say the poor thing can't even read; just fancy!" and Miss Ellery clasped her hands with a sigh of pity.
"Very few girls can read fit to be heard now-a-days," murmured Miss Scott.
"Don't let them affront her with their money, she will fling it in their faces as she did that donkey's dollar. You see to her in your nice, delicate way, Aunty, and give her a lift if she will let you," whispered Captain John in the old lady's ear.
"Don't waste your pity, Miss Florence. Ruth reads a newspaper better than any woman I ever knew. I've heard her doing it to the old man, getting through shipping news, money-market, and politics in fine style. I would n't offer her money if I were you, though it is a kind thought. These people have an honest pride in earning things for themselves, and I respect them for it," added Mr. Wallace.
"Dear me! I should as soon think of a sand-skipper having pride as one of these fishy folks in this stupid little place," observed Mr. Fred, carefully moving his legs into the shadow as the creeping moonlight began to reveal the hideous boots.
"Why not? I think they have more to be proud of, these brave, honest, independent people, than many who never earn a cent and swell round on the money their fathers made out of pork, rum, or—any other rather unpleasant or disreputable business," said Captain John, with the twinkle in his eye, as he changed the end of his sentence, for the word "pickles" was on his lips when Aunt Mary's quick touch checked it. Some saucy girl laughed, and Mr. Fred squirmed, for it