Carola

Carola

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Carola by Hesba Stretton

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1884

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Carola

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Book Excerpt

raved for; and Carola went out late at night to the nearest gin-palace to buy a fresh bottle of gin. She had been sitting in the close atmosphere of the garret all day without food; only now and then sipping the gin-and-water she had poured at intervals down her grandmother's parched throat. The streets were quiet as she sped along them, for in a few minutes all the spirit-vaults would be closed, and those who were drinking late were still, inside their glittering walls, waiting to be turned out at the last moment. Carola's face was bathed with tears, of which she was half proud and half ashamed.

"Take a drop of something to comfort you," said the barmaid sympathisingly. Carola was in no hurry to go back. She felt reluctant to return at once to the dismal and lonely room, where there was nothing to look at but the shrunken and death-stricken face of her old grandmother. Yet she did not care to stay in the streets, dimly-lighted though they were, where she might be seen by any one who would jeer at her

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