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Aaron's Rod by D. H. Lawrence

And Millicent was saying Now I'll undo the first


They had laid all the little packets on the floor, and Millicent was saying:

"Now I'll undo the first, and you can have the second. I'll take this--"

She unwrapped the bit of newspaper and disclosed a silvery ornament for a Christmas tree: a frail thing like a silver plum, with deep rosy indentations on each side.

"Oh!" she exclaimed. "Isn't it LOVELY!" Her fingers cautiously held the long bubble of silver and glowing rose, cleaving to it with a curious, irritating possession. The man's eyes moved away from her. The lesser child was fumbling with one of the little packets.

"Oh!"--a wail went up from Millicent. "You've taken one!--You didn't wait." Then her voice changed to a motherly admonition, and she began to interfere. "This is the way to do it, look! Let me help you."

But Marjory drew back with resentment.

"Don't, Millicent!--Don't!" came the childish cry. But Millicent's fingers itched.

At length Marjory had got out her treasure--a little silvery bell with a glass top hanging inside. The bell was made of frail glassy substance, light as air.

"Oh, the bell!" rang out Millicent's clanging voice. "The bell! It's my bell. My bell! It's mine! Don't break it, Marjory. Don't break it, will you?"

Marjory was shaking the bell against her ear. But it was dumb, it made no sound.

"You'll break it, I know you will.--You'll break it. Give it ME--" cried Millicent, and she began to take away the bell. Marjory set up an expostulation.

"LET HER ALONE," said the father.

Millicent let go as if she had been stung, but still her brassy, impudent voice persisted:

"She'll break it. She'll break it. It's mine--"

"You undo another," said the mother, politic.

Millicent began with hasty, itching fingers to unclose another package.

"Aw--aw Mother, my peacock--aw, my peacock, my green peacock!" Lavishly she hovered over a sinuous greenish bird, with wings and tail of spun glass, pearly, and body of deep electric green.

"It's mine--my green peacock! It's mine, because Marjory's had one wing off, and mine hadn't. My green peacock that I love! I love it!" She swung it softly from the little ring on its back. Then she went to her mother.

"Look, Mother, isn't it a beauty?"

"Mind the ring doesn't come out," said her mother. "Yes, it's lovely!" The girl passed on to her father.

"Look, Father, don't you love it!"

"Love it?" he re-echoed, ironical over the word love.

She stood for some moments, trying to force his attention. Then she went back to her place.


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