Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
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
"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."
"It's the craftiness and underhandedness of your actions that's the worst," said Miranda
coldly. "And look at the other things you've done! It seems as if Satan possessed you!
You went up the front stairs to your room, but you didn't hide your tracks, for you
dropped your handkerchief on the way up. You left the screen out of your bedroom
window for the flies to come in all over the house. You never cleared away your lunch
nor set away a dish, AND YOU LEFT THE SIDE DOOR UNLOCKED from half past
twelve to three o'clock, so 't anybody could 'a' come in and stolen what they liked!"
Rebecca sat down heavily in her chair as she heard the list of her transgressions. How
could she have been so careless? The tears began to flow now as she attempted to explain
sins that never could be explained or justified.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" she faltered. "I was trimming the schoolroom, and got belated, and
ran all the way home. It was hard getting into my dress alone, and I hadn't time to eat but
a mouthful, and just at the last minute, when I honestly--HONESTLY --would have
thought about clearing away and locking up, I looked at the clock and knew I could