Kate Douglas Wiggin: Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm


"I don't care if you tell your mother, my mother, and all your relations, and the president," said Rebecca, gaining courage as the noble words fell from her lips. "I don't care if you tell the town, the whole of York county, the state of Maine and-- and the nation!" she finished grandiloquently. "Now you run home and remember what I say. If you do it again, and especially if you say `Jail Birds,' if I think it's right and my duty, I shall punish you somehow."

The next morning at recess Rebecca observed Minnie telling the tale with variations to Huldah Meserve. "She THREATENED me," whispered Minnie, "but I never believe a word she says."

The latter remark was spoken with the direct intention of being overheard, for Minnie had spasms of bravery, when well surrounded by the machinery of law and order.

As Rebecca went back to her seat she asked Miss Dearborn if she might pass a note to Minnie Smellie and received permission. This was the note:--

Of all the girls that are so mean
There's none like Minnie Smellie.
I'll take away the gift I gave
And pound her into jelly.

P. S. Now do you believe me?

R. Randall.

The effect of this piece of doggerel was entirely convincing, and for days afterwards whenever Minnie met the Simpsons even a mile from the brick house she shuddered and held her peace.

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