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The Story of Patsy   By: (1856-1923)

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THE STORY OF PATSY

by

KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN

Author of The Birds' Christmas Carol

[Illustration: "PATSY MINDING THE KENNETT BABY."]

[Illustration: VIGNETTE.]

To

H.C.A.

IN REMEMBRANCE OF GLADNESS GIVEN TO SORROWFUL LITTLE LIVES

"The young lambs are bleating in the meadows, The young birds are chirping in the nest, The young fawns are playing with the shadows, The young flowers are blowing toward the west But the young; young children, O my brothers, They are weeping bitterly! They are weeping in the playtime of the others In the country of the free."

MRS. BROWNING.

The original Story of Patsy was written and sold some seven years ago for the benefit of the Silver Street Free Kindergartens in San Francisco. Now that it is for the first time placed in the hands of publishers, I have at their request added new material, so that the present story is more than double the length of the original brief sketch.

K.D.W. New York, March, 1889.

CONTENTS AND LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

"Patsy minding the Kennett Baby." Frontispiece Vignette. Title

I. THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN.

II. PATSY COMES TO CALL.

"Here's an orange I brung yer!"

III. TWO 'PRENTICE HANDS AT PHILANTHROPY.

Miss Helen.

IV. BEHIND THE SCENES.

"The boys at my side prattle together." "Here is the hat!"

V. I SEEK PATSY, AND MEET THE DUCHESS OF ANNA STREET.

"The Story of Victor."

VI. A LITTLE "HOODLUM'S" VIRTUE KINDLES AT THE TOUCH OF JOY.

Carlotty Griggs "being a Butterfly." Paulina's "good mornings to Johnny Cass."

VII. PATSY FINDS HIS THREE LOST YEARS.

"He sat silently by the window." Tail Piece.

CHAPTER I.

THE SILVER STREET KINDERGARTEN.

"It makes a heaven wide difference whether the soul of the child is regarded as a piece of blank paper, to be written upon, or as a living power, to be quickened by sympathy, to be educated by truth."

It had been a long, wearisome day at the Free Kindergarten, and I was alone in the silent, deserted room. Gone were all the little heads, yellow and black, curly and smooth; the dancing, restless, curious eyes; the too mischievous, naughty, eager hands and noisy feet; the merry voices that had made the great room human, but now left it quiet and empty. Eighty pairs of tiny boots had clattered down the stairs; eighty baby woes had been relieved; eighty little torn coats pulled on with patient hands; eighty shabby little hats, not one with a "strawberry mark" to distinguish it from any other, had been distributed with infinite discrimination among their possessors; numberless sloppy kisses had been pressed upon a willing cheek or hand, and another day was over. No, not quite over, after all. A murderous yell from below brought me to my feet, and I flew like an anxious hen to my brood. One small quarrel in the hall; very small, but it must be inquired into on the way to the greater one. Mercedes McGafferty had taunted Jenny Crawhall with being Irish. The fact that she herself had been born in Cork about three years previous did not trouble her in the least. Jenny, in a voice choked with sobs, and with the stamp of a tiny foot, was announcing hotly that she was "NOT Irish, no sech a thing, she was Plesberterian!" I was not quite clear whether this was a theological or racial controversy, but I settled it speedily, and they ran off together hand in hand. I hastened to the steps. The yells had come from Joe Guinee and Mike Higgins, who were fighting for the possession of a banana; a banana, too, that should have been fought for, if at all, many days before, a banana better suited, in its respectable old age, to peaceful consumption than the fortunes of war... Continue reading book >>




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