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Daniel and Ellen were condemned to take long journeys after Punch and Judy, and to be nursed at street-corners by a girl who had eyes and mind for nothing but the dramatis persone of that timehonoured play. In her scrambles after the show she often wandered a long way from home, and tore her dress, and jammed her bonnet, and mudded her stockings, and knocked her boots out at the toes, and got herself generally into a disreputable condition. But in presence of the glories of Punch and Judy, which were to her ever fresh and ever bright, such discomforts sank into absolute insignificance. All paltry considerations were forgotten in the absorbing interest with which she watched the extraordinary career of the hero of the drama. She was insensible to the cuffs and remarks of the acting-manager who went round for contributions, which the on-lookers were solicited to drop into a tin plate or a greasy cap. He naturally resented Susan's presence at the exhibition, for she had never been known to contribute the smallest piece of copper towards the expenses.
But neither his cuffs nor his resentful language had any effect upon Susan, who, in her utter disregard of all adverse circumstances, proved herself to be an ardent and conscientious.
admirer of the British drama. As a consequence of her peregrinations, she often found herself in strange neighbourhoods, and did not know her way home. The anxiety she caused her mother, who was naturally proud of her twins, almost maddened that poor woman.
She used to run about the neighbourhood of Stepney, wringing her hands and declaring that her twins were kidnapped. At first the neighbours were in the habit of sympathising with her, and of making anxious inquiries of one another concerning the children ; but when, after some months of such uneventful excitement, they found that Susan and her twins were always brought home in good condition as regarded their limbs-although in a very disgraceful condition as regarded their personal appearance : but dirt counted for nothing in such a case of excited expectation—their ardour cooled, and they withheld their sympathy from the distressed mother. Indeed, they looked upon themselves in the light of injured individuals, because something really calamitous had not happened to the children. At length Susan became such a nuisance—not only at home, but at many police stations, where she was popularly known as that dirty girl again, with the twins'-that the
mother was recommended to lock her up. Despairing of being able to cure her daughter of her Punchand-Judy mania by any other means, the mother locked her up with her infant charges in a room on the first floor, That was a sad thing for poor Daniel.
Daniel. Susan very naturally sulked at being locked up, and at being deprived of her favourite amusement. Life had no joy for her without Punch and Judy. With Punch and Judy, existence was blissful ; without Punch and Judy, existence was a blank. Regarding the twins as the cause of her imprisonment, she vented her spleen upon the unfortunate couple, and was spiteful enough to leave traces of yellow soap in their eyes when she washed them; and when they cried because of the smart, and rubbed their eyelids with their little fists to get rid of the unwelcome particles, she smacked them on the tenderest parts of their persons, and made them cry the more. But they were not destined to endure this kind of torture for more than a couple of days.
On the third day of their imprisonment, Susan was sitting moodily on the floor, sulking as usual, and biting her lips and fretting, when suddenly the well-beloved 'too-to-too-a-too' of the Punch
and-Judy showman came floating through the window. Wild with delight, she snatched up the twins, and, rushing to the window, bent her body forward, and looked out. Yes; there it wasthere was the show! Preparations were being made for the drama; the green curtain was down, the crowd was collecting, and the acting-manager was already taking a critical survey of the persons who loitered, and was mentally marking down those who would not be allowed to stroll or slink away without being solicited for a fee. The front of the stage was not turned towards the window out of which Susan was looking; and she could only see part of the show. That was a terrible disappointment to her; and her suffering was really very great when she found that the gallows upon which Punch was to be hanged was erected just in that corner of the stage of which she could not obtain a glimpse. She stamped her foot upon the floor excitedly; and, bending her body still more forward in her eagerness, poor Daniel slipped out of her arms on to the pavement. For a moment Susan was so bewildered that she could not realise what had occurred; but, when she heard the sharp cry of agony to which Daniel gave utter- : ance, and when she saw the crowd of people rushing with frightened faces towards the spot where the little fellow was lying, she ran into a corner of the room with the other child in her arms, and throwing her frock over her head, cowered down with her face to the wall, and began to cry. But little notice was taken of her. Daniel was picked up and carried into the house. He was not killed; but his two legs were badly broken, and were destined never to be of any use to him. So, as he had to depend upon artificial legs for support, Daniel began to learn the use of crutches almost before he had begun to learn to toddle.
The love that existed between Joshua and Daniel sprang out of an innocent flirtation which was indulged in by Joshua Marvel and Ellen Taylor. The amatory youngsters exchanged vows when they were quite little things, and pledged themselves not to marry any one else: ‘no, not for the wide, wide world !' Innocent kisses, broken pieces of crockery with which they played at dinners and shops on back-window sills, and the building of grottoes when the oyster-season came round, were the material bonds which united the youthful loves of Joshua and Ellen.
In due time Joshua was introduced to the family; not exactly as the accepted suitor of the