work was little clothes for these live dolls of yours. You dear thing! how good you were to cook, and grub, and prick your fingers rough, and give up fun, for this kind work!"
Maggie’s hearty kiss, and the faces of her friends, made Ida feel that her humble task had its worth in their eyes, as well as in her own; and when the others had expressed their interest in her work, all composed themselves to hear what Marion had to tell.
"I have been taking care of a scarlet runner,—a poor old frost-bitten, neglected thing; it is transplanted now, and doing well, I’m happy to say."
"What do you mean?" asked Ella, while the rest looked very curious.
Marion picked up a dropped stitch in the large blue sock she was knitting, and continued, with a laugh in her eyes: "My dears, that is what we call the Soldiers' Messenger Corps, with their red caps and busy legs trotting all day. I’ve had one of them to care for, and a gorgeous time of it, I do assure you. But before I exult over my success, I must honestly confess my failures, for they were sad ones. I was so anxious to begin my work at once, that I did go out and collar the first pauper I saw. It was an old man, who sometimes stands at the corners of streets to sell bunches of ugly paper flowers. You've seen him, I dare say, and his magenta daisies and yellow peonies. Well, he was rather a forlorn object, with his poor old red nose, and bleary eyes, and white hair, standing at the windy corners silently holding out those horrid flowers. I bought all he had that day, and gave them