Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/122

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104
SHAWL STRAPS.

eyes simultaneously, and, to Mat's amazement, both plunged into the little shop, clamoring to see it. A pale emerald, surrounded by diamond chippings set in silver, with a wide gold band cut in a leafy pattern, composed this gem of price.

"A Francis First ring, sold by a noble but impoverished family, and only a hundred francs, Madame," said the man, politely anxious to cheat the fair foreigners out of four times its value.

"Can't afford it," and Lavinia retired. But the shrewd Amanda, with inimitable shrugs and pensive sighs, regretted that it was so costly. "A sweet ring; but, alas! forty francs is all I have to give."

The man was desolated to think that eighty francs was the lowest he was permitted to receive. "Would Madame call again, and perhaps it might be arranged?

Ah, no! Madame is forced to depart early, to return no more.

Mon Dieu! how afflicting! In that case, sixty would be possible for so rare a relic.

Madame is abîmé, but it is not to be. Forty is the utmost; therefore, "Merci" and "Bonjour."

"Hold! Where shall it be sent?" cries the