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“Fair enough,” said Madam Delia, submitting. “I ain't denyina of it.” Then she reflected and recommenced. “There never was such a smart performina child as that since the world began. She can do just anythina, and just as easy! Time and again I might have hired her out to a circus, and she glad of the chance, mind you; but no, I would keep her safe to home. Then when she showed me the ring and the other things, all my expectations altered very sudden; I knowed we could n't keep her, and I began to mistrust that she would somehow find her folks. I guess my rathers was that she should, considerina; but I did wish it had been Anne, for she ain't got nothina better in her than just to live genteel.”

“But Anne seems a nice child, too,” said Miss Martha, consolingly.

“Well, that's just what she is,” replied Madam Delia, with some contempt. “But what is she for a contortionist? Ask Comstock what she's got in her! And how to run the show without Gerty, that's what beats me. Why, folks begin to complain already that we advertise swallerina, and yet don't swaller. But never you mind, ma'am, you ”

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