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The Twin Cousins

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“O Auntie Prim, may I have a party? I’ll give you a thou-sand kisses if you’ll lemme have a party!”

Auntie Prim looked as if one kiss would be more than she could bear. She was standing by the pantry window that opened upon the garden, rolling out pie-crust, and didn’t like to be disturbed. She was a very good woman, but she never liked to be disturbed.

“Party?” said she, gazing sternly at Flaxie Frizzle and her little cousin Milly. “Saturday morning, and your mother gone, too! I should think this was a queer time for a party!”

Flaxie rolled her apron over at the corners and chewed it.

“Well, ’cause it’s my birthday, and my mamma said—”

“Yes, and her grammy said—” Little Milly got as far as this and then stopped. Flaxie was her darling “twin cousin,” and she wanted to help her; but that tall lady with the rolling-pin was just dreadful.

“Oh, now I remember,” said Mrs. Prim, paring off the dough around the edge of a pie. “Your mother did say, if you were a good girl all the week, you might have a few children here to tea. But have you been a good girl, Mary Gray?” added she, with a look through her spectacles that pierced her little niece to the soul.

“Yes um,” replied Flaxie, gazing down at her boots. “Only once, you know, you had to set me on the shelf behind the stove.”

“Very true. So you see you were naughty. What did you do?”

“Meddled,” said Flaxie in a low voice, with another nibble at her apron.

Mrs. Prim smiled a very small smile, but it was behind her lips, where the children could not see it.

“Well, Mary, perhaps you have been as good as could reasonably be expected under the circumstances.”

Poor little Milly couldn’t help feeling as if she were the “circumstances,” or why did those spectacles shine straight upon her?

“And I suppose you must have the party.”

Flaxie gave a scream of delight, and caught Mrs. Prim round the waist.

“O you darling, darling auntie!”

“There, there; don’t smother me, or I can’t cook your supper. What do you want?”

“Oh, may I have what I want? Pinnuts and peaches, and candy and preserves, and jelly and choclids, and oranges and everything?”

“No, you absurd child, not everything; but whatever is most suitable and proper,—if you will only run away out of my sight, you and Milly. But go first and tell your grandmother to send Dora to me.”

“Grammy’s quilting a quilt, and Dodo’s quilting a quilt; but I’ll tell ’em to come.”

“No, no; I only want Dora.”

“That child can’t be trusted to do the smallest errand correctly,” thought Auntie Prim, taking down the cook-book, with a sigh, and looking at the recipes for cake. Her husband was in Canada, and she had kindly offered to spend a month or so at Dr. Gray’s while his wife went away for her health. This would have been very pleasant, only Julia went with her mother, and little Flaxie was always troublesome without Julia.

Mrs. Prim had said that morning to Dora that she would go into the pantry and make three apple-pies, for she knew how to make them better than Dora; and then she must finish writing her lecture on Ancient History....