fellows ran from him to the cots, backwards and forwards, giving such beautiful toys, and saying such funny things as they gave them, that every child was soon laughing and happy, even those with a bandaged head or limb, or a pain inside or outside; and the unwonted excitement brought a flush to their pale cheeks and brightness to their eyes.
But none of the jollification was seen by the new little inmate of the cot that was in the far corner. A tiny blind boy lay there, with pretty, fair curls,and large dark eyes that he turned pathetically around. He had not spoken at all. Earlier in the evening he had shivered much, and groaned. Now he lay peacefully smiling, for his small hands held a musical-box that Father Christmas himself had placed there, and set working, and the tinkle-tinkle of a pretty tune seemed to please and soothe him.
When the Christmas visitors had gone away, and the dolls had been hushed to sleep by their new mothers, and the woolly animals lay hugged tightly in the arms of drowsy owners, a little girl in a swoon from an accident was carried into the ward. The sprained ankle had been dressed; quietly and quickly she was put to bed, and consciousness soon returned.
" Where am I ?" said Stella, staring about her.