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The Story Girl

The Ghostly Bell
Friday was a comfortable day in the household of King. Everybody was in good humour.
The Story Girl sparkled through several tales that ranged from the afrites and jinns of
Eastern myth, through the piping days of chivalry, down to the homely anecdotes of
Carlisle workaday folks. She was in turn an Oriental princess behind a silken veil, the
bride who followed her bridegroom to the wars of Palestine disguised as a page, the
gallant lady who ransomed her diamond necklace by dancing a coranto with a
highwayman on a moonlit heath, and "Buskirk's girl" who joined the Sons and Daughters
of Temperance "just to see what was into it;" and in each impersonation she was so
thoroughly the thing impersonated that it was a matter of surprise to us when she
emerged from each our own familiar Story Girl again.
Cecily and Sara Ray found a "sweet" new knitted lace pattern in an old magazine and
spent a happy afternoon learning it and "talking secrets." Chancing--accidentally, I vow--
to overhear certain of these secrets, I learned that Sara Ray had named an apple for
Johnny Price--"and, Cecily, true's you live, there was eight seeds in it, and you know
eight means 'they both love' "--while Cecily admitted that Willy Fraser had written on his
slate and showed it to her,
"If you love me as I love you,
No knife can cut our love in two"--
"but, Sara Ray, NEVER you breathe this to a living soul."
Felix also averred that he heard Sara ask Cecily very seriously,
"Cecily, how old must we be before we can have a REAL beau?"
But Sara always denied it; so I am inclined to believe Felix simply made it up himself.
Paddy distinguished himself by catching a rat, and being intolerably conceited about it--
until Sara Ray cured him by calling him a "dear, sweet cat," and kissing him between the
ears. Then Pat sneaked abjectly off, his tail drooping. He resented being called a sweet
cat. He had a sense of humour, had Pat. Very few cats have; and most of them have such
an inordinate appetite for flattery that they will swallow any amount of it and thrive
thereon. Paddy had a finer taste. The Story Girl and I were the only ones who could pay
him compliments to his liking. The Story Girl would box his ears with her fist and say,
"Bless your gray heart, Paddy, you're a good sort of old rascal," and Pat would purr his
satisfaction; I used to take a handful of the skin on his back, shake him gently and say,
"Pat, you've forgotten more than any human being ever knew," and I vow Paddy would
lick his chops with delight. But to be called "a sweet cat!" Oh, Sara, Sara!
Felicity tried--and had the most gratifying luck with--a new and complicated cake recipe-
-a gorgeous compound of a plumminess to make your mouth water. The number of eggs
 
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