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17
MAY FLOWERS.

mont, had been wal on't till father died and the farm was sold.' Then it seems the women came to Boston and got on pretty well till 'a stroke of numb-palsy,' whatever that is, made the mother helpless and kept Almiry at home to care for her. I can’t tell you how funny and yet how sad it was to see the poor old soul, so full of energy and yet so helpless, and the daughter so discouraged with her pathetic little shop and no customers to speak of. I did not know what to say till 'Grammer Miller,' as the children call her, happened to say, when she took up her knitting after the lecture, 'If folks who go spendin’ money reckless on redic'lus toys for Christmas only knew what nice things, useful and fancy, me and Almiry could make ef we had the goods, they'd jest come round this corner and buy 'em, and keep me out of a Old Woman's Home and that good, hard-workin' gal of mine out of a 'sylum; for go there she will ef she don't get a boost somehow, with rent and firin' and vittles all on her shoulders, and me only able to wag them knittin’-needles.'

"'I will buy things here, and tell all my friends about it, and I have a drawer full of pretty bits of silk and velvet and plush, that I will give Miss Miller for her work, if she will let me.' I added that, for I saw that Almiry was rather proud, and hid her troubles under a grim look.

That pleased the old lady, and, lowering her voice, she said, with a motherly sort of look in her beady eyes: 'Seein’ as you are so friendly, I'll tell you what frets me most, a layin’ here, a burden to my darter. She kep' company with Nathan Baxter, a master