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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

The Baby at Rudder Grange

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The child suited me very well, and I agreed to take it for as many days as I might happen to want it, but to pay by the week, in advance. It was a boy, with a suggestion of orange-red bloom all over its head, and what looked, to me, like freckles on its cheeks; while its little nose turned up, even more than those of babies generally turn--above a very long upper lip. His eyes were blue and twinkling, and he had the very mouth "fer a leetle poipe," as Mrs. Hogan admiringly remarked.

He was hastily prepared for his trip, and when I had arranged the necessary business matters with his aunt, and had assured her that she could come to see him whenever she liked, I got into the carriage, and having spread the lap-robe over my knees, the baby, carefully wrapped in a little shawl, was laid in my lap. Then his bottle, freshly filled, for he might need a drink on the way, was tucked between the cushions on the seat beside me, and taking the lines in my left hand, while I steadied my charge with the other, I prepared to drive away.

"What's his name?" I asked.

"It's Pat," said his aunt, "afther his dad, who's away in the moines."

"But ye kin call him onything ye bike," Mrs. Duffy remarked, "fer he don't ansther to his name yit."

"Pat will do very well," I said, as I bade the good women farewell, and carefully guided the horse through the swarms of youngsters who had gathered around the carriage.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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