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3. III. A DIFFERENCE IN HEARTS (continued)
"I don't see what she had to talk about, a child like that, to a stranger," replied Mrs. Cobb.
"Stranger or no stranger, 't wouldn't make no difference to her. She'd talk to a pump or a grind-stun; she'd talk to herself ruther 'n keep still."
"What did she talk about?"
"Blamed if I can repeat any of it. She kep' me so surprised I didn't have my wits about me. She had a little pink sunshade--it kind o' looked like a doll's amberill, 'n' she clung to it like a burr to a woolen stockin'. I advised her to open it up--the sun was so hot; but she said no, 't would fade, an' she tucked it under her dress. `It's the dearest thing in life to me,' says she, `but it's a dreadful care.' Them 's the very words, an' it's all the words I remember. `It's the dearest thing in life to me, but it's an awful care!' "--here Mr. Cobb laughed aloud as he tipped his chair back against the side of the house. "There was another thing, but I can't get it right exactly. She was talkin' 'bout the circus parade an' the snake charmer in a gold chariot, an' says she, `She was so beautiful beyond compare, Mr. Cobb, that it made you have lumps in your throat to look at her.' She'll be comin' over to see you, mother, an' you can size her up for yourself. I don' know how she'll git on with Mirandy Sawyer--poor little soul!"
This doubt was more or less openly expressed in Riverboro, which, however, had two opinions on the subject; one that it was a most generous thing in the Sawyer girls to take one of Aurelia's children to educate, the other that the education would be bought at a price wholly out of proportion to its intrinsic value.
Rebecca's first letters to her mother would seem to indicate that she cordially coincided with the latter view of the situation.
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