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Jill's Red Bag
written by "Pease, Alfred E."
...shall [69] play at Sinbad the Sailor, and Bumps is going to be my Old Man of the Sea. Annie likes to join sometimes, and we'll have our tea in the garden. She likes that, for the gardener has a cup of tea with us." Miss Falkner heard of the invitation, but raised no objection, so punctually at five o'clock the next evening Jill walked into Sam Stone's cottage. He and his father were expecting her. The tiny kitchen was in perfect order, and looked spotlessly clean. The table was laid for tea; and a boiled egg for Jill, besides some watercress and currant buns, gave it quite a festive air. Old Mr. Stone looked delighted to see her. He was a tall, active old man, with a long grey beard, and had always plenty to say for himself. "'Tis a pleasure to see you, missy. Come right in, an' sit comfortable on my poor wife's rocking-cheer. 'Twas the last thing she sat in afore she died, an' I see her in it now a gaspin' an' chokin', an' smilin' up at me so sadly like. 'Jim,' she sez, ''tis the Lord that did give me to yer, an' 'tis the Lord that do be [70] goin' to take me away from yer. Thank Him,' she sez, 'for all His mercies!' An' I sez to her, 'Jenny, my heart can't thank if my lips can, an' I'd rather say nothin' just now to the Almighty.' Jenny, she were always so properly religious!" "And are you properly religious too, Mr. Stone?" questioned Jill as she took her seat at the table, and commenced with great pride and solemnity to pour out tea. She was always given the post of honour, behind the big flowered tin tea-tray, and much enjoyed the responsibilities of her position. The old man shook his head. "I fear I be a very improper Christian," he said. "I wonder," said Jill reflectively, "whether your wife gave a tenth to God. Miss Falkner thinks all proper good people do." "What be that, missy?" "It's what...

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