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A Village Stradivarius by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

By Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

Kate Douglas Wiggin used to be one of many overdue nineteenth century's most well-liked authors of children books, and her vintage Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm remains to be extensively learn today.

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He took off his hat unconsciously as he entered Lyddy's sitting-room. A gentle breeze blew one of the full red curtains towards him till it fluttered about his shoulders like a frolicsome, teasing hand. There was a sweet pungent odour of pine-boughs, a canary sang in the window, the clock was trimmed with a blackberry vine; he knew the prickles, and they called up to his mind the glowing tints he had loved so well. His sensitive hand, that carried a divining rod in every finger-tip, met a vase on the shelf, and, travelling upward, touched a full branch of alder berries tied about with a ribbon.

Nobody sighed for the gaieties and advantages of a great city when, these concerts being over, Lyddy would pass crisp seedcakes and raspberry shrub, doughnuts and cider, or hot popped corn and molasses candy. "But there, she can afford to," said Aunt Hitty Tarbox; "she's pretty middlin' wealthy for Edgewood. And it's lucky she is, for she 'bout feeds that boy o' Croft's. No wonder he wants her to fill him up, after six years of the Widder Buck's victuals. Aurelia Buck can take good flour and sugar, sweet butter and fresh eggs, and in ten strokes of her hand she can make 'em into something the very hogs'll turn away from.

The reason came to her in the same flash: she was not being looked at; her disfigured face was hidden. This man, at least, could not shrink, turn away, shiver, affect indifference, fix his eyes on hers with a fascinated horror, as others had done. Her heart was divided between a great throb of pity and sympathy for him and an irresistible sense of gratitude for herself. Sure of protection and comprehension, her lovely soul came out of her poor eyes and sat in the sunshine. She spoke her mind at ease, as we utter sacred things sometimes under cover of darkness.

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