Chapter 160098247

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Url
Full Date1884-07-05
Page Number49
Word Count927
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleA Boy's Fortune. A Story for Children
article text




[Translated from the French by Dieudonned





" I would give a good deal to know the end of this history. It is annoying to have only

odd volumes 1"

As he spoke to himself thus, Robert B£rard, a little boy of twelve or thirteen years old, heard the parish clock strike 7.

"Is it really 7?" he said to himself, "this is what comes of amusing oneself! and grand mother has no doubt been up a long time." Then he hastened to put on a vest of coarse cloth, and left the closet which enclosed his bed, a table, and a chair, to go into the next


This room, kept with remarkable neatness, only contained, with the exception of an ele gant writing-table, furniture, the simplicity of which showed great ipoverty. Near the window Bat a lady of about fifty years of age, with a sweet and distinguished face, who'was embroidering a lace veil.

" Ah 1 there you are, dear child," she said with a smile of infinite tenderness. " I have taken great pains not to make the least noise in getting up so as not to wake you."

"I have been awake a long time, good mother," replied the little boy, embracing her two or three times. "Yesterday even ing when I came home you had not yet re turned from your walk, and I was so tired that I went to bed without waiting for you, do you see ?"

" And you did well, my dear; when I saw your cap on the table ana your door shut, I had not a moment of uneasiness."

" And then this morning, grandmother, I woke with the dawn: but I had the misfor tune to open the volume of history which went up to the reign of Charles II., and I could not tear myself away from it. How

unfortunate Charles IL was 1 When one thinks of that one takes courage."

Madame Ddmare (that was the name of the grandmother) heaved a long sigh.

" But he reascended his throne, and we have not regained our fortune," she said.

"Who knows I if all my days are like yesterday!. Guess how much I have in my hand?" and he took some money from his pocket.

"Twenty sous?"

-" More than that." "Forty?"

" Still more."

"Three francs?" " More."

" How more?"

"Five francs fifteen sous," said Robert, giving her the money.

" five francs fifteen sous?" cried Madame D£mare; "is it possible .that you. have earned as much as that ?"

"It is because I had great good luck, do you see? Yesterday a young man came to the h6tel who often comes there to see one of bis friends. He was in a cabriolet, and as he wished to Bend his servant on an errand he

made mc hold the horse. The horse was so restive that it gave me a good deal of trouble, I can assure you; but at last 1 gave it over to the servant safe and sound, and when the master came out, humming an air in great good humour, he gave me thefive-francpiece, sajing, 'Here, little one! I have no other money." As to the fifteen sous, I earned them by carrying a letter to the Rue de la Madeleine for one of the ladies in the hdtel. With that, grandmother, I shall be well content if you buy a pound of coffee for your

breakfast. What grieves me the most is to see you eat dry bread for your breakfast, you who have not been accustomed to it.1'

" My good Robert, that is all the same to me," said the old lady. " We have many more pressing wants. For example, you will eoon want shoes."

"You may even say that I want them now," replied Robert, laughing, " for these are all holes."

" Poor child!" replied Madame Demure; "does it hurt you to walk?"

"Not much; besides, you told me that a man must not complain, and 1 am a man now because I gain my living."

" Alas! m what way !" said Madame Hi mare, sighing.

"Do not grieve yourself about that, good mother. It is true that if I had been able to go to the school for another two or three years I should have been well enough edu cated to earn more; but now that we have nothing left, we only ought to think of how to thank the good God for what he sends us."

" I thank Him above all things for having given me a child like yout Robert," said Ma dame Ddmare, pressing him to her heart.

"And 1? Do you think that I do not

thank Him every day for having given me so good a mother? 1 love you so much, so much, that when you are not sad I am always pleased."

" Very well, I will always be gay," said

Madame Dimare with a satisfied air.

" Oh 1 that is good. . . . Now I must leave you, for no doubt every one is on foot at the hdtel, and some one has perhaps asked for me already."

"Go, go, my child; I shall not go out this morning, as I wish to finish this veil, which is wanted at once."

The two embraced one another tenderly, and the little boy went out.