At the Back of the North Wind Illustrated - online book

A Complete Illustrated children's fantasy book by George MacDonald.

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Diamond's Friends                199
"Where does he live?"
"I don't know."
" How can you count him, then?"
" He did talk to me, and very kindlike too."
His father laughed again.
"Why, child, you're just counting everybody you know. That don't make 'em friends."
" Don't it? I thought it did. Well, but they shall be my friends. I shall make 'em."
" How will you do that?"
"They can't help themselves then, if they would. If I choose to be their friend, you know, they can't prevent me. Then there's that girl at the crossing."
"A fine set of friends you do have, to be sure, Diamond!"
" Surely she's a friend anyhow, father. If it hadn't been for her, you would never have got Mrs. Coleman and Miss Coleman to carry home."
His father was silent, for he saw that Diamond was right, and was ashamed to find himself more ungrateful than he had thought.
"Then there's the new gentleman," Diamond went on.
" If he do as he say," interposed his father.
" And why shouldn't he? I daresay sixpence ain't too much for him to spare. But I don't quite under­stand, father: is nobody your friend but the one that does something for you?"
"No, I won't say that, my boy. You would have to leave out baby, then."
"Oh no, I shouldn't. Baby can laugh in your face,
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