“The interest on that sort of investment rolls up beautifully, you know. Now rip that dress for Jenny to put in order, and I’ll toss you up a bonnet in less than no time,” said Polly, determined to have things go smoothly, for she knew Fan’s feelings had been a good deal tried lately, in many ways.

“I must have something to match my dress, and blue inside,” said Fanny, bringing out her ribbon boxes.

“Anything you like, my dear; when it comes to bonnets, I am usually inspired. I have it! there we are! and nothing could be nicer,” cried Polly, making a dive among the silks Fan was turning over with a lost expression. “This bit of silver-grey is all I ask, here’s enough for a killing bonnet, and those forget-me- nots are both pretty and appropriate.”

“You wretch, be still!” cried Fanny, as Polly looked up at her with a wicked laugh in her eyes.

“It will be done in time, and the dress likewise, so look your prettiest, and accept my blessing,” continued Polly, seeing that Fan liked her raillery.

“Time for what?” asked Paulina Pry.

“Your wedding, dear,” sweetly answered Fan, for Polly’s pleasant hints and predictions put her in a charming humour, and even made old clothes of little consequence.

Maud gave an incredulous sniff, and wondered why “big girls need to be so dreadful mysterious about their old secrets”.

“This silk reminds me of Kitty’s performance last summer. A little check silk was sent in our spring bundle from Mrs. Davenport, and mother said Kit might have it, if she could make it do. So I washed it nicely, and we fussed and planned, but it came short by half of one sleeve. I gave it up, but Kit went to work and matched every scrap that was left so neatly, that she got out the half sleeve, put it on the under side, and no one was the wiser. How many pieces do you think she put in, Maud?”

“Fifty,” was the wise reply.

“No, only ten; but that was pretty well for a fourteen-year-old dressmaker. You ought to have seen the little witch laugh in her sleeve when anyone admired the dress, for she wore it all summer, and looked as pretty as a pink in it. Such things are great fun, when you get used to them; besides, contriving sharpens your wits, and makes you feel as if you had more hands than most people.”

“I think we’ll get a farm near your house; I should like to know Kitty,” said Maud, feeling a curious interest in a girl who made such peculiar patchwork.

“The dress parade is over, and I’m ever so much obliged to you, Polly, for helping me through, and showing me how to make the best of things. I hope in time to have as many hands as you,” said Fan, gratefully, when the simple bonnet was done, and everything planned out ready to be finished.

“I hope you will soon have two good strong ones beside your own, my dear,” answered Polly, as she vanished, with a parting twinkle that kept Fan’s face bright all day.

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