The last pill had disappeared down
little red lane, when Ralph was seen to turn the corner.
“Well, Chicks, why so solemn?”
he asked cheerfully. “Sister, have you
Sister held out the broken doll silently.
“Why, that’s too bad!”
exclaimed Ralph, sitting down on the step beside his
little sister. “What happened to Muriel
“Brownie jerked her out of the
hammock and she fell on her head,” Brother explained.
“Can you mend her, Ralph?”
“I’m afraid not,”
said Ralph regretfully. “Mending faces is
ticklish work; I might manage an arm or leg, but not
a face. I tell you, Sister you
take Muriel Elsie down to the Exchange and see if Miss
Arline can’t mend her. Leave her there,
ask how much it will cost and when she will be ready,
and I’ll give you the money.”
“I’ll go with you, Betty,”
Brother offered. “Let’s go now,”
Molly tied the box up with paper and
string and hand in hand Brother and Sister started.
“Certainly I can mend the dollie,”
announced Miss Arline when they reached her house
and had shown her Muriel Elsie and explained the accident.
“I think I’ll take her into the city with
me tomorrow to a doll’s hospital. You come
for her a week from today and she will be ready for
you. I can’t tell how much it will cost,
you tell your brother, until I find out what the hospital
will charge me.”
On their way home, Brother and Sister
met Mickey Gaffney. They had not seen him since
he played school with them, and the sight of him at
once suggested something to Brother.
“Say, Nellie Yarrow says you’re
going to be in the first grade at school this term,”
he said to Mickey. “I’m going to be
in first grade, too. We’ll be in the same
“Don’t know as I’m
going to school,” declared Mickey perversely.
“I didn’t go much last year.”
your ’father let you?” suggested Sister
Mickey flushed a little.
“Aw, it wasn’t so much
his fault, leastways he said he didn’t care if
I went,” he muttered, digging his bare foot
into the gravel on one side of the stone flagging.
“After they had him arrested he said I had to
“Didn’t you want to go?”
urged Brother, round-eyed. “I think it’s
lots of fun to go to school.”
“Guess you wouldn’t think
so if you didn’t have some shoes and a good
coat,” retorted Mickey. “I ain’t
going to school this year, either, if I can’t
have things to wear. None of the boys go barefoot.”
“But Nellie says Mr. Alexander
got some shoes for you to wear,” said Brother
“How would you like to wear
somebody else’s shoes?” inquired Mickey
with scorn. “They belonged to Ted Scott
and he was always looking at my feet when I wore ’em.
I want some shoes of my own!”
“Couldn’t your father
buy you just one pair?” Sister asked.
“No, he couldn’t,”
Mickey answered desperately. “He doesn’t
like to work, and we had to sell Ted Scott’s
shoes this summer for fifty cents. When the old
man does work it takes all he makes to buy grub.
My mother takes in washing to pay the rent.”
Mickey told them this jerkily, as
though against his will, and kind-hearted little Brother
thought perhaps they had asked too many questions.
“Maybe you could earn money
yourself,” he said presently. “I’m
going to ask Daddy. You just wait, Mickey.”
“I wouldn’t mind earning
some money,” admitted Mickey cautiously.
“But it takes a lot for new shoes.
And they got to be new.”
Brother and Sister hurried home, eager
to see Daddy Morrison, and ask his advice. They
found him reading on the porch and waiting for dinner.
“Oh, Daddy!” Sister rushed
for him. “Daddy, how can Mickey Gaffney
earn enough money to buy a whole pair of new shoes?”
“A whole pair of shoes?”
repeated Daddy, laughing. “Why, Daughter,
I suppose a way can be found, if he must have them.
Who is this Mickey Gaffney?”
Sister told about Mickey, and Brother
helped her, and when they had finished, Daddy Morrison
knew all about Mickey and his school troubles.
“Being red-headed and Irish,
I don’t suppose he will let me give him
the money,” he mused. “Let’s
see, what can a chap that age do? He must be
seven or eight years old I’ve seen
him hanging around the station, ready to carry suitcases.
I wonder if he couldn’t help the boys with the
“I’ll pay him if he can
weed,” grinned Jimmie, who had been listening.
“And Ralph was saying last week that he wasn’t
going to have time to take his turn at garden work he
wants to go in on an earlier train.”
“All right, we’ll tell
Ralph that Mickey is open for an engagement,”
said Daddy Morrison. “We’ll start
him in the garden and then perhaps other odd jobs
will turn up.”
“Dinner is ready, folks,”
called Mother Morrison, and they all went into the
“I want Mickey to earn a whole
lot of money,” declared Sister that night as
they were getting ready for bed. “Pulling
weeds is such slow work. He’ll have to
pull an awful lot to work an hour.”
After Mother had kissed them good-night
and put out the light, a big idea came to Sister.
“I know what we’ll do!”
she asserted, sitting up in bed. “Listen,
Roddy, Ellis Carr said his father said Miss Putnam
worked too hard. Well, why can’t Mickey
“Maybe he can,” murmured
Brother sleepily. “Only she wont like him,
’cause he’s a boy.”