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the wide hats, petticoats, and all—with the small clothes for the men—and started out to find my characters. One of my maids had told me of this girl and, as she lived nearest, I stopped at her house first. Well, the father came in and blustered out a welcome; then the mother, with a curtsy and a smile, wiped out the man’s odious impression, thanking me for coming, and then the girl appeared—the living counterpart of her mother except that the fine strain of gentle blood had so softened and strengthened the daughter’s personality that she had blossomed into a lovely young person without a trace of the peasant about her—just as any new grafting improves both flower and fruit. I could not take my eyes from her, she was so gentle and modest—her glance reaching mine timidly, the lids trembling like a butterfly afraid to alight; oh, a very charming and lovely creature—an astonishing creature, really, to be the daughter of such a man. Before the visit was over I had determined to make her my prima donna: she should lead the procession, and open the dance with some gallant of her choice—a promise received with delight by the family; the girl being particularly pleased, especially with the