Chapter 2

"12 CENTS!" yelled Pa at Caps. "What am I supposed to do with 12 lousy cents!" "I'm sorry Pa," Caps said looking at an invisible spot on the floor of their one room tenement. "I tried my best. Honestly Pa." "Well your best isn't good enough!" He screamed at Caps grabbing her by her shirt collar. Pa raised his arm and… Whack. The blow to her shoulder made Caps cry out in pain. "Tomorrow I want at least a dollar out of you!" He yelled at her raising his arm to strike again. Helpless Caps braced herself for another blow by his mighty hand.

"Stop!" yelled a voice behind Caps. "I won't let you do this to Samantha!" Both Pa and Caps turned to see who had so bravely defended her. "Leave her alone Pa." Bethany commanded him. Pa just looked at Beth to bewildered to speak. Instead he dropped Caps to the floor and stalked out of the tenement dazed by what had just taken place.

Neither of the girls spoke until they could no longer hear the pounding of Pa's boots trudging down the stairs and out the door. "Thank you Beth!" cried Caps, tears flowing freely down her face. "I can't tell you how much that meant to me."

"I just couldn't sit back and watch you get hit like that," said Bethany tears also on her face. "A girl's got to watch out for her little sister you know."

Caps smiled up at Beth then she winced in pain and groaned. "Oh Sam are you ok?" asked Beth worriedly. "Come here and let me have a look at your shoulder." "I'm fine," said Caps, earnestly trying to look fine. "No your not," said Bethany. "Now come over here and let me take a look." "I really am ok," said Caps but she went to her sister and willingly let her peel the shirt away from her shoulder, all the while wincing in pain. "Oh!" Beth gasped when she saw the welt forming on her sister's shoulder. "It's not really that bad is it Beth?" Caps asked fearing the answer. "Sorry Caps but it's pretty bad," said Beth apologetically. "Well it probably looks worse than it really is." Caps stated, even though she knew her sister was telling the truth.

"Oh Samantha why do you always have to act so brave!" asked Beth frustrated. "You don't have to be tough you know. It's ok to hurt. It doesn't make you any less brave to admit that you're in pain." "Ok, maybe it does hurt a little," admitted Caps. "But that doesn't mean it hurts a lot." She added quickly.