even through the closed door.
"Cobbler, oh, dear good Lafe," cried the girl, "the dog's
living! Peg says I can keep 'im, and I'm goin' to fiddle
for him to-night. Do you think he'll forget all about his
hurt if I do that, Lafe?"
At that moment, shamed that she had given in to the
importunate Jinnie, Mrs. Grandoken opened the shop
door, shoving the half wet dog inside.
"Here's your pup, kid," she growled, "an* y'd best keep
him from under my feet if you don't want him stepped on."
The cobbler smiled his slow, sweet smile.
"Peg's heart's bigger'n this house," he murmured.
"Bring him here, lassie."
The girl, dog in arms, stood at the cobbler's side.
"What're you goin' to name him?" asked Lafe, ten-
"I dunno, but he's awful happy, now he's going to stay
"Call Mm 'Happy Pete'," said the cobbler, smiling, "an*
we'll take 'im into our club ; shall we, kid ?"
So Happy. Pete was gathered that day into the bosom
of the "Happy in Spite."
WHAT HAPPENED TO JINNIE
WITH a sigh Jinnie allowed Lafe to buckle the short-
wood strap to her shoulder. Oh, how many days she had
gone through a similar operation with a similar little sigh !
It was a trying ordeal, that of collecting and selling
kindling wood, for the men of Paradise Road took the best
of the shortwood to be found in the nearer swamp and
marsh lands, and oftentimes it was nearly noon before the
girl would begin her sale.
But the one real happiness of her days lay in dropping
the pennies she earned into Peg's hand.
Now Peggy didn't believe in spoiling men or children,
but one morning, as she tied a scarf about Jinnie's neck,
she arranged the black curls with more than usual ten-
Pausing at the door and looking back at the woman,
Jinnie suddenly threw up her head in determination.
"I love you, Peggy," she said, drawing in a long breath.
"Give me a little kiss, will you?"
There! The cat was out of the bag. In another in-
stant Jinnie would know her fate. How she dared to ask
such a thing the girl could never afterwards tell.
If Peg kissed her, work would be easy. If she denied
her I* e ggy glanced at her, then away again, her eyes
But after once taking a stand, Jinnie held her ground.
90 ROSE O' PARADISE
Her mouth was pursed up as if she was going to whistle.
Would Peg refuse such a little request ? Evidently Peggy
would, for she scoffingly ordered.
"Go along with you, kid go long, you flip little brat !"
"I'd like a kiss awful much," repeated Jinnie, still stand-
ing. Her voice was low-toned and pleading, her blue eyes
questioningly on Peg's face.
Peg shook her head.
"I won't kiss you 'cause I hate you," she sniffed. "I've
always hated you."
Jinnie's eyes filled with tears.
"I know it," she replied sadly, "I know it, but I'd like
a kiss just the same because because I do love you, Peg."
A bit of the same sentiment that had worried her for
over a year now attacked Mrs. Grandoken. Her common
sense told her to dash away to the kitchen, but a tugging
in her breast kept her anchored to the spot. Suddenly,
without a word, she snatched the girl close to her broad
breast and pressed her lips on Jinnie's with resounding
"There! There! And there!" she cried, between the
kisses. "An* if y' ever tell a soul I done it, I'll scrape
every inch of skin ofFn your flesh, an* mebbe I'll do some-
thing worse, I hate y' that bad."
In less seconds than it takes to tell it, Peg let Jinnie
go, and the girl went out of the door with a smiling sigh.
"Kisses 're sweeter'n roses," she murmured, walking to
the track. "I wish I'd get more of 'em."
She turned back as she heard Peg's voice calling her.
"You might toddle in an' bring home a bit of sausage,"
said the woman, indifferently, "an' five cents' worth of
Mrs. Grandoken watched Jinnie until she turned the
corner. She felt a strangling sensation in her throat.
WHAT HAPPENED TO JINNIE 91
A little later she flung the kitchen utensils from place to
place, and otherwise acted so ugly and out of temper that,
had Lafe known the whole incident, he would have smiled
knowingly at the far-off hill and held his peace.
Late in the afternoon Jinnie counted seventeen pennies,
one dime and a nickel. It was a fortune for any girl to
make, and what was better yet, buckled to her young
shoulders in the shortwood strap was almost her next
day's supply. As she replaced the money in her pocket
and walked toward the market, she murmured gravely,
"Mebbe Peg's kisses helped me to get it, but but I
musn't forget Lafe's prayers."
Her smile was radiant and self-possessed. She was one
of the world's workers and loved Lafe and Peg and the
world with her whole honest young heart.
"Thirty-two cents," she whispered. "That's a pile of
money. I wish I could buy Lafe a posy. He does love
'em so, and he can't get out like Peg and me to see beau-
She stopped before a window where brilliant blossoms
were exhibited. Ever since she began to work, one of the
desires of Jinnie's soul had been to purchase a flower. As
she scrutinized the scarlet and white carnations, the deep
red roses, and the twining green vines, she murmured.
"Peg loves Lafe even if she does bark at him. She
won't mind if I buy him one. I'll make more money to-
She opened the door of the shop and drew her unwieldy
burden carefully inside. A girl stood back of the counter.
"How much're your roses ?" asked Jinnie, nodding tow-
ard the window and jingling the pennies in her pocket.
"The white ones're five cents a piece," said the clerk,
"and the red ones're ten. . . . Do y' want one?"
"I'll take a white one," replied the purchaser.
92 ROSE O' PARADISE
"Shall I wrap it in paper?" asked the other.
"No, I'll carry it this way. I'd like to look at it going
The girl passed the rose to Jinnie.
; 'It smells nice, too," she commented.
'Yes," assented Jinnie, delightedly, taking a whiff.
Then she went on to the meat market to buy the small
amount of meat required for the three of them.
One of the men grinned at her from the back of the
store, calling, "Hello, kid!" and Maudlin Bates, swinging
idly on a stool, shouted, "What's wanted now, Jinnie ?" and
still another man came forward with the question,
"Where'd you get the flower, lass?"
"Bought it," replied Jinnie, leaning against the coun-
ter. "I got it next door for the cobbler. He's lame and
can't get out."
The market man turned to wait upon her.
"Five cents' worth of chopped meat," ordered Jinnie,
"and four sausages."
"Ain't you afraid you'll overload your stomachs over
there at the cobbler's shop ?" laughed one of the men. "I'll
tell you what I'll do, Jinnie . . . Do you see that ring of
sausage hangin' on that hook?"
The girl nodded wonderingly, looking sidewise at
"Well, if you'll give us a dance, a good one, mind you,
still keepin' the wood on your back, I'll buy you the hull
string. It'll last a week the way you folks eat meat."
Jinnie's face reddened painfully, but the words appealed
to her money-earning spirit, and with a curious sensation
she glanced around. Could she dance, with the wondering,
laughing, admiring gaze of the men upon her? And Maud-
lin, too ! How she detested his lustful, doltish eyes !
She straightened her shoulders, considering. The wood
WHAT HAPPENED TO JINNIE 93
was heavy, and the strap, bound tightly about her chest
and arms, made her terribly tired. But a whole string of
sausage was a temptation she could not withstand. In
her fertile imagination she could see Lafe nod his appro-
bation, and Peggy joyously frying her earnings in the pan.
She might even get three more kisses when no one was
"I don't know what to dance," she said presently, study-
ing the rose in her confusion.
"Oh, just anything," encouraged the man on the stool.
"I'll whistle a tune."
"Hand her the sausage, butcher;" sniggered Maudlin,
"then she'll be sure of it. The feel of it'll make her dance
The speaker grinned as the butcher took the string
from the hook. Jinnie slipped the stem of the cobbler's
rose between her white teeth, grasped the sausage in one
hand and gripped the shortwood strap with the other.
Then the man started a rollicking whistle, and Jinnie took
a step or two.
Every one in the place drew nearer. Here was a sight
they never had seen a lovely, shy-eyed, rosy, embarrassed
girl, with a load of kindling wood on the strong young
shoulders, turning and turning in the center of the mar-
ket. In one hand she held a ring of sausage, and between
her lips a white rose.
"If you'll give us a grand fine dance, lass," encouraged
the butcher, "you c'n have the chopped meat, too."
The man's offer sifted through Jinnie's tired brain and
stimulated her to quicker action. She turned again, shift-
ing the weight more squarely on her shoulders, her feet
keeping perfect time with the shrill, whistling tune.
"Faster! Faster!" taunted Maudlin. "Earn your
meat, girl ! Don't be a piker !"
94 ROSE O' PARADISE
Faster and faster whirled Jinnie, the heft of the short-
wood carrying her about in great circles. Her cap had
fallen from her head, loosing the glorious curls, and her
breath whistled past the stem of Lafe's white flower like
night wind past a taut wire.
Jinnie forgot everything but the delight of earning
something for her loved ones something that would bring
a caress from Lafe. She was sure of Lafe, very sure !
As voices called "Faster!" and still "Faster!" Jinnie
let go the shortwood strap to fling aside her curls. Just
at that moment she whirled nearer Maudlin Bates, who
thrust forth his great foot and tripped her. As she stag-
gered, not one of those watching had sense enough to catch
her as she fell. At that moment the door swung open and
Peg Grandoken's face appeared. She looked questioningly
at the market man.
"I thought I saw Jinnie come in," she hesitated
Then realizing something was wrong, her eyes fell upon
the stricken girl.
"She was just earnin' a little sausage by dancin'," the
Peggy stared and stared, stunned for the moment. The
hangdog expression on Maudlin's face expressed his crime
better than words would have done. Jinnie's little form
was huddled against the counter, the shortwood scattered
around her, and from her forehead blood was oozing. On
the slender arm was the ring of sausage and between her
set teeth was Lafe's pale rose. With her outraged soul
shining in her eyes, Peggy gathered the unconscious girl
in her two strong arms.
"I bet you done it, you damn Maudlin!" she gritted,
and without another word, left the market.
Within a few minutes she had laid Jinnie on her bed,
and was telling Lafe the pathetic story.
THERE was absolute quiet in the home of the cobbler for
over a week. The house hung heavy with gloom. Jinnie
Grandoken was fighting a ghastlier monster than even old
Matty had created for her amusement.
Of course Jinnie didn't realize this, but two patient
watchers knew, and so did a little black dog. To say
that Lafe suffered, as Peggy repeated over and over to
him the story of Jinnie's loving act, would be words of
small import, and through the night hours, when the cob-
bler relieved his wife at the sick girl's bed, shapes black
and forbidding rose before him, menacing the child he'd
vowed to protect.
Could it be that Maudlin Bates had anything to do with
Jinnie's fall? Even so, he was powerless to shield her
from the young wood gatherer. A more perplexing prob-
lem had never faced his paternal soul. After his little son
had gone away, there had been no child to love until and
now as he looked at Jinnie, agony surged through him
with the memory of that other agony for she might go
to little Lafe.
There came again the stabbing pain born with Peg's tale
of the dance. The white rose lay withered in the cobbler's
bosom where it had been since his girl had been carried to
what the doctor said would in all probability be her death-
bed. It was on nights like this that dead memories, with
96 ROSE O' PARADISE
solemn mien, raced from their graves, haunting the lame
man. Even Lafe's wonderful portion of faith had di-
minished during the past few days. He found himself
praying mighty prayers that Jinnie would be spared, yet
in mental bitterness visualizing her death. Oh, to keep
yet a while within the confines of his life the child he loved !
"Let 'er stay, Lord dear, let my Rose o' Paradise stay,"
Lafe cried out into the shadowy night, time and time again.
Peggy came, as she often did, to wheel him away and
order him to bed, but this evening Lafe told Peg he'd
rather stay with Jinnie.
"She looks like death," he whispered unnerved.
"She is almost dead," replied the woman grimly.
The doctor entered with silent tread. Stealing to the
bed, he put his hand on the girl's brow.
"She's better," he whispered, smilingly. "Look ! Damp !
Nothing could be a surer sign !"
"May the good God be praised!" moaned Lafe.
Jinnie stirred, lifted her heavy lids, and surveyed the
room vacantly. Her glance passed over the medical man
as if he were not within the range of her vision. She
gazed at Lafe only, with but a faint glimmer of recogni-
tion, then on to Peg wavered the sunken blue eyes.
"Drink of water, Peggy dear," she whispered.
Mrs. Grandoken dropped the fluid into the open,
parched mouth from a spoon ; then she bent low to catch
the stammering words :
"Did Lafe like the rose, Peggy, and did you get the ring
Peg glanced at the doctor, a question struggling to her
lips, but she could not frame the words.
"Tell her 'yes'," said the man under his breath.
"Lafe just doted on the flower, honey," acknowledged
> bending over the bed, "and I cooked all the sau-
sage, an' we two et 'em. They was finer'n silk . . . Now
go to sleep ; will you ?"
"Sure," trembled Jinnie. "Put Happy Pete in my
Mrs. Grandoken looked once more at the doctor. He
nodded his head slightly.
So with the dog clasped in her arms, Jinnie straightway
Then Peggy wheeled Lafe away to bed, and as she
helped him from the chair, she said :
"I lied to her just now with my own mouth, Lafe. I
told her we et them sausages. We couldn't eat 'em 'cause
they was all mashed up an' covered with blood."
The cobbler's eyes searched the mottled face of the
"That kind of lies 're blessed by God in his Heaven,
Peg," he breathed tenderly. "A lie lendin' a helpin' hand
to a sick lass is better'n most truths."
Before going to bed Peg peeped in at Jinnie. The girl
still lay with her arm over the sleeping Pete, her eyes rov-
ing round the room. She caught sight of the silent wo-
man, and a troubled line formed between her brows.
"How're you going to get money to live, Peggy?" she
wailed. "I'm just beginning to remember about the dance
and getting hurt."
Peggy stood a moment at the foot of the bed.
"Lafe's got a whole pocket full o' money," she returned
"That's nice," sighed the girl in relief.
"Shut up now an' go to sleep ! Lafe's got enough cash
to last a month."
And as the white lids drooped over the violet eyes, Peg
Grandoken's guardian angel registered another lie to her
credit in the life-book of her Heavenly Father.
WHAT JINNIE FOUND ON THE HILL
THE days rolled on and on, and the first warm impulses
of spring brought Jinnie, pale and thin, back to Lafe's
She was growing so strong that days when the weather
permitted, Peg put a wrap on her, telling her to breathe
some color into her cheeks.
For a long time Jinnie was willing to remain quietly on
the hut steps where she could see the cobbler whacking
away on the torn footwear. She knew that if she looked
long enough, he would glance up and smile the smile which
always warmed the cockles of her loving heart.
As she grew better, and therefore restless, she walked
with Happy Pete along the cinder path beside the tracks.
Each day she went a little further than the day before,
the spirit of adventure beginning to live again within her.
The confines of her narrow world were no longer kept taut
by the necessity of selling wood, and to-day it seemed to
broaden to the far-away hill from whence the numberless
fingers of shadow and sunshine beckoned to the sentimental
She wandered through Paradise Road with the little dog
as a companion, and finding her way to the board walk,
strolled slowly along.
Wandering up above the city, she discovered a lonely
spot snuggled in the hills, and gathering Happy Pete
WHAT JTNNIE FOUND 99
into her arms, she lay down. Over her head countless birds
sang in the sunshine, and just below, in the hollow, were
squirrels, chattering out their happy existence. Dreamily,
through the leaves of the trees, Jinnie watched the white
clouds float across the sky like flocks of sheep, and soon
the peace of the surrounding world lulled her to rest.
When Happy Pete touched her with his slender tongue,
Jinnie sat up, staring sleepily around. At a sound, she
turned her head and caught sight of a little boy, whose
tangled hair lay in yellow curls on his head.
The sight of tears and boyish distress made Jinnie start
quickly toward him, but he seemed so timid and afraid
she did not speak.
Suddenly, two slight, twig-scratched arms fluttered to-
ward her, and still without a word Jinnie took the tremb-
ling hands into hers. Happy Pete crawled cautiously to
the girl's side ; then, realizing something unusual, he threw
up his black-tipped nose and whined. At the faint howl,
the boy's hands quivered violently in Jinnie's. He caught
his breath painfully.
"Oh, who're you? Are you a boy or a girl?"
His eyes were touched with an indefinable expression.
Jinnie flushed as she scanned for a moment her calico skirt
and overhanging blouse. Then with a tragic expression
she released her hands, and ran her fingers through her
hair. With such long curls did she look like a boy ?
"I'm a girl," she said. "Can't you see I'm a girl?"
"I'm blind," said the boy, "so so I had to ask you."
Jinnie leaned forward and scrutinized him intently.
"You mean," she demanded brokenly, "that you can't
see me, nor Happy Pete, nor the trees, nor the birds, nor
the squirrels, skipping around?"
The boy bowed his head in assent, but brightened almost
3100 ROSE O' PARADISE
"No, I can't see those things, but I've got lots of stars
inside my head. They're as bright as anything, only
sometimes my tears put 'em out."
Then, as if he feared he would lose his new friend, he
felt for her hand once more.
Jinnie returned the clinging pressure. For the second
time in her life her heart beat with that strange emotion
the protective instinct she had felt for her father. She
knew at that moment she loved this little lad, with his
wide-staring, unseeing eyes.
"I'm lost," said the boy, sighing deeply, "and I cried
ever so long, but nobody would come, and my stars all
"Tell me about your stars," she said eaegrly. "Are they
"I dunno what sky stars are. My stars shine in my
head lovely and I get warm. I'm cold all over and my
heart hurts when they go out."
"Oh !" murmured Jinnie. "I wish they'd always shine."
"So do I." Then lifting an eager, sparkling face, he
continued, "They're shinin' now, 'cause I found you."
"Where're your folks?" asked Jinnie, swallowing hard.
"I dunno. I lost 'em a long time ago, and went to live
with Mag. She licked me every day, so I just runned
away I've been here a awful long time."
Jinnie considered a moment before explaining an idea
that had slipped into her mind as if it belonged there.
She would take him home with her.
"You're going to Lafe's house," she announced pres-
ently. "Happy Pete and me and Peg live at Lafe Gran-
doken's home. Peggy makes bully soup."
"And I'm so hungry," sighed the boy. "Where's the
dog I heard barking?"
He withdrew his hands, moving them outward, searching
WHAT JINNIE FOUND 101
for something. The girl tried to push Pete forward, but
the dog only snuggled closer to her.
"Petey, dear, I'm ashamed of you !" she chided lovingly*
"Can't you see the little fellow's trying to feel you?"
Then Happy Pete, as if he also were ashamed, came
within reach of the wavering hands, and crouched low, ta
be looked over with ten slender finger tips.
"He's awful beautiful !" exclaimed the boy. "His hair's
softer'n silk, and his body's as warm as warm can be."
Jinnie contemplated Happy Pete's points of beauty.
Never before had she thought him anything more than a.
homely, lovable dog, with squat little legs, and a pointed
nose. In lightninglike comparison she brought to her mind
the things she always considered beautiful the spring vio-
lets, the summer roses, that belt of wonderful color skirt-
ing the afternoon horizon, and all the wonders of nature
of which her romantic world consisted. The contrast be-
tween these and the shaking black dog, with his smudge of
tangled hair hanging over his eyes, shocked Jinnie's artis-
"If if you say he's beautiful, then he is," she stam-
mered almost inaudibly.
"Of course he is! What's your name?"
"Jinnie. Jinnie Grandoken . . . What's yours?"
"Blind Bobbie, or sometimes just Bobbie."
"Well, I'll call you Bobbie, if you want me to. ... I
like you awful well. I feel it right in here."
She pressed the boy's fingers to her side.
"Oh, that's your heart!" he exclaimed. "I got one
too! Feel it jump!"
Jinnie's fingers pressed the spot indicated by the little
"My goodness," she exclaimed, "it'll jump out of your
mouth, won't it?"
102 ROSE O' PARADISE
"Nope ! It always beats like that !"
"Where's your mother?" asked Jinnie after a space.
"I suppose she's dead, or Mag wouldn't a had me. I
don't know very much, but I 'member how my mother's
hands feel. They were soft and warm. She used to come
to see me at the woman's house who died the one who give
me to Mag."
"She must have been a lovely mother," commented
"She were! Mag tried to find her 'cause she said she
was rich, and when she couldn't, she beat me. I thought
mebbe I'd find mother out in the street. That's why I
Jinnie thought of her own dead father, and the child's
halting tale brought back that one night of agony when
Thomas Singleton died, alone and unloved, save for her-
self. She wanted to cry, but instead she murmured,
"Happy in Spite," as Lafe had bidden her, and the melt-
ing mood vanished. The cobbler and his club were always
wonderfully helpful to Jinnie.
"My mother told me onct," Bobbie went on, "she didn't
have nothin* to live for. I was blind, you see, and wasn't
any good was I?"
The question, pathetically put, prompted Virginia to
fling back a ready answer.
"You're good 'nough for me and Happy Pete," she as-
serted, "and Lafe'll let you be his little boy too."
The blind child gasped, and the girl continued assur-
ingly, "Peg'll love you, too. She couldn't help it."
"Peg?" queried Bobbie.
"Oh, she's Lafe's wife. Happy Pete and me stay in
The blind eyes flashed with sudden hope.
"Mebbe she'll love me a little ! Will she?"
WHAT JINNIE FOUND 103
"I hope so. Anyway, Lafe will. He loves everybody,
even dogs. He'll love you ; sure he will !"
The boy shook his head doubtfully.
"Nobody but mothers are nice to blind kids. Well
well 'cept you. I'd like to go to Lafe's house, though,
but mebbe the woman wouldn't want me."
Jinnie had her own ideas about this, but because the
child's tears fell hot upon her hands, the mother within
her grew to greater proportions. Three times she re-
peated softly, "Happy in Spite."
"Happy in Spite," she whispered again. Then she sat
up with a brilliant smile.
"Of course I'm going to take you to Lafe's. Here at
Lafe's my heart's awful busy loving everybody. Now I've
got you I'm going to take care of you, 'cause I love you
just like the rest. Stand up and let me wipe your nose."
"Let me see how you look, first," faltered the boy.
"Where's your face? ... I want to touch it!"
His little hands reached and found Jinnie's shoulders.
Then slowly the fingers moved upwards, pressing here and
there upon the girl's skin, as they traveled in rhythmic
motion over her cheeks.
"Your hair's awful curly and long," said he. "What
color is it?"
"Color? Well, it's black with purple running through
it, I guess. People say so anyway !"
"Oh, yes, I know what black is. And your eyes're blue,
"Yes, blue," assented Jinnie. "I see 'em when I slick