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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 28


To-night Aunt Winifred had callers,—Mrs. Quirk and (O Homer aristocracy!) the butcher's wife,—and it fell to my lot to put Faith to bed.

The little maiden seriously demurred. Cousin Mary was very good,—O yes, she was good enough, but her mamma was a great deal gooder; and why couldn't little peoples sit up till nine o'clock as well as big peoples, she should like to know! Finally, she came to the gracious conclusion that perhaps I'd do, made me carry her all the way up stairs, and dropped like a little lump of lead, half asleep, on my shoulder, before two buttons were unfastened.

Feeling under some sort of theological obligation to hear her say her prayers, I pulled her curls a little till she awoke, and went through with "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pway ve Lord," triumphantly. I supposed that was the end, but it seems that she has been also taught the Lord's Prayer, which she gave me promptly to understand.

"O, see here! That isn't all. I can say Our Father, and you've got to help me a lot!" This very soon became a self-evident proposition: but by our united efforts we managed, after tribulations manifold, to arrive successfully at "For ever 'n' ever 'n' ever 'n' A-men."

"Dear me," she said, jumping up with a yawn, "I think that's a dreadful long-tailed prayer,—don't you, Cousin Mary?"

"Now I must kiss mamma good night," she announced, when she was tucked up at last.

"But mamma kissed you good night before you came up."

"O, so she did. Yes, I 'member. Well, it's papa I've got to kiss, I knew there was somebody."

page 53

I looked at her in perplexity.

'Why, there!" she said, "in the upper drawer,—my pretty little papa in a purple frame. Don't you know?"

I went to the bureau-drawer, and found in a case of velvet a small ivory painting of her father. This I brought, wondering, and the child took it reverently and kissed the pictured lips.

"Faith," I said, as I laid it softly back, "do you always do this?"

"Do what? Kiss papa good night? O yes, I've done that ever since I was a little girl, you know I guess I've always kissed him pretty much. When I'm a naughty girl he feels real sorry. He's gone to heaven. I like him. O yes, and then, when I'm through kissing, mamma kisses him too."