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CHAPTER I Motherless In the East End of London, more than a mile from St Paul's Cathedral, and lying near to the docks, there is a tangled knot of narrow streets and lanes, crossing and running into one another, with blind alleys and courts leading out of them, and low arched passages, and dark gullies, and unsuspected slums, hiding away at the back of the narrowest streets; forming altogether such a labyrinth of roads and dwellings, that one... more...

The Great American Desert. There is a great desert in the interior of North America. It is almost as large as the famous Saära of Africa. It is fifteen hundred miles long, and a thousand wide. Now, if it were of a regular shape—that is to say, a parallelogram—you could at once compute its area, by multiplying the length upon the breadth; and you would obtain one million and a half for the result—one million and a half of... more...

THE BLUE LIGHT "Mother, make Ted stop!" "I'm not doing anything at all, Mother!" "Yes he is, too! Please call him in. He's hurting my doll." "Oh, Janet Martin, I am not!" "You are so, Theodore Baradale Martin; and you've just got to stop!" Janet, or Jan, as she was more often called, stood in front of her brother with flashing eyes and red cheeks. "Children! Children! What are you doing now?" asked their mother, appearing in the doorway of... more...

THE CURLYTOPS AND THEIR PLAYMATESCHAPTER ITROUBLE IN TROUBLE "When do you s'pose it'll come, Teddy?" "Oh, pretty soon now, I guess. We're all ready for it when it does come," and Ted Martin glanced from where he sat over toward a slanting hill made of several long boards nailed to some tall packing boxes. The boxes were piled high at one end, and on top was a little platform, reached by some steps made of smaller boxes. "It's a good while... more...

CHAPTER I UNCLE TOBY'S LETTER "What you going to put on your ship, Ted?" "Oh, swords and guns and gunpowder and soldiers. What you going to load on your ship, Jan?" "Oranges and lemons and pineapples," answered the little girl, who was playing with her brother at sailing boats in the brook that ran back of the house. "And maybe I'll have gold and diamonds and chocolate cake on my ship, Teddy," went on Janet Martin. "If you do I'll be a... more...


THE DAME'S DEPARTURE.   MERRY life had Dame Desley and her four children led in their rural home. The sound of their cheerful voices, the patter of their little feet, the laugh, the shout, and the song, had been heard from morning till night. I will not stop to tell of all the daisy-chains and cowslip-balls made by the children under the big elm-tree that grew on their mother's lawn; or how they gathered ripe blackberries in autumn; or in... more...

TWO OF THE TYRANTS. "Here, Buck Bradford, black my boots, and be quick about it." That was what Ham Fishley said to me. "Black them yourself!" That was what I said to Ham Fishley. Neither of us was gentlemanly, nor even civil. I shall not apologize for myself, and certainly not for Ham, though he inherited his mean, tyrannical disposition from both his father and his mother. If he had civilly asked me to black his boots, I would have done... more...

CHAPTER I. IN WHICH NONE OF THE CHARACTERS APPEAR.   HE door of the study was closed, and only Nero was to be seen. He, poor dog, stood in the wide hall gazing wistfully at the knob, and pricking up his ears whenever sounds of movement in the room aroused his hope of being admitted. Suddenly he gave a yelp of delight. Somebody surely was approaching the door. The steps—they were a man's—halted. There was a soft, rolling sound,... more...

CHAPTER I. THE WAY IT BEGAN. Nobody except Miss Lucy Armacost would have thought of starting an orphan asylum with one orphan. Even she might not have done it but for Molly Johns. As for Molly, she never dreamed of such a thing. She was just careering down the avenue one windy afternoon in early December, upon one roller skate, and Miss Lucy was just coming up the block, walking rather unsteadily upon her two small feet. The dear little old... more...

Half a Dozen Daughters. There were six of them altogether—six great big girls,—and they lived in a great big house, in the middle of a long high road, one end of which loses itself in London town, while the other goes stretching away over the county of Hertford. Years ago, John Gilpin had ridden his famous race down that very road, and Christabel loved to look out of her bedroom window and imagine that she saw him flying along, with... more...