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them in the window, thinking that some one would buy them. But no one has. I haven't earned a penny-piece, and every bit of bread I put into my mouth has been paid for by Susan and Ellen.'

Notwithstanding his eagerness, his tears choked him here, and he was compelled to pause before he resumed. In the mean time, obedient to his wish, neither Ellen nor Mr. Marvel spoke.

Now, sir, this is my idea. I have got now twenty-two birds; they can do all sorts of tricks : they can whistle tunes; they can climb up ladders; some of them can march like soldiers and can let off guns; some of them can draw carts. Would it be considered begging if I, a lame boy, who have no other way of getting bread-and-butter, made an exhibition of these birds, and got some one to wheel me about the streets, and stop now and then so that I might put the birds through their tricks? I shouldn't be ashamed to accept what kind persons might give me, or might drop into a little box which I would take care to have handy, I wouldn't do it in this neighbourhood. I would go a long way off-three or four miles perhapsinto the rich parts of London, where people could better afford to give. But would it be considered

begging ? That is what I want to ask your advice

upon, sir.'

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George Marvel's breath was completely taken away. The enthusiastic manner in which Dan had spoken, no less than his admiration of the proposed scheme, had caused him to forget his errand for the time. · Wait a minute,' he said somewhat excitedly, 'I must think; I must walk about a bit. But no sooner had he risen than the weight of the money in his coat-tail pocket brought him to his sober senses, and he sat down again.

‘Dan,' he said, taking the lad's hand affectionately in his, 'you are a good boy, and I am glad that you are Joshua's friend. I will answer your question and give you my advice, as you ask it. In any other case than


I think it would be begging; but I don't think it would be in yours.'

• Thank you, sir,' said Dan gratefully.

Mind, I think even in your case it would not be exactly what I should approve of, if you had any other way of getting a living.'

You think as I do, sir; but I have tried, as you see, and I have not succeeded.'

• Try a little longer, Dan.'
*How about next week's rent, sir ?'


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'You can pay it,' replied George Marvel, 'and many more weeks' besides. I have a present for you

in my pocket;' and he pulled out the bag of money and put it on the table. In this bag is

• twelve pounds four shillings, which your friends -yours and your sisters’—have clubbed together

' for you, and that is what brought me here tonight.

• O sir! cried Dan, covering his face with his hands.

* This money has been got together because all of us round about here love you. I sha'n't give it to you all at once. You shall have it so much every week; and I should advise you—as you ask for my advice—to continue training birds for sale and putting them in your window. Try a little

. while longer. A customer may come at any minute. And one customer is sure to bring another.'

*How can I thank you and all the good people, sir ?' said Dan, with a full heart.

Never mind that now,' said George Marvel.

If he had known that it would have been so difficult and painful a task, it is not unlikely he would have remitted it to his wife to accomplish. Pretending to be in a great hurry, he rose to go,



and, pressing Dan's hand and kissing Ellen, went home to his wife and told her of Dan's wonderful idea.

Ellen and Dan were very happy the next morning, and set about their work cheerfully and hopefully. Dan wrote a new announcement concerning the birds, and the windows were cleaned, and presented a regular holiday appearance.

In the midst of his work, Dan, looking up, saw a face at the window that he recognised. It was that of a young man who had been in the habit of looking in at the window nearly every day for the last week, and of whom Dan had observed more than once that he looked like a customer.

• There he is again, Ellen,' said Dan; "the same man. Why doesn't he come in and ask the price of them ?

He had no sooner spoken the words than the man's face disappeared from the window, and a knock came at the street-door.

Run and open the door, Ellen. I shouldn't wonder if he has made up his mind at last.' Dan's heart beat loud with excitement. How much shall I ask for them ?' he thought. O, if he

• buys a couple of them, how happy I shall be !'

The parlour-door opened, and the man en



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tered ; decidedly good-looking, dark, with a fresh' colour in his face, and with black hair curling naturally. The first impression was favourable, and Dan nodded approvingly to himself.

The man had curiously at feet, which, when he walked, seemed to do all the work without any assistance from his legs; and although his eyes were keen and bright, they did not look long at one object, but shifted restlessly, as if seeking a hiding-place where they could retire from public gaze.

'I have been attracted by the birds in the window,' he said, coming at once to the point, much to Dan's satisfaction. • Can they really perform what the paper says ? Can they really sing “God save the King,” and draw up their own food and water ?'

• They can do all that, sir; but you shall see for yourself. — Ellen! Where is Ellen ? Dan called; for he wanted her to assist him, and she had not followed the stranger into the room. * Ah, Ellen,' said the stranger, dwelling on the

'Is that the young lady who opened the door for me?'

“Yes, sir.-Ellen !' Dan called again.

• Allow me,' said the stranger; and he went to the door, and called in tones which slipped from




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