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How Molly spent her sixpence.

By ELIZA ORNE WHITE
From The Book of Stories for the Storyteller by Fanny E. Coe.

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"You could have two dips for sixpence," Julia suggested. "You could dip and I could dip, and I could give you what I get." She was longing to know the contents of a certain interesting irregular parcel. "The furniture is so sweet," said Molly, "and I am sure I want it." "The paper dolls are sweet, too," said Julia. "Yes, and so is the pink stuff. I shall _have_ to take a dip to decide it." Meanwhile a more important customer had come in with whom the assistant was busy, so Molly went over to her and handed her the sixpence. "We will have two dips," she said. "Thank you. Did you say you would have three yards, madam?" she asked, turning to the lady customer. "You dip first," said Julia. Molly looked from the flat parcels to the three-cornered ones and could not decide which to choose. "I think I will shut my eyes," she said, and she put in her hand at random and pulled out a small, flat parcel. She opened it eagerly, and took out a block of black paper, to be used as a slate, and a pencil with which to write on it. She was sadly disappointed, and felt very much like crying. "It is a horrid thing," said Julia. "We don't want a paper slate when you have that nice blackboard. You were very silly to shut your eyes. I shall choose with my eyes open. I am going to take that package that looks as if it might be a doll." She took out the enticing-looking package and began to untie the string, and presently drew forth a pink-and-white-and-green china vase of a hideous shape. It was too large for dolls, and too small for people, and too ugly to please either. "That dip is perfectly horrid," said Julia.



Molly was sure that she had never been so unhappy. She knew, now that it was too late, that she wanted the paper doll furniture more than anything in the whole world. The little girls were very sober all the way home. When they reached Molly's gate, Julia handed over the vase. "Take the old thing," she said. "You have got something to remember Priscilla by always now, and you can send the paper slate to her." "Well, what did you buy, dear?" her mamma asked cheerfully, as Molly came into the parlour. The little girl found it hard to keep back her tears. Her Aunt Mary and her brother Fred were sitting there, too. She felt it would have been easier to confess her folly to her mother alone. She held up the vase and the paper block silently. "The block was a sensible choice," said her mamma, "but I don't see why you chose the vase." "I didn't choose either of them," Molly burst out. "We dipped and we got them." "In short, they chose you," said Fred. Then the little girl told the whole story. "I _did_ want the paper doll furniture so much," she ended. "Why didn't you buy it, then?" asked her aunt. "Because we thought it would be more fun to dip." "This will be a very good lesson for you, Molly," said her aunt. "It is never well to spend money unless you are sure what you are spending it for. I am sorry for you, but you will never be so foolish again." "There will be time to go to Fletcher's again before tea," said Fred. "I will go with you, and we will pretend the sixpence I have was Priscilla's and you shall choose what you want all over again."



Molly danced up and down with pleasure, and she and Fred went to Fletcher's together. This time she made her choice very quickly, for she knew just what she wanted. She bought the bedroom set and the kitchen furniture. She remembered Julia's words: "I should keep them both. If Priscilla chose to spend her money on fireworks, that is her lookout." But now she herself had spent her money foolishly. If Fred had thought as Julia did, that nobody who had made an unwise investment ought to have anything given her, she would never have had the dear paper doll furniture. So she kept the kitchen set and sent the bedroom set to Priscilla.

       



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