Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/156

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was a cap, a bonnet, or a natural production, for it was never off. Madame walked out in it, wore it all day, and very likely slept in it. At least Lavinia firmly believed so, and often beguiled the watches of the night, imagining the old soul placidly slumbering with the perennial asters encircling her aged brow like a halo.

One other party there was who much amused the rest of the household. An American lady with a sickly daughter, who would have been pretty but for her affectation and sentimentality. The girl was engaged to a fierce, dissipated little Russian, who presented her with a big bouquet every morning, followed her about all day like a dog, and glared wrathfully at any man who cast an eye upon the languishing damsel in white muslin and flowing curls "bedropt with pearls," as a romantic lady expressed it.

It was evident that the Russian without any vowels in his name was going to marry Mademoiselle for her money, and the weak Mamma was full of satisfaction at the prospect. To others it seemed a doubtful bargain, and much pity was felt for the feeble girl doomed to go to Russia with a husband