Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Among the green hills
 Looking things in the face
 The little kid's folks
 I can't, because I love him
 The little tinsel lady
 "The light that shines"
 Passing it on
 Lucky dogs
 Back Cover

Group Title: The fortunes of the fellow : : a companion book to The farrier's dog and his fellow
Title: The fortunes of the fellow
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087263/00001
 Material Information
Title: The fortunes of the fellow a companion book to The farrier's dog and his fellow
Alternate Title: Farrier's dog and his fellow
Physical Description: 122, 4 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dromgoole, Will Allen, 1860-1934
Page Company ( Publisher )
Colonial Press (Boston, Mass.) ( Printer )
C.H. Simonds & Co
Publisher: L.C. Page and Company
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: Colonial Press ; Electroptyped and printed by C.H. Simonds & Co.
Publication Date: 1898
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Dogs -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Horseshoers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children and death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Statement of Responsibility: by Will Allen Dromgoole.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087263
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002225535
notis - ALG5810
oclc - 261340258

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Half Title
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    List of Illustrations
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Among the green hills
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Looking things in the face
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    The little kid's folks
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    I can't, because I love him
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    The little tinsel lady
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    "The light that shines"
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Passing it on
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Lucky dogs
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Back Cover
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
Full Text


I ~-i -1---.

The Baldwin Libray
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(See fage 88.)



&mnpanion 30oot to
Ub)e ffartier's Bg anub iz0 ffelloi



Copyright, 1898

Colonial rtess:
Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, U. S. A.









THE CIRCUS CHILD rontispiece















THE farrier sat back in his sooty old shop,
among the dust and cinders, and rusted old
irons, drawing at his cob pipe, and chuckling.
Through the open door, where the south wind
came puffing, laden with the odor of wild
grape blossoms from the river woods, half a
mile away, the farrier was watching the new
boy, the little waif he had picked up in the
streets of the city and brought to his home.
It had been just one hour since they three
- the farrier, the dog, and his fellow -had
landed in the village. And all that hour the
farrier had been righting up" his shop,


the dog had run off, making mysterious calls
somewhere among his old haunts, and the fel-
low had been sitting precisely where he had
dropped down at the moment of arrival, on
the three-legged old wooden bench that stood
under the shed before the door of the smithy.
He had said very little. More than once the
farrier had called to him from within the shop,
and had received no answer. The little waif
was getting acquainted with nature; the brown
feet, that had known nothing but the hard pave-
ment's blistering and burning, had, at last, felt
the soft grass, dewy and deliciously restful.
His glance, as he rested by the smithy door,
was fixed upon a long line of hills, rising
beyond the river, and trending away to the
southward, like a wall of living, waving green.
The farrier peeped at his new charge, and
Now that there boy," said he, in a whisper,
and with a glance around the shop, as though
an unseen presence might have been there (as
who shall say there was not), "that there boy
has set there on that there bench, a-watchin' of
them hills, for one hour. He ain't had no eyes
for nothing' else. A body would a'most think


they was the hills o' heaven, the way that there
little chap takes to 'em. Just dropped down
there, and ain't stirred since, not even to look
in the shop, let alone the -house."
At that, the beaming old face turned about
to look through the side door (for it was one
of the good farrier's peculiarities always to
fling every door wide open; he was fond of
the sun and air, and as for the light, he
"thanked God always he hadn't any cause
to hide from it ") that opened off a little green
patch that he called his yard, and across which,
not ten feet from the smithy door, opened the
back door of the farrier's house.
A woman was standing there, a neighbor,
who sometimes came in to tidy up things for
the wifeless old smith, and who looked after his
washing, and kept him always in fresh aprons
and a clean shirt.
She had a white cloth tied about her head,
and a dust-broom in her hand, and she was
beckoning the smith to come to her.
"It's all fixed and ready now," she said,
when the farrier's big body filled the doorway.
"It's all real clean and sweet, and the little
bed's fit for a king to sleep in. I scoured the


day you went away, and it's a mercy I did, with
just one hour's notice of a boy coming Now,
how do you think it all looks ?"
She waved the dust-broom about her head,
taking in, in one grand sweep, the modest
little room and all its furnishings. First, there
was the farrier's own big bed, pushed back a
bit to make room for the little white cot that
stood against the foot of it. It seemed very odd
to the big blacksmith to see that little child's
bed, all white and sweet, in his own lonesome
old room, and for a moment he couldn't quite
get familiar with it. Yet, it had a cozy look,
too, a "homey look, the farrier called it.
Then there was a table for the lamp, a tall
bureau with a cracked mirror on top of it, with
just glass enough left to show the smith his
own jolly old face, when he wanted to shave
himself. The mantel was covered with clean
newspapers, scalloped around the edges, and,
on one end of it, the smith's eye fell upon
something that brought a smile to his lips.
"Now," said he, "that looks well; that looks
right. I wanted that put there to remind that
boy of his old hardships, if he was ever tempted
to grumble at Providence; and to remind him


of his humble beginning's, if he ever gits pros-
perous and proud. And then again, I allowed
it would make things feel more homeful like, if
he found his own old things here waiting' for him."
He stepped over to the mantel, and moved a
trifle more to one side a little kit of bootblack
furnishings, -brushes and boxes of blacking
that he had picked up, unknown to the boy,
at the old tenement house in the city.
"They'll be like old friends, a'most," said he,
"Yes," said the woman, "they will; I 'most
know they will. Something' carried along that
way seems 'most like folks to us when we meet
it in a strange place. I fetched a gourd along
once't, when we-all moved from No'th to Kel-
liny; and I used to think sometimes I'd 'a'
fairly died o' homesickness if it hadn't been
for that gourd. Whenever I'd feel special far
off and alone, I'd just say, ''Tain't so far; ain't
the gourds growing' behind the kitchen? And
there's one of 'em.' Does the little boy seem
sati'fied now ?"
Satisfied? Peep at him, yonder," said the
farrier. He ain't budged from that bench since
he struck it one hour ago. And he ain't spoke


except to ask once what it was a-growin' in the
wheat field over yonder 'cross the way; and*
once to want to know if the birds didn't sing
uncommon loud, and what it was made the wind
smell so sweet. I've just let him be; he's get-
tin' acquainted with nature, and she's a sight
better teacher than a blacksmith, I reckon.
He's a likely boy, and somehow I took to him.
I don't know anything about him, but I can't
worst him any; I know that. Why, that boy
never saw a wheat field before in his life, let
alone the woods, and wild things a-growin'."
"The land of mercy! cried the woman, her
hands uplifted in horror.
"Just so," said the smith; "don't know
nothing' about the grass a-growin', and a good
bed to lie in nights, and soft looks, and some
one to speak to him kind. I tell you, ma'm,
that boy" the smith brought his hammer
hand down on the table in a way that set
every window in the room dancing "he don't
know anything but bricks, and mortar, and hard
words, and scuffle, and starvation, and dogs.
And now, please God, ma'm, he's got to see
the other side o' things. Trees and flowers; the
good green grass a-growin'; God's sun a-shinin'



in his heaven. He's got to know the feel of a
friendly hand, and the sound of a voice to speak
him well, now and then. Yes, ma'm, please
God, he's got to."
"Yes," said the woman, running her hand in
a half-caressing way over the white spread of
the waif's little cot, "he's got to see the other
side now. And we are all ready to help you,
farrier; that's what my man said when you
sent me word to get things cleaned up for you.
Says my man, We're all poor enough, Lord
love us, but we ain't going to get so poor we
can't lend a hand to help a good deed along.
So,' says he, 'you go over there and help that
old Good-Heart git things righted.' 'And,' says
I, 'that I will; for when a man has a heart
like -' "
"Pooh, pooh!" said the farrier, who didn't
at all like to hear himself praised, "I am bound
to tell you to let up on that. That there boy
is a treasure ; I ain't out anything, and I am in;
I'm in a son. And I thank you, ma'm, mightily,
for rightin' up things. It takes a woman to
make things shine. And now, ma'm, I'm goin'
to call the boy in, and, if you please, I'll bid you
good day."


The woman understood that the farrier con-
sidered there might be a scene; and that he
preferred that they two should alone be sharers
of the waif's home-coming. So, while she could
but wonder if the smith was "growing a trifle
too soft-hearted," and "if the street boy wouldn't
be skittin' of it back to the city soon," she said
"good day," and passed on through a gap in
the fence to her own place, next door.
And so were they left alone, the farrier and
the fellow, in the first, sweet hour of home that
one of them, at all events, had ever known.
The big fellow touched up the white pillows,
tucked a sheet a trifle more squarely under the
small mattress, moved the kit, or fancied he
moved it, a little more to the light so that it
should be the first thing to attract the boy's
attention, then he said, aloud, and with right
hearty approval:
"There, all's ready."
And indeed it was quite time, -even the
smith smiled, thinking what a great time he had
been spending fixing up so little. "Anybody
would think I had a palace," said he, "and that
the king was a-comin' to occupy it." Then he
stepped to the door and called:


"Son! "
The boy jumped up and looked about him
like one dazed. The farrier laughed.
"Come on, son, won't you?" said he. "I
want you special."
The boy stood staring, all his courage, his
old vagabond daring, and the independence with
which he had learned to meet the ills and
misfortunes of life, had suddenly deserted him.
The throat that had been parched with the
dust of the city was now choked with a
strange, new feeling of happiness. His heart
was beating in his bosom like a trip-hammer.
And all because a big, burly old blacksmith,
with a hard hand and a soft heart, had, in a
great, gruff, tender tone, said, "Son."
He wasn't a baby, this boy who had fought a
real man's battle in his few short years, and
who had, as the farrier often said, "toughed it
mightily with misfortunes; so when the smith
called him "son," in that croaking voice of his,
he got up very quickly, blinked his eyes rather
too briskly to be entirely natural, looked around
as though he had lost something, and cried,
"Now I wonder where that there dog is! "
For he had forgotten all about his old


"fellow" the while he had been resting and
dreaming on the smith's bench.
The farrier laughed until he shook the ashes
out of his pipe. "Never mind the dog, son,"
said he. "He's all right; just gone visiting .
You can always trust a triflin' dog to come
home at meal hours, every time."
"'Triflin' ?' The boy forgot everything in
defending his old friend, as indeed the farrier
meant he should. I say triflin'.' "
"Ain't you coming' in ?" said the smith; and
even as he said it the old soft-heart stepped out
the door and went across the yard to the shed,
to walk home with his new "son."
And the neighbors, watching from their
windows, declare to this good day that they
never hope to witness a happier sight than the
way in which the street waif slipped his arm
through the arm of the smith, and walked along
at his side, quite familiar and comfortable, as
though they two had been companions near and
dear for many and many a day.
And the fatherly way in which the smith
looked down into the brown, boyish face, up-
turned to his, the neighbors said, "was beautiful
and good to see."


But the neighbors, if they could see, couldn't
hear what was being said; and that was really
the best part of it. It must have been; for
they walked very slowly, sometimes quite stop-
ping, indeed, as though the distance to the
house was all too short for that which they had
to say.
The good farrier had a feeling in his heart
that this boy had not been dropped down, as it
were, into his life without a purpose; and he
understood that he was vested with a certain
great, grand responsibility: the guiding, for a
season, of a young, impressionable soul, the
shaping of a man's life. And he resolved that
his very first move in this new duty of his
should be a thorough understanding of this
human waif, whom the waves of misfortune had
brought to his door. So he said, in quite a
confidential way:
What was you thinking' about all that time
you've been setting' there on the bench lone-
somin' all by yourself, son ?"
"Well, now," said the boy, with a touch of
that old-time independence when he had walked
the streets of a great city with only a dog for
company, "I might 'a' been counting' of my


money, but I wasn't. I was just a-settin' there
on that bench of yours a-lookin' things in the
face. And that's all."
"And do you like the looks of 'em, son ?"
"Well," said the boy, a funny little twinkle
in his eye, Ijust do."
"Well, then," said the smith, "come inside;
and see how you like the looks of things in
And he led the way into the house that was
to be theirs until one of them, at all events,
should pass on to the great, last home.
The boy stopped on the threshold and took
in the room at a glance: the table and chairs
and bureau, the broken mirror, and the familiar
old kit of brushes. But it was not the re-
minders of his former hardships that riveted
and held his attention. His glance swept
beyond all things else to the farrier's big
bed, and the slender, white-draped cot beyond
It was a boy's bed; he was the only boy in
that establishment. Such a bed as it was, too,
all square, and soft, and white, and altogether
restful. His busy young brain flashed back-
ward for an instant to the rat-eaten floor of the


old tenement house, with its hard pallet of
musty quilts. Then, in a glance, he drew the
comparison between his former poverty-pinched
couch and this wonderful creation of clean
sheets and white pillows. He turned to the
farrier, his brown face beaming:
Say, now! is all that for me? All them
white things, and and all? "
"Yes," said the smith, who was enjoying
himself fully as much as the boy, "it is your
bed. I hope you will find your sleep pleasant
in your new bed. But I want you not to for-
get these." The tall farrier tapped the brown
box of brushes on the mantel with his big
forefinger. "Never forget, not in all your life,
whatever that may be, that you have been a
poor boy, who earned his bread with these
brushes. I want you to always keep 'em nigh
you. You'll understand better some day why
I want it, and I am sure you will always.
remember what I say."
The boy's face was a study; he stood quite
still for a moment, then whirled about with a
great concern, and said:
"I wonder, now, where that there dog is."
And before the smith could say another word


*he was out the door, in the street, back turned
the smith's way, whistling as though he had
signed a sudden contract to summon all the
dogs in the country within the moment.
The farrier leaned against the low mantel to
"Well, now," said he, "if that ain't the
peartest boy in this village. Goin' to let show
the tears in his eyes ? Not him "
When he had conquered his laughter, and the
boy his tears, the smith stepped to the window
and called out, cheerily:
Never mind the dog, son; he's gone visiting ,
Baydaw has. He always pays them visits, night
and morning I'll tell you about 'em, sometime.
Your supper's ready, now."
There was an extra plate at the kitchen table,
and a chair that looked as though it had been
waiting specially, all those years, for this very
boy who had had no chair, and who had at last
come to claim it.
He sat down opposite the smith and began to
eat. He had never heard of a blessing, and the
smith had never learned one. But if they were
a very hungry and a very tired pair, they
were also a very happy pair; so it may be


the good God accepted their happiness for
happiness in his creatures cannot be otherwise
than pleasing--as an unspoken thanksgiving,
and was satisfied. At all events we are going
to believe so.
When the meal was finished the dog had his

supper off the boy's plate, while the boy sat on
the doorstep and watched the sun go down, and
the moon rise over the green hills. The far-
rier smoked his pipe, the fattest, happiest
farrier anywhere, under the smithy shed; the
crickets chirped in the clover; the dog finished


his supper and stretched himself out in the
moonlight. After awhile the boy slipped down
by the cur's side, and lay with his head against
the shaggy coat his faithful "fellow" had been
so near losing. He lay with his face up, and
his eyes wide open; so still was he that the
smith called out to him by and by, to ask if he
was asleep.
"No," said the boy. "I was just a-countin'
of the stars. I didn't know there was so
The farrier got up and put away his pipe.
The little brown heap of boy and dog and dirt
had reminded him of something.
He went back to the house and pulled a
bundle out of his big valise, telling himself
he hoped it would all fit." Then he stepped
out into the moonlight and spoke tb the boy
"Son," said he, s'pos'n' we walk to the
river, now? I've a mind to show you how to
The river--the boy was a boy; he needed
no second invitation, but was on his feet in an
instant, following the farrier, the dog following
the boy, straight down the one street of the vil-


lage, across the meadow beyond, to the broad,
silverish-looking stream sweeping past the green
hills, "flowing right along" to find the deeper,
stiller current of another river miles away to
the westward.
"I -saw a creek once't," the boy said, when
the full sweep of the stream first lay revealed
to his astonished vision. I saw a creek once't.
But it was little, and muddy, and skimp. Used
to dry up summer times, and you could smell
the dead frogs in it. But this is a river right.
And how the bushes do. smell! Hey, Crinkle ?"
The dog wagged his tail, and without more
ado let himself down into the water.
"Now," said the smith, "do.you throw away
them rags and follow me. You're goin' to
know the feel of cleanness from this on."
Later, fresh, and clean, and sleepy, the boy
drifted off to dreams between the white sheets
of his new bed. He had never said a prayer in
all his little vagabond life,- scarcely understood
the meaning of such things, indeed. But as his
head touched the pillow, that charity and a
great human sympathy had provided, it was
lifted for a last look at his big friend sitting in
the moonlight by the open window, and -


Say, now," he sang out in his cheery way,
"I'm mighty glad God made you."
And with the gladness in his heart the weary
"fellow" drifted off to dreams.
The smith smoked on, the boy slept, and the
yellow cur shook himself, stretched his lazy
legs, and trotted off, down the village street,
upon one of those mysterious visitings con-
cerning which the farrier had promised more
light, "by and by."



THE boy had begun to feel at home, -he
had begun to know the trees, to call them by
name, and the feel of the cool grass under his
bare feet.
The farrier had begun to feel at home with
a boy around. To be sure, there were times
when this new boy would drop down upon him
in a manner that reminded him strangely and
strongly of that other boy, that dear, dear, little
boy, who went upon that "long journey." And
whenever that happened, the smith would, al-
most unconsciously, glance towards the spot
where he had buried the anvil that had been
the other boy's favorite seat. Yet were the
two boys very unlike, very unlike in all things
save in their love for the big farrier. He had a
way about him, had this soft-hearted old tinker
*in iron, that went straight to a boy's heart, and


captured it on the instant. Some people are
that way; not everybody, however. No, indeed;
for boys and dogs are alike in this one respect,
- when they take to anybody they always know
that the somebody is a lover of boys, or of dogs,
as the case may be.
One day the smith was quite upset to observe
this new boy of his industriously digging away
the leaves in the hole where he had flung the
anvil the day his first little friend died. He
dropped his hammer with a great clatter among
some stray bits of iron, and went hurrying to
the door.
Now, now," said he, "what are you a-doin'
of ? Didn't I tell you all about that there anvil
once ?"
The boy looked up from his self-appointed
"Yes, you did," said he; "but that ain't any
way to git shed o' thinking And trouble ain't
a-goin' to stay buried after it is buried. The
only way is just to look it in the face."
W-e-l-1," said the smith, slowly, -he was
beginning to have great respect for the little
waif's wisdom,- "w-e-1-1, all right, then."
When again he looked up from a shoe he was


shaping, the old anvil was in its familiar place,
with the new boy astride it, the yellow cur
curled up at his heels, and, as he afterwards
declared, "both of them trying to grin him out
of countenance."
After the first surprise the smith was rather
pleased to see the boy there. Somehow, it was
almost as though the other friend had come
back again, -a little older, browner, more grown
up, and a great deal more worldly wise, thanks
to the streets for that. The smith stroked his
chin until it was hardly visible for the smut his
hands left on it.
Now," said he, I am glad to see you there.
If you could make out to ask me for a story
now, I could a'most believe it was my little
friend come back again."
But the boy shook his head, he didn't like
stories, his own hard childhood was to blame
for this perhaps, for he said:
Always seemed to me they wasn't any sense
in trying' to make believe things, is what they
ain't; all show, and shine, and fun, you know.
Always seemed to me 'twas a heap more
better to just look things in the face, like
they is,"


But," said the farrier, "there are true
stories, you see."
But the true ones is mostly bad ones," said
the boy. "All about work, and scuffle, and
steal, and starvation. I know 'em; and it's
better to let 'em be."
"Well, now," said the smith, "s'pose you tell
me a story, then, while I'm a-shapin' of this
"Me?" cried the boy. "I never knew no
stories; never had time to learn none, did we,
He was patting the cur's back, and thinking
hard. That yellow cur, shaven and shorn and
forlorn as he had found him, was the one fairy
tale that had touched his starved little life.
That was his one sweet story. And the smith
was already acquainted with that. But if the
cur could talk, ah, if the dog could tell what
he knew of those vagabond days together !
"Well," said the farrier, "if you don't
know any real stories, just tell me how you
picked up that way of 'looking things in the
"Oh, that! I reckin I got that from Old


"Who was she, now ?" said the smith. "Tell
me about Old Queen."
And, without in the least suspecting that he
was doing so, the boy settled himself in the
other boy's place and began to tell a story.
And the old farrier was just thinking as hard
as he could, "Now if the other one could only
'a' been here to hear this story." For some-
thing told him it was going to be a very true
story the boy was going to tell, and a sad one.
"Everybody called her Old Queen," said the
boy. And she wasn't so old, neither; though
she was poor, and worked her back all bent.
She was a mighty good friend o' mine, that
time she lived in the tenement. She showed
me how to lay a hoe-cake, and to run a seam,
and to fix a button on. She washed my clothes,
sometimes, when she had a minute. Women is
mighty good, some women; and "
"Well, well," said the smith, "go on, son;
go on."
"I was just wishin' that there hammer would
git done talking. "
At this the smith showed alarm. He tossed
the hammer aside, and, looking keenly at the
boy, said:


"See here, now; you ain't sick, are you, nor
-nor nothing' ?"
The boy laughed so long and so loud that the
farrier was quite relieved. Though he didn't
take up the hammer again just then; and he
didn't explain to his new friend how his com-
plaint against the hammer's interrupting the
story had so reminded him of the other little
friend that it almost frightened him for the
moment. In fact, while he was not at all ner-
vous or superstitious, he had almost permitted
himself to think he had suffered a presentiment.
He mopped his face with his sleeve again
and again, took his pipe down from a chink in
the wall, and, seating himself on the edge of his
own slack tub, said:
"Well, well, son; go on now."
"Well," said the boy, who had been a prince
of the pavement too long not to be saucy, first
I'd like to ask if you have them spells often?"
"Right sharp," said the smith. "And what
was it Old Queen done?"
Everything; 'cept starve to death; and I
ain't certain she didn't do that, at last. She
lived next room to me once't in the tenement,
and she had a girl, a right peart, pretty girl,



too, that made her see a sight of trouble. For
Queen was poor, and the girl liked nice things,
such as her mother couldn't buy for her. For,
somehow, after her old man died Queen got
down in the world. And you know how awful
hard it is to git up when a feller gits down in
the world. So, Queen she got down: out of
work, out of victuals, out of friends, out of grit,
-that's what I call down. She had a way,
when things looked darkest, of setting' herse'f
down and kind o' figgerin' on 'em like. 'Lookin'
of 'em in the face,' she called it. And she use-
ter say that after she once stared 'em square in
the face, looked 'em all over, they never seemed
quite so skeery to her again. And most always
she allowed she could find a chink of light for
to go by.
But one day her little girl run away with the
circus and never come back any more. And
Old Queen set on the floor all night in the
dark, all still, and not sayin' of a word to
"At daylight she was still there, and I went
in, and says to her, 'What you doin' there so
long and so still, Queen?' And she looked up,
and says she, 'I'm just a-lookin' of things in


the face.' And I says to her ,' Never mind;
maybe she'll come back to-morrer.' But she
shook her head, and says, 'I ain't planning' no
to-morrers; I'm just a-facin' of to-day, little
master.' Then she set there summin' of it all
up: 'No money, no home, no child. If I'd 'a' had
some money she never would have gone. But
now she is gone I've got to set about savin' of
her. And I'vegot to get some work, and that's
all.' And she did, a man let her take keer of
his office, and clean up his rooms. And she
made good money, and laid some by if, may
chance, the girl ever come back.
"And one day there was a circus come to town,
- it was the Carrigan Circus and Menagerie,'
- and that night Queen didn't come home. She
never did come any more.
The next day I went to look for her, for she
had been real good to me; and when I found
her she was in jail.
"They let on how she robbed the man she was
a-workin' for. Stole a di'mont pin and a lot of
money out of his room when she went to clean
it up.
"But she didn't do it.
"I always knowed she didn't do it, from the


very first minute. And I wanted to prove it,
but Queen wouldn't let me.
"You see, I went to see the janitor of the
building ; I'd seen him before, and once't I give
him a shine, 'cause he was toler'ble poor, with
lots of little kids to keer for. And he talked
out plain to me--he liked Old Queen, too,
- all liked her whatever knowed her. But he
said she war bound to 'a' been the one as took
the things, because there hadn't been a soul in
that room all day but just Queen, and for one
minute only a little lady all dressed in silk, who
went up and come straight down again. Be-
cause, she said, she was mistaken in the place,
- she allowed her brother's room was up there,
but she had got the wrong number. Then she
asked him about another house and went
And I asked him how the little, dressed-up
lady looked, and if she had a little red spot on
her chin, bright red .
"And he said 'yes,' and 'her hair was like
little goldish ropes all twisted about her head in
yellow curls.'
So I knew it was Queen's own child had
robbed the man, and I knew Queen knew it, too,


and that she was in prison, innocent, for her
girl's sake.
So I went to the jail and told her I knew all
about it, and that I meant to tell, and make
them set her free.
"And she burst out cryin', and said I must
never, never do that. She said if I keered for her,
and if I felt any kind feeling' for the little things
she had done for me, I must never breathe a
word about her' baby.' For,' said Old Queen,
SI have looked things in the face, and it would
never do for Jenny to go to jail. She's wilful,
and heady, and foolish, and vain, but she's got
honest blood behind her, and all my love and
prayers to think of. They have followed her all
her life, ev'ry step. And they'll find the heart
of her some day, and break it with repentin'.
But not if she goes to prison; that would kill
the soul of her, and that's what I'm trying' to
save. I'm counting' on my love for her to help
me. As long as she's safe there's a chance for
her to repent and come home to mother. And
maybe if she knew her mother suffered for her,
willing it would make a better girl of her, little
master; at least it seems so to me, after looking'
things in the face. So, unless you want to give


Old Queen the worst lick you can, don't you
send her girl to jail.'
So that's the way it went for a week. And
me a-thinkin' Queen had been a great simple-
ton for thinking' that vain Jenny cared for her
suffering or her love and prayers, either. And
one morning at the end of a week, they found
Old Queen dead in her bed.
"The jailer said she hadn't eat anything for
days, and that the night before she died she called
him to her, and told him she wasn't feeling' so
well, and that she'd been a-lookin' of things in
the face, and says she, I ain't afeared to go.'
And Old Queen went. And that's all."
There! Who ever heard of a blacksmith with
a heart like wax? The farrier got up, wiped
his eyes, blew his nose, wiped his eyes again and
said :
"I do believe this pipe is smoking. "
"Yes," laughed the boy, most pipes do when
they're chug full of tobacco and have a coal of fire
at one end, and a man's mouth at the other. But
(and the boy grew grave again) what I was
thinking' of was Old Queen. Seems to me God
makes some folks just to work, and suffer, and
die. It don't look right, I say."


The smith got up, pipe in-hand, went outside
and called to the boy to come to him. Across
the way, where there were no houses, lay a low,
level stretch of meadow, and through it, away
to the left, straight as an arrow, ran a long red
lane, seemingly endless.
The smith lifted his hand, holding the fireless
pipe, and pointed.
"See that red lane, son ?"
"Yes," said the boy, "I see."
"Looks like it ain't got any end to it, now
don't it, son ?"
"Yes," said the boy, "it does look long.
As if it might just go on, and keep going. "
"I've seen 'em a sight longer than that," said
the smith. "Away out in Texas where there's
miles and miles o' level, and never a tree, nor' a
hill, nor a house to break the view; and them
long lanes a-runnin' until it seemed as though
they might 'a' girdled the whole round world.
But they didn't. Them was long lanes, but
they had their end, too. It's a mighty long
lane that don't have its end, somewhere, some-
time. And that's what I fetched you out here
to tell you. So don't you be a-frettin' over
them as has to suffer and-struggle in the long


lane of this world's disapp'intmints. And don't
be a-faultin' of God A'mighty's ways. At the
end o' them lanes lies heavez, certain ; if only
one can make out to travel of 'em patient, and
faithful, and true. 'Tain't for us to be a-ques-
tionin' if we ought to tramp on, or to set by,
under the shade with the rich and happy. God
A'mighty never made a creature yit without
making' a use for it, and as sure as the sun
shines in his sky, heaven lies at the end o' the
long lanes o' sorrow."
The boy rose; there was a gulp in his
throat; for he was thinking of his own "long
lane that had so very suddenly ended among
the cool brooks and pleasant shades. "Now,"
said he, I wonder where that there dog
The smith pointed down the street where a
streak of yellow fur was making a retreat in a
cloud of yellow dust.
"Yonder he goes, son. S'pos'n' you follow
him. It'll do you good."
The boy started off after his old partner,
straight up the hill to a tall, stately brick dwell-
ing, set back in a grove of rustling green trees,
among whose shades the sleek white body of


an ancient beech, solemn and ghostly, gleamed
here and there.
The gate was locked, but the dog vaulted
lightly over the low iron fence, and the boy, full
of interest, soon followed him. Then it seemed
for an instant the cur might have dropped
through the earth, out of sight, so entirely had
he disappeared in the tall, waving blue grass
that covered the lawn. His tawny body crept
like a snake through the billowy green, the boy
following, filled with a strange awe, straight up
to the neglected doorstep. The white stones
were foot deep in the last year's drifted leaves;
there was a musty odor of decaying foliage,
where the same brown drifts were heaped about
the great oaken doors.
It looks like dead folks' things," said the
boy, "this house does. Crink, old feller ?"
But the dog paid no heed; he ran -on, nose
to the ground, up the steps to the big front
door, sniffing and whining. Then straight down
the steps again to the next door, and so on
to every door, stopping at last by the big, low
window where once, one sweet summer, a
baby's arms had reached out to rescue him
from the mill-pond. Then he stopped again,


sniffed, crouched under the silent, sombre sill,
and, lifting his head, gave one long, wailing
howl, -a cry of grief, of disappointment, of
loneliness, as distinctly expressive as any
human cry could be.
The boy watched and listened; as that cry
of desolation rang out over the deserted lawn
he shut his ears with his hands and burst into
tears. He had seen many human beings suffer,
in many ways; but they could speak their
sorrow, and seek sympathy and consolation.
In all his life, varied and checkered as it had
been, it was the first time he had ever come
face to face with the mental suffering of a
dumb brute.
"Oh, that poor, poor dog!" he sobbed;
"his heart's broke; that's what ails him;
and he's huntin' for the little kid what died."
That evening, when the moon was climbing
over the hill, he followed the dog to the
graveyard, and saw the white shaft of marble
that marked the spot where the cur's first
master was sleeping. The place was over-
grown with weeds, and the tall, dank growth
that attaches to graveyards. For the man
who had been left in charge of the house and


the graves had been very sick, and there was
no one to look after things.
The boy stood a moment in contemplation,
then he said :
See here, now, Crink, this won't do; you
and me have got to better this up some, son."
And when later the good round moon looked
down as she sailed over the spot, her mellow
light revealed the dog lying in the cleared
space which the boy had made, and which
all the time was growing larger and larger,
as the brave fellow patiently plied his knife.
It was a pleasant task, evidently; for when
at last he left off to go home he stood for a
moment in deep thought. Then he said:
He done a lot for me, that there little kid
down there did. And for the smith, too, and
for that there dog there. Come, son; supper;
the bacon's broilin'."
That night, as he sat with the smith after
supper, in their favorite place outside the door
in the moonlight, while the smith plied his
pipe, the boy, who had been silent a long time,
thinking of the other boy, now under the white
slab, said :
Now, ain't it quare, how the love of a little


kid like him made so much light in the world?
First for a dog, then for a boy."
And for a man, too," said the smith.
"For the light o' the little boy's love used to
shine in the old shop amazin'. A good light,
love; the only light that always shines and
shines, and no wind or weather can put it out.
It just shines all the way. Always remember
that, son. A good and faithful love is a light
that shines all the way."
After awhile the boy crept into his cot,
softly; through the window he could see the
smith sitting in the moonlight with a strangely
tranquil something in his face; the same some-
thing that was nestling in the boy's heart, per-
haps; for long after he fell asleep there was a
smile upon his lips, as though his dreams might
be of pleasant ways through summer woods,
bordered with flowers, and alive with singing



THE farrier was getting feeble; the long, hot
Southern summer was telling on him. The
usually noisy hammer was still many a day
indeed, while the farrier found it necessary to
take a little rest.
These were the days when the boy proved a
genuine blessing. He was not fond of the
work; didn't, as he admitted, "take to the shop
mightily," but did the best he could, and
honestly tried to like it for the sake of his
good friend, the farrier. In the house, too,
the smith felt how good it was to have him, -
he got the dinner, mended up their clothes,
tidied up the place, and did numberless little
jobs that relieved and comforted the old man
in his weakness. But the smith wasn't alto-
gether easy about the boy; his brain had been
busy about him for some time.


One night this brain-work of the smith's
took positive shape.
The boy was creeping into his bed, laughing
and happy, when the farrier was suddenly re-
minded of something. Perhaps it was his own
failing health suggested the thought, but as he
looked at the bright young face against the
pillow the good smith said to himself:
Now that there boy ought to be learning' of
a prayer to say. And whoever is to teach it
to him I don't know."
The next morning, when the church bells were
ringing and the children of the village were
hurrying down the street, he said:
Son, put on your hat and go along with
the balance o' the young folks to Sunday
school. I want it special."
That was quite enough to send the boy off.
When he was gone the smith held another long
consultation with his own conscience. His
thoughts ran thus:
Now a man ain't fitten to raise a child. A
woman would 'a' had that boy on his knees the
first night he landed on this floor. But I ain't
thought of it till this blessed minute. But it
will be all right now; there's a young woman at


that Sunday school takes all the new boys that
come there, and tells them what to do. I've
heard of her; there's some allows she's a sort o'
mother to such as ain't got any. And she'll

right my boy; she'll sense the soul in him, too,
and the deeps of it. I'll trust her for that."
An hour later the boy came back, breathless
and eager. He flung off his cap and seized the
smith by both hands:


"I've come for you," said he. "Quick!
They're singing, and I want you to hear. It's
like it's like heaven."
The good farrier hadn't the heart to disap-
point the boy who had counted so strongly upon
his enjoying the church choir, so he put on his
hat and his best Sunday necktie, dusted his
pantaloons, and together they walked off to the
village church at the end of the street. That
was the first of their journeys there together;
there were many such journeys afterward; in-
deed, the smith used to declare it was the begin-
ning of their start for the Promised Land." The
boy, however, thought differently; the boy de-
clared the "start" was made that day in the
"ratty old tenement house where a boy and a
dog was a-tryin' to part company."
At all events the journey was now begun;
well and truly begun. For that noon when the
two sat down to their dinners the smith noticed
that the boy was restless. He had just lifted
the carving-knife to thrust it into the big boiled
ham when the boy raised his hand. The smith
paused, knife in hand.
"Well, son," said he, "what is it ?"
The boy was very near blushing; but he was


a brave boy, and one who never turned back
when once he had set out to do a thing. So he
plunged right on, boldly, into what he had to
"The lady said at the school this morning, "
said he, "as how it's a mighty small feller,
'soul' she put it, 'as can eat and enjoy, day in,
day out, and never thank his God for it.' I
reckined maybe you wouldn't mind doin' of it."
The old farrier was a deal nearer blushing
than the boy had been. It was a great moment
with him; a great, grave moment. He felt the
power of this moment over all the boy's after
life. He had never asked a blessing himself,
though he had not failed to be thankful, surely.
And he couldn't have put his thanks in words
now, no, not if his life had hung upon it.
It was a serious moment with him, truly. Sud-
denly a way opened to him. He dropped the
carving-knife across the platter, folded his hard
old hands, and said:
"You ask it, son."
It wasn't an ordinary thanksgiving the boy
offered, not at all. It was odd, and short, and
perhaps a trifle funny. But I am quite sure it
reached the ear for which it was intended, and


that the originality of it was quite lost in the
simple sincerity in which it was offered.
He had merely bowed his head and thanked
God for those things which had been to him as
blessings, and for which he was, in truth, most
sincerely grateful. "0 Lord," said he, I
thank you for a friend, and a dinner, and a dog.
He never forgot to thank God for the smith,
never; not in all his after life; and a very
unusual life it was, too, marked with many
blessings, but none great enough to blot out the
memory of his first benefactor.
That night, at retiring, the smith noticed
again the boy's restlessness. He was beginning
to understand him so well now that he could
almost interpret his thought, at times.
"That boy," said he to his cob pipe, "wants
to kneel down and say his prayers, and he
won't do it because he ain't ever seen me kneel
The boy went out after awhile into the
kitchen, and when he had been gone quite a
while the farrier tip-toed after him to see what
he might be doing.
There was no lamp in the kitchen, but the


moon shone through the curtainless window,
and in the full radiance knelt the boy, with
folded hands, saying his evening prayer.
The farrier went back softly, and undressing,
made ready for bed. When the boy came in,
the old friend, farrier, and father went over to
his own big bed, knelt down, and folded his
hard old hands like a little child, and prayed.
There was no more dodging after that. Prayer
and praise had been established in the smith's
house, and, strange to say, it was the little street
waif had introduced both. And they were des-
tined to remain, despite the smith's whispered
confidence to his hammer next morning that
"raisin' of boys was making' an old softy of
The boy had set himself a new task: keeping
the little plat about the white slab in order. So
when one morning a man sent for the farrier to
come out to his plantation and doctor a sick
horse, the boy closed the shop and went over to
the graveyard, with the dog at his heels, as was
always the case when he made that little pil-
grimage of love and gratitude.
Somehow, he loved to think of that boy; he
didn't understand, for he was only an ignorant,



impressionable boy as yet, how a good and pure
life, though it be ever so short, blesses all with
whom it comes in contact; and even after the
little life is ended goes on blessing and helping.
As you have seen sad-hearted mothers some-
times giving away the little clothes and play-
things of their own dead babies, to comfort and
gladden some other less fortunate little ones.
And if you think of it well, it will take the form
of a blessing, making a blessing out of death
indeed, and passing it on down, something to
blossom, like a rose, in a dry and thirsty land.
But the boy knew nothing of such things; as
he hurried to his task, he was thinking of what
the good farrier had said about the "light that
shines all the way." That was a very beautiful
thought to him, and he remembered at the same
time something the preacher had said on Sun-
day morning in his sermon. It was something
about Let your light so shine," and hearing it
he remembered what the farrier had said, and
wondered if it might not mean the same thing.
So lost in thought was he that he was about
to pass by the big house on the hill without
noticing that the grass had been cut, the weeds
and dead leaves cleared away, and that every


window and door stood wide open. Smoke
was rising from the kitchen chimney, and a
black cook with a white turban on his head
appeared for a moment at an open window.
"There! said the boy, "them there folks of
the little kid's must be coming' home, Crinkle;
else somebody's making' themselves mightily at
home, son."
But the dog was gone over the fence like a
yellow flash, straight into the open window
where he rolled out of a tangle of white lace
curtains into the arms of a housemaid who was
patting and petting him, and calling him "Bay-
daw boy," and crying, with her face hid in the
dog's yellow hair.
The street boy knew without telling that this
was the nurse who had tended the little boy
that died, and with his own eyes dim he
passed on up the hill to the graveyard. So
he failed to see that the dog escaped from the
nurse to be caught by the cook who gave him
another hugging; and then, after sniffing at
every door, nosing into every familiar corner,
and failing to find the missing master, leaped
the fence and went trotting on up the hill after
his new comrade.


The boy was busy clearing away the weeds
that still obtruded around the pedestal of the
white slab,- so busy that he did not notice
the dog's approach, or observe that a lady was
sitting on a rustic chair under a tree near by,
intently watching his every movement. A tall,
stately woman dressed in heavy black, and with
the traces of tears still shining in her beautiful
sad eyes.
He was upon his knees, the boy who had been
self-elected to keep the grave plat, clipping
away here and there, pausing now and then to
pat the small mound affectionately. At last his
work was finished; he put aside his knife,
pushed back his hat, observed the dog in the
grass, and said:
Son, if I could make out to read what's
writ there on that there white stone I'd give a
heap, I would."
The dog got up, looked steadily at the boy,
then at the stone. It was the very best he
could do, but it didn't interpret the inscription
on the slab.
"I know," said the boy, patting the yellow
head, "you'd like to help me, but you don't
know the language; no more do I. But we


know each other, son, and that's something, I
can tell you."
He leaned forward to brush away some dust
marks that clung to the white marble, saying as
he did so:
"Mustn't be any dust on the little kid's
stone. Poor little kid; I wonder if he knows
now how much lonesomer he lef' the world
when he went, and how much brighter."
He started, and almost tripped over the tiny
mound, as a hand was placed upon his shoulder,
and a lady's voice said:
"Whose boy are you?"
He looked up to see the black-robed figure
at his side, and the beautiful tear-washed eyes
looking down into his own. He knew it was
the little boy's mother; and after one glance
at the sad face under its black bonnet he said
to himself:
S" Her'n broke, too," he was thinking of
the day when he discovered that the dog had
a broken heart.
"Whose boy are you ?" said the lady again,
her hand still on his shoulder.
"Well, ma'm, I ain't rightly and really no-
body's boy, I reckins. Though the blacksmith

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down yonder has got the biggest claim to me,"
said the boy.
"Are you his son?"
"Yes, ma'm; since the day he picked me up,
along of another stray dog, and fetched me
The boy had never been so embarrassed in
all his life; and there was a suspicious sparkle
in his eyes that were constantly lowered, and
a sort of tremble to his voice that made him
almost afraid to speak.
You've been taking care of my little boy's
grave ?" said the lady.
The boy inched nearer the dog and wished
himself a hundred miles away from the spot, and
swallowed, and blinked, and blurted out gruffly:
Sort o' cut the weeds, if you call that any-
thing. I don't. I'd ought to 'a' done lots more,
seeing' how much the little kid's gone and done
for me. But but now I wonder where that
there dog is."
"There is the dog, just under your feet,"
said the lady, smiling. "Are you going? Little
boy? I say, little boy? Come up to my house
to-morrow, that is it, yonder among the trees.
I want to see you particularly."


The boy nodded without once looking back.
When he was well on the road home he turned
to the dog at his side, and said:
"If us boys is goin' to be babies, I think
we'd better fix us up some sugar rags and
stay at home; eh, Crinkle?"
But the dog was evidently interested in other
things, for he trotted off down the street, wag-
ging his yellow tail as though something very
unusual and exceedingly pleasant was about to
And perhaps it may have been; for a strange
gentleman crossing the street at that moment
spied the yellow cur and stopped.
Yes, they were evidently old acquaintances,
for the stranger stopped to pat the face lifted
to his, while to his caressing touch and gently
spoken "Baydaw! Baydaw, old boy! What!
you are still hunting for the little master?
Poor Baydaw; dear old doggie; we can't
understand! "
The cur rubbed his nose against the stranger's
nose, whined, and tried to lick his hand. The
boy stood watching, in his heart that old feel-
ing of fear awakened that had been there the
night when the farrier had tracked him to the


rat-infested old tenement and preferred claims
to his "fellow."
"Now," said he, I wonder what this
For when one has once suffered a great
shock, or a great grief, one is forever after
half fearing, half dreading a similar experience.
As the boy drew near, the man looked .up
from petting the dog to inquire:
"Is this your dog?"
Instantly the boy assumed the old swagger of
the bootblacking days.
"I don't call him by no such names," said
he. "That's my pardner, and him and me is
The man looked keenly at the boy, and then
affectionately at the dog; he even smiled, as
though (the boy thought) the partner might be
a rather shabby and unaristocratic party. And
thinking thus, the boy was instantly on the
defensive for his "fellow."
Say, now," said he, "don't you be a-reflect-
in' on that dog. He may not shine up as peart
as some gentlemen you've run across, but he
ain't any scrub, that dog ain't. Look at that
tail; see the crinlkle to it ? Now if that there


dog could always saunter backwards, so's to in-
troduce his tail first, he'd be lots more admired.
I tell him so, constant. Show your good side
to strangers.' But dogs are mightily like folks,
- determined to pitch through life head fore-
most. But he has got a nice tail. Why, he's
named after his own tail, that there dog is:
Crinkle, Crink for short."
He drew the big brush through his palms
gently; there was an affectionate suggestion in
the touch of the slender brown fingers, and he
seemed to have forgotten the stranger and to
be back again among the hard days when they
two boy and dog tramped together the
streets of vagabondia, as he said softly:
"I always liked his tail."
Was there a mist in the strange man's eyes ?
Had he heard that compliment before from a
boy's lips? A dear, dear boy who had gone
away forever upon a long, long journey? Else
what was there in the simple words to set his
heart beating thus, and to cause it to go out in
tender sympathy for the rescued waif upon
whom he had never before set eyes, no, not in
all his life ? And to be sure, he couldn't see
him now, either, for the mist that blinded him.


So without a word he turned away and went
rapidly up the hill to the big brick house amorig
the trees, where a lady stood waiting for him at
the gate. It was the same black-robed lady
who had been in the graveyard, and as the man
drew near she pointed down the street where the
"fellows were still standing (or rather stand-
ing still, for neither of them had stirred from
the spot), and said :
"I want that boy."
The boy, meanwhile, was doing a little think-
ing on his own account. Now," said he, "I
just do wonder what's up this time." Then,
with sudden vagabondish humor, not without its
touch of wisdom too, he said as the dog evinced
a disposition to follow the stranger on up to the
house on the hill:
Come back here, sir." The cur stopped,
reconsidered, and turned back. "See here,
Crinkle; you certainly have got the largest
circle of admirers of any gentleman of my ac-
quaintance. And you have got a mighty failin'
for following the last whistle, old boy. There's
lots of folks ready to do the same thing, I've
noticed, special if the whistle be uncommon
good-lookin', and backed up with good clothes


and a glib tongue. Ain't that wisdom we're
talking ? Ah, son, you and me ain't studied so-
ciety from the sidewalks all these years. A
great school, son, where we got our learning ;
but what we learned was -folks. Now that
man Hush! is that a hammer? To be sure,
and not a soul to strike for him. Come, son,
the hammer's a-callin' of us, and I misdoubts the
smith's lonesome."



CERTAINLY the farrier wasn't as strong as he
had been. He sat about the shop door more
than was his custom, and dreamed over his pipe
under the shed. Yet was he a very happy old
farrier. There was a new something in the
old face of him; and if the big hammer didn't
ring as it had rung, he quite forgot it in the
ring of the young voice sounding in his ears.
And if the old feet began to grow weary, there
were young feet, able, willing, glad to run in
their stead. The summer passed, such a
glad, good summer to the boy, such a tranquil,
quiet summer to the farrier.
The autumn came, and there was the sound
of the wary fox in the wood, as he robbed the
wild grape-vines, or pillaged among the persim-
mon-trees. Nuts were falling, chestnut and
the sweet wild scaleybark. Pigs were fattening


on the bountiful mash nature had provided. In
the river, where the boy had learned the first
lesson of cleanliness and had first felt the cool,
delicious sense of running water upon his little
sun-baked, sand-tortured body, fish were biting,
- the perch, the cat, and the pretty speckled
trout. The boy had been happy in summer;
in autumn he was exultant. But the days
chilled; the nuts disappeared, the fox sought
covert. The hoar frost came, and the snow.
And with the changing weather the old smith
failed. One day when he was at work in the
shop (for he had told the boy the hammer
would be the last thing he would lay by), and
the smithy door stood wide open to admit the
winter's sunlight, a shadow fell upon the anvil
and across the floor.
The smith looked up, nodded, finished off the
red edge of a plowshare he was repairing, and
then laid down his hammer.
"Well," said he, "how's the folks this morn-
in' ? "
Not so well," said the visitor, who had taken
a seat on the smith's own stool, "not so well;
and I have come over here, farrier, to He
paused; somehow it seemed a very selfish,


cruel errand he had come upon. Then he
thought of the sad, childless woman in the
big house on the hill, and took courage.
Got a sick horse, too ?" said the farrier.
The visitor shook his head.
My wife sent me down here to talk to you,
or to ask you to come up there and talk to her."
He paused again, and looked about the shop;
then said:
Where's your dog, farrier ? "
The farrier smiled. Somehow all of his em-
barrassed friends found a refuge in that lazy
old dog of his.
"Why," said. he, "I don't really lay claim to
that dog now. I really don't. You know I
gave him to the little master, sir, long ago."
But my son gave him back to you, farrier,"
said the visitor. You surely haven't forgotten,
farrier." The farrier stood up straight, and
mopped his brow.
Forgot ?" said he. Why, it was like yes-
terday the little one cried out to me: I've sent
for you to give you back your dog, farrier.' "
The visitor lifted his hand:
"Don't," said he. "We haven't learned.
to talk about him yet at the house."


Then there came to the smith the lesson he
had learned from the "stray" he had picked
up in the city streets, and he resolved to pass
the lesson on to his unhappy, if more pros-
perous neighbor.
"Now, sir," he began, just as the boy had
done, "that ain't any way to git shed of sor-
row. Sorrow's something' won't stay buried,
after it is buried. The best way is to look it
in the face; stare it out o' countenance, so to
speak. Set beside it, till it clears out. My
boy learned me that much."
His boy: ah! the good farrier had opened
the way to the very object of the visitor's call.
Where is your boy ?" he asked, feeling his
way gently, carefully.
Off rabbit huntin' som'ers. Be back soon.
Want him? "
Y-e-s; I want to talk about him."
The smith grew nervous. He dragged up an
empty nail keg and sat down upon it, got up,
turned around, and sat down again.
"See here now," said he, hope there ain't
anything you've come to say against the chap.
He seems mighty clever and--and handy
-to me."


"No," said the visitor, "I know nothing
whatever against him. In fact, I was about to
remark that he was an unusually bright, clever
"To be sure," said the smith. "I suspected
he was, myself."
"And he hasn't much opportunity here,
The farrier gasped. In the honest goodness
of his heart he had done what he could for
the lad, and indeed his conscience had quite
acquitted him of neglect.
"I ain't rich," was all the reply he could
"No," the visitor went on, with merciless
slowness. "You're a poor man, farrier. You
can't do much for him. He ought to" be at
school. Ought to have been there all winter."
I done the best I could," said the poor old
smith, looking and speaking precisely like a
man before the bar of justice. I truly done
the best I could."
I am sure you did. And I am sure it is
the best you ever can do. You are getting to
be an old man, farrier."
Yes, an old man. To- be sure."


And the shop isn't paying a great deal."
"No, not a great sight."
"And your hammer arm isn't what it used
to be when another boy sat on that empty
anvil there and listened to the blows your strong
arm made with the iron hammer. The arm will
not be able to strike so hard, and so true, for
this boy, farrier."
But it's ready to strike until the good Lord
says I Stop,' said the smith, with something of
his old spirit.
"Yes, yes," said the visitor, "I know that.
But what I wanted to say is, that this boy is
capable of a great future. The best you can
do for him, with all your love and labor, will be
to make a first-class blacksmith of him, and to
teach him, maybe, to doctor a sick horse.
Now, that boy would make his mark in the
world, with half a showing. He could be a
lawyer, farrier; one of the best. He has a
ready wit, a keen perception, and a nimble
tongue. He ought to have this opportunity;
and there are no children at my place, farrier.
And my wife is grieving for the dead child, and
begging for this boy."
The smith stood up, tall and grand looking,'


even in his common old apron of striped ticking.
He was pale, under the soot and cinder, and his
eyes were misty. But the brave old heart of
him never once faltered.
Say no more," he cried. Say no more. I
can't begin to make out to you what that little
keen-witted, nimble-tongued chap has been to
me. He's taught me to say my prayers, that
'boy has. And to thank my God three times a
day for my victuals. And he's taught me, all
hours of the day and night, to thank him for
the boy himself. He's p'inted out to me many
a mercy that I'd overlooked. But I ain't no
fool; I know ever' word you say is gospel true,
sir. I am old, and poor, and getting' feeble, and
I need him more for that. But I sha'n't stand
in the lad's way, sir. He shall decide for him-
self. Yonder he comes, across the street, with
his fishing' poles across his shoulder. Speak to
him; I'll step outside, sir, for I've got a tattlin'
old face, and the boy will read it like a book,
And so, in order that his old face might
not 'betray the yearning in his heart and so
influence him against his good fortune, the
farrier stepped outside the back door of the


shop and waited, seated on a broken wagon bed,
while the boy made his choice of homes and
He sat very near the door, where he could
hear every word; for there were no secrets
about the offer which meant so much to all.
The old dog came out where he was and sniffed
at his feet, and licked his big brown fist clinched
upon his knee, reminding the smith of the
night when he had come to part those two com-
rades in the tenement. He reached his hand
and stroked the cur's head.
." I reckin I feel just as he felt that night, old
doggie, when he said, 'He's all the friend I've
got.' "
Then he heard the boy's voice in the shop,
and listened while the man from the big house
made his offer.
It was a great offer, indeed: a home of
plenty, books, schooling, toys, and better than
all twice told and over, loving hearts to keep
and guide him.
The boy listened silently,- so silently the
smith wondered, and strained his ear, thinking
anxiety had made him deaf to the voice he
longed for.


But when the voice came at last, so clear and
honest, the foolish old farrier was quite beside
himself with joy.
It's mighty good of you," was what the boy
was saying, "and I don't know how I ever
thought folks wasn't good and kind. It's a
nice home of yours, and it's mighty good in
the lady to want me in the place of the little
kid what died. I reckin it's because of 'the
light' makes her want me. She's got it, too;
the 'light that shines.' But I can't go."
You can't go ?"
"No," said the boy. "I can't leave the
smith, noways."
"Hadn't you better think again before you
decide ?" said the man.
If I was to think always," said the boy, I
couldn't ever stop thinking' of the smith. Why,
he picked me up out of the streets, the smith
did, when all the friend I had in the world was
a dog. But that ain't why I can't go. He fed
me, and give me clothes, and a clean bed to lie
in o' nights, and showed me what it is to be
clean and honest. But that ain't why I can't
go. He's gittin' old now, and feeble; he don't
sleep well o' .nights, and he gives out at the


anvil sometimes'; he needs me. But that ain't
why I can't go. He fetched me here, a stray
dog, too, like Crinkle, and he called me Son;'
and I can't go because I love him. And that's



ONE day, when the grass was growing green
again, and there was an odor of new mould in
the air, where some industrious plowman was
overturning the sod, the boy had something
very like an adventure.
He had been fishing, for the smith had said
he needed to get away from the shop awhile.
Indeed, he had been a very industrious boy the
long, slow winter months, waiting on his ailing
old friend, patching and darning their clothes,
and thinking a great deal of Old Queen, who
had taught him to sew, and who had died in
prison rather than suffer her guilty daughter to
be punished. He had kept the place in order,
and the shop going; and he made many a penny
that had stood them well, those days when the
snow came, and there were scant food and fuel
in the farrier's house. The greatest thing he


did was to shoe a horse one day when food was
so scarce he felt almost glad the farrier could
not walk to the kitchen and take a peep into the
empty cupboard.
But at last the
spring came again;
the farrier hobbled
Back to the shop, and,
quite unexpectedly,
ordered the boy off
With the dog at his
heels, a bucket of
bait, and a rod, the
boy set off, taking a
near cut through the
meadow that bordered
the village street, and
S had just climbed the
fence that let him into
the cool woods when
something, moving very slowly down the road,
attracted his attention.
First, to his astonished gaze, a little puffy,
rolling cloud of yellow dust, out of which slowly
evolved into shape and distinctness a long line


of vehicles, followed by a yet longer line of ani-
mals. The boy's eyes and mouth were wide
open; there were few phases of vagabondism
with which he was not more or less familiar.
"Now!" cried he; "if them ain't gypsies!
Come here, Crinkle, them yonder folks has a
fine nose for dogs, son, and a powerful likin'."
As the caravan drew nearer, the tall tops of
chariots and cages gleaming in the sun, with a
glitter of brass here and there, the whole as-
sumed a more familiar aspect. Often such pro-
cessions paraded the city streets, but away out
here in a country lane to come upon such a
procession quite took his breath away.
In his excitement he had set his bare brown
feet in a creek that gurgled across the road.
As the water rose to his ankles, he gave vent
to his astonishment in one loud whistle, that
seemed to set the dog's ears tingling.
"A circus he cried. "A circus away out
He had been too closely confined with the
ailing farrier to notice the posters scattered
about the village, announcing that the "great
show" would exhibit that day at the county
seat, three miles distant.


He had no desire to see the circus,- he had
seen a great many, "too many," he told him-
self, "to hanker after others." He understood
just what humbugs they were, and knew how
even the seemingly jolly old clowns had a hard
enough time of it, when out of the ring.
But he waited to see the procession pass; he
was boy enough for that, at all events. And
the procession was all there, for it was only a
little distance to the town at which the show
had just exhibited.
They're all alike, son, big tales, big blow,
same old horses, same old tricks, same old ani-
mals, same old smell. If there's a blessed
thing new about this one, you may have half
my dinner to-day."
But there was something decidedly new, -
the boy held his breath and gasped when
there came a sudden, great, grinding crash;
a cage, big and heavy, swayed, reeled, dropped
one end heavily, and parted squarely in the
The caravan came to an abrupt halt; then
there was sudden and intense excitement, and
a great shout of fear, almost of horror, went
up, as a lithe, tawny shape flashed through


space, and, with a lightning leap, cleared the
fence, and disappeared in the woods beyond
the meadow. The old lioness had escaped.
There were hurried orders, followed by a
wild pursuit; and, as the boy stood watching,
speechless, but jubilant at the prospect of an
adventure, a shrill little voice called to him
from the caravan:
"Little boy! Oh, little boy, do give me a
cup of water out of. the river where you are
standing with your feet? "
The boy forgot the lank lioness scurrying
through the woods, forgot his rods, flung on
the ground, and his bucket of bait, as he
turned to see a little wasplike figure dressed
in scarlet and seated in a great gilded chariot,
bending down like a queen from her throne
to command a drink from the brook by the
roadside. She held a little silver cup which
she was waiting for him to take, and he noticed
that the fingers and arms were bare, and cov-
ered with tawdry jewels. He was quite bewil-
dered for a moment, then he remembered Old
Queen, and his heart hardened.
"Get down and get it," he replied. "You
ain't got nothing to hinder, as I can see."


In the deep blue eyes fixed upon his face,
the tears were starting.
A cross-looking woman on the seat beside
her gave the child a sharp nudge of her elbow,
and commanded her to "hold her tongue, and
not be silly."
"But I am so thirsty," wailed the little crea-
ture. "My throat is parched with dust, and
my feet ache so. I rode in the ring five times
last night, and climbed the trapeze twice.
And I must do it all over again to-night, and
ride in the procession too, on one foot. See!
My ankle is all swelled now."
She thrust a tiny foot forward, to show how
the poor ankle was puffed and swollen; she had
slipped her shoe off; the little red stocking
was stretched to the utmost.
Without another word of objection, the boy
stepped to the side of the chariot, and took the
cup from the child's hand. The sight of that
little tortured foot had stirred memories that al-
ways set his sympathies throbbing. A whiff of
the dusty streets filled his nostrils,- a glimpse
of a stray cur fleeing from persecution, a
man who had "handed the cup of water," in
the name of humanity.


He stooped where the cool spring nestled
deep among the rocks and mosses beyond the
road, among the shades of the quiet woods, and
handed the cup, sparkling and brimming, to the
thirsty circus child.
"So good!" she laughed. "Might I have
another drink? Seems like I could drink as
much as the camels."
Creek's free," said the boy, "and I ain't
charging' for services." Again he tramped
back to the spring, even giving a drink to
the cross woman in the carriage, after which
they all.became quite talkative and friendly.
There were no men left in the caravan, ex-
cept those who had charge of the animals, and
they had strict orders not to go away for an
instant. So the boy brought water, and made
himself of some use. Then he said to the
little circus girl:
If you will slip off your stockings, and let
your feet down into the running' water, it will
take all the swell and the ache out of them.
You'll see."
The little circus girl had braved too many
deaths, on the bare-backed horses, the deadly
trapeze, and the tight rope, to be afraid. So


at a nod from the cross woman, who had been
mollified by the boy's good nature, the little
rider jerked off her stockings, and a moment
later the red skirts were flashing over the
stream that laughed, and danced, and gurgled
about the poor ankles with delicious coolness.
They waded up and down for awhile, and the
boy "pooh-poohed" imaginary snakes, while
the circus child went off into shrieks of laugh-
ter, that made the little baby monkeys tear
at their cages and chatter like magpies.
Even the lazy old rhinoceros yawned and
grunted, and the brain of the cross woman
went dreaming of another woods, another
stream, and another child, who had waded in
the clear, cool water, and believed that child-
hood and happiness were everlasting.
And when they were tired of wading the boy
found a seat among the gray rocks, where the
little feet could swing down into the current
still. Suddenly, with a touch of his street-self,
the boy sang out, sharply:
Say, now, what is this circus, anyhow ? Is it
the Royal Red Lady, or is it the Runaway Lion
show? That's what I want to know."
Oh !" said the little red lady, "but this is


the great Carrigan Brothers' circus and me-
The boy drew in his breath quickly, and let
it out again in a sudden whistle. But the child
went right on with her prattle without seeming
to notice his surprise.
I am the Bare-back Baby Rider," said she;
"the 'Little Child Wonder' they call me on the
bills. And some take me for the Little Tin-
sel Lady,' but I am not. She was another girl;
and she is dead."
The child nodded. "I saw her, when she
was done dead, and she was in a white coffin;
and she had some roses on her, white ones.
And they said her mother killed her."
"Oh, now," said the boy, "you ought to
know that isn't true. How could she ? I'll be
bound it was a horse kicked her in the stomach,
or something."
No, it didn't. Our horses don't kick. She
was a bigger girl than me, and lots older; but
they dressed her up to look lots littler than
she was. They do me, too. I'm old. I'm
twelve, but the bills say I'm six. And the
other girl was awful bad; she'd even swear.


And they said she stole once. But she's dead,
now. I saw her; and she looked so still and
easy and happy lying there all white, that I
think of her whenever I've rode, and rode, and
played trapeze all day, and it seems real good to
be dead and go to sleep in a white coffin, and
be still."
The boy listened, eagerly, intently. Sud-
denly a great suspicion seized him. Surprise,
wonder, doubt, were choking him dumb, so that
he could scarcely stammer out the questions
that sprang to his lips. "Wh-at w-was her
name? That other one?"
Gloria," said the child, lifting a pink pebble
with her toes. The boy's face fell. He did
not know any Gloria.
They called her the Little Tinsel Lady,'"
the child went on. And I heard an ugly old
woman call her-'Jenny' in the streets once,
when we was showing. She got mighty mad
about it, and told the old woman she needn't
ever come Jennying' her any more, for nobody
knew her as that. She was bad, I think, for one
day when she was riding in the ring some one told
about a woman who died in jail. They said she
stole some money, but nobody believed, much,


that she was a thief, but thought she was just
pretendin' it, to save somebody else. And they
said she starved herself to death with grief.
And when Gloria heard it she grew right white,
and her knees shook and trembled so that she
asked the ring-master not to make her ride
right then. But the people were waiting and
two clowns were holding' up a big paper hoop
for Gloria to jump through. And the ring-
master told her to 'go on.' She began to cry,
then, and begged not to go. Then the ring-
master lifted his whip and struck her across the
bare shoulders, and told her to clear out to the
ring.' And she went out, sobbing; and a long
piece of tinsel trailed behind her on the ground
where it had ripped off her tarlatan dress. A
red welt showed on her bare shoulder: I saw
it. And her knees shook so when she put her
foot in the ring-master's hand to mount you'd
a-thought she would shake all to pieces. And
the ring-master swore an oath, and said he
guessed he'd 'fix her when she came off that
horse again !' But he didn't, she was fixed'
already when they brought her back and laid her
on the straw. And there was blood on her
breast, dyeing the tinsel all red. She had


missed the pony's back, and fell under his feet
when she was jumping through the hoops; and
he had set his iron foot on her breast, and tram-
pled her awful. The circus went right on,
though, for the ring-master came out and told
the people the 'young lady was all right, but
scared.' So I rode in her place, and I've been
riding in it ever since.
"She came to her senses when the doctor
was fixing her wounds, and began to cry for her
mother, and to beg somebody to send for the
preacher man. And nobody wouldn't, but
the boy that feeds the apes; he went. For
the doctor said she was hurt inside and bound
to die. When the man got there Gloria cried
to him, Git me out of this, let me die decent !'
So they fetched her to the hospital, and all the
time she was praying to God. Just before she
died she got real quiet, and lay real still until
the last minute. Then she opened her eyes
and smiled, and said 'mother,' and died like a
little child."
They had left the stream and were seated by
the roadside, the child's little feet dangling
in the water the while she talked. The boy
had sat quite still, and listened. When the


story ended he sat so quiet the child turned to
look at him and there were tears in his eyes:
Then a shout sounded across the meadow, and
they saw the circus men coming back. Some
one had shot the escaped lioness, and so they
had turned back. The child climbed again into
her gilded chariot, and the boy turned back into
the meadow path to the village. There was a
great sorrow in his heart, and a great wonder in
his soul. It was the first time, in all his varied
experiences, that he had really come face to
face with the triumph of faith, and it thrilled
him with a strange, sweet sense of God's near-
ness and his love.
The smith was lying on his bed, asleep, when
the boy entered the room at noon. He had
begun to feel the necessity of a noonday nap,
of late, and the boy tiptoed to the kitchen and
began to prepare a bite for their dinner.
When he looked into the room again the
smith was awake and sitting by the open win-
dow, with his hands folded and a look of peace
in his face. The boy felt that it was a good
time to speak. He crossed to the side of the
big arm-chair, and, leaning against the shoulder
of his old friend, slipped his arm around his neck.


Well, son," said the farrier, "what is it ?"
For he hadn't studied this odd boy for a year
and failed to understand when something moved
the heart of him.
"Why," said the boy, I have been a-lookin'
things in the face to-day, and I've come in to
tell you that Old Queen was right, and that her
prayers to God were answered. The little tin-
sel lady was her daughter, and she died in the
hospital, 'like a little child,' and that's all."
All! the finish of a beautiful faith, born of
sorrow, and perfected in death : the Amen to a
mother's prayer.



IT was June; across the meadow from the
smith's house, beyond the village street, the
Southern wheat had mellowed to a rich, ruddy
golden. At sunrise one bright. morning the
hum of a reaper was heard in the field, and
the village folks, awakening to the familiar
sound, rejoiced to remember that it was the
beginning of the Southern harvest.
The farrier, weak as a little child, turned
upon his pillow, and listening, caught the hum
of the blade among the golden grain.
He heard the boy stirring in the kitchen, and
called to him; for the weary old smith had
had a message; and although it had come in
the day dawn, before he was fully awake
indeed, there was no mistaking the message.
One might almost have thought the reaper


itself had brought it, the old farrier's solemn
The boy came hurrying in, as though he, too,
might have heard the good smith's summons.
He sat up in bed:
"We won't open the shop to-day, son," said
he. "But help me into my clothes and fling
open the window. I've a mind to watch the
reapers at work."
The boy dragged the big chair to the window
and threw back the shutters. The river breeze
came floating in to fan the sick man's temples;
he drew it into his nostrils, deep, delicious
draughts, and smiled:
"I can smell the wild grapes a-bloomin'," he
said. "I always loved 'em so; they always
make me think of some lives I've known;
humble and sweet, and bloomin' in the wilder-
ness. Of all the wild things in the woods there
ain't ever been anything so sweet to me as the
grape blooms in early June time. I rickerlict
'em first in the woods at home, whenst I was
a boy, like you, and followed my pappy to the
woods. He was a wood-cutter, and I was
just a boy; and whenever I smell the white
grape blossoms since, I've been a boy again,


following' my pappy through the Southern
The boy was silent, awed, and half afraid;
it was the first time he had ever heard the
farrier talk of his home and his boyhood, and
it filled him with a strange, sad fear.
"Let the dog in, son," the smith called out
to him cheerily. "Let our little friend's old
dog in; he's been one of the old farrier's
friends, too. We want all of our friends
about us to-day."
The boy choked back the lump in his throat,
and said, quite bravely, from behind the smith's
big chair:
"Don't say he kas been' your friend, sir;
he is your friend, and will always be; because
he ain't no common dog, that ain't, and he
senses who's been good to him better than
some folks I could name. He's a great dog
that; him and me was fellers once."
"Ay, ay," said the farrier. "I ain't forgot
it. Let him in, son; let the cur in; I want to
feel his faithful old nose against my knees once
more, before I go."
The boy started to obey, when the farrier
called him back;


Son," said he slowly, his eyes fixed upon the
golden harvest where the reaper's blade shone,
like a silver cycle, in the sun; "sometimes in a
long life it is given to a man to do no- great
deeds; but only, it may be, just to hand a cup
of water to some sick and suff'rin' beast. But
when the long life comes to the last mile post,
it's good to sit a minute by the way and think
of that poor cup of water: I ain't done no
great deeds; I have only helped a suff'rin'
horse out of its misery, now and then, and
flung a bone to a dog. It was all I could do,
son; and I love to know I done it, now."
Say, now," cried the boy, if you don't want
to hurt my feeling's mighty bad, you'll hush
talking' that a-way. I reckin I ain't forgot an-
other stray you picked up, and that you ain't
mentioned in your list o' dogs and horses. Now
I'm a-goin' to cook your breakfast. That's all."
It wasn't quite "all," however; for instead
of going straight back to the kitchen the boy
went out to the old dog waiting at the door.
He dropped down beside his first friend, and
put his arms around the shaggy neck, and
burying his face there, wept:
"He's goin' from us, Crinkle," said he;


"our old friend's goin' from us. When us
two was sellers he was mighty. good to *us.
And I ain't forgot my duty to him since that
time he called me Son.' "
Son? the familiar voice and call came to
him through the still closed door. Let the
dog in, son."
He opened the door, and the sick old farrier
smiled to see how brave was his effort to hide
his grief.
Go in there," he commanded; "and be
sure you mind your manners in a sick-room."
And with a wag of his big tail, poor Baydaw,
who had been patted, and petted, and fattened
to a lazy old age, went into the smith's room,
the only heart among the circle of the good
man's friends that was not heavy with the
shadow of the great parting.
The smith wasn't hungry, though the boy
did his best with the breakfast.
"I ain't in a notion to eat, son," he said,
when the little cook presented himself, tray in
-hand, at his side. "I couldn't eat, noways.
Give the dog a bite, and when you've finished
yours, come and set by me. I want to speak
Sto you, son, special."


All the long morning they sat there; the
smith had many things, many last things to say
to the waif of his adopting.
You've been mighty good to me," said the
boy. "I reckin there ain't many boys had
such a friend as I've had."
Then pass it, son," said the farrier. Pass
the good deeds on to some other unlucky
fellow on the way."
Some other lucky dog, you'd better say,"
the boy declared.
"I ain't done much," the farrier insisted,
"I couldn't. The little one's father could 'a'
done a sight more; but I done what I could,
and that's all the Master asks of any. And
you must do the best you can for yourself,
and for others, -never forget there's others,
son, when I'm gone. The shop's yours, it's
all I've got to leave you, except the 'light;'
the 'light that shines,' I've always-given-
you that, son "
He pressed the boy's hand and was silent.
When he roused up the boy thought he had best
lie down on his bed awhile, but the farrier said no.
"I want to see them finish that field," said
he, "before the sun goes down."

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