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Betty, The Hotel Child
by [?]

As soon as the messengers had gone, my sisters began to get ready for the ball. I knew I shouldn’t be able to go, because I haven’t got a frock, and I simply COULDN’T wear anything of theirs, they are so much bigger than I am. They finished dressing DOWNSTAIRS for some reason, where anybody might have seen them–they are so funny about things like that–and we had a lot of laughter about the clothes being too tight and so on. I think anything like that is so amusing. Then they went off, and here I am all alone. It is getting dark, and so I am going to cheer myself up by singing a little.

(LATER).–I AM GOING TO THE BALL! My Fairy Godmother, whom I had often heard about, suddenly came to see us. I told her my sisters were out, and she asked where they had gone, and wouldn’t I like to go too, so of course I said I should LOVE it. So I am going, and she has got a frock for me and everything. She is very kind, but not quite so FAIRY-LIKE as I expected.

WEDNESDAY.–I have had a LOVELY time, and I think I am in love. I got to the Ball just as the juggling and the ventriloquism were over–it must be a delightful Court to live in–and there was SUCH a sensation as I appeared. The Prince singled me out at once. He has the pinkest cheeks and the reddest lips of any man I know, and his voice is soft and gentle, and oh! I love him. One wants a man to be manly and a woman to be womanly, and I don’t think I should love a man if he were at all like Sister Fred or Sister Bert. The Prince is QUITE different. We were alone most of the time, and we sang several songs together. My sisters never recognized me; it was most surprising. I heard Sister Fred telling a very fine-looking gentleman a story about a lodger (whatever that is) who had a bit of a head; it sounded very humorous. Wherever Sister Fred goes there is sure to be fun. I am indeed a lucky girl to have two such sisters and to be in love with a Prince. Sister Bert sat down on the floor twice–it was most amusing.

A terrible thing happened just as the clock struck twelve. All my clothes turned into rags, and I just RAN out of the room, I was so frightened. Then I remembered what my Fairy Godmother had said about leaving before twelve o’clock. I suppose she knew what would happen if I didn’t. I’m afraid I left a glass slipper behind–I hope she won’t mind about it.

Well, I’ve had a lovely time. Even if I never see the Prince again, I shall always have this to look back to. I don’t mind WHAT happens now.

THURSDAY.–I AM GOING TO MARRY THE PRINCE! I can’t believe it is true. Perhaps it is only a dream, and I shall wake up soon, but even if it’s a dream it’s just as good as if it were real. It was all because of the slipper I left behind. The Prince said that he would marry the person whom it fitted, because he had fallen in love with the lady who wore it at the ball (ME!), and so everybody tried it on. And they came to our house, and Sister Bert tried it on. She pulled her skirt up to her knees and made everybody laugh, but even then she couldn’t get into it. And Sister Fred made a lot of faces, but SHE couldn’t. So I said, “Let ME try,” and they all laughed, but the Prince said I should, and of course it fitted at once. Then they all recognized me, and the Prince kissed me, and a whole lot of people came into the house who had never been invited, and we had the trapeze out again, and there was juggling and ventriloquism, and we all sang songs about somebody called Flanagan (whom I don’t think I have ever met), and Sister Bert kept sitting down suddenly on the floor. (But the Prince didn’t think this was at all funny, so I expect I must have been right all the time when I have only PRETENDED to laugh. I used to think that perhaps I hadn’t a sense of humour.) And then the Prince kissed me again, and my Fairy Godmother came in and kissed us both. Of course we do owe it all to her really, and I shall tell Charming so.

I do think I am a wonderful person!