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II

  • At first it did not seem that the Lost Diamond had brought luck to any one at
  • New Moon. The very evening of its finding Aunt Elizabeth broke her leg.
  • Shawled and bonnetted for a call on a sick neighbour—bonnets had long gone out
  • of fashion even for elderly ladies, but Aunt Elizabeth wore them still—she had
  • started down cellar to get a jar of black currant jam for the invalid, had
  • tripped in some way and fallen. When she was taken up it was found that her
  • leg was broken and Aunt Elizabeth faced the fact that for the first time in
  • her life she was to spend weeks in bed.
  • Of course New Moon got on without her, though she believed it couldn't. But
  • the problem of amusing her was a more serious one than the running of New
  • Moon. Aunt Elizabeth fretted and pined over her enforced inactivity—could not
  • read much herself—didn't like to be read to—was sure everything was going to
  • the dogs—was sure she was going to be lame and useless all the rest of her
  • life—was sure Dr. Burnley was an old fool—was sure Laura would never get the
  • apples packed properly—was sure the hired boy would cheat Cousin Jimmy.
  • "Would you like to hear the little story I finished to-day, Aunt Elizabeth?"
  • asked Emily one evening. "It might amuse you."
  • "Is there any silly love-making in it?" demanded Aunt Elizabeth ungraciously.
  • "No love-making of any kind. It's pure comedy."
  • "Well, let me hear it. It may pass the time."
  • Emily read the story. Aunt Elizabeth made no comment whatever. But the next
  • afternoon she said, hesitatingly, "Is there—any more—of that story you read
  • last night?"
  • "No."
  • "Well, if there was—I wouldn't mind hearing it. It kind of took my thoughts
  • away from myself. The folks seemed—sort of—real to me. I suppose that is why I
  • feel as if I want to know what happens to them," concluded Aunt Elizabeth as
  • if apologizing for her weakness.
  • "I'll write another story about them for you," promised Emily.
  • When this was read Aunt Elizabeth remarked that she didn't care if she heard a
  • third one.
  • "Those  _Applegaths_  are amusing," she said. "I've known people like them.
  • And that little chap,  _Jerry Stowe._  What happens to him when he grows up,
  • poor child?"