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Page 234 of Novels, stories, sketches, and poems of Thomas Nelson Page (vol. 1)

IN OLE VIRGINIA and everybody knew Drinkwater Torm, and everybody who had been to the Colonel's for several years past (and that was nearly every- body in the county, for the Colonel kept open house) knew Polly. She had been placed in her chair by the Colonel's side at the club dinner on her first birthday after her arrival, and had been afterward placed on the table and allowed to crawl around among and in the dishes to entertain the gentlemen, which she did to the applause of every one, and of herself most of all; and from that time she had exercised in her kingdom the functions of both Vashti and Es- ther, and whatever Polly ordered was done. If the old inlaid piano in the parlor had been robbed of strings, it was all right, for Polly had taken them. Bob had cut them out for her, without a word of protest from anyone but Charity. The Colonel would have given her his heartstrings if Polly had re- quired them. She had owned him body and soul from the second he first laid eyes on her, when, on the instant he entered the room, she had stretched out her little chubby hands to him, and on his taking her had, after a few infantile caresses, curled up and, with her finger in her mouth, 234

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