Nicholson, from which John now shrunk in imagination as the hand draws back from fire. Close under the Calton Hill there runs a certain narrow avenue, part street, part by-road. The head of it faces the doors of the prison; its tail descends into the sunless slums of the Low Calton. On one hand it is overhung by the crags of the hill, on the other by an old graveyard.
Certain portions of old Weymouth are very picturesque, with steep streets and comfortable old bow-windowed lodging-houses patronized almost exclusively by the better class of seafarer; merchant captains, pilots and the like. A few of the lanes at the upper end of the harbour may be termed "slums" by the more fastidious, but it is only to their outward appearance that the word is applicable.
Mademoiselle was present on certain days every week, but this was not the sum of her labours. The greater part of her spare time was spent in visiting the little ones in their own homes. She penetrated into the dingiest tenements, the poorest slums, on this errand of mercy.
Swooping, with open arms, I rounded up in an angle against the building and gathered in this screaming thing which had inspired in me so keen a terror. The great, ghostly fan was closed as I did so, and I stumbled back toward the stair with my struggling captive tucked under my arm; I mounted into one of London's darkest slums, carrying a beautiful white peacock!
I think of the nail and chain makers of Cradley Heath, the sweated girls of the slums; I think, her voice fell, 'of the army of ill-used women, whose very existence I mustn't mention Lady John interrupted her hurriedly. 'Then why in heaven's name do you let poor Jean imagine Vida suddenly bent forward. 'Look I'll trust you, Lady John.
Then think of the great boon this Scheme will be to the children, bringing them out of the slums, wretched hovels, and filthy surroundings in which they are being reared for lives of abomination of every description, into the fields, amongst the green trees and cottage homes, where they can grow up with a chance of saving both body and soul.
"Talbot Villa, Toorak," he cried quickly, snatching up the letter again, and examining it with great attention, "where that burglary took place." "Exactly," said Calton, smiling complacently. "Now do you understand what I want you must take me to the crib in the back slums where the articles stolen from the house in Toorak were hidden.
There was no wedding at all; that is, there were no invited guests, but sure, never had bride greater honor at her bridal than our Daisy had, for the church where the ceremony was performed, at a very early hour in the morning, was literally crowded with the halt, the lame, the maimed, and the blind; the slums of New York, gathered from every back street and by-lane and gutter; Daisy's "people," as she calls them, who came to see her married, and who, strangest of all, brought with them a present for the bride, a beautiful family Bible, golden-clasped and bound, and costing fifty dollars.
He was the soul of honor, the very personification of sincerity, and as much above some of his critics whom I well knew in these virtues, as they were above the scum of the slums. The longer I live and study men the more I am compelled to believe that religion is a personal matter between oneself and God and is more of the spirit than most people have yet conceived.
He would disappear for weeks at a time, when everything was as nice as you please, and then you would learn, not from him but from what people said, that he had been in Valencia, sleeping daytimes in some house in the Fishmarket district, getting drunk every night, beating the bad women of cheap lodging houses, and setting the whole town in an uproar whenever he had come off a heavy winner in some gambling-dive of the slums.