Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/206

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to put up a ladder, and, as she leaned and called, I could see the crowds far down, the smoke and flame bursting out below, and hear the hiss of water as it fell upon the blazing walls. It was a most exciting moment, as we hung there, watching the gallant men fix the long ladder, and one come climbing up till we could see his brave face, and hear him shout cheerily,—

Swing from the window-sill, I'll catch you.'

"But Cora answered, as she showed the little yellow head that shone in the red glare,—

"'No, save the child first!'

"'Drop her then, and be quick: it's hot work here,' and the man held up his arms with a laugh, as the flames licked out below as if to eat away the frail support he stood on.

"All in one breathless moment, Cora had torn off the mantle, wrapped the child in it, bound her girdle about it, and finding the gaudy band would not tie, caught out the first pin that came to hand, and fastened it. I was that pin; and I felt that the child's life almost depended upon me, for as the precious bundle dropped into the man's hands he caught it by