THE LITTLE PICTURE GIRL
The little Picture Girl glanced at her father, who had been silently watching the scene. He nodded, so she pressed them on the boy, whose eyes now filled with tears as he gazed, humbled and grateful, at the beautiful young lady whose generosity saved him from punishment. Meanwhile, the gentleman Christmas-boxed the beadle, who smiled fatly and went his way. Then, for a moment or two, the picture-father's uplifted finger wagged a warning at the boy, who hung his head: but Minna could see that it was not so very terrible, because, if the boy had not confessed his fault, how would the beadle have known in what house he had yielded to temptation for his sister's sake ? The little cripple dried her eyes at seeing her brother safe, and was very grateful for the gifts she hesitated to accept. But she had a right to keep them now; and it was not her fault that she was the innocent cause of her brother's offence.
Food from the breakfast-table was wrapped up in the newspaper, the big bundle was put into the little sweep's arms, and the two poor waifs who had entered so miserable were sent away happy at the bright moment which had entered into their dark lives, whilst the little Picture Girl, who for the second time had lost the presents Santa Claus had brought her, looked after the poor little pair