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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 146 pages of information about Jack's Ward.

“I don’t feel like paying twenty-five dollars a quarter.”

“You shall have it for the same rent you have been paying.”

“But you said there was another family who had offered you an advanced rent.  I shouldn’t like to interfere with them.  Besides, I have already hired a house of Mr. Harrison in the next block.”

Mr. Colman was silenced.  He regretted too late the hasty course which had lost him a good tenant.  The family referred to had no existence; and, it may be remarked, the house remained vacant for several months, when he was glad to rent it at the old price.

CHAPTER VIII

A LUCKY RESCUE

The opportune arrival of the child inaugurated a season of comparative prosperity in the home of Timothy Harding.  To persons accustomed to live in their frugal way, five hundred dollars seemed a fortune.  Nor, as might have happened in some cases, did this unexpected windfall tempt the cooper or his wife to enter upon a more extravagant mode of living.

“Let us save something against a rainy day,” said Mrs. Harding.

“We can if I get work soon,” answered her husband.  “This little one will add but little to our expenses, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t save up at least half of it.”

“So I think, Timothy.  The child’s food will not amount to a dollar a week.”

“There’s no tellin’ when you will get work, Timothy,” said Rachel, in her usual cheerful way.  “It isn’t well to crow before you are out of the woods.”

“Very true, Rachel.  It isn’t your failing to look too much at the sunny side of the picture.”

“I’m ready to look at it when I can see it anywhere,” answered his sister, in the same enlivening way.

“Don’t you see it in the unexpected good fortune which came with this child?” asked Timothy.

“I’ve no doubt you think it very fortunate now,” said Rachel, gloomily; “but a young child’s a great deal of trouble.”

“Do you speak from experience, Aunt Rachel?” asked Jack.

“Yes,” said his aunt, slowly.  “If all babies were as cross and ill-behaved as you were when you were an infant, five hundred dollars wouldn’t begin to pay for the trouble of having them around.”

Mr. Harding and his wife laughed at the manner in which the tables had been turned upon Jack, but the latter had his wits about him sufficiently to answer:  “I’ve always heard, Aunt Rachel, that the crosser a child is, the pleasanter he will grow up.  What a very pleasant baby you must have been!”

“Jack!” said his mother, reprovingly; but his father, who looked upon it as a good joke, remarked, good-humoredly:  “He’s got you there, Rachel.”

But Rachel took it as a serious matter, and observed that, when she was young, children were not allowed to speak so to their elders.

“But I don’t know as I can blame ’em much,” she continued, wiping her eyes with the corner of her apron, “when their own parents encourage ’em in it.”

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