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24. XXIV. ALADDIN RUBS HIS LAMP (continued)
"No," sighed Rebecca ruefully, flinging herself down by the table and resting her head on her hand. "Not unless we can contrive to pay off that detestable mortgage. The day grows farther off instead of nearer now that we haven't paid the interest this year."
She pulled a piece of paper towards her, and scribbling idly on it read aloud in a moment or two:--
"Will you pay a little faster?" said the mortgage to the farm;
"A note has a `face,'" observed Emma Jane, who was gifted in arithmetic. "I didn't know that a mortgage had."
"Our mortgage has," said Rebecca revengefully. "I should know him if I met him in the dark. Wait and I'll draw him for you. It will be good for you to know how he looks, and then when you have a husband and seven children, you won't allow him to come anywhere within a mile of your farm."
The sketch when completed was of a sort to be shunned by a timid person on the verge of slumber. There was a tiny house on the right, and a weeping family gathered in front of it. The mortgage was depicted as a cross between a fiend and an ogre, and held an axe uplifted in his red right hand. A figure with streaming black locks was staying the blow, and this, Rebecca explained complacently, was intended as a likeness of herself, though she was rather vague as to the method she should use in attaining her end.
"He's terrible," said Emma Jane, "but awfully wizened and small."
"It's only a twelve hundred dollar mortgage," said Rebecca, "and that's called a small one. John saw a man once that was mortgaged for twelve thousand."
"Shall you be a writer or an editor?" asked Emma Jane presently, as if one had only to choose and the thing were done.
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