Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/58

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milliner's, so to speak, and had several dress rehearsals for her own satisfaction. Gaston mounted guard over his sister, lest some enamoured man should rend her from them ere her Jules could secure the prize. And Pelagie placidly ate and slept, kept her hair in crimping-pins from morning till night, wore out her old clothes, and wiled away the time, munching bonbons and displaying her shawl.

"Mercy on us! I should feel like a lamb being fattened for the sacrifice if I were in her place," cried one of the freeborn American citizenesses, with an air of unmitigated scorn for French ways of conducting this interesting ceremony.

"I should feel like a galley-slave," said the other. "For she can't go anywhere without Gaston or Mamma at her elbow. Only yesterday she went into a shop alone, while Gaston waited at the door. And when she told it at home as a great exploit all the ladies shrieked with horror at the idea, and Mamma said, wringing her hands: 'Mon Dieu! but they will think thou art a married woman, for it is inconceivable that any girl should do so bold a thing.' And Pelagie wept, and implored them not to tell Jules, lest he should discard her."