THE RAINBOW BOOK
other he held the collar of a little sweep, with the little sweep wriggling inside it. Close behind there came a tiny crippled girl, who moved painfully by the aid of a crutch to the boy's side, and laid a trembling hand on his arm. The brother and sister were much like one another, in feature and in squalor. Great tears were rolling down her cheeks, and her poor face was no whiter with pain than his with fright beneath the soot, though, looking lovingly at her, he tried to appear brave.
The beadle noticed the little Picture Girl's look of recognition at sight of her lost treasures, and as he gave them back to her he pointed to the black marks on the doll's frock, which tallied with the little sweep's grimy paw, and then jerked his head towards the crippled child in whose possession he had found them. Then the stout beadle gave the boy a shake, just to remind him of his wrongdoing—as if any further reminder was needed !— and made for the door, dragging the wretched offender after him.
But the little Picture Girl showed so much distress, stopped him, and looked at him so piteously, and with so much kindness in her sweet eyes, that he let go his grip of the collar. Then she put the presents into the boy's hand, and pushed him gently towards his sister. But the lad shook his head sadly, and looked more ashamed than ever.