Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/167

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WHAT A SHOVEL DID.

"With sudden energy I put on my shabbiest clothes,—and they were very shabby, of course, added an old cap and rough comforter, as disguise, and stole down to the shed where I had seen a shovel. It was early, and the house was very quiet, for the other lodgers were hard workers all the week, and took their rest Sunday morning.

"Unseen by the sleepy girl making her fires, I got the shovel and stole away by the back gate, feeling like a boy out on a frolic. It was bitter cold, and a heavy snow-storm had raged all night. The streets were full of drifts, and the city looked as if dead, for no one was stirring yet but milkmen, and other poor fellows like me, seeking for an early job.

"I made my way to the West End, and was trying to decide at which of the tall houses to apply first, when the door of one opened, and a pretty housemaid appeared, broom in hand.

"At sight of the snowy wilderness she looked dismayed, and with a few unavailing strokes of her broom at the drift on the steps, was about to go in, when her eye fell on me.