The Lady of the Aroostook

The Lady of the Aroostook

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The Lady of the Aroostook by William Dean Howells

Published:

1879

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The Lady of the Aroostook

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Book Excerpt

er, and one of them swore at Lydia for taking up all the sidewalk with her bundles. There were such dull eyes and slattern heads at the open windows of the shabby houses; and there were gaunt, bold-faced young girls who strolled up and down the pavements, bonnetless and hatless, and chatted into the windows, and joked with other such girls whom they met. Suddenly a wild outcry rose from the swarming children up one of the intersecting streets, where a woman was beating a small boy over the head with a heavy stick: the boy fell howling and writhing to the ground, and the cruel blows still rained upon him, till another woman darted from an open door and caught the child up with one hand, and with the other wrenched the stick away and flung it into the street. No words passed, and there was nothing to show whose child the victim was; the first woman walked off, and while the boy rubbed his head and arms, and screamed with the pain, the other children, whose sports had been scarcely interrupted, were shouting and

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