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"WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT'S TIME TO READ ELSIE DINSMORE AND THERE ARE COOKIES!"

"Hnhl? Hn! Is there a fire?"

"No, just cookies and Elsie Dinsmore." I wait, nonplussed, through the quavering scream. If I can take this so can you!

Let's look in on how Arthur's doing. Has Arthur done something good, or something bad?

Now it so happened that afternoon that Arthur, who had made
himself sick by over-indulgence in sweetmeats, and had in
consequence been lounging about the house doing nothing for the
last day or two


He has done evil things! Evil! Because the kid who was previously deeply ashamed of his bad behavior has fallen off the deep end and is capable of rising above no vice. Later he will become a gambler. He's probably one now.

the desk-key lay right beside it, and as he caught sight of
that he gave a half scream of delight, for he guessed at once to
what lock it belonged, and felt that he now could accomplish the
revenge he had plotted ever since the affair of the watch.


I don't know how he's got a gambling problem, when he's so easily shot through with delight. Arthur, wild chaser of thrills, gives shrieks of delight at desk keys. He's still more normal than his brother. Anyway, he opens her desk and wrecks her work.

But to do Arthur justice, though he knew his brother would be
pretty sure to be very angry with Elsie, he did not know of the
threatened punishment.


Arthur Dinsmore has been sharp as a tack when it comes to understanding his family, much less his brother, up until this paragraph. Maybe his last beating left him with mild amnesia.

"What, papa?" she asked, turning pale with terror.

"_What!_" said he! "do you ask me what? Did I not tell you _positively_
that I would _punish_ you if your copy-book this month did not present
a better appearance than it did last?"

"O papa! does it not? I tried so very hard; and there are no blots
in it."


You know what? To hell with it. We already know all of this, and this is the riding-crop business (good work not scaring the kid, Daddy D!) so you know Lora saves her and how Arthur waves his terrible cold claw-hand to no avail.

Oh, this is why Lora cares:

She hastily crossed the room, and speaking in a low tone, said,
"Arthur, _you_ have had a hand in this business I very well
know; now confess it quickly, or Horace will half kill Elsie."


I love how everyone in the family is expecting Horace to endanger Elsie, cut her hand off, half-kill her, whatever. They know him.

Anyway, Elsie and Daddy D. learn the truth of the ruined book through ways Finley already told us they would, and Horace once again talks about how much he loves the small child he was going to beat with a riding-crop, and there is great happiness and, of course:

upon being made acquainted by Horace with Arthur's misdemeanors
he inflicted upon him as severe a punishment as any one could have desired.


Arthur is savagely beaten by Grandpa Dinsmore again and Finley gets to write about people getting punished. A wonderful day all around. Next chapter.

And now happy days had come to the little Elsie. Her father
treated her with the tenderest affection, and kept her with him
almost constantly, seeming scarcely willing to have her out of his
sight for an hour.


The slave-owning taxidermist with the frowny-face paper plate on his head demands that his child be around in all her daylight time. This isn't creepy at all. I do not want my teddy bear.

Yes, Elsie had lost her fear of her father, and could now talk to
him, and tell him her feelings and wishes, as freely as ever Enna
did; and no wonder, for in all these weeks he had never given her
one harsh word or look; but indeed he had had no occasion to do
so, for she was always docile and obedient.


Elsie Dinsmore has evolved into Stepford performer! Hurray! Oh, this is the happiest most moral novel anywhere.

while turning over the leaves of her Bible to find the story of
Elijah, which she had promised to read to Chloe that afternoon,


Elsie's always reading to her because Chloe is a slave and probably can't read. Oh, this is the happiest most moral novel anywhere!

when a child's footsteps were heard coming down the hall, the
handle of the door was turned hastily, and then, as it refused to
yield, Enna's voice called out in a fretful, imperious tone, "Open
this door, Elsie Dinsmore. I want in, I say."


Enna is here to beat up on Elsie's property and demand amusement. Elsie gently pleads for her to stop, Enna defaces her property more, and then:

"I sha'n't hear any of those! I don't want any of your old Bible
stories," interrupted Enna, insolently, "You must tell me that
pretty fairy tale Herbert Carrington is so fond of."

"No, Enna; I cannot tell you that _to-day_," replied Elsie,
speaking gently, but very firmly.

"I say you _shall!_" screamed Enna, springing to her feet.
"I'll just go and tell mamma, and she'll make you do it."

"Stay, Enna," said Elsie, catching her hand to detain her; "I will
tell you any story I know that is suitable for the Sabbath; but I
cannot tell the fairy tale to-day, because you know it would be
wrong. I will tell it to you to-morrow, though, if you will wait."

"You're a _bad_ girl, and I'll just tell mamma of you,"
exclaimed Enna, passionately, jerking her hand away and darting
from the room.


Enna in my mind now has witchy green skin and a water allergy. And, of course, a top hat. She had a flying broomstick but Arthur crashed and broke it, so she is left only with an addiction to fairy-stories and I want Lucy Carrington back so badly. Anyway, mamma was threatened and mamma we have:

"Elsie," said that lady, severely, "are you not ashamed of
yourself, to refuse Enna such a small favor especially when the
poor child is not well. I must say you are the most selfish,
disobliging child I ever saw."


Oh, yeah. We were told in the setup that Enna has a cold. Yes, the same Enna who's tearing around the house screaming, flouncing, and otherwise behaving as if she could arm-wrestle Captain Coachcatcher. I'm guessing Daddy D. diagnosed her.

"Come, come, what is all this fuss about?" asked the elder Mr.
Dinsmore, coming in from an adjoining room.


Huzzah! Elsie is going to stand up to Enna in front of Grandpa Dinsmore, who repeatedly in the early half of this very book made it clear that he was disgusted that she never stood up to anyone, ever! Grandpa Dinsmore can also love her like Horace, and... I'm not sure this is going to be any happier or less creepy. Whatever, Elsie is looking pink and healthy nowadays because she's well cared for, so I suppose it's a good thing for her.

"Nothing," said his wife, "except that Enna is not well enough to
go out, and wants a fairy story to pass away the time, which Elsie
alone is acquainted with, but is too lazy or too self-willed to
relate."

He turned angrily to his little granddaughter.

"Ah! indeed, is that it? Well, there is an old saying. 'A bird
that _can_ sing, and _won't_ sing, must be _made_ to sing.'"


Oh, yeah, we're dealing with Finley characterization, where people vacillate wildly from one personality to another over the course of half a novel. I don't think it's ever stated again that Grandpa Dinsmore would love Elsie if she weren't a pushover. Now he just sort of generally loathes her like Miss Day and Mamma and anyone else.

Also, where did we hear that before? Oh, yeah, Horace in one of his creepy moments. Once again, we learn that Grandpa Dinsmore is the wellspring of the family's psychological problems.

Elsie was opening her lips to speak, but Mrs. Dinsmore bade her be
silent, and then went on. "She pretends it is all on account of
conscientious scruples. 'It isn't fit for the Sabbath,' she says.
Now _I_ say it is a great piece of impertinence for a child
of her years to set up her opinion against yours and mine; and I
know very well it is nothing but an excuse, because she doesn't
choose to be obliging."

"Of _course_ it is; nothing in the _world_ but an
excuse," responded Mr. Dinsmore, hotly.


Now all Mamma Dinsmore has to do is suggest Elsie be beaten and he'll chase her all over the house, unless he forgets in his zeal and goes after Mamma instead.

Elsie's face flushed, and she answered a little indignantly,

"No, grandpa, indeed it is _not_ merely an excuse, but--"

"Do you _dare_ to contradict me, you impertinent little
hussy?" cried the old gentleman, interrupting her in the middle of
her sentence; and catching her by the arm, he shook her violently;
then picking her up and setting her down hard upon a chair, he
said, "Now, miss, sit you there until your father comes home, then
we will see what _he_ thinks of such impertinence; and if he
doesn't give you the complete whipping you deserve, I miss my
guess."


Did Finley forget she even wrote about Grandpa before? Here's Grandpa in Adelaide's words:

"She is an odd child," said Adelaide; "I don't understand her; she
is so meek and patient she will fairly let you trample upon her.
It provokes papa. He says she is no Dinsmore, or she would know
how to stand up for her own rights...


Here's Grandpa in his words:

"Please, grandpa, I--"

"Hold your tongue! don't dare to speak another word until your
father comes home," said he, threateningly. "If you don't choose
to say what you're wanted to, you shall not talk at all."


Maybe Grandpa was replaced by a pugilistic doppelganger a while ago? Whatever, let's have Daddy D's reaction:

"What! _Elsie_ impertinent! is it possible? I certainly
expected better things of her."


As usual, his immediate reaction is to be amazed that Elsie must have done whatever she's accused of. Daddy Dinsmore has such terrible pattern recognition that he once bagged a Dalmation on a zebra hunt. This whole thing is not a very big issue, which everyone has to admit and there's still a threat of punishment over Elsie's talking back to Grandpa D. and I don't care and neither do you. The word "punish" is used a lot and Elsie has to memorize Bible verses. And what does Daddy D. do to show she's back in favor?

Elsie turned to her book again, but in a few moments was
interrupted by the entrance of a servant carrying on a silver
waiter a plate of hot, buttered muffins, a cup of jelly, another
of hot coffee, and a piece of broiled chicken. Elsie was all
astonishment.


So am I. Horace said that she couldn't have butter, hot muffins, and coffee for her health. This was like his one claim to good parenting. And now he's giving her these supposedly unhealthy things solely because she was good, so... he was arbitrarily controlling her food.

To be fair:

"what a good supper you sent me!
But I thought you didn't allow me such things!"
"Don't you know," said he playfully, laying his hand upon her
head, "that I am absolute monarch of this small kingdom, and you
are not to question my doings or decrees?"
Then in a more serious tone, "No, daughter, I do not allow it as a
regular thing, because I do not think it for your good; but for
once, I thought it would not hurt you.


Mayyyyybe. I'd be on the fence if it weren't for incidents two through five since the Dinsmore Diet was set up, but with all the immortal fuss he makes over everything she puts in her mouth, I'm not really buying it. He knows his rules are crazy and he'll give her a break when he feels like it.

"I have no doubt your grandfather and his wife would have
been better pleased had I forced you to yield to Enna's whim;


Yeah, Grandpa D. from the early part of the book has been caught by a doppelganger. He was long ago silently dragged into a back hallway of the mansion to be digested and replaced, his death unknown and unmourned. Early Grandpa D. was loudly announcing the eight-year-old he'd taken into his house hatched from a cuckoo's egg, so I can't mind his rending between gnarled teeth and claws, but it'd be nice if the rest of the house knew. It could easily happen to someone else. Wait, Adelaide also had a sudden inexplicable personality change. Then the real Adelaide was also ambushed and devoured, unmissed, and not so long ago. This book might get interesting if Enna finds a neatly gnawed pile of human bones under sister Adelaide's bed... no, I forgot she's evil now too. She'd probably just quietly take them to make her witchy potions.

God I wish I was reading an interesting book.

"...it was what you
have had to suffer from Enna's insolence. I shall put a stop to
that, for I will not have it."

"I don't mind it much, papa," said Elsie gently, "I am quite used
to it, for Enna has always treated me so."

"And why did _I_ never hear of it before?" he asked, half
angrily. "It is abominable! not to be endured!" he exclaimed, "and
I shall see that Miss Enna is made to understand that _my_
daughter is fully her equal in every respect, and always to be
treated as such."


If she wants to treat someone as not her equal, they have slaves for that! Seriously, why is Elsie's oppression so much more important than their oppression?

"...if _I_ had bidden you to tell her that
story it would have been a very different matter; you need never
set up your will, or your opinion of right and wrong, against mine,
Elsie, for I shall not allow it. I don't altogether like some of those
strict notions you have got into your head, and I give you fair warning,
that should they ever come into collision with _my_ wishes and
commands, they will have to be given up. But don't look so alarmed,
daughter; I hope it may never happen; and we will say no more about
it to-night," he added, kindly, for she had grown very pale and
trembled visibly.

"O papa, dear papa! don't ever bid me do anything wrong; it would
break my heart," she said, laying her head on his shoulder as he
sat down and drew her to his side.


Finley has now guaranteed an Elsie/Daddy D. conflict, so... okay, whatevs. I'm still trying to figure out if anyone would ever find any evidence of what happened. I wonder if doppelgangers do eat bones. Probably not, they must have human-sized mouths. Maybe they don't have lips in natural form or something, but they still wouldn't have very powerful jaws. Is this book still here?

"I never intend to bid you do wrong, but, on the contrary, wish
you always to do right. But then, daughter, _I_ must be the
judge of what is wrong or right for you; you must remember that
you are only a very little girl, and not yet capable of judging
for yourself, and all you have to do is to obey your father
without murmuring or hesitation, and then there will be no
trouble."

His tone, though mild, and not unkind, was very firm and decided,
and Elsie's heart sank; she seemed to feel herself in the shadow
of some great trouble laid up in store for her in the future.


WE GET IT, FINLEY. Would it have to have like... stalked him, or was it one of the ones that somehow ate memories? What about the personality change? Did it just figure all it had to do was beat people at the drop of a hat and no one would notice, or is that its own take on Grandpa? Did one get Arthur, too? I've mentioned Arthur changes enormously, although he was still a little repenting after he messed with Elsie and it mentioned he didn't know she would have such enormous consequences. No, I think Arthur's just upset about his giant Frankenbrows. Maybe a doppelganger tried to jump him, but he fought it off with his claw-hand.

Where were we? Oh yeah, bored. Hang on, let me skim until the inevitable Elsie/Daddy D. conflict.

Quite a number of guests had dined at Roselands.

I read "quite a number of guests had died at Roselands" and was completely unsurprised. If the neglectful hosts and attentive doppelgangers don't get you, the coachman will.

"Yes, Miss Adelaide; I was looking for little Miss Elsie. Travilla
has given me so very glowing an account of her precocious musical
talent, that I have conceived a great desire to hear her play and
sing."


Travilla goes around mooning over the wonderfulness of an eight-year-old to anyone in hearing. Sadly, no doppelgangers ever eat Travilla. I would pay one to do it, but they've probably got standards.

"Do you hear that, Horace?" asked Adelaide, turning to her
brother.


RUN! IT IS A DOPPELGANGER!

"Yes, and I shall be most happy to gratify you, Eversham," replied
the young father, with a proud smile.


Elsie is still an extension of Daddy D., I see. He does get even creepier about this. Mamma points out Elsie won't do it, Daddy D. says she's never gone against his authority, blahblahbah

"Here, Elsie," said her father, selecting a song which she had
learned during their absence, and sang remarkably well, "I wish
you to sing this for my friends; they are anxious to hear it."
"Will not to-morrow do, papa?" she asked in a low, tremulous tone.
Mrs. Dinsmore, who had drawn near to listen, now looked at Horace
with a meaning smile, which he affected not to see.

"Certainly not, Elsie," he said; "we want it now. You know it
quite well enough without any more practice."


Daddy D. knows about practice. It's how he learned to drink with a frowny paper plate tied over his face.

"I did not want to wait for _that_ reason, papa," she replied
in the same low, trembling tones, "but you know this is the holy
Sabbath day."

"Well, my daughter, and what of that? _I_ consider this song
perfectly proper to be sung to-day, and that ought to satisfy you
that you will not be doing wrong to sing it; remember what I said
to you some weeks ago; and now sit down and sing it at once,
without any more ado."


Behind her, Adelaide, bored as we, started listening to the charming young planter tell her all about himself.

She sat down, but raising her pleading eyes, brimful of tears to
his face, she repeated her refusal. "Dear papa, I _cannot_
sing it to-day. I _cannot_ break the Sabbath."


I like to think the song is "Dixieland."

"Let her wait until to-morrow, Dinsmore; tomorrow will suit us
quite as well," urged several of the gentlemen, while Adelaide
good-naturedly said, "Let me play it, Horace; I have no such
scruples, and presume I can do it nearly as well as Elsie."

"No," he replied, "when I give my child a command, it is to be
obeyed; I have _said_ she should play it, and play it she
_must_; she is not to suppose that she may set up her opinion
of right and wrong against mine."


The young planter scratched his head and quietly decided he was going somewhere more normal. He was never seen in the book again.

Elsie sat with her little hands folded in her lap, the tears
streaming from her downcast eyes over her pale cheeks. She was
trembling, but though there was no stubbornness in her countenance,
the expression meek and humble, she made no movement toward obeying
her father's order.


It's not that she's actually being meek and humble, it's that she's looking it.

The thing is, if it's not an immoral song, her father is right in saying if it's suitable or not, and she is supposed to obey him as we have been told over nine thousand times. Elsie's rightness comes straight from god, and it's supposed to be a cut above man's... but only if Elsie is granted the power of interpretation and not her father. The only way she's right is if she's always theologically right, and she isn't. She's eight. But this is all really okay, because this has nothing to do with common sense and everything to do with the magic of appearing right. Following a holy book looks righter than following the commands of some mortal man, so it must be righter! Morality!

There was a moment of silent waiting; then he said in his severest
tone, "Elsie, you shall sit there till you obey me, though it
should be until to-morrow morning."

"Yes, papa," she replied in a scarcely audible voice, and they all
turned away and left her...

...Thus two long hours had passed when Mr. Travilla came to her side,


GAAAAH! Where the hell did he come from!? He's like the Cheshire Cat, suddenly turning out to have been standing there smiling all along, unseen.

"Thank you for your
sympathy, Mr. Travilla, you are very kind; but I could not do it,
because Jesus says, 'He that loveth father or mother more than me,
is not worthy of me;' and I cannot disobey Him, even to please my
own dear papa."

"But, Miss Elsie, why do you think it would be disobeying Him? Is
there any verse in the Bible which says you must not sing songs on
Sunday?"

"Mr. Travilla, it says the Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the
Lord; that we are not to think our own thoughts, nor speak our own
words, nor do our own actions; but all the day must be spent in
studying God's word, or worshipping and praising Him; and there is
no praise in that song; not one word about God or heaven."


Elsie reads and studies and memorizes the Bible every other day of the week. She loves doing it. Funny how god's will according to Elsie matches up perfectly in every way with Elsie's will. It's Elsie Day! None can interfere! Especially not details like "children, obey your parents in the lord, for this is right" or all that stuff about obedience being an act of worship. We've already defined what obedience is. It's not got anything to do with good.

"That is very true, Elsie, but still it is such a _very
little_ thing, that I cannot think there would be much harm in
it, or that God would be very angry with you for doing it."
"O Mr. Travilla!" she said, looking up at him in great surprise,
"surely you know that there is no such thing as a _little
sin_; and don't you remember about the man who picked up sticks
on the Sabbath day?"

"No; what was it?"

"God commanded that he should be stoned to death, and it was done.
Would you not have thought _that_ a very little thing, Mr.
Travilla?"


Oh! Of course! Obedience is something that you must accomplish immediately in one way according to incredibly strict laws. It is, by definition, work. Therefore, Elsie won't obey anyone's commands today. That's a beautiful little revelation. It's almost as good as the way that we now know she thinks everyone in the mansion deserves capital punishment, even the one black character.

"_Never_, Travilla," he answered, with stern decision. "This
is the first time she has rebelled against my authority, and if I
let her conquer now, she will think she is always to have her own
way. No; cost what it may, I _must_ subdue her; she will have
to learn that my will is law."

"Right, Horace," said the elder Mr. Dinsmore, approvingly, "let
her understand from the first that you are to be master; it is
always the best plan."


Szrngual had been bored, but the prospect of a whipping was now on the horizon. This party was looking up.

Also, I can't help but think this might be a pretty real picture of what slave-owning does to people. Mamma freaks out about being mistress in her house because an eight-year-old might not yield to her child, Horace continually flips his lid over the prospect of the same child having an unbroken spirit, and they all do have an investment in forever avoiding a slave uprising. Whether they're corrupted by power or just living in uneasy denial, this part does ring true.

Eversham, who had been casting uneasy glances at Elsie all the
afternoon, now drawing his chair near to Adelaide, said to her in
an undertone, "Miss Adelaide, I am deeply sorry for the mischief I
have unwittingly caused, and if you can tell me how to repair it
you will lay me under lasting obligations."

Adelaide shook her head. "There is no moving Horace when he has
once set his foot down," she said; "and as to Elsie, I doubt
whether any power on earth can make her do what she considers
wrong."

"Poor little thing!" said Eversham, sighing; "where in the world
did she get such odd notions?"

"Partly from a pious Scotch woman, who had a good deal to do with
her in her infancy, and partly from studying the Bible, I believe.
She is always at it."


No mention of Chloe this time. Awkward to say that a slave had a hand in shaping the child's personality, I'm sure. Then again, if they did blame Chloe they'd probably get rid of her, so maybe Finley is protecting her.

"Indeed!" and he relapsed into thoughtful silence.

So having talked all possible action to death, Elsie sits there until she passes out and falls.

Travilla, who was nearest the door, rushed into the drawing-room,
followed by the others.

"A light! quick, quick, a light!" he cried, raising Elsie's
insensible form in his arms; "the child has fainted."

One of the others, instantly snatching a lamp from a distant
table, brought it near, and the increased light showed Elsie's
little face, ghastly as that of a corpse, while a stream of blood
was flowing from a wound in the temple, made by striking against
some sharp corner of the furniture as she fell.

She was a pitiable sight indeed, with her fair face, her curls,
and her white dress all dabbled in blood.

"Dinsmore, you're a brute!" exclaimed Travilla indignantly, as he
placed her gently on a sofa.


Elsie is defended by Finley, and it's made clear we're meant to agree, but she's not that right about this Sabbath fanaticism. The only way to make her righter is to make Daddy D. wronger, so that's what Finley does. This is also the first time in the book physical harm falls on Elsie. This is not the first time in the book Daddy D. kept her sitting up until she collapsed. The time that Daddy D. tried to buy a dalmation, everyone admired his new giraffe.

But at length the soft eyes unclosed, and gazing with a troubled
look into his face, bent so anxiously over her, she asked, "Dear
papa, are you angry with me?"

"No, darling," he replied in tones made tremulous with emotion,
"not at all."


Well, that conflict is totally settled by completely dodging it! So, since random topic drift is every scene around these parts, Elsie and her dad talk religion:

"Does it? and what makes you think I don't love Him?"

"Dear papa, please don't be angry," she pleaded, tearfully, "but
you know Jesus says, 'He that keepeth my commandments, he it is
that loveth me.'"

He stooped over her. "Good night, daughter," he said.


Elsie knows how Christian you are by how Elsie you are. Anyway, we learn Elsie almost died, which totally makes her almost a martyr. By piano. Yeah, that's not making it into Fox's little honor roll. She milks it when she's telling Travilla why he should be saved, though. Also, this:

"O Mr. Travilla!" said the little girl, "does it not make your
heart ache to read how the Jews abused our dear, dear Saviour? and
then to think that it was all because of our sins," she sobbed.


It was Roman soldiers, Elsie. This is the only bit of anti-Semitism I can think of in these books, but it's possible I missed something skimming and I'm uneasy that I did. Obviously none of our homeschoolers are going to mention anything. Anyway, Elsie takes a time out to witness to everyone in sight. She witnessed to... I think it was Lora, too, after the carriage ride. Lora's needing to be told how to be saved was all the more baffling when she'd been riding to church with Elsie, like she apparently did often.

"She had waited for their coming,
She had kiss'd them o'er and o'er--
And they were so fondly treasured
For the words of love they bore,
Words that whispered in the silence,
She had listened till his tone
Seemed to linger in the echo
'Darling, thou art all mine own!'"
--MRS. J. C. NEAL.


This is an opening from the chapter. They're usually foreshadowing suffering or peril or something, and this is an unusually long one, so who is writing possessive love letters to whom I shudder to think. Hopefully that's just a reference to Elsie's love of the Bible. Anyway, let's have an exchange between Doppelganger Adelaide and Elsie:

"Pray, what weighty matter is troubling your young brain, birdie?"
asked Adelaide, laughingly laying her hand on Elsie's shoulder.
"Judging from the exceeding gravity of your countenance, one might
imagine that the affairs of the nation had been committed to your
care."


Doppleganger Adelaide uses pet names for Elsie and jokes with her and did eventually bother to mention she was abused. Real Adelaide sort of generally shunned her and might never have even noticed. If we have to be stuck with one it might as well be the first. And of course Real Adelaide has fizzed away in her replacement's metabolism by now, so it's not like we can get her back if we wanted her. Sorry, Real Adelaide! Her doppelganger and Elsie collaborate on getting Daddy D. a Christmas present. Aw, what a happy story.

"Your papa is going away in a day or two to attend to some
business matters connected with your property, and will be absent
at least two weeks; so, unless he should take it into his head to
carry you along, we can easily manage about the picture."


...Finley.

"The sooner I leave you the sooner I shall return, you know,
darling," he said, patting her cheek, and smiling kindly on her.

"Yes, papa; but two weeks seems such a long, long time."

He smiled. "At your age I suppose it does, but when you are as old
as I am, you will think it very short. But to make it pass more
quickly, you may write me a little letter every day, and I will
send you one just as often."

"Oh! thank you, papa; that will be so pleasant," she answered,
with a brightening countenance. "I do so love to get letters, and
I would rather have one from you than from anybody else."


Godammit, Finley! That poem isn't even subtext now!

It is once again time to stop reading Elsie Dinsmore. Oatmeal cookie?
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