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" That I am," answered Eddy," and if I can show my thankfulness in any way, I am ready to do so.”
“Well, well,” said Mrs. Thompson, “I hope you will; many folk come here and say they're much obliged, who don't seem as though they meant it much; but we'll seedeeds and not words; words are very cheap, and, like most things that are cheap, they're not worth a great deal.”
Eddy Graham was indeed determined to be thankful, and to show by every means in his power that he was so; he only wished that he might have a good opportunity.
At twelve o'clock he was dismissed in all due form from the hospital; sorry almost to go from the little room where he had spent so many weeks-happy weeks, despite the confinement; but glad to be strong and well again. The little patient was not, however, merely sent away; he was put into a cab and driven off to the Doctor's residence. There he was shown into the housekeeper's room, and given his dinner, and told that in the course of the afternoon the ladies of the house wished to see him. And in due time they sent for him; they had expected to see a pale-faced child, thin and ill-looking; but were somewhat surprised to see, instead, a healthy and tolerably stout little fellow.
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: “Why, I thought you had been very bad?” said Miss Avery; "the Doctor told us yours was a very serious case.”
“ I have been laid up a great many weeks, Ma'am,” said Eddy Graham, “but I haven't been ill all the time.” - “ Why, you look as fat as possible," said Miss Avery. i " The Doctor ordered me plenty to eat," answered the little boy, "and they gave me the best of everything at the hospital. I'm a deal fatter now than when I went there first. I am very thankful, Ma'am, for all they have done for me there."'.
« Well, and what are you going to do with yourself now?”. said Miss Avery. “Have you any means of earning your bread? what can you do ?”
Eddy Graham thought for a while, but all his thinking did not seem to help him through with the matter; he could not remember a single thing that he could do, except sell apples or fish. He therefore suggested these two occupations to Miss Avery; and told her that he thought he could make his bread by street-selling. . .“ Would you like to go into service ??? asked Miss Avery ; “ a very good livelihood can be made in that way.”
Eddy hesitated, and Bliss Avery began to wonder why, when the little fellow broke
silence and said, “ But what would become of Mary?"
“Oh, your sister would do as well as she does now," replied Miss Avery, trying what Eddy would say.
“ Please, Ma'am, I should like to do something for her; I should like her to share whatever I can earn. I should feel happiest, if I could have her to live with me.”
“ Well, well, we shall see what can be done; if I can help you in any way, I shall be glad."
In the evening, after dinner, little Eddy was summoned to the drawing-room, and there he had the great pleasure of seeing Dr. Kenton for the first time in his own house. As he had no place of his own, and had such helpless friends in his sister Mary and the coalheaver (for as to John Graham's doing anything for him that was utterly out of the question), the Doctor proposed that he should sleep that night in an attic, while they all put their heads together to see what was for the best. “I have some money for you, my boy ; several of the gentlemen who came to see you, and heard of your case, left a little to help you on, and we shall see how it can be best laid out."
The worthy Doctor had about fifteen pounds for Eddy, which had been left for him from time to time by the medical gentle
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men, who seemed almost as much interested in his story as in his cure. To this he intended to add a twenty pound note himself, and Miss Avery twenty more; twenty for the present; but if more was required, she expressed herself ready to come forward again.
" We must not let him go out into the streets again," said the Doctor, after Eddy had taken his departure from the drawingroom; ” he is fit for something better; besides, it will be a long time before his hip will bear the fatigue which such a life involves."
" But what shall we do with him.?” said Miss Avery. “ He must be put somewhere where he can earn a livelihood at once.”
Several plans were proposed, and rejected; at last it was determined that the matter should be left to the boy himself. He was summoned accordingly before he went to bed, and asked what he seemed inclined to do. : " I should like to be a doctor!" said Eddy Graham.
At this Dr. Kenton, his wife, and sister-inlaw burst out laughing. “ Well done, my little man!” at last ejaculated the surgeon. “ But do you know what it would cost to be a doctor, my child ?”
" It would cost a thousand pounds," said Miss Avery.
"A thousand pounds ?." repeated Eddy, quite horrified at the bare thought of his ever having uttered a wish to be a doctor when it would cost so much. “I hope I haven't done wrong, Ma'am, in saying I should like to be a doctor." -- “ Well, not exactly wrong," said Miss Avery ; “ only of course you must think of something else.”
“ Why did you say you should like to be a doctor ?” asked the surgeon, who seemed thoughtful. : “ Because I could keep Mary with what I earned.”
“ Oh, was that all ?”
“ No, not quite, Sir;" and Eddy reddened up very much, and seemed half ashamed to go on. ?« Well, what other reason had you ? "
“ Because, Sir, I'd like to cure poor cripples, as you've cured me; and often as I lay awake all night, I thought what a happy thing it would be to do for other people as much as you have done for me." : "We'll see," said the surgeon. “ Now go to bed.”
As soon as Eddy had gone, Miss Avery said to her brother, “ I don't think my twenty pounds will go far towards making your little patient a doctor."
“ No, twenty pounds will not go far;