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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Gray Days And Gold
When Rebecca looked back upon the year or two that followed the Simpsons'
Thanksgiving party, she could see only certain milestones rising in the quiet pathway of
the months.
The first milestone was Christmas Day. It was a fresh, crystal morning, with icicles
hanging like dazzling pendants from the trees and a glaze of pale blue on the surface of
the snow. The Simpsons' red barn stood out, a glowing mass of color in the white
landscape. Rebecca had been busy for weeks before, trying to make a present for each of
the seven persons at Sunnybrook Farm, a somewhat difficult proceeding on an
expenditure of fifty cents, hoarded by incredible exertion. Success had been achieved,
however, and the precious packet had been sent by post two days previous. Miss Sawyer
had bought her niece a nice gray squirrel muff and tippet, which was even more
unbecoming if possible, than Rebecca's other articles of wearing apparel; but aunt Jane
had made her the loveliest dress of green cashmere, a soft, soft green like that of a young
leaf. It was very simply made, but the color delighted the eye. Then there was a beautiful
"tatting" collar from her mother, some scarlet mittens from Mrs. Cobb, and a
handkerchief from Emma Jane.
Rebecca herself had fashioned an elaborate tea- cosy with a letter "M" in outline stitch,
and a pretty frilled pincushion marked with a "J," for her two aunts, so that taken all
together the day would have been an unequivocal success had nothing else happened; but
something else did.
There was a knock at the door at breakfast time, and Rebecca, answering it, was asked by
a boy if Miss Rebecca Randall lived there. On being told that she did, he handed her a
parcel bearing her name, a parcel which she took like one in a dream and bore into the
dining-room.
"It's a present; it must be," she said, looking at it in a dazed sort of way; "but I can't think
who it could be from."
"A good way to find out would be to open it," remarked Miss Miranda.
The parcel being untied proved to have two smaller packages within, and Rebecca
opened with trembling fingers the one addressed to her. Anybody's fingers would have
trembled. There was a case which, when the cover was lifted, disclosed a long chain of
delicate pink coral beads,--a chain ending in a cross made of coral rosebuds. A card with
"Merry Christmas from Mr. Aladdin" lay under the cross.
"Of all things!" exclaimed the two old ladies, rising in their seats. "Who sent it?"
"Mr. Ladd," said Rebecca under her breath.
 
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