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Hildegarde's Home
written by "Richards, Laura Elizabeth Howe, 1850-1943"
...r, they don't never set foot to the ground, one year's eend to the other.' 'Dear me!' I said. 'Are they both such invalids?' 'No, dear!' said she, sighing as if she wished they were. 'Carriage folks; great carriage folks. Then there's Colonel Ferrers lives in the brick house across the way. Beautiful man, but set in his ways. Never speaks to a soul, one year's eend to the other, in the way o' talk, that is. Ah! dear me, yes!'" "It sounds like Alice in Wonderland!" exclaimed Mrs. Grahame. "In that direction lives a Hatter, and in that direction lives a March Hare. Visit either you like! they're both mad." "Oh, Mammina, it is exactly like it!" cried Hildegarde, clapping her hands. "You clever Mammina! I wonder if Colonel Ferrers has long ears, and if his roof is thatched with fur." "Hush!" said her mother, laughing. "This[39] will not do. I know Colonel Ferrers, and he is an excellent man, though a trifle singular. Well, dear, how did you part with your melancholy dame?" "She went away then," said Hildegarde. "Oh, no, she didn't. I forgot! she did insist upon showing me the room where Uncle Aytoun died; and—oh! mamma, it is almost too bad to tell, and yet it was very funny. She said he died like a perfect gentleman, and made a beautiful remains. Then, at last, she said good-night and charged me to send for her if any of us should be ill in the night. 'Comin' strange in,' she said, 'it's likely to disagree with some of you, and in spasms or anything suddint, I'm dretful knowin'.' So she went off at last, and it took me a quarter of an hour to get auntie into a good temper again." They laughed heartily at Mrs. Lankton's idea of "the parting word of cheer"; and then Hildegarde reminded her mother of the[40] "tell" she had promised her. "I want to know all about the three ladies," she said. "They seem more real than Dame Lankton, somehow, for they belong here, and she never could have. So 'come tell me all, my ...

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