North Wind 53
" I don't sweep," answered Diamond.
"What do you do, then?" asked she. "You ain't big enough for most things."
"I don't know what I do do," answered he, feeling rather ashamed. "Nothing, I suppose. My father's Mr. Coleman's coachman."
" Have you a father?" she said, staring at him as if a boy with a father was a natural curiosity.
"Yes. Haven't you?" returned Diamond.
"No; nor mother neither. Old Sal's all I've got."
And she began to cry again.
" I wouldn't go to her if she wasn't good to me," said Diamond.
" But you must go somewheres."
" Move on," said the voice of a policeman behind them.
" I told you so," said the girl. " You must go somewheres. They're always at it."
" But Old Sal doesn't beat you, does she?"
" I wish she would."
"What do you mean?" asked Diamond, quite bewildered.
" She would if she was my mother. But she wouldn't lie abed a-cuddlin' of her ugly old bones, and laugh to hear me crying at the door."
" You don't mean she won't let you in to-night?"
" It'll be a good chance if she does."
" Why are you out so late, then?" asked Diamond.
" My crossing's a long way off at the West End, and I had been indulgin' in door-steps and mewses."