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HOME > Short Stories > Light O' The Morning > CHAPTER XXIV. — THE TELEGRAM,
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 The girls went out into the grounds. The afternoon happened to be a perfect one; the air was balmy, with a touch of the Indian summer about it. The last roses were blooming on their respective bushes; the geraniums were making a good show in the carefully laid out beds. There were clumps of asters and dahlias to be seen in every direction; some late poppies and some sweet-peas and mignonette made the borders still look very attractive, and the chrysanthemums were beginning to appear.  
“In a week's time they will be splendid,” said Linda, piloting her two friends through the largest of the greenhouses.
“Do come away,” said Molly; “when Linda speaks in that prim voice she's intolerable. Come, Nora; come, Stephie—we'll just have a run by ourselves.”
Nora was still looking rather pale. The shock of the morning had caused the color to fade from her cheeks; she could not get the utterly changed O'Shanaghgan out of her head. She longed to write to her father, and yet she did not dare.
Stephanotie looked at her with the curious, keen glance which an American girl possesses.
“What is it? Do say,” she said, linking her hand inside Nora's. “Is it anything that a bon-bon will soothe, or is it past that?”
“It is quite past that; but don't ask me now, Stephie. I cannot tell you, really.”
“Don't bother her,” said Molly; “she has partly confided in me, but not wholly. We'll have a good time by ourselves. What game do you think we had best play, Stephie?”
“I'm not one for games at all,” answered Stephanotie. “Girls of my age don't play games. They are thinking seriously of the business of life—the flirtations and the jolly time they are going to have before they settle down to their staid married life. You English are so very childish.”
“And we Irish are childish too,” said Nora. “It's lovely to be childish,” she added. “I hate to put away childish things.”
“Oh, dear! so that is the Irish and English way,” said Stephanotie. “But there, don't let us talk nationalities; let's be cozy and cheerful. I can tell you I did feel annoyed at coming here such a dowd; it was not my fault. I meant to make an impression; I did, really and truly. It was very good of you, Molly, to ask me; and I know that proud lady, your mother, didn't want to have me a bit. I am nothing but Stephanotie Miller, and she doesn't know the style we live in at home. If she did, maybe she would open her eyes a little; but she doesn't, and that's flat; and I am vulgar, or supposed to be, just because I am frank and open, and I have no concealment about me. I call a spade a spade.”
“Oh, hurrah! so do I,” said Molly, the irrepressible.
“Well, my dear, I don't use your words; they wouldn't suit me at all,” said the American girl. “I never call out Jehoshaphat the way you do, whoever Jehoshaphat is; but I have my little eccentricities, and they run to pretty and gay dresses—dresses with bright colors and quantities of lace on them—and bon-bons at all hours, in season and out of season. It's easy to content me, and I don't see why my little innocent wishes should not be gratified.”
“But you are very nicely dressed now,” said Nora, looking with approval at the gray cashmere.
“Me nicely dressed!” screamed Stephanotie. “Do you call this dress nice? Why, I do declare it's a perfect shame that I should be made such a spectacle. It don't suit my hair. When I am ordering a dress I choose shades of red; they tone me down. I am fiery to-day—am I not, Molly?”
“Well, you certainly are,” said Molly. “But what—what did you do to it?”
“To my locks, do you mean?”
“Yes. They do stick out so funnily. I know mother was shocked; she likes our heads to be perfectly smooth.'
“Like the Armitages', for instance,” said Stephanotie.
“Well, yes; something like theirs. They are pretty girls, are they not?”
“Yes,” said Stephanotie; &ldq............
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