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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER XXI. HARD TIMES FOR LITTLE MAURICE.
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 All that long and sunny day Maurice sat contentedly on a little stool in the doorway of the traveling caravan. His foot, which had been very painful, was now nicely and skillfully dressed. The Frenchman, who did not know a word of English, had extracted a sharp and cruel thorn, and the little boy, in his delight at being free from pain, thanked him in the only way in his power. He gave him a very sweet baby kiss.  
It so happened that the Frenchman had a wife and a little lad waiting for him in the Pyrenees. Maurice reminded him of his own dark-eyed boy, and this sudden kiss won his heart. He determined to be good to the child. So first providing him with an excellent bowl of soup and a fresh roll, for his breakfast and dinner combined, he then gave him a seat in the door of the caravan, for he judged that as he could not amuse the little fellow by talking to him, he might by letting him see what he could of what was going on outside.
For a long time Maurice sat still, then he grew impatient. He was no longer either in pain or sleepy, and he wanted to get home to Cecile; he wanted to tell her his adventures, and to show her the violets which he had gathered that morning, and which, though now quite dead and withered, he still held in his little hot hand. Why did not Anton return? What was keeping Joe? It was no distance at all back to the hut. Of this he was sure. Why, then, did not Joe come? He felt a little cross as the hours went on, but it never even occurred to his baby mind to be frightened.
It was late in the evening when Anton at last made his appearance, and alone. Little Maurice sprang off his stool to meet him.
"Oh, Anton, what a time you've been! And where's Joe?"
"Joe ain't coming to-night, young 'un," said Anton roughly.
He entered the caravan with a weary step, and, throwing himself on a settle, demanded some supper in French of his companion.
Maurice, unaccustomed to this mode of treatment, stood quite still for a moment, then, brushing the tears from his big brown eyes, he went up to Anton and touched his arm.
"See," he said, "I can walk now. Kind man there made my foot nearly well. You need not carry me, Anton. But will you come back with me to the hut after you've had some supper?"
"No, that I won't," answered Anton. "Not a step 'ull you get me to stir again to-night. You sit down and don't bother."
"Cross, nasty man," replied Maurice passionately; "then I'll run away by myself, I will. I can walk now."
He ran to the door of the caravan; of course it took Anton but a moment to overtake him, to catch him by his arm, and, shaking him violently, to lead him to an inner room, into which he flung the poor child, telling him roughly that he had better stay quiet and make no fuss, or it would............
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