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Little Pollie Or a Bunch of Violets   By:

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[Illustration: "I say, Pollie, how many have yer sold?" Page 8.]

LITTLE POLLIE OR A BUNCH OF VIOLETS

BY GERTRUDE P. DYER

Author of "Armour Clad," "How Hettie Caught the Sunbeams," etc.

NEW EDITION

John F. Shaw & Co., Ltd., Publishers, 3, Pilgrim Street, London, E.C.

CONTENTS.

PAGE I. POLLIE STARTS IN BUSINESS 7 II. WHO HAD THE VIOLETS? 17 III. HOW POLLIE SPENT HER MONEY 27 IV. MRS. FLANAGAN 36 V. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN 42 VI. ON WATERLOO BRIDGE 52 VII. THE LOST ONE FOUND 65 VIII. SALLY'S FIRST SUNDAY AT CHURCH 73 IX. CRIPPLED JIMMY 81 X. NORA 95 XI. CHRISTMAS EVE 104 XII. IN THE SPRING TIME 113

LITTLE POLLIE.

CHAPTER I.

POLLIE STARTS IN BUSINESS.

"A penny a bunch; only a penny, sweet violets," cried a soft little voice, just outside the Bank of England, one morning in early spring; "only a penny a bunch!"

But the throng of busy clerks hurrying on to their various places of business heard not that childish voice amidst the confused din of omnibus and cabs, and so she stood, timidly uttering her cry "Sweet violets!" unheeded by the passers by.

She was a fragile little creature of about ten years old, small for her age, with shy yet trustful eyes, and soft, brown, curly hair; and as she stood there, clad in a black frock and a straw hat, well worn, it is true, but free from tatters, with a piece of crape neatly fastened around it, had any one amidst that busy multitude paused to look at the little flower seller, they would have wondered why so young a child was trusted alone in that noisy, bustling place.

"I say, Pollie, how many have yer sold, eh?" exclaimed another girl, coming up to her quite a different type of girlhood, a regular London arab, one who from her very cradle (if ever she possessed such a luxury) had battled through life heedless of all rubs and bruises, ready to hold her own against the entire world, and yet with much of hidden goodness beneath the rugged surface.

"Only two bunches," replied little Pollie, somewhat sadly.

"Only two!" repeated the other. "My eye! yer won't make a fortin, that's sartin!"

"The people don't seem to see me, not even hear me," said the child.

"'Cos why, you don't shout loud enuff," explained the bigger girl. "If yer wants to get on in the world, yer must make a noise somehow. Make the folks hear; never minds if yer deafens 'em, they'll pay 'tention to yer then. See how I does it."

At that moment four smart youths came strolling leisurely along arm in arm, trying to appear as though merely out on pleasure, though they knew full well they must be in their office and at their desks before the clock struck ten.

These were just the customers for Sally Grimes, and away she rushed full upon them, her thin ragged shawl flying in the wind, and her rough hair, from which the net had fallen, following the example of the shawl; and as she reached the somewhat startled youths, who almost stumbled over her, she held her only remaining posy right in their faces, screaming out in a harsh grating voice, rendered harsh by her street training

"Now, then, gents, this last bunch only a penny!"

Polly looked on in utter amazement. It is true she did not understand Sally's logic, but she saw plainly that the sweet violets were sold, for presently back came the girl, crying out

"That's the way to do it. I've sold all mine; now let's see what you've got left. Why, ten more bunches! Come, give us two or three, I'll get rid of 'em for yer; I'll bring yer back the money... Continue reading book >>




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