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Maida's Little Shop   By: (1873-1970)

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Maida's Little Shop By Inez Haynes Irwin

Author of MAIDA'S LITTLE HOUSE, MAIDA'S LITTLE SCHOOL, ETC.

Grosset & Dunlap, Publishers New York

Copyright, 1909, by B. W. HUEBSCH

TO LITTLE P. D. FROM BIG P. D.

CONTENTS

Chapter I: The Ride Chapter II: Cleaning Up Chapter III: The First Day Chapter IV: The Second Day Chapter V: Primrose Court Chapter VI: Two Calls Chapter VII: Trouble Chapter VIII: A Rainy Day Chapter IX: Work Chapter X: Play Chapter XI: Halloween Chapter XII: The First Snow Chapter XIII: The Fair Chapter XIV: Christmas Happenings

MAIDA'S LITTLE SHOP

CHAPTER I: THE RIDE

Four people sat in the big, shining automobile. Three of them were men. The fourth was a little girl. The little girl's name was Maida Westabrook. The three men were "Buffalo" Westabrook, her father, Dr. Pierce, her physician, and Billy Potter, her friend. They were coming from Marblehead to Boston.

Maida sat in one corner of the back seat gazing dreamily out at the whirling country. She found it very beautiful and very curious. They were going so fast that all the reds and greens and yellows of the autumn trees melted into one variegated band. A moment later they came out on the ocean. And now on the water side were two other streaks of color, one a spongy blue that was sky, another a clear shining blue that was sea. Maida half shut her eyes and the whole world seemed to flash by in ribbons.

"May I get out for a moment, papa?" she asked suddenly in a thin little voice. "I'd like to watch the waves."

"All right," her father answered briskly. To the chauffeur he said, "Stop here, Henri." To Maida, "Stay as long as you want, Posie."

"Posie" was Mr. Westabrook's pet name for Maida.

Billy Potter jumped out and helped Maida to the ground. The three men watched her limp to the sea wall.

She was a child whom you would have noticed anywhere because of her luminous, strangely quiet, gray eyes and because of the ethereal look given to her face by a floating mass of hair, pale gold and tendrilly. And yet I think you would have known that she was a sick little girl at the first glance. When she moved, it was with a great slowness as if everything tired her. She was so thin that her hands were like claws and her cheeks scooped in instead of out. She was pale, too, and somehow her eyes looked too big. Perhaps this was because her little heart shaped face seemed too small.

"You've got to find something that will take up her mind, Jerome," Dr. Pierce said, lowering his voice, "and you've got to be quick about it. Just what Greinschmidt feared has come that languor that lack of interest in everything. You've got to find something for her to do ."

Dr. Pierce spoke seriously. He was a round, short man, just exactly as long any one way as any other. He had springy gray curls all over his head and a nose like a button. Maida thought that he looked like a very old but a very jolly and lovable baby. When he laughed and he was always laughing with Maida he shook all over like jelly that has been turned out of a jar. His very curls bobbed. But it seemed to Maida that no matter how hard he chuckled, his eyes were always serious when they rested on her.

Maida was very fond of Dr. Pierce. She had known him all her life. He had gone to college with her father. He had taken care of her health ever since Dr. Greinschmidt left. Dr. Greinschmidt was the great physician who had come all the way across the ocean from Germany to make Maida well. Before the operation Maida could not walk. Now she could walk easily. Ever since she could remember she had always added to her prayers at night a special request that she might some day be like other little girls. Now she was like other little girls, except that she limped. And yet now that she could do all the things that other little girls did, she no longer cared to do them not even hopping and skipping, which she had always expected would be the greatest fun in the world... Continue reading book >>




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