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The Bountiful Lady or, How Mary was changed from a very Miserable Little Girl to a very Happy One   By: (1854-1932)

The Bountiful Lady or, How Mary was changed from a very Miserable Little Girl to a very Happy One by Thomas Cobb

First Page:

The Bountiful Lady

or, How Mary was changed from a very Miserable Little Girl to a very Happy One

BY THOMAS COBB

LONDON: GRANT RICHARDS 1900

CONTENTS

1. Mary finds herself in a different place

2. Mary sees her Fairy Godmother

3. Mary sees what the Magic Counters can do

4. The Story of the Discontented Boy and the Magician

5. Mary sees the wings, as well as some other wonderful things

6. Mary is taken away

7. The Story of the Little Girl, the Dog, and the Doll

8. Mary sees something which she has never seen before

9. Evangeline gives Mary some Magic Counters

10. The Story of the Prince, the Blue Bird, and the Cage

11. Mary sees Mrs. Coppert and Mrs. Coppert sees Mary

12. Evangeline says good bye to Mary Brown

The Bountiful Lady

I

MARY FINDS HERSELF IN A DIFFERENT PLACE

It was not a dream, this wonderful thing that happened to Mary Brown, although it seemed very much like a dream at first.

Mary was a pretty, round faced, dirty little girl who had neither a father nor a mother nor a brother nor a sister. Nobody had kissed her since she could remember, although it was only the day before yesterday that Mrs. Coppert had beaten her.

She lived in a poor, narrow street, and during the daytime she spent many hours in the road. During the night she lay on a sack on the floor of a small room with three other children. Sometimes, when she played in the road, Mary almost forgot she was hungry; but for the most part, she was a sorrowful little girl. She had none of the things which you like the best she did not even know there were such things in the world; she seldom had enough to eat, and her clothes were very ragged and dirty indeed.

One afternoon she was playing in the gutter, it happened to be a little past tea time, although Mary did not always have any tea; she had no toys, but there was plenty of mud, and you can make very interesting things out of mud if you only know the way. Mary kneeled in the road, with her back to the turning, the soles of a pair of old boots showing beneath her ragged skirt, as she stooped over the mud, patting it first on one side then on the other, until it began to look something like the shape of a loaf of bread. Mary thought how very nice it would be if only it was a loaf of bread, so that she might eat it, when suddenly she seemed to hear a loud clap of thunder and the day turned into night.

She did not feel any pain, but the street and the mud all disappeared, and Mary Brown knew nothing. For a long time, although she never knew for how long, she was NOWHERE!

It might have been a month or a week or a day or an hour or even only five minutes or one minute or a second, but when she found herself SOMEWHERE again it was somewhere else.

Mary had been playing in the road, feeling very hungry, with her hands on the soft mud, when this strange sensation came to her and she knew nothing else. And when she opened her eyes again, she was not in the road any longer, as she would have expected; though for some time yet she could not imagine where she was or how she had come there.

She was lying on her back, but not upon the floor of the poor house in William Street; she lay on something quite soft and comfortable far above the boards. All around her she saw an iron rail, and at the corners two bright yellow knobs. Above, she saw a clean white ceiling, whilst the walls, which were a long way from the bed, seemed to be almost hidden by coloured pictures.

Instead of her ragged dress, Mary wore a clean, white night gown, and there was not a speck of mud on her hands, which astonished her more than anything else.

'They can't be my hands,' she thought; 'they must belong to somebody else. They look quite clean and white, and I am sure I never had white hands before... Continue reading book >>




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