Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/174

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AUNT JO'S SCRAP-BAG.

than bread, dearer than fame; and to that old shovel I owe the happiness of my life! The very day I got the letter accepting the little story, I was gaily putting in my last ton of coal, for I felt that now I might take up the pen again, since in a kitchen I had discovered the magic that wins listeners.

"Bless my heart! how I worked and how I whistled, I was so happy, and felt so lifted above all doubt and fear by the knowledge that my talent was not a failure, and the fact that my own strong arms could keep the wolf from the door!

"I was so busy that I had not observed a lady watching me from the window. She had opened it to feed the hungry sparrows, and my whistle caught her ear, for it was an air she knew, and had heard a certain young man sing before he dropped out of her circle, and left her wondering sadly what had befallen him.

"All this I learned afterward; then I unconsciously piped away till my job was done, wiped my hot face, and went in to get my money. To my sur-