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ravenously the tears streamed down
That afternoon Mrs. Grady came to
the door of her tenement.
"It's all right, Mrs. Flaherty," she
said. "Somebody's written to the
Children's Society, and they're going
to take the child away. The man's
been put in prison for stabbing anoth
er of thini Poles whin he was drunk.
The' society will be here in the even
ing." Norm's heart misgave her. Some
how the thought of the little, dark
eyed boy growing up inside the
shadow of the. society's big-, barrack
like building was dreadful to contem
plate. She thought of her own babies,
'and she sat in her chair, a picture of
Suddenly a burning thought came
to to her that made her sit up and
stare wildly about her. Why not?
Why not? In another minute she
had crept down to the basement
again to where the boy was lying. At
the sight of her he sat up and stretch
'ed out his thin little hands.
She lifted him in her arms and hid
him beneath her sawl. How pitifully
light he was! He did not understand
her words of motherly kindness, but
the tone is the same in all languages.
He snuggled down in her arms, and a
couple of minutes later he was nest
' ling upon her own bed, while the four
children stood around, staring at th,e
Ten minutes later, when the boy
was asleep, Mrs. Grady cajne to the
"Mrs. Flaherty!" she gasped "the
man has come from the society, and
w"hat-do yez think? One of that Po
lack's friend9 has been and taken the
Nora Flaherty looked at her friend
with a stare of misunderstanding.
"The man from the society is ask
ing if anybody's seen, the child," con
tinued Mrs. Grady. ,rYez didn't hap
pen to see him, did yez, Nora?"
"No," answered Nora Flaherty in
a mechanical manner. "No, I didn't"
But after her visitor had gone away
she sat beside the bed in fear and
trembling every time a footstep
sounded outside the door. And there
was another reason for her dread. It
had been an impudse to take the lad,
an impulse which she had not follow
ed to its logical conclusion. Perhaps
she had merely wanted to give him
some bread and milk and to show him
a little of that mother love that he
had never known. But now what
would Michael say?
He loved his children and hehad
always been kind to her, but well,
another mouth, to feed meant a
dreadful tax upon their scanty means.
And he was out of worit, might be for
weeks to come, although he had re
ceived a half -promise of something in
the near 'future.
She sat there in an agony of sus
pense until she heard her husband's
tread along the hall outside. In an
other moment he was in the little
tenement, and, as she went out to
meet him, he clasped her in his arms
and kissed her. She looked at "him
with pride. What a good husband she
had! He never drank or beat her, even
if he was a little petulant at times.
And he had been so patient all
through that dreary time.
"Nora, girl," he exclaimed, "I've
got a job and I go "to work the day
after tomorrow. And it's in the coun
try, lass! It's in the new "Richardson
plant, twenty miles away a steady
job, my girl,, and all expenses paid.
And we move tomorrow!"
He saw a strange look on her face.
She was trembling.
"What is it, Nora?" he cried, con.
scious of some dreadful fear.
She told him. And then she led him
into the bedroom and showed him
the pinched little figure upon the bed,
and the dawning smile upon the
childish mouth. She turned down the
covers and showed him the weals up
on the little body.
"Michael, my man," she whispered,
"there's only four of our own, though,
praise God, there'll be more coming to
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