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A Little Girl in Old Pittsburg

Christmas came. There was not much made of it here, as there had been in Virginia, no gift-giving, but family dinners that often ended in a regular carouse, sometimes a fight. For Pittsburg had not reached any high point of refinement, and was such a conglomerate that they could hardly be expected to agree on all points. 

The little girl lost interest presently in watching for her father, and half believed he was not coming. She was very fond of grandad, and Norry, and the wonderful stories she heard about fairies and "little folk," who came to your house at night, and did wonderful things—sometimes spun the whole night long, and at others did bits of mischief. This was when you had offended them some way. 

She liked the Leprecawn so much. He was a fairy shoemaker, and when all was still in the night you sometimes heard him. "Tip tap, rip rap, Tick a tack too!" And the little Eily, who wished so for red shoes, but her folks were too poor to buy them. So she was to find six four-leaf clovers, and lay them on the doorstep, which she did. 

"What a queer noise there was in the night," said the mother. "It was like this, 'Tip tap, rip rap,'" 

"Sho!" said the father, "it was the swallows in the chimney." 

Eily held her peace, but she put four-leafed clovers again on the doorstep, and tried to keep awake, so she could hear the little shoemaker. 

"I'll clear them swallows out of the chimney, they disturb me so," declared the father, and he got a long pole and scraped down several nests. But the next night the sound came again, and the mother began to feel afeared. But when Eily went downstairs there was a pair of little red shoes standing in the corner, and Eily caught them up and kissed them, she was so full of joy. Then her mother said, "The Leprecawn has been here. And, Eily, you must never wear them out of doors at the full of the moon, or you'll be carried off."

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