A Christmas Promise (The Christmas Stories, Book 7) by Anne Perry

By Anne Perry

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Example text

Jimmy Quick frowned at them. ” “’e’s a donkey,” Gracie explained. Someone needed to talk a little sense. ” She glanced around the yard and saw three old bicycles whose wheels had missing spokes, several odd boots and shoes, kettles, pieces of china and pottery, some of it so beautiful she stared at it in amazement. There were old fire irons, a poker with a brass handle, ornaments, pots and pans, pieces of carpet, a cabin trunk with no hinges, unwanted books and pictures, all the things a rag and bone man collects, in with the actual rags or bones for glue.

Just the other side of Commercial Street it was Jewish, mostly Russians and Poles. In the other direction was Whitechapel. Thrawl Street, where Minnie Maude said she lived, was beyond Gracie’s area. Only something as ignorant as a donkey would wander from one village to another as if there were no barriers, just because you could not see them. Charlie could hardly be blamed, poor creature, but Minnie Maude knew, and of course Gracie did even more so. At the corner the wind was harder. It sliced down the open street, whining in the eaves of the taller buildings, their brick defaced with age, weathering, and neglect.

Minnie Maude forced a smile. “Course,” she said bravely. “We just gotta ask, afore ’e gets so lorst an’ can’t find ’is way back. Actual, I dunno ’ow far ’e’s ever bin. ” Gracie surrendered her common sense to a moment’s weakness of sympathy. Minnie Maude was a stubborn little article, and daft as a brush with it. Who knew what would happen to her if she was left on her own? Gracie would give it an hour or two. She could spare that much. Maybe Charlie would come back himself by then. “Fank yer,” Minnie Maude acknowledged.

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