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"How nice she looks! Do you consider shoes unhealthy?" he asked,
surveying the socks with respectful interest.
"No, her shoes are drying. You must have let her go in the mud."
"I only put her down for a minute when she howled, and she made
for a puddle, like a duck. I'll buy her some new ones clothes too.
Where do I go, what do I ask for, and how much do I get?" he said,
diving for his pocketbook, amiably anxious but pitiably ignorant.
"I'll see to that. We always have things on hand for the Pointers as
they come along and can soon fit Dulce out. You may make some
inquiries about the father if you will, for I don't want to have her
taken away just as I get fond of her. Do you know anything about
"Only that he is in State Prison for twenty-one years, and not likely
to trouble you."
"How dreadful! I really think Phebe was better off to have none at
all. I'll go to work at once, then, and try to bring up the convict's
little daughter to be a good woman so that she will have an honest
name of her own, since he has nothing but disgrace to give her."
"Uncle can show you how to do that if you need any help. He has
been so successful in his first attempt, I fancy you won't require
much," said Mac, picking up the spools for the sixth time.
"Yes, I shall, for it is a great responsibility, and I do not undertake
it lightly," answered Rose soberly, though the double-barreled
compliment pleased her very much.
"I'm sure Phebe has turned out splendidly, and you began very
early with her."
"So I did! That's encouraging. Dear thing, how bewildered she
looked when I proposed adopting her. I remember all about it, for
Uncle had just come and I was quite crazy over a box of presents
and rushed at Phebe as she was cleaning brasses. How little I
thought my childish offer would end so well!" And Rose fell
a-musing with a happy smile on her face while baby picked the last
morsels out of the porringer with her own busy fingers.
It certainly had ended well, for Phebe at the end of six months not
only had a good place as choir singer but several young pupils and
excellent prospects for the next winter.
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