Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/41

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welcome from the good lady, who not only embraced them with effusion, but turned her house upside-down for their accommodation, merely because they came recommended to her hospitality by a former lodger who had won her kind old heart.

While she purred over them, the luggage was being bumped upstairs, the old woman shouldering trunk after trunk, and trudging up two steep flights in the most marvellous way. But best of all was her surprise and gratitude on receiving a larger fee than usual, for the ladies were much interested in this dear old Hercules in a cap of seven gables.

When she had blessed them all round, and trotted briskly away with her carts, Madame C. informed the new-comers that the worthy soul was a widow with many children, whom she brought up excellently, supporting them by acting as porter at the hotel. Her strength was wonderful, and she was very proud of it,—finding no work too hard, yet always neat, cheery, and active; asking no help, and literally earning her daily bread by the sweat of her brow. The ladies often saw her afterward, always trotting and tugging, smiling and content, as if some unseen hand kept well greased the wheels of