The Gloomy Guest
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Played Them Both Up
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A small boy was playing with an iron hoop in the street, when suddenly
it bounced through the railings and broke the kitchen window of one of
the areas. The lady of the house waited with anger in her eyes for the
appearance of the hoop's owner. He arrived.
"Please, I've broken your window," he said, "and father's come to mend
Sure enough the boy was followed by a man, who at once set to work,
while the boy, taking his hoop, ran off. The window finished, the man
"That'll be three shillings, mum."
"Three shillings!" gasped the woman. "But your son broke it. The little
fellow with the hoop. You're his father, aren't you?"
The man shook his head.
"Never seen him before," he said. "He came round to my place and said
his mother wanted her window mended. You're his mother, aren't you?"
And the good woman could only shake her head; for once words failed her.
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