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eatables, which varied with the seasons, had erected a sail as a part protection to leeward, for it was a draughty angle that at the best of times, and must have been something beyond a joke in winter. Then, they heard, she prepared herself accordingly, and sat with her feet swaddled in straw in a basket, as an additional comfort. Great-heart was
very thoughtful outside that prison wall. He sighed deeply as he thought of the many human beings locked up behind it, awaiting their sentences, or undergoing them. He said aloud, presently,
“Ah, little ones! I fear if all had their deserts in this great city, that place and the many others there are would hardly hold their lodgers comfortably. But come, we waste our time. There is plenty more to see on further, pleasanter scenes than this, I trust. Come, pets, come."
But the children were not in such a hurry ; indeed, Dot actually wanted to go in, which request made Great-heart smile. He told her that was quite impossible, even if it had been desirable. He thought it doubtful if he could have gained an entrance for himself. Fancy taking little maidens there!
“ There is nothing you could learn in there, dear, at your age," he said tenderly, “ that would bring
aught but sorrow and sadness into your heart; so we will not go."
“Of course not," said Trixie. “I am rather surprised that Dot should think of such a thing;" which wise rejoinder brought tears into the younger
Great-heart had to caution Trixie with a look to be less outspoken in future, however, brilliant her inspirations might be.
They lingered there a short while longer, and noted, wedged into the centre of the grim block, a prim-looking house, where the Governor lived. Although beautifully neat and clean, with lots of windows, there was about it a grim, angular look, suggestive of stern discipline and order. What house could have looked bright or pleasant in such a place, with such surroundings ? Just above them was
an awful doorway, blocked up now, studded with great nails. Over it hung some felons' chains, with enormous links, which it made the little people shudder to look at. They were not allowed to stop long. But they heard that those who had ever come forth from that dread portal had gone to their doom. For it was through that those condemned to death stepped on to the scaffold. Not at that period of time, but some years before, when executions were held outside on the spot where the carriers' carts now stood. • Now it was different, and this sad thing when needed was done in private ; which they all agreed was a much more merciful plan. A little further on was another horrible gateway, with only half a spiked door to it, over which a warder was looking out, no doubt for fresh comers. This was where the poor miscreants went in and out of the black van that drove up at certain intervals, and was evidently expected then. Great-heart thought that over that doorway should be written the words, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,” for they would have had much of appropriateness.
The party now turned back again into the din and clatter of the street which took its name from the place they had left. The first house they passed, next to the prison, in fact sticking to it, attracted Trixie's attention. It certainly was a funny-looking one, tall and straight, much more so than any of the others round about. It looked very old too; but the oddest part about it was its thinness-only one strip of window from basement to attic. They all laughed heartily at it, and wondered who could live there. It seemed private, yet although there was a brass plate on the door it only registered a name, without prefix or title, which gave no clue to the passer-by whatever: There was no sign of life within, or colour about it, to relieve the eye. Dull and sombre, there it stood, a fitting neighbour to the dreary gaol. A little way up the street, on the other side, was a double row of railings and some dingy trees, from behind which came merry shouts. As lots of people were looking in through the iron spikes, or clinging to them in evident interest, the children of course wanted to go over to see what was going on. Great-heart had therefore to pilot them across, which was not an easy task, and would have taken much longer but for the assistance of a commiserating policeman of the City division. They found it to be a school playground, and just then there was a tremendous romping going on in it; a boys' school, and all the pupils so comically dressed, -in long blue coats, or gowns, tied round their waists with. leathern straps, very bright yellow stockings, and shoes with buckles. Not a single boy had anything on his head, although the day was very hot. They were rushing about, too, in all directions some playing at ball, others chasing one another without any apparent object. But all and every one of the boys were shouting lustily and making the most of the hour or half-hour they had at their disposal before resuming their studies. Many of the lads, to give freedom to their actions, had tied up their gowns behind into all sorts of fantastic shapes, displaying many yellow little legs in consequence. Speeding along over the ground they had the oddest effect, and the children laughed until they cried again and clapt their hands in glee. Presently, as they watched, a great bell rang out. Then, like one, off scampered all the boys through the cloisters into the house at the back; the lookers-on relinquished their hold on the railings and sauntered away; the space which had a few moments before been filled with life and resounded with boisterous merriment, was left dull and deserted.
As hand-in-hand the three trudged along, there were many questions asked and answers given; but what puzzled the children most was why those boys had no hats or caps on their heads, and why they wore such clumsy dresses. Great-heart said the school they had been looking at was one of the oldest in the city, founded by Royal Charter, very conservative in all its ways, and a very difficult one to get a boy into. He presumed that at the time of its establishment a certain uniform dress had been adopted and kept to ever since as a distinguishing feature. Why, like his questioners, he could not say. He had often thought over the matter without arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. More particularly as to the absence of head-gear. Once, and once only, he had seen a boy in a hat, a straw one,