Margery’s father felt so unhappy that at last he died, and only a few days later Margery’s mother died, too. Poor little Margery and her brother were left alone in the wide world.
Their sorrow would have made you pity them, but it would have done your heart good to see how fond they were of each other. They always went about hand in hand, and when you saw one you were sure to see the other.
Look at them in the picture.
They were both very ragged, and though Tommy had two shoes, Margery had but one. They had nothing, poor little things, to live upon but what kind people gave to them. Each night they lay on the hay in just such a barn as you see here.
Mr. Smith was a very good man who lived in the town where little Margery and Tommy were born. Although he was a poor man, he took the children home to live with him.
“They shall not want for food nor for a bed to sleep in while I live,” he said.
Mr. Smith had a friend who was a very wealthy man. When he heard the story about Margery and Tommy, this man gave Mr. Smith some money to buy little Margery a new pair of shoes and Tommy a new suit of clothes. Can you see Tommy in the picture wearing his new clothes?
The gentleman who had given the money for Margery’s new shoes and Tommy’s new clothes wished to take Tommy with him to London to make a sailor of him.
When the time came for Tommy to go, both children began to cry. They kissed each other a hundred times. At last Tommy wiped away Margery’s tears and said:
“Don’t cry, little sister, for I will come home to you again and bring you beautiful clothes and much money.”
That night Margery went to bed weeping for her dear little brother. It was the first time they had ever been parted.
The next morning the shoemaker came in with Margery’s new shoes. She put them on in great glee and ran out to Mrs. Smith crying, “Two shoes, two shoes. See goody two shoes!” This she did to all the people she met, so that soon she was known far and wide as Goody Two Shoes.
Dear little Margery saw how good and wise Mr. Smith was. She thought it was because he read so many books.
Soon Margery wished, above all things, to learn to read. She would borrow books from the school children and sit down and read and read. Very soon she could read better than any of her playmates.
Margery took such delight in her books that she wished everybody else could read, too, so she formed this plan of teaching very little children how to read.
First, she made letters out of bits of wood with her knife. She worked and worked until there were ten sets of the small letters: