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Morleena Kenwigs
by [?]

“I can’t help it, ma,” replied Morleena, also in tears, “my hair will grow!” While they were both still bemoaning and weeping, a fellow lodger in the house came upon them, and hearing of their difficulty, offered to escort Miss Morleena to the barber-shop, and at once led her in safety to that establishment. The proprietor, knowing she had three sisters, each with two flaxen tails, and all good for sixpence apiece a month at least, promptly deserted an old gentleman whom he had just lathered for shaving, and waited on the young lady himself. The old gentleman raising his head, Miss Kenwigs noticed his face and uttered a shrill little scream,–it was her Uncle Lillyvick!

Hearing his name pronounced, Mr. Lillyvick groaned, then coughed to hide it, and consigning himself to the hands of an assistant, commenced a colloquy with Miss Morleena’s escort, rather striving to escape the notice of Miss Morleena herself, and so remarkable did this behavior seem to her, that at the imminent hazard of having her ear sliced off, she could not forbear looking round at him some score of times.

The cutting and curling being at last concluded, the old gentleman, who had been finished some time, and simply waiting, rose to go also, and walked out of the establishment with Miss Morleena and her escort, proceeding with them, in profound silence until they had nearly reached Miss Morleena’s home, when he asked if her family had been very much overpowered by the news of his marriage.

“It made ma cry when she knew it,” answered Miss Morleena, “and pa was very low in his spirits, but he is better now, and I was very ill, but I am better too.”

“Would you give your great-uncle Lillyvick a kiss, if he was to ask you, Morleena?” said the collector, with some hesitation.

“Yes, Uncle Lillyvick, I would,” returned Miss Morleena with no hesitation whatsoever, whereupon Mr. Lillyvick caught her in his arms and kissed her, and being by this time at the door of the house, he walked straight up into the Kenwigses’ sitting-room and put her down in their midst. The surprise and delight that reigned in the bosom of the Kenwigses at the unexpected sight, was only heightened by the joyful intelligence that their uncle’s married life had been both brief and unsatisfactory, and by his further statement:

“Out of regard for you, Susan and Kenwigs, I shall to-morrow morning settle upon your children, and make payable to their survivors when they come of age, or marry, that money which I once meant to leave ’em in my will. The deed shall be executed to-morrow!”

Overcome by this noble and generous offer, and by their emotion, Mr. Kenwigs, Mrs. Kenwigs, and Miss Morleena Kenwigs all began to sob together, and the noise communicating itself to the next room where the other children lay a-bed, and causing them to cry too, Mr. Kenwigs rushed wildly in, and bringing them out in his arms, by two and two, tumbled them down in their night-caps and gowns at the feet of Mr. Lillyvick, and called upon them to thank and bless him.

And this wonderful domestic scene,–this family reconciliation was brought about by Miss Morleena, eldest of the four little Kenwigses, with the flaxen tails!