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you ?—which I sore repint of, me little jewel, “Well,” said I, "I was a-going for a pen'orth and sorra a bit will I ever raise a finger against of stuff for baby, and a chap ran against me, and you agin, Jimmy, while I've a ar-rm hanging to --and-knocked the money out of my hand.” me body.”
“ And you ’spect I'm a-going to believe that, “You only tell me how I can help you, and you do yer ? " shall see, ma'am," said I, eagerly, and catching I was not much surprised to hear my father hold of her speckled hand, so carried away was I say this; but what did surprise me—what comto see her so filled with remorse and penitence; pletely astounded and appalled me-was to hear "you only just tell me how, now!"
Mrs. Burke exclaim, with a derisive laugh* Shure, and there is a way of helpin' me, Jim “Yes; that's how he expicts to come it over my, me little fellow, but it goes agin me to ask it us, Jim; that's the purty yarn he pitched to me of you. Still, you are a good boy for so kindly when he came back wid the empty cup. Ask offerin', and here's three-ha'pence to spend and him where he has been all the afthernoon, Jim, do just as you like wid.”
and how them shtains came on the breast ov his I suppose she must have borrowed the three-pinafore.” half-pence when she went out, as I know I took There were stains on the breast of my pinafore. her last fourpence for the last quartern o'gin I I had bought a kidney pie with a penny of my fetched. Her generosity completely astonished three-halfpence, and in the ardour of enjoyment me: never before, since she had been my father's must have overlooked a leak in the bottom of the housekeeper, had she given me so much as a sin- pastry, through which the gravy had oozed. gle farthing. Now, more than ever, I pressed her “D-n your young eyes,” said my father, to tell me in what way I could help her out of shaking me by the shoulder, “you've been and
prigged that arf-crown, and you ’ve been a-spend. “I was thinkin', Jimmy, that you might telling it all the arternoon." your daddy that you lost the half-crown,” said she, "And so it's my belief, Jim; but it wasn't my patting my head kindly.
place to shpeak first,” said the wicked wretch; “How could I lose it? You changed it. It "and though it goes to the heart of me to recomwas a shilling I took when I went to buy the first mend it, if you 'il take my advice you 'll let him quartern of gin.”
have it hot and shtrong, Jim. "Shpare the rod “Whist about gin, Jimmy dear! Mightn't we and spile the child,' as the scriptur ses, bear in say that I sint you for a pen'orth of aniseed for mind.” the baby, wid the half-crown to pay for it, and you And she stood by while my father laid into me made a shlip, and dropt it down a gully hole ? with the thick leather strap till the blood trickled. That 'ud be aisy to say, Jimmy dear.'
As well as I could, and as plain as my agony “Ah! but see the tow'lling I should get." would let me, I cried out the whole story to him “Devil a bit of tow'lling, Jimmy, while I was while the beating was going on, but he heeded not wid you. Be shure, dear, I'll tell him as how a word that I said, and flogged away till his arm that a great hulkin' chap run agin you, and that was tired. I felt brimful of fury against her. you couldn't help it a bit. Never fear for the When the flogging was over, and I had been tow'lling, Jimmy; I'll bring you clane out of that, kicked into the back-room to wait there in the you may freely depind. And you may cut away dark till bed-time, she presently came in to fetch now, and spind the three-ha’pence as fast as you something. Loud enough for my father to hear, like."
said she I went off, though not without some misgiv “I hope the dressin' you've had will do you ings; and I spent the three-halfpence. It was some good, me boy. Mind you don't forget when you time since I had had a ramble, and I thought as go to bed to say your prayers for forgiveness." she was in such a wonderfully kind humour, I " Hang you, I hate you!" I raged at her; and might venture to indulge in one. I went as far then thinking of the worst thing I had ever heard as Farringdon Market, and I spent the afternoon to say to her, I called out as she went sniggering there. The market clock striking five reminded out at the doorme that it was high time I went home.
“Judas ! Judas ! you ought to live in Turkey.” But I didn't hurry. Thought I, I'll let father But the words did not seem to affect her in get home first, and Mrs. Burke will tell him about the least! she merely turned, with the same ugly the half-crown, and it will be all over when I go smile on her face, to tell me that she hoped i in.
would keep my hands from picking and stealing, I don't know how long he had been home, but and my tongue from lying for the future, when I went up and opened the door, there he “What was that he said ? " I heard my father was, standing up, and waiting for me, with the ask her, in a voice as though his temper had sud waist-belt in his hand. I was for dodging out denly cooled. again, but he caught me by the ear.
“ He ses he hates me. Never mind him, Jim ; “Stop a minnit, young feller," said he, quite he'll know better some day,” said Mrs. Burke, pale with passion; "I warnts a whisper with you. soothingly. What have you done with that there half-crown ?” “But what did he say about-about Judas ?”
"I lost it, father," said I, in a terrible fright, “Did he? I didn't hear,” replied Mrs. Burke, and looking appealingly towards Mrs. Burke. lightly. “It's my opinion, Jim, he's so full of
“Oh, you lost it! Where did you lose it?” the ould un he don't know what he's sayin'.”
“Down a gully-hole, father. Ask Mrs. Burke If by the “ould un” she meant the devil, Mrs. -she knows."
Burke was quite right when she said that I was "I ain't a-talkin' to Mrs. Burke ; I'm a-talkin' full of him. My wrath against her made my to you. Now then, out with it, and-mind yer throat swell and my eyes feel hot as fire. For let us have no lies.” And as he spoke he spat in the time I felt nothing of the cruel weals that his hand, and wagged the strap in it.
scored my body. Nobody but the devil could
have filled my young head with such terrible observation of my father's, but somehow I fell wishes against her. I wished she might die. I directly to crying instead of answering him. It wished that death-my image of death, the dread- couldn't be that I was grieved to hear the news ful eyeless bird with the sharp spikes--might of his marriage, for what possible difference could creep into her bed in the night, and sting and it make to me? That it gave Mrs. Burke more tear her till she was glad to run and hide in the authority over me was true from a legal point of pit-hole.
view, but unless it likewise conferred on her adBut nothing of the sort happened. She made ditional powers of spite and muscle, I couldn't her appearance bright and brisk as ever next possibly be a loser by the change. morning and for many succeeding mornings, until “Well; what do you say ?” continued my that one came when my father married her. father, gruffly. “Ain't you got so much as thanky
The wedding was a very quiet one. Not a to say? Ain't you glad to get another mother ? single individual in the alley knew anything about I made him no answer. I don't know whether it, and even I was in utter ignorance that so im- it was owing to his using the word mother so reportant an event was about to take place. One peatedly, but I couldn't speak for crying. evening, however, they - my father and Mrs. “Now what's the little beggar snivelling Burke-came home together, (I knew that she about?” observed my father, savagely; and had dressed in her smartest and gone out in the turning to Mrs. Burke, “Well, I'm cust! I supmorning, but that was not a circumstance of such pose I am to ask his pinion as to what's good for unfrequent occurrence to excite my curiosity,) and me, am I?”. they brought home with them a young man, a "Don't mind him, my dear,” said his new wife; friend of my father's, who had, it appeared, oblig- he can be as cross-grained as Ould Nick when ingly kept an eye on my father's barrow while he he takes it into his head, as well to my sorrow I and Mrs. Burke stepped into the church. I was have been made to know many and many's the about with the baby when they came home, and time, though I was never the woman to throuble was called in and sent for a pint of rum.
you, Jim, wid my complaints. But there, I When the rum was brought the strange young needn't tell you nothing wus of him than you man filled a glass.
know." “Well," said he, “Lord bless every happy I know that she alluded to the scandalous afcouple, I says. May you live long and die happy, fair of the half-crown, (she was continually alludboth on yer. I looks to'ords you, ma'am.” ing to it as a means of turning my father's wrath
Mrs. Burke acknowledged the compliment by against me when it suited her purpose,) and I had looking towards the young man and inclining her it on my tongue to give her a saucy answer. I head smilingly; whereon the young man inclined suppose the strange young man detected my inhis head smilingly, and drank off half his rum. tention, for he winked at me in a good-humoured
“And I looks to'ords you, Jim,” continued he, sort of way to hold my tongue, and beckoned me grasping my father's hand. “If you make her towards him. as good a husband as wot you are a pal, she won't “Lor, don't be too hard on the youngster," have nothink to holler about.”
said he. “It ain't them as is hurt cries most. My father nodded in an affable manner, and P'r’aps he's crying because he's so jolly glad to the young man having emptied the glass, my get another mother. How old is he, Jim ?” father took it and filled it.
"I don' know; how old is he, Kitty ?” asked “Here's the foresaid," said he, (as a rule he my father of Mrs. Burke. was a man very sparing of his words,) and tossed "“Bortherin on sivin.” off the rum at a draught; an example that Mrs. “Hain't he amost old enough to begin to think Burke dutifully followed.
about cutting his own grass, Jim ?” She had put the baby into my arms again, and “Quite old enough,” chimed in my stepmother, finding nothing to interest me in the conversa- promptly, “and quite big enough. He'll have to tion that ensued on the rum-drinking, I was about do it too before he's much older.” to leave the room when my father called me back. “Well, he do go puty nigh to'ords doin' it,
“Come here, Jim; you see who that is a-sitting don't he?" asked my father, with a bit of a on that chair ?” and he pointed towards the Irish- scowl, which must have made known to his wife,
if before she was ignorant of it, what an uncer“Of course I do," I replied, and laughing that tain-tempered man he was. he should ask so simple a question.
“I'd be glad to know how," sneered she. “Well, who is it ? ” said he, looking serious. “How? why, luggin' young Poll about mornWhy, Mrs. Burke."
in', noon, and night, that's how. Pr’aps you “Say it agin. Think what you are a-goin' to don't think that's work ?" say, and say it slow."
“Work, indade! Shquatting about wid a mite Mrs. Burke."
of a thing on his lap, and as often jining in play “Werry good. Now hark to me. Let that be wid he rest as not !" the last time you let that name pass your lips, “What do you think, Jack ?” asked my father 'cos it's wrong. Her name ain't no more Burke of the stranger. than it is Green or Tomkins."
The stranger emphatically replied that sooner “Isn't it? What is it then, father?” than nurse a kid he would prefer "shoring” oys
"It's mother, that's what it is. You've had a ters from morning till night. good long spell of rest off calling anybody
mother, “Of course you would. Werry well I recolso now you can go at it agin hearty. D’ye un- lects the time when you had a kid to nuss,' (this derstand? You've got to call her mother, and perhaps accounted for the stranger's sympathy to act by her as a mother. If
'll with me.) “Work, indeed! If there's one job ketch something wot you won't like; so I tell yer." for payin' out the back more than another, it is
There was not much to cry about in this last | nursing a baby."
“I knows that I was precious glad to cut it asly refreshed. Now, however, matters were mansoon as I saw an opening, though it was to go at aged differently, It was my stepmother's opinnothing better than barking."
ion, and one in which my father agreed, that little As the good-natured stranger made this last Polly might as well sleep in my bed. observation, he slipped a penny into my hand, And if she had slept, it would have mattered and in consequence of my anxiety to get away to little to me. The chest-of-drawers bedstead in spend it, I lost the rest of the conversation. Mrs. Burke's room was of ample size to accom
The words the strange young man had uttered, modate both of us, and, as I loved her very much, however, sank deep into my mind—“ he was pre- I should have been rather glad of her company. cious glad to cut it and get a place as barker,”? But she did not sleep. I daresay it was her teeth, he had said. Well, and so should I be very glad poor little soul! but, really, she was dreadfully to cut it and become barker..
tiresome. She was laid in my bed in the early But what was “barking ?” I thought a great part of the evening; and, by dint of creeping in deal about the matter, and could arrive at no myself with extreme caution, I generally conmore feasible conclusion than that a “barker” trived to get to sleep without waking her, and to was a boy that attended a drover, and helped him secure three or four hours' rest. Between one to drive his sheep by means of imitating the bark and two o'clock, however, she invariably awoke, of a dog. Living so close to Smithfield market, squalling her loudest, and refusing to be pacified droves of sheep were not unfrequently to be without an immediate and abundant supply of met with, and I had repeatedly seen boys engaged victuals and drink. To prepare against this, a at the very trade I imagined the stranger to mean. little stock of bread and butter, and a pot full of Indeed, more than once, having got rid of the milk and water, was always placed by the bedbaby for half-an-hour, I had lent a hand at sheep- side, and while it held out against her attacks, all driving myself, and liked the job very much. I went well enough. The worst of it was, it never was, however, not nearly so clever at it as were did hold out long enough. Her appetite for midsome boys I knew, and who could not only bark night food was something miraculous. Piece like a dog, but even imitate the yelp of the ani- after piece would vanish, crust as well as crumb; mal when hit with a stick, and that in a manner and when she found that it was all gone, then calculated to impose on the most sensible sheep she set her pipes up. All the cuddling, and ever driven to Smithfield.
hushing, and coaxing, and singing, you could I had never known, however, that it was a offer her were rejected with shrieks: nothing trade at which to work at regularly for a living, would pacify her. “Mammy! mammy! mamand I could not but reflect that it couldn't be a my!". You might have heard her on the oppobusiness at which much money was earned. It site side of the alley. was clear that the drover's object in hiring a boy The amount of ingenuity expended by me toinstead of a dog must be a study of economy; wards keeping that child quiet might, properly and if the boy worked for him for a less sum than applied, have served for the invention of the would buy a dog his daily meat, to say the least steam-engine or the electric telegraph. “Would of it, he wasn't likely to grow over-fat.
she go out a-walking with her Jimmy?” SomeStill the stranger had asserted, and my father times, especially if it were a moonlight night, she had backed the assertion, that "barking” was would agree. Of course, it was only make-bepreferable to carrying a baby about; and this, as lieve going a-walking ; but she wasn't to know I had a right to assume, under the most ordinary that. We had to dress, as though I meant it. circumstances, with a real mother at home who There used to hang up behind the door an old cared for you, and gave you a whacking no oft- black crape bonnet of Mrs. Burke's, and this I ener than you deserved it. How much more de- used to tie on her head, wrapping my jacket sirable, then, was it for me who had no real round her for a cloak. My walking costume conmother, a father who didn't care the price of a sisted solely in an old hairy cap of my father's, pot of beer for me, and no more than half a belly- reserved and hidden between the bed and the ful of victuals ! Carrying the baby about was bedstead for the purpose. It was very bad on the bane of my existence, and every day it grew cold nights to paddle about the uncarpeted floor worse and worse to bear; and this not only by in this way; but there was no help for it: to reason of Polly growing daily bigger and stronger, have put my trousers on would have jeopardised as the contents of the next chapter will show. the success of the scheme.
When we were dressed and ready to start, an imaginary Mrs. Burke would address me through
the door, bidding me take that dear baby for a CHAPTER X.
nice walk, and show her the shop where they
sold such beautiful sugar-sticks; and to this I DESCRIPTIVE OF MY NOCTURNAL TROUBLES WITH would dutifully reply that I was quite ready, and
POLLY I AM PROVOKED TO ASSAULT MY STEP- meant to start immediately. Then we would start;
but, for our lives, couldn't find the room door.
This piece of strategy was the soul of the perMy supposition that my father's marriage with formance. We couldn't find the door, try our Mrs. Burke could not make me more uncomfort- hardest. We wanted to get out to go and buy able than I previously was proved to be altogether that sugar-stick, and we couldn't, because that fallacious.
wicked door was hiding. The big crape bonnet Prior to that interesting event, however much was invaluable in carrying out the cheat, its black I might be fagging about during the day, rest sides rising like walls on either side of her face, came with the evening. Mrs. Burke relieved me and serving the purpose of “blinkers,” so that of the baby, and come bed-time, I could sleep her vision was limited to the strictly straightforuninterruptedly, and rise in the morning perfect- ward, and side-glancing rendered impossible. The
ack that attended this manoeuvre was of three talk of bating him, Jim; but it's best left alone, qualities. Under the influence of the first quality, you may depind. If we can't rule him by kind she would in the course of half-an-hour or so, ness, we can't rule him at all. You may bate drop off to sleep in my arms, and remain so while and bate; but two divils 'll come in at the gate I stealthly slid into bed with her; (it was in hopes you bate one out of." of this result that I refrained from putting on Strangely enough, soon as ever I had taken my my trousers before we set out walking.) If my whacking and Mrs. Burke had betaken herself to luck was but middling, she would grow so cold and her own apartment, Polly would cuddle down and tired as to ask to be put into bed; or she would be as good as gold, and compose herself to sleep, be brought to see the feasibility of my suggestion as though nothing was the matter. Of course, that we had better both lie down and watch the there was nothing objectionable in this as far as window till the naughty door came back again. it went; the worst of it was, that it really looked The worst of this arrangement was, that she fre- as though I could keep her quiet if I liked. Inquently would lie still long enough only for us deed, when at last I mustered courage enough to both to become warm and comfortable, and then complain to my father, he told me so. to insist on going a-walking again. The worst “I ain't got no pity for you," said he ; "an obluck of all was, when she would not go a-walking stinate little beggar like wot you are deserves all with her Jimmy; when she turned a deaf ear to he gets and a good deal more.” promises of sugar-sticks to-morrow; when my "Well,” I answered, (this was on a morning imitations of cats and dogs, and donkeys and mad following a whacking which made my ribs feel as bullocks, instead of inducing her silent wonder though the skin was all grazed off them,)“she and admiration, drove her frantic from terror, and ain't a-goin' to knock me about much longer." she would have more
" bar." “ Bar” was her “Ain't she, though ?" was my father's scornful word for bread and butter, and “Bar! bar! bar !" reply. “Why ain't she ?” was her only answer to everything I could say. "When I grow a bit bigger I'll show her,” I
At such times my stepmother would hammer vengefully replied. at the wall with a stick.
My father stud at me, and then laughed. “What are you doin? wid the dear child, you “If I was big enough," continued I, encourFoung scoundhrill ?”
aged by the laugh, “I'd punch her nose! I'd "She wants more "bar. 11°
kick her legs till she didn't have a bit to stand “And is it too great a throuble for ye to get up on. I hate her.” and get her some, lazy-bones ?”
My father laughed again, and appeared to have “ How can I ? There ain't none."
some little trouble in composing his countenance “How do ye mane, ain't none ?"
to a proper expression of sternness. “She's ate it all. Can't you hear what she “Come, don't you jaw me in that way, so I tell keeps hollerin??”
you; because it ain't my place to stand and hear “Ate it all, you little liar! What! You've it,” said he. been up to your hoggish tricks 'agin, have you ? “She tells you lies—dozens of lies," I further and shtole it all away from the little craythur. continued ; and it coming into my mind what he Well, you'd betther make her quiet. You know had said about the hardships of carrying a child what you 'll get if you bring me in there." about, I thought I might make capital of it. “I
She was right. I did know “what I should never gets no play,” said I. “I'm at work from get,” having had it so often; and, with tears in the time I get up till I go to bed, and yet she my eyes when it came to this, I would beg of won't leave me alone.” Polly to be quiet. Not she. She had heard How d’ye mean at work ?” mammy's voice, and grew more rampagious than “Why, nursing Polly and ". ever. Then, with my heart in my mouth, I would “Well, and what if you do mind the kid ?” inpresently hear a half-aloud threat from the next terrupted he. “The kid can't mind itself, can room, and a shufiling of hasty feet, and a scram- she, you hard-hearted young wagabone? Do you bling at the lock of the door, and, raging like an want to loll about and live on me and yer mothangry cat, in would rush my stepmother with er? Why, I'd be ashamed on it if I was as big nothing on but her bed-gown and frilled night- as you." cap. Without a moment's warning, she would "I wish I could get a job of work to go to," fall on me and pummel my unprotected body said I, earnestly. without mercy; she would wring my head about “ You wish!" sneered he. " Jobs of work and knead her bony fists about my sides, till my don't come a-knocking at people's doors and abreath was used up and I could not cry out. My asking to be done. If you wanted a job of work father never knew the extent of the punishment you 'd go and look arter it.”, I suffered on these occasions, for all the while she Where, father ?" I asked eagerly. was paying into me, she was clacking in her loud
anywhere," replied he, warmest voice, not about how she was serving me, but ing with the subject. “Hain't there the markets? how she would serve me if I ever ate away the Why, when I goes to the 'gate (Billingsgate) or baby's food again.
the garden (Covent Garden) as early as four and “Don't talk about it; let him have it, the five o'clock, when you are snoring in bed, I sees greedy warmint,” my father would cry out, as he boys which, in pint o' size you'd make two of, lay hearing all the threatening, and none of the dodgin' about 'bliged to yearn a penny before spanking. “You lets him off too easy, and that's they can get a cup of coffee to warm 'em." where he takes advantage of you.”
“But haven't got no boots nor stockings," “It's little more timpting I can bear before said I, “nor yet no cap.". I'll do it,” she would answer; “so take care, my
“Well, no more hain't they—yet no shirts, fine fellow.” And then, when she returned to half on 'em. I spose you expect to be togged up her own room, she would say, “It's very well to l afore you goes out to get a livin’? P’r’aps you'd
like a blue coat with basket buttons and a chim “Now, how little was the smallest barker you bly-pot hat?"
ever saw, ma'am ?" I asked her. I said something about looking respectable. “How little? Why, I've seen 'em so little
“Yah !” exclaimed he, with disgust. “Don't that their heads would come no higher than your talk to me about 'spectability. Don't you think shoulder,” replied she; “but bless your innocent that 'spectability will ever get you a livin', cos, if heart, what's the size got to do with it? It's you do, you 're mistaken. The boys I'm a-speak- the call—the voice, you know—that does the ing of carries fish, and tater sieves, and minds business. You might be as big as Goliar and as carts and barrows; and don't you know if you old as Methusalem, but if you didn't have a prowore kid gloves and white chokers at that there per sort of voice you'd never fetch your salt.” sort of work you might get 'em spilte ? A pretty And being in a chatty humour, as she genefeller you are to talk about what you will stand rally was after dinner, and when about the third and what you won't.”
“brown” had been earned of her, she began to And, with increasing disgust, he threw on his talk exactly as I wished her to. She told me hairy cap, lit his short
pipe, and walked off. that she had known many costermongers, good At the time I had this conversation with my buyers and good sellers, and yet who were always father, Mrs. Burke had been my stepmother for kept in the background through having a hoarse, about six months, and I was about seven years or a gruff, or a hollow voice. old. When I told him that I did not mean to “Of course," said she, “there are thingsput up with Mrs. Burke's cruelty much longer, I common things, such as taters, and onions, and meant it. Every day it grew more and more in-cabbages—which are sure to go in whatever tolerable, especially since the night when my fa- voice they're called, if so be that a man has anyther came home and found her helplessly drunk, thing like a reg'lar round, because people knows and lying in the middle of the room, and gave his time and looks out for him ; but with goods her a slap or so about the head by way of sober- which comes promisc'ous, and which are only to ing her. Up to this time she had always kept up be got off by forcin, it's different. Now, there 's an appearance of a sort of decency before him ; fish. There may be fish tomorrow, and there but now this all went by the board, and her treat-mayn't. Even the salesmen in the market can't ment of me in his presence was little or nothing say for certain. And then, it may be cheap, or better than when he was away. Often, indeed, it may be dear. Say it's cheap. Say it's soles, should I have gone hungry had it not been for and that you buy a lot of 'em. How many do the kindness of Mrs. Winkship, the person men- you think you'll sell if you go crawling along tioned in the early part of this history. Mrs. with 'em, growling out, 'Here's soles, good soles ! Winkship had known my mother for many years, in the same voice as does for turnips or taters ? and invariably spoke of her as “ as good a gal as Why, you won't take enough to buy fat to fry ever wore shoe-leather. She was as much too your own supper in. You must put your heart good for your father, Jimmy,” she used to say, into it, and try and make yourself believe how "as he is too good for the carneying two-faced wonderful cheap your soles are, till you get into Irish vagabond who fished for him and hooked quite a perspiration about 'em. You drive sudhim." Her acquaintance with my stepmother den and sharp round corners of streets, and at was as of long standing as with my mother. I the same moment you pipe up, ‘Dover soles ! told Mrs. Winkship about the pair of handsome lovely soles ! splendid soles ! Big as plaice, and slippers she had given my father, telling him that all alive ! all alive! all alive!' and this you keep they belonged to the dead Mr. Burke. I thought up, driving along brisk and keeping up the tune. Mrs. Winkship would never have done laughing. Presently you set your eyes on your soles, and “Slippers, indeed !” said she; "why, the poor see a pair which is so large, and so lovely, that fellow would even carry his Sunday coat about all you really can't help stopping, which you do as the week in his tool basket, knowing that she sudden as you turned the corner. 'Oh, I say,' would pawn it for gin if he left it at home. Jim says you, dropping the tune and taking to conwill find her out one day, and then war-hawks to versation, 'here's a pair of whackers ! blowed her."
if they don't get finer the lower we get into the I used to tell all my troubles to Mrs. Wink- pad! Just look here, ladies—there's a pair of ship. She used to smuggle me into her back soles for you !-three-pence!' kitchen, and give me a tuck-out of anything “That's how to sell soles !” chuckled Mrs. which might have been left over from dinner- Winkship, bringing her fat hands together with a time. Many and many a time has she held my hearty spank to illustrate the manner in which baby for an hour at a stretch while I went off for the “pair " should be joined at the very instant
their price was disclosed. “It's the same with I asked Mrs. Winkship what a “barker” was, fruit. Bless your soul, there's a way of crying and she told me. I was wrong in supposing that your fruit, so as to make everybody's mouth wait was anything to do with sheep-driving. A ter that hears you—specially stone-fruit. Why, barker, I was told, was a boy who went along when I was a gal,” continued Mrs. Winkship, “I with a barrowman, wheeling his barrow to mar was wonderful good at greengages; as good at ket, miuding it while his master was buying his anything mind you as here and there one, but at goods, pushing up behind the load as it was 'gages I topped 'em all. It was only the voice, wheeled home, and afterwards going with his and knowing how to pick your words ; ‘juicy master on his “rounds,” helping him to bawl out greengage ! blooming greengage!' meller what he had to sell.
greengage for eating or preserving !' Many a I didn't like to let Mrs. Winkship into the se- hot summer's afternoon have I made a pretty cret that I had thoughts of going into the bark- pocket, with only just a silk handkercher over ing line, still I wanted to get out of her all she my shoulders, and half a sieve of 'gages under knew about it.