Kate Douglas Wiggin: Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm

14. XIV. MR. ALADDIN (continued)

"I am the lady of the house at present," said the stranger, with a whimsical smile. "What can I do for you?"

"Have you ever heard of the--would you like, or I mean--do you need any soap?" queried Rebecca

"Do I look as if I did?" he responded unexpectedly.

Rebecca dimpled. "I didn't mean THAT; I have some soap to sell; I mean I would like to introduce to you a very remarkable soap, the best now on the market. It is called the"--

"Oh! I must know that soap," said the gentleman genially. "Made out of pure vegetable fats, isn't it?"

"The very purest," corroborated Rebecca.

"No acid in it?"

"Not a trace."

"And yet a child could do the Monday washing with it and use no force."

"A babe," corrected Rebecca

"Oh! a babe, eh? That child grows younger every year, instead of older--wise child!"

This was great good fortune, to find a customer who knew all the virtues of the article in advance. Rebecca dimpled more and more, and at her new friend's invitation sat down on a stool at his side near the edge of the porch. The beauties of the ornamental box which held the Rose-Red were disclosed, and the prices of both that and the Snow-White were unfolded. Presently she forgot all about her silent partner at the gate and was talking as if she had known this grand personage all her life.

"I'm keeping house to-day, but I don't live here," explained the delightful gentleman. "I'm just on a visit to my aunt, who has gone to Portland. I used to be here as a boy. and I am very fond of the spot."

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