Miss Flora laughed shamefacedly.

"Yes, I know. I suppose I am a little ahead of time. But you see, I ain't used to packing—not a big trunk, so—and I was so afraid I wouldn't get it done in time. I was going to put my dresses in; but Mis' Moore said they'd wrinkle awfully, if I did, and, of course, they would, when you come to think of it. So I shan't put those in till Sunday night. I'm so glad Mis' Moore's going. It'll be so nice to have somebody along that I know."

"Yes, indeed," smiled Miss Maggie.

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"And she knows everything—all about tickets and checking the baggage, and all that. You know we're only going to be personally conducted to Niagara. After that we're going to New York and stay two weeks at some nice hotel. I want to see Grant's Tomb and the Aquarium, and Mis' Moore wants to go to Coney Island. She says she's always wanted to go to Coney Island just as I have to Niagara."

"I'm glad you can take her," said Miss Maggie heartily.

"Yes, and she's so pleased. You know, even if she has such a nice family, and all, she hasn't much money, and she's been awful nice to me lately. I used to think she didn't like me, too. But I must have been mistaken, of course. And 'twas so with Mis' Benson and Mis' Pennock, too. But now they've invited me there and have come to see me, and are SO interested in my trip and all. Why, I never knew I had so many friends, Maggie. Truly I didn't!"

Miss Maggie said nothing, but, there was an odd expression on her face.

Mr. Smith pounded a small nail home with an extra blow of his hammer.

"And they're all so kind and interested about the money, too," went on Miss Flora, gently rocking to and fro. "Bert Benson sells stocks and invests money for folks, you know, and Mis' Benson said he'd got some splendid-payin' ones, and he'd let me have some, and—"

"Flo, you DIDN'T take any of that Benson gold-mine stock!" interrupted

Miss Maggie sharply.

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Mr. Smith's hammer stopped, suspended in mid-air.

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"No; oh, no! I asked Mr. Chalmers and he said better not. So I didn't." Miss Maggie relaxed in her chair, and Mr. Smith's hammer fell with a gentle tap on the nail-head. "But I felt real bad about it—when Mis' Benson had been so kind as to offer it, you know. It looked sort of—of ungrateful, so."

"Ungrateful!" Miss Maggie's voice vibrated with indignant scorn.

"Flora, you won't—you WON'T invest your money without asking Mr.

Chalmers's advice first, will you?"

"But I tell you I didn't," retorted Miss Flora, with unusual sharpness, for her. "But it was good stock, and it pays splendidly. Jane took some. She took a lot."

"Jane!—but I thought Frank wouldn't let her."