Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 5.djvu/122

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their might, as if, like the London 'prentice-boys in old times, they cried, "What do you lack? Come buy, come buy!"

On a long table in the middle of the room, a dozen delicate caps and head-dresses were set forth. On another lay garlands of French flowers bought for pretty Clara's own adornment. Several dainty ball-dresses, imported for the gay winter she had expected to pass, hung over chairs and couch, also a velvet mantle Mrs. Barlow wished to sell, while some old lace, well-chosen ribbons, and various elegant trifles gave color and grace to the room.

Clara's first customer was Mrs. Tower,—a stout florid lady, full of the good-will and the real kindliness which is so sweet in times of trouble.

"My dear girl, how are you, and how is mamma? Now this is charming. Such a capital idea, and just what is needed; a quiet place, where one can come and be made pretty without all the world's knowing how we do it." And greeting Clara even more cordially than of old, the good lady trotted about, admiring everything, just as she used to do when she visited the girl in her former home to