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July, 2015 Monthly archive

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Friendship had prospered in the lower regions, for Hepsey had amotherly heart, and Christie soon won her confidence by bestowingher own. Her story was like many another you find limited; yet, being the firstChristie had ever heard, and told with the unconscious eloquence ofone who had suffered and escaped, it made a deep impression on her,bringing home to her a sense of obligation so forcibly that shebegan at once to pay a little part of the great debt which the whiterace owes the black.

Christie loved books; and the attic next her own was full of them.

To this store she found her way  sure asthat which leads a fly to a honey-pot, and, finding many novels, sheread her fill. This amusement lightened many heavy hours Cloud Hosting, peopledthe silent house with troops of friends, and, for a time, was thejoy of her life.

Hepsey used to watch her as she sat buried in her book when theday’s work was done, and once a heavy sigh roused Christie from themost exciting crisis of “The Abbot.”"What’s the matter? Are you very tired, Aunty?” she asked, using thename that came most readily to her lips.

“No, honey; I was only wishin’ I could read fast like you does. I’sberry slow ’bout readin’ and I want to learn a heap,” answeredHepsey, with such a wistful look in her soft eyes that Christie shuther book, saying briskly autism treatment:

“Then I’ll teach you. Bring out your primer and let’s begin atonce.”"Dear chile, it’s orful hard work to put learnin’ in my ole head,and I wouldn’t ‘cept such a ting from you only I needs dis sort ofhelp so bad, and I can trust you to gib it to me as I wants it.”Then in a whisper that went straight to Christie’s heart, Hepseytold her plan and showed what help she craved.

For five years she had worked hard, and saved her earnings for thepurpose of her life. When a considerable sum had been hoarded up,she confided it to one whom she believed to be a friend, and senthim to buy her old mother. But he proved false, and she never saweither mother or money. It was a hard blow, but she took heart andwent to work again, resolving this time to trust no one with thedangerous part of the affair, but when she had scraped togetherenough to pay her way she meant to go South and steal her mother atthe risk of her life dermes.

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Though she’d never admit it, another possible cause for Holly’s irritability was the Ritual. She’d been meaning to perform it for several moons now, but somehow there just never seemed to be time. And if Root found out she was running low on magic, she’d be transferred to Traffic for sure.

Holly rolled off her futon and stumbled into the shower. That was one advantage of living near the earth’s core – the water was always hot. No natural light Medilase, of course, but that was a small price to pay for privacy. Underground. The last human-free zone. There was nothing like coming home after a long day on the job, switching off your shield and sinking into a bubbling slime pool. Bliss.

The fairy suited up, zipping the dull-green jumpsuit up to her chin and strapping on her helmet. LEPrecon uniforms were smart these days. Not like that top-o’-the-morning costume the force had had to wear back in the old days. Buckled shoes and knickerbockers! Honestly. No wonder leprechauns were such ridiculous figures in human folklore. Still, probably better that way Metro Ethernet. If the Mud People knew that the word ‘leprechaun’ actually originated from LEPrecon, an elite branch of the Lower Elements Police, they’d probably take steps to stamp them out. Better to stay inconspicuous and let the humans have their stereotypes.
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With the moon already rising on the surface, there was no time for a proper breakfast. Holly grabbed the remains of a nettle smoothie from the cooler and drank it in the tunnels. As usual there was chaos in the main thoroughfare. Airborne sprites jammed the avenue like stones in a bottle. The gnomes weren’t helping either, lumbering along with their big swinging behinds blocking two lanes. , cursing like sailors. That particular breed began as a joke but had multiplied into an epidemic. Someone lost their wand over that one.

Holly battled through the crowds to the police station. There was already a riot outside Spud’s Spud Emporium. LEP Corporal Newt was trying to sort it out. Good luck to him. Nightmare. At least Holly got the chance to work above ground.

The LEP station doors were crammed with protesters. The goblin/dwarf turf war had flared up again, and every morning hordes of angry parents showed up demanding the release of their innocent offspring. Holly snorted. If there actually was an innocent goblin, Holly Short had yet to meet him. They were clogging up the cells now, howling gang chants and hurling fireballs at each other.

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“Bravo! Bravissimo! Per Bacco! un gallant’ uomo!” exclaimed, in a martial ecstasy, a fat little Italian, who manufactured toothpicks and wicker cradles on the island of Notre Dame; “your exploits shall resound through Europe! and the history of those wars should be written in your blood!”

“Never mind! a trifle!” exclaimed the soldier reenex. “At Ligny, the other day, where we smashed the Prussians into ten hundred thousand milliards of atoms, a bit of a shell cut me across the leg and opened an artery. , and in half a minute I had lost enough to fill a pitcher. I must have expired in another minute, if I had not whipped off my sash like a flash of lightning, tied it round my leg above the wound, whipt a bayonet out of the back of a dead Prussian, and passing it under, made a tourniquet of it with a couple of twists, and so stayed the haemorrhage and saved my life. But, sacrebleu! gentlemen reenex , I lost so much blood, I have been as pale as the bottom of a plate ever since. No matter. A trifle. Blood well spent, gentlemen.” He applied himself now to his bottle of vin ordinaire.
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The Marquis had closed his eyes, and looked resigned and disgusted, while all this was going on.

“Gar?on,” said the officer, for the first time speaking in a low tone over the back of his chair to the waiter; “who came in that traveling carriage reenex , dark yellow and black, that stands in the middle of the yard, with arms and supporters emblazoned on the door, and a red stork, as red as my facings?”

The waiter could not say.

The eye of the eccentric officer, who had suddenly grown grim and serious, and seemed to have abandoned the general conversation to other people, lighted, as it were accidentally, on me.

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