Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 149

SERVICE AND THRIFT
THE KING OF THE GOLDEN RIVER; OR, THE BLACK BROTHERS by
JOHN RUSKIN

The rolling-pin was descending on Gluck's head; but at the instant, the old gentleman interposed his conical cap, on which it crashed with a shock that shook the water out of it all over the room. What was very odd, the rolling-pin no sooner touched the cap than it flew out of Schwartz's hand, spinning like a straw in a high wind, and fell into the corner at the farther end of the room.
" Who are you, sir?" demanded Schwartz, turning upon him.
"What's your business?" snarled Hans.
" I am a poor old man, sir," the little gentleman began very modestly, "and I saw your fire through the window, and begged shelter for a quarter of an hour."
" Have the goodness to walk out again, then," said Schwartz. "We've quite enough water in our kitchen without making it a drying-house."
" It is a cold day to turn an old man out in, sir; look at my gray hairs." They hung down to his shoulders, as I told you before.
"Aye!" said Hans, "there are enough of them to keep you warm. Walk!"
" I'm very, very hungry, sir; couldn't you spare me a bit of bread before I go?"
" Bread, indeed!" said Schwartz; "do you suppose we've nothing to do with our bread but to give it to such red-nosed fellows as you?"
" Why don't you sell your feather?" said Hans, sneeringly. "Out with you!"
" A little bit," said the old gentleman.
"Be off!" said Schwartz.
" Pray, gentlemen-"
" Off, and be hanged!" cried Hans, seizing him by the collar. But he had no sooner touched the old gentleman's

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