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"'LUCRETIA RAYMOND, WHAT DO YOU MEAN, PUTTING YOUR DRESS ON THIS WAY "'
AND OTHER STORIES
MARY E. WILKINS
A. E. STERNER
NEW YORK AND LONDON
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
Copyright, 1892, by HARPER & BROTHERS.
All rights reserved.
YOUNG LUCRETIA . . ... 1
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE . 20
ANN MARY; HER TWO THANKSGIVINGS. .. 37
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK . . 65
THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS. . 85
WHERE THE CHRISTMAS-TREE GREW .... .105
WHERE SARAH JANE'S DOLL WENT ..... .122
SEVENTOES' GHOST . . . 137
LITTLE MIRANDY, AND HOW SHE EARNED HER
SHOES . . . 152
A PARSNIP STEW .............. 175
STHE DICKEY BOY. .. ............. 193
A SWEET-GRASS BASKET . ... 216
MEHITABLE LAMB . . . 237
"'LUCRETIA RAYMOND, WHAT DO YOU MEAN, PUTTING YOUR
DRESS ON THIS WAY ? ".. . ... Frontipiee
"' WHOSE LITTLE GAL AIR YOU ?" FACING PAGE 26
MR. LITTLE SELECTS THE THANKSGIVING TURKEY . 43
"THIS LITTLE GIRL SOON CAME FLYING OUT WITH HER CONTRI-
BUTION; THEN THERE WERE MORE". . 113
"SARAH JANE SAT DOWN BESIDE THE ROAD AND WEPT" 131
"HE THRUST OUT HIS RIGHT HAND AND GAVE SEVENTOES A
PUSH" . . . . 147
THE VISIT TO CAP'N MOSEBY'S . . 163
"'EAT 'EM ORDERED CAP'N MOSEBY". . 171
"A PARSNIP STEW" ................ .I'
" THERE, AMONG THE BLOSSOMING BRANCHES, CLUNG THE DICKEY
BOY" . . .. 211
"SHE WAS A REAL INDIAN PRINCESS" . .. 221
Wo's that little gal goin' by ?" said old Mrs.
"That-why, that's young Lucretia, mother,"
replied her daughter Ann, peering out of the
window over her mother's shoulder. There was
a fringe of flowering geraniums in the window;
the two women had to stretch their heads over
Poor little soul 1" old Mrs. Emmons remarked
further. "I pity that child."
"I don't see much to pity her for," Ann re-
turned, in a voice high-pitched and sharply sweet;
she was the soprano singer in the village choir.
" I don't see why she isn't taken care of as well
as most children."
Well, I don't know but she's took care of,
but. I guess she don't get much coddlin'. Lucretia
an' Maria ain't that kind-never was. I heerd
the other day they was goin' to have a Christmas-
tree down to the school-house. Now I'd be will-
in' to venture' considerable that child don't have
a thing don't "
"Well, if she's kept clean an' whole, an' made
to behave, it amounts to a good deal more'n
Christmas presents, I suppose." Ann sat down
and turned a hem with vigor: she was a dress-
"Well, I s'pose it does, but it kinder seems as
if that little gal ought to have something Do
you remember them little rag babies I used to
make for you, Ann? I s'pose she'd be terrible
tickled with one. Some of that blue thibet would
be jest the thing to make it a dress of."
Now, mother, you ain't goin' to fussing. She
won't think anything of it."
Yes, she would, too. You used to take sights
of comfort with 'em." Old Mrs. Emmons, tall
and tremulous, rose up and went out of the room.
"She's gone after the linen pieces," thought
her daughter Ann. She is dreadfully silly."
Ann began smoothing out some remnants of blue
thibet on her lap. She selected one piece that
she thought would do for the dress.
Meanwhile young Lucretia went to school. It
was quite a cold day, but she was warmly dressed.
She wore her aunt Lucretia's red and green plaid
shawl, which Aunt Lucretia had worn to meeting
when she was herself a little girl, over her aunt
Maria's black ladies' cloth coat. The coat was
very large and roomy-indeed, it had not been
altered at all-but the cloth was thick and good.
Young Lucretia wore also her aunt Maria's black
alpaca dress, which had been somewhat decreased
in size to fit her, and her aunt Lucretia's purple
hood with a nubia tied over it. She had mittens,
a black quilted petticoat, and her aunt Maria's
old drab stockings drawn over her shoes to keep
the snow from her ankles. If young Lucretia
caught cold, it would not be her aunts' fault.
She went along rather clumsily, but quite mer-
rily, holding her tin dinner-pail very steady. Her
aunts had charged her not to swing it, and "get
the dinner in a mess."
Young Lucretia's face, with very pink cheeks,
and smooth lines of red hair over the temples,
looked gayly and honestly out of the hood and
nubia. Here and there along the road were
sprigs of evergreen and ground-pine and hem-
lock. Lucretia glanced a trifle soberly at them.
She was nearly in sight of the school-house when
she reached Alma Ford's house, and Alma came
out and joined her. Alma was trim and pretty
in her fur-bordered winter coat and her scarlet
Hullo, Lucretia !" said Alma.
Hullo!" responded Lucretia. Then the two
little girls trotted on together: the evergreen
sprigs were growing thicker. "Did you go ?"
asked Lucretia, looking down at them.
"Yes; we went way up to the cross roads.
They wouldn't let you go, would they ?"
"No," said Lucretia, smiling broadly.
"I think it was mean," said Alma.
"They said they didn't approve of it," said
Lucretia, in a serious voice, which seemed like an
echo of some one else's.
When they got to the school-house it took her
a long time to unroll herself from her many
wrappings. When at last she emerged there was
not another child there who was dressed quite
after her fashion. Seen from behind, she looked
like a small, tightly-built old lady. Her little
basque, cut after her aunt's own pattern, rigor-
ously whaleboned, with long straight seams,
opened in front; she wore a dimity ruffle, a
square blue bow to fasten it, and a brown ging-
ham apron. Her sandy hair was parted rigor-
ously in the middle, brought over her temples in
two smooth streaky scallops, and braided behind
in two tight tails, fastened by a green bow.
Young Lucretia was a homely little girl, al-
though her face was always radiantly good-hu-
mored. She was a good scholar, too, and could
spell and add sums as fast as anybody in the
In the entry, where she took off her things, there
was a great litter of evergreen and hemlock; in
the farthest corner, lopped pitifully over on its
side, was a fine hemlock-tree. Lucretia looked
at it, and her smiling face grew a little serious.
"That the Christmas-tree out there ?" she said
to the other girls when she went into the school-
room. The teacher had not come, and there was
such an uproar and jubilation that she could
hardly make herself heard. She had to poke
one of the girls two or three times before she
could get her question answered.
What did you say, Lucretia Raymond ?" she
"That the Christmas-tree out there ?"
"Course 'tis. Say, Lucretia, can't you come
this evening and help trim? the boys are a-going
to set up the tree, and we're going to trim. Say,
can't you come ?"
SThen the other girls joined in: "Can't you
come, Lucretia ?-say, can't you ?"
Lucretia looked at them all, with her honest
smile. I don't believe I can," said she.
Won't they let you ?-won't your aunts let
Don't believe they will."
Alma Ford stood back on her heels and threw
back her chin. Well, I don't care," said she.
"I think your aunts are awful mean-so there!"
Lucretia's face got pinker, and the laugh died
out of it. She opened her lips, but before she
had a chance to speak, Lois Green, who was one
of the older girls, and an authority in the school,
added her testimony. "They are two mean,
stingy old maids," she proclaimed ; "that's what
"They're not neither," said Lucretia, unexpect-
edly. "You sha'n't say such things about my
aunts, Lois Green."
Oh, you can stick up for 'em if you want to,"
returned Lois, with cool aggravation. If you
want to be such a little gump, you can, an' no-
body'll pity you. You know you won't get a
single thing on this Christmas-tree."
I will, too," cried Lucretia, who was fiery,
with all her sweetness.
"You see if I don't, Lois Green."
All through the day it seemed to her, the more
she thought of it, that she must go with the
others to trim the school-house, and she must
have something on the Christmas-tree. A keen
sense of shame for her aunts and herself was over
her; she felt as if she must keep up the family
I wish I could go to trim this evening," she
said to Alma, as they were going home after
"Don't you believe they'll let you ?"
"I don't believe they'll 'prove of it," Lucretia
answered, with dignity.
Say, Lucretia, do you s'pose it would make
any difference if my mother should go up to your
house an' ask your aunts ?"
Lucretia gave her a startled look: a vision of
her aunt's indignation at such interference shot
before her eyes. Oh, I don't believe it would
do a mite of good," said she, fervently. "But
I tell you what 'tis, Alma, you might come home
with me while I ask."
I will," said Alma, eagerly. Just wait a
minute till I ask mother if I can."
But it was all useless. Alma's pretty, pleading
little face as a supplement to Lucretia's, and her
timorous, "Please let Lucretia go," had no effect
"I don't approve of children being out nights,"
said Aunt Lucretia, and Aunt Maria supported
her. "There's no use talking," said she; "you
can't go, Lucretia. Not another word. Take
your things off, and sit down and sew your square
of patchwork before supper. Almy, you'd better
run right home; I guess your mother '11 be want-
ing you to help her." And Alma went.
"What made you -bring that Ford girl in
here to ask me ?" Aunt Lucretia, who had seen
straight through her namesake's artifice, asked
of young Lucretia.
I don't know," stammered Lucretia, over her
"You'll never go anywhere any quicker for
taking such means as that," said Aunt Lucretia.
"It would serve you right if we didn't let you
go to the Christmas-tree," declared Aunt Maria,
severely, and young Lucretia quaked. She had
had the promise of going to the Christmas-tree
for a long time. It would be awful if she should
lose that. She sewed very diligently on her
patchwork. A square a day was her stent, and
she had held up before her the rapture and glory
of a whole quilt made all by herself before she
was ten years old.
Half an hour after tea she had the square all
done. "I've got it done," said she, and she
carried it over to her aunt Lucretia that it might
Aunt Lucretia put on her spectacles and looked
closely at it. "You've sewed it.very well," she
said, finally, in a tone of severe commendation.
" You can sew well enough if you put your mind
That's what I've always told her," chimed in
Aunt Maria. "There's no sense in her slighting
her work so, and taking the kind of stitches she
does sometimes. Now, Lucretia, it's time for you
to go to bed."
Lucretia went lingeringly across the wide old
sitting-room, then across the old wide dining-
room, into the kitchen. It was quite a time before
she got her candle lighted and came back, and
then she stood about hesitatingly.
"What are you waiting for ?" Aunt Lucretia
asked, sharply. Take care; you're tipping your
candle over; you'll get the grease on the car-
"Why don't you mind what you're doing ?"
said Aunt Maria.
Young Lucretia had scant encouragement to
open upon the subject in her mind, but she did.
"They're going to have lots of presents on the
Christmas-tree," she remarked, tipping her can-
"Are you going to hold that candle straight
or not?" cried Aunt Lucretia. "Who is going
to have lots of presents ?"
"All the other girls."
When the aunts got very much in earnest
about anything they spoke with such vehement
unison that it had the effect of a duet; it was
difficult to tell which was uppermost. Well,
the other girls can have lots of presents; if their
folks want to get presents for 'em they can,"
said they. There's one thing about it, you won't
get anything, and you needn't expect anything.
I never approved of this giving presents Christ-
mas, anyway. It's an awful tax an' a foolish
piece of business."
Young Lucretia's lips quivered so she could
hardly speak. "They'll think it's-so-funny
if-I don't have-anything," she said.
Let 'em think it's funny if they want to. You
take your candle an' go to bed, an' don't say
any more about it. Mind you hold that candle
Young Lucretia tried to hold the candle straight
as she went up-stairs, but it was hard work, her
eyes were so misty with tears. Her little face
was all puckered up with her silent crying as
she trudged wearily up the stairs. It was a long
time before she got to sleep that night. She
cried first, then she meditated. Young Lucretia
was too small and innocent to be artful, but she
had a keen imagination, and was fertile of re-
sources in emergencies. In the midst of her
grief and disappointment she devolved a plan for
keeping up the family honor, hers and her aunts',
before the eyes of the school.
The next day everything favored the plan.
School did not keep; in the afternoon both the
aunts went to the sewing society. They had
been gone about an hour when young Lucretia
trudged down the road with her arms full of
parcels. She stole so quietly and softly into the
school-house, where they were arranging the tree,
that no one thought about it. She laid the par-
cels on a settee with some others, and stole out
and flew home.
The festivities at the school-house began at
seven o'clock. There were to be some exercises,
some recitations and singing, then the distribu-
tion of the presents. Directly after tea young
Lucretia went up to her own little chamber to
get ready. She came down in a surprisingly
short time all dressed.
"Are you all ready ?" said Aunt Lucretia.
"Yes, ma'am," replied young Lucretia. She
had her hand on the door-latch.
"I don't believe you are half dressed," said
Aunt Maria. "Did you get your bow on
I think she'd better take her things off, an'
let us be sure," said Aunt Lucretia. "I'm not
goin' to have her down there with her clothes on
any which way, an' everybody making remarks.
Take your sacque off, Lucretia."
"Oh, I got the bow on straight; it's real
straight, it is, honest," pleaded young Lucretia,
piteously. She clutched the plaid shawl tightly
together, but it was of no use-off the things had
to come. And young Lucretia had put on the
prim whaleboned basque of her best dress wrong
side before; she had buttoned it in the back.
There she stood, very much askew and uncom-
fortable about the shoulder seams and sleeves,
and hung her head before her aunts.
"Lucretia Raymond, what do you mean, put-
ting your dress on this way ?"
"All-the other girls -wear theirs but-
toned in-the back."
"All the other girls! Well, you're not going
to have yours buttoned in the back, and wear
holes through that nice ladies' cloth coat every
time you lean back against a chair. I should
think you were crazy. I've a good mind not to
let you go out at all. Stand round here !"
Young Lucretia's basque was sharply unbut-
toned, she was jerked out of it, and it was turned
around and fastened as it was meant to be.
When she was finally started, with her aunts'
parting admonition echoing after her, she felt sad
and doubtful, but soon her merry disposition as-
There was no jollier and more radiant little
soul than she all through the opening exercises.
She listened to the speaking and the singing with
the greatest appreciation and delight. She sat
up perfectly straight in her prim and stiff
basque; she folded her small red hands before
her; her two tight braids inclined stiffly towards
her ears, and her face was all aglow with smiles.
When the distribution of presents began her
name was among the first called. She arose
with alacrity, and went with a gay little prance
down the aisle. She took the parcel that the
teacher handed to her; she commenced her jour-
ney back, when she suddenly encountered the
eyes of her aunt Lucretia and her aunt Maria.
Then her terror and remorse began. She had
never dreamed of such a thing as her aunts com-
ing-indeed, they had not themselves. A neigh-
bor had come in and persuaded them, and they
had taken a sudden start against their resolutions
and their principles.
Young Lucretia's name was called again and
again. Every time she slunk more reluctantly
and fearfully down to the tree; she knew that
her aunts' eyes were surveying her with more
and more amazement.
After the presents were all distributed she sat
perfectly still with hers around her. They lay
on her desk, and the last one was in her lap.
She had not taken off a single wrapping. They
were done up neatly in brown paper, and Lucre-
tia's name was written on them.
Lucretia -sat there. The other girls were
in a hubbub of delight all around her, com-
paring their presents, but she sat perfectly
still and watched her aunts coming. They
came slowly; they stopped to speak to the
teacher. Aunt Lucretia reached young Lucretia
"What have you got there ?" she asked. She
did not look cross, but a good deal surprised.
Young Lucretia just gazed miserably up at her.
"W Why don't you undo them ?" asked Aunt Lu-
cretia. Young Lucretia shook her head help-
lessly. "Why, what makes you act so, child ?"
cried Aunt Lucretia, getting alarmed. Then
Aunt Maria came up, and there was quite a little
group around young Lucretia. She began to cry.
"What on earth ails the child ?" said Aunt Lu-
cretia. She caught up one of the parcels and
opened it; it was a book bound in red ind gold.
She held it close to her eyes; she turned it this
way and that; she examined the fly leaf.
"Why," said she, "it's the old gift-book Aunt
Susan gave me when I was eighteen years old!
What in the world!"
Aunt Maria had undone another. "This is
the Floral Album," she said, tremulously;
" we always keep it in the north parlor on
the table. Here's my .name in it. I don't
Aunt Lucretia speechlessly unmuffled a clove
apple and a nautilus shell that had graced the
parlor shelf; then a little daintily dressed rag
doll with cheeks stained pink with cranberry juice
appeared. When young Lucretia spied this last
she made a little grab at it.
Oh," she sobbed, "somebody did hang this
on for me! They did-they did! It's mine!"
It never seemed to young Lucretia that she
walked going home that night; she had a feel-
ing that only her tiptoes occasionally brushed
the earth; she went on rapidly, with a tall aunt
on either side. Not much was said. Once in a
lonely place in the road there was a volley of
severe questions from her aunts, and young Lu-
cretia burst out in a desperate wail. Oh!" she
cried, "I was going to put 'em right back again,
I was I've not hurt 'em any. I was real care-
ful. I didn't s'pose you'd know it. Oh, they
said you were cross an' stingy, an' wouldn't hang
me anything on the tree, an' I didn't want 'em
to think you were. I wanted to make 'em think
I had things, I did."
"What made you think of such a thing g"
"I don't know."
"I shouldn't think you would know. I never
heard of such doings in my life!"
After they got home not much was said to
young Lucretia; the aunts were still too much be-
wildered for many words. Lucretia was bidden
to light her candle and go to bed, and then came
a new grief, which was the last drop in the
bucket for her. They confiscated her rag doll,
and put it away in the parlor with the clove
apple, the nautilus shell, and the gift-book. Then
the little girl's heart failed her, remorse for she
hardly knew what, terror, and the loss of the
sole comfort that had come to her on this pitiful
Christmas Eve were too much.
"Oh," she wailed, "my rag baby! my rag
baby! I-want my-rag baby. Oh! oh! oh! I
want her, I want her."
Scolding had no effect. Young Lucretia sobbed
out her complaint all the way up-stairs, and her
aunts could distinguish the pitiful little wail of
my "rag baby, I want my rag baby," after she
was in her chamber.
The two women looked at each other. They
had sat uneasily down by the sitting-room fire.
"I must say that I think you're rather hard
on her, Lucretia," said Maria, finally.
I don't know as I've been any harder on her
than you have," returned Lucretia. I shouldn't
have said to take away that rag baby if I'd said
just what I thought."
I think you'd better take it up to her, then,
and stop that crying," said Maria.
Lucretia hastened into the north parlor with-
out another word. She carried the rag baby up-
stairs to young Lucretia; then she came down
to the pantry and got a seed-cake for her. "I
thought the child had better have a little bite of
something; she didn't eat scarcely a mite of sup-
per," she explained to Maria. She had given
young Lucretia's head a hard pat when she be-
stowed the seed-cake, and bade her eat it and go
right to sleep. The little girl hugged her rag
baby and ate her cooky in bliss.
The aunts sat a while longer by the sitting-
room fire. Just before they left it for the night
Lucretia looked hesitatingly at Maria, and said,
I s'pose you have noticed that wax doll down
to White's store, 'ain't you?"
"That big wax one with the pink dress ?"
asked Maria, faintly and consciously.
"Yes. There was a doll's bedstead there, too.
I don't know as you noticed."
"Yes, I think I did, now you speak of it. I
noticed it the day I went in for the calico. There
was a doll baby's carriage there, too."
The aunts looked at each other. "I s'pose it
would be dreadful foolish," said Lucretia.
She'd be 'most too tickled to live," remarked
"Well, we can't buy 'em to-night anyway,"
said Lucretia. "I must light the candles an' lock
The next day was Christmas. It was about
three o'clock in the afternoon when old Mrs. Em-
mons went up the road to the Raymond house.
She had a little parcel. When she came into the
sitting-room there was young Lucretia in a
corner, so that the room should not get in a mess,
with her wealth around her. She looked forth,
a radiant little mother of dolls, from the midst
of her pretty miniature house-keeping.
My sakes!" cried old Mrs. Emmons, "isn't
that complete? She's got a big wax doll, an' a
bedstead, an' a baby-carriage, an' a table an'
bureau. I declare I Well, I don't know what I
should have thought when I was a little gal.
An' Ive brought some pieces for you to make
some more dresses for the rag baby, if you want
Young Lucretia's eyes snone.
YOUNG LUCRETIA 19
"You were real kind to think of it," said Aunt
Lucretia; "an' she'll take real comfort making
the dresses. I'm real glad you came in, Mis'
Emmons. I've been going down to see you for
a long time. I want to see Ann, too; I thought
I'd see if she hadn't got a pattern of a dress that
buttons up in the back for Lucretia."
Young Lucretia's eyes shone more than ever,
and she smiled out of her corner like a little star.
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE
I DON'T know what we're going' to do," said
Aunt Maria Crooker. She sat in a large arm-
chair, and held in her lap a bowl of sugar and
butter that she was creaming. Aunt Maria filled
up the chair from arm to arm, for she was very
portly; she had a large, rosy, handsome face, and
she creamed with such energy that she panted
Well, I don't know, either," rejoined her sis-
ter, Mrs. Lennox. "I can't go to the store with
my lame foot, that's certain."
"Well, I know I can't," said Aunt Maria, with
additional emphasis. "I haven't walked two
mile for ten year, an' I don't believe I could get
to that store and back to save my life."
"I don't believe you could, either. I don't
know what is going' to be done. We can't make
the cake without raisins, anyhow. It's the queer-
est thing how father happened to forget them.
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
Now here he is gone over to East Dighton after
the new cow, and Cynthy gone to Keene to buy
her bonnet, an' me with a scalt foot, an' you not
able to walk, an' not one raisin in the house to
put into that weddin'-cake."
Mrs. Lennox stated the case in full, with a de-
spairing eloquence, and Aunt Maria sighed and
wrinkled her forehead.
"If there were only any neighbors you could
borrow from," she observed.
"Well, there ain't any neighbors twixtt here
and the store except the Allens and the Sim-
monses, and the Allens are so tight they never
put raisins into their Thanksgivin' pies. Mis'
Allen told me they didn't. She said she thought
most folks made their pies too rich, an' her folks
liked them just as well without raisins. An' as
for the Simmonses, I don't believe they see a rai-
sin from one year's end to the other. They're.
lucky if they can get enough common things to
eat for all those -children. I don't know what's
going' to be done. Here's the dress-maker coming'
to-morrow, an' Cynthy goin' to be married in two
weeks, and the cake ought to be made to-day if
it's ever goin' to be."
Yes, it had," assented Aunt Maria. We've
put it off full long enough, anyway. Weddin'-cake
ain't near so good unless it stands a little while."
22 HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
"I know it."
Just then there was a shrill, prolonged squeak.
It came from the yard. The doors and windows
were open; it was a very warm day.
"What's that cried Aunt Maria.
"Oh, it's nothing' but Fidelia's little wagon.
She's draggin' it round the yard."
The two women looked at each other; it was as
if a simultaneous idea had come suddenly to them.
Aunt Maria gave expression to it first. Fide-
lia couldn't go, could she ?"
"Maria Crooker, that little thing! She ain't
six years old, an' she's never been anywhere
alone. Do you s'pose I'm goin' to send her a
mile to that store ?" Mrs. Lennox's tone was full
of vehement indignation, but her eyes still met
Aunt Maria's with that doubtful and reflective
"I don't see a mite of harm in it," Aunt Maria
maintained, sturdily. She set her bowl of sugar
and butter on the table, and leaned forward with
a hand on each aproned knee. I know Fidelia
ain't but five year old, but she's brighter than
some children of seven. It's just a straight road
to the store, an' she can't get lost, to save her
life. And she knows where 'tis. You took her
down to Mis' Rose's three or four weeks ago,
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
"Yes; that day father went down for grain.
I s'pose she would remember."
"Of course she'd remember. I don't see one
thing, as far as I'm concerned, to hinder that
child's goin' down to the store an' bringing' home
some raisins. I used to go on errands before I
was as old as she is. Folks didn't fuss over their
children so much in my day."
Well," said Mrs. Lennox, finally, with a great
sigh, "I don't know but I may as well send her."
Mrs. Lennox was much smaller than her sister,
and she had a rather sickly but pleasant face.
She had to push a chair before her as she walked,
for she had scalded her foot quite badly the week
before, and it was now all swathed in bandages.
It had been a very unfortunate accident in more
ways than one, for Cynthia, her elder daughter,
was going to be married soon, and the family
were busily engaged in the wedding prepara-
tions. It was very hard for poor Mrs. Lennox to
have to limp about with one knee in a chair,
while she made wedding-cake and arranged for
the bridal festivities, but she made the best of it.
Now she pushed over to the door, and called,
"Fidelia! Fidelia !"
Directly the Qqne:ak increased to an agonizing
degree, the rattl i:f .siuiill wheels accompanied
it, and Fidelia came trudging around the corner
24 HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
of the house. She was a chubby little girl, and
her blue tier seemed rather tight for her. She
had a round, rosy face, and innocent and honest
black eyes. She wore a small Shaker bonnet with
a green cape, and she stubbed her toes into the
grass every step she took.
Don't stub your toes so," said her mother, ad-
monishingly. "You'll wear your shoes all out."
Fidelia immediately advanced with soft pats
like a kitten. When she got into the kitchen her
mother took off her Shaker bonnet and looked at
her critically. "You'll have to have your hair
brushed," said she. "Fidelia, do you remember
how you went with mother down to Mis' Rose's
three or four weeks ago ?"
Fidelia nodded and winked.
"There was a big pussy cat there, do you re-
member ? and Mis' Rose gave you a cooky."
Fidelia's affirmative wink seemed to give out
"Well, you remember how we went to the
side door and knocked-the door with some roses
over the top of it-and Mis' Rose came-the side
Fidelia, intensely attentive, standing before her
mother and Aunt Maria, remembered abI:o.t the
"Well, you remember how there was a piazza
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
across the front of the house, don't you ? Father
hitched the horse to a post there. Well, there's
another door there opening on the piazza, don't
you remember-a door with panes of glass in it
like a window ?"
"Well, now, Fidelia, do you suppose you can
go down to the store and buy some raisins for
mother to put in sister Cynthy's weddin'-cake,
all yourself ?"
"An' be a real smart little girl," put in Aunt
Fidelia gave one ecstatic roll of her black eyes
at them, then she broke into a shout, "Lemme
go! lemme go!" She oscillated on her small
stubbed toes like a bird preparing to fly, and she
tugged energetically at her mother's apron.
I'll give you a penny, an' you can buy you a
nice stick of red-and-white twisted candy," add-
ed her mother.
Fidelia actually made a little dash for the door
then, but her mother caught her. "Stop !" she
said, in an admonitory voice which was quieting
to Fidelia, and made her realize that the red-and-
white candy was still in the future. "Now you
just wait a minute, an' not be in such a pucker.
You ain't goin' this way, with your apron just as
dirty as poison, and your hair all in a snarl.
26 HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
You've got to have on your clean apron, and
have your hair brushed and your face washed."
So Fidelia climbed obedieitly int.yf high
chair, and sat with her eyes screwed'up and her
fists clinched, while her mother polished her face
faithfully with a wet, soapy end of a towel, and
combed the snarls out of her hair. When it'was
all done, her cheeks being very red and shiny,
and her hair very damp and smooth, when she
was arrayed in her clean starched white tier, and
had her Shaker tied on with an emphatic square
bow, she stood in the door and drank in the
parting instructions. Her eyes were wide and
intent, and her mouth drooped soberly at the
corners. The importance of the occasion had be-
gun to impress her. She. held a penny tight in
her hand; the raisins were to be charged, it not
being judged advisable to trust Fidelia with so
"I don't believe that little thing can carry
three pounds of raisins," Mrs. Lennox said to
Aunt Maria. She was becoming more and more
uneasy about Fidelia's going.
"Let her take her little wagon an' drag 'em;
that 'll be just the thing," said Aunt Maria, com-
So Fidelia started down the road, trundling
behind her the little squeaking cart. It was a
WHOSE LITTLE GAL AI YOU
' WHOSE LITTLE GAL AIR YOU ?'"
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
warm July day, and it was very dusty. Directly
Fidelia started she forgot her mother's injunc-
tions about stubbing her toes; she disappeared
in a small cloud of dust, for she walked in the
middle of the road, and flirted it up with great
In the course of the mile Fidelia met one team.
It was an old rocking chaise and a white horse,
and an old farmer was driving. He drove slower
when he came alongside of Fidelia. When he
had fairly passed her he stopped entirely, twisted
about in his seat, and raised his voice.
Whose little gal air you ?" he asked.
Fidelia was a little frightened. Instead of
giving her father's name, she gave her own with
shy precision-" Fidelia Ames Lennox," she said,
retiring into her Shaker bonnet.
You ain't running' away, be you ?"
Fidelia's pride was touched. "I'm going to
the store for my mother," she announced, in quite
a shrill tone. Then she took to her heels, and
the little wagon trundled after, with a wilder
squeak than ever.
Fidelia kept saying over to herself, "Three
pounds of your best raisins, and Mr. Lennox will
come in and pay you." Her mother and Aunt
Maria wished after she had gone that they had
written it out on a piece of paper; they had not
28 HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
thought of that. But Aunt Maria said she knew
that such a bright child as Fidelia would remem-
ber three pounds of raisins when she had been
told over and over, and charged not to come
home without them.
Fidelia had started about ten o'clock in the
morning, and her mother and Aunt Maria had
agreed that they would not worry if she should
not return until one o'clock in the afternoon.
That would allow more than an hour for the
mile walk each way, and give plenty of time for
a rest between; for Fidelia had been instructed
to go into the store and sit down on a stool and
rest a while before starting upon her return trip.
"Likely as not Mis' Rose will give her a cooky
or something," Aunt Maria had whispered to
So when noon came the two women pictured
Fidelia sitting perched upon a stool in the store,
being fed with candy and cookies, and made
much of, or even eating dinner with the Rose
family. Mis' Rose made so much of her when
you took her there before that I shouldn't won-
der a mite if she'd kept her to dinner," said Aunt
Maria. She promulgated this theory the more
strenuously when one o'clock came and Fidelia
had not appeared. Of course that's what 'tis,"
she kept repeating. "It would take 'em a good
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
hour to eat dinner. I shouldn't be a bit surprised
if she didn't get here before two o'clock. I think
you're dreadful silly to worry, Jane."
For poor Mrs. Lennox was pushing her chair
every few minutes over to the door, where'she
would stand, her face all one anxious frown,
straining her eyes for a glimpse of the small fig-
ure trudging up the road. She had made the
blueberry dumpling that Fidelia loved for dinner,
and it was keeping warm on the back of the
stove. Neither she nor Aunt Maria had eaten a
When two o'clock came Mrs. Lennox broke
down entirely. "Oh dear !" she wailed; "oh
dear! I ought to have known better than to let
Aunt Maria was now pacing heavily between
her chair and the door, but she still maintained a
brave front. "For goodness' sake, Jane, don't
give up so," said she. "I don't see anything
to worry about, for my part; they're keeping'
At half-past two Mrs. Lennox stood up with a
determined air. "I ain't goin' to wait here an-
other minute," said she.. "I'm goin' to find her.
I don't know but she's fell into the brook, or got
run over." Mrs. Lennox's face was all drawn
30 HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
I'd like to know how you're goin'," said Aunt
"I guess I can push this chair along the road
just as well as in a room."
"Pretty-lookin' sight you'd be goin' a mile
with one knee in a wooden chair."
"I guess I don't care much how I look if I
only find-her." Mrs. Lennox's voice broke into
You just sit down and keep calm," said Aunt
Maria. "If anybody's goin', I am."
Oh, you can't."
"Yes, I can, too. I ain't quite so far gone that
I can't walk a mile. You ain't goin' a step on
that scalt foot an' get laid up, with that wedding'
coming' off, not if I know it. I'm just goin' to
slip on my gaiter-shoes an' my sun-bonnet, an'
take the big green umbrella to keep the sun off."
When Aunt Maria was equipped and started,
Mrs. Lennox watched her progress down the road
with frantic impatience. It seemed to her that
she could have gone faster with her chair. Truth
was, that poor Aunt Maria, plodding heavily
along in her gaiter-shoes, holding the green um-
brella over her flaming face, made but slow and
painful progress, and it was well that Mr. Lennox
and Cynthia Lennox came home two hours be-
fore they were expected. It was three o'clock
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
when Mr. Lennox came driving into the yard in
the open buggy. Cynthia, erect and blooming,
with her big bandbox in her lap, sat beside him,
and the new Jersey cow, fastened by a rope to
the tail of the buggy, came on behind with mel-
ancholy moos. Cynthia had bought her wedding-
bonnet sooner than she had expected, so she had
come home on the three o'clock train instead of
the five; and her father had bought the cow
sooner than he had expected, and had come to
the railroad crossing just about the time that
Cynthia's train arrived. So he had stopped and
taken in her and her bandbox, and they had all
ridden home together.
Mrs. Lennox stood in the kitchen door when
they drove in.
Oh, mother," Cynthia cried out, I've had
splendid luck! I've got the handsomest bonnet !"
I guess you won't care much about bonnets,"
answered her mother; "Fidelia's lost." She spoke
quite slowly and calmly, then she began to weep
wildly and lament. It was quite a time before
she could make the case plain to them, and Cyn-
thia and her bandbox, and Mr. Lennox and the
horse and buggy and cow, all remained before
her in a petrified halt.
As soon as Mr. Lennox fairly understood, he
sprang out of the buggy, untied the cow, led her
32 HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
into the barn, turned the team around, with a
sharp grate of the wheels, jumped in again, and
gathered up the reins. Cynthia, her rosy cheeks
quite pale, still sat in her place, and the tears
splashed on her new bandbox cover. Mrs. Len-
nox had set her chair outside the door, and fol-
lowed it, with a painful effort. Stop, father !"
she cried; I'm goin' too!"
"Oh, mother, you can't!" said Mr. Lennox
and Cynthia, together.
"I'm goin'. You needn't say a word. Father,
you get out an' help me in."
Mr. Lennox got out and lifted, while Cynthia
pulled. Mrs. Lennox's injured foot suffered, but
she set her mouth hard, and said nothing. They
started at a good pace, three on a seat, with Mr.
Lennox in the middle, driving.
They had got about half-way to the store when
they overtook Aunt Maria. Aunt Maria, with
the green umbrella overhead, was proceeding
steadily, with a sideways motion that seemed
more effective than the forward one.
"I'll get out, and let her get in," said Cynthia.
"'No," said her father; "it won't do; it 'ill
break the springs. We can't ride three on a
seat with Aunt Maria, anyhow, and I've got to
So they passed Aunt Maria.
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
"Don't go any farther, Aunt Maria," Cynthia
called, sobbingly, back to her. "You sit down
on the wall and rest."
But Aunt Maria shook her head, she could not
speak, and kept on.
It was quarter-past three when they reached
the Rose house and the store. The store was in
the front of the house, and the Rose family oc-
cupied the rear portion. The house stood on a
street corner, so a good deal of it was visible, and
the whole establishment had a shut-up air; not
a single farmer's wagon stood before the store.
However, as Mr. Lennox drove up, a woman's
head appeared at a window; then a side door
opened, and she stood there. She had on a big
apron, and her face was flushed as if she had
been over the stove; she held a great wooden
spoon, too. She began talking to the Lennoxes,
but they paid no attention to her-their eyes
were riveted upon the store door. There was a
speck of white against its dark front, and sud-
denly it moved. It was Fidelia's white tier.
"Why, there's Fidelia!" gasped Cynthia. She
jumped out, not waiting for her father to turn
the wheel, and ran to the store door. The band-
box rolled out and the lid came off, and there
S was her wedding-bonnet in the dust, but she did
not mind that. She caught Fidelia. Oh, you
34 HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
naughty little girl, where have you been all this
time ?" cried she.
Fidelia's eyes took on a bewildered stare, her
mouth puckered more and more. She clung to
her sister, and sobbed something that was quite
inaudible. It was quite a time before her father
and mother and Cynthia and Mrs. Rose, surround-
ing her with attention, could gather that the
import of it all was that she had knocked and
knocked and nobody had come to the door.
"EKnocked!" gasped Mrs. Rose; "why, the
poor little lamb! Here Mr. Rose and Sam have
been away all day, an' I've been making' currant-
jell' out in the kitchen. An' there's the bell on
the counter, that customers always ring when
there ain't anybody round. I've been listening'
for that all day. It's been so hot, an' everybody
hayin', that I don't suppose a soul but her has
been near the store since nine o'clock this morn-
in', and there she's stood an' knocked. I never
heard anything like it in my life. See here,
Pussy, haven't you been asleep ?"
Fidelia shook her head in a sulky and down-
cast manner, but there was a suspiciously flushed
and creasy look about her, and they agreed that
it was more than probable that a nap on the
store steps had softened and shortened her vigil.
Mrs. Lennox had her up in the wagon on
HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
her lap. She took her Shaker bonnet off, and
smoothed her hair and kissed her. She thought
she'd got to knock, I s'pose," said she. I ought
to have told her she didn't have to when she
went to a store. Poor little soul! mother won't
send her to the store again till she's bigger."
"I knocked an' knocked," wailed Fidelia, pite-
She looked cross and worn out. Mrs. Rose
ran into the house, and brought out a plate of
cookies and a mug of milk, and then Fidelia sat
in her mother's lap and ate and drank and felt
comforted. But after the raisins had been final-
ly purchased, Cynthia's bonnet picked up out of
the dust and shaken, the little squeaking wagon
stowed under the seat of the buggy, and the
team turned around, Fidelia set up a grievous
and injured cry: "My candy! my candy! I
'ain't-got my candy!" And she held up to
view the copper cent still clutched in her moist
"Poor little lamb, she shall have her candy !"
cried Mrs. Rose. Fidelia had never seen such a
handful of candy as Mrs. Rose brought out from
the store. There was a twisted red-and-white
stick of peppermint, pink checkerberry, clear bar-
ley-a stick of every kind in the glass jars in
Mr. Rose's store window. And Mrs. Rose would
36 HOW FIDELIA WENT TO THE STORE
*not take Fidelia's one penny at all; she bade her
keep it until she came to the store again.
Aunt Maria was almost up to the store when
they left it, and it was decided that she should
remain and make a call upon Mrs. Rose while Mr.
Lennox carried the others home, then he would
return for her. Aunt Maria folded her green
umbrella and sank down on the door-step, and
Mrs. Rose brought her a palm-leaf fan and a
glass of ginger water. "I 'ain't walked a mile
before for ten year," gasped Aunt Maria; "but.
I'm so thankful that child's safe that I can't
think of anything else." There were tears in her
eyes as she watched the wagon-load disappear-
ing under the green branches of the elm-trees.
And Fidelia, in her mother's lap, rode along and
sucked a stick of barley candy in silent bliss.
Griefs in childhood soon turn to memories;
straightway, as she sucked her barley candy,
Fidelia's long and painful vigil at the store door
became a thing of the past.
HER TWO THANKSGIVINGS
"What is it, child ?"
"You goin' to put that cup-cake into the pan
to bake it now, grandma ?"
"Yes; I guess so. It's beat 'bout enough."
You ain't put in a mite of nutmeg, grand-
The grandmother turned around to Ann Mary.
" Don't you be quite so anxious," said she, with
sarcastic emphasis. "I allers put the nutmeg in
cup-cake the very last thing. I ruther guess I
shouldn't have put this cake into the oven with-
The old woman beat fiercely on the cake. She
used her hand instead of a spoon, and she held
the yellow mixing-bowl poised on her hip under
her arm. She was stout and rosy-faced. She
had crinkly white hair, and she always wore a
string of gold beads around her creasy neck. She
never took off the gold beads except to put them
under her pillow at night, she was so afraid of
their being stolen. Old Mrs. Little had always
been nervous about thieves, although none had
ever troubled her.
"You may go into the pantry, an' bring out
the nutmeg now, Ann Mary" said she presently,
Ann Mary soberly slipped down from her chair
and went. She realized that she had made a
mistake. It was quite an understood thing for
Ann Mary to have an eye upon her grandmother
while she was cooking, to be sure that she put in
everything that she should, and nothing that she
should not, for the old woman was absent-minded.
But it had to be managed with great delicacy,
and the corrections had to be quite irrefutable,
or Ann Mary was reprimanded for her pains.
When Ann Mary had deposited the nutmeg-
box and the grater at her grandmother's elbow,
she took up her station again. She sat at a cor-
ner of the table in one of the high kitchen-chairs.
Her feet could not touch the floor, and they
dangled uneasily in their stout leather shoes, but
she never rested them on the chair round, nor
even swung them by way of solace. Ann Mary's
grandmother did not like to have her chair rounds
HER TWO THANKSGIVINGS 39
all marked up by shoes, and swinging feet dis-
turbed her while she was cooking. Ann Mary.
sat up, grave and straight. She was a delicate,
slender little girl, but she never stooped. She
had an odd resemblance to her grandmother; a
resemblance more of manner than of feature.
She held back her narrow shoulders in the same
determined way in which the old woman held
her broad ones; she walked as she did, and spoke
as she did.
Mrs. Little was very proud of Ann Mary Evans;
Ann Mary was her only daughter's child, and
had lived with her grandmother ever since she
was a baby. The child could not remember
either her father or mother, she was so little
when they died.
Ann Mary was delicate, so she did not go to
the village to the public school. Miss Loretta
Adams, a young lady who lived in the neighbor-
hood, gave her lessons. Loretta had graduated
in a beautiful white muslin dress at the high-
school over in the village, and Ann Mary had a
great respect and admiration for her. Loretta
had a parlor-organ, and could play on it, and
she was going to give Ann Mary lessons after
Thanksgiving. Just now there was a vacation.
Loretta had gone to Boston to spend two weeks
with her cousin.
Ann Mary was all in brown, a brown calico
dress and a brown calico, long-sleeved apron;
and her brown hair was braided in two tight
little tails that were tied with some old brown
bonnet-strings of Mrs. Little's, and flared out
stiffly behind the ears. Once, when Ann Mary
was at her house, Loretta Adams had taken it
upon herself to comb out the tight braids and set
the hair flowing in a fluffy mass over the shoul-
ders; but when Ann Mary came home her grand-
mother was properly indignant. She seized her
and re-braided the tails with stout and painful
jerks. "I ain't goin' to have Loretty Adams
meddlin' with your hair," said she, "an' she can
jest understand it. If she wants to have her own
hair all in a frowzle, an' look like a wild Injun,
she can; you sha'n't !"
And Ann Mary, standing before her grand-
mother with head meekly bent and watery eyes,
decided that she would have to tell Loretta that
she mustn't touch the braids, if she proposed it
That morning, while Mrs. Little was making
the pies, and the cake, and the pudding, Ann
Mary was sitting idle, for her part of the Thanks-
giving cooking was done. She had worked so
fast the day before and early that morning that
she had the raisins all picked over and seeded,
HER TWO THANXSGIVINOS
and the apples pared and sliced; and that was
about all that her grandmother thought she could
do. Ann Mary herself was of a different opinion;
she was twelve years old, if she was small for
her age, and she considered herself quite capable
of making pies and cup-cake.
However, it was something to sit there at the
table and have that covert sense of superintend-
ing her grandmother, and to be reasonably sure
that some of the food would have a strange fla-
vor were it not for her vigilance.
Mrs. Little's mince-pies had all been baked the
day before; to-day, as she said, she was "making
apple and squash." While the apple-pies were in
progress, Ann Mary watched her narrowly. Her
small folded hands twitched and her little neck
seemed to elongate above her apron; but she
waited until her grandmother took up an upper
crust, and was just about to lay it over a pie.
Then she spoke up suddenly. Her voice had a
timid yet assertive chirp like a bird's.
"Well, what is it, child ?"
"You goin' to put that crust on that pie now,
Mrs. Little stood uneasily reflective. She eyed
the pie sharply. "Yes, I be. Why?" she returned,
in a doubtful yet defiant manner.
"You haven't put one bit of sugar in."
"For the land sakes !" Mrs. Little did not
take correction of this kind happily, but when
she was made to fairly acknowledge the need of
it, she showed no resentment. She laid the upper
crust back on the board and sweetened the pie.
Ann Mary watched her gravely, but she was in-
wardly complacent. After she had rescued the
pudding from being baked without the plums,
and it was nearly dinner-time, her grandfather
came home. He had been over to the village to,
buy the Thanksgiving turkey. Ann Mary looked
out with delight when he drove past the win-
dows on his way to the barn.
Grandpa's got home," said she.
It was snowing quite hard, and she saw the old
man and the steadily tramping white horse and
the tilting wagon through a thick mist of falling
Before Mr. Little came into the kitchen, his
wife warned him to be sure to wipe all the snow
from his feet, and not to track in any, so he
stamped vigorously out in the shed. Then he
entered with an air of pride. There!" said he,
" what do ye think of that for a turkey ?" Mr.
Little was generally slow and gentle in his ways,
but to-day he was quite excited over the turkey.
He held it up with considerable difficulty. He
MR. LITTLE SELECTS THE THANKSGIVING TURKEY
1 i ;I
HER TWO THANKSGIVINGS
was a small old man, and the cords on his lean
hands knotted. It wei gs a good fifteen pound',"
said he, an' there wasn't a better one in the
store. Adkins didn't have a very big lot on
I should think that was queer, the day before
Thanksgivin'," said Mrs. Little. She was exam-
ining the turkey critically. I guess it'll do," she
declared finally. That was her highest expres-
sion of approbation. "Well, I rather thought
you'd think so," rejoined the old man, beaming.
"I guess it's about as good a one as can be got-
they said 'twas, down there. Sam White he was
in there, and he said 'twas; he said I was goin'
to get it in pretty good season for Thanksgivin',
"I don't think it's such very extra season, the
day before Thanksgivin'," said Mrs. Little.
("Well, I don't think 'twas, nuther. I didn't
see jest what Sam meant by it."
Ann Mary was dumb with admiration. When
the turkey was laid on the broad shelf in the
pantry, she went and gazed upon it. In the
afternoon there was great enjoyment seeing it
stuffed and made ready for the oven. Indeed,
this day was throughout one of great enjoyment,
being full of the very aroma of festivity and good
cheer and gala times, and even sweeter than the
occasion which it preceded. Ann Mary had only
one damper all day, and that was the non-arrival
of a letter. Mrs. Little had invited her son and
his family to spend Thanksgiving, but now they
probably were not coming, since not a word in
reply had been received. When Mr. Little said
there was no letter in the post-office, Ann Mary's
face fell. "Oh,. dear," said she, don't you sup-
pose Lucy will come, grandma ?"
No," replied her grandmother, "I don't. Ed-
ward never did such a thing as not to send me
word when he was coming in his life, nor Maria
neither. I ain't no idee they'll come."
Oh, dear!" said Ann Mary again.
"Well, you'll have to make up your mind to
it," returned her grandmother. She was sore
over her own disappointment, and so was iras-
cible towards Ann Mary's. "It's no worse for
you than for the rest of us. I guess you can
keep one Thanksgivin' without Lucy."
For a while it almost seemed to Ann Mary
that she could not. Lucy was her only cousin.
She loved Lucy dearly, and she was lonesome for
another little girl; nobody knew how she had
counted upon seeing her cousin. Ann Mary her-
self had a forlorn hope that Lucy still might
come, even if Uncle Edward was always so par-
ticular about sending word, and no word had
HER TWO THANUSGIVINGS
been received. On Thanksgiving morning she
kept running to the window and looking down
the road. But when the stage from the village
came, it passed right by the house without slack-
ening its speed.
Then there was no hope left at all.
"You might jest as well be easy," said her
grandmother. "I guess you can have a good
Thanksgivin' if Lucy ain't here. .This evening'
you can ask Loretty to come over a little while,
if you want to, an' you can make some nut-
"Loretta ain't at home."
"She'll come home for Thanksgivin', I guess.
It ain't very likely she's stayed away over that.
When I get the dinner ready to take up, you can
carry a plateful down to Sarah Bean's, an'
that'll be something' for you to do, too. I guess
you can manage."
Thanksgiving Day was a very pleasant day,
although there was considerable snow on the
ground, for it had snowed all the day before.
Mr. Little and Ann Mary did not go to church
as usual, on that account.
The old man did not like to drive to the vil-
lage before the roads were beaten out. Mrs.
Little lamented not a little over it. It was the
custom for her husband and granddaughter to
attend church Thanksgiving morning, while she
stayed at home and cooked the dinner. It does
seem dreadful heathenish for nobody to go to
meeting' Thanksgivin' Day," said she; "an' we
ain't even heard the proclamation read, neither.
It rained so hard last Sabbath that we couldn't
The season was unusually wintry and severe,
and lately the family had been prevented from
church-going. It was two Sundays since any of
the family had gone. The village was three miles
away, and the road was rough. Mr. Little was
too old to drive over it in very bad weather.
When Ann Mary went to carry the plate of
Thanksgiving dinner to Sarah Bean, she wore a
pair of her grandfather's blue woollen socks
drawn over her shoes to keep out the snow. The
snow was rather deep for easy walking, but she
did not mind that. She carried the dinner with
great care; there was a large plate well filled,
and a tin dish was turned over it to keep it
warm. Sarah Bean was an old woman who lived
alone. Her house was about a quarter of a mile
from the Littles'.
When Ann Mary reached the house, she found
the old woman making a cup of tea. There did
not seem to be much of anything but tea and
bread-and-butter for her dinner. She was very
HER TWO THANIKSGIVINGS
deaf and infirm, all her joints shook when she
tried to use them, and her voice quavered when
she talked. She took the plate, and her hands
trembled so that the tin dish played on the plate
like a clapper. Why," said she, overjoyed,
"this looks just like Thanksgiving Day, tell your
S"Why, it is Thanksgiving Day," declared Ann
Mary, with some wonder.
"What?" asked Sarah Bean.
"It is Thanksgiving Day, you know." But it
was of no use, the old woman could not hear a
word. Ann Mary's voice was too low.
Ann Mary could not walk very fast on ac-
count of the snow. She was absent some three-
quarters of an hour; her grandmother had told
her that dinner would be all on the table when
she returned. She was enjoying the nice things
in anticipation all the way; when she came near
the house, she could smell roasted turkey, and
there was also a sweet spicy odor in the air.
She noticed with surprise that a sleigh had
been in the yard. "I wonder who's come," she
said to herself. She thought of Lucy, and
whether they could have driven over from the
village. She ran in. "Why, who's come ?" she
Her voice sounded like a shout in her own
ears; it seemed to awaken echoes. She fairly
startled herself, for there was no one in the
room. There was absolute quiet through all the
house. There was even no sizzling from the ket-
tles on the stove, for everything had been dished
up. The vegetables, all salted and peppered and
buttered, were on the table-but the turkey was
not there. In the great vacant place where the
turkey should have been was a piece of white
paper. Ann Mary spied it in a moment. She
caught it up and looked at it. It was a note
from her grandmother:
We have had word that Aunt Betsey has had a bad turn.
Lizz wants us to come. The dinner is all ready for you.
If we ain't home to-night, you can get Loretty to stay with
you; Be a good girl. GRANDM-A.
Ann Mary read the note and stood reflecting,
her mouth drooping at the corners. Aunt Betsey
was Mrs. Little's sister; Lizz was her daughter
who lived with her and took care of her. They
lived in Derby, and Derby was fourteen miles
away. It seemed a long distance to Ann Mary,
and she felt sure that her grandparents could not
come home that night. She looked around the
empty room and sighed. After a while she sat
down and pulled off the snowy socks; she
thought she might as well eat her dinner, al-
HER TWO THIANKSGIVINGS
though she did not feel so hungry as she had ex-
pected. Everything was on the table but the
turkey and plum-pudding. Ann Mary supposed
these were in the oven keeping warm; the door
was ajar. But, when she looked, they were not
there. She went into the pantry; they were not
there either. It was very strange; there was the
dripping pan in which the turkey had been
baked, on the back of the stove, with some gravy
in it; and there was the empty pudding-dish
on the hearth.
"What has grandma done with the turkey
and the plum-pudding?" said Ann Mary, aloud.
She looked again in the pantry; then she went
down cellar-there seemed to be so few places in
the house in which it was reasonable to search
for a turkey and a plum-pudding !
Finally she gave it up, and sat down to dinner.
There was plenty of squash and potatoes and
turnips and onions and beets and cranberry-
sauce and pies; but it was no Thanksgiving din-
ner without turkey and plum-pudding. It was
like a great flourish of accompaniment without
Ann Mary did as well as she could ; she put
some turkey-gravy on her potato and filled up
her plate with vegetables; but she did not enjoy
the dinner. She felt more and more lonely, too.
She resolved that after she had washed up the
dinner dishes and changed her dress, she would
go over to Loretta Adams's. It was quite a
piece of work, washing the dinner dishes, there
were so many pans and kettles; it was the mid-
dle of the afternoon when she finished. Then
Ann Mary put on her best plaid dress, and
tied her best red ribbons on her braids, and
it was four o'clock before she started for Lo-
Loretta lived in a white cottage about half a
mile away towards the village. The front yard
had many bushes in it, and the front path was
bordered with box; the bushes were now mounds
of snow, and the box was indicated by two
The house had a shut-up look; the sitting-
room curtains were down. Ann Mary went
around to the side door; but it was locked.
Then she went up the front walk between the
snowy ridges of box, and tried the front door;
that also was locked. The Adamses had gone
away. Ann Mary did not know what 'to do.
The tears stood in her eyes, and she choked a
little. She went back and forth between the
two doors, and shook and pounded; she peeked
around the corner of the curtain into the sitting-
room. She could see Loretta's organ, with the
HER TWO THANKSGIVING
music-book, and all the familiar furniture, but
the room wore an utterly deserted air.
Finally, Ann Mary sat down on the front door-
step, after she had brushed off the snow a little.
She had made up her mind to wait a little while,
and see if the folks would not come home. She
had on her red hood, and her grandmother's old
plaid shawl. She pulled the shawl tightly around
her, and muffled her face in it; it was extremely
cold weather for sitting on a door-step. Just
across the road was a low clump of birches;
through and above the birches the sky showed
red and clear where the sun was setting. Every-
thing looked cold and bare and desolate to the
little girl who was trying to keep Thanksgiving.
Suddenly she heard a little cry, and Loretta's
white cat came around the corner of the house.
"Kitty, kitty, kitty," called Ann Mary. She
was very fond of Loretta's cat; she had none of
The cat came close and brushed around Ann
Mary so she took it up in her lap; and wrapped
the shawl around it, and felt a little comforted.
She sat there on the door-step and held the cat
until it was quite dusky, and she was very stiff
with the cold. Then she put down the cat and
prepared to go home. But she had not gone far
along the road when she found out that the cat
was following her. The little white creature
floundered through the snow at her heels, and
mewed constantly. Sometimes it darted ahead
and waited until she came up, but it did not
seem willing to be carried in her arms.
When Ann Mary reached her own house the
lonesome look of it sent a chill all over her; she
was afraid to go in. She made up her mind to
go down to Sarah Bean's and ask whether she
could not stay all night there.
So she kept on, and Loretta's white cat still
followed her. There was no light in Sarah
Bean's house. Ann Mary knocked and pounded,
but it was of no use; the old woman had gone
to bed, and she could not make her hear.
Ann Mary turned about and went home; the
tears were running down her cold red cheeks.
The cat mewed louder than ever. When she
got home she took the cat up and carried it into
the house. She determined to keep it for com-
pany, anyway. She was sure, now, that she
would have to stay alone all night; the Adamses
and Sarah Bean were the only neighbors, and it
was so late now that she had no hope of her
grandparents' return. Ann Mary was timid and
nervous, but she had a vein of philosophy, and
she generally grasped the situation with all the
strength she had, when she became convinced
HER TWO THANKSGIVIN.TGS
that she must. She had laid her plans while
walking home through the keen winter air, even
as the tears were streaming over her cheeks, and
she proceeded to carry them into execution. She
gave Loretta's cat its supper, and she ate a piece
of mince-pie herself; then she fixed the kitchen
and the sitting-room fires, and locked up the
house very thoroughly. Next, she took the cat
and the lamp and went into the dark bedroom
and locked the door; then she and the cat were
as safe as she knew how to make them. The
dark bedroom was in the very middle of the
house, the centre of a nest of rooms. It was
small and square, had no windows, and only one
door. It was a sort of fastness. Ann Mary made
up her mind that she would not undress herself,
and that she would keep the lamp burning all
night. She climbed into the big yellow-posted
bedstead, and the cat cuddled up to her and
Ann Mary lay in bed and stared at the white
satin scrolls on the wall-paper, and listened for
noises. She heard a great many, but they were
all mysterious and indefinable, till about ten
o'clock. Then she sat straight up in bed and her
heart beat fast. She certainly heard sleigh-bells;
the sound penetrated even to the dark bedroom.
Then came a jarring pounding on the side door.
Ann Mary got up, unfastened the bedroom door,
took the lamp, and stepped out into the sitting-
room. The pounding came again. "Ann Mary,
Ann Mary !" cried a voice. It was her grand-
"I'm coming I'm coming grandma !" shouted
Ann Mary. She had never felt so happy in her
life. She pushed back the bolt of the side
door with trembling haste. There stood her
grandmother all muffled up, with a shawl over
her head; and out in the yard were her
grandfather and another man, with a horse
and sleigh. The men were turning the sleigh
"Put the lamp in the window, Ann Mary,"
called Mr. Little, and Ann Mary obeyed. Her
grandmother sank into a chair. I'm jest about
tuckered out," she groaned. "If I don't ketch
my death with this day's work, I'm lucky. There
ain't any more feeling' in my feet than as if they
was lumps of stone."
Ann Mary stood at her grandmother's elbow,
and her face was all beaming. "I thought you
weren't coming," said she.
Well, I shouldn't have come a step to-night,
if it hadn't been for you-and the cow," said her
grandmother, in an indignant voice. "I was
kind of uneasy about you, an' we knew the cow
HER TWO THANKSGIVINGS
wouldn't be milked unless you got Mr. Adams to
"Was Aunt Betsey very sick?" inquired Ann
Her grandmother gave her head a toss. Sick!
No, there wa'n't a thing the matter with her, ex-
cept she ate some sassage-meat, an' had a little
faint turn. Lizz was scart to death, the way she
always is. She didn't act as if she knew whether
her head was on, all the time we were there.
She didn't act as if she knew 'twas Thanksgivin'
Day; an' she didn't have no turkey that I could
see. Aunt Betsey bein' took sick seemed to put
everything' out of her head. I never saw such a
nervous thing as she is. I was all out of patience
when I got there. Betsey didn't seem to be
very bad off, an' there we'd hurried enough to
break our necks. We didn't dare to drive around
to Sarah Bean's to let you know about it, for we
was afraid we'd miss the train. We jest got in
with the man that brought the word, an' he
driv as fast as he could over to the village, an'
then we lost the train, an' had to sit there in the
depot two mortal hours. An' now we've come
fourteen mile' in an open sleigh. The man that
lives next door to Betsey said he'd bring us
home, an' I thought we'd better come. He's
goin' over to the village to-night; he's got folks
there. I told him he'd a good deal better stay
here, but he won't. He's as deaf as an adder,
an' you can't make him hear anything anyway.
We ain't spoke a word all the way home.
Where's Loretty? She came over to stay with
you, didn't she ?"
Ann Mary explained that Loretta was not at
"That's queer, seems to me, Thanksgivin'
Day," said her grandmother. "Massy sakes,
what cat's that? She came out of the settin'-
Ann Mary explained about Loretta's cat. Then
she burst forth with the question that had been
uppermost in her mind ever since her grand-
mother came in. Grandma," said she, what
did you do with the turkey and the plum-pud-
What did you do with the turkey and the
"The turkey an' the plum-puddin' ?"
"Yes; I couldn't find 'em anywhere."
Mrs. Little, who had removed her wraps, and
was crouching over the kitchen stove with her
feet in the oven, looked at Ann Mary with a
I dunno what you mean, child," said she.
HER TWO THANKSGIVING
Mr. Little had helped the man with the sleigh
to start, and had now come in. He was pulling
off his boots.
"Don't you remember, mother," said he,
"how you run back in the house, an' said you
was goin' to set that turkey an' plum-pudding
away, for you was afraid to leave 'em setting'
right out in plain sight on the table, for fear that
somebody might come in ?"
"Yes; I do remember," said Mrs. Little. I
thought they looked 'most too temptin'. I set
'em in the pantry. I thought Ann Mary could
get 'em when she came in."
"They ain't in the pantry," said Ann Mary.
Her grandmother arose and went into the
pantry with a masterful air. Ain't in the pan-
try ?" she repeated. "I don't s'pose you more'n
gave one look."
Ann Mary followed her grandmother. She
fairly expected to see the turkey and pudding
before her eyes on the shelf and to admit that
she had been mistaken. Mr. Little also followed,
and they all stood in the pantry and looked about.
"I guess they ain't here, mother," said Mr.
Little. Can't you think where you set 'em?"
The old woman took up the lamp and stepped
out of the pantry with dignity. "I've set 'em
somewhere," said she, in a curt voice, "an' I'll
find 'em in the morning You don't want any
turkey or plum-puddin' to-night, neither of you !"
But Mrs. Little did not find the turkey and the
plum-pudding in the morning. Some days went
by, and their whereabouts was as much a mys-
tery as ever. Mrs. Little could not remember
where she had put them; but it had been in some
secure hiding-place, since her own wit which had
placed them there could not find it out. She was
so mortified and worried over it that she was
nearly ill. She tried to propound the theory,
and believe in it herself, that she had really set
the turkey and the pudding in the pantry, and
that they had been stolen; but she was too hon-
est. "I've heerd of folks putting' things in such
safe places that they couldn't find 'em, before
now," said she; "but I never heerd of losin' a
turkey an' a plum-puddin' that way. I dunno
but I'm losin' what little wits I ever did have."
She went about with a humble and resentful air.
She promised Ann Mary that she would cook an-
other turkey and pudding the first of the week, if
the missing ones were not found.
Sunday came and they were not discovered.
It was a pleasant day, and the Littles went to
the village church. Ann Mary looked over
across the church after they were seated and saw
Loretta, with the pretty brown frizzes over her
HER TWO THANKSGIVINGS
forehead, sitting between her father and mother,
and she wondered when Loretta had come home.
The choir sang and the minister prayed. Sud-
denly Ann Mary saw him, standing there in the
pulpit, unfold a paper. Then the minister began
to read the Thanksgiving Proclamation. Ann
Mary cast one queer glance at her grandmother,
who returned it with one of inexpressible dignity
As soon as meeting was done, her grandmother
clutched her by the arm. "Don't you say a
word about it to anybody," she whispered. You
When they were in the sleigh going home she
charged her husband. You mind, you keep still,
father," said she. "It '11 be town-talk i you
The old man chuclded. "Don't you know, I
said once that I had kind of an idee that Thanks-
givin' weren't quite so- early, and you shut me
up, mother," he remarked. He looked good-
Well, I dunno as it's anything so very queer,"
said Mrs. Little. It comes a whole week later
than it did last year, and I s'posed we'd missed
hearing' the proclamation."
The next day a letter arrived saying that Lucy
and her father and mother were coming to spend
Thanksgiving. "I feel jest about beat," Mrs.
Little said, when she read the letter.
Really, she did feel about at her wit's end. The
turkey and pudding were not yet found, and she
had made up her mind that she would not dare
wait much longer without providing more. She
knew that another turkey must be procured, at
all events. However, she waited until the last
minute Wednesday afternoon, then she went to
work mixing a pudding. Mr. Little had gone to
the store for the turkey. Sam White was over
there, an' he said he thought we was goin' right
into turkeys this year," he reported when he got
That night the guests arrived. Thanksgiving
morning Lucy and Ann Mary and their grand-
father and Lucy's father and mother were all
going to meeting. Mrs. Little was to stay at
home and cook the dinner.
Thanksgiving morning Mr. Little made a fire
in the best parlor air-tight stove, and just before
they started for meeting Lucy and Ann Mary
were in the room. Lucy, in the big rocking-chair
that was opposite the sofa, was rocking to and
fro and talking. Ann Mary sat near the window.
Each of the little girls had on her coat and hat.
Suddenly Lucy stopped rocking and looked in-
tently over towards the sofa.
HER TWO THANKSGIVING
"What you looking' at, Lucy?" asked Ann
Lucy still looked. "Why-I was wondering
what was under that sofa," said she, slowly. Then
she turned to Ann Mary, and her face was quite
pale and startled-she had heard the turkey and
pudding story. Oh, Ann Mary, it does look-
Both little girls rushed to the sofa, and threw
themselves on the floor. Oh, oh, oh!" they
shrieked. "Grandma mother! Come quick,
come quick !"
When the others came in, there sat Ann Mary
and Lucy on the floor, and between them were
the turkey and the plum-pudding, each carefully
covered with a snow-white napkin.
Mrs. Little was quite pale and trembling. "I
remember now," said she, faintly, "I run in here
She was so overcome that the others tried to
take it quietly and not to laugh much. But every
little while, after Lucy and Ann Mary were
seated in church, they would look at each other
and have to put their handkerchiefs to their
faces. However, Ann Mary tried hard to listen
to the sermon, and to behave well. In the
depths of her childish heart she felt grateful and
happy. There, by her side, sat her dear Lucy,
64 ANN MABY--HER TWO THANKSGIVING
whose sweet little face peeped out from a furry
winter hat. Just across the aisle was Loretta,
who was coming in the evening, and then they
would pop corn and make nut-candy. At home
there was the beautiful new turkey and unlimited
pudding and good cheer, and all disappointment
and mystery were done away with.
Ann Mary felt as if all her troubles would be
followed by thanksgiving.
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
ANN LIzY was invited to spend the afternoon
and take tea with her friend Jane Baxter, and
she was ready to set forth about one o'clock.
That was the fashionable hour for children and
their elders to start-when they were invited out
to spend the afternoon.
Ann Lizy had on her best muslin delaine dress,
her best embroidered pantalets, her black silk
apron, and her flat straw hat with long blue rib-
bon streamers. She stood in the south room-
the sitting-room-before her grandmother, who
was putting some squares of patchwork, with
needle, thread, and scissors, into a green silk bag
embroidered with roses in bead-work.
"There, Ann Lizy," said her grandmother,
" you may take my bag if you are real careful of
it, and won't lose it. When you get to Jane's
you lay it on the table, and don't have it round
when you're playing' out-doors."
66 ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
"Yes, ma'am," said Ann Lizy. She was look-
ing with radiant, admiring eyes at the bag-its
cluster of cunningly wrought pink roses upon the
glossy green field of silk. Still there was a seri-
ous droop to her mouth; she knew there was a
bitter to this sweet.
"Now," said her grandmother, "I've put four
squares of patchwork in the bag; they're all cut
and basted nice, and you must sew 'em all, over
and over, before you play any. Sew 'em real
fine and even, or you'll have to pick the stitches
out when you get home."
Ann Lizy's radiant eyes faded; she hung her
head. She calculated swiftly that she could not
finish the patchwork before four o'clock, and
that would leave her only an hour and a half to
eat supper and play with Jane, for she. would
have to come home at half-past five. Can't I
take two, and do the other two to-morrow, grand-
ma ?" said she.
Her grandmother straightened herself disap-
provingly. She was a tall, wiry old woman with
strong, handsome features showing through her
wrinkles. She had been so energetic all her life,
and done so much work, that her estimation of
it was worn, like scales. Four squares of patch-
work sewed with very fine even stitches had, to
her, no weight at all; it did not seem like work.
ANN IZM' S PATCHWORK
Well, if a great girl like you can't sew four
squares of patchwork in an afternoon, I wouldn't
tell of it, Ann Lizy," said she. "I don't know
what you'd say if you had to work the way I did
at your age. If you can't have time enough to
play and do a little thing like that, you'd better
stay at home. I ain't goin' to have you idle a
whole afternoon, if I know it. Time's worth
too much to be wasted that way."
"I'd sew the others to-morrow," pleaded Ann
Oh, you wouldn't do it half so easy to-mor-
row; you've got to pick the currants for the jell'
to-morrow. Besides, that doesn't make any dif-
ference. To-day's work is to-day's work, and it
hasn't anything to do with to-morrow's. It's no
excuse for idlin' one day, because you do work
the next. You take that patchwork, and sit
right down and sew it as soon as you get there
-don't put it off-and sew it nice, too, or you
can stay at home-just which you like."
Ann Lizy sighed, but reached out her hand for
the bag. "Now be careful and not lose it," said
her grandmother, "and be a good girl."
"Don't run too hard, nor go to climbin' walls,
and get your best dress torn."
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
"And only one piece of cake at tea-time."
"And start for home at half-past five."
Little Ann Lizy Jennings, as she went down
the walk between the rows of pinks, had a be-
wildered feeling that she had been to Jane Bax-
ter's to tea, and was home again.
Her parents were dead, and she lived with her
Grandmother Jennings, who made her childhood
comfortable and happy, except that at times she
seemed taken off her childish feet by the energy
and strong mind of the old woman, and so swung
a little way through the world in her wake.
But Ann Lizy received no harm by it.
Ann Lizy went down the road with the bead
bag on her arm. She toed out primly, for she
had on her best shoes. A little girl, whom she
knew, stood at the gate in eyery-day clothes, and
Ann Lizy bowed to her in the way she had seen
the parson's wife bow, when out making calls in
her best black silk and worked lace veil. The
parson's wife was young and pretty, and Ann
Lizy admired her. It was quite a long walk to
Jane Baxter's, but it was a beautiful afternoon,
and the road was pleasant, although there were
not many houses. There were green fields and
flowering bushes at the sides, and, some of the
ANN LIZY'S PATOCH WORK
way, elm-trees arching over it. Ann Lizy would
have been very happy had it not been for the
patchwork. She had already pieced one patch-
work quilt, and her grandmother displayed it to
people with pride, saying, Ann Lizy pieced that
before she was eight years old."
Ann Lizy had not as much ambition as her
grandmother, now she was engaged upon her
second quilt, and it looked to her like a checked
and besprigged calico mountain. She kept dwell-
ing upon those four squares, over and over, un-
til she felt as if each side were as long as the
Green Mountains. She calculated again and
again how little time she would have to play
with Jane--only about an hour, for she must
allow a half-hour for tea. She was not a swift
sewer when she sewed fine and even stitches,
and she knew she could not finish those squares
before four o'clock. One hour!-and she and
Jane wanted to play dolls, and make wreaths
out of oak-leaves, and go down in the lane
after thimbleberries, and in the garden for
gooseberries-there would be -no time for any-
Ann Lizy's delicate little face under the straw
flat grew more and more sulky and distressed,
her forehead wrinkled, and her' mouth pouted.
She forgot to swing her muslin delaine skirts
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
gracefully, and flounced along hitting the dusty
Ann Lizy was about half-way to Jane Baxter's
house, in a lonely part of the road, when she
opened her bead bag and drew out her pocket-
handkerchief-her grandmother had tucked that
in with the patchwork-and wiped her eyes.
When she replaced the handkerchief she put it
under the patchwork, and did not draw up the
bag again, but went on, swinging it violently by
When Ann Lizy reached Jane Baxter's gate
she gave a quick, scared glance at the bag. It
looked very flat and limp. She did not open it,
and she said nothing about it to Jane. They
went out to play in the garden. There were so
many hollyhocks there that it seemed like a real
flower-grove, and the gooseberries were ripe.
Shortly after Ann Lizy entered Jane Baxter's
house a white horse and a chaise passed down
the road in the direction from which she had
just come. There were three persons in the
chaise-a gentleman, lady, and little girl. The
lady wore a green silk pelerine, and a green
bonnet with pink strings, and the gentleman a
blue coat and bell hat. The little girl had pretty
long, light curls, and wore a white dress and
blue sash. She sat on a little footstool down in
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
front of the seat. They were the parson's wife's
sister, her husband, and her little girl, and had
been to visit at the parsonage. The gentleman
drove the white horse down the road, and the
little girl looked sharply and happily at every-
thing by the way. All at once she gave a little
cry-" Oh, father, what's that in the road ?"
She saw Ann Lizy's patchwork, all four squares
nicely pinned together, lying beside the meadow-
sweet bushes. Her father stopped the horse, got
out, and picked up the patchwork.
Why," said the parson's wife's sister, some
little girl has lost her patchwork; look, Sally!"
"She'll be sorry, won't she?" said the little
girl, whose name was Sally.
The gentleman got back into the chaise, and
the three rode off with the patchwork. There
seemed to be nothing else to do; there were no
houses near and no people of whom to inquire.
Besides, four squares of calico patchwork were
not especially valuable.
"If we don't find out who lost it, I'll put it
into my quilt," said Sally. She studied the pat-
terns of the calico very happily, as they rode
along; she thought them prettier than anything
she had. One had pink roses on a green ground,
and she thought that especially charming.
Meantime, while Sally and her father and
AITN LIZ' S PATCHWORIK
mother rode away in the chaise with the patch-
work to Whitefield, ten miles distant, where their
house was, Ann Lizy and Jane played as fast as
they could. It was four o'clock before they went
into the house. Ann Lizy opened her bag, which
she had laid on the parlor table with the Young
Lady's Annuals and Mrs. H emans's Poems. I
s'pose I must sew my patchwork," said she, in a
miserable, guilty little voice. Then she exclaimed.
It was strange that, well as she knew there was
no patchwork there, the actual discovery of
nothing at all gave her a shock.
"What's the matter ?" asked Jane.
"I've-lost my patchwork," said Ann Lizy.
Jane called her mother, and they condoled
with Ann Lizy. Ann Lizy sat in one of Mrs.
Baxter's rush-bottomed chairs and began to cry.
Where did you lose it ?" Mrs. Baxter asked.
"Don't cry, Ann Lizy, maybe we can find it."
"I s'pose I-lost it coming, sobbed Ann Lizy.
"Well, I'll tell you what 't is," said Mrs. Bax-
ter; "you and Jane had better run up the road
a piece, and likely as not you'll find it; and I'll
have tea all ready when you come home. Don't
feel so bad, child, you'll find it, right where you
But Ann Lizy and Jane, searching carefully
along the road, did not find the patchwork where
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
it had been dropped. Maybe it's blown away,"
suggested Jane, although there was hardly wind
enough that afternoon to stir a feather. And
the two little girls climbed over the stone-walls
and searched in the fields, but they did not find
the patchwork. Then another mishap befell
Ann Lizy. She tore a three-cornered place in
her best muslin delaine, getting over the wall.
When she saw that she felt as if she were in a
dreadful dream. Oh, what will grandma say !"
"Maybe she won't scold," said Jane, consol-
"Yes, she will. Oh dear!"
The two little girls went dolefully home to tea.
There were hot biscuits and honey and tarts
and short gingerbread and custards, but Ann
Lizy did not feel hungry. Mrs. Baxter tried to
comfort her; she really saw not much to mourn
over, except the rent in the best dress, as four
squares of patchwork could easily be replaced;
she did not see the true inwardness of the case.
At half-past five, Ann Lizy, miserable and tear-
stained, the three-cornered rent in her best dress
pinned up, started for home, and then-her grand-
mother's beautiful bead bag was not to be found.
Ann Lizy ard Jane both remembered that it had
been carried when they set out to find the patch-
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
work. Ann Lizy had meditated bringing the
patchwork home in it.
"Aunt Cynthy made that bag for grandma,"
said Ann Lizy, in a tone of dull despair; this
was beyond tears.
Well, Jane shall go with you, and help find
it," said Mrs. Baxter, and I'll leave the tea-
dishes and go too. Don't feel so bad, Ann Lizy,
I know I can find it."
But Mrs. Baxter and Jane and Ann Lizy, all
searching, could not find the bead bag. My
best handkerchief was in it," said Ann Lizy. It
seemed to her as if all her best things were gone.
She and Mrs. Baxter and Jane made a doleful
little group in the road. The frogs were peeping,
and the cows were coming home. Mrs. Baxter
asked the boy who drove the cows if he had seen
a green bead bag, or four squares of patchwork;
he stared and shook his head.
Ann Lizy looked like a wilted meadow reed,
the blue streamers on her hat drooped dejectedly,
her best shoes were all dusty, and the three-cor-
nered rent was the feature of her best muslin de-
laine dress that one saw first. Then her little
delicate face was all tear-stains and downward
curves. She stood there in the road as if she
had not courage to stir.
Now, Ann Lizy," said Mrs. Baxter, "you'd
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
better run right home and not worry. I don't
believe your grandma 'll scold you when you
tell her just how 't was."
Ann Lizy shook her head. "Yes, she will."
Well, she'll be worrying about you if you
ain't home before long, and I guess you'd better
go," said Mrs. Baxter.
Ann Lizy said not another word; she began
to move dejectedly towards home. Jane and
her mother called many kindly words after her,
but she did not heed them. She kept straight
on, walking slowly until she was home. Her
grandmother stood in the doorway watching for
her. She had a blue-yarn stocking in her hands,
and she was knitting fast as she watched.
Ann Lizy, where have you been, late as this ?"
she called out, as Ann Lizy came up the walk.
"It's arter six o'clock."
Ann Lizy continued to drag herself slowly for-
ward, but she made no reply.
Why don't you speak ?"
Ann Lizy crooked her arm around her face
and began to cry. Her grandmother reached
down, took her by the shoulder, and led her into
the house. What on airth is the matter, child?"
said she; have you fell down ?"
"What does ail you, then? Ann Lizy Jen-
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
nings, how come that great three-cornered tear
in your best dress ?"
Ann Lizy sobbed.
"I-tore it gittin' over-the wall."
"What were you getting' over walls for in your
best dress? I'd like to know what you s'pose
you'll have to wear to meeting' now. Didn't I
tell you not to get over walls in your best dress?
Ann Lizy Jennings, where is my bead bag ?"
"Lost my bead bag?"
"How did you lose it, eh ?"
I lost it when-I was looking' for-my patch-
"Did you lose your patchwork ?"
"When I was-goin' over to-Jane's."
"Lost it out of the bag ?"
Ann Lizy nodded, sobbing.
"Then you went to look for it and lost the
bag. Lost your best pocket-handkerchief, too ?"
Old Mrs. Jennings stood looking at Ann Lizy.
"All that patchwork, cut out and basted jest
as nice as could be, your best pocket-handker-
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
chief and my bead bag lost, and your meeting'
dress tore," said she; well, you've done about
enough for one day. Take off your things and
go up-stairs to bed. You can't go over to Jane
Baxter's again for one spell, and every mite of
the patchwork that goes into the quilt you've
got to cut by a thread, and baste yourself, and
to-morrow you've got to hunt for that patch-
work and that bag till you find 'em, if it takes
you all day. Go right along."
Ann Lizy took off her hat and climbed meekly
up-stairs and went to bed. She did not say her
prayers; she lay there and wept. It was about
half-past eight, the air coming through the open
window was loud with frogs and katydids and
whippoorwills, and the twilight was very deep,
when Ann Lizy arose and crept down-stairs. She
could barely see her way.
There was a candle lighted in the south room,
and her grandmother sat there knitting. Ann
Lizy, a piteous little figure in her white night-
gown, stood in the door.
"Well, what is it her grandmother said, in
a severe voice that had a kindly inflection in it.
"What is it?"
"I lost my patchwork on purpose. I didn't
want -to sew it."
ANN LIZY' S PATCHWORR
"Lost your patchwork on purpose!"
"Yes-ma'am," sobbed Ann Lizy.
"Let it drop out of the bag on purpose ?"
"Well, you did a dreadful wicked thing then.
Go right back to bed."
Ann Lizy went back to bed and to sleep. Re-
morse no longer gnawed keenly enough at her
clear, childish conscience to keep her awake, now
her sin was confessed. She said her prayers and
went to sleep. Although the next morning the
reckoning came, the very worst punishment was
over for her. Her grandmother held the judi-
cious use of the rod to be a part of her duty to-
wards her beloved little orphan granddaughter,
so she switched Ann Lizy with a little rod of
birch, and sent her forth full of salutary tinglings
to search for the bead bag and the patchwork.
All the next week Ann Lizy searched the fields
and road for the missing articles, when she was
not cutting calico patchwork by a thread and
sewing over and over. It seemed to her that
life was made up of those two occupations, but
at the end of a week the search, so far as the
bead bag was concerned, came to an end.
On Saturday afternoon the parson's wife
called on old Mrs. Jennings. The sweet, gentle
young lady in her black silk dress, her pink
ANN IZY' S PATOHWORK
cheeks, and smooth waves of golden hair gleam-
ing through her worked lace veil entered the
north room, which was the parlor, and sat down
in the rocking-chair. Ann Lizy and her grand-
mother sat opposite, and they both noticed at the
same moment that the parson's wife held in her
hand-the bead bag!
Ann Lizy gave a little involuntary oh;" her
grandmother shook her head fiercely at her, and
the parson's wife noticed nothing. She went on
talking about the pinks out in the yard, in her
lovely low voice.
As soon as she could, old Mrs. Jennings ex-
cused herself and beckoned Ann Lizy to follow
her out of the room. Then, while she was ar-
ranging a square of pound-cake and a little glass
of elderberry wine on a tray, she charged Ann
Lizy to say nothing about the bead bag to the
parson's wife. "Mind you act as if you didn't
see it," said she; "don't sit there looking' at it
"But it's your bead bag, grandma," said Ann
Lizy, in a bewildered way.
"Don't you say anything," admonished her
grandmother. "Now carry this tray in, and be
careful you don't spill the elderberry wine."
Poor Ann Lizy tried her best not to look at
the bead bag, while the parson's wife ate pound-
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
cake, sipped the elderberry wine, and conversed
in her sweet, gracious way; but it did seem
finally to her as if it were the bead bag instead
of the parson's wife that was making the call.
She kept wondering if the parson's wife would
not say, Mrs. Jennings, is this your bead bag ?"
but she did not. She made the call and took
leave, and the bead bag was never mentioned.
It was odd, too, that it was not; for the parson's
wife, who had found the bead bag, had taken it
with her on her round of calls that afternoon,
partly to show it and find out, if she could, who
had lost it. But here it was driven out of her
mind by the pound-cake and elderberry wine, or
else she did not think it likely that an old
lady like Mrs. Jennings could have owned the
bag. Younger ladies than she usually carried
them. However it was, she went away with the
"Why didn't she ask if it was yours ?" in-
quired Ann Lizy, indignant in spite of her ad-
miration for the parson's wife.
"Hush," said her grandmother. "You mind
you don't say a word out about this, Ann Lizy.
I ain't never carried it, and she didn't suspect."
Now, the bead bag was found after this un-
satisfactory fashion; but Ann Lizy never went
dowh the road without looking for the patch-
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
work. She never dreamed how little Sally Put-
nam, the minister's wife's niece, was in the mean-
time sewing these four squares over and over,
getting them ready to go into her quilt. It was
a month later before she found it out, and it was
strange that she discovered it at all.
It so happened that, one afternoon in the last
of August, old Mrs. Jennings dressed herself in
her best black bombazine, her best bonnet and
mantilla and mitts, and also dressed Ann Lizy
in her best muslin delaine, exquisitely mended,
and set out to make a call on the parson's wife.
When they arrived they found a chaise and
white horse out in the parsonage yard, and the
parson's wife's sister and family there on a visit.
An old lady, Mrs. White, a friend of Mrs. Jen-
nings, was also making a call.
Little Ann Lizy and Sally Putnam were in-
troduced to each other, and Ann Lizy looked ad-
miringly at Sally's long curls and low-necked
dress, which had gold catches in the sleeves.
They sat and smiled shyly at each other.
Show Ann Lizy your patchwork, Sally," the
parson's wife said, presently. Sally has got
almost enough patcihv.ork for a quilt, and she
has brought it over to show me," she added.
Ann Lizy colored to her little slender neck;
patchwork was nowadays a sore subject with her,
ANN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
but she looked on as Sally, proud and smiling,
displayed her patchwork.
Suddenly she gave a little cry. There was one
of her squares! The calico with roses on a green
ground was in Sally's patchwork.
Her grandmother shook her head energetically
at her, but old Mrs. White had on her spectacles,
and she, too, had spied the square.
"Why, Miss Jennings," she cried, "that's jest
like that dress you had so long ago!"
"Let me see," said Sally's mother, quickly.
"Why, yes; that is the very square you found,
Sally. That is one; there were four of them,
all cut and basted. Why, this little girl didn't
lose them, did she ?"
Then it all came out. The parson's wife was
quick-witted, and she thought of the bead bag.
Old Mrs. Jennings was polite, and said it did not
matter; but when she and Ann Lizy went home
they had the bead bag, with the patchwork and
the best pocket-handkerchief in it.
It had been urged that little Sally Putnam
should keep the patchwork, since she had sewed
it, but her mother was not willing.
No," said she, "this poor little girl lost it,
and Sally mustn't keep it; it wouldn't be
Suddenly Ann Lizy straightened herself. Her
ANN LIZYS PATCHWORK
cheeks were blazing red, but her black eyes were
I lost that patchwork on purpose," said she.
"I didn't want to sew it. Then I lost the bag
while I was looking' for it."
There was silence for a minute.
You are a good girl to tell of it," said Sally's
Ann Lizy's grandmother shook her head mean-
ingly at Mrs. Putnam.
"I don't know about that," said she. Own-
in'-up takes away some of the sin, but it don't
But when she and Ann Lizy were on their
homeward road she kept glancing down at her
granddaughter's small face. It struck her that
it was not so plump and rosy as it had been.
"I think you've had quite a lesson by this
time about that patchwork," she remarked.
"Yes, ma'am," said Ann Lizy.
They walked a little farther. The golden-rod
and the asters were in blossom now, and the
road was bordered with waving fringes of blue
and gold. They came in sight of Jane Baxter's
You may stop in Jane Baxter's, if you want
to," said old Mrs. Jennings, "and ask her mother
if she can come over and spend the day with you
84 ASN LIZY'S PATCHWORK
to-morrow. And tell her I say she'd better not
bring her sewing, and she'd better not wear her
best dress, for you and she ain't goin' to sew
any, and mebbe you'll like to go berryin,' and
THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS
"AND you must spin faster, Dorothy, or you'll
go to bed without your supper," said Dame Betsy.
"Yes, ma'am," replied Dorothy. Then she
twirled the wheel so fast that the spokes were
Dorothy was a pretty little girl. She had a
small pink-and-white face; her hair was closely
cropped and looked like a little golden cap, and
her eyes were as blue as had been the flowers of
the flax which she was spinning. She wore an
indigo-blue frock, and she looked very short and
slight beside the wheel.
Dorothy spun, Dame Betsy tended a stew-ket-
tle that was hanging from the crane in the fire-
place, and the eldest of Dame Betsy's six daugh-
ters sat on the bench beside the cottage door and
ate honey-cakes. The other daughters had ar-
rayed themselves in their best tuckers and
plumed hats and farthingales, spread their ruffled
parasols, and gone to walk.
86 THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS
Dame Betsy had wished the oldest daughter
to go with her sisters; but she was rather indo-
lent, so she dressed herself in her best, and sat
down on the bench beside the door, with a plate
of honey-cakes of which she was very fond. She
held up her parasol to shield her face, and also
to display the parasol. It was covered with very
bright green satin, and had a wreath of pink roses
for a border. The sun shone directly into the
cottage, and the row of pewter plates on the
dresser glittered; one could see them through
the doorway. The front yard of Dame Betsy's
cottage was like a little grove with lemon-color
and pink hollyhocks; one had to look directly
up the path to see the eldest daughter sitting on
the bench eating honey-cakes. She was a very
homely girl. All Dame Betsy's daughters were
so plain and ill-tempered that they had no suitors,
although they walked abroad every day.
Dame Betsy placed her whole dependence upon
the linen chests when she planned to marry her
daughters. At the right of her cottage stretched
a great field of flax that looked now like a blue
sea, and it rippled like a sea when the wind
struck it. Dame Betsy and Dorothy made the
flax into linen for the daughters' dowries. They
had already two great chests of linen apiece, and
they were to have chests filled until there were
THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS
enough to attract suitors. Every little while
Dame Betsy invited all the neighboring house-
wives to tea; then she opened the chests and un-
rolled the shining lengths of linen, perfumed with
lavender and rosemary. "MIy dear daughters
will have all this, and more also, when they
marry," she would remark. The housewives
would go home and mention it to their sons, for
they themselves were tempted by the beautiful
linen; but there it would end. The sons would
not go to woo Dame Betsy's homely, ill-natured
Dorothy spun as fast as she was able; Dame
Betsy kept a sharp watch upon her as she stirred
the stew. Dorothy wanted some of the stew for
her supper. It had a delicious odor, and she was
very faint and hungry. She did not have a great
deal to eat at any time, as she lived principally
upon the scraps from the table, and the daugh-
ters were all large eaters. She also worked very
hard, and never had any time to play. She was
a poor child whom Dame Betsy had taken from
the almshouse, and she had no relatives but an
old grandmother. She had very few kind words
said to her during the day, and she used often to
cry herself to sleep at night.
Presently Dame Betsy went down to the store
to buy some pepper to put in the stew, but as
88 THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS
she went out of the door she spoke to the eldest
daughter, and told her to go into the house and
merid a rent in her apron. Since you were too
lazy to go to walk with your sisters you must go
into the house and mend your apron," said she.
The eldest daughter pouted, but she made no re-
ply. Just as soon as her mother was out of hear-
ing she called Dorothy. Dorothy, come here
a minute!" she cried, imperatively. Dorothy
left her wheel and went to the door. "Look
here," said the eldest daughter, "I have one
honey-cake left, and I have eaten all I want. I
will give you this if you will mend my apron
Dorothy eyed the honey-cake wistfully, but
she replied that she did not dare to leave her
spinning to mend the apron.
"Why can't you mend it in the night ?" asked
the eldest daughter.
I will do that," replied Dorothy, eagerly, and
she held out her hand for the honey-cake. Just
as she did so she saw the little boy that lived
next door peeping through his fence. His beau-
tiful little face, with his red cheeks and black
eyes, looked, through the pickets, like a damask-
rose. Dorothy ran swiftly over to him with her
honey-cake. "You shall have half of it," said
she, and she quickly broke the cake in halves,
THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS
and gave one of them to the little boy. He
lived with his old grandmother, and they were
very poor; it was hard for them to get the
coarsest porridge to eat. The little boy often
stood looking through the fence and smiling at
Dorothy, and the old grandmother spoke kindly
to her whenever she had an opportunity.
The little boy stood on one side of the fence
and Dorothy on the other, and they ate the
honey-cake. Then-Dorothy ran back to the
house and fell to spinning again. She spun so
fast, to make up for the lost time, that one could
not see the wheel-spokes at all, and the room
hummed like a hive of bees. But, fast as she
spun, Dame Betsy, when she returned, discovered
that she had been idling, and said that she must.
go without her supper. Poor Dorothy could not
help weeping as she twirled the wheel, she was
so hungry, and the honey-cake had been very
Dame Betsy dished up the stew and put the
spoons and bowls on the table, and soon the five
absent daughters came home, rustling their
flounces and flirting their parasols.
They all sat down to the table and began to
eat, while Dorothy stood at her wheel and sadly
They had eaten all the stew except a little,
90 THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS
just about enough for a cat, when a little shadow
fell across the floor.
Why, who's coming ?" whispered Dame Betsy,
and directly all the daughters began to smooth
their front hair; each thought it might be a
But everything that they could see entering
the door was a beautiful gray cat. She came step-
ping across the floor with a dainty, velvet tread.
She had a tail like a plume, and she trailed it
on the floor as she walked; her fur was very soft
and long, and caught the light like silver; she
had delicate tufted ears, and her shining eyes
were like yellow jewels.
"It's nothing but a cat !" cried the daughters
in disgust, and Dame Betsy arose to get the
broom; she hated cats. That decided the daugh-
ters; they also hated cats, but they liked to op-
pose their mother. So they insisted on keeping
There was much wrangling, but the daughters
were too much for Dame Betsy; the beautiful
cat was allowed to remain on the hearth, and the
remnant of the stew was set down there for her.
But, to every one's amazement, she refused to
touch it. She sat purring, with her little silvery
paws folded, her plumy tail swept gracefully
around her, and quite ignored the stew.
THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS
"I will take it up and give it to the pig," said
"No, no!" cried the daughters; "leave it, and
perhaps she will eat it by-and-by."
So the stew was left upon the hearth. In the
excitement Dorothy had stopped spinning, and
nobody had observed it. Suddenly Dame Betsy
noticed that the wheel was silent.
Why are you not spinning, miss ?" she asked,
sharply. "Are you stopping work to look at a
But Dorothy made no reply; she paid no at-
tention whatever: she continued to stare at the
cat; she was quite pale, and her blue eyes were
very large. And no wonder, for she saw, instead
of a cat, a beautiful little princess, with eyes like
stars, in a trailing robe of gray velvet covered
with silver embroidery, and instead of a purr she
heard a softly-hummed song. Dame Betsy seized
Dorothy by the arm.
"To your work !" she cried.
And Dorothy began to spin; but she was trem-
bling from head to foot, and every now and then
she glanced at the princess on the hearth.
The daughters, in their best gowns, sat with
their mother around the hearth until nine o'clock;
then Dorothy was ordered to leave her wheel, the
cottage was locked up, and everybody went to bed.
92 THE LITTLE PERSIAN PRINCESS
Dorothy's bed was a little bundle of straw up
in the garret under the eaves. She was very
tired when she lay down, but did not dare to
sleep, for she remembered her promise to mend
the eldest daughter's apron. So she waited until
the house was still; then she arose and crept soft-
The fire on the hearth was still burning, and
there sat the princess, and the sweet hum of her
singing filled the room. But Dorothy could not
understand a word of the song, because it was in
the Persian language. She stood in the doorway
and trembled; she did not know what to do. It
seemed to her that she must be losing her wits
to see a princess where every one else saw a cat.
Still she could not doubt the evidence of her own
eyes. Finally she advanced a little way and
courtesied very low. The princess stopped
singing at once. She arose in a stately fash-
ion, and fastened her bright eyes upon Dor-
"So you know me ?" said she.
Dorothy courtesied again.
Are you positive that I am not a cat ?"
"Well, I am not a cat," said the princess. "I
am a true princess from Persia, travelling in-
cognita. You are the first person who has