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Madge A. Bigham

The Brickmason's Help

A T LAST everything that was needed to build the house had been hauled, and now it was time for the workmen to begin building.

"What workman will you get first?" asked Mother Gipsy, as they sat on a log in the moonlight, talking.

"A brickmason," said Father Gipsy, "because he is the man who lays the foundation, and that is the very first thing to be done on a house."

"Foundation," said Mother Gipsy, slowly, "what a great long word!"

"Yes," said Father Gipsy, "that is the part of a house that rests on the ground and holds the house up. Sometimes it is made of stone, and sometimes it is made of brick or something else very hard and strong. Indeed, it should be the very strongest part of a house, because one without a strong foundation, would be sure to tumble down."

"Dear me!" said Mother Gipsy, "how dreadful! Let us be very sure to have the foundation to Joe-Boy's house made very strong. I would not have it fall down on us for anything."

Father Gipsy kissed the little frown away from her eyebrows, and then he said:

"Do not be afraid, my dear, for ours shall be very strong, and I shall find the best brickmason that can be found—one who will do his very best work on Joe-Boy's house."

And so he did, and the very next day four brickmasons went to work on the foundation. They sifted sand and mixed it with water and lime and made the mortar. Then they took trowels, smoothed the mortar over the bricks and placed them one above the other, pressing each one firmly in place. All day they worked, until by and by the strong brick wall was finished.

"Well," said Father Gipsy, "that looks like a strong foundation, and we thank you very much, kind brickmasons. To-morrow we should like to have you make the chimneys to Joe-Boy's house, because you do such good work."

The brickmasons went home to rest, very tired but very happy. They were happy because they did good work, and because Father Gipsy had given them money for building the foundation to Joe-Boy's house.

"Now," they said, "we will take this money and buy dresses and hats and shoes for our children to wear, and flour and meal to make them bread to eat. If we did not work and make money we could not buy any of these things for them. We are glad Father Gipsy likes our work, and will let us build the chimneys to the new house."