"Well, as I was sayin,' there didn't used to be any to-
morrow for me. I always lived just for that one day. I
had Peg an' the boy. I could work for 'm, an' that
was enough. It's more'n lots of men get in this world."
His voice trailed into a whisper and ceased. He was
living for the moment in the glory of his past usefulness.
The rapt, wrinkled face shone as if it had been touched
by angel fingers. Virginia watched him reverently.
"It's more'n two years ago, now," proceeded the cob-
bler presently, "an* I was workin' on one of them tall up-
town buildin's. Jimmy Malligan worked right alongside
of me. We was great chums, Jimmy an' me. One day the
ropes broke on one of the scaffoldin's at least, that's
what folks said. When we was picked up, my legs wasn't
worth the powder to blow 'em up an' Jimmy was dead.
. . . But Peg says I'm just as good as ever."
Here Mr. Grandoken took out his pipe and struck a
match. "But I ain'ti 'Cause them times Peg didn't have
to work. We always had fires enough, an' didn't live like
this. But, as I was say in,' me an' Peg just kinder lived
in to-day. Now, when I hope that mebbe I'll walk again,
I'm always measurin' up to-morrow Peg's the best
woman in the world."
"EVERY. HAND ITS SHARE" 73
Jinnie shivered as a gust of wind rattled the window
"She makes awful good hot mush," she commented.
"Anyhow," went on Lafe, "I was better off'n Jimmy, be-
cause he was stone dead. There wasn't any to-day or to-
morrow for him, an' I've still got Peggy."
"And this shop," supplemented the girl, glancing around
"Sure, this shop," assented Lafe. "I had clean plumb
forgot this shop I mean, for the minute but I wouldn't
a forgot it long."
He knocked the ashes out of his pipe and set to work.
Neither girl nor man spoke for a while, and it wasn't
until Lafe heard Peg's voice growling at one of Milly's
kittens that he ceased his tick-tack.
"You wouldn't like to join my club, lass, would you?"
Jinnie looked up quickly.
"Of course I would," she said eagerly. "What kind of
a club is it?"
The girl's faith in the cobbler was so great that if
Lafe had commanded her to go into danger, she wouldn't
"Tell me what the club is, Lafe," she repeated.
"Sure," responded Lafe. "Come here an' shake hands !
All you have to do to be a member of my club is to be
'Happy in Spite' an' believe everythin' happenin' is for
A mystified expression filled the girl's earnest blue eyes.
"I'm awful happy," she sighed, "and I'm awful glad to
come in your club, but I just don't understand what it
The cobbler paid no attention for some moments. He
was looking out of the window, in a far-away mood, dream-
74 ROSE O' PARADISE
ing of an active past, when Jinnie accidentally knocked
a hammer from the bench. Lafe Grandoken glanced in
the girl's direction.
"I'm happy in spite " he murmured. Then he stopped
abruptly, and his hesitation made the girl repeat :
"Happy in spite?" with a rising inflection. "What does
that mean, Lafe?"
Lafe began to work desperately.
"It means just this, kid. I've got a little club all my
own, an' I've named it 'Happy in Spite.' ' His eyes gath-
ered a mist as he whispered, "Happy in spite of every-
thing that ain't just what I want it to be. Happy in
spite of not walkin' happy in spite of Peg's workin'."
Virginia raised unsmiling, serious eyes to the speaker.
"I want to come in your club, too, Lafe," she said
slowly. "I need to be happy in spite of lots of things, just
like you, cobbler."
A long train steamed by. Jinnie went to the window,
and looked out upon it. When the noise of the engine and
the roar of the cars had ceased, she whirled around.
"Cobbler," she said in a low voice, "I've been thinking
a lot since yesterday."
"Come on an' tell me about it, lassie," said Lafe.
She sat down, hitching her chair a bit nearer him,
leaned her elbow on her knee, and buried a dimpled chin
in the palm of her hand.
"Do you suppose, Lafe, if a girl believed in the angels,
anybody could hurt her?"
"I know they couldn't, kid, an' it's as true's Heaven."
"Well, then, why can't I go out and work?"
Lafe paused and looked over his spectacles.
"Peggy says, 'Every hand should do its share'," he
Jinnie winced miserably. She picked up several nails
"EVERY HAND ITS SHARE" 75
from the floor. It was a pretext for an activity to cover
The cobbler allowed her to busy herself a while in this
way. Then he said :
"Sit in the chair an' wrap up in the blankets, Jinnie. I
want to talk with you."
She did as she was bidden, sitting quietly until the man
chose to speak.
"I guess you're beginnin' to believe," said he, at length,
"an' if you do, a world full of uncles couldn't hurt you.
Peg says as how you got to work if you stay, an' if you
have the faith "
Jinnie rose tremblingly.
"I know I'll be all right," she cried. "I just know you
and me believing would keep me safe."
Her eagerness caused Lafe to draw the girl to him.
"Can you holler good an' loud?" he asked.
The girl shot him a curious glance.
"Sure I can."
"Can you walk on icy walks "
"Oh, I'm as strong as anything," Jinnie cut in, glanc-
ing downward at herself.
"I know a lot of kids who earn money," said Lafe med-
"What do they do?"
"Get wood out of the marsh behind the huts there.
Some of 'em keeps families on it."
"Sell wood! And there's lots of it, Lafe?"
"Lots," replied Lafe.
Sell wood! The very words, new, wonderful, and full
of action, rang through Jinnie's soul like sweet sounding
bells. Waves of unknown sensations beat delightfully
upon her girlish heart. If she brought in a little money
every day, Peggy would be kinder. She could; she was
76 ROSE O' PARADISE
sure she could. She was drawn from her whirling thoughts
by the cobbler's voice.
"Could you do it, kid? People could think your name
was Jinnie Grandoken."
Jinnie choked out a reply.
"And mebbe I could make ten cents a day."
"I think you could, Jinnie, an' here's Lafe right ready
to help you."
Virginia Singleton felt quite faint. She sat down, her
heart beating under her knit jacket twice as fast as a girl's
heart ought to beat. Lafe had suddenly opened up a
path to usefulness and glory which even in her youthful
dreams had never appeared to her.
"Call Peggy," said Lafe.
Soon Peg stood before them, with a questioning face.
"The kid's goin' to work," announced Lafe. "We're
got a way of keepin' her uncle off'n her trail."
Mrs. Grandoken looked from her husband to Virginia.
"I want to work like other folks," the girl burst forth,
looking pleadingly at the shoemaker's wife.
Peggy wiped her arms violently upon her apron, and
there flashed across her face an inscrutable expression
that Lafe had learned to read, but which frightened the
Oh, how Jinnie wanted to do something to help them
both! Now, at this moment, when there seemed a likeli-
hood of being industriously useful, Jinnie loved them the
more. She was going to work, and into her active little
brain came the sound of pennies, and the glint of silver.
"I want to work, Peggy," she beseeched, "and I'll make
a lot of money for you."
"Every hand ought to do its share," observed Peg, stol-
idly, glancing at the girl's slender fingers. They looked
so small, so unused to hard work, that she turned away.
"EVERY HAND ITS SHAKE" 77
An annoying, gripping sensation attacked her suddenly,
but in another minute she faced the girl again.
"If you do it, miss, don't flounce round's if you owned
the hull of Paradise Road, 'cause it'll be nothin' to your
credit, whatever you do. You didn't make yourself."
At the door she turned and remarked, "You've got
t'have a shoulder strap to hold the wood, an' you musn't
carry too much to onct. It might hurt your back."
"I'll be careful," gulped Jinnie, "and mebbe I could help
make the strap, eh, Lafe?"
An hour later Jinnie was running a long needle through
a tough piece of leather. She was making the strap to
peddle shortwood, and a happier girl never breathed.
Peg watched her without comment as Lafe fitted the
strap about her shoulders. In fact, there was nothing for
the woman to say, when the violet eyes were fixed ques-
tioningly upon her. Peggy thought of the hunger which
would be bound to come if any hands were idle, so she mut-
tered in excuse, "There's nothin' like gettin' used to a
"It's a fine strap, isn't it, Lafe?" asked the girl. "It's
almost as good as a cart."
"You can't use a cart in the underbrush," explained
Lafe. "That's why the twig gatherers use straps."
"I see," murmured Jinnie.
When the cobbler and girl were once more alone to-
gether, they had a serious confab. They decided that
every penny Jinnie brought in should go to enriching the
house, and the girl's eyes glistened as she heard the shoe-
maker list over the things that would make them com-
Most delightful thoughts came to endow the girl's men-
tal world, which now reached from the cobbler's shop to
the marsh, over a portion of the city, and back again. It
78 ROSE O' PARADISE
was rosy-hued, bright, sparkling with the pennies and
nickels she intended to earn. All her glory would come
with the aid of that twig gatherer's leather strap. She
looked down upon it with a proud toss of her head. Jin-
nie was recovering the independent spirit which had dom-
inated her when she had wandered alone on the hills away
to the north.
"I wouldn't wonder if I'd make fifteen cents some days,"
she remarked later at the supper table.
"If you make ten, you'll be doin' well, an' you and
Lafe'll probably bust open with joy if you do," snapped
Peg. "Oh, Lord, I'm gettin' sick to my stomick hearin'
you folks brag. Go to bed now, kid, if you're to work to-
Jinnie fell asleep to dream that her hand was full of
pennies, and her pockets running over with nickels. She
was just stooping to pick up some money from the side-
walk when Peg's voice pierced her ear,
"Kid," said she, "it's mornin', an* your first workin'
day. Now hurry your lazy bones an' get dressed."
BY THE SWEAT OF HER BROW
OVER the bridge into Paradise Road went the lithe,
buoyant figure of a girl, a loose strap hanging from one
straight shoulder. Jinnie was radiantly happy, for her
first day had netted the family twenty cents, and if Par-
adise Road had been covered with eggs, she would not
have broken many in her flight homeward. If she had been
more used to Mrs. Grandoken, she would have understood
the peculiar tightening at the corners of the woman's thin
lips when she delivered the precious pittance. Virginia
searched the other's face for the least sign of approbation.
She wished Peg would kiss her, but, of course, she dared
not suggest it. To have a little show of affection seemed
to Jinnie just then the most desirable thing in the world,
but the cobbler's wife merely muttered as she went away
to the kitchen, and Virginia, sighing, sat down.
"Now suppose you tell me all about it, Jinnie," Lafe
suggested smilingly ; "just where you went an' how you
earned all the money."
Fatigued almost beyond the point of rehearsing her
experiences, Jinnie took Milly Ann on her lap and curled
up in the chair.
"I guess I've walked fifteen miles," she began. "You
know most folks don't want wood."
Lafe took one sidewise glance at the beautiful face. He
remembered a picture he had once seen of an angel. Jin-
nie's face was like that picture.
80 ROSE O' PARADISE
"Well, first, Lafe," she recounted, "I gathered the wood
in the marsh, then I went straight across the back field
through the swamp. It's froze over harder'n hell
Lafe uttered a little, "Sh!" and Jinnie, with scarlet
"I mean harder'n anything"
"Sure," replied Lafe, nodding.
"Mr. Bates and his kids were there, but he c'n carry a
pile three times biggcr'n I can !"
"Well, you're only a child. Sometimes Bates can't sell
all he gets, though."
"I sold all mine," asserted Jinnie, brightening.
The cobbler recalled the history of Jinnie's lonely little
life of how during those first fifteen years no kindly soul
had given her counsel, and now his heart glowed with
thanksgiving as he realized that she was growing in faith
and womanliness. He wanted Jinnie to give credit where
credit was due, so he said,
"You sold your wood because you had a helpin' hand."
Jinnie was about to protest.
"I mean " breathed Lafe.
"Oh, angels! Eh?" interrupted the girl. "Yes, I sold
my last two cents' worth by saying what you told me 'He
gives His angels charge over thee' and, zip ! a woman
bought the last bundle and gave me a cent more'n I charged
"Good!" Lafe was highly pleased. "It'll work every
time, an' to make -a long story short, it works on boots
an' shoes, too."
"Wood's awful heavy," Jinnie decided, irrelevantly.
"Sure," soothed Lafe again. He hesitated a minute,
drew his hand across his eyes, and continued, "An', by the
way, Jinnie "
Jinnie's receptive face caused the cobbler to proceed:
BY THE SWEAT OF HER BROW 81
"I wouldn't have nothin' to do with Bates' son Maudlin,
if I was you . . . He's a bad lot."
Jinnie's head drooped. She flushed to her hair.
"I saw him to-day," she replied. "He's got wicked eyes.
I hate boys who wink !"
A look of desperation clouded the fair young face, and
the cobbler, looking at the slender girlish figure, and think-
ing the while of Maudlin Bates, suddenly put out his hand.
"Come here, lassie," he said.
Another flame of color mounted to Jinnie's tousled hair.
With hanging head, she pushed Milly Ann from her lap
and walked to the cobbler's side.
"What did Maudlin say to you?" he demanded.
"He said he'd he'd crack my twigs for me if if I'd
kiss him, and he pinched me when I wouldn't."
Anger and deep resentment displayed themselves on
Lafe's pale face.
"Jinnie, lass," he breathed. "I c'n trust you, child.
Can't I trust you? You wouldn't "
Jinnie drew away from Lafe's embrace.
"I guess I'd rather be killed'n have Maudlin kiss me,"
she cried passionately. *
Just then Peg came to the door.
"Run to the butcher's for a bit of chopped steak, Jin-
nie," she ordered, "an' make your head save your heels by
bringin' in some bread."
Jinnie jumped up quickly.
"Please use some of my money to buy 'em, Peggy," she
begged. "Oh, please do."
Peggy eyed her sternly.
"Kid," she warned. "I want to tell you something be-
fore you go any farther in life. You may be smart, but
'tain't no credit to you, 'cause you didn't make yourself.
I'm tellin' you this for fear makin' so much money'll turn
82 ROSE O' PARADISE
jour head . . . Here's your ten cents. . . . Now go
After Jinnie had gone, Mrs. Grandoken sat down op-
posite her husband.
"The girl looks awful tired," she offered, after a mo-
"She's been earnin' her livin' by the sweat of her brow,"
replied Lafe, with a wan smile.
"Mebbe she'll get used to it," growled Peg. "Of course
I don't like her, but I don't want her hurt. 'Twon't make
her sick, will it?"
"No, she's as strong as a little ox. She's got enougli
strength in her body to work ten times harder, but Peg
" Here Lafe stopped and looked out to the hill be-
yond the tracks, "but, Peggy, perhaps we c'n find her
somethin' else after a while, when there ain't so much fear
of her uncle. To make a long story short, Peg, danger
of him's the only thing that'll keep the kid luggin'
"I was wonderin'," returned Peg, "if we couldn't get
some one interested in 'er the Kings, mebbe. They're a
good sort, with lots of money, an' are more'n smart."
Lafe's eyes brightened visibly, but saddened again. He
shook his head.
"We can't get the Kings 'cause I read in the paper last
night they're gone away West, to be gone for a year or
more. . . . It's a good idea, though. Some one'll turn
"When they do - , my man," Peg said quickly, "don't be
takin' any credit to yourself, 'cause you hadn't ought to
take credit for the plannin' your sharp brains do."
As he shook his head, smiling, she left him quickly and
shut the door.
ON THE BROAD BOSOM OF THE "HAPPY IN SPITE 5
THUS for one year Jinnie went forth in the morning to
gather her shortwood, and to sell it in the afternoon.
Peg always gave her a biscuit to eat during her fore-
noon's work, and Jinnie, going from house to house later,
was often presented with a "hunk of pie," as she after-
wards told Lafe. If a housewife gave her an apple, she
would take it home to the cobbler and his wife.
Late one afternoon, at the close of a bitter day, Jinnie
had finished her work and was resting on the door sill of
an empty house on an uptown corner.
She drew forth her money in girlish pride. Twenty-
seven cents was what she'd earned, two cents more than
any day since she began working. This money meant
much to Jinnie. She hadn't yet received a kiss from Mrs.
Grandoken, but was expecting it daily. Perhaps when
two cents more were dropped into her hand, Peggy might,
just for the moment, forget herself and unwittingly ex-
press some little affection for her.
With this joyous anticipation the girl recounted her
money, retained sufficient change for the dinner meat, and
slipped the rest into her jacket pocket. She rose and had
started in the direction of the market when a clamor near
the bridge made her pause. A crowd of men and boys
were running directly toward her. Above their wild shouts
could be heard the orders of a policeman, and now and
then the frightened cry of a small child.
84 ROSE O' PARADISE
At first Jinnie noticed only the people. Then her eyes
lowered and she saw, racing toward her, a small, black,
woolly dog. The animal, making a wild dash for his life,
had in his anguish lost his mental balance, for he took no
heed as to where he ran nor what he struck. A louder cry
of derision rose up from many throats as the small beast
scuttled between the legs of a farmer's horse, which gave
him a moment's respite from his tormentors.
An instant later they were clamoring again for his un-
happy little life. Suddenly he ran headlong into a tree,
striking his shaggy head with terrific force. Then he
curled up in a limp little heap, just as Jinnie reached him.
Before Maudlin Bates, the leader of the crowd, arrived,
the girl had picked up the insensible dog and thrust him
under her jacket.
"He's dead, I guess," she said, looking up into the boy's
face, "I'll take him to the cobbler's shop and bury him
. . . He isn't any good when he's dead."
Maudlin Bates grinned from ear to ear, put his hands
behind his back, and allowed his eyes to rove over the girl's
straight young figure.
"Billy Maybee was tryin' to tie a tin can to his tail,"
he explained, stuttering, "and the cur snapped at him.
We was goin* to hit his head against the wall."
"He's dead now," assured Jinnie once more. "It isn't
any use to smash dead dogs."
This reasoning being unanswerable, Maudlin turned
Jinnie's heart beat loudly with living hope. Perhaps
the little dog wasn't dead. Oh, how she hoped he'd live !
She stopped half way home, and pushed aside her jacket
and peeped down at him. He was still quite limp, and the
girl hurried on. She did not even wait to buy the meat
nor the bread Peg had asked her to bring in.
"HAPPY IN SPITE" 85
As she hurried across the tracks, she saw Grandoken
sitting in the window.
He saluted her with one hand, but as she was using both
of hers to hold the dog, she only smiled in return, with a
bright nod of her head.
Once in the shop, she looked about cautiously.
"I've got something, Lafe," she whispered, "something
When she displayed the hurt dog, Lafe put out his
"la the little critter dead?" he asked solemnly.
"Oh, I hope not !" replied Jinnie, and excitedly explained
Lafe took the foundling in his hands, turning the limp
body over and over.
"Jinnie, go ask Peg to bring some hot water in a pan,"
he said. "We'll give the little feller a chanct to live."
Peg came in with a basin of water, stared at the wide-
eyed girl and her smiling husband, then down upon the
"Well, for Lord's sake, where'd you get that little
beast ?" she demanded. " 'Tain't livin', is it ? Might as
well throw it in the garbage pail."
Nevertheless, she put down the basin as she spoke, and
took the puppy from her husband. At variance with her
statement that the dog might as well be thrown out, she
laid him in the hot water, rubbing the bruised body from
the top of its head to the small stubby tail. During this
process Lafe had unfastened Jinnie's shortwood strap,
and the girl, free, dropped upon the floor beside Peg.
Suddenly the submerged body of the pup began to move.
"He's alive, Peg!" cried Jinnie. "Look at his legs a
kicking! . . . Oh, Lafe, he's trying to get out of the
86 ROSE O' PARADISE
Peg turned sharply.
"If he ain't dead already," she grunted, "you'll kill him
hollerin' like that. Anyway, 'tain't no credit to hisself if
he lives. He didn't have nothin' to do with his bein' born,
an' he won't have nothin' to do with his goin' on livin'.
Shut up, now ! . . . There, massy me, he's coming to."
Jinnie squatted upon her feet, while Lafe wheeled his
chair a bit nearer. For some moments the trio watched
the small dog, struggling to regain consciousness. Then
Peggy took him from the water and wrapped him care-
fully in her apron.
"Lordy, he's openin' his eyes," she grinned, "an' you,
girl, you go in there by the fire an' just hold him in your
arms. Mebbe he'll come round all right. You can't put
him out in the street till he's better."
For the larger part of an hour, Jinnie held the new-
comer close to her thumping heart, and when a spasm of
pain attacked the shaggy head resting on her arm, she
wept in sympathetic agony. Could Peg be persuaded to
allow the dog to stay? She would promise to earn an ex-
tra penny to buy food for this new friend. At this op-
portune moment Mrs. Grandoken arrived from the market.
"How's he comin' on?" she asked, standing over them.
"Fine !" replied Jinnie. "And, Peg, he wants to stay."
"Did he tell y' that ?" demanded Peg, grimly.
"Well, he didn't say just those words," said the girl,
"but, Peggy, if he could talk, he'd tell you how much he
loved you "
"Look a here, kid," broke in Mrs. Grandoken, "that dog
ain't goin' to stay around this house, an' you might as
well understand it from the beginnin'. I've enough to do
with you an' Lafe an' those cats, without fillin' my house
with sick pups. So get that notion right out of your
nodcll.-! . See?"
"HAPPY; IN SPITE" 87
Jinnie bowed her head over the sick dog and made a
"I'll try to get the notion out," said she, "but, Peggy,
oh, Peggy dear, I love the poor little thing so awful much
that it'll be hard for me to throw him away. Will you
send him off when he's better, and not ask me to do it?"
Jinnie cocked her pretty head inquiringly on one side,
closed one eye, and looked at Peg from the other.
Peggy sniffed a ruse. She came forward, spread her
feet a bit, rolling her hands nervously in her apron. She
hated an everlasting show of feelings, but sometimes it was
difficult for her to crush the emotions which had so often
stirred in her breast since the girl came to live with them.
"I might as well tell you one thing right now, Jinnie
Grandoken," she said. "You brought that pup into this
house an' you'll take him out, or he won't get took; see?"
There was a certain tone in Peg's voice the girl had
"Then he won't get kicked out 't all, Peg," she said,
with a petulant, youthful smile. "I just won't do it!
Lafe can't, and if you don't '
Mrs. Grandoken made a deep noise in her throat.
"You're a sassy brat," said she, "that's what you are?
An' if Lafe don't just about beat the life out of you when
I tell him about this, I will, with my own hand, right before
his eyes. That's what "
Jinnie interrupted her eagerly. "Lafe won't beat me,"
she answered, "but I'll let you make me black and blue,
Peg, if I can keep the puppy. Matty used to beat me
fine, and she was a good bit stronger'n you."
Peggy's eyes drew down at the corners, and her lip
"Keep him if you want to, imp of Satan, but some day
here, see if the beast'U eat this bit of meat."
88 ROSE O' PARADISE
Jinnie placed the shivering dog on the floor, and Peg
put a piece of meat under his nose. In her excitement,
Jinnie rushed away to Lafe. Peg's mumble followed her