Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/42

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girls were, and how they talked of Annie as if she were a sort of fairy princess who in return for two poor rag-babies sent a miraculous shower of splendid china ladies with gay gowns and smiling faces.

This childish charity was made memorable to all who knew of it by the fact that three months after she came home from that happy voyage Annie took the one from which there is no return. For this journey there was needed no preparation but a little white gown, a coverlet of flowers, and the casket where the treasure of many hearts was tenderly laid away. All alone, but not afraid, little Annie crossed the unknown sea that rolls between our world and the Islands of the Blest, to be welcomed there, I am sure, by spirits as innocent as her own, leaving behind her a very precious memory of her budding virtues and the relics of a short, sweet life.

Every one mourned for her, and all her small treasures were so carefully kept that they still exist. Poor Horta, in the pincushion arm-chair, seems waiting patiently for the little mamma to come again; the two rag-dolls lie side by side in grand-