Thursday's children who have far to go are Noel Streatfeild's baby, and here the foundling endowed with spirit, talent and pride is Margaret Thursday, left at the rectory with -- as she is always telling everyone -- ""three of everything and of the very best quality."" Also, 52 pounds have come annually for her keep. Now the money has stopped, the elderly Miss Camerons alone are too much for faithful Hannah, and Margaret, ten, must go to an orphanage. Without baggage, the rules say, all will be provided -- but Hannah, thinking underclothes exempt, fashions three of the finest of each. Their seizure is Margaret's first grievance against matron; others stem from her responsibility for genteel Peter and Horatio Beresford whose sister, Lavinia, has 'gone into service.' And of course the children are underfed while matron pampers her palate and fills her purse. This Dickensian horror is only the first leg; escape will take the children to a barge and the mixed pleasures of ""legging"" (leading the horse), then to a theatrical troupe where Margaret triumphs as Little Lord Fauntleroy. Meanwhile the Beresfords, who had to be somebodies, are spotted (""spittin' images"") as the grandchildren of Irish Lord Delaware -- their mother ran away to marry a groom (who eventually ran away and left her). All this goes down with great ease, however much you want to throw up. The author anticipates trouble by referring to 'different conditions at the beginning of the century'; still, Margaret's very being is inseparable from her sense of social superiority.