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Comfort Pease and her Gold Ring   By: (1852-1930)

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Comfort Pease

And her Gold Ring

By

Mary E. Wilkins

Author of Prembroke, Jane Field, A Humble Romance, etc., etc.

Fleming H. Revell Company New York Chicago Toronto MDCCCXCV

One of the first things which Comfort remembered being told was that she had been named for her Aunt Comfort, who had given her a gold ring and a gold dollar for her name. Comfort could not understand why. It always seemed to her that her aunt, and not she, had given the name, and that she should have given the ring and the dollar; but that was what her mother had told her. "Your Aunt Comfort gave you this beautiful gold ring and this gold dollar for your name," said she.

The ring and the dollar were kept in Mrs. Pease's little rosewood work box, which she never used for needlework, but as a repository for her treasures. Her best cameo brooch was in there, too, and a lock of hair of Comfort's baby brother who died.

One of Comfort's chiefest delights was looking at her gold ring and gold dollar. When she was very good her mother would unlock the rosewood box and let her see them. She had never worn the ring it was much too large for her. Aunt Comfort and her mother had each thought that it was foolish to buy a gold ring that she could outgrow. "If it was a chameleon ring I wouldn't care," said Aunt Comfort; "but it does seem a pity when it's a real gold ring." So the ring was bought a little too large for Comfort's mother. She was a very small woman, and Comfort was a large baby, and, moreover, favored her father's family, who were all well grown, and Aunt Comfort feared she might have larger fingers.

"Why, I've seen girls eight years old with fingers a good deal bigger than yours, Emily," she said. "Suppose Comfort shouldn't be able to get that ring on her finger after she's eight years old, what a pity 'twould be, when it's real gold, too!"

But when Comfort was eight years old she was very small for her age, and she could actually crowd two of her fingers the little one and the third into the ring. She begged her mother to let her wear it so, but she would not. "No," said she, "I sha'n't let you make yourself a laughing stock by wearing a ring any such way as that. Besides, you couldn't use your fingers. You've got to wait till your hand grows to it."

So poor little Comfort waited, but she had a discouraged feeling sometimes that her hand never would grow to it. "Suppose I shouldn't be any bigger than you, mother," she said, "couldn't I ever wear the ring?"

"Hush! you will be bigger than I am. All your father's folks are, and you look just like them," said her mother, conclusively, and Comfort tried to have faith. The gold dollar also could only impart the simple delight of possession, for it was not to be spent. "I am going to give her a gold dollar to keep beside the ring," Aunt Comfort had said.

"What is it for?" Comfort asked sometimes when she gazed at it shining in its pink cotton bed in the top of the work box.

"It's to keep," answered her mother.

Comfort grew to have a feeling, which she never expressed to anybody, that her gold dollar was somehow like Esau's birthright, and something dreadful would happen to her if she parted with it. She felt safer, because a "mess of pottage" didn't sound attractive to her, and she did not think she would ever be tempted to spend her gold dollar for that.

Comfort went to school when she was ten years old. She had not begun as early as most of the other girls, because she lived three quarters of a mile from the school house and had many sore throats. The doctors had advised her mother to teach her at home; and she could do that, because she had been a teacher herself when she was a girl.

Comfort had not been to school one day before everybody in it knew about her gold ring and her dollar, and it happened in this way: She sat on the bench between Rosy and Matilda Stebbins, and Rosy had a ring on the middle finger of her left hand... Continue reading book >>




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