quickly up the steps, and astonished the irate old gentleman on the other side by the sudden apparition of a golden head, a red childish face, and a dirty little finger pointed sternly at him, as this small avenging angel demanded,—
"Missionary man, how could you kill my cousin's cat?"
"Bless my soul! who are you?" said the old gentleman, staring at this unexpected actor on the field of battle.
"I'm Button-Rose, and I hate cruel people! Tabby's dead, and now there isn't any one to play with over here."
This sad prospect made the blue eyes fill with sudden tears; and the application of the dirty fingers added streaks of mud to the red cheeks, which much damaged the appearance of the angel, though it added pathos to the child s reproach.
"Cats have nine lives, and Tabby's used to being chucked over the wall. I've done it several times, and it seems to agree with her, for she comes back to kill my chicks as bold as brass. See that!" and the old gentleman held up a downy dead chicken, as proof of Tabby's sin.
"Poor little chicky!" groaned Rosy, yearning to mourn over the dear departed and bury it with tender care. "It was very naughty of Tab; but, sir, you know cats are made to catch things, and they can't help it."
"They will have to help it, or I'll drown the lot. This is a rare breed, and I've but two left after all my