The Case of the Brannigans 5

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    We spent in money just $10, exactly
what Mr Hillyer paid for his pet pipe, by
his own guilty admission. The carpenters
bill was $15 and some odd cents, not half
the price of my own last evening frock.
    Many resolutions grew up in us during
these next few hurried days; we felt our-
selves pledged to the future of Bat and his
brethren, already seeing in imagination the
objects of our care and wisdom grown to
be five intelligent voters; snatched from
want and sin, a legacy from us to the glory
of our land. It was toward nightfall on
Christmas even that we made our last of
many journeys to the Brannigans and real-
ized our immediate work was about com-
    The children, espying us from afar as
shapes unlike their other friends, the loco-
motives, ran headlong to their mother,
screaming, "The lady and gentleman's com-
ing, wash our faces, quick!" After which
they clambered up on the old sofa, perching
like young birds on a bough, in a serious
expectant row, to wait for our arrival.
    It was a long way from a picture of
"Home, sweet home," yet as most minds
conceive it, but the new stove crackled
comfortably and Bat's small shoulders
seemed to have grown broader by several
inches; while, best of all, the terror was
gone from handsome Maggie's eyes as she
called on all her lazy saints for a blessing
on our heads.
    As we came away, the curling smoke
from the chimney wreathed itself in a
halo over the little shanty, from which the
glittering rails ran away into the distance,
a story of the future in themselves.
    The engineer on the down express
waived his grimy hand to us as he dashed
by, and the setting sun glanced back a
reluctant good-night up the valley to the
silver moon rising over the amethyst hills,
whose purple hollows cradled the sleeping
    Then it was I realized that no country
can ever be so cursed as to be set off from
the heart-warming influence of contact
with the suffering and unfortunate; grate-
ful for the promise of the Nazarene, living
through the death of many centuries, "the
poor ye have always with you."
    Remembering which I became perma-
nent missionary to Elmhurst, resigning the
"foreign field" to other willing hands for-