It was David's turn to stare. Just what a tramp might be, he did not know; but never before had a request of his been so angrily refused. He knew that. A fierce something rose within him--a fierce new something that sent the swift red to his neck and brow. He raised a determined hand to the doorknob--he had something to say to that woman!--when the door suddenly opened again from the inside.
"See here, boy," began the woman, looking out at him a little less unkindly, "if you're hungry I'll give you some milk and bread. Go around to the back porch and I'll get it for you." And she shut the door again.
David's hand dropped to his side. The red still stayed on his face and neck, however, and that fierce new something within him bade him refuse to take food from this woman.... But there was his father--his poor father, who was so tired; and there was his own stomach clamoring to be fed. No, he could not refuse. And with slow steps and hanging head David went around the corner of the house to the rear.
As the half-loaf of bread and the pail of milk were placed in his hands, David remembered suddenly that in the village store on the mountain, his father paid money for his food. David was glad, now, that he had those gold-pieces in his pocket, for he could pay money. Instantly his head came up. Once more erect with self-respect, he shifted his burdens to one hand and thrust the other into his pocket. A moment later he presented on his outstretched palm a shining disk of gold.
"Will you take this, to pay, please, for the bread and milk?" he asked proudly.
The woman began to shake her head; but, as her eyes fell on the money, she started, and bent closer to examine it. The next instant she jerked herself upright with an angry exclamation.
"It's gold! A ten-dollar gold-piece! So you're a thief, too, are you, as well as a tramp? Humph! Well, I guess you don't need this then," she finished sharply, snatching the bread and the pail of milk from the boy's hand.
The next moment David stood alone on the doorstep, with the sound of a quickly thrown bolt in his ears.
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