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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER II. JOGRAPHY.
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 Cecile and Maurice had not only gone to school by day, but at Mr. Danvers' express wish had for a short part of their stay in London attended a small and excellent night-school, which was entirely taught by deaconesses who worked under the good clergyman.  
To this same night-school came, not regularly, but by fits and starts, a handsome lad of fourteen—a lad with brilliant black eyes, and black hair flung off an open brow. He was poorly dressed, and his young smooth cheeks were hollow for want of sufficient food. When he was in his best attire, and in his gayest humor, he came with a little fiddle swung across his arm.
But sometimes he made his appearance, sad-eyed, and without his fiddle. On these occasions, his feet were also very often destitute of either shoes or stockings.
He was a troublesome boy, decidedly unmanageable, and an irregular scholar, sometimes, absenting himself for a whole week at a time.
Still he was a favorite. He had a bright way and a winsome smile. He never teased the little ones, and sometimes on leaving school he would play a bright air or two so skilfully and with such airy grace, on his little cracked fiddle, that the school children capered round in delight. The deconesses often tried to get at his history but he never would tell it; nor would he, even on those days when he had to appear without either fiddle, or shoes, or stockings, complain of want.
On the evening when Cecile first went to this night-school, a pretty young lady of twenty called her to her side, and asked her what she would like best to learn?
"In this night-school," she added, "for those children at least, who go regularly to day-school, we try as much as possible to consult their taste, so what do you like best for me to teach you, dear?"
Cecile, opening her blue eyes wide, answered: "Jography, please, ma'am. I'd rayther learn jography than anything else in all the world."
"But why?" asked the deaconess, surprised at this answer.
"'Cause I'm a little French girl, please, teacher. Me and Maurice we're both French, and 'tis very important indeed for me to know the way to France, and about France, when we get there; and Jography tells all about it, don't it, teacher?"
"Why, yes, I suppose so," said the young teacher, laughing. So Cecile got her first lesson in geography, and a pair of bold, handsome black eyes often glanced almost wistfully in her direction as she learned. That night, at the door of the night-school, the boy with the fiddle came up to Cecile and Maurice.
"I say, little Jography," he exclaimed, "you ain't really French, be you?"
"I'm Cecile D'Albert, and this is Maurice D'Albert," answered Cecile. "Yes, we're a little French boy and girl, me and Maurice. We come from the south, from the Pyrenees."
The tall lad sighed.
"La Belle France!" he exclaimed with sudden fervor. He caught Cecile's little hand and wrung it, then he hurried away.
After this he had once or twice again spoken to the children, but they had never got beyond the outside limits of friendship. And now behold! on this desolate sandy plain outside the far-famed town of Calais, the poor little French wanderers, who knew not a single word of their native language, and the tall boy with the fiddle met. It was surprising how that slight acquaintance in London ripened on the instant into violent friendship.
Maurice, in his ecstasy at seeing a face he knew actually kissed the tall boy, and Cecile's eyes over-flowed with happy tears.
"Oh! do sit down near us. Do help us, we're such a perplexed little boy and girl," she said; "do talk to us for a little bit, kind tall English boy."
"You call me Jography, young un. It wor through jography we found each other out. And I ain't an English boy, no more nor you are an English girl; I'm French, I am. There, you call me Jography, young uns; 'tis uncommon, and 'ull fit fine."
"Oh! then Jography is a person," said Cecile. "How glad I am! I was just longing that he might be. And I'm so glad you're French; and is Jography your real, real name?"
"Ain't you fit to kill a body with laughing?" said the tall lad, rolling over and over in an ecstasy of mirth on the short grass. "No, I ain't christened Jography. My heyes! what a rum go that ud be! No, no, little uns, yer humble servant have had heaps of names. In Lunnon I wor mostly called Joe Bar............
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