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Jack and Jill

10. The Dramatic Club
While Jack was hopping gayly about on his crutches, poor Jill was feeling the effects of
her second fall, and instead of sitting up, as she hoped to do after six weeks of rest, she
was ordered to lie on a board for two hours each day. Not an easy penance, by any
means, for the board was very hard, and she could do nothing while she lay there, as it
did not slope enough to permit her to read without great fatigue of both eyes and hands.
So the little martyr spent her first hour of trial in sobbing, the second in singing, for just
as her mother and Mrs. Minot were deciding in despair that neither she nor they could
bear it, Jill suddenly broke out into a merry chorus she used to hear her father sing:
"Faut jouer le mirliton, Faut jouer le mirlitir, Faut jouer le mirliter, Mir--li--ton."
The sound of the brave little voice was very comforting to the two mothers hovering
about her, and Jack said, with a look of mingled pity and admiration, as he brandished
his crutch over the imaginary foes,
"That's right! Sing away, and we'll play you are an Indian captive being tormented by
your enemies, and too proud to complain. I'll watch the clock, and the minute time is up
I'll rush in and rescue you."
Jill laughed, but the fancy pleased her, and she straightened herself out under the gay
afghan, while she sang, in a plaintive voice, another little French song her father taught
her:
"J'avais une colombe blanche, J'avais un blanc petit pigeon, Tous deu~ volaient, do
branche en branche, Jusqu'au falte de mon don geon: Mais comme un coup do vent
d'automne, S'est abattu Za, I'‚per-vier, Ft ma colombe si mignonne Ne revient plus au
colombier."
"My poor Jean had a fine voice, and always hoped the child would take after him. It
would break his heart to see her lying there trying to cheer her pain with the songs he
used to sing her to sleep with," said Mrs. Pecq, sadly.
"She really has a great deal of talent, and when she is able she shall have some
lessons, for music is a comfort and a pleasure, sick or well," answered Mrs. Minot, who
had often admired the fresh voice, with its pretty accent.
Here Jill began the Canadian boat-song, with great vigor, as if bound to play her part of
Indian victim with spirit, and not disgrace herself by any more crying. All knew the air,
and joined in, especially Jack, who came out strong on the "Row, brothers, row," but
ended in a squeak on a high note, so drolly, that the rest broke down. So the hour that
began with tears ended with music and laughter, and a new pleasure to think of for the
future.
 
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