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The Very Small Person   By: (1862-)

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[Illustration: That is where we play I mean it is most pleasant there]

The Very Small Person


Annie Hamilton Donnell

Author of "Rebecca Mary"

Illustrated by Elizabeth Shippen Green

New York and London

Harper & Brothers Publishers



I. Little Blue Overalls II. The Boy III. The Adopted IV. Bobby Unwelcome V. The Little Girl Who Should Have Been a Boy VI. The Lie VII. The Princess of Make Believe VIII. The Promise IX. The Little Lover X. The Child XI. The Recompense


That is where we play I mean it is most pleasant there Little Blue Overalls climbed into a chair 'Fore I'd lean my chin on folks's gates and watch 'em! She stayed there a week a month a year It was worse than creepy, creaky noises I can't play ... I'm being good Murray had ... seen the vision, too Elizabeth

Chapter I

Little Blue Overalls

Miss Salome's face was gently frowning as she wrote.

"Dear John," the letter began, "It's all very well except one thing. I wonder you didn't think of that. I'm thinking of it most of the time, and it takes away so much of the pleasure of the rose garden and the raspberry bushes! Anne is in raptures over the raspberry bushes.

"Yes, the raspberries and the roses are all right. And I like the stone wall with the woodbine over it. (Good boy, you remembered that, didn't you?) And the apple tree and the horse chestnut and the elm of course I like them.

"The house is just big enough and just small enough, and there's a trunk closet, as I stipulated. And Anne's room has a 'southern exposure' Anne's crazy spot is southern exposures. Mine's it . Dear, dear, John, how could you forget it! That everything else closets and stone walls and exposures should be to my mind but that! Well, I am thinking of moving out, before I move in. But I haven't told Anne. Anne is the kind of person not to tell, until the last moment. It saves one's nerves heigh ho! I thought I was coming here to get away from nerves! I was so satisfied. I really meant to thank you, John, until I discovered it. Oh yes, I know Elizabeth is looking over your shoulder, and you two are saying something that is unfit for publication about old maids! My children, then thank the Lord you aren't either of you old maids. Make the most of it."

Miss Salome let her pen slip to the bare floor and gazed before her wistfully. The room was in the dreary early stages of unpacking, but it was not of that Miss Salome was thinking. Her eyes were gazing out of the window at a thin gray trail of smoke against the blue ground of the sky. She could see the little house, too, brown and tiny and a little battered. She could see the clothes line, and count easily enough the pairs of little stockings on it. She caught up the pen again fiercely.

"There are eight," she wrote. "Allowing two legs to a child, doesn't that make four? John Dearborn, you have bought me a house next door to four children! I think I shall begin to put the books back to night. As ill luck will have it, they are all unpacked.

"I have said nothing to Anne; Anne has said nothing to me. But we both know. She has counted the stockings too. We are both old maids. No, I have not seen them yet anything but their stockings on the clothes line. But the mother is not a washer woman there is no hope. I don't know how I know she isn't a washer woman, but I do. It is impressed upon me. So there are four children, to say nothing of the Lord knows how many babies still in socks! I cannot forgive you, John."

Miss Salome had been abroad for many years. Stricken suddenly with homesickness, she and her ancient serving woman, Anne, had fled across seas to their native land. Miss Salome had first commissioned John, long suffering John, adviser, business manager, brother, to find her a snug little home with specified adjuncts of trunk closets, elm, apple, and horse chestnut trees, woodbiney stone walls and a "southern exposure" for Anne... Continue reading book >>

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