Page:A Garland for Girls (1893).djvu/55

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33
MAY FLOWERS.

buy anything, but she sits there and trusts to kind souls dropping a dime now and then, she looks so feeble and forlorn, 'on the cold, cold ground.'

"She told me another sad tale of being all alone and unable to work, and 'as wake as wather-grewl, without a hap-worth av flesh upon me bones, and for the love of Heaven gimme a thrifle to kape the breath av loife in a poor soul, with a bitter hard winter over me, and niver a chick or child to do a hand's turn.' I had n't much faith in her, remembering my other humbug, but I did pity the old mummy; so I got some tea and sugar, and a shawl, and used to give her my odd pennies as I passed. I never told at home, they made such fun of my efforts to be charitable. I thought I really was getting on pretty well after a time, as my old Biddy seemed quite cheered up, and I was planning to give her some coal, when she disappeared all of a sudden. I feared she was ill, and asked Mrs. Maloney, the fat woman, about her.

"'Lord love ye, Miss dear, it's tuk up and sint to the Island for tree months she is; for a drunken ould crayther is Biddy Ryan, and niver a cint but goes for whiskey,—more shame to her, wid a fine bye av her own ready to kape her daycint.’

"Then I was discouraged, and went home to fold my hands, and see what fate would send me, my own efforts being such failures."

"Poor thing, it was hard luck!" said Elizabeth, as they sobered down after the gale of merriment caused by Marion's mishaps, and her clever imitation of the brogue.