"To Mistress Pendexter!" shouted Clare ecstatically.
"Oh ay!" assented Barbara. "Saith the master so?"
Clare nodded. "And, Bab, shall I take Doll?"
This contraction for Dorothy must have been the favourite name with the little ladies of the time for the plaything on which it is now inalienably fixed.
"I will sew up yon hole in her gown, then, first," said Barbara, taking the doll by its head in what Clare thought a very disrespectful manner. "Mrs Clare, this little gown is cruel ragged; if I could but see time, I had need make you another."
"Oh, do, Bab!" cried Clare in high delight.
"Well, some day," replied Barbara discreetly.
A few hours later, Barbara and Clare were standing at the door of a small, neat cottage in a country lane, where dwelt Barbara's sister, Marian Pendexter, [a fictitious person] widow of the village schoolmaster. The door was opened by Marian herself, a woman some five y