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part, all who can, come out and meet thus as you see them now. The nurses, who are so kind and friendly, look after the babies at home, when their parents do not bring them along with them."
“What a different kind of existence, to be sure, pondered Dot.
“Yes, indeed,” sighed Great-heart.
Just as he said that, they came to an open space, which was as bright as day, brighter than it often is, not with the same kind of light, but as if many such moons as the children had seen in the country had risen in the heavens together to join their soft radiance in one and shed it around. The gas looked quite murky beside this brilliancy. The children could not resist a cry of delight; they had never seen anything like it before ; nor had Great-heart often. He said it was system that was being tried there, and it was thought by some would in time take the place of other lights altogether. It certainly was very beautiful to look at, and suited those grand spaces and buildings admirably. Trixie eagerly remarked that perhaps in narrower streets, where the houses were less splendid, it would show them up too much, in which Dot and Great-heart quite agreed with her. It was an unwelcome contrast, as far as light went, when they turned the corner in a minute or
two and pulled up at the hotel they were to stop at.
What this was like will be told shortly. That night the children were not allowed to do more than pass through its splendid hall up into their
There they had supper, all three together, a friendly, happy, at least Trixie and Dot were, party. Then, in due time, the children turned into bed in the fine room that had been ordered for them. Soon they fell sound asleep, safely installed within the very centre of the great city of Paris.
The man did not go out again, but he went below and smoked an hour or two away. Then he, too, sad and thoughtful, slowly mounted to his chamber. Why was it that, the soothing influence of those children absent from him, the old set melancholy came back with all its awful force ? What was it that sat upon this good fellow's life to make him, when thus alone, so dull and mournful ?
THE CITY OF PLEASURE.
HAT a bore, Dot !” exclaimed Trixie next
morning from the window where she stood, barefooted, looking out on to the courtyard below; “it's raining hard ; I do wish it would leave off!”
“Never mind, sister," answered Dot from her snug position under the feather coverlid; "it is sure not to keep on all day. It is quite early yet,
Don't you think you had better come back into bed ? ” she further suggested mildly.
The prospect for getting up, it was then not much after six, did not appear sufficiently inviting, for Trixie went back into bed. Both fell asleep, too. When they woke it was two hours later, but the rain still came pattering down incessantly. The children would probably have slept on longer but for the many extraordinary noises which intruded in upon their slumbers, faintly at first, mingled with their dreams, afterwards, when awake, as stern realities.
“Whatever is the matter?” cried the startled Dot, as she laid hold of the bold Trixie.
“ How should I know?” replied that maiden, only half awake, and it must be owned rather peevishly. “Go to sleep, child.”
But that was impossible. Someone in the next room, into which a door, now closed, opened from the children's, was making a dreadful noise. Whoever it was, was evidently on the eve of undertaking a journey; for the traveller was busy with his portmanteau and other luggage, loudly coaxing his various articles of clothing to fit into corners not altogether adapted for their reception, talking to them in a most persuasive fashion, and at times hurling something heavy, like a boot, from him with much force. He was a musical gentleman also, that, for all the while he kept up a running accompaniment of song or recitative, or he addressed such remarks as “You lazy dog, get up!” or “'Tis the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain, You have waked me too soon, I must slumber again," to a friend in bed, who only responded by grunts. Apparently soon after all his arrangements were completed, for the children heard his heavy trunk being dragged across the floor, then implored to shut itself; after a great deal of scrunching this was accomplished to the traveller's satisfaction, and
he was evidently resting from his labours. “Only the hat-box to fill, old man," he gasped. Then came a yawn, and a sleepy voice said, “ There's lots of time. What an awful state of anxiety you are in, Jack !" But “ Jack," seeing his opportunity, had without doubt got his friend out of bed, and was laughingly defying him to get back again.
Mingled with these sounds came others from down the corridor, at first a sort of far-off cannonade, which was Alphonse dropping the boots down on the boards in front of the rooms of sleeping travellers, the fire gradually increasing until quite a small volley was discharged opposite, evidently a whole family slumbered within that
All the while Alphonse fired this early salute he shouted to Jean, who advanced from the other end of the passage with some domestic appliance for dusting purposes, which he switched about him as he came. When the men were not conversing they sang French songs in a high falsetto, either as duets or solos.
How musically inclined everybody was that morning! This was not all, for every now and then a bell rang, and knuckles, the property no doubt of some invisible “Marie," were heard rapping at doors, with assenting replies of “Bon! bon !” to remarks from within. Then a shrill voice, also appertaining to