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ceivable. But with all such good influences around her-her father, Mattie, Mr. Fuller, Lucy Burton—it was no wonder that the real woman in her should have begun to grow, and, having begun, should promise well for what was yet to be. There is scarcely anything more marvellous in the appearance of simple womanliness under such circumstances in the child of the streets, than there is in its existence in the lady who has outgrown the ordinarily evil influences of the nursery, the school-room, and the boarding-school. Still, I must confess that anything like other people might well be a little startling to one who had known Poppie a year before and had not seen her since. Lucy had had a great deal to do with the change; for she had been giving her regular lessons with Mattie for the last few months. The difficulty was, to get Poppie to open her mental eyes to any information that did not come by the sight of her bodily eyes. The conveyance of facts to her, not to say of thoughts or feelings, by words, except in regard to things she was quite used to, was almost an impossibility. For a long time she only stared and looked around her now and then, as if she would be so glad to scud if she dared. But she loved Lucy, who watched long and anxiously for some sign of dawning interest. It came at last. Nor let my reader suspect the smallest atom of satire in her most innocent remark:
Was Jesus a man? I sposed he wor a clergyman !" But having once got a glimpse of light, her eyes, if they opened slowly, strengthened rapidly. Her acquisition was not great, that is, but she learned to think with an amount of reality which showed that, while she retained many of the defects of childhood, she retained also some of its most valuable characteristics,
The contrast with Mattie was very remarkable. Poppie was older than Mattie, I have said ; but while Mattie talked like an old woman, Poppie talked like a baby. The remarks of each formed a strange opposition, both in matter and form, to her appearance, as far as bodily growth was concerned. But the faces were consistent with the words. There was, however, a very perceptible process of what may be called a double endosmose and exosmose going on between them. Poppie was getting wiser, and Mattie was getting merrier. Sometimes, to the delight of Mr. Kitely, they would be heard frolicking about his house like kittens. Such a burst, however, would seldom last long ; for Mrs. Boxall resented it as unfeeling towards her misfortunes, and generally put a stop to it. This did not please Mr. Kitely at all. It was, in fact, the only thing that he found annoying in the presence of Mrs. Boxall in his house. But he felt such a kindly pity for the old woman that he took no notice of it, and intimated to Mattie that it was better to give up to her.
“The old lady is cranky to-day. She don't feel comfortable in her inside," he would say ; and Mattie would repeat the remark to
Poppie, as if it were her own. There was one word in it, however, which, amongst others of her vocabulary, making the antique formality of her speech so much the more ludicrous, she could not pronounce.
“The old lady don't feel over comfibittle in her inside to-day. We must drop it, or she'll be worse,” Mattie would gravely remark to Poppie, and the tumult would be heard no more that day, or at least for an hour, when,
if they were so long together, it might break out again.
Every now and then some strange explosion of Arab habits or ways of thinking would shock Mattie ; but from seeing that it did not shock Miss Burton so much, she became, by degrees, con, siderably less of a little prig. Childhood revived in her more and more.
“Will you come with me to-day, Poppie, to see the wild beasts?” said Lucy.
“But they'll eat us, won't they ?"
She threw down the saucer she was washing, dried her hands in her apron, and stood ready to follow.
“No, no, Poppie ; that won't do. You must finish washing up and drying your breakfast things. Then you must put on your cloak and hat, and make yourself look nice and tidy, before I can take you."
" If it's only the beasts, miss! They ain't very particler, I guess."
Was this the old word of Chaucer indigenous, or a slip from the American slip?
" It's not for the beasts, but because you ought always to be tidy. There will be people there, of course, and it's disrespectful to other people to be untidy."
"I didn't know, miss. Would they give I to the bears ?" “ Poppie, you're a goose. Come along. Make haste.”
The children had never seen any but domestic animals before, and their wonder and pleasure in these strange new forms of life were boundless. Mattie caught the explosive affection from Poppie, and Lucy had her reward in the outbursts of interest, as varied in kind as the animals themselves, that rose on each side of her. The differences, too, between the children were very notable. Foppie shrieked with laughter at the monkeys ; Mattie
turned away, pale with dislike. Lucy overcame her own feelings in the matter for Poppie's sake, but found that Mattie had disappeared. She was standing outside the door, waiting for them. “ I can't make it out,” she said, putting her hand into Lucy's. “ What can't you make out, Mattie ?" “I can't make out why God made monkeys."
Now, this was a question that might well puzzle Mattie. Indeed, Lucy had no answer to give her. I daresay Mr. Fuller might have had something to say on the subject, but Lucy could only reply, “I don't know, my dear;" for she did not fancy it part of a teacher's duty to tell lies, pretending acquaintance with what she did not know anything about. Poppie had no difficulty about the monkeys; but the lions and tigers, and all the tearing creatures were a horror to her; and if she did not put the same question as Mattie had put about the monkeys, it was only because she had not yet felt any need for understanding the creation of God in relation to him. In other words, she had not yet begun to construct her little individual scheme of the universe, which, sooner or later, must, I presume, be felt by every one as an indispensable necessity. Mr. Fuller would have acknowledged the monkeys as to him a far more important difficulty than the ferocious animals, and would probably have accepted the swine as a greater perplexity than either. Perhaps the readiest answer-I say readiest only, but I would not use the word answer at all, except it involved the elements of solution-for Lucy to give would have been :
“They disgust you, you say, Mattie ? Then that is what God made them for."
A most incomplete, but most true and important reply-and the readiest.
Poppie shouted with delight to see the seals tumble into the water, dive deep, then turn on their backs and look up at her. But their large, round, yet pathetic, dog-like eyes, fixed upon her, made the tears come in Mattie's eyes, as they dreamed up and down and athwart the water-deeps with such a gentle power as destroyed all notion of force to be met or force to overcome.
Another instance or two, to show the difference between the children, and we shall return to the business of my story. - There are, or were then, two or three little animals in a cage-I forget the name of them : they believe in somersaults-that the main object of life is to run round and round, doing the same thing with decency and order--that is, turning heels over head every time they arrive at a certain spot.
With these pretty enough, and more than comical enough creatures, Poppie was exquisitely delighted. She laughed and clapped her hands
and shouted, Now, now! Do it again. There you are! Heels over head.
All right, little one! Round you go. Now, now! There you are !" and so on.
Mattie turned away, saying only to Lucy,.“ They don't make anything of it. They're no further on at night than they were in the morning. I hate roundabouts. Poor litile things !"
They came to the camel's house, and, with other children, they got upon his back. After a short and not over comfortable ride, they got down again. Poppie took hold of Lucy's sleeve, and, with solemn face, asked,
"Is it alive, miss ?”
She was not sure that he did not go by machinery. Mattic gazed at her with compassionate superiority, and said,
“ Poppie, I should like to hear what you tell Mr. Spelt when you get home. You are ignorant."
At this Poppie only grinned. She was not in the least offended. She even, I daresay, felt some of the same admiration for herself that one feels for an odd plaything.
Lucy's private share of the day's enjoyment lay outside the gardens. There the buds were bursting everywhere. Out of the black bark all begrimed with London smoke and London dirt, flowed the purest green. Verily there is One that can bring a clean thing out of an unclean. Reviving nature was all in harmony with Lucy's feelings this day. It was the most simply happy day she had ever had. The gentle wind with its cold and its soft streaks fading and reviving, the blue sky with its few flying undefined masses of whiteness, the shadow of green all around--for when she looked through the trees, it was like looking through a thin green cloud or shadow-the gay songs of the birds, each of which, unlike the mocking-bird within, was content to sing his own song-a poor thing, it might be, but his own-his notion of the secret of things, of the well-being of the universe-all combined in one harmony with her own world inside, and made her more happy than she had ever been before, even in a dream.
She was walking southwards through the park, for she wanted to take the two children to see Mrs. Morgenstern. They were frolicking about her, running hither and thither, returning at frequent intervals to claim each one of her hands, when she saw Mr. Sargent coming towards her. She would not have avoided him if she could, for her heart was so gay that it was strong as well. He lifted his hat. She offered her hand. He took it, saying,
“This is more than I deserve, Miss Burton, after the abominable way I behaved to you last time I saw you. I see you have forgiven me. But I dare hardly accept your forgiveness ; it is so much more than I deserve."
"I know what it is to suffer, Mr. Sargent, and there is no excuse I could not make for you. Perhaps the best proof I can give that I wish to forget all that passed on that dreadful evening is to be quite open with you still. I have seen Mr. Worboise since then," she went on, regardless of her own blushes. “He had been led astray, but not so much as you thought. He brought me back the ring you mentioned.”
If Mr. Sargent did not place much confidence in the reformation Lucy hinted at, it is not very surprising. No doubt the fact would destroy any possibly lingering hope he yet cherished, but this was not all; he was quite justified in regarding with great distrust any such change as her words implied. He had known, even in his own comparatively limited experience, so many cases of a man's having, to all appearance, entirely abjured his wicked ways for the sake of a woman, only to return, after marriage, like the sow that was washed to his wallowing in the mire, that his whole soul shrunk from the idea of such an innocent creature falling a prey to her confidence in such a man as Worboise most probably was. There was nothing to be said at present on the subject, however, and after a few more words they parted-Lucy, to pursue her dream of delight-Mr. Sargent, lawyer-like, to make further inquiry
MOLKEN ON THE SCENT.
Now it had so happened that Mr. Molken had caught sight of Tom as he returned from his visit to his mother, and had seen him go into Mr. Fuller's house. His sailor's dress piqued the curiosity which he naturally felt with regard to him ; and as, besides, the rascal fed upon secrets, gave him hope of still making something out of him if he could but get him again in his power. Therefore he watched the house with much patience, saw Mr. Fuller go out and return again with Lucy, whom he knew by sight, and gave to the phenomenon what interpretation his vile nature was capable of, concluding that Tom was in want of money, -as he himself generally was,- and would get something out of Lucy before they parted : he had stored the fact of the ring in his usual receptacle for such facts. Besides, he had been in communication with a lawyer, for he could see well enough that Mr. Sargent belonged to that profession, concerning this very Thomas Worboise : perhaps he was wanted, and if so, why should not he reap what benefit might be reaped from aiding in his capture? With all these grounds for hope, he was able to persevere in watching the house till Thomas came out alone, evidently in great haste and