Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/39

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he bowed and vanished, still oppressed with the gloomy discovery that American women did not appreciate him.

While Amanda made inquiries at an office, and Matilda had raptures over the massive archway crowned with yellow flowers, Lavinia was edified by a new example of woman's right to labor.

Close by was a clean, rosy old woman whose unusual occupation attracted our spinster's attention. Whisking off the wheels of a diligence, the old lady greased them one by one, and put them on again with the skill and speed of a regular blacksmith, and then began to pile many parcels into a char apparently waiting for them.

She was a brisk, cheery, old soul with the color of a winter-apple in her face, plenty of fire in her quick black eyes and a mouthful of fine teeth, though she must have been sixty. She was dressed in the costume of the place: a linen cap with several sharp gables to it, a gay kerchief over her shoulders, a blue woollen gown short enough to display a pair of sturdy feet and legs in neat shoes with bunches of ribbon on the instep, and black hose. A gray apron with pockets and a bib finished her off,