The Old Flute-Player eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 149 pages of information about The Old Flute-Player.

“Father left a word.”

“Ho, did ’e?” M’riar asked.

“Yes; certainly.”

“Ho, did ’e!” M’riar exclaimed again.  “Wot mykes yer think ’e did?”

“He told me so.”

M’riar sat back, astounded.  She knew he had not done so, for she, herself, had asked the landlord there and been assured that no hint had been given.  She did not know just what to do, but soon reached a decision.

“Hi’ll tell yer, frow-line.  I reckon ‘e forgot or else th’ toff there, ’e don’t ricollick.  Hi knows as ’e don’t know w’ere ’tis we’ve come to.  ‘E tol’ me hit ’ad slipped ’is mind.”

“Oh,” said Anna, in distress.

“’Ow’s Mr. Vanderlyn to find, then?”

“Oh, I do not know,” said Anna in dismay.

“Hi do,” said M’riar, scrubbing furiously toward Anna till that dainty maiden fled before her and took refuge in the doorway.  “Hi’m goin’ back there to leave word fer ’im.”

“Father might not wish—­” Anna began doubtfully.

“Mr. Vanderlyn—­’e would,” said M’riar.

“Perhaps—­he might,” said Anna.

When Herr Kreutzer reached the tenement again he was both humbled and elated.  To have discovered any kind of work was fortunate, to have found the only place available a cheap beer-garden was disheartening.  But work he had and they could live, which surely was a great deal to be thankful for.

“Ach, liebschen,” he exclaimed on entering, anxious to apprise her of his luck, loath to tell her all its details.  “I have work.  I play first flute, from this time onwards, in a—­pleasure park.”  He did not tell her that there was no second flute or any other instrument save a terrible piano, played by a black “professor”; he did not tell her that “the park” was a beer-garden.

She rushed to him and threw her arms about his neck.

“We celebrate a little,” he said grandly, and began to draw out of his great-coat pockets the materials for a bona-fide dinner, for, knowing that he could redeem it the next Saturday, he had put his watch in pawn.  They had not had real dinners lately.  “M’riar, she will cook it.”

“My heye!” said M’riar, taking the first package, and, when he followed it with others:  “Ho, Hi sye!”

She had just come in from her uncannily quick dash across town—­M’riar had learned the simple key to New York’s streets and rushed about them without fear—­to leave their new address for Mr. Vanderlyn.  She felt, therefore, that she had accomplished a good deed that day and was in the very highest spirits.  She went to work upon the supper with a will and singing, which greatly distressed Kreutzer, although he would not have expressed his pain for worlds.

“I work from six to eleven,” he told his daughter, in explaining the arrangement he had made.  The manager had said that at eleven all sober folks had gone and that those who still remained were all too drunk to know if there was music or was not; but the old man did not tell his daughter this.  He hoped that she would never know how humble and unpleasant the work which he had found must be.

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The Old Flute-Player from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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