At the Back of the North Wind Illustrated - online book

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

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Ruby                                       293
like. They can't keep her till she's quite strong. There are always so many sick children they want to take in and make better. And the question is, What will she do when they send her out again?"
" That's just what I can't tell, though I've been think­ing of it over and over, sir. Her crossing was taken long ago, and I couldn't bear to see Nanny fighting for it, especially with such a poor fellow as has taken it. He's quite lame, sir."
"She doesn't look much like fighting now, does she, Diamond?"
" No, sir. She looks too like an angel. Angels don't fight—do they, sir?"
" Not to get things for themselves, at least," said Mr. Raymond.
"Besides," added Diamond, "I don't quite see that she would have any better right to the crossing than the boy who has got it. Nobody gave it to her; she only took it. And now he has taken it."
"If she were to sweep a crossing—soon at least— after the illness she has had, she would be laid up again the very first wet day/' said Mr. Raymond.
"And there's hardly any money to be got except on the wet days," remarked Diamond reflectively. " Is there nothing else she could do, sir?"
" Not without being taught, I'm afraid."
" Well, couldn't somebody teach her something?"
"Couldn't you teach her, Diamond?"
" I don't know anything myself, sir. I could teach her to dress the baby; but nobody would give her anything for doing things like that: they are so easy.
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