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قراءة كتاب Apples, Ripe and Rosy, Sir And Other Stories for Boys and Girls

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Apples, Ripe and Rosy, Sir
And Other Stories for Boys and Girls

Apples, Ripe and Rosy, Sir And Other Stories for Boys and Girls

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Project Gutenberg's Apples, Ripe and Rosy, Sir, by Mary Catherine Crowley

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Title: Apples, Ripe and Rosy, Sir

Author: Mary Catherine Crowley

Release Date: August 29, 2004 [EBook #13324]

Language: English

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK APPLES, RIPE AND ROSY, SIR ***

Produced by Al Haines

APPLES, RIPE AND ROSY, SIR,

AND OTHER STORIES,
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS,

MARY CATHERINE CRAWLEY,

REPRINTED FROM THE "AVE MARIA."

OFFICE OF THE "AVE MARIA:"

NOTRE DAME, IND.

COPYRIGHT:

D. E. HUDSON, C. S. C.

1893.

BECKTOLD & Co., Printers and Binders,

ST. Louis, Mo.

CONTENTS.

Apples, Ripe and Rosy, Sir

Better than Riches

Building a Boat

A May-Day Gift

Tilderee

A Little White Dress

A Miser's Gold

That Red Silk Frock

A Lesson with a Sequel

Uncle Tom's Story

Hanging May-Baskets

APPLES, RIPE AND ROSY, SIR.

"APPLES, RIPE AND ROSY, SIR."

I.

What a month of March it was! And after an unusually mild season, too. Old Winter seemed to have hoarded up all his stock of snow and cold weather, and left it as an inheritance to his wild and rollicking heir, that was expending it with lavish extravagance.

March was a jolly good fellow though, in spite of his bluster and boisterous ways. There was a wealth of sunshine in his honest heart, and he evidently wanted to render everybody happy. He appeared to have entered into a compact with Santa Claus to make it his business to see that the boys and girls should not, in the end, be deprived of their fair share of the season's merrymaking; that innumerable sleds and toboggans and skates, which had laid idle since Christmas, and been the objects of much sad contemplation, should have their day, after all.

And he was not really inconsiderate of the poor either; for though, very frequently, in a spirit of mischief, he and his chum Jack frost drew caricatures of spring flowers on their window-panes, knocked at their doors only to run away in a trice, and played other pranks upon them, they did not feel the same dread of all this that they would have felt in December. He would make up for it by being on his best and balmiest behavior for some days following; would promise that milder weather, when the need and the price of coal would be less, was surely coming; and that both the wild blossoms of the country fields, and the stray dandelions which struggle into bloom in city yards, would be on time, as usual.

On the special day with which we have to do, however, March was not in "a melting mood." On the contrary, the temperature was sharp and frosty, the ground white, the clouds heavy with snow. The storm of the night before had only ceased temporarily; it would begin again soon,—indeed a few flakes were already floating in the air. At four o'clock in the afternoon the children commenced to troop out of the schools. How pleasant to watch them!—to see the great doors swing open and emit, now a throng of bright-eyed, chattering little girls, in gay cloaks and hoods and mittens; or again a crowd of sturdy boys,—a few vociferating and disputing, others trudging along discussing games and sports, and others again indulging in a little random snowballing of their comrades, by the way. Half an hour later the snow was falling thick and fast. The boys were in their element. A number of them had gathered in one of the parks or squares for which the garden-like city of E——— is noted, and were busy completing a snow-fort. The jingle of sleigh-bells became less frequent, however; people hurried home; it was sure to be a disagreeable evening.

These indications were dolefully noted by one person in particular, to whom they meant more than to others in general. This was the good old Irishwoman who kept the apple and peanut stand at the street corner, and was the centre of attraction to the children on their way to and from school.

"Wisha, this is goin' to be a wild night, I'm thinkin'!" sighed she, wrapping a faded and much-worn "broshay" shawl more securely about her, and striving to protect both herself and her wares beneath the shelter of a dilapidated umbrella, one of the ribs of which had parted company with the cotton covering,—escaped from its moorings, as it were, and stood out independently. "Glory be to God, but what bad luck I've had the day!" she continued under her breath, from habit still scanning the faces of the passers-by, though she had now faint hope that any would pause to purchase. "An' it's a bigger lot than usual I laid in, too. The peanuts is extry size; an' them Baldwins look so fine and rosy, I thought it ud make anybody's mouth water to see them. I counted upon the schoolb'ys to buy them up in a twinklin', by reason of me markin' them down to two for a cent. An' so they would, but they're so taken up with sportin' in the snow that they can think of nothin' else. An' now that it's turned so raw, sure I'm afraid it's cold comfort any one but a lad would think it, settin' his teeth on edge tryin' to eat them. I'll tarry a bit longer; an' then, if no better fortune comes, I'll take meself to me little room, even though I'll have to drink me tea without a tint of milk or a dust of sugar the night, and be thankful for that same."

Patiently she waited. The clock struck five. As no other customers appeared, the old woman, who was known as Widow Barry, concluded that she would be moving. "Though it is too bad," she murmured; "an' this the best stand anywhere hereabouts."

In reality, the stand consisted of a large basket, a camp-seat, the tiresome privilege of leaning against two feet of stone-wall, and the aforesaid umbrella, which was intended to afford, not only a roof, but an air of dignity to the concern, and was therefore always open, rain or shine.

To "shut up shop," though it meant simply to lower the umbrella, gather up the goods and depart, was to the apple-vender a momentous affair. Every merchant who attempts, as the saying is, to carry his establishment, finds it no easy task; yet this is what the widow was obliged literally to do. To make her way, thus laden, in the midst of a driving snowstorm was indeed a difficult matter. Half a dozen times she faltered in discouragement. The street led over a steep hill; how was she to reach the top? She struggled along; the wind blew through her thin garments and drove her back; the umbrella bobbed wildly about; her hands grew numb; now the basket, again the camp-seat, kept slipping from her grasp. Several persons passed, but no one seemed to think of stopping to assist her. A party of well-dressed boys were coasting down the middle of the street; what cared they for the storm? Several, who were standing awaiting their turn, glanced idly at the grotesque figure.

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