Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/165

This page needs to be proofread.


are too many thick-heads along the coast now. I decide to steer clear of them.”

Louis, who now that his human-ambulance trip was over, had returned to the Marmouset, stood wondering. What had taken place in his absence was a mystery. He had, after depositing his burden, taken Mignon to Pierre and sat her down by the kitchen fire, where he had left her crying softly to herself.

Lemois waited until Louis had found a seat and went on:

“You, gentlemen, are my friends, and so I will explain to you what I would not explain to others. You wonder at what I have just said and done. I try to do my duty—that is my religion, and my only religion. I have tried to do it to-night. With your help I have done what I could to save my friend’s property, because she was away and helpless. She has now left to her some of the things she loved. So it is with this girl. Ten years ago I found her, a child of eight, crying in the street. For months she had gotten up at daylight, had washed and dressed her two baby brothers, cooked their breakfast, cleaned house, and tucked in her bedridden mother; but, try as she would, she was late for school—not once,