Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/142

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SHAWL-STRAPS.

"Settle it as you like, dear, only I'm afraid I couldn't stay very long on account of the dampness," observed Lavinia, cheerfully, as she put a hoe-handle under her feet and wiped the blue mould from a three-legged chair.

"It won't do, so I'll tell her you are an invalid and very particular," said Amanda, with another inspiration, as she led the landlady forth to break the blow tenderly.

"My neuralgia is useful if it isn't ornamental; and what a comfort that is!" said Lavinia, as she lightly threw a large cockroach out of window, dodged a wasp, and crushed a fit spider.

And so it was in many ways. If the party wanted a car to themselves, Granny was ordered to lie down and groan dismally, which caused other travellers to shun the poor invalid. If rooms did not suit, suffering Madame must have sun or perish. Late lunches, easy carriages, extra blankets, every sort of comfort was for her, whether she wanted them or not.

"Shall I be sick or well?" was always the first question when an invitation came, for "my sister's delicate health" was the standing excuse when parties palled, or best gowns were not get-at-able.