Beginning in the mid-1840s, Robert Merry’s Museum printed many “works by its subscribers. “The Unrepaired Shoe” was “Almira” ’s second work for the Museum. With its put-upon heroine and its dismissive mother, the story is a sentimental wallow which slides through the usual situations, ending in the traditional 19th-century beautiful death. The story is of a type often created by inexperienced writers.
“The Unrepaired Shoe,” by Almira (from Robert Merry’s Museum, May 1849; p. 153)

Little Ellen’s shoe had been ripped open at the side more than a week, when one day she came limping in from school.

“What is the matter?” asked her mother.

“O, dear!” cried Ellen, sobbing, “I’ve run a nail into my foot.”

The mother took off the shoe and examined the foot; but seeing nothing material had happened, she put it on again, saying, “It will be all well soon.”

“Let me take it to the cobbler’s, ma’am,” said the nurse.

“No matter now, Maggie; I’ve something for you to do.”

Two days after, nurse espied Ellen’s toes peeping through the side of the shoe, the rough gravel having worn a hole through the stocking; so she said, “I will go immediately and get the shoe repaired.”

The mother was going out to make calls, and wanted Maggie to take care of baby. “It will do when I return just as well.” So saying, the mother went out, and little Ellen’s shoe was thought no more of that day.

In the afternoon, there came up a drenching storm, the wind blew a tempest, and the rain poured in torrents. As soon as the hurricane was abated, the scholars were let loose from school, and little Ellen’s foot was benumbed with wet and cold, as she made the best of her way home.

That night Ellen was taken ill of the croup. The mother sent for the physician, and did all she could to save her little daughter’s life; but it was of no use. When the sun arose in the eastern sky, the angel came to convey the spirit of little Ellen to that land where wind and tempest are never known.

“All my sorrow comes from putting off to the future what ought to be attended to today,” sighed the mother, as she laid her loved one in the cold grave!

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