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Lousiana by Frances Hodgson Burnett

With fashionable dress materials


"What

did she say to that?" Louisiana asked.

He hesitated a moment before answering.

"She looked at me kinder queer fer a minnit," he replied at length. "An' then she ses, 'She'd oughter be a very happy gal,' ses she, 'with such a father,' an' I ses, 'I 'low she is--mebbe.'"

"Only maybe?" said the girl, "only maybe, father?"

She dropped the roll of silk she had been holding and went to him. She put her hand on his arm again and shook it a little, laughing in the same feverish fashion as when she had gone out to him on the porch on the day of her return. She had suddenly flushed up, and her eyes shone as he had seen them then.

"Only maybe," she said. "Why should I be unhappy? There's no reason. Look at me, with my fine house and my new things! There isn't any one happier in the world! There is nothing left for me to wish for. I have got too much!"

A new mood seemed to have taken possession of her all at once. She scarcely gave him a chance to speak. She drew him to the trunk's side, and made him stand near while she took the things out one by one. She exclaimed and laughed over them as she drew them forth. She held the dress materials up to her waist and neck to see how the colors became her; she tried on laces and sacques and furbelows and the hats which were said to

have come from Paris.

"What will they say when they see me at meeting in them?" she said. "Brother Horner will forget his sermons. There never were such things in Bowersville before. I am almost afraid they will think I am putting on airs."

When she reached a box of long kid gloves at the bottom, she burst into such a shrill laugh that her father was startled. There was a tone of false exhilaration about her which was not what he had expected.

"See!" she cried, holding one of the longest pairs up, "eighteen buttons! And cream color! I can wear them with the cream-colored silk and cashmere at--at a festival!"

When she had looked at everything, the rag carpet was strewn with her riches,--with fashionable dress materials, with rich and delicate colors, with a hundred feminine and pretty whims.

"How could I help but be happy?" she said. "I am like a queen. I don't suppose queens have very much more, though we don't know much about queens, do we?"

She hung round her father's neck and kissed him in a fervent, excited way.

"You good old father!" she said, "you sweet old father!"

He took one of her soft, supple hands and held it between both his brown and horny ones.

"Louisianny," he said, "I _'low _to make ye happy; ef the Lord haint nothin' agin it, I _'low_ to do it!"


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