Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/125

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fell on the listeners, and while it lasted the tawdry church and its mummery were quite forgotten, as the ear led the heart up that ladder of sweet sounds to heaven. Even when the others joined in, one could still hear that child-voice soaring and singing far above the rest, as if some little angel were playing with the echoes among the arches of the roof.

A proud native informed the strangers that it was a poor boy whose exquisite voice was the pride of the town, and would in time make his fortune. As the choir-boys came racing downstairs after service, pulling off their dingy robes as they ran, Lavinia tried to pick out the little angel, but gave it up in despair, for a more uninteresting set of bullet-headed, copper-colored sprigs she never saw.

Rain drove the wanderers back to the hotel, and there they made a night of it. Ordering a fire in the largest of the three stuffy little cells which they occupied, they set about being comfortable, for it had turned chilly, and a furious wind disported itself in and out through numberless crevices. Lavinia was inspired to mull some wine, and brewed a mild jorum that cheered, but did not inebriate.

Amanda produced her Shakspeare, and read aloud