She was a Heroine.
“ Fire !”
Wildly rang out the cry, rousing the quiet neighborhood from its midnight slumbers and filling the breasts of the startled denizens with the paralyzing, blood-curdling dread inseparable from a night alarm of fire. Windows were hastily thrown up, heads were thrust out, and trembling voices asked :
“Where is it?”
From the roof of a large three-story mansion the flames were mounting skyward, throwing a ruddy glare over the groups of men and boys hurrying along the streets, and guiding only too surely to the scene the fire companies, whose clanging gongs grew nearer and nearer.
The house was seen to be doomed. Nothing could save it. Willing hands were assisting in carrying out through the wideopen front door bundles of garments, bedclothes, cakes of soap, brooms, piano covers, water buckets, towels and washbasins, and throwing out of the windows the valuable mirrors, rare old china, and costly paintings that were more easily saved in that w’ay.
But the roar of the flames warned them that they must hasten.
“Is everybody out of the sleeping rooms?” inquired the father of the family, as he stopped a moment to wipe the sweat and grime from his face.
“ Yes—no !” exclaimed the half-distracted mother, looking hastily over the group that stood on the opposite sidewalk. “ Where is Veronica?”
The eldest daughter was not there.
The mother ran back into the burning building and called frenziedly up the stairway :
“ Veronica ! Veronica !”
And a voice from an upper room calmly responded :
“ If you think, numma, I’m going to come down before I get my side bangs curled you’re mightily mistaken.”