VWiCt

VWiCt

"Careful, careful, Flora!" laughed Miss Maggie. "I don't think YOU can say much on that score."

"Why, Maggie Duff, I'M taking comfort," bridled Miss Flora. "Didn't I have chicken last week and turkey three weeks ago? And do I ever skimp the butter or hunt for cake-rules with one egg now? And ain't I going to Niagara and have a phonograph and move into a fine place just as soon as my mourning is up? You wait and see!"

"All right, I'll wait," laughed Miss Maggie. Then, a bit anxiously, she asked: "Did Fred go to-day?"

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"Yes, looking fine as a fiddle, too. I was sweeping off the steps when he went by the house. He stopped and spoke. Said he was going in now for real work—that he'd played long enough. He said he wouldn't be good for a row of pins if he had many such weeks as this had been."

"I'm glad he realized it," observed Miss Maggie grimly. "I suppose the

Gaylord young people went, too."

"Hibbard did, but Pearl doesn't go till next week. She isn't in the same school with Bess, you know. It's even grander than Bess's they say. Hattie wants to get Bess into it next year. Oh, I forgot; we've got to call her 'Elizabeth' now. Did you know that?"

Miss Maggie shook her head.

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"Well, we have. Hattie says nicknames are all out now, and that 'Elizabeth' is very stylish and good form and the only proper thing to call her. She says we must call her 'Harriet,' too. I forgot that."

"And Benny 'Benjamin'?" smiled Miss Maggie.

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"Yes. And Jim 'James.' But I'm afraid I shall forget—sometimes."

"I'm afraid—a good many of us will," laughed Miss Maggie.

"It all came from them Gaylords, I believe," sniffed Flora. "I don't think much of 'em; but Hattie seems to. I notice she don't put nothin' discouragin' in the way of young Gaylord and Bess. But he pays 'most as much attention to Mellicent, so far as I can see, whenever Carl Pennock will give him a chance. Did you ever see the beat of that boy? It's the money, of course. I hope Mellicent'll give him a good lesson, before she gets through with it. He deserves it," she ejaculated, as she picked up her fur neck-piece, and fastened it with a jerk.

In the doorway she paused and glanced cautiously toward Mr. Smith. Mr.

Smith, perceiving the glance, tried very hard to absorb himself in the

rows of names dates before him; but he could not help hearing Miss

Flora's next words.

"Maggie, hain't you changed your mind a mite yet? WON'T you let me give you some of my money? I'd so LOVE to, dear!"