A Pair of Clogs, and other stories, by Amy Walton.


In the first of the stories a young girl-child is stolen by the gypsies.

Yet they decide to give the child up, and they leave it in an out-house

owned by a young clergyman. The latter isn't very pleased at this, but

his wife certainly is, and they bring the child up.

After a few years, and in a particularly tense moment, the true mother

is found. An agreement is reached, whereby the child is shared.

As with Amy Walton short stories, there is not only a well-told tale but

also a moral.





"My! What a pretty pair of clogs baby's gotten!"

The street was narrow and very steep, and paved with round stones; on

each side of it were slate-coloured houses, some high, some low; and in

the middle of it stood baby, her curly yellow head bare, and her blue

cotton frock lifted high with both fat hands. She could not speak, but

she wanted to show that on her feet were tiny new clogs with bright

brass tips.

She stopped in front of all her acquaintances, men, women, children, and

even dogs. Each of them, except the last, made much the same remark,

and she then toddled cheerfully on, until nearly everyone in the village

of Haworth knew of this wonderful new thing.

The baby's mother lived in Haworth, but all day long she had to work in

the town of Keighley down below in the valley, for she was a

factory-girl. From the hillside you could see the thick veil of smoke,

never lifted, which hung over the tall chimneys and grey houses; the

people there very seldom saw the sky clear and blue, but up at Haworth

the wind blew freshly off the wide moor just above, and there was

nothing to keep away the sunshine. This was the reason that Maggie

Menzies still lived there, after she had taken to working in the

factory; it was a long walk to and from Keighley, but it was healthier

for the "li'le lass" to sleep in the fresh air. Everything in Maggie's

life turned upon that one small object; the "li'le lass" was her one

treasure, her one golden bit of happiness, the reason why she cared to

see the sun shine, or to eat, or drink, or rest, or to be alive at all.

Except for the child she was alone in the world, for her husband had

been killed in an accident two years ago, when the baby was only a month

old. Since then she had been Maggie's one thought and care; no one who

has not at some time in their lives spent all their affection on a

single thing or person can at all understand what she felt, or how

strong her love was. It made all her troubles and hardships easy merely

to think of the child; just to call to mind the dimples, and yellow

hair, and fat hands, was enough to make her deaf to the whirr and rattle

of the restless machinery, and the harsh tones of the overseer. When

she began her work in the morning she said to herself, "I shall see her

in the evening;" and when it was unusuallytiresome during the day, and

things went very wrong, she could be patient and even cheerful when she

remembered "it's fur _her_." The factory-girls with boisterous

good-nature had tried to make her sociable when she first came; they

invited her to stroll with them by the river in the summer evenings, to

stand and gossip with them at the street corners, to join in their

parties of pleasure on Sundays. But they soon found it was of no use;

Maggie's one idea, when work was over, was to throw her little checked

shawl over her head, and turn her steps quickly towards a certain house

in a narrow alley near the factory, for there, under the care of a

neighbour, she left her child during the day.

It would have been much better, everyone told her, to leave her up at

Haworth instead of bringing her into the smoky town; Maggie knew it, but

her answer was always the same to this advice:

"I couldn't bring myself to it," she said. "I niver could git through

the work if I didn't know she was near me."

So winter and summer, through the damp cold or the burning heat, she

might be seen coming quickly down the steep hill from Haworth every

morning clack, clack, in her wooden shoes, with her child in her arms.

In the evening her pace was slower, for she was tired, and the road was

hard to climb, and the child, generally asleep, weighed heavily. For

the baby was getting beyond a baby now; she was nearly two years old.

How pretty she was, how clever, what dear little knowing ways she had,

what tiny feet and hands! How yellow her hair was, how white her skin!

She was unlike any child in Haworth; she was matchless!

And indeed, quite apart from her mother's fond admiration, the baby was

a beautiful child, delicately formed, and very different from the

blunt-featured children of those parts; she was petted by everyone in

the village, and had in consequence such proud, imperious little ways

that she was a sort of small queen there; the biggest and roughest man

among them was her humble subject, and ready to do her bidding when she

wished to be tossed in the air or to ride pickaback. She could say very

few words yet, but nothing could exceed her brightness and

intelligence--a wonderful baby indeed!

She had been christened Betty; but the name was almost forgotten in all

sorts of loving nicknames, and lately the people of Haworth had given

her a new one, which she got in the following manner:--

Nearly at the bottom of the steep village street there was a cobbler's

stall which Maggie passed every day in her journeys to and from

Keighley. It was open to the road, and in it hung rows and rows of

clogs of all sizes--some of them big enough to fit a man, and some for

children, quite tiny. They all had wooden soles, and toes slightly

turned-up tipped with gleaming brass, and a brass buckle on the instep;

nearly all the people in Haworth and all the factory-girls in Keighley

wore such shoes, but they were always called "clogs." Inside the stall

sat an old man with twinkling blue eyes, and a stumpy turned-up nose: he

sat and cobbled and mended, and made new clogs out of the old ones which

lay in great heaps all round him. Over his stall was the name "T Monk,"

but in the village he was always known as Tommie; and though he was a

silent and somewhat surly character, Tommie's opinion and advice were

often asked, and much valued when given. Maggie regarded him with

admiration and respect. When she passed with her child in her arms he

always looked up and nodded, though he seldom gave any other answer to

her "Good-day, Master Monk." Tommie never wasted his words: "Little

words mak' bonnie do's," he was accustomed to say.

But one evening the sun happened to shine on the row of brass-tipped

clogs, and made them glistenbrightly just as Maggie went by. It caught

the baby's attention, and she held out her arms to them and gave a

little coo of pleasure.

"T'little lass is wantin' clogs, I reckon," said Tommie with a grim


Maggie held out the baby's tiny foot with a laugh of pride.

"Here's a foot for a pair of clogs, Master Monk," she said; "t'wouldn't

waste much leather to fashion 'em."

Tommie said nothing more, but a week afterwards he beckoned to Maggie

with an important air as she went by.

"You come here," he said briefly.

Maggie went into the stall, and he reached down from a nail a pair of

tiny, neatly finished clogs. They had jaunty brass-bound toes, and a

row of brass nails all round where the leather joined the wooden sole,

and on the instep there gleamed a pair of smart brass clasps with a

pattern chased on them.

"Fur her," said Tommie as he gave them to Maggie. As he did so the baby

stretched out her hands to the bright clasps.

"See!" exclaimed the delighted Maggie; "she likes 'em ever so. Oh,

Master Monk, how good of yo'!"

"Them clasps _is_ oncommon," said Tommie, regarding his work

thoughtfully, his blue eyes twinkling with satisfaction, "I cam' at 'em

by chance like."

Maggie had now taken off her baby's shoe, and fitted the clog on to the

soft little foot.

"Ain't they bonnie?" she said.

The baby leaned forward and, seizing one toe in each hand, rocked

herself gently to and fro.

Tommie looked on approvingly.

"Yo'll find 'em wear well," he said; "they're the best o' leather and

the best o' workmanship."

After six months more were gone the baby began to walk, and you might

hear a sharp little clatter on the pavement, like the sound of some

small iron-shod animal. Tommie heard it one morning just as it was

Maggie's usual time to pass, and looked out of his stall. There was

Maggie coming down the road with a proud smile on her face, and the baby

was there too. But not in her mother's arms. No, she was erect on her

own small feet, tottering along in the new wooden clogs.

"My word!" exclaimed Tommie, his nose wrinkling with gratification;

"we'll have to call her Little Clogs noo."

It was in this way that Maggie's child became known in the village as

"Little Clogs." Not that it was any distinction to wear clogs in

Haworth, everyone had them; but the baby's feet were so tiny, and she

was so eager to show her new possession, that the clogs were as much

noticed as though never before seen. When she stopped in front of some

acquaintance, lifted her frock with both hands, and gazed seriously

first at her own feet and then up in her friend's face, it was only

possible to exclaim in surprise and admiration:

"Eh! To be sure. What pretty, pretty clogs baby's gotten!"

It was the middle of summer. Baby was just two years old and a month,

and the clogs were still glossy and new, when one morning Maggie took

the child with her down to Keighley as usual. It was stiflingly hot

there, after the cool breeze which blew off the moor on the hillside;

the air was thick with smoke and dust, and, as Maggie turned into the

alley where she was to leave her child, she felt how close and stuffy it


"'Tain't good for her here," she thought, with a sigh. "I reckon I must

mak' up my mind to leave her up yonder this hot weather."

But the baby did not seem to mind it. Maggie left her settled in the

open doorway talking cheerfully to one of her little clogs which she had

pulled off. This she filled with sand and emptied, over and over again,

chuckling with satisfaction as a stray sunbeam touched the brass clasps

and turned them into gold. In the distance she could hear the noise of

the town, and presentlyamongst them there came a new sound--the beating

of a drum. Baby liked music. She threw down the clog, lifted one

finger, and said "Pitty!" turning her head to look into the room. But

no one was there, for the woman of the house had gone into the back

kitchen. The noise continued, and seemed to draw baby towards it: she

got up on her feet, and staggered a little way down the alley, tottering

a good deal, for one foot had the stout little clog on it, and the other

nothing but a crumpled red sock. By degrees, however, after more than

one tumble, she got down to the end of the alley, and stood facing the

bustling street.

It was such a big, noisy world, with such a lot of people and horses and

carts in it, that she was frightened now, put out her arms, and screwed

up her face piteously, and cried, "Mammy, mammy!"

Just then a woman passed with a tambourine in her hand and a bright

coloured handkerchief over her head. She shook the tambourine and

smiled kindly at baby, showing very white teeth.

"Mammy, mammy!" said baby again, and began to sob.

"Don't cry, then, deary, and I'll take you to mammy," said the woman.

She looked quickly up the alley, no one in sight. No one in the crowded

street noticed her. She stooped, raised the child in her arms, wrapped

a shawl round her, and walked swiftly away. And that evening, when

Maggie came to fetch her little lass, she was not there; the only trace

of her was one small clog, half full of sand, on the door-step!

The woman with the tambourine hurried along, keeping the child's head

covered with her shawl, at her heels a dirty-white poodle followed

closely. The street was bustling and crowded, for it was past twelve

o'clock, and the workpeople were streaming out of the factories to go to

their dinners. If Maggie had passed the woman, she would surely have

felt that the bundle in her arms was her own little lass, even if she

had not seen one small clogged foot escaping from under the shawl. Baby

was quiet now, except for a short gasping sob now and then, for she

thought she was being taken to mammy.

On and on went the woman through the town, past the railway-station, and

at last reached a lonely country road; by that time, lulled by the

rapid, even movement and the darkness, baby had forgotten her troubles,

and was fast asleep. She slept almost without stirring for a whole

hour, and then, feeling the light on her eyes, she blinked her long

lashes, rubbed them with her fists, and stretched out her fat legs.

Next she looked up into mammy's face, as she thought, expecting the

smile which always waited for her there; but it was not mammy's face, or

anything like it. They were sharp black eyes which were looking down at

her, and instead of the familiar checked shawl, there was a bright

yellow handkerchief over the woman's head, and dangling ornaments in her

ears. Baby turned up her lip in disgust, and looked round for someone

she knew, but everything was strange to her. The woman, in whose lap

she was lying, sat in a small donkey-cart, with two brown children and

some bundles tightly packed in round her; a dark man walked by the side

of it, and a dirty-white poodle ran at his heels. Discovering this

state of things baby lost no time, but burst at once into loud wailing

sobs and cries of "Mammy, mammy; me want mammy."

She cried so long and so bitterly that the woman, who had tried at first

to soothe her by coaxing and petting, lost patience, and shook her


"Be still, little torment," she said, "or I'll throw you into the pond."

They were the first angry words baby had ever heard, and the experience

was so new and surprising that she checked her sobs, staring up at the

woman with frightened tear-filled eyes. She soon began to cry again,

but it was with much less violence, only a little distressed whimper

which no one noticed. This went on all day, and by the evening, having

refused to touch food, she fell into an exhausted slumber, broken by

plaintive moans. It was now dark, and being some miles from Keighley,

the tramps thought it safe to stop for the night; they turned off the

main road, therefore, tethered the donkey in a grassy lane, and crept

into an old disused barn for shelter. The two children, boys of eight

or nine years old, curled themselves up in a corner, with Mossoo, the

poodle, tucked in between them, and all three covered with an old

horse-cloth. The gypsy and his wife sat talking in the entrance over a

small fire of dry wood they had lighted.

"You've bin a fool, Seraminta," said the man, looking down at the baby

as she lay flushed with sleep on the woman's lap, her cheeks still wet

with tears. "The child'll git us into trouble. That's no common child.

Anyone 'ud know it agen, and then where are we? In quod, sure as my

name's Perrin."

"You're the fool," replied the woman, looking at the man scornfully.

"Think I'm goin' to take her about with a lily-white skin like that? A

little walnut-juice'll make her as brown as Bennie yonder, so as her own

mother wouldn't know her."

"Well, what good is she to us anyhow?" continued the man sulkily. "Only

another mouth ter feed. 'Tain't wuth the risk."

"You hav'n't the sperrit of a chicken," replied the woman. "One 'ud

think you was born yesterday, not to know that anyone'll give a copper

to a pretty little kid like her. Once we git away down south, an' she

  • stolen [´stəulən] 移动到这儿单词发声  steal 的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • agreement [ə´gri:mənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同意;一致;协议   (初中英语单词)
  • everyone [´evriwʌn] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.=everybody 每人   (初中英语单词)
  • valley [´væli] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.谷;河谷;流域   (初中英语单词)
  • hillside [´hilsaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.山腰   (初中英语单词)
  • sunshine [´sʌnʃain] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光,阳光   (初中英语单词)
  • working [´wə:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.工人的;劳动的   (初中英语单词)
  • affection [ə´fekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.友爱;慈爱   (初中英语单词)
  • restless [´restləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.没有休息的   (初中英语单词)
  • cheerful [´tʃiəful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.快乐的;高兴的   (初中英语单词)
  • wooden [´wudn] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.木制的;呆板的   (初中英语单词)
  • knowing [´nəuiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.会意的,心照不宣的   (初中英语单词)
  • unlike [,ʌn´laik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不同的 prep.不象…   (初中英语单词)
  • admiration [,ædmə´reiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.赞赏,钦佩   (初中英语单词)
  • consequence [´kɔnsikwəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.结果;后果;推断   (初中英语单词)
  • humble [´hʌmbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.谦卑的 vt.贬抑   (初中英语单词)
  • exceed [ik´si:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.超(胜)过;凌驾   (初中英语单词)
  • lately [´leitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.近来,不久前   (初中英语单词)
  • character [´kæriktə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.特性;性质;人物;字   (初中英语单词)
  • satisfaction [,sætis´fækʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.满意;满足   (初中英语单词)
  • gently [´dʒentli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.温和地;静静地   (初中英语单词)
  • distinction [di´stiŋkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.差别;特征;卓越   (初中英语单词)
  • breeze [bri:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.微风;不费力的事   (初中英语单词)
  • reckon [´rekən] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.计算;认为;估计   (初中英语单词)
  • doorway [´dɔ:wei] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.门口   (初中英语单词)
  • presently [´prezəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不久;目前   (初中英语单词)
  • handkerchief [´hæŋkətʃif] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.手帕,手绢   (初中英语单词)
  • swiftly [´swiftli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.迅速地,敏捷地   (初中英语单词)
  • bundle [´bʌndl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.包,捆;包袱(裹)   (初中英语单词)
  • lonely [´ləunli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.孤独的;无人烟的   (初中英语单词)
  • movement [´mu:vmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.活动;运动;动作   (初中英语单词)
  • disgust [dis´gʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.厌恶 vt.令(人)作呕   (初中英语单词)
  • bitterly [´bitəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.悲痛地;憎恨地   (初中英语单词)
  • patience [´peiʃəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.忍耐(力);耐心;坚韧   (初中英语单词)
  • surprising [sə´praiziŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惊人的;意外的   (初中英语单词)
  • violence [´vaiələns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.猛烈;暴力(行)   (初中英语单词)
  • slumber [´slʌmbə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.睡眠;沉睡状态   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • yesterday [´jestədi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&ad.昨天;前不久   (初中英语单词)
  • clergyman [´klə:dʒimən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.牧师;教士   (高中英语单词)
  • cheerfully [´tʃiəfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.高兴地,愉快地   (高中英语单词)
  • stroll [strəul] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.漫步;散步;游荡   (高中英语单词)
  • gossip [´gɔsip] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.说闲话;聊天   (高中英语单词)
  • brightness [´braitnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.光明;快乐   (高中英语单词)
  • loving [´lʌviŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.爱的,有爱情的   (高中英语单词)
  • glisten [´glisən] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.闪烁,闪闪发光   (高中英语单词)
  • brightly [´braitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.明亮地;聪明地   (高中英语单词)
  • regarding [ri´gɑ:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.关于   (高中英语单词)
  • clatter [´klætə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.喧嚷;骚动   (高中英语单词)
  • pavement [´peivmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.路面;铺筑材料   (高中英语单词)
  • stuffy [´stʌfi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不通气的;闷热的   (高中英语单词)
  • sunbeam [´sʌnbi:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光   (高中英语单词)
  • amongst [ə´mʌŋst] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.其中之一 =among   (高中英语单词)
  • hurried [´hʌrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.仓促的,慌忙的   (高中英语单词)
  • crowded [´kraudid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.充(拥)满了的   (高中英语单词)
  • tightly [´taitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.紧,紧密地   (高中英语单词)
  • soothe [su:ð] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.安慰;镇定;减轻   (高中英语单词)
  • donkey [´dɔŋki] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.驴子;蠢人;顽固的人   (高中英语单词)
  • whereby [weə´bai] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.凭什么;靠那个   (英语四级单词)
  • freshly [´freʃli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.新近,刚才   (英语四级单词)
  • unusually [ʌn´ju:ʒuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.异常地;非常   (英语四级单词)
  • tiresome [´taiəsəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.令人厌倦的;讨厌的   (英语四级单词)
  • delicately [´delikitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.精美地;微妙地   (英语四级单词)
  • buckle [´bʌkəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.带扣 v.(用…)扣住   (英语四级单词)
  • delighted [di´laitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.高兴的;喜欢的   (英语四级单词)
  • stirring [´stə:riŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.活跃的;热闹的   (英语四级单词)
  • grassy [´grɑ:si] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.多草的;青草味的   (英语四级单词)
  • imperious [im´piəriəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.傲慢的;紧急的   (英语六级单词)
  • glossy [´glɔsi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.光滑的,有光泽的   (英语六级单词)
  • piteously [´pitiəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.可怜地;凄惨地   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:10:58
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