ontradictory countenance, "you're too--big, aren't you? We have only tiny little people here, you know; not six years old. You are more, aren't you?"
"Well, I'm nine by the book; but I ain't more 'n scerce six along o' my losing them three year."
"What do you mean, child? How could you lose three years?" cried I, more and more puzzled by my curious visitor.
"I lost 'em on the back stairs, don't yer know. My father he got fightin' mad when he was drunk, and pitched me down two flights of 'em, and my back was most clean broke in two, so I couldn't git out o' bed forever, till just now."
"Why, poor child, who took care of you?"
"Mother she minded me when she warn't out washin'."
"And did she send you here to-day?"
"Well! however could she, bein' as how she's dead? I s'posed you knowed that. She died after I got well; she only waited for me to git up, anyhow."
O God! these poor mothers! they bite back the cry of their pain, and fight death with love