Cloudy Jewel (Chapter 7, page 1 of 5)

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Chapter 7

"I'm going up-stairs to put on that calico wrapper you loaned me, Aunt Jewel," shouted Leslie, putting a rosy face into the dining-room for an instant and then vanishing.

"I bought a pair of overalls at the store, as you suggested, Cloudy," put in Allison, waving a pair of blue jeans at her and vanishing also.

Ellen Robinson stood mopping her eyes and staring out from the dining-room window--not at the hills--and sniffing.

"I should think you'd stop them calling you that ridiculous name!" she snorted. "It isn't respectful. It sounds like making fun of the family."

Poor Ellen Robinson! She had her good points, but a sense of humor wasn't one of them. Also it went against the grain to give up her own way, and she couldn't remember when she hadn't planned for the freedom she would have when Julia came to live with her. Having an entirely different temperament from Julia's and no spiritual outlook whatever on life, she was unable to understand what thraldom she had been preparing and planning for her patient elder sister. A little of this perhaps penetrated to Julia Cloud's disturbed consciousness as she watched her sister's irate back; for, when she spoke again, it was in a gentle, soothing tone.

"There now, Ellen, let's forget it all, and just put it away. I shall be coming back to see you now and then, perhaps, and you can come and see me. That'll be something new to look forward to. Suppose now we just get to work and see what's to be done. Have you decided what you want to have taken over to the house?"

It is doubtful whether Ellen would have succumbed so easily, had not the two young people returned just then and demanded that they have something to do.

As quietly as if she were used to packing and moving every year of her life, Julia Cloud gave them each a pile of newspapers, and set them to wrapping and packing dishes in a big barrel; and Ellen was forced to join in and say what she wanted to have of her mother's things.

Without a word Julia set aside anything Ellen asked for, even when it was something she would have liked to keep herself; and Ellen, her lips pursed and her eyes bright with defeat, went from room to room, picking and choosing as if she were at an auction.

Allison still in overalls rushed out in the car, and got a man with a moving-wagon; and before twelve o'clock Ellen Robinson saw a goodly load of household furniture start for her own home; and, being somewhat anxious as to how it would be disposed on its arrival, she took the car, and sped away to placate Herbert. She really felt quite triumphant at the ease with which she had secured several valuable pieces of mahogany which she knew had always been favorites with Julia.

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