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heart, at the dwelling they were now leaving on their perilous journey. The kind old butler took them in his arms and kissed them, begging they would not forget him, which they promised they never, never would do. The female servants, who all came up from downstairs to say good-bye for a while, put their aprons to their eyes, as they fondled the children and cried over them. Even the usually irrepressible page boy was on this occasion nearly affected to tears, standing nervously by the cabdoor, shifting his feet about, and fumbling the glittering buttons on his jacket. The little ones were much overcome, and Great-heart wisely got them away as soon as he could. There could be nothing gained by prolonging this parting scene. All three got into the hansom, which was nearly as gay as the one they had ridden into the city in on that memorable morning. Off they went. As they turned the corner, Trixie and Dot strained their necks to catch sight of the group now on the doorstep, and waved their handkerchiefs to it: to get another glimpse at the place they loved so well.
Then they nestled closer to Great-heart and wept, as a relief to their overtaxed feelings. The man did not repress the outburst; he let their tears flow on, knowing full well what a solace they are at times. Like all such children's sorrow, it soon passed away, and the smiles burst forth once more. Trixie was the first to speak :
"It is not far to the station, is it, dear?”
Dot looked up, and said, passionately, “How shall we ever thank you for all you have done, and are doing, for us, dear, dear Great-heart ?”
The man answered seriously, “ Most easily, darling. By profiting
By profiting as I wish you to, and you know how that is, by all you see and hear. That is the only way the sole means within your power.”
“I hope you know that we try hard to follow your teachings," said Trixie.
“Ah, indeed, indeed we do!” re-echoed thoughtful little Dot.
“That is all the thanks I want, all the reward I ask ; say no more. But see, we are there ! ”
They were, indeed, amongst all the confusing bustle of a great railway station. What a turmoil from cabs, carriages, passengers, porters, all impatient, eager, excited ; some with only a moment or two to catch their trains in, others with plenty of minutes to spare, yet all needlessly anxious about the time and the luggage. It really seemed to the children as if all London had been let loose on this particular station, so great was the “block," so alarming the din and confusion. Great-heart smilingly reminded
them of their conversation in the Park on the occasion of their first visit ; how he had told them of the millions in this vast city. He told them that such a crowd as they saw now was but an atom from the huge bulk of humanity left behind ; that if they came at almost any hour, on any day except Sunday, for weeks to come, they would see just such another, gaze upon a similar scene to this one ; not at this station only, but at many others. This was too much for the children's brains to take in altogether. They stood there bewildered as the truck-loads of luggage, of all conceivable shapes and sizes, rattled past, to be wheeled off to the trains puffing and screeching in the distance. It cannot be imagined what would have become of the little ones had not Great-heart been there to watch them. He led them passively to a seat, where they waited until it was time for them to be off too. With the travelling bags clutched firmly in their hands, the small legs dangling helplessly down, the child-travellers sat and tried to “take in ” all that wonderful sight. True, some of the travellers, like Great-heart, looked calm and collected ; but it certainly seemed as if manystaid persons, one would think, too—had suddenly become bereft of their senses, so madly did they rush about. The only ones not in the least degree flurried (and it was lucky they were not) were the men who
stood inside the wooden boxes, and dealt out tickets in exchange for money. Nothing seemed to disturb their equanimity or ruffle their demeanour. The more excited the passenger outside, the more provokingly calm the man within. Constant acquaintance with such scenes, Great-heart said, had made them thus. They reminded Trixie and Dot of those bank clerks they had admired so much at the east end of the town. These were called booking” ones, and had, ere leaving for
the night, to make up their accounts to a farthing, like their confrères in the city. It was all truly marvellous.
Presently the children were lifted off their perch by a friendly porter, and led up to a truck where their luggage was piled: the two little boxes, the aged portmanteau, the hat-box, and the wrappers, there to wait until joined by Great-heart, who had gone to buy the tickets at a window marked in large letters: "Paris and the Continent." He soon came to them. They all three passed through a gateway jealously guarded by a man in uniform, who held a pair of nippers in his hands to punch the tickets with. Theirs did not look like the other people's, for they were quite books, the children noticed, as they were held out to be nipped. It looked as if they were going a very long way indeed. Trixie
and Dot felt quite proud as they pushed through the crowd of less fortunate mortals.
They got into the train (the first they had ever sat in), and were presently pulled out of the station amid a great deal of puffing and whistling. Then by degrees they went faster and faster, at seeming lightning speed, which made the children quite nervous, much to the amusement of an old gentleman in a travelling-cap, and buried in newspapers, who sat in an opposite corner. Yet Great-heart told them the train was a "slow" one ! At first they flew along over house-tops, and could see nothing but smoke and houses on all sides. By degrees, however, bits of green appeared in welcome contrast ; then beautiful fields and trees, with houses only at intervals. The country looked delightfully fresh ; the little ones were enraptured. Every now and then they rushed into a dark place called a tunnel, which would have been alarming but for the light in the carriage, although that was far from being a brilliant one.
After about an hour's travel, the first stoppage came at quite a rural station.
Here they were politely invited to take some iced water by a youth, who carried glasses of it along the platform on a tin tray.
It was very tempting, and so kind and thoughtful of the boy, that Trixie and Dot