over it; he's subjick to these spells of takin' on
like. Set up, Pat, an' act decent! Tell the lady
you 'll come when you git your boots."
"Patsy, boy, stop crying a minute and listen to
me," I said. "If Mrs. Kennett is willing, I have
some things that will fit you; you shall come right
back with me now, all the children have gone, -
and you and I will be alone with the sunshine and
the birds and the fishes, as we were the other day,
and I will tell you the dog story just as I told it to
the other children this morning."
He got up slowly, rubbed his tattered sleeve across
his wet cheek, and looked at me searchingly to see
if I might be trusted; then he limped to the sink,
treated his face and hands to a hasty but energetic
scrub, seized his fragment of a hat, gave his brief
trousers a hitch which had the air of being the last
exquisite touch to a faultless toilet, and sat down on
the landing to mend his twine shoe-lace.
Who is your neighbor in Number 32, Mrs.
Kennett ? I asked as I rose to go. I went there
to find you."
44 THE STORY OF PATSY.
"I Did you indeed, 'm ? Well, I hope she treated
you civil, 'm, though it don't be much in her line.
She's a Mis' Mooney,'m. I know her, but she don't
know me anny more sence she's riz in the wurrld.
She moved out of this house whin I moved into it,
but none of us ladies here is good enough for her to
'sociate with now, 'm You see her husband was in
the rag, sack, and bottle business, 'm, 'n a wealthy
gentleman friend set him up in a fish-cart, an' it's
kind of onsettled her, 'm! Some folks can't stan'
prosperity. If 't hed bin gradjooal like, she might
have took it more natcheral; but it come all of a
suddent, an' she's that purse-proud now, 'm, that
she 'U be moving' up on Nob Hill ef she don't hev no
stroke o' bad luck to show 'er her place Good
day, 'm! "
I carved my way through the tin cans and bottles
again under the haughty eye of my Duchess of the
fish-cart, and in a few minutes Patsy and I were
again in Silver Street.
When we entered the room he looked about with
an expression of entire content. It's all here! "
$L, 2 Jj .K. r
9} \i v 1'^ 1 '. -- '' I'.i
"Til.STORY OF VIGTOFI." age4:i5,
C>' I) ___
THE SORY F VICOR Pge 4
THE DUCHESS OF ANNA STREET. 45
he said with a sigh, as if he had feared to find it a
The chair with its red cushion pleased him greatly;
then, after a few moments' talk to make him feel a
little at home, we drew up to the picture, and I took
his cleanest hand in mine, and told him the story of
Victor, the brave St. Bernard dog.
It was an experience never to be repeated and
never to be forgotten !
As you sit at twilight in the sweet safe corner
of the household fire," the sound of the raindrops on
the window-pane mingling with the laughing treble
of childish voices in some distant room, you see
certain pictures in the dying flame, pictures un-
speakably precious to every one who has lived, or
loved, or suffered.
I have my memory-pictures, too; and from the
fairest frame of all shines Patsy's radiant face as it
looked into mine long ago when I told him the story
A LITTLE HOODLUM'S VIRTUE KINDLES AT THE
TOUCH OF JOY.
If you make children happy now, you will make them happy twenty
years hence by the memory of it."
HE next morning when I reached the little
tin shop on the corner, a blessed trysting-
place, forever sacred, where the children
waited for me in sunshine, rain, wind, and storm, un-
less forbidden, there on the step sat faithful Patsy,
with a clean and shining morning face, all glowing
with anticipation. How well I remember my poor
lad's first day! Where should I seat him ? There
was an empty space beside little Mike Higgins, but
Mike's character, obtained from a fond and candid
parent, had been to the effect "that he was in
heaven any time if he could jest lay a boy out flat !
And there was a place by Moses, but he was very
VIRTUE KINDLES AT THE TOUCH OF JOY. 47
much of a fop just then, owing to a new "second-
hand" coat, and might make scathing allusions to
Patsy's abbreviated swallow-tail.
But a pull at my skirt and a whisper from the
boy decided me.
Please can't I set aside o' you, Miss Kate ?"
But, Patsy, the fun of it is I never do sit."
Why, I thought teachers never done nothing' but
You don't know much about little boys and
girls, that's sure Well, suppose you put your
chair in front and close to me. Here is Maggie
Bruce on one side. She is a real little Kindergarten
mother, and will show you just how to do everything.
Won't you, Maggie ? "
We had our morning hymn and our familiar talk,
in which we always outlined the policy of the new
day; for the children were apt to be angelic and
receptive at nine o'clock in the morning, the unwil-
lingness of the spirit and weakness of the flesh
seldom overtaking them till an hour or so later. It
chanced to be a beautiful day, for Helen and I were
48 THE STORY OF PATSY.
both happy and well, our volunteer helpers were
daily growing more zealous and efficient, and there
was no tragedy in the immediate foreground.
In one of the morning songs, when Paulina went
into the circle and threw good-morning kisses to the
rest, she wafted a dozen of them to the ceiling, a
proceeding I could not understand.
Why did you throw so many of your kisses up
in the air, dear ? I asked, as she ran back to my
Them was good-mornings to Johnny Cass, so 't
he would n't feel lonesome," she explained; and the
tender bit of remembrance was followed out by the
children for days afterward. Was it not enough to
put us in a gentle humor ?
Patsy was not equal to the marching when, later
on, the Lilliputian army formed itself in line and kept
step to the music of a lively tune, and he was far too
shy on the first day to join in the play, though he
watched the game of the Butterfly with intense in-
terest from his nook by the piano.
After the tiny worm had wriggled itself realisti-
VIRTUE KINDLES AT THE TOUCH OF JOY. 49
cally into a cocoon it went to sleep ; and after a mo-
ment of dramatic silence, the little one chosen for the
butterfly would separate herself from the still cocoon
and fly about the circle, sipping imic honey from
To see Carlotty Griggs being a butterfly," with
utter intensity of joy and singleness of purpose, was
a sight to be remembered. For Carlotty was a pick-
aninny four years old, and blacker than the Ace of
Spades Her purple calico dress, pink apron, and
twenty little woolly braids tied with bits of yellow rib-
bon made her the most tropical of butterflies; and
the children, having a strong sense of color and
hardly any sense of humor, were always entirely car-
ried away by her antics.
Carlotty had huge feet, indeed, Carlotty toed
in," for that matter; but her face shone with de-
light; her eyes glistened, and so did her teeth; and
when she waved her ebony hands and flitted among
the children, she did it as airily as any real but-
terfly that ever danced over a field of clover blos-
50 THE STORY OF PATSY.
And if Patsy's joy was great in the play, it was
greater still in the work that came afterward. When
Helen gave him a scarlet and gold mat to weave, his
fingers trembled with eagerness; and the expression
of his face caused that impulsive young person to
fly to my side and whisper, Oh, why should one
ever want to be an angel' when one can be a Kin-
From this time on, Patsy was the first to come in
the morning and the last to leave at night. He took
the whole institution under his guardianship, and
had a watchful eye for everybody and everything be-
longing to it.
He soon learned the family history of every child
in the school, and those family histories, I assure
you, were of an exciting nature; but so great were
Patsy's prudence and his idea of the proprieties that
he never divulged his knowledge till we were alone.
Then his tongue would be loosed, and he would
break into his half-childlike, half-ancient and reflec-
ft i, .. 'f
i ,i ,, ,-
S, ,G "'I A B"
CARLOTTY GRIGGS "BEING A BUTTERFLY." Page49.
VIRTUE KINDLES AT THE TOUCH OF JOY. 51
He had a stormy temper, which, however, he was
fast learning to control, and he was not always kind
and gentle with his little playfellows; for he had
been raised in a hard school, and the giving and
taking of blows was a natural matter, to him the
only feasible manner of settling a misunderstanding.
His conduct to me, however, was touching in its
devotion and perfect obedience ; and from the first
hour he was my poor little knight sans peur et sans
Meanwhile, though not perfect, he was greatly
changed for the better. We had given him a neat
little coat and trousers, his hair was short and smooth,
and his great dark eyes shone with unutterable con-
tent. He was never joyous; born under a cloud, he
had lived in its shadow, and sorrow too early borne
had left its indelible impress, to be removed only by
that undisturbed vision of the Father's face, which
is joy unutterable; but for the first time in his
life he was at peace.
The Duchess of Anna Street had moved into a
house a trifle better suited to her exalted station in
52 THE STORY OF PATSY.
life; one where the view was better, and the society
worthy of a fish-peddler's family. Accordingly we
transferred the Kennetts into Number 32, an honor
which they took calmly at first, on account of the
odor of fish that pervaded the apartments. The
three and four year old Kennetts were now members
of our flock, the dull baby was cared for daily by
the Infant Shelter, and Mrs. Kennett went out wash-
ing; while her spouse upheld the cause of labor by
attending sand-lot meetings in the afternoon and
marching in the evening.
So, in the rainy winter afternoons, when the other
children had gone, Patsy and I stayed together and
arranged the next day's occupations. Slang was
being gradually eliminated from his conversation;
but it is no small task to correct nine years of bad
grammar, and I never succeeded in doing it. Alas !
the time was all too short.
It was Patsy who sorted the wools and threaded
the needles, and set right the sewing-cards of the
babies; and only the initiated can comprehend the
labyrinthine maze into which an energetic three-
VIRTUE KINDLES AT THE TOUCH OF JOY. 53
year-old can transform a bit of sewing. It was he
who fished the needles from the cracks in the floor,
rubbed the blackboards, and scrubbed the slates,
talking busily the while.
"Jiminy! (I take that back.) Miss Kate, we
can't let Jimmy Buck have no more needles; he sows
'em thick as seed round his chair. Now, now jis'
look yere Ef that Battles chap hain't scratched
the hull top of this table with a buzzer! I'd lam
him good ef I was you, I would."
Do you think our Kindergarten would be the
pleasant place it is if I whipped little boys every
No-o-o But there is times -
"Yes, I know, Patsy, but I have never found them."
"Jim's stayin' out nights, this week," said he one
day, "'nd I hez to stay along o' Mis' Kennett till
"Why, I thought Jim always stayed at home in
"Yes, he allers used ter; but he's busy now
looking' up a girl, don't yer know, "
54 THE STORY OF PATSY.
Looking up a girl! What do you mean,
Patsy ? "
Patsy scratched his head with the ten-toothed
comb of Nature," a habit which prevailed with
terrible and suggestive frequency when I first came
"into my kingdom," and answered: -
Lookin' up a girl! Why, I s'posed yer knew
that. I dunno 'zackly. Jim says all the fellers
does. He says he hates to git the feed an' wash
the dishes orfly, 'nd' girls likes ter do it best of any-
Oh cried I, light bursting in upon my dark-
ened intellect when dish-washing was mentioned;
"he wants to get married "
Well, he has ter look up a girl first, don't yer
s'pose ? "
Yes, of course; but I don't see how Jim can
get money enough to take care of a wife. He only
has thirty dollars a month."
Well, he's going' ter get a girl what'll 'go
halveys,' don't yer know, and pay for her keep.
He 'd ruther have a' millingnary girl they 're the
VIRTUE KINDLES AT THE TOUCH OF JOY. 55
nicest; but if he can't, he 's goin' to try for one
out of the box factory."
Oh, Patsy I wish -
Why, did n't I ought ter say that?"
I wish you had a mother, dear."
If I had, I'd know more 'n I do now," and a
great sigh heaved itself upward from beneath the
No, you would n't know so much, Patsy, or at
least you would get the right end first. Never mind,
dear boy, you can't understand."
"Jim says Mis' Kennett 'nd I needn't set such
store by you, 'cause the fust chance you gits you'll
git married." (I always did have an elective anti-
pathy for Jim.) "Shall yer, Miss Kate ?"
Why, dear, I think we are very happy as we are,
don't you ? "
Yes, ef I could only stay f'rever, 'nd not go ter
the reel school. Jim says I ought ter be gittin'
book learning' pretty soon."
Did you tell him that Miss Helen was teaching
you to read and write a little while every afternoon ?"
56 THE STORY OF PATSY.
Yes, I told him. He liked it fust rate. Mis'
Kennett said she 'd let her childern stay f'rever with
yer, ef they never lamed a thing, 'nd so would I,
dear, dear Miss Kate! Oh, I bet God would like to
see you in that pretty blue dress and he hung
over me with a speechless caress ; his first, and last
indeed, for he was shy and reticent in emotion, and
never once showed his affection in the presence of the
PATSY FINDS HIS THREE LOST YEARS.
Now God be thanked for years enwrought
With love which softens yet.
Now God be thanked for every thought
Which is so tender it has caught
Earth's guerdon of regret."
ELL, Jim did not succeed in finding his
girl, although he "looked" industriously.
Either the "millingnaries did not smile
upon him and his slender bank account, or they
were not willing to wash the dishes and halve the
financial responsibilities besides; but as the winter
days slipped by, we could not help seeing that Patsy's
pale face grew paler and his soft dark eyes larger
and more pathetic. In spite of better care than he
had ever had before, he was often kept at home by
suffering all too intense for a child to bear. It
58 THE STORY OF PATSY.
was almost as if a sixth sense came to him in those
days, so full was he of strange thoughts and intui-
tions. His eyes followed me wistfully as I passed
from one child to another, and when my glance fell
upon him, his loving gaze seemed always waiting
When we were alone, as he pored over picture-
books, or sat silently by the window, watching the
drops chase each other down the pane, his talk was
often of heaven and the angels.
Daga Ohlsen had left us. Her baby eyes had
opened under Norway skies, but her tongue had
learned the trick of our language when her father
and mother could not speak nor understand a word,
and so she became a childish interpreter of manners
and customs in general. But we knew that mothers'
hearts are the same the world over, and, lacking the
power to put our sympathy in words, we sent Daga's
last bit of sewing to her mother. Sure enough, no
word was needed; the message explained itself ; and
when we went to take a last look at the dear child,
the scrap of cardboard lay in the still hand, the
_; -" I '
"HE SAT SILENTLY BY THE WINDOW." Page 58
"HE SAT SILENTLY BY THE WINDOW."' Page 58.
PATSY FINDS HIS THREE LOST YEARS. 59
needle threaded with yellow wool, the childish knot,
soiled and cumbersome, hanging below the pattern
just as she had left it. It was her only funeral of-
fering, her only funeral service, and was it not some-
thing of a sermon ? It told the history of her in-
dustry, her sudden call from earthly things, and her
mother's tender thought. It chanced to be a symbol,
too, as things do chance sometimes, for it was a but-
terfly dropping its cocoon behind it, and spreading
its wings for flight.
Patsy had been our messenger during Daga's ill-
ness, and his mind was evidently on that mystery
which has puzzled souls since the beginning of time;
for no anxious, weary, waiting heart has ever ceased
to beat without its passionate desire to look into the
Nixy Jones's mother died yesterday, Miss Kate.
They had an orful nice funeral."
Yes, I 'm sorry for the poor little children; they
will miss their mamma."
"Not 'nuff to hurt 'em Them Joneses never
cared nuthin' for nobody; they was playing on tin
60 THE STORY OF PATSY.
oyster cans the hull blessed ev'nin', till Jim went
'nd stop't 'em, 'nd told 'em it warn't perlite. Say !
how dretful it must be to go down into the cold,
dark ground, and be shut up in a tight box, 'nd want
to git out git out 'nd keep hollerin' 'nd a-hol-
lerin', and nobody come to fetch yer, cause year's
Oh, Patsy, child, stop such fearful thoughts!
I hope people are glad and willing to stay when
they are dead. The part of them that wonders and
thinks and feels and loves and is happy or sad-
you know what I mean, don't you ?"
"Yes," he said slowly, leaning his head on his
God takes care of that part; it is His own,
and He makes it all right. And as for our bodies,
Patsy, you don't care about keeping your poor little
aching back, do you? You talk about the cold,
dark earth. Why, I think of it as the tender,
warm earth, that holds the little brown acorn
until it begins to grow into a spreading oak-tree,
and nurses the little seeds till they grow into lovely
PATSY FINDS HIS THREE LOST YEARS. 61
blossoming flowers. Now we must trot home,
Patsy. Wrap this shawl over your shoulders, and
come under my umbrella."
Oh, I don't need any shawl, please. I'm so
orful hot! "
That's just the reason," I replied, as I looked
with anxious eyes at his flushed cheeks.
I left him at the little door on Anna Street, and
persuaded Mrs. Kennett to give him some hot soup
The next morning I was startled from a profound
sleep by a tremendous peal of the door-bell. Though
only half awakened, my forebodings seemed real-
ized ; and the bell rang Patsy" in my ears.
I hastily slipped on my dress, and, going to the
door, saw just whom I expected, Jim.
"What's the matter with Patsy ? "
"He's terrible bad, miss; he got took with one
o' them fits the worst kind in the night, and liked ter
died. Yer could a heerd him screech a block off."
"Oh, my poor boy! Have you had a doctor?
What did he say?"
62 THE STORY OF PATSY.
"Well, he said he guessed it was the last one,
miss, 'nd I'm afraid it is, sure."
"Who is with him now ? Are you going right
back ? "
Yes, miss, soon as I go 'nd git leave from the
boss. Mis' Kennett's went to her washin'. She
could n't 'ford ter lose a job. I found Mr. Kennett,
'nd he's mindin' Patsy. He cries for you; he says
he don't want nothing' but jest Miss Kate, and he's
that crazy he wants to git up 'nd come to the Kin-
Dear little lad I said, trying to keep back the
tears. Here, Jim, take the school keys to Miss
Helen, and ask her to take my place to-day. I'11
start in ten minutes for Patsy."
Thank yer, miss. I tell yer, he 's a crooked little
chap, but he 's as smart as they make 'em; 'nd anny-
how, he's all the folks I've got in the world, 'nd I
hope we kin pull him through."
"Pull him through! Had years passed over
Patsy's head since I saw him last? He seemed to
PATSY FINDS HIS THREE LOST YEARS. 63
have grown old with the night's pain, but the eyes
shone out with new lustre and brilliancy, making
ready, I thought, to receive the heavenly visions.
We were alone. I could not bear Mr. Kennett's
presence, and had dispatched him for the doctor. I
knelt by the bedside, and took his cold hand in mine.
I could not pray God to spare him, it was so clear
that He had better take him to Himself.
"I knowed you 'd come, Miss Kate," he said
faintly ; "I knowed you 'd hurry up; you 's allers
hurryin' up for us boys."
Oh, how beautiful, how awesome, it is to be the
messenger of peace to an unhappy soul! So great
a joy is it to bear that it is not given to many twice
in a lifetime.
The rain beat upon the frail roof, the wind blew
about the little house, and a darkness of fast-gather-
ing black clouds fell into the room in place of the
morning sunbeams. It was a gloomy day for a jour-
ney, but if one were traveling from shadow into sun-
shine, I thought, it would not matter much.
Mis' Kennett says I must hev a priest, but I don't
64 THE STORY OF PATSY.
want no priest but you," whispered the faint voice
as I bent over the pillows. "What does priests 'do
when folks is sick, Miss Kate?"
They pray, Patsy."
"What fur ? "
I paused, for in my grief I could think of no
simple way of telling that ignorant little child what
they did pray for.
They will pray for you, dear," I said at length,
"because they will want to talk to God about the
little boy who is coming to Him; to tell Him how
glad they are that he is to be happy at last, but that
they shall miss him very, very much."
The priest lives clear out Market Street, 'nd he
wouldn't git 'ere 'fore God knew the hull thing
'thout his tellin' of it. You pray, Miss Kate."
"0 thou dear, loving Father in Heaven,
Patsy's Father and mine, who givest all the little
children into their mothers' arms, if one of them
is lost and wandering about the world forlorn and
alone, surely Thou wilt take him to a better
PATSY FINDS HIS THREE LOST YEARS. 65
home We send little Patsy to Thee, and pray
that his heart may be filled with joy and thankful-
ness when he comes to live in Thy house."
Tell 'im 'bout them three years what I lost, so 't
He'll make 'lowance, jest as you did."
0 God, who saw fit to lay a heavy burden
on Patsy's little shoulders and take away his
three years, make them up to him in his heavenly
Yer never said Amen 'T ain't no good 'thout
yer say Amen "
Silence for many minutes. The brain was alive
with thoughts, but the poor tired body was weakened
already with the labor of telling them. When he
spoke again, it was more slowly and with greater diffi-
I guess Heaven is kind o' like our Kin-
dergartent don't you ? 'nd so I ain't goin' to
66 THE STORY OF PATSY.
feel strange There '11 be beautiful places, with
flowers blooming' in 'em, 'nd birds 'nd brooks mebbe,
like those in the stories you tell us, and lots of sing-
in' like we have; and the peoples are good to each
other, like our children, 'ceptin' Jimmy Battles, -
'nd they'll do each other's work, 'nd wait on the
angels, 'nd run errants for God, I s'pose and every-
body '11 wear clean white aprons like in the
picture-books ; but I sha'n't like it much 'thout you
git there pretty quick, Miss Kate; but I ain't going'
to cry "
Oh, Patsy, my boy, it is for those who are left
behind to cry. It must be better to go."
"Well, I'm willing I've got enough o' this, I
tell yer, with backaches, 'nd fits, 'nd boys calling' sassy
names --'nd no gravy ever on my pertater; but
I hate to go 'way from the Kindergartent only
p'raps Heaven is just like, only bigger, 'nd more
children -'nd no Jimmy Battleses Sing about
the pleasant morning' light, will yer, please-Miss
And in a voice choked with tears, as Jim came in
PATSY FINDS HIS THREE LOST YEARS. 67
and lifted Patsy in his arms, I sang the hymn that
he had sung, with folded hands and reverent mien,
every morning of his life in the Kindergarten:-
"Father, we thank Thee for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light;
For rest and gladness, love and care,
And all that makes the day so fair!
Help us to do the things we should :
To be to others kind and good;
In all we do, in work or play,
To grow more loving every day! i
The last lingering, trembling note fell upon the
death-like stillness of the room, as with one sharp,
brief struggle, one look of ineffable love and peace,
the tired lids drooped heavily over the eyes never to
be lifted again. Light had gleamed upon the dark-
ened pathway, but the silent room, the dying fire, the
failing light, and the falling rain were all in fellow-
ship with Death. My blessed boy God had given
him back his three lost years !
Oh, it is hard to take to heart the lesson that
such deaths will teach, but let no man reject it, for
it is one that all must learn. When Death strikes
down the innocent and young, from every fragile
68 THE STORY OF PATSY.
form from which he lets the panting spirit free a
hundred virtues rise, in shapes of mercy, charity, and
love, to walk the world and bless it. Of every tear
that sorrowing mortals shed on such green graves,
some good is born, some gentler nature comes."