Author: William Bowen
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He grasped his money tight in his hand, as he had been told to do, and stood and looked at the little hunchbacked wooden man holding out his packet of black wooden cigars. "I wonder," thought Freddie, "what makes him so crooked?" He walked around him and looked at his back. He walked around in front of him again and wondered if the black cigars in his hand would smoke; he decided he would ask about it. The little man wore blue knee breeches and black stockings and buckled shoes, and his coat was cut away in front over his stomach and had two tails behind, down to his knees. It was easy to see that he wasn't a boy, though, even if he did wear knee breeches; you only had to look at his face, for he had the kind of hard boniness in his face that grown-ups have. Freddie made up his mind that he liked him, anyway; and it must have been hard to have to stand out there all day without moving, rain or shine, and offer that bunch of cigars to all the people who went by, and never get a single soul to take them. Freddie put out his other hand (not the one with the money in it) towards the cigars, but he quickly drew it back, for he looked at the little man's face at the same time, and there was something about his eyes-anyhow, he stood back a little.