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UPSIDE DOWN;

OR,

WILL AND WORK.

CHAPTER I.

THE BLACK-EDGED LETTER.

-SHOO! a-shoo! Start your boots !

1 Scat, scamper! Clear out, or I'll wring the necks of every one of you. Conscience sake, if I ever see sech torments.”

Mrs. Down was trying to clear the chickens out of the sitting-room. She flapped her apron, and waved her arms, and scolded herself out of breath; but for one yellow leg she piloted safely through the door, half a dozen rushed past her, and ensconced

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themselves under the chintz-covered lounge, up the wide-mouthed chimney-place, and in divers other quarters, where experience had taught them they were safe from her attacks.

Finally, Mrs. Down reseated herself, and fell to fanning her heated face with a torn book-cover.

"I declare,” panted she, "I no more get comfortably settled for my afternoon nap, than them pesky critters fall to fightin'. It all comes of Sol's trainin' 'em to it; an' I'll jest put a stop to that fun. I might as well do it one time as another.”

Here is Mrs. Down's portrait : Fat, lazy, and good-natured – you could see that with a glance; an undecided mouth, and shallow blue eyes; a general shiftlessness pervading her whole arrangement, or rather derangement, for her light, fady hair was untidily lumped up with a broken comb, and her soiled dress parted company both at throat and waist; her apron boasted one white string and one black one; her feet

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