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Good Stories for Great Holidays by  Frances Jenkins Olcott


 

 

A STRANGER AT FIVE-POINTS

(ADAPTED)

ONE afternoon in February, 1860, when the Sunday School of the Five-Point House of Industry in New York was assembled, the teacher saw a most remarkable man enter the room and take his place among the others. This stranger was tall, his frame was gaunt and sinewy, his head powerful, with determined features overcast by a gentle melancholy.

He listened with fixed attention to the exercises. His face expressed such genuine interest that the teacher, approaching him, suggested that he might have something to say to the children.

The stranger accepted the invitation with evident pleasure. Coming forward, he began to speak and at once fascinated every child in the room. His language was beautiful yet simple, his tones were musical, and he spoke with deep feeling.

The faces of the boys and girls drooped sadly [32] as he uttered warnings, and then brightened with joy as he spoke cheerful words of promise. Once or twice he tried to close his remarks, but the children shouted: "Go on! Oh! do go on!" and he was forced to continue.

At last he finished his talk and was leaving the room quietly when the teacher begged to know his name.

"Abra'm Lincoln, of Illinois," was the modest response.


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