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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER X. WARNED OF GOD IN A DREAM.
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 And now a strange thing happened to Cecile, something which shows, I think, very plainly how near the heavenly Guide really was to His little wandering lamb.  
After nearly a week spent on the road M. Dupois' wagons reached Paris in perfect safety, and then Anton, according to his promise, took the three children and their dog to lodge with a friend of his.
M. Dupois' steward made no objection to this arrangement, for Anton seemed a most steady and respectable man, and the children had all made great friends with him.
Chuckling inwardly, Anton led his little charges to a part of Paris called the Cite. This was where the very poor lived, and Anton guessed it would best suit his purpose. The houses were very old and shabby, most of them consisting of only two stories, though a few could even boast of four. These wretched and dirty houses were quite as bad as any London slums. Little particular Maurice declared he did not like the nasty smells, but on Anton informing Cecile that lodgings would be very cheap here, she made up her mind to stay for at least a night. Anton took the children up to the top of one of the tallest of the houses. Here were two fair-sized rooms occupied by an old man and woman. The man was ill and nearly blind, the woman was also too aged and infirm to work. She seemed, however, a good-natured old soul, and told Joe—for, of course, she did not understand a word of English—that she had lost five children, but though they were often almost starving, she could never bring herself to sell these little ones' clothes—she now pointed to them hanging on five peg—on the wall. The old couple had a grandson aged seventeen. This boy, thin and ragged as he was, had a face full of fun and mischief. "He picks up odd jobs, and so we manage to live," said the old woman to Joe.
Both she and her husband were glad to take the children in, and promised to make them comfortable—which they did, after a fashion.
"We can stay here one night. We shall be quite rested and able to go on down south to-morrow, Joe," said Cecile.
And Joe nodded, inwardly resolving that one night in such quarters should be all they should spend. For he felt that though of course Anton knew nothing about the existence of the purse, yet, that had it been known, it would not be long in Cecile's possession were she to remain there.
Poor Joe! he little guessed that Anton had heard and understood every word of Cecile's English, and was making up his mind just as firmly as Joe. His intention was that not one of that little band should leave the purlieus of the Cite until that purse with its precious contents was his.
The old couple, however, were really both simple and honest. They had no accommodation that night for Anton; consequently, for that first night Cecile's treasure was tolerably free from danger.
And now occurred that event which I must consider the direct intervention of the Guide Jesus on Cecile's behalf. This event was nothing more nor less than a dream. Now anyone may dream. Of all the common and unimportant things under the sun, dreams in our present day rank as the commonest, the most unimportant. No one thinks about dreams. People, if they have got any reputation for wisdom, do not even care to mention them. Quite true, but there are dreams and dreams; and I still hold to my belief that Cecile's dream was really sent to her direct from heaven.
For instance, there never was a more obstinate child than Cecile D'Albert. Once get an idea or a resolve firmly fixed in her ignorant and yet wise little head, and she would cling to it for bare life. Her dead stepmother's directions were as gospel to the little girl, and one of her directions was to keep the purse at all hazards. Not any amount of wise talking, not the most clear exposition of the great danger she ran in retaining it, could have moved her. She really loved Joe. But Joe's words would have been as nothing to her, had he asked her to transfer the precious leather purse to his care. And yet a dream converted Cecile, and induced her to part with her purse without any further difficulty. Lying on a heap of straw by Maurice's side, Cecile dreamt in that vivid ............
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