Beautiful Joe
Chapter 11, Page 3

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Please be aware that this book was originally published in 1894 and may contain words, descriptions, or other passages that may be considered offensive today.


CHAPTER XI: GOLDFISH AND CANARIES (continued)

Dick seemed cheerful enough, but it was very pitiful to see him dragging his poor little stump around the cage, and resting it against the perch to keep him from falling. When Mrs. Montague came the next day, she could not bear to look at him. "Oh, dear!" she exclaimed, "I cannot take that disfigured bird home."

I could not help thinking how different she was from Miss Laura, who loved any creature all the more for having some blemish about it. "What shall I do?" said Mrs. Montague. "I miss my little bird so much. I shall have to get a new one. Carl, will you sell me one?"

"I will give you one, Mrs. Montague," said the boy, eagerly. "I would like to do so."

Mrs. Morris looked pleased to hear Carl say this. She used to fear sometimes, that in his love for making money, he would become selfish.

Mrs. Montague was very kind to the Morris family, and Carl seemed quite pleased to do her a favor. He took her up to his room, and let her choose the bird she liked best. She took a handsome, yellow one, called Barry. He was a good singer, and a great favorite of Carl's. The boy put him in the cage, wrapped it up well, for it was a cold, snowy day, and carried it out to Mrs. Montague's sleigh.

She gave him a pleasant smile, and drove away, and Carl ran up the steps into the house. "It's all right, mother," he said, giving Mrs. Morris a hearty, boyish kiss, as she stood waiting for him. "I don't mind letting her have it."

"But you expected to sell that one, didn't you?" she asked.

"Mrs. Smith said maybe she'd take it when she came home from Boston, but I dare say she'd change her mind and get one there."

"How much were you going to ask for him?"

"Well, I wouldn't sell Barry for less than ten dollars, or rather, I wouldn't have sold him," and he ran out to the stable.

Mrs. Morris sat on the hall chair, patting me as I rubbed against her, in rather an absentminded way. Then she got up and went into her husband's study, and told him what Carl had done.

Mr. Morris seemed very pleased to hear about it, but when his wife asked him to do something to make up the loss to the boy, he said: "I had rather not do that. To encourage a child to do a kind action, and then to reward him for it, is not always a sound principle to go upon."

But Carl did not go without his reward. That evening, Mrs. Montague's coachman brought a note to the house addressed to Mr. Carl Morris. He read it aloud to the family.

My Dear Carl: I am charmed with my little bird, and he has whispered to me one of the secrets of your room. You want fifteen dollars very much to buy something for it. I am sure you won't be offended with an old friend for supplying you the means to get this something.

Ada Montague.

"Just the thing for my stationary tank for the goldfish," exclaimed Carl. "I've wanted it for a long time; — it isn't good to keep them in globes; but how in the world did she find out? I've never told any one."

Mrs. Morris smiled, and said, "Barry must have told her," as she took the money from Carl to put away for him.