The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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310                  THE STEADFAST TIN-SOLDIER
and out fell the little Tin-soldier, bead over heels, from the third-storey window ! That was a terrible fall, I can tell you! He landed on his head with his leg in the air, his gun being wedged between two paving-stones.
The nursery-maid and the little boy came down at once to look for him, but, though they were so near him that they almost trod on him, they did not notice him. If the Tin-soldier had only called out ' Here I am !' they must have found him; but he did not think it fitting for him to cry out, because he had on his uniform.
Soon it began to drizzle ; then the drops came faster, and there was a regular down-pour. When it was over, two little street boys came along.
' Just look !' cried one. ' Here is a Tin-soldier ! He shall sail up and down in a boat!'
So they made a little boat out of newspaper, put theTin-soldier in it, and made him sail up and down the gutter; both the boys ran along beside him, clapping their hands. What great waves there were in the gutter, and what a swift current! The paper-boat tossed up and down, and in the middle of the stream it went so quick that the Tin-soldier trembled; but he remained steadfast, showed no emotion, looked straight in front of him, shouldering his gun. All at once the boat passed under a long tunnel that was as dark as his box had been.
' Where can I be coming now ? ' he wondered. ' Oh, dear ! This is the black imp's fault! Ah, if only the little lady were sitting beside me in the boat, it might be twice as dark for all I should care!'
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