I locked the door behind Hannah, and stood with tradgic feet, "where the

brook and river meet." What was I to do? How hide this evadence of

my (presumed) duplicaty? I was inocent, but I looked gilty. This, as

everyone knows, is worse than gilt.

I unpacked the Suitcase as fast as I could, therfore, and being just

about destracted, I bundled the things up and put them all together in

the toy Closet, where all Sis's dolls and mine are, mine being mostly

pretty badly gone, as I was always hard on dolls.

How far removed were those Inocent Years when I played with dolls!

Well, I knew Hannah pretty well, and therfore was not surprised when,

having hidden the trowsers under a doll buggy, I heard mother's voice at

the door.

"Let me in, Barbara," she said.

I closed the closet door, and said: "What is it, mother?"

"Let me in."

So I let her in, and pretended I expected her to kiss me, which she

had not yet, on account of the whooping cough. But she seemed to have

forgotten that. Also the Kiss.

"Barbara," she said, in the meanest voice, "how long have you been


Now I must pause to explain this. Had mother aproached me in a sweet

and maternal manner, I would have been softened, and would have told the

Whole Story. But she did not. She was, as you might say, steeming with

Rage. And seeing that I was misunderstood, I hardened. I can be as hard

as adamant when necessary.

"What do you mean, mother?"

"Don't anser one question with another."

"How can I anser when I don't understand you?"

She simply twiched with fury.

"You--a mere Child!" she raved. "And I can hardly bring myself to

mention it--the idea of your owning a Flask, and bringing it into this

house--it is--it is----"

Well, I was growing cold and more hauty every moment, so I said: "I

don't see why the mere mention of a Flask upsets you so. It isn't

because you aren't used to one, especialy when traveling. And since I

was a mere baby I have been acustomed to intoxicants."

"Barbara!" she intergected, in the most dreadful tone.

"I mean, in the Familey," I said. "I have seen wine on our table ever

since I can remember. I knew to put salt on a claret stain before I

could talk."

Well, you know how it is to see an Enemy on the run, and although I

regret to refer to my dear mother as an Enemy, still at that moment she

was such and no less. And she was beating it. It was the referance to

my youth that had aroused me, and I was like a wounded lion. Besides, I

knew well enough that if they refused to see that I was practicaly grown

up, if not entirely, I would get a lot of Sis's clothes, fixed up with

new ribbons. Faded old things! I'd had them for years.

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