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A Modern Cinderella by Amanda Minnie Douglas

Miss Armitage had been to church


"But dragged them about in the carriage. Such children are not strong enough for nursemaids. She was pretty well used up, and she'll be sometime getting over it."

"I've taken a curious fancy to the child. Jane thinks she must have belonged to what we call 'nice people.' She flattered me by asking, the first coherent words she uttered if I was not 'a fairy godmother?' Think of that!" smiling.

"Well, _I_ think you have been that many a time. I wonder you haven't filled the house with children."

"I'm always full of pity for them. But when they are cured and put in some place where they can do their best, and have a little love and care, I go on to the next. I do not believe I am a real missionary, and I have a theory--it may not be a very noble one," and a soft color suffused her fine face, "that people who bring children into the world ought to be made to feel the responsibility of them and not shift them on society at large, trusting Providence to take care of them."

"That is what ought to be taught--the responsibility of children. Women as well as men sin in this respect. The woman who forgives the drunken husband and takes him back until tired of working he goes off again leaving another child to add to the poorly-fed throng she can hardly take care of. I think the man who goes off the second time, or who does not take care of the children he has, should be put in some institution and made to earn their support. And the girls ought to be educated up to better ideas of marriage. It doesn't near always conduce to morality. I preach sermons to you--don't I?" and he gave a short laugh. "And we can never set the world straight. But these Homes and Republics are doing a good work in training children to self reliance."

Jane wrapped the little girl in the kimona and lifted her up in the reclining chair.

"Oh, that's so nice. How good you are! And everything is so lovely. Oh, I'll soon be well."

Then the little face clouded over. Oh, she truly would not mind being ill if she could stay in this beautiful house where everything was so quiet. Jane went in and out, and presently she brought a cup of broth. How good it tasted!

"Would you mind if I went back to bed? I'm so sleepy."

"Oh, no," returned Jane, and she put her gently back on the cot where she soon fell asleep.

There was slight rise of fever and restlessness about noon. She talked in broken snatches imploring Jack not to do this or that and not to pinch the babies. Then she was so tired, so tired! But about midafternoon, she seemed to rouse and come to herself and said she was hungry. There was broth and hot milk and some stewed fruit, and Jane brushed her hair that fell in a bed of rings and asked if she didn't want to sit up. She brought her over by the window so she could look out, but the back yard was very pretty for it was gay with blooming flowers.

Miss Armitage had been to church, and at two she had a class of young girls who were clerks in stores. Half of them were going away on Monday to the Rest House for a week, and they were full of that. Two of them had never been before. Was it like Coney Island?

"It is not far from the shore, the broad Sound that leads out to the ocean. But there are not side shows. Just rowing and bathing, and a ride every day in a big omnibus. And plenty of girls. Oh, you won't be lonesome;" and Miss Armitage smiled.


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