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9. IX. ASHES OF ROSES
There she is, over an hour late; a little more an' she'd 'a' been caught in a thunder shower, but she'd never look ahead," said Miranda to Jane; "and added to all her other iniquities, if she ain't rigged out in that new dress, steppin' along with her father's dancin'-school steps, and swingin' her parasol for all the world as if she was play-actin'. Now I'm the oldest, Jane, an' I intend to have my say out; if you don't like it you can go into the kitchen till it's over. Step right in here, Rebecca; I want to talk to you. What did you put on that good new dress for, on a school day, without permission?"
"I had intended to ask you at noontime, but you weren't at home, so I couldn't," began Rebecca.
"You did no such a thing; you put it on because you was left alone, though you knew well enough I wouldn't have let you."
"If I'd been CERTAIN you wouldn't have let me I'd never have done it," said Rebecca, trying to be truthful; "but I wasn't CERTAIN, and it was worth risking. I thought perhaps you might, if you knew it was almost a real exhibition at school."
"Exhibition!" exclaimed Miranda scornfully; "you are exhibition enough by yourself, I should say. Was you exhibitin' your parasol?"
"The parasol WAS silly," confessed Rebecca, hanging her head; "but it's the only time in my whole life when I had anything to match it, and it looked so beautiful with the pink dress! Emma Jane and I spoke a dialogue about a city girl and a country girl, and it came to me just the minute before I started how nice it would come in for the city girl; and it did. I haven't hurt my dress a mite, aunt Mirandy."
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