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"Like it! She got mad an' gave notice on the spot. An' that made ma 'most have hysterics—she did have one of her headaches—'cause good hired girls are awful scarce, she says. But Bess says, Pooh! we'll get some from the city next time that know their business, an' we're goin' away all summer, anyway, an' won't ma please call them 'maids,' as she ought to, an' not that plebeian 'hired girl.' Bess loves that word. Everything's 'plebeian' with Bess now. Oh we're havin' great times at our house since Bess—ELIZABETH—came!" grinned Benny, tossing his cap in the air, and dancing down the walk much as he had danced the first night Mr. Smith saw him a year before.

The James Blaisdells were hardly off to shore and camp when Miss Flora started on her travels. Mr. Smith learned all about her plans, too, for she came down one day to talk them over with Miss Maggie.

Miss Flora was looking very well in a soft gray and white summer silk. Her forehead had lost its lines of care, and her eyes were no longer peering for wrinkles. Miss Flora was actually almost pretty.

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"How nice you look!" exclaimed Miss Maggie.

"Do I?" panted Miss Flora, as she fluttered up the steps and sank into one of the porch chairs.

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"Indeed, you do!" exclaimed Mr. Smith admiringly. Mr. Smith was putting up a trellis for Miss Maggie's new rosebush. He was working faithfully, but not with the skill of accustomedness.

"I'm so glad you like it!" Miss Flora settled back into her chair and smoothed out the ruffles across her lap. "It isn't too gay, is it? You know the six months are more than up now."

"Not a bit!" exclaimed Mr. Smith.

"No, indeed!" cried Miss Maggie.

"I hoped it wasn't," sighed Miss Flora happily. "Well, I'm all packed but my dresses."

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"Why, I thought you weren't going till Monday," said Miss Maggie.

"Oh, I'm not."

"But—it's only Friday now!"

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.

"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!"