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Ruby's "easter Hat."

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"I Vish I was dead, so tkere;" and Ruby Brown stood the picture of lovely despair, gazing down at a yellow mass at her feet, consisting of six dozen crushed eggs. Poor Ruby had been a whole month saving and hoarding these treasures which were to play an important part in the purchaso of a lovely "Easter bonnit," Aunt Rushy had contení ptuously called it, when Ruby had said in a pleadingtone: "But auntie, all the girls are going to have pretty new hats to wear Easter Sunday." "Easter bonnits," snapped Aunt Rushy, "better be thiükin' of the good Lord, and how he riz on that day, then hev their minds on bonnits." "But auntie - " "Now, no buts, Ruby Brown; girls in my time wasn't thinkin' eternally 'bout bonnits and gimcracks; and Easter Sunday wasn't made a show-day for bonnits, either." "If I could have the eggs, auntie," pleaded Ruby, ignoring her last remarks. "Well, take 'em; I don't know as I care, if you can save enuff'tween fhis and then. You' 11 hev to hev a bonnit eny how shortly after Easter." Ruby ran joyfully out into the coop to gather the lirstinstallment, after giving Aunt Rushy an afïectionate little hug. "That child always will get the best of me long as grass grows and water runs," smiled the spinster aunt, grimly - who had been mother and aunt for many years, nearly eighteen now, since her dearest and youngest sister had died. putting baby Ruby into Jerusha's arms. murmuring "Be kindto her, love her for my sake," and had died; and the young girl well repaid the care and grim sort of love lavished upon her. No one knew whatever had become of gay, wiid, dissipated Will Brown, Ruby's father, whotn people said had once been Jerusha's lover, and who had deserted her for the younger sister, pretty Helen. The evntful morning had come on which Ruby's eggs were to be disposed of. Blithely and gayl% she started forth, a neat wiflow basket on her arm, her eyes shining like twin stars, and cheeks rivaling summer roses. A stray robin chirped dubiously overhead in the budding but leafless tress, and visions of the "Easter hat" floated before Ruby's visión, with wliich the young minister who had just been settled at the "Caworth village" church, should be ensnared; for all the girls, Aunt Rushy said, "was casting sheep's eyes that way." Ruby tripptd along in thecrisp March air, satisfied with herself and the whole world, when alas! for human hopes and ioys how fleeting, Ruby caught her foot in some tftnglcd weeds, and feil headlong upon ner precious basket of eggs, and for a moment feit as if the whole worldhad crushed all the ioy am happiness out of her yonng heart anc life. In her great sorrow she gave vent to the ejaculation, "I wish I was dead," as she slowly arose froni the ruina oí all her (eggs) hopes. "Can I be of any assistance?" askec some one behind her. Iluby started and looked aronnd, to encounter tho amused smile on the young minister1 s face. "I hardly think any one can rerned; this disaster," stammered Ruby, dis mally viewing the mass at their feet. "Eggsactly," laughed Mr. Howard "Don't laugh," said Ruby. suddenly bursing into tears "Don't cry, I beg. 1 will try not to langh," he said anxiously. "How foolish I am," said Ruby bravely trying to smile, "but I have los my Easter hat." "Your Easter hat?" he askod, a little nonplussed. "Yes. With those eggs I should have bought it," sighod Ruby. "Hem! Well, is it absolutely neces sary to have Easter hats, Miss Brown?' "Oh, no. Still, every one does, you know," said Ruby, gravolv. "No, I did not know it before. Do you not think you conld enjoy tha grandest and ïoveliost of anniversaries without a new hat, Miss Brown?" he asked, looking into her sweet face searchingly. "Oh, yes I could," replied Ruby blushing rosily. "I think I have been a little vain, and I am punished this way' and Ruby laughed quite meriüly. "Not one left to teil the tale," he an swered, joining in her laughter. "Only on my dress and mantle,' kuighingly said Ruby; "that will tel 11." "Allow me to remove a few flecks from yoi'r hair," and he bent forwarc with a dainty cambric handkerchief, re moving the golden spots from the soft curling brown hair ; both faees ha taken on an added hun of pink. "Mav I walk back with you?" he asked a little eagerly, as she turned to go home, after their united effbrts to clean the basket, which they partialty succeeded in doing, Pertnission was shyly given, and soon they were chat tiug Hke oíd friends, and Ruth was surprised that she feit uo greater disappointment over the loss of her " Easter hat." "Well I swun if hero doesn't come the minister 'long with Miss Rnby, ' jaculatcd Aunt Jeruslia, peeriig out o: the window. "But - heavings aud airth, what is that yaller all over the front of your dress. Ruby ? How de do. Mister Howard: walk in. What on airth - " "Oh Aunüe, it's my 'Easter hat,' " cried Ruby, aluiost hysterioally, "look at me! Only for Mr. Howard coming to tho ráscue, I dou"t know what would have becomc of me." "Well I never! Such a ehild." gasped Aunt Rushy, shocked beyond measurc at Ruby's appearance before the new minister. How was sho know that he was thinking shs was the loveliest and most sensible girl he had ever met? Ruby went to chureh "Easter Sunday" with her winter's hat, and the Rev. Clinton Howard thought tho face so swect and good beneath it, that all the new "Easter hats" sank into insigniücance in contrast; but Ruby looked around at the pretty sprays of rose-buds, mignonette, violets. and pansies, and could not help but feel a Vtle pang of envy. How could she knbw that the young minister was nuf admiring the pretty faces so sweetly adornedP And tiow could she know that v;hile the organ sent forth its gras sie, and the anthem, "He has ar: .■■'' irom the dead," swelled f rom the lips and hearts of that Christian congregation, that tlifi thought had come to him (and was not an irrcligious one) that the Lord had ordaineu Ruby Brown for a minister' s wife, and that another Easter she should wear an "Easter hat," and it should be bridal white. So Rupy's "Easter hat" was worn the verjr next "Easter," and. all the good folks said nevcr a sweeter brido blushed beneath an "Easler hat," than the minister's young wife, Dee Ruby Brown, now Mra. Clinton Howard. Even Aimt Rushy had indulged in the fashion for once, and carne out in an astonishing beflowered hat, and she explained in her earncst emphatic way: "I doa't know but itis a sort of ahangin' out of a signal, of how happy you air, by decking out in posies, that our blessed Saviour riz to glory that day; never quite looked. at it in that air light before, come to think of't. I don't see how I ever wanted to put down sich kind. of rejoicing. Ruby does look like a picture in hern, and the eggs after all did get her 'Easter hat,' so Clinton says."


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat