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Where Sarah Jane’s Doll Went
by [?]

In the first place, Sarah Jane had no right to take the doll to school, but the temptation was too much for her. The doll was new–it was, in fact, only one day old–and such a doll! Rag, of course–Sarah Jane had heard only vague rumors of other kinds–but no more like the ordinary rag doll than a fairy princess is like a dairy-maid. The minute that Sarah Jane saw it she knew at once that there never had been such a doll. It was small–not more than seven or eight inches tall–not by any means the usual big, sprawling, moon-faced rag baby with its arms standing out at right angles with its body. It was tiny and genteel in figure, slim-waisted, and straight-backed. It was made of, not common cotton cloth, but linen–real glossy white linen–which Sarah Jane’s mother, and consequently the doll’s grandmother, had spun and wove. Its face was colored after a fashion which was real high art to Sarah Jane. The little cheeks and mouth were sparingly flushed with cranberry juice, and the eyes beamed blue with indigo. The nose was delicately traced with a quill dipped in its grandfather’s ink-stand, and though not quite as natural as the rest of the features, showed fine effort. Its little wig was made from the fine ravellings of Serena’s brown silk stockings.

Serena was Sarah Jane’s married sister, who lived in the next house across the broad green yard, and she had made this wonderful doll. She brought it over one evening just before Sarah Jane went to bed. “There,” said she, “if you’ll be a real good girl I’ll give you this.”

“Oh!” cried Sarah Jane, and she could say no more.

Serena, who was only a girl herself, dandled the doll impressively before her bewildered eyes. It was dressed in a charming frock made from a bit of Serena’s best French calico. The frock was of a pale lilac color with roses sprinkled over it, and was cut with a low neck and short puffed sleeves.

“Now, Sarah Jane,” said Serena, admonishingly, “there’s one thing I want to tell you: you mustn’t carry this doll to school. If you do, you’ll lose it; and if you do, you won’t get another very soon. It was a good deal of work to make it. Now you mind what I say.”

“Yes, ma’am,” said Sarah Jane. It was not her habit to say ma’am to her sister Serena, if she was twelve years older than she; but she did now, and reached out impatiently for the doll.

“Well, you remember,” said Serena. “If you take it to school and lose it, it’ll be the last doll you’ll get.”

And Sarah Jane said, “Yes, ma’am,” again.

She had to go to bed directly, but she took the new doll with her; that was not forbidden, much to her relief. And before she went to sleep she had named her with a most flowery name, nothing less than Lily Rosalie Violet May. It took her a long time to decide upon it, but she was finally quite satisfied, and went to sleep hugging Lily Rosalie, and dreamed about her next day’s spelling lesson–that she failed and went to the foot of the class.

It was singular, but for once a dream of Sarah Jane’s came true. She actually did miss in her spelling lesson the next day; and although she did not go quite to the foot of the class, she went very near to it. But if Sarah Jane was not able to spell scissors correctly, she could have spelled with great success Lily Rosalie Violet May. All the evening she had been printing it over and over on a fly-leaf of her spelling-book. She could feel no interest in scissors, which had no connection, except a past one, with her beloved new doll.

Poor Sarah Jane lived such a long way from school that she had to carry her dinner with her, so there was a whole day’s separation, when she had only possessed Lily Rosalie for a matter of twelve hours. It was hard.