“I don’t know about samplers. Of course, I know what they are,—but what makes them valuable?”
“Age, my dear. And authoritative dates. People make collections of old samplers, and those who collect will spend ’most anything for a good specimen.”
“I’ve one that my grandmother made,—at least, I can get it. Would you like it?”
“Would I? Indeed I would! But you ought to keep that, Azalea. My, what a generous girl you are! You’d give away your head, if it weren’t fastened on! No, dear child, keep your grandmother’s sampler yourself. Is it a good one?”
“I don’t know what a ‘good’ one is. It has flowers on it, and little people,—queer ones,—and a long verse of poetry and an alphabet of letters.”
“And the date?”
“Yes; 1836, I think it is.”
“That’s fairly old. Not a collection piece,—but a good date. Is it in good condition,—or worn?”
“Good as new. I don’t want it, Elise,—that is, I’d like to give it to you. You’ve been awful good to me.”
“All right, Zaly, send for it, and we’ll take a look at it, anyway.”
Vanity Fair was all that its name implied. By good fortune, the weather was perfect,—ideally pleasant and sunshiny, yet not too warm. Wistaria Porch was transformed into a veritable Fairyland, and it was a bewildering vision of flowers, flags and frivolity by day, and a blaze of illuminated gaiety by night.
It was to last but two days, for, Patty said, they might hope for fair weather for that long but hardly for three days.
It was to open at noon, and all the morning everybody was running about, doing last minute errands or attending to belated decorations.
Azalea had the Indian booth. It was a wigwam, in effect, but it was so bedecked and ornamented that it is doubtful if a real Indian would have recognised it as one. However, it was filled with real Indian wares, and the beautiful baskets and pottery were sure to prove best sellers. Azalea received a large consignment from some place she had sent to in Arizona, and other people had donated appropriate gifts, until the little tent was overflowing.
Azalea herself, the attendant on the booth, was in the garb of an Indian princess, a friend of Patty’s having lent the costume for the occasion. It was becoming to the girl, and she looked really handsome in the picturesque trappings, and elaborate head-dress.
Just before time for the Fair to be opened, Azalea went over to Elise’s booth. As she had planned, Elise had a log cabin, and in it she had arranged a motley collection of antiques and heirlooms that were quaint and valuable. It was the design of the Fair to sell really worthwhile things at their full value; and as they expected many wealthy patrons, the committees felt pretty sure of a grand success.