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The Angel of the Tenement   By: (1866-1936)

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New York Bonnell, Silver & Co. 1897

Copyright by Bonnell, Silver & Co., 1897.



I. The Advent of the Angel 1

II. The Entertainers of the Angel 16

III. Introduces the Little Major 26

IV. The Angel Becomes a Fairy 37

V. The Angel Rescues Mr. Tomlin 55

VI. The Major Superintends the Angel's Education 72

VII. Miss Ruth makes the Acquaintance of Old G. A. R. 90

VIII. The Angel meets an old Friend 99

IX. Mary Carew is Tempted 111

X. The Major Obeys Orders 122

XI. Tells of the Tenement's Christmas 125




The ladies of the Tenement felt that it was a matter concerning the reputation of the house. Therefore on this particular hot July morning they were gathered in the apartment of Miss Mary Carew and Miss Norma Bonkowski, if one small and dingy room may be so designated, and were putting the matter under discussion.

Miss Carew, tall, bony, and more commonly known to the Tenement as Miss C'rew, of somewhat tart and acrid temper, being pressed for her version of the story, paused in her awkward and intent efforts at soothing the beautiful, fair haired child upon her lap and explained that she was stepping out her door that morning with her water bucket, thinking to get breakfast ready before Miss Bonkowski awoke, when a child's frightened crying startled her, coming from a room across the hall which for some weeks had been for rent.

"At that," continued Miss Carew, moved to unwonted loquacity, and patting the child industriously while she addressed the circle of listening ladies, "at that, 'sure as life!' says I, and stepped across and opened the door, an' there, settin' on this shawl, its eyes big like it had jus' waked up, an' cryin' like to break its heart, was this here baby. I picked her right up an' come an' woke Norma, but it's nothin' we can make out, 'ceptin' she's been in that there room all night."

Many were the murmurs and ejaculations from the circle of wondering ladies, while Miss Bonkowski, a frowzy headed lady in soiled shirt waist and shabby skirt, with a small waist and shoulders disproportionately broad; and with, moreover, a dab of paint upon each high boned cheek, nothing daunted by previous failures, leaned forward and putting a somewhat soiled finger beneath the child's pretty chin, inquired persuasively, "And isn't the darling going to tell its Norma its name?"

Miss Bonkowski spoke airily and as if delivering a part. But this the good ladies forgave, for was not this same Miss Norma the flower that shed an odor of distinction over the social blossoming of the whole Tenement? Was not Miss Bonkowski a chorus lady at The Garden Opera House?

So her audience looked on approvingly while Miss Norma snapped her fingers and chirruped to the baby encouragingly. "And what is the darling's name?" she repeated.

The little one, her pitiful sobbing momentarily arrested, regarded Miss Bonkowski with grave wonder. "Didn't a know I are Angel?" she returned in egotistical surprise.

"Sure an' it's the truth she's spakin', fer it's the picter of an angel she is," cried Mrs. O'Malligan, she of the first floor front, who added a tidy sum to her husband's earnings by taking in washing, and in consequence of the size of these united incomes, no less than that of her big heart, was regarded with much respect by the Tenement, "just look at the swate face of her, would ye, an' the loikes of her illegant gown!"

"Won't it tell its Norma where it came from? Who brought the dearie here and left it in the naughty room? Tell its Norma," continued Miss Bonkowski, on her knees upon the bare and dirty floor, and eyeing the dainty embroidery and examining the quality of the fine white dress while she coaxed... Continue reading book >>

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