HOW SANTA CLAUS FOUND THE POOR-HOUSE       96


getting to be an old fellow, and the snow was deep, and it was hard for him to get about; but he was sorry he had n't come before, for he thought they did look like good boys. Then he asked Methuselah about his lameness and the pain in his side, and said he ought to be sent to a certain hospital in New York, where he might be cured. And then he asked if he had no relatives or friends.    
   "I've got Gobaly," said 'Thusely. 
   The doctor turned and looked sharply at Gobaly.    
   "Is he the reason why you would n't go with me?" he asked. 
   "He 's such a little chap, and I 'm all he 's got," said Gobaly. 
   The doctor took out his handkerchief and said it was bad weather for colds. 
   "Suppose I take him, too?" said he. 
   This time the lump in his throat fairly got the better of Gobaly! 
   But 'Thusely clapped his hands for joy.

He did n't understand what was to happen,only that Santa Claus was to take him somewhere with Gobaly; and one thing that 'Thusely was sure of was that he wanted to go wherever Gobaly went. And he kept saying: 
   "I told you that Santa Claus sent the dog,--now, did n't I, Gobaly?" 

Methuselah went to the hospital and was cured, and Gobaly--well, if I should tell you his name, you might say that you had heard of him as a famous surgeon doctor. I think it is probable that he could now make a lame rooster or a kitten with a sprained ankle just as good as new, and I am sure he would n't be above trying; for he has a heart big enough to sympathize with any creature that suffers.    
   There is at least one person in the world who will agree with me, and that is a gentleman who was once a miserable little cripple in a poor-house, and was called Methuselah.


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