Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/173

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WHAT A SHOVEL DID.

"A very happy one. Yes, I owe to that kind soul and her little story, the turn that Fortune gave her wheel. Nay, rather say, the touch of nature that makes the whole world kin. For when I went home that day, I sat down and made a simple tale from the hint she gave, and something of her own humor and pathos must have got into it, for it was accepted, and more stories solicited, to my great surprise.

"I wrote it to please myself, for I was in a happy mood; and though my room was cold, the sun shone; though my closet was bare, honest money was in my pocket, and I felt as rich as a king.

"I remember I laughed at myself as I posted the manuscript on Monday morning, called it infatuation, and thought no more of it for days, being busy with my new friend, the shovel.

"Snow was gone, but coal remained, and I put in tons of it with a will, for this active labor was the tonic my overwrought nerves needed, and my spirits rose wonderfully, as muscles earned the daily bread that brains had failed to win.

"Ah! but they brought me something better