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9. CHAPTER IX--THE BALL
'Now, Miss Grey,' exclaimed Miss Murray, immediately I entered the schoolroom, after having taken off my outdoor garments, upon returning from my four weeks' recreation, 'Now--shut the door, and sit down, and I'll tell you all about the ball.'
'No--damn it, no!' shouted Miss Matilda. 'Hold your tongue, can't ye? and let me tell her about my new mare--SUCH a splendour, Miss Grey! a fine blood mare--'
'Do be quiet, Matilda; and let me tell my news first.'
'No, no, Rosalie; you'll be such a damned long time over it--she shall hear me first--I'll be hanged if she doesn't!'
'I'm sorry to hear, Miss Matilda, that you've not got rid of that shocking habit yet.'
'Well, I can't help it: but I'll never say a wicked word again, if you'll only listen to me, and tell Rosalie to hold her confounded tongue.'
Rosalie remonstrated, and I thought I should have been torn in pieces between them; but Miss Matilda having the loudest voice, her sister at length gave in, and suffered her to tell her story first: so I was doomed to hear a long account of her splendid mare, its breeding and pedigree, its paces, its action, its spirit, &c., and of her own amazing skill and courage in riding it; concluding with an assertion that she could clear a five-barred gate 'like winking,' that papa said she might hunt the next time the hounds met, and mamma had ordered a bright scarlet hunting-habit for her.
'Oh, Matilda! what stories you are telling!' exclaimed her sister.
'Well,' answered she, no whit abashed, 'I know I COULD clear a five-barred gate, if I tried, and papa WILL say I may hunt, and mamma WILL order the habit when I ask it.'
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