and give money to seven or eight beggars who accosted her. She never can
refuse any one who asks with a pitiful look and a pathetic cock-and-bull story. Several of them were young and strong, and quite undeserving of charity. Three, I observed, went straight to a public-house with what she had given them, and the last, a small street boy, went into fits of suppressed laughter after she had passed, and made faces at her--finishing off by putting the thumb of his left hand to his nose, and spreading out his fingers as wide as possible. I do not understand the exact significance of that action, but there is something in it so intensely insolent that it is quite incompatible with the idea of gratitude."
"Yes, mother, I saw him too," said Ruth, with a demure look; "it curiously enough happened that I was following you at the time. You afterwards passed the same boy with a refusal, I suppose?"
"Yes, child, of course--and a reproof."
"I thought so. Well, after you had passed, he not on