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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER XXX. THE END CROWNS ALL.
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 Summer! summer, not in the lovely country, but in the scorching East End. Such heated air! such scorching pavements! Oh! how the poor were suffering! How pale the little children looked, as too tired, and perhaps too weak to play, they crept about the baking streets. Benevolent people did all they could for these poor babies. Hard-working East End clergymen got subscriptions on foot, and planned days in the country, and, where it was possible, sent some away for longer periods. But try as they would, the lives of the children had to be spent with their parents in this region, which truly seems to know the two extremes, both the winter's cold and the summer's heat. It was the first week in August, and the Moseleys' little room, still as neat as possible, felt very hot and close. It was in vain to open their dormer windows. The air outside seemed hotter than that within. The pair were having some bread and butter and cold tea, but both looked flushed and tired. They had, in truth, just returned from a long pleasure excursion under their good clergyman, Mr. Danvers, into the country. Mrs. Moseley had entire charge of about twenty children, her husband of as many more; so no wonder they looked fagged. But no amount of either heat or fatigue could take the loving sparkle out of Mammie Moseley's eyes, and she was now expatiating on the delights of the little ones in the grass and flowers.  
"There was one dear little toddle, John," she said; "she seemed fairly to lose her head with delight; to see that child rolling over in the grass and clutching at the daisies would do any heart good. Eh! but they all did have a blessed day. The sin and shame of it is to bring them back to their stifling homes to-night."
"I tell you what, wife," said John Moseley, "the sight of the country fairly made a kitten of yerself. I haven't seen yer so young and so sprightly since we lost our bit of a Charlie. And I ha' made up my mind, and this is wot I'll do: We has two or three pounds put by, and I'll spend enough of it to give thee a real holiday, old girl. You shall go into Kent for a fortnight. There!"
"No, no, John, nothink of the kind; I'm as strong and hearty as possible. I feels the 'eat, no doubt; but Lor'! I ha' strength to bear it. No, John, my man, ef we can spare a couple o' pounds, let's give it to Mr. Danvers' fund for the poor little orphans and other children as he wants to send into the country for three weeks each."
"But that'll do thee no good," expostulated John Moseley, in a discontented voice.
"Oh! yes, but it will, John, dear; and ef you don't like to do it for me, you do it for Charlie. Whenever I exercises a bit of self-denial, I thinks: well, I'll do it for the dear dead lamb. I thinks o' him in the arms of Jesus, and nothink seems too hard to give up for the sake of the blessed One as takes such care of my darling."
"I guess as that's why you're so good to 'strays,'" said John Moseley. "Eh! but, Moll, wot 'as come o' yer word, as you'd take no more notice o' them, since them two little orphans runned away last winter?"
"There's no manner o' use in twitting at me, John. A stray child allers reminds me so desp'rate hard o' Charlie, and then I'm jest done for. 'Twill be so to the end. Hany stray 'ud do wot it liked wid Mammie Moseley. But eh! I do wonder wot has come to my poor little orphans, them and Susie! I lies awake at night often and often and thinks it all hover. How th............
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